A Few Thoughts on Hermione Turning Thirty
Hermione turned thirty first.
Of course, she did. She is the oldest of the three of us and almost ten months older than I am.
Hermione did most of the important things first:
The first Wingardium Leviosa
Figuring out it was a Basilisk.
Getting it that Remus was a werewolf.
Realizing that the Ministry of Magic was probably a trap.
Having everything ready so that we could go hunting Horcruxes.
Most of all, Hermione was the one who figured out what it meant when Nagini's head and Snape's body couldn't be found after the Battle of Hogwarts.
That was a tricky one and you might not know the details. The Ministry never let that one out because of the time travel paradox issues.
During that hour after the fighting ended, Hermione ordered Dumbledore's portrait to tell her where the Time Turner was hidden. He didn't want to tell her, at first. I think that he had it in mind that it would be tidier if Snape died and stayed that way. She threatened to cut his portrait out of the frame and run it through something she called a Shredder.
The next thing you know, Hermione had my Invisibility cloak, the password to Snape's private laboratory, a three hundred year old potions book from the Restricted Section and was time turning her way back to the hours before the battle broke out.
Nobody knew that there were two Hermiones on the battlefield. Number One was fighting Death Eaters, while Number Two was sneaking around under my Invisibility Cloak retrieving Nagini's head after Neville lopped it off. She added a few drops of the venom to the potion she had just brewed. She used the Time Turner again to go back to the time right after Nagini bit Snape and we collected his memories.
After we left him alone to die, Hermione Number Three snuck in and gave him the antidote. She did the longest side-along Apparition of her life and Snape was at Grimmauld Place on the parlor floor where Hermione finished the work of saving his life.
Snape was none too happy. He seemed to think that he'd finally paid his debt to my mother and The Miserable Git was ready for Happily Ever After in the afterlife. Instead, he now owed a life debt to Hermione Granger.
That particular complication was discharged when the time travel caught up with her. It's one thing to have two Hermiones running amok in the same time period. When you have three, you've passed Kellogg's Paradox Limit and when the time line straightens out, all hell breaks loose during the merger. We learned about that rule after it was all over.
That took some fancy wand waving on Snape's part to put Hermione back together. That she came out of it without brain damage was nothing less than a miracle, especially since he was using her wand. She still has that limp, though.
Hermione was first to receive an Order of Merlin. Granger comes before Potter, Snape, or Weasley.
Hermione got her apprenticeship first. The offer from St. Mungo's arrived a full fifteen minutes before Ron and I got ours from Magical Law Enforcement.
I can't say that Hermione lost her virginity first, since I'm pretty sure that she and Ron did that together. Ginny and I didn't have the opportunity until months later. It really wiped the smirk off his face when Ron realized I'd done it with his little sister.
I believed that it would always be the four of us. Me and Ginny. Hermione and Ron. Hermione was the first one to realize it wasn't going to work out. We talked for hours that night at her flat, just like we used to in the tent. She needed to know that I wouldn't hate her because she didn't love Ron in the right way to marry him.
Hermione was the one who pointed Ron in the direction of a much more serious and grown-up Lavender Brown. She knew they would work. Hermione was the first one they told about their engagement.
I finished my apprenticeship first. An Auror apprenticeship takes three years, where a Healer's is six. Ron made it four months into apprenticeship when he realized he just didn't want to chase evil around anymore. He dropped out and joined George at Wheezes.
Hermione was the first one to accept the idea. It was good move for Ron – he's a lot happier. It was good for George, too. Nothing will ever make up for losing Fred and no one could ever take his place, but having Ron there helped George get his creativity back. The mischief inventing team of George and Ron has produced the best selling transformational sweets ever. Put Zonko's right out of business. These days, Zonko works for George.
It was Hermione who first thought of Snape when the law changed and they needed to have all of their sweets safety tested before they could sell them. Snape was doing potion supply work out of his little house in Manchester. He'd pretty much faded from the public view. He's a man who likes his privacy.
Who knew that Snape had a lifetime of practical joke ideas stored up that he'd never got to use in Slytherin? Especially what with being Head of House and all.
The partnership of Weasley, Weasley, and Snape sent Wheezes to the next level. Ron had a better head for business than any of us ever gave him credit for. With George as the charming spokesman for the business, Snape in the back room creating totally awesome magical products, and Ron doing the nuts and bolts of getting established in international sales, the business was booming.
I was the one who pointed out to Hermione that Snape was probably a romantic at heart. He loved my mother so much that he dedicated himself to righting every wrong he ever did to her. For twenty years, he lived out that promise, no matter how much it cost him.
I didn't actually intend for her to do something about it, it was just an observation. I really thought that Snape had the potential to give all that saved up romance to the right woman.
The next thing any of us knew, Hermione had apparently decided that she was the right woman.
The two of them have been together ever since. I was right about his romantic streak. He doesn't take anything for granted. Even though they've been a couple for about two years, he's still courting her like it's all brand new.
I'm glad about that. She deserves someone who can appreciate our Know-It-All. Deep down, I know that she never really thought that any man could understand the insecure woman who hides beneath all that hair and aura of self-confidence. Snape gets it, because he's the same way. All of that sarcasm and sneering is his first line of defense.
Last Saturday night, we all got together to celebrate Hermione's thirtieth birthday.
It wasn't a surprise party. None of us are comfortable with surprise parties. The surest way to get hexed by a bunch of war veterans is to jump up in a darkened room and yell "SURPRISE!"
Instead, we got together at our house. Ginny and Molly served up a feast and George was tending bar. We had Andromeda Tonks and house-elves supervising all of the kids who were having a sleep-over at Ron and Lavender's.
We moved the party outdoors to the garden. The drinks were flowing. There was plenty of talk and laughter. Minerva McGonagall can still drink any of us under the table. Kingsley Shacklebolt has a raunchy sense of humor that he can only share with good friends who won't quote him to the media.
It was after the birthday cake that Hermione and Snape took a stroll through the rose garden that Winky tends with all of the dedication a loyal house-elf has to give.
Hermione came back sporting a new ring. Snape was wearing a brand new smile, at least as much of a smile as you ever see on Snape's face.
This was one time that Hermione didn't finish first. With as happy as she looked, I think she's okay with that. Thirty should be pretty good for her. It's about time.