Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter/Characters/Hermione Granger
|Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter - Character|
|Hermione Jean Granger|
|Loyalty||Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Albus Dumbledore|
Overview[edit | edit source]
Hermione Jean Granger is the only daughter of two Muggle dentists. Hermione is academically gifted and spends much time studying, doing homework, and other class-related things during the year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Hermione often serves as the voice of reason when her two best friends Harry Potter and Ron Weasley get themselves into interesting or dangerous situations. Although seemingly always stressed due to schooling, Hermione is dependable when called upon, and is extremely adept at accomplishing things correctly and efficiently.
Hermione has a rather bossy voice, bushy brown hair, and large front teeth, which she later has magically shrunk. Her birthday is September 19th. She was eleven-years-old at the start of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, turning twelve shortly thereafter, making her almost a year older than Harry, and six months older than Ron; internal evidence suggests she was born in 1979.
Hermione's wand is vine with a Dragon heartstring core. Vine can represent great bounty, renewal, and also extreme emotions such as joy and anger. And while Dragons are often considered as evil beasts, they also symbolize strength, purification, wisdom, renewal, and power. The wood in Hermione's wand's also reflects her September 19 birth date, in which vine is the Celtic Tree Calendar's September 2 - September 29 cycle. For more on this topic, see the article on wands.
Role in the Books[edit | edit source]
Note: Hermione Granger, while not the viewpoint character in this series, is one of the Trio, and thus involved in nearly all the action. Summarizing her role in the books would, perforce, only recap the books. For a detailed overview of Hermione's role in the series, it is best to read the actual books on which this text is based; failing that, begin here and proceed onwards from that point. The sections below only highlights her role and character.
Hermione is introduced as a smart, but rather bossy know-it-all girl, who intrudes into Harry and Ron's compartment on the Hogwarts Express. She acts disdainful after Ron unsuccessfully casts a spell, then boasts she has already read all the textbooks. Though Ron hoped she would be sorted into some other school House, she is placed in Gryffindor with him and Harry, though they do their best to avoid her.
Though Hermione excels in her studies, being the first student to levitate a feather in Charms class, her intellectualism is off-putting, and she has made few, if any, friends. After overhearing Ron's insulting remarks, she runs off sobbing. A Mountain Troll enters the dungeons and traps her in the girls lavatory. Harry and Ron together defeat it, thus saving Hermione's life, but Professor McGonagall intends to punish them, believing they deliberately attempted to subdue the creature. Hermione intervenes by claiming that she was the one who went looking for the Troll, thus sparing Harry and Ron, and earning her their friendship; the Trio, as they are called, is formed, and they remain together for the series and beyond.
While this book serves mainly as an introduction to the magical world and its characters, a real quest soon emerges. Harry suspects that Professor Snape is plotting to steal the Philosopher's Stone (known as the Sorceror's Stone in the U.S. editions) that is being guarded at Hogwarts. Apparently, the evil wizard who murdered Harry's parents, Lord Voldemort, was killed when he attempted to murder Harry. With Dark magic and the Philosopher's Stone, it is possible he could return. It appears that Snape is his accomplice, but it is actually Professor Quirrell. Hermione uses her advanced magical skills to help Harry and Ron foil Lord Voldemort's plan to steal the Stone.
Finally, at the Leaving Feast, Dumbledore awards Hermione fifty House points for, "use of cool logic in the face of fire". Hermione is always at the top of the class, as expected. She and Ron both promise to write to Harry during the summer.
Hermione surprises Harry and Ron by her apparent crush on the new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, Gilderoy Lockhart, though many other females share this infatuation. Surprisingly, despite his increasingly demonstrated magical incompetence, she still seems to believe that he is exceptionally talented; Hermione's usually astute logic has, for once, been blinded by her emotions.
After mysterious writing appears on a wall warning that the Chamber of Secrets has been opened, there is much speculation as to what it is. Hermione asks Professor Binns to tell the class about the Chamber. Apparently, before departing Hogwarts after a fallout with the other Founders, Salazar Slytherin constructed a secret chamber beneath the castle. Henceforth, the Chamber could only be opened by his true heir, and it is believed to contain a monster that would assist in purging all but pure-blooded Wizards from the school.
