Hermione Granger was the brightest student in her Year when she attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry between 1991 and 1999, as she took the 1997-98 year off when she helped Harry hunt Horcruxes before returning to graduate.
Despite her intellect and powerful magical ability, Hermione was also the only member of the Golden Trio that did not have magical parents. So if you are new to Harry Potter, you may be wondering how Hermione can be a witch even if her parents are Muggles.
Witches and wizards born to Muggle parents can still possess magical abilities and are referred to as Muggle-borns. This means one of Hermione Granger’s parents carried and passed the magical gene down to her, even if it remained dormant for many generations.
Do Hermione’s Parents Know She’s a Witch?
Hermione Granger is a Muggle-Born, meaning she is a witch born to non-magical parents. Until she received her Hogwarts letter, Hermione’s parents would not have known she was a witch.
Therefore, Hermione would have attended Muggle primary schools and had no knowledge of the Wizarding World until she received her Hogwarts letter.
However, despite the fact they did not know she was a witch, her parents noticed some “oddities” associated with their daughter.
These so-called “oddities” were really Hermione showing signs of magical ability at an age when young witches and wizards have little control over them.
For example, if Hermione found herself frightened or anxious, something likely would have occurred during this time that could have been in the form of her magically moving an object on its own, or even causing inadvertent harm to the object or person frightening her.
Who Told Hermione She Was a Witch?
Pure-blood and Half-blood witches and wizards often have a parent or a magical relative who can explain to them what they are. Muggle-borns have no known magical relatives, so when they receive their Hogwarts letter, a member of the school’s staff delivers it in person.
Shortly before Hermione turned eleven, she received this letter from a Hogwarts professor. But, J.K. Rowling has never revealed who the professor was.
This professor would have told Hermione that she was a witch before proceeding to answer any questions Hermione and her parents may have had, like how she may have become a witch in the first place.
The staff member also would have assisted Hermione and her parents through Diagon Alley to purchase school supplies, since doing so required Muggles to exchange their money for gold galleons, silver sickles, and bronze knuts.
Who in Hermione’s Family is a Wizard?
There are no known witches or wizards in Hermione’s family, but since she is Muggle-born, Hermione would have had a magical ancestor.
Just as Muggle-borns have non-magical parents, magical parents could also have a child with no magical ability, or in some cases, limited magical ability. Known as Squibs, they often leave the Wizarding World because there is no opportunity for them to succeed there.
However, Squibs can see Hogwarts instead of the ruin that a Muggle would see, as in the case of its caretaker, Argus Filch. In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Arabella Figg revealed that she was a Squib and that she could see Dementors, something that Muggles cannot see.
Since Squibs often cut themselves off from the Wizarding World, as they also often faced persecution and prejudice, they would also marry Muggles, increasing the odds that their children would also be Muggles.
But as the wizarding gene remains in their DNA, there is always the possibility that it will rise after several, sometimes many, generations, and this was the case regarding Hermione.
Once again, Rowling doesn’t reveal who this ancestor is, but Hector Dagworth-Granger is a strong possibility since he and Hermione share the same surname.
During a Potions lesson in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Professor Horace Slughorn even asked Hermione if Dagworth-Granger was her ancestor. However, she stated it was unlikely thanks to her Muggle-born status.
Hermione’s reply could strike some readers and fans as odd. since a character with her intellect would have most likely acknowledged the possibility that Dagworth-Granger may have been the magical ancestor from whom she derived her magic.
Further, there is also the possibility that Dagworth-Granger, or Hermione’s most recent wizarding ancestor, was a Half-blood or a Muggle-born. If this is the case, then it’s possible that Hermione’s lineage is predominantly Muggle with very few witches and wizards.
How Did Hermione Get Into Hogwarts?
Since Muggle-borns and their parents have zero knowledge of the Wizarding World, getting to Hogwarts would be tricky without someone explaining the process to them.
Luckily, the same staff member that delivers their letter and assists them in Diagon Alley will also let them know about Platform 9 and ¾ at Kings Cross Station. The concealed platform contains the Hogwarts Express, which will take them from London, England, and into the purported location of Hogwarts in the Scottish Highlands.
Once the Hogwarts Express made its next stop at the train station at the Village of Hogsmeade, Hermione accompanied Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and other First-Year students to a set of boats on the lake, which gave the students their first view of Hogwarts.
Starting in her second year, Hermione and all students between the second and seventh year would take horseless carriages (later revealed to be pulled by thestrals) from Hogsmeade Station and through a set of gates that led to Hogwarts.
Hermione Granger was a witch because one of her parents had a dormant wizarding gene that was activated when she was born. This gave her a magical ability that nobody in her family had for perhaps centuries, giving her magical ancestors, with Hector Dagworth-Granger being the likeliest.
However, this has been unconfirmed, though we can confirm that Dagworth-Granger, or whoever this magical ancestor is, produced a Squib, who then produced Muggles in Hermione’s lineage until she was born.
Todd Wahlstrom is a creative and analytical freelance writer and life-long Star Wars fan who has expanded into writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He has written about recent shows such as The Mandalorian and Andor and classic topics like Darth Vader, the Jedi, and Boba Fett. His recent articles include the MCU’s Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor. Todd is the author of a non-fiction book, holds a Ph.D. in history, and enjoys hiking, running, and reading about science.