The release the of last Harry Potter movie gives us an excuse to do some writing about one of our favorite Slatebreakers, the brilliant and brave Hermione Granger. We could go on for hours and many, many pages, but here are our top five Hermione Slatebreaking Moments.
1. She stops the Devil’s Snare in Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone. We know from the very beginning of the series that Hermione is the smartest one in the room. But it’s at the end of Sorcerer’s Stone that we first see her using her knowledge to save herself and her friends. When she summons the blue flame to stop the Devil’s Snare Plant she proves that she not only knows the spells but she can use them when it matters. This is a crucial character point, as we see Hermione hold up under pressure and practically use the thing she learns (foreshadowing of awesomeness to come) and it’s an early indicator of why this obvious intellectual is sorted into Gryffindor rather than Ravenclaw.
By the time we get to book 4 we have learned that not only is Hermione a top notch student and skilled wizard, she’s something of a social radical. Appalled when she learns about the working conditions and forced enslavement of the Hogwarts House Elves, she launches a deeply felt and much maligned campaign to restore their rights. SPEW, the Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare is not well received by anyone in the Hogwarts community, yet Hermione is not deterred from her mission of social justice. Not only is the whole campaign something we can get behind, we (especially Brianna) particularly love that Hermione uses knitting to advance her cause, reclaiming this traditional domestic art!
3. She conceives of the the secret defense classes that become Dumbledore’s Army in Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix. During the oppressive Umbridge Regime of book 5, Hermione is the instigator and driving force behind the formation of Dumbledore’s Army. Harry might be the one with the natural talent to teach these Defense Against the Dark Arts skills, but Hermione is the one with the initiative to make it happen in the first place.
4. She places a false memory charm on her parents in Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows.
This moment shows Hermione in a moment of not just brains and bravery but emotional strength. Knowing the danger that lies ahead, Hermione protects her parents by erasing her own existence from their memories. This sacrifice is remarkable, as we see Hermione making a choice that other characters (let’s be real, most people) would not be brave enough to make. Bonus points to the director of Deathly Hallows Part 1 for the way this scene was handled in the movie – it had us crying and kind of cheering before the credits even rolled.
5. She places an extension charm on her purse in Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows.
Ok, this is just awesome. Hermione takes her totally cute and wedding appropriate beaded purse and with a charm transforms it into the means of the trio’s survival throughout their search for the Horcruxes. We love the practicality of this – it’s one thing to be a hero but the fact that Hermione (and, for that matter JK Rowling) take the time to focus on the day to day details of the adventure makes the quest more successful and the story more believable. We admire this, not only for the aforementioned heroic reasons, but also because we are super jealous that we can’t extend our own tiny purses for more mundane reasons.
What do you think? Did we pick the right ones? Do you feel we’ve neglected Ginny? Mrs. Weasley? Perhaps even (shudder) Dolores Umbridge? What will YOU be watching for at 12:01 tonight?