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Mama Deb
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More HP5 Spoilers - long

I have read in at least one LJ that people consider the characterization of Hermione Granger in Book 5 to be "bland." That her role was to be "always right" and nothing more. I'm more in line with the many others who find her to be amazing.

Hermione has always been an anomaly in Gryffindor, where rules are meant to be bent, so long as no one is hurt. Hermione has always pushed to obey the rules, although she mellowed fairly quickly in SS/PS. And even now, she's a prefect and thus has the authority and mandate to enforce the rules. She's always seemed only a couple steps away from Percy.

In this book, Hermione Granger's goals were to not only remove Umbridge's regime from Hogwarts but also to topple Fudge. This is not something a bland, prissy girl who is focused on obeying the rules would do.

And she starts this at the Opening Feast, where she actually listens to Umbridge's speech, understands the subtext and passes it along. I'm convinced she discussed it with McGonagall because of a remark McGonagall made: "At least you're listening to Hermione Granger." This doesn't disobey the rules, but it does start people *thinking*. And people thinking is the worst thing for any fascist regime.

She continues this in Umbridge's first DADA class. No one else noticed the lack of practical work until she pointed it out - and then the whole class erupted. She probably didn't count on Harry getting as upset as he did, but Harry's anger is a character all its own in this book - and she eventually uses it, even if it means he has to suffer through Umbridge's horrible punishment.

As an aside, anyone notice that Umbridge now owns several rolls of parchment covered in Harry's blood? Or the blood of other rebels, such as Lee Jordan? And that blood is used in spells in the HP universe? Dark spells? Something to think about.

Her first major act of rebellion is to form the alternate DA class, and to recruit Harry as teacher. It may not have been against the rules when she formed it, but she had to know it would be afterwards - Umbridge reacts instead of acts. And that it would be dangerous for an untrained teacher to lead such classes.

Not that Harry was dangerous. In fact, Harry is an excellent teacher who takes real pride in his students' accomplishments and who thrives under the responsibility in a way he never has before.

However, this not only provided the necessary training to pass the Owls and to protect themselves, it also formed a revolutionary cell of people loyal to Dumbledore and to her and Harry. By jinxing the original signup sheet, she even ensured their loyalty - and created a means of identifying traitors. That, btw, is scary - Hermione is definitely one of those who believes the ends justify the means. She's as ruthless as Dumbledore. Good thing she's on the side of the Light, isn't it? She does the same by copying Voldemort himself when she creates those coins.

And Dumbledore is very ruthless. I'm currently convinced he knew exactly what would happen in the Occlumency classes - not only that it would open Harry's mind further but he'd also pry into the Penseive. After all, he's done that in the past.

I'm currently, in my rereading, at the point where Hermione has made use of Umbridge's paranoia to counteract the Ministry's disinformation campaign in the Daily Pravda.(1) And talk about ruthless. After she realized that the students of Hogwarts wanted more than lies and have figured out something is fishy about the reportage of the ten Azkaban escapees, and has extrapolated that their parents and the rest of Wizarding Britain feel the same way, she takes the tools she has and begins her own campaign of information.

Because information is key when all around you are working to hide it - including well-meaning adults on your own side. She doesn't ask anyone's advice, either. She calls upon a woman she despises (and controls very thoroughly) and a girl whose father edits a publication she considers utter rubbish, forces the one to write the truth and for free and submit it to that publication, and does so by sitting back and allowing Harry to relive one of the worst moments of his life. She does so knowing that, in their thirst for truth, the wizards will snap up the Quibbler - after all, it would be like a well-known New York Times reporter writing for the Midnight Globe. And also knowing that they will then call on the Ministry for more information.

She also had to know it would cause Harry to be tortured more, and that it would cause the magazine to be banned. She counted on that last - displaying a knowledge of both Umbridge and student nature.

Which means she counted on students disobeying rules.

And then she leads Umbridge into the forest, knowing that she will either be injured or killed. And she does so calmly. Umbridge is a danger to Hogwarts and the rest of Britain, after all. Whatever Umbridge's reasons for doing what she's doing, the result would be Voldemort gaining powers.

Woof. Looking at all at that - Hermione is seriously ruthless and quite scary.

(1)Not entirely original with me; David Edelstein in Slate referred to the Prophet as Pravda-like.