Suspecting that Draco Malfoy knows something about the heir, Hermione concocts a scheme using Polyjuice Potion to disguise the Trio as Slytherins and infiltrate their dormitory; she spends the next month brewing it in Moaning Myrtle's bathroom. Her sudden willingness to break rules is not only uncharacteristic, but amazes Harry and Ron. Hermione's plan backfires when, accidentally adding cat hair to her potion, she half-transforms herself into a feline, landing her in the Hospital Wing for a month. Harry and Ron, however, are able to slip into Slytherin disguised as Crabbe and Goyle, obtaining valuable information from Draco Malfoy.
As students are being Petrified, Hermione pieces clues together, leading her to suspect something about the Chamber. She dashes to the library for more information, but is Petrified before sharing what she learned with Ron and Harry. Harry finds a torn-out page balled up in her hand that suggests the monster is a Basilisk, and it is using the plumbing to move about the school.
Thanks to Hermione's help, Harry defeats the monster and saves Ginny Weasley. Hermione, when restored to health, is dismayed that final exams have been canceled.
Hermione seems massively overloaded with books when we meet her in Diagon Alley. Intending to buy an owl, she instead purchases an unusual ginger-colored cat she names Crookshanks that takes an immediate dislike to Scabbers, Ron's pet rat.
Throughout the year, Hermione perplexingly appears to be taking more classes than humanly possible, including some taught at the same time. Hermione also seems to inexplicably appear and disappear before and after classes, although she dodges giving any explanation about her odd behavior. Initially, the extra work is enjoyable, but the strain eventually shows, causing Hermione to occasionally act uncharacteristically. She punches Draco Malfoy after he insults Hagrid, who is distraught over the Hippogriff Buckbeak's impending execution.
Hermione is always loyal to Harry, and setting aside her concerns about the possible danger, says nothing to Professor McGonagall about Harry's Marauder's Map, a magical document showing every person's location within Hogwarts. With it, Sirius Black, who escaped Azkaban prison, could enter the castle and locate Harry, who Black apparently intends to murder. Hermione is unable to ignore a potentially greater threat when Harry receives an expensive Firebolt broom as an anonymous Christmas gift, and she reports it to McGonagall. Her valid argument that it may be cursed and could have been sent by Black fail to sway either Harry or Ron, who think only about riding it. Consequently, Hermione experiences their full wrath, and they shun her, causing Hermione much heartache. Although the three reconcile after McGonagall returns the broom in the spring, tension erupts between Hermione and Ron when Ron suspects that Crookshanks killed Scabbers, who has suspiciously disappeared. Ron is particularly upset that Hermione expresses little remorse or accepts responsibility, though being overstressed and burdened by her heavy class load and preparing Buckbeak's appeal may have left her unable to react appropriately. She eventually apologizes to Ron about Scabbers, however, and they make up; Harry and Ron then make good on their previous promise to help with Buckbeak's case.
When Buckbeak's appeal fails, the Trio visit Hagrid shortly before the execution at sundown. To Ron's relief, Hermione finds Scabbers, but the rat escapes. Ron catches him, but a large black dog appears and grabs Ron, breaking his leg as he is pulled into a tunnel under the Whomping Willow. Harry and Hermione follow it to the Shrieking Shack. There they encounter Sirius Black, an unregistered Animagus who assumes a dog form. When Professor Lupin bursts in, appearing to be Black's accomplice, Hermione reveals his secret: Lupin is a Werewolf. Yet another unregistered Animagus is exposed: Scabbers, who is actually Peter Pettigrew. The three men were James Potter's best friends, but it was Pettigrew, not Black, who betrayed Harry's parents to Voldemort, framing Sirius for the crime by killing twelve Muggles and faking his own death. Black intends to kill Pettigrew for revenge.
Pettigrew escapes, and Sirius is captured by Dementors. As the creatures prepare to suck out his soul, Hermione, prompted by Dumbledore, shows Harry a Time-Turner, a device she has been using all year to attend multiple classes. Leaving Ron behind in the infirmary, they return to Hagrid's hut three hours earlier. As the previous events repeat, they rescue Buckbeak, then free Sirius Black, returning to the Hospital Wing at exactly the time they left.
Heading back to London on the Hogwarts Express, Hermione tells Harry and Ron that she has returned the Time Turner to Professor McGonagall, preferring to have a normal class load.
