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Old August 31st, 2008, 2:17 pm
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Den_muggle  Female.gif Den_muggle is offline
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Join Date: 15th January 2007
Location: Indianapolis, IN, USA
Age: 55
Posts: 878
Re: Hermione & Neville: In the Spotlight...or on the Spot?

As some may remember, I started campaigning for Neville and when he decided to join forces with Hermione, I decided I had to put a few questions to rest, so I asked if I could have a chat with her. Recently, she invited me to her house for dinner.

We sat down to talk as Hugo slept and Rose played with her dolls in the middle of the floor.

“The first thing I have to ask, and I know it concerns a lot of other people as well…” I paused as I tried to decide how to word my question. Finally, I just said, “SPEW.”

Hermione groaned and covered her eyes for a moment. “I will never, ever live that down. Ron brings it up from time to time, teasing me about my youthful zeal.” She raised her eyes and asked with a smile, “Isn’t there anything you did as a child you now find terribly embarrassing?”

I grinned sheepishly as I recalled a few of my youthful foibles, but didn’t answer.

Hermione chuckled and continued, “Well, you have to remember that I was very young and muggle-born. I had never ever heard of house elves before meeting Dobby. They were so taken for granted by wizards that they weren’t even mentioned in ‘Hogwarts, A History’ at all. I had never run into one until Dobby, so of course, I assumed they were all like him. I hadn’t the experience to know that most were very happy in their situations. To me, it seemed like slavery and abuse, and Dobby reinforced that.

"To show how ignorant I was, I was making all those stupid hats thinking I could free the elves. If anyone could give a house elf clothes and free them, Harry would have freed Dobby himself immediately instead of having to trick Lucius into doing it.”

Hermione laughed again at herself before she continued. “Winky confused the daylights out of me the way she didn’t seem to want her freedom no matter how good her treatment was. I realized I needed more knowledge, so I spoke to the other house elves at Hogwarts and in other households later. Since that disastrous attempt to better their lives, I have learned a great deal. Most are happy as they are. Even Dobby told us that too much freedom wasn’t a good thing even in his eyes. House elves have no hobbies or interests or culture as we do, so they have nothing to do in their free time. That has changed some, and in my position in the Ministry, I have written laws to force families to treat house elves kindly by outlawing the abuse of house elves. I have also set up a system that allows those house elves who are abused to report their masters and receive an apology, or their freedom if they wish. You can’t imagine how much it means to them just to be acknowledged or thanked for their efforts. By bringing attention to their plight, I have made them less invisible, as it were. Wizards now think about them and realize they have feelings. Their lives have improved so much even without freedom. Many have asked for and been given their freedom, but if that’s not for all of them, fine. They at least now have the freedom to choose,” she finished proudly.

I was impressed by both her fire and her increased understanding.

“How do your muggle parents feel about their daughter being in the running for co-Minister of Magic?”

“Oh, they’re quite proud, of course. They urged me to do it. They still aren't quite clear on this co-Minister thing, but say if that's the way I want to do, that's fine with them. And they’ve been a great help with the children, helping as Ron and I coordinate our separate campaigns.”

“Oy! Did I hear my name mentioned?” Ron asked as he walked in the front door. Hermione rose to greet her husband with a kiss and stood asking him quietly about his day before bringing him forward to introduce me.

“Hey, could I have someone from my team to dinner?” Ron asked.

Hermione rolled her eyes and smiled. “Of course, Ron. Ask anyone you like.”

I could see the wheels turning in Ron’s head as he debated who to invite from his and Harry’s campaign. Then he returned to the topic of what we were saying about him when he arrived.

“Denise had just asked about how my parents feel about my campaign. I told her they were supporting me and were a big help as you and I coordinate our campaigning.”

Ron nodded emphatically. “With both my parents running and most everyone else we know running, it has been a real blessing that her parents are muggles. Although for awhile, I wasn’t sure they wouldn’t run, as it seemed everyone else was!”

“Oh, Ron!” Hermione hushed with a laugh.

“What is it like to have two separate and competing campaigns going on under the same roof?” I asked.

Both shrugged. “No different really than having two separate jobs of any other kind. If Ron wins, of course, I will support him completely.”

“And if Hermione wins, I’ll support her,” Ron added loyally. “Just because I think we would be better, doesn’t mean I think she and Neville wouldn’t be good.”

“And vice versa,” completed Hermione. “In case you hadn’t noticed, this isn’t exactly a cutthroat campaign. Most of those running are friends or family members. We all trust each other and with the exception of Voldemort and Malfoy—” she was cut off by her husband’s soft but angry words.

“Slimy gits should never have been allowed to run,” Ron muttered as he picked up Hugo, who’d awakened and begun to fuss. “After what they did, the gits should—”

Hermione cleared her throat, cutting Ron off. She raised her voice a bit and continued, “With one exception, we would trust and fully support any team running. There is no animosity here or at my in-laws’ house, the Burrow. There is love and acceptance and trust among us all.”

I shook my head in wonder. “Don’t you wish muggle politics could be this way?”

Hermione laughed at my sentiment. “That is as unrealistic as SPEW!”

The three of us shared a laugh as Ron took Hugo into the other room to change his diaper and Hermione and I went to the kitchen to start the meal.

During the dinner—while Ron helped Rose eat and Hermione fed Hugo—I asked a few more personal questions.

“Where did you get the name Hugo?”

“Family name,” Hermione answered. “My grandfather.”

“And Rose?” I asked, surprised to see Hermione flush and Ron strut proudly as he sat still, feeding his daughter.

“Well, Ron gave me roses on our first official date. He still brings me roses quite frequently…especially on our anniversaries. He can be quite romantic that way. When I learned I was pregnant and we realized that it had probably happened on our anniversary, Ron quipped that he had given me one more rose than he had known about at the time and that it would soon bloom. All through my pregnancy, even before we knew she was a girl, we kept referring to her as my rose.”

“And wow did she bloom,” Ron added in an undertone.

Hermione cleared her throat meaningfully. “He continually teased me about how my pregnancy was blossoming. When she was born, it just seemed appropriate to name her Rose,” Hermione finished.

“That is one of the most romantic stories I’ve ever heard,” I replied, marveling at the love this couple shared.

As a muggle-born myself, I was glad to see this political race wasn't descending to the level of muggle politics and would not damage relationships of friends and lovers.

Later, we’ll post a report about a visit with Neville and his lovely wife, Hannah.


Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has manyŚnot on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.ŚCharles Dickens

Proud Gryffindor!
Liberals want big government to ensure they don't fail; conservatives want small government so they can succeed.
Davy Crockett learned a valuable lesson our current congress should learn.

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