2. During her bed rest, Henry acquired the habit of reading to her. The stories that calmed her the most were Shakespeare, mostly because he attempted to read the parts in various voices that were bloody awful and made her laugh. When their baby arrived four weeks early, in mid-September instead of near the end of October, they named her Hermione, after one of their favorite performances by Henry.
3. Hermione’s middle name is supposed to be Jane, in memory of Caroline’s grandmother. However, the clerk at the hospital taking the necessary information for the forms misspells the name. Jean is a perfectly decent name, so it isn’t worth the fuss and trouble to have it corrected.
4. Hermione is a curious child, always watching and listening to the world around her. She doesn’t cry, which worries Caroline until Henry finds a book that says that all babies have different behaviors. Still, she relaxes more when Hermione actually talks, making baby sounds that are a welcome relief from the quiet observation that seems to be her normal behavior.
5. Hermione loves books from an early age. Unfortunately, she doesn’t read them so much as enjoy looking at the pictures or studying the words. She hears her parents discussing the fact that she’s not reading yet when she’s five, and, by the time she turns seven, they’re more concerned. She wants to read, because books and words fascinate her, but there’s something in her brain that just won’t let her.
6. When she starts school, she learns quickly and has a great memory. She doesn’t have to read the books to know the answers, and she tries to show people that she’s not stupid by responding correctly to as many questions as the teacher asks. The other children don’t know that she can’t read very well, and they call her names because she knows more than they do, but she never tells them the truth because she’d rather have them call her names than admit to her secret. She gets so used to it that, even now, she says she was reading at five as if it were true.
7. She’s 8 ½ when she picks up a book and starts reading as if she’s always been able to do it. To this day, she doesn’t know why she struggled so badly with something that felt so natural to her, and she tries to carry a book with her most of the time to remind herself that she can overcome nearly any obstacle if she’s determined and focused. Besides, she loves words and how they form to create thoughts and information.
8. She never completely loses her curious nature, though it becomes more focused on books once she’s able to read. Her parents are thrilled because it means they no longer come home from work to find the sitter attempting to put the toaster back together again.
9. Though not many people would ever guess, Hermione loves working with her hands - destroying things to learn how they work and then putting them back together again. It’s one reason she really likes knitting, because she’s able to create hats and scarves from nothing more than loose yarn.
10. When Hermione’s nine, she realizes she’s special. Not in the way her parents tell her whenever someone has said something particularly cruel to her but in a way that doesn’t make sense to her. There have been times when things happened that she thought maybe she’d just imagined, but now she’s old enough to know that not all children can turn Frankie Stephen’s hair green just by thinking about it really, really hard.
11. Receiving her letter from Hogwarts is such an important moment to her that she can still remember the most inconsequential details. It was a Saturday and her mother was in the kitchen making fresh biscuits and coffee. Her father was watching football on the telly, and she was reading a book about the history of England. The owl startled them all, and she read the letter with shaking hands as so many things finally made sense to her. All these years later, the smell of coffee and fresh biscuits provides a feeling of warm comfort for her.
12. Minerva McGonagall is the first magical person that she ever knowingly meets. Professor McGonagall arrives shortly after the owl and mutters about ‘Albus’ and ‘impatient old man’ in a way that makes Hermione bite her lip to keep from laughing. As her parents talk with McGonagall, she finds herself fascinated with this woman, as she is by most people she meets, and she knows by the end of their meeting that she wants the professor to smile proudly at her in the way none of her other teachers ever do.
13. Everything about the magical world amazes her. Despite being a part of it for seven years, she still catches herself gaping at a new charm or staring in fascination at a complicated Transfiguration. From the beginning, she hid this wide-eyed interest because she knows that children are cruel and will make fun of her about anything they can, so she’d rather they tease her about being too smart than being innocently naïve. Now, it’s not even a conscious decision when she does it.
