The Sugar Quill
Author: Hallie (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: In Defense of Ron  Chapter: Default
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When discussing Ron as a character, it is easy to fall into the trap of assessing him as the Robin to Harry's Batman, the Watson to Harry's Sherlock, the Piglet to Harry's Pooh. Yet this is not the case. The relationship between Ron and Harry is one of equals.

There has been a lot of talk suggesting that Ron will turn Judas in one of the forthcoming books. The suggestion is that Ron's jealousy of Harry will lead to his betraying his friend. There is only one problem with this assumption. There is no evidence to suggest that Ron is jealous of Harry. Envy and jealousy, while closely related, are not the same thing.

Deep down, Ron would never trade his life for Harry's. There is ample evidence to show that Ron values his family and friends more than anything else, and Ron is intelligent enough to realise that Harry would give anything to have a 'normal' life, with loving parents and a home. Ron simply resents being known as Harry's sidekick, and that is understandable. As the youngest of six boys, Ron has always been in someone else's shadow - his parents' son, his siblings' brother, Harry's best friend. Just once he would like to be recognised as a person in his own right - as Ronald Weasley.

If Ron entertained thoughts of world domination, surely he would have seen himself conquering everyone in the Mirror of Erised. In fact, he sees himself.

'Ron, though, was staring transfixed at his image.
"Look at me!" he said.
"Can you see all your family standing around you?"
"No - I'm alone - but I'm different - I look older - and I'm Head Boy!"
"I am - I'm wearing the badge like Bill used to - and I'm holding the House Cup and the Quidditch Cup - I'm Quidditch Captain too!"'
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - Page 155.

In Dumbledore's words:
'"It shows us nothing more or less than the deepest, most desperate desire of our hearts. You, who have never known your family, see them standing around you. Ronald Weasley, who has always been overshadowed by his brothers, sees himself standing alone, the best of them..."
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Page 157.

So, Ron isn't jealous of Harry. Like all teenagers, he wants what he hasn't got - enough money to be comfortably well off, and an opportunity to be accepted on his own merits. Simply wanting enough money to support himself does not make Ron evil. Being best friend's with a boy who saved the wizarding world, and who has a small fortune doesn't help his situation. Yet, in spite of the difference in their lifestyles, Ron is one of the loyalist friend's you could wish for. When Harry decides that he must take on 'Snape' himself, Ron's reply is both poignant and noble:

'"I'll use the Invisibility Cloak," said Harry. "It's just lucky I got it back."
"But will it cover all three of us?" said Ron.
"All- all three of us?"
"Oh come off it, you don't think we'd let you go alone?"'
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Page 197.

When Harry gets himself into scrapes, Ron is never far behind. That doesn't make Ron a mindless sheep who simply follows where he is led - rather a valued friend who is prepared to do anything for those he cares about, even at cost to himself.

'"We're nearly there," he muttered suddenly. "Let me think - let me think..."
The white queen turned her blank face towards him.
"Yes," said Ron softly, "it's the only way... I've got to be taken."
"NO!" Harry and Hermione shouted.
"That's chess," snapped Ron. "You've got to make some sacrifices..."'
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Page 205.

'Ron read the message, swallowed hard and looked sideways at the seat usually filled by Hermione. The sight seemed to stiffen his resolve, and he nodded.'
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Page 200.

'"If you want to kill Harry, you'll have to kill us too!" he said fiercely, though he was clinging painfully to Harry to stay upright. "You'll have to kill all three of us!"
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Page 249.

So Ron is going to betray the person that time and time again he has demonstrated a willingness to die for. Perhaps we can fairly safely say that Ron's relationship with Harry is on stable ground. Of course, a cynic would argue that the fight between Ron and Harry in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire suggests that Ron is not as happy with his lot as it would seem. But Ron is growing up, and fighting is something that comes as part and parcel of the ageing process. The fact that Ron is prepared to admit that he is wrong is testimony to the strength of his character.
'"Harry," he said, very seriously, "whoever put your name in that Goblet - I - I reckon they're trying to do you in!"
It was as though the last few weeks had never happened - as though Harry was meeting Ron for the first time, right after he'd been made champion.

"Caught on have you?" said Harry, coldly. "Took you long enough."
Hermione stood nervously between them, looking from one to the other. Ron opened his mouth uncertainly. Harry knew Ron was about to apologise, and suddenly, he found he didn't need to hear it.'
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Page 313.

Another piece of evidence that could be used to suggest that Ron is not all sweetness and light is his behaviour towards Hermione at the Yule Ball. Admittedly, he was almost cruel in his treatment of her, but at 14, feelings run high, and there is ample evidence within book four to suggest that Ron's feelings for Hermione are more than platonic. Rowling herself has confirmed these suspicions. Even if you don't believe that Ron and Hermione belong together, Ron's behaviour could be attributed to envy, or even loyalty. Envy, because Hermione is associating with Ron's Quidditch hero, and loyalty to Harry, who is opposing Viktor Krum in the Triwizard Tournament. And while Ron and Hermione banter frequently, at no point does he deliberately set out to hurt her. Indeed, in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Ron is strengthened by his resolve to help Hermione.

So, will Ron turn out to be Tom Riddle, Mark II? Well, only Rowling knows that, but all the evidence suggests that throughout the battle of good against evil, Ron will be at the front line, supporting his friends and outwitting his enemies.

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