With each Harry Potter book I read, I gain more and more respect for Hermione Granger. Her attitude, which at first seems superior and smugly intellectual, is actually one of self-discipline and deep caring. She holds no one to higher standards than she holds herself, she would do anything for someone in need, and she never hesitates to take a moral position. In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Hermione really begins to shine for me. She is smart, hardworking, kind and patient, acting as a tireless peacekeeper between her friends, Harry and Ron, as they struggle with resentment and jealousy. She won’t allow bullies to change her from her course. She seems to know who she is, which is a rare gift that she doesn’t waste. She makes mistakes, just like everyone, but she is guided by honesty and a desire to effect positive change in herself, those around her, and in the world.
My favourite Hermione moment so far is in when she finds out that Hogwarts has been using House Elves as unpaid servants. Her sense of justice is so offended that she forms a club (the Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare, or S.P.E.W.) to call attention to their plight and campaign for their rights. The fact that she is the only one who seems to care about the issue does not discourage her from printing buttons and speaking up. She reminds us that only one light in the darkness is better than no light at all. Her snarky complaint about the revisionist history of the wizarding school as regards House Elves inspired the drawing that accompanies this post:
“It’s all in Hogwarts, A History. Though, of course, that book’s not entirely reliable. A Revised History of Hogwarts would be a more accurate title. Or A Highly-Biased and Selective History of Hogwarts, Which Glosses Over the Nastier Aspects of the School.”