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Pairing meme - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Pairing meme
Oh, what the heck? Everyone else has done it, and if that's not a good reason, I don't know what is.

So, give me an HP pairing, and I'll rant or rave (more likely rant) about it or 100 words or so.
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tunxeh From: tunxeh Date: March 25th, 2005 09:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 26th, 2005 12:34 am (UTC) (Link)
Boy, people sure didn't wait long while I stopped for a manicure after work!

Okay, Dean/Ginny.

Well, I don't find Dean/Ginny winceworthy, unless people are trying to pair them for life, in which case Dean just doesn't have nearly enough weight in the storyline to be an emotionally satisfying final choice for Ginny--he'd be better than an OC, but still more or less a shrug.

But as a pair, I'm interested, because I think it has some plot possibilities at this point in time. It's possible that we'll get some of the back story that JKR has mentioned, and more interesting to me, just as we're learning more about how the portraits might operate, Ginny is dating the only person who's been identified as being talented in art... will it come into play? How? Will we learn how to bring the portraits to life? Will he paint Sirius?

So I think that Ginny/Dean has some plot potential. But honestly, as a pairing, per se... I don't see it.
From: imation23 Date: March 25th, 2005 10:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 26th, 2005 12:46 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, gosh! I think you may have hit upon some of the deep and secret clues JKR's been leaving around, for those of us clever enough to decode them. I know it's not very easy to notice things like, "Next time, ask me before..." Or the subtly drawn comparisons to the elder and already married Weasleys. Or maybe you're seeing through the ambiguous gift of perfume. Clever you! This pairing is really so obscure when compared to the obvious ones like Draco/Harry and Lupin/Snape!

Er, okay. I guess snarking isn't exactly the same as ranting or raving, but honest to G-d, I'm going to be flat-out rude and point out that there's no way in hell that this isn't where JKR is going. The framework is laid, the structure makes sense of both characters and their influence on Harry, and there's not time to put together another one that would have the plot resonance. Like it, dislike it, be indifferent to it (I'm indifferent, myself)... but get used to it.
lauraevans From: lauraevans Date: March 25th, 2005 10:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Draco/Hermione or Draco/Ginny

Choose for yourself. ;)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 26th, 2005 01:07 am (UTC) (Link)
Hell, I can rant on Draco/Anyone.

I'll take Draco/Ginny, but on the general level, the problem with Draco/Good Guy is that it requires Draco to have a fairly profound overhaul of his attitudes, and while that could be an interesting story, it's not the story that's being told. If he were going to be developed to be important in this particular way, it would have been established already. There's been ample opportunity. Instead, guess what? At last check, he was set up on a revenge kick.

I think what bugs me most about Draco/Ginny in particular is the notion that Draco Malfoy--who loathes Ginny for the horrible crime of being poor and accepting Muggle-borns--is suddenly going to be more loving and accepting of her than the brothers who obviously all adore her, or even Harry, who doesn't pay vast attention to her, but is at least kindly disposed to her. Ginny has already made the mistake of falling for a bad guy, and she seems disinclined to do so again, no matter how smarmy his approach is.
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jetamors From: jetamors Date: March 25th, 2005 10:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 26th, 2005 01:50 am (UTC) (Link)
You know, Neville and Ginny have a really sweet relationship, and I think it's a romance that would make Neville happy and Ginny comfortable if not really deliriously happy with her life. If I were matchmaking in real life, I'd so tell Ginny to look in Neville's direction with less of a caretaker's eye and more of an eye toward the wonderfulness that's Neville. However, it's not real life, so the real question is, what would Neville/Ginny do for the plot that wouldn't be more easily accomplished in ways other than romance? What would a romance give to their relationship that isn't there, and what would its symbolic value to the story be?

Answer: Not much. And Ginny, at least, has better symbolic uses in the Harry pairing, while Neville seems to be going down a different route altogether.
straussmonster From: straussmonster Date: March 25th, 2005 10:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
To return the favor (hehehe), let's hear about Snape/Lupin.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 26th, 2005 01:56 am (UTC) (Link)
Ah, but how can I write a hundred words, when my response to this pairing can be summarized in three, generally abbreviated as WTF?

