In a similar fashion to my "Little Bouts of Randomness" I decided to create a folder of genderbent!Harry stories which I have intentionally separated from LBoR as fem!Harry stories are not everyone's cup of tea. I, however, enjoy a good Harriet Potter story.
While I admit that most fem!Harry stories are just a way of shipping Harry with a male character without it being gay, this collection of story ideas and one-shots is not like that. Well, not entirely. I do also admit that I sometimes think up stories (usually crossovers) involving a female Harry primarily because I don't want to ship Harry with another guy (If you like Harry in a gay relationship, that's your business, but I just cannot picture it. I am very particular about what male fictional characters I ship together and in what fandoms, and Harry Potter is not included in that list).
Most of these stories, however, are going to follow in a similar fashion to my LBoR stories. Less focus on romance, more on the story itself.
And now: My response to the marriage contract fic. It's a traditional opener for one-shot collections.
I do not own Harry Potter. "Harriet Potter" is a complete fanfiction contrivance, though a popular one. And, if I may say so, a very entertaining one if done correctly.
The 'Marvelous' Marriage
"It really is for the best, Cornelius," said Lucius Malfoy with a deceptively charming grin.
"Yes, yes," Fudge said, twiddling his thumbs. "I wish it didn't have to come to this, but something must be done to stop those dreadful lies the Potter girl has been spreading."
"And you're sure she'll be kept in check by this?"
"Of course, Minister. Once the Potter girl is married to my son, her unfortunate habits of lying will be curbed."
"Yes, and I suppose it is best having an heiress and a national treasure like the Girl-Who-Lived married to a respectable pureblood like young Draco. It's an excellent way of bringing her fully into wizarding society." Fudge then frowned slightly. "But are you sure the two will get along? After all, rival houses at school and the old blood-feud between the Potters and the Malfoys and that sort of thing. Not to mention the fact that young Draco already has a fiancée."
"I am certain this will help resolve those differences. And, of course, young Astoria Greengrass will be Draco's primary wife, but I am confident both young ladies will be fine with the arrangement. Especially as Draco is generous enough to allow them to share him."
"Quite, quite. Well, Lucius, I must get on with my work. And congratulations. I look forward to the wedding ceremony."
"Thank you, Minister."
Harriet had never been more grateful for wizard cigarettes than that moment. They had none of the awful life-threatening and disfiguring qualities of regular cigarettes, to say nothing of not having the dreadful smell, but they still had the pleasant rush and stimulation that she so desperately needed at that moment.
"How can they force you to marry?!" Hermione raged. "Especially to a little prick like Draco! It's absolutely barbaric and sexist and…!"
Harriet was too busy worrying to pay much attention to her friend's rant. Ginny was patting her hand and trying to reassure her they wouldn't let anything so horrific happen to her. Ron had gone up to the boys' dorm to rally the Gryffindor lads to battle for the honor of their housemate (it seemed chivalry was not as dead as people thought).
"There has to be some kind of loophole," Hermione said thoughtfully once she'd worn out her rant.
"Hermione, the minister signed the forms officiating a betrothal contract and submitted it to my magical guardian, who unfortunately happens to be Dumbledore," said Harriet. "Dumbledore, in his infinite wisdom, believes it's the perfect opportunity for me to spy on the Death Eaters and also bring Draco 'back to the light' by showing him love." Harriet looked decidedly green.
"Have you checked your family bylaws?" said Ginny. "Court-mandated marriage contracts can't touch you if your family bylaws come into conflict."
"I don't know my family bylaws. Is there a way to get a copy of them?"
A few hours and one letter to Gringotts later and Harriet had a small book filled with Potter family laws. It was accompanied, oddly enough, by a copy of the Black family bylaws as Harriet had been made Lady Black (apparently, Sirius had named her his heir and, as he was still a convict, his legal status as head of the house of Black had immediately passed to Harriet). There was, unfortunately, nothing against marriage contracts in either set of bylaws, but Hermione noticed certain things within the complicated texts that would turn the tide decidedly in their favor. Once the Malfoys realized just what a marriage into the Potter family could entail, they would be begging to get out of it.
"Harri, my girl, I really think I should be the one to negotiate your marriage contract," said Dumbledore in his infuriatingly condescending manner.
"I'm sorry, Headmaster, but Potter bylaws state that only a Lady Potter may negotiate any marriage contracts," said Harriet, trying to hide her smirk. "One of my ancestors installed it as a way of keeping the Potter women from being exploited." She gave him a pointed glare before continuing. "As you are not a lady, nor a Potter, nor even a Black, I fail to see how you have any claim to make decisions regarding this arrangement."
"I am your magical guardian."
"And while that may have allowed you to undermine my wishes because of legal finagling, I still retain the right to decide how this goes down as, being the last of my line, I have automatic rights to my titles and all the duties those entail. Now, either you can see yourself out or I can have Kreacher toss you out."
There was a faint 'pop' and, while the insane old elf was invisible, Harriet knew he was just waiting for an excuse to do something unpleasant to the headmaster. Ever since Harriet had fully claimed her position as Lady Black, the elf had directed his fanatical loyalty to the Blacks to her. While the elf probably secretly harbored a wish that Harriet would marry a 'respectable pureblood' (and would heartily support her marriage to Draco in particular), he understood that this contract was an attempt to steal from his new mistress and would pose a threat to the Black family.
Dumbledore wisely decided to leave of his own accord.
"All right, Lucy," Harriet said as she pushed open the doors to the Ministry conference room to confront Mr. Malfoy. "Keep your worthless trap shut and read this."
