A/N: I actually wrote the start of this fan fiction before but my USB stick broke and I lost everything. My own story works, resumes, photo's. I can assure you I was in the most horrible of moods for a few hours. But… what can ya do? Anyway, here is the rewritten work…
DISCLAIMER: Only the idea.
Chapter One: Reinstated Law
Hermione and Ron Weasley weaved their way through the busy Ministry Atrium. As they stepped into the elevator Ron's watch beeped. With a glance at it, he saw it was 9am already. Beside him, Hermione took a hold of his hand. He gently squeezed it trying to reassure them both that what they feared would not come true.
Around them people remained absorbed in their own business. Some gave the couple a nod of acknowledgment but most ignored them.
Finally the elevator came to a stop on the floor they needed and they squeezed out onto Level One. Hermione took a deep breath and pulled Ron gently to get him moving. They walked past all the closed doors. People, who had heard the rumors, glanced at them with different looks. Some seemed concerned, sympathetic while others just looked at them inquiringly.
"There it is," said Hermione calmly.
Outside the room was a desk with a small woman sitting at the desk tapping away at a typewriter. She looked up and pushed her glasses back up her nose.
"Weasley's?" she asked in a nasally voice.
"Yes," said Ron.
"Go in. The Minister is already waiting."
Ron opened the door and let Hermione in first before following. Kingsley Shacklebolt turned away from his guests and gave Hermione and Ron a smile and nod.
"We can get started then," he said in his deep voice, "Please, sit down."
Hermione sat at the end seat while Ron sat in the second seat. Both him and Hermione looked at the other two people who merely ignored them.
"Draco, Astoria, I am sure you both know Ron and Hermione Weasley?"
"Of course," said Astoria curtly.
Kingsley gave a nod and looked down at the papers before him.
"Kingsley- I mean Minister," said Hermione, "Can you please just tell us why we are here?"
Kingsley nodded and took a deep breath, "It is no easy task but I can only be as straight forward about this as possible," Kingsley paused and took another deep breath before he continued, "The wizarding race is in danger of dying out. Most of our kind are choosing to marry those of their own blood. Half bloods are mainly marrying other half bloods. Purebloods are doing the same in marrying other purebloods and muggleborn's are sticking to their own kind as well. For the past six years I have been trying to deny this fact but numbers are decreasing by the day. The war did not help manners. If anything I believed it terrified many people into thinking that marrying their own kind is the safest option."
"But I am pureblood," said Ron, "I married Hermione and she is a muggleborn."
"I know. But your type of marriage is rare. Hardly any purebloods are marrying half bloods. It is close to becoming inter-breeding… incest."
Hermione hid her expression but Astoria did not. Kingsley nodded at Astoria and gave a sigh.
"The members of the Ministry Law Board and I have debated over this manner for a while. A majority believe there is only one option to save our race."
"Which is?" asked Hermione gripping Ron's hand at the coming answer.
"Reinstating the Betrothal Law. The Ministry has the power to arrange marriages in a bid to change the mindset of so many fearing to marry a muggleborn because they are a half blood, or a pureblood from marrying a half blood or even a pureblood from marrying a muggle. The Law won't be fully put into place until we have done a thorough test at seeing how it works out. We had many young people to select from but age is a delicate matter. A twenty something would be rather defiant; it would take much away from their life. Therefore the Ministry Law Board and I decided someone of seventeen years would be best. They are young and if it goes wrong it would be easier for them to recover."
"No it wouldn't," said Hermione angrily, "It would confuse them. A betrothal at that age is like sticking them in a cage and saying they have no choice but to remain there."
Kingsley nodded, "Which is why we will also give the couple constant access to a relationship counsellor – Lavender Boot."
Hermione raised an eyebrow while Ron just nodded.
"Just say it," spat Draco, "My son and their daughter are the chosen two for your law to be experimented on."
"They are. Both are remarkable young adults. Rose is Head Girl and already selected to study medicine at St Mungo's next year. Scorpius is smart and one of the final three in selection to study Law. Both play Quidditch I am told."
"My son cannot stand that girl," said Astoria.
"My daughter wants nothing to do with that boy," added Hermione just as angrily.
"This betrothal lasts a year," said Kingsley pushing onwards despite the hostility aimed at him, "They have a year to work through everything and come to understand one and other… perhaps it will become more."
"Wait… are you saying that they merely need to get along civilly for them to marry?" cried Hermione, "Love doesn't matter?"
