A/N: Written for the Joys of Arranged Marriages Challenge! Obviously, I'm no JKRowling. And a huge thanks to MrsBates93 for being such an awesome beta. Enjoy!
"Miss Granger, I suggest we move down to my office, where I can make some tea." Professor McGonagall said, helping Hermione up.
She nodded with a sniffle, wiping away her tears. She followed her Head of House through the hallways, not paying attention to any of the students who were staring at her.
When they entered the office, Professor McGonagall motioned for Hermione to sit on the couch while she went to make the tea. Hermione was thankful for the warmth of the fire. She hadn't realized how cold she was in the Astronomy Tower until now. Looking around, she saw there was a quilt on the back of the couch. Grabbing it, she wrapped it around her shoulders, hoping Professor McGonagall wouldn't mind. She inhaled deeply, trying to calm her nerves. The blanket smelt like her Grandmother's house.
Professor McGonagall returned a few moments later, with two cups of tea. She handed Hermione a cup, then took a seat on the couch next to her. "Hermione, since it's just the two of us, I will allow you to call me Minerva."
"Are you sure? It doesn't seem very appropriate," Hermione mumbled, a blush spreading across her cheeks.
Minerva laughed. "It's fine. Besides, I imagine with everything going on, the two of us are going to become rather close."
"Thank you," Hermione muttered softly. She sipped her tea.
The two of them were silent for a few minutes.
Minerva studied her student, with a heaviness in her heart. She couldn't believe the absurdity of this law. No student should be subject to marriage!
Hermione had her life to look forward to; she shouldn't have to throw it away because of some stupid law. She hoped that someone decent would petition for her.
Although this was all Voldemort's doing, so it was doubtful. Albus would have to do something to prevent anything bad from happening. He must!
If he doesn't, I will. She thought fiercely.
Hermione spoke up. "What will happen to me?"
Minerva took a deep breath. "I don't know dear, nothing bad of course, I'll make sure of that."
Hermione gave her a small smile. "Thank you, for this."
"Hermione dear, you know I hold you in the highest respect. If you need anything, you mustn't hesitate to ask me." Minerva said.
"Thank you." Hermione finished her tea. She was exhausted. "I think I'm going to head back to Gryffindor Tower."
"I'll walk you there," Minerva said, standing.
"Oh, you don't have too," Hermione replied, straightening her robes.
"Dear, it's past curfew now. Besides, I don't want Filch giving you any trouble."
The two of them walked to the Tower in silence. Hermione was still trying to come to terms with today. She couldn't believe she would have to get married soon.
She shook her head. There was nothing she could do to change it, she would simply have to hope for the best.
She hated feeling so out of control.
They stopped outside the portrait. "Thank you again Professor," Hermione said, giving the older woman a smile.
Minerva smiled back at her. "You can come to my office at any time, just remember that."
"I will. Thank you," Hermione said. The Fat Lady swung open and Hermione climbed through the portrait hole. Harry and Ron were sitting on the couch, waiting for her.
"Hermione!" Harry cried, jumping up to greet her. He threw his arms around her. Hermione hugged him back tightly, tears welling in her eyes.
Ron hung back, his hands shoved in his pockets. "You okay?"
She stepped back from Harry shrugging. "Not really."
The three of them sat down in front of the fire.
"I'm so scared," she whispered.
Harry squeezed her hand. "Everything will be alright."
"How can you say that Harry? She has to get married!" Ron shouted angrily.
Hermione let out a sigh. So Ron was still in a argumentative mood.
Harry, however, wasn't going to put up with any of this today. "Hermione needs us Ron, so you can shove your temper up your arse or go to bed. Your choice."
"Fine," he grumbled.
Hermione knew this was proof that Ron fancied her. Her heart panged, knowing that the two of them would never have a chance now.
"I'm just scared! What if I end up with Malfoy? Or some other Death Eater?" A sob escaped from her lips.
Harry rubbed her back, trying to calm her down. Hermione was crying now.
"Hermione," Ron said quietly, "You know none of us would ever let that happen. Dumbledore wouldn't either."
Harry nodded in agreement. "I'm sure Dumbledore is figuring out something right now! You'll see! Everything will be alright."
She sighed. "I hope your right, because with everything going on, I don't need the added stress of this."
Harry grinned. "Don't worry."
Hermione smiled sadly. She loved the two of them dearly.
"Can we talk about something else?" Hermione asked, prompting for the discussion to take a new turn.
"Well, I don't like Professor Slughorn," Ron grumbled. "But I hate Snape teaching Defense even more."
Hermione rolled her eyes. "It's Professor Snape Ronald, but he isn't that bad at Defense. He's actually lived most of it, so he's speaking from experience."
Harry rolled his eyes. "It's not his past; it's part of his present. Snape's a Death Eater Hermione."
She sighed. "No he isn't! Harry, Dumbledore trusts him; do you think Dumbledore would allow a Death Eater to roam the halls?"
"He is! Malfoy is one too!" Harry protested.
Hermione shook her head. "Harry, we've gone over this. Malfoy is a git, but he would never be a Death Eater."
"But he disappears! I watch the Marauders Map at night, and his dot just disappears!" Harry exclaimed. He was convinced Malfoy was a Death Eater, and she wasn't going to be able to convince him otherwise.
Ron shrugged. "There's no way to know for sure. We don't have evidence yet Harry."
Hermione didn't like the way Ron added the 'yet'. It made it seem as if the two of them were planning something. She let out a yawn. "I'm going to bed boys."
"Night Hermione," Ron said, giving her a tight hug.
"Night Mione," Harry said, hugging her as well.
She waved to them and climbed up the stairs to her bedroom. She was absolutely knackered.
Lavender was up whispering to Parvati. She glanced at Hermione when she walked in.
"Hermione, we're so sorry." Lavender said, sending her a look of pity.
Hermione grimaced. "I'd rather not talk about it." She quickly changed into her pajamas, crawling into bed. Pulling the curtains around her bed tightly, she cast a silencing charm. Putting the pillow over her face, she let out a scream of frustration.
That night, Hermione cried until she fell asleep.