Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or any of the characters in the Harry Potter books or movies.
Author's Notes: The story "Prologue to a Revolution" sets up the events in this story. It's available under my profile.
A big "Thank You!" goes to GJMEGA for Beta-reading several chapters.
Hermione Granger and the Marriage Law Revolution
Chapter 1: The law that broke the purebloods
"They legalized rape!" The Daily Prophet from two days ago was slapped on the table in the private room at the Three Broomsticks with enough force to scare most of the wizarding pictures out of their frames. Compared to the volume of the comment that opened the meeting of the survivors of the Defense Association it was nothing though - Hermione Granger was riled up to a point not many had ever seen her at.
"The Wizengamot just made rape not only legal, but enforced by Aurors!" she continued, before pausing, to control herself. At her side Harry Potter, hero of the second Blood War and Vanquisher of Voldemort, put a hand on her shoulder in support.
Neville Longbottom, hero of Hogwarts, spoke up, though with more caution in his voice than one would expect from the man who had stood up to Voldemort and beheaded Nagini with the Sword of Gryffindor: "Do you mean the Marriage Law the Wizengamot passed?"
"What else would I mean?" Hermione snarled. When Neville opened his mouth she cut him off. "Don't you dare to repeat their lies here! This law is not about saving the Wizarding World, it is about raping women!" She glared at everyone in the room. "They will force every girl here to have sex no matter her own wishes! That is rape no matter how you twist the words!"
Again Neville was about to open his mouth, and again she cut him off. "A marriage will not be accepted as legal and valid until and unless the bride and groom have had sex." She waved a piece of parchment around. "If someone's not married before their 19th birthday, the Wizengamot will pick a partner for them. And Aurors will enforce the marriage if needed."
Hermione took a deep breath, and then continued at a lower volume, but with an even stronger passion: "And we all know how the Wizengamot works. How much do you think will it cost to get a girl? A few galleons for a muggleborn without friends in high places? How much to force the child of a rival into a marriage with an enemy? How much to force a muggleborn witch to become a broodmare in some pureblood household?" She looked at Ron Weasley. "How much do you think Millicent Bulstrode will have to pay to rape a pureblood from a family with proven fertility like you?" Ron and a lot of the men present turned green at that.
She looked at Neville, who had his arms around Hannah Abbot. "And do you think being engaged will keep you safe? How much do you think will Malfoy pay to get you or Hannah arrested to prevent a wedding, until either of you is 19 and can be married off? The law states that you can't marry someone who's in jail - no matter if convicted or not."
Hermione raised her voice again. "And how long until not even marriage will keep you safe? How long until Nott decides he wants children from a pureblood woman who has proven to be fertile? If he can't murder her husband, why not simply change the law, and dissolve the marriage?"
Hermione started to pace. "Not even a year ago the Ministry was happily murdering muggleborns and half-bloods - all in the name of the law! And now they have legalized rape! They will not stop with their crimes against us unless we stop them! Now." She took a deep breath.
"17 years ago Harry defeated Voldemort for the first time, ending the first war. And yet as we all know, most of Voldemort's Death Eaters were not punished, they were left alone by a corrupt Ministry and Wizengamot, growing in power until they started the next war and almost murdered every one of us until Harry defeated him again. And again, most of those who helped Voldemort murder muggles and muggleborns are not being punished, and are already trying to run the country again!"
She faced the room. "Do you want to be raped? Do you want to see Aurors drag your children off to be raped by some old Death Eater? Do you want to live under the power of such monsters as those who would pass such a law?"
A loud "No!" from everyone present answered her.
"Will you let them drag us away to be raped? Will you let them rape our children?"
Hermione Granger was in her flat, checking the latest flyer she and Harry had come up with before duplicating it. She'd send the copies - through a courier, not with owls - to the members of the DA who would distribute them further. Each flyer was another small blow aimed at the government - a blow the Ministry might not even notice.
She scoffed. For all their cunning and experience, the purebloods in the Wizengamot were just that - purebloods. Even their radicals were hidebound conservatives by the standards of the real world, far too set in their ways to be able to understand, much less adapt to, the advancements the 20th century had brought. Sure, they controlled the Daily Prophet, but they had no idea what real propaganda was. Not even Shacklebolt had a clue, despite his work with Potterwatch during the Second Blood War.
