Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter J. K. Rowlings does. She, Warner Brothers and Scholastic get all the money from the books and movies, all I get is to play in the playground they have provided.
The Marriage Law Repealed
Harry looked at the letter in his hand in disbelief. He'd read it six times and it made no more sense this time than it had the first.
Ministry of Magic Department of Marriages
London, United Kingdom
Dear Mister Harry James Potter,
Due to all the recent deaths in the magical world due to the recent war, it
is the decision of the Wizengamot to re-enact the Marriage law of witches and wizards over sixteen that have not married and produced at least two children are required to marry and children are expected from these unions within a year. To aid in this endeavor matches have been arranged. You and your affianced are to arrive in our office in seven days time at nine A.M. for the ceremony. Your bride to be is Marietta Edgecombe. Our felicitations and wishes for every happiness go out to you both.
Calliope Eros, Secretary of Department of Marriages
P.S. I wish to add as a personal note, thank you so much Mr. Potter. An Order of Merlin First Class recipient, such as yourself, can't hope to understand how much a common witch, such as myself, appreciates your efforts to defend the wizarding world and is overjoyed at your victory over He-who-must-not-be-named.
"Draco Malfoy! Are they out of their minds!" Ginny screeched.
Her screech was almost drowned out by Ron's bellow. "Pansy Parkinson! Like I'd want to marry that Pug faced slimy skank, there's no way I want Malfoy's leftovers!"
Hermione was quieter but her voice eloquently expressed her fury and disbelief. "Theodore Nott, not in this or any other life. Ritual of Submission or not! There is no way in bloody fucking hell I would ever let that … imbecilic prejudiced Death eater scum come anywhere near me. He probably belongs in Azkaban and I will forego magic before I marry anyone other than Ron. I ought to go to those idiots at the ministry and..."
Neville was looking at his letter and shaking, "I....I....I"
Luna was looking at her letter, "I think the Wizengamot and the Ministry need butter beer bottle cap necklaces. They appear to be badly infected with Nargles, because I couldn't possibly marry Zacharias Smith he is far to unkind," she paused before adding, "and cowardly."
Harry read his letter again. His friends looked at him. "Who'd they put you with?" they asked in unison.
"Marietta Edgecombe. As if I would consider a traitorous... I think we stopped to soon. I think we should have cleaned house at the Ministry and not stopped with the Death eaters. I respected Albus, but sometimes his thought processes and the choices he made because of them... weren't the best and the Wizengamot is full of Wizards just like him old, sure of themselves, and illogical. I have spent to much of my life being ruled by choices others have made for me. It stops now. I choose who I will marry, they cannot force me and I will kill them if they try."
"We're with you Harry." Hermione said.
A familiar tawny owl flew up to Harry. He removed the letter she carried.
I just got a letter from the ministry. I figure you did to. If this is a prank, it isn't funny. I have no desire to marry Imogene Bulstrode. I was going to ask Angelina to marry me tonight. What ever you're planning count me in because I assume you're going
to fight this. Let me know how and I'll help.
Harry wondered how many people were being affected by this decree, he wondered how many more would feel about it the way he and most of his friends felt. He suspected some of the older pure-blood families would accept it as standard but knew most muggleborns and half-bloods, at least the ones that were left, would stand with him. He was brought out of his musings by a grey eagle owl that seemed slightly familiar.
I imagine you received a letter the same as I and many of our acquaintance did. I imagine yours lacked the caveat that enraged myself and my associates. Everyone from the last fifteen years that was in Slytherin and anyone whose family is considered even slightly dark is being told they will be forced to do a Ritual of Submission to their "Light" minded spouse. Given your past association with my proposed bride I assume that you intend to fight the Ministry. We of Slytherin House do not intend to submit to the indignities the Ministry would force on us. As much as I hate to admit it, you are one of the few people with the potential to stop this. I offer my allegiance and knowledge I hope we can set aside our differences and work together on this. I propose we meet in Hogsmeade at the Three Broomsticks tomorrow, and I fully intend to bring friends.