14. Neville Longbottom is the first friend she ever has. On the train to Hogwarts, she is scared to death and has no idea where she’ll fit in, or if it’ll be as bad as her other school where she never fit. But she runs into Neville, who doesn’t fit in, either, and he needs her help. Helping people is something she has always loved to do, and she likes the warmth that being needed causes. In one way, it saves her from spending the trip alone and not having even one friend for weeks, yet, in another, it sets up a behavior that she still can’t break and isn’t really sure she wants to.
15. The first time she meets Harry and Ron she isn’t impressed. Harry isn’t at all like she’s imagined, and Ron is rude and reminds her of Frankie Stephens. Still, she tries to be nice and become their friend because they’re a sight better than most the other students she’s met. Hearing them making fun of her and treating her so poorly hurts more than she’s ever told them, even all these years later. And, sometimes when she’s in a certain mood and can’t sleep, she wonders what her life would be like if she’d never been attacked by a troll.
15a. Her favorite memory from Hogwarts, even more than being named a Prefect, being given a time turner, and helping create Dumbledore’s Army, is what they now call the Troll Incident. If not for Ron being a total arse and her inability to control her emotions, she might never have become friends with two boys who mean the world to her. That, to her, would be worse than dying.
16. There has never been a choice for her in regards to fighting and helping Harry. She supposes back during first year, she made the decision to stand behind him without even realizing it, but it’s so natural that she can’t consider it anything more than just the direction her life was going to obviously take. There are a few times when she gets scared, when she lets her doubts eat at her mind, but if there’s anything in the world that she has faith in, it’s Harry.
17. Making the decision to send her parents away still haunts her. Hermione loves her parents, and they love her. She knows if she’d explained and asked, they’d have never allowed her to put them under an enchantment and send them off. It’s why she couldn’t talk to them about it. If she’d been worried about them, as she would have been, she’d not have been able to focus on helping win the war. They’d have been targets, even if they’d gone into hiding, and she’s rattled on about Harry and Ron far too much for them to be killed quickly. Still, she knows it’s wrong and fears going to find them in case they can never forgive her. She doubts they’ll ever forget; she knows she won’t.
18. Hermione has had six crushes in her eighteen years. Her first crush happens when she’s twelve. It’s on Percy Weasley, because he’s so smart and knows answers to nearly all her questions. It fades in time. Her second crush is on Gilderoy Lockhart, though she’d deny it if ever questioned, and it’s because she thinks he’s smart and has done so many exciting things. It fades very quickly. Her third crush is one she’ll never admit because it's on Harry when she's fourteen after he stops talking to her and she realizes how much she misses him being part of her life. Her fourth crush is on Viktor Krum, but only after he shyly approaches her in the courtyard one morning and she realizes there’s far more to him than she ever expected. After Viktor, there’s Bill Weasley, who occupies her thoughts the summer before she turns sixteen. He’s daring and intelligent and doesn’t treat her like some silly child. Then there’s Ron, and she isn’t really sure when her crush on him starts. One day, it's just suddenly there, like reading.
19. She’s only kissed two boys and had one try to steal a kiss. Her first kiss was with Viktor and it was a sweet kiss after the Yule Ball. Her second was also with Viktor, though it was more intense, right before he asked her to visit him that summer. McLaggen tried to steal a kiss during Slughorn’s Christmas party, but she threatened to render a part of his anatomy useless, so he stopped his attempts. Her third kiss is with Ron during the heat of battle. She doesn’t remember moving towards him or pressing her lips against his. Her lips tingle after, and Harry is blushing, so she knows they kissed, but it’s a blur of emotion that she still can’t figure out yet.
20. In the hours after Voldemort falls, she feels like she’s sleepwalking through her movements. There’s blood on the stone floors of Hogwarts. There are people crying for those lost, others calling for celebration that the war’s over, and still others who are as dazed and uncertain as she. It feels like her entire life, even if it’s just been the last six years, has been lived to reach this point, to see an end to Voldemort and the war, to see Harry and Ron alive. It’s finally over, and she’s left asking herself ‘what now?’ and hating that she doesn’t know the answer.