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Monster. Red Monster. - Yet ANOTHER HP shipping essay. Or should I say, anti-shipping essay.
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Red Monster
Date: 2005-03-10 21:47
Subject: Yet ANOTHER HP shipping essay. Or should I say, anti-shipping essay.
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Notes for readers: This essay is written for both H/Hr and R/Hr shippers. We have four more months until HBP comes out, and if it shows some Ron-Luna bonding, then obviously I am going to look silly, but if the story goes by and Ron and Luna go nowhere, then you may find your explanations here.


This essay is written from a strongly Ron/Hermione perspective. In order to understand that perspective better, I recommend a bit of outside reading before this essay.

First, go read Angua's infamous essay.

Then, if I haven't permanently alienated you yet, go read My big honking R/Hr essay.

I'm not throwing out those links with the delusion that reading them once will convert you, but this essay here is not designed to be a comprehensive case for Ron/Hermione and so I do not want to hear anything about how I'm making a lot of assumptions with no backup. Still with me so far? Good. Step right up, and I'll tell you all about the facts of life, aka: Why Ron/Luna Will Never Happen.

Weasley Ain’t Her King: Why Ron/Luna is a No-Sided Ship

The publication of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix meant the introduction of J.K. Rowling's favorite new character, Luna Lovegood. Shipping culture being the way it is, the entry of an interesting new female character into Harry's circle of friends meant the development of new ships, including Ron/Luna. The ship has gained rapid popularity both as a side ship to Harry/Hermione and other ships that involve Hermione with someone other than Ron, and as a precursor to Ron/Hermione. Both perspectives take Luna's behavior towards

Ron as evidence of her romantic interest in him, and speculate that Ron's feelings will develop in her favor in time. As such, it is primarily considered a one-sided ship. However, evidence in the books runs against it rather than for it, and in this essay, I am going to delineate the ways in which this is a no-sided ship and should not be treated like a contender for canon.

Ron to Luna: She only wants him for his owl!

Luna is widely considered, by those on many sides of the shipping debate, to have some level of romantic feelings for Ron. Unfortunately, the evidence that she likes him does not hold up to scrutiny. When looking at the bigger picture of Luna's character, these behaviors fit in as part of her unusual personality.

OotP, pg. 190

Everyone laughed, but nobody laughed harder than Luna Lovegood. She let out a scream of mirth that caused Hedwig to wake up and flap her wings indignantly and Crookshanks to leap up into the luggage rack, hissing. She laughed so hard that her magazine slipped out of her grasp, slid down her legs, and onto the floor.

"That was funny!"

Her prominent eyes swam with tears as she gasped for breath, staring at Ron. Utterly nonplussed, he looked around at the others, who were now laughing at the expression on Ron's face and at the ludicrously prolonged laughter of Luna Lovegood, who was rocking backward and forward, clutching her sides.

"Are you taking the mickey?" said Ron, frowning at her.

"Baboon's...backside!" she choked, holding her ribs.

Luna's insane laughter may be attributed to her having a crush on Ron, but this is not necessary. This is a very funny joke, and Luna is the only person in the compartment who probably does not know Ron very well, so she is not accustomed to his sense of humor. Instead, her laughter is also attributable to her zany personality. She laughs so hard because it is just that funny to her, and Luna is not the kind of girl to hold back.

OotP, pg. 189

"And Anthony Goldstein and Padma Patil for Ravenclaw," said Hermione.

"You went to the Yule Ball with Padma Patil," said a vague voice.

Everyone turned to look at Luna Lovegood, who was gazing unblinkingly at Ron over the top of The Quibbler. He swallowed his mouthful of Frog.

"Yeah, I know I did," he said, looking mildly surprised.

"She didn't enjoy it very much," Luna informed him. "She doesn't think you treated her very well, because you wouldn't dance with her. I don't think I'd have minded," she added thoughtfully. "I don't like dancing very much."

She treated behind The Quibbler again. Ron stared at the cover with his mouth hanging open for a few seconds, then looked around at Ginny for some kind of explanation, but Ginny had stuffed her knuckles in her mouth to stop herself giggling. Ron shook his head, bemused, then checked his watch.

It is understandable that Luna would know about Ron's date, as she is in the same House as Padma Patil, who has, judging from Luna's dialogue, been talking about the occasion.