Kingsley said nothing causing Hermione to jump up in outrage.
"Oh my Merlin! What is this? The 16th century? Once again our rights have been shoved out the bloody window! Free love doesn't matter, just get along and you are married for life!"
Kingsley took a deep breath, "My hands are tied. We are doing what is best."
"For the country but not for those directly involved," said Hermione marching to the door and yanking it open before storming out.
"So," said Ron as calmly as possible, "Who will be breaking the news to them then?"
Rose Weasley trailed her fingers over the book spines, humming silently to her self before pausing. She pulled out the selected book and flipped to the index scanning the pages before putting it back. The bell sounded loudly and Madam Pince began walking along shooing students from her library. As her squeaky shoes neared Rose, Rose grabbed her bag and slipped out the opposite end of the aisle to avoid the woman's rage of students wagging in her library.
Once in the corridor, Rose pulled her timetable out and read her first class for her final year. Potions. She held back a groan and slipped her timetable away. She was the only Gryffindor in the class, most being Slytherin's.
She looked over to the Great Hall doors as she passed to go down to the dungeons. Albus Potter, Chase Thomas, Paige Finnigan and Alice Longbottom made their way over to her with bright smiles.
"Where did you get to?" asked Alice adjusting her bag strap.
"No surprise there," smirked Chase, "Day one and already Rose is studying for homework we haven't got."
Rose rolled her eyes at Chase and smiled, "Actually I was seeing if I could find any good Quidditch tactics books. It's our final year and the team needs to go out on a high if we are to be remembered as the best team in thirty years."
"No team could ever compare to Oliver Woods," sighed Albus, "Did you find anything?"
"No. The bell rang too soon and then Madam Pince was hunting everyone out."
"Oh well, we have plenty of time to think of something," said Paige, "Come on guys, Hagrid will be waiting for us. See you at Charms, Rose."
Rose gave a little wave and followed the crowd breaking off into different directions. She fell into step behind three Ravenclaw's in her Potions class and followed them down the familiar steps to the dark dungeons. The only bright spot in the dungeons was the Potions classroom. The Head of Potions was a former Hogwarts student, Professor Romilda Vane. She was credited for having perfected the Love Potion, Lust for Longing Lover's Potion and many other romantic concoctions. But even though her specialty was in illegal Potions she was a master at any potion.
The classroom door upon arrival was still shut with the seventh years milling about outside it. The Slytherin's were to the left of the door standing around talking in hushed whispers. Two Hufflepuff's were standing together by the Slytherin's reading the Ancient Runes section of the Quibbler. Rose leaned against the wall and pulled out the novel she was reading.
"Studying how to get a guy, Weasley?" came a silky, sly voice.
Rose didn't even batter an eyelash, "Hunting for some tips, Malfoy?"
The Ravenclaw's gave a chuckle while the Hufflepuff's watched on in silence. Scorpius Malfoy narrowed his eyes, as his mouth gave a slight snarl but before he had the chance to speak the classroom door opened wide with Professor Vane standing in the door way.
"Come in, sit down and books out to read Chapter One and Two," she said in a hurried voice, "We have a lot to get through today. Seventh Year has no time for dilly-dally. You have your NEWT's, which will give you the final answer on what you can do outside these schools walls in the real world."
Rose sat alone, across from the Slytherin's who all looked at her and sniggered. Professor Vane looked up at them with a sharp eye, but the Slytherin's paid her no attention as she continued to watch.
Rose, who knew Professor Vane was watching, said nothing and pulled her book, parchment, ink and quill out.
"Feeling lonely, Weasley?" hissed Scorpius, "No one to keep you warm here or in bed at night?"
"Well Mr Malfoy, if you are so concerned with Miss Weasley's warmth perhaps you can be a gentleman and sit with her for this lesson?"
Scorpius looked up at Professor Vane, who stared back with a 'not kidding' look.
"Oh I am quite fine, Professor," said Rose brightly, "I am flattered though, that Scorpius is worried about my well being."
Professor Vane gave a nod and Scorpius let out a breath thinking he was off the hook, "Well, experience the cold then Mr Malfoy and come and sit down the front."
With a grumble Scorpius packed up his belongings and moved down to the front, shooting Rose a murderous look. Rose merely smiled at him and gave the Slytherin's a wink, who merely stared back at her in surprise.
Rose could stand up against them any time and now they knew it.
