SPOILER ALERT: Before the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 1, we did a poll asking readers what they thought of reports that Harry and Hermione share a dance in the tent after Ron leaves them, and have a moment when it looks as though he contemplates becoming more than best friends (which is how Emma Watson says she and Daniel Radcliffe played the scene). Nearly 10,000 readers responded, 69 percent of which said without having seen the scene (not in the book) it sounded realistic. Harry and Hermione have always been close, and he’s always been one to hug her or hold her hand when she needed comforting or was in danger. They’ve never felt more alone than at that moment. Thirty-one percent said the scene sounded unnecessary – the beauty of the Harry-Hermione friendship is that it was never remotely romantic. We said we’d do another poll after the film’s release, to see if the results differ. Here’s your choice to weigh in again:
My vote remains the same: I think it’s realistic that Harry would, for a moment, think about taking comfort in Hermione’s arms. After all they’d been through up to that point, to finally be laughing again had to feel amazing. That’s what life as a 17-year-old is supposed to be — light. For a second, he had that again, and Hermione was the one who gave it to him. She was the only one there, the only one he could count on. In truth, I think Harry’s pregnant pause was so brief, some moviegoers may have missed the connotation and thought that Hermione walked away because she’d simply thought about Ron again and snapped back to reality, where there was nothing to laugh about. Being someone who always sort of wanted Harry and Hermione together, part of me wishes that moment had been longer and more tension-filled, but by keeping it that short, we can believe that Harry and Hermione could go back to the way things were, with her interrupting him and making a joke about his hair when he tried to bring up the moment later by saying “Hermione” (which would have no doubt been followed by “About what happened…”). She, and we, understood that Harry started out trying to comfort her with some silly dancing, and then ended up comforting himself when it felt good to hold someone and be held.
I would also like to note that after seeing the movie, that piece of me that had still thought Harry and Hermione would’ve made the better pair is gone. I know Ron and Hermione have had their moments before, but watching him describe how he knew that the light that went through his chest would lead him to her, and then later charge at Bellatrix as she was torturing Hermione, I finally felt how much Ron cared for her and, more importantly, that he was worthy of her.
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