Then, most notoriously, she tells Ron that she wouldn't have minded being at the ball with him. But is this really what's going on? Rather than say she is flirting with him, the structure of her dialogue is more appropriate for her
thinking out loud. She brings up Ron’s ball date not when he sits down, but when Padma’s name is brought up. It is Padma's name that brings the Yule Ball to her mind, not Ron's face. She is telling Ron what she knows about him. Then she continues thinking aloud and says she wouldn’t have minded being at the ball with him, as an addition to her earlier lines. "I don't think I'd have minded," she added, and then she goes on to explain her aside with her dislike of dancing. This is not a very romantic line from her. It's not who he is that matters, it's what he wouldn't have asked her to do. This is an understandable train of thought for a girl who was too young to go to the ball by herself, but who doesn’t enjoy dancing. Then we see that Ginny is struggling not to giggle, while Ron is bemused. They both find this rather entertaining, in a way that suggests there is nothing to worry about. This is merely a case of Luna being odd.

It should also be noted that as we learn more about Luna, we find that she has no social skills, therefore she has no issue with making people uncomfortable and doesn’t care what kinds of memories she brings up. Another example of this tactlessness is on page 763, when Luna tells Harry and Hermione, "Wow, you two must really smell." Given the context, and since it is coming from Luna, we know that it is not a comment on their personal hygiene, but an acknowledgement of their attracting the thestrals. There is a similar process at work in talking about Ron's Yule Ball date with Padma. By "I wouldn't have minded," she does not mean she wanted to be his date. She means that she wouldn't have minded not dancing at the ball.

OotP, pg. 195

Ron and Hermione were supposed to supervise all this; they disappeared from the carriage again leaving Harry and the others to look after Crookshanks and Pigwidgeon.

"I'll carry that owl, if you like," said Luna to Harry, reaching out for Pigwidgeon as Neville stowed Trevor carefully in an inside pocket.

"Oh--er--thanks," said Harry, handing her the cage and hoisting Hedwig's more securely into his arms.

Why does Luna offer to carry Pig's cage? Could it be that she's doing this to get closer to Ron? What she does here is help the group. This shows that Luna is a sweet girl who likes to help. She also helps Hermione in organizing Harry's interview in The Quibbler, despite the fact that Hermione was previously rather rude to her. She is perfectly happy to join the Trio in venturing to the Department of Mysteries, despite the fact that she's putting her life at risk. Helpfulness is a natural part of Luna's personality; this is a girl who likes to be of service. There were two animals that needed to be carried, and Pig was a much likelier suspect than Hermione’s cat, since Hermione had just offended Luna earlier that day, and especially since Ginny was already carrying Crookshanks.

OotP, pg. 198

Luna appeared holding Pigwidgeon's cage in her arms; the tiny owl was twittering excitedly as usual.

"Here you are," she said. "He’s a sweet little owl, isn’t he?"

This further explains why Luna was so happy to carry Pig's cage: he's a sweet little owl. Apparently, Luna likes weeny owls. She's not the only girl in her year who admires Pigwidgeon, either. There are also the third-year Hufflepuffs in Goblet of Fire, who said, "Oh, look at the weeny owl! Isn't he cute?" (pg. 405) These girls are not saying this to flirt with Ron, but because they really think Pig is cute. Luna says what she means. Pig is a sweet little owl.

OotP, pg. 200-201

"Well, we think [Hagrid]'s a bit of a joke in Ravenclaw," said Luna, unfazed.

"You've got a rubbish sense of humor, then," Ron snapped, as the wheels below them creaked into motion.

Luna did not seem perturbed by Ron's rudeness; on the contrary, she simply watched him for a while as though he were a mildly interesting television program.

Staring at him like he’s a mildly interesting television show just about sums it up. She finds him interesting, but not necessarily appealing or attractive. This sounds like the way one looks at a piece of abstract art in a gallery.
The important thing here is that Luna is not perturbed by Ron’s rudeness. If Luna likes Ron, then her being unperturbed is an inappropriate response to his rudeness. She should be at least a little bit hurt that he has just been rude to her. She thinks he’s "mildly interesting" for saying she has a rubbish sense of humor, therefore his opinion is not important to her. He has no emotional power over her. She doesn’t fancy him. Besides, surely JKR could come up with a more compelling description than "mildly interesting" if Luna had any feelings for Ron that were meant to go anywhere.

OotP, pg. 403

"I'm supporting Gryffindor," said Luna, pointing unnecessarily at her hat. "Look what it does...."

She reached up and tapped the hat with her wand. It opened its mouth wide and gave an extremely realistic roar that made everyone in the vicinity jump.

"It's good, isn't it?" said Luna happily. "I wanted to have it chewing up a serpent to represent Slytherin, you know, but there wasn't time. Anyway...good luck, Ronald!"

Her supporting Gryffindor is often cited as evidence of Luna's attraction to Ron, but if we are realistic, we can accept that Luna is supporting Gryffindor for the same reason as three-quarters of the school. They want to see Slytherin lose. Also, Luna is observant enough to see that Ron is suffering and needs a bit of luck, so she wishes him good luck. Given the way he is acting in that scene, it is not difficult to see that he could use a bit of moral support.