Snape's hatred of Lupin isn't even the kind of "OMG-I'm-so-jealous!" hatred that he has for James, which could be twisted into some kind of weird crush. Snape despises Lupin, because he thinks Lupin is less than human, and Lupin knows it. He may well regret not stopping James and Sirius from turning Snape upside down, but there's no sign at all that he likes Snape. Even if he'd been willing to give him another chance in PoA, Snape didn't take the chance and ended up costing him his job and nearly sending him to Azkaban. And other than that, there's no bloody interaction!

So, boiling it down again: WTF?

And "Snupin"? I'm waiting for Woodstockings and Charlie Browning.
wychwood From: wychwood Date: March 25th, 2005 10:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
Dumbledore/McGonagal ;)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 26th, 2005 02:01 am (UTC) (Link)
This amuses me, because it proves that fandom is fandom--my mom's eighty year old friend at the museum ships AD/MM.

I realize that both of these people are old, but he's enough older than she is to make Lupin/Tonks look like Percy/Penelope. Not that I think that should necessarily be a barrier, but the fact that both of them have crows' feet and remember the war with Grindelwald is not, by itself, enough to ship them on!

That said, they work beautifully together, and obviously Dumbledore trusts Minerva more than he trusts anyone else with the school. In some sense, they are lifelong partners, and I could see one or the other wondering from time to time if they should pursue something else, but then thinking, "Nah. I'm good with it as is."
anaid_rabbit From: anaid_rabbit Date: March 25th, 2005 10:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 26th, 2005 02:06 am (UTC) (Link)
Rodo/Bella. Hmmm.

We know so little about them, really. My own take is that a woman like Bella would tolerate no resistance, and would be likely to marry someone stupid, figuring that stupid men are easy to confuse and then control (and yes, I heard a highly intelligent woman advance that theory once). On the other hand, he could have been a brilliant follower of Voldemort who fell madly in love with the charismatic acolyte with the raven black hair. But given that she seems to do all the speaking for them, I kind of lean toward the version I use--I don't think Bella wants equals. She wants Voldemort to be superior, but in terms of her home life, she'd want to be totally in charge of everything, and I expect that she'd choose a husband who would never, ever contradict her.
velvetmouse From: velvetmouse Date: March 25th, 2005 10:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 26th, 2005 02:12 am (UTC) (Link)
Ah, good! Undisputed canon with info on both, but not so much that there's little room for speculation.

The info we have suggests that the Malfoys have a reasonably stable home--Narcissa carries the day about the school for Draco, Lucius keeps his fingers in any pie that might involve the fam, etc. And yet, we know he's a real bastard, and the strong implication is that she's a severe bitch. So for me, the fun part of writing these two is to make two people who really are bad guys, and fairly creepy ones, who still love and understand one another. Unlike Bella, Lucius would be looking for someone who is his equal, who can give a good social impression and maintain the family name; Narcissa obviously fills the bill well--despite his flimsy excuse for being among Voldie supporters, the two of them did manage to claw their way back up socially, so they both have to be bright and ambitious. So I actually like them together without liking either of them individually.
ncp From: ncp Date: March 25th, 2005 10:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 26th, 2005 02:17 am (UTC) (Link)
I love Arthur and Molly. Just adore them to little bits. They're not perfect people, but they work well together and seem to enjoy their life together--that's worth something.

I kind of suspect they were both oddballs--Molly with her raging temper and Arthur with his total geekiness--and as a pair, they work not because either one tries to change the other in any permanent way, but because they know how to absorb one another when no one else can. Molly keeps the household grounded while Arthur's off on his flights of fancy; Arthur sits patiently and waits for the stormfronts of Molly's temper to pass. Would that I could be so lucky!
bethan_b_bad From: bethan_b_bad Date: March 25th, 2005 10:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
Tonks/Remus. Or Lily/Snape, your choice.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 26th, 2005 02:33 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, I did a 450-page story on Remus/Tonks, so I'll have a go at Snape/Lily.

