Statistics show that you are probably not Hermione, and thus are doomed to fail. Fail what? Doesn’t matter. All of it. You’re going to fail all of it. Harry knows that game. He bumbled his way through seven whole books knowing full and damn well he wasn’t cut out for this protagonist gig—not with Hermione “THE GODDESS REBORN” Granger on the loose, anyway.
Kind of makes you wonder how the books would’ve gone down if Hermione had been at the helm of this sinking ship. I think about this a lot, actually. Here’s what I’ve decided:
“So you know the monster in the Chamber of Secrets?” said Hermione. “It’s a Basilisk. It almost got me just now, but I managed to get away.”
“Perfect,” said Harry. “Ron, let’s go murder the hell out of it.”
“Actually,” said Hermione, “I was thinking we could alert the proper authorities instead of leaving the fate of the school to a couple of 12-year-olds with a single working wand between them.”
“We could do that,” Harry agreed, but reluctantly.
“And what are you tutting at us for?” said Ron irritably.
“Nothing,” said Hermione in a lofty voice, heaving her bag back over her shoulder.
“Yes, you were,” said Ron. “I said I wonder what’s wrong with Lupin, and you—”
“Well, isn’t it obvious?” said Hermione. She couldn’t fathom how the pair of them had failed to notice that Professor Lupin’s boggart was the full moon, or that Professor Snape had assigned them two rolls of parchment on werewolves, or that the name “Remus Lupin” contained literally nothing but werewolf references, for God’s sake.
“If you don’t want to tell us, don’t,” snapped Ron.
“Fine,” said Hermione haughtily, and she marched off. She had twelve course loads to keep up with and a hippogriff’s legal defense strategy to plan. She didn’t have time to draw obvious conclusions for other people.
“So how was school?” her mum asked. Hermione considered the question.
“Well,” she said, “we exposed a murder plot, fought off a werewolf, barely got away from a herd of cloaked death monsters, traveled through time, and helped a convicted felon escape justice on the back of a horse-eagle hybrid.”
Her parents stared at her.
“This was all in the last year?” said her mother.
“This was all in the last week,” Hermione corrected her.
“We can fly the car to Hogwarts!” said Ron, his eyes gleaming.
“But I thought—”
“We’re stuck, right? And we’ve got to get to school, haven’t we? And even underage wizards are allowed to use magic if it’s a real emergency, section nineteen or something of the Restriction of Thingy—”
“I don’t even have the clarity of language to explain how ridiculous this idea is,” said Hermione. “Rather than wait for Mr. and Mrs. Weasley or any number of wizarding parents who will inevitably try to come back through the barrier, you think the best course of action would be to risk the Statute of Secrecy for which Harry has already received a stern warning and fly a magical car to some undisclosed location?”
“Well,” said Ron, “when you say it like that, it just sounds stupid.”
Umbridge plowed on with her speech.
“There again, progress for process’s sake must be discouraged, for our tried and tested traditions often require no tinkering. A balance, then, between old and new, between permanence and change, between tradition and innovation…”
Hermione looked sideways to see that both Harry and Ron had checked out completely. Harry was making eyes at Cho Chang; Ron was doodling on a napkin. She could tell already that she was going to have to explain this to them. It depressed her to wonder what percentage of her life had been devoted to clarifying simple concepts for her friends, so instead she focused on Umbridge’s tyrannical rhetoric and began plotting how best to get her carried off by a lawless mob of rioting centuars. Sure, she had some ideas, but she was going to have to play the long game.
The fire in the goblet had just turned red again. Sparks were flying out of it. A long flame shot suddenly into the air, and borne upon it was another piece of parchment.
That’s right! Barty Crouch Jr. enters Hermione into the Triwizard Tournament instead of Harry—as a ruse! She figures out Voldemort’s heinous scheme almost immediately and then wins the tournament in a landslide, largely because she is literally incapable of losing any contest, intellectual or otherwise. Crouch lives. Cedric lives. Voldemort doesn’t yet rise to power. We should probably go ahead and just skip this book, actually. Now that I think about it, it’s probably for the best that Harry was the protagonist rather than Hermione. With Hermione in charge, this entire series would’ve lasted about five seconds.
On the one hand, we’d LOVE to read this series re-written from Granger Danger’s point of view, complete with scathing commentary like, “Oh BRILLIANT plan, Harry. Let’s definitely go to the Shrieking Shack to pursue an escaped convict. That’s top notch stuff.” But on the other—would the series only be 18 pages long? We propose a third option: the series re-written from DRACO’s point of view, because HELLO, DARKNESS.