Calling him "Ronald" is more formal, therefore less friendly and denotes less emotional connection with him. It is also a sign of her nonexistent social skills that Luna does not understand that only Molly is allowed to call him "Ronald."

OotP, pg. 683

Luna Lovegood overtook them with what appeared to be a live eagle perched on top of her head.

When it’s Gryffindor against Ravenclaw, Luna supports Ravenclaw, her own House, even though they’re not very nice to her. Despite her outcast status, House loyalty is more important to Luna than supporting “Ronald.”

OotP, pg. 566

Rita stared at [Hermione]. So did Harry. Luna, on the other hand, sang, "Weasley Is Our King" dreamily under her breath and stirred her drink with a cocktail onion on a stick.

Singing "Weasley Is Our King" at the Three Broomsticks might mean something if the lyrics weren’t so degrading to him. She’s singing, "Weasley cannot save a thing/he cannot block a single ring." That is not flattering.

However, I do not take this as a sign that Luna dislikes Ron, because Sir Nicholas was also heard humming the song (pg. 420). It is simply a catchy tune that she has gotten stuck in her head. It says nothing about her feelings for Ron.

Since Luna is singing a song that is insulting to Ron in front of his best friends, this is further evidence that Luna has no social skills. This is not Luna being romantic, this is Luna being, as JKR says of that particular scene, "completely out to lunch."

The ultimate problem with Luna's side of this ship is that he evidence is too direct to be subtle hinting, yet too restrained to follow through with the directness. If Luna really liked Ron, he would know by now because she would have told him outright. That is the sort of thing she would do.

She calls Hermione “narrow-minded” to her face, which takes bravery.

OotP, gg. 345:

"They don't exist, Neville," said Hermione tartly.

"Oh yes they do!" said Luna angrily.

"I'm sorry, but where's the proof of that?" snapped Hermione.

"There are plenty of eyewitness accounts, just because you're so narrow-minded you need to have everything shoved under your nose before you--"

She tells Rita Skeeter that her dad thinks the Prophet is an “awful paper.”

OotP, pg. 567-8

"The Prophet exists to sell itself, you silly girl," she said coldly.

"My dad thinks it's an awful paper," said Luna, chipping into the conversation unexpectedly. Sucking on her cocktail onion, she gazed at Rita with her enormous, protuberant, slightly mad eyes. "He publishes important stories that he thinks the public needs to know. He doesn't care about making money."

She tells the Gryffindors that her House think Hagrid is a bit of a joke.

OotP, pg. 200

"Did everyone see that Grubbly-Plank woman?" asked Ginny. "What's she doing back here?

Hagrid can't have left, can he?"

"I'll be quite glad if he has," said Luna. "He isn't a very good teacher, is he?"

"Yes, he is!" said Harry, Ron and Ginny angrily.

Harry glared at Hermione; she cleared her throat and quickly said, "Erm...yes...he's very good."

"Well, we think he's a bit of a joke in Ravenclaw," said Luna, unfazed.

All these incidents show that Luna is a straightfoward, honest girl with very little self-consciousness. If she is brave enough to insult Hermione directly and tactless enough to share her opinion of the Prophet with Rita and Hagrid with the Gryffindors, she should be direct enough to tell Ron she fancies him and would he like to come with her to Sweden this summer? However, she does no such thing, so it can be deduced that she’s not so crazy about Ron after all...she’s just crazy. The incidents cited as evidence are not cases of Luna showing her love, but of being her wacky, wonderful, extremely odd self.

By now, you may be thinking: you can explain away individual scenes, but taken as a whole, the bigger picture adds up to something that cannot be dismissed. But that is the problem. The bigger picture doesn't make sense.

The evidence of Luna’s affections does not add up to a cohesive whole. She wants to go to the ball with him, yet she is not bothered when he is rude to her. She supposedly worships him by singing Weasley Is Our King, but when the song is finally reclaimed in his favor, she is rooting for the other team.

Harry and Luna: Does she fancy him?

In order to make accurate predictions for shipping, one must first look at each character as a whole, and take their interactions with all their acquaintances into account. In order to gain some perspective on Luna's
"attraction" to Ron, I'm going to take a brief look at some comparable scenes with her and Harry. Now, I do not ship Harry/Luna for long-term canon, but if there is shippiness to be found between her and Ron, then there is much more to be found between her and Harry. When Luna offers to carry Pig's cage, Harry is the one holding it.

Therefore, she volunteers to lighten his load. Is this a sign of Harry/Luna because she is taking the owl off his

hands, or of Ron/Luna because it's his owl? Or could it merely be that Luna is a helpful girl who likes weeny


OotP, pg. 452-3

"Hello," she said vaguely, looking around at what remained of the decorations. "These are nice, did you put them up?"

