Hermione Granger Can Ride My Broomstick Any Day…
On the way to KLCC with Alan & Kareen, with Kareen leading the way to the car park beside her office & me driving:Kareen: “Okay, slow down here.” Alan & Me: “Okay okay.” Kareen: “Ok, you can put signal here.” Alan & Me: “Signal? Signal to where?” Kareen: “Okay, here here!” Alan & Me: “Signal WHERE? Left? Right?” Kareen: “Left! Left! Okay, turn left in front here!” Alan: “You ah, never tell which direction to…” Kareen: “Not here not here! This is tanah perkuburan! Ok ok, here…” Alan: “…give signal or turn. I also shocked…”
Let me get 1 thing straight. Harry Potter may be the main & title character of the 7 books (& movies), but he is no where near being the real hero. Yes, Harry Potter is a total wuss.
The real & unsung heroes of the entire rebellion against Tom Marvolo Riddle, the Death Eaters & the Ministry of Magic journey were the people behind the boy who lived to complain & feel sorry about his own life without parents. There was Neville Longbottom, who turned from being the lousiest weak git in 1st year to 1 of the leaders in the final Hogwarts battle, decapitating Nagini, the last Horcrux, thus making Voldemort mortal, with Gryffindor’s Sword. Then there was the feisty & gutsy Ginny Weasley, & the quirky but loyal Luna Lovegood, who became leaders of the DA in the absence of Harry, Ron & Hermione. Of course, Dumbledore’s might & importance could never be overlooked, even when he was dead. He remained a calming presence, always seeming to have answers for everything. Don’t forget Remus Lupin, who taught Harry how to conjure up a Patronus, which proved to be the 1 of the most, if not the most important of spells. What about Dobby, who was most loyal to Harry? Most importantly perhaps, is Severus Snape, whose true loyalty & love for Lily Evans, Harry’s mother, & the sacrifices he had to make, served as the backbone to Voldemort’s defeat. Quite frankly, the whole series was built around Snape’s journey of complex moral ambiguity.
& finally, there is Hermione Jean Granger.
I did not know for sure how to pronounce Hermione until Goblet of Fire, when Hermione tried teaching Viktor Krum how to pronounce “Her-my-oh-nee”. But right from the 1st book, I was sure Hermione would be my favourite character till the end of the series. She came into Hogwarts as a bossy, clever, haughty “insufferable know-it-all” (as Snape said). She learned everything from books, her lepak place was the library & she loves raising her hands in classes. After that fateful troll encounter in the girl’s toilet, she became a true friend of Harry & that other git named Ron. In the beginning, she was this insecure girl with a knack for losing logic & priorities under stressful situations. After all, in Philosopher’s Stone, she told Harry & Ron that getting expelled was worse than getting killed. Who could forget her for completely losing it when she wailed that there was no wood to conjure up a fire to deal with the Devil’s Snare (she had a wand, you know), or that her Boggart formed McGonagall telling her she failed every subject? Though we all laughed at this bushy-haired-big-front-teeth girl in the beginning, it was all these characters of her which led to her being the total heroine behind Harry. Rowling says that Hermione feels “utterly inadequate…and to compensate, she tries to be the best at everything at school, projecting a false confidence that can irritate people.”
She progressed through the books with her outstanding cleverness & skills in magic as well as her rational logic, & a very good heart. She was vocally against the enslavement of house-elfs, started SPEW, always helped those irritating 2 gits with their homework albeit a little grudgingly. She learned the Polyjuice Potion charm at such a young age in Chamber of Secrets, & that was incredibly useful right till the last book. She was the only student capable (& crazy enough) to attempt so many subjects that McGonagall allowed her to use the Time-turner in Prisoner of Azkaban. Sirius commented to her that she “really was the brightest witch of your age”. She was also the 1st to rebel under the Umbridge era in Hogwarts, starting Dumbledore’s Army that gathered all students to put theory into practice under the guidance of Harry. That movement proved an important change for most of the students, as Neville gained confidence & encouragement that sparked his character transformation while Ginny learned that she was awesome at hexes & the Reducto curse.
Hermione’s contribution & heroics became really pivotal in the last book, the Deathly Hallows. She was fiercely loyal to Harry till the end. With Ron being a complete idiot who only knew how to complain, even abandoning the mission halfway, Hermione was always the 1 who remained on top of things, always had everything prepared. How many times did she save Harry’s hairy ass with her quick-thinking of places to Apparate to, & her sharp thinking of spells to use to protect them when in hiding & in those dire situations? Don’t even mention the fact that she made the biggest sacrifice among them all in preparation for the final mission to destroy all the remaining Horcruxes. She modified her parents’ memory into believing they were some other people & that they had no daughter, & made them move to Australia for their safety. In the final battle, she was the 1 who destroyed the cup in the chamber of secrets with a basilisk fang. Without Hermione, Harry was going into war like a limp dick with no testicles hanging on.
& then, there is Emma Charlotte Duerre Watson.
