When The Darkness Fades Chapter 2
In a plush, canopy bed Hermione Granger snored amongst the pillows with her favorite down comforter wrapped tightly around her.
It was peaceful and quiet in her room at the Burrow and she was enjoying a rather rare treat of sleeping in past noon.
Or so she thought.
“Shove off Ron!”
She was rudely shaken awake as both Ginny Weasley and her brother Ron jumped onto her bed and started fighting with poor Hermione underneath them.
“GINNY! RONALD! WHAT ON MERLIN’S GREEN EARTH ARE YOU DOING?!”
She screamed as she tried and failed to push the red headed siblings off of her.
Just then a disheveled and sleepy Harry sauntered into the room as he leaned against one of the bedposts while sipping a warm mug of coffee.
Looking none too surprised at the situation, he waited a few moments before he set his coffee down onto the nightstand beside the bed and cleared his throat.
“GINERVA WEASLEY AND RONALD WEASLEY! GET YOUR ASSES OFF THIS BED RIGHT THIS INSTANT!”
Everyone in the room froze including Hermione as Ginny and Ron looked at each other and then slowly turned to face Harry who wore a peeved expression.
“I’m sure Mione would appreciate it if she was allowed to shower and change before we descend upon her.”
He said as Hermione nodded her head with her arms crossed over her chest.
“But Harry she’s got a buggin letter from the Minister of Magic! I want to know what it says!”
Ron whined before Ginny gave him a slap over the head making him let out a very undignified “Ow.”
The sleepy haze that she had been in moments before cleared instantly as Hermione’s brain whirred to life at the thought of what the Minister needed from her.
“I’ve got a letter? And where is this said letter?”
She questioned as she got out of bed and started to pace back and forth making her friends look on in concern.
“It’s downstairs. Mum and Dad were reading it.”
Ginny said as she exchanged a look with Harry and Ron.
“Alright. Let’s go. We need to read this letter then.”
Hermione said with a note of finality in her voice.
Making her way downstairs, she found Molly and Arthur Weasley talking quietly amongst themselves with a letter sprawled out between them.
She said making the two heads of the Weasley clan jump in their seats before giving her a sweet yet hesitant smile.
“Good morning, Hermione! Come let me feed you. I can already tell the others will be needing their stomachs filled as well.”
Molly started but Hermione didn’t take the bait.
“Where’s the letter Mrs. Weasley?”
She questioned as she looked between Molly and Arthur.
Mrs. Weasley looked crestfallen at Hermione’s sharp tone but gave her a smile none the less.
“Please sit, Hermione. It seems as though Kingsley requires you to meet him in his office at 1:00 this afternoon. We asked Percy about what he might want and he says there are rumors going around in the office but he doesn’t know for sure.”
Hermione glanced over her shoulder at Harry, Ron and Ginny who were standing in the door way of the kitchen wearing nervous expressions.
Harry gave her a reassuring smile and nodded making her confidence grow as she took a seat across from Molly and Arthur at the dining room table.
“Here is the letter that Kingsley has sent you. Please read it carefully and let us know if you know what on earth all this is about.”
Arthur handed her the letter as she read it over and over trying to decipher its meaning.
Dear Mrs. Granger,
I hope you are well and enjoying a quiet summer at the Burrow. There is a pressing matter that has come up and I need you to be present at a meeting in my office at 1:00 sharp this afternoon. It is a mandatory meeting to discuss some new changes in the laws that will have a great effect on you and your friends. Please be forewarned that what is discussed in this meeting will not leave my office until further notice. This matter is of a personal nature and I ask that you hear it out with an open mind and open heart.
Minister of Magic Kingsley Shacklebolt
Hermione looked up and saw that everyone in the room was giving her a range of different looks making her even more nervous about what they had heard.
Turning to Arthur she folded up the letter and nodded as she pushed a piece of her long caramel locks behind her ear.
“Alright Mr. Weasley. What has Percy heard about this meeting?”
Arthur exchanged a look with his wife before he cleared his throat and looked Hermione in the eyes.
