Since JK Rowling decided to double down on her comments re: gender, this would be my response. This is the world -she- wrote and its implications.
Features loving, consenting, married adults–in this case, Hermione Granger Weasley and Ron Weasley– and a look back at the years they had in Hogwarts, with some thoughts as to what was happening behind the scenes and its implications for the adult world as well.
Not that she’ll ever read this, but, JK Rowling, if you create a magical world, expect people to see that magic in their own lives.
This story can also be found on ao3: https://archiveofourown.org/works/24807187
Head hit the pillow. Brown eyes wide-open with amusement. A thin sheen of sweat covered her. She reached up to touch her face, to play with frizzy, untamable hair.
An uncharacteristically broad grin spread across her face. “That was bloody brilliant!”
Next to her, a very amused and equally tired red-headed man rolled over and let a small smirk play over his features. “Thank you.”
Her fingers twitched in the air as she worked to describe it. “It was like… all fireworks and then… POW!” There was a pause. “Yeah.” And then an exaggerated breath. “Is it like that all the time? I must be awesome.” The last word spoken with just a tinge of humor to indicate she was kidding.
The man’s eyes sparkled and he punched her gently on the shoulder. “Hey, Mister. Just remember I was the one driving this time.”
She laughed, an odd almost braying sound that ended with a snort. She then sighed again. “So how long will the polyjuice potion last?”
Hermione rolled ‘his’ shoulders in a slight shrug “About six hours minimum. Probably twelve.”
Ron, still toying with the frizzy hair on his head rolled over to look at his wife, still slightly startled at the idea of staring into his own face. “A fair spot more than the one we used in Second Year, yeah?”
Hermione nodded. “I got a chance to look at Barty Crouch’s batch after that horrible bit at the Tri-Wizard Tournament. That helped me fix what I’d screwed up in my first batch.”
Ron reached out to gently run his fingers through Hermione’s ginger hair. “You didn’t screw anything up. You were brilliant and you know it.”
Ron eased back. “Not that I’m ungrateful, and, anniversary, but I’m curious. What inspired…” He gestured at Hermione and then his female body. “–this?”
Hermione looked pained. “Well, I mean, tradition…”
“Tradition? Is this some sort of Muggle thing I missed?”
Hermione had the grace to blush, a look that covered her pale freckled face in a notable red. “Well, first year gift, paper. Second year, cotton. Third, leather.”
“Sure… fruit or flowers for forth. And fifth. I mean. That’s why I got you the chest.” His face went quickly to an unintended scowl. “You liked the chest, right?”
Hermione’s hand flew up to her chest. “I loved the wooden chest, Ron.”
Ron’s eyes crinkled with glee. “And it’s brilliant! Put something in it, name it, and then wherever you put it, it’ll appear back in the chest when you call it!”
“I know what a catalogus liber is, you goof. But it was a sweet gesture and I love it.” She hesitated. Blushed again. “But I wasn’t sure about what to get you. I had this eye on a wizard’s chess set. Beautiful work. Mahogany and ash.”
Ron frowned. “But you hate wizard’s chess.”
“And that was giving me fits. Then this thought comes ‘Why can’t I just give him wood?'”
” ‘Give him wood’?”
“Yeah.” Hermione smacked her package. Winced as she did it.
Ron straightened right up. “You didn’t.”
“Hermione! A pun?”
“I know. One worthy of Fred and George.”
A momentary flash of pain passed over Ron “Yeah. Fred would have loved it. You can’t ever tell George, though.”
“Oh my god, no!”
Ron threw his body back down. “Worth it, though.”
There was a moment of silence between the couple.
Ron was the first the break the silence. “So how different was it?”
“You know. From when you changed into Harry.”
“Oh that. I suppose… very different?”
Ron frowned. Hermione was usually more confident in her answers. “Like, how? I mean he’s the only other bloke you’ve transformed into.”
“Bellatrix, that Muggle, Mafalda, the cat-thing and Harry. Right?”
“Those have been people I’ve turned into. Yes.”
“You’re blushing. Why are you blushing? Do I really look like that when I blush? Hold on… how many times have you used polyjuice potion?”
Hermione pursed her lips. “Since I figured out how to brew it? Maybe nine times a year?”
Ron looked stricken. “How? Wha…”
“Time Turner was handy.”
“I don’t mean that! I mean why?”
“Look, you might not remember but before I got Madame Pomfrey to fix my… teeth…” she gestured at Ron’s current face, “–I wasn’t exactly comfortable with my body.”
“I loved how you looked.”
“Flatterer. And you didn’t. Not when we were young. You used to make horrible fun of me.”
“Only about you being brainy.”
Hermione gave Ron a scalding look.
“Alright. I was young and stupid. But you’re not getting out of telling me.”
“So, it started with me being embarrassed because of the… cat thing. You know?”
Ron definitely understood Hermione’s tendency to obsess.
“But when I got it right, it just felt… different. Good. A change out of who I was. The Time Turner. I might have gone a little power mad.”
“DON’T you start.” Hermione waggled a finger at him. “And then there was getting my teeth fixed and the ball with Viktor. Don’t start! I can see you trying to wrinkle my nose.”
“After that. I just… I needed a way to unwind.”
