A/N: I know that it is a much used storyline, but this is my attempt at a Marriage Law fic. Everything is canon up to a certain point - Voldemort is dead, Harry is still alive, Dumbledore, Snape and everyone else who died in the Great War is dead, except Fred because he's my favourite twin, Weasley and character and I was in tears when he died, so I am keeping him alive. Sorry.
It doesn't centre around one specific coupling but will show extracts of twelve different couples. They are all completely random pairings and I think there are only two canon couplings. It will show snippets of their pairings and how their relationships progress.
The characters used in the couplings are as follows (obviously I am not revealing the pairings yet - it would ruin the surprise) - Harry, Ron, Hermione, Draco, Blaise, Oliver, Katie, Alicia, Fred, George, Ginny, Neville, Hannah, Pansy, Percy, Angelina, Lee, Seamus, Dean, Cho, Parvati, Padma, Luna and Lavender.
Reviews are very welcome as is any advice or any couplings that you would like to see, I don't mind criticism as long as it's constructive.
Disclaimer: Harry Potter is, unfortunately, not mine. Damn.
Kingsley Shacklebolt sighed deeply and leaned back heavily into his chair. Changing tack, he then leaned forward to rest his elbows on the solid mahogany desk and rest his head on his hands. A small, twitchy wizard stood in front of him, wringing his hands nervously and stuttering over his words – whether through worry about speaking to the Minister of Magic or for having to present this abominable and deeply unpopular idea, Kingsley had not yet decided. "And, so you can s-see that reinstating the M-m-marriage Law would have s-several positive benefits and would b-bring about the re-p-population of wizarding kind." The nervous wizard finished the end of his obviously rehearsed spiel. He stood awkwardly for a few moments; Kingsley took pity on him and waved his hand vaguely at the chair in front of his desk. The little man scurried forward and sat down, perching tentatively on the edge of the chair.
Kingsley sat deep in thought for a full minute, weighing up the pros and cons. The wizarding world was in turmoil – in the Great War hundreds, nay thousands had been mercilessly slaughtered, especially young people, this caused a paucity of new marriages and births. Wizard kind was at serious risk of dying out and Kingsley, as the Minister of Magic, had to find the solution. Over the past day five different ideas had been pitched to him, all equally difficult and all certain to be hated.
A tall, foreign wizard had proposed in a very pompous, accented tone to export every British wizard overseas and blend them into other wizarding societies until British wizards were a thing of the past. A witch had come up with the 'ingenious' plan of having baby wizards and witches from foreign counties adopted by British couples. Of course, aside from the small task of finding suitable babies and persuading their parents to part with them, there was the small matter that there were no couples to actually adopt said children. The third suggestion had come from an ancient wizard who had discovered a very old, very illegal spell which could give Muggles (or indeed, anyone) magical powers. Kingsley had had him thrown from his office when the man produced a female Muggle held in a cage and attempted to actually demonstrate the spell. Another bright suggestion had been to outlaw marrying Squibs because, as the witch presenting the idea had insisted, any offspring from said relationships had only a fifty percent chance of possessing magical gifts. The last was the reinstating of the Marriage Law whereby all unmarried wizards and witches aged between seventeen and thirty five would be married and would produce children.
Every single idea presented to Kingsley was flawed in some way; he had instantly discounted ending British wizarding, the sadistic spell and adopting foreign babies. He didn't quite see how banning Squib-wizard marriages was going to save the day either, there were simply not enough people entering relationships to be picky about whom they were reproducing with, and even Squibs were at least vaguely wizard kind. This only left him with one solution – Marriage Law.
"Okay." He said wearily, raising his head. The small man jumped visibly, "We're going to have to do it. The Marriage Law, I mean."
The man looked startled,"Are y-you sure?"
"It's the only solution." Kingsley replied gravely. Raising his voice, he yelled, "Weasley!"
"Yes sir?" Percy Weasley, his personal assistant, secretary and most efficient person he knew, stuck his head around the door, glasses perched on the end of his freckled nose.
"Get me the old Marriage Law files, find me five people from Wizarding Relations and get them down here quickly and I will need to see every head of department including the Unspeakables as soon as is possible, and by that I do mean today. Don't let them fob you off with excuses – I need to see them all urgently. Oh, and can you phone the Daily Prophet and get a reporter over here – not that Skeeter woman, she's awful." Kingsley reeled off instructions quickly; Percy nodded at each one before exiting silently. Kingsley could hear him scribbling memos and the quiet purr of their wings as they zoomed away.
