Hermione Granger is one of the most important characters in Harry Potter. She’s known for her fierce intelligence and deep-rooted friendship with Harry and Ron. However, making friends didn’t always come easily to Hermione. At the beginning of her Hogwarts career, Hermione is a lone wolf. Nobody makes an effort to be friends with her, but on the flip side, Hermione doesn’t put herself out there either. It’s not until a near-death experience with a troll that unites her with Harry and Ron.
Having Hermione as a friend is definitely a plus. The girl goes to great lengths to protect and defend those she holds dear. But there are times when old know-it-all Hermione can rear her head, smug sneer and dismissive comment at the ready. Hey, nobody’s perfect though. At the end of the day, Hermione is a caring person and a swell friend. Most of the time. Here is Harry Potter: 6 Times Hermione Was A Good Friend (And 4 Times She Wasn’t).
10 Good friend: Took the rap for Harry and Ron
This was really the moment the golden trio was formed. When a dangerous troll was loose in the castle, Harry and Ron were able to use magic—with Hermione’s help—to knock it unconscious. However successful they were, the boys still broke the rules by going after the troll. Hermione protects Harry and Ron by telling the professors she went looking for the troll instead.
She didn’t have to do this. Really, this whole fiasco started because Hermione overheard Ron making fun of her and she ran to the bathroom in tears. But she recognized Harry and Ron’s bravery for risking their lives to make sure she was okay and she wanted to return the favor. In hindsight, this would go down as one of the friends’ tamest adventures.
9 Wasn’t: Ratted Harry out to McGonagall
Hermione has an unfortunate habit of thinking she knows what’s best for people better than they do. This is perfectly demonstrated when Harry receives a Firebolt—a top-of-the-line broomstick—for Christmas from an anonymous donor. Hermione believed the mystery Santa to be escaped convict Sirius Black, then thought to be extremely dangerous.
As always, it’s sound logic—and Hermione would be delighted to learn she was right. When Harry disagrees with her hypothesis, Hermione goes behind his back to Professor McGonagall who confiscates the broom. While Hermione’s only trying to be a good friend, this should’ve been Harry’s judgment call to make. As painful as it is—and as much as we want to be proven right—sometimes it’s best to let friends make mistakes for themselves.
8 Good friend: Used her Time-Turner to save Sirius and Buckbeak
Hermione could have gotten in major trouble for this one. As in Azkaban trouble. Using a Time-Turner is not to be taken lightly. You need approval from the Ministry of Magic and must swear to only use it for its intended purpose. However, to Hermione, saving two lives is worth the risk. When Buckbeak the Hippogriff is unjustly executed and Sirius is given the Dementor’s Kiss, all hope is lost for the gang. Harry is especially distraught.
That’s when Hermione has one of her many strokes of genius. She uses her Time-Turner, given to her to accommodate her ludicrously packed class schedule, to go back in time with Harry in order to save both Sirius and Buckbeak’s lives. Hermione has certainly come a long way from the persnickety first-year who declared she would rather be killed than expelled.
7 Wasn’t: Belittled the death of Lavender’s pet rabbit
Some people will never be friends. From the get-go, Hermione thinks that Lavender is a frivolous ninny and Lavender thinks Hermione is a stuck-up snob. That being said, the two did share a dormitory for seven years. When Lavender is distraught over the death of her beloved rabbit Binky, Hermione could have shown much more compassion than she did. Instead, she used it as an opportunity to make a case why Divination—Lavender’s favorite subject—is hooey.
Public service announcement: when someone is inconsolable because their pet just died…console them. As logical as she was, Hermione came across as a real jerk. Being right is all well and good, but not when it comes at the cost of basic human kindness.
6 Good friend: Helped Harry get the golden egg
While Hermione is definitely guilty of being an intellectual show-off, she has been known to use her smarts to help other people. As an unwitting contestant in the Triwizard Tournament, Harry is tasked with retrieving a golden egg from a Hungarian Horntail, a particularly vicious dragon. As a strong flyer, Harry knows his best bet is to use a Summoning Charm to retrieve his broom. The problem is, Harry is lousy at Summoning Charms.
