House Unity by shygirl135
Disclaimer: I don't own the Harry Potter World- no matter how hard I wish for it.
Voldemort died when he did in the books. Everyone returns to Hogwarts to complete their last year. I couldn't kill Dumbledore- he is just too awesome! : )
Yeah, I know it's a well used plot, but oh well, I'm writing it anyway!
(This was edited on the 4th February 2010.)
Chapter 1: The Information
Draco Malfoy was in the Great Hall surrounded by his fellow 7th year Slytherins: Blaise, Pansy, Crabbe and Goyle. They had all returned to Hogwarts to repeat their final year. Draco looked over at the Gryffindor table out of habit, and saw that the 'Golden Trio' had returned as well. Draco cursed under his breath. Draco only returned to recover some of the respect the Malfoy family had lost during the second war- what with his father being sentenced to life in Azkaban. He had hoped to enjoy a Gryffindor free year, but no. Sadly, life wasn't that kind.
To his left, he could hear that Pansy and Blaise were flirting with each other quietly. They were in an open relationship- well, if you could call it that.
Crabbe and Goyle were staring gormlessly at some scared looked 5th years at the other end of the table. Draco smirked. Those poor 5th years. His daydreams were interrupted briefly as Dumbledore stood up. He smiled at everyone warmly including the Slytherins. How does he not hold a grudge against the Slytherin house? We didn't stay and help fight the Death Eater's last year; we didn't help to rebuild Hogwarts. How could we? Our parents were on the dark side, we would have been if we fought with the light. We may be ambitious, and cunning, but we are also mostly wimps. I can admit that without feeling embarrassed, hell, I'm talking to myself! It's not like anyone can hear me.
Instead of listening to the headmaster, he decided to return to his daydream. He was at his manor house in the south of France. Enjoying the elf made wine and reading history books of the greatest French wizards. It was a well kept secret. That Draco Malfoy actually enjoyed reading. Yes, he was the cleverest wizard in Slytherin but he was second in the whole year. That...muggleborn. Hermione Granger. She had beaten him in every subject since the first year. He hated it. A muggleborn was better than him. Draco Malfoy!
This year, he was determined to beat her. That would give him immense satisfaction. He didn't think of her as a mudblood anymore, the whole pureblood business had become a silent taboo. To be honest, he only called her that to please his father, and keep up appearances. No-one knew what Draco was really like.
He was so deep in his imaginative world that he didn't hear what Dumbledore said. He didn't notice that the feast had begun. He was abruptly kicked out of his dream by Blaise.
"Helloooo? Draco, earth to Draco. What in Merlin were you thinking of?" Blaise asked him loudly.
"What?" Draco replied absentmindedly, "Oh...just thinking about things. Can't believe it's another year with those ghastly Gryffindors.
Blaise Zabini grinned at him. "I know. Why do we always have our lessons with them? At least if we were with the Ravenclaws, we wouldn't have to do any work. They'd do it for us."
"But so does Granger..."
"Fair point. Do you think she is going to beat you again this year?"
"Shut up, Blaise. Go snog Pansy," Draco grimaced. Yes, he didn't really like how Blaise and Pansy made out in public, but it was better than hearing Blaise talk about Granger...
"Fine then, now you've given me permission," Blaise smirked, and turned his attention back to Pansy.
Draco smiled weakly back. He didn't want anyone to know what he was secretly thinking. It wouldn't be proper for a Malfoy to be glad that Dumbledore was still alive. It wasn't right for the son of a devoted Death Eater to be glad that He Who Must Not Be Named was dead.
Hermione, as usual, listened intently to Dumbledore's speech. She heard the request for all 6th and 7th years to stay behind. Ginny should have been a seventh year, but because the last school year wasn't exactly a usual Hogwarts year, they decided that everyone would repeat that year, and there would be a large first year instead.
"What do you think he wants?" Ginny muttered to Hermione. There weren't going to be a Head Girl or Boy this year, Dumbledore had decided that everyone relax back into school and try to forget what had happened the year before. Hermione was somewhat grateful, she wanted to focus on her grades, and she was worried that being Head Girl would take up too much time.
When the last of the deserts was cleared, the whole school except the 6th and 7th years got up and left for their respective common rooms. She laughed quietly when she saw Malfoy get up like the rest, only to be shoved down again by Pansy and Blaise.
Once everyone was gone, Dumbledore stood up and walked to the front of the Professors table.
"Now then, I wonder why you are all here," his piercing blue eyes sparkled behind his half moon spectacles.
"As you know, this is your last year at Hogwarts before entering the real world. At the end of the year, you will sit your N.E.W.T's which will determine what job you can get in the future. It's a big world out there, even for wizards, so we have decided to introduce a new class this year. This new class also has another reason for being introduced."
Dumbledore paused to let the news so far sink in.
There were low mutterings between students.
Ron and Harry glanced at each other and then at Hermione. Hermione was gazing at Dumbledore with curious interest. What is he talking about? As long as it doesn't affect my timetable, I need to focus this year-
Her thoughts were interrupted as Dumbledore spoke again.
"Voldemort and his followers killed many wizards and witches. The wizarding population has suffered a dramatic decline. Although it is not at critical levels, yet, the Ministry of Magic is worried. Also, now that Lord Voldemort is gone, there is no need for houses to be enemies. The Ministry of Magic has passed a new law. You will be split into pairs; but no-one will be paired with someone from their own house. We hope the couples will get along, learn about each other and work together to solve tasks that will arise in the real world. This will be done through the new class-" Dumbledore paused again. He seemed to be struggling to continue with his speech. Hermione frowned. This didn't sound like such an amazing idea...
