Disclaimer: I don't own anything in the HP universe… if I did, would I waste my time with fanfics?
A/N: I have never actually been to WIKTT… though I have tried to find it, and failed. However, I love reading Challenge fics, and I found the rules in another story and just had to write one myself. I'm sorry if it's less than formidable, but I'll try my best. This is my first and probably only attempt at the WIKTT Marriage Law Challenge. Enjoy!
Marriage Law Memo
Due to the rapidly rising number of pure-blood inbreeding resulting in still births, miscarriages, and squibs, a marriage law has been passed and is effective today. Any pure-blood witch/wizard above the age of 18 is to be married to either a muggle-born or a half-blood also 18 or older. This is to ensure the prosperity of the magical community. A pure-blood who wishes to petition for a muggle born or half blood witch or wizard should contact the proper ministry official. Any witch/wizard who receives a petition must accept. If they should receive more than one they are to choose within a week. Once a petition has been accepted the marriage should take place within 48 hours, and be consummated within 24. If a child is not produced within a year, the marriage shall be terminated and both parties will be partnered off once again. Any attempts to flee this arrangement shall result in immediate sentencing to Azkaban. The Ministry thanks you for your compliance.
For the first time in many years, Albus Dumbledore let his anger get away from him. He slammed a fist down into the breakfast table, swearing loudly. The Great Hall fell silent, and he felt many eyes upon him. He smiled and apologized, claiming he had yet again fallen prey to Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans, and the students went about their business. He looked down at the memo once again and wondered how many of his students would get petitions. A sudden fluttering of wings was heard and he figured he'd get his answer.
Hermione nearly fell over when nearly ten owls dropped letters in front of her. She looked down at them and decided to read the one that had been dropped first. She broke the seal, which she noticed had the Ministry crest on it, and unrolled the parchment.
To Miss Hermione Granger,
This letter is to notify you that you are of the age 18, and are thereby required to participate in the Marriage Law Act. This is due to your use of a Time Turner in your third year to take extra classes. If you have any questions, I'm sure Albus Dumbledore would have no objections to answering them.
She stared up at Dumbledore, who was looking around sadly. She picked up the next scroll.
Miss Hermione Granger,
You have been petitioned for by Lucius Malfoy, for Draco Malfoy. Do you choose to accept?
Below this were to boxes, one marked yes, and the other no. Hermione set it aside and read the rest of the petitions. Andrew Green. Vincent Crabbe. Ewwww! Curtis MacMillan. Jonathan Myres. Lyle Smithers. Gregory Goyle. Ewwww! Severus Snape…
"WHAT?" Hermione screamed, jumping from her seat. She quickly composed herself. Severus Snape? His father petitioned for her, of course, but she wondered if he knew. She looked up to see him scowling at her. Obviously not…
She surveyed her list of possible suitors. The only one not in Slytherin was Curtis MacMillan. But… she thought, looking over at him, he's not nearly my type. I would surely die from lack of intellectual stimulation. The only other possibilities were Draco or Snape. Draco had definitely straightened out in the last year and a half, and had become a close friend of hers in the process. But she doubted he would be happy married to her as he already had his eye on someone. And she doubted Snape would be happy married to anybody. I definitely need to talk to professor Dumbledore.
She walked up to his office after classes and found that the staircase was already there. Somebody had obviously had the same idea as her. She had taken all of her proposals with her. She walked into Dumbledore's office to see Draco and Severus seemingly waiting for her. She looked at them curiously.
"Ah, Hermione, have you already made a decision?" Dumbledore asked.
"No, not exactly…" she said, shooting a glance at Draco, "I was thinking about Draco but-"
"No!" Draco exclaimed, "Hermione, my father proposed for you. He knows I was planning on asking… somebody else to marry me, so he was going to trick you into this contract, so he could use you himself! Please, for your own safety, you cannot marry me!"
