Author's Notes: OK, so I had this idea that didn't want to go away. Obviously marriage law has been done however we all like to have a go and put our own ideas into it don't we so. This is pretty much canon if you ignore two little things; the epilogue and the fact that Snape dies.
Disclaimer: As usual I own nothing and make no money from writing this it's just for fun :D
A special thanks to my beta and HP expert JenJenSon because I'm not exactly the biggest HP expert
What Happens Now?
Hermione Granger put her book down and sighed, it was no use trying to read when she was in a mood like this. Besides her husband would be home soon so she should probably make herself scarce anyway...at least if she didn't want another row about what was for her own good.
She didn't really know whether to be grateful or cheated...grateful she supposed that she hadn't had to go through the ordeal but still...it would have been her first time and she'd never get that back.
It had all begun not six months after Voldemort had finally been defeated; for good this time. The ministry were still trying to find their feet again and the new minister was eager to make an impression so despite everyone laughing and dismissing the wild stories as rubbish, thinking that there's no way they'd do that...the ministry in fact did. Due to the number of deaths, particularly of young witches and wizards, namely students and to help everyone play nice and avoid any prejudice of blood status the ministry created a 'Wizarding Families Law'. Basically pairing up and marrying off as many witches and wizards as they could to become nothing more than breeding stock.
Actually there were loopholes, lots of them in fact, the problem was that they were so carefully worded that you had to jump through plenty of other hoops to get through them. If you already have a future spouse in mind at the time of your seventeenth birthday or in Hermione's case when the law came into effect then you could put in an application to marry your chosen spouse within an allotted time limit. Unfortunately the couple would have to prove compatibility and fertility and various other ticks in the right boxes to be allowed. You could also appeal to delay the requirement of having children if you could provide evidence that you were unable to support a child at this time or have sufficient educational commitments yet to complete, so basically when she wanted to continue her studies the ministry had to deem it important enough to put off having children for. Anyway to the point...
Hermione Granger was not really a Granger anymore...she just still had trouble remembering that part. Her new husband had been selected by the ministry for her after Ron had been declared in unacceptable match. Although granted they probably weren't the most likely couple to make it in the long run since they had very little common ground. Still she couldn't really consider her husband an ideal match either, especially since on the wedding night to fulfil their duties he had slipped a dreamless sleep potion into her drink and she remembered nothing.
The next morning she woke to find herself in bed in a nightdress the other side of the bed empty and a small vial of potion with a note that simply said 'drink it'. After some scrutiny she deducted that it was a potion for the pain and did indeed drink it to relieve the slight soreness she felt. She had barely seen her charming husband since. When she had managed to confront him he had argued that it was for her own good because at least then she wouldn't have to go through it but she should have had the right to decide that not him.
Still Severus Snape was a very intimidating man and despite her temper she couldn't stand to argue with him for long before she got frustrated and stormed off. Well...the ministry obviously made a mistake because all they seemed to do was avoid each other or argue.
It had been nearly two weeks and since they were required to produce a pregnancy within a year before the ministry would start interfering again she imagined at some point the event would occur again. The question was would he drug her again or would he actually hand the potion to her this time so that she could use it of free will, since she probably would take it...after all her husband was not only significantly older than her by her muggle standards even if not by wizarding ones but he was...well, Snape. Professor Snape. Weird! You do not think of Snape and sex...ever. Still she was curious about the act itself. It was supposed to be wonderful when done right. Still with Professor Snape it would almost certainly never feel right so she supposed that made it somewhat a moot point.
She glanced at the clock before dropping her book on the coffee table and heading to the bathroom. This was what they did. When her husband was due to come back to his quarters for the evening after meals she would already be in the bath. She would get out and go to bed at which time he would then shower and the presumably join her in bed after she was already asleep and then already be gone when she woke. As much as sometimes she wanted to, Hermione didn't eat meals in the hall with everyone else. She hid in their rooms and continued her studies in private. She would hopefully finish her degree in less than two years, perhaps faster if she and her husband continued to play the avoiding game.
"Miss Granger!" a voice called through the bathroom door. Hermione sighed, perhaps she wouldn't get in the bath then. She swung the door open, clutching her towel around her tightly.
"I hardly think it's appropriate to call me that anymore do you?" she replied bluntly.
"Well I've called you that for the past seven years so I don't see a problem with it now." He muttered back.
"How about because Granger is no longer any part of my name...actually nor is Miss and to top it off I'm in your bathroom in only a towel. I think you can drop the formalities now don't you?" she asked.
"Fine." He agreed exasperated. "Our dearest Headmistress has asked that you join us all for dinner on Friday evening and asked me to be her little messenger."
"I'll think about it." Hermione replied. His eyes narrowed down at her and she nervously stepped one foot back.
"Well when you make your blessed mind up you can go tell her yourself." He sneered, turning on heel and leaving.
Hermione let out a deep breath and shut the bathroom door again. Well...that had gone well. Not.
Hermione tugged at her robes nervously, she didn't really go out and about in the castle when everyone else was still wandering around. If she wanted to go somewhere she usually went after curfew. Still...Minerva had asked her to join them for dinner at least this once so she really couldn't refuse.
