Hey, welcome back! I hope things are going better for you.
I loved the return of the Dursleys to Privet Drive and I especially applaud the way Harry took the whole neighborhood to task (it's going to be interesting to see what he learns from Arabella Figg; methinks it's not going to bode well for certain parties). I quite appreciated the hazardous duty that guarding Rita is and I think they've found the perfect guard dog for her.
The training seems to be going well and I hope that Luna is able to get Ron up to where he should be; I know there's a lot of Dumbles' meddling to undo, but he does need to grow. The same for the others who are lagging in training (methinks that Seamus is not going to enjoy having Neville mentoring him, but he will learn).
Finally, I suspect that Tom's plans to attack that dance are going to introduce another side of Dudley, especially if Dudley realizes that this is what his cousin's been fighting (be amusing if the attack gave a shock stimulation to dormant magical ability in Dudley; the fallout would be most enlightening and entertaining). I seriously doubt that Harry's left them there without various watchkeep or other wards and sensors in place and Tom's attack may well get him quite the unpleasant surprise. I'm definitely looking forward to the next chapter.
Thanks for the welcome, Cat. Things are till up in the air, but seem to be settling a bit. Still, I'll be posting as I can.
Dursleys: And there, is the perfect punishment I decided upon. For them, social climbing phonies that they are, their reputations are in ruins, their neighbors know about their crimes and they have no way to escape.
And I firmly believe in neighborhood watches. After all, "It takes a village to raise a child."
Somehow,I really cant feel too bad about Rita. Yes, she is (mostly)working for Harry, but she's done some naughty things that should be dealt with. Minuard won't actively threaten or harm her. He's just going to be there, waiting behind her, quietly watching for threats to her life, and as an added bonus, driving her completely paranoid.
While a great deal of Ron's attitude does come from Dumbley, he has been free of those constraints for the past several months. From there, it's simply his being used to it and seeing no reason to change. For instance, he specifically mentions enjoying the Tai Chi training, but not understanding the need, and having difficulty touching the force but shoving that to the side by failing tounderstand what good it would do him.
Luna will be introducing the 'stick and carrot' principle to Ron in the next chapter.
Seamus: Yeah, he's gonna be hating life, but as I've planned Ginny being sweet on him, I couldn't keep her in the loop.
Are you practicing legilimency on me?
Dudley will indeed get some screen time, and the Deez are going to learn muggles aren't as helpless as they thought.
Dormant magic: While not what I had in mind, It is a great idea. Maybe for another story.
Either way, Voldemort is going to pull back a bloody hand.
Wards, etc: Yup. 'Member the Granger's house?