Hermione accompanies Harry and the Weasley family to the Quidditch World Cup. A riot breaks out after the game, and hooded figures rampage through the campground, terrorizing Muggle-borns like Hermione. Voldemort's Dark Mark floats in the sky. While at the World Cup, Hermione observed a House-elf, Winky, being mistreated. She later discovers that Hogwarts' kitchens are staffed by over a hundred enslaved House-elves. Her resolve to help improve their lot soon transforms into a life-long mission.
Students from Beauxbatons and Durmstrang, arrive at Hogwarts for the Triwizard Tournament, a recently revived, and dangerous, competition. Ron soon becomes infatuated with Fleur Delacour, a Beauxbatons student. Although Hermione finds him rather annoying, a Durmstrang student, Viktor Krum becomes romantically interested in her.
When Harry is mysteriously selected as the fourth Triwizard champion, Hermione is the only student who believes he did not cheat to enter himself. While others, including Ron, ostracize Harry, she remains loyal, helping him prepare for the Tournament's First Task, and providing moral support while Harry and Ron are estranged. As a result, Harry and Hermione become even closer friends, though Hermione is relieved when Harry and Ron eventually reconcile.
The Yule Ball finds both Harry and Ron dateless. Ron, desperate, asks Hermione, but she is already attending with Viktor Krum. Ron angrily accuses her of "fraternizing with the enemy," while she chastises him for having invited her only as a "last resort." Though Ron is mystified by her outburst, Harry thinks Hermione understands Ron's feelings better than Ron does, who becomes even more upset when he learns that Viktor has invited Hermione to visit him during the summer.
For the Second Task, Hermione researches ways for Harry to remain underwater for an hour, and drills him on protective charms and jinxes for the Third Task. Meanwhile, her curiosity is piqued by Rita Skeeter, a muck-raking journalist who reports embarrassing and also false details about her subjects in sensationalistic articles. When Hermione discovers Skeeter is an unregistered Animagus, using her beetle form to eavesdrop on private conversations, she blackmails her to prevent her from writing any more stories about Harry. Otherwise, Hermione will report her to the Ministry as an unregistered Animagus, a serious offense.
Though Hermione corresponds with Harry over the summer, her letters reveal little regarding Voldemort's return or what has been happening in the wizarding world, frustrating Harry. He is hardly placated when, after being brought to the Order of the Phoenix Headquarters, Hermione explains that she and Ron were under strict orders from Dumbledore to tell him nothing, though they, being under-aged, have actually been told little themselves.
Hermione and Ron are made Gryffindor prefects. Hermione diligently performs her prefect duties. Ron, however, is considerably less punctilious, occasionally using his powers for his own amusement and personal gain, annoying Hermione. Harry, meanwhile, is peeved at being passed over. It is soon learned that the new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher is Dolores Umbridge, a Ministry of Magic official who attended Harry's hearing and voted to convict him for using underage magic. When she gives an inappropriately long speech at the Welcoming Feast, only Hermione and a few faculty can concentrate on and fully comprehend her droning words; she later summarizes it for Harry and Ron as: the Ministry intends to meddle at Hogwarts.
Fearing Dumbledore is building a secret wizard army to overtake the Ministry, Umbridge, with Cornelius Fudge's support, deliberately renders Defence Against the Dark Arts into an ineffective class. Frustrated with learning nothing, Hermione urges Harry to teach real defensive magic to any interested student, thus creating "Dumbledore's Army".
It is Hermione who notices when Hagrid returns after a long absence, and helps persuade him to discuss his mission to parlay with the Giants for Dumbledore. As Umbridge gains more power and begins targeting certain teachers, particularly non-humans and half-breeds like Hagrid, for dismissal, Hermione advises Hagrid to only use Ministry-approved creatures in his classes. Hagrid ignores her warning, however, and is eventually sacked.
At Christmas, after witnessing an attack on Mr. Weasley in a vision, Harry worries that Voldemort may be possessing his mind. Hermione is concerned enough that she cancels her family skiing trip to instead go to Grimmauld Place, forcing Harry to talk with her, Ron, and Ginny. While visiting Mr. Weasley in hospital with the others, she and Ron learn the truth about Neville Longbottom's parents, who were tortured into insanity by Death Eaters, though Harry had kept Neville's secret to himself.
