Story Title: In The Bleak Midwinter
Author Name: snorkakcatcher
Story Url: Story Link 1
Alternate Url: Story Link 2
Content Rating: Mature
Length: Short Story
Story Summary: Hermione Granger had grown to dread the winter. The season seemed almost to have a grudge against her. And so as she and Ron flew from summer in Britain to winter in Australia to search for her parents, she had both old and new issues to resolve.
There are many fics out there depicting Hermione’s trip to Australia to reunite with her parents. This has become a favorite of mine for several reasons. To begin with, the author does a great job with Hermione’s first-person narrative. Using a common theme (Hermione’s winters are dreadful) the author skillfully weaves together flashbacks from the last 7 winters with Hermione’s present experiences as she searches for her parents, with Ron at her side. Hermione’s doubts and worries about her parents are complicated by her uncertainty about her new relationship with Ron. These uncertainties are a nice way of getting us inside Hermione’s head, as she second guesses the decisions she’s made over the last several years. The reader feels closer to her character and comes to understand some of her decisions, including some of her more controversial choices, including why she confunded her parents and how much she told them in advance.
I also favor this particular story over similar fics because of the way we watch Ron’s growth throughout the series through Hermione’s eyes. His strengths, his weaknesses, and the reasons why she loves him and leans on him are all artfully portrayed here. We see his journey into manhood conveyed in a way that leaves the reader cheering for him as he awkwardly embraces her, obviously coping with his own set of insecurities during this time.
Finally, I loved the ending. I’ve seen some dramatic interpretations of what might happen, but this feels more natural and more in keeping with JKR’s vision for her characters. As a result, it becomes one more reason why this Hermione feels so true to canon. Very well done.