The war was over. The order had lost a few members including Jones and Diggle, a few students such as Crabbe, Dennis Creevey and Daphne Greengrass, and most death eaters had died. The only living death eaters had taken a vow on their magic and turned to the right side, most like the Malfoys, just before the end. It had been three months and the new school year had begun and Harry and his friends had returned for their sixth year.
Harry sat in the great hall surrounded by a mixture of students from all the houses. "Anyone have any idea why we've all been called her?"
Hermione shook her head. "I can't think of what we have in common save maybe our age."
Dean shook his head. "You haven't noticed that all of us have lost a parent or both to this war?"
The thought hadn't occurred to either but Harry looked around and knew it was true. "What could that have to do with anything?"
Hermione pointed at the door where Dumbledore was standing and talking. "It looks like we're about to find out soon enough."
The students gathered had been called back to Hogwarts a day early and had the train to themselves. The other students didn't arrive until later that day. He had spent the summer with Remus at Grimmauld place. The order had vacated it after the war and since Harry had no longer required the protection of the blood wards, he had been permitted to live with Remus who was made his guardian. He missed Sirius badly who was killed weeks before the final battle, but Remus was helping to heal old wounds for Harry.
Dumbledore finally came forward and called everyone's attention. "I know everyone is wondering why you've been called here and you're about to find out."
McGonagall came to his side. "I know some may have realized what you have in common. A new law passed by the ministry of magic has been announced."
Before Dumbledore could speak Harry's least favourite person, Dolores Umbridge spoke. "These laws have been made to protect young orphans like yourselves."
Harry was starting to panic; anything the ministry did was never good. "What are they up to this time?"
Umbridge smiled. "Any wizard or witch who has lost both parents or in case of half bloods, their magic parent, have been made a ward of the state. Any who are minority will be given magical guardians."
Hermione whispered to Harry. "But we're of age, I mean for some things."
Harry felt his stomach dropping as he wondered what was about to happen. "They can't place us with new guardians. I mean Remus was already made mine."
Hermione sighed. "I have been living with the Weasleys since I sent mum and dad off and cleared their minds. I am basically as much an orphan as you are right now."
Umbridge had begun again. "Those gathered here are considered to old for being wards. Marriages will be arranged for each of you and will be enacted by the end of the year."
Harry, Dean and Hermione gaped. Dean had gone pale. "Marriage? Just because my mother died I am going to be forced into marriage? My father is still alive."
Dumbledore tried to calm them down. "As upset as I understand you all are, unfortunately the laws are set. If you refuse, you will be unable to finish school here."
Umbridge nodded. "You'll have older spouses who are finished their educations but you will continue to go to school here. You'll spend weekends with your spouses."
Harry blanched at the thought of who the minister might choose for a spouse for him. "I'm doomed. He'll marry me off to someone like Bellatrix Lestrange."
Hermione shook her head. "You have to have better faith then that Harry. And anyways I'm sure Dumbledore will inform them of your preferences."
Harry knew he was speaking of being gay. "Fine, then the worst that might happen is Rabastan or Lucius Malfoy. After all Narcissa died like Rodolphus in the battle."
They had not noticed the official announcement was ending. "You will all meet our perspective spouses next weekend when the decisions have been finalized."
Umbridge left and Dumbledore made his way to Harry. "I think we need to have a talk Harry. I'd ask you to join me in my office later this evening."
Harry nodded his head wondering what the headmaster was doing. "Of course sir."
Hermione, Dean and Harry left the great hall feeling like there was a cloud hanging over them and having no idea of what to make of the news. They were speechless when they met their friends at the Great Hall for dinner that night. They had no idea how to tell them but they didn't have to for the announcement was made. Ron gaped at his friends, wondering what kind of farce this was. Neville had been spared because his parents were still alive and his grandmother was taking care of him.