Hermione is instrumental in countering the misinformation and propaganda the Ministry is continually spewing regarding Harry and Voldemort. She blackmails hack journalist Rita Skeeter into writing a truthful story about Harry that Luna Lovegood's father, Xenophilius, publishes in his tabloid paper, the Quibbler. The article changes the public's perception about Harry and Dumbledore, leaving Umbridge furious and casting doubt on the Ministry's official stance.
When Harry experiences a vision that Voldemort is torturing Sirius at the Ministry of Magic, Hermione, suspecting it may be a trick, suggests using the Floo Network to attempt to contact him. Umbridge catches them, and is about to cast the Cruciatus curse on Harry. Hermione quickly devises a cover story, fooling the vile Umbridge into believing that Dumbledore hid a secret weapon in the Forbidden Forest. She leads Umbridge there, then allows her to fall afoul of the Centaurs, who, after Umbridge insults and infuriates them, carry the screaming woman away.
Harry, Hermione, Ron, Neville, Luna, and Ginny fly to the Ministry on Thestrals to rescue Sirius. But they have been lured into a trap, and are ambushed by Death Eaters intent on retrieving a Prophecy concerning Harry and Voldemort. In the ensuing battle, Hermione is seriously injured. Order of the Phoenix members arrive, and the Death Eaters are defeated, though Voldemort and Bellatrix Lestrange escape.
When we next see Hermione, she is recuperating in the Hospital Wing. By the time the Hogwarts Express leaves Hogsmeade for London, she is fully recovered.
Professor Dumbledore encourages Harry to share with Hermione and Ron what he learns about Voldemort during their private lessons. Hermione, meanwhile, remains vexed by Ron, who is still infatuated with Fleur Delacour. She is at The Burrow preparing for her and Bill Weasley's wedding. Ron also annoys Hermione when he abuses his Prefect powers and seems overly responsive to Lavender Brown's constant flirting. When Harry suspects Draco may be a Death Eater and is involved in a sinister plot, Hermione dismisses this, telling Harry he is over-reacting, though his suspicions actually have merit.
In Professor Slughorn's potions class, Hermione is annoyed when Harry, using an old textbook filled with a former student's notations, outperforms her, even though she diligently follows the traditional instructions. Hermione grows suspicious, however, and tests Harry's book for Dark magic. Finding none, she later searches for information about "The Half-Blood Prince," the name written inside the book's cover. Though unable to discover anything, Hermione remains convinced the Prince is a dodgy character and using his notes is cheating, though Harry and Ron disagree.
Although Hermione remains at odds with Ron, she discreetly, and surprisingly, lends him a helping hand. When Ron tries out for Gryffindor Quidditch Keeper, he competes against Cormac McLaggen, an athletically gifted but particularly arrogant student. Hermione Confunds McLaggen during the trials, causing him to continually miss plays and winning Ron a place on the team. Hermione later justifies her actions to Harry by claiming that McLaggen's combative personality would disrupt the team.
Both Hermione and Harry are drafted into Professor Slughorn's "Slug Club", a collection of students he considers rising stars. Ron, jealous at being excluded, snubs Hermione's invitation to attend Slughorn's Christmas party, and sarcastically suggests she should instead attend with Cormac. She does, just to annoy Ron, but soon regrets her decision, spending the entire evening evading Cormac's obnoxious overtures. Hermione commends Harry for inviting Luna Lovegood to the party, although others, including Ron, mocked him for taking "Loony Lovegood."
When Ron begins an intensely physical relationship with Lavender Brown, Hermione becomes upset and avoids him. But Ron and Hermione permanently end their feud when Ron nearly dies after being accidentally poisoned. Ron and Lavender split up soon after, much to Hermione's delight, while Harry is secretly pleased that Ginny ended her relationship with Dean Thomas.
Dumbledore and Harry prepare to search for another Voldemort Horcrux. Harry, suspecting something sinister may be unfolding at Hogwarts, charges Ron and Hermione with re-activating Dumbledore's Army to guard the castle and monitor the Room of Requirement, where Draco Malfoy has been secretly engaging in some unknown activity. Harry's suspicions are correct, and Death Eaters invade the school while Harry and Dumbledore are away. Hermione later discovers that Snape, who has murdered Dumbledore and escaped with the Death Eaters, is the Half-Blood Prince; his mother, a witch, was born Eileen Prince, while his father, Tobias Snape, was a Muggle, making Severus a half-blood.
