Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters belong to J.K. Rowling.
The Big News
"What do you mean betrothed?" Bill Weasley yelled at the top of his lungs.
"Just that. Betrothed. Since the day you were born." His mother answered.
Earlier that evening Bill had come home to tell his family that he was planning to ask his girlfriend Fleur Delacour to marry him. They had met three years earlier during the Triwizard Tournament at Hoqwarts and had begun dating when Fleur got a job at Gringott's Bank with Bill a few months later. Upon his announcement his parent broke the news to him that he was betrothed to a girl named Sarah Worthington whom he apparently knew. And loathed.
"How could you do this to me?" Bill screamed. "All this time…you knew how much I cared about Fleur, how could you not tell me?"
The rest of the Weasley children, sans Charlie who was in Romania working with dragons, plus Harry Potter and Hermione Granger were all positioned on the Burrow stairs listening. Hermione felt horrible for eavesdropping, but her curiosity got the better of her. She sat there eerily quiet, glued to the actions going on below, as did Harry, Ron, Ginny, Fred, George, and Percy Weasley.
"Bill, we're sorry. We meant to tell you sooner, we just sort of forgot." Mr. Weasley said in a low voice.
"Forgot!" Bill yelled dumfounded. He sat down on the couch, his head in his hands, looking utterly defeated. His mother sat beside him and put an arm around his shoulders. "She's a lovely girl Bill." she said quietly.
"Lovely? Mum she's horrid. She's vapid, shallow, rude-I can't marry her."
"You have to."
"Why?" he demanded jumping to his feet. "I didn't make this deal, you did. It's not fair!"
With that he apparated out.
Fred let out a low whistle. "This is not good."
"He'll be fine." Percy declared.
"Not him." Fred whispered. "Us. What makes you think we're not all betrothed?"
At that Percy went slightly pale. He had been dating his girlfriend Penelope Clearwater for five years. It was obvious she had just crossed his mind. Seeming to know what he was thinking, Ginny placed her hand on his arm soothingly. "You're right." He whispered.
"You don't really think your parents would do that, do you?" Harry asked Ron.
"They did it to Bill." Fred spat, his voice venomous.
"Well let's find out." George declared. All five of the remaining Weasley children stood as one and headed down to the parlor where their parents were.
"What do you think?" Harry asked Hermione.
"I don't know," she answered. "But I hope they're not betrothed-for Mr. and Mrs. Weasley's sake."
Just than there was an eruption of noise from downstairs. It sounded as if all of the Weasley's were yelling. Ron came stomping up the stairs, sputtering indignantly.
"I'm betrothed to Luna Lovegood!" he yelled. And her dad had Mum and Dad sign some binding magical contract thingy so I can't get out of it. If I don't marry her I can't ever get married at all!"
"Tough luck mate. At least it's someone you know." Harry said. It was obvious he was trying hard not to laugh. Ron might have disliked Luna, but it was obvious that she was very taken with him.
Hermione shot Harry a dirty look. "What about everyone else?" she asked turning to Ron.
"Well, Ginny's betrothed to Neville-"
"Neville? Harry and Hermione both asked.
"Yep. George to Alicia, Fred and some girl from Beauxbatons, Charlie and this Cherie girl he used to fancy at school, and Percy had this girl who transferred to Durmstrang."
"What do you mean 'had?'?" Harry inquired.
"Well apparently she ran off to Hungary with some guy she met at school and got married. Percy's over the moon."
"I'll bet." Hermione snorted. "I'm gonna go check on Ginny.
She found Ginny sitting in the parlor with George and Percy and she was obviously upset. Hermione sat down across from them and took Ginny's hand.
"It's not fair." Ginny wailed.
"Come on, Neville's a good guy." George said softly.
"That's easy for you to say. You're both crazy about the people you're going to marry." she sulked.
Percy and George both sighed. She was right. They both turned to Hermione for help, but she was looking around the room. "Where's Fred?" she asked. It had suddenly occurred to her that she hadn't seen him in a wile.
"He stormed outside right after Mum and Dad gave us the good news," George said. "He's almost as upset as Bill.
Hermione was about to ask why when Mrs. Weasley announced that dinner was ready.