Author's Note: There are so many marriage law fics here in the Harry Potter fandom I decided to write my own in the form of a Sirius/OC fanfic. I also placed it in the time of the books. If you're wondering about some of the references in this fic, I'm making a slight reference to what happens in my major Sirius/OC fanfic that I'm in the process of writing. It won't have a marriage law, but a lot of the past happenings mentioned in this fic happen in it... at least that's how its looking at the moment.
Upper class London was filled to the brim with excited individuals returning from their long days of business, politics and/or shopping. The sun was lowering to the horizon and would descend past it in about three hours. As the first wave of pedestrians cleared off of the neighborhood streets a lone figure strode purposefully into the open air and made towards one of the houses.
This lone figure was a woman with a tall bearing though short in stature. Her figure was slim and seemingly delicate (her aunt referred to it as "willowy"). The descending sun's rays glittered off of her bronze hair making the long, wavy tresses appear to have a red tint in them. Her teal eyes, normally shining with playfulness, were narrowed into a cutting gaze that depicted her unusual bad mood.
Her clothes were odd, a mixture of modern American Western style and a loose medieval tunic fixed with what appeared to be an ornate belt. The belt, in actuality, wasn't ornate and actually contained useful pouches and an assortment of hidden weaponry, but the general London populous need not know. After all, if anyone became aware of the fact that she hid a small, eight capacity, .45 in the inside of her boot the entire country would be on terrorist alert.
She snorted at that thought. To think of what their reaction would be if they found her wand and figured out that it actually worked let alone her actual species. If people were so up-in-arms about terrorists the reaction of Muggles to the magical community would ignite International panic.
Brianna Davis, as she was known to wizards, most elves and muggles alike, came to a stop in front of two houses wedged together with the numbers eleven and thirteen on them. Her arms crossed over her chest and her foot tapped the ground to indicate her lack of patience. She glared at the buildings.
The glare was rewarded with the appearance of Number Twelve Grimauld Place home to Sirius Black, recently cleared of all mass murder charges and suddenly the most eligible bachelor for all of wizard-kind… at least, if one was a Death Eater attempting to get to Harry. Well, he was the most eligible bachelor a few days prior to this visit. That changed in a hurry when Dumbledore came to her with the proposal.
If she was honest, Brianna would have admitted to not minding the arrangement too much. Of course, she didn't mind it given her current, and well hidden, disposition toward the man, but she wished that it didn't happen in this way. Nothing should be forced and the problem was that everything would.
She closed her eyes for a second before slowly approaching the building with calm, sure, steps. She didn't want to appear nervous, or worried, or excited about anything. All that was needed was total calm.
Brianna, who practically lived at Grimmauld place during most summers and Christmas holidays, immediately went in without knocking. She quietly slipped past the currently docile portrait of Mrs. Black and came face-to-face with the wizened old house-elf that was Kreatcher. She smiled at him.
"Hello Kreatcher, would you please let Lord Black know I've arrived and that I will be in the kitchen?" she asked him politely.
"Of course mistress," said the bitter little house-elf before muttering "under" his breath, "filthy little animal orders Kretcher like it has its right…"
Brianna merely rolled her eyes at that. He was getting better, she supposed. She used to be 'lower than a worm'. Even now, she felt that his gibes were quite rich since they were pointed at her, high princess of the elven race. And the little gnome (house elves were gnomes) didn't have much to talk about anyway!
She liked house elves, she really did. Dobby and the Hogwarts elves were among the many she liked. Kreatcher, though, was a nasty piece of work brought about by the brainwashing late Mrs. Black. It was sad, but part of her couldn't forget the fact that, if it weren't for Kreatcher, Sirius wouldn't have almost died.
Brianna shrugged. Once the legal papers were signed and Harry turned seventeen, the House of Black and all of its… unpleasantness would belong to Harry. She made her way into the kitchen with a slight frown on her face. Soon, she would be mistress of this house until she and Sirius worked out the details of the estate(s) to leave to Harry. After all, once they were married Sirius wasn't going to have much time to look after his family affairs. They could put most of the politics and protocol of her race off for a few years at least (she still had to graduate Hogwarts), but sooner or later they would have to face the entire elven community and he would have to gain his title as prince heir.
The thought of Sirius Black among the stingy political cauldron of the lords and ladies of her people (many of which were over the age of one thousand) almost made her wince. As charming and charismatic she knew Sirius was, this was a whole other kettle of fish. Money and status didn't matter to her people. What they would criticize is his evident former mortality (former after they married) and his general Casanova pretense. Even if it was attractive and endearing to her and most witches and wizards, her people would be less-than-thrilled with his seemingly carefree attitude.
