Po A: Hermione returned a quarter of an hour later with the silvery cloak folded carefully under her robes. 326"Padma's going to meet you in the entrance hall," she added to Ron. They were at Grimmauld Place together long before Harry arrived, and mention visiting each other at night to "talk", but they're also teens who are attracted to each other."Hermione, I don't know what's gotten into you lately! "First you hit Malfoy, then you walk out on Professor Trelawney-" Hermione looked rather flattered. If they've already kissed by HBP, it really gives more meaning to how hurt Hermione is when Ron dates Lavender I think this makes a lot of sense.
But I like how Ron is always so interested in whatever Hermione does.
In Co S he's disgusted that she has a get well card from Lockhart.
But it's all subconscious at this point, I'm pretty sure. I think Ron knew, or realized, even if he didn't deal with it at the time, right after Hermione was unpetrified. Emotional-Range-of-a-Teaspoon doesn't act on it until book five fully, but he's clearly gunning for Hermione's attention and care after Sirius bites him in the Shrieking Shack.
Anyway, Ron's reactions to her behaviour that particular day, particularly after she slaps Malfoy ... In my opinion, Ron and Hermione began realising they were falling for each other in Go F, when Ron is jealous of Krum for "no reason" and Hermione tells Ron that "next time, invite me to the ball before someone else does and not because I'm your last option! That's the bit that made me start thinking about it. Fleur bent down, kissed Harry twice on each cheek (he felt his face burn and wouldn't have been surprised if steam was coming out of his ears again), then said to Ron, "And you too - you 'elped -" "Yeah," said Ron, looking extremely hopeful, "yeah, a bit -" Fleur swooped down on him too and kissed him, Hermione looked simply furious [...]Chapter 26, U. It's a slow burn, but I think it is there pretty early on.
To your last point with the jealousy, I think Rowling openly confirms in the Cursed Child that jealousy and the interplay it causes between the two is a big part of what has them end up together - I don't want to ruin it if you haven't read it, but this is called out specifically. But they just come out of a long fight (I find that sometimes getting over a big conflict with a friend actually brings us much closer), so that may have played a role in kind of changing their dynamic.
I actually suspect that this may have played a stronger role in both their feelings for each other than is shown, but I don't really have proof of this ...
I'm re-reading in full for the first time ever, currently mid-way through OOTP (damn this one is long, and I wish Harry would lighten up a bit)Obviously we now all know Ron and Hermione end up together, so for fun I'm trying to see early indication they like each other.
Ron I'm starting to see, in his jealousy over Krum in Go F and now( although it's interesting to me that that was never apparent on my previous reads...
Those two have liked arguing with each other from the beginning.
I think it became a romantic interest in early Go F.
Ron gets a pretty nasty detention from Snape in Po A after defending Hermione in class.