JK Rowling recently admitted in an interview that pairing up Hermione and Ron was a mistake, and it appears she also says that Herimone should’ve married Harry. Basically, as an author, she was unable to let go of a plot point she had thought up very early on. I’ve been there, and fallen victim to the exact same thing (it happened a few times in my II AM Trilogy), so I’m not throwing any stones.
I think she should probably just not talk about this stuff (it torments fans for no good reason). On the other hand, I can’t complain too much, since I’ve described the Hermione / Ron pairing as “the saddest thing that happened in the Harry Potter books.” I say this because why would the greatest witch of her generation settle into a dull-ass “Muggle Studies” career and marry a borderline-abusive jackass who treats her like garbage throughout her entire childhood and adolescence? Hermione should end up as Minister of Magic, Headmaster of Hogwarts, or something similar, in my not-so-humble opinion. Hell, she could even continue to work on improving people’s impressions of muggles — being a muggle-born Minister would be a huge platform for her to work off of.
But more to the point, speaking as an author rather than a fan, I don’t think the Hermione / Ron thing makes a lick of sense, and I never did. Nor do I think Harry / Ginny does (nor the dozen or so other pairings Rowling mentions, all of which involve two Hogwarts students, including almost all of the couples in the original Order of the Phoenix).
Quick quiz: how many of you are still in a serious, committed, romantic relationship with anyone you were good friends with when you were eleven? How many of you know anyone who is? I know exactly one adult couple who knew each other in high school (and none from elementary/middle school) — my brother and sister-in-law — and even they didn’t become romantic until after high school had ended. This “everyone pairs up with the people they went to school with” stuff is rubbish.
And it’s not like you can even use the “oh, they don’t meet lots of other people” excuse — Rowling goes out of her way to show that the wizarding world is gigantic, with many schools, huge sporting events (and dozens of teams with their own fanbases), a massive ministry, etc. The idea that you need to pick your mate from the 60 or so people you went to boarding school with is absurd.
The Harry and Hermione stuff is also nonsense. There was never that kind of spark between them (with the exception of ten weird and unnecessary minutes — in the movie version only — of Deathly Hallows), and it would ruin a perfectly lovely brother/sister relationship. What should’ve happened to Harry is: he should’ve gone off and been an Auror for a decade or so, met some nice woman (or man, whatever!) and then he should’ve taken the Defense Against the Dark Arts position at Hogwarts. Think about it: it’s the only thing he was truly great at (other than Quiddich), and it’s a position that Rowling basically SET UP for him by having one instructor after another vacate the post. Hogwarts is more home to Harry than anywhere else on earth. It just made so much sense that I’m amazed Rowling didn’t go that route.
Ron and Hermione should’ve had their fling, then realized they were better as friends than lovers and gone their separate ways, romantically. There’s no reason to pair them up, and there’s no reason to pair her up with Harry, either. They should be brothers-and-sister forever due to what they went through, but that’s it.
Anyway, just my two cents!