It’s an understatement to say that Hermione was clever. She was bright, perceptive and usually a pretty good judge of character. Unless that character was Gilderoy Lockhart.
Maybe it was those blinding pearly whites or his gleaming blond coiffure, but Hermione wouldn’t hear a bad word against him. Despite Harry and Ron’s protests, even rampaging Cornish pixies couldn’t convince her otherwise. Don’t worry Hermione, we’ve all been there – love certainly can be blind sometimes!
Don’t get us wrong, Sectumsempra proved to be a nasty business but Hermione disliked ‘the Prince’ long before Harry impulsively unleashed that dark little spell on Malfoy. Hermione initially distrusted the book because she thought it could be dangerous, Tom Riddle-diary style, but it turned out to just be a Potions book that gave Harry little pointers to transform him into a better student than she.
Turns out that Hermione wasn’t enjoying being the second-best student in the class for once, especially coming second to someone who was deviating from the set instructions and – let’s face it – sort of cheating. But despite all the misgivings, the Half-Blood Prince did do the trio a few favours. It won Harry the Felix Felicis that proved rather helpful later on, and it inadvertently saved Ron’s life by advising Harry to give him a bezoar.
Fair play to Hermione, however, for figuring out that the ‘Prince’ was something to do with an old Hogwarts student called Eileen Prince...
That Hermione was a supremely talented witch cannot be disputed, and Harry and Ron would have come off far worse in numerous scrapes (and homework assignments) without her. Unfortunately books and cleverness can only account for so much, and even when you’ve followed every instruction precisely and gathered all the correct ingredients, sometimes things happen that you can’t quite plan for.
This was evident when Hermione collected a cat hair instead of a human hair and turned into a furry feline in front of a gleeful Moaning Myrtle. As mishaps go, it was pretty magnificent, although it has to be said, the potion itself still technically worked…
If we had to guess which Hogwarts student would be most likely to storm out of a classroom mid-lesson, Hermione wouldn’t even make the list – yet that’s exactly what happened. As a lover of firm facts and theories, our favourite bookworm just couldn’t get her head around the woolly ‘predictions’ of Divination, and struggled to hide her scepticism.
When Professor Trelawney tried to turn the tables and suggest that perhaps she simply didn’t possess the skills to be successful, Hermione decided she’d had more than enough tea and proceeded to make a rather dramatic exit. Despite Trelawney later being unmasked as the originator of the big prophecy (you know, that really big one about Lord Voldemort), Hermione was not impressed. Professor McGonagall would probably have approved.
She might have achieved the highest grades in the year, but Hermione still became ever so slightly highly strung around exam time. Panicking over every last detail, it was rare that she actually came up against anything she couldn’t handle – but then again, she wasn’t betting on a Boggart. Or rather, what it turned into.
So what was it? A soul-sucking Dementor? The most horrific Hungarian Horntail? Ron snogging Lavender Brown? Worse. During her third year Defence Against the Dark Arts practical exam, her Boggart transformed itself into a stern Professor McGonagall who went on to announce she’d failed everything. Let’s just say it took her a while to digest the situation.
And finally, an honorary mention...
‘How were the Runes?’ said Ron, yawning and stretching.
‘I mis-translated ehwaz,’ said Hermione furiously. ‘It means partnership, not defence; I mixed it up with eihwaz.’
‘Ah well,’ said Ron lazily, ‘that’s only one mistake, isn’t it, you’ll still get –’
‘Oh, shut up!’ said Hermione angrily.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix