The men knelt down, their dress robes perfect, their movements almost completely in sync.
"I kneel before thee."
They spoke as one. It might be the first thing -- other than protest -- this particular group had done as one, but they managed it rather cleanly.
"I come to thee willingly, bringing to thee my devotion, my submission, and my magic. I come to thee in marriage, bringing to thee my seed and my protection, giving to thee my name and my will."
That part came harder to some than to others.
But there was, in the end, for all that they said willingly, very little choice.
The plague had killed more than three-quarters of the women in Wizarding Britain and random pockets of Muggle Britain. It had done less severe damage on the continent - 50% of witches or so - and in Asia and the Americas, it had killed maybe a third of wizarding women and a surprising number of no-maj women.
Meanwhile, at most twenty percent of men had been affected, and people muttered strange and superstitious things about why, particularly, those men had. The Wizarding World was decimated.
(Harry Potter had lived. Voldemort had not. That, for many people, seemed to be sign enough.)
Herimone's pet project had gone from Rights for Magical Creatures to sensible reproduction at a 5:1 male:female ratio, after her numbers had been crunched five times and if the people affected in the muggle world also had magical blood, if fertility rates remain as they have been among the remaining purebloods, we can't maintain any sort of population had been both confirmed and reconfirmed, but checked by sources in other countries.
When a second wave of the plague had started and they'd found no cure so far, the Ministry had started to panic. They might not properly value women, but they understood they needed them for the next generation.
"I stand before you. I come to you willingly, bringing my mind, my self, and my magic. I come to you in magic, bringing you my womb and my affection, taking your name and your will."
She looked at the gathered men in front of her.
This could have gone so many bad ways. Her solution - hers and Luna's and, in the end, Pansy's - had only won because they'd had cold hard math behind their options.
Every man not already married to a living spouse would kneel in marriage.
Every woman of marriageable age would take to her three to seven spouses, husbands their new spells guaranteed fertility with.
"We are here to seal the bonds of marriage, with Magic herself as our witness."
Her hands went out. Their hands went up. She gathered their hands to her.
"So mote it be."