So, Harry Potter creator J. K. Rowling said in a new interview that she regrets bringing Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley together, and that Harry would have been a better match for everyone’s favorite bushy-haired magical nerd.
To recap for those of you who aren’t giant Potterheads, Ron and Hermione spent almost four years circling each other before they finally got together at the end of the last book. The big clinch kiss moment came in the middle of an escalating battle, when Ron realizes that they’ve forgotten to evacuate hundreds of Hogwarts house elves from out of harm’s way; Hermione has been advocating for improving the lot of house elves for years, and Ron has finally come around on the idea that, uh, slavery is bad.
“Hang on a moment!” said Ron sharply. “We’ve forgotten someone!”
“Who?” asked Hermione.
“The house-elves, they’ll all be down in the kitchen, won’t they?”
“You mean we ought to get them fighting?” asked Harry.
“No,” said Ron seriously, “I mean we should tell them to get out… We can’t order them to die for us –”
There was a clatter as the basilisk fangs cascaded out of Hermione’s arms. Running at Ron, she flung them around his neck and kissed him full on the mouth.”
Cut to nineteen years later, and Hermione and Ron are married with two children. Ron bears an irksome resemblance to the doofy husband so often seen in American sitcoms and romantic comedies, and Hermione, in the brief glimpse we see of her in the much-maligned epilogue to the series, is the sighing, eye-rolling, head-shaking wife who knows better than her husband but, as a reforming know-it-all, usually manages not to say so. Ron hopes aloud that his kids will end up with her brains, and you can’t blame him.
Rowling said in the interview that she hoped she wasn’t breaking too many hearts when she expressed her regret and bringing these two beloved characters together. My heart’s not broken, even though I do think that of all the romance threads in the novels, Ron’s and Hermione’s is the most realistic — the epilogue, as always, notwithstanding. I’m just not that interested in who Hermione marries. I don’t care if it’s Ron, or Harry, or Hagrid’s runty giant half-brother Grawp. Hermione, when asked what she was planning to do after she graduated from Hogwarts, said, “I’m hoping to do some good in the world.” In my head, she becomes Minister of Magic.
Here’s my case for Hermione for Minister (which is my way of inviting you to close this tab if extreme nerdiness is not your thing. It is about to get nerdy as hell in here, and I make zero apologies for that).
Assuming that there are very few lines of work for a witch or wizard to go into after they leave Hogwarts, and assuming that the best and the brightest go on to work at the Ministry, that’s where Hermione should be. She’s top of her class in everything, with the exception of Defense Against the Dark Arts, but given that she has destroyed a piece of Voldemort’s soul with her own two hands (that’s what the abovementioned basilisk fangs were for), I suspect the Ministry would give her a pass on her only-almost-perfect Defense grades.
We already know that Hermione’s got a rock-solid sense of social justice. She’s been campaigning for house elf rights for years, and as a member of a maligned minority, Muggle-borns, she knows firsthand that the magical world is far too easily divided by anti-Muggle prejudice. And, as someone who straddles the magical world and the Muggle world, she’d be great at diplomatic relations with whoever’s living at 10 Downing Street. We already know she’s a gifted leader: sure, hardly anyone joined the Society for the Protection of Elvish Welfare, but the secret extracurricular Defense Against the Dark Arts society, Dumbledore’s Army, was Hermione’s idea. People showed up because she encouraged them to, and they committed to acts of civil disobedience because she convinced them it was the right thing to do.
And then, of course, there’s Hermione’s most salient character trait: she is really freaking smart. And more than that, she does her homework. She does the reading, and she connects the dots, and she gets the answer right. She is, to use a word that isn’t always a compliment when applied to world leaders, but should be, professorial. But she’s also not afraid to slap you in your smug face if you’ve really earned it — just ask Draco Malfoy.
Granger is the kind of person you want running your world, magical or Muggle: someone smart, thoughtful, and hardworking, with a knack for leadership, a commitment to social justice, and the courage of her convictions. She has everything Cornelius Fudge lacks, and if it were really important to the voters, I bet she’d look great in a lime green top hat.
All of this is to say, I don’t care who Hermione Granger married. I don’t know who she should have married. I want to know what her future holds beside matrimony and motherhood, because if it were up to me, that girl would run the (Magical) world.