Hermione Granger was eating breakfast in the Great Hall one Saturday a few weeks after the start of her Seventh Year. She had returned with her best friends, Harry Potter and Ron Weasley, after their year on the run hunting and destroying Voldemort's Horcruxes. The trio was nearly inseparable now. Harry was dating Ron's younger sister, Ginny, and Ron was currently dating Lavender Brown once again. All of a sudden the enchanted ceiling went dark with a flurry of owls' wings as the morning mail and Daily Prophet was delivered.
Hermione deftly grabbed her copy of the Prophet before it could land in Ginny's porridge and began reading. She gasped in horror when she saw the front page headline: "Meddling Ministry Makes Muggleborns Mothers-to-be in Malodorous Marriage Mandate." She continued reading quickly in spite of her friends demands to know what was going on now. The article stated that a combination of the decimation of the Wizarding World's population during the war and the tendency of Purebloods to intermarry and produce Squib children was causing the magical community to quickly become eradicated. The only way that a specialized team of Healers, researchers, Arithmancers, and Seers could come up with to save the magical population was to institute a Marriage Law that would produce magical children. But for this Marriage Law to work it would require an intermingling of Pureblood and Muggleborn DNA. The Purebloods just weren't strong enough anymore. Purebloods were now legally required to marry either Half-bloods or Muggleborns. And Muggleborns could marry Half-bloods or Purebloods. This new law affected everyone from age 17 to 200! "How could they expect someone 200 years old to have a child?" Hermione thought. She continued reading and according to the article many people did not realize that witches and wizards are able to have children until their 200th birthday.
That wasn't even the worst part! The Pureblood portion of each union had to petition for the right to marry the Muggleborn or Half-blood of their choice (or in the case of a Half-blood and muggleborn union the Half-blood would make the petition). The only way that Hermione would have any choice in whom she married would be if multiple contracts were sent in on her behalf. "I have enough trouble getting a date from one guy, let alone 2 or 3 so I can have a choice," Hermione brooded. Then she read that there was a deadline! All Marriage had to take place by the end of the year! If a witch or wizard was not married by the deadline they would be sentenced to 20 years in Azkaban prison and an 20,000 Galleon fine, once they were released they could either get married or have their wand snapped and be forced to live as a Muggle. In less than three months she would be married, and quite possibly to a complete stranger!
At the Head Table the professors were reading the same article. Potions Master, Severus Snape was furious. He had just been released from St. Mungo's three days before school started. Miss Granger, the insufferable-know-it-all and Gryffindor princess, had gone back to retrieve his body after Harry had defeated Voldemort. What she found shocked her. She had managed to stop the bleeding and slow the poison before they were forced to leave, but she didn't think it would be enough so she returned to retrieve a body, when in reality she ended up saving a life. Severus was barely breathing, but he was still alive. Hermione quickly apperated him to St. Mungo's where they were going to refuse treatment until the rest of the Golden Trio showed up and told the Healers there that Severus was a spy for the Light and that if it wasn't for him the war would have had a much different outcome. The Healers finally got started and barely managed to save Severus. He was in a coma for several weeks while his magical field righted itself. After that he was forced to endure months of rehabilitation before he was released. He had only JUST gotten his life back. He was finally free! And now the dunderheads at the Ministry of Magic were trying to control his marital and reproductive rights? He wouldn't stand for it.
Severus turned to the Headmistress, Minerva McGonagall, she was shocked! He knew that she would be of no help so he stalked out of the Great Hall and out the front doors of Hogwarts. He apperated to the visitors entrance of the Ministry of Magic and requested access to the Ministry's law archives. Once he was granted access, after much scowling and sneering, he began his research. He combed the archives and poured over the new law. It was no use! There was no way around it. He would either have to petition a Muggleborn witch or wait until he was petitioned by Pureblood himself. He wasn't going to allow that to happen so as soon as he returned to his quarters at Hogwarts he began by compiling a list of all the Muggleborn witches that he knew who were also going to be affected.
Once the list was completed, Severus could only sneer at it. Most of the witches were much younger than he was. In fact, several of them were still in Hogwarts! "Merlin! They're turning me into some kind of sick bastard who marries a woman half his age!" Severus thought. Then he looked closer at his list. They were all incompetent dunderheads… all except one.
Severus was mortified. His best choice was Hermione Granger! She was the only woman on his list who would be able to hold a decent conversation. Maybe she would be a quiet wife. Severus could only hope that she would pester him to death with her incessant questions. They would have smart children, that was for sure. How could they not be brilliant with the only Potions Master in Great Britain as their father and the "brightest witch of her age" as their mother? He prayed that they inherited her nose! But he was getting ahead of himself, he had to put in a petition for her and she had to accept it first. He selfishly hoped that no one else would want the girl because he would be stuck going to Azkaban if she chose someone else. "And let's faces it," he thought, "if she gets any other petitions she won't be choosing me." SSHGSSHG
The next morning at breakfast Hermione was surprised to get five Ministry owls. All of them carried petitions from a different Pureblood or Half-blood wizard in their beaks. Hermione took the petitions and raced to her room. She did not want anyone to be around when she opened them. She wanted to make her choice quickly so that she could move one with her life. As she opened the letters, Hermione became more and more shocked. The first was from Gregory Goyle, the second and third were from Half-blood wizards she had never heard of, the fourth was from Mr. Olivander (the creepy old wand maker), and the fifth was from her Potions Professor, Severus Snape.