“Yeah… I guess I can see that. Hard times. Boys and girls, though?”
Hermione nodded. “Magic. I didn’t see a need to discriminate.”
“Nothing like this, though.” Ron stretched out his body and wiggled it in what he hoped might be seductive. It wasn’t. It was funny, though.
Hermione wasn’t responding.
“Ok… hold on… not like… this, this.” She motioned to the two of them. “But, I mean, there was some kissing and cuddling and… looking. I mean… it’s all so innocent looking back on it.”
“I once did this study. Unofficial, of course. About a third of the class was willing to… swap. If they had the chance.”
“Just temporarily. Some out of curiosity. Some just trying to figure out what they liked. I mean, we were teens, Ron. It makes sense.”
“Sure, I… hey. I don’t remember you asking me.”
“I put you in the ‘no’ column.”
Ron looked annoyed, gestured to his breasts.
“Then, Ron. You’ve become more adventurous.”
That seemed to settle it.
“About ten percent of the class had tried it. A lot of experimentation going on there. But it’s not easy to get a hold of this stuff.”
“Let me guess. You were the local supplier?”
“To a few folks. Luna Lovegood. Remember her?”
“You hated her.”
“She figured it all out. Don’t know how. Even the cat-thing. Kept pestering me. So, I’d split doses when I could. Weird girl. She kept saying that she was going to find a way to turn into different animals. God, what was it she said? ‘The difference between people and animals is as small at the wingtip of a Thestral.’ She was doing some really impossible things with the potion by the time we graduated. I wonder how Rolf puts up with it.”
Ron snorted “Fantastic Beasts and where to bed them?”
“Ron.” Hermione kicked him.
Ron very nearly went off the bed. That led to a very brief pillow fight and a breathless kiss.
Ron ran his fingers through Hermione’s hair, marveling at the weird straightness of it. “My wife. The Polyjuice Peddler.”
Hermione chewed her lip, thought about it. “There was this small percentage. About, I don’t know. About one percent? They wanted to make it permanent. Couldn’t though. I couldn’t figure out a way. Even after Barty Crouch.”
“Why? I mean, why did they want it permanent?”
“Why? I guess some were kind of like me. They just didn’t feel like their bodies fit. But there were others. Harry understood.”
“Not like… okay… let me try and piece this together.” She looked directly into Ron’s eyes, her eyes reflecting back. “You grew up with magic parents and a magic family but Harry and I. We were raised around Muggles. There’s this moment. It’s hard to describe. It’s like… when everything comes together and you realize I’m magic. I’m going to become a wizard. And it wasn’t a thing you knew you could be before. But now it’s here and it’s so freeing. You might not even be in Hogwart’s yet or had anyone officially told you anything, but it feels so terrifying and new and right.”
“Okay… I get it. I mean… I think I get it. Sort of.”
“There’s this girl I remember. Aurodelia. Did you ever meet her?”
Ron shook his head.
“She was a Hufflepuff. Her mother was a potions master and while Aurodelia wasn’t quite where her mother was, she had really outdone herself with the Polyjuice Potion. Besides me, she was the other major provider. She figured out… I mean this is kind of mental, but pretty brilliant too… she had this variation where she took her mom’s hair–it had to be from the family–she’d take hair from her mother’s hair brush and then add it to a polyjuice potion that would just change her gender.”
“Hold on… so Aurodelia was…”
“Her family wouldn’t accept her so she would always revert back to being ‘Aaron’…” Hermione frowned. “–when going home. I saw her mother once. I’m pretty sure she knew but she was so proud about the potion she wasn’t going to say anything.”
“Yeah. I haven’t been able to follow what happened to her after school.”
Ron thought about it. Hermione watched the wheels turn. “So what happens to them? That one percent?”
Hermione shrugged. “It might be larger than that. I mean… I didn’t do an official study.”
“I get that but what I’m asking is is it just a life of polyjuice potions?”
“For some, sure. And I’m betting some have found more permanent measures. But there’s some other options as well.”
“Like what Madame Pomfrey did for you.”
“Oho! Figured that out all by yourself?”
“I have brains now. I have matured.” That earned Ron a smack on his bottom. “Hey!”
Hermione grinned. “Yeah. It’s pretty common in the Ministry of Magic.”
“I mean… you can’t just drop that. ‘It’s pretty common in the Ministry of Magic’ and then just move on.”
“Well, look, you know how there are spells that can do things to you if they know your birth name, right?”
“Sure. Harry told me that that’s why some Aurors change their names ‘Mad Moody’. Things like that.”
“Well, imagine, if you will, how much harder it is if you don’t know the gender either.”
“Is that… that’s a thing?”
“That’s a thing.”
“Hunh.” Ron took it all in. “And I suppose this is a thing.”
“We can’t have been the only couple in the history of wizarding to have thought of this.”
“True!” Ron grinned. “I hope the rest of them had as much fun.”
Hermione smiled. “Me too.” Her face scrunched up. “Did you just pat my butt?”
“My butt.” Ron affirmed “At least for the next few hours!”
Hermione roared playfully and lunged at him. Startled, Ron fell out of bed, laughing, and then scrambled to get away.
And then, of course, there had to be a chase.