you seem to be a dedicated Harry/Hermione shipper, maybe you could tell if there is anything at all in the canon that supports this ship. I mean Ron did realise Hermione was a girl in 1994, but Harry never never did, he has always seen her as close friend, almost family.
I suppose my preference for Harry/ Hermione is purely an opinion, but the seem to be the most well-matched of all the pairings in canon. Harry is the wild spark and Hermione is the careful control. Think of her as the control rods in a nuclear reactor. without that set of rods, the reactor will go critical and then you have major problems. Both are muggle-raised and have more in common than anyone in the books. She is also the only really well developed female lead in the series.
With the exception of sixth year, Hermione has always been there for Harry. Hermione is the one who never turned her back on him, she was always there to help, to research, to try to lift his spirits, even when Harry truly didn't deserve it.
Hermione obliviated her own parents an sent them to Australia in order to keep them safe, but she remained by Harry's side...in deadly danger, when she could have gone with them. This is not the action of your basic friend. This says 'I love you' in a clear and direct manner. It's only unfortunate that Harry was raised by trolls (At Dumbledore's behest) and never learned to understand what love really was.
Now, many people say that Harry's single utterance to Ron indicates Harry's feelings for Hermione are brotherly. I disagree. Having been a police officer, (among other things) I have done come intensive study into the psychology and personality traits of both criminals and victims. Unfortunately having grown up abused, more like Kinsfire's version than Rowling's, I recognized Harry's personality straight off.
In this instance, Harry had just gotten his -very first friend- back after how many months without him? (This is the third time on canon Ron had deserted Harry, by the way.)
Ron, who is, in canon, an insanely jealous person, comes back after all that time and sees how close Harry and Hermione had gotten, and so decided to say he fancied Hermione. He knew what Harry was like. He knew Harry had a martyr complex a mile wide, so it is my not so humble opinion that he used that to his advantage. That is within his character as written in canon.
Put yourself in Harry's shoes. You've never had a friend before, as your cousin beat them up ran or them all off. On your first day in a whole new world, where you are expecting grand.../magical/ things, you meet a friendly guy on the train, who is related to the friendly woman who showed you how to get onto an invisible platform, your cousin isn't there to threaten him, beat him up or run him off, and so, you become friends....the -very - first - friend - you've - ever - had.
Wouldn't you do everything you could to ensure you kept that friend?
Again IMNSHO, Harry chose to make Ron happy rather than risk losing his friendship again...possibly forever, so he told him he only thought of Hermione as a sister.
(Imagine how Hermione would have reacted had she heard that! I think she'd have knocked them both out!)
Pee-syy-col-o-gists call that co-dependency.
Since Rowling had intended Harry and Ginny get together all along, it was a perfect solution, but to most readers, it was trite and two-dimensional.
Hermione: Seriously, Can you really see the brilliant, driven, dedicated, goal oriented (and admittedly) authority worshiping Hermione Granger...cleverest witch of her generation, putting up with...much less marrying someone who cannot be bothered to study? Cannot be bothered to push himself? Someone who does the absolute minimum he needs to squeak by? Someone who insists she not only check his work, but correct it and then copy it again? Someone he argues with incessantly. Someone he insults to her face? Someone whose parents he's insulted not once but at least three times in canon? Someone he ignores completely unless he has a use for her?
Opposites attract, but there has to be a middle ground somewhere!
Even in the epilogue, he couldn't be bothered to actually study for a driving license...that's one of the most basic tests a teenager has to face in the muggle world. Instead, he confunded the tester into giving him a license. Would you want to be on the road with someone like that?
Ron Is driven by his stomach, his jealousy and his greed...that is canon.
By the way, your assertion is incorrect. Nowhere in canon does it say Harry wasn't aware that Hermine was a girl. In fact, his reaction to her appearance, indicated he was more than aware of that fact.
Ron said: "Hermione, Neville's right! You are a girl!" and assumed that now that he'd deigned to notice her, she' would automatically accept his ham-fisted invitation to the ball. When she turned him down saying she was already going with someoen, I believe he said: "No you're not!...You just said that to get rid of Neville!"
Personally, I think that's rather insulting, but that's just me.
When Hermione told him she already had a date, his insisted nobody in his right mind would take her to a dance.
His argument with her, was more the tantrum of a spoilt little kid who didn't get his favorite kind of candy, than any kind of protestation of love...or even like. He also immediately went back to treating her like a homework machine.
~Harry didn't say anything. He liked being back on speaking terms with Ron too much to speak his mind right now - but he somehow thought that Hermione had gotten the point much better than Ron had.~ (GoF, Ch 23)
I'm really surprised Harry didn't knock him on his arse, but then you have that 'first friend' thing again.
Ginny: I would have fewer problems with the Harry/Ginny ship, if Rowling had bothered to develop Ginny's character...at all! She went from background noise in book one to the damsel in distress, controlled by the evil wizard in two. And then she vanished back into the woodwork.
For two and a half books she was a face that occasionally appeared but nothing else. She showed for two or three paragraphs in book four when she went to the ball with Neville, and she then vanished again until the later half of five where she returned, fully formed as 'Ginny Sue, Heroine for hire!' Suddenly, with no character development at all, she is smart as Hermione, pretty as Cho, loyal as Ron, and powerful as Harry, And just for good measure, she's as good a seeker as he is, despite having only snuck out at night once in awhile to practice.
For the first five books she was Ron's little sister, but suddenly in book six, every time Harry saw her with someoen else, he had a 'monster in his chest...'
Can you say: 'LOVE POTIONS'?
It's also interesting to note that love potions are mentioned so heavily in book six.
Speaking of: If I saw such a huge change in my friend's personalities...and I mean both Harry and Hermione, I would have them tested for narcotics...forcibly if necessary. If it turns out I was wrong and they both hated me for it, I'd wish them a long and happy hate.
Coincidence? The liberal application of freelance pharmaceuticals is more likely.
There you have it. Please feel free to disagree.