Title: Problem Solving
Author: Keira Marcos
Fandom: Harry Potter
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 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 fifteen 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 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.