I don't agree. First of all, I offer the HP canon as a counter-example. Would you agree that the HP series revolves around the Trio? With the last book centred on just Harry and Hermione for a large part. What *proof* do you have that focusing a book on a duo will work if they are not romantically involved, but will suddenly become 'warped by its weight' if they share a kiss occasionally? Secondly, does your theory hold up for Harry/X, where X can be Hermione, or Ginny, or Luna, or any other girl? Why is it only the 'Harry/Hermione' stories which will founder under the Steelbadger Principle? "Simply because it involves Harry and Hermione"? Why, please? Or are you dooming every single romantic novel known to mankind? Finally, I'd suggest the 'distance' between the HP canon and a H/Hr story is significantly less than that between Rowling and a H/G romantic story. With the latter you have to bring Ginny in from the cold. Make her a key figure rather than the background tertiary character that she was in the books. Excavate a fourth slot, convert the Trio into a Quartet. Lots of heavy lifting and changes to the foundations. You don't have to do any of that with a H/Hr story. Hermione's by Harry's side ... just like she was in the canon. The focus is on those two ... just like it was for a large part of the last book. Hermione's already a principal character. Etc. Much *less* 'deviation stress' in a H/Hr story than H/X, where X != Hermione. You offer absolutely no proof or reasoning to support your position that H/Hr stories are somehow special in foundering under their own weight. Well, sure I did. You'd only made one comment, after all, up to this stage, making the point that Stan was looking for a non-canon story which is canon-compliant. An astute observation with which I fully agreed. (It was more my agreeing with you than you with me.) It's only now that you've declared your own anti-Hermione bias. Your guess that 'Coming Back Late' is 'horrible' means nothing to me, given as how you (a) haven't read it and (b) can't stand one of the two principle characters. You and I have way different tastes. But even in your shared ground with Stan of disliking Coming Back Late (yours as a matter of abstract personal principle, his in having actually read part of it) it's interesting to see how you differ there too. Your reason to eschew the story is completely subjective; you don't like canon!Hermione, you don't like stories featuring canon!Hermione, so you won't even read the first page of Coming Back Late. That's cool. That reason works for you and that's as far as you take it. But with Stan there's an element, I feel, of his trying to show how *his* rationale for disliking the story should mean something to the rest of us. A hint of trying to shift the blame onto the author. An attempt at saying "I don't like this story *and so it's objectively a bad story*". With the reason being disguised as the 'Weasley Bashing' that he so dislikes. Stan doesn't like the story because he thinks it's "Weasley Bashing". But Stan tries to argue that his label of 'bashing' involves "llogical, piss poor characterizations with the author projecting his biases upon the protagonists". In another quantum jump Stan affixes the 'bashing' label to the story because "Harry no longer gives a fuck about Ginny for reasons" (in a H/Hr story, natch), among other reasons. Stan's trying to show us that his reasons for disliking the story should be our reasons; that his reasons should make sense to us; that the labelling of his reasons ('bashing') also cross the gap between 'subjective' and 'objective' and should apply to us - 'bashing' means 'bad writing'. Whereas you, Sesc, don't try to do that at all. You just discriminate against Hermione because you can't stand her, which works for you. That works for me too. Whereas Stan's trying to shift the reasons/blame onto the author, or the story, suggesting that his reasons should apply for other readers. This invites discussion. Funnily enough, in saying that I was also quoting Paracelsus, the author of Coming Back Late, who stated such in one of his Author's Notes for the story. So there's further evidence that you wouldn't enjoy picking it up. There's oodles of examples in the last two books, Sesc, that show that Ginny is a nasty little girl. The nasty and mean belittling of Fleur - her brother's fiance and family guest - behind her back. The whole 'phlegm' thing. Her acting nasty and mean towards her brother Ron (tripping him from behind his back, making fun of him in book 6, calling him a prat in front of the quidditch team, and so forth). Meanly laughing (with Ron and Harry) at the idea of Hermione being stuck in the 'Slug Club'. Snapping at Hermione in the 'Sectumsempra' chapter with her quidditch non sequitur. Assaulting Smith on the train in HBP. Assaulting Smith physically - another cowardly sneak attack - in the quidditch game. Her every second appearance in DH is accompanied by jealousy over Harry. She's jealous of Gabrielle. She's jealous that Harry might encounter other girls ('veela') on his travels. When Harry and the gang are desperately trying to work out how to stop the world's most powerful dark lord from killing him little Ginny's only thought is to STOP his ex-girlfriend from helping to *save his life*. Way to go, little Ginny. I'm sure there are other incidents. I'm not saying that Ginny is a death eater, Sesc. Or that she's the most evil girl in the galaxy. (Why, that would be Weasley Bashing! ). What I'm saying is that Ginny is a not-very-nice little girl. It's all in the last couple of books. Stan, here's a real short H/Hr drabble that you might like; it doesn't even mention the Weasleys and is set before HBP so your 'bashing' allergy won't kick in - One Morning in February by Mary G. You might want to have a look at her other works as well. I think they're all early-era, pre-HBP, so they might pass your muster. Does ignoring Ginny like she was ignored prior to book 6 constitute Weasley Bashing?