An original editorial by Katherine Messier.
In this editorial, I would like to discuss the form of Hermione's Patronus. In the HP world, Animagi take the form of the animal that most closely represents their personality. I can only assume that Patronuses, since they are also in the form of animals, do the same. So, let's analyze this quote, the only mention of Hermione's Patronus in the HP books:
Hermione's Patronus, a shining silver otter, was gamboling around her.
- OotP, p. 607, American hardcover edition
Hermione's Patronus is an otter. JK wouldn't have mentioned it at all of it wasn't important. But what does that say about Hermione? Well, an otter, to quote my dictionary, is "a carnivorous aquatic mammal of the genus Lutra." Otters are known for their playfulness, as is evidenced by JK's use of the word "gambol," which means "to leap about playfully, frolic." They are also known for their intelligence, being one of the only mammals to use tools. And, lastly, the genus Lutra also includes badgers, ferrets, minks, and... weasels. Indeed, that genus is known as the weasel family.
Now, for the personality elements of my analysis. Hermione is very intelligent... but playful? I have a theory, especially now that I've written much of this editorial, that there is a part of Hermione we have never seen before... a fun side. Perhaps, partly because of her genius, her parents (who are both dentists) pressured her when young and caused that side to be buried and made homework her obsession? In any case, with Fred and George Weasely gone and Voldemort gaining power, Hermione (and JKR) will feel the need for more lightheartedness in her life (and the books) and allow her playful side to emerge.
As for the weasel connection... well, I personally am a fan of a Harry/Hermione affair, but if I said I believed that now, I would be denouncing my own theory. Hermione's Patronus is an otter. Ron's last name is Weasley. The otter is part of the weasel(y?) family. I can only conclude that they will get together in either Book Six or Book Seven. We'll just have to wait and see.
Posted by: Nicole