There is a word carved on her arm. It is not so offensive by it's presence as it is by it's loneliness. It stands there starkly, a single word labeled on her skin like it defines her utterly. Mudblood.

It is not so offensive as it once was, mostly because it is true. Hermione Granger is a muggleborn and will not pretend it is offensive to be called one, no matter how much vile hate is poured into that word.

It is exactly as offensive as it once was, mostly because it isn't true. Hermione Granger has exactly the same blood as everyone else in the world. Mudblood is an all-encompassing ineffectual label. People say Hermione Granger is a mudblood like that is the entirety of her being, and they fail to realize that 'muggleborn' reveals not one iota of her skills, life, or character. Mudblood is disgusting in it's unity. Like it is possible to take a person and reduce them to a single word.

If Bellatrix Lestrange had carved 'bookworm' into her skin it would sting still. Hermione Granger is a bookworm. And she is not. Because Hermione Granger would burn every book in the world for her friends. So Hermione Granger is a bookworm, and more than that. The truth can still be a lie.

Hermione Granger is the Brightest Witch of Her Age. And it took Hermione Granger twice as long to learn the Patronus Charm as everyone else, because Hermione Granger is not the Brightest Witch of Her Age. Not when it comes to emotions. Hermione Granger is 'the smartest' and Hermione Granger is quite average indeed.

She is a witch. And she is every bit as logical as any muggle. Magic is supposed to open your mind to the impossible. Witches are supposed to be illogical. But Hermione is as muggle as they come, and a witch all the same.

She is a Gryffindor, except she thinks like a Ravenclaw. Her bravery is a secondary thing, it wells up inside her when the moment comes. She isn't like a Gryffindor, she is not a brash, reckless lion. Hermione Granger is not brave, she is smart. Except she is brave, brave as they come.

She is kind, she is ruthless. She helps her friends with all their problems, big and small. Forgives even Ron his stupidest moments. And she traps a reporter in a jar for her refusal to print the truth. She leads a teacher into a forest to die, because she hurt her friends.

That is, she thinks, the problem with labels. Bellatrix could have carved them all on her skin. Crammed every single contradictory paradoxical word that defines her onto the canvas of her arms and legs, and it wouldn't tell you who Hermione Granger is. Luna Lovegood is bright and stupid. And Colin Creevey is wizard and muggle. Minerva McGonagall is Gryffindor and Ravenclaw. Harry Potter is kind and ruthless. Human beings are like Golpalott's third law of potions, more than the sum of their parts.

Hermione Granger could have her every trait listed on her arm.

It wouldn't tell you who she is.

Only she can do that.