Written by Ericka Mendez, DVM
Of all the Harry Potter characters I have a huge soft spot in my heart for the heroine of the books, Hermione Granger. Of course I love Harry too but you have to admit that Harry would have been killed in book 1 and then in each subsequent book had it not been for Hermione. But my admiration for Hermione goes way beyond loving how clever she is. No, I love Hermione for her flaws as much as for her gifts and because for many of us in the vet med world, we see so much of ourselves in her.
Read on as I count the ways and why’s of my girl crush on Hermione.
1. She is a strong advocate for others. Whether it is the position of house elves as servants or the Death Eaters disdain for muggles, injustice gets under her skin and she fights for what she thinks is right, even if that makes her unpopular. As animal advocates, we often find ourselves in similar and uncomfortable positions. And just like Hermione, we don’t let our fear of being seen as the bad guy stop us when faced with an animal that is in need of our help or advocacy.
2. She’s eternally frustrated that the people around her don’t know what she knows. “Honestly. Don’t you two read?” She asks Harry and Ron. Just read the record, I wrote it all down for a reason.
3. She cleans up nicely. So nicely that some didn’t even recognize her when she came down for the Yule ball. As veterinarians we try to look nice on a daily basis but when there’s a party or date night look out. You won’t recognize us.
4. She’s fiercely loyal and will stand up to bullies. One of my favorite moments of the entire series happens when she calls Malfoy an “evil little cockroach” and then hauls back and punches him in the face. You can yell at me all you want but yell at or threaten an animal or staff member? I will end you.
5. She’s always prepared. Her magical beaded bag closely resembles our actual bags. A Bandaid, paper clip, highlighter, hair tie, Advil, and a deck of cards among other things lives in there. Need a snack? Yeah I’ve got that in there too.
6. She has a hard time making friends. Hermione spends the first few months at Hogwarts alone. It wasn’t until the troll incident that the trio become friends. She uses her intelligence as a shield to hide her insecurities. Unfortunately this gets interpreted as though she thinks she’s better than everyone else, which is not only not true but completely alienating. It isn’t until Hermione is forced to be vulnerable that she opens up and is able to make friends.
7. She’s brilliant and not just because she is naturally smart. Hermione works hard to amass as much knowledge as she can. She studies hard so that she can recall information when she needs it, she’s observant and logical and if she doesn’t know an answer to a question she will find the book that does. And she is relentless until she figures it out. So many times her answers come to her in the middle of doing something else which shows us that her mind is always working. Just like ours.
8. She loves to read and loves books. When she smells the love potion Amortentia one of the things she smells is fresh parchment. Not only that but the library is one of her favorite places. I think it is safe to say that most veterinarians have a deep love of books and would give anything to walk into the Hogwarts library just to see how it smells.
9. She’s way too hard on herself. Often times she blames herself for not being able to prevent bad outcomes even when the bad outcomes were completely unpredictable. She sometimes calls herself stupid when she can’t figure something out or it’s taken her a little longer than usual. She expects perfection from herself as much as we expect perfection from ourselves. So many times a lost patient feels like a personal failure even if we logically know this isn’t true.
10. She’s brave and she takes risks. Brewing Polyjuice Potion, forming the DA, infiltrating the ministry, throwing herself in front of Harry when faced with Sirius Black, I could go on and on about all of the brave and risky things Hermione did. Most of the things she did she had only ever read about in a book but she had to do them anyway. And so every time I have to do something scary I channel my inner Hermione. The first time I did a pericardiocentesis, the first time I aspirated a kidney, the first time I did a joint tap. These all require a decent amount of bravery and come with some risk. But with a book nearby and all of the knowledge I have in my brain, I know it is ok to be brave.
Just like Hermione.
GUEST AUTHOR INFO: Dr. Ericka Mendez is a small animal veterinarian on the east coast of Florida. She loves reading, teaching, and writing about veterinary wellness. Check out her work on her site The Purposeful Vet. She shares her life with her husband and daughter and can often be found at the beach, a theme park, or on the couch watching Harry Potter movies.