She heard the door slam and rolled her eyes, of course it would be far too much to hope that she and her husband would go to dinner together. When Hermione reached the great hall Minerva gestured her into a seat next to her. Minerva on her left and her ever-charming husband on her right, she could feel eyes on her from curious students but thankfully Minerva kept her talking.
"I was so worried about you being cooped up until Severus explained about your degree." She murmured.
"Yes, I hope to complete it at least within the next two years." Hermione nodded.
"And what subjects are you doing? How many one or two?" the Headmistress asked.
"Three." Hermione admitted almost guiltily. "Charms, Potions and History of Magic."
"Good gracious my dear, what exactly are you planning on doing after your degree?" the older woman asked.
"Well...I was thinking of apprenticing under a master of either charms or potions to become a master well...mistress myself and then spending some time doing research on my chosen subject...that's if I can chose between the two." She grinned sheepishly. "History of Magic is just an extra to give me some better grounding, being muggleborn and all."
"Research on what?" came her husband's voice beside her suddenly.
"Well...I'm not quite sure yet but I wouldn't mind having a go and adjusting the polyjuice potion a little...or there are plenty of charms that could do with tweaking..." and just like that Hermione found herself in her first actual conversation with her husband.
The two discussed the subject for the length of the main course until Hermione suddenly stopped her dessert mid bite. Snape was the first to notice and then Minerva also.
"Does this taste odd to anyone?" Hermione asked, forcing herself to swallow her mouthful. More of the staff were looking at her now, and they all looked confused.
"It tastes the same as it normally does dear, are you alright?" Minerva asked, putting a hand on her arm.
"Um...no I think I'm coming down with something...quite suddenly actually..." Hermione said quietly. "I'll just excuse myself and bid you all goodnight."
Hermione was proud of herself for holding her stomach until she returned to her room and the minute she walked to the bathroom she allowed herself to throw up her dinner. After rinsing her mouth and thoroughly brushing her teeth Hermione decided on an early night and went straight to bed.
The next morning she was surprised to find none other than Severus Snape still in the living room when she got up. Normally he was long gone.
"I trust you are feeling better this morning?" he asked.
"Um...I feel fine thanks." She replied awkwardly, heading for the teapot and pouring herself a small cup.
"Good, if you change your mind I must insist you go to the infirmary, I do not want certain members of staff thinking that you are being neglected locked up down here." He smirked.
"Um...I'm fine." She said again, and she was. Until three days later. All she did was turn to place her wand on the bedside table...but she felt a strange stab in her stomach and let out a gasp of pain. As soon as her body was straight again the pain was gone but it was odd.
"What did you do?" a voice came from beside her causing her to jump. She had thought him asleep when she started her late night reading.
"Um...just twisted funny that's all." She murmured. But it bugged her. She lay in bed thinking about it for some time afterwards and it wasn't until the next morning that she realised why.
"What are you doing in my Office during teaching hours Miss...Hermione?" the potions professor snapped when she entered the room.
"I'm two days late. I thought you'd want to know." She shrugged. "That was all."
"You're certain?" he asked, stopping her exit midstep.
"Of my dates, absolutely. That I'm pregnant, not yet." She replied.
"Infirmary Mis-Hermione. Now." He told her, turning his attention back to his papers.
"I am perfectly capable of doing a pregnancy test without having to go to the infirmary for all to see." She snorted taking that as her cue to leave.
Inside however she was terrified. She could be pregnant, right now. Forming a new life...responsible for a baby, for the rest of her life. The only upside was that the ministry would now have no reason to bother them for the rest of their lives.
It only took Hermione a few minutes to find the recipe for the potion she needed and then after gathering the extra two ingredients that she didn't have from the potion stores while the Professor was teaching she set herself up in their bathroom. It would take just over half an hour for the potion to finish brewing, during which time she got herself some lunch by calling on the Hogwarts Elves.
It was when she returned to bottle the potion that Severus spotted her on the bathroom floor.
"What are you doing?" he sneered.
"Pregnancy test. Just finished." She replied not taking her eyes away from inspecting the vial. "What are you doing here?"
"Forgive me but I was under the impression that these were my quarters and that I may come and go as I pleased." He replied.
"Of course." She mumbled. "What I meant was that you usually don't come back until after the evening meal."
"I came to see if you had been to the infirmary like I had told you to." He said evenly.
"In other words you wanted to know if I was pregnant or not." Hermione nodded. "Well...now's as good a time as any." With that she eyed the now cooled potion one last time before downing the entire vial. The pair waiting in an awkward silence, Severus felt that perhaps he should leave but couldn't tear his eyes away. He wanted to know.
A few moments later Hermione's stomach began to emit a pulsing blue light and she couldn't help but crack a slight smile.
"It worked." She exclaimed. "What happens now?"
"You should take it easy. Stop overworking yourself on trying to finish your degree faster than anyone else." He commented.
"I'm pregnant, not ill." She deadpanned.
"You're pregnant and as your husband it becomes my job to ensure both you and the baby are taken care of." He said somewhat awkwardly. Hermione had actually thought that maybe he meant it. He couldn't be all horrid after all since he was cleared of all charges after narrowly surviving the war. It was Harry of all people that helped him too!
"I'll be fine dear." She said wryly. A frown slipped onto his face and in a swirl of black he was gone.
"I was only teasing!" She called after him.