Harry Potter would have been a better match for Hermione Granger than Ron Weasley, author JK Rowling appears to suggest in a new magazine interview.
Speaking in Wonderland magazine, the writer said she made Ron and Hermione a couple "for very personal reasons, not for reasons of credibility".
"If I'm absolutely honest, distance has given me perspective on that," she told guest editor Emma Watson.
The actress played Hermione in the film versions of Rowling's fantasy novels.
In the interview, published in full in the latest edition of the Wonderland quarterly, Rowling admits she made a mistake in having Hermione marry Ron at the end of her seven-novel cycle.
"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," Watson responds in excerpts from the interview printed in the Sunday Times.
Rowling said she could "hear the rage and fury it might cause some fans" of her work and that she hoped she would not be "breaking people's hearts" with her revelations.
Ron and Hermione, she reportedly goes on, would have needed counselling to sustain a relationship the best-selling author describes "as a form of wish fulfilment" on her part.
Potter fans will be aware that Ron and Hermione eventually marry at the end of the Potter saga, and that Harry himself marries Ron's sister Ginny.
Daniel Radcliffe played the title role in the eight Harry Potter films, while Rupert Grint and Bonnie Wright played Ron and Ginny respectively.