Harry had been barely able to eat any of the dinner and as soon as he saw Professor Dumbledore leave the head table, Harry escaped from his friends and headed to the office. He found the entrance open for him and the door to the headmaster's office.
Dumbledore motioned for him to take a seat. "I know you're shocked about the announcement. I would have warned you but it was just made."
Harry sat down. "Why is this happening? I mean Remus was granted legal guardianship of me this summer why can't that just continue."
Albus sighed. "Unfortunately the law states anyone old enough to marry who is a ward, must be wed. When you celebrated your birthday, you came under this law."
Harry paled. "So how long before I know who I am to marry? I mean there is a chance I'll be married to one of the former death eaters isn't there?"
Albus nodded. "Unfortunately Harry there is more then a chance of it. I have been informed that Rabastan Lestrange has been granted your hand in marriage."
Harry went blank. "I guess it could have been worse, it could have been a woman or even Lucius. I'm surprised Malfoy SR didn't win out."
Albus shook his head. "You were saved that fate but Lucius' own dislike of male sexual relations. Rabastan on the other hand happens to be gay."
Harry couldn't believe this. "There has to be some way out of this. I mean I can't marry a former death eater. How do you expect me to go through with this?"
Albus stopped him. "Usually the laws would hold tight but there is one thing we might be able to do with the help of your guardian if you both agree to it."
Harry was hoping he wasn't saying what he thought he was saying. "You're not trying to suggest that I would marry my own guardian? He's practically my Uncle."
Albus calmed him. "No. Though I'm not sure you'd think that the option I have for you is much better."
Harry was scared now. "Who could be any worse then marrying Rabastan Lestrange? Tell me."
Albus motioned for someone to come into the room and Harry turned around to see his most hated professor come in. "Mr Potter."
Harry gaped and stood up. "Snape? You want me to marry Professor Snape. Have you lost your marbles or something? I can't marry him."
Snape sneered. "Don't think I like this any more then you but Albus reminded me of a blood debt I owe you and your mother."
Albus nodded. "The laws of blood debts are ancient and you can demand anything for it. The ancient law precedes the new one."
Harry understood. "So if I use the blood debt he owes my mother, I can demand he marry me and I will not have to marry Rabastan."
Snape slunk into a chair. "Believe me I am not happy about this, forced to marry you, but your mother was my best friend and I owe it to her, and to you."
Harry shook his head. "How is being forced into a marriage with you any better then being forced to marry Rabastan? At least Rabastan is not being forced."
Severus smirked. "Do you think that man would think twice or raping and beating you if you didn't please him? If you like that, you're welcome to him."
Albus tried to calm the situation. "It is a bond so it can not be broken but after the marriage is consummated, Severus has agreed to a platonic marriage with you."
Harry looked over at the man. "You'll agree to a platonic marriage for the rest of your life with a student you hate, because of my mother?"
Snape grunted. "I would. It's not as if I have not lived alone for years anyways. Sharing my apartments and bed with another person will be the hardest part."
Harry gaped. "Your bed and apartments?"
Albus nodded. "You two will be married legally and while the others will only live on weekends when in school with their spouses, since Severus lives here you'll be expected to live in the dungeons."
Harry was speechless. "When are we going to have to go through with this farce?"
Albus looked at the watch. "As soon as your guardian can arrive. He'll need to be present. Both you and Severus will choose witnesses as well for the ceremony."
Severus stood to leave. "I should find my godson then I assume. I would invite Lucius but I doubt you wish word to get out until next weekend."
Albus nodded. "We don't need the ministry getting word until you're wed, so if you can trust Draco to keep his mouth shut, you can tell him."
Harry watched as the man left. "I can't believe this. I can't believe that you're making me marry Snape tonight."
Albus stood and came to him. "I know this is hard but he's better then Rabastan is. If there was any other way. Now I suggest you go and pick a witness."
Harry sighed. "Can't Remus be that for me since you said he'd be here?"
