The next few weeks were a busy time for Hermione, Lucius and Severus, but more so for Hermione as she had her interest split between a few different thing. The main two being the wedding and finding a way to change the laws, even if it meant that there were some restrictions such as times limits, she felt it was her duty to push forward and make it possible for others like the Picket group.
She had been frustrated, antsy, excited, and nervous as she tried to balance everything, but a few day earlier, she found what she had been looking for, a way to turn the law in their favor – but it would take a bit of work.
She found a law for laws, meaning that she found a loophole that no doubt the Ministry was hoping she would never find, idiots, she thought with a giggle as she adjusted the paperwork in her hands.
Roger, Sam, and Jenna sat at the kitchen table with Hermione, Lucius, and Severus as she wanted to get started on everything right away. She had checked and double checked her facts and was now certain that they could do it, as long as they did it in a certain time frame.
She passed everyone a few papers before sitting down and smiling.
"This is our chance." She said with a sure smile, "I decided that since I couldn't find anything on the law itself, that the next option was to check for something in the makings of the laws themselves. And that is where I found section 8.5998.
Apparently, as citizens of the wizarding community, we do have some say in how things go. The law states that with at least 8000 signatures, we can petition for the laws to be changed."
She shifted through the folder and pulled out another piece of paper
"There is a few hitches though. A new law will have to be written before the old can be changed and it is that law that must be petitioned in. The other thing, well, the main one that can cause problems is the little issue of once this petition gets around, we will have to do it in a matter of 3 weeks because I am certain that someone will get started on something else that will fill that little loophole making the petition, well, pointless."
Jenna looked down at the paper, "Why three weeks? It seems like an awful big stretch."
"Because the laws have laws, as confusing as that it. There are two levels of laws. The first is where I have found our little loop hole. The group that allows us to change the secondary laws.
If someone who was against this petition were to make a deal out of it, they could ask for a meeting with ministry officials and have the loop hole that we are trying to work through closed. That is where there is good and bad news. The good news is that anyone wanting to have primary law changed must wait a period of thirty days before it comes to a vote.
The bad news is, is that gives us 3 weeks to gather the signatures and submit our petition before any law regarding the matter could come to vote."
"So we are racing time." Severus stated as he glanced over the paper.
Hermione nodded, "If you look to the second page, I have created a rough draft for the new law. It will need to be rewritten by someone who knows how to word it correctly, but I believe it is a fair way to go about it without causing havoc and weddings that shouldn't happen."
Everyone nodded and started to read the paper with the proposed law. Everything was quiet and Hermione waited with an anxious grin.
"Seems fair enough." Jenna stated as she looked up.
Sam nodded, "It makes it possible without it being possibly abused. Like the length of time and such."
"I included that so people couldn't just walk in a say they want to be married. I think a relationship of at least three years is sufficient."
"And the signatures." Lucius added, "Requiring at least 4 people, sworn to honesty, that they believe the relationship to be true."
Hermione nodded again.
Roger stood, "I think I may be able to write this in legal terms so that it will be approved. If I have any problems, I know more than a few people that can help with it."
"Are you sure?" She asked, happy that she might not have to go hunting for someone to do it.
"And I can give a few pages of the petition to Narcissa… she will probably be able to get half of the signatures needed easily."
Severus nodded knowing that Narcissa was a busy body and had hoards of people that would be willing to help her out.
"So do we all agree that this is the best plan of action?" Hermione asked.
Nods all around left her smiling.
Hermione glanced back and forth between the two dresses that were left after a long round of dismissing dresses that she didn't like or just plain hated. Never in her life did she think finding a dress would have been this difficult… and exhausting.
"Are you sure that these are the last two?" Hermione asked the woman that was waiting patiently to the side.
"Well, we have a few more, but I don't really show them as they are quite pricey. But considering who you are marrying, I guess it couldn't hurt to show you."
Hermione rolled her eyes when the woman wasn't looking. She was starting to hate how people referred to her future husbands wealth when the question of price came up.
Hermione hoped off of the pedestal and followed the squat woman to the back room where she apparently kept the 'expensive' stuff.
She couldn't see much at first because of the large black plastic covering that was over them, but when the woman removed it, her heart made a small jump in her chest. The dresses were the most beautifully made that she had ever seen.
"There is a reason why these dresses are so expensive." The woman stated as she pulled the small rack of six dresses out. "Not a single stitch is machine or human sewn and the material itself is very, very hard to come by."
Hermione nodded mutely as she reached out to touch the material. It was silk, but far softer than normal and it didn't feel flimsy in the least.
"What is it?
"Silk from an Acromantula." The woman answered. She smiled when she saw Hermiones eyes grow wide, "Ah, I see you know what it is."
Hermione nodded as she thought about the large spider Harry and Ron had told her about. According to Ron, the spider was fifty feet tall and across, but she knew his fear made him exaggerate.
