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The Devolution of Muggle-Magical Relations

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Hermione can feel herself physically bristling over the morning papers. The Prophet isn't covering it, of course, but the Muggle newspapers are full of the news that the previous Muggle government has increased its lead in parliament and is set to form a full majority government. She's horrified, and has already sent a commiserating owl to her parents. Aside from the Ministry staffers she pays to do it, no one she knows really pays much attention to non-magical politics. More fool them, as she suspects that sooner or later they're going to have to.

Harry gets it, usually, he remembers the Dursleys' love of Thatcher and seeing John Major on TV, though he doesn't pay as much attention these days. Hermione can't blame him; it's bloody depressing. The welfare state, the best thing the country ever did, will continue to be butchered up and sold for parts to line the pockets of the Cabinet and their friends. The rich will grow richer and the dispossessed will suffer, and food banks will keep multiplying while the champagne bill at the House of Commons goes through the roof.

She's heartsick and desperate to do something, though she'll struggle to push anything through at the Ministry. Muggle relations are better than they were, but the principles of non-interference hold very strong, and the vast majority of the magical world considers this kind of thing very firmly not their business. Still, she'll see what she can do. Maybe they can help out with the food banks, or have St Mungo's set up a non-magical wing.

She probably ought to go and congratulate the re-elected Prime Minister on his victory. She doesn't really want to. It can wait until next week, she decides - after all, they have met before. (And the look on his face when she appeared in his office is one that she'll cherish for the rest of her days.)

Today, she's got someone else she wants to visit.


It isn't her first time at this, so when Hermione materialises in Nicola Sturgeon's office, her wand is ready to catch the mug of coffee falling out of the Scottish First Minster's hands.

"Ah," Sturgeon says. "I see I have reached the exciting hallucinogenic portion of the week! I suppose that's to be expected. Hello, magical sleep deprivation lady, how may I help you?"

Hermione laughs. "I assure you, I'm quite real."

"If you say so. What can I do for you?"

"My name is Hermione Granger, and I'm the Minister for Magic. I'm a witch, and I represent the magical population that lives in this country. We're very good at keeping ourselves a secret. However, we deem it prudent to make ourselves known to the country's non-magical leaders so that we can share information about any events in our world that may impact significantly on yours. Don't worry, that hasn't happened in years.

"Usually, the Minister for Magic would only deal with the Prime Minister. However, given your party's phenomenal success in this election – congratulations, by the way – it made sense to bring you into the loop too. After all, Scotland is home to a significant portion of the magical population."

"It … is?"

"Yes. Our chief education institute is situated in the Highlands along with the only entirely magical town in the UK. I wasn't entirely sure whether your independence vote would make any difference to us, so perhaps if you hold another referendum we can chat about the logistics of that."

"The logistics of your witch school. Which is in the Highlands. I see."

"I appreciate that this is a lot to take in. If you find that you have any questions, you can write to me." She picked up a cage holding a sleepy brown owl. "This is one of our postal owls. Give her a letter and tell her it's for me and she'll deliver it to me wherever I am. Now I'm afraid I must be going. Very best of luck with it all!"

With that, Hermione Floo'd away, laughing at the stupefied look on Sturgeon's face.


Two weeks letter, she gets an owl.

Dear Ms Granger,

Assuming that our first meeting was not merely a highly elaborate practical joke or a product of my fevered mind, and I'm not convinced that it wasn't, I would like to request a further meeting at your earliest convenience. It's not every day you discover that you have an entire group of constituents under your nose that you'd been utterly unaware of. I would be very grateful if someone could provide me with a briefing on who these people are, and what wants and needs they have specific to their situation that could be of relevance to our affairs in Holyrood or indeed in Westminster.

Sincerely yours,
Nicola Sturgeon
First Minster of Scotland

PS – many thanks for the owl! She's rather lovely, isn't she? I've named her Bonnie.

Hermione grins, and flicks through her diary to find an opening.