The Coven of Prefects

A/N: This is a Hermione-centered fic that starts out Hr/Padma, and expands from there. There will be multiple pairings, and Harry will be the kind of wizard that a witch's witch would be willing to make exceptions for.

This story is cross posted on patronuscharm(dot) net, where there may be a lemon-friendly NC-17 version. A H/Hr harmonious version will also be created and posted on portkey(dot)org.

Disclaimer: Not my characters, no money being made, etc., etc.

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Freshly-minted fifth-year prefect Hermione Granger frowned when her Slytherin counterpart entered the unused classroom.

"What are you doing here, Parkinson?"

"I was invited," the pug-nosed witch replied. "Presumably just like you."

The truth behind Pansy's statement was supported when Hannah Abbott and Padma Patil entered the room.

"Oh…must be a meeting of new female prefects," said Padma, as she passed Pansy and took a seat next to Hermione.

"And you need to be a Ravenclaw to figure that out?" snarked Pansy.

"No," Padma replied evenly. "But you might need to be a Ravenclaw in order to figure out why it wasn't the Headmaster that called this meeting, or why the male prefects aren't involved."

"Either a Ravenclaw or Hermione," said Hannah, with a nod towards the Gryffindor.

"You'll all find out soon enough, if you take a seat," said a voice from the doorway.

The young witches complied as Septima Vector entered the classroom and cast both locking charms on the door and silencing spells on the walls, floor and ceiling. Once the room's security had been adequately addressed, the Arithmancy professor turned to the four younger witches and smiled.

"Let me begin by congratulating you on your selection as Fifth-Year Prefects," she began. "I am certain that over the next three years you will all serve both your school and your sister witches with distinction."

"Sister witches, Professor?" asked Hannah. "I've read through the Prefect's Handbook twice, but don't recall seeing any gender-specific responsibilities listed there."

"Nothing in Hogwarts, a History, either," added Hermione.

Vector smiled. "That is because both books were written and edited by wizards," she explained. "Your responsibilities to the female population at Hogwarts are codified by unwritten rules that have been secretly passed down through the years, from one witch to another."

At the sight of four confused faces, the Arithmancy professor asked, "Perhaps some background is in order?" When the four fifth-years all nodded, the elder witch began her story.

"You have, no doubt, heard stories about Hogwarts' broom closets being used for activities unrelated to cleaning supplies? Perhaps one or more of you have even had personal experience with this kind of activity?"

The four new prefects cast furtive looks at each other, and considered if any or all of them were in the latter camp.

"Having all read the Prefect's Handbook," Vector continued, "you know the rules, and your obligations as prefects should you discover couples snogging or more during your nighttime patrols."

"Yes, Professor," the witches all replied.

"Well, I'm hear to reveal a sad reality," said Vector. "These rules are unevenly applied, and within our patriarchal system it's the witches who always come out on the short end of the broomstick."

"How so, Professor?" Hermione asked.

"In any number of ways," Vector replied with a sigh. "With the two most important involving love potions and lesbians."

"What?" asked the four female prefects (using slightly different words that were nonetheless voiced at the same time and with the same incredulity.)

"Love potions and lesbians," repeated the professor.

"Lesbians using love potions?" asked Padma.

"No, no…separate issues," Vector replied. "Take love potions first….you four have heard of them, I suppose?"

"Amortentia?" asked Hermione.

"That, along with nastier potions that involve compulsion, memory loss, or lowered inhibitions," the elder witch stated. "Over the years, hundreds of male students have likely either used them on unknowing witches, or tried to escape sanctions by claiming that they were the victim of a love potion once they were caught in the act."

The fifth-years sat silently and considered the disturbing possibilities.

"I could see how wizards could use magic to lure their victims into broom closets," Hermione stated. "But how would they use them to escape blame once they're discovered?"

"They'd dose themselves after the fact," Pansy Parkinson said quietly. "Probably carry a vial of love potion with them, and down it after they'd been caught with their robes down around their ankles."

"So that they could claim that it was the witch who had enticed him into the broom closet by giving him the potion?" asked Hannah.

"Sneaky bastards," hissed Padma. "So what happens when the witch claims their innocence?"

"The wizards take care of their own," Vector said bitterly. "Even when the boy gets caught trying to take the potion after the fact, their crimes are waved off with the attitude that 'wizards will be wizards'."

"What about the lesbians?" Hannah quietly asked (leading the others to wonder if there was more than idle curiosity behind it).

Vector snorted. "What lesbians?" she asked. "Don't you know that lesbians don't exist within the wizarding world?"

"That would seem to be a statistical impossibility," said Hermione.

"Oh it is, it is," the Arithmancy professor replied ruefully. "But that doesn't keep the Ministry or our beloved Headmaster from trying to make it so."

"What do you mean?" asked Hermione. "Is there some magical 'cure' for homosexuality?"

"No," replied the elder witch. "But there are wizards in positions of power who can cast powerful memory charms, and aren't afraid of using them in the name of the so-called common good."

"What common good could be served by brainwashing?" Hermione asked.

