Title: Into the Night
Summary: A new Marriage Law requires all Muggleborns to marry within three months of their seventeenth birthday, and he is her only hope. SS/OC
Disclaimer: I don't lay claim to anything related to Harry Potter, or anything to do with said books/movies. I'm only playing with them, and promise to set them back exactly as I found them when I'm finished with them, (even if they are slightly loopy as a result). :)
Reviews: Always welcome and very much appreciated
There were drums in the air, as she started to dance, every soul in the room keeping time with their hands
Into the Night- Santana feat. Chad Kroeger
Allison McCormack wouldn't strike you as abnormal, per se. She enjoyed ice skating, something may others in the wizarding world might have seen as a trival pastime. In fact she was the top skater in her age group. Partnered with a young man named Neil Lansdell, they had become the 'ice dancing' champions. Just a few months before, she had come home from school, vowing never to return to the world she had lived in for the past seven years.
For you see, Allison McCormack wasn't a normal girl.
Allison McCormack was a witch.
And quite a powerful one at that.
Just a few months before, The-Boy-Who-Lived (to be a pain in my side, she'd add silently), Harry Potter, had vanquished the most feared wizard to be seen in over one hundred years, Lord Voldemort.
While Harry Potter never asked for the task of defeating Voldemort, he'd done it.
And while she was grateful, she would have rather been back in the Muggle world, doing what she loved. After Voldemort's defeat, she'd said goodbye to her friends, Hermione Granger (whom she only saw occasionally thanks to her association with The-Boy-Who-Lived), and Edward Roberts (a Half-Blood in the same House as Allison herself), she'd returned and found her way back to the ice rink.
But it was this one day that turned her life upside down.
He stepped into the arena as she performed her long program, a contemporary dance routine to a song called 'Into the Night', he recognized the song from that God-forsaken thing Muggles called a 'radio'. Good God, it was cold! The dance, he noticed, was not overtly complicated, but still enough to convince judges that she and that partner of hers were worth their salt. He, her partner that is, was leading this dance when she suddenly turned her head and he was sure she had recognized him, black robes settling behind him.
Ignore it, ignore it, you cannot afford to miss this step, you cannot... she thought to herself upon seeing Professor Snape at the boards.
But by this point the music had stopped and she was no longer being judged.
"Oh Good Lord," she muttered, covering her eyes with her hand. As she stepped off the ice and made her way to the dressing room, she noticed he followed her. As soon as the door closed, however, he stopped.
As he was knocking on the door, she sighed as she bent to untie her skate laces.
"Are you decent, Miss McCormack?" his cold, drawling voice asked, slightly muffled by the heavy door seperating the two of them.
"Yes Professor," she answered.
He pushed open the door and sat down beside her on the bench.
"Can I ask why you're here?" she finished unlacing her skate and grabbed a towel to dry the blade.
"Dumbledore wishes to see you, he asked me to come and collect you."
"Now? The old codger wants to see me now?" she asked as she shoved her skates back into her skate bag and zipped it up. "Professor, I don't think either you or Dumbledore realize that this dance, the waltz that I was doing on the ice back there, is one of the most important dances for my partner and I... we are not so incompetant that we cannot master what you might deem a 'simple, childish dance', but if we do not pass this test, our funding will be cut, and we shall lose all that we have worked for."
"Calm yourself, Miss McCormack. I did not say we had to leave straight away. Dumbledore is willing to wait until you and your partner have received your results, and then he has asked us to Apparate back to Hogwarts."
"I thought you couldn't Apparate into Hogwarts!"
"Good Lord, do use your common sense! Of course we cannot Apparate straight into Hogwarts, but Apparating outside the grounds is entirely possible." He had said the whole sentence through clenched teeth, attempting to stifle the anger he felt at her supposed incompetence.
She nodded in understanding. "Excuse me, sir, but I'm sure my partner is looking for me. If I'm not there he'll have my hide."
Snape nodded curtly, allowing her to leave the dressing room, trainers and all, and find her partner.
Her partner, a young man by the name of Neil Lansdell, he noticed, was almost a full head taller than she, and quite handsome, truth be told. He did not look like he could lift anything heavier than a feather pillow, or a small baby, but once they received their results, he realized he was more than proven incorrect.
The boy had put his hands on her hips, lifted her, and had given her enough momentum to spin twice in the air before catching her in his arms once again.
Snape could only guess that they had succeeded.
He watched her whisper to Neil and then hug him before returning to the dressing room, retrieving her bag and coming back out, suddenly appearing at Snape's side.
"Ready?" he asked, looking at her curtly.
Allison nodded just as curtly. She gripped his left arm and the next thing she knew she felt as though irons bars were pressing on his chest, her eyes pushing into the back of her head, and her eardrums ready to explode.
When she opened her eyes, there were standing outside the gates of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The gates did not hesitate to open for Professor Snape, perhaps they recognized that a current teacher was requesting entrance.
"Come on, then, Miss McCormack, we do not have time to dally."