“Apparently this meeting is going to involve several former death eater families. No one knows what the meeting is about but it involves you and some members of their families. He had also heard that the law that they are going to talk about is something archaic that hasn’t been used in centuries.”
Taking a deep breath, she let it out as she looked around the room.
“Well, it’s a mandatory meeting so I can’t ignore it and hope that it goes away. I need to go upstairs and get ready seeing as how it’s already 12:45. I need to be at the Ministry in fifteen minutes. Since I am not allowed to discuss what this meeting entails, you all will have to wait and see what happens. When I know more I’ll let you know.”
Everyone in the room nodded solemnly as she got to her feet and headed upstairs to get ready for a reunion with her least favorite people. Death eaters.
The clock tower had just rung 1:00 as Draco, Blaise and Theo waited with their families at the table in the new Minister’s office.
The boys were almost certain that Hermione wouldn’t show but just as they were about to lose hope completely, the former curly haired witch burst through the door; huffing and puffing like she had ran all the way there.
Hermione wheezed as she began to straighten out her black pencil skirt and white blouse.
Kingsley Shacklebolt immediately appeared in front of her and gestured to the last seat at the table.
“Please come in, Hermione. I assure you that you are not late.”
As Hermione looked around the room, her heart froze in her chest as she saw Draco, his friends and their families sitting down at the opposite end of the table.
Draco gave her a hesitant smile while Theo and Blaise waved making her feel awkward and slightly confused.
Taking a seat, she clasped her hands in her lap and crossed her legs as Kingsley began the meeting.
“Hermione, I’m sure you know Draco, Blaise and Theo from your class at Hogwarts. These are their parents which I am told that you’ve already met as well during the war. Let me be clear that absolutely no one in this room has any ill feelings or ill intentions towards you and that violence is the furthest thing from their minds. The matter that we are discussing today should be a rather happy one once you calm down from the tirade that I know you will have. To start off, what do you know about the Pureblood Sacred 28?”
Hermione tilted her head to the side and thought back to her research on pureblood society.
“Well, not much to be honest. I know that a lot of the Pureblood teachings are passed down from parents to children at a young age and not many outside of the Sacred 28’s coven knows anything at all about what goes on between the houses. But what I do recall is it is made up of the strongest magical pureblood families in the Wizarding World and I’m guessing because you all are here that you’re a part of the 28.”
She said as she shot a look over at Draco who nodded with a sheepish look.
“Yes, Mrs. Granger. We are the three strongest magical families in the Sacred 28 and have a rather dire need for your help. I know that we all were on opposite sides of the war, but let me reassure you that none of mean you any harm and that really we want quite the opposite of that.”
Lucius said as he gestured towards the rest of the group with a small smile.
Hermione had known that Lucius had been under the Imperious Curse for years and that the Lucius she had known was not the man sitting before her.
But the man that was in front of her she realized she didn’t know at all making her wonder what he wanted with her.
“That’s all very kind of you to say, but I must ask that we get to the point. I’m not one for beating around the bloody bush.”
She said as she held her head high and met the eyes of Kingsley who looked on in fascination.
“Hermione, the reason we are here today is because of the war. The war has taken many lives of the Sacred 28 and the pureblood community is dwindling as their magic has become less potent. Because of this, the Sacred 28 has put into effect a rather ancient law that protects and prospers the remaining Sacred 28. In this law it states that if there is over half of the members that have been lost in the 28, then the remaining families have the right to choose suitable matches for the of age members and create a new bloodline of healthy offspring. It is because of this that I hereby sign off on the Sacred Marriage of Draco Malfoy, Blaise Zambini, Theodore Nott and Hermione Jean Granger. As soon as sign the papers, the Marriage Contract will be permanent. In no way, shape or form will any of you be able to leave one another after this has been put into effect. Starting tonight you all will start to live together in a proper pureblood household that we have already designated. There is no way out of this contract, as your union will be soulbound and will remain until each of you dies of natural causes. Anyone who tries to fight the contract, or tries to pursue another courtship will be caused great pain in you and your partners because of the inappropriate act. The goal of this marriage will be to birth a new bloodline of offspring that will in turn have the strongest magic of the 28 and will be able to lead the coven into prosperity and happiness once again. We will sign the papers in five minutes. If anyone needs a moment please take it now.”
