Madam Puddifoot’s: A Short- yet Incredibly Long- Courtship
by CJ Cowles
Hogwarts may need to prepare itself. I’m no Sybill Trelawney (no sherry for me, thanks!), but if I’m reading the signs correctly, the students and staff are in for an interesting surprise next year.
We have now been shown that Ron and Hermione are indeed meant for each other. Now, I know some people are not pleased with this outcome; some still reject it completely. I am not one of those people. I thought these two were perfect for each other after reading book one. Seriously, book one. I knew it would happen eventually. We can forget Hermione and Viktor Krum, we can forget Ron and Lavender Brown (please!), and we can forget the sunk-ship-that-shall-not-be-named. It is now Ron and Hermione. Let’s gaze into our crystal ball and see just what J.K. Rowling may have in store for our dynamic duo.
First of all, a question – and it’s an important one. What has Hermione been telling her parents about the problems within the wizarding world? In my opinion, not a lot. I doubt she has even told them that there is a war going on, I doubt she has told them anything of Lord Voldemort, and I seriously doubt she has told them that her life is in danger. I believe her parents are almost completely in the dark as to what’s been going on. The Grangers are two intelligent, professional people, so why would they continually send their only child into harm’s way? Why would they allow her to put herself (and them) at risk? If they knew anything of the situation, they wouldn’t. Yet, time and again, Hermione is allowed to leave home early, spend time with the Weasleys, stay at school during holidays and generally get into all sorts of trouble. If she has said anything to her parents it is simply that Dumbledore is taking care of things and not to worry. This, however, won’t work anymore- Dumbledore is dead, and I don’t think Hermione can hide that fact from her folks. Thus, there is now a dilemma. Drs. Granger will soon realize their daughter is in danger – serious danger – and that she has been hiding things from them. What will they do? I think they’d do what any parents would: they’ll pull her out of the wizarding world and make her give up her wand and leave. They may even want to take her out of the country and attempt to hide her. This, of course, would be disastrous, as it would leave Hermione vulnerable and completely alone. But they will insist and tell her it’s for her own good.
How can they do this, you ask? How can they do this when Hermione is of age? Ah, but she isn’t, according to them. This is our first sign. Rowling has set up an interesting conundrum for Hermione. We find out early in HBP that there is a discrepancy between the age of maturity in the wizarding and Muggle worlds. At seventeen, Hermione is an adult – in the wizarding world. But she is not in the Muggle world, and that is the world her parents inhabit. To them, they are still her guardians, she is still underage and they can pull her home if they want to. And they will want to.
So, what are Hermione’s options? Well, she can go with her parents, or she can run away. But both of these options take her away from Ron and prohibit her from helping Harry defeat Voldemort. Neither will be acceptable for our Miss Granger.
It seems as though her only other option is to stop being Miss Hermione Granger and start being Mrs. Ronald Weasley. That’s right- I believe Ron and Hermione will marry, and do so early in book seven (possibly at the same time as Bill and Fleur). Once again, early in HBP, we get a second sign. Molly Weasley remarks that she and Arthur eloped while quite young, but it was okay because they were perfect for each other (gee, what other pair do we know that’s perfect for each other?). Ron will remember this conversation and will step in to protect the woman he truly loves. It will be necessary to rush into things – but it will be the right thing to do. Let’s face it, they’ve been heading this direction for six years.
The Granger/Weasley union will solve quite a few problems. Hermione will no longer have to answer to her parents – nor Ron to his. They will find that they are a much stronger support for Harry now that they are completely together. They will also show Harry that sometimes it isn’t the right thing to leave the one you love behind in an effort to “protect them” (an important point). What’s more, I think it will surprise everyone, not to mention Ron and Hermione, how well the marriage works. The constant bickering, prodding, and jealously will be gone. I believe that we have seen the last of the Ron/Hermione fights. They will still disagree, of course, but it will be in a less petty, immature manner.
The marriage will also create some interesting situations. Will Molly and Arthur approve (my guess is yes)? Will Hermione completely divorce herself from the Muggle world, or will she eventually patch things up with her parents? Can Harry handle his best friends not just being a couple, but being a married couple? Will Fred and George finally give Ron his due and stop teasing him? Will the Weasleys be in even more peril now that their youngest son has actually married a mudblood?
Then there is school. Yes, I do believe that Hogwarts will indeed be open (in a limited capacity) – and yes, I believe our intrepid trio will indeed be students once again. Let’s face it- it wouldn’t be a Harry Potter book without Hogwarts (in fact, I believe that it will be completely necessary for Harry to attend Hogwarts in year seven – but that’s another editorial). Do Ron and Hermione Weasley get to share a room? Will their marriage cause a wave of student elopements? What exactly is the policy concerning deportment of married couple within school grounds? We never seem to see any of the staff’s spouses. In fact, we don’t even know if any of them are married. Will having a married pair of students allow the staff to be a bit more open about their own personal relationships?
I look forward to seeing if J.K. Rowling follows her own signs (as I’ve interpreted them) and creates a “happily ever after” for Ron and Hermione. I hope she does. I would love to see a description of Ron, Hermione and their gaggle of bushy-haired, redheaded boys in the final epilogue. We need at least one happy couple – and Ron and Hermione may be it.
Last thought – my spell check continually wants to change Hermione to Hormone. Very interesting…