You know why Snape/Lily annoys the hell out of me?

Screw the whole business of whether or not it's plausible, or whether or not we know enough about either character to make a judgment on that.

What bothers me beyond all reason about Snape/Lily is that annoying assumption that only a romance, requited or not, could possibly have enough power to cause the jealousy that we see in Snape, or be strong enough to bring him back from the dark side. We know nothing of what brought Snape back, but we have a pretty good idea of where his jealousies were. Not once do we have the slightest suggestion that he's interested in Lily even enough to bother insulting her more than a token "Mudblood" epithet thrown in her direction. Not to repeat myself from the James and Sirius post a few weeks ago, but hey... anyoner remember James? It's James that Snape is focused on, James he hates, James he's jealous of, James who is everything he's not and doesn't even seem to appreciate it. Oh, and James who humiliated him. And James who Harry reminds him of. And...

There's all kinds of evidence that James was a major influence on Severus's life, and none whatsoever that Lily was. So why reduce it all to the level of some romance-gone-wrong that there's not even a suggestion of?

(And of course, for Lily's part, hello--he did casually call her a Mudblood, and then go on to be a Death Eater. Why on Earth would she want more to do with him than she had to have to discharge her duties as a decent human being?)
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gehayi From: gehayi Date: March 25th, 2005 10:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
My least favourite--Harry/Draco.

(What's with the Sugar Quill, by the way? I'm still checking, but the last submission date for new writers was December 28, 2004. And since we're getting close to April...what gives?)
leeflower From: leeflower Date: March 26th, 2005 01:00 am (UTC) (Link)
I second this one... and please please please let it be a rant.

I'll personally never understand the facination with Draco... he might as well be a cardboard cutout with the word "school bully" written across it. And Harry/Draco? Please.
mafdet From: mafdet Date: March 25th, 2005 10:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 26th, 2005 04:03 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, trying to get me in trouble. ;p

I will give Sirius/Remus this: At least they like one another. That puts it miles ahead of things like Harry/Draco. They like one another, they have a history, they're capable of sharing a house without killing each other, and they both love Harry.

The thing is, we know both of these guys pretty well, and their relationship is actually defined. They embrace like brothers. Everything about the MWPP relationship reads like a group of brothers. Sure, it's possible that Harry is misinterpreting something, but... why?

That's where it ends up really boggling my mind. If there's a relationship that doesn't seem fully acounted for by the text, I could see speculating a secret affair, but that "like a brother" phrase puts everything necessary to understand the relationship right on the table: They're brothers. James's brothers as well as one another's, for all intents and purposes. They're Harry's uncles. Family. All of these things which totally explain the relationship we see. What need is there to assume a sexual relationship as well as all of that? A pairing is a union made to represent a union of ideas... since that already exists through the established brotherhood, what would a sexual relationship add to it, thematically?

Of course, the other issue is my favorite whipping boy of an issue: It often really elevates the importance of Remus to Sirius, to a point where he's more important than James, which is canonically absurd.
heatherhobbit From: heatherhobbit Date: March 25th, 2005 10:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 26th, 2005 04:27 am (UTC) (Link)
James and Lily are one of the few pairings I find myself actually wanting to know more about--what was their relationship like through school? What was their marriage like? What were they like as young parents?

My own take is that the scene in the Pensieve didn't show Lily hating James. Like Sirius and Remus, I gave it kind of a fond smile and said, "Nah, not really." She seems to expect better of him, which suggests she knows he has it in him to be better (she doesn't, after all, start berating Sirius, who, up until then, had been as eager a participant as James; she seems to dismiss him altogether). And he obviously adores her, regardless of the fact that she reads him the riot act. All of that suggests to me that there is some kind of prior friendliness in their relationship, which they'll obviously regain at some point after James deflates his head. I'm all for not taking a speaker at face value, but the way Sirius and Remus just sort of laughed at the notion of Lily hating James--as opposed to coming up with some kind of hot-blooded denial--doesn't really lend itself to the idea that they're lying about it.

