Just 30 Days
SUMMARY- Forget the beginning of the Marriage Law- everyone writes about that. What about the End? When the Ministry declares it's no longer needed? When ALL marriages performed during that time are now VOID? In 30 days they can be reinstated, but will anyone?
A/N- So to be honest not a big fan of Marriage Law fics. Don't get me wrong, I read 'em. In fact, some of my favorite stories are marriage law fics. But except for a few, most of them are the same. I mean how many different ways can you write a marriage law fic? Obviously there's going to be a character (or two) who doesn't want to get married, but they have to learn to live with their partner, make it work, maybe fall in love, etc, etc, etc… Right?
So I'm on a quest if you will to write every character with Severus Snape. And i want to hit all the Cliche stories you see regularly. So even though i don't like Marriage Law Fics and can't very well ignore such a popular Plot. So I thought forever about how to do a Marriage law Fic without really doing one, and I got this plot bunny here.
Details- The story starts out HG/RW and will end up HG/SS. Other couples mentioned are HP/GW, SF/LB, SS/OC, Various Cannon Weasley Pairings, NL/HA and LL/RS. But the real question is will all of them get back together? *Evil Smirk*
"What's the meaning of this Kingsley?"
A few other people in the room voiced similar questions as they waited for Kingsley to take a seat. Hermione watched Kingsley take a deep breath as if collecting his thoughts. He'd only 'officially' made minister a month ago- before then he spent two months as acting minister. Regardless of the title Hermione could admit that she'd hardly seen the man look as he did right now.
"I think it would be best if you just spit it out Kingsley. Whatever it's about you know you'll have all of our help as best we can." Mr. Weasley said kindly.
The room was now filled with people agreeing with Mr. Weasley.
"Is it terrible news? Has there been an incident of some sort?" Mrs. Weasley asked worriedly.
"No Molly, not at all. At least not in terms of Death Eaters or anything." He said with a reassuring smile.
"Then spit it out man, don't leave us in the dark." George stated.
"A Marriage Law." Kingsley said in one breath.
There was an odd sort of silence that met his words. Hermione herself didn't even immediately have any words to say about it- mostly because she wasn't sure what it meant.
"What do you mean a Marriage Law?" Minerva asked.
"You all are aware of the number of deaths that have been reported in the recent months since the war-"
"Of course we have, it'd be bloody hard to miss, wouldn't it? In the Prophet every bleeding day, isn't it?" Ron commented.
"Language Ron." Molly chided.
"Sorry to say it Molly, but he's got the right end of the stick. Because the Prophet believes in 'dutifully keeping their readers aware', it's become a bit impossible to ignore the truth of the matter."
"What do you mean truth of the matter?" Harry asked.
Kingsley actually looked at Harry with a bit of regret for whatever his next words would be.
"That as of the Ministries current count our magical community has fairly dwindled."
"Surely you over exaggerate Kingsley. Dwindled makes it seem as if there aren't enough magical people left to start a bonfire." Minerva said.
"Before Voldemort's reign Britain's magical community was at little over 2500 people. The numbers right now give a take or few are at about… 1600…"
All Hermione heard next were multiple gasps, 'oh my's' and three 'bloody hell's'. This was followed by Molly screaming at Ron, George and Charlie for their language.
"Kingsley, for all intents and purposes, I know better than anyone what the Dark Lord was capable of,'
Hermione looked to her left where her once Potions Professor just happen to be sitting as he spoke- since he rarely did so since coming out of his magical coma. The entire Trio had been shocked when they'd gone back to the shack to find Snape lying in a pool of his own blood, yet somehow still breathing. They would late find out that Fawkes had flown into the shack after their departure and apparently 'cried his blasted eyes out' over Snape- saving him from death. But it has still been ages before they'd gone back for him with Minerva and Kingsley and so it had been a pretty close call, and in the end he had pulled through.
"And even I find it quite hard to believe that he and his followers killed that many people in that amount of time."
"And you're right. The Death toll is actually less than half that- just under 400 people."
Another silence met this. Hermione supposed it was one thing to read about a family of four here, or a couple of people there, every couple of days in the paper. And add to that those last during the actual Battle of Hogwarts… well it just never really seemed quite like 400 either.
"Then what is the other 500?"
"About 100 to 150 are people now arrested in Azkaban."
There were a few nods and maybe even sighs of relief at those words.
"And the last bit?"
"Deserters- people who left the country and for all intents and purposes haven't come back yet."
"But surely they will. They're probably waiting to be sure." Minerva said quickly.
"I was the first to point that out, two months ago when the Wizengamot first brought the subject up to me."
"Two months ago?"
"Yes, I'm afraid. I was hoping our citizens would trickle back in and we'd be done with it. But with another two months gone by and no influx the Wizengamot thinks that our defectors are not going to come back anytime soon."
"That can't be right Kingsley. Even after a war was fought in it, our enrollment for this semester isn't down a bit."
"You forget Minerva that Hogwarts- unlike most wizarding schools accepts children regardless of their location. So a family could have moved to Mexico and their child would still be allowed to attend Hogwarts if they wanted to."
Hermione watched as Minerva realized how right Kingsley was.
"So this Marriage Law then, what is it?" George asked.
"And what is it supposed to solve? I daresay it isn't what I think it is?" Mr. Lovegood asked.
"Probably think's its some sort of invisible creature."
