Two announcements had been made that would change the lives of dozens of witches and wizards forever. The first was of the two was about the declining birth rates among purebloods. The average pureblood couple had one successful birth out of five, and of those births, one of every six was born a Squib. The Ministry was panicking over such statistics and had been scrambling to try to find a solution.
The second announcement was about International Relations between Britain and other countries such as France, the United States of America, Japan, Bulgaria, and Mexico. The bonds of friendship between the six countries were particularly strong during the war against the Dark Lord. The friendships lasted, even after the victory of the light, and the nations' leaders gathered together to try brainstorm ways to demonstrate to the public their newly strengthened bonds.
After many talks and great debate, they came up with an idea that would kill two birds with one stone: International Marriage Law. Each country would choose their best and brightest witch and wizard to marry the witches and wizards of the other countries. The six witches would be muggleborn, and the six wizards would be purebloods. This was decided upon to promote the idea of mixed blood marriages. All the leaders would have liked to force the Marriage Law on the entire population of their own country, so that the birth rate problem would be completely under control, but they knew such an act could lead to rebellions and overthrown governments. So instead, they made being chosen for a marriage look like a tremendous honor.
To be chosen for an international marriage meant that you were someone special and important. It was your duty to share you gifts and talents with the other people of the world. The Ministries would see that you were always taken care of and provided for; the only thing you had to do was stand up and show how proud you were to be in a marriage of mixed blood and nationalities.
Ah yes, Ministries all around the world spent a great deal of time and money to back up this persona. However, for those who actually knew the full truth of the law, it was anything but an honor. In was more of a trap. A prison without bars. For any who were chosen and refused to comply, their wands were broken and they were exiled to the Muggle world. Those who chose to accept the law would have to make equally large sacrifices. They would have to marry the partner that was chosen for them, regardless if their heart belonged to another. The Ministries argued that arranged marriages were common place all over the world, but protesters of the law retorted that those who fell into the law's jurisdiction lived in countries where a person was more or less allowed to choose their partner.
The law seemed harder on the witches. For they would have to leave their homes in order to move to their new husband's homeland. The marriage would have to be consummated within the fortnight, and a child would have to be conceived within a year after the ceremony. Since the law chose magical folk in the age range of sixteen to forty, if one of the partners was in school then they would have to drop out and find an alternate means of education.
After all was said and done, the names of couples would be announced shortly after word of the International Marriage Law spread. Although the day had no real name, everyone started to refer to it as "Engagement Day". It was on that day that the witches and wizards of many nations held their breath and waited for their fate to be announced.