"No," said Harry, "it was Dobby the house-elf."

"Mistletoe," said Luna dreamily, pointing at a large clump of white berries placed almost over Harry's head. He jumped out from under it. "Good thinking," said Luna very seriously. "It's often infested with nargles."

Luna points out the mistletoe to Harry in the Room of Requirement. Could this mean she wants to kiss him? True, she is not offended when Harry jumps out from under it, but if her saying she wouldn’t have minded not dancing with Ron means she likes him, then surely her pointing out the mistletoe could be significant. Conversely, if her helping Harry and catching him under the mistletoe mean nothing, then her knowing about Ron's date at the Yule Ball should not be defined as ship evidence.

Luna to Ron: It’s the Stupidest Thing He’s Ever Heard

And then we have Ron, the "other" side of the no-sided ship. If Luna leaves room for ambiguity, Ron leaves no doubt. Ron’s feelings for Luna are laid out very clearly, and they do not bode well for her. Simply put, he has no fondness for the girl. I am not looking at this trait as a flaw, merely as a fact. Ron does not like Luna, and this should be respected, not dismissed.

When she laughs so hard at his joke on the train, he asks her, "Are you taking the mickey?" (pg. 190) He thinks she is messing with him. This is a boy who likes to joke around and make people laugh, who craves recognition and responds well to positive attention, and he doesn’t like to see Luna laughing uproariously at a joke of his choosing. He doesn’t want her attention.

OotP, pg. 303

There was a pause at this, then Ron said, "That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard, including everything that Luna Lovegood comes out with."

Ron thinks everything Luna says is stupid. He has no respect for her ideas. This is not a view that is going to work well in a romance, and it won’t go over well with Luna, either. Usually, Ron does not think of Luna at all, but when she does appear on his radar, he is openly contemptuous of her. It's not just that he doesn't agree with her, but that he belittles her intelligence. This is not comparable to anything he has ever felt towards Hermione. Even when he thinks she's "mental," he never thinks she's stupid. Even when he is disagreeable with Hermione, he is not dismissive.

OotP, pg. 796

"I don't know what they hit him with," said Luna sadly, "but he's gone a bit funny, I could hardly get

him along at all...."

"Harry," said Ron, pulling Harry's ear down to his mouth and still giggling weakly, "you know who this girl is, Harry?" She's Loony...Loony Lovegood...ha ha ha..."

He calls her "Loony" Lovegood in the Department of Mysteries battle. This does not reflect well on his opinion of her. The fact that he has been cursed should allow him some leeway, but in fact, the curse has not altered Ron’s personality, only lowered his inhibitions. Ron's cracking a joke about "Uranus" on pg. 795, similar to the one in Divination class earlier in the books, shows that his natural personality remains intact. The curse that was placed on Ron simulated the effects of intoxication. In other words, it made him act "drunk," but it did not make him say anything he doesn’t otherwise think, at some level of his mind. Ron doesn’t ordinarily refer to Luna as "Loony," but this scene shows that he thinks of her that way, and he said it right in front of her. All the curse proves is that he wasn't merely calling her that to be cool in front of his friends. Even when Ron is at his most vulnerable state, and Luna is saving his and his sister's lives, he thinks she's barmy. As we can see in the bulletin board scene with Harry and Luna near the end, Luna doesn't let insults like that hurt her feelings, but she does not see the name-calling as a compliment, either.

Ron is not about to change his mind about Luna. After the DoM battle is over, other characters show signs of thinking differently about Luna, but Ron is not among them. When JKR wants us to know that a character's opinion of another is changing, she will find a way to show us. The lack of change in Ron is not a sign that JKR is hiding something from us so that we will be surprised when Ron has a sudden understanding with Luna in HBP. It means that Ron’s attitude is not about to change any time soon.

OotP, pg. 848

"Daddy sold it to them," said Luna vaguely, turning a page of The Quibbler. "He got a very good price for it too, so we're going to go on an expedition to Sweden this summer and see if we can catch a Crumple-Horned Snorkack."

Hermione seemed to struggle with herself for a moment, then said, "That sounds lovely."

Ginny caught Harry's eye and looked away quickly, grinning.

Hermione makes an effort to say something nice about the trip to Sweden. This shows that she has decided to be more tactful and polite toward Luna. Harry’s little eye-catch moment with a grinning Ginny immediately afterwards shows that this is a significant change in Hermione. We can look forward to more respect and less derision in the future.

Harry has his bulletin board moment with Luna later in the chapter (pgs. 862-4), in which he finally sees her for a vulnerable human being. He expresses offense at the theft of her belongings, he offers to help her find them, much like Hermione was going around the train with Neville in Book 1 to help look for his toad. He doesn’t mind her talking about Sirius. He finds her both pitiable and vaguely comforting. Ultimately, this scene shows that Harry is coming to view Luna differently than before. He recognizes that she has feelings, and his view of her is moving in a more sympathetic direction.

