Chapter One: Arranged Engagement
"There's no way in bloody hell I'm going to be paired with that-"
"Prude!" finished Draco Malfoy.
"Git!" Hermione Granger ended a second later.
They both turned to give each other their very own infamous glares. The room around them filled with Ministry Wizards was so quiet a pin drop could be heard.
Hermione realized that in her anger, her usually bushy hair was sticking up every which way. She flushed; it wasn't very often that Hermione Granger forgot everything around her in the throes of an argument.
"I understand that while the two of you may have certain-err, issues, there is nothing I can do about this. The population of the Wizarding community has been decreased drastically since the end of the Second Great War," stated the Minister of Magic, Kingsley Shacklebolt, in earnest.
"I demand to know what method of magic was used to determine the couples for marriage!" Draco Malfoy exclaimed angrily. He stood in front of the Minister's desk, while Hermione paced back and forth tirelessly behind him.
Shacklebolt shook his head. "I'm sorry, but I cannot do that, Mr. Malfoy. The decision is final and the pairings will not be changed. The marriage ceremony must be held within two weeks. And if the two of you refuse to comply with the Marriage Law-let's just say that the consequences will be worse than both of yours marriage."
Hermione clenched her fists in frustration. "There has to be something-anything!"
"I'm sorry Miss Granger, but this is irreversible. There is nothing anyone can do to change this," answered Shacklebolt sadly.
"Then that means I have to marry Malfoy," uttered Hermione in defeat. What could be a worse fate? He had been her and her friends' enemy since their first year of Hogwarts.
Sure, Draco Malfoy had changed since the war and had even reached a somewhat truce with Harry fighting along the Order, but that didn't mean Hermione and her friends forgot everything that Malfoy had inflicted upon them. At least there were no foul intentions between them, well on Harry's and Hermione's part. Ron still held a grudge, unable to get over Malfoy's past taunting.
Even if they were no longer at each other's throats that didn't mean Draco and Hermione were anywhere near becoming friends. And now they were expected to marry each other.
Draco turned to regard Hermione, who was so busy preoccupied with thoughts of her impending fate that she didn't even notice. He had to admit that while Granger wasn't ugly, she wasn't the slightest bit pretty. But he could see her potential beauty, if she could even bother to subdue her nest. Granger would need a completely new wardrobe, thought Malfoy as he eyed her baggy wizarding robes. As well as a complete makeover.
Even though, Draco didn't like the news of marrying the goody-two-shoes Gryffindor any more than Hermione, he decided to make the best of the situation. Granger would need a makeover before she met his parents.
Although Draco had let go of his prejudice for muggleborns, he wasn't all too sure his father would be accepting of his and Hermione's union. While Lucius Malfoy hadn't fought with the Death Eaters at the request of his wife and son, he hadn't fought with the Order, either. Instead, opting to stay out of the war altogether; somehow managing to salvage the Malfoy family name. But not everyone was forgiving of Lucius, there were some who still remembered the horrible acts he had committed. He had been spared the trip to Azkaban, because of Draco's immense help and his own inactivity during the war.
"Granger," spoke Draco causing the bushy-haired girl to look up. She frowned as she pushed aside thoughts of her marriage. "I believe that it is in both our best interests to accept this situation and make do."
Hermione seethed internally, why was he the one taking all this calmly and in stride? She was supposed to be the one speaking rationally, as Malfoy raved and ranted. A smile was forced onto her face as she nodded in agreement with Draco's statement. "I suppose we'd better get going in that case. Good day Minister . . . Malfoy." She briskly walked out the room.
With a curt nod, Draco followed. "Granger, wait up." Hermione stopped in her tracks and waited for him to make his way to her.
"What is it, Malfoy?" she questioned irritably. All Hermione wanted to do was fall onto her bed, praying that this was some sort of nightmare.
"We should let our family and friends know about our predicament. And then I'll owl you to discuss what we should do next." After saying what he had to, Draco turned around and left, leaving a gaping Hermione. Did someone drink Polyjuice Potion to pose as Malfoy? Because for the life of her, Hermione couldn't figure out what had caused the Malfoy she knew to mature this fast.
I can't believe you're being forced to marry that Ferret. But he's not all that bad. I mean after all, he did help us out a lot. And if it hadn't been for his help, we could've lost miserably.
But that's no excuse for the way he treated us and especially you. I really can't believe I'm saying this, but you should get to know him. You know, get to be friends. After all you are going to be spending the rest of your life with him.
See you in Hogwarts in three weeks,
P.S. Congrats on the position of Head Girl
Hermione smiled fondly as she read Harry's letter, a few hours after getting home. She'd owled all her friends about her marriage to Malfoy as soon as she came home. Stacks of letters were waiting to be read on her bedroom dresser.
Draco Malfoy? As in the Slytherin Sex God?! I know you're probably rolling your eyes, but you can't deny that he's sexy-probably the sexiest man in Hogwarts! (Speaking of which congratulations on being Head Girl!)
I can't believe my best friend is getting married! I know you think that it's pretty young to be married at eighteen, but don't worry Mum and Dad were about the same age when they married. So how'd Malfoy take the news? Let me know what happens between the two of you!
We're finally going to be in the same year! See you soon!
P.S. Harry and I have big news to tell you! I'll owl you later on about that.
Typical Ginny. But Hermione couldn't deny the fact that Draco Malfoy was very good looking. His platinum blonde hair wasn't slicked back, like it usually was. The pale complexion that had always given him a deathly look was now a healthy glow. His aristocratic features weren't as pointed as they were in their earlier years. Malfoy had grown taller than Hermione, by a foot, Harry, a few inches, and was half a foot shorter than Ron.
The FERRET?! There has to be some way out of it! Can't you say that you're already engaged? I could help you out with that-that is if you want! Bu you couldn't possibly WANT to MARRY the FERRET?! HE'S A SLIMY GIT FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!
Predictable, but Hermione had to wonder if he still held feelings for her. After all they'd only broken up before the war. And she'd thought that had been what they both wanted. But maybe Ron was only going along with it. Hermione snapped out of her thoughts when she heard scratching on her window. When she opened it, a russet colored Eagle Owl flew in. The impressively large owl had a note attached to its leg. Curious as to whom the sender could be, Hermione glanced down at neat, large handwriting.
I have spoken to my parents of our impending marriage. They took the news rather well. Even Father was quite subdued. I'd like to meet tomorrow at three 'o clock in the afternoon at the Leaky Cauldron. Send your reply with Frey.
Hermione glanced at the owl currently gazing around her room in curiosity. She hastily wrote a note to Malfoy, using one of her ballpoint pens.
I'll be there at three. Make sure you're on time. I'd hate to waste my day waiting for your arrival.
Thinking that the note seemed a bit mean, since they had to get along for their marriage, Hermione rewrote her note, leaving out the last part.