When Watson first appeared in the 1st movie as Hermione, I thought she was completely perfect. With her thick but sweet British accent pouring through her bossy lines, she was portrayed as being bright, snobbish but adorable. But when Emma grew up in Prisoner of Azkaban & matured into this drop-dead hot version of Hermione, all hot-blooded males broke loose. Bookish Hermione was not supposed to be this hot, not even by a mile. But Emma gave such convincing & outstanding performances in the movies to come that I forgave her for being so much more beautiful than what was portrayed in the books. She delivered Hermione’s lines with such intensity bordering on the over-acting lines, which was exactly how Hermione was. Perhaps Emma did over-act in Goblet of Fire, when almost all her lines came spluttering out as if she was going to cry every time, but all was again forgiven when she gave us the most memorable scene from the movie; the sight of her in a pink gown walking down the stairs with a megawatt smile at the Yule’s Ball. In fact, Emma maturing from cute in the 1st 2 movies into hot in the remaining movies, especially Goblet of Fire, was perfect timing, seeing that Katie Leung nuke-bombed as Cho Chang in the same movie. The Cho Chang of the books, the talented Ravenclaw Seeker who was the hottest girl in Hogwarts, was Asia’s sole pride & hope in stamping a mark in the Potter world. Instead, they casted this Scottish roti-cheeks girl who was not even as pretty as Edison Chen. You know it’s bad when she made the whole kissing scene in Order of the Phoenix a complete uggh moment. Are you seriously telling me there are no young teen Kelly Hus, Gong Lis or Kristin Kreuks among us to choose from?! Anyway, my point is, Emma Watson made Hermione into a full-circle kick-ass heroine, by making her hot. She sure sent pulses racing with the way she giggled during the “just because you have the emotional range of a teaspoon” scene.
Of course, Harry was not completely useless, as Voldemort made him to be a hero, allowing him to be a rallying point for the real heroes to gather round, to form the army that would take Voldemort down. However, without Hermione, without Snape, Dobby, Lupin, Neville, Luna, Ginny, Dumbledore, or even the Weasley twins, Harry would be a small fart to Voldemort. But among all these unsung heroes behind the boy with the lightning scar, my favourite character, & my Potter hero, is this bright, fiercely intellectual & loyal girl in the books who was enhanced into a beautiful one on the silver screen. & that is why I just joined the Facebook group “Hermione Granger Can Ride My Broomstick Any Day”.
Something of interest, I found these summarized in Wikipedia. In an interview, online chat in the Wizard of the Month section of her website, & during her 2007 U.S. Open Book Tour, Rowling revealed additional character information that she chose not to include in the book. She stated that:1. Harry becomes an Auror for the Ministry of Magic, & is later appointed head of the department. He keeps Sirius’s motorcycle, which Arthur Weasley repaired for him, but he can no longer speak Parseltongue after the destruction of Voldemort’s soul fragment within him. 2. Ginny Weasley plays for the Holyhead Harpies Quidditch team for a time, leaves to establish a family with Harry & later becomes the lead Quidditch correspondent for the Daily Prophet. 3. Ron Weasley works at George’s store for a time, Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes, then joins Harry as an Auror. 4. Hermione finds her parents in Australia & removes the memory modification charm she had put on them for safety. She initially works for the Ministry of Magic in the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures, greatly improving life for house elves & their ilk. She later moves to the Department of Magical Law Enforcement & assists in eradicating oppressive, pro-pureblood laws. She was also the only member of the trio to go back & complete her seventh year at Hogwarts. 5. Dumbledore‘s relationship with Gellert Grindelwald extended beyond mere friendship; indeed, Rowling has revealed that “Dumbledore is gay, actually”, & harboured romantic feelings for Grindelwald. 6. After his death, Voldemort is forced to exist in the stunted form Harry witnessed in the King’s Cross limbo; his crimes were too severe for him to become a ghost.
Rowling also explained the fates of several secondary characters:1. George Weasley continues his successful joke shop. George married Angelina Johnson & has two children: a son named Fred, in memory of his late twin brother, & a daughter, Roxanne. 2. Luna Lovegood searches the world for odd & unique creatures. She eventually marries Rolf, a grandson of the famed naturalist Newt Scamander. They have twins called Lorcan & Lysander. Her father’s publication, The Quibbler, has returned to its usual condition of “advanced lunacy” & is appreciated for its unintentional humour. 3. Percy Weasley married a woman named Audrey & had two daughters, named Molly & Lucy. 4. Firenze is welcomed back into his herd, who finally acknowledge the virtue of his pro-human leanings. 5. Dolores Umbridge is arrested, interrogated, & imprisoned for crimes against Muggle-borns. 6. Cho Chang went on to marry a Muggle. 7. Neville Longbottom becomes professor of Herbology at Hogwarts & marries Hannah Abbott. 8. Besides Victoire Weasley, Bill & Fleur Weasley have a younger son & a younger daughter, named Dominique & Louis. 9. On her website, Rowling posted a Weasley family tree, showing that Harry‘s children’s full names are James Sirius Potter, Albus Severus Potter, & Lily Luna Potter.
There have been transformations in the wider wizarding world:1. Kingsley Shacklebolt is the permanent Minister for Magic, with Percy Weasley working under him as a high official. Among the reforms introduced by Shacklebolt, Azkaban no longer uses Dementors. Consequently, the world is now a “much sunnier place”. Harry, Ron, & Hermione have also been instrumental in reforming the Ministry. 2. At Hogwarts, Slytherin House has become more diluted & is no longer the pure-blood bastion it once was, although its dark reputation lingers. 3. Voldemort’s jinx on the Defence Against the Dark Arts position is broken with his death. There is now a permanent Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher. Harry comes to the Defence Against the Dark Arts class to lecture several times a year. 4. A portrait of Snape, who briefly served as Hogwarts Headmaster, does not appear in the headmaster’s office as he abandoned his post. Harry ensures the addition of Snape’s portrait, and publicly reveals Snape’s steadfastness.
This post may seem a little off timing, when many think that the Potter craze for the books have subsided while the next Potter movie is still months away, but for me, Rowling’s books are something close to a miracle that will linger for years. Hey, if she can make me & my generation of buggers, the generation of iPods & MTV, read her books & be totally engrossed in them, that’s quite an achievement ain’t it.