Look, when it comes to the Harry Potter books and movies, we all love ourselves some Ron and Harry (and Dobby, we see you, too). But let’s be real: Hermione Granger is the real HBIC at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and without her, Ron and Harry would basically be nerding out over Quidditch/being murdered by Lord Voldemort. Beyond helping the boys with their homework every now and again — “how will you ever learn?” — she also never left Harry’s side when he skipped Hogwarts to hunt down the remaining Horcruxes. But she was pretty clever throughout the series, too. We’re not saying that Harry would morph into The Boy Who Definitely Didn’t Live without her, but Hermione was instrumental in helping him defeat the Dark Lord, and we have proof to back it up. Here are 10 times she was the real hero in Harry Potter.
1. When she made Ron Keeper.
Remember when Ron wanted to be Keeper because Quidditch is the coolest sport of all time? Well, Hermione made that happen by hexing her sort-of-ex Cormac McLaggen with the Confundus Charm. And she did it under her breath without anyone noticing — that’s how legit she is. Any time Hermione actually wanted to break rules made us take notice, but seeing how much she’d do for Ron’s happiness makes her a hero in our books. (Plus, heart-eyed emojis go here.)
2. When she solved Snape’s potions riddle like a boss.
The potions riddle was set up by Professor Snape (RIP, old friend) as a means to protect the Sorcerer’s Stone, and who figured out which potions were safe to drink? That would be Hermione. brushing off shoulders
3. When she figured out how the disembodied voice was getting around the castle.
Harry started hearing disembodied snake voices when the Chamber of Secrets was opened (happens to the best of us), which was a particularly strange mystery solved by Ron. Oh wait, nope: it was solved by Hermione yet again. Not only did she realize a Basilisk was creeping around the pipes at Hogwarts, she also managed to convey this information while petrified. Way to multitask, girl.
4. When she taught Harry and Ron how to use “wingardium leviosa” properly.
“Wingardium leviosa” (a.k.a. the Levitation Charm) was one of the first spells Hermione, Ron, and Harry learned together, and Hermione totally nailed it. Later in the trio’s years at Hogwarts, the spell saved the day more than once — after all, how else would have Harry levitated the troll’s club to knock its owner out? Sometimes the simplest spells are the most magical.
5. When she brewed the ridiculously tricky Polyjuice potion.
Hermione successfully brewed a high-level Polyjuice potion that allowed the fab three to spy on Malfoy when they feared he was up to no good. Sure, she accidentally turned herself into a cat, but no judgment here — Harry and Ron would have never been able to sneak into the Slytherin dungeons without her.
6. When she saved Ron and Harry from Devil’s Snare.
Ron was busy being killed by a plant (okay, a super-vicious plant) while searching for the Sorcerer’s Stone, when Hermione sauntered over and cast a casual Lumos Solem spell. Seriously, no wonder Ron fell in love with her — she’s basically the feminist witch version of a knight in shining armor.
7. When she punched Malfoy in the face.
Slow claps to Hermione for this one. We’re all about hugging it out, but Malfoy deserved to be put in his place after laughing at news that Buckbeak was being executed. Hermione: 1, Malfoy: 0.
8. When she had the key to saving= Buckbeak and Sirus Black’s lives.
In the trio’s third year, Hermione was given a Time-Turner to take extra courses — but she also ended up using it to casually save a few lives. Thanks to Hermione’s brilliance, the gang were able to go back in time and prevent Sirius Black from being kissed by a Dementor (least romantic kiss of all time, by the way), and prevent Buckbeak from being beheaded.
9. When she sacrificed her childhood for the greater good.
In a truly tearful moment, Hermione erased her parents’ memories of her in an attempt to protect them during the Wizarding War. It was the ultimate sacrifice: their happiness and safety at the expense of her own.
10. When she didn’t let the haters stop her from doing her thing.
Hermione went through all of Hogwarts being mocked for her muggle blood, but instead of retreating and letting the bullies win, she continued to stand up for herself, do well in school, and — oh yeah — save humanity from an evil wizard with a snake fetish. She’s a true role model for fellow muggles who face bullying IRL.
In conclusion, we should all start referring to Hermione as The Girl Who’s Better Than All Your Faves.