I simply loved this piece. Helga/Salazar is actually one of my favorite pairings, I just find that the personalities of Salazar and Helga, based off the house traits, would really seem realistic. And, I'm a fan of 'opposites attract', and what can be more different than a Hufflepuff and a Slytherin? I find that Gryffindors and Slytherins are actually quite similar. Anyways, I'm really glad I found this.
One thing I really liked about the story was the alternations between Helga's memories and reality. You had such a well-developed and detailed plot, and the memories gave you a way to explain the complicated past leading up to the confrontation without having to sustain a long inner monologue. It also let us see different sides of their relationship, and I loved how it started out with the carefree and happy memory, before things went wrong. It provided a way for us to see why Helga loved Salazar, and I think if we hadn't had that first memory their relationship wouldn't have been as believable.
Another thing I loved was how you incorporated the storm into your story; it provided a great undertone. The way you described their relationship as a tempest, both terrifying and exhilerating, as you put it, with Salazar, ever mysterious and changing, in the center, summed up their relationship in one beautiful and simple metaphor. And, for me, that one paragraph really pulled the story together. Great job!
That being said, though, I thought the characterization of Salazar in the different parts slightly conflicted with one another. In the first memory, he was charming and playful, but in the second memory he was a pureblood extremist, defending his views so strongly he severely insulted Helga, whom he loved. I know Salazar was mysterious, always changing, never really emotional, but that was a rather large jump in a short amount of time. Maybe you could go into the backstory behind Salazar's hatred of Muggles, to explain why he felt so strongly against them. I think that would really add to his character.
On the topic of characterization, I thought you captured Helga perfectly. We don't really know much about the founders in canon, but I thought she was the right amount of sweet and patient, as the sorting hat tends to describe her house, but mixed with fiery and rebellious. The way she defied Rowena, who also felt for Salazar, and even the way she was laying in the beginning: very carefree, even though it probably wasn't considered proper or polite for a lady back then. Also, she defended her view even when she knew how Salazar would react, really added a nice mix to create a well-planned and beautiful character. Really excellent job!
But . . .I have to say the ending was my favorite part of the piece. Helga had the courage to swallow (at least some) of her pride and talk to Salazar, even after he left them all (and Hogwarts) behind. I thought their final kiss was perfect and bittersweet, because both of them knew they had lost whatever chance they had to reconcile, that their differences were too big to overcome. It brought closure to the piece, the sad ending of a quite stormy and unpredictable relationship.
Overall, I just loved this piece. As I said before, Helga/Salazar is one of my favorite ships, though it never seems to work out for them. Must have something to do with Salazar creating a Chamber of Secrets then leaving. Anyways, I thought this piece was beautiful, and you did a great job with the piece.
Keep it up!
aww.....how sad i wouldnt think of salzar and helga 2gether but now ya ..i love it..anyway kkep up the good work
It has been brought to my attention that my previous review could be considered a flame. I had no intention for it to be that way and I must apologise. I reread your fic today and discovered that I should never let my brother watch television in the background while I'm r/r. Now that it is a bit quieter, I realise I was completely wrong in posting my previous comment. Your fic was beautiful and I feel like a total snot in not paying attention to it. These are just a couple lines in your fic that I particularly liked:
but she could not help but find Rowena's persistence foolish; an insult to her vast intelligence.
I can only sort of see her doing this in real life, but I find I like the way this sentence sets Rowena apart as a lovesick fool when she is more often than not a wise, regal figure. It showed that there is another side to characters and one that we all wish we didn't have. That hopeless, I-feel-this-way-and-god-let-him-feel-the-same-or-I'll-throw-myself-off-a-tower side.
You did a good job at telling what Helga thought would happen as a result and I love how you showed that more often then not, people donít let go of what we want even if it could hurt others and ourselves.
that the rabid hatred now choking her life was once an unfathomable nightmare, rather than a cruel, gripping reality.
I just really love this line. Adjectives are great and I liked the placing of it. I must admit, it was a little dramatic, but it fit quite well in the place that you put it.
Did you mean to do something symbolic with the arrangements of Helga and Salazar? Because I noticed that you always have Salazar move to meet Helga. Aside from going to see him (which is more for herself than him anyway) she never bends or stands or moves for him, and he is the one who moves to meet her. And I love how you reversed the positions at the ending making him sit and be submissive to anything she said.
There is only one thing I donít quite understand. Why is Salazar in a cottage? One would think that heíd be in his own private castle. (Or did he spend all his money on his basilisk?) ;) He is a founder and he probably had money. Is there a reason he is not living it up a little?
