Chapter 1


Synopsis: As the dust settled, everyone breathed a sigh of relief until it became clear just what the cost of the war was. With the Ministry in tatters decisions were made that had their hearts in the right place, though the execution was fundamentally flawed. Laws were created that proclaimed the need for marriages and childbirths to rebuild the Wizarding world. Most agreed in the beginning until the details were made public, names in goblets, blind draws to match up witches and wizards. The war is over, but the insanity continues.

Pairings: SS/HG, LM/GW, Others in passing

Rated M to be safe. AU (maybe), EWE (definitely)

Authors Note: So I'm going to try another story (or 2). I'm not sure how long it will be so... we'll see. Please review. I know I've said it a few times, but I REALLY like reviews.

Any and all similarities to other stories are purely coincidental, I don't mean to copy any one but there's so many Marriage Law Fics... There HAS to be some overlap.

Disclaimer: I own nothing, no characters belong to me.

Hermione POV

I sit in the kitchen of Grimmauld Place, stabbing at the fruit in my bowl. How could they do this to us? The war was BARELY over and they go and pass this... outrageous law. Telling us whom we could marry... that we HAD to marry. And the sheer stupidity of HOW they were deciding who we had to marry... names in Goblets? Blind draws? Made me want to scream and hex something. I take a long drink of my tea and slam the mug down.

"HOW CAN THEY DO THIS TO US?!" I yell, finally letting the anger out. Molly sighs and cleans up the kitchen before sitting next to me.

"They do it because they are well meaning fools my dear. It shouldn't be too bad... I'm sure you can find someone. I know you and Ron... I do have several other son's you know. I'm sure Charlie or Fred or George... you get along ok with them don't you?" She croons at me, stroking my hair. I slump and lean against her, she was right... and she did mean well but... did I really want to be related to Ron?

"I know Molly... but I don't think it would be a good idea for me to be related to Ron. We still like each other but the feelings... you know how jealous he can get. I don't want to drive a wedge between him and his brothers. I'm sure I can find someone... and if not I can always pick a name out of the hat. Sorry 'Goblet of fate' what idiot thought THAT was a nice name? HA" I say with a sad chuckle, refilling my tea and stabbing another piece of fruit in my bowl.

"I believe it was a joint naming effort my dear, I didn't vote for it thought, much too silly in my eyes." Arthur says as he kisses the top of my head and sits at the table, filling his plate. I chuckle and shake my head, if Arthur thought it was silly it really was. I eat a few pieces of fruit as I think.

"I think I'll read up on it before I make my decision. See just how long I have to pick before they start picking for me. See if it's a forever marriage or is there's a time we can divorce if were incompatible or whatever... I'm sure if we can't have children the marriage would be nullified and voided, we'd be tested to see if we were just incompatible or if one of us had an issue." I say as I finish my breakfast and rinse out my bowl and cup, heading up to my room and pulling out my books on magical law as I get to work. Researching the law would take work but it needed to be done, not just for me but also for everyone.

I sigh as I look at the pages, books and scrolls piled around me, trying to find something to get us out of this. Finding nothing helpful at all. We were stuck. They had the power to do this as long as the wizarding population needed the boost they could enforce marriages and childbirths. I curl up into myself and hug my knees, resting my head on my knees with a sad sigh.

"There's nothing... nothing we can do to stop this from happening." I whisper to the room, hugging my knees tighter. I sniff and shift in the chair, letting Harry slid in behind me, hugging me.

"Nothing huh? Were boned with this new law then? Figured, they aren't stupid any more Mione. They know they need to be straight this time or the population will revolt and their all gonna be in hiding. We'll make due Hermione. Hey, you can't do much worse then Ron huh... and the worst of the Death Eater are in jail or dead already." He says as he squeezes me. I snort and lean back into him, the brother I always wanted.

"Yeah, most of the Death Eaters that are still free either flipped at the battle or were so low level that they barely registered. We'll survive this... I hope. How are you and Ginny doing... I mean are you going to try and get engaged before the cut off or are you going to let fate take control?" I ask as I lean back against him.

"I do love her, and we'll always be friends but I don't know Mione, she's spending the day off with her friends and we'll talk about it later. I mean it's one thing to marry for love, or because we have no choice but... I mean the goblet things have a fate spell on them so in theory whatever name we get from them should be IT, right? And after this whole thing blows over its likely anyone who wants to will be able to split from their partner. So if nothing else... if we still love each other we can get married then... you know? I just... I'm 19 Hermione; I've lived almost all my life in the shadow of someone or something... I wish we didn't have to do this." He says with a sigh, resting his chin on my shoulder as we sit there in the library in silence. I lean back against him and close my eyes, relaxing against my friend, my brother from another family.

