THIS. This is Ron as he's meant to be written -- not stupid, not useless, not angry, not jealous. There are too many instances of a bad Ron on this site, and that's what makes this story read almost at once like a breath of fresh air. I think it's even better that the story's not through his eyes, too, because we can see his growth and his character even more clearly through his son's eyes. Ron is one of my favorite characters in the series, and there's so much more to him that people give him credit for. You made him so strong, coping with the world after Hermione's death -- and more than that, fighting through the grief to be there for his children in a way that made me so, so proud of him. I have so many feelings for him right now. ♥
There's so much uniqueness to this story, too: Tony's being a Squib, the fact that the Weasley/Granger kids aren't strictly set out as Rose-and-Hugo. This is a glimpse into next generation that I miss sorely, because hardly anyone writes it, and yet this is ten times more compelling to me than a thousand romantic comedy Al/OCs. These are all real people, threaded with real emotions, and the grieving process is wonderfully written. I feel so bad for Ron, but then there are those feelings of pride, because he does love his children. His actions speak so, so loudly in that regard.
I swore to myself that no matter how sad this was I wasn't going to tear up. (You did say "kinda sad" but I tear up at TV commercials, which is to say everything makes me cry!) And I thought I was going to make it, but then we hit the image of Ron altering the dress robes in his Chudley Cannons sweatshirt, shamelessly sewing, and I could feel my throat close up. That was my favorite part of the whole story. It's wonderful, absolutely wonderful, and wonderfully Ron. Without reading any further, you proved to me his love for his children. Without even using the word love, and that hits a lot on a conversation I had with a group of people today -- but I digress, of course.
This is why your other one-shot still makes me revisit it down and again, two and a half years since I first read it. This is powerful! You say a lot in a small amount of words, and you make me think. This was beautiful. I'm so glad I read it. I'm so glad you were online so I could be shoved in this direction again!
Author's Response: Okay, I'm still in awe from this review! That's partly why it's taken me so long to reply. I just don't know what to say in the face of so many nice things. I've just kinda been blushing like a fool for days now. But I will try to do my best to reply to his amazing review.
I love Ron. He's not my all time favorite (we all know who those are) but he's Ron, and a Weasley, and what's not to love about him? He's got a bit of a bumbling characteristic about him, but I get so sick and tired of people taking that and turning him into either an idiot or a fool. He's brave, and loyal, and smart. Sure, he's hot-headed, but try and tell me Harry isn't as well. So, I really do try to do Ron justice when I write him so as not to perpetuate the bad Ron stuff out there.
As for this story being through Tony's eyes, and not using the canon kids for Ron and Hermione, I didn't consciously plan that. I just had this image in my head of Ron alone, having to fix all these little girl's hair, and from that sprang this fic. It didn't work, though, until Tony jumped into my head and started telling the story. And then it all fell into place. Funny how stories can do that sometimes, isn't it.
Well, that's probably not ENTIRELY true. I have issues with the "epilogue" and all the other stuff we've learned about characters since the books ended. While it's fun to learn how the characters could have ended up, I don't really like knowing it all. Half the fun of reading a book and falling in love with characters is the ability to imagine how the story goes on once the pages end. I really dislike having it all spelled out for me. Doesn't give me any room to play. I knew Ron and Hermione were going to end up together by book two, and I had their family all planned out in my head, because I knew the books weren't going to go that far anyway. And then I don't get that chance anymore. I guess that's selfish of me, considering they are JKR's characters and she can do what she likes with them, but I'm an odd duck that way. That's why I've never been able to get into next generation fics very well - I don't feel any connection to the characters because to me they feel wrong.
Sorry about the tears, btw. I should have told you to bring tissues. Of course, I did say it was sad, so I tried to warn you. And thanks again for more wonderful compliments. I think my head has swollen beyond what is healthy from all of this.
And I should tell you the fact that you go back and re-read "Silence" made my day. Heck, it made my month. I don't get a lot of reviews anymore, which is my own fault for not updating, but it is so nice to know people are going back and re-reading stuff even if I'm slow.
Thank you so much for granting my review request! It was a lovely gift!