At Dumbledore's funeral, Hermione and Ron comfort each other. Afterward, they tell Harry that they are accompanying him on his mission, whatever it may be, but Ron reminds him they must first attend a wedding.
Hermione is among the six Harry Potter decoys used in the escape from Privet Drive. At The Burrow, when Harry still senses Voldemort's thoughts, Hermione is dismayed, reminding him that Dumbledore wanted that channel closed.
As the Trio is about to embark on their mission, Hermione shrinks everything they need, packing it all in a carrying bag. She includes Dark Magic books, and has been researching ways to destroy Horcruxes. Harry already hit upon one method in the Chamber of Secrets, namely Basilisk venom. Hermione once again refuses Harry's suggestion that she stay behind.
When Fred and George swear by the book, Twelve Fail-Safe Ways to Charm Witches, Ron applies its methods to Hermione, who seems to respond favorably. But Ron becomes upset and jealous when Viktor Krum arrives for Bill and Fleur's wedding, apparently still interested in Hermione, while she is flattered by Krum's attention.
When Death Eaters attack the wedding reception, Hermione Apparates the Trio away and then to Grimmauld Place, Sirius Black's family home after Death Eaters attack them at a café. While there, Harry connects Sirius' brother, Regulus with the R.A.B. who left the note inside the fake locket Horcrux. After determining the real Locket Horcrux was stolen and used to bribe Dolores Umbridge, the three infiltrate the Ministry of Magic to search for it. The Trio become separated, but Harry and Hermione retrieve the Locket and, meeting up with Ron, barely escape.
The Trio wander the English countryside, searching for the Horcruxes and the means to destroy them. Ron, unprepared for such a difficult mission and affected by the Locket's evil nature, leaves the group in a childish huff. His abrupt departure devastates Hermione, but her faith in Harry and his mission never wavers. When dark secrets emerge about Dumbledore's past, causing Harry to doubt him and the mission, Hermione helps him to look beyond Dumbledore's earlier failings and see the good man he chose to become.
Ron rejoins the group, though Hermione remains furious at him. From here on, however, Ron assumes more responsibility for the mission's operations and often takes the lead, planning their strategy. From a children's story, The Tale of the Three Brothers, the Trio learns about the Deathly Hallows, three magical objects. Hermione dismisses the Resurrection Stone, but wonders if Harry's Invisibility Cloak is the one in the story, and admits the Elder Wand has a credible history. It may even be Dumbledore's wand that he captured from Grindelwald, a Dark wizard he defeated many years before; they soon learn Voldemort is seeking it.
The Trio is captured by Snatchers and taken to Voldemort's headquarters at Malfoy Manor. Bellatrix Lestrange tortures Hermione using the Cruciatus curse, then offers her as a prize to Fenrir Greyback, a sadistic Werewolf. Ron, hearing Hermione's screams, is distraught. With Dobby's help, Ron and Harry rescue her, then Disapparate to Shell Cottage, Bill and Fleur's home, where Hermione quickly recovers.
After stealing a Horcrux from the Lestrange's Gringotts vault and making a daring escape, the Trio head to Hogwarts, where Harry believes the last Horcrux is hidden. As Harry searches for it, Ron realizes if the Chamber of Secrets can be opened, the Basilisk fangs lying within can destroy the Horcruxes; he opens the Chamber by repeating Parseltongue words he heard Harry speaking. Hermione truly admires Ron's cleverness, and when he also suggests warning Hogwarts' House-elves about the impending battle, Hermione, ecstatic over Ron's new-found compassion, throws herself into his arms, kissing him.
In the epilogue, we learn that Hermione works in a high-level position within the Ministry of Magic. She and Ron have married, and have two children, Rose and Hugo.
