During the Second Wizarding War, everyone had to make sacrifices and difficult choices.
Hermione needed to save her parents from the grave danger, and she sent them away. She was skilled enough to craft a plan that would ensure their safety while they were away.
Why Did Hermione Granger Erase Her Parents’ Memories?
Hermione erased herself from her parents’ memories because she wanted to ensure they were protected, and having her as a daughter wasn’t safe for them.
Because of her involvement with the Chosen One, her best friend Harry Potter, Hermione was on the Undesirable list of Ministry of Magic. Voldemort and his Death Eaters ruled the Ministry, and there was a big chance they would try and hurt Hermione’s parents to get to her and through her to Harry.
In order to protect them, she sent them to Australia, but to make sure they would not contact her and not mourn her in the worst-case scenario, she removed herself from their memories.
They no longer knew they had a daughter, and they also thought they were different people. Instead of being Mr. and Mrs. Granger, they became Wendell and Monica Wilkins.
Hermione only admitted it after the fact, when Harry had doubts about her and Ron joining him on his quest.
“Wendel and Monica Wilkins don’t know that they’ve got a daughter, you see.”
Did Hermione Use Obliviate on Her Parents in the Books?
There is no mention of Obliviate Charm in the books when speaking of Hermione changing her parents’ memories. The notion of Hermione using this particular charm came from the movie Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1.
The movie shows a scene where Hermione points her wand at her parents and says, “Obliviate!”. It also somehow erases her from all the family pictures.
In the book, this scene doesn’t exist. Instead, we go to the time when Hermione admitted to what she had already done to prepare herself for the task of finding Horcruxes.
During that scene in the book, she only mentions modifying her parents’ memories, making them think they are someone else and need to move to Australia. She mentions a charm, but she never reveals which charm she used.
We can assume that it was a complicated memory charm because from what we know, Obliviate Charm only erases memories, but it doesn’t change them. More than likely, Hermione invented the charm on her own, being the smartest witch of her age.
Can You Reverse Obliviate?
From the information in the books, we can gather that one can’t fully reverse the Obliviate Charm, if at all, without damaging one’s brain.
The best example of that would be the case of one of the former Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor, Gilderoy Lockhart. He proclaimed himself a master of Obliviate Charm, and unfortunately, using Ron’s broken wand, cast it on himself by accident in the Chamber of Secrets.
The spell he cast was so powerful that it erased every memory he ever possessed, including his name and the ability to write.
J.K. Rowling admitted that he would never get back his memories, and although we learned later in the books that he seemed to regain some of it, we can assume it was only because of the fan mail and the practice of writing.
Another small tell about the Obliviate Charm was when Barty Crouch Jr. confessed everything after Voldemort’s return. He said that Voldemort tortured Bertha Jorkins, a Ministry’s worker, until he broke the memory charm placed on her by Barty Crouch Sr.
While there is no information on what charm Hermione used on her parents, we can safely say it wasn’t Obliviate like the movie would want you to believe. Hermione intended to find her parents after the war and reverse the memory char she cast on them.
Did Hermione Restore Her Parents’ Memories?
Yes, Hermione restored her parents’ memories.
Even though there s no information in any of the books or movies, J.K. Rowling said in one of the interviews that Hermione found her parents and returned their memories right after the war ended.
Hermione went to Australia to track her parents down, reversed the memory spell, and brought them home, where they went back to their dental practice and later became grandparents to Hermione’s two children.
Oliviate is one of the charms that one should not play around with because it may cause a lot of damage (look at Gilderoy, forever locked at St. Mungo’s). Hermione knew exactly what she was doing when altering her parents’ memories.
Even though the movies tell you Hermione used the Obliviate Charm, we know that she most likely did her research and used one of the spells of her own invention. She was able to reverse the spell and bring her parents home—a truly happy ending.