Madam Puddifoot’s: Ron Loves Hermione and He Will _____ Her

by king

Let’s assume that Ron and Hermione are destined to be a couple, at least for a short while, and try to guess what’s in store for Hermione once Ron has her. JKR is wonderfully clever when it comes to foreshadowing and she has filled HBP with clues about the coming R/Hr relationship.

Frankly, I”m uncomfortable with the idea of Hermione pairing up with Ron. It took me a while to figure out why I feel this way, but then I read this column by Jeanne Phillips, also known as “Dear Abby.”

15 Reasons to Leave Your Lover: Warning Signs of an Abusive PersonalitySomething’s just not right in your relationship, and you can’t put your finger on it. So here’s some help. If your mate is displaying a combination of these behaviors, then you may have a potential batterer on your hands.

1. A push for quick involvement: Comes on very strong, claiming, “I’ve never felt loved like this by anyone.” An abuser pressures the woman for an exclusive commitment almost immediately.

2. Jealousy: Excessively possessive; calls constantly or visits unexpectedly; prevents you from going to work because “you might meet someone”; checks the mileage on your car.

3. Controlling: Interrogates you intensely (especially if you’re late) about whom you talked to, and where you were; keeps all the money; insists you ask permission to go anywhere or do anything.

4. Unrealistic expectations: Expects you to be the perfect woman and meet his every need.

5. Isolation: Tries to cut you off from family and friends; accuses people who are your supporters of “causing trouble.” The abuser may deprive you of a phone or car or try to prevent you from holding a job.

6. Blames others for problems and mistakes: The boss, you — it’s always someone else’s fault if anything goes wrong.

7. Makes everyone else responsible for his feelings: The abuser says, “You make me angry” instead of, “I am angry” or, “You’re hurting me by not doing what I tell you.” Less obvious is the claim: “You make me happy.”

8. Hypersensitivity: Is easily insulted, claiming that his feelings are hurt when he is really mad. He’ll rant about the injustice of things that are just part of life.

9. Cruelty to animals and to children: Kills or punishes animals brutally. Also may expect children to do things that are far beyond their ability (whips a 3-year-old for wetting a diaper) or may tease them until they cry. Sixty-five percent of abusers who beat their partner will also abuse children.

10. “Playful” use of force during sex: Enjoys throwing you down or holding you down against your will during sex; says he finds the idea of rape exciting.

11. Verbal abuse: Constantly criticizes you, or says blatantly cruel, hurtful things; degrades, curses, calls you ugly names. This may also involve sleep deprivation, waking you up with relentless verbal abuse.

12. Rigid sex roles: Expects you to serve, obey and remain at home.

13. Sudden mood swings: Switches from sweetly loving to explosively violent in a matter of minutes.

14. Past battering: Admits hitting women in the past, but says they made him do it or the situation brought it on.

15. Threats of violence: Makes statements like, “I’ll break your neck,” or “I’ll kill you,” and then dismisses them with, “Everybody talks that way,” or “I didn’t really mean it.” If he has come this far, it is time to get help, or get out!

So, is Ron Weasley potentially an abusive partner? Let’s look at some examples from the books.

Jealousy, Controlling and Isolation

HBP pg. 186: Slughorn tells Hermione what Harry thinks of her.

Hermione turned to Harry with a radiant expression and whispered, “Did you really tell him I’m the best in the year? Oh, Harry!”
“Well what’s so impressive about that?” whispered Ron, who for some reason looked annoyed. “You are the best in the year — I’d’ve told him so if he’d asked me!”

It seems to mean a lot to Hermione to be praised by Harry, but Ron shows jealousy when Hermione acknowledges Harry’s compliment.

HBP pg. 232: Harry and Hermione let Ron go ahead into the Great Hall while they stay back for a short private talk about a confounded McLaggen.

“Oh, be quiet,” she snapped, as he smirked.
“What are you two doing?” demanded Ron, reappearing in the doorway to the Great Hall and looking suspicious.

Again, Ron appears jealous of Hermione’s attention toward Harry.

HBP pg. 172: Hermione tries to do her job as prefect.