As soon as the last word came out of the Minister’s mouth Hermione let out a blood curling scream as she got to her feet with tears staining her makeup covered cheeks.
“I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU! THERE IS NO WAY IN HELL THAT I AM GOING TO MARRY ANY OF YOU! IF I GET THROWN INTO AZKABAN THEN SO BE IT BUT I WOULD RATHER DIE THEN GIVE MYSELF TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILIES!”
She screamed before she broke into heart wrenching sobs.
Collapsing to the floor, she cried harder when she thought of how the union would be permanent and how she wished she had never come to this godforsaken meeting.
Blaise took a step forward, concerned for his bride to be’s welfare, but Lucius held him back as he shook his head and made him and the others turn away for a few moments; allowing the young girl to cry.
“Kingsley….There must be something you can do…”
She pleaded but the older man shook his head and gave her a sad smile.
“Alas, Mrs. Granger. There is nothing that I can do. The law was written at the beginning of time and is to be followed no matter what. I’m sorry to tell you that we need to sign the papers now. Everyone please come over to my desk and gather round.”
Everyone gathered around the desk and looked to Hermione who sat on the floor in a mess of tears and ruined makeup.
Sniffling, her cries turned into hiccups as she realized that there was nothing that she could do but sign the damn papers.
Shakily getting to her feet, she held her head high as she marched over to the table and took her place next to Draco.
Draco reached out a hesitant hand and placed it on the small of her back only to be rejected as she moved away from him.
“Will Hermione Granger, Blaise Zambini, Draco Malfoy, and Theodore Nott please step forward?”
Kingsley said as they all obeyed and made a circle around a golden scroll that glistened in the afternoon light that shone in from the floor to ceiling windows.
“Draco, Blaise and Theo do you agree to protect, care for and love your bride to be?”
They all murmured yes’s as Hermione watched the scroll sparkle.
“Please point your wand at your names and repeat after me.”
Kingsley said as he looked on in an authoritative manner.
“I, son of the Sacred Coven, vow to make my bride welcome and forever cherished until the day my magic dies. I promise to clothe her and fill her with my sons so one day my coven will prosper once more. In the name of the Moon and the Goddesses above, Blessed Be.”
Hermione couldn’t help but be fascinated by the vows that each of her now husband’s to be were willing to take for her.
It was all rather sweet now that she thought about it.
They were quite literally giving up their lives, dreams and hopes to cherish her in a sacred marriage that would save the pureblood community as they knew it.
In that moment, she felt her heart change as their magic flowed through her.
The love that they felt for her was everlasting and when it came time for her to point her wand at her name, she vowed that she would make this marriage work and start a new life as their bride.
When all of them had signed the contract, Kingsley waved his wand over the scroll and it burst into a bright golden light momentarily blinding all of them before disappearing into thin air.
“Congratulations to all of you now that you are engaged. If you have any questions or concerns about the law, contract or anything else you can think of, please do not hesitate to stop by as my office door is always open. Please be reminded that this contract and your engagement is to be kept quiet until the wedding where it will be made public for the first time. Starting tonight you will be living on an estate that has been specially designated for this purpose. I shall give Lucius the directions so you all can move your things into your new home. Good luck and I’ll see you on the day of the wedding.”
Kingsley said before he apparated out of the room.
Hermione stood there with her new fiancée’s as the magnitude of what they had just done settled within them.
Coming to terms with marrying not just one man, but three was quite a startling thing for her to accept; but nonetheless she had vowed that she would try.
Starting with now.
Turning to her boys, she gave them a small smile as she held out her hands in a peace offering.
“Hello, my dear fiancées. It seems as though we’re getting married.”
She said playfully as her eyes sparkled with mischief.
Blaise and Theo came on each of her sides and slid a hand around her lower back and upper shoulders while Draco took her hands in his own and placed gentle kisses on both sides of them making her giggle like a little school girl.
“Welcome to the family, Hermione.”
He said in an alluring tone making her heart beat out of her chest with happiness.
And so it began. Four different people from four different backgrounds coming together to start their new journey as a family.