Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or anything recognizable to the HP-Universe, JK Rowling does. I'm not making any money off the writing of this fanfic.
Warning: This work of fanfiction is rated Mature because of language and adult content. If you are not of the appropriate age to read this fic, please do not read any further.
My Dear Reader,
Originally, I had intended this to be canon-compliant. The 'canon' has been stuffed, shot loaded, primed, and lit. The BOOM was exquisite. This fic is firmly in the AU realm.
WARNING to readers who like jumping to the smutty stuff first; you'll be disappointed. This fic develops slowly. I refuse to accept that Hermione Granger creamed her knickers in Potions class for Professor Snape, or that he had some perverse desire for an underage student. In this fic they loathe each other just as much as they did at Hogwarts.
My last word of WARNING is on the subject of religion. I find it difficult to engage in a meaningful debate on morality without referencing any form of Divine presence, or how mankind interprets the Divine. My intent is not to offend, or proselytize, but if you do end up all huffy over it, well… what can I say. I welcome any debate OFFLINE as long as it is productive and open-minded. Flamers will be summarily shot.
Constructive criticism and reviews are always appreciated. I can be reached at apollinawrites(at)gmail(dot)com
Most humbly yours,
Chapter 1 Nolens Volens
That was the only thought she could manage at the moment. For an intelligent witch who prided herself on not only a comprehensive vocabulary, but insisted on edifying conversation, 'fuck' seemed to sum it up nicely. With a surprisingly throaty growl Hermione tossed the offending paperwork into the cold fireplace, Conjured her signature blue flame, and watched the headline, 'MINISTRY PASSES NEW MARRIAGE LAW' darken, curl, and slowly turn to ash. It was a childish act at best, but quite satisfying.
She needed time to think.
The law was obscenely unfair, with gross provisions for Muggle-borns given their obviously unsuitable nature, and sought nothing more than to turn every witch of age regardless of blood status into brood mares.
In fact, only witches were required to find mates, if a wizard wished to remain unattached he was not penalized, which effectively shifted the natural dynamic of courtship. Witches were forced to woo and fight over eligible wizards.
The misogyny was not even thinly veiled, it was blatant.
All unions under the new regime smacked of puritanical and medieval influences. Hermione was quite familiar with the antiquated concept of Pater familias—the man of the house exerting control and dominance over every aspect of home and family life, but in the letter of this law it had become institutionalized.
Oh, certainly she understood the so-called rationale behind the law. Centuries of inbreeding did have its unpleasant consequences; not that her uterus should be responsible for cleaning up their messes. There were flip charts and graphs detailing the apocalyptic future of the wizarding world, Ministry propaganda fueling stories of drooling three-eyed web footed little darlings, but somehow Hermione knew this wasn't driving the law.
If that were the case they would have mandated something equally as barbaric as 'purebloods can now only marry Muggle-borns' or some other such nonsense, but they hadn't. Forcing witches to vie for wizards' attentions was one thing. Forcing fine, upstanding, moral pureblooded wizards to put up with uncivilized, ill-mannered, dirty Muggle-born tarts was quite another.
It was simply a question of demographics. In the modern age young witches were less apt to marry. And old wizards—as in the kind who wrote the law—were overwhelmingly single. Given that women of a certain age, those in the waning years of their fertility were exempt, only young supple witches with good birthing hips and pert nipples were forced. They might as well have added 'no mingers allowed.'
She would never be subjugated thusly. She refused to be another aimless housewitch, slave to her husband's whims, whose only ambition was to be pregnant and stuck in the kitchen. As Hermione chewed the cuticle on her thumb, she considered her best options. The Ministry would force her to conceive a minimum of two children, then heap on tax advantages, monetary incentives, and 'wonderful gifts and prizes' for popping out more.
She'd need an impotent husband, one that could easily cave to her, one that wouldn't be swayed by incentives. If she had to be stuck in a loveless marriage, at least she'd wear the pants.
Ron sprang quickly to mind, but was just as quickly dismissed. Certainly she could walk all over that boy, but he'd actually want a litter of children running around the house and probably never lift a finger to help her get around the 'productivity' clauses. No. The Burrow was fun to visit, the chaos amusing to watch, but she had no interest in actually being stuck in that kind of hell hole for the rest of her life.
Neville. He was the perfect embodiment of weak and compliant. Hermione was also painfully aware that he carried a torch for her since early on in her school days. She had never encouraged it, but her apparent lack of attention only served to fan the flames. Not that he had the balls to make the first move. At the moment he had taken up with Hannah Abbot, but Hermione was certain that if she confessed some hidden love for him he'd throw the witch over for her.
Hermione raised her eyes plaintively to the ceiling. Could she really bind herself to Neville? She had no doubt that they could settle into a routine that could make home life bearable. But then visions of him fumbling and grunting atop her with Trevor watching from the bedstand sprang forth. Hermione didn't even want to think about Neville in possession of a penis much less an erection. No. Definitely not.
She needed to be smart about this. Surely she could outthink the Ministry, Lord knows she'd done it enough times before. This was just like a good logic problem.
And there it was.
Her lips turned into a twisted little smile. Hermione had her answer.
Chapter title: Nolens Volens – Whether willing or not
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