Clutching her skate bag and swinging it over shoulder, Allison followed him as quickly as she could. Seeing as both were extremely quick runners, they had made it to the castle in almost no time at all.
Reaching the outside of Dumbledore's office, they stopped.
"Fizzing Whizbee," he said between clenched teeth, as though it hurt for him to say such words.
The gargoyle jumped to the side and suddenly the two of them were climbing the stairs to Dumbledore's office.
"Ah, Severus, Miss McCormack," his quiet, calm voice resounded throughout the room as soon as they stepped foot into his office. "May I offer you a lemon drop?"
"No thank you Professor," she greeted in return.
"I don't suppose Professor Snape has informed you as to why I have asked you here?"
"No sir," Allison answered, putting down her skates and rubbing her shoulder. It was then she realized she was only dressed in her skating dress, tights, and trainers. No wonder she was suddenly so cold.
No sooner had she thought of it had a cloak appeared over her shoulders.
"And how did you fare?"
"Fare?" suddenly she understood. "Oh, suffice it to say, sir, that Neil's and my funding shall not be cut. In fact the judge thought that we were ready to progress to the next level."
"Splendid," Dumbledore clapped his hands once together. "However, Miss McCormack, I am afraid that you may not be able to continue with it, though it is obvious how much you enjoy it."
Allison's mouth dropped open.
"I am afraid, Miss McCormack, that it is your relationship with Neil Lansdell that has put you in jeporady..." Dumbledore told her.
"My relationship with Neil Lansdell does not continue off the ice! When we dance, Dumbledore, it is part of our performance to give the illusion that we are in love!"
"Ah, but that is your downfall, Miss McCormack. For you see, the Ministry of Magic has imposed a marriage law..."
"Marriage law? How could that affect me? I'm not even of age!"
"You come of age in four months time..."
"November sixth, but why should that matter?"
"Part of the clause is that all Muggle-born witches and wizards must marry within three months of reaching their seventeenth birthday," Snape interjected.
Was he in on this as well?
She asked him the same question.
"Most assuredly, I am not. I do not approve of this any more than you do," he spat.
"Three months? But sir, that is certainly to short of a time span. No one can fall in love within three months." She again turned her attention to Dumbledore.
"Seven," came Snape's voice.
Allison looked at him sideways. "Sorry?"
"You have, in fact, seven months to make your decision, Miss McCormack," he repeated. "Seeing as you do not come of age until November, and it is only July. And from November you still have until February."
Oh yes, Professor, that makes me feel ten times better.
She turned to Dumbledore and pulled the cloak tightly around her shoulders. "Professor... sir, is there any way to deflect this so-called marriage law so that it is not passed?"
"There is not," Dumbledore replied. "The Ministry has already enacted this law. In fact, there is barely a young woman in the seventh year who is not engaged or married already."
"And what do they say about children? I know..."
"That there is a definite increase in the amount of Squibs and stillbirths in the wizarding world due to the insane obsession with blood purity." Dumbledore answered.
When had Dumbledore ever used the word 'insane'?
"Yes, Miss McCormack, that is true. The Marriage Law dictates that you must conceive a child within the first year of marriage."
First year? My parents were married for nearly a decade before I was conceived.
"I trust you have not received any letter or notice from the Ministry as of yet, have you?" Dumbledore looked at her over his half-moon spectacles.
Allison shook her head.
"Well, I rather think I should be the one to give it to you now," Dumbledore reached to the corner of his desk and handed her the letter. "I trust you do not wish to read this now... I have connected your fireplace to the Floo Network for the afternoon, if you wish to return home."
"Thank you sir," she slipped the letter into her skate bag, proceeded to the fireplace, took a handful of Floo Powder and soon we had arrived back home.
Allison nearly choked as she read the letter once again. This time in the confines of her bedroom. Perhaps she should take this to her mother...
No, her mother was a Muggle. She would never understand the depth of what this entailed.
But on the other hand, wouldn't she want her mother at her wedding?
Probably not. Her mother and father were both Muggles, from non-magic families. Their reaction to this new law would be nothing short of nauseating. When Allison had received her first letter from Hogwarts, they had looked at her with almost an air of disgust. Nevertheless, they received her home for Christmas and the summer holidays, but most of the time she was at the skating rink with Neil.
Now she was going to have to give up all that she and Neil had worked so hard for. Something told her that when breaking the news to him, he would not take it well at all.
One final time, she read the letter.
Dear Miss McCormack,
In accordance with Statute 378, encompassed within the newly revised Marriage Act, all Muggleborn wizards and witches must marry within three months of reaching their seventeenth year.
Also encompassed within this Act is the Reproduction Clause. Said couple must be with child or have already delivered within a year of marriage.
A list of suitable matches has been enclosed with this letter. Please take the time to review this list and send a response back by no later than 31 August.
Yours most sincerely,
Minister for Magic
Allison picked up the list that had been folded in with the letter, and nearly choked once again.
Number one on her list of possible suitors was none other than her former professor; Severus Snape.