Strengths[edit | edit source]
Hermione's greatest strength is a vast intellect combined with her magical ability. Her magical skills, have, throughout the series, aided Harry and Ron on many occasions. As she is generally caring, compassionate, and usually adopts a "rule-abiding" point-of-view, Hermione often presents Harry and Ron with alternative approaches to their situations. Her intelligence, while initially more academic, has increasingly been combined with her magical skills, helping her become a skilled duelist, capable of battling far more experienced Death Eaters, as she demonstrated in the battle at the Department of Mysteries, and later in the final battle at Hogwarts. In her age group, apparently only Harry outperforms her in Defence Against the Dark Arts.
Gryffindor, a House known for bravery, initially seems an unusual choice for Hermione. Given her great burgeoning intellect, Ravenclaw would seem more suitable. But the Sorting Hat can detect unseen characteristics within students that they are as yet unaware exist. While Hermione is as intelligent as any Ravenclaw, she will gradually demonstrate courage they may lack by practically applying her knowledge and pursuing her beliefs, even when mocked or faced with difficult obstacles.
Hermione is also logical, quick thinking, and adaptable. Her cool demeanor, even when under duress, prevents her from panicking while quickly devising a solution to most problems. She is also naturally adept in organization and planning, which culminates in her brilliant preparations for the Trio's Horcrux mission during Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Weaknesses[edit | edit source]
At times, Hermione's intellect has prevented her from making the same connections about other people and their motives that Ron, and especially Harry, instinctively sense. Her adherence and reliance on "rules" often causes deep conflicts with her intuitive belief that they may sometimes be wrong. She will break rules if she believes it serves a greater purpose, and though she often feels guilty about this, as she matures, it bothers her much less. Hermione is self-conscious about her physical appearance, "a bossy sort of voice, lots of bushy brown hair, and large front teeth" in the first book. In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, however, it is noted that she blossoms into an attractive young woman as puberty sets in: even before the Yule Ball, she was able to attract the attention of Victor Krum. Her greatest fear is failure — her Boggart was Professor McGonagall telling her she had "failed everything," and she was upset when she missed one O (Outstanding) on her O.W.L.s, earning the next-best grade of an E (Exceeds Expectations) in Defence Against the Dark Arts.
Being a Gryffindor, Hermione certainly has a brave and noble character, and always has the courage to speak her mind on important issues, but she can be timid and uncertain when there is physical danger, and visibly shaken after trauma. Her rather bossy personality, and somewhat superior and erudite manner, were initially off-putting to both Harry and Ron (and other classmates), though her insecurity and self-doubt may partially have been the cause. As she matures, these traits have become subdued somewhat, and she instead uses her intellect and leadership skills to help guide the others.
Relationships with Other Characters[edit | edit source]
Hermione, an only child, apparently enjoys a close relationship with her family, but her home life is never seen, and her Muggle parents remain in the distant background. To protect them from Voldemort and his Death Eaters, Hermione alters their memories and sends them to Australia under a new identity in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Initially, Hermione has problems making friends at Hogwarts; like Harry, her Muggle background may have caused some difficulty in her adapting to the Wizarding world, despite all her research about it. She is also highly intelligent, and her somewhat superior manner, coupled with a bossy nature, is rather off-putting to many peers. Behind her confident facade, however, she can be self-conscious about her appearance and fearful of failure. After becoming friends with Ron and Harry, she develops other friendships, becoming particularly close to Ron's sister, Ginny, and later befriends Luna Lovegood, an odd Ravenclaw girl who most students shun. No one is as close to her as Harry and Ron, however, and she becomes an integral player in the "Trio", where her cool logic and deep intellect constantly aid their adventures. Their friendship is tested, however, after a falling out in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, though the relationship is eventually mended with Hagrid's help.
During the series, Hermione and Ron develop a tentative romantic attraction to one another, though both are hesitant and unsure regarding how the other feels, at least until the end of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Earlier, any budding feelings either may have seem scuttled when, in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Hermione reports to Professor McGonagall that an anonymous benefactor sent Harry an expensive (and potentially cursed) racing broom. Both Harry and Ron shun Hermione, even though her only concern was Harry's safety. Hermione seems equally uncaring and insensitive when she later refuses to acknowledge that her cat, Crookshanks, did anything wrong by apparently killing Ron's pet rat, Scabbers. Harry, in this latter instance, is more sympathetic to Hermione's view that Crookshanks is only being a cat, but the relationship with Ron, almost repaired with the return of Harry's broom, is again in difficulty until Scabbers' return and the revelation of his true nature.
