Chapter 7 Caught and Smashing Dishes
Hermione looks up from her task and smiled in greeting at Ginny who had burst into their bedroom.
"Bloody hell" Ginny hissed through gritted teeth as she threw herself down on her bed clearly thoroughly enraged.
Hermione couldn't help herself. She burst out laughing at the look on Ginny's face, her laughter was infectious and soon Ginny joined in.
"Merlin Hermione she only caught us snogging the way she is acting you would think she had walked in on a full blown shag".
"Ginny you were both lying on Harry's bed, him on top of you with his hand up your shirt, of course she is going to go a bit mental".
"Yeah well I've got a weeks worth of extra chores and 'I've never to let myself get into that position again where we can get carried away' she mimicked her mum's voice "and do you know she is going to speak to Sirius and ask him to have a talk with Harry, honestly I nearly died when she told Harry that".
Harry and Ginny's predicament had been a great source of amusement all afternoon for Hermione, Ron and the Twins. Mrs Weasley had come upstairs to collect them all to go back to the Burrow, seeing Ron and Hermione sitting quietly talking in the sitting room she enquired after the other two.
"They're in Harry's room watching one of his movies" Ron answered his mother's query. A few short minutes later they both had jumped at the sound of his mother screaming at the top of her voice.
"GINEVRE WEASLEY, WHAT ON EARTH DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DOING, AND HARRY POTTER I'M SO DISAPOINTED IN YOU".
Ron and Hermione had jumped up and raced out into the hall, colliding with the twins who had run upstairs from the kitchen, all in time to see a very red faced Harry and Ginny being frog marched down the stairs by Mrs Weasley. Ginny protesting loudly all the way.
"For Merlin's sake mum we were only kissing nothing else".
"Only kissing were you, and that required you both to be lying on the bed did it? That required Harry to be lying on top of you did it? And that required his hand to be UP YOUR SHIRT DID IT?"
Harry looked as if he wanted to die from the mortification of it all. He was then brought up short by almost walking into Ginny's three older brothers who did not look amused in the slightest.
"Right you lot home now, Fred George shouldn't you be getting back to the shop".
Mrs Weasley continued to march Ginny downstairs to the kitchen. Hermione fell in behind them.
"Be right there mum" called George just as he and Fred stuck out their hands to halt Harry's progress.
"Now look guys, nothing happened, nothing was going to happen, we were just snogging I promise". Harry gulped dryly.
"Your damn well right nothing is going to happen Potter, that's our baby sister in case you have forgotten". George Weasley looked almost murderous.
"Okay guys just chill, Harry knows he's gone far enough that right Harry?" Ron pushed his older brothers out of the way.
"Yeah well he better know, cause we just might have a word with her other three big brothers, who aren't just as understanding as we are, that right George?" Fred looked at his twin for confirmation.
"That's right Fred, get it Potter?"
"I get it guys I promise, I promise" Harry pushed past the twins and followed the girls downstairs.
Ron turned to look at the twins, the three of them burst out laughing.
"Merlin the look on his face I thought he was going to shit himself". Fred howled with laughter.
"Seriously Ron make sure he understand that is a far as he goes" George sobered up and nodded in agreement with Fred
"Yeah cause we wouldn't want to really have to speak to the other three".
Ron shuddered, Gods that would be awful, all six brothers were particularly protective of their only sister, but the three oldest could be absolutely vicious about it. Ron turned away from them and headed down the stairs.
"Don't worry he knows, he knows".
As he entered the kitchen Mrs Weasley turned to speak to him.
"Oh there you are Ron, come on now get your broom, we are all going back to the Burrow".
"Mrs Weasley maybe I should just stay here" Harry was sounding very sheepish
"Nonsense Harry besides you have to come back I promised Sirius, he is going to come over tonight after dinner".
"Oh" was all Harry could manage. Grabbing his broom he made his way over to the fireplace to floo back to the Burrow, jumping in front of Ron to get there first as he had spotted the twins entering the Kitchen.