“Fanged Frisbees are banned, hand it over,” she told him sternly. The scowling boy handed over the snarling Frisbee, ducked under her arm, and took off after his friends. Ron waited for him to vanish, then tugged the Frisbee from Hermione’s grip.
“Excellent, I’ve always wanted one of these.”
Hermione’s remonstration was drowned by a loud giggle.

This isn’t about taking away a Frisbee, it’s about taking away Hermione’s power.

HBP pg. 218: Ron argues with Hermione about visiting Hagrid.

“We’ve got to go and explain,” said Hermione.
“We’ve got Quidditch tryouts this morning!” said Ron. “And we’re supposed to be practicing that Aguamenti Charm from Flitwick! Anyway, explain what? How are we going to tell him we hated his stupid subject?”
“I hate not talking to Hagrid,” said Hermione, looking upset.
“We’ll go down after Quidditch,” Harry assured her.

Is Ron trying to cut Hermione’s contact with Hagrid?

HBP pp. 281-282: The exchange in Herbology class.

“Anyway,” said Hermione continuing, “Slughorn’s going to have a Christmas party, Harry, and there’s no way you’ll be able to wriggle out of this one.”

Ron…said angrily “And this is another party just for Slughorn’s favorites, is it?”

“Just for the Slug Club, yes,” said Hermione.

…when he (Harry) got back, Hermione was saying, “Look, I didn’t make up the name “Slug Club”–”
“Slug Club” repeated Ron with a sneer worthy of Malfoy. “It’s pathetic. Well I hope you enjoy your party.”

“Why don’t you try hooking up with McLaggen, then Slughorn can make you King and Queen Slug.”

“We’re allowed to bring guests,” said Hermione, who for some reason had turned a bright boiling scarlet, “and I was going to ask you to come but if you think it’s that stupid then I won’t bother.”

“you were going to ask me?” asked Ron, in a completely different voice.

Hermione was talking to Harry and Ron butted in with a typical jealous response. Then Ron has a rapid mood shift.

HBP pg. 219: Hermione’s “fanciable” talk.

“Oh come on, Harry,” said Hermione, suddenly impatient. “It’s not Quidditch that’s popular, it’s you! You’ve never been more interesting, and frankly, you’ve never been more fanciable.”

Ron gagged on a large piece of kipper. Hermione spared him one look of disdain before turning back to Harry.

“Everyone knows you’ve been telling the truth now…”

“…You can still see the marks on the back of your hand where that evil woman made you write with your own blood, but you stuck to your story anyway…”

“You can still see where those brains got hold of me in the Ministry, look,” said Ron, shaking back his sleeves.

“And it doesn’t hurt that you’ve grown about a foot over the summer either,” Hermione finished, ignoring Ron.

“I’m tall,” said Ron inconsequentially.

Hermione is talking sweetly to Harry and Ron is clearly jealous. He keeps butting in with stupid comments: I’ve got scars too! I’m tall too! By the way, Accio Brains has got to be one of the dumbest spells cast in any of the books! Granted, Ron was severely affected by a spell, but when the brain comes to him, Ron doesn’t like it. Hermione is something of a brain.

HBP pg. 293: The Felix Felicis incident.

“Ron, I warn you, don’t drink it!” Hermione said again alarmed…

But Ron said, “Stop bossing me around, Hermione.”

If someone said to you, “Don’t drink that!” how would you respond? A. “Don’t boss me around!” B. Uh, why? Ron’s response to Hermione is stupid, but to him it’s an issue of control.

HBP pg. 299: After the first Quidditch match.

…Hermione entered. She was twisting her Gryffindor scarf in her hands and looked upset but determined.

“I want a word with you, Harry.” She took a deep breath.

This was between Harry and Hermione. Hermione was upset because she thought Harry had taken an unnecessary risk that could have gotten him expelled. A few moments later…

“There really wasn’t anything in my pumpkin juice?” Ron said, astounded. Harry shook his head. Ron gaped at him for a moment, then rounded on Hermione…

Ron butted in and tried to make his ability to play Quidditch the issue. Ron takes control of the conversation and uses the opportunity to attack Hermione when she is reeling from the shock of Harry’s revelation.

HBP pg. 466: Harry asks Hermione about Apparation practice.

“How’d you do Hermione?”

