Hi, Jenny. I remember reading this story when it was just a 500-word drabble in TTB, dealing with Muriel in her youthful days and including a half-dozen specific nouns that were required to be worked into the story somewhere. (It was kind of fun to try to remember what those nouns were and hunt through the story for them.)
In canon, Aunt Muriel is represented in Deathly Hallows as a 107-year-old lady who is outspoken, opinionated, and insensitive to people’s feelings, and I see that you conceive of her as having the seeds of those qualities from her youth. Your dialogue efficiently builds up from Muriel’s first casual remark to the shouting and insulting match, which progresses surprisingly quickly, with no evidence of any attempt to prevent the escalation. Your vivid descriptive words of her appearance and actions during this argument make the scene easy to envision. Armando was lucky that this scene occurred before the wedding, not after.
You depict Muriel’s self-centeredness and immaturity well. And even though you depict Armando as “shocked” at her refusal to embrace the effort and inconvenience of motherhood, you give a hint that today is not the first time he has seen this side of her, when he thinks must she always be so indifferent, so unsympathetic?
Muriel is eighteen years old in this story, and Armando has loved her since he was sixteen. That’s only how long? Two to four years (depending on his age)? He’ll get over it, even if he thinks his heart is breaking now. (From your description of her dramatic exit, I doubt that her heart was breaking.)
As is your custom, you write smoothy and gracefully, with variety in your sentence structures and a rich vocabulary. There is good balance between dialogue, action and description, not too embellished, not too spare, no pointless digressions that divert the focus from the plot. This story is a good example of how a drabble, which is always necessarily spare because of the word limitation, can be expanded into a satisfying little slice of life. Nice job.
I do not know where that came from, but it was rather entertaining.
Author's Response: Thanks!
Wow! I liked how it explains how Great-Aunt Muriel became such a sourpuss.
Author's Response: Oh, she was always a sourpuss! It just took a while for poor Armando to realize that, since he had such a soft spot for her.