Harry looked up at his friends. Ron, Hermione, Neville, Luna, and Ginny had all come to stay with him and Teddy at Potter Manor to relax for a week before returning to Hogwarts on September first. The seventeen weeks since the Battle of Hogwarts and the defeat of Voldemort had been insane fraught with changes and hectic schedules. All of them had been busy helping restore Hogwarts, attending and occasionally participating in the ongoing death eater trials, and attending award presentations. The Weasleys had spent much of the time mourning Fred. Harry had been focused on learning what he needed to, to take care of Teddy Lupin. Andromeda Tonks had reluctantly admitted that care of him was more than she could handle by herself between the emotional losses of her husband and daughter there was the added complication of the torture the Death eaters had put her through for being a blood traitor. There had been many surprises as well.
Dumbledore had kept too many secrets from him, Potter Manor's existence had been one of them. It was only as he settled things with the Goblins after the final battle that Harry found out about the family vault and Potter Manor. The Goblins had been very upset by his theft of Hufflepuff's Cup and the escape of the dragon they had been on the brink of declaring war in fact. Only the facts that the Cup wasn't actually owned by the LeStranges or Voldemort, and that Harry had ended the reign of terror and economic disaster that Voldemort had led; gave the goblins reasons for his head still to be attached. He had forfeited seventy percent of the wealth in the Black vaults to pay for the damage to the bank, to buy a new dragon and to pay blood price for the goblins that had been killed or injured during the escape. But by doing so he had kept the peace between the goblins and the wizarding world, so he counted it as money well spent. Kingsley had thanked him profusely for heading off a Goblin war, unfortunately it had been one of his last acts in office.
Many of the old guard in the Wizengamot and ministry had managed to oust Kingsley from the Minister of Magic job after a mere seventeen weeks. Kingsley despite having been the voice of the resistance during the war lacked the sway with the Wizengamot and the old guard to inspire the wizarding world to wait and work through the problems that plagued the society as a whole. The wizarding community couldn't seem to decide how to solve it's problems but it wanted the job done immediately and Kingsley was taking too long. Unfortunately most of the wizarding world hadn't seemed to notice the problems that existed had taken time to develop and would take time to fix.
Harry thought about the wizarding world as a whole and debated asking Ginny to say screw it all and leave. He then thought about all the pure-bloods and how most of them didn't have the option to say chuck it all let's leave. He thought about all the anachronistic and backward illogical things he had seen and what he'd experienced and the faults he knew existed in the Ministry. He thought about all the things he'd change so that the wizarding world could be both protected and up to date and decided.
"Hermione, start a wish list of absolutely everything you'd like to see in the wizarding world in terms of laws, improvements, the works. Neville I need you to talk to your Grandmother see how she feels about all this and assuming she's against it I need to know who is for and against it of the old guard. Ron find out from Dad how the hell this got pushed through without a whisper beforehand. Luna I need you to contact your dad, we need to notify the wizarding world about this, especially those most affected by this." Harry paused, "Ginny I need you to help Hermione. If what the wizarding world wants is a revolution, by Merlin I'll give it to them. I'm done with being a pawn for the wizarding world I don't want to be king but I'll bloody well become the chess master if I have to to keep my freedom."
"Harry are you okay? You almost always lose at chess." Ron said.
"Ron it's a simile. Chess and life. Harry's just declaring his independence." Hermione told him as she dragged him back to the manor.
Harry gave Ginny a quick kiss and they followed everyone else back to the manor.
The next day Harry and everyone he knew that wasn't married showed up at the Three Broomsticks but to his surprise apparently they had told everyone they knew and so on and there was no way all these people would fit into the pub. Making a decision he sent a patronus to McGonagall asking to use the Great Hall, her cat patronus brought his answer. Draco and his friends appeared and everyone headed to Hogwarts.
The Headmistress of Hogwarts met them at the door. Harry could tell in one glance that his former Head of House was furious. "You too?"
"Aye Mr. Potter. Me as well." her Scottish burr so strong he could tell her appearance didn't lie.
"Horace Slughorn, the smarmy git. He has the skill to brew a fertility potion so I can do my duty to the magical world. Like I want a bairn at my age."
"Well we plan on doing something about the Ministry's latest idiocy."
"It's time someone did." McGonagall growled.
Harry went to the Great Hall. He looked at McGonagall, "Can we change the tables to benches so we have enough seats?"
She immediately tapped the tables with her wand. Hermione looked then waved her wand and the benches rearranged themselves into auditorium style rows.
Harry cast sonorous on himself. "Can everyone come in and find a seat we'll start once everyone is seated." then he cancelled the spell.
