Problem Solving

Title: Problem Solving
Author: Keira Marcos
Prompt: Desperation
Fandom: Harry Potter
Relationship: Harry/Hermione
Genre: Romance, AU, Soap Box
Word Count: 964 (complete)
Warnings: No beta, stalking
Summary: Hermione decides a boyfriend will solve her problem.

* * * *

She had to do something. Something drastic because her situation was ridiculous and she had two best friends who were boys and shouldn’t have to endure something so foolish as what she was currently enduring. Hermione dropped her books on the table with a thud. Both Ron and Harry looked up, neither looked particularly thrilled to see her, but that was par for their course when it came to homework.

“I have a problem.”

“How can I help?” Harry asked, and Ron just frowned at her in confusion.

“I haven’t done the transfiguration essay—you’re supposed to help us.”

“I don’t need anyone’s help on homework, Ronald,” Hermione said tartly, and Harry laughed a little. “This is serious, though, and I need one of you to be my boyfriend for the rest of the year.”

Both their mouths dropped open, and Ron paled a little.

“The rest of the actual year or the rest of the school year?” Harry asked curiously.

“The whole school year, all that’s left—all the way to the bloody end.” She crossed her arms and stared at them. “Dates to Hogsmeade, the Yule Ball, and all of that stuff that goes with being my boyfriend.”

“You said I should ask Lavender to the ball, so I did,” Ron said. “Hmmm…” He turned to Harry. “You’re up, mate.”

Harry stared at her for a few seconds, and Hermione’s stomach knotted up. She supposed that she could go to Neville if Harry said no but she really didn’t think that Neville would be able to solve her problem. He was sweet, and he’d come far since first year, but her problem was literally bigger than Neville. Well, her problem was bigger than Ron and Harry, too, but that was beside the point.

“Well, if that’s what you need then yes, of course,” Harry agreed. “But why?”

“Viktor Krum is stalking me around the school,” Hermione confessed in a rush. “And trying to talk to me in the library and he makes me nervous but not the good kind of nervous but the bad kind of nervous. My mum said I should always trust my instincts and he’s bigger than me.” She paused because they were both pale now but Harry’s eyes had darkened with temper. “And he knows more magic than me, and he doesn’t even bother to try to say my name right, and when I corrected him, he shrugged like it wasn’t even important. What does that even mean?”

“I don’t know,” Harry murmured. “But it’s nothing good. Anything else?”

“He told me that he liked dating younger girls because they were easier and I told him that I turned 15 on my birthday and he said that was too bad. Then he laughed and said I was almost too old for him!”

Harry stood and grabbed her hand. “Come with me.”

“Where are we going?” Hermione questioned as he pulled her toward the portrait.

“You’re going to tell Professor McGonagall all of that,” Harry said. “My Aunt Petunia is frankly a horrible woman, but she taught Dudley and me how to treat girls and most especially how not to treat girls. You’re not even the age of consent and if that’s the part he actually likes then you need an adult more than you need a boyfriend.”

The portrait closed behind them, and Harry continued to tug her down the hall toward the Head of House’s office. Just short of the door, she pulled him to a stop.

“Does that mean you won’t be my boyfriend?”

“I already said yes to that part,” Harry pointed out. “And I’m also willing to curse the crap out of Viktor Krum and get myself thrown out of the tournament, but we need Professor McGonagall.” He turned and knocked on the door.

They were ordered to enter tersely so he pushed open the door and Professor McGonagall looked up from the parchment she was reading to stare at them. Her gaze was assessing and narrowed briefly on their joined hands.

“I hope this means you have a date for the Yule Ball, Mr. Potter.”

Harry laughed. “Yeah, that was included in the list of duties, but we have a problem.”

“The kind of problem that should involve Poppy?” Minerva questioned tersely.

Hermione blushed brightly. “Oh, no, ma’am, nothing like that. It’s just…” She bit down on her lip.

“Hermione’s being stalked and sexually harassed by an adult wizard,” Harry said. “And she thinks a boyfriend will solve that problem, and I guess it will in the short term but I thought we should talk to you and that you should probably teach her whatever the best self-defense curses you can think of for the situation.” He prodded Hermione forward. “Castration, impotence, etc, etc.” He turned to Hermione. “I’ll be back in an hour to get you.”

Hermione huffed when he closed the door. “That boy…”

Minerva laughed, but it was brief. “Sit, Miss Granger, and tell me what’s going on.”

