Disclaimer: I own nothing but the plot.
A/N: This idea came from a Snape/Hermione challenge I've seen, but the idea was too good. So I've put it to my own use.
Summary: In the wake of Ministry arranged marriages, the Weasley's have a busy week of nuptials, some happy and some not. But for one brother, his marriage is the chance to reclaim an unrequited love.
Tap. Tap. Tap.
Tap. Tap. Tap.
"Ugh, all right!" Hermione Granger yelled, throwing the covers off of her. She stomped to her window, opened it and let the owl flutter in, dropping her Daily Prophet. She quickly paid the bird before it flew off into the sunrise.
She carried the newspaper into her kitchen and threw it onto the table. She quickly made her morning tea before she sat down and opened the paper to the front page. Glancing at the headline, Hermione choked on her tea and dropped her cup onto the floor. Staring back at her the headline read:
"Ministry of Magic Begins Marriages by Law."
No sooner had she read this, than someone banged on Hermione's door. She dropped the paper in shock and hurried to open the door.
"Have you seen this?" Ginny Weasley yelled, waving her copy of the Daily Prophet.
"Yes, Ginny," Herimone said whilst rubbing her forehead. "I've just read the headline. Come on in. I was just about to replace my cup of tea."
"Don't bother reading it. I'll save you the time," Ginny said, sinking into a chair at the table.
Hermione sat two cups of tea on the table and sat across from her upstairs neighbor to listen to the saga.
Ginny sighed and began:
"Apparently, with all the pureblood families intermarrying over all these centuries, our blood's become dangerous. So our wonderful Ministry has passed a new law that will force all unmarried purebloods out of school and under age fifty to marry Muggleborns. The only stipulation is if someone's already engaged. In that case, they're exempt."
Hermione's mind raced. There were so many things she'd wanted to accomplish before she married. "How long do we have?" she asked hesitantly.
"The Ministry is sending out the 'randomly selected matches' by the end of the day tomorrow," Ginny said sarcastically, "And the couples have one month to marry. After that, they have one year to produce their first child."
"What?" Hermione yelled. "We have to produce children?" She blushed furiously. She'd never admit it, except under the effects of Veritaserum, but she was a virgin. In fact, in her entire lifetime, Hermione had only had two boyfriends- Viktor Krum in her fourth year of school and Blaise Zabini in her last year. Neither relationship had lasted very long.
"Yes," Ginny answered. "The couples have to produce at least one child."
"Oh, Merlin," Hermione said, burying her face in her hands.
"It gets better," Ginny said. "If either party refuses the marriage, they could go to Azkaban. It's horrible!"
"When will we know who we've been matched with?" Hermione asked.
As if to answer her question, an owl flew into the kitchen, dropping a letter into Hermione's lap. Ginny's eyes widened, and she stood abruptly.
"I'd better go see if I have one waiting upstairs," she said frantically before racing out of the flat.
She returned a minute later, clasping a similar envelope in her hands. Hermione's letter lay unopened before her.
"Shall we open them together?" Ginny asked nervously. Hermione nodded and together, they ripped open the seals.
Ginny quickly scanned her letter and her face broke into a wide smile. She threw her hands in the air and yelled, "Thank Merlin! I don't know how he did it, but he did it!"
She looked at her friend's face, which was a cross between confusion and relief. Hermione raised her eyes to Ginny's, which were misted over with tears.
"Who is it, Gin?" she asked.
"Remus Lupin," Ginny said with a blush. Hermione raised an eyebrow, which prompted Ginny to confess. "We've been seeing each other for a few months. We've been trying to think of a way to tell everyone, but now we don't have to. I mean, the Ministry says we have to get married." She paused thoughtfully. "He must have rigged it somehow. Oh, well. Who'd you get?"
"Your brother," Hermione answered.
"Oh, good. I mean, you and Ron have been friends for ages," Ginny surmised. "It won't be that bad."
"Not Ron," Hermione said slowly.
Molly Weasley, a notoriously early riser, saw the Daily Prophet well before any of her children. She immediately sent Howlers to each of her unmarried children, ordering them to come to the Burrow at once.
Charlie was the first one to Apparate, both the Daily Prophet and his Ministry letter in his hand. Next came Percy, followed by Ron and Harry. Lastly came the twins, still in their pajamas.
"Well?" Molly asked her boys. They all answered at once.
"Wait, one at a time, Charlie, you first," she clarified.
"Her name's Cassandra Martin, from Aberdeen," Charlie answered. "No idea who she is."
"Percy?" Molly inquired.
"Nymphadora Tonks," he answered stiffly.
Molly sighed with relief. "Well, at least we know her," she said, exhaling a deep breath. Percy, however, did not appear relieved. "Harry?"
"Luna Lovegood," he answered with a blush. Ron chuckled next to him.
"At least now you don't have to be nervous about asking her out," he jested Harry.
Harry elbowed him and blushed. "Go ahead and tell your mum who you got."
"Oh, um, Katie Bell," he mumbled.
"I didn't know Katie wasn't pureblood," Fred mused. "Well, I'm lucky that Angelina and I are already engaged. My letter says I'm exempt, as long as we get married in the same time frame."
"I can't believe Bill doesn't have to do this," Charlie said, taking a seat at the kitchen table. "Lucky bastard."
"Yeah, lucky he's already married with a house-full of kids," Ron said sarcastically.
All the other boys heartily agreed and sat down as well. Ginny Apparated into the Burrow at that moment and smiled broadly at her brothers and mother.
"Oh, my baby!" Molly wailed. "Dare I even ask?"
"It's okay, Mum," Ginny said. "I've been matched with Remus Lupin."
Molly fainted to the floor, and it was several moments before she came back around. When she did, she was pale and avoided eye contact with her daughter.
"Oy!" Fred exclaimed with a devious glint in his eye. "Georgie hasn't said who his betrothed is."
George's face blushed a deep scarlet and he looked at his hands in his lap. Molly came over to stand next to him and waited for him to speak.
George took a deep breath and said, "Hermione."