We were rooting for them to live happily ever after together, but alas, it never happened.
Hagrid and Madame Maxime slow dance together.

Hagrid was such a gem to everyone around him, a fierce defender of the underdog and, as it happens, a rather fun teacher. He always put others before himself – but we never got much of a glimpse into Hagrid’s own personal life. That was, until a certain Beauxbatons headmistress visited Hogwarts…

They couldn’t hear what Hagrid was saying, but he was talking to Madame Maxime with a rapt, misty-eyed expression Harry had only ever seen him wear once before – when he had been looking at the baby dragon, Norbert.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Hagrid almost immediately hit it off with Madame Maxime, a woman after his own heart and nearly his equal (in size, anyway, thanks to Maxime’s half-giant heritage). To make a good impression he even slapped on a bit of Eau de Cologne and a pretty unpleasant artichoke-like lapel flower, much to Harry, Ron and Hermione’s amusement.

Bless Hagrid’s heart, he even had the idea to take Madame Maxime to visit the dragons taking part in the Triwizard Tournament. Then the pair had a little waltz during the Yule Ball and were, frankly, adorable. It looked like their relationship was really going somewhere.

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Unfortunately, things started to go a bit pear-shaped when Hagrid, albeit well-intentioned, offended Maxime by acknowledging her half-giant status.

‘'Ow dare you!’ shrieked Madame Maxime. Her voice exploded through the peaceful night air like a foghorn; behind him, Harry heard Fleur and Roger fall out of their rose bush. ‘I ’ave nevair been more insulted in my life! ’Alf-giant? Moi? I ’ave – I ’ave big bones!’
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

In the end they made up, and even embarked on a trip to the giant colonies to try to prevent them from siding with Voldemort. But fate pushed the pair apart once more when Hagrid vowed to take Grawp back with him and Maxime returned home alone. After that we never saw the pair together again, but given that Hagrid stopped referring to her, we can assume their relationship didn’t continue.

An illustration of Grawp offering flowers to Hermione

What was so incredibly sweet about Maxime and Hagrid’s flirtation was that it was among the happiest we’d ever seen Hagrid. He was generally an upbeat guy, but faced with a potential relationship (with just how close the pair seemed, it wouldn’t have been a surprise to hear wedding bells), Hagrid was a new kind of bashful and giddy.

‘Yeah, tha’s righ’,’ said Hagrid, and a softened expression appeared on the few inches of face that were not obscured by beard or green steak. ‘Yeah, it was jus’ the pair of us. An’ I’ll tell yeh this, she’s not afraid of roughin’ it, Olympe. Yeh know, she’s a fine, well-dressed woman, an’ knowin’ where we was goin’ I wondered ’ow she’d feel abou’ clamberin’ over boulders an’ sleepin’ in caves an’ tha’, bu’ she never complained once.’
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

What was so lovely with Maxime and Hagrid was that we got to see Hagrid try to be an old-school gent. Pulling out his ratty suit – yup, the brown hairy one – to impress his new sweetheart was another touching example of Hagrid’s enormous heart. His shambolic approach to romance was so characteristically him, it only made us love him even more.

Hagrid was sitting at one of the other staff tables; he was back in his horrible hairy brown suit, and gazing up at the top table. Harry saw him give a small wave and, looking around, saw Madame Maxime return it, her opals glittering in the candlelight.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Hagrid’s burgeoning romance also led him to do something we hadn’t seen before – discuss his childhood. Typically, Harry and Ron eavesdropped on his conversation (inadvertently this time), as did Rita Skeeter (boo, hiss!), but Hagrid believed he was spilling his guts to just Madame Maxime. It was a sign of how smitten he was that he was willing to talk to her quite intimately about his personal life.

We learned how he was abandoned by his mother at a young age and how she was one of the last remaining giants in Britain as well as the surprising news (well, to Ron at least) that Hagrid was half-giant. It was a sweet build-up to his reference to Madame Maxime’s giant origins, and it’s sad that she took it the wrong way – although Hagrid wasn’t wrong, she was a half-giantess.

Hagrid looking sad before the execution of Buckbeak

Hagrid deserved personal happiness because all his kindly acts were predominantly in service of other people (or animals). It was high time he found some joy of his own, and he more or less found that in Madame Maxime who, despite their class differences, thought him as sweet as Harry, Ron and Hermione did.

At Carnegie Hall in 2007, J.K. Rowling later confirmed that Hagrid did not marry. ‘Because with the giants killing each other off, the number of giantesses around is infinitesimal and he met one of the only ones, I’m afraid…’ she said. ‘She thought he was kind of cute, but she was a little more – how should I put it – sophisticated than Hagrid. So no, bless him.’

More’s the pity.

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