A/N: Written for the Joys of Arranged Marriage Challenge! Thanks to MrsBates93 for betaing this! :) enjoy! xx
Hermione remained quiet as they made their way towards the Headmaster's office. Her heart pounded, she was nervous but she didn't dare break the silence.
Dumbledore said the password and the gargoyle moved aside. Hermione followed behind the Order members silently.
She let out a small gasp of surprise when she saw that the office was already occupied.
Draco Malfoy sat in a chair, his head in his hands. Narcissa stood behind him, her hand on his shoulder. Her gaze moved towards Hermione, a pleading look in her eyes.
Professor Snape hovered in the corner, narrowing his eyes upon seeing them.
"Professor Dumbledore?" Hermione whispered, moving closer to Tonks. "What's going on?"
"I'll explain in a minute dear," the Headmaster said, moving behind his desk. "Take a seat next to Mr Malfoy, please."
Hermione moved and sat in the chair, Tonks following close behind. She held onto Tonk's hand tightly. She didn't get scared often, but being in a situation like this, where she had no idea what was going on, was terrifying.
"Miss Granger, Mrs Malfoy has come to us, wishing to join the Order." Dumbledore began.
At this, Hermione shot a glance at the Malfoy matriarch. She looked terrible, with huge bags under her eyes. Hermione imagined if the Dark Lord lived with her, she would look just as bad, if not worse.
"That's nice Sir, but I don't understand what that has to do with me," she said softly.
"Miss Granger, Mr Malfoy is in need of…. How should I put this…" Professor Dumbledore trailed off.
Hermione felt her heart race.
"Albus, just spit it out, she's going to have a panic attack from the suspension." Tonks said, tightening her grip on Hermione's shoulders.
"Miss Granger, I think it would be beneficial if we were to bond you with Mr Malfoy."
"Bond us?" She asked, her voice cracking. She sent a glance towards Malfoy and saw he was still looking down. That's when she noticed the Dark Mark on his arm. Fear shot through her.
Arthur let out a small sigh. The Headmaster was always so melodramatic. "Hermione dear," he piped up, "It would be in Draco's best interest if the two of you were married."
"But I don't understand," she mumbled.
Severus sent her a sneer. "For once, the-know-it all doesn't understand something."
Narcissa glared at him. "Be quiet Severus."
Hermione felt her head spinning. "Could someone just tell me what is going on?"
"Hermione," Tonks said, moving in front of the girl. "Draco needs someone in the Order to protect him, and we decided that person should be you. He was forced to take the Dark Mark, but he doesn't want to be a Death Eater. However, he still needs to go along with everything else. But he needs someone he can talk to, and that someone can relay the messages to the rest of the Order. He's volunteered to be a spy, much to his guardians' displeasure."
"But why me?"
Tonks bit her lip, a small smile forming. "Because he asked for you. Hermione, bonding with you would ensure his loyalty, and also your protection."
"Couldn't he just make an unbreakable vow?" She asked.
Tonks shook her head. "Nothing is more powerful than the bonding ritual of a marriage."
"I fail to see how this is the best option," Hermione said, her brows furrowing in deep thought.
"Because Hermione, if the two of you bond, then Draco will be safe. It's ancient magic, much like the magic used to protect Harry," Dumbledore stated. He looked at the young girl, his eyes full of pity.
"Like love?" She asked, her eyes widening.
Dumbledore nodded. "There is nothing more important than a bond like that. If young Mr Malfoy here truly wishes to aid us in the Dark Lord's downfall, he must be willing to pay the price. The road ahead of you both will be long and difficult, but it will be worth it in the end. However, the choice lies solely in you Hermione."
Hermione remained quiet for a moment. She knew nobody else in the Order would help Draco, simply because he was a git. However, just because he was a git, didn't mean he deserved to live the life he had right now. If Hermione could protect him, offer him some sort of sanity, she would do it. Despite the fact that he had been a real wanker to her in the past; she couldn't back out now, knowing the facts. Nobody deserved to live in a world that cruel.
Sure, she didn't want to get married, binding her soul to someone who made her life in Hogwarts a living hell, but it was obvious that there was no other choice.
"I'll do it," she said softly, sealing her fate. She still didn't understand what exactly it was she was agreeing to, only with time would she find out.
Professor Dumbledore gave her a small smile. "Brilliant. Kingsley, if you would."
Hermione raised her eyebrows. "Right now?"
"The sooner, the better," Narcissa said. She yanked Draco up, who refused to look anywhere but down at the floor.
Hermione and Draco stood in front of Kingsley, who offered them both a sad smile. "We are gathered here today, to unite these two souls. For nothing is more powerful than a bond between two people."
He turned to Hermione. "Do you take Draco Lucius Malfoy to be your husband? To have and to hold, until death do you part? Do you promise to bind your soul and magic to him, in hopes of creating a better world?"
Hermione nodded, "I do."
Kingsley then turned to Draco. "Do you take Hermione Jean Granger to be your wife? To have and to hold, until death do you part? Do you promise to bind your soul and magic to him, in hopes of creating a better world?"
"I do," Draco whispered.
Kingsley instructed them to grasp each other's forearms. They held onto each other, as Kingsley whispered the binding ritual in Latin.
Hermione couldn't focus on what he was saying; she was too busy staring at Draco's steel grey eyes. Her wrist grew hot, and she let out a small whimper.
Looking down, she saw a gold ribbon had wrapped around their hands, before burning into their skin. She felt Draco wince as well.
"Usually, that would be all. However, we believe it would be best to blood bond you as well."
Draco grimaced at that, but nodded. He knew what he was agreeing too. Hermione nodded as well.
Kingsley took Hermione's palm, cutting a thin line with a silver knife. He then did the same to Draco. He put their hands together, whispering something in Latin once more.
Kingsley caught a droplet of their mixed blood in a goblet. "Peace and unity," he whispered, pointing his wand at the goblet. Instructing Draco and Hermione to continue holding their bleeding hands together, he then had each of them take a sip from the goblet.
After that, he smiled sadly. "It is done."
Hermione went to pull her hand back, but Draco didn't let go. He muttered a soft healing charm, healing her hand. She sent him a look of thanks.
Dumbledore clapped his hands together. "I think we should leave the two alone for the moment. Mrs and Mr Malfoy, we'll be outside my office when you're ready to talk."
The Order members left, each sending them various looks of pity. Narcissa stopped in front of Hermione, eying the girl carefully. Without warning, she pulled Hermione into a hug. "Dear, I'll never be able to say how thankful I am that you have done this for us. I'm forever in your debt."
Hermione remained silent, unsure of what to say. Narcissa left, leaving Hermione and her new husband alone.