Thursday, April 09, 2015

Dear Hermione Granger

Hermione Granger, 
Student at Hogwarts, 
Sorted into Gryffindor, 
C/o JK Rowling, 
The Harry Potter series

Dear Hermione,

Growing up, I had a voracious appetite for facts and learning, one that I always kept hidden for fear of inviting smirks and a collective rolling of the eyes from my classmates. Who wants to be known as a Miss-Know-It-All?

That attitude isn’t conducive to winning friends. Who would know that better than you?

At first glance, both Harry and Ron were put off by you. But you won them over by the power of your intelligence and knowledge and your ferocious sense of loyalty.

Nor were you very popular for your tendency to speak your mind. The best thing about you was that you refused to dumb yourself down for anyone. You remained true to yourself, just like that wild, curly and unruly mop of hair on your head. Unwilling to be tamed or pruned.

Where there was a good fight to be fought, you jumped right in, whatever the consequences, whether that meant supporting Harry against He-who-shall-not-be-named or fighting for the rights of house-elves or standing up for people who couldn’t, or wouldn’t, stand up for themselves.

You devour books. Ron said it so well about you, “That’s what Hermione does. When in doubt, go to the library.” I like that about you. And yet you know that “Books! And cleverness! There are more important things – friendship and bravery.

Beneath your pushy exterior lies a warm and sensitive soul, one that is wounded when her friends make fun of her. One that feels insecure, and is mortally afraid of failure. It is this vulnerability that causes you to overcompensate by trying harder than anyone else, and sticking to a task long after everyone else has given up. Those fears make you real and acceptable.

Your image is also marred by the fact that you can be annoyingly bossy, always proposing to advise others on the best thing to be done, and taking offence when people do their own thing regardless. As you once said, “I’m going to bed before either of you come up with another clever idea to get us killed. Or worse, expelled.” Contrary to what Ron believed, you knew your priorities.

You were never one to suffer fools gladly. You once said to Ron, “Just because you’ve got the emotional range of a teaspoon doesn’t mean we all have.” How you ended up with Ron is a mystery. But I suppose characters, like real people, behave foolishly sometimes. 

Had I known you earlier, I might have imbibed some of your chutzpah, your disdain for their scorn (Draco called you a ‘mudblood’), I would have felt less conscious of those elements of my personality, surer of myself. 

You made a name for yourself in the Harry Potter universe without having any magical genes to back you. You put up with the resentment of the bluebloods in your fierce drive to become the best witch you could become.

It proves what I’ve always believed.

Who says Muggles can’t make magic?

You just have to believe in yourself.


  1. In my senior yearbook someone wrote: "I admire your brain." And over the years I've been told to 'Dumb it down". I doubt that anyone ever says that to a man.

  2. Denise, what a fantastic compliment you received. Unfortunately, society doesn't much appreciate women who think.

  3. Maybe not everyone appreciates an intelligent woman, but that's not true of everyone. A mind is a terrible thing to waste, and all that.

  4. I must be the only one in the world not to have read the Harry potter series!! my son is a big fan, and my library is stocked with the entire series, but I haven't read even one!

    She sure seems to be an intelligent girl...someone who can stand on her own. I guess all women are capable of being that, only if they could kick away whatever's stopping them.

  5. I agree, Jeffrey, I should not have generalised.

  6. Yes, LittlePrincess, all of us can but only some of us do. Hermione's strength is that she never pretends to be dumb. She is the only one who is devastated when the exams are cancelled. :)

  7. I love the character of Hermione, She's bright, friendly, intelligent, warm and not scared for standing up for friends. And of course she is a complete bookworm :) She is indeed the brightest witch of her time :)

  8. Ah how I love Hermione Granger :) She is my favorite. I loved the quotes you have picked here Cynthia :) So glad you wrote to Hermione instead of Harry :)



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