Presenting OTP Tuesday! Each Tuesday I will introduce you to a new One True Pairing! Tune in each week to find out which fictional couple you need to agonize/squee over next. The name of this week’s OTP is also my wish for humanity in 2018 — Harmony.
Who Are Harmony?
Harmony is the ship name for Harry Potter and Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series. (It’s a portmanteau of their names, but it’s also a fitting description for this lovely ship!)
Everyone knows who Harry Potter is — he’s the most famous child in the world! Or, at least, he is in universe (out of universe too, essentially). Harry Potter is the titular protagonist of J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels, and later films.
Harry Potter is a young wizard living in England. He is the son of James and Lily Potter, two wizards who fight for the side of good in an epic, magical war. Harry is born in the midst of this war, and shortly after his birth, a prophecy comes to light that states that he will defeat the Dark Lord Voldemort. But hey, no pressure. Voldemort takes the threat seriously and tries to kill Harry… only to be defeated by a helpless infant.
In the process, however, James and Lily are killed, and Harry is left orphaned. He is reluctantly taken in by his non-magical aunt and uncle, who abuse Harry for the next decade. When he turns 11, Harry learns about Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and sets out to rejoin the magical world.
Over the next seven years, Harry undertakes many dangerous and fantastical adventures while attending Hogwarts. Each year, he faces a grave threat to his safety and the well-being of the magical world. By the time he is 17, Harry has faced Voldemort six times, emerging victorious each time. They have a final showdown… where Harry emerges victorious, pushing the magical world into a new era of peace.
While at Hogwarts, Harry makes friends for the first time in his life. He meets Ron Weasley on the train to Hogwarts, and they form an instant bond. Less quickly to start up is his friendship with Hermione Granger, an outsider even among the magical community.
Hermione is a Muggle-born, meaning she was born to non-magical parents. She also has a somewhat grating personality, at least at first. Hermione is brilliant but a little arrogant; she also tries desperately hard to prove her worth after a childhood of bullying.
Harry’s friendship with Hermione really kicks off after he and Ron save Hermione from a troll their first year. Hermione was only at risk because of something Ron said, and Harry feels responsible. After such an experience, an instant bond builds up, and they become the Golden Trio.
Over the next six years, Hermione saves Harry’s ass more than once. She’s the brains behind the trio, and she’s always working hard to ensure that Harry comes out not only alive but victorious. She forms clever plans, helps Harry train, and stays by his side no matter what, even when Ron abandons them.
Hermione is a stand-out in the Harry Potter novels and without a doubt my favorite character. She’s a bookworm and a nerd, but that’s a good thing here. She’s fierce and strong, and always willing to stand up for what she believes in. Harry may be the hero of the story, but without Hermione, he wouldn’t have lasted a year at Hogwarts.
Why is Harmony OTP?
Harmony is the natural ship for Harry Potter. The dynamic between the characters is touching, but still realistic. Also, Dan Radcliffe and Emma Watson had terrific chemistry in the films. Watching the movies leads you to believe that not only is Harmony possible, but it’s right.
Harmony is the most supportive and loving relationship seen in the Harry Potter series. So many of the relationships in the books and the films come off a little wonky. There’s a lot of relationship strife. This is not true for Harmony, who underscore their name by showing what a relationship based on harmony looks like.
Harry and Hermione support each other, no matter what. Sure, they bicker and argue. They’re best friends, who live and go to school together, and are also teenagers. Harry is also super moody, so he naturally argues with everyone. But despite their arguments, Harry and Hermione don’t splinter off or abandon each other.
Harry and Hermione also go along with each others’ interests and passions. Hermione gets very passionate about things she’s interested in, but Harry does not belittle her or stop her from doing what she thinks is right. When Hermione starts S.P.E.W. to help the house elves, he doesn’t necessarily see things from her point of view. He goes along with it because Hermione thinks it’s the right thing to do.
Hermione also helps Harry through some really difficult times. When Harry is chosen to participate in the deadly Tri-Wizard Tournament, Ron turns his back on Harry because he is jealous. Ron sees Harry pursuing another path to fame and resents that. Hermione, on the other hand, sees Harry’s fear. She not only stands by Harry’s side, but she also helps him prepare. Hermione’s tutelage is the only reason Harry survives the tournament.
Harmony also falls in line with another meaning of the word “harmony” by being complementary. The two characters balance each other out and fit into the missing pieces. There is a balance in their relationship that is missing from other relationships in the series.
Harry is talented but impulsive. He doesn’t necessarily like school, though he usually does well and wants to be successful. Hermione helps him out with this. She helps Harry build study plans and helps him when he struggles with schoolwork. Hermione also helps balance out Harry’s impulsiveness by encouraging him to stop and think. She’s not always successful in this, but she tries, and she continues to support Harry regardless.
Hermione, for her part, is a bit awkward and struggles to make friends. She focuses too hard on her schoolwork. Harry helps Hermione learn to live a little. Hermione didn’t make friends on her own at Hogwarts. She became friends with Harry because he cared enough about a pseudo-stranger to make sure he was okay. Over the next six years, Hermione blossomed through her friendship with Harry and his support.
Harmony also lacks many of the negative qualities other relationships in the series show. There’s no jealousy or anger between Harry and Hermione. When Hermione gets a date and gets glammed up for the Yule Ball, Ron seethes that she found a great date when he was stuck with someone reluctant. Harry, on the other hand, compliments Hermione on how beautiful she looked and was happy for her.
What’s Next for Harmony?
Sadly, we may have seen the end of Harry and Hermione. The final book in the series was released in 2007, and the final movie adaptation followed a few years later in 2011. The saga of the Boy Who Lived is over. To be fair, J. K. Rowling still releases information about the series frequently, and we are seeing new adaptations of the universe with the Fantastic Beasts franchise.
But unfortunately, it is likely we have seen the last of our favorites. The most recent offering is the mixed bag of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which is soon to see a run on Broadway. But it’s not new material, so to speak, having been produced in London in the past.
Is Harmony Canon?
Unfortunately, and inexplicably, Harmony is not canon. In canon, Hermione ends up with the utterly not good enough for her Ron Weasley, and Harry ends up with Ron’s sister Ginny. Ginny’s not a bad character, honestly, but in comparison to Harmony, the “Hinny” relationship is lackluster (and unfortunately named).
The epilogue for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows confirms that Harry married Ginny and had three children, while Hermione married Ron and had two. The Cursed Child doubles down on this by focusing on these children and the new generation they represent.
Still — a girl can dream. Rowling has stated in an interview that Harmony was almost canon. In the interview, Rowling seemed to agree that a Ron/Hermione pairing is not as right as Harmony. This doesn’t undo what is canon, of course, but it does lend a little weight to my claims.
Luckily, fanfiction is here to save the day! Fanfiction loves Harmony, although to be fair, it also loves tons of Harry Potter ships that make a little less sense. Check out fanfiction.net or AO3 to get your Harmony fix and live in a world where Harry and Hermione are allowed to be happy!