She slammed the prenuptial contract onto the table and stared down the man and the handful of ministry lackeys he'd brought with him. Draco and his mother sat to one side of the table. Astoria Greengrass and her sister Daphne were there too, with their parents. Narcissa looked worried, it seemed she probably sensed something was going to happen. Daphne was glaring at Draco, while resting a sympathetic hand on her little sister's arm, but had turned and shared a look with Harriet (they'd made a deal for Harriet to find a way to get Astoria out of her own contract with Draco).
"What is this?" said Lucius, picking up the paper.
"The contract I insist on," said Harriet.
"'No Malfoy will touch so much as a sickle of Lady Harriet Lily Potter-Black's money'? How do you intend to enforce this one, girl? Draco will receive control over any money or property owned by his wife."
"If said wife takes the name of Malfoy, which the next section shows I will not. I reserve the right to preserve the names of Potter and Black in accordance with family bylaws."
"As I am Lady of two houses, I may combine bylaws. I retain both names as well as singular ownership of the titles in accordance with Potter family bylaws which have become combined with those of the house of Black. Potter bylaws allow me, as the last heir and as a woman, to keep my name and title."
Lucius was furious. A large part of his plan had been to take control over Potter's money and titles. However, there was a possibility this could still work.
"'The dissolution of the marriage contract between Astoria Greengrass and Draco Malfoy'? How dare you, you little bitch?! That contract was formed ages ago between the houses of Malfoy and Greengrass! You have no control over it!"
"Actually, you'll find that I do," Harriet said, exchanging a smug grin with the Greengrass sisters. "Astoria, Daphne, and I had someone look very carefully over that contract and discovered it was built upon a proviso that Draco would become head of the house of Black, which is never going to happen. In fact, the magic you used to enforce that contract came from a debt owed by house Greengrass to the Blacks, not the Malfoys. I'm still not sure how you got power over that debt, but I have the power to take it back. In fact, I'm going to that now."
She turned to the Greengrasses and smiled.
"Lord Cyrus Greengrass, as Lady Black, I recognize the debt you owe to the house of Black and ask only that you never put any descendants of the house of Greengrass into marriage contracts and make such a thing a proviso within your family bylaws."
"As Lord Greengrass," said Cyrus with a grateful smile. "I accept."
There was a flash of light, signifying the fulfillment of the debt by means of canceling the Malfoy marriage contract and an automatic magical amendment to the Greengrass family bylaws. Only powerful magic could ensure a change in a family's bylaws, otherwise Harriet would have simply changed her own bylaws to forbid any marriage contracts. With that, the Greengrasses excused themselves, offering their thanks to Harriet as they left.
"Anything else outrageous and unreasonable in this contract?" Malfoy demanded.
"Why, yes, there is," said Harriet. "Though I don't see it as unreasonable considering you were the one who forced this ridiculous situation in the first place."
"'Termination of the marriage of Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy and reclamation of Narcissa into the Black family'?! You go too far, you insolent -"
"I simply felt that, as Lady Black, that means Draco is technically related to me and I find all this inbreeding very disgusting."
She shared a look with Mrs. Malfoy, the woman seemed impressed and, possibly, hopeful.
There was a sudden knock at the door.
"Ah, that must be my wedding planners," said Harriet. "Do come in!"
Ron, Hermione, Neville, Luna, and a large portion of Gryffindor house and the D.A. bustled in with packages and papers and all manner of odd accoutrements. Fred and George oversaw it all, reading from a giant list.
"What's going on?!" Mr. Malfoy shouted.
"I just told you that it's the wedding planners I hired," said Harriet. "Or, rather, your wedding planners which I selected. It's right there in the contract that I get to select the wedding planners but the Malfoy family has to pay for everything."
"And we certainly have our work cut out for us," said Fred.
"Indeed we do," agreed George. "What with the Ferris wheel and the flying wedding carriage…"
"And the conjured lake of chocolate pudding."
"That one was my idea!" said Luna.
"To say nothing of the open bar."
"That one was my idea," said Ron.
"Say, Lucius," said Harriet. "What accent colors do you think would work best? Gold Fever or Summer Lilac?"
"Enough of this nonsense!"
"You're right, Real Expensive Sapphire is the best."
"You will cease this at once! I refuse to sign such a contract! I'll decide what will and will not be included in the contract. You'll be lucky if I don't include a proviso to make you Draco's slave."
"I'm afraid you don't get to make that decision, Lucy," said Harriet. "You see, my family bylaws state that it is the Lady of the house of Potter who has singular authority over marriage contracts. Any family who tries to enforce a contract on a member of the Potter family must agree to the conditions set forth by the Lady Potter or else any legal claim to a contract will be immediately voided."
"You-you can't do this," Lucius sputtered. "I had an agreement with the minister."
"Yes, another interesting thing about this is that, according to the Black family bylaws, any government official who attempts force or assists in forcing a betrothal contract on an heir, heiress, or head of the Black family without the head's permission shall come under legal prosecution up to and including public execution. It apparently dates to the Saxon times as it is very obviously a wergild law.
"My attorneys are currently having a few words with the minister. I am certain we will be hearing about it soon."
The door opened with a slam and Amelia Bones stood there, accompanied by several aurors, the shackled Minister Fudge, and Harriet's lawyers.
"Lady Potter-Black," said Madam Bones, clearly concealing her enthusiasm for finally arresting the corrupt and incompetent minister who had plagued the government for too long. "I believe this is the individual who has violated your house bylaws? Will you be pushing for execution or will Azkaban suffice?"
"We'll see how things turn out at his trial. More than that idiot deserves, I'd say, wouldn't you, Madam Bones?"
"Quite. Have a good day, Lady Potter-Black. Oh, and, Lucius, don't leave the country anytime soon."
Harriet turned back to face the horrified Lucius Malfoy.
"Now, then, Lucy," she said. "Will you be accepting my terms or shall we just call this whole sordid business off?"