The usual disclaimer applies. I own nothing and make nothing. Anything you recognise belongs to the talented J K Rowling.
But I Knew
I watched cautiously as another seventh year girl came quietly into the infirmary. I knew why she was there, yet I still had to ask. "What brings you to the infirmary today, Miss Smith?"
"It's Mrs. Nott, now, Madam Pomfrey," her eyes scanning the room for other patients.
"Yes, yes...I had forgotten you had gotten married," I lied to her. I hadn't forgotten, but I would like to forget how many girls had been forced into marriage with this ridiculous marriage law passed by the ministry. It had been passed almost six months ago, shortly after the end of the war.
Such a ridiculous law, to require marriage at only seventeen. It was even more ridiculous because the ministry was assigning spouses based on NEWT scores and blood status. For healthier babies, my arse. I returned my gaze to Mrs. Nott and plastered a fake smile on my face.
"I...I need you to do a pregnancy charm...please. I don't know it," she said sadly with her eyes looking at the floor.
I performed the charm quickly, then watched the tears form in her eyes as she saw the results. Another positive...and another seventh year girl who had no future but as a housewife.
I tried to be as positive with her as possible, giving her a prenatal potion and a book on pregnancy. I sighed quietly as the distressed girl left. I knew she wouldn't be the last girl I would see this week, so I checked my stores of prenatal potions and prepared a list to give to Professor Snape.
He was another surprise after the war. I had always had a place in my heart for him when he was a student. He was in the infirmary way too often, and I had always felt sorry for him the way those Gryffindor boys always picked on him. But he was as prickly as they come as an adult, and it was hard to treat him when he would come back from being called by him.
And the year that he was Headmaster, I had hated him. Hated him for killing Dumbledore...hated him for lying to us all. Hated him, period.
Then I found out that he had been a spy all along, when I had brought his medical records to St. Mungo's after the attack by that giant snake. I felt so guilty for doubting him. I still feel guilty.
I gathered my list and put it aside, knowing he would be coming up within the hour to pick it up. I had heard rumors, not from just the students, but the other professors as well, that even he was subject to the marriage law. But he does not wear a ring, and he acts as if nothing has changed. Maybe he was somehow exempt since he was a teacher.
I sat down at my desk, and started to put away patient files. I had not gotten very far when I heard the infirmary door open once again. I sighed again when I realised it was another seventh year girl.
"Hello Miss Granger. Are you ill?"
"Not exactly," she muttered under her breath. "I wanted you to confirm...a pregnancy charm result." She held her head high, and was not timid like the other girls I had already seen.
Not again, I thought quickly. I nodded to Miss Granger and walked back towards my desk to retrieve my wand. I was puzzled when I noticed that she did not have a wedding band, since they were provided by the ministry. In fact, I had not heard anything about her being married. But I knew that she was one of the oldest seventh years, so she had to be married.
I performed the scan, and the positive result was almost instantaneous. I looked at her, and realised she did not have the face or horror or regret like most of the other girls. In fact, if I didn't know better, I would say she almost looked...relieved? I knew I must have misinterpreted her reaction, and so I walked away to get her a copy of the book and a prenatal potion.
I was getting her potion when I heard the infirmary door open once again. It was Professor Snape to get the potions list. I glanced up at him, getting ready to tell him I would be with him momentarily...when I noticed his gaze wasn't towards me.
If I had even blinked I would have missed it, but he looked at Miss Granger with...concern? He quickly turned his head towards me, and spoke as he approached.
"I know I am early, Poppy, but I am here to get the potions inventory list."
"Well, it is a good thing you are early today, Severus. I've already given out three prenatal potions just this week. I only have two left, and the way things are going..." I trailed off when I noticed Miss Granger looking at us with interest.
"As I was saying, it is a good thing you are here. Let me go to the storeroom and check the stores of healing and burn paste before you leave."
I walked towards the storeroom, but I made sure that I stood in such a way that I could observe Severus and Miss Granger without them seeing me. I knew I shouldn't be watching, but I just had to see what was going on. I had a gut feeling, and I wanted to see if I was correct.
As he glanced over the list I had given him, she walked slowly towards him, eying the storeroom and the entrance door. I couldn't hear what they were saying, but I closely observed their body language.
He said something, and gave her a questioning look, and she simply nodded her head in response. I tried not to gasp out loud when I saw him smile at her. Smile, a genuine smile. I think I could count on one hand all the times I had ever seen Severus smile.
I walked out of the storeroom, and by then they were standing a respectable distance away from each other.
"Here is the rest of the list, Severus. Thank you for picking this up early." He nodded and started to leave the infirmary.
He looked towards Miss Granger, and gave her a curt, "Miss Granger," before walking out. Her reply of "Professor Snape," was just as neutral.
I walked over to Miss Granger and gave her the prenatal potion and pregnancy book. "I'm sorry about making you wait, Miss Granger. I needed to give Professor Snape the infirmary potions list." I gave her both items and asked her if she had any questions, she shook her head and started to walk out the door. "I will need to see you in four weeks if you don't have a midwife by then," I told her as she walked out the door.
My mind started to reel as I thought about the last half hour. It did not take a Divination degree to know that Miss Granger was married to Professor Snape. Their body language had given it away. Now I knew why neither of them wore a wedding ring. It would be quite the scandal to know that the Head Girl was married to the Potions professor.
I knew that some of the seventh year girls had to leave Hogwarts to marry older men that they were matched with. Minerva had been especially distraught over losing some of her brightest students to this law. I couldn't help but be a little happy knowing that Miss Granger would be able to finish her education.
What surprised me most, though, was the way they acted towards each other. Although I did not see much, it did not seem like they resented each other. In fact, I would almost say that they seemed to care about each other. Odd, considering it was a ministry match. Maybe not all their matches were a bad idea, not that I would ever let anyone at the Ministry know that.
And they both seemed...almost happy about the baby.
I snorted to myself as I wondered what everyone would think of the two of them being married. It was obvious that they wanted to keep it a secret. Miss Granger would graduate in a few months, well before the baby was born, so there was no reason to cause an uproar in the school. It would even be more surprising if anyone knew that they actually cared about each other.
But I knew. And it made me happy.
A/N...A little oneshot that has been forcefully pushed on me by my muse. I kid you not...she wouldn't let it go.
I've always loved marriage law fics, and had wanted to try one. Hopefully this third person take is a bit unique and refreshing.
Enjoy, and like always, review and tell me what you think!