Albus shook his head. "He already has an official role in the ceremony. You need someone to stand and attest to your vows. You have an hour to choose."
Harry left the room and his mind ran through all of the possible people he could choose to be his witness. He knew everyone would know soon enough but he couldn't seem to tell Ron who he was being forced to wed. His choice of witness would surprise everyone he knew, it had surprised him when he made it.
Harry walked into the headmaster's office right on time and his eyes went past the man he was to marry and Draco, and went to his godfather. He threw himself into Remus' arms, grateful that he was there for this.
He hugged him. "Thank you Remus for being here for me. I don't think I could have done this without you."
Remus held him. "I know this is hard but you'll get through it Harry. And perhaps this will make it easier. I have accepted a position teaching her at the school."
Harry was shocked. "You've come back to teach DADA again?"
Draco broke in. "He couldn't have. Dad has accepted the job as the new DADA teacher, he told me this summer. I have an idea now, why."
Harry looked at Draco who he had called a truce with last year. "Your father is coming to teach here?"
Remus nodded. "I have been asked to take over as the new care of magical creatures teacher. Grubby-Plank retired and I have always had a special interest."
Harry noted Remus didn't mention his status or the death of Hagrid. "I'm glad to have you back here Remus. I wish now I hadn't decided not to continue in that class."
Remus laughed. "I understand and I promise we'll spend time together anyways. I won't let this marriage change the relationship we built this past summer."
Albus was the first person to acknowledge Harry's choice in witness. "Miss Bell, I'm surprised to see you here. I'd have thought Miss Granger or Mr Weasley."
Katie was as surprised as anyone. "I was a bit taken back by his request as well but I think of Harry as a little brother of sorts and couldn't refuse."
Harry smiled. "Katie is the last of my old quidditch team still here. She stood by me when I faced my first big challenge in the wizard world, now for this one."
Snape seemed to be the only one to who that made any sense. "Well Miss Bell I am happy to welcome you to the ceremony as a witness."
Katie took her place next to Harry and Remus as Albus motioned for the ceremony to start. "We are here to legally bond Harry Potter and Severus Snape. I ask on what grounds this marriage is called."
Remus stepped forward. "As guardian of Harry I call Severus Snape forward to answer to the blood debt he owes the Potters, and to take my ward as his bond."
Severus stepped forward. "I Severus Tobias Salazar Snape will honour the blood debt I owe my late friend Lily Evans Potter and will take her son as my bond."
Albus turned to Harry. "Is it your wish as the inheritor of this blood debt that it should be fulfilled through your marriage?"
Harry took a deep breath. "It is my wish that Severus Snape would fulfill his debt to my mother through becoming my bond."
Severus and Harry's hands were both pricked and put together so their blood would mingle, their hands tied in place for the rest of the ceremony. This had two meanings for this wedding.
"By the blood of my veins I fulfill my debt to your mother and take you Harry as my husband and bond mate." Severus said.
Harry nodded. "By the blood of my mother in my veins I accept and say that your debt to my family has been repaid in full service."
A form appeared that Harry and Severus were made to sign, the first of two contracts for the marriage, this one to ensure the ministry could not contest the union. Now it was time to make it official.
"Do you Severus Tobias Salazar Snape take Harold James Potter as your legal husband and bond mate, united in body and soul until death may part you?"
Severus sighed. "I do."
"And do you Harold James Potter take Severus Snape as your legal husband and bond mate, united in body and soul until death may part you?"
Harry couldn't look at Severus as he managed the words. "I do."
Albus called for Katie and Draco to stand forward. "You have been called to stand witness to their vows and to ensure they keep to them. Will you do this?"
Both Draco and Katie echoed. "We will."
Albus touched their hands. "By the powers that be I pronounce you bonded a union not to be broken until one has passed into the next life."
Harry was blinded as a light appeared and on his and Severus' fingers platinum bands appeared with each other's names on them. Before he could react he was pulled into a short kiss by his husband.