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Harry Potter and Cupid’s wayward arrow

- Rowling admits she may have made a mistake in pairing Hermione with Ron
WHAT WAS: A mock-up shows Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley on their wedding day

London, Feb. 2: The story so far: time has passed and Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley have had two children together but somehow their marriage has lacked magic.

For old times’ sake, Hermione and Ron ring up Harry Potter, their batchmate from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and invite him to come for Christmas, along with Ron’s younger sister, Ginny, to whom Harry is now married.

Alas, this marriage, too, has settled into dull domesticity. Christmas lunch with Hermione and Ron in their lovely Yorkshire home brings back many happy memories of adventures they had at school. As Ron and Ginny go off into the kitchen to catch up on family gossip, Hermione leans over the table to give Harry a touch more Sauternes to go with his apple crumble served, as she knew he liked it, with lashings of custard.

Harry is a gentleman but he cannot help but notice that the skinny girl he knew at school has filled out quite a bit. His heart tightens as he catches a whiff of her L’Air du Temps. He knew that she knew this perfume did things to him.

And then... and then....

What on earth is J.K. Rowling playing at, rekindling the love that was never allowed to blossom in her yet to be published — indeed, yet to be conceived — novel, Harry Potter and Romance in the Time of Recession?

And today, after the sale of 350 million copies of seven Harry Potter books translated into no fewer than 65 languages, the 48-year-old author came clean.

Rowling admitted she might have made a mistake in pairing off Hermione with Ron rather than with Harry.

“I wrote the Hermione-Ron relationship as a form of wish fulfilment,” she confessed.

“That’s how it was conceived, really,” said Rowling. “For reasons that have very little to do with literature and far more to do with me clinging to the plot as I first imagined it, Hermione ended up with Ron.”

“I know, I’m sorry, I can hear the rage and fury it might cause some fans, but if I’m absolutely honest, distance has given me perspective on that,” Rowling added. “It was a choice I made for very personal reasons, not for reasons of credibility. Am I breaking people’s hearts by saying this? I hope not.”

Rowling, as mysterious as ever, did not explain what her “very personal reasons” were.

Joanne Rowling, now known as J.K. Rowling, was born on July 31, 1965, in Yate, England. A graduate of Exeter University, she moved to Portugal in 1990 to teach English. There, she married a Portuguese journalist, Jorge Arantes. The couple’s daughter, Jessica, was born in 1993. After her marriage ended in divorce, Rowling moved to Edinburgh with her daughter to live near her younger sister, Di.

While struggling to support Jessica and herself on welfare benefits, she wrote her first Harry Potter novel. On December 26, 2001, Rowling married anaesthetist Neil Murray at the couple’s home in Scotland. They have had two children together, David and Mackenzie.

Rowling’s revelations have appeared in the quarterly lifestyle magazine Wonderland, whose forthcoming edition has been guest-edited by Emma Watson, the actress, now 23, who played Hermione in all eight Harry Potter movies.

Watson said she tended to agree about the Ron-Hermione relationship with Rowling, whom she interviewed for Wonderland: “I think there are fans out there who know that, too, and who wonder whether Ron would have really been able to make her happy.”

According to today’s Sunday Times, “Harry and Hermione were more like brother and sister in the books but cinema-goers saw their relationship spark into something more on screen”.

They certainly detected something when “Harry Potter and Hermione Granger dance in a romantic setting to a Nick Cave song.... it is the closest they get to becoming a couple,” The Sunday Times observed.

In their interview, Watson and Rowling discussed “the future that Ron and Hermione would have had together. Rowling admits that they would have ended up in relationship counselling.”

WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN: Harry Potter with Hermione, played by Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson

 


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