Harry tapped Draco on the shoulder, "Join us up front." Harry led Draco, the Headmistress and his close friends to the front of the Hall. "Okay Draco we think that the Ministry has gone mad and that we need to change things rebuild the magical world from the ground up so to speak. Hermione and the rest of us made a wish list of what we think would make it better. I know a lot of the purebloods and older families will have a different view. I want to stay here at Hogwarts have you and your friends and me and my friends work together and create a new order of things. I think we'll have to fight for what we want and I want all of us to have a clear understanding of what we're fighting for the status quo is unacceptable. Are you with us?"
"Good" Harry looked at the crowded Hall. There were almost two thousand people in the hall the benches were completely full and There were still people filing in to stand along the walls. Ron and Neville nodded to him as they pulled the doors closed. Another quick sonorous and Harry started to speak. "Hello and thank you all for coming. I assume since you're her you feel about these," he pulled out his ministry letter, "like I do. Incendio." he burned it to ash in seconds. "I did not fight Voldemort to live a life dictated by someone else I had enough of that when I was his target. I fought him so I could live a life of freedom. Some people at the ministry are not happy with the sacrifices I made, we the sacrifices many of us made, in the name of freedom they want to take it away. I am not a politician or a lawyer or a statesman, I'm just a wizard who knows what I think is right and what is wrong; and am willing to fight for it. Looking out at you I know we represent approximately one eighth of wizarding Britain. I believe if we work together we can figure out what we have in common what is in the best interests of all wizards and witches in this country. Two centuries ago in what is now the United States a group of people not bigger than this came together figured out what they had in common they wrote a statement about their common purpose and fought together to create a country. To this day they are still a force to be reckoned with in the world. I propose that we work together and create our own Declaration of Independence and plans for a complete restructure of the ministry. I want our world to change so more people are included and there are fewer disenfranchised because the feelings that creates is how we wind up with people like Voldemort gaining power. Are you with me?"
The headmistress sent out notices that school would start a month late. She then adjusted the wards so everyone in the castle would be protected from everyone outside. Then the work began there were debates on everything and slowly but surely consensus grew. Everyone worked long hours and went short on sleep until on day twenty two they felt they were done. They had a clear picture of what they were agreeing to fight for and what they intended to accomplish. They were resolved that things would change. The morning the wards around Hogwarts came down, everyone traveled to the ministry some by floo, some by apparition, and some by the various entrances.
In the ministry, the Minister was enjoying his morning tea when his secretary came scurrying into the room. "It's Harry Potter, Minister. He and a thousand or more of the witches and wizards that defied the marriage decree; they're here."
"Assemble the aurors and the hit wizards."
In the lobby, Harry looked at Luna, "The manifesto and the proposed constitution got to the press and WWN?" At her affirmative nod. Harry moved forward towards the ministry workers that were arriving in the lobby from the depths of the ministry.
A terrified looking security guard at the wand checkpoint shook as he faced the crowd, but he had his orders. "Harry Potter by the decree of the Wizengamot you are under arrest for disobeying the marriage law."
"The Wizengamot overstepped it's powers, and therefore is no longer a legitimate governing body." Draco spoke up. "As per the Agreement of Separation ratified in 1652 for the protection of rights of witches and wizards to prevent the abuse of power and enforce the separation of public versus private. By those laws everyone working in this building is subject to arrest and imprisonment."
Since all of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement and the hit wizards with the Unspeakables had arrived in time to hear that announcement. Penelope Rea Llydumb, head of the DMLE, stepped forward and said, "Surrender your wands."
A moment later she was dropping her own wand in shock. Because Harry Potter the defeater of You-know-who and five of his closest friends had their wands in her face.
"We didn't come here to harm anyone. Merely to let the present government know their services were no longer needed. That being said I and most of my friends here feel a certain animosity towards all of those same people and unless they surrender their wands we will not hesitate to, shall we say get rid of the problem just like we didn't hesitate to get rid of Voldie. We feel that a marriage is a sacred contract that should only be willingly entered into, and be damned to anyone that thinks they can tell me or anyone with me who we should marry." Harry said.
Neville spoke up loudly, To make a long story short, drop your wands collect your belongings and get the fuck out of here assholes." out numbered many of them did.
Six months later Harry and his friends cheered as Lady Augusta Longbottom was sworn in for her first term as Minister of Magic. Two years later Harry and Ginny cheered as Arthur took her place. Harry rested his hand on his expectant wife's stomach and felt the excited kicks of the baby that was due in three months.