Why I’m glad Harry Potter and Hermoine don’t end up together

I’m proud to call myself a Harry Potter super-fan. Dressing up for book and movie midnight releases, stringing together fan theories, and devouring each book into the wee hours of the morning were definitive parts of my childhood. In college, I met some of my best and most lasting friendships through a Harry Potter fan club, and to this day, I have a blue-striped sweater that I wear to show off my Ravenclaw pride.

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus, baby!

However, much like Harry bravely waded into the lake for the second challenge in the Triwizard Tournament, I’d like to wade into a hotly contested topic and humbly add in my two sickles: I’m really glad that Harry and Hermione didn’t end up together.

As I mentioned before, Harry Potter had a huge influence on my childhood. JK Rowling did my generation a Hagrid-sized favor by giving us a strong example of loyalty and friendship through Harry, Ron, and Hermione.

Not to mention the example that Hermione gave to awkward, bookish girls like me (and girls in general, for that matter!). Watching Hermione grow up, stand up for the rights of all creatures, and be a general lady boss was inspiring, especially in a world where I was socialized to think that I wouldn’t be liked until my teeth were fixed and I grew out of my “nerd phase.”

Enter in another famous Harry with a female BFF: the classic 1989 film “When Harry Met Sally.” Don’t get me wrong, I LOVED that movie. The entire time I was rooting for Harry and Sally to be together.

The film brought an important question front and center: can men and women ever really be “just friends?” And for the generation before me, it answered with a resounding “no” that ended with cinematic finesse and seeming poetic justice.

That’s why I think it’s so important that Harry and Hermione didn’t end up together.

If they had, I think another generation of women, otherwise empowered by Hermione’s persona, would have again heard the fallacy of “When Harry Met Sally:” that men and women can never be “just” friends.

Now, of course, the seeming hole in this logic is that Ron and Hermione were “just friends” before they ever became a flame. But I think there was chemistry present that set “Romione” apart from the beginning.

I’m not trying to say that they didn’t have a genuine friendship, because they did. But, I think it’s safe to say that Ron and Hermione weren’t tight the way that they each were individually with Harry. I don’t think they would have had very much to do with each other growing up if it weren’t for their mutual tight-ness with The Boy Who Lived.

There’s always a little spark between them; busting out after hours and bickering in book one evolves to Yule Ball drama in book four, which evolves to putting surfacing feelings on hold to battle Voldemort in book seven. They get to know each other well as friends through this time, but I think that there’s always romantic chemistry present that just isn’t there for Harry and Hermione.

And then, at the end, Hermione and Ron both make the conscious decision to be together. It’s not “fate,” it’s not inevitable. It’s a wonderful, mutual acknowledgement of feelings, feelings that simply were not present between Harry and Hermione.

The Harry Potter series takes on the same question as “When Harry Met Sally,” and it does it due diligence. In the Deathly Hallows, when the locket horcrux attacks Ron with the fear that Harry and Hermione shared a romantic spark, it almost tore him apart. He was clearly asking himself the same question: with Harry and Hermione being as good of friends as they were, how could there not have been a little torch-holding?

By choosing to put Hermione and Ron together, JK did two wonderful things at once: through Hermione’s friendship with Harry, she said that yes, men and women can have a deep, meaningful, platonic friendship; through Hermione’s relationship with Ron, she said that yes, it’s true that the healthiest relationships are rooted in friendship.

So, while even the Queen herself might have second thoughts about the Hermione-Ron pairing, I sure don’t! Ron & Hermione forever!

Katherine Pluymert is a San Francisco-based book lover, thought scribbler, and Harry Potter nerd. She loves trying new food, exploring new places, and deep conversation. One day, she hopes to own a pet koi fish and have wall-to-wall bookshelves.

[Image via Warner Bros.]

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