“Oh, she was perfect, obviously,” said Ron, before Hermione could answer…you should’ve heard Twycross going on about her — I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t pop the question soon –”

“And what about you?” asked Hermione, ignoring Ron.

Ron acts jealous of Hermione. He belittles her skill and tries to control her conversation with Harry even though he is dating Lavender. Hermione however has mellowed a bit since Ron was almost poisoned and she does not retaliate. She focuses on Harry.

Blames Others for Problems and Mistakes

HBP pg. 326-327: In the kitchen at the Burrow over Christmas break.

“Aaah, George, look at this. They’re using knives and everything. Bless them.”

“I’ll be seventeen in two and a bit months time,” said Ron grumpily, “and then I’ll be able to do it by magic!”
“But meanwhile,” said George… “we can enjoy watching you demonstrate the correct use of a — whoops-a-daisy!”

“You made me do that!” said Ron.

Ron places the blame for his clumsiness on his twin brothers.

HBP pg. 476: Ron fails his Apparation test.

“Bad luck, mate, but you’ll pass next time — we can take it together.” “Yeah, I s’pose,” said Ron grumpily. “But half an eyebrow! Like that matters!”

Now it’s the examiner’s fault.

OotP pg. 229: Harry and Ron play hangman during History of Magic class.

“How would it be,” she asked them coldly as they left the classroom for break (Binns drifting away through the blackboard), “if I refused to lend you my notes this year?”

“We’d fail our O.W.L.s,” said Ron. “If you want that on your conscience, Hermione…”

“Well, you’d deserve it,” she snapped. “You don’t even try to listen to him, do you?”

“We do try,” said Ron. “We just haven’t your brains…”

It’s just in teasing but Ron is implying that Hermione has a responsibility to help him pass because she has the talent to do so.

Unrealistic Expectations and a Tendency to Take That Which is Not Freely Offered

HBP pg. 105: Hermione plays Quidditch!

He spent most of his days playing two-a-side Quidditch in the Weasley’s orchard (he and Hermione against Ron and Ginny; Hermione was dreadful and Ginny good, so they were reasonably well matched.)

Why didn’t Ron play with Hermione? Is it because he doesn’t want a dreadful teammate? Does Ron want to win? Is Harry more tolerant of Hermione’s faults?

GoF pp. 104-105: At the Quidditch World Cup.

“Excellent!” yelled Ron as the shamrock soared over them, and heavy gold coins rained from it…

“Leprechauns!” said Mr. Weasley…

“There you go,” Ron yelled happily, stuffing a fistful of gold coins into Harry’s hand, “for the Omniculars! Now you’ve got to buy me a Christmas present, ha!”

In GoF Ron is just beginning to show a tendency to expect others to provide easy magical answers to his problems. He also shows a tendency to want to control Harry.
HBP pg. 122: In Fred and George’s shop.

“That’s three Galleons, nine Sickles and a Knut,” said Fred, examining the many boxes in Ron’s arms. “Cough up.”

“I’m your brother!”

“And that’s our stuff you’re nicking.”

Ron tries to take advantage of his family, taking that which is not offered. Soon after this, Ron takes several boxes, including some extendable ears, out of the shop under Harry’s Invisibility Cloak when they follow Malfoy.
HBP pg. 449: Ron’s essay on dementors is a mess because he has been relying on a spell-checking quill which he probably didn’t pay for.

“Ah no!” said Ron, staring horror-struck at the parchment. “Don’t say I’ll have to write the whole thing again!”

“It’s okay, we can fix it,” said Hermione…

“I love you, Hermione,” said Ron…

Hermione turned faintly pink, but merely said, “Don’t let Lavender hear you saying that.”

Ron says, “I love you.” But does Ron really love Hermione or does he love it when she acts the part of a perfect little helper who solves his problems for him?
HBP pg. 614: Discussing Bill’s facial wounds.

“Dumbledore might know something that’d work, though,” Ron said. “Where is he? Bill fought those maniacs on Dumbledore’s orders, Dumbledore owes him, he can’t leave him in this state–“

Ron wants easy magical solutions to his problems and if he doesn’t have the talent to do a needed spell he expects those that do have the talent to help him out.
HBP pg. 618: Ron assigns fault after the battle.

“–Peruvian instant darkness powder,” said Ron bitterly. “Fred and George’s. I’m going to be having a word with them about who they let buy their products.”