Unable to reconcile their mutual feelings, Hermione and Ron develop other romantic relationships. In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Hermione attends the Yule Ball with Viktor Krum, a visiting Durmstrang student, and continues corresponding with him after he returns home, though her interest in him is more casual than his is in her. She meets Viktor again at Bill Weasley and Fleur Delacour's wedding in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows; he is apparently still attracted to her, while she is flattered by his attention. In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Ron begins dating Lavender Brown, possibly in part to make Hermione jealous. If that is his aim, he succeeds, though his actions also deeply hurt her. Ron, in turn, had become upset and angry after hearing that Hermione had kissed Viktor. Meanwhile, Cormac McLaggen casts his roving eye upon Hermione, and despite his obnoxious, narcissistic personality, she invites him to Professor Slughorn's Christmas party to retaliate against Ron. Her plan backfires, however, when she must actively deflect McLaggen's amorous advances.
Ron apparently remains oblivious to Hermione's feelings, as well as to his own, at least until late in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. The Twins give Ron a book on how to charm witches, and Ron reveals early in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows that he has been secretly applying its techniques to Hermione, who responds favourably. However, their budding romance seems abruptly ended when Ron, angry at Harry, deserts the mission, and she refuses to go with him. When Ron returns, Hermione is so enraged that he abandoned her and Harry that she has to be physically restrained from attacking him. She eventually forgives him, and Ron shows a new-found maturity and self-reliance that Hermione truly comes to admire. This strengthens their bond until they finally declare their love for one another, late in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. They eventually get married and have two children, Rose and Hugo, as told in the epilogue of that book.
Other Weasley Family Members
Hermione becomes good friends with Ginny Weasley, and often stays with the Weasley family. She gets on well with them, except during Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire when Mrs. Weasley, wrongly believing Harry and Hermione are now dating, spurns Hermione after Rita Skeeter's news article falsely implies that Hermione is also toying with Viktor Krum.
Hermione, along with Ron, becomes a Gryffindor prefect, but she, unlike Ron, finds it difficult to overlook the Weasley Twins' frequent pranks and unsanctioned business activities at the school. She does show more fondness for Percy Weasley than other characters do, perhaps because their personalities are somewhat similar. This fondness seems to somewhat fall by the wayside in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, possibly because Percy's ambition requires that he reject Dumbledore and estrange himself from his family.
While Hermione and Harry remain close during the series, their relationship never becomes romantic, despite many fans' hopes that it would. Each is an only child, raised by Muggles, and they entered the Wizarding world at the same time. These common ties eventually bond them like brother and sister, as well as best friends. Their later marrying into the same family further cements their relationship. From as early as the first book, hints are laid that a romantic relationship is developing between Hermione and Ron, while there are no such clues that anything other than a platonic friendship exists between Harry and Hermione. By Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Ron and Hermione's growing attraction is so obvious that not only is Harry noting it, he worries it could affect his own relationship with each one, possibly leaving him without his two best friends should they get together and exclude him, or, if they break up, forcing Harry to choose between them.
Among Harry's peers, Hermione always remains loyal and never doubts his intent, while offering sage advice whenever she feels it is needed. She steadfastly supports Harry without seeking anything in return. Even Ron, jealous over Harry's celebrity, and later, frustrated with Dumbledore's mission, briefly deserts Harry and Hermione. Throughout the series, it is Hermione who always loyally remains by Harry's side. She, however, has felt the brunt of Harry's (and Ron's) wrath and nearly lost both boys' friendship forever after she reported to McGonagall that Harry received an expensive broomstick from an anonymous sender. Despite the broom possibly being cursed, Harry, concerned only with flying on his new prize, refused to consider that a Dark enemy could have sent the gift as a deadly weapon. Both he and Ron cruelly shun Hermione, leaving her devastated by the long estrangement, though the three eventually reconcile.
Hermione once again experiences Harry's displeasure after her spell accidentally breaks his wand during their frantic escape from Bathilda Bagshot's house in Deathly Hallows. Even though she saved both their lives, Harry's gratitude suddenly goes missing when, focused only on his lost wand, he rather brusquely avoids Hermione, upsetting her. Harry quickly recovers, however, and realizes just how heroically Hermione acted.