Hermione barely held in her snort of laughter after hearing Snape's muttered words. When his dark eyes landed on her face, he smirked. Before she could even process that he hadn't sneered or scowled the smirk was gone and he went back to looking as uninterested in everything going as possible.
"The Wizengamot wouldn't be trying to force people into marriage rather sooner than later to force a… baby boom if you will?" Mr. Lovegood finished.
"That's exactly what it's going to propose."
Hermione couldn't get her thoughts together in the sudden shouts and yells that broke out after Kingsley's words.
"Good heavens" Minerva exclaimed.
"They can't" Mrs Weasley stated.
"They'll never take me alive." George quipped.
It was a good few minutes before everyone calmed back down.
"So what are you doing to stop this Law?"
"I've done everything I can do. Unfortunately, my hands are tied. I called the Order together so you guys could be the first to know. The least I could do was give you all fair warning."
"And when they do plan on announcing it?"
"In three days."
"Not much time, Kingsley."
"I know. They don't want the public to have much time to really get their thoughts together on the matter."
"Is this what I fought for?" Harry asked quietly.
All the silences before this one would probably seem like rock concerts compared to how silent the room was. Hermione doubted anyone would dare be the first to speak.
"And Ron and Hermione?" Harry added simply, "Is this what we fought for? Voldemort forced people to do things against their will because he thought it was the right thing to do. And now the Ministry thinks this Marriage Law is in our best interest? What happens to those that don't want to follow the law Kingsley? Will the Ministry kill them too?"
Though Hermione knew Harry was being dead serious, she couldn't help but smile. When all was said and done after the last Battle, Hermione had been afraid Harry would try and run from the media and attention and get upset at all of it. But he'd embraced it. Not letting his emotions get the best of him and learning to speak only when he was prepared to. And now, here he was making the important points.
"I know how you feel Harry, and you must know I would never allow someone to be killed over this." Kingsley said.
"So it'll be Azkaban then?"
Kingsley didn't speak.
"Shacklebolt," Snape said from beside her.
Hermione knew Snape was probably dangerously close to losing his temper if he'd gone back to calling Kingsley by his last name.
"Am I to understand if I choose not to adhere to this utterly ridiculous Law, they would have me sent to Azkaban? Azkaban- which I have somehow spent the better part of my life avoiding with all the ingenuity I possess; they would send me there?"
"Even I will have to get married Severus." Kingsley answered hoping to placate the man.
"I take that as a yes then. Tell me Shacklebolt- when the rest of the dwindling population ends up in Azkaban for not wanting to marry, what will the Wizengamot do then?"
"He makes a fair point; surely there will be people who decide they won't be forced to married."
"I brought that up."
"They believe it won't get that far."
"How could they believe that?" Hermione spoke for the first time.
"Let me be the one to answer that for you Granger," Snape said, "you forget that for the longest time most marriages were arranged and some still are. And while I don't have the numbers you don't have to be a genius to realize one fact Granger."
"And what's that?"
"Most of the dead and defected citizens were more than likely halfblood's and Muggleborn's. And while the Dark Lord may not have lived he obviously succeeded in purging the population of non-purebloods. "
"I still don't see your point Severus. Molly stated.
"I do." Hermione said in undertanding. "And he's right isn't he Kingsley? Most of the population left is pureblooded, is it not? I mean take a look around the room now. About 15 people in this room, maybe four of us are halfblood's or Muggleborn's."
"I'm lost." George stated.
"Pureblood's and those halfblood's who choose to live up there more well-known side of their family lines won't mind this law. The Wizengamot is obviously under the impression that since there is more of them the law will get by easier."
Hermione listened as another round of shouts and arguments broke out. It wasn't until Harry spoke that it quieted down again.
"Look," he said a bit loudly, "I don't like this. And I think, not only will there be people who decide to go to jail I also think there will be people who join the rest of our citizens and high tail it out of here."
There were murmurs of agreement.
"But… I also know this is my home. There's not anywhere else I'd want to live. Sure I could stand to travel a bit, but I'd always want to come back here. And I could never leave here knowing that I couldn't come back on my own free will. And I think… that's what it's really going to come down to for most people. After everything they've just been through, would they leave their homes because of this Law?"
The silence was only a moment after his words because once again it was Snape who broke it-
"Well said Potter."
"I agree." Mr Weasley added.
A few more people agreed as well.
"It's not all bad news by the way." Kingsley added.
"What? Gonna tell us you've found a way to speed up pregnancy from 9 months to 6 so as to procreate quicker?" George asked.
"No," Kingsley said with a small smile, "It's not people like myself I was worried about. It's you young people,"
Hermione looked towards where Harry, Ron, George and Neville were sitting. They were looking back at where she, Luna and Ginny were sitting.
"What about us?" Ron quizzed.
"For the last few years, your years of school weren't exactly the most care free days, and now they want to tie you guys down. While I'm sure you all were looking forward to finally getting a chance to relax, we too were waiting to see you guys gets the chance to do the same. Merlin knows you deserved at least that."
"At least that…" Molly repeated firmly.
"So before the Ministry officially removed itself from the goings on of Hogwarts I added one rule."
"What did you add?"
A/N- The next part of the story takes place years later and you do get an explanation as to what Kingsley thought up. But let me know what you think of this idea please... I've not seen anything else like this so it'll just progress as my imagination sees fit.