Monday, August 29, 2005

Call Me Delusional!

I've read all Harry Potter books and I will say that i'm quite sad with what turned out to be. Not as i expected (and perhaps secretly hoped).I know many of you might think that i am hopeless or weird. Why? Because that's how i hoped the pairing should be (look at the bottom of this entry).
This is the second time a set of stories or movies let me down. the first one being Deana Troy being together with Riker instead of Worf (I refer to Star Trek : The Next Generation, FYI).. sometimes I wonder whether I love the idea of 'opposite attracts' so much that i feel kinda depressed knowing some things don't go the way i hoped them to be, or perhaps i'm just in my sentimental mood..
Or in the case of my 'harmony' shipping, It's jus that they seems to be the most logical pairing (in my opinion, had JK R carried on with the character she developed since HP Book 1, especially after She dropped the idea of "a Harry and Cho kinda relationship") Or perhaps it's just my idea of Hero and Heroine should be together kind of pattern :P not to mention that I Believe in love as a proccess of a long relationship that you know your counterparts personality, admire it and fhen fall for it. natural isn't it?

I don't really good at words so allow me to take an article written by Bingblot on which can help me explain my opinion beter. (For Bingblot i apologize for using your article. It's a very good argument i dare not to cut it)

The Canon Ship
Part 1: Taking pot-shots at R/Hr and the OBHWF

Harry/Hermione has been “proven” to be the best ship and the only possible pairing many times over by people who are both more brilliant than I am and have spent much more time thinking and analyzing all the books than I have. That being said, I’ve (finally) decided to try to put some of my thoughts about H/Hr out on paper. I cannot promise many actual quotes from canon as I intend for this to be more a general essay than trying to read between the lines of every single H/hr scene in the books.

Harry Potter is, first and foremost, a children’s book and it is a book about Harry. He is the main character, the narrator, the beginning and the end of the entire series. There’s a reason the books are called ‘Harry Potter and…’ rather than something much more general like the Hogwarts Chronicles or How Voldemort Was Defeated or something. These books are about Harry, his growing up, coming of age and, yes, his romance. To suggest that the main romantic development in canon is going to be any pairing that doesn’t involve Harry is, quite honestly, ridiculous. Therefore, the possible list of ships is basically any ship involving Harry. And given the way canon has been going so far, I think it’s also ridiculous to think that Harry will be paired with a boy (Harry/Draco fans are living for fandom and I would sincerely hope, though I can’t be sure, that none of them actually expect Harry/Draco to happen in canon.) So we are left with the girls. I’ll deal with Hermione last for obvious reasons.

Number one: Ginny. I have heard H/G shippers insist that Ginny is possible because she has been in all the books (and I believe that JKR once said that Harry will get together with a girl who’s been in all the books- this, before OotP came out.) Ginny’s presence in SS/PS is a non-presence. She has one speaking line at the very end and that line only shows her to be a Harry fan-girl. She has a crush on Harry before speaking one word to him. Yes, her ‘crush’ might very well deepen after he saves her life and she gets to know him better. But to think that she can grow to become Harry’s main love interest is far-fetched in the extreme. (And also, CoS that might conceivably be called the book where Ginny stars, still has much more of Hermione in actual page time and dialogue than Ginny.) PoA and GoF only confirm that as Ginny remains a non-entity, unimportant to the plot. She is given more importance in OotP but only alongside Neville and Luna- and still, she can’t compete with Hermione. So much for Ginny, then.

Ginny is (with the exception of McGonagall and Mrs. Weasley) the largest female role in the books after Hermione making her, in my opinion, the only viable rival for being Harry’s main love-interest. However, I think that Ginny can be dismissed as a rival relatively easily, leaving us with characters like Lavender and Parvati and Luna. None of them are possible because, at least as far as Lavender and Parvati are concerned, they’re nonentities and completely flat characters. Luna is neither a nonentity nor very flat; she’s very amusing and interesting and I certainly hope we see more of her, but she can’t be Harry’s love interest as she’s a little too spacey, seeming remarkably unconcerned with Voldemort (and everything else in real life with the exception of Quidditch and the possible exception of Ron). ;-)

Which leaves us with Hermione. I believe that in canon, right now, the romantic feelings work out as follows: Ron-->Hermione-->Harry-->Cho (pre-OotP) and ? (post-OotP).
Ron’s interest in Hermione is not perfectly obvious but I think it’s present and certainly there’s enough canon evidence to support the idea that Ron has some sort of crush on Hermione- possibly simply because she’s pretty much the only girl he really knows. However, his feelings for Hermione only add to the potential for angst and drama for H/Hr, which, given this is JKR, only strengthens the case for H/Hr. (They have to have some angst; Harry’s never had anything easy for him; his love-life isn’t likely to be much different, Cho being a case in point.)

