Hermione, who enters the stage as a rule-obsessed busy-body, and who becomes rigid in her definitions of justice and fairness in the matters of Crookshanks and Scabbers, comes to learn that there are higher ideals than the regulations governing the conduct of the Hogwarts’ student body, and more important achievements than being the first to answer any given professor’s question.
She also develops an actual sense of fun over the course of the series thanks to her affiliations with Harry and Ron, which makes Hermione a vastly more appealing person than the anxious, newly-minted witch we meet at the beginning of the story.
It’s frustrating, but probably inevitable in this age of voracious fandom, to see authors’ attempts to tweak, or litigate, or modify their work via interview long after the pages have gone to the printers and the work has wandered out into the world to be read and loved. Rowling’s declaration that of course Albus Dumbledore is gay is very nice in retrospect, but I wish she’d had the courage to make her subtext text in the darn novels, given that no one would have said her nay, and it would have made Dumbledore one of the most high-profile gay heroes in the whole canon of fantasy literature.
I, too, have been guilty of enjoying these revelations, though they often raise as many questions as they answer. And now Rowling’s done it again: in a leaked interview with Wonderland, she apparently declares that she got one of the central romantic relationships of her series wrong.
But it also means that there’s something flat at the heart of many of Rowling’s characters, an area in their lives that’s somehow immune from the kind of grand complexities that defines their approach to magic, to technology, to racialized politics, and even to their friendships.
Rowling doesn’t spend much time on Harry’s aunt and uncle, Vernon and Petunia Dursley, but they’re introduced to us as utterly complementary, and in filling in Petunia’s backstory, Rowling never tells us of any other romance.
We learn that true love can reshape a wizard or witch’s patronus when Tonks’ love for Remus Lupin transforms her magical protector into a wolf.
Later, the revelation that Severus Snape’s patronus had retained its shape as a reflection of his enduring love for Lily Potter provided one of the tenderest moments in .
The couples who get together once Harry is old enough to be aware of them follow a similar pattern, and Rowling is careful to delineate their prior relationships as crushes distinct from the flowerings of mature love that will become permanent.
Bill Weasley is attractive to many witches but attached to none prior to his romance with Fleur Delacour, who eventually becomes his wife.