Has your opinion of someone ever changed once you got to know them? How drastic was that change?
Harry’s perceptions of someone change greatly in the next part of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. When Harry first met Hermione Granger, she seemed like the annoying bookworm who always had to play by the rules. She says how many books Harry is mentioned in, even though he’s never heard of him, and criticizes Ron’s spell. Hermione seemed to be the teacher’s pet, being the only student able to make any difference to her match in the first day of McGonagall’s class. And of course Hermione kept shooting her hand up into the air to answer Snape’s questions, straining to get his attention. Was she just trying to act like a know-it-all?
Later, Hermione tries to stop Harry and Ron from dueling Draco at midnight, talking about losing all of Gryffindor’s points for her knowing about switching spells. Yes, we know, Hermione was the smartest girl in Gryffindor. But didn’t she realize that Harry had a personal vendetta with Draco Malfoy? All Harry wanted to do was get back at him. Why was that too much to ask. But no…Hermione Granger couldn’t bear to see him break the rules.
Until she stuck up for them after they saved her from a mountain troll in the girl’s bathroom.
She even lied to a professor to keep them from getting in trouble.
How very un-Hermione Granger-ish.
But Harry learned something about Hermione Granger that day. Harry learned that, while Hermione Granger is extremely smart and prefers not to break the rules, she is willing to stand up for what she believes in. She is willing to bend the rules (or break, if you want to be technical) for the greater good.
That’s something that Harry can go with.
And so, when Harry and Ron get back to the Gryffindor Common Room, after a brief period of hesitation and embarrassment, the three actually exchange a civil word of “Thanks.” And from that point on, Hermione Granger becomes a friend of Harry and Ron. And it’s probably a good thing too. A reader can see at this point that this story will not be happy, jolly, and conflict-free. There’s going to be some problems coming up for Harry and Ron, some things they don’t understand. They need Hermione to help them with the “book smarts,” whether they realize it or not. Because there’s no way that Harry and Ron will be able to figure out anything on their own. They’re going to need her help.
And so, Harry and Ron’s opinion of Hermione changes for the better in this part of a story. Taking on a full-grown mountain troll tends to do that, apparently. I don’t know. I ‘ve never experienced it myself.
© Amy Burney, Amy’s Fantastical Writings