Dear Hermione Granger

I’m starting another new thing where I write letters to various people (or maybe even objects, concepts, etc.) who I can’t actually write to (or can but they would be unlikely to see it in some cases perhaps). In this case, it’s to a fictional character.

Dear Hermione,

Considering how many books I’ve read in my lifetime, I’ve been affected by a lot of fictional characters, but you top the list. In all honesty, there are these two characters who have had a much larger impact on me than I expected. Plus, there’s Ron who’s always been a close second to you.

But when I think back on my childhood, you definitely had a huge impact on how I viewed myself as a kid. Such a huge part of my childhood was trying to idolize you and be like you. I don’t even think I realized the extent of it then, but I do now. There are the obvious instances where I begged to play you every single time we played Harry Potter at recess. (But usually I played Ron instead because Summer wanted to play the girl, and I wanted to play Harry Potter so much that I would play anyone.)

There were less obvious ways too. I don’t think I would have self-identified as a nerd so readily if I hadn’t had you in my life. I’ve always loved reading. I think that’s why I was drawn to you in the first place. (A pretty shallow reason if I kind of think about it.) There’s no doubt Nerdfighteria played a part in my acceptance of the label, but I think I was open to that community in the because of you too.

I never felt like someone should hide their intelligence to be cool. You didn’t hide yours and were part of the greatest fictional trio of all time. I saw intelligence as important, and while how I value intelligence has grown more complex over the years (primarily by realizing there are more ways to be “smart” than just book smarts), that still holds true today.

As I’ve grown older, I’d like to think I’m working on being myself more than a carbon copy of you (which I never realized I was doing but definitely think I was at times), but you’re still having a huge impact on me in so many ways. There’s still everything I valued in the past, but now I see things like how you went on to become Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement and work on legislation to better house elf and werewolf rights. Things that are inspiring to me now in a way that I just didn’t comprehend as a kid.

So, thank you Hermione Granger. The number of people that I owe as much as I do you is limited, and one of them even created you.

Sincerely,

Haley Keller

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