Madam Puddifoot’s: Group Dynamics
Let me just state, before I start, that I am a big R/Hr shipper and I have no idea who Harry will end up with. However, my R/Hr support has nothing to do with this theory. Also, I will be refraining from pointing out reasons that I think Harry and Hermione are wrong for each other. Instead, I will simply give a reason why they can’t, due to the repercussions their relationship would have in the story.
From the very first book, it’s been Harry and his two best friends, Ron and Hermione. Through the trials and tribulations of the first four books, it was always these three. Let’s first refresh ourselves (though I’m sure most of you know better than I do) on the developing relationship of Harry, Ron, and Hermione.
PS/SS: Harry, Hermione and Ron all go through the trap door to stop Voldemort. Though Ron is knocked out, and Hermione is forced to go back, the two are both important to Harry making it to the end. Harry defeats Voldemort, alone.
CoS: Harry and Ron go without Hermione to the Chamber of Secrets because she was petrified. Ron stays with Professor Lockhart. Again, Harry is alone at the end.
PoA: Harry and Hermione use the Time-Turner to stop the execution of Buckbeak and to help Sirius escape. Ron, like Hermione in the second book, is in the hospital wing, injured. Though there is no confrontation with Voldemort in this book, the important thing is that Ron wasn’t there at the climax.
GoF: Again, Hermione and Ron are of almost equal importance: yet in this book, they seem to be taking a less prominent position in Harry’s life as other characters are introduced. Ron becomes angry at Harry, and they don’t speak, which results in Harry spending a lot of time with Hermione. At this point he treats Hermione almost with a lack of appreciation — Harry spends as much time being mad at Ron, as being glad that Hermione is staying by his side. However, it does turn out that Ron is extremely important to Harry, as he is the one chosen for the second task to go underwater. The climax of the book shows the most important change — Harry faces the evil without either Hermione or Ron’s help. Yes, they helped him prepare, but they weren’t with him at any point during the task. Harry here is completely independent from his two best friends, which foreshadows the beginning of the fifth book:
OotP: Harry starts off angry and isolated from his friends, without knowledge of whats going on. As soon as he is reunited with the two, who have spent the whole summer together, he lashes out at them with jealousy and misdirected anger. In this book, Hermione and Ron are pushed farther back as Ginny, Neville, and Luna join their group. At the end, his best friends again accompany Harry, but the other three accompany them as well. Harry becomes aware of Neville, Ginny, and Luna’s own sadness, and sees himself in each of them. (Neville lost his parents, Ginny has had an encounter with Voldemort, and Luna has lost her mother and is mocked by fellow classmates around the clock.)
Now you might be sitting there, wondering, so what? What’s your point? Read on my friend:
Why can’t Hermione and Harry be together? Why should Ron and Hermione be together? Because of isolation! There are two possible forms of the isolation: Ron’s and Harry’s. In one instance, the isolation would be a good thing, and in the other, it would be a bad thing. Let me explain.
Say Harry ends up with Hermione. Yay, happy ending! Right? Wrong. Ron, who no one can deny likes Hermione, is isolated from the trio. We do see the degeneration of the trio as the books go on, but Ron remains Harry’s closest male companion. If Harry were to snog Ron’s long-time crush, combined with him being famous, an amazing Quidditch player, popular and wealthy…I mean, how much can we expect dear Ronald to take? Most importantly, he will be completely isolated from his two best friends. How would that work in the books? Just cut Ron out?
However, say Hermione realizes Ron’s feelings and returns them. Harry then becomes the isolated. How does that work? Take a look at what happens in OotP, like I stated previously. Harry is becoming attached to other people — seeing himself in them if you will. He can relate better to Ginny, Neville, and Luna more than he can with Ron and Hermione. This isn’t to say that Ron and Hermione are bad friends — they understand him very well, but he doesn’t understand them. Furthermore, would it be that hard for Harry to accept that Ron and Hermione are together? What would it change, in the long run? Hermione and Ron would still be his best friends.
As we watch, Hermione and Ron are becoming less prominent — not less important to Harry, no — but Harry is making new friends and learning to solve problems on his own. I’m not trying to say they’re unimportant, just now there is a bigger group of people that Harry can relate and talk to.
The most important thing is looking at these two points from J.K. Rowling’s standpoint. Would you rather isolate one of your favourite characters (Ron), leaving him hurt on the sidelines, or isolate the main character (which may be entirely necessary), giving him a chance to see others, stand on his own, and still, in the end, have his best friends?