Ron thinks merchants should be responsible for what their customers do with the things they buy.
HBP pg. 103: O.W.L.s arrive.

“Hermione?” said Ginny tentatively, for Hermione still hadn’t turned around. “How did you do?”

“Oh, come off it,” said Ron, striding over to her and whipping her results out of her hand. “Yep — ten ‘Outstandings’ and one “Exceeds Expectations…”

Hermione wasn’t quite ready to share her scores with Ron, so he took what he wanted anyway. JKR chose an interesting way to write it: “striding over to her and whipping her result out of her hand,” not: “striding over to her and grabbing the paper…” or “taking the letter,” but “whipping her results.”
Verbal Abuse and Cruelty to Pets and Children (and Ghosts)

“If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.”
Sirius Black
GoF pg. 525

GoF pg. 56: Ron’s a little bit irritable with his owl.

Ron’s old rat, Scabbers, was here no more, but instead there was the tiny gray owl that had delivered Ron’s letter to Harry in Privet Drive. It was hopping up and down in a small cage and twittering madly.

…said Ginny, “Its proper name is Pigwidgeon.”

“Yeah and that’s not a stupid name at all,” said Ron sarcastically…”I’ve got to keep him up here because he annoys Errol and Hermes. He annoys me too, come to that.”

Harry knew Ron too well to take him seriously.

By itself this incident with Pig doesn’t mean much but it could be the start of a pattern of behavior that Harry should take seriously.

GoF pg. 405: Pigwidgeon returns with a message from Sirius.

…a group of third year girls paused and said, “Oh look at the weeny owl! Isn’t he cute?”
“Stupid feathery little git!” Ron hissed, hurrying up the stairs and snatching up Pigwidgeon. “You bring letters to the addressee! You don’t hang around showing off!”

Pigwidgeon hooted happily, his head protruding over Ron’s fist. The third year girls all looked very shocked.

“Clear off!” Ron snapped at them, waving the fist holding Pigwidgeon…

Ron has an owl but he doesn’t seem to appreciate it. Maybe Pig’s not as good as Hedwig. Would Ron appreciate a girlfriend any more? He got bored with Lavender pretty fast and Hermione has a tendency to run and hug Harry.

HBP pg. 288: Ron passes a transfigured Slytherin in the hall.

“Oi, out of the way!” Ron barked at a small girl who jumped in fright…

The little girl was Crabbe or Goyle, but Ron didn’t know that when he snapped at her.

HBP pg. 163: Ron’s interaction with Nearly Headless Nick.

“I would rather die than betray his trust.”

“That’s not saying much, seeing as you’re already dead,” Ron observed.

“Once again, you show all the sensitivity of a blunt axe,” said Nearly Headless Nick in affronted tones.

Ron often shows disregard for Nearly Headless Nick’s feelings.

HBP pg. 171

“It’s rude to point,” Ron snapped at a particularly minuscule first-year boy… who…promptly turned scarlet and toppled out of the hole in alarm. Ron sniggered. “I love being a sixth year.”

HBP pg. 257

“It wasn’t a very slick attack, when you stop and think about it,” said Ron, casually turfing a first year out of one of the good armchairs by the fire so that he could sit down.
“You’re right,” said Hermione, prodding Ron out of the chair with her foot and offering it to the first year again.

Ron pushes around a smaller child, Hermione defends the child. Is this her future?
HBP pp. 290-293: Several examples of Ron becoming verbally aggressive appear in these pages.

  • Cold shouldering Ginny and Dean
  • Treating a hurt and bewildered Hermione with an icy sneering indifference
  • He swears at several frightened first years.
  • He reduced Demelza Robins to tears in Quidditch practice.
  • “I resign. I’m pathetic.” Ron shows a sudden mood shift from aggressive to defeated.
  • Ron ignores Lavender when she tries to cheer him up.

HBP pg. 462: Ron torments Myrtle for the sake of amusement.

“But I thought he liked me,” she said plaintively. “Maybe if you two left, he’d come back again…We had lots in common…I’m sure he felt it…”

“When you say you had lots in common,” said Ron sounding rather amused now, “d’you mean he lives in an S-bend too?”