The wizard in front of Kingsley shuffled awkwardly, drawing the Minister's attention to him. "Did you want to be part of the organisation? I can get you a job here, something advisory I think. Or you can leave. Up to you."
"I'd like to be p-part of t-things." The wizard said, shifting around in a peculiar mixture of discomfort and excitement.
A knock at the door sounded and Percy ushered in two wizards and three witches in dark purple robes with the letters "WR" emblazoned on the backs in silver. Two of them held clipboards; the others merely wore important looks.
"Hello, please sit down." Kingsley said, waving his wand and conjuring up around twenty chairs. "We'll begin when everyone else is here."
After a few minutes, everyone appeared to have arrived. A Daily Prophet reporter sat excitedly in the corner, practically quivering with joy and brandishing a Quick Quotes quill. A bored looking photographer sat next to him, fiddling sulkily with his camera and muttering under his breath about 'blasted security'. From this, Kingsley deduced that the security wizards had dismantled his camera – security was a big issue at the moment, several of Voldemort's supporters were still at large and killing left right and centre. Cornering them was dangerous; they had nothing to live for anymore and tended to kill recklessly. Yet another worry to add to Kingsley's mounting list of problems that had to be dealt with.
"Okay, let us begin. As I am sure you are all well aware, there are some serious problems with the numbers of wizards at the moment. There are simply not enough children being produced to meet the numbers of wizards and witches sadly lost during the Great Battle." Kingsley began, several of the assembled gathering produced parchment and quills and began making notes. "We have decided that action needs to be taken and so, we are reintroducing the Marriage Law. All unmarried wizards and witches between the ages of seventeen and thirty-five will be coupled together. As today is the twenty-eighth of June, we will take one week to make all of the necessary arrangements; a whole new department will need to be set up and there is going to be a lot of work to do. By the fifth of July all candidates will know of their matches. We will then give them until the end of October to marry and all couples must produce offspring within the next two years. A contract will be signed by all which will be bound with enchantments that will prevent murder of a spouse, rejection of physical intimacy and divorce."
As Kingsley spoke faces grew agitated and angry, whispers echoed around the room and virtually the entire note taking had stopped. He noted this, it was not unexpected – this would be possibly the most hated law for centuries. "Any questions?"
Every hand in the room flew up. He sighed inwardly and pointed to the nearest wizard, "So, Lenny, what is your problem?"
"Well, to state the obvious, what if people don't want to?"
"There is no choice, wizard kind is on the brink of extinction, trust me when I say that this is the only choice we have left to us." Kingsley answered smoothly, trying, and failing, to keep the desperation from his voice.
The man nodded, clearly not satisfied with his answer but perhaps beginning to realise that Kingsley did not make this decision lightly.
"Yates?" Kingsley gestured weakly at the next wizard.
"You said that all unmarried people will be matched, but what if there are already existing couples?" Kingsley recalled briefly that Yates was only twenty-seven and had a girlfriend.
"All present couplings will be taken into consideration. And, I would also advise anybody who wants to marry their current partner, does so immediately. That way there will be no issues with different couplings." He glanced up at the reporter who was scribbling furiously and had tiny ink spatters on the end of his nose.
Slowly, Kingsley made his way through all of the questions covering everything from contraceptives (banned), cheating (technically frowned upon although personally Kingsley didn't see a problem with it – especially if it produced kids) and personal preferences (posed by a younger wizard from Wizarding Relations who apparently had a thing for blondes, answer: unfortunately, not something that could be factored into the matches). The sky slowly darkened outside and the meeting drew to a close.
Disgruntled wizards and witches filed out, the reporter practically jumping for joy and already planning tomorrow's headlines out loud.
Percy stood by the door and cleared his throat; Kingsley looked up moodily, "Yes?"
"I'll just be leaving now, if that's okay?" Percy said hesitantly.
"Can I tell my family about the law? Or do I have to wait until tomorrow? Because, well, I have four siblings at home who will be affected by this law and well, frankly, I'd like to let them know."
Kingsley nodded again. "They'll find out soon enough anyway, just…try and make it seem like I'm not the bad one."
Percy half smiled, realised Kingsley was being serious and left. Kingsley slumped into his chair and wondered what he had done and what implications it was going to have for British wizards.