The Death of the Grangers
An original editorial by Amanda Lipon
With the Second War beginning, we are sure to see a lot more deaths in the last two books. However, I believe that one of the first victims will be Hermiones parents, Mr. and Mrs. Granger.
Now, as everybody knows, Mr. and Mrs. Granger are Muggle dentists who happen to have given birth to a rather gifted witch. Unlike the Dursleys, the Grangers seem contented, and even proud, to have a witch for a daughter. We also learn, in GoF, that Muggles were targeted in Voldemorts reign, as Mr. Weasley says:
Harry, thats their [the Death-Eaters] idea of fun. Half the Muggle killings back when You-Know-Who was in power were done for fun.
(pg 143, American ed)
Now, if Muggle hate-crimes were common during Voldemorts first reign, its safe to assume that there will more killings the second time as well. Perhaps thats what JKR meant when she said that the Muggles start to notice some weird events as Voldemort gains power. I know Id think it was strange if I saw a group of cloaked people elevating my neighbors outside my house.
In GoF, we also learn who was in charge of Muggle killings during Voldemorts first reign. We find out during Voldemorts rebirthing fiesta, when the Dark Lord is welcoming his Death-Eaters and stops at Lucius Malfoy and says:
Lucius, my slippery friend . . .You are still ready to take the lead in a spot of Muggle-torture, I believe?
(pg 650, American ed)
Now, it comes as no surprise that Lucius hates Muggles, yet this information is very significant. When Lucius and his Death-Eater pals escape Azkaban in Book 6 (which Im confident they will) and join a power-gaining Voldemort, it will be Luciuss job to ensure that everybody is entertained with a lil Muggle-torture.
Now, heres a tough question: who is the one Muggle-born witch who the Malfoys seem to loathe most of all. A Muggle-born whom Lucius stares menacingly at during the Quidditch World Cup, and whom Draco constantly torments at school and even wished death upon in CoS. If you still havent guessed the answer, its Hermione. Its not difficult to believe that, if Lucius got the chance, he would gladly murder the Grangers in a heartbeat. Perhaps he would even hunt them down personally to scare, threaten, or intimidate Hermione. Maybe Draco will even help in their murder, which could lead Hermione to give him more than just a slap in the face.
Of course, to make their deaths more heartbreaking and horrible, JKR will need to introduce the readers to the Grangers first-hand so we can come to love them before theyre brutally murdered. Heres how I think it will go:
Harry escapes another dastardly summer at the Dursleys and is rescued yet again by members of the Order of the Pheonix. He will learn that the Order encountered many problems over the summer, including the fact that they can no longer use Grimmauld Place as the headquarters since Sirius was the last remaining member of the Black family and the house has barred itself from intruders. Of course, the Order will have another temporary headquarters, but it will be dangerous and less hidden, therefore not suitable for the underage children of Order members. Therefore, Harry, Ron, and Ginny would have to go somewhere else; somewhere safe, where the enemy wouldnt expect. Like a Muggle home. Hermiones home, perhaps. Since the Grangers already accept and embrace magic, they wont object to playing host to 3 other wizards, they may even enjoy meeting Hermiones friends. Of course, there will be protection placed around the house, maybe a Fidelius Charm or something like that. Harry will spend the rest of the summer there, learning the horrifying truth about what the Dark Side is up to and coming to grips with the terrible aspects of his own life. (Along with some comical moments as well; I would love to see Rons first encounter with a television.) Then, on September 1st the kids will board the Hogwarts Express and return to school, only to learn days later that Hermiones parents were hunt down and brutally murdered by Death Eaters.
The death of Hermiones parents would also be an important, and necessary, turning point in Hermiones character development. Until now, Hermione has always been the voice of reason in the group; the one who always tried to dissuade the others from doing something dangerous and illegal. The one time when Hermione actually led the others to do something dangerous was in CoS, when they brewed the Polyjuice Potion to interrogate Malfoy. Notice how uncharacteristically Hermione acts in the excerpt.
Dyou realize how much were going to have to steal, Hermione? Shredded skin of boomslang, thats definitely not in the students cupboard. Whatre we going to do, break into Snapes private stores? I dont know if this is a good idea . . .
Hermione shut the book with a snap.
Well, if you two are going to chicken out, fine, she said. There were bright pink patches on her cheeks and her eyes were brighter than usual. I dont want to break rules, you know. I think threatening Muggle-borns is far worse than brewing up a difficult potion. But if you dont want to find out if its Malfoy, Ill go straight to Madam Pince now and hand the book back in.
(pg 165, American ed.)
Wow, this scene is very unique for many reasons. For the first and only time, Harry doesnt want to do something illegal and dangerous, even though it could help a lot of people. Also, for the first and only time, Hermione is endorsing a plan that is illegal, risky, and may end in disaster. Why is that? Well, Hermione is the kind of person who only leads hazardous endeavors when she believes she is directly threatened. In this case, the Heir of Slytherin has returned and is promising to kill all the Muggle-borns, like herself, in the school. And, if Malfoy is the heir (as they suspected at that time) she would probably be high on his hit-list. Hermione felt that she had to do something to protect herself and others like her. This leads Hermione to do all sorts of things we never expected her to. But, after this event, Hermione goes back to being the rational one who wants to play it safe.
If you ask me, its time for some Hermione-power, and the death of her parents would certainly ignite the flame. Her parents murder would be a direct threat to her, and would cause her to react in some superb, irrational, dangerous action that would be key to the story. Hermiones power is often overlooked. But the fact remains that Hermione is one of the most powerful witches alive. She has astonishing, innate magical skill; she is always the first to master a new concept and can perform magic well beyond other wizards her age. She is also a quick, logical thinker who is very passionate about causes she believes in (like SPEW and the DA.) Not only that, but she also has book-knowledge that far surpasses her peers. Hermione will turn out to be a very powerful force to be reckoned with in the future books, she just needs a spark to ignite it. And, although it will be terribly depressing and horribly unjust, her parents murder would definitely provide that spark.