AN: I own nothing.
I know the whole marriage law thing has been written to death, but I wanted to write one. So, I did.
I had no idea who was going to be paired with who until I started announcing the matches.
There will be scenes with sexual content in future chapters, by the way.
Also, Remus, Tonks, Sirius, Severus, Fred, and Albus are still alive. As well as Dobby. I can't bring myself to kill them again.
Alright, enough of me. Go! Read!
AN: 8/28 - After re-reading this chapter, I went back and re-edited it. I had forgotten to include the parameters of the marriage law, and it was pointed out that the Wizengamot didn't have control of every country, only England. So, I fixed a few things.
Hermione Granger was sitting by the pond at the Burrow with her knees pulled up to her chest, staring out at the water. She was in no mood for company, so she had quietly slipped out of the kitchen and made her way out here.
Hermione maintained the idea that Kingsley had lost his mind approving of the Wizengamot's new law. The whole idea of arranged marriages was barbaric in this age. But, after the war and all the losses, the Wizengamot, and a lot of the elders in the wizarding community, thought this was the best way to repopulate. According to the specifics of the law, any witch or wizard aged 17-65, and was currently single, was to be paired with a witch or wizard who they had the most factors in common with according to the Arithmantic calculations. Once paired, you had six months to marry, and a year after to either conceive or give birth.
Today was the day the matches for the new marriage law were being sent out. Something she most definitely was not looking forward to. Who knows who she might be matched with? The thought of being married for the foreseeable future to someone like Malfoy, Nott, Zabini, or someone else like them, made her shudder in both disgust and fear. Or worse, what if she was paired with someone who was more than twenty years older than she was, like Ollivander? Ollivander was a nice enough man, but he was at least 60, and the thought of having to not only marry him, but have his children, made her shudder in revulsion. She'd sooner do the tango with one of Hagrid's blast-ended skrewts.
Of course, one of Hermione's biggest objections was the part of the law that stated how often the couple must have sex in order to increase the odds of conceiving. At least three times a week. It wasn't the sex itself she objected to, not at all. In fact, Hermione quite enjoyed having sex. It was the fact the Ministry was making sex mandatory that bothered her. People should be intimate because they wanted to, not because they were required to.
This whole thing seemed wrong, but what could she do? The answer was to do what she was doing right then - sit by the pond and try not to lose hope.
''Hermione?'' she heard from behind her. Turning, she smiled sadly as Harry stood there with his hands in his pockets. ''The owls are here with the matches.'' Harry said, nodding back at the Burrow.
Hermione nodded. ''Okay. I'll uh..I'll be in a little while, Harry.'' she said, turning back to the pond.
''Molly won't let us start until you get back in there.'' he said. ''Just sayin'.'' he added.
Hermione sighed. ''So, how many of you want me to stay out here, then?'' she asked with a small smile.
''Everybody.'' Harry said, sitting beside her. ''We're all hoping if you stay out here, we won't have to read our matches, and can all just ignore them.''
Hermione scoffed. ''Please. What do you have to be afraid of?'' she asked, looking at him. ''You're Harry Potter. Chances are the Ministry will pair you with Luna.'' she said. ''It's all the rest of us who'll get the shaft.'' she added, making Harry laugh. Hearing him laughing, Hermione's mood lifted.
''Merlin, I hope so. I don't want to marry anyone else but her.'' he said after he stopped laughing.
Hermione stood up, wiping her jeans off. ''Well,'' she sighed, ''might as well get this over with.'' she said, holding her hand out to help Harry up. After a few steps, she felt Harry stop. ''What is it?'' she asked.
''What if I get paired with someone like Rosmerta?'' he asked, looking like he was going to throw up.
Hermione laughed. ''Well, you'd make it work. I mean, have you seen her? No wonder Ron had a crush on her. But, don't worry, it could be worse.'' she said.
''How?'' Harry asked.
''Two words, Harry. Rita. Skeeter.'' Hermione said, smirking as she walked ahead of him.
''Oh, Merlin, please let it be Luna.'' she heard Harry whisper.
As she and Harry got themselves seated around the table at the Burrow, Molly handed everyone their letters from the Ministry. It was clear everyone was nervous, as the table was filled with food, but nobody, not even Ron, was eating.
''Okay, kids,'' Molly said, ''one at a time. Percy, why don't you go first?'' she asked, smiling at her son. He was the oldest present who wasn't married, like Bill, or engaged, like Charlie.
Percy nodded, and after taking a deep breath, opened his envelope and pulled out his letter. Everyone was holding their breath when he smiled. ''I got Audrey.'' he laughed. Despite the general gloomy mood, everyone congratulated him. Percy had been dating Audrey for over a year now, and the whole family adored her.
''Okay, Fred, you next.'' Arthur said.
In much the same way as Percy, Fred took a deep breath and faced his future. ''Katie Bell.'' he smiled.
The others all followed suit in the same way, deep breath first, followed by the scanning of their letter for their match.
''Angie.'' George said, smiling.
''Lavender Brown.'' Ron groaned, dropping his head to the table.
''Oliver Wood.'' Ginny said, stunned.
With looks at each other, Harry and Hermione opened theirs at the same time. Where Harry's face broke out in a smile right away, Hermione sat in shock at her match.
''Well?'' Molly asked. ''Who'd you get, dears?''
''Luna.'' Harry said, laughing in relief.
''Mione? What about you?'' Ginny asked.
A smile started to appear on Hermione's face as she looked up at Ginny. She didn't know whether to laugh or cry from relief.
''Well?'' Harry asked impatiently.
''Neville.'' Hermione whispered, tears forming in her eyes as she smiled.
At Longbottom Manor, Neville sat in his old treehouse in the woods behind the property. He was nervous about his match, and decided to try and calm his nerves by reading the new herbology book his Gran had sent him from Italy, where she was currently on holiday.
He was nervous about his match, not because he didn't want to be married. He actually was looking forward to being married. No, it was because since the end of the war, and people had spread the word about him being the one to kill Nagini, he had acquired the nickname 'Snake Slayer', and since then, had witches from all around the world sending him letters. Some had marriage proposals, some were just thanking him, and some were sent along with knickers. A few witches had even sent him pictures of themselves in lingerie or naked.
Hearing an owl screeching, he looked up and saw a brown owl heading his direction. No sooner did it drop the envelope into his lap did it take off again. Sighing, he looked down and picked up the letter. Ripping the side open, he pulled it out and scanned the letter for the name of his future wife.
Hermione J. Granger
Neville's face broke out in a face splitting smile. Hermione. His first friend at Hogwarts. The girl who helped him no matter what Snape said. Taught him how to produce a corporeal patronus. The first person to ever tell him he was a great wizard. The first girl who wasn't a relative to kiss him. The girl who he'd had a massive crush on since they met. The star of many of his dreams. Hermione.
Laughing in relief, he climbed down from his treehouse and ran into the Manor to clean up. He knew where Hermione was staying for the time being, and wanted to go visit her.
Til next time!
XOXO - Onyx Obsidian