DISCLAIMER: J.K. Rowling owns Harry Potter. Since I am American and a guy, I'm obviously not her, and thus don't have any claims to the rights to the Boy-Who-Lived.
Hannah Abbott was woken suddenly from her peaceful sleep when a pillow smacked her in the face. She nearly jumped and fell out of bed as she was startled and reached for her wand, hearing the sound of her best friend laughing.
"Happy birthday," Susan Bones said with a grin while Hannah tried to untangle herself from her bed sheets.
"One of these years, I swear I'm going to get back at you for waking me up on my birthday like this," said Hannah.
"Five," said Susan. "You realize that? This is the fifth year in a row you have threatened to get back at me for waking you up with a pillow on your birthday?"
"Yes," said Hannah. "And I remember each and every single one. I'm just waiting for the right moment so I can pay you back for them all at once."
"I look forward to the day," Susan said, who then pulled out a small wrapped present from under her pillow and handed it to her best friend. "Here."
Hannah took the present and smiled. As long as she hand known Susan, she had always gotten her the perfect gifts. It was almost as though she had some kind of insight into her own head and known just exactly what she needed. When she tore open the sunshine yellow paper and opened the box, she had a confused look on her face.
"Well?" asked Susan.
Hannah turned the box upside down over her cupped hand and a pair of silver rings fell out.
"Rings?" asked Hannah.
"I know it seems weird," said Susan. "But for some reason, when I saw them the day before we came back to Hogwarts, I instantly thought of you and just knew that they would be the perfect birthday present."
Hannah stared at the rings sitting in her hand for a moment. "They are nice looking," she said. "Especially since they're just plain silver bands."
She slipped both of them onto the ring finger of her right hand, and they instantly resized to fit her perfectly. She held her hand out to see how they looked and found that they were just perfect. Not flashy or anything.
"So?" Susan asked after watching her friend for a moment.
"They're perfect," said Hannah, who then hugged her best friend. "Thank you."
"Your welcome," said Susan. "Now hurry up and get dressed. I'm seriously in the mood for some pancakes this morning.
Hannah laughed as she got up and went about her morning ritual, finishing up by giving her wand a wave, which caused her hair to braid itself into a set of pigtails.
The two of them left their room together, passing through the Hufflepuff common room, where a few of their fellow 'Puffs wished Hannah a happy birthday as they walked by. Hannah thanked them and they exited through the large fake barrel that was the entrance to Hufflepuff house.
Susan's stomach growled as they walked past the painting of the bowl of fruit and the smells of food wafting up to them from the kitchens.
Just as they were entering the Great Hall, someone bumped into them and continued on their way without saying anything.
"Excuse us," Susan said a little curtly as she watched the red hair of Ron Weasley walk over and sit across from his friends, Harry Potter and Hermione Granger. "Why Potter and Granger are friends with him, I'll never understand."
"Weasley isn't that bad," said Hannah as they walked over and sat down at their table.
"Do you remember last year?" asked Susan as she started to piles some pancakes onto her plate. "He turned his back on Harry and was saying all those nasty things about him?"
"We weren't much better," said Hannah.
"That was different," said Susan. "We all thought he snuck his name in and stole our chance at being in the spotlight after Cedric was named Hogwarts champion. That was house unity. Weasley was Harry's best friend and turned against him because he was jealous."
Hannah glanced over and looked at Harry, who was quickly pulling his hand away from Hermione and hiding it while saying something she couldn't hear. Whatever it was seemed to cause concern for the bushy haired witch.
"I guess you're right," said Hannah.
"Of course I am," said Susan. "But then again, they're Gryffindors. They don't understand what true loyalty means."
As breakfast went on, various people came up and wished Hannah a happy birthday, some of them even giving her small gifts, which she thanked all of them for before she slipped them into her bag to open later.
Just as breakfast was ending, the morning owl post arrived and a very important looking owl landed in front of Hannah.
"Um… thank you," she said as she slipped the wax-sealed letter from the owls' leg, which then flew off.
"What is it?" asked Susan after she had taken a sip of orange juice.
"It's from the Ministry," said Hannah as she looked at the wax seal.
Breaking the seal, Hannah opened the letter and started to read.
Dear Miss Hannah Abbott,
It is my duty as head of the Department of Marriage Contracts to inform you that as of today, September 5th 1995, the date of your sixteenth birthday, in which the first stage of the betrothal contract signed by your parents has gone into effect. Please make note of this and the clauses within paragraphs nine through seventeen of the contract for any and all issues.
We wish you the best of luck on this first stage of your future relationship with your future husband…
Hannah's mind went blank at that moment, not even noticing the name of the person she was going to have to marry.
Susan noticed the slightly pale look in her friends face.
"What's wrong?" she asked, and when Hannah didn't answer, she started to get worried. Figuring it had something to do with the letter, she took it from her best friend and started to read it.
"Holy shit," she said quietly when she reached the end. Susan slowly looked up and saw that Hannah had barely moved. "You're getting married?"
"I guess," Hannah said flatly. "How… How could my parents do this? Why?"
"Well, obviously it was because of the war," said Susan.
"Huh?" asked Hannah as she slowly regained her senses. "What war?"
"The war with You-Know Who," said Susan. "The contract was obviously written and signed back then considering who your marrying."
"What are you talking about?" asked Hannah.
"Didn't you read the name of your future husband?" asked Susan.
"No," Hannah said as she shook her head. "I sort of blacked out for a moment when I saw the word husband."
"Here," said Susan, handing the letter back to her friend. "See for yourself."
Hannah took the letter and scanned to where she had left off and found the name.
"Merlin's balls," Hannah said quietly as her eyes grew to look as large as dinner plates.
There, written in the letter as clear as day, was the name Harry James Potter.