Take A Chance
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or any of the characters they belong to JK Rowling and Warner Bros Studio.
Astoria stared down at the Daily Prophet as she sipped her morning tea. She scanned the headline and shook her head. It read:
Ministry Plans Shake Up Of Wizarding World With Introduction to New Marriage Law
She couldn't understand how the Ministry thought they could go ahead with this. She shuddered at the thought of having to marry someone she didn't love, or worse, hated, against her will just because of some Wizarding law.
It was the basis of most pureblood marriages; Astoria knew that even today it still happened. She supposed the new law was not much different from that, but she still thought that it was despicable; it seemed more controlling. Her mother walked in to the room and smiled at her youngest daughter.
"Good morning, darling," she said as she took her seat at the breakfast table.
Astoria smiled back at her mother. "Good morning, Mother," she replied happily.
Her mother poured herself a cup of tea and started to sip it. Astoria's father had already gone to the Ministry for the day, where he worked in the security department. She was surprised that he had not mentioned the possibility of a marriage law, as he knew most things that went on in the Ministry, but she was sure he would have mentioned it if he had known.
It was normally just herself and her mother at breakfast in the morning, now that Daphne had left. It had taken some adjustment on both of their parts, but it was now simply their daily routine. Astoria waited until her mother had drunk a considerable amount of her morning tea before she decided to broach the subject of this morning's paper.
"Mother, have you seen today's issue of the Daily Prophet?" she asked.
They normally started out their mornings by discussing any gossip that was printed in the paper, which normally consisted of who was marrying who, and who was throwing a ball, in which case they would discuss if they would accept or reject the incoming invitation. This was found in the social section in the middle of the Prophet. They sometimes discussed the main headlines too.
She decided to update her mother with the news, as she knew that her mother would reprimand her later if she heard it from anyone else's lips. Her mother prided herself on knowing everything.
Mrs Greengrass looked over the table at her daughter and shook her head.
"I haven't had a chance, dear, since your father left so early this morning to head into the office, and there was an extremely unpleasant incident with one of the new maids…She caused quite a scene with her hysterics when I insisted that she clean the floor three times to get it up to my normal standards.
If she carries on like this, I am afraid that we might have to let her go and search for a replacement." Astoria nodded as she listened to her mother's explanation of this morning's events in the house. After the war had ended, the Greengrass family had shocked the Wizarding world when they freed all their house-elves and advertised for witch or wizard help.
The house cleaners were always scrutinised thoroughly by her mother to make sure they met her high standards.
They were determined to distance themselves from the dark side as much as possible and show they had learned from their mistakes; after all, they had two daughters who they needed to marry well. The Greengrass family set trends, and others soon followed them.
Astoria updated her mother on the latest news, as she had had to do numerous times recently.
Her mother banged her cup of tea down loudly on her saucer as she listened to the news. It was out of character for her; she would normally have been quick to comment that that was unladylike if it had been anyone else's conduct, including Astoria's. Astoria knew by her mother's behaviour that she was just as shocked as she was. Mrs Greengrass went silent as she processed the information.
Mrs Greengrass smiled over at her daughter before breaking her silence.
"Well, my dear, I am glad that your sister is married and you are soon to be too, and that both of your futures are secure," she commented. "We don't have to worry about that, thankfully, but I am sure that this will be a most worrying and uncertain time for the families that do have to worry about this new law being passed."
Astoria was sure that her mother was thinking about some of her friends' daughters, who had yet to secure proposals of marriage or even find possible matches.
A moment later, her mother picked up her tea and resumed her breakfast as though Astoria had never spoken, clearly pushing the matter out of her mind. She was not entirely surprised by her mother's reaction, though she had expected more outrage—this was her mother, after all: ever the socialite.
She was certain that Daphne's reaction would have been more entertaining, as she was sure that her sister would have been fiercely vocal about this issue. As she thought more about it, Astoria was sure that if it had affected her in any way, she would have had a similar reaction to how she imagined her sister's to be, and would have displayed her extreme displeasure at these uncontrollable events. However, as her mother had stated, this did not affect her; she would be married to Draco Malfoy in three months. She was to become the future Mrs Malfoy, and her future was assured.
Both women had fallen into a comfortable silence, Astoria went back to browsing through the Prophet and her mother began opening and reading the mail that the maid had just brought to them. Suddenly, her mother broke the silence.
"Dear, remember that we have an appointment at Madam Malkin's in an hour, to finish selecting your bridal attire, and then we have to get the wedding invitations and flower arrangements sorted," her mother reminded her.
Astoria nodded. "I had not forgotten, Mother," she replied happily, smiling.
Astoria was looking forward to the day's upcoming shopping trip, as she couldn't wait to get her bridal attire finished, and then sorting out the rest of the arrangements. She was also looking forward to spending some quality time with her mother.
Her mother smiled back at her. "Please remember that we have to attend your sister's ball tonight at 8 P.M., so we must have everything arranged with plenty of time to spare to get ready," she stated. "I would hate for us to be late; imagine the shame on your poor sister if we were."
Astoria shook her head at her mother's worries.
"Don't worry, Mother, we will be finished in plenty of time, and we will arrive at Daphne's ball well before anyone else," she replied, trying to calm her mother's fears.
Astoria then turned her attention back to her breakfast, and finished off the remainder of her tea.
Author Note: This is the first chapter of my new multichapter story and it is written for the Forced Marriage Law Challenge on HPFC forum. I hope you enjoyed this first chapter. I would like to thank LaughableBlackStorm for betaing this chapter. I would love to hear your comments, please read and review. Thank you.