"Keeping an adequate supply of breeding stock on hand," offered Pansy. "Use your brain, Granger…what good is a pure-blood witch if she isn't willing to spread her legs for a pure-blood wizard and produce pure-blood magical heirs?"

"Is this true, professor?" Hermione asked warily.

"I'm afraid so, Miss Granger," the Professor replied.

"So there are laws proscribing lesbian acts?"

"No," Vector replied. "Female homosexuality is treated as a serious mental ailment, rather than a crime…something to be needs to be cured."

"Cured with memory charms?" Hermione asked incredulously. "How can you cure someone that is inherently born a lesbian by altering her memory?"

"You can't, at least not completely," Vector admitted. "But that doesn't stop them from trying."

"So," Padma asked somewhat nervously. "What would happen if, say, Hermione and I were caught snogging in a broom closet?"

"You would be brought to the Headmaster's Office," Vector stated. "The Headmaster would use a spell to invade each of your minds, and review your memories and your feelings towards each other. If there's any indication that the snogging was more than curious experimentation, then he would plant a strong suggestion deep into your mind that you fancy wizards rather than witches, and alter any memories of your lesbian activity by replacing your female lover with a wizard."

"A wizard?" asked Hermione with alarm. "So what if Padma and I had been doing more than just snogging…what if I'd been eating her out?"

"Speaking hypothetically, Granger?" Pansy asked with a raised eyebrow.

"Of course," Hermione quickly replied, flushing red at the question.

Vector cocked her chin slightly, as she considered the exchange of words. "Well, Hermione," she then replied, "Dumbledore would alter your memories, so that instead of, as you say, "eating out" Padma, you would remember sucking off a male classmate, and enjoying it just as much as you had the cunnilingus."

"Ewww," shuddered Hannah. "Would she have any say in which wizard she thought that she had blown?"

Vector shook her head.

"So how does the manipulative old bastard decide?" asked Pansy.

"It varies," the Arithmancy professor replied. "In the three of four cases that I've heard about during my career here, it's either been to the closest male friend of the witch, or to a wizard that would make a favorable political alliance."

"Favorable to the Headmaster, I would imagine," stated Pansy, with Vector nodding in agreement.

Hermione shuttered at the thought, and her face turned pale.

"What's the matter, Granger?" asked Pansy. "Don't fancy the memory of giving The-Boy-Who-Lived a blowjob?"

"No," Hermione replied weakly. "I don't fancy the thought that Dumbledore would pick Ron's willie rather than Harry's."

"Not that Hermione has to worry about being placed in that situation, right, Hermione?" asked Padma.

"Erm, no….of course not," Hermione replied.

"Yeah, right," snorted Pansy.

"So is every wizard either a rapist, or misogynistic bastard?" Padma asked.

"No, not at all," the professor said with a chuckly. "That may have been my strident militancy bleeding through the talking points...of course there are gay-friendly het wizards out there."

"Getting back on track," said Hannah. "What can we, as prefects, do about these things?"

"You can, and will, protect the witches of Hogwarts," Vector replied. "Should you come across a heterosexual liaison during your patrols, you will ensure that the witch is there of her own free will, and keep the wizard from trying to escape blame."

"And if it's a homosexual couple in that broom closet?"

"You will keep their secrets for them," Vector replied. "Even if that requires you to memory charm the male prefect that you are patrolling with."

"Memory charm?" asked Hannah. "I don't know how to cast one of those."

"You will be taught," Vector replied.

"By you professor?"

"No, by the Coven."

"Which Coven?" Hermione asked.

"The Coven of Prefects," Vector stated.

"Excuse me, professor," asked Hannah, leaving the existed of a coven for a moment, "Are we being asked to literally help keep gay wizards in the closet as well?"

"Yes," Vector replied. "They get the same treatment from the Headmaster, and apart from the fairness of it all…you wouldn't want to run the risk that Dumbledore would make the wizard think that he really fancied one of you, would you?"

"Depends on the wizard," snarked Pansy.

"So, let me get this straight," Hermione said. "We've just been selected as prefects to uphold the school's rules, but we're also being unofficially asked to break school rules to protect sexually active witches and gay wizards."

"That's the gist of it," Vector replied.

"Why?"

"I thought that I just explained why," the professor stated.

"She's asking what's in it for her," said Pansy.

The older witch pursed her lips as she looked at her young charges.

"Well…to be honest, it was the opinion of both past and present female prefects that all four of you might want to act out of motivated self-interest."

As the professor's words quietly sunk in, each of the teen-aged witches blushed bright red, either from anger, embarrassment, or a combination of both.

"Are you accusing us of being witch's witches?" Hermione asked.

The Arithmancy professor closed her eyes and took a deep breath.

"I couldn't accuse any of you…that would imply that I considered my own sexual preferences to be wrong in some way."

"You mean that you're…"

"Involved in a closeted loving long-term relationship with another witch?" asked Vector. "In a word….yes."

"So how did you…what makes you think that….I mean, we were so careful about it…." Hannah stammered.