I completely agree with you. Hermione is very ruthless and scary. I mean there were first glimpses of it when she cast petrificus totalus on Neville. Ron even comments on her being brilliant but scary.

I think that she's more or less the leader of their little group, regardless of Harry being the one to do most of the actual fighting. She's the one behind the scenes controlling everything and feeding people the right information at the right time.

Definitely a character that will be key to the next two books.

The other thing is that this stuff isn't entirely new. We saw signs of this in PoA, when she rebelled against Trelawney, and the whole SPEW thing shows how stubborn and idealistic she can get. And ruthless - she was set on freeing elves who didn't want to be freed.

Though, strangely, she seems not to notice that her knitted items haven't resulted in a depletion of house-elves around Hogwart's. Harry hasn't mentioned that only Dobby has been taking them, but even so, you'd think she'd look for results, especially when it takes her time to knit all that.

I liked that Hermione was completely able to explain Cho's conversation/actions to a bewildered Harry. At one point I wished he'd asked Hermione for her advice *before* his next awkward encounter with Cho...

And she has seen Dobby, with his many, many hats, all of her make...I think she was a little preoccupied with what even she knew was a more important task, though.

Hermione being able to explain Cho was stereotypical, but given that Cho's actions were pretty obvious (except that I didn't get the jealousy thing, exactly), it was nice that -someone- understood.

I take it that you're a Diana Wynne Jones fan?

Did she see Dobby? I think only Harry did. This happened very early one morning. Then again, I was speeding through the last chapters on my first read through, so we'll see this time.

In regards to not noticing decrease in elves - #1, she was entirely unaware of the existence of house-elves at Hogwarts until GoF, so she wouldn't expect to see anything and #2, Dumbledore has a history of hiring freed elves, so she might simply assume that each freed elf, dressed in hat or socks, went to Dumbledore to request paid employment.

Points 1 and 2 are both totally valid. It's just that she never bothered to check to see that her plan was working as she intended. Granted, she had a couple of other irons in the fire, but she might've taken the knitting time for a sock or a hat or something to double-check whether they were being used.

I've only read it once, but I don't think she sees any house elves in this book other than Kreacher.

True. You'd think she'd take a trip down to the kitchens at least *once*.

I'm pretty she's present when Dobby pounds his head into a wall (but is cushioned by his many hats). She's not present when he shows up in the early morning, but that's not the only time Dobby shows up.

I, too, didn't think Hermione saw Dobby in this book. I've only read it once, but I was keeping half an eye out for that, after Harry saw him and decided not to tell.

Hermione is really good at intellectual things, but until her explanations of Cho, I hadn't seen her as someone who could talk about feelings, particularly. Also, I think that Cho's actions/motivations were reasonable, but quite possibly opaque to the average 15-year-old male. I think the jealousy thing was Cho sounding Harry out; it's unclear what kind of relationship she'd had with Cedric, and he may well have been a bit more emotionally mature than Harry, which might be part of what she misses now. But Harry isn't there yet.

DWJ rocks! I enjoy HP, but there's just not as much substance as DWJ.
(If you wondered about DWJ based on my username, it's only secondarily from Deep Secret; more important to me was the Hebrew meaning of the word, and the DWJ usage was an extra fillip.)

You leave me but no choice aside from actually citing... :)

Page 535 (UK edition), paragraph 7:

He ran head-first at the wall. Harry, who had some experience of Dobby's habits of self-punishment, made to seize him, but Dobby merely bounced off the stone, cushioned by his eight hats. Hermione and a few of the other girls let out sqeaks of fear and sympathy.


Magid, yes, I was curious about the nick, especially given that there's a lot of overlap between HP fans who are also general fantasy fands and DWJ fans, somehow; definately agreed that she's much better than Rowling.

I read that last night, which means you're correct.

I'm not sure how much Hermione registered in the general panic of running out of the Room of Requirement, but I do know she stopped knitting hats.

I'd forgotten about that.
Yes, satisfied. :-)

I hadn't used this as a nick until LJ, actually; it was a chance to think about what to name myself... names can be very important; it took a while for me to figure out what I'd choose.

