Stupid Magical Contract!

SpaceMary: hey
DireSquirrel: hey, what's up?
SpaceMary: Would u p
SpaceMary: great! but I was just hoping u could tell me what we missed in class

Yep, I swore I'd never do it because it would suck. And I'm talking about romance, the building of relationships, not the equivalent of a wham-bam-thank-you-ma'me fic. (Though I lack the ability to write those too). SpaceMary had been pestering me for a while now to write one, and this is the start.

And if it does suck, tell me that. If it doesn't, well, tell me that too. You never know, I might actually be okay at this.

The humor in this is going to be less insane than I have done before. I hope people like it.

Oh, and you can blame JKR and Joss for this, because the characters and settings are their brain children, not mine. Just so you know.

It also follows all the rules in this challenge: www DOT tthfanfic DOT org SLASH Challenge-3935

Pairings: Hermione/Harry, Dawn/Xander, and more for later.

Thanks be to Greywizard for all the help.

"Love isn't a state of perfect caring. It is an active noun like struggle. To love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now."
Fred Rogers (The World According to Mister Rogers)

"You know, Harry," Sirius wrote in his letter, "there is a stipulation in the Blood Wards contracts that allows someone to stay with their betrothed instead of blood family…"

Harry Potter, only thirteen years old, jumped up from his chair in the Great Hall and whooped for joy, waving the letter over his head like a champion quidditch trophy. He looked up and flashed a playful grin at his best friends. Everyone was looking at him, but for once, he didn't care.

"Hey, Hermione," Harry said in a playful, joking and slightly sarcastic tone. "Want to get engaged, so I don't have to go back to the Dursleys?"

"Sure, Harry," she replied in the same joking tone. "But afterwards, you have to help me in my plan to take over the world and subjugate it to my will."

"No problem, honey," Harry cackled. Together they laughed, not realizing they were both momentarily caught up in a bright white glow. They were both still giddy from rescuing his godfather and Buckbeak, so they were not the most observant at the moment.

The rest of Gryffindor started clapping, and the other houses started up. Even Slytherin joined in.

"Uh, why is everybody clapping?" Hermione asked.

"Yeah," Harry said. "Uh, guys?"

Ends up, Magic doesn't understand sarcasm or jokes.

"What do you mean we're engaged?" Harry and Hermione screamed at their head of house, Minerva McGonagall, who seemed slightly smug.

"You have both entered into a magical contract, the wizarding form of a prenuptial agreement," the Transmutation professor instructed.

"But it was just a joke," Hermione protested.

"Yeah! We're too young to get married!" Harry said.

"Oh, you're not married yet," Dumbledore said with a bemused smile on his face. "You can't do that for another two years. But it is a magically binding contract."

"So, we can just break it off right?" Hermione asked. "We can just get a divorce, right? Or break it off?"

The way the staff looked at her, you'd think she had cast a mass confundus spell on them all.

"What's a divorce?" asked Professor Sprout, a puzzled expression on her face.

"It's, uh, a way for people to not be married anymore," Harry explained slowly.

"Oh, we don't have anything like that," Sprout responded with a positively scandalized face. The head of Hufflepuff seemed to shiver at the very thought of something like that being possible. It was so...un-hufflepuff!

"Are you telling us that this is permanent?" Hermione asked slowly and quietly.

"Oh, yes," Minerva McGonagall nodded. "It is a very important part of Wizarding Society. Actually, I'm surprised young Mr. Potter here is not already in some form of engagement, although I do suspect Lily might have something to do with that. She was rather obstinate about these kinds of things."

"So there's no way to get out of this?" Harry said.

"Oh, not unless you want your magic bound and end up like a squib," Dumbledore explained. Both kids looked at him like he was a crazy person. "Oh, and this also involves your second magical contract."

"What second magical contract?" both Harry and Hermione asked together, completely befuddled by the news.

"Why your contract to take over the world," Dumbledore explained. "And subjugate it to Miss Granger's will, of course."

"What contract to take over the world and subjugate it to my will?" Hermione asked.

"The one you made immediately after getting engaged," Professor McGonagall explained.

"That was a joke," Hermione said. She turned to Harry. "You know that was a joke right?"

"Yeah, I thought it was a joke," Harry agreed. They looked up at the teaching staff who all wore very serious faces. "Magic didn't think it was a joke, though, did it?" he asked with a worried expression on his face.

The teachers all shook their heads in solemn unison. Hermione's eyes grew about four times their usual size as a thought popped into her head.

"I just became a Big Bad," Hermione said quietly under her breath, so low that only Harry could hear it. "My parents are gonna kill me."

"I'm sure Ron will stop us if we go too far," Harry said with a grin that showed more humor than he felt. However, the Weasley in question had just received the information from his friends Dean and Neville and had gone half catatonic.

"Uh, so what do we do now?" Harry asked Hermione as they walked back to the Gryffindor tower. She gritted her teeth and let her breath out slowly.

"I guess you come home with me to meet my parents."

Once the students were back on the train to go home, Pomona Sprout held out her hand. "Now, who had 'marriage by misunderstanding of pureblood laws.'" Three hands went up. "Same house?" five hands went up. "Same Year?" four hands went up. "Hermione Granger." Two hands went up. There was only one person who raised her hand every time.

"I win," Minerva McGonagall said with a slightly evil grin. The other members of the teaching staff slapped a few galleons in her hand and grumbled slightly. "You should have never bet against me."

"I had Miss Granger as a dark witch," the divination professor said.

"I'm quite sure this doesn't count," Sprout protested. "She even said it was a joke."

"There are some things that you just don't joke about," Trelawney intoned. She held out her hand for her money. "She quit my class. It was a Sign."

"No, not yet," Sprout said. She shared a look of solidarity with McGonagall. The older woman gave a succinct nod of agreement.

"How does this affect the harem bet?" asked the muggle studies professor.

"Honestly, now," McGonagall said, "Do you really think Hermione Granger is going to let him get away with that?"

"We'll just have to wait and see," Dumbledore said with a mysterious smile. "You never know, she might want a harem. There are those two Weasley twins..."

Every professor looked at the headmaster like he was a complete nutter.

They were all about to leave, but Snape held out his hand in front of the door as he read the Daily Prophet. "I believe I also had 'married someone just like his mother.' Now pay up."

Grumbling, the teaching staff of Hogwarts made the Potions Master and Transfiguration professor a few galleons richer that day.