I have always loved Hermione. Her wit, sarcasm and cleverness made her my favourite character even before the films and I admired her bravery and loyalty. I was 7 when I first met the Harry Potter characters, and I grew up to love books like Hermione. I think I also developped a Hermione-ish was of talking. In short, I looked up to Hermione (yes, she is a fictional character) and wanted to be like her. Once, when I was younger, I tried to fill in the forms online to give myself the middle name “Hermione”. This is no joke.
Anyway, despite the fact that I had somewhat of an obsession with Hermione (that obsession now stretches to all things Harry Potter), when I had grown up and calmed down a bit, I was able to look back at what JK Rowling’s most clever character had taught me through the years…
*Smart is attractive. At school, the ones who did the least were the coolest, because they had more important things to do and better places to be than doing homework. I soon realised I didn’t want to be the girl who failed at everything and looked like she didn’t care about what she would do with her life. Playing stupid to impress people is not attractive. Smart is.
*It’s okay to be “bossy”. Sometimes, if you’re going to get where you want to go, you’ve got to make your voice heard. And if that makes me bossy, well then I suppose I’m bossy! There is nothing wrong with that, as long as you let other voices be heard, too.
*Being called “the girl who always has her nose in a book” is a compliment. I’d rather be her than the girl who could never be bothered to finish a book in her life.
*It’s okay to go against friends when they are being idiots. Hermione did this lots of times, because let’s face it, with Harry and Ron as your best friends, someone’s got to be there to lead them out of trouble. No following the crowd for Miss Granger.
*Hard work pays off. It really does.
*Be proud of who you are. Hermione is intelligent and she knows it. She never dumbs herself down to please other people and takes the mocking jokes in her stride.
*You can throw a punch as good as any boy. This really has got nothing to do with anything, but I had to put it in there, because who can forget this triumph over Malfoy? Girl Power!
*When in doubt, go to the library. Is there anything books can’t teach you?
* Always stand up for what you believe in, be it Muggle Rights or the Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare.
*Do something good in the world.
“Are you planning to follow a career in Magical Law, Miss Granger?” asked Scrimgeour.
“No, I’m not,” retorted Hermione. “I’m hoping to do some good in the world!”
I honestly think that part of who I am exists because of this one character who, despite being pressed between the pages of my now closed Harry Potter books, is as real to me as the day we all first met her on the Hogwarts Express.
Thank you Hermione, and thank you JK Rowling for letting girls all over the world know that smart is good.