Ginny, too, exhibits a change in attitude towards Luna after the DoM battle. Early in the book, Ginny’s treatment of Luna can be described as friendly, but condescending. She calls Luna "Loony" to Harry and Neville (pg. 185), she giggles at Luna’s quirkiness behind her back (pg. 189), she tells Hermione all about the foolishness of Luna’s belief system (pg. 262). At the end, we learn that Luna knows of Harry’s ties to Sirius because Ginny told her (pg. 863). Ginny has gone from talking about Luna and her oddness to Hermione, to talking to Luna about Harry’s loss of Sirius. On the train back home, Ginny is taking a quiz in The Quibbler (pg. 865), which denotes increased respect for Luna’s alternative viewpoint.

His two best friends and his sister have all shown increased respect or sympathy for Luna, and the question remains: where is the change in Ron? After he regains consciousness, we get no negative signs, but there are no positive signs, either. Ron remains indifferent, even after she saved his bacon in the DoM battle. It is true that Ron used to have no liking for Hermione, and it took a troll to bring them together. Without going into the dynamics of Ron and Hermione before the troll, the difference is that the change was noticeable and immediate. The battle at the DoM was a "troll" if ever such an equivalent existed, and it has effected a change in Harry, Ginny, and Hermione, but not in Ron. A romance between them is, shall we say, about as likely as Snape adopting Harry.

ATTENTION SHIPPERS: If you are still a Harry/Hermione shipper, the rest of the essay will probably bore you. It is primarily aimed at Ron/Hermione shippers. The recommended reading for this section is:

My Big Scary Anti-Viktor/Hermione Essay.

This will explain my reasoning during some later paragraphs.

Hermione and Luna: the Most Colorful Part of the Picture

The main problem with Ron’s interactions with Luna is not that they’re especially negative, it’s that they’re not very interesting. She thinks he’s mildly interesting when he’s rude to her and he thinks she’s barmy even when
she comes to his aid. The interactions between Hermione and Luna are much more engaging. They may appear very different, but that is because their differences run in their most obvious and immediate qualities, not because their differences are so broad or go all that deep. Here we have two girls who are both intelligent, resourceful, helpful, unglamorous, not terribly popular, loyal, rather lacking in social skills, and honest well beyond the point of tactlessness. In order to understand Luna's place in the social dynamics of the Sextet, it helps to take a closer look at the initially antagonistic relationship she has with Hermione.

Hermione shows a positive rapport with Luna as demonstrated by her willingness to cooperate with her.

Hermione masterminded Harry’s interview in The Quibbler, and in order to do this, she needed to enlist Luna’s assistance in her plan, which she did. We did not see this cooperation in action until we saw the two of them having a drink with Rita Skeeter, but in order to get to that point, Hermione had to go to Luna behind the scenes and talk to her. There was more interaction going on between Hermione and Luna than we actually saw, and in order to devise a plan that required Luna’s participation, Hermione had to recognize that Luna was reliable, trustworthy, and loyal enough to help. This may sound like a minimal improvement over the open, unnecessary rudeness she exhibited earlier, but this is more credit than Luna ever gets from Ron.

When Harry has his vision of Voldemort torturing Sirius, and the Trio need to devise a plan, Hermione once again shows a willingness to make Luna a part of the group. She gets Luna in on the plan when she designates her and Ginny as lookouts (pg. 736). Hermione puts Luna on an equal plane with Ginny. Ron, however, does not do Luna this courtesy. When his group meets Harry and Hermione in the forest, Ron praises Neville, exalts Ginny, and says nothing about Luna.

OotP, pg. 760:

"How did you get away?" asked Harry in amazement, taking his wand from Ron.

"Couple of Stunners, a Disarming Charm, Neville brought off a really nice little Impediment Jinx," said Ron airily, now handing back Hermione's wand too. "But Ginny was best, she got Malfoy--Bat-Bogey Hex--it was superb, his whole face was covered in the great flapping things. Anyway, we saw you heading into the forest out of the window and followed. What've you done with Umbridge?"

Later in the scene, he is hostile towards her when he attacks her suggestion to fly to the DoM.

OotP, pg. 762

"I thought we'd settled that?" said Luna maddeningly. "We're flying!"

"Look," said Ron, barely containing his anger, "you might be able to fly without a broomstick but the rest of us can't sprout wings whenever we--"

"There are other ways of flying than with broomsticks," said Luna serenely.

"I s'pose we're going to ride on the back of the Kacky Snorgle or whatever it is?" Ron demanded.

Furthermore, his referring to the "Kacky Snorgle" shows that he has not been listening to her flights of fancy.

