After years of squabbling, Harry Potter's best friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Grainger finally became an item - but now their creator JK Rowling has admitted she made a mistake by marrying them off.
Hermione - whose quick wits get the teen wizards out of many a scrape in Rowling's hit novels - would have been better off with hero Harry, the British author said, adding that Ron and Hermione would likely have ended up in marriage counselling.
"For reasons that have very little to do with literature and far more to do with me clinging to the plot as I first imagined it, Hermione ended up with Ron," Rowling said in an interview with Wonderland magazine, previewed by the Sunday Times.
"I know, I'm sorry, I can hear the rage and fury it might cause some fans, but if I'm absolutely honest, distance has given me perspective on that. It was a choice I made for very personal reasons, not for reasons of credibility. Am I breaking people's hearts by saying this? I hope not."
The question of who should end up with who was a huge area of debate among Potter fans as the books and films were being released.
Rowling's interviewer was British actress Emma Watson, who played Hermione in the movie series. She agreed with Rowling, saying: "I think there are fans out there who know that too and who wonder whether Ron would have really been able to make her happy."
Rowling has sold more than 450 million copies of the books, which were made into films starring Daniel Radcliffe, Watson and Rupert Grint as Ron. The franchise has made Rowling an estimated fortune of 560 million ($1.14 billion), according to the Sunday Times Rich List 2013.