"See you tonight Harry" called George
"For dinner" followed up Fred, both grinning in delight at Harry's obvious discomfort.
Mrs Weasley had kept the two miscreants busy for the rest of the day, only letting up once the older Weasley's started turning up for dinner. After dinner Harry escaped outside with Ron for some flying practice and Hermione had made her way upstairs where Ginny found her now.
"What you up to Hermione, Gods is all this new?" Ginny had just spotted that Hermione had one of her trunks opened and was sorting through a pile of clothes now lying on her bed.
"Yeah Mum must have bought all this for me for our holiday to Italy" Hermione gestured to the assortment on her bed.
"Oh Hermione" Ginny came over and put an arm around her friend.
"It's okay Ginny really, and looking at all this now, well I will never wear it all so I thought how about we share it, you take whatever you like"'
"I couldn't do that Hermione, it wouldn't be right"
"Nothing about any of this is right Ginny, except this, please I want you to have some of this stuff it would give me great pleasure if you would accept".
Ginny looked at her friend, blinking back tears she nodded
"Okay Hermione, if its what you really want, but we share okay, that way you get to wear everything your Mum got for you".
"Alright we share". Hermione smiled at her friend and both girls threw their arms around each other. Breaking away Ginny exclaimed.
"Look at all this, everything is gorgeous. Oh boy Harry is going to die when he sees me in this" She held up a short denim mini skirt.
"And the best thing is Mum cant say a word about it, as I'm helping my friend".
Delighted Ginny skipped around the room causing Hermione to burst out laughing again.
"Merlin Ginny what would I do without you?"
Percy Weasley stepped through the fireplace in Professor Dumbledore's office.
"It's done Professor, one of the quickest laws ever to be passed in the history of the Wizengamot, there are a couple of amendments I need to go over with both of you however".
"Okay Percy have a seat". Percy took a seat facing Professor Dumbledore who was sitting behind his desk. Sirius was already sitting in a large comfortable armchair to his left.
"Well as I said the law was passed with no objections, but the following was also added at the suggestion of the honourable members Dolores Umbridge and Lord Crozier, they were immediately accepted and became part of the 'Marriage Law'".
"Alright Percy spit it out what have those damned bastards come up with now". Sirius could feel his patience start to wear thin.
"Yes well as you know the marriage must be consummated before midnight on the day of the ceremony". Both men nodded at him.
"Well if it is not done rather than dissolve the marriage straight away the Ministry will appoint two guardians to take the bride and groom to a ministry appointed location where they will oversee the consummation, in other words they will force the girl to comply, it's legalised rape of these poor girls". Percy spat the last words out.
"Gods above" Sirius paled at Percy's words
"I've never heard of anything so inhuman, surely they cannot get away with this".
"There is more", Percy flipped through the papers in his hands reading from the notes he had taken at the meeting.
"The ministry is determined that these will be real marriages. A charm will be added to the binding ceremony, which will allow the ministry to monitor copulation, which by the way will be a weekly requirement. No form of contraception wizard or muggle will be permitted in the first five years of marriage, if after five years the couple have produced two children then the ministry will lift the copulation charm and allow the couple to deicide on their future family planning".
Percy sat back looking between Professor Dumbledore and Sirius. Sirius was the first to speak.
"Hermione will never go for this Albus, she would effectively become a possession of her husband, there is no way in hell she is going to go for this".
"She must Sirius, it is up to us to make her understand she has no choice, if she does not comply and marry you the ministry will marry her off in all probability to one of Voldermolt's death eaters. She will be taken away from everyone and everything she knows and Merlin knows if any of us would ever see her alive again".
At that moment there was a sharp knock on the office door, Severus Snape entered at Professor Dumbledore bidding, nodding in recognition of the two others in the room.
"Ah Severus, please do come in and join us. Percy here was just filling us in on the details of the new marriage law.