'Out of one unwanted mess and into another. Really, I can't understand why Sirius agreed to this union in the first place!' Brianna thought to herself while pulling out an old wooden chair and lowering her body into its semi-comfort.
They could avoid the affairs of ruling until they finished refurbishing Grimmauld Place for Harry and his household. That would help the two of them get used to each other before they had to deal with the elven community and its ever-growing state of affairs.
She wrinkled her nose at the thought. Such state of affairs involved the bloody marriage law for male wizards. Obviously whoever had composed the law had been a Death Eater with a sparse few adult males in mind; Harry, Sirius, and Lupin being three of them. Had the law directly affected her people, her aunt would have intervened long ago. It didn't, though, which meant that they couldn't meddle in wizarding affairs. It only affected her because of Sirius or, as she stubbornly kept reminding herself while slapping herself mentally, Harry. She was doing this because she wanted to save Harry's godfather. She was doing this because she was being a good, very good, teacher.
Brianna sighed and turned towards the kitchen door that hung ajar from its hinges. She frowned as she entered and made for the table. When she married Sirius, she would become Harry, her classmate's, godmother. It wasn't too much of an issue. She was, quite literally, several decades older than the boy. The age factor didn't matter, neither did the fact that she used to be "a school friend". Now that she trained him during the summers… how awkward would that be for him?
She sunk into the wooden chair farthest away from the door and tiredly leaned her face against a hand propped up by an elbow resting on the ancient oak table. Well, not ancient oak. It was probably early sixteen hundreds.
All thought processes were interrupted when the man in question entered the kitchen. His blue eyes met her teal ones and his rugged (she still wasn't sure if she had ever seen him fully shaved or not) cheeks rose as his lips sprung into a cheerful smile. It didn't reach his eyes.
"Hello Bri! How have you been?" he asked.
Brianna bit back quite a few unfavorable answers and settled for, "I'm as fine as I can be given the circumstances."
He didn't falter, but his eyes regained their lackluster gaze he used to sport while he was on the run in the days before he was cleared of all charges. Sirius moved to the cabinet as an heir of false cheeriness rolled off of him in waves.
"What can I offer you?" he asked while rummaging through his kitchen cabinets with strange sporadic movements.
"Coffee," she responded immediately, "very strong coffee."
He sent her a sympathetic look over his shoulder while he drew out the coffee-maker and the bag of coffee grounds. Vaguely, Brianna wondered if the coffee maker (which looked like one of the very first models seen in the muggle world a few decades ago) was magically adapted to work without electricity. Her mental question was answered when the machine whirred to life without having to be plugged in.
"Long day?" asked Sirius in what seemed to be curiosity, but Brianna felt that it was more to make conversation than anything else.
She snorted in any case, "Ever since Voldemort's become active, the dark creatures overseas have become… restless. I've just returned from a three-day excursion to New York City taking out a suddenly visible rogue coven of vampires. They were hovering around Queens picking off minorities thinking that they wouldn't be as missed as others. The NYPD noticed, unfortunately for them, and the police chief knew enough to contact my cousin. So, the team and I were taking care of that."
A mug was offered to her and she took it without looking up. Sirius, with his own cup, sat in the chair next to her.
"Never a dull moment in the dark underworld of magic," muttered the man.
Brianna winced at his tone. He sounded rather bitter about the subject matter. She wasn't surprised. The dark world had done him and has friends wrong on so many levels that she was surprised only bitterness leaked out. Of course, he might have just been attempting to control his emotions given their current circumstance.
"Yeah, killing people right and left, devising strange and abnormal ways to make others miserable, not to mention their need to make arbitrary laws to have you wrapped around their fingers just so they could black mail your godson," her tone was flippant, but the meaning still stood.
Sirius laughed humorlessly and leaned back in his chair. Brianna followed his movements from the corner of her eye in silent appreciation. Despite their predicament and the fact that the upcoming union would be loveless, there was no reason for her to be denied to admiring the fact that her soon-to-be betrothed was quite nice to look at. She didn't allow her attraction to show, though, not at that moment. Things were too raw.
"I take it Dumbledore didn't find a way around the new decree?" asked Sirius.
Brianna shook her head, "Unfortunately, I'm the loophole. If I marry you and you adopt Harry, that keeps both of you out of Voldemort's hands due to elven law."
"Ah, well, that's certainly… not…" he paused.
"Not what you wanted?" she offered with a pitying look on her face.
That look of pity was the best defense mechanism for her. It hid the pain of the blatant rejection from him rather well.