So, basically, I think they're two people who were fond of one another, frustrated the hell out of each other from time to time, and ultimately found a way to make their relationship work.
From: godrics_h Date: March 25th, 2005 10:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
Harry And Luna. Please.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 26th, 2005 04:32 am (UTC) (Link)
This ship is like Neville/Ginny for me. In the real world, I would totally be matchmaking for these two. They're cute together, she's someone Harry can look after without her being too resentful, and he's someone she can throw wild ideas to and be taken seriously. They like one another.

But in terms of the Potter saga, Luna doesn't seem to heal Harry's wound in any way, or to have enough weight in the plot to balance out at the end as a final pairing. As with Sirius/Remus, I don't see a big thematic advantage to giving their friendship a sexual component as an officially paired union as opposed to two members of the same team.

That said, I wouldn't be in the least bit surprised to see them on a few dates that Harry enjoys more than he enjoyed his dates with Cho and Parvati, and a step in realizing that as much as he might enjoy fantasies of getting away from destiny, he's a person who needs to be with someone who's really deeply involved in his fight.
absurdwords From: absurdwords Date: March 25th, 2005 11:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Could you do Snape/McGonagall?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 26th, 2005 04:41 am (UTC) (Link)
Is this a ship that people do? Really?

Never mind. Of course it is. After all, they're both, um...

Well, Hogwarts teachers, I guess. Does anyone pair Flitwick/Snape? Or Flitwick/Lockhart? Or Trelawney/Fake!Moody? Seems as logical.

I honestly have a hard time imagining Snape with anyone romantically--I can't see him trusting anyone enough to be that vulnerable. As potential partners go... well, Minerva's probably more reasonable than some--at least he respects her. For her part, I think she's the sort of person who would have to be wooed pretty heavily before she noticed that she was being wooed, and I doubt Snape would put in that kind of energy, even if so inclined.

On the age difference... She's in her seventies; he's in his thirties. It's a closer spread than Dumbledore/McGonagall, but (and I'll get to this later with Harry/Tonks) it's a spread that goes across a change in the stage of life. Severus is still a relatively young man, if at the upper edge of young. Minerva has passed both youth and middle age, and is in her upper years (as Albus is). If she were going to have children, she's had them. She's experienced life changes that are quite a bit ahead of Snape.
penny_pixie From: penny_pixie Date: March 25th, 2005 11:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
Any Weasley/Another Weasley

bangs. head. on. desk.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 26th, 2005 04:47 am (UTC) (Link)
A hundred whole words on Weasleycest?

I can't just leave it at BLLLEEEEEGH!!!

Hell, I'd say the same on Malfoycest, Blackcest, Pottercest, and Dursleycest (though I'm fluid on the definition with the Malfoys and Blacks, as obsessed pure-bloods would certainly rather marry a first cousin than risk contaminating the blood with an unknown quantity).

Weasleycest is just... not. They may not be an absolutely perfect family, but they're a family that's very interested in being a family, and they have a lot invested in that. Doing things that would undermine that notion would undermine their deepest belief systems. So no.

A hundred words on the subject?

Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck.
Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck.
kelleypen From: kelleypen Date: March 25th, 2005 11:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 26th, 2005 04:52 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm tempted to just use the word "Penelope" where I used "Yuck" in the above post. A hundred times.

Percy is not unpartnered in the series, and his partner isn't Oliver Wood.

I don't even know where the ship comes from, for heaven's sake. They must live in the same dormitory, but I don't recall any point in canon where they even speak to or of one another. This isn't a relationship that's too fleshed out to take speculation. It's a relationship that doesn't appear to exist to hang speculation on. It's even less supported than Ron/Lavender... Percy, as far as we know, never even made any off-color remarks about Uranus to Wood.

gattamelata From: gattamelata Date: March 26th, 2005 12:06 am (UTC) (Link)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 26th, 2005 05:01 am (UTC) (Link)
Nice kids; I like them and wish them happiness.

