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Chapter 1: Not Quite A Fairy Tale
Disclaimer: How dare you suggest such a thing? I do not own Harry Potter!
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Harry came back today. He refused to speak about his meeting with Voldemort except to say, "Heís dead," and leave it at that.
He never did like to share his feelings with anyone.
Heís always been the quiet one of our threesome. The straight man of our comedy troupe. Itís really rather strange that Famous Harry Potter is the most reserved of the Hogwarts Trio, as weíve come to be called, but there you have it.
Then again, it makes a great deal of sense that we each have our appointed roles, that we each can be labeled like specimens in jars. After all, itís so much easier on the storytellers and historians of the future. So much easier to map out our personalities, each character trait listed and classified. Thereís Harry, the stoic hero whoís destined for greatness; me, the bookworm/requisite plucky heroine; Ron, the faithful sidekick, the Lancelot to Harryís Arthur.
Does that make me Guinevere, then?
Itís always been more or less expected that I would one day fall in love with Harry. Expected, because those are the rules of heroic saga, because the valiant hero always, always, gets the girl. The Hero, accompanied by his Loyal Sidekick and Plucky Heroine, grimly-but-always-valiantly go off to defeat the Forces of Darkness. They face Overwhelming Odds but somehow manage to come home, Forces of Darkness conclusively destroyed, with a song in their collective heart, a smile on their collective face, and without a hair out of place. (Although Harryís hair is so messy anyhow, I find it difficult to believe that anyone would be able to tell the difference, to tell you the truth.) The Hero and Plucky Heroine then go off to get married, the Loyal Sidekick does whatever it is that Loyal Sidekicks do in their free time, and they all live happily ever after. Oh, the wizarding public might know that the truth is far grittier than that, but I think that in their heart of hearts they believe Ė need to believe Ė in the myth, in our expected roles. Good will always triumph over evil, the hero will always be accompanied by his valiant companions and in the end will always get the girl.
Simple. No thought required.
But somewhere in this fairy tale, the equations went astray. Perhaps the Fates were having an off day.
Did the myth-makers ever stop to consider what would happen if the hero and heroine were not, in fact, madly in love?
Did they ever stop to consider what would happen if the heroine and the sidekick fell in love instead?
Because Iím not in love with Harry. I never have been in love with Harry. And, at the risk of proving myself wrong sometime in the far distant future, I probably never will be in love with Harry. Heís my best friend, and I would trust him with my life, but I honestly canít ever imagine having a romantic relationship with him. Oh, it would be a comfortable relationship, an easy relationship, butÖ
Let me make a small confession here: Iím more or less terrified of my emotions. Itís not so much that Iím out of touch with myself, exactly, but that my emotional problems paralyze me. Feelings have none of the boundaries that my mind needs in order to function, and that frightens me. So I push any problems away, hope that theyíll just wander off if I ignore them.
All too often, people make the mistake of thinking that Ron is less intelligent than myself or Harry. The truth is, even though heís not as book smart as me or as intuitive as Harry, thereís one place where he leaves both of us in the dust: When he puts his mind to it, he has an almost uncanny sense of exactly what is needed most. What fits. Itís no accident, I think, that heís such a good chess player.
Or that we suit each other so well.
Iím not saying that Ron is perfect; God knows he can be an absolute prat sometimes. But no matter how much we argue, no matter how stubborn we both are, no matter how many times he calls me a bossy know-it-all and I call him an insensitive git, the truth is that I love him so much it hurts. More than physical attraction, more than understanding, more than friendship, more than honesty, more than even respect and affection, is a sense of such absolute rightness that even an emotionally myopic person like me can recognize. I love him because he engages me body and soul, because heís willing to give as well as take, because heíll never let me crawl off into an emotional corner and hide. And if the idea of the heroine and the sidekick together sends the myth makers into hysterics, thatís just too bloody bad for them.
Some things are much more important than mere fairy tales.