And that was a good thing, with most of the pureblood leaders of the 'light side', as some called those who had opposed the Death Eaters, either dead in the last war or working for the same Ministry and Wizengamot that had passed the Marriage Law. It also meant that the muggleborns and their remaining allies were, for the first time in history, able to use their knowledge to its full effect, and plan without being hindered by pureblood ideologies and traditions. Or scruples.
She knew the earlier 'Resist Rape!' flyers and posters had been distributed, anonymously at first, in Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade, denouncing the Wizengamot members and anyone willing to follow their orders as rapists. They had also spread the word among the muggleborn and half-blood survivors of the war, informing them - and inciting them. Not that it took much, Hermione knew. Their family and friends had been exterminated as if they were the vermin Voldemort's purebloods saw them as, and they were already fed up and angry with the half-hearted attempts at justice other purebloods had granted them. Supposedly Dumbledore's last wish had been to see his enemies redeemed and Britain's factions reconciled. She scoffed at that presumption - as if the old wizard, sacrificing himself, could have spoken for all those killed in the war, for their families demanding justice!
Deep wounds, barely healed, were ripped open by the actions of a Wizengamot that seemed set on repeating the mistakes made after the First Blood War. But this time the muggleborn and half-bloods realized what was happening. "Not again! Never again!" she whispered, clenching her fists at the thought of a Third Blood War starting in a decade or two. She'd do anything to prevent that.
She heard the door opening and turned around, wand in hand. Her wards should have alerted her if someone with hostile intentions had tried to enter, but old habits died hard. When she saw it was Harry she relaxed and smiled.
Harry Potter hung up his jacket and walked over to Hermione, hugging her before checking the completed flyers. Many of his friends and acquaintances had expected him to publish an interview in the Quibbler, to stop this law. And as the 'Saviour of Wizarding Britain', he could have done so, so great was his fame and influence. But as Hermione had explained to him, in her usual logical and pedantic way, which had grown on him over the years of their friendship, it would not have solved anything in the long run. The Wizengamot would simply try again, and again, until gold and bigotry had won over his fame. It had happened to Dumbledore before.
He knew that Hermione, brilliant, but utterly ruthless if she deemed it necessary, didn't want to just stop the law, but eradicate the whole ideology behind the law. She wanted to crush and destroy Wizarding Britain's bigotry - even if she had to wipe out the purebloods to accomplish that. Harry had been appalled at first, but after hours of passionate discussions, he had seen that it was the only way. It was obvious that the blood purists had not learned their lessons even after after two bloody civil wars. They had denied the victims justice, had saved the murderers and rapists, sowing the seeds already for the next conflict. If he wanted his friends, and his family - present and future - to live without fear of another Blood War then he couldn't let them get away with this.
And so there had been no interview by the Boy-Who-Lived, no political pressure from the heroes of the war. Instead there had been preparations in secret. Words were exchanged, spells taught, lessons learned. Flyers posted that called upon any Ministry employee, any Auror to abandon their posts, to refuse serving rapists and murderers.
Now all that was left was to wait for the right moment.
Melvin Thicket reeled a bit, after he had apparated from the Ministry with his partner Darren Cornwald. He hadn't been an Auror for that long, he had been hired right after the Battle of Hogwarts. Melvin hadn't fought in that battle, having preferred to not get involved in the war, and if he was honest with himself, neither he nor his partner had otherwise distinguished themselves, but with the war over, and the Ministry hiring, the two of them had applied, mostly to get their families off their backs. They had been hired, of course - both of them were purebloods, and while their grades had not been stellar, they were not as inept as others, and they hadn't been too closely associated with the Death Eaters. Just the usual casual contact. They had picked the Auror Corps for the higher pay, and the nice figure they cut in their red robes, tailor made and privately purchased.
The two Aurors had apparated to a small, cozy house in the English countryside, where Mandy Smith had ignored a summons by the Wizengamot. Mandy Smith was not famous, had not taken part in the war, and had no powerful family to protect her. Melvin didn't expect any trouble - Mandy Smith's file stated she was shy, obedient, and likely would have been married already to a man of her parents' choice if not for those parents dying in the war. He had briefly wondered why a pureblood orphan hadn't already been taken care of by her extended family, but ultimately, it didn't matter. Melvin wasn't about to question his orders. Especially orders that gave them a nice, easy task - after two days of patrolling Diagon Alley, keeping the increasingly unruly mudbloods from disturbing the peace, they could use some light duty.
