- "Fascinating though your social life undoubtedly is Miss Granger. I must ask you not to discuss it in my class. Ten points from Gryffindor."
- —Severus Snape catches Hermione discussing this article with Ron and Harry[src]
HARRY POTTER'S SECRET HEARTACHE was an article published in Witch Weekly in 1995. The piece, written by Rita Skeeter, claimed that Hermione Granger was Harry Potter's girlfriend and that she was toying him around by seeking the affections of Viktor Krum, who himself was very much smitten with her. As with much of Skeeter's writing, though the essence of the article was false, there was smidgen of truth that lent the article an air of believability to those who did not know better.
Harry was not Hermione's boyfriend, the two had in fact been close friends since early in their first year at Hogwarts. Additionally, Hermione had danced with Krum at the Yule Ball earlier in the school year and Krum had invited her to visit him over the summer, a fact that Skeeter was only able to learn because she was listening in via her beetle form as an unregistered Animagus. The article also suggested that Hermione might be brewing love potions, something which she likely was in fact quite capable of doing, but would never actually do.
The article was, in essence, Skeeter's revenge for Hermione's railing against her after Skeeter's publication of a previous article regarding Rubeus Hagrid being a half-giant. The article was first brought to the attention of the Trio by Pansy Parkinson, who was laughing about it with a group of friends prior to the start of one of Severus Snape's Potions classes. At first, Hermione was not too bothered by the article, describing it as "a pile of old rubbish", but she was bothered by the fact that Rita Skeeter knew certain details that she should not have had any way of knowing. When Severus Snape, however, caught her and the others discussing the article, he first docked house points from Gryffindor and then proceeded to snidely read the article out loud upon discovering the magazine.
For Hermione, the article was easy to shake off at first, despite Ron's assertion that it made her seem like "some sort of scarlet woman." It quickly became less so, however. People began quoting it at her on a regular basis and she began receiving regular hate mail, which included a letter filled with bubotuber pus and was thrown out en masse, though nothing could be done about the Howlers, which shrieked insults for everyone in the Great Hall to hear.
A boy like no other, perhaps — yet a boy suffering all the usual pangs of adolescence, writes Rita Skeeter. Deprived of love since the tragic demise of his parents, fourteen year old Harry Potter thought that he had found solace in his steady girlfriend at Hogwarts, Muggle-born Hermione Granger. Little did he know that he would shortly be suffering yet another emotional blow in a life already littered with personal loss.
Miss Granger, a plain but ambitious girl, seems to have a taste for famous wizards that Harry alone cannot satisfy. Since the arrival at Hogwarts of Viktor Krum, Bulgarian Seeker and hero of the last Quidditch World Cup, Miss Granger has been toying with both boys' affections. Krum, is openly smitten with the devious Miss Granger, has already invited her to stay with him in Bulgaria over the summer holidays and insists that he has "never felt this way about any other girl."
However, it may not be Miss Granger's doubtful natural charms that have captured these unfortunate young boys' interests.
"She's really ugly," says Pansy Parkinson, a pretty and vivacious fourth year student, "but she'd be well-up to making a Love Potion, she's quite brainy. I think that's how she's doing it."
Love Potions are, of course, banned at Hogwarts, and no doubt Albus Dumbledore will want to investigate these claims. In the meantime, Harry Potter's well-wishers must hope that, next time, he bestows his heart on a worthier candidate.
Behind the scenes
- In the film version of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, this article appears in the Daily Prophet rather than Witch Weekly and is much shorter. It makes use of a nickname for Viktor Krum used by Skeeter throughout the film and reads as follows:
Miss Granger, a plain but ambitious girl, seems to be developing a taste for famous wizards. Her latest prey, sources report, is none other than the Bulgarian Bonbon Viktor Krum. No word yet on how Harry Potter is taking this latest emotional blow.