Hermione blushed. “Harry is oblivious, but he also has a hero complex twice his size.”

“Which is just about the size of your problem, I’d say. Madam Pince told me that Viktor Krum has been making a pest of himself in the library.” She pointed Hermione toward a chair. “Sit, lass, we’re going to have a talk about witch’s rights.”

She opened a drawer and pulled out a small booklet. “I usually meet with girls in their fifth year to discuss this, but it won’t hurt to be a bit early in your case considering the circumstances.” She offered Hermione the pamphlet.

Hermione took it and smiled briefly at the title. Putting a Foolish Wizard in His Place. “I see.”

Minerva drew her wand. “Now, the wand movements for the impotence curse…”

The End

Author’s Note:

The Big Short is a short-form writing challenge hosted on Rough Trade’s forum, The Workshop. The prompts come in two forms — a word challenge (the theme) and a single character challenge. I post my responses to the prompts on the forum first and eventually they’ll make it to my website. Each is a stand alone piece with no potential for expansion.

These short works are NOT prompts! These are my responses to the forum prompts. No, you cannot use them as prompts. No you cannot continue my short work with a longer work or write a sequel. For fuck’s sake.

Keira Marcos

In my spare time, I write fanfiction and lead a cult of cock worshippers on the Internet. It's not the usual kind of hobby for a 40ish "domestic engineer" but we live in a modern world and I like fucking with people's expectations.


  1. I laughed so hard at the last bit I woke my cat up

  2. *snicker* I really liked this one. A pamphlet on how to handle foolish wizards – hit them right where it hurts (the small brain) and they might learn something. Thank you for sharing this little laugh blurbbly.

  3. Puurfect! Thank you for sharing as always.

    ~ Myana.

  4. I love this! And of *course* McGonagall has a pamphlet prepared to give to girls!

  5. *offers M&Ms while giggling over pamphlet title* Thank you!

  6. Oh this was a lovely little giggle! And also such a pleasant surprise to find in my inbox, since you said you were taking an HP break…not that I can blame you on that!

    Love the immediate agreement om being her boyfriend, but the reaction to the WHY she needs one was even better! McGonagall is wonderful as always too!

    One reason I love your work so much is the detail you put into it and the way you expand on the Wizarding World so wonderfully. It’s also nice to know that I’m not the only one who got the creeps from Krum’s behavior.

    I look forward to whatever you post whenever you do. All the best!

  7. Woo-hoo! Fic!
    That is possibly the greatest pamphlet title ever! I wish more people saw how utterly creepy Krum was. I suppose this is one of the few upsides to being raised Muggle. Or maybe being raised by Aunt Petunia.

  8. I think I just hurt myself laughing. That was so in character but also totally hysterical. I loved, absolutely loved the title of the pamphlet… plus Harry’s comments about ‘list of duties’ and ‘teach her what she needs to know, I’ll be back in an hour’… perfect!

  9. Absolutely delightful little fic. 🙂

  10. I love the pamphlet title. And that Harry came up with the idea of the pamphlet all on his own, too.

  11. Oh dear sweet heavens! I should not log in at work, I should not. Because I just snorted water all over legal documents. This was so much FUN! Thank you!

  12. Ha! McGonagall’s response made me smile

    Love it, keep it up.

  13. That was brilliant.

  14. I love this!!!! Thank you!

  15. I’m laughing so hard, I’m crying 🙂 Thanks for this, Keira, it was brief, but to the point and really great :))

  16. This is wonderful. I love that Harry takes her completely seriously.

  17. I laughed so hard at the last line, loved this, thank you.

  18. *mwhahaha* Loved it, every word. Thanks!

  19. Very cute! Thanks for sharing.

  20. Nice and sweet. Glad for once McGonagall listened to them and was glad to help. The booklet was a great idea.
    So sorry to here that you are being harassed over posting . I however look eagerly ahead to 2018 or whenever you chose to resume your H/Hr stories.
    Thanks so much for writing and choosing to share your wonderful stories with this very appreciative member of your fan club.

  21. This is great/I wish someone had handed a pamphlet like that to me when I met the first guy who didn’t like ‘no’. I also wish I had magic to curse him silly.

  22. *fist pump*

    Awesome, as always!

  23. Very good, and I like how for once Harry finds himself in a dangerous situation and goes to an adult for help and, surprise, they actually do it!
    I also really enjoyed the Golden Trio interaction, how each of them has the others’ back.