Melvin checked the name on the door with the name in their warrant, and nodded to Darren. It wouldn't do to arrest the wrong person, like when they had a bungled the arrest of a suspected trafficker in muggle goods during their first week. If not for the lack of trusted, read: pureblood Aurors, and their family connections, they might even had been fired!
But they had learned their lesson well. So Melvin was quite surprised when the door was opened by a witch everyone in Britain recognized at once: Hermione Granger. Why was the hero of the Second Blood War visiting Mandy Smith? he wondered, missing how the name on the doorbell changed to 'Hermione Granger'.
"Can I help you?" Hermione asked, smiling politely.
Melvin blinked, and opened his mouth to ask if Mandy Smith was at home, but hesitated - everyone knew Granger was quite powerful, and while he had been a few years ahead of her at Hogwarts, he knew she was not happy with the Marriage Law. He didn't want to provoke her, not without a team of Aurors at his back. There were some scary stories the older Aurors told of Granger's actions in the war. Before he could decide on what to say though he was surprised again.
In front of Melvin, Granger was hit by a whispered stunner chained into a Body-Binding Curse - cast from behind the two Aurors. Melvin whirled around but he didn't see anyone, not even the telltales of a disillusionment charm or a cloak of invisibility. He saw that Darren was casting a Shield Charm and told him to keep an eye out for the mysterious attacker while he bent down to check on Granger.
She was but a mudblood, but if an official hero of the Second Blood War was hurt under his watch, so to speak, there would be hell to pay. She didn't seem hurt, just stunned, but he still had to cast a diagnosis charm.
Melvin looked up, and gaped. Harry Potter, the Boy-Who-Lived stood there, in the house, with his wand aimed at him! The cold expression on the wizard's face was a marked and strange contrast with the anguished cry he had just uttered. Not that Melvin really noticed. His attention was caught by the glowing tip of the wand aimed at him.
The last thing he saw, still kneeling at Hermione's side, was an overpowered cutting curse that sliced straight through him and his partner.
Phineas Pearson was tenser and more afraid than he had ever been since the Second Blood War had ended. Walking through Diagon Alley felt like when he had been avoiding Snatchers on the rare trips to get food for his family. No, it felt worse. Back then, Diagon Alley had looked deserted, but today, the alley was packed with people - and most of them were staring at him with blatant hatred. If Thicket and Cornwald had not been dead already, Phineas would have liked to kill them himself for making an already bad situation much, much worse. No one would judge him for it, he was sure - the Ministry was scrambling to keep order as it was, and it was all the fault of those two twits.
The news that two Aurors had attacked Hermione Granger to drag her off to be married - raped as the muggleborns claimed - had spread like wildfire through Britain. Phineas had seen flyers with wizarding pictures showing how the girl opened the door and was stunned and captured right away without any warning, and had read the statement by Harry Potter, who had arrived just in time to save her. The flyer had a clear message: If the Ministry and Wizengamot were willing to go after Hermione Granger, one of the heroes of the last war, best friend of Harry Potter and Ron Weasley (and possibly the fiancée of one of them), then no one was safe.
Phineas whirled around, wand hand raising, but he couldn't make out who had said that. All he saw was a crowd of people staring at him, full of anger and hatred. He thought he recognized one of the faces, a muggleborn wizard who had been with him in Hufflepuff but had not been accepted as an Auror back when Phineas himself had gotten in. He didn't remember his name though - he hadn't really kept in touch with the muggleborns after Hogwarts. They just didn't fit into his circle of friends. Now he wished he had at least one muggleborn friend - maybe he would know why they seemed to hate him so much, even though he had fought against Voldemort!
He turned around, and walked away, but kept his wand ready. These days he felt more on edge in Diagon Alley than in Knockturn Alley. He knew that the attempt to arrest Granger had been a mistake, like the Ministry claimed. The DMLE would never have sent the likes of Thicket and Cornwald after her, but the best Aurors they had, and a team of four or more at least.
Speaking of a team… Phineas really wished his regular partner was with him. Mark Dannings was a half-blood, but he was skilled with his wand, and Phineas knew he'd have his back. But Mark was sick, hadn't come to work for days. Usually the DMLE didn't send Aurors out alone, but with the current situation, they needed every wand on the street to keep the peace. And Phineas was no coward, he knew his duty. He had fought against You-know-who, after all.
"Death to the rapists!"
