By Saeed Ahmed
If anyone here feels Ron and Hermione should not be united in holy matrimony, speak now or forever hold your peace.
Well, guess who's got a problem -- seven years later.
Author JK Rowling, the woman who dreamed up the pair into two of the most recognized figures in literature, is now throwing cold water on the central romance in the gazillion-selling Harry Potter series.
Rowling now says she should have paired Hermoine Granger with Harry Potter, instead of his bud Ron Weasley.
And then she delivers this punch to the gut of Ron fans everywhere:
Ron and Hermione would have needed relationship counseling. What the what??!!
Rowling makes her disclosure in an interview that Emma Watson conducted with her for the entertainment mag, Wonderland. (Watson, of course, played Hermione in the film adaptations of the Harry Potter books.)
The Wonderland issue doesn't come out until Thursday. But Britain's Sunday Times published excerpts of the interview in a front-page story, "JK admits Hermione should have wed Harry."
"I wrote the Hermione/Ron relationship as a form of wish fulfillment. That's how it was conceived, really," Rowling says in the interview. "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."
"I know, I'm sorry," she adds. "I can hear the rage and fury it might cause some fans, but if I'm absolutely honest, distance has given me perspective on that. It was a choice I made for very personal reasons, not for reasons of credibility. Am I breaking people's hearts by saying this? I hope not."
And what did the fictional Mrs. Weasley have to say about all this? She agrees!
"I think there are fans out there who know that too and who wonder whether Ron would have really been able to make her happy," Watson says in the interview.
Say it isn't so, howled Potter fans on Mugglenet.com (which bills itself as the world's no. 1 Harry Potter site).
"WHAT??? I am heartbroken!," commented someone named "ana." "Ron and Hermione's relationship is wonderful because it is FAR from perfect at the beginning of the series and slowly (and ingeniously) develops into my favorite couple in the whole series! I could go on for days about why I love them."
But the we-told-you-so side also came out in force.
"Hermione deserved someone better. Ron would have been insecure and it would not have been a healthy relationship," commented who goes by the name "militant delusionalist." "Harry had always said good things about Hermione and both of them being powerful wizards and brought up as muggles would have made them compatible.
Hermione first meets Ron in the first book of the series, "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone," when he and Harry save her from a mountain troll.
We learned of the pair getting hitched in the epilogue of the seventh and final book - "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," published in 2007. The couple even have two kids, Rose and Hugo.
And they lived happily ever after?
Not quite. Not even before Rowling delivered this latest bombshell.
Two years ago, she said she once considered offing Ron altogether.
"Funnily enough, I planned from the start that none of them would die. Then midway through, which I think was a reflection that I wasn't in a very happy place, I started thinking I might punish one of them off. Out of sheer spite," she says in a conversation with Daniel Radcliffe for the DVD extra feature for "Deathly Hallows." (Radcliff, of course, played Harry in the movies.)
"In my absolute heart of hearts of hearts - although I did seriously consider killing ... Ron."
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