Hermione brings Luna into the group, and is otherwise neutral to her, or no more negative than she is to Ginny and Neville, while Ron tries to push her out again. When the girl who tells Harry, "You can do better than her," has more time for her than does Luna’s supposed love interest, something is very wrong with this picture. She may think of Luna as a nutball, but at least Hermione thinks of her.

In addition to bringing Ron's disinterest in Luna into sharper relief, Hermione's rapport with Luna should be kept in mind for the next book. The scenario of Ron getting closer to Luna as a friend while Hermione mistakes it for a dating relationship is rather unlikely. It is easy to see that Hermione and Luna do not get along very comfortably in the first half of the book, but what many people miss about them is that Luna is closer to Hermione than she is to Ron, and this is not about to change. If Ron does have a change of heart about Luna, and decides to get to know her better, Hermione will find out what is going on before long. She will not be left out of the loop while they become closer to each other.

Then we have the Ron/Luna belief system coming from a different direction, which is Ron/Luna coming from a Ron/Hermione perspective and theorizing that Hermione feels threatened by Luna’s attraction to Ron. Alternatively, there is the idea that Hermione is not jealous of Luna yet, because Ron does not like her, but she will become jealous later on when Ron becomes closer to Luna. The problem with the first position is that Hermione’s interactions with Luna are entirely unrelated to Ron. The problem with the second is that it is premised on an incomplete picture of the method by which Hermione becomes jealous.

Hermione’s antagonism with Luna is not based on jealousy or rivalry. It is based on differences in philosophy and outlook and is wholly unrelated to Ron.

OotP, pg. 193
"Anything good in there?" asked Ron as Harry closed the magazine.

"Of course not," said Hermione scathingly, before Harry could answer, "The Quibbler's rubbish, everyone knows that."

"Excuse me," said Luna; her voice had sudenly lost its dreamy quality. "My father's the editor."

"I--oh," said Hermione, looking embarrassed. "'s got some interesting...I mean, it's quite..."

"I'll have it back, thank you," said Luna coldly...

Hermione calls The Quibbler “rubbish” when she is not aware that Luna’s father is the editor. When Luna points this out to her, Hermione is properly embarrassed. Therefore, her remark was not intended as an insult. It was a case of tactlessness, not of antagonism.

OotP, pg. 262

"You can laugh!" Luna said, her voice rising, apparently under the impression that Parvati and Lavender were laughing at what she had said rather than what she was wearing. "But people used to believe there were no such things as the Blibbering Humdinger of the Crmple-Horned Snorkack."

"Well, they were right, weren't they?" said Hermione impatiently. "There weren't any such things as the Blibbering Humdinger or the Crumple-Horned Snorkack."

Luna gave her a withering look and flounced away, radishes swinging madly. Parvati and Lavender were not the only ones hooting with laughter now.

"D'you mind not offending the only people who believe me?" Harry asked Hermione as they made their way into class.

"Oh, for heaven's sake, Harry, you can do better than her," said Hermione. "Ginny's told me all about her, apparently she'll only believe in things as long as there's no proof at all. Well, I wouldn't expect anything else from someone whose father runs The Quibbler."

Hermione is rude to Luna in insisting that the Snorkacks and Humdingers do not exist. Her rudeness consists of a simple statement on the validity of the magical creatures, in a direct response to Luna’s bringing them up as a basis for comparison to Harry’s story. She explains her annoyance to Harry as "apparently she’ll only believe in things as long as there’s no proof at all." She takes a straightforward stance in contradicting Luna and has a
firmly articulated reason for her antipathy. Jealousy has nothing to do with it.

OotP, pg. 345

"Well, that makes sense. After all, Cornelius Fudge has got his own private army."

"What?" said Harry, completely thrown by this unexpected piece of information.

"Yes, he's got an army of heliopaths," said Luna solemnly.

"No, he hasn't," snapped Hermione.

"Yes, he has," said Luna.

"What are heliopaths?" asked Neville, looking blank.

"They're spirits of fire," said Luna, her protuberant eyes widening so that she looked madder than ever. "Great

tall flaming creatures that gallop across the ground burning everything in front of--"

"They don't exist, Neville," said Hermione tartly.

"Oh yes they do!" said Luna angrily.

"I'm sorry, but where's the proof of that?" snapped Hermione.

"There are plenty of eyewitness accounts, just because you're so narrow-minded you need to have everything shoved under your nose before you--"

In the Hog’s Head, Hermione takes issue with Luna’s position on Fudge’s private army. Her snappishness comes in direct response to Luna’s bringing up heliopaths, and she becomes even ruder when Luna begins describing them to Neville. Once again, the motivation for the antagonism is readily apparent, and it has nothing to do with Ron.

