A/N- My own spin on the classic Marriage Law. All characters except the unrecognizable belong to Ms. Rowling, as well as the universe.

Peace, Or Whatever You Call This

Chapter 3

She threw herself into research, as she had done at Hogwarts when she had been a student. She contacted Minerva McGonagall, seeking advice after not being able to find any loopholes.

"I am sorry my dear." The Transfiguration Mistress said sadly, offering tea which Hermione gladly accepted. "But Severus did exactly as you did when he got his letter. He's been working at it night and day, and hasn't found a single thing. I was helping him before but I really do not think that there is any alternative." Hermione sighed.

"I suspected Professor Snape would receive one. Do you know of anyone else?"She asked.

"Well, Seven Sinestra, as well as Rolonda Hooch. Other than that, I really haven't a clue. Do you know of others?" Professor McGonagall asked.

"Bill, Charlie, Percy, Fred and George Weasley, Harry, Neville, Luna, Padma and Pavarti Patil." Hermione listed off. "I suspect we shall know more soon. The seventeenth is in only a few days."

"It is very upsetting that so many young adults have to now give up their futures for this..." McGonagall was temporarily at a loss for words. "You know Hermione; I was actually going to offer you a teaching position if you wanted. I heard from Molly Weasley that you didn't want to work for the ministry. Unless you had another idea for what you wanted to do for a year or two... But then this happens. Please do know that if it works out with your new husband for you to work here, if you want, you are always welcome to the job."

"Really? Oh that would be so wonderful! But of course, I can't get ahead of myself... If I am to go along with this whole Marriage thing, there is no telling who my... Husband will be. And I really have no intention of going along with it anyway. I've gone over that bloody document so many times I've got it memorised." Hermione sighed.

"Well dear, perhaps Severus has thought of something. If not, perhaps you can work on it together? I expect that if anyone can find a way out of this, it would be the two of you. The trick, of course, would be getting him to realize that. Would you be up to that? Trying alongside Severus?" Minerva asked.

"At this point, I'll do about anything." Hermione answered sullenly.

"Very good. I believe he is in the library at the moment. Shall we drop in on him?" Minerva asked, standing. Hermione shrugged.

"Sure." She said. "But I don't expect him to be pleased with seeing me again."

"He will get over it." Minerva said dryly.

They found Severus Snape bent over a large volume that Hermione recognized as she had just looked in it regarding the new law. His head was in his hands and he seemed quite intent in his work. It was a shame to disrupt him.

"Severus." Minerva called to him, making him raise his head with a sigh.

"What is it Minerva? I really don't have time for... Ah Ms. Granger." He sneered her name lightly. "To what do I owe this... pleasure...?" He asked slowly, eyes narrowing slightly.

"Severus, be civil. Hermione is no longer a student; you don't have to take that tone." Minerva said to Snape who merely rolled his eyes. "She, like you, has been attempting to find a way out of this Marriage Law and I had the idea that if you worked together, perhaps you will find something." Instead of making a snarky remark as Hermione had expected, Snape sighed deeply.

"I can't find a thing. I don't think that even the both of us have a chance of it. I'm quite close to just giving up really." He said resignedly to his friend, looking back at her to find that Ms. Granger had apparently left. Hermione had gone down one of the isles however, and was currently searching for a particular book. Back in third year when she was looking to clear Buckbeak the Hippogriff's name, she had read many books on the law. She was currently searching for one now.

"Ah!" She said with pleasure when she found it, summoning it from the tall shelf. She brought it back to where Snape and McGonagall were talking softly and sat down at one of the tables nearby. Then she shrugged off her shoulder bag and began taking several enormously thick books from it and settling down at the table. She flipped to a particular page in one book, and opened another. Then she took the book she had just found and opened it, flipping through chapters. She murmured to herself as she read a passage, took out a quill and roll of parchment from her bag and made a few notes while reading another paragraph.

"Hermione?" A voice directly behind her made her jump.

"Hmm? Oh sorry Professor- I mean Minerva. But I had been searching for this book everywhere, I remembered reading a part of it back in third year and thought it may have some relevance." She explained quickly, turning the page and skimming the contents.

"I did look in that book already Ms. Granger." Snape said from behind her.

"Yes, the information I am looking for isn't exactly from this book. It references... somewhere here... a page... Ah, yes." She fell silent, engrossed in her work. One minute she was reading, body unmoving, the next she was a flurry of motion. She ripped open a closed book from the pile on the table, frantically searching for something. Then froze.

"What? Why isn't it...?" She murmured to herself before standing up and hurrying down a row of books. "It has to be... Somewhere..." She was muttering. Snape and McGonagall exchanged looks of confusion.

"Here!" Hermione said, jumping up and grabbing a book off the top shelf. It was a copy of one of the books she already had at the table. She came back over, and then began searching frantically through it. She came to a certain page then stopped.

"What? No! It can't be!" She cried.

"Ms. Granger!" Professor McGonagall said, astounded at the younger woman's behaviour. "What in Dumbledore's name are you doing?"

"They've taken it out. The ministry's taken two chapters out of this bloody book." Hermione said quietly, her voice sounding defeated. "I'd remembered the reference, and had looked it up in my third year... I was looking for anything I thought would help... but sometime since then the ministry contacted the author or editor or someone who took the two chapters out of the book. And I can't remember what it said! They must have put some sort of ward or enchantment on the content... Blast!"

"You remember reading from a book from your third year? My goodness!" McGonagall was saying, sounding astounded. Hermione wasn't listening though.

"I must... make sure my theory is correct. I need to find more copies..." She murmured before jumping back up and bidding her two ex-professors goodbye.

"I will see you on Tuesday Minerva, goodbye Professor Snape." She spared before shoving all of her books back into her magically expanded bag and sending the others back, rushing out of the Hogwarts Library.