Marriage Law Chapter 1
“Are you sure, Severus?” Albus Dumbledore asked the nervous man sitting in front of him. “You are under no obligation to do this.”
Severus Snape squirmed in his seat under the gaze of the Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Dumbledore had a parchment in his hands that would legally bind Severus to Hermione Granger. The Headmasters purple velvet pointed hat rested on a corner of the high backed chair he was sitting on. His white hair and beard flowed over his shoulders and down the front of his robes. His deep blue eyes peered over the top of gold wire-rimmed spectacles and rested on Severus.
“Yes,” said Severus, a pained look crossing his features. He reached a hand up to pinch the skin between his eyes.
“Very well then,” Dumbledore sighed and handed the parchment to Severus, along with a green quill. Severus took it, hands shaking and signed.
Hermione Granger was enjoying her breakfast with her best friends, Ron Weasley and Harry Potter, when a large barn owl swooped down and dropped a light blue scroll in front of her. Her hand froze halfway to her pumpkin juice.
Ministry of Magic: Department of Matrimonial Destiny was stamped across the scroll.
“But you’re not 18 yet, Hermione,” said Ron, looking at her stunned.
“I know that,” said Hermione sounding panicky.
“Then what’s that for?” he asked, sounding frantic.
“I don’t know!” cried Hermione, leaving the scroll untouched near her plate. Harry reached out and took it. He unrolled it and read.
“It seems your experiences with the time turner has been taken into consideration when determining the date of your availability,” Harry raised his eyebrows.
Hermione snorted. The Marriage Law. Another crackpot idea of Fudges to insure the future generations of the Wizarding community. His latest idea was to reduce the status of muggle born witches to chattel and allow pure blooded wizards to petition for their hand.
“You had three offers in the first hour of your availability, so you’re being allowed to pick your mate,” Harry scanned the page. “I’m so sorry, Hermione,” he said softly.
“Why didn’t anyone tell me?” Ron said outraged.
“You wouldn’t be allowed,” Harry explained patiently, before Ron had a violent outburst and lost them the House Cup. “You’re still under age. And your brothers are spoken for,” Harry added as an afterthought.
Hermione paled and dug in her bag for a quill. Ron watched as she scribbled on the parchment and the owl that had delivered it swooped down from the rafters to carry it back to the Ministry.
“So that’s it?” Ron asked, quietly.
“I guess so,” said Hermione.
“Who did you choose?” asked Harry.
“Who did you have to choose from?” asked Ron.
“Gregory Goyle, Aurellius Ollivander, and Severus Snape,” Hermione said, blinking blankly.
“Are you serious?” asked Ron. He felt utterly helpless. He and Hermione had never made things official, but he had always planned to settle down with her when he had enough to offer. Now the Ministry had swept her away before they even had a chance. He had watched the same thing happen to Percy after Penelope had been mated to a tailor in Brighton. She was legal property of someone else now. “Who did you choose?”
“Snape, of course,” hissed Hermione annoyed. “He’s in the Order. He must have petitioned for me because of that.”
“That would make sense,” Ron said, looking a bit more positive. “He’s going to save you.”
“Well, I get to thank him later,” Hermione said, taking her planner out of her bag.
“What do you mean?” Harry asked.
“We’re getting married tonight,” Hermione said, jotting down a note in her planner.