"Come on, I'm sure its time for lunch. Did you want to cook or me? I can't cook anything fancy but... some soup and grilled cheese is doable." I say with a smile as I get up and pull him out of the chair with a grin, heading to the kitchen with him to start a late lunch.


Severus POV

I glare down at the paper as I read the headline, what brain addled fool thought the Ministry was any good at match making? Oh, I forgot the Ministry thought they were, and they were a step removed because they had a 'Fate' spell doing it for them, HA! If I could leave I would and be done with this stupid place until they got there heads on straight, however I cannot. While I was taking a sabbatical from the school, Minerva agreed it was a good idea; I did still have my potions and what not that kept me fairly local. With any luck I would either be matched with someone fairly intelligent and un annoying or I wouldn't be picked before they came to their rutting senses. I mean who would want to be stuck with me, the great bat of the dungeons?

I sigh and rub my eyes pouring my tea with my free hand, taking a long drink. I mean who was I kidding? I wasn't a catch by any accounting, I supposes someone MUST find me attractive... I mean the odds of absolutely no one being able to deal with me were astronomic. I had a good job, my own house or three, patents for several potions but... I was unattractive. I knew it... I wasn't handsome at all; I was an unattractive monster of a human... if one could call me human any more. I shake my head and head down to my lab, starting up the burners for the day's potions. Most of it was just busy work really, filling orders that didn't need filled yet, salves and potions for the Hospital that would last ages before they went bad or that were used fast enough they didn't have time to go bad.

"I need a hobby I believe, something besides potions perhaps. Gardening but that ties into potions to much... what DOES one do with free time though? Read? I do that already. Perhaps I should take up some form of... social activity. I mean here I am talking to myself in a dark damp basement. I really do need some interaction with other humans." I say to myself with a sigh, shaking my head as I get to work. I was just so tired of being controlled by someone who should know better. Dumbledore, the Dark Lord, and now the Ministry, I just wanted to be my own person for once in my bloody LIFE! I pick up a beaker and hurl it across the lab, letting it shatter against the far wall as I sink into my chair, letting the glass pieces lay.

"Damn it... just... damn it to hell. For once, I thought my life was going to be mine but of course not. No, Severus Tobias Snape can't be his own man. Not even when it comes to finding a wife." I pinch the bridge of my nose and shake my head as I sit there, leaving the beaker shattered against the wall to pick up later... maybe. I wasn't a slob but... leaving things lay in my own home was nice.

I work in my lab most of the morning, keeping busy so I don't think about the Ministry and how they continue to run my life without me. I glance up at my house elf as she pops into my lab and waits out of my way.

"What is it Pippy? I'm busy; you know I don't like being bothered while I'm working." I grouse at the elf as I bottle and package the vials that go to the hospital.

"Pippy is wanting to tell Master Severus that he is having a guest in his sitting room. Also wants to tell that it is almost lunchtime and that Master should eat, not good for Master to skip meals like he used to do, Master is still to thin for Pippy's liking." The small elf yammers, straightening up my work area. I roll my eyes and shoo her as I speak.

"I'll be up in a moment, just let me finish and I'm sure my guest will be wanting to drag me off to lunch, I'll be sure to eat plenty do not worry. Now I don't want anything heavy for dinner, just soup and sandwiches, do you hear me? No more thrice damned roasts Pippy, I'm still not used to eating like that. Just give me time." I tell her, she nods and pops out of my lab with a snap of her fingers. I shake my head and finish packing up the potions for St. Mungo's before I head up stairs to my sitting room, sighing as I see just who my guest is. Lucius Malfoy, lounging there on my couch, boots up on the opposite arm rest, slob.

"What do you want Lucius? I mean besides to be a pain in my ass and bitch about something?" I ask as I sit across from him.

"That's mostly what I want, that and take you to lunch. Your elf is very concerned for you. Hiding in your lab, not eating, not sleeping... you're not having nightmares again are you? Severus you know Poppy will drag you back to the school if you're not going to the Healer like you promised her you would." He says as he sits up, watching me. I shake my head and rub my face.

"No more then normal, and they are far less real then they used to be. It's this damn Marriage Law bullock's more then anything. I thought I was finally going to be able to be who I wanted to be and then this happens. You know I don't have much luck with woman Lucius, what's gonna happen now that some poor girl is stuck with me, and you know with my luck it will be a girl, not someone older then me or my own age. Aren't you worried about getting someone Draco's age as a new wife?" I ask as I pick at the seam in my trousers.