“Never you mind!” said Myrtle, her small leaky eyes fixed on Ron, who was definitely grinning. “I promised I wouldn’t tell anyone and I’ll take his secret to the–“

“–not the grave, surely?” said Ron with a snort. “The sewers maybe…”

Myrtle gave a howl of rage…Goading Myrtle seemed to have put fresh heart into Ron.

HBP pg. 310: Several days after Hermione attacked Ron with the birds.

Ron retaliated by doing a cruel but accurate impression of Hermione jumping up and down in her seat every time Professor McGonagall asked a question, which Lavender and Parvati found deeply amusing and which reduced Hermione to the verge of tears again.

“She’s a bit upset,” said Luna. “…She said something about that Ron Weasley…”

“Yeah, they’ve had a row,” said Harry.

“He says very funny things sometimes, doesn’t he?” said Luna, as they set off down the corridor together. “But he can be a bit unkind. I noticed that last year.”

“I s’pose,” said Harry. Luna was demonstrating her usual knack of speaking uncomfortable truths.

*Ron publicly humiliates Hermione, belittling both her academic ability and her insecurities about grades. JKR then speaks through Luna. Ron can be unkind!)
Insensitivity to the Pain of Others

HBP pg. 349: Ron says a rather insensitive thing to a woman he loves.

“Yeah don’t worry about us,” said Ron, permitting his mother to plant a very wet kiss on his cheek, “or about Percy. He’s such a prat, it’s not really a loss is it?”

Mrs. Weasley sobbed harder than ever as she enfolded Harry in her arms.

…and the woman Ron loves ends up hugging Harry.
HBP pg. 373: Ron shows jealousy of Harry’s relationship with Slughorn and minimizes the problems that Harry is facing as he attempts to get information that Slughorn is withholding from Dumbledore.

“He loves you,” he said over breakfast, waving an airy forkful of fried egg. “Won’t refuse you anything will he? Not his little Potions Prince. Just hang back after class this afternoon and ask him.”

GoF pg. 372: Ron and Harry are talking about Divination class.

“At least we didn’t get homework. I hope Hermione got loads off Professor Vector, I love not working when she is…”

Will Ron help Hermione with the housework? R/Hr shippers think marriage would stop the bickering!
HBP pg. 98: Harry reveals the Prophecy.

Hermione emerged, coughing, out of the smoke, clutching the telescope and sporting a brilliantly purple black eye.

“I squeezed it and it — it punched me!” she gasped.

“Don’t worry,” said Ron, who was plainly trying not to laugh. “Mum’ll fix that, she’s good at healing minor injuries–“

Ron reveals that he thinks it’s funny and minor when Hermione feels pain. Hermione reveals a concern for Harry to the point of ignoring her own pain.
Hypersensitivity to Insults

HBP pp. 467-468: Ron is talking about Tonks.

“Women,” he said wisely to Harry, “they’re easily upset.”

“And yet,” said Hermione, coming out of her reverie, “I doubt you’d find a woman who sulked for half an hour because Madam Rosmerta didn’t laugh at their joke…”

Ron scowled.

HBP pg. 536: Ginny jokes about Ron having a Pygmy Puff tattoo.

…all Romilda Vane does is ask me if it’s true you’ve got a hippogriff tattooed across your chest.”

Ron and Hermione both roared with laughter. Harry ignored them.

“What did you tell her?”

“I told her it’s a Hungarian Horntail,” said Ginny, turning a page of the newspaper idly. “Much more macho.”

“Thanks,” said Harry grinning. “And what did you tell her Ron’s got?” 

“A Pygmy Puff, but I didn’t say where.”

Ron scowled as Hermione rolled around laughing.

“Watch it,” he said pointing warningly at Harry and Ginny. “Just because I’ve given my permission doesn’t mean I can’t withdraw it –“

This is really loaded. Hermione laughs twice. In the first instance she may be laughing at Romilda Vane. In the second instance Hermione is clearly laughing at Ron. That’s a funny response. If Hermione had a crush on Ron for years and he has finally matured enough to return her love, why would she laugh at him when his sister makes fun of his manhood? But then again Hermione herself calls Ron a coward on page 514. Ron also seems to think he has the right to control who his sister and best friends are kissing.
Violence Against Friends and Family

HBP pg. 285: Ron punches Demelza Robins in the mouth!
HBP pg. 287-288: Ron starts an argument with Ginny that gets very heated very fast. Ron casts a spell at Ginny but it misses.