"Yes headmaster I am aware of the added clauses, I have in fact just returned from an inner circle meeting with the Dark Lord".
Sirius narrowed his eyes and turned his head to stare at his nemesis.
Ignoring him Snape continued in his usual clipped tones. "There will be three petitions going into the ministry as we speak for Miss Granger"
"Who Severus" Professor Dumbledore almost matched Snape's manner in speech.
"One is a member of the Dark Lord's inner circle and the other two are sons of inner circle members, Flint on behalf on his son Marcus, Rockwood on behalf of his son Dorrian and Antonin Dolohov".
Sirius sucked in his breath. "Those bastards, she would not stand a chance in hell against anyone of them".
"Indeed" intoned Snape. "The Dark Lord has decided she is a prize like no other in his fight against Potter. He wants her out of the picture permanently and if his death eaters can have a little sport with her all to the better, also the one that marries her will be rewarded by gaining Miss Grangers inheritance, that is why he will only allow members of his inner circle to petition the ministry for her. It is suffice to say no other muggle born witch is being petitioned for by any death eaters".
Professor Dumbledore stood "We must go to the Burrow right away and speak with Hermione, Severus thank you for your help tonight, I am sure you must be anxious to partake of your evening meal and get some well deserved rest".
"Thank you Headmaster". Snape stood and turned towards the door he caught Sirius's eye and smirked.
"Good luck Black you're going to need it".
Professor Dumbledore, Sirius and Percy stepped out of the large fireplace at the Burrow one behind the other. Mr and Mrs Weasley were both sitting at their large kitchen table with their eldest son Bill drinking tea.
"Good evening family" Percy smiled as he strode over to the table to kiss his mother.
"Percy dear sit down, are you hungry?"
"No, no mum I'm okay I ate at the ministry"
"Pooh ministry food", Molly Weasley dismissed her son and started towards the kitchen larder to organised some food for him.
"Albus, Sirius, please sit down can I offer you some tea?"
Professor Dumbledore and Sirius sat down at the kitchen table the latter catching Bill's wary eye.
Professor Dumbledore spoke "Thank you Arthur that would b e most acceptable, where is everyone else this evening?"
"Well Ron, Harry and the Twins are in the back garden playing quidditch, the two girls are upstairs in their bedroom. Certain young people are keeping a low profile at the moment and I think their friends are helping them to achieve it". Mr Weasley's eyes twinkled in amusement.
"Yes" Molly Weasley confirmed as she came back to the table her arms full of fresh bread, butter, chicken and a large bowl of salad. "They are keeping out of my way. Sirius I'm going to need to speak to your about Harry I'm afraid".
"Why what's he done". Sirius was bemused to say the least, it was well known that Molly adored Harry and could see no wrong in him and in turn Harry almost worshipped the ground she walked on.
"Well lets just say that both Harry and Ginny are going to need reinforced just what type of behaviour is acceptable and what is not".
"Oh" Sirius's eyes twinkled in understanding. Unfortunately so did Bill
"What the hell happened, if Potter has stepped out of line with Ginny.." He was cut off mid sentence.
"Just you keep your nose out Bill Weasley" his mother turned on him. "I'll thank you to respect the fact that I can handle my own daughter".
Bill's eyebrows raised in amusement at his mothers tone, shaking his head he turned back round to the table.
"I will speak to you later Molly", Sirius smoothed her ruffled feathers.
"Thank you Sirius I would appreciate it".
Glaring at her oldest son she banged the food on the table and proceeded to make chicken sandwiches for Percy (his favourite).
"Well" Dumbledore began, "You know why we are here, the Marriage Law has been passed and young Percy here was kind enough to fill us in on some added clauses, we will just run through them quickly with your before we speak to Hermione".
Professor Dumbledore proceeded to fill them in on both Percy's and Snape's reports to him, when he was finished he looked around the silent table, the silence only broken by Bill's whispered "Fuck me". Molly was so upset she did not immediately admonish her son for his language; instead she turned her tear filled eyes to Sirius.