Dumbledore coughed, and then he continued, "The new law has been imaginatively called, the Marriage Law. You and your assigned partner will live in rooms with two other couples, this is to help you bond and create new friendships. You will have to marry by the end of the school year, and there will be serious consequences if you don't. If you want to know what I feel, I think it's absolutely preposterous that you young witches and wizards must marry someone else when you are so young but this law was passed in August. I cannot stop it."
Instead of low mutterings, there was silence. Everyone was stunned.
Hermione gasped, realising how serious this was.
Oh my goodness...oh...Merlin! They expected us to get married to someone that wasn't even from our own house? But...what if we don't like them? What if... we hate them? I can't spend the rest of my life with someone that I don't love, that is completely unjustifiable. It is our choice! They can't force us!
Draco on the other hand, just gaped at Dumbledore.
In all my life, I have never heard of anything so ridiculous in my entire life. Seriously! What on earth does the Ministry of Magic think they are doing? Coupling everyone in the 7th year to unite the houses? Why can't we be partnered with someone in our own house? Yes, Voldemort is gone, it shouldn't matter what house someone is. If you are in love with them, that is all that matters.
Draco continued to argue in his mind while shouts of indignation began to erupt in the hall. Finally, everyone had had a chance for their minds to process the information. And they were mad.
"You can't make us!"
"What about if we're already in a relationship?!"
"How are you gonna couple us?!"
"What about our common rooms?"
Dumbledore raised his hand and silence slowly settled through the Great Hall.
"I know this is hard to understand. But, I urge you to think this through. If you refuse to marry your partner, there will be serious consequences. However, if you have doubts about your relationship with your partner, you are allowed to have a non magical, non binding marriage, so then you can have a divorce after having a child together. Wizarding marriages are extremely powerful, and it takes a very complicated and painful process to end it. I don't want you to feel pain. It's the new law that the new Minister for Magic had passed. I do not agree, but I am powerless against this law. I am sorry you had to learn of this now, on your first evening back. It's a lot to take in, but you will be assigned a partner tomorrow."
More shouts of protest were heard. Dumbledore ran his hand through his long white beard. He had expected a reaction like this, but it didn't mean he was prepared for it.
He raised his voice, "A questionnaire is being passed to you now and I need you to all fill it in accurately. The results of this test will show us who will make a good couple."
The Heads of Houses came down with a stack of parchment. Hermione smiled weakly at Professor McGonagall when she passed.
She quickly scanned the questions stared. There were so many...but she knew that they had to be done accurately; this would determine who her 'perfect' match was.
She picked up the quill that was deposited with the parchment and read the first question.
What is your name?
What house are you in?
What are your interests and hobbies?
What is your sexuality?
How would your friends describe you?
The list went on. Determinedly she filled it all in. She could hear Harry and Ron sighing and scratching their answers out from beside her. She wondered who she would be paired with. She had a brief relationship with Ron last year, but it didn't work out. She was kind of happy that she wouldn't be paired with another Gryffindor. They were all like her brothers, even Neville.
Draco did the same. He laughed to himself at some of the questions but answered everything correctly. If this questionnaire would decide his bride, he wanted it to be as accurate as possible.
When he was finished, he did a quick check of the girls from each house.
If he was honest with himself, he saw himself with a Ravenclaw. They were as smart as him and had the same sense of humour...ish. There was no way in hell that he would be paired with a Hufflepuff. And a Gryffindor, get real! They would kill each other in seconds.
He handed it in to Snape when he walked past. Voldemort hadn't killed Snape in the Shrieking Shack; he had cursed him to lose his blood very slowly, to give him a slow and painful death. Luckily Harry had found him in time, and after giving Harry the necessary memories, he was taken to St Mungo's. How did he know that? The Daily Prophet of course. They had done a whole issue relating to the battle of Hogwarts and Voldemort being killed by Saint Potter.
Once everyone was finished, and their answers had been handed in, Draco and the others made their way to their common room.
Blaise and Pansy went to Blaise's dormitory to 'say goodbye'. They knew it was their last night together; they weren't going to be paired together because they were in the same house. Draco reminded himself to cast a silence bubble around him, so he could go to bed undisturbed.
Hermione and Ron walked together while leaving Harry and Ginny to walk slowly up together. They had been going out for a while but they had broken it off while Harry went off to search for Horcruxes. They hadn't had chance to see if the flame they had was still there.
"So," stated Ginny, glancing up at him.
"So," he answered, looking at the floor.
"What do you think about this Marriage Law thing?" she asked him.
Harry paused to think. He didn't know. Did he like Ginny? Or had the moment gone, and was it more of a sisterly love? Was he relieved that he wasn't going to be paired with a Gryffindor?
"I don't know to be honest, I understand what the Minister feels and why he is doing it. You?"
Ginny stopped. She leant up and kissed him on the mouth. Involuntarily Harry, for some reason, yelped and broke it off.
"I guess that answers my question," Ginny smiled sadly at him and proceeded up the stairs alone, leaving Harry to stare after her. He sighed and carried on to the common room.
So how was it? Did you like it?
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