I have the biggest smile on my face... you can't even imagine. Molly Weasley is a character that I struggled with for a long time. In the first 6 books plus the wedding at the start of Deathly Hallows, she always came across as well-meaning but kind of annoying and shrill. To be honest, I didn't really like her. Amazing what a few short paragraphs can do for a character. After she killed Bellatrix, my opinion did a 180. Hence the big smile on my face. I loved seeing her struggle to contain her overwhelming happiness at the news. The way you wrote her emotions, her impatience, her eagerness, and for some silly reason, especially the bit about bringing slices of cake... it all just came together into this unbelievably heart-warming picture in my mind.
Ugh! Again, Ron nearly figures it out while he's looking at the group photo on the mantle. But the details are a little too vague, so they continue to not know that they once loved one another deeply. It's making me sad!
Poor Ginny tries so hard to brace them for the impact, but I think she was doomed to fail from the start. There's simply nothing that can prepare an unaware person for a full-on explosion of Weasley-ness. I liked the conflict in Hermione's emotions in this part. She feels like it's a homecoming of sorts for her, as well. She can't even explain how. But her rational mind doesn't want to spoil Ron's moment because she can't recall just how much she meant to the Weasley family and vise-versa.
It wasn't long or drawn out, but I loved what you did with Ron's reunion with George. In those couple of short sentences, you captured an awful lot. George's grief and suffering were beautifully implied without saying a word.
Wow! Charlie sure knows how to make an entrance. Brilliant!
I like that Ron is still thinking of Hermione, even as he's falling headfirst back into the life that feels so perfect to him although he can't remember it.
Harry was the hero of this chapter for me. What he does for Hermione is beautiful, heart-warming and all-around a completely "Harry thing" to do. Like her, he's always been just a bit outside of the Weasley family, mostly participating but occasionally looking in. The two of them have such a friendly, easy dynamic in this, like brother and sister. Harry's little confessionals were perfect and I'm sure they were exactly the sorts of things that Hermione needed to hear in order to keep opening up to him. I feel like she's going to need him so much before this story is all said and done.
His little, reassuring explanations were perfect, and he still holds her in a sort of awe for her brilliance. Great characterization!
I'm sorry, but this chapter didn't inspire any new guesses as to where the plot is heading. I'll keep thinking on it, though. Still loving every bit of this! I'll be back again soon.
Author's Response: Molly definitely upped her character likability when she blew up Bellatrix into smithereens, although I liked her before, even if she could be a bit overbearing. I guess for me she fell into the picture of the entire Weasley family. Writing her wasn't easy, I was worried about making her caring and fawning over everyone overdone, so it's nice to hear you enjoyed her in this chapter.
Hermione of course feels connected to the Weasley family she practically spent more time with them than with her own parents. At the same time, she knows there's a certain boundary and thinks Ron deserves some space with all of them. It's the same with Harry. They are a part of the family and they are loved so much, but it's not the REAL family they both lost. So there will always be a little piece missing. That's why I loved writing the scene where he takes her to the graveyard. There's something I adore about their friendship, and so I really wanted to give them that moment.
At first, I was so bummed about trying to write George. Fred's death is something I still haven't fully accepted, so I usually avoid writing him or reading too many stories about him because it almost always reduces me to tears. In the end I was glad how this turned out, because that incompleteness hanging around him that Ron noticed came to me spontaneously as I was writing it. And Charlie, of course I had to include Charlie! I feel so bad for him, though. He's always so faraway from everyone even during the books and unfortunately even in this story. He just loves living in Romania way too much, I guess.
Yeah, I'm not the best at dropping hints and clues gradually during every chapter. Sometimes I'm guilty of losing myself in characters and their drama. I'm really envious on how perfectly you do it in CoB. Every chapter brings something new to the table, it's perfect!