Technically well-written, flows along nicely and is comfortably readable. I really like some of the ideas expressed and the simple words chosen so carefully (grabbing Ron's free arm ... She pulled him into motion.) Only another writer probably notices these things. But repeating that phrase soon after is bad. Except for emphasis or dramatic effect it's almost always best to vary words and phrases when they are within a few sentences of one another. Prowritingaid is good for spotting these and it's free - and I'm sure you already use a thesaurus.
I didn't quite feel the Ron and Hermione getting together thing quite worked for me - it felt staged, contrived like you want them to have 'the big kiss scene'. Firstly, blushing is overdone in Potter fics. I know because I probably overdo it in my own stories - it's an easy way to convey character embarrassment. But mainly, I don't think Ron would propose a romance to Hermione so formally, especially in front of Harry. Who knows? Maybe he would do the awkward scene.
I agree they could be holding hands spontaneously from comforting one another at the funeral and that they might pull apart, embarrassed when Harry pointed it out. But then I'd like to think Ron, after a minute or two would again take Hermione's hand in his left hand and place it symbolically in his right, look Hermione in the eye, and say something like "To hell with Harry," and nod at her questioningly and she would smile her agreement back. That's a powerful proposal. Maybe she would hug him. I don't feel they would snog right there but would grow together more naturally without any formal declaration and a kiss would happen more spontaneously, probably when they had more privacy. That's my take anyway in that situation.
Heartbreaking for Ginny to begin to reach out to Harry then pull back. There is other subtle, well-observed behaviour like that - such as when she shakes her head not saying 'no' but shaking herself free and diverting to another topic of conversation. But 'obviously avoiding eye contact' is ambiguous and might mean 'it's obvious why she avoided eye contact.' I think better might be, 'her avoidance of eye contact with Harry was obvious.'
Clothing is, at first, mentioned minimally as part of the action (good!) but then Hermione emerges and it starts to read like a catwalk commentary (though not as bad as some fics!) Avoid! Do it more subtly, maybe via Ron's thoughts or just leave it out.
The idea of the card base was brilliant - but I got the early impression from words like 'bit' that it was a piece of broken pewter so got confused later when talking about 'the base' and had to re-read that section, so it kind of spoilt it... a bit. Oh yeah, the only grammar error: Headmaster should not be capitalised when used generically.
Very good chapter. I'm back in the Potterverse! Don't know how I've missed this story before because I look for canon relationships, etc. set in Hogwarts era as my fav.
Author's Response: Thanks, and welcome back. I am pleased that you seemed to enjoy the chapter, I hope you will continue to appreciate the story.
I do not have much to say about your comments on the Ron/Hermione scene, except to say that we all have slightly different takes on things and envision things differently... But then again that is part of the joy of fan fiction to see different interpretations. For my own part, I really like Ron, but I always feel that he, at least at this point in his characterization, needs a push to get him going. In this case he gets his nudges from both Harry and Hermione who know him well. I also felt it was quite natural for Harry to play a roll in this. But, that is my character interpretation and I think perhaps, for my story it is most important that I treat the characters in a consistent way that is my own.
I am glad you like the card base, I was rather pleased when I came up with it. Hopefully I have peppered my story with lots of little items meant to enhance Rowling's magical world.
I am happy that you have discovered my story and I will look forward to reviews eagerly.
Thanks again, and welcome.