Sirius merely nodded to confirm her offered statement while taking a sip of his coffee. Brianna watched him sigh and run a hand through his shoulder length black hair. He looked a lot better since the first time they met. His years in Askaban were slowly forgotten with the special care and concern he was finally able to give his body. She was happy about that. It meant he was recovering from the trauma and that the Post Traumatic Stress was fading and allowing him to think rationally. That, in part, probably had to do with the elves. In America, where her people ruled the magical community, he was able to walk free once cleared of all charges. Doctors, healers, and medics of all kinds with the knowledge of the magical community were able to help him. Despite his living in a cave outside of Hogsmeade during her fourth year and as a dog again for half of her fifth his recovery was quite fast.
He glanced at her and raised a questioning brow, "What?"
She laughed and leaned back in her chair as she replied, "Memories."
The corners of his mouth twitched and Brianna's smile morphed into a sunny grin pleased that her partly true answer made him feel better. Sirius studied her for a moment before leaning forward and grasping her mug-free hand. Surprised, Brianna met his gaze.
"Bri, I know that neither of us wanted this. Hell, the fact that you're saddled with someone like me for the rest of your life can't be what you wanted. If I…" he grimaced and continued, "You're not just Harry's friend. I've seen that. You're more than that. You're like the aunt he never had and I've watched you with him for some time. You practically raised him at Hogwarts and I can't think of anyone else more qualified than you to become his mother. In fact, I think it's safe to say that you're more qualified than I am, really."
Brianna shot him a look and set her mug of coffee down. She reached out and rested that now free hand on his- the one covering her other. She shook her head.
"Sirius, the fact that you want to try with Harry, even this late in the game, tells me that you're more than qualified to be his father. I'm just the hard-ass teacher/fellow student training him. Bit different really," she said.
He looked like he was about to object, but deflated after seeming to think about it.
"What a pair we make," he muttered while bowing his head, "Not even properly engaged, yet, and we're about to have an argument about who's the better parent!"
She laughed, "Welcome to the family."
"Ah, not quite yet!" he said with renewed spirit.
With his free hand he slipping it under the folds of his out robe, scarlet silk from what she could see though what type of silk it was, she didn't know, and drew out a small box. It was an elderly looking box lined with velvet and had a distinct sixteenth century smell to it. The underlying metallic scent lingering underneath it told Brianna what it was and she could feel her cheeks begin to turn bright red.
Sirius' grin turned soft as he used his thumb to flip open the parcel and tilt it just so she could see the contents. The jewel on the ring was emerald lined with intricate designs of dragons. Brianna's grin turned into a shocked smile. She hadn't been expecting him to actually propose, not properly at least. She looked back into his eyes and waited for him to say something.
"Well," he began with a sheepish little grin, "I know that we're both Gryffindors and our colors are in the red category instead of green, but I figured since emerald is your birthstone and my ancestor who first wore this ring had elven blood of some sort and the fact that you do like dragons, this one would fit you better than most of the others."
Brianna openly gaped. Sirius shifted off of his chair and to the floor on one knee.
"I figured that, since we are going to be engaged, that you'd appreciate me doing this properly," he added.
The rapidly increasing pace of her heart continued to accelerate and Brianna had to continuously remind herself that this marriage wasn't their (his) choice. Sirius was only making the most of an unfair situation. He wasn't actually trying to be romantic.
"So, with all that being said, Aracasse ven Aldura, would you marry me?"
The fact that he used her elven name spoke volumes. For one, it legitimized the fact that they were engaged. For another, he used the name without needing the presence of one of the Eldar. The moment she accepted the ring, the engagement would be legitimized without the need of a witness. The magic would already be invoked. Did he know that?
Deciding that it didn't matter, Brianna or Aracasse the Princess Heir of the elven race, gave her answer, "Yes, I will marry you."
What made the moment all the better was finding out that the ring fit her finger perfectly.
Later that night Sirius sat in his library reading a book on the elvish adoption ceremony when his godson slipped into the doorway with a light knock. The wizard glanced up at Harry with a slightly raised eyebrow and a small grin.
"Home are you?" asked Sirius.
Harry rolled his eyes, "Clearly."
Sirius made room on the couch he was currently using for himself and a stack of books and beckoned for Harry to come sit with him. The boy eagerly obliged.
"So," began Harry after being asked a few questions about how his day went, "did you tell her?"
Sirius shook his head, "No, that's the one thing I can't seem to find the guts to do. I did propose. The proper way, at least."
Harry's face fell, "So, she doesn't know how you feel?"
He shook his head unable to really put his reluctance into words. She was his friend and so much more. They might have been going into a marriage that neither of them really wanted, at least one that he didn't want in the way it was coming about, but if she didn't feel the same way and knew… How much harder would the marriage be on her?
"Sirius, you're getting married anyway, at least let her know," insisted his godson.
It sounded so simple, yet to him it was anything but.
'Not yet,' thought Sirius, 'But soon, I will tell her.'
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