"To a point yes but I've been over the spell their using Severus, its clean. Who were meant to be with is whom we get. Am I worry it's going to be weird if I get someone I'm old enough to be a parent to? Of course I am, I'd be an idiot not to be. Am I sorry Narcissa and I split up? Yes and no, we weren't working, we didn't ever truly love each other, not the way a man and wife should. We... cared for each other, likely always will care for each other, for the son we share, but... it's been over for a long time." He says with a sigh, sitting back on the couch. I nod sadly and sit back, letting the silence between us stretch into familiarity. I break the silence after a few moments.

"Well then... let us head to lunch. Somewhere off the beaten path if you could be kind to an old friend. I am not in the mood to be gawked at while I eat." I say as I stand up, dusting off my clothes.

"Agreed, I think people like us and the people Draco's age will be hit the hardest by this stupid law." Lucius says as he stands and heads out with me, apparitioning with me to one of Diagon Alley's side streets. I follow him into a small café and take my seat across from him at a table against the wall. I sit silently as I look over the menu, sighing as I feel Lucius near vibrating in his seat.

"Speak or I'm going to place a sticking charm on you so you cant vibrate out of your chair like some child." I say as I set my menu down and glare at my friend.

"You take all the fun from my life Severus, you are worse then Narcissa. Even with this stupid law... I'm going to be back in the dating game since I was Draco's age; I plan on having fun with it right up to the minute I get attached to some poor girl. WHY must you see only the bad side to this? You're going to get a wife Sev, someone who fate wants you to be with, WHY is that such a bad thing? You can't still be on Lily, good god man that was how long ago? Are you really going to let that one fuck up rule your whole life? I thought that's why you were a spy, to pay for your wrongs." He asks me as he sets his menu down to look at me. I sigh heavily and pinch the bridge of my nose, he was right. I paid my debt to lily, to her son, I just... didn't know any other way.

"I don't know any other way Lucius, being like this... is who I am. I do understand where you're coming from but... please try to understand where I'm coming from as well. I never dated; I didn't have some girl attacked to me by a contract before I was out of school. I've always been alone. It might make me a coward but I am terrified I'm going to screw up... again. And this time whatever poor girl I'm stuck with is stuck with me; she can't leave like Lily did, can't leave me to sulk in my shadows." I say with a sigh, picking my menu back up.

"And I understand that but Severus... isn't that a good thing? Maybe this way you'll HAVE to work out your issues... with whoever gets you. Are you going to go pull a name or what anyway? I think I'll play the field a bit if I can, then maybe I'll go pick a name if I'm still single in.. I don't know a year or so. I don't think I'd mind if I was attached right off but... I've been married for so long and even before that, I knew whom I was going to end up with. I think I'd like to be a bit of a man whore." Lucius says as he goes back to his menu, glancing at me. I shrug as I look over my menu, deciding on what I want for lunch before I set the menu aside again and answer him.

"I suppose you may have a point. Force me to face my fears and all that. I think I'll wait on picking a name as well, if I have to I'll marry but... I just want to be my own man for a while. Anyway, you already ARE a man whore Lucius. Which brings up another topic besides my love life; are you going to continue to sleep around once you're married again? I know you and Narcissa had an arrangement after Draco was born. Are you ready to order?" I ask, steepleing my fingers.

"I honestly don't know, I mean if I AM fated to be with whoever I shouldn't need to sleep around but... it all depends on who I get, what she wants. I mean in all reality I might get someone Draco's age. While I doubt I'll have any trouble keeping up I will be old enough to be their father... I don't know if having the ability to be with someone our own ages would be good or bad. I suppose it's something to go into when or if I am matched. Just like the bank accounts, I didn't need to put a... oh what's the word... a limit on them with Narcissa, she liked to shop but she also knew when to stop. It all depends on who I'm matched with and all that. Yes I think I'm ready to order actually." He says as he motions to the waiter, turning back to me.

"What about your accounts, your sex life, will you have some form of agreement with your beloved?" he asks with a grin, steering the conversation back to me, of course. I roll my eyes as I answer.

"Like you it will depend on who I'm matched with, and your right in all reality we WILL be matched with someone younger then ourselves; likely young enough to be our children. Some of the students I taught I wouldn't let them shop alone if their life depended on it, others I wouldn't have an issue giving them my card and letting them have the day in any shop, wizard or muggle. As to our bedroom activities... I honestly don't know. While I am a possessive man, I don't know if I want to be possessive about that with someone who has been forced into this as much as I have been. We may not even share the same bed save for... consummation and what not. At least not at first." I pinch the bridge of my nose and sit back, giving my order to the waiter, trying to relax. My life was about to get very weird, probably even more so then when I was a spy... a double spy at that.

AN: So... how was it? Come on I really need some reviews on this one. Pretty please. I like reviews. And I REALLY don't wanna be one of those writers who puts a limit on how many I have to get before I'll post again.