Phineas felt as if someone had cast an icy Aguamenti on him. Merlin! He needed to stop whoever had shouted that, before things went further. He pushed past a muggleborn - the man wasn't wearing decent robes, but muggle clothes - and was pushed to the side in response, making him stumble.
Phineas was about to tell the rude man off - one did not treat Aurors like that! - when more cries of "Death to the rapists!" were shouted. Many more. He was no coward, but… he was surrounded by a dozen wizards and witches. They had not quite yet all drawn out their wands, but…
A flash of red caught his attention, and he spotted a red Auror robe being set afire. Did they…
"I will no longer support a corrupt Ministry willing to rape us!"
Phineas gaped - that was no muggleborn, that was his fellow Auror William Spencer! A half-blood, but a decent Auror! What was he doing there, standing in his underwear and decrying the Ministry? He had to stop this!
"Spencer! What are you doing?" he shouted, wand raised, and started towards the other Auror.
The crowd cheered at the sight of the burning robe, and started to chant: "Death to the rapists! Death to the rapists!"
"Stop this! At once!"
Phineas was no coward, but when the mob turned on him, when the curses started flying towards him, when he realized he was going to die, he wished he was one. The last thing he saw was the sad expression on Spencer's face, looking at him.
"Death to the rapists!"
Dean Thomas wished he had used ear plugs when over a hundred wizards and witches who had gathered in Diagon Alley shouted their rallying cry. He had forgotten how loud a crowd could be. And how volatile. The way they had torn that Auror to shreds a few minutes ago… well, the man had had it coming, for supporting the Ministry.
"Death to the Rapists!"
The crowd was getting even angrier. If left to their own devices, they'd riot and plunder the pureblood shops. He checked the enchanted galleon in his pocket. All clear. It was time to take the reins. Casting an Amplifying Charm, he shouted "To the Ministry! To the Ministry!"
The crowd, aided along by a few of Dean's friends, took up the cry. Someone shouted "Apparate now!", and Dean cursed when the sound of dozens apparating at the same time filled the air. After casting a Shield Charm, he apparated to the Ministry himself.
He arrived in a chaotic battle. One Auror was lying on the floor near the Apparition Spot, his head crushed. Another was crumpled at the foot of the statue in the atrium, bleeding from several gashes. All around him, people were casting and shouting and running. He took a step to the side, placing his back to a wall, and glanced around. The floor was in the hands of the mob. But above them… he spotted a red blur, and sent a Blasting Curse up, reducing part of the upper floor to rubble and causing a red-robed Auror to fall down.
Seamus was rushing towards the lifts, followed by Sally-Anne and a dozen wizards Dean didn't know. Another group was dragging a fat old wizard to the atrium, jeering and beating him. Dean was about to intervene when someone blew up the statue in the middle of the atrium, showering the entire area with rock fragments.
He took out his galleon again, and scratched it three times. Things were getting out of hand.
Hermione Granger didn't wince or show much emotion when she stepped into the Ministry of Magic past the barely-recognizable corpse of the guard at the entrance. More corpses were strewn around the lobby, most in red robes, but others in normal clothes too - casualties among the mob who had stormed the Ministry, or Ministry employees. 'Mob' was not correct of course, even though it would have looked like one to observers - the wizards and witches attacking the Ministry had been led by select members of the DA, all experienced veterans from the war, while other members had made sure that the Floo connections would be blocked, Anti-Apparition Jinxes cast, and the entrances unsealed while the Aurors were distracted. The DA could have taken the Ministry by themselves, Hermione thought, especially with Harry leading them, but it would have cost them, and Harry would have been seen as leading a coup.
She nodded at Dean Thomas, standing guard at the Apparition point. He had called them in faster than expected - apparently what resistance there was, mostly by confused and isolated Aurors and the odd Ministry employee that wasn't an inept coward, had been broken in a few minutes. Harry had had to rush to stop the mob from lynching the everyone inside. Fortunately, the Boy-Who-Lived, helped by an overpowered Amplifying Charm, had managed to prevent a bloodbath.
All around them, people were cheering her and Harry while the two walked towards the now destroyed statue in the middle of the entrance hall. She was sure there had been lynchings already, but judging by the crowd of disarmed prisoners held in the atrium, it seemed that most of the members of the Wizengamot and the Ministry employees had survived.