Enter straight-A student Hermione. She helps Harry with the charm, staying up with him until two o’clock in the morning. Not only does that take being a study-buddy to the next level, it takes their friendship to one as well.
5 Wasn’t: Dismissive of Luna
Of all people, Hermione should know what it’s like to feel lonely and alienated. As Hogwarts’ resident eccentric, Luna Lovegood is constantly made fun of for her outlandish wardrobe and off-the-wall beliefs. While Hermione isn’t leading the charge in bullying Luna, she’s certainly dismissive of her.
The thing is, it’s fine for Hermione and Luna to have different viewpoints and values, but Hermione legitimately thinks less of Luna because she doesn’t share Hermione’s rationalism. If Hermione would put her superiority complex aside, she would notice that strange as she may be, Luna is an incredibly astute social observer. If Hermione gave their friendship a chance, she might learn to take a page out of Luna’s Quibbler and have an open mind.
4 Good friend: Fooled Dolores Umbridge
Dolores Umbridge’s brief stint as Headmistress of Hogwarts was dark and disturbing. She was a medieval disciplinarian of students, as Harry finds out when forced to write lines in his own blood. But that’s positively passive compared to what happens when Umbridge catches Harry and Hermione in her office. Umbridge is about to use the Cruciatus Curse—the torture curse—on Harry, but Hermione is able to think on her feet and prevent this from happening.
She invents a cockamamie story about a secret weapon Dumbledore has been hiding in the Forbidden Forest. Umbridge is all ears and insists on being led to the “weapon” immediately. Once in the forest, they are approached by a group of centaurs. Umbridge can’t resist hurling speciesist insults at them, to which the centaurs don’t take too kindly. In a fit of rage, they carry Umbridge off, releasing Harry and Hermione from her tyrannical clutches. Hermione doesn’t just have book-smarts; she’s got street-smarts too and is always willing to use them for her friends.
3 Wasn’t: Asked Cormac McLaggen out to make Ron jealous
Oh, love, you fickle-minded beast. Young people will become bitter enemies before daring to admit romantic feelings to each other. Hermione and Ron have had crushes on each other for years, but it takes a boatload of hurt feelings and petty schemes before they actually get together.
In sixth year, Ron’s insecurity reaches a boiling point. Really, he’s petrified that he’s not good enough for Hermione. However, his hormonal mind tells him the best course of action is to date Lavender Brown to make Hermione jealous. It works. One might think Hermione would be the mature one, but no. She gets her revenge by inviting Ron’s rival, Cormac McLaggen, to an exclusive Christmas party Ron isn’t invited to. It just goes to show, as brilliant as Hermione is, she doesn’t have a clue about dating.
2 Good friend: Realized the power of friendship
While Hermione becomes friends with Harry and Ron after the troll incident, there’s still a bit of a disconnect between her and the boys. Their friendship isn’t fully crystallized until they go after the Philosopher’s Stone. This is the trio’s first battle and each individual proves their incredible heroism.
When Harry has to complete the last leg of the journey alone, he and Hermione have a heart-to-heart where Hermione shares that Harry and Ron have taught her the real value of friendship. It’s a rare moment where she lets herself be vulnerable and as a result, solidifies two lifelong friendships.
1 Good friend: Risked her life to join Harry in the final battle
Everyone who joined Harry in the final fight against Voldemort is a brave soul. But Hermione, as a Muggle-born, had more to risk than anyone. Under Voldemort’s regime, he decreed that all Muggle-borns are to be exterminated. Nobody would blame Hermione for sitting this one out. But instead, she makes remarkable sacrifices. In a heartbreaking moment, she Obliviates her parents, making them forget they have a daughter in case she were to die in battle. Later on, Hermione is subjected to unspeakable torture at the hands of Bellatrix Lestrange. Not even Harry suffers as much as Hermione. But her presence at Harry’s side isn’t even a question. That’s just the kind of friend she is.
NEXT: 20 Things Hermione Can Do (That Harry Potter Can’t)