There's something about your writing that makes me think you've come from another century. It has that tone of someone who has seen and learnt so much, no matter how simple the words. It also reminds me of an author I miss - celticbard. Anyway, on to the review.
So, we've fast forward a couple months and Rose, no doubt, has moved on. But it seems that all is not well. There's an obvious sense of foreboding to anything relating to engagement. At first, I thought that it was for her and Teddy. I agree that it's a big mess, but while she avoids thinking about that very possible future, she physically avoids any situation related to it. (I hope that makes sense, that was a long sentence.) She feels very strongly for him, but I wonder what she's afraid of.
I'm trying to make my own interpretation of Bowie's song and your story. Perhaps her fear is based on the fact that she has seen it all before. All the while, I get the sense that she's in a bit of a daze. I don't think she's quite used to the fact that her relationship with Teddy is so developed, especially in the eyes of her family. To be honest, she might be the neurotic one, not them.
It's not the length I would like to give for this chapter, but it's all I have to say at the moment. I thought you did a great job with reintroducing Rose's character and her current struggle.
Author's Response: Thank you for that compliment, wow! Much of it comes from reading too many Victorian novels, so their syntax and language almost comes naturally. The most significant compliment here, though, is the comparison to celticbard. I love her stories and her writing style, so hearing that my writing reminds you of hers is fantastic!
Your sentence about Rose makes perfect sense. She thinks that the only way to protect herself from the truth is to avoid it, which only makes things worse. If she would just confront the issue and deal with it, her life would be a lot easier. It becomes a self-perpetuating system in which she avoids the problem, it becomes worse, and she has to avoid it again, and so on. It makes her a frustrating character to write (and to read, I expect), but it creates an oddly large amount of the story's action. I don't know if it's a good thing. Yet it's necessary because she has to grow out of this problem. Not mature out of it, but grow as a person and better come to terms with the world around her.
Now I'm the one not making sense. Although many of my main characters question themselves and their place in the world, with Rose I am pushing this even further. There's no enemy for her to fight against. There's no great thing she has to do. There's just a normal existence, and she's not sure that it's what she wants. It emerges partially from her adventures in China and also from the stories she's heard from her family. Some of her cousins are Aurors or Quidditch players, and she feels out of place.
She is pretty neurotic, come to think of it. ;)
The chapter lengths are something I'm working on because I've realized that, with a lot less action than in "Winner Takes All", it doesn't make as much sense to have such long chapters. I either have to increase the level of action, or decrease the length (probably the latter - that's the more logical and safe).
Thank you very much for this review! :D