Hermione was quite surprised and disgusted after hearing this. She pulled out Draco's scroll and without thinking, checked 'no'. Immediately the scroll disappeared in a puff of red smoke and reappeared in front of Draco, still glowing red. Hermione smiled at the ministry's unknown humiliation to those rejected. She pulled out all of the other scrolls and marked the Death Eaters' sons as no first, satisfied that they would be sufficiently humiliated. She looked down at the remaining scrolls in front of her. Snape… or Curtis? Well, I don't think I would be happy with either of them…
"Miss Granger," Severus' deep voice shattered her thoughts, "You are surely not even contemplating accepting my father's feeble attempt to marry me off? I would rather be attacked by a colony of Jarvies than be married to an insufferable Gryffindor, such as yourself."
"Really?" Hermione sniffed.
"Naturally," he replied, "You are, after all, just a child- a mere chit of a girl."
"Well, then-" Hermione held up the scroll defiantly, "I accept!" She checked yes and then gasped. "Bloody hell! What have I done?" The scroll disappeared in pink smoke this time and a bright glowing pink heart appeared over Severus' head. It hovered for a few moments before exploding in confetti and another scroll dropped out of it, into Severus' hand.
He scowled at her. "Just great… a know-it-all, a Gryffindor, a student… and better yet, she'd cut off her own nose, just to spite her face."
Hermione laughed harshly. "I'd say I just severed my ARM!" she yelled, bursting into tears and running from the room.
"And emotional to boot," Severus sighed, "Albus, haven't you got anything to say about this?"
"Yes, of course," he stood up and grinned, "Congratulations."
Draco grinned back up at him and then left, following Hermione. She was, of course, headed to the lake outside on the grounds. It was her thinking spot. He sat down next to her, wrapping an arm around her shoulders and pulling her close.
"I think you made the right decision," he said quietly.
Hermione wiped the tears from her cheeks. "Are you kidding me? He's a snaky bastard and my Potions Professor! I wonder if the ministry would let me take back my proposal…"
"I don't think so," Draco said, rubbing her shoulder with his thumb, "Besides, if you married somebody else, it's more than likely they'd be dead within a week. Either by my father's hand, or You-know-who's."
"Well that's just freaking great! So I either marry my teacher or a Death Eater! Those aren't very good choices! Especially when the teacher we're speaking of is SNAPE," she growled.
"Snape's not all that bad, Hermione," Draco defended, "He's always been more of a father than Lucius to me. And- well, he is on our side, right?"
"Yeah… you know, I've always had this secret admiration for him… the way he is always risking his neck for people who don't really seem to like or accept him," she confessed.
At that very moment Severus was walking up behind them. He heard that and stopped dead in his tracks. Nobody had ever even mentioned how much he had at risk. Nobody but Dumbledore of course. Damn it all, but that man was like a father to him. He made a mental note to bring it up in some kind of casual conversation in the future and continued on his trek.
"Really? Not many people would say that about him," Draco said, grinning.
"Yeah…" Hermione smiled, "I mean, if he's risking that much for all us 'insufferable Gryffindors', then he can't be too horrible-" she stopped speaking when she noticed the aforementioned "he" walking toward them. She stood quickly and Draco followed. They met him half way and placed the usual scowl firmly on his face.
Hermione merely smiled up at him determined not to let her own decision kill her- or at least not to show it. "Was there something you needed Professor?"
"Yes. Dumbledore suggested that we talk…" he looked at Draco, "alone. About- wedding preparations."
"So soon?" Hermione said, before she could stop herself.
"Miss Granger, you are aware of the fact that we are to be married in two days' time?" Severus said, smirking.
"Of course… must've slipped my mind. Of course we should talk. If you'll excuse me Draco?"
Hermione and Severus walked to the castle together, leaving Draco grinning. Maybe this'll all work out for the best…
Alright… so what do you think? Should I continue? Should I not? I need 10 reviews first. If ten people say I should continue first then I will, but if ten people tell me to quit first, then I'm afraid I'll have to do that. Merci!