Hermione’s feelings are more in doubt unless one believes in the whole ‘she bickers with Ron to flirt with him’ mindset which I don’t. Ron and Hermione bicker because Ron has no real understanding and no real respect for the person Hermione is; she IS a bookworm and she does study hard, perhaps excessively. But for Ron and Hermione to be together would require Hermione to compromise in large measure the qualities which make her who she is and that is something I don’t think Hermione would do. Furthermore, I think it’s relatively clear that Hermione’s priorities, her thoughts, and her mind (and her heart) are completely focused around Harry. He is the most important person in her life. The letter she writes to Ron in CoS is a case in point; her letter is ostensibly to Ron but it’s all about Harry; she’s worried about Harry and what might happen to him.

Part 2: H/hr in Canon

In PoA, we have what I think to be a nice indication that Hermione’s feelings for Harry are also, at least in part, based on some physical attraction. When Harry shows up in Honeyduke’s and Hogsmeade for the first time, Hermione is protesting his use of the Marauder’s Map because she’s worried (and she turns out to be right), that Sirius could be using the tunnels to get into Hogwarts.

Hermione bit her lip, looking extremely worried.
‘Are you going to report me?’ Harry asked, grinning.
‘Oh—of course not—but honestly, Harry—‘ (PoA, The Marauder’s Map, British ed, p. 149)

Here we have Hermione getting flustered (from what we can guess from what we have of her dialogue and how it’s punctuated) and we can quite easily imagine her trying very hard not to smile, in response to Harry’s grin. Hermione doesn’t get flustered like this very often and the fact that it’s Harry’s grin which flusters her is significant. Would she get flustered and react this way to his grin if she didn’t feel something more than friendship for him? I think not. And this nice little scene is ‘interrupted’ with Ron dragging Harry off to look at the other candy in Honeyduke’s. (I’ll refer you to the brilliant essay, ‘Flight Interrupted’ to think more about the other times when a seeming H/Hr moment is interrupted to deflect attention away from H/hr.) Also, in PoA, we see just how deep her loyalty and her care for Harry extends; she’s willing to report his Firebolt to McGonagall even though she knows that Harry will be angry at her, because she cares too much for his safety not to, no matter what the consequences. (Again, she’s right though she turns out to be wrong, as does everyone, about Sirius’ motives, but that’s another story.) Interestingly and I think this speaks to just how strong Harry and Hermione’s relationship is, Harry is immediately willing to forgive Hermione once he gets his broom back while Ron is the one who nurses his resentment (which again makes one wonder about the potential for angst in a love triangle.) And finally, in PoA, Hermione is so busy she has no time to sleep and is actually repeating hours just to take all her classes and yet she still makes time to go to the Quidditch match. We know that Hermione doesn’t like Quidditch, doesn’t understand it, and probably doesn’t care overly much who wins, except as how it affects Harry. So it’s pretty obvious that she goes for Harry’s sake, just another sign of where her priorities lie. Even her schoolwork gets put aside for a little while for the Quidditch game because it’s important to Harry (and I’d imagine she wants to make sure he doesn’t get hurt.)

In GoF, we finally get more of a ‘romantic’ subplot developing, in Ron’s interest in Hermione, Hermione and Krum, Harry and Cho (sort of) and, most interesting of all, Krum’s jealousy of Harry not to mention Rita Skeeter’s ‘scoop’ about H/Hr. Harry and Cho in GoF isn’t particularly important and besides which, it crashed and burned spectacularly in OotP. Hermione and Krum is more to the point, not because Krum is particularly important, but because for the first time, Harry thinks of Hermione as being pretty and Krum, Hermione’s first ‘boyfriend’, is jealous of none other than Harry. In fact, in both GoF and OotP, we have a running theme of Harry and Hermione’s romantic interest being jealous of the other. Harry is the most important person in Hermione’s life and Hermione is the most important girl in Harry’s life. There can be no competition that isn’t completely far-fetched and contrived and out-of-place in canon as JKR has written it so far.

And finally, OotP. Harry’s subconscious feelings for Hermione have already been brilliantly analyzed by jatkinson and I cannot do it any better and won’t even try. We see another example of Harry being Hermione’s priority when she shows up at Grimmauld Place for Christmas.
‘There was snow in her hair…’ (OotP, British ed., p. 440, Christmas on the Closed Ward)

Snow melts very, very fast, especially once you’re inside. There’s been speculation that Grimmauld Place might be cold indoors since it’s an old house and not very comfortable in any other way but it must be warmer than outdoors because Hermione takes off her jacket just after that. But besides that minor point, the fact remains that Hermione goes to Harry so soon after her arrival that the snow hasn’t melted- which gives her less than a minute to ask Ron where Harry is before going up to see Harry. And she is the only one to bring him out of his self-imposed isolation. (Amazingly, Ron doesn’t even really try, but that’s irrelevant.)