And I'm really, really glad that JKR pointed out that Neville would find Luna's flights of fancy alarming, and they aren't going to get together. As far as I can tell, the main rationale of Neville/Luna was that they were left over after R/H, H/G, and you have to have the Hex all internally paired off.

Erm, no. Not so much.

I think R/H is a shoo-in and H/G is the most probable Harry match (structural reasons cited elsewhere), but those pairings have their own sense, separate from one another and in tune with the series for Harry. Neville's ultimate pair-up really isn't a major issue, so if he lives, he can marry pretty much anyone. Same with Luna, except even more, since she's new. They can be the people who don't marry Hogwarts sweethearts, because they don't need a resonance in their pairings. Neville needs to learn self-reliance and self-confidence--that's his wound. A pairing doesn't contribute too much to it. (As opposed to Harry, whose wound was the loss of his family and for whom a pairing would be a natural healing. Neville also lost his family, of course, but it doesn't seem to be family that he's seeking so much as self-reliance and identity.)
leeflower From: leeflower Date: March 26th, 2005 01:01 am (UTC) (Link)
This is technically a crossover, but it's my OTP, so I have to throw it out there:

Gandalf's hat/sorting hat.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 26th, 2005 05:04 am (UTC) (Link)
It's the same hat, obviously. Into self-loving, I guess.

Really, it's quite obvious that Gandalf left his hat in the care of Sam Gamgee, who passed it on to Elanor, who kept it with the Red Book of the Westmarch until it was found by Merlin, who wore it in the court of King Arthur and passed it on to Godric Gryffindor, who then gave it the minds of all the Founders and charmed it to speak.

I mean, honestly, it's hard to miss. It appears to be happy with itself, and with all the personalities added to it, it can probably chatter on to itself for ages.
rainingtulips From: rainingtulips Date: March 26th, 2005 01:03 am (UTC) (Link)

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 26th, 2005 05:11 am (UTC) (Link)
*also cringes*

See Snape/McGonagall for my opinion on Severus in romantic situations. Not likely. Add in the fact that she's his student at present and, uh... no. He'd never break propriety like that. It would imply a lack of control of his own bodily functions. Having a passionate affair with a student would be roughly akin to getting drunk and soiling his robes in the Great Hall.

For Hermione in particular, she's stolen from him and is allied with Harry, which is enough to make her automatically disliked from his point of view. I rather suspect her Muggle-born status is an issue for him as well. For her, while I can see her being impressed at his skill in Potions and she does trust him because Dumbledore does, she doesn't like him, and ignores his authority whenever she can get away with it in class (helping Neville, stealing ingredients, etc). She seems determined to steal an education in Potions from him, but a personal interest? Not likely.
dudley_doright From: dudley_doright Date: March 26th, 2005 02:11 am (UTC) (Link)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 26th, 2005 05:16 am (UTC) (Link)
The age difference between Harry and Tonks isn't all that great, but as with Snape/McGonagall, they're in different phases of life. If the books took place when Harry was a young adult Auror and Tonks was his slightly older supervisor, this might work, but we're not going to see Harry out of school, so if he ends up matched, it will be to someone he's matched with during school... while he's still on the "child" side of the line, no matter what he's doing (and despite the fact that he'll legally be of age in book 7; he's still in the same school he's been in since he was seven, and in the same social configuration, which still puts him in the pre-adult phase of life). While I can easily see Remus and Tonks reaching from one end of young adulthood to the other--early twenties to late thirties--I can't see Tonks and Harry reaching across the child/adult gap. And if a relationship Harry has is going to have resonance in the end, it has to be one established in the course of the books. So no, I don't see Harry/Tonks as at all likely. I can definitely see her becoming a big sister figure to him, though, to help guide him through.
cordelia_v From: cordelia_v Date: March 26th, 2005 02:24 am (UTC) (Link)
You'll probably be fresh out of rant by the time you get to my comment. But if you're not: I'd love to hear what you think about Snape/Harry (given your amusing take on Snape/Lupin).
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 26th, 2005 05:26 am (UTC) (Link)
I really am pretty much out of rant--more response to this than I was expecting!