  24. Thank you for this lovely story! I like both the interactions of the trio and the fact that the women faculty members are looking out for their female students.

  25. #womenbeingawesome #hermioneistheboss
    I love this; I’ve read it twice since you posted it on RT. I like that a male’s reaction to stalking is not how a girl can avoid being stalked/raped/harassed, it’s how do we deal with this guy effectively.
    And I like that Hermione is the boss of the boys: she gives them their marching orders, and they march along like good soldiers.

  26. loved this! love ALL your work, but this is very timely and funny! thanks for sharing!

  27. This is splendid! I love how practical Harry is and the Professor is just bad-ass as always. Thank you for posting.

  28. I love badass McGonagall

  29. That’s hilarious! Thank you.

  30. PERFECT. I love that Harry’s reaction is ‘of course, how can I help’ and then ‘I will curse him into pieces and then burn the pieces!’

  31. This was absolutely wonderful! Super cute, I loved Harry leaving Hermione with Professor McGonagall to learn impotence curses and the like! It was hilarious. Thank you so much for writing!

  32. Really really glad that Harry knew that sometimes the problem needs an adult to be involved. I’m also glad for the acknowledgement that Victor was an adult going after a child. That always bothered me since the fact that Krum was still in school didn’t negate the fact that he was a grown man and Hermione was still only fourteen.

  33. Glorious! I love it that, while Harry is readily prepared to act as Hermione’s “protector”, he thinks it’s more important that she learn to protect herself. And of *course* McGonagall has the necessary information to hand. (And I bet she’s used it herself more than a few times.)

  34. New head cannon accepted.

    This was awesome Keira! Thanks so much for sharing

  35. Love this!! Victor has no idea what he is in for!

  36. Victor choices the wrong girl to mess with.
    Harry is so right to go to minerva.

    Thanks to share.

  37. Awesome,Loved it and laughed. Thank you.

  38. That was great 🙂

  39. YES! To ALL of this! My happy place is reached. Thank you for posting!

  40. Hurray for Hermione, Harry and Professor McGonagall, all of whom have excellent problem-solving skills! (And I would love to see just what that pamphlet says! 😀 )

  41. Brilliant in nearly all ways but Harry going straight to McGonagall – He doesn’t trust so much authority figures (with good reason) Hermione is the one trusting teachers:)

  42. This is brilliant. Thanks for sharing!

  43. I love it. I adore oblivious Harry with a hero complex.

  44. Consent is sexy! This was just pitch perfect. The characters are in perfect Harmony! And such a treat on this dreary Saturday morning! Thank you!

  45. Forget the dragon, Viktor – that’s behind you. Hermione is is front of you. If you value your goolies, be somewhere else.

  46. The pamphlet. Omg that’s brilliant. I love it!!

  47. I burst out laughing at Minerva’s matter of fact start to her lesson. Krum needs to be put down hard and Hermione’s the witch to do it. Harry can mop up what’s left. That’s a boyfriend’s role … clean up afterwards.

  48. Also, I love that in some of your fics, the Dursleys weren’t entirely useless. I like that Petunia taught Harry and Dudley this, and that in another fic Vernon gave Harry a thorough sex talk, so that Ginny wasn’t later able to trick him into getting her pregnant.

  49. Petunia now has one small, redeeming speck of decency in my head based on this ficlet.

    Minerva is awesome, Harry both heroically bloodthirsty & willing to sacrifice for his friends, Hermione supremely efficient at sorting out solutions & Ron a bit hopeless but heart in the right place. Isn’t that the books in a nutshell?

  50. This is awesome. I love you so much.

  51. Hehe so awesome!

    • This is beautiful. Thank you so much.
      The fact that as soon as Harry heard that she needed help he asked “how” and that as soon as he heard the scope of it, he brought her to an adult and still stayed on as her boyfriend.
      It’s beautiful and it gives me warm fuzzies.
      This is exactly what I needed to read right now. <3

  52. The fact that she has pamphlets called “Putting a Foolish Wizard in His Place” is possibly my favorite thing that I have ever read about Minerva, ever. This is so great, thanks!

  53. Where were teachers and women mentors like Minerva when I was Hermione’s age? Wonderful. Thank you, thank you.

  54. *laughing harder…that’s really not nice ya know it hurts lol* loving it…

  55. Thank you so much for this wonderful story, it made my bad day so much better!

  56. greywolfthewanderer

    yee-HAW, this is fucking *awesome*!!!1! <3<3<3

    impotence curse indeed, heh heh heh… Krum's gonna wish his mama never shat him out, methinks. woo hoo!!!