"Think you're smart do you?"
With a sigh Rose and her friends stopped in the Entrance Hall as Scorpius and his friends emerged from outside, having had Herbology with a few Hufflepuff's.
"I never boast about it," replied Rose with a shrug.
Scorpius took a sharp breath and stepped closer to Rose, only to have Chase and Albus move their hands to their wand pockets.
"I knew the moment I met you, you would be trouble," snarled Scorpius, "Prancing about with… with all your Weaselness. In the end you are nothing more then a mere half blood!"
"At least my ego doesn't fill the Great Hall!" shot back Rose, "You think you are a bloody God because of all your money and supposed family power!"
"Yeah? Well at least I can afford decent clothes!"
"Oh my Merlin, you are pathetic. You buy your school clothes from the same shop as I do, Malfoy. When you find something decent to argue with me about, do let me know!"
Rose turned tugging at Albus and Chase to leave Scorpius and his friends alone. Paige and Alice shot the group dirty looks and followed their friends into the Great Hall for lunch.
"What was that about?" asked Hugo running over to his sister.
"Oh just Malfoy digging for a fight," sighed Rose sitting down beside Lily, "Honestly, that guy has issues."
Hugo sat beside his sister with Albus right beside him. Alice, Paige and Chase sat opposite them looking over at Scorpius as he made his way in with his tag along friends.
"You know I heard he tried out for some Quidditch team in the summer and his father contacted the team to drop him," said Hugo.
"Probably not a rich enough team," scoffed Rose as she grabbed a salad sandwich with a half glance at Scorpius. She gave a shift in her seat and cleared her throat, "So, how is everyone's day going?"
"Funny Face," said Rose, stifling a yawn.
The Fat Lady swung forward and let her in to the Common Room. She walked over to the lounge and went to sit but paused, seeing an envelope with her name on it.
"When did this arrive?" asked Rose looking over to Hugo.
"Ten minutes ago. Finished your rounds then?" replied Hugo half-asleep on the single seater.
"Hmm. Go to bed."
Hugo stretched and nodded, "May as well. Where is Al?"
"Putting the rounds checklist in Professor Flitwick's office," murmured Rose opening the envelope.
She pulled the letter and gave a frown at the official Ministry emblem at the top of the page.
Dear Rose Weasley,
This morning at nine o'clock the Ministry Law Board reinstated an old law known as the Betrothal Law of 1125 on a trial basis. This Law allows the Ministry to arrange betrothals as they see fit. Due to it being on trial only, the Ministry needed to select two people to see how well the law will work in today's society. There are many reasons for the need to bring back such a law, which will be discussed in further detail at a later date.
Miss Weasley, you have been selected for the trail betrothal with a young man we are sure you will get along with wonderfully. The Minister for Magic, Kingsley Shacklebolt, will be coming to see you at ten o'clock tomorrow morning to introduce you to your trial betrothed. Your parents have been notified and spoken about any concerns they have with the Minister himself. They will be with the Minister tomorrow for support, should you need it.
Wishing you the very best now and into your future,
Assistant to the Minister of Magic.
Rose dropped the letter and sat down slowly with Hugo watching her with concern as the colour drained from her face. Her hands trembled in her lap as her eyes watched the dancing fire in the fireplace.
"Rosie?" asked Hugo walking over slowly, "Can I read it?"
Rose nodded absently, her eyes still watching the fire as Albus walked in whistling a merry tune.
"Whoa, who died?" he asked jokingly seeing Rose and Hugo's expression changing from curiosity to shock, "What is it? Rose? Hugo?"
"She's betrothed," said Hugo stunned.
"Rosie… they brought the law back."
Albus walked over and took the letter from Hugo who sat besides Rose trying to comfort her.
"Betrothal Law of 1125?" said Albus in outrage, "Merlin, it isn't like we all prance about in tights still!"
"They can't do this," said Hugo to Rose, "Its insane. How can they force you to love someone you might not even like?"
"Exactly," said Albus kneeling down before Rose, "Just hate the bastard so much that they can call the trial a disaster."
Rose gave a sigh, "I'm going to bed."
Albus moved and him and Hugo watched Rose walk up to her room in a trance like state.
"You know," said Hugo, "If she likes the guy, they will call it a success."
"How can they do that with only one couple though?" pointed out Albus.