"At any rate, I assume you can guess how hard it is to come by. I paid a heavy price to get these dresses when I did. Another woman was looking at them and I couldn't help but jump at the deal before she did. But aside from the material, the dresses themselves were goblin made."
Hermione looked through the dresses and two of them really stood out, but the one on the end had her mesmerized. She liked the fact that the dresses weren't stark white, but more of a natural shade of off white. The material had a shine to it but not an obnoxious one, and the train looked to be about 10 feet long. It looked like it belonged to royalty. And then she saw the price tag and almost fainted.
"I love this one, but the price." She said with a shake of her head, "I just don't know if I should get one that cost more than most peoples houses."
The shop owner nodded, "Try it on and if you really like it, I will save it back for you for a few days so you can decide. I doubt anyone will buy it in that time, but one never knows."
Hermione couldn't resist trying it on and when she did, she almost bought it right then and there. She only planned on being married once, right?
She slowly turned in the mirror noticing how good the dress really looked on her, as if it were made for her.
But the price.
Hermione took the dress back off and handed it towards the woman. "I really do need to think about it. I love it, but I have to consider the price."
The woman nodded, happy that she had interest, but unhappy that she didn't have a sale.
Hermione gathered her things and turned to look at the dress once more, neither her nor the shop keeper saw the tall blond woman come in.
Hermione let out a sigh and turned to walk away. She was upset that she had found the perfect dress and couldn't buy it right then and there.
"You would blow Lucius away in that dress you know, Severus as well."
Hermione's head turned quickly towards the voice and almost choked on her tongue when she saw who it was. Narcissa Malfoy, in the flesh.
Narcissa sauntered towards the dress and picked it off the rack. Hermione mentally screamed for her to leave her dress alone, but she had no claim to it, not in the slightest. She bit her tongue and smiled.
"I love it, but the price –"
"Means nothing." Narcissa said in a matter of fact voice. Narcissa glanced at the dress again before sliding it back on the rack. She glanced over to the nervous looking shop keeper and smiled, "I'm not going to kill her." Narcissa said in a bored tone, "Just hold the dresses until we get back."
The woman nodded, knowing better than to upset the former Mrs. Malfoy.
"Come with me, Hermione, I would like to talk to you."
Hermione wanted to run and go far, far away. Lucius had said her bark was worse than her bite, but Hermione wasn't interested in testing the fact, so she followed the woman over to a bench that was under a large shade tree.
Hermione sat down next to her, not knowing what to say and she was glad she was saved the trouble when the elder woman started speaking first.
"You are going to be a Malfoy." Narcissa started, "And Malfoy's get what they want and cost id hardly an issue." The elder woman sighed and face Hermione, "And beyond that, I care deeply for my ex-husband. He and I have a child together and we have been together since we were 17 years old. He's happy with you." She said in a matter of fact voice, "and you could probably show up wearing a potato sack and he would be just as thrilled, but I want him to see you when you are walking towards him and think of nothing else."
Narcissa sniffled a little bit, no doubt a rare show of emotion.
"Lucius and I were never in love, we loved each other, but not as a husband and wife should have. And when he talks about you, his eyes come alive, he has a spark to him that I had never seen when it came to me and when I saw it for the first time, I knew Lucius was head over heels for you. I guess what I am trying to say is Lucius deserves the very best when it comes to this wedding, as do you. You love the dress, do you not?"
Hermione had a tear in her eye from how the woman spoke, "I do love the dress, but the price is far more than I ever expected to spend on one thing, no matter how special the situation was."
Narcissa patted Hermione on the shoulder, "Well lets settle this. I want to see it on you to see if it truly fits you. I'm getting married myself in a few weeks and came for one of the dresses on the same rack as yours."
Hermione nodded and followed Narcissa back to the bridal store. To say the situation was awkward would have been a massive understatement.
The two women went about trying on their dresses and once she had seen Hermione, she knew for a fact that the dress was perfect and would leave Lucius absolutely speechless.
"I believe you are correct, my dear, the dress is indeed perfect."
"Thank you." She said honestly as she disappeared back behind the dressing curtain.
When Hermione came out a few moments later, she turned to place the dress back on the rack and as the metal hook of the hanger touched the metal pole of the rack, it repelled the dress, refusing to let it be placed back.
The shop keeper came forward and handed Hermione a slip of paper. It read:
Consider the dress a wedding gift from an old wife to the new. You bring Lucius happiness and if this dress is what makes you happy, then it is an honor to be the one to ensure it is yours for a day you will remember for the rest of your lives. Enjoy.
Hermione choked back a sob at the other woman's kindness. Normally, she would have refused, but Narcissa had already paid and left, and with the woman's words to her, she was sure her refusal would have been an insult.
The woman put a few protective charms on the dress itself and also the protective bag. Today was a good day for her. She had made a fortune and now had the rights to claim that she had sold the two dresses of both weddings that would surely be talk of wizarding England for many years to come.