"We've been tracked from the start, I imagine," Padma said quietly. "Assessed for certain tendencies, then groomed for the job."

"Yes, I'm afraid so," Vector admitted.

"So all of the female prefects are gay?" asked Hannah.

"Not all," the professor replied. "Some are gay, some are bisexual…a few are gay-friendly even as they sort it out for themselves."

"So it's all a lie," Hermione said sharply. "Being selected a prefect had nothing to do with our accomplishments, and everything to do with what or who moistens our knickers."

"Not at all, Hermione…not at all," Vector replied quickly. "There's no way that any of you could have been made a prefect without your classroom accomplishments. Especially Padma and Pansy, given the fact that it's the Heads of Houses that nominate prefects."

"So the male heads aren't involved with this…this grooming…but the female heads are?" Hermione asked.

Vector paused to bite her lower lip, then finally nodded. "The Coven has been active for more than two hundred years, and Professors McGonagall and Sprout were both prefects during their careers as students." At sight of Hermione's raised eyebrow, the elder witch quickly added, "But even their nominations have to be approved by Dumbledore, and he certainly isn't in the know on this."

Seeing that Hermione didn't seem convinced, Padma reached out and touched the Gryffindor witch's shoulder. "Hermione…you know that you deserve it, based on grades alone."

"But…"

"Besides," Padma added with a grin. "You and I both know that McGonagall would have had the same choices even if sharing another witch's bed was the only prerequisite."

"Both Lavender and Parvati, too?" asked Hannah wondrously.

"Hush, now," Vector asked. "Loose lips sink ships."

"In more ways than one," said Hermione.

"So, what if I deny liking witches," Pansy asked, "and refused to go along with this scheme, or to work with these other…hag-shaggers?"

The Arithmancy professor scowled, and drew her wand. "Mind your tongue, missy. I can't take points or issue a detention for fear of explaining why, but that wouldn't stop me from hexing you."

"Same for us," Hermione stated sharply.

Pansy turned toward the other students and found three wands pointed towards her head.

"Denying it, and buying into self-loathing will only hurt you in the end," said Hannah.

"I agree," said Vector. "But to answer your second question…none of you are required to do anything. That said, any of you who refuse to join the Coven, and to take the required unbreakable vows, will be obliviated, and more than likely replaced as prefect."

"Does that happen often, Professor?" Padma asked.

"No," Vector replied. "The Coven has always done a good job of assessing tendencies, and helping the younger witches create a prefect-worthy resume."

"When do you need our answer, Professor?" Hannah asked.

"Right now, I'm afraid," Vector replied. "It's either out the visible door with a memory charm, or through the hidden door behind me and straight away to the initiation ceremony."

The older witch allowed the four younger ones to consider their options in silence. Hermione and Padma did so whilst looking deeply into the other's eyes, as if they were engaging in a nonverbal conversation. With slight nods, they eventually stood, and reached out to grab the other's hand.

"We're in, Professor," Hermione said bravely.

Hannah Abbott stood and said, "Me too…if for no other reason than to learn the true motives of someone I expect is on the other side of that wall."

"Becky?" asked Padma.

When Hannah confirmed the identity of the seventh-year Hufflepuff prefect who had shared her bed, she was pulled into a hug by her Gryffindor and Ravenclaw counterparts.

"I'm sure that the feelings were there," Padma whispered into Hannah's ear.

"I hope so," the Hufflepuff replied, as a single tear streaked down her cheek.

"Have faith, Miss Abbott," counseled Vector.

Four sets of eyes then turned towards the last to decide.

Pansy Parkinson scowled and sputtered, but eventually stood.

"Okay, fine, count me in," she snarled. "Just don't expect me to join your pathetic group hug, much less your beds."

"Wouldn't dream of it, Pansy," Hermione said with a smile.

"Excellent….just….excellent," Vector said brightly. "I'm so proud of you…of all of you. To be so brave…"

"Or cunning?" snarked Pansy.

"Yes, or cunning," the professor admitted.

"So about this initiation ceremony?" Hannah asked. "Are we going to have to do something painful or disgusting?"

"No," her Arithmancy professor stated a smile. "Just a few drops of blood to seal your vows, and your loyalty to the coven."

The elder witch then began to unbutton her own robes. "All initiates need to strip down completely for the ceremony," she explained, adding, "But don't worry…it will only be other Coven members in the room, and we'll be naked as well."

"Gaah…I have to see Granger's bits?" whined Pansy. "I thought that you said that we didn't have to do anything disgusting?"

Hermione laughed at the insult as she dropped her robes. "Oh Pansy…I'm so glad that this isn't going to change things between us."

"It certainly won't."

But Pansy's words were betrayed by her fears, once their clothes were shed, and Professor Vector placed blindfolds around each girl's head. As the older witch used her wand to open the hidden doorway, Pansy grew nervous and reached out towards the others. After some fumbling and inadvertent gropes, the Slytherin caught the hands of two others. She thought that it was Hannah and Padma, but it was Hermione who gave Pansy's hand a squeeze as they were led naked into the adjacent candle-lit room.