I also admire your word choice--I actually had to look up word! And that in itself says something good. I now know what belie means!
Overall, this fic was immensely better than I initially thought and I hope you will erase my previous review with no thought to it.
Author's Response: Why hello again! I will admit, when I read your first review I was having a terrible night to begin with and it about set me over the edge. But, it's alright, not everyone can love my story. I need to learn this, so no worries. Now, new questions/comments. In terms of Salazar and Helga's placement in different scenes, I sort of see them fitting with their natural symbols. Slytherin is typically tied to water, and as such he's more fickle and free flowing. I think he would be much more likely to move in and quickly away than stand and wait for Helga to move. And, since Hufflepuff often is represented with earth, the more steadfast of the elements, I think its fitting that she holds herself steady. Now, as for Salazar in the cottage. I sort of picture it being his old stomping ground, perhaps a small place he used to escape from the world before setting to build Hogwarts with the others. Yes, he does have wealth and power, but he's also turned away from the other three, putting himself on the limb alone. I think at this point he'd be more likely to hide out rather than making a huge show of his departure. I sort of took the view with his character that he's just as human as the rest of them, he just suffers from excessive pride and, well, prejudice.
Okay... this story is quite different. It is okay, but it has room for improvement. It feels a little melodramatic and it has a bunch of spelling errors that made me stop and go huh? what are you talking about? I think you should have made it a bit longer and smoothed it out a bit. And was Godric in love with Helga? Or was he just a brotherly figure? I did like your opening with Helga and the closing of your story was pretty good too. Overall it was kind of iffy to me. It just didnít have that wow factor.
Author's Response: Well hi there... yes, it is melodramatic. Trust me, I usually hate soap operas but given the era of the piece and the characters involved in the twisted love affair, I decided to schmultz it up a bit. Feel free to read my other stories, I think you'll find that though my scenes are very intense, I'm not so much a melodramatic writer typically. And no, Godric didn't love Helga that way. I thought it was clear in the story, he doted on her like a big brother.
Firstly, permit to say that I found this story utterly fabulous; really emotional and powerful. Normally, I'm more of a fan of Rowena/Salazar than putting Salazar with Helga (I just feel that Rowena goes better with Salazar than Helga), but your story made their relationship very believable, and has made me even like the pairing now. I congratulate you on that!
Now, onto some more comments. I particularly liked your portrayal of both Salazar and Helga. So little is known about the Founders that one can basically make almost anything work, but I've seen too much where the Founders, or at least Salazar, is portrayed in a very one-dimensional manner. Your story, however, did not have that in the slightest, and I was very pleased to see that.
You still manage to have the parts of Salazar that we do know about -- his desire for purebloods / hatred of Muggleborns, his distant/colder nature, etc. while at the same time, presenting him in a manner that makes a relationship with Helga (whose characterisation you also did wonderfully, with her fairness and innocence and such) believable and utterly realistic. I applaud you once again.
Another thing that I particularly enjoyed in this story was your description. I loved the symbolism and imagery created with the whole storm being like the romantic relationship between Helga and Salazar. Perfect use of some intensive imagery right there, and it also makes your title have a whole deeper meaning as well.
The ending was also fabulous, once again bringing in the storm and some wonderful description with Helga and Salazar's final farewell. Really, I loved just about everything about this story.
And now, for a bit of critique:
I noticed a few typos while reading, though none of it was vastly horrible or anything ;)
few calming breathes
In this statement, I believe it should "breaths," without the "e".
"If I recall if was, in fact, Godric who cast the first spell.
This statement didn't have a typo, but it just seems a bit awkward in its wording, in my opinion. Something that might work a bit better would be "If I recall, it was Godric who cast the first spell." The phrase "in fact" isn't really needed, and at the very least, it's awkward in its current place in the sentence. You could even add the word "correctly" to come after "recall," but that may seem a little too modern; I'm not 100% sure. Personally, I'd just go with leaving out the "in fact" and the sentence would sound a lot better, in my opinion -- not that's it horrible like it is, mind you.
I'm also a bit curious on why there was no mention or hinting at the Chamber as Salazar left. (Of course, it could just be a slight oversight, as I did the same in a story of mine.) With or without that, though, it was still very good.
Lastly, my favourite scene in the entire story would probably have to be the very beginning, with Salazar and Helga's dialogue going on. It is utterly realistic and believable, and it was a great way to begin the story, providing a wonderful feeling that carries throughout the fic.