Harry and Hermione are together for Grawp’s introduction and Harry and Hermione are together when they are caught by Umbridge and Hermione is the one to save Harry from the Cruciatus and again Harry and Hermione are the two to accompany Umbridge into the Forbidden Forest on Hermione’s little plan. Hermione saving Harry from the Cruciatus is a wonderful moment, especially as it requires both fast thinking in a very tense situation and lying to a teacher, even a teacher as bad as Umbridge, which isn’t something Hermione would normally do- unless it’s to help Harry. (See my fic, “A Hard, Hard Thing”, as I won’t go further into what I see in that scene.) What I find more interesting actually is Harry and Hermione’s fight before then when she confronts him about his ‘saving people thing’. It’s the first real fight Harry and Hermione have and it’s intense, dramatic, and important- about big, crucial issues and not the little, petty bickering of Ron and Hermione. But more importantly is how it ends.

Even through his anger and impatience, Harry recognized Hermione’s offer to accompany him into Umbridge’s office as a sign of solidarity and loyalty.
‘I… OK, thanks,’ he muttered. (OotP, British ed, p. 650, Out of the Fire)

Harry throughout OotP is generally angry at the entire world and isn’t particularly willing to give anyone the benefit of the doubt as to their motives. Here, even though he’s still angry at Hermione and half-crazy with worry over Sirius, he realizes Hermione’s loyalty and thanks her for it. I haven’t bothered counting but, if my memory serves, Harry doesn’t thank many people for anything in OotP, given his general pissiness—but he thanks Hermione. It speaks to the strength of their relationship that they can move on after such a serious argument and still trust in their friendship and the loyalty each feels. It’s not love on Harry’s side, for sure, (at least not consciously) but it certainly speaks to a level of trust which Harry feels for very few people in his life. He doesn’t tend to trust too many people, doesn’t tend to believe in their loyalty to him or that they have his own interests at heart- not surprising given his upbringing. But he does trust Hermione, does believe in her loyalty and never, so far that we’ve seen, doubts it. (He does doubt Ron’s friendship in GoF when they’re estranged which is why Ron’s show of support after the First Task is so important to him.) He might not love her yet but he trusts her more than anyone else in his life, respects her opinion, and cares about her safety to the extent that he panics completely when she’s hurt in the DoM (and as Goldy has pointed out, he doesn’t even think to do the obvious and check for a pulse, he’s so panicked.) Harry doesn’t panic too easily; lord knows he’s been in enough danger in his life that he’s generally able to think under fire and keep his cool better than others. But when he thinks Hermione is hurt, he goes to pieces. (Interestingly, Ron being hurt at the end of SS/PS doesn’t make him panic nearly as much, although admittedly, Ron is pretty clearly less seriously wounded in a much less dangerous setting than Hermione is, in a place where all their lives are, literally, in danger. But it’s still interesting.)

And this very cursory list of things which support H/Hr in canon is not even including any of the other evidence we have of how well they understand each other without words and how well they work together as seen at the end of PoA. Simply put, Harry and Hermione are equals and partners in a way that no other characters are in canon. The Trio does function together and work together, most obviously in SS/PS, but since then, it seems increasingly as if it’s been Harry and Hermione working together and Ron is tagging along as a side-kick. In GoF, the First Task is all achieved through Hermione helping Harry, the Second Task he’s helped out by Dobby (I’m not going to read anything into the fact that Dobby is the house elf Harry freed and Hermione is, obviously, the free-house-elves champion) and in the Third Task, he is helped in practice by both Ron and Hermione but mainly Hermione because she’s the one who knows more about Spells and Charms than either he or Ron do. In OotP Harry is alone for much more of the book (or so it seems) but he and Hermione are still thrown together several times when Ron is not present or is present but in a minor way. (Also, in OotP, where JKR might conceivably have thrown in more R/Hr hints if she wanted to, Ron and Hermione are the two Gryffindor Prefects which is a convenient way of giving them more time to spent together-without Harry- but we don't see any of that. If anything, they only fight more because of Ron's dereliction of his Prefect duties. Instead, it's clear that Harry is still Hermione's priority and that Ron and Hermione are only friends)

Harry and Hermione, as canon stands after OotP, are true equals and true best friends—and it is only natural to think that they will continue to be so in HBP and Book 7. It is also only natural to assume that Harry will realize just how important Hermione is and how much he cares about her. Which, in turn, makes it only natural and right that Harry and Hermione’s relationship will deepen into more than friendship. We know there will be romance in the series and we know it will be Harry’s romance. Therefore, H/Hr is, pretty clearly, the only possible shipping outcome in canon—unless JKR decides to go off on a completely different track in HBP than she has been going on so far and makes Harry’s love-life one that is out-of-character, far-fetched and contrived. (In which case, that person will probably still be jealous of Hermione anyway.) ;-)

H/Hr IS the Canon Ship.

Well for those who think that i'm delusional.. this is my answer for you
'I will go down with this ship and I won't put my hands up and surrender
There will be no white flag above my door,
I'm in love and always will be' (=Dido:White Flag=)

A proud member of Delusional Harry Potter-Hermione Granger shipper club 'HMS Harmony'.

[harry + hermione]


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