For now, Hermione thought to herself while Harry climbed up on the still standing base of the statue and raised his hands to calm the mass of wizards and witches down so he could speak. Everyone who had supported Voldemort or the Marriage Law would pay. She spotted Shacklebolt, looking dazed, being brought into the hall, and smiled coldly. There was one of the biggest traitors, willing to sacrifice the muggleborns, willing to have his Aurors drag them to their rapists, all so he could keep his power as Minister for Magic. He'd be the first to be judged by the Tribunals. She couldn't spot Arthur Weasley, and hoped he had been sensible enough to leave the Ministry before this day. Things with the Weasleys were strained enough as it was.
She joined Harry on the improvised platform and smiled while he gave the speech that would launch the Reformation of Wizarding Britain. It was brief but very emotional and inspiring, and appeared to be improvised despite and because the care both of them had taken in preparing it.
Hermione Granger, latest and youngest Minister for Magic, surveyed her office. The last traces of her predecessors ideas of interior design had finally been removed, and it looked just like she wanted it - functional, austere, with understated elegance, and above all, modern. She liked it very much.
The last few weeks had been a stressful time. The Wizengamot members who had voted for the Marriage Law had all been interrogated with Veritaserum to ferret out further crimes, tried, and pushed through the Veil of Death. Then the Tribunals had started. Any employee in the Ministry they had captured was dosed with Veritaserum, and interrogated about their role in the war. Everyone among them who had willingly supported Voldemort or his extermination of muggleborns had been sent through the Veil. Hermione had prepared the questions herself, to ensure that 'support' was not too strictly defined. No one who had chosen to help murder muggleborns, no matter if they had hunted and killed them personally, or had provided the actual killers with addresses and logistical support, had escaped. No one who had chosen to help drag witches off to be raped had been spared.
Those not implicated, those who had felt they had no other choice than to help, those who had tried to avoid helping Voldemort, were forced to swear a magical oath that prevented them from supporting any pureblood supremacy or hurting muggles or muggleborns except in self-defense. Hermione had made sure there were no loopholes in the oath that would allow anyone to 'defend traditional lives' or such. It was a sad testimony to the true beliefs of the pureblood aristocracy that at the end of the Tribunals, the majority of the upper class of Wizarding Britain had been wiped out and many of the survivors were hunted or under oath.
Hermione and the new Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot, Harry Potter, had been kept busy during the Tribunals reorganizing the Ministry and keeping the basic functions of a government running - or, most often, getting them started since the pureblood regime hadn't really been concerned with much beyond making sure the purebloods in power stayed in power and got rich.
For all their success though they had alienated many of their pureblood friends with their actions during the Marriage Law Revolution, as it was now called. The Weasleys were the most prominent of those who had avoided Hermione and Harry since the Revolution. While they had not directly asked if the pair would have executed Arthur Weasley, had he still been working for the Ministry by the time of the Revolution, they could not have missed that Kingsley Shacklebolt, the former Minister for Magic and member of the Order of the Phoenix, had been executed for supporting rape.
Hermione was glad that Percy Weasley had realized what was to come, and had all but forced Arthur to resign with him, in vocal protest of the Marriage Law, some time before that day - an act that made him popular with both his family and Harry and Hermione. Percy was already a Department Head in the New Ministry, and one of their biggest supporters.
Hermione found it quite surprising that Percy was now the Weasley closest to her and Harry, but it did make sense. Even without that uncertainty, that nagging question about what would have happened to Arthur, hanging over them, the ruthless side both Hermione and Harry had revealed, the way they executed dozens of coworkers of Arthur 'who had just done their job' as a few still claimed, and the way they not only ignored, but actively erased traditions and customs that had been around for hundreds of years had driven the poor but proud pureblood family away. A family that shunned a relative for being a squib and an accountant could not cope easily with such changes. That the two in private also openly decried Dumbledore's ideology of forgiveness and redemption as useless and contributing to the mass-murder of muggleborns was the icing on the cake.
Hermione Granger glanced at the most recent reports concerning her plans for the Reformation of Wizarding Britain as Minister for Magic, and frowned. She had picked a quite different name and acronym for her project, but Harry had not wanted a repetition of the S.P.E.W. disaster and had intervened. It hadn't remained the only 'name intervention', to the amusement of their friends. Hermione was quite annoyed that she couldn't point to 'Mandy Smith' as an example - the only one, sadly - of a perfectly normal name she had picked without Harry's help since any parchment that had mentioned that name had been destroyed - by her own spells, no less - during the incident that sparked the Marriage Law Revolution.