Rose was dismissed from her second lesson at ten o'clock and told to go to the library. She walked slowly to the library, her heart beating with dread at every step. Who would they try to bind her to forever? Betrothals were written like they were set in unbreakable cement. Once the documents were signed there was no backing out.
"It's a trial," she whispered to her self, "They can't make it work if it won't. It's a trial only."
She soon found her self at the library door and looked at the handles, debating whether to open it or not. Go in would mean being betrothed to Merlin knows whom. Staying out kept her single and free to love whom she wanted. As Rose went to back away from the door it swung open with Madam Pince staring at her with hawk like eyes.
"Well go on in then. They are waiting for you now."
Rose closed her eyes and took a breath before heading in. She flinched as the door shut behind her sealing her to her fate. She saw the people gathered around the table and walked over slowly, hugging her mother and father tightly.
"Good morning Rose," said Kingsley warmly.
"Morning," replied Rose sitting in between her mother and father.
"Before I bring in the person you will be betrothed to on trial basis, do you have any questions?"
"Just one," said Rose, "Why?"
Kingsley gave a nod, understanding the meaning, "The wizarding race is in danger Rose. People are afraid to marry outside their blood type, which will lead to inter breeding. This betrothal is to make people see it isn't a terrible thing or dangerous to venture outside their blood type. Personally, I believe purebloods are the worst for it. But if something isn't done now, we can never fix the coming doom and make it right. You were chosen for your academics and I am told you have a wonderful personality that can connect with anyone."
Ron gave a cough and shifted in his seat, raising his eyebrows just a little. Rose frowned a little at her father but just nodded to Kingsley's answer.
"Shall I bring in your betrothed?"
Rose nodded and gripped onto her mother's hand. She felt as if she were in the dark still, not knowing what was coming her way or who for that manner. Kingsley went over to a closed door and opened it. Rose tried to see around Kingsley but the person or persons remained hidden behind his tall frame until they reached the table. He stepped aside and Rose felt the room spin as sickness settled in her stomach.
"You have got to be kidding me!" cried Scorpius as he looked at Rose in horror, "Not her! Anyone but her!"
"Excuse me?" cried Hermione.
"You should think your self privileged, young man!" yelled Ron.
"I believe it is the other way around, Weasley," replied Draco.
"Says the man my husband helped save!" cried Hermione while Rose and Scorpius looked at each other in horror.
Scorpius finally turned away, trying to clam him self down as Rose felt her world fall down around her. Her heart was racing and her breathing ragged.
"ENOUGH!" yelled Kingsley, looking at the four parents in shock, "I expected this from Rose and Scorpius."
"Oh, I haven't even started!" shot Scorpius.
Rose looked down at her hands, as a tear fell upon her left thumb. She hastily wiped them away and looked up, seemingly composed, "Can we get this paper work done with?"
Kingsley nodded and sat down, "First things first. You each will have a compulsory date every Saturday either in the morning, midday, afternoon or night. They will go for three hours each time to wherever the Ministry chooses. Every Sunday, at separate times, you will visit the relationships counsellor, Lavender Boot. Christmas will be split in half, the morning at the Malfoy's, the night with the Weasley's. By the end of the full year – twelve months, we will go over the progress and interview you both separately and the decision on whether you will marry will be made then. Is that fully understood by the both of you?"
"We play Quidditch on Saturdays," said Scorpius angrily.
"We will work around your matches. Anything else?"
Rose shook her head, unable to speak.
"Well then, Rose, please come and sign the betrothal."
Rose stood on shaky legs and walked around to the long parchment. At the top her name was written in big letters with Scorpius' underneath. She picked up the quill and signed her name carefully. She stepped to the side as Scorpius came and signed his name. Kingsley handed Scorpius a ring and with great reluctance, he grabbed Rose's hand and slipped the silver ring with a square cut white diamond onto her finger. Kingsley handed a silver band to Rose with triangle designs engraved into it. She did the same to Scorpius as he did to her and both stood beside each other, looking away from one and other. The parchment rolled up automatically and glowed a brilliant blue.
"The betrothal is complete," said Kingsley gravely.
"Joy for me," snapped Scorpius before leaving the library with his mother and father following.
Kingsley gathered his things and looked at Rose silently before leaving. When he was gone Rose looked up at her parents shaking her head as the tears finally began to fall down her cheeks.
A/N: There you go. The first chapter to Unwanted Betrothal. I know the trailer totally sucked but I don't have the Sony Vegas thing. Anyway, please review!
Until next time…