But the dread Snarry.

How do I hate thee? Let me count the ways.

1. Snape. Not likely to have romance with student. See Snape/Hermione.
2. Snape. Not likely to have romance with anyone. See Snape/McGonagall.
3. Snape. Loathes Harry. See Snape/Lupin. And, you know, the books.
4. Harry. Loathes Snape, and not in an OMGI'msoangstilysexy way. He just flat loathes him, even when he feels sorry for him in the Pensieve.
5. Harry. Canonically likes girls.
6. Harry. Canonically likes clean hair. (See Parvati-hair obsession in OotP.)
7. Harry. Saw Snape in his underwear and felt sorry for him. Not a good sign for teh pr0n.

Why? WHY? WHYYYY????
From: hobviously Date: March 26th, 2005 06:38 am (UTC) (Link)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 26th, 2005 06:51 am (UTC) (Link)
frenchbraider From: frenchbraider Date: March 26th, 2005 06:43 am (UTC) (Link)
Boys on Quidditch team/ Girls on Quidditch team.
Or if you prefer an easy one, Fred/Angelina
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 26th, 2005 02:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, they'd have the same schedule, so they wouldn't keep having to reschedule around Quidditch practices, so, um...

I think it would depend on the particular boy and the particular girl--Fred and Angelina really do seem to enjoy one another's company--but it is kind of irritating when people would try to pair off the entire Quidditch team, especially on the basis of nothing but Quidditch. We've now seen two instances of Seekers dating one another (Cedric/Cho; Harry/Cho) across team lines, and also of intrateam dating (Fred/Angelina; Roger/Cho), so obviously Quidditch as a shared interest can be a good jumping off point. But if Fred dates Angelina, George dates Katie, Ron dates Alicia, and Harry dates the Firebolt, I'm outta there.
kokopelli20878 From: kokopelli20878 Date: March 26th, 2005 12:47 pm (UTC) (Link)


Of course, the Ron/Hermione thing would have to be dealt with first . . .
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 26th, 2005 02:48 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Harry/Hermione

Well, the Ron/Hermione thing isn't something to be "dealt with"--it's just the way it is, and I think it would freak Harry out really badly to mess with it, even if it's someone else doing the messing. These two function as his parental figures in school, worrying over him, fretting over him--heck, they even reflect his parents socially (the brave pure-blood and the clever Muggle-born who argue with one another a lot).

More to the point, without trying to draw a connection to anyone else, we know canonically that Harry doesn't do well with either of them separately. (This is also a problem in Harry/Ron.) Ron and Hermione serve as counter-balances for Harry. They can get closer to one another without affecting that, but Harry can't move to one side or the other without losing his balance. JKR has been clear about that--in PoA, with Ron but not Hermione, Harry is happy and carefree, but gets nothing done. In GoF, with Hermione but not Ron, he accomplishes quite a bit, but he's totally miserable. It's only when he has both of them, after the reconciliations, that he's able to move forward with any degree of confidence and efficiency.

But let's say that, miraculously, Ron wouldn't feel hurt and draw away if Harry and Hermione had something going and he therefore kept up an equally close relationship with Ron. Then it runs smack into the issue I mentioned with Remus/Sirius--there's still no point to a romance. There's nothing that a romantic attachment would provide for Harry in a thematic sense that isn't provided by their friendship. Hermione's a singleton, like he is, so she doesn't symbolize a family for him. She is already totally devoted to him, so a romance isn't going to make her more so. He's already integrated her function in his life through the relationship within the Trio. There's just no reason in the world that Harry and Hermione would have a romance at this point.

On a non-book related note, I also find the pairing irritating the way I find the Remus/Sirius one irritating--the assumption that two people can't love one another deeply without it being assumed that they want to jump one another's bones.
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