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So.  Obviously I am so not J K Rowling.  I am not that good...but a girl can dream, right?  Since I am not a world famous author who could afford to do a Scrouge McDuck and swim in gold, I regret to inform you I have absolutely no right to this story.  Characters are not mine, and since the plot is a continuation of things we were already told, I can lay claim to credit only for fleshing it out and giving it form.  Now that I have disappointed your fervent hopes to read something by someone famous, I hope you will still enjoy this piece.

Hermione smiled as the familiar sight of Hogwarts Castle rose before her. It had been two years since last she had walked those halls, but the castle still felt like home. Now she was back, well on her way to the goal she had set within those walls: to set the House Elves free. 

Today was the first part of what Hermione hoped would be a series of hearings on the subject of House Elf rights. As the site of her own revelations as to the nature and condition of House Elves, as well as the place that had given her the skills and confidence to pursue this goal, it was appropriate to act on it here. 

Things had changed a lot since Harry defeated Voldemort. She was so happy she was giddy, and the next few years seemed a whirlwind of parties in their honor. It had been at one such party that Hermione was reminded of what she should really be doing. 

She had been standing near the podium, a champagne glass in her hand as she listened to yet another speech on how wonderful she was, how grateful everyone was, blah…blah…blah. The decorations reminded her of Fleur and Bill’s wedding. Thinking of how that wedding ended made her nervous. She shoved it to the back of her mind, as she smiled at the people approaching. Fleur was here, as if summoned by Hermione’s remembrances. 

A little girl with the Weasley red hair skidded up, propelled by her mother. Fleur smiled at Hermione apologetically. 

“I know you don’t like all the autographs, but Rosie has been wanting one ever so much, haven’t you Rosie?” Fleur prodded her daughter, but Rosie looked mulish. She held onto her little autograph book, blue with the profile of Mickey Mouse, with the strength of a troll. Muttering, Fleur said, “Well, she did want one. Rosie, did you change your mind? I thought you wanted one of the Heroes of the War to sign your autograph book!” 

Fleur looked at Hermione. “I wouldn’t have apparated all this way, but you know little children. Once they get an idea in their head, they never stop badgering you about it. I’m just surprised that she seems to have changed her mind now. Oh well.” She started to turn away, but was brought up short by Rosie, who refused to budge. 

“Maman, I wanted to see a hero. You said I would get to see a hero, but this is just Aunt Hermione. How can she be a hero? Heroes do things! Aunt Hermione just goes to parties! Heroes don’t go to parties! At least not all of the time.” 

Fleur looked appalled, and started objecting immediately, but Hermione paid no attention. Rosie was right. She was no hero. A hero didn’t stop at one battle. There were still plenty of injustices left to solve, and as egotistical as it sounded, she hoped that perhaps, just perhaps, she might be able to make a difference. 

Fame did have its perks. She was able to get started quickly. As laughable as she found it, the place she thought she might do the most difference in was the Ministry. Voldemort had taken care of getting rid of most of the people who had made the Ministry her opponent for so long. While she would never admit it, he had given her an opportunity. While a job at the Ministry definitely didn’t pay as much as a lecture tour or, lord forefend, a book, it was worth it. When she was given a position in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, she knew that it was meant to be a figurehead position, without any real authority. She did not leave it that way long.
Power was easy to grab if you weren’t willing to take no for an answer. She took on cases, and built a reputation. Slowly she advanced in the department, gaining more of a policy making role. With the election of Remus Lupin as Minister of Magic, she finally had to power she needed to get things done. 

The first torch she picked up was her first, and favorite. Elf rights. She started by hiring Dobby as her secretary, waging a media campaign the likes of which the Wizarding world had never seen before. 

Inside of a year, momentum from centuries of elf slavery was shifting. Demonstrations took place in the Ministry. The Chudley Cannons, captained by Oliver Wood, boycotted an easy win at the national championship. Their opponents, the Holyhead Harpies, captained by Cho Chang, refused their forfeit. When the Ministry looked for artists to rebuild the humanocentric statue that had once stood at the center of the Ministry lobby, they could find no artist except for Luna Lovegood who would accept their commission. She insisted on including Heliopaths and Dragons. The human was quite lost in the resulting statue, looking demoralized. The elf looked small but powerful, clothed in a brilliantly designed costume originating from Winky. Winky still had not completely recovered from her dismissal from Barty Crouch’s service, but had managed to regain her sanity by immersing herself in work as an elf fashion designer. 

“Some elfses naughty an’ deserve clothses, but no elfses naughty enough to deserve bad clothses!” Winky often proclaimed. 

Dobby was Hermione’s right hand elf. He helped her track down other disaffected and mistreated house elves. With a devoted cadre of elves, she brought suit against elven slave owners in the Wizengamot. She won only a partial victory. 

The Wizengamot recognized the ability of elves to demand some basic decencies. However, citing some elves’ reluctance to be free, they insisted that hearings held before a full vote of the Wizengamot were necessities. 

The first of these was starting up just as she arrived. She smiled at the healthy attendance. Nearly all of the Hogwarts house elves were in attendance, many sporting green berets proclaiming SPEW, showing their acceptance of freedom, and advocacy of the elven cause. Mixed in among the cheering house elves were a few Ministry officials, looking distinctly uncomfortable. Many of the venerable members of the Wizengamot sat in a panel at the head of the room, ready to ask questions of the attendees. Some members of this panel worried her. Among them was Draco Malfoy, who had managed to buy a seat with the last dregs of his family fortune the Ministry left to him. He was infamous for being noncommittal till his vote was bought. Hermione hoped no one had gotten to him first. Dirty as it was, she could play politics as well as anyone. 

All fell silent as she caught the attention of the room. She felt suddenly uncomfortable. Was this what she should be doing? Would this work? 

SO, people, how'd you like it?  Come now, speak up!  There's a little box right there to tell me what you think.  I'm way out of practice, and I can use all the criticism I can get.  Oh, and if any of you talented people have itchy fingers and would like nothing better then to design me a banner, it would be much appreciated.  Thanks!

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