*WITH THE IMPORTANT CAVEAT THAT THE OFFICIAL LINE RIGHT NOW IS THAT HER SHELL CORPORATION WAS CREATED SO SHE COULD PURCHASE PROPERTY PRIVATELY AND WITHOUT FANFARE, WHICH IS CERTAINLY POSSIBLE, I DON’T MEAN TO IMPLY SHE IS 100% A TAX DODGER BUT IT CERTAINLY RAISES SOME QUESTION, OKAY, BACK TO THE FAN FICTION NOW, AGAIN BEARING IN MIND THAT THIS IS JUST FOR THE SHEER DELIGHT OF PICTURING A LIBERTARIAN HERMIONE IN A SMOKY ROOM CREATING SHELL CORPORATIONS AND BUILDING TAX SHELTERS, ALSO HERE IS A QUICK PRIMER ON THE PANAMA PAPERS IF YOU’RE UNFAMILIAR OR READ A PRIMER A FEW WEEKS AGO AND THEN FORGOT
“Hermione,” Ron said quietly, “what’s a tax shelter?”
Ash fell from her cigarette. “Well,” she said. “Someone’s been learning his letters.”
The memory grew brighter. “Professor Slughorn,” Hermione asked brightly, “What if someone wanted to split his wealth into multiple offshore accounts? Say…seven?
“Good heavens, seven?”
“Well, isn’t seven considered a magically significant number?”
“Merline’s beard, girl! Isn’t it bad enough to consider doing it once? To dodge their tax bill seven times…This is all hypothetical, isn’t it, Hermione? All academic?”
“Of course, sir,” Hermione said, smiling. “It’ll be our little secret.”
“Mustn’t complain, though,” Harry said after an odd silence. “That’s what our taxes are for, after all.”
“We don’t pay taxes,” Hermione said. “Taxes are for Muggles.” She extinguished her cigarette in the last slice of cake.
“But you’re –” Harry started.
“I used to be a lot of things,” Hermione said decisively. “I have money now instead.”
Harry stopped at every bar on the way home, until he could no longer remember the look that had entered her eyes as she said it.
Inside Hermione’s library was a book Ron knew without being asked he was never to be allowed to read. It was an old edition of Treasure Island. It was not by Robert Louis Stevenson.
HARRY: But, Hermione, I thought we weren’t allowed to create shell corporations on Hogwarts’ grounds.
HERMIONE: Well, being me…has its privileges.
“There’s going to be a war,” Harry said, looking into his glass.
“There already is a war,” Hermione said, refilling hers. “A class war. And they’re winning.”
[With grateful thanks to Tom Sveb for an A+ joke assist]
Mallory is an Editor of The Toast.