Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way...
Back again for another ho-ho-holiday review!
It's hard to even find the right words to explain how difficult and wonderful this chapter was to read. It dipped through such low places and ended on such an amazing high. This is the reason I love reading stories about characters that I know so well and identify with so strongly! For a time, they can take you places beyond the reach of everyday life. Thank you for that.
In the first scene on the chapter, I thought you did a brilliant job of capturing Hermione's swirling mess of conflicting emotions. There's just so much wrong in her life at that moment, it's understandable that it takes her a while to sort it all out. Anger and embarrassment and hurt and guilt and through it all this desire to have Ron back. Throughout the time they've known one another, I'm sure anyone would have lost count of the number of times that she and Ron stormed off in opposite directions, swearing that they would never speak to one another again, but she can't possibly know that, so she's left with only the empty feeling that she's wrecked everything. From her point of view, I guess Scotland would seem like a sensible place to begin sorting the whole mess out. That was where this journey began and she has lots of unfinished business there.
Molly was awesome in this chapter! The love and sensibilities of a mother came through so clearly as she smacks a bit of sense into Ron. I'm sure she was very hurt by Hermione's outburst, but it doesn't take her much time at all to put her priorities in line. The only thing that felt a bit odd was that she didn't go looking for Hermione after she realized what Ron had done. Maybe she did and Hermione had already found her way to the Lovegoods' house, but I think a little bit of clarification from Molly would close that small gap in her reaction.
Finally! Yes! A chapter where I can actually begin to like Ginny. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Not only does she complete Molly's riot act to Ron, but she actually owns up to her own culpability in the great scheme of things. The new information she reveals was very ominous. I'm suddenly very worried about Hermione traveling to Scotland by herself. If the kidnappers know that Ron and Hermione have learned about their past and she's there all alone, then I hope those magical protections Harry gave her were strong, indeed!
To wrap up that section, I really, really loved the way you characterized Ron and Ginny's relationship growing up. A couple of my favorite fics involve an adorable 11-year-old Ron sending letters back to his little sister, admitting how much he misses her and telling her about the exciting things he's doing at Hogwarts.
You probably thing that I was cheering out loud when Hermione lowers the boom on Jonas. Don't be silly. I'm at work. ;) But as much as I wanted to dance with glee, I couldn't help but feel terribly for her. It had to be an awful kick in the gut to realize that this entire life she had built for herself suddenly means nothing to her. She really seemed to be trying to find something, anything that would spark a reaction: sadness or anger or love or guilt. In the end, all she felt was empty. Like reading a poorly-written paperback. It was really sad for her. Jonas can go take a long walk off a short pier. It's like he's more angry than hurt, almost inconvenienced by her leaving.
The scene were she destroys her office gave me a lot of closure. I assume it did for her, as well. She puts the last nails in the coffin of her "new" life. I loved the way that, once the emotional turmoil passed, she actually felt better. You wrote the emotions of this section brilliantly!
So just to balance out this review a tiny bit, I did see one typo:
"Hermione briefly though how strange it was how sometimes one readies himself up for something, the decision is made and in that certain moment the courage, determination or wants just fail, and the person doesnít know what to do." - "briefly thought". I love this paragraph, though!
I'm so close to the last posted chapter! You have to get another chapter up before the queue closes, you just have to! I don't know whether I can make it til January. The air is getting thin. I hear dead relatively calling out to me from a distant point of light...
OK, that was a little over-dramatic, but please update soon. Beautiful chapter! Great job and Happy Holidays!