On the whole, though, this was a very well-written and wonderful one-shot. To just briefly repeat a bit, the characterisation was fabulous, and I believe it was probably your strongest part throughout the story.
Okay, I think I've rambled enough.
Author's Response: Thanks for this lovely review, Megan =) You seem to be in the vast majority that prefer Rowena with Salazar, though I have found, if written properly, you can pair any of the founders together and create a lovely, believable story. As for there being no mention of the Chamber, it really didn't play into the main plot of this story, which was the turbulent nature of Helga and Salazar's love. His leaving the school was more of a catalyst, a side note to the focus of the plot, so mentioning the chamber of secrets just didn't flash on my radar. Thanks for reading! I'm glad you enjoyed it! ~Ashley
Gryffinpuff you are so good! I would normally be really disinterested in a founders' story but this is great! I was looking forward to reading more chapters in the future before I realized this was completed. So if I could ask for one thing: please PLEASE give us more "Senses!" It's been a long time!
Author's Response: Thank you! Yea, I'm not usually interested in the Founders either but... I don't know, it worked for this story somehow =) And yea... about that... I won't make excuses. I've just been ridiculously busy, and I hope to update Senses very soon. Thanks for reading!
Take a deep breath. Got it? Good. Now give yourself a nice big pat on the back. Oh, that squishing feeling? Thatís me hugging you.
This is incredible. A truly well written, well executed piece, dripping with poignancy and regret in every paragraph. You often see Rowena paired with Salazar, but rarely Helga, and I like this pairing much better. Youíve pulled it off with grace and eloquence that is entirely due to skill and craft.
You really gave them all a great deal of character without a lot of description. You made Rowena real, and even Godric had presence, despite his only periphery appearance. I loved the depth of character that you gave Salazar. The opening scene between Helga and himself is probably my favourite part of this fabulously written story.
"I do not understand why you spurn her advances," Helga chuckled, turning to face him once more. "I know many wizards that would be overjoyed to have her at their side, fair and wise as she is."
"Do not be so modest, Helga," he replied quietly, his brow arched in an almost alarming manner. "Nary a lad would deny your hand should you be so bold as to offer it."
"All evidence to the contrary, I assure you," she giggled, brushing a strand of hair from her eyes.
I think you have a wonderful feeling for dialogue, and though there is not much of it in this story, it shows through brilliantly none the less.
"Did you care for me at all?" she finally demanded on a whisper, angry tears forming in her eyes, unable to believe her audacity in asking such a question. She gasped and flinched when Salazar suddenly rose from his seat, crossing the distance between them in two fast strides, clutching her wrists in his hands.
"You doubt it?" he spoke, his tone gentle but demanding. Helga dropped her gaze to the floor under his startling glare, unable to answer as she sought to control her emotions.
Author's Response: *squees uncontrollably*
Oh wow thank you, I very rarely get reviews with more than, "this was awesome!!!!!!!!" so that meant alot to me! Yes, I think I agree with you about liking Helga/Salazar more than Rowena/Salazar. The differences in their character makes the pairing more enticing to me somehow.
Also, thank you for the comment on my dialogue! Most of my stories tend to focus more on action than speaking, so it's always nice to hear if I'm doing the verbal interractions justice. Guh... just... guh. *squishes back* Thank you =)
This is a difficult pairing but I think you have used some excellent techniques to express both the connection between them and their individuality.
If I had to choose one sentence that portrays the caring and unreconcilable conflict it would be... "I do not doubt that we enjoyed one another, Salazar," she murmured, "and on many levels. But I have always wondered where my desire for you comes from, how I can burn in longing for someone so different than myself.
Of all the founders, only Helga could have allowed herself that level of honesty and vulnerability. Regardless of the personal cost, she had to provide both of them with the opportunity for closure.
Of particular interest in your technique, is that you don't provide your reader with the same opportunity for closure. I think this maintains good characterization while forcing the reader to interact more intensely with the characters. It is an uncomfortable feeling, but I like the process.
Author's Response: *smiles and hugs* Thanks Grammy Pat! I actually had never considered this pairing before I wrote this, and upon agreeing to pinch-hit for somebody in the exchange, I found that I'm rather fond of it, as odd at the match might be. I like your comments on my technique. It's always my goal to make my readers as uncomfortable as possible, lol! I hope it served its purpose, to show that even though there was spoken closure, there would be no ending to the turmoil (or storm) of emotions that Helga and Salazar will undoubtedly feel, after all that has happened, for the rest of their lives. It's never a comforting feeling to go into a situation with no retribution in sight, so I'm glad that worked the way I wanted it to =)