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Five years after the war ended the unrelenting surge in unwed parents (and the continued dip in marriage license requests) had spurred the older generation into action.  A ridiculous “moral measures” law had passed, buried deep in another piece of legislation.  It was signed and had gone into effect before most of the Ministry even knew what it’s complicated language hid, or how the penalties for non-compliance would affect those still suffering the after-effects from the war.

The law would be repealed in less than a year, but that wouldn’t help Hermione.  Non-compliance meant living without magic, and for Hermione (and many others who had been tortured or cursed in the war) that would mean death. So, thanks to Antonin Dolohov and Bellatrix Lestrange, Hermione, along with every single witch and wizard under the age of 60 who would die without magical assistance, had to register with the Ministry for marriage.  This was all quite a coup for the Director of Marriage Records, as her department had now expanded to handle impounding all of the wands and binding of magic for those who chose not to comply, as well as the matching program for single witches and wizards who followed the law but did not find a partner on their own.

Harry and Ginny were safe, as they were already engaged and would be married within a month.  Ron was planning to live as a muggle, probably assuming Hermione would do the same. Despite their short-lived relationship she was sure he didn’t really know that she would die without the healing spells that kept her healthy and relatively pain free.  She kept her compliance with the law to herself as much as possible.

*

After round upon round of questionnaires, matching from mutual selections of lists of hundreds of names, and sitting through a personality sorting with a very annoyed repurposed sorting hat, she had been shocked to find her final choice brought down to two.  Severus Snape or Draco Malfoy. 

She had agonized over the choice, knowing that both wizards needed magic to live, just as she did; Snape because of the after effects of Nagini’s bite (at the least, she assumed) and Draco because of the Sectumsempra Harry had cast on him (if not more).  She spent a guilt-ridden night, worried that whichever Wizard she did not choose would be left to die.  She went so far as to appeal to the Minister to confirm that anyone not matched by the required date would be allowed an extension, and would not be made to suffer a penalty which would result in their death. It brought her some comfort at least.

Hermione sent the final owl and closed her eyes. This was it; she had made her choice.  Accepted her fate.

*

Less than an hour after Hermione sent the owl with her final answer Severus Snape knocked on the door of 12 Grimmauld Place.   He had been shocked when the notice came that he had been Miss Granger's final selection. He was sure that no witch would choose him, and so had registered, assuming he would end up alone.   At every stage he had chosen Hermione Granger, and only Hermione Granger, sure that of all of the witches in Britain she would never select him, allowing him to live out the extension and see this horrid law abolished.

But then she had chosen him.

Just when he thought nothing else could shock him, the door was clumsily jerked open by a very drunk Harry Potter.  The boy held the door open wide (and held himself up) with one hand while he held a throw pillow to his groin with the other.

*

He had followed Potter into the drawing room. Severus couldn’t believe his ears as Potter drunkenly rambled on, “ . . . so she comes downstairs, all in a strop, s’no bloody reasoning with her when she’s like that, and she says ‘I’m gonna try a spell on you Harry,’ s’then she flicks her wand at my lap and bam, I’ve got a huge fucking hard on.  S’fucking rude, that.  Didn’t even wait for me to say s’was ok.  S’not ok at all.  And of course that’s right when Ron comes through and sees, and she has to explain she’s going to get married, and she needs to have sex with the bloke, and she, Hermione, thinks that maybe he won’t get hard with her.  With Her! I mean, she’s my best friend and I’d never, but she has no idea how hot she is. No bloody idea, believes all that shite Malfoy and those boys used to say about her being flat-chested or, or whatever, doesn’t think anyone would . . .  and then Ron gets all red and mad, and yelling, and Hermione is crying and then, cause it’s not bad enough, Ginny comes through and she sees me and what does she do? What does she do? She laughs. S’not funny I tell her, I need her to just, you know, but she’s offended when I said she could just help me out a bit. S’not like I don’t already know she gives a fucking amazing blowjob.  Fucking amazing.  So she’s mad at Ron for making Hermione cry, and she’s hexing him, and now she’s mad at me, and then she and Hermione stomp upstairs, and Hermione’s still crying, and Ron storms off, and I’m left with a fucking painful hard on and wanking’s not helping.  So I thought if I got drunk enough it would go away . . .”

Severus regarded the boy with the same dismissive look he had through his entire tenure as a Professor.  This is my future wife’s best friend, he thought, this is the wizard who defeated Voldemort and saved the world. He signed and pointed his wand at Potter’s groin, uttered the counter spell, and then obliviated his entire visit from the drunken boy’s mind.