“After all this time?”

“Always.”

As a longtime Harry Potter fan, J.K. Rowling’s announcement that she believes that Harry and Hermione should have ended up together shocked me. I was rooting for Hermione and Ron to get together ever since their fiasco at the Yule Ball; it was when Ron realized that he liked Hermione, but needed to treat her right. Ron, who had no idea how to come out and tell Hermione he liked her, struggled to not ruin their friendship the rest of the series.

Hermione and Harry viewed each other as brother and sister — both only children that were thrust into a new world, they bonded together. There were certain aspects to the way Harry and Hermione lived that Ron, no matter how hard he tried, would never understand. Essentially, Harry and Hermione became the siblings that one another needed; there’s no way they were going to fall for each other romantically.

Relationships became a problem in their fourth year — Harry had a crush on Cho Chang and Viktor Krum fancied Hermione.

I can understand Ron’s feelings pushed aside — after all, Krum was an international sports star, competing in one of the most honorable tournaments in the wizarding world. Ron, on the other hand, was one of seven kids and there was nothing particularly special about him.

Rowling did a terrific job of showing how Ron is constantly overshadowed and how that affects him and his actions. How would you behave, knowing the person you liked was being pursued by the likes of David Beckham or Cristiano Ronaldo? You’d probably feel like there was no hope left — how could someone choose you over an international, good-looking, rich and famous star?

Ron doesn’t make his move for ages, as he’s too concerned about how Hermione will respond. But she doesn’t make any definite moves toward him either.

Their insecurities and fears prevent them from telling the other how they feel. And honestly, Ron was a bit foolish so we need to forgive him for not seeing how jealous Hermione was of Lavender.

It takes a battle for the fate of the world for people’s true feelings to come to light, as Ron finds out when he mentions rescuing house elves during the Battle of Hogwarts.

Delighted and shocked that Ron was thinking about what she cared about and stood for, Hermione kissed him. Love doesn’t care about looks, but the heart and concerns of the other person. It takes Ron a long time to understand this, but at last he got it — even if it was in the middle of a war.

And Harry, while he cared for Hermione, was conflicted by the feelings he felt for Ginny. Let’s not forget that while he was on the run, he’d take out the Marauder’s Map and just stare at her name because he missed her that much. He was alone with Hermione, but he still wanted Ginny, and Harry understood the deeper reasons why Hermione missed Ron. He avoided saying Ron’s name because he didn’t want to upset Hermione — if that doesn’t clue anyone in on how much Hermione felt about Ron, then I don’t know what will. Rowling even said she thought about killing Ron. But hasn’t Harry lost enough? Harry has already had most people who were close to him killed; his parents, godfather, Lupin and Tonks, Hedwig — the list goes on and on.

How do you think Harry would react to his best friend being killed? I’m sure it would only break him further and possibly send into a downward spiral of which he could not return. Ron, throughout all the ups, downs and all his faults, stuck by his best friend since the beginning. That kind of loyalty and friendship when broken can have disastrous results on the survivor. Killing Ron would be like killing another part of Harry.

While I’m not saying I disagree with the author, I stand firm in my belief that Ron and Hermione deserved to be together and live in happiness. If anything, Rowling should have told us why Luna Lovegood and Neville Longbottom didn’t end up together — I’d be much more interested to hear her reason behind the greatest-couple-that-never-happened than her regret over the happiness of Ron and Hermione.

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