A/N - Another bunny sitting around for ages going nowhere, so here it is. Sort of post DH, but prior to the epilogue.
Disclaimer: The Harry Potter universe and all related materials are the property of J.K. Rowling, Bloomsbury and Warner Brothers. I am in no way affiliated with JKR, Bloomsbury or Warner Brothers, and use their materials without their permission or knowledge.
Magic, decided Harry Potter, as he rubbed his sore behind, is quite useless.
Well that wasn't completely true, he silently amended. It was more the case that Wizards and Witches were hopeless at making magic really work for them.
Take the situation with the value of anything, for example. Why in the world would you pay for somebody else to make you something when you could just wave your wand and create it yourself?
Not like Muggles, who had to master a hundred skills just to be able to make a chair. All Harry needed to do was wave his wand in the proscribed manner, say a few twisted Latin based words, then, viola, a chair would appear.
Of course, the conjured chair was often a bit unusual; like always being a reclining lounge, and no two were ever the same for him either, but that just came down to practicing control. This was considerably different to the amount of work it took for a Muggle to learn how to make one from scratch, starting with a tree.
There was also this silly issue of conjured things not lasting forever, as just proven by his posterior making painful contact with the floor. Had he transfigured something into a chair, instead of conjuring it, it would still be softly nestling his now rather tender behind.
That would teach him to pay more attention to his use of magic.
Harry stood up, still rubbing his aching tailbone, and continued his internal tirade against magic, wizards, and the magical world's apparent penchant for inventing and teaching less than stellar spells.
Healing was another area wizards sorely neglected. It was all fine and good that they had a great potion that could regrow all the bones in your arm overnight, but why didn't they do something about the taste, or the pain? Currently he didn't even have a simple spell to remove the bruise that was sure to cause more discomfort as the day wore on, and he only knew of a single cream, invented by the Weasley Twins, that might help the situation.
Half-arsed, Harry thought viciously. That pretty much summed up his entire opinion of the wizarding world; Half-arsed.
They had an almost perfect truth serum, but only used it sparingly. They had access to unlimited wealth, but enslaved themselves to dull jobs, like working in a government bureaucracy. They could probably clean entire rooms with a simple wave of their wands, but forced House-elves to do the menial tasks instead.
Then again, their whole opinion of the way the world works was basically that of an eleven year old child who has seen the adult Muggle world, but not really understood it, and was trying to recreate it with that less-than-perfect vision.
That thought suddenly shocked Harry to stillness. Buttocks-bruising lesson temporarily forgotten, he conjured another chair and sat down to contemplate the idea more thoroughly.
Was it true? Was wizarding society based on a child's attempted recreation of the Muggle world? Was it because, for dozens of generations, children were taken from the Muggle world at the age of eleven that the whole mind-set of the culture was far from enlightened, or even mature?
Did it matter?
With virtually unlimited power at their disposal, was it really a cause for concern if every witch and wizard on the planet was busy playing some unimportant, "let's pretend" game? More to the point, was that why they kept using magic in such a limited manner?
Well, maybe it was time to put a stop to that!
Harry waved his wand and conjured some paper. Paper, not parchment. It was time to abandon some of the more ridiculously archaic elements of magical society. Likewise, another wave of his wand made a very Muggle-like pen appear in his hand, then Harry started writing what he wanted in order for magic to be a bit more useful than a stage magician's act.
1) A spell to destroy Evil Dark Wizards.
There really was no argument about that one. Preferably, the spell would be cast from a distance, by a large bunch of wizards, with no chance of it ever being used on somebody not dark or evil. Get those blasted fortunetellers to earn their keep and predict what spells will work. Voldemort, Grindelwald, and who knows how many other crazies, would all have been toast early on, if this existed, and nobody would have gone through the horrors of those wars.
2) Something to make sure a Dark Lord never rose again
Obviously, it was pointless to knock one tosser off just to have another one rise in his place. Should be as simple as everybody taking an unbreakable vow to serve and protect, or something along those lines. Let people with wiser heads than his work out the exact wording. Simply put, it had to stop people from killing, torturing and otherwise harming their fellows. Maybe a variation of the old do-unto-others adage would suffice.
3) Make everybody rich
Now this wasn't the 'bag loads of gold' kind of rich, but the 'never go hungry or wear rags' kind of rich. It was utterly ridiculous to see Ron or Ginny wearing hand-me-downs when there were wizards in their family tree for dozens of generations.
By now, there should be a magical wardrobe or something that you just walk into and come out wearing something new and fashionable. The same went for cleaning, really. Why bother making house-elves do the work when your closet should do that sort of thing for you already? Cleaned, dried, and pressed, all ready to wear again instantly.
4) Magic to help you learn
This was purely selfish. If magic were really useful, it would help you do the most important things, like learn.
Seven years of Muggle-like study was an absolute waste of time and effort when a wave of the wand should implant generations' worth of magical knowledge directly into your head. At the very least, it should be possible to have a spell or potion that helps a person read a lot faster, understand better, and remember more than just going at it like a pack of Muggles.
Harry sighed and dropped his pen.
That was really the problem; he was just looking for a way out of his current predicament.
"Have you finished your essay yet, Harry?" came the dreaded voice of Hermione, from somewhere over his left shoulder.
She had been riding him mercilessly lately, pressuring him at every opportunity to complete their assignments before summer was out. He was beginning to regret supporting Ginny wanting the brilliant-but-obsessed witch to visit the Burrow for a holiday.
"Nearly," he answered, in his most sincere voice. "Only another 18inches to go…"
"But it was only a twenty inch assignment to begin with!" she said, the accusation clear in her voice.
"Yeah, I know."
Hermione left, obviously disgusted at his lack of progress, but apparently satisfied Harry was following her study guide, and went in search of Ron, who was managing to avoid the determined witch a lot more successfully than Harry thought possible.
He briefly considered returning to his list and adding a few lines about magic protecting people from overzealousness, but reluctantly pushed it aside and picked up the almost blank page of his potion's homework.
"Pssst, Harry," came an urgently whispered voice.
Harry looked around but didn't see the source. Of course, it wasn't the first time Harry heard voices, but it still wasn't something he felt he should be considering normal, not yet anyway.
"Over here, in the window," said the disembodied voice of Ron. "I got your broom and your cloak – hope you don't mind. Let's go have a game."
For the merest part of a second, Harry considered saying no, - in deference to Hermione's wishes - but then he found himself climbing out of the second story window and onto a hovering, invisible broom, without realising he had moved at all.
Bugger it, thought Harry as the broom swept him away at a speed that would make a train feel slow. Society can go hang itself – magic is too much fun.
And that was probably the real problem.