After that episode, there is no more squabbling between the two girls until chapter thirty-four, when Hermione mutters about "something blibbering, no doubt" (pg. 776) when Luna wonders what could be in the room Harry cannot open. This is entirely unnecessary, and it takes place several pages after Luna brings up aquavirius maggots (pg. 772). Therefore, we have another example of Hermione displaying a disagreeable attitude towards Luna over the issue of magical creatures and Ministry conspiracies that do not exist. Hermione’s ill manners toward Luna cannot be attributed to any competition over Ron based on currently available evidence.

The theory of Hermione becoming jealous of Luna's rapport with Ron later on is premised on the assumption that Hermione's jealous response is based solely on Ron's feelings for another girl, and has nothing to do with how the girl may feel about him. It is also fueled by an argument that Hermione's jealousy over Ron is less than what he felt about seeing her with Viktor because she has supposedly never known what it is like to be jealous of a girl that Ron could actually have, and so Luna is going to be the one to pull the rug out from under her. However, Hermione's jealousy is more two-sided than is usually acknowledged, and there is not an imbalance between her and Ron that needs to be corrected. More importantly, Luna is not going to be the girl to correct any such imbalance that may exist.

GoF, pg. 506

"Yeah," said Ron, looking extremely hopeful, "yeah, a bit--"

Fleur swooped down on him too and kissed him. Hermione looked simply furious...

First, she looks "simply furious" when Fleur Delacour kisses Ron’s cheeks during GoF. She sees both Fleur being affectionate with Ron, and him enjoying it, and this upsets her.

GoF, pg. 509-510

One week later, however, Ron was telling a thrilling tale of kidnap in which he struggled single-handedly against fifty heavily armed merpeople who had to beat him into submission before tying him up.

"But I had my wand hidden up my sleeve," he assured Padma Patil, who seemed to be a lot keener on Ron now that he was getting so much attention and was making a point of talking to him every time they passed in the corridors. "I could've taken those mer-idiots any time I wanted."

"What were you going to do, snore at them?" said Hermione waspishly. People had been teasing her so much about being the thing that Viktor Krum would most miss that she was in a rather tetchy mood.

Ron's ears went red, and thereafter, he reverted to the bewitched sleep version of events.

When Padma Patil shows more interest in Ron following the Second Task, and he responds by embellishing his story of the task, Hermione reacts unhappily again. Her bad mood is attributed to her annoyance at being teased about being Viktor’s hostage, which is appropriate, but what happens here is that she takes her bad mood out on Ron for showing off to Padma. This is not an unattainable, foreign part-Veela provoking Hermione’s jealousy this time. Padma is a fully human girl their age and at their school, now giving positive
attention to Ron after going to the Yule Ball with him, so it is no surprise that Hermione finds this bothersome.

GoF, pg. 724

"We will see each uzzer again, I 'ope," said Fleur as she reached him, holding out her hand. "I am 'oping to get a job 'ere, to improve my Eenglish."

"It's very good already," said Ron in a strangled sort of voice. Fleur smiled at him; Hermione scowled.

Finally, we have a scene at the end of GoF in which Ron shows attraction to Fleur yet again, she smiles at him, and Hermione’s reaction is to scowl. Once again, she is unhappy to see a situation in which Ron is attracted to another girl and she responds to his attention.

What all these jealousy moments have in common is that they feature some degree of interest from both Ron and another girl. Therefore, one is left to wonder which side of it provokes Hermione’s jealousy, Ron’s attention or the third party’s response. Why not both? Hermione is jealous because Ron looks at prettier girls and because those prettier girls look back at him. Fleur may appear unattainable most of the time, but when she smiles back at Ron, and especially when she kisses him, she does not appear so unattainable after all, and so it is not surprising that Hermione looks simply furious.

During all the moments in which Luna supposedly shows an attraction to Ron, there is not the slightest sign of discomfort from Hermione. When Luna laughs longer and harder than anyone else, there is not the merest facial twinge from Hermione. When Luna stares at him in the carriage, still no reaction from Hermione’s side. When she sings Weasley Is Our King, Hermione does not care. This absence of jealousy does not mean that Hermione is not interested in Ron, or that her jealous response is based solely on Ron’s feelings regardless of how the other girl feels about him; it is because Luna is not interested in Ron, and so her romantic inclinations are not an issue to Hermione.

The only episode in which Hermione could possibly be acting in response to Luna's alleged attraction to Ron is this one here.

OotP, pg. 403-4

"It's good, isn't it?" said Luna happily. "I wanted to have it chewing up a serpent to represent Slytherin, you know, but there wasn't time. Anyway...good luck, Ronald!"


It became clear after ten minutes, however, that Ron was not capable of eating anything more and Harry thought it best to get him down to the changing rooms. As they rose from the table, Hermione got up too, and taking Harry's arm, she drew him to one side.

