Harry Potter may be over, but JK Rowling has made sure the magic never ends! The Wizarding World has been slowly expanding ever since the books and films finished, with Rowling adding little canon tidbits via Pottermore, numerous interviews, and her Twitter. Backstory information has arisen about pretty much any character you can imagine from the books and films, and fans everywhere can delight in the fact that we finally know what happened after the story ended. And sometimes, our favourite characters' future can surprise us...
After they skipped their final year (and their final exams), Hermione was the only one of the trio to return to Hogwarts to finish school.
As Rowling explained in this podcast, it's pretty much unthinkable for Hermione not to want to complete her exams, but Harry and Ron had other things on their mind.
"Ron was really done with schooling. Harry goes into the Auror Department. He’s needed. To go through that battle, and them be relegated to the sidelines, I think they would’ve felt a need to keep going, and finish the job. So that would’ve have been rounding up the corrupt people who were doing a Lucius Malfoy, and trying to pretend that they really weren’t involved."
Unlike Harry and Ron, Hermione never trained to become an Auror. Her career path lay in a different direction...
Reforming The Wizarding World
With her studious nature, talent for strategy, and considerable magical ability, Hermione Granger had her pick of any number of careers. Ironically, the one she chose was the very one she seemed to abhorrer.
As the story of Harry Potter progressed, we learned how the Ministry of Magic had been slowly infiltrated and corrupted by Voldemort's followers. Thanks to their influence, institutionalised prejudice was rife in the Wizarding World, with many magical creatures subjugated and a lot of bigotry against Muggleborns.
Naturally, Hermione could not just let this go unchallenged, and as her friends helped rebuild the Wizarding World through their work in the Auror Office, Hermione chose a career in Magical Law. Which is surprising, as she had originally rejected this career idea!
"Hermione began her post-Hogwarts career at the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures where she was instrumental in greatly improving life for house-elves and their ilk. She then moved (despite her jibe to Scrimgeour) to the Dept. of Magical Law Enforcement where she was a progressive voice who ensured the eradication of oppressive, pro-pureblood laws."
As JK Rowling revealed, Hermione was hugely instrumental in reforming many practices in the magical world.
And true to her roots in S.P.E.W., she started by breaking down how wizards and witches use house-elves as slaves. Go Hermione!
Finding Her Parents
One of the most heartbreaking moments in the entire Harry Potter story was when Hermione performed one of the Wizarding World's nastiest spells on her parents, Obliviating their memories. Or did she?
"There are two different charms. [Hermione] did not wipe her parents’ memories as she later does to Dolohov and Rowle; she bewitched them to make them believe that they are different people."
Rowling asserts that Hermione actually charmed her parents in a different way to the usual memory removal spell. Except, Hermione definitely says "Obliviate" when she does this in the movie - check it out in the clip below (skip to 1.36)!
Of course, this wouldn't be the first time the movies have changed plot points from the book. We all assumed Hermione wiped her parents' memories, as this scene was only referred to in the book The Deathly Hallows. Later on, Hermione says that she's never performed the Obliviate memory charm, so that should have tipped us off!
In any case, according to Rowling, Hermione did find her parents in Australia and healed their memories.
"She brought them home straight away!"
While this will come as a relief to many fans, this conclusion does seem to somewhat undermine the tragedy of Hermione erasing her parents' memories to protect them.
In war sometimes even the good guys have to do terrible things, and Hermione's journey was so interesting because she was willing to be ruthless in order to help people.
Oh well. At least we can rest assured that Hermione had a successful career and a happy ending!