Hermione Granger: Minister of Magic
"Bonkers, I tell you!" Ron announced without preamble. "Completely bonkers!"
He brushed soot out of his hair and cleared the Floo just in time. The fire turned white hot, then red, before looking completely innocent and normal again.
Harry stared. "Did Hermione just Hex the Floo network?"
"I'm not going back there," Ron said, storming to the kitchen. He opened Harry's fridge and seized the carton of Muggle milk, downing it like alcohol.
"Have some milk, Ron...." Harry said.
Ron wiped his mouth. "Don't mind if I do."
"What's the problem?" Harry asked. "She won the election, fair and square."
"You're asking me to explain Hermione?"
"Fair and square" was the operative phrase. Her primary opponent for Minister of Magic, Ludo Bagman, had been caught cheating. He'd had the goblins responsible for counting the votes kidnapped and replaced with golems fashioned to look like goblins. Of course he'd been caught right away, as golems can't count (or speak), prompting many to rescind their votes. They explained that cheating was all well and good, but if he couldn't do it right, he didn't have what it took to be Minister.
The winning candidate after the Bagman scandal had been a write-in -- Harry had politely refused -- and the next candidate had been deceased, leaving Hermione the winner. Percy Weasley had also run, finishing an ignominious last with only a single vote. He had, presumably, voted for himself.
If Harry were smart, he would keep his head down and wait till the dust, or hexes, settled. That's what Ron did, and it had made for a successful relationship. Unfortunately, he was a friend, and that meant braving foolish dangers like twelve-foot trolls and angry new Ministers of Magic. He put on his coat and, not trusting the Floo Network after one of Hermione's hexes, made his way to her house several blocks away.
Gazing at the miasma of hexes, wardings, and charms of ill-luck for any who entered, Harry mentally made up the couch for Ron: no way he was getting through all that. Harry, on the other hand, had the advantage of being The Boy Who Lived.
Hermione blinked up at Harry from her desk, where he'd appeared with a bang. "How did you--"
She glared at the house-elf beside him.
Harry shrugged. "They're less loyal when you pay them."
"Mr. Harry Potter is here! He can fix anything," Teensie said.
"Thank you, Susan," Hermione said. "But I doubt it." A blue Speak-O-Quill hovered over a piece of parchment on the desk, writing as she spoke.
"Susan?" Harry puzzled after the house-elf vanished.
Hermione raised her chin. "I encourage them to take more dignified Wizarding names to help engage as equals in wizarding society."
Ah. Harry had learned the lesson of timing back at the Dursleys', and opted not to touch this subject with a bargepole. Though it explained the furor at the Auror Academy: they'd accepted a candidate who was discovered to be a house-elf and now the case was working its way through the courts. Frankly, Harry didn't think he could get used to "Richard" the house-elf.
"So," Harry said, casually running a finger along her spell books, as if he'd just popped by to borrow one, or a cup of sugar. "What's up?"
She sighed, shoulders sagging. Her hair looked oily and a little flat. "Tell Ron I didn't mean it and the curse will reverse itself naturally. He'll have his genitals back in a few days."
Harry paused for a breathless moment. "Remind me never to upset you."
"Never upset me," she reminded him instantly in a perfunctory tone. "I'm trying to write my acceptance speech." She made a frustrated noise and grabbed the quill, squishing the feather.
Harry leaned over to read. It had written down their entire conversation, crossing out "genitals" for "male parts," and had written her last sound as "errrrgh!"
"Not going well?" he ventured.
She snatched away the parchment. "Here's what I have: I gratefully accept."
"Good start," Harry encouraged.
"It's a lie," she said. "I don't feel grateful at all."
"Ah." Harry cringed.
"All I can think is what the hell took them so long to elect a female Minister of Magic! There have been great sorceresses in the past. Qualified witches. Half the founders of Hogwarts were women! What's wrong with them?" Hermione said.
"You did win," Harry felt obligated to point out.
"After you," she said, stabbing a finger in his direction.
"In my defense, I've been a write-in candidate since I was a baby." He shrugged. "The Chosen One ... The Boy Who Lived...."
"And I was after that idiot, Ludo Bagman!"
"He is popular with the Quidditch crowd...." Harry admitted.
"I know!" Hermione said and glowered. "Ron voted for him."
Harry went bug-eyed. "Um, well. You did say he could vote for whoever he liked...." he offered, though it truly was indefensible.
"He's not supposed to be a fool!" she cried. "They even voted for a dead man before they voted for me."
"It was a joke...." Harry said.
"It was Snape," she said, and crossed her arms. Daring him to answer.
"I voted for you," Harry said wanly. He took off his glasses and ran his hand through his hair, making it stick up. "Look, the ministry lost a lot of respect during the war. It's going to take some time before people trust it again--or even take it seriously."
"I know that. I just don't like that the total destruction of the ministry's reputation is what it takes for them to finally elect a witch."
Harry reached for the rumpled quill, tugging it out of her hand. "Tell you what: I'll write your speech."
"What? Harry," she said, "you can't do that."
"Ministers have had speechwriters before," Harry said smoothly, picking up a blank roll of parchment. "Or they do in the Muggle world anyway." He backed his way out of the room.
"No, I mean, I'm sure I'm not the first person to tell you this but, Harry, you're a terrible writer."
"It'll be fine. Trust me," he said with a smile. And closed the door behind him.
Harry, sitting next to Ron in the front row, stood up, clapping his hands high above his head. The crowd erupted in cheers, wizard hats thrown in the air, along with a few (quite illegal) fireworks. Hermione, beaming from the podium, seemed inclined to ignore the infraction just this once.
Later, after a good twenty minutes of photographs ... some with her and Ron and their kids, some with the outgoing Minister ... Harry managed to wade through the reporters. Hastily, the press turned it into another photo op. "Shake her hand!" somebody shouted, but Harry did one better and gave her a big hug while the camerabirds hovered and flashed. Harry wasn't sure what kind of photo they could get from directly overhead--a picture of the tops of their heads?--but he didn't care.
"Congratulations," Harry whispered in her ear. "Did you like my speech?"
Hermione pulled back. Her face was luminous. "Honestly! I couldn't use such language."
"What about the gesture? Did you like the gesture?" he asked. "I debated about including it."
"Yes, and the diagram you drew was very helpful, if unnecessary," she smiled. "You forget I know the two-fingered salute."
"Right, right, similar backgrounds. Best you didn't use it at any rate. I wasn't sure it would have the same impact among wizards. I've never tried."
"And concerning the final line, I'd never stick them with Percy, let alone do so with an evil laugh. That would be unkind," she explained. Then she looked thoughtful for a moment. "I do think an evil laugh would take practice." She knelt for a little witch, no more than six years old, who was the daughter of some important something-or-other wizard. She accepted a bouquet of butterfly lilies from the girl, which tugged in every direction and attempted to fly away.
"Yes, well, I figured you'd accept the job after all. But it was fun imagining that speech, wasn't it?" Harry grinned.
Hermione laughed. Then handed the unruly flowers to Ron, who was clearly still in the dog house. He promptly lost one and it flew up towards the rafters.
"For what it's worth," Harry said, following its flight. "I think you're going to be the best Minister of Magic we've ever had."
"Of course." Hermione twinkled up at him. "I wouldn't have run otherwise."