Avid Harry Potter fans will be familiar with the slow-burning romance between Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, which finally culminated in their marriage at the end of the wizarding series.
But now author J K Rowling has said that her famous protagonist ought to have ended up with Hermione instead.
In a rare interview given to Wonderland magazine, she said: "I wrote the Hermione/Ron relationship as a form of wish fulfilment."
"That’s how it was conceived, really. 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, 48, was quizzed by 23-year-old actress Emma Watson, who played Hermione in the Harry Potter film franchise and was guest-editing the new issue of the magazine.
Harry Potter through the ages
Harry Potter through the ages
1/7 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
The first film introduced Daniel Radcliffe to our screens, pictured here as he prepares to board the train to Hogwarts for the first time.
2/7 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
The second installment saw Harry come face to face with Voldemort again, but in an incarnation of his youthful self. Daniel Radcliffe was thirteen when the film came out.
3/7 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry arrives in the graveyard to be confronted by Voledemort in the fourth instalment, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
4/7 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Acclaimed as the 'best film yet' by Rowling on it's release in 2007, The Order of the Phoenix grossed nearly $940m in total. In this scene Harry fights off a dementor after it attacks his cousin Dudley Dursley.
5/7 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
As the characters grew older, JK Rowling's narrative arc grew progressively darker with Harry facing evil forces more than ever.
6/7 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
The final book of the seven-long series was turned into two epic-length films. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows marked a departure from Hogwarts and a traditional 'Potter' story arc.
7/7 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
The final film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II, was softer in tone, with Harry, Ron and Hermione seeing their children off to Hogwarts.
In excerpts printed in The Sunday Times, ahead of the issue’s publication on Thursday, Rowling even went so far as to say that Hermione and Ron would have ended up needing relationship counselling.
"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," she said.
"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."
But Watson agreed with the author’s sentiments. She said: "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."
On Twitter two camps emerged. @sleepydorkharry said: "I honestly think Harry and Hermione should have ended up together. I knew it from the start that they're made for each other @jk_rowling".
Meanwhile, @miss_vic81 tweeted: "Always thought Hermione should have ended up with Harry too! #shipneversailed."
However, @eemaalous disagreed: "So apparently Ron & Hermione weren't meant to be together...serious JK? Harry and Hermione getting together wld [sic] have been predictable & boring."
Her thoughts were echoed by @fairmegwyn, who tweeted: "Never once did I pick up any sort of romantic vibe between Harry and Hermione during any of the 7 books. This pairing would've been awful."
It looks like the verdict is still out on this one…