"Don't let Ron see what's on those Slytherins' badges," she whispered urgently.

Harry looked questioningly at her, but she shook her head warningly; Ron ahd just ambled over to them, looking lost and desperate.

"Good luck, Ron," said Hermione, standing on tiptoe and kissing him on the cheek.

It has been argued on many occasions that Hermione kissed Ron in order to prevent Luna from upstaging her, but this argument suffers from a post hoc, ergo prompter hoc fallacy. Just because Hermione kissed Ron after Luna wished him luck does not mean the kiss happened because of the well-wishing. The question of this scene is, did Hermione act in response to Luna or was the cheek-kiss motivated independently of Luna’s actions? Since the books are not told from Hermione’s point of view, it is difficult to tell what is going through her head. However, seeing how there is no reaction from her to Luna with her lion hat and well-wishing, and it takes more than ten minutes after Luna leaves the scene before Hermione pulls Harry aside, her explanation of distracting Ron from the Slytherins’ badges is believable.

Furthermore, the question of jealousy and upstaging brings to mind two scenarios of Hermione’s motivations: One, in which she sees that Ron needs a distraction and a boost in confidence and decides to kiss him, independent of another girl’s actions toward him, and another, in which she sees Luna flirting with her Weasley, feels accordingly threatened, and shows Ron a bit of affection to remind him of who’s the girl for him.

Which scenario is more touching, interesting, and sincere? Which one sounds more like it was plagiarized from a bad romantic comedy?

So many arguments for Ron/Luna in the long-term disregard Ron’s opinion and show no concern for Luna’s needs. Ron is too immature, too stupid, too abusive, too inferior for Hermione, but Luna is perfectly suited to him. Luna is expected to treat Ron like a king because she’s heard humming the Slytherin version of Weasley Is Our King, but no one is there to treat her like a queen. Meanwhile, the arguments for Ron/Luna in the short term carry a distinct undertone of wanting to see Hermione get hers. She needs to know what it's like to be truly jealous, because her shallow resentment of Fleur is not good enough. She needs to get a taste of her own medicine for deliberately making Ron jealous of Viktor. She needs to learn to appreciate Ron more. Seeing Ron
with Luna just the thing to teach her those lessons.

The problem bothering Hermione most of all in GoF was not jealousy of Fleur or Padma per se, but rather, insecurity about her own desireability. She kept thinking, "I’m not good enough, I’m not pretty enough, no one appreciates the smart girls, they all just want a pretty face, how will I ever have a chance with girls like Fleur Delacour and the Patil twins getting all the attention?" That insecurity went well beyond a few entertaining episodes of jealousy, and it does not need to be compounded by a competition with Luna. The assumption that Ron never had any chance with Fleur brought her little comfort. The fact that Luna isn’t one of "the pretty girls" does not erase the fact that Hermione has already suffered.

The matter of Ron/Luna as a response to Viktor/Hermione is perhaps the most aggravating part of confronting Ron/Luna arguments, because dealing with the issue of Viktor/Hermione means having a discussion in its own right, and this essay is long enough already. In order to stay on-topic, I would like to enter an alternative idea for consideration: no one made Ron jealous except Ron. Viktor wanted Hermione to be his girlfriend, but she mainly saw him as a nice older boy who would dance with her at the ball and engage her in interesting conversations. Hermione did not orchestrate Ron’s jealousy and she does not enjoy it.

I keep hearing people take the dual position that Hermione needs to learn a lesson for making Ron jealous and that she is under the impression that she has him wrapped around her little finger and doesn’t need to worry about anyone else catching his interest. The implications of the two arguments are incompatible. If Hermione thinks Ron is all hers with no competition, then there is no reason why she would deliberately make him jealous. If she is intentionally making him jealous, it is because she is afraid she does not have Ron all to herself.

All this is purely academic, because no amount of analyzing Hermione’s treatment of Ron is going to change the fact that Luna does not fancy him, and he has no interest in her. The way the characters feel about each other is what matters, and they have both adequately demonstrated that they do not fancy each other. The references drawn from Luna to Ron could arguably foreshadow a significant connection between them, but as shippers, we often fall prey to forgetting that the non-romantic connections are often much more interesting than the romantic ones. The books are not romance novels, and not everyone needs to be paired off. This is not a matter of a character’s merit or value to the story, only of the author’s intentions. There are some characters whose love lives are not divulged. Luna is more important to the story than to remove obstacles from Hermione’s true relationship or to be the instrument by which Hermione is punished for her romantic transgressions. Luna is a fascinating, admirable character in her own right, and this relationship would not do her justice.

Finally, as a side note, I hate pasting text into LJ from Notepad.
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April 2013