"I wrote the Hermione/Ron relationship as a form of wish fulfillment," Rowling told Emma Watson, a student at Brown who guest-edited the forthcoming issue of Wonderland magazine. "That's how it was conceived, really. For reasons that have very little to do with literature and far more to do with me clinging to the plot as I first imagined it, Hermione ended up with Ron."
"Am I breaking people's hearts by saying this?" Rowling wonders callously.
Watson tips her wizarding cap fans "who know that too and who wonder whether Ron would have really been able to make her happy."
But then again, perhaps some good can come of this tragedy after all. In January, The Toast's Mallory Ortberg brought our attention to one fan's highly convincing theory that Dumbledore is, in fact, a time-traveling Ron Weasley.
"Gallopin' gargoyles!" some awful, no-good, heteronormative critics might cry. Turn back the Time-Turner just a minute! Ron was married to Hermione, and Dumbledore was gay. If Ron loved Hermione, they say, betraying an outmoded and unwieldy understanding of what it means to love another person, and Dumbledore loved the dread wizard Grindelwald, they couldn't possibly be the same person.
So naive, these critics are, for when Rowling goes on to say that Ron and Hermione would have needed "relationship counseling" it becomes clear what she really means. "A poisonous toadstool can't change its spots," and all that.