Harry and Hermione might have forged their friendship after an encounter with a mountain troll, but it wasn’t all drama and life-and-death magic for them. Here are some of our favourite Harry and Hermione moments that celebrated just being good, old-fashioned, platonic friends, no matter what Rita Skeeter might have been trying to spin.
Hermione, on the other hand, never wavered. During Goblet of Fire, Harry and Ron’s friendship suffered a huge rupture, when Ron didn’t believe that Harry hadn’t entered the Tournament; a rupture that was most likely based on a bit of jealousy. Hermione, however, stuck with Harry all the way – staying up late at night to help Harry master ways to conquer a whopping great dragon.
Of course, a very logical Hermione had times when she questioned Harry’s sometimes irrational thinking – forcing him to check on Sirius before charging off to the Ministry of Magic, for example – but even then, she offered to accompany him to Umbridge’s office, something Harry recognised as ‘a sign of solidarity and loyalty’.
Hermione was there for Harry practically as well as emotionally. She helped him deliver Norbert the dragon to Ron’s brother Charlie, practise the Summoning Charm he needed for the first Triwizard task, and researched everything from breathing underwater to killing Horcruxes to help him in his various adventures. A key thing that made Hermione such a great friend was knowing when Harry needed help, even when he insisted he didn’t. When Harry was moping about in Grimmauld Place, sure that the Weasleys were talking about his eye-of-the-snake dream, it was Hermione who forced him out of his bedroom and made him talk to the others.
Harry and Hermione’s friendship wasn’t always serious, and their moments of laughter show how similar their humour was. Madam Pince’s crazed reaction to Harry’s annotated copy of Advanced Potion-Making was furious enough to send them fleeing from the library, and led to some enjoyable speculation about the Hogwarts librarian and her relationship with Filch.
Hermione wasn’t a natural rule-breaker but when the stakes were high, her first loyalty was to her friends, even if it meant getting into trouble. Witness Hermione persuading Harry (and Ron) to make Polyjuice Potion; Hermione sneaking back to get Harry’s Invisibility Cloak in Prisoner of Azkaban because Harry was in enough trouble; her determination to keep Dumbledore’s Army going; and the many laws she broke during their Horcrux hunt. If Hermione’s attitude to rule-breaking had remained as rigid as it was early on, Harry would have been in deep trouble.
Harry knew it, too. So confident was he in Hermione’s skills that when he told Slughorn: ‘One of my best friends is Muggle-born and she’s the best in our year,’ he was just stating a fact, without an agenda. Hermione’s delight when she heard about this was obvious. She was often praised for her cleverness, but when it came from her friends it was clear how much it meant to her.
Harry didn’t just benefit from Hermione’s magical skills; her advice on matters of the heart was invaluable too. From telling Harry exactly how Cho was feeling to her patient explanation as to how he should have handled his date in Madam Puddifoot’s Tea Shop, Harry could have done a lot worse than follow her advice…
…and when he didn’t follow that advice, it said a lot about how much he valued their friendship. When Cho angrily confronted Harry over Hermione’s trick on the D.A. parchment, Harry was clear in his judgement, saying, ‘I think it was a brilliant idea.’ He was immensely loyal, even when it meant offending a girl he liked.
He might not have understood Cho, but Harry was pretty perceptive when it came to his friends. He sensed something might happen between Ron and Hermione, and he realised how unhappy Hermione was about Ron getting together with Lavender. When Harry set off to find her practising spells in a disused classroom, he had no idea what to say – but he went anyway.
As Harry and Hermione’s friendship developed, they put a surprising amount of thought into each other’s presents. From Hermione buying a Broomstick Servicing Kit by owl-order to Harry giving Hermione a copy of New Theory of Numerology one Christmas, it was clear they knew each other inside-out.
Alright, she still threw in the occasional homework planner from time to time – but she was just looking out for her mates, as always!
Those dark, quiet days after Ron left in Deathly Hallows were a low point for Harry and Hermione, so when they made it to Godric’s Hollow – almost because they don’t know where else to go – the moment at Harry’s parents’ graves was particularly poignant. Hermione used her wand to create a wreath for Harry to lay on their graves, anticipating exactly what he needed.
Later, when Harry was upset after reading The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore, Hermione offered similar wordless comfort, brushing the top of his head lightly with her hand. Maybe she had some words of wisdom, but as good friends know all too well, sometimes a silence doesn’t have to be uncomfortable.