  57. Lovely little ficlet. 🙂 Loved the pamphlet lol

  58. The bit about Petunia having taught them how to treat and how not to treat girls — I particularly love that bit.

  59. Brilliant, especially the pamphlet title.

  60. Delightful- I also want an impotence curse *laughs*

  61. Loved this so much

  62. While this whole thing is awesome and delicious like cake, the pamphlet was basically thebest friggin icing on top of it! Thanks so much for this!

  63. Awesome! Thank you for sharing.

  64. Great story, liked how take charge Harry was- back in an hour, but really loved the last line, Minerva rocks! Thanks for posting it!

  65. Love it!

  66. Great story! The way you write Harry and Hermione makes me grin every time. This short has such good characterisation for so few words. Excellent work!

  67. I feel like Minerva would have these pamphlets specifically made. Because how great is the Putting a Foolish Wizard in His Place title. *cackles* Thanks a million for these shorts. I needed the pick-me-up desperately and your words keep me sane.

  68. From start to finish, **brilliant**!!
    I have read this 3 times so far, and each and every time, I love it more.
    Thank you!!

  69. Thanks for that!!
    Would that all sexual harassment were so blatant. I would love to have learnt & used those wand movements!

  70. This is AWESOME! Brilliant as always – thanks for sharing it.

  71. sweet.
    Minerva is one dangerous woman and I can see her teaching the girls several curses to deal with idiot wizards

  72. Protective!Harry is adorable.
    And of course McGonagall is prepared for dealing with such things, complete with pamphlets. She’s totally a BAMF and would be prepared to teach all girls to be the same way.

  73. One of my very favorite parts of your Harry Potter fiction is the focus on empowering women. This story just feeds that love. Thank you for sharing!

  74. This is cute and hilarious! Loved how Harry was all boss and Minerva’s last line!

  75. This one made me laugh out loud! Thank you!

  76. I think this might just be the best HP story I’ve ever read. Thank you for sharing.

  77. I lost count on how many times that I have read this. I know it has been more than once though. It is so good. Thank you for giving this to us. You are inspirational.

  78. I adore the title of the pamphlet! How excellent.

  79. Haha…loved it…especially the ending!! #girlpower

  80. How did I not see this until now?

    Congratulations, you have won an internet. *applause*

  81. Love this! Not only is it well written (as usual, you’re awesome!) but it has an important lesson, the kind of shit I hope my kids will learn from me and know how to use when they’re older.

  82. Love your work and brain. Is it wrong that I would love to see what happens to Victor? I know that if you do decide to continue this epic train it will be worth the wait. Anyways I am going back to lurk in the corner and reread other stories you have spun, and maybe sleep sometime today.

  83. I always snicker whenever I re-read this one. Thanks for the laugh!!!

  84. scarlet standish

    Loved it. Absolutely adorable.

  85. I literally adore this. Like, it might actually be my favorite story in the history of Ever. It’s just. that. good. Like, yes. Absolutely. I cheered and fist pumped and everything!! HP is full of the potential for rape and other horrible consent related crimes that just never really get addressed. And let’s be real here, men (like mankind) is a depraved bunch of shitty assholes who would totally use magic to rape someone physically as well as mentally. That shit has to have been happening quite a bit. And has anyone ever noticed that Dark Lords are the magical version of serial killers? Anywho! Thanks for sharing this wonderful gem with the rest of us!!

  86. Love it. The moment when Hermione says ‘I have a problem’ and Harry’s response is ‘How can I help?’ and Ron just stares at her befuddled and unresponsive is a perfect encapsulation of the boys’ characters.

  87. Loved this short!

  88. I loved this, please write more. I want to see Hermione hex Victor.

  89. I had to come reread this after being tripped up by yet another story where Hermione sleeps with Krum during fourth year after only knowing him for a month at best. Creepy Krum is creepy.

  90. Love it! So them (for good and ill — Really, Ron?), and McGonagall demonstrates once again why she is a favorite.

  91. On my gosh that last line! Laugh like a moron every time I read it. That also handily explains why the predator goes for the younger girls. What a lovely surprise he is in for!

  92. I love this story. The pamphlet though…laughed out loud!

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