For all the times Ron and Harry took the mick out of Hermione, you can bet a few Galleons they wouldn’t have made it through seven books without her. In fact, without Hermione Granger, maybe there wouldn’t even be a Harry Potter series at all; Harry and Ron would have probably died tangled up in some Devil’s Snare in their first year. Thankfully, Harry happened to make best friends with the smartest, most dexterous and logical witch of his year.
To give credit where credit is very much due, here are about a million moments in which Harry and Ron would’ve failed miserably without that very valuable third of the trio.
From her very first year, Hermione was on it, which is particularly amazing when you consider that she was 11 years old. For while the other two messed around with Quidditch and Chocolate Frogs, Hermione was reading about Nicolas Flamel in the Restricted Section of the library, basically figuring out the entire plot of Philosopher’s Stone.
The best example, though, was during the trio's first proper adventure together, where they delved beyond the trapdoor on the third floor to rescue the Philosopher’s Stone, discovering a magical obstacle course, with different puzzles designed by various Hogwarts teachers.
Professor Sprout’s level contained a room of horrendous Devil’s Snare, a perilous plant that strangles passers-by to death. While Ron and Harry had no idea why this plant seems so tetchy, Hermione actually listened in Herbology, and knew not only that it was Devil’s Snare, but how to counter it with fire. Sure, there was that moment where Ron had to remind Hermione she was a witch during the panic so she could actually save them, but you still would’ve been toast without her, Ron.
Even while unconscious, Hermione still managed to help Harry and Ron. During the Basilisk’s horrifying reign over the school in Chamber of Secrets, Hermione was attacked by the beast, who had a taste for Muggle-borns. But she had still already figured out how it manoeuvred through Hogwarts, having scribbled down ‘pipes’ in her final moments before being Petrified.
Without this one word, Harry and Ron wouldn’t have worked out where the Chamber of Secrets was, and the book could have ended with the return of a young Lord Voldemort.
In Prisoner of Azkaban, Hermione literally turned back time to save the day. Thanks to her love of intense learning, she happened to acquire the extremely useful Time-Turner in a year where Harry ended up really needing one. Originally given to her so she could attend more lessons, Harry and Hermione ended up using the Time-Turner to rescue two misunderstood characters who have been sentenced to death, and a fate worse than death. First up is Hagrid’s beloved Hippogriff Buckbeak, who is due to be killed after Malfoy’s complaints he is dangerous, and the second is Sirius Black, who turns out not to be a horrible murderer, but Harry’s wronged godfather, who is on the verge of having his soul sucked out by the Dementors of Azkaban.
Without Hermione’s sterling academic record, she would never be entrusted with such a precious Ministry item; Buckbeak would be dead, and Harry would be grieving for a godfather he hardly ever knew.
Hermione’s smarts become more crucial than ever during Harry’s Triwizard Tournament training in Goblet of Fire. And on top of helping Harry learn a bunch of tricky spells, she also had to deal with being stuck in the middle of a broken friendship when Harry and Ron fall out.
As well as providing emotional support for Harry, it was Hermione who taught him one of his most useful spells ever: Accio, the Summoning Charm, which he used to evade the Hungarian Horntail in the first task. She stayed up until 2am helping him, too. Two in the morning!
Putting together a team of rebellious Hogwarts students and teaching them defensive spells during Professor Umbridge’s stifling Hogwarts reign? Sounds like a great idea. Who’s was that again? Harry’s? Ha, no. It was of course Hermione’s. Just in case anyone needed more than ‘Expelliarmus’ to get on in life.
After she kindly suggested Harry taught the organisation himself, he proceeded to yell at her for daring to suggest such a thing. Nice one, Harry. Eventually he realised this was an amazing idea, and the club then turned into ‘Dumbledore’s Army’ – as coined by another amazing witch in Harry’s life, Ginny.
The secret society would become as crucial in the resistance against Voldemort as the Order of the Phoenix was, and although Harry led the classes, Hermione was at its heart. She even charmed special coins so D.A. members could communicate with each other, which turned out to be an essential tool during the Battle of Hogwarts when they needed to reassemble.
Hermione is, of course, incredible in all seven books, but in Deathly Hallows she truly surpassed herself. If it wasn’t for Hermione, in fact, Ron and Harry would’ve been goners at Bill and Fleur’s wedding, when the ceremony was suddenly attacked by Death Eaters. After all, Hermione was the only one who passed her Apparition exam…
On top of that, Hermione was an absolute rock during the search for Horcruxes. She brought her incredibly useful bottomless bag with every single possible useful item the trio could need, as well as casting protective spells on their tent – which she brought as well, by the way. All of this, she did while living under horrendous emotional stress, including having to temporarily erase herself from her parents’ memories, and dealing with Ron abandoning them halfway through their journey.
Oh, is that all? No.
She was also the one who saved Harry’s neck by disfiguring his face during their capture at Malfoy Manor. She also withstood incredible torture at the hands of Bellatrix without revealing anything.
Want more proof? Albus Dumbledore said it best during the chapter ‘King’s Cross’, when he explained to Harry why he made it ‘so hard’ for him to get hold of all three Deathly Hallows – hoping Hermione’s more logical way of thinking would ‘slow him up’ before he lost himself in obsession.
‘Why did you have to make it so difficult?’
Dumbledore’s smile was tremulous.
‘I am afraid I counted on Miss Granger to slow you up, Harry. I was afraid that your hot head might dominate your good heart.’
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
We rest our case.