Hermione's relationships with Professor Dumbledore should also be noted. Though they had little direct interaction throughout the series, Dumbledore recognized Hermione's many talents and superior intellect, as well as the important role she would likely play in Harry's mission to destroy Voldemort's Horcruxes. Dumbledore may have arranged for her to retrieve some restricted Dark magic books from the Headmaster's office to aid the quest, as she easily summons them through an open window shortly after his death. Further evidence that Dumbledore intended for Hermione (and Ron) to join Harry's mission, is shown by his having bequeathed her a book of fairy tales containing a vital clue about the Deathly Hallows. Hermione greatly admired Professor Dumbledore, and she, unlike Harry, understood that his earlier flaws actually made him into the great man and wizard he eventually became. She helps Harry regain his faith in the Headmaster by showing him that Dumbledore chose to overcome his earlier failings to instead follow a light path.
Hermione also grows close to Hagrid, though less than Harry, but more so than Ron. Even though Hermione is the student, her mature advice often guides the gentle, and sometimes child-like, giant as much as he protects her. Knowing that the bigoted Dolores Umbridge has targeted Hagrid and all non-humans and half-humans at Hogwarts for unfair dismissal, Hermione strongly urges him to only use Ministry-approved animals in his Magical Creatures class. Unfortunately, he ignores her warning, giving Umbridge more cause to sack him when some students are slightly injured. Hermione also agrees to help Hagrid civilize his half-brother, Grawp, a full-blooded giant. It is Hagrid who is instrumental in healing the rift between Hermione, and Harry and Ron in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, realizing how deeply the boys' estrangement has hurt her and how much she values their friendship. She, in turn, helps Hagrid defend Buckbeak, the Hippogriff that was unjustly condemned to death, and consoles Hagrid shortly before the scheduled execution. She and Harry later save Buckbeak (and Sirius Black), much to Hagrid's delight and relief, though Hagrid never learns her part in that rescue as far as we are told.
Hermione's romantic relationships with Ron and other characters is covered in more depth here.
Analysis[edit | edit source]
Hermione is an integral part of "the Trio", but unlike Harry, who is the "hero", and Ron, the "sidekick/lancer", her role is more difficult to define, though she is the stabilizing force among the three. It is clear that, without her vast intellect and meticulous planning, the other two would never have succeeded in Dumbledore's quest to find and destroy Voldemort's Horcruxes. Whereas Harry begins losing faith in Dumbledore, and Ron loses faith in Harry (causing him to temporarily depart the quest), Hermione remains steadfast, determined, and loyal to Harry, and always believing in Dumbledore and his mission. In some ways, she assumes Dumbledore's role, gently guiding Harry and Ron with her logical, wise advice, while keeping her eye on the ultimate goal: defeating Voldemort. However, Hermione's erudite, bossy, and overly cautious personality can annoy both Harry and Ron, though these traits soften somewhat over time.
Of the Trio, Hermione seems the most rational, though she is occasionally high-strung. She is consistently the best student at Hogwarts in almost every subject and would almost certainly have become Head Girl had she stayed at Hogwarts for her seventh year. Failure is Hermione's deepest fear, and she seems to have a near obsessive-compulsive drive to achieve the highest marks and to follow all rules, though she has gradually mellowed with regard to the latter in later books, if she feels it is justified.
Questions[edit | edit source]
- How does Hermione handle stress? What does this show about her as a person?
- Hermione is loyal, practical, and honest. Which of these qualities is the most important in a friend?
- How does Hermione's relationship with Harry differ from her relationship with Ron?
- Hermione's main strength seems to be her intellect. Should she have been Sorted into Ravenclaw? Why or why not?
Greater Picture[edit | edit source]
As in the Muggle world, the Wizarding realm is contaminated with institutional prejudice, insensitivity, and racism. Hermione introduces a feminist viewpoint and becomes a champion for the downtrodden. Several times, Hermione reminds Harry and Ron that an unknown "he" they are discussing could, in fact, be a woman. She confounds bigots like Draco Malfoy with her Muggle-born brilliance. One of her ongoing ambitions is to secure the advancement and rights of House-elves and other intelligent, magical non-humans who have been enslaved or suppressed by wizards. Hermione becomes a one-person symbol of civil rights activism and social progress.