And with that, she stormed away. Harry quickly let go of Ron, the look on his face was murderous.

HBP pg. 327: In the kitchen at the Burrow

…Mrs. Weasley entered the room just in time to see Ron throw the sprout knife at Fred…

Ron commits an act of violence against a family member.
HBP pg. 393: Romilda Vane’s love potion inspires Ron.

“This is really funny and everything,” said Harry impatiently, “but joke’s over, all right. Drop it.”

He turned to leave; he had gotten two steps towards the door when a crashing blow hit him on the right ear. Staggering, he looked around. Ron’s fist was drawn right back his face was contorted with rage; he was about to strike again.

Ron lashes out at his best friend Harry.
A Push for Quick Involvement

HBP pg. 647: At Dumbledore’s funeral

Ron, he saw, was now holding Hermione and stroking her hair while she sobbed into his shoulder… (my italics)

Ron moves from comforting Hermione in a moment of grief when she could not possibly turn to Harry if she wanted to, to mild sexual foreplay very quickly.
Pulling it All Together

It would seem Ron fits the pattern of being a potentially abusive partner. There are examples of Ron’s behavior that fit Dear Abby’s warning signs in books 1-5, but his tendencies definitely took a turn for the worse in HBP.

Ron and Hermione have very little in common. They bicker constantly and they do not work together smoothly. Hermione is far too brilliant to be happy with Ron and Ron is not self-confident enough or talented enough to function as her equal. Ron has been jealous and possessive of Hermione since their second year but his attraction towards her does not originate in his brain. If Ron and Hermione are paired up, they will continue to argue and it could easily turn nasty.

Why would JKR pair up Hermione and Ron when they obviously can’t get along and Hermione has a tendency to hug Harry? Well, why not? They’re fictional characters and their pain hurts no one. JKR has an opportunity to show millions of young girls the dangers of being trapped in a bad relationship and she just might be inclined to do so.

Of course Hermione is more than capable of handling Ron when it comes to a magical fight and she has attacked him before, but I think she fits the classic abuse victim profile (that’s another essay.) If Ron takes a swing at Hermione, she’ll let him hit her (after all, he owes her one). She’ll blame herself and try to keep the incident quiet. Ron will be sorry and will try to make it up to her, every time it happens, until she runs away. Without some magical anger management therapy, I predict…

Ron Loves Hermione and He Will Hit Her.

I understand I’ve reached a conclusion that is going to be controversial. This is not something you say without a lot of documentation and I’ve found dozens of instances where JKR hints that Ron may develop into an abuser. It’s a disturbing but clear pattern.

I think the problem of domestic violence and abusive relationships is very important and I think JKR would agree with that. Young people need to be aware of the problem of domestic violence and they should read and discuss Dear Abby’s list of signs, even if it means recognizing a potentially ugly side of one of their favorite characters.

The idea of Ron Weasley turning into an abuser goes against a lot of peoples’ happy dreams of seeing a blissful relationship between Ron and Hermione or Ron and Luna or Ron and anybody else. But that’s the whole tragedy of domestic violence. No one wants to believe a friend or neighbor is capable of abusing their spouse or child and most abusers seem to be just like the rest of us. Domestic violence is a cancer in our society.

The literature review that I wrote is worth very little. Ron Weasley is a fictional character who is still under development and the author can do anything with him she wants to. Any guess about Ron’s future is probably wrong. A lot of people won’t like to see negative conclusions drawn about Ron Weasley. I mean, he’s one of the good guys! I like Ron too. I like happy endings and I hope Ron turns out alright in the end. Maybe he’s just going through a phase.

The article from “Dear Abby” is the important thing. Sometimes good people have trouble controlling their tempers. Awareness of the issue is the first step to correcting a problem. But it’s a lot easier and less painful to take a critical look at a fictional character than at a real friend or family member.

I don’t want to leave the impression that I think Ron is an evil person. He’s one of the good guys. But even good people can do bad things and Ron has a growing tendency to be a bit short tempered. Some people respond to stress in that way.