Hermione's Love for Ickle Ronniekins
by Ellen Smyth
Within Harry Potter (HP) fandom, ships - relationship theories - come in all shapes, sizes, and speeds. Some ships are small sailboats with elegant, white sails that can carry only a handful of fans as passengers. These ships, while not popular, are beautiful and fun nevertheless. Other ships are cruise liners: quick, massive, powerful, and home to legions of HP fans.
Some fans insist on boarding the good girl/bad boy ships like Ginny/Draco. But the most popular and controversial ships - the cruise liners - involve the trio themselves: Harry, Hermione, and Ron.
Most fans who ship believe that Hermione will end up with either Harry or Ron, but the million-dollar question is which one? When Jo herself was asked if Ron and Hermione will "ever get together" at the Edinburgh Book Festival, she replied, "...I think that, by now, I've given quite a lot of clues on the subject. That is all I'm going to say. You will have to read between the lines on that one."
During the Comic Relief Chat in March of 2001, Zsenya asked, "Does Hermione like Ron as more than a friend?" Jo's reply: "The answer to that is in Goblet of Fire, Zsenya!" Thus, according to JKR, reading between the lines in Goblet of Fire (GF) should supply insight into Hermione's feelings for Ron.
Here is a quote from the very end of "The Yule Ball" (GF23):
Notice how JKR does not say Hermione looked furious after Harry got kissed, nor does Hermione look furious after Ron stretches the truth a bit. But Hermione does look furious right after Ron receives a kiss from the very girl he has been shamelessly drooling over all year. JKR put this as the very next sentence - in the very same paragraph.
Snape cuts off their conversation at this point. But notice how Ron clearly asks Hermione twice what her answer to Krum was, and still she does not say, despite the fact that she must have been painfully aware of Ron's curiosity in her answer. Why would she do this? Although the books don't tell us for sure, it seems unlikely that Hermione went to Bulgaria to visit Krum that summer; so why didn't she tell Ron that she wasn't going? It is possible that Hermione was considering accepting Krum's invitation at this time, and she is avoiding telling Ron this to spare his feelings. But, if this is true, why does she give details to Ron about how Krum "never felt the same about anyone else"? These kinds of details are not the sort Hermione should be giving to Ron if trying to spare his feelings. One obvious explanation for Hermione's actions is that she is deliberately trying to goad Ron into feelings of anger and jealousy over her relationship with Krum.
Another excellent quote can be found in the middle of "The Beginning" (GF37):
These four passages from GF show: (1) Hermione's anger with Ron because he failed to ask her to the ball in a timely manner, (2) Hermione looking "simply furious" in the same paragraph with Fleur kissing Ron, (3) Hermione avoiding both Ron's eyes and Ron's questions about her decision to visit Krum, and (4) Hermione's scowl in the same sentence with Fleur's smile at Ron.
So, what is it that Jo wants fans to understand about Hermione's feelings for Ron by reading in between these lines? Hermione does indeed like Ron as more than just a friend. Hermione wants Ron to return these feelings, and she is angry with Ron when he doesn't even think of asking her to the ball until the last minute. Hermione tells Ron all about Krum's feelings for her, without provocation, and she twice avoids giving Ron the answer he really wants to hear in order to fan the flames of Ron's jealousy of herself and Krum. Hermione is quite jealous of Ron's attraction to Fleur, and Hermione is extremely irritated whenever Fleur shows any inclination toward reciprocating these feelings.
The Weasley-Granger ship is a long and luxurious cruise liner. The ship is painted Weasley-red, of course; it is fully equipped with the largest seafaring library in the world; an entire deck is dedicated to the Weasley nursery to house all of those little Weasley children; and there is more than enough room for all fans who wish to board.