Though there are books of DWJ that I don't care for as much as others, she has such a great range of worlds, all sorts of places I'd like to visit, not just one. I don't think I could choose just one favorite. (Have you read The Merlin Conspiracy yet?)

DWJ can be a mixed bag, but when she's good, she's very good. Archer's Goon, much of the Chrestomanci series, Dogsbody...

I'm actually reading her Eight Days of Luke now (after blowing through Patricia Mckillip's new one -- _In the Forests of Serre)).

I haven't read Eight Days of Luke in ages (nor Archer's Goon); I should reread those soon.
I like the Chrestomanci books (particularly Witch Week and Magicians of Caprona, for some reason), and have a soft spot for The Ogre Downstairs, since that was the first book of hers I read. Oh, and Dark Lord of Derkholm is lots of fun. And...

I think I might've read one short thing by Patricia McKillip, nothing more. A lot of my friends like her, though, so I should try again. Suggestions of what to start with?

I'm not sure I'm throwing in anything new, but here goes.

Most of the time, Hermione loudly decries rulebreaking, and tries to get Harry and Ron to follow the rules, but I'm not sure that doesn't derive from a more general ethical sense that it's a good idea to follow the rules until they're proven not to work. Hermione's repeatedly broken the rules to serve what she might consider a "higher cause". She's also quite capable of keeping a secret from almost anyone, including her closest friends. The ployjuice plot was (if you'll forgive the pun) cooked up by Hermione. In PoA she used the Time-Turner all year without (as far as we know) any student ever becoming aware she possessed it, then broke the useage guidelines to pieces when she and Harry helped Sirius escape the Ministry. And in OotP - as you pointed out - she deliberately did her best to get Umbridge severely incapacitated (at best) by leading her into the Forest. She's also at least moderately skilled at reading people - notice how easily she wheedled Lockheart into giving her the note that got her, Harry and Ron into the Restricted Section in CoS. (I think Hermione was a bit of a supergirl in book 5 - top of her year in academics, giving her friends relationship advice and still finding time to continue S.P.E.W. in the face of massive indifference and adversity - but almost all those traits can be seen in some measure in previous books.)

When Hermione decides that Something Must Be Done, she doesn't do it by halves. If she ever breaks with Harry (or Dumbledore), he's going to be in a world of hurt.

This is where the prejudice in the wizarding world is going to come into play.

Hermione is probably one of the most important weapons in the Order's arsenal -strong, intelligent, talented and ruthless. And the Death Eaters probably don't even consider her a threat because she's a Mudblood and therefore could not possibly hurt them. If they knew, they'd be targeting her for death, since they certainly would not try to turn her.

Neville is the other secret weapon. He's very powerful - witness what happened when he first rode a broom. True, he was completely out of control, but look how high and fast he flew. And now he's gaining in confidence and skill, but their sources in Hogwarts (Malfoy, et al) would continue to underestimate him.

I started considering this when I read it before in your journal, but also, considering the fact that Neville has been using his father's old wand all this time, as was mentioned at the end when the Death Eater kicked out at him and broke his wand an his nose, it's really easy to understand how he was doing so badly at school in almost everything but Herbology. Herbology didn't require him to use his wand, and Snape terrorised him, so he was not performing well in the only other class that didn't really require the use of a wand. The wand he was using was not the best suited wand for him. In the first book, Mr. Ollivander said that you will never get such good results with another wizard's wand. Also, it's very possible that his dad's wand was damaged when he and Neville's mom were attacked by the Death Eaters, not obviously broken like Ron's wand in CoS, but maybe damaged in some other, more subtle way.

Hermione is seriously ruthless and quite scary.

Hermione is! I didn't much like her in her first appearance in HP but gradually and grudgingly I began to like her, and Book 5 sealed that fate.

She's cool under pressure, terrifyingly smart, and ruthless but not Mary Sue-ish.

Harry's lucky he has her on his side.


in hp and the g.o.f it describes her as "curled up on a chair" or "with her eyes glowing like a cat" and it emphasises her playing with crookshanks alot....makes u wonder!

She's a powerful young witch, with a lot of determination, so, yeah. If she wanted to be an animagus, she'd do what she needed to do to become one.

I don't know if she is now, though. She's spent two years getting over a crush and the trauma of her first year and she had a lot more to worry about her fourth, so I don't know if she had the time yet.