"You must do this Sirius, you have to protect her".
Sirius nodded, his acceptance of this coming marriage now sat on him with finality.
"I will Molly, I will".
Hermione and Ginny were in the middle of a private fashion show for each other, trying on all the new clothes and prancing round the bedroom in them. At the moment Hermione was wearing a soft cotton sundress with blue and white flowers, it sat just below her mid thigh and she had slipped her feet into a pair of white ballet pumps. Sweeping her hair up into a high ponytail she looked as pretty as a picture.
"Oh Hermione that is really lovely on you"
Ginny broke off as the bedroom door opened and Mrs Weasley popped her head round the door.
"Hermione dear there you are, would you be a pet and come downstairs please? Professor Dumbledore is here and he would like to speak to you".
"Of course Mrs Weasley, right away".
"Look mum, look at all these beautiful clothes, Hermione says I can borrow whatever I want whenever I want". Ginny's current animosity towards her mother was forgotten in her delight at all the new clothes.
"Yes very nice dear" Mrs Weasley answered abstractly as she ushered Hermione out of the room.
"Well" huffed Ginny as she turned back to the clothes, picking up a black sequined top she smiled to herself and immediately forgot her mothers indifference.
Hermione entered the sitting room ahead of Mrs Weasley; her eyes scanned the room immediately taking in the other 3 occupants. Arthur Weasley, Professor Dumbledore and Sirius. Hermione felt her heart begin to thud in apprehension. Mrs Weasley followed her in and shut the door; she guided Hermione over to the couch so that she was sitting facing Professor Dumbledore and Sirius who occupied the two armchairs. Once they were all seated Sirius sat forward in his chair. Taking in Hermione's pale face he smiled at her to try and put her at ease just a little. Sirius began by explaining the new Marriage Law to Hermione, the whole time she listened not saying a word just looking at Sirius. When he was finished his eyes dropped to his hands, which were resting between his knees. The room fell silent, still Hermione said nothing her stare never leaving Sirius. Arthur Weasley cleared his throat loudly.
"The thing is my dear you are immediately affected by this law, we" he gestured to himself and Mrs Weasley "and the Order want to be able to protect you, so we made a decision, the best way to do that would be for you to marry one of our own, an Order member who is a pure blood wizard and powerful enough to protect you".
Hermione spoke for the first time.
"You made a decision about my future, about my life, it never occurred to you to consult with me?"
Professor Dumbledore spoke for the first time.
"Miss Granger, Hermione, it is imperative that you understand the seriousness of this situation, your life is in great danger. As we speak we know of three marriage petitions to the ministry on your behalf all from Lord Voldermolt's inner circle.
"Who?" whispered Hermione.
"Antion Dolohov, Marcus Flint and Dorrian Rockwood" answered Sirius.
Hermione gasped, her hand flew to her mouth to cover the revulsion she felt at hearing those names.
"We can protect you Hermione and let you continue in your life much as it is now, you can finish school, be with your friends, have as much control over the rest of your life as is possible".
Hermione dropped her hands back onto her lap, clasping her fingers tightly together she looked up at Professor Dumbledore
"Who am I to marry?"
The room fell quiet and Sirius lifted his own gaze from his hands. "Me".
Hermione spun her head round to look at him
"You are to marry me Hermione".
Sirius looked into her beautiful eyes as comprehension dawned on Hermione's face. She sat back on the settee a small exclamation of "oh" all that could be heard. Suddenly Hermione jumped up and threw herself from the sitting room, flinging open the kitchen door she startled Harry, Ron and the Twins who had just entered the kitchen finishing their quidditch game minutes before. Bill and Percy Weasley who were still sitting at the kitchen table jumped up the minute Hermione entered the room. Hermione stopped in the middle of the kitchen and looking at Ron demanded
"Give me your wand".
"What, why" stumbled Ron.
"Just give me your bloody wand Ron, I've left mine upstairs " she spat out.
