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Under the Influence
Books and Wands
Inspired by the Great Granger's birthday, Ril presents this loving tribute.
There are a lot of theories floating around the internet on the behavior of the characters and the
“rightness” of how things ended. However, we can’t seem to justify certain red flags.
For instance, the crazy/out-of-character behavior of our little cast in the book from hell. For
those who cannot see that the characters were a tad bit wonky I can offer no help, but for those
who did see and were...let’s say confused (to put it nicely) by said wonkiness, I offer you this...
Hermione is acting crazy because her whole world got turned upside down, she feels out of
control. She is worried sick over target.
She’s feeling the pressure from the reality of war life sinking in; other people’s families are
getting attacked, some parents want to pull their kids out of school, some already have. The
evil HBP book is corrupting Harry (and
she’s the only one to see it while no one heeds her warnings), the random attacks on Katie and
Ron, ultimately leading to Dumbledore...
Ron and Harry both acting superficially, she expects/wants them to be better, but they’re acting
like typical teenage boys even in the face of imminent danger...no one’s even asked her if she’s
okay after the Department of Mysteries...and then the death of Sirius and the revelation of the
prophesy strike their sweeping blows within two weeks of each other. This clash/fight with
Ginny whatever it may be...
And she starts to fray at the edges...the pressures here are greater than they were in Third Year...
or at least of a greater magnitude. If she missed a step that year, she’d only fail a test or her
marks would slip. If she misses a step in Sixth or Seventh Year, someone can die.
I think to oversimplify by saying she’s jealous of one or both boys does her a disservice. Yes,
that may be a factor, but I think there’s more to it than that.
She’s a very complex person, intelligent, thoughtful, she feels things deeply. She seems lost.
I think she also feels unneeded and unwanted, and unnoticed.
This is a girl who is completely insecure and feels the only thing she has to offer anyone is her
brain and when Harry doesn’t need that in Potions anymore, where does that leave her?
She’s passed up by both boys several times based on looks, something she is sensitive about,
and the only time she got attention for being the beauty I know her to be, she got smashed down
by one of her so-called best friends insinuating that she was a traitor.
Though it is important to note that though she may not think of herself as a beauty, both boys
seem to be attracted to distinctly pretty girls (Cho, Fleur, Lavender, Ginny) specifically Ron,
who if you agree with leaping Anvils, would immediately and directly imply that our little
bookworm is indeed quite the looker.
Harry himself says what for a teenage boy is a gigantic compliment by arguing the point with
her that he doesn’t think she’s ugly. Not exactly shining praise, but again, for a teenage boy
that’s as good as saying the girl is beautiful.
Krum, an international sports star, finds her attractive even though she is at least three years
younger than him and she catches the eye of that idiot Cormac McLaggen, which may or may
not be a compliment in itself, but I do think it’s to show the idea that there are other boys at
Hogwarts that do think she’s attractive, but lack the spine to approach her for one of two
- because she is a strong, intelligent, independent young woman, which could intimidate
anyone and does in fact force most grown adults to take her seriously and bow to her
- her two best friends are boys: big, sporty, protective types who have been known to get
into a few scrapes over lesser things then some intruder manhandling their best friend.
In my opinion, it’s a little bit of both.
(Can’t take credit for the idea for Hermione being beautiful as supported by the idea that both boys think she’s
cute read it online somewhere - I think it was by 'Brown' on a forum. But for the record I’ve completely
worshipped her since 1st year and I’ve thought she was beautiful the whole way through, just waiting for
these stupid blokes of hers to open their eyes and say “gee, Hermione, you look nice today.”)
(Though it should be stated that looks and whether or not one receives compliments should not factor in
much to the value of a person. Hermione is an amazing person and the best friend anyone could ever have,
no matter what she is wearing, how stylish her clothes are, the state of her hair or -frankly- whether or not
she's a girl.)
Hermione is the main girl. She is the standard to which all others are held. She’s also the first
and, for the most part, only girl in Harry’s life. The first physical form of comfort, his “model”
girl in the sense that this is how he thinks girls should act.
So why should someone who has proven themselves to be above and beyond the normal
standards...a fiercely independent, strong, capable, intelligent young woman suddenly pull the
brakes and jump the track, derailing to become just another insecure, weeping little girl so
desperate for approval she throws herself at the first thing that shows any type of interest,
despite the fact that the interest shown is damn near abusive?
Why does Rowling turn Hermione into the same stupid boy-like character in the end? The same
stupid, hysterical, unimportant, stereotypical 'girl' character - which she has never been and that
is why she is so awesome - at the end? “Hi, Ron. We’re in the middle of a battle, but I think I’ll
snog you now.”
I mean, how many pathetic teen movies have we all been forced to sit through (maybe even
enjoyed) with similar plots? The shy girl/boy wants to win the heart of the popular boy/girl
who treats her/him horribly so she/he strikes up a deal with one of the other cool kids and gets
transformed only to find that now she/he has the attention of aforementioned popular boy/girl,
she/he doesn’t really like him/her at all...she/he has fallen for the cool kid who did the
But to expect me to believe that they all got married and had kids barely five years from the end
of the seventh book?!?!