"What do you want a wand for Hermione" Bill tried to reason with the obviously outraged girl.
"Will one of you bloody gits just give me their bloody wand" Hermione was screeching now .
"No nobody give her their wand" Percy was on his feet now and shouted across the table at the four very confused boys.
"Here Hermione use mine" A deep voice offered from behind her.
Hermione spun round to see Sirius hold out his wand to her. She snatched it out of his hand and marched out the back door, halting only briefly to snatch up a plate and cup from the end of the kitchen table. She stopped at the back of the garden facing the side of Mr Weasley's broom shed and flicking the wand at the crockery she had brought with her she transformed it into dozens of plates and cups, which she proceeded to lift one by one and hurl them against the side of the shed smashing them to smithereens.
Professor Dumbledore, Sirius, Harry and all the Weasley's including Ginny who had come running downstairs when the commotion started all stood and watched Hermione as she proceeded to destroy the remaining transfigured crockery.
"What the bloody hell is going on?" asked Ron "Has she flipped, should we get her to St Mungo's?"
"No Mr Weasley" Dumbledore chuckled "Miss Granger is not in need of medical assistance, she just needs to express her feelings to some news she received tonight".
"What news?" Harry and Ginny questioned together.
"Hermione is getting married" Percy Weasley answered whilst staring ahead watching Hermione.
"What the hell are you talking about Percy, Hermione is getting married!" Ron rounded on his brother "Who is she supposed to be getting married to?"
"That would be me" answered Sirius as he moved off the porch towards Hermione, who had stopped smashing plates but instead stood stock still with her hands wrapped around her waist and was staring unseeingly at the broom shed.
Sirius stopped behind Hermione taking a moment to listen to her ragged breathing. He spoke softly to her.
"Are you alright Hermione?"
Hermione continued to stare unseeing at the broom shed.
"I'm going to get them Sirius, every last one of them. The ones that killed my parents, the ones that partake in the daily terror of ordinary decent families and the ones who have made this awful, awful law".
"I don't doubt it love and when you do I will be right beside you, cheering all the way".
She turned to look at him now giving him a wry smile, tilting her head towards the crowd on the back porch she asked him.
"What are they not telling me?"
Sirius sighed heavily and looked skywards, bringing his gaze back to her face.
"Wizarding marriages are for life you know that don't you Hermione?" She nodded at him. Satisfied he continued.
"There are very specific clauses in this law namely the marriage must be consummated by midnight the day of the wedding. Copulation is a weekly requirement and no contraceptive, wizard or muggle is permitted for the first 5 years of the marriage. If after 5 years the couple have produced at least 2 children the monitoring charm cast at the marriage ceremony will be lifted". He deliberately left out the bit about ministry enforced consummation. He had already decided he would if needs be force her himself before he would allow the horror of the ministry officials to intervene. He sincerely hoped it would not come to that.
Hermione stood still listening to him, giving him a slight nod she turned, picked up the remaining crockery and hurled it at the shed. Turning quickly she held her hand out to Sirius who looking down at it realised she was holding his wand out to him.
"Your wand Sirius thank you".
He took it from her and she started to walk past him towards the house, turning quickly back to face him she said.
"Oh and by the way Sirius, yes I will marry you"
Turning and continuing towards the house, Hermione climbed the steps to the porch and walked through the kitchen door and upstairs to her bedroom, without a glance at any of the occupants still standing there. At the sound of the bedroom door slamming shut deep inside the house the crowd on the porch turned and looked at Sirius. He gave them a wry smile and shrugging his shoulders he moved towards them.
"Okay people" he announced, "Lets plan a wedding".
The Weasley's and Professor Dumbledore all made there way back inside the house. Sirius on reaching the steps of the porch clapped his hands onto Harry's shoulders.
"Just a minute Harry, apparently we need to have a talk about boys and girls".
"Oh shit" Harry mumbled
"Yeah oh shit indeed" Sirius agreed. ar