Hermione heard the tapping of an owl on the window of the library and opened it. It was a Ministry owl, she took the scroll and gave it a treat. What could the Ministry want now? Hermione broke open the seal with a shaky hand as she noticed the Marriage and Bonding Office seal on the scroll. What was she about to get herself into?
Hermione Jean Granger, you are hereby, officially made note of the new Marriage Law, Section IV Clause M.
As according to the ruling you have a month after receiving this notice to marry. Afterwards you have exactly 48 hours to complete the wizard marriage rituals.
Listed below are a list of possible suitors to be matched with you. You now have one month to choose.
Good luck and congratulations on your upcoming nuptials!
Head of Marriage and Bonding Offices
Hermione sucked in a breath as she sat down on the sofa. Fuck. What was she supposed to do? She let out a small sob and curled up on the couch. Severus was in another part of the library when he heard muffled sob coming from the couches and lounge area. He grabbed the book he had been looking for and made his way over there. He walked into the lounge and found Miss Granger curled up on the couch crying quietly. He didn’t know what to do, he was never particularly good at comforting people, let alone women.
“Miss Granger?” He asked cautiously as he walked up to her couch. Hermione’s head shot up and Severus could the tear tracks on her face. “Are you alright?” He sat on the couch next to her and Hermione blushed. She passed him her scroll from the Ministry and grabbed a pillow, proceeding to bury her face in it to hide her tears. Severus read the note and his eyes widened. He was going to open the bottom, but noticed it was still sealed, so Miss Granger must not have opened and looked at her ‘matches’. “Miss Granger, you should look at your matches, try to think this out with reason, make the best of an absolutely awful situation. I know you are stronger than this. If you would like I will sit here while you read the rest of your letter.” He put a comforting hand on her shoulder and Hermione looked up at him.
“Y-you would not mind, Sir?” She sniffled and Severus pulled out a handkerchief and offered it to her. Hermione ducked her head but took it none the less. She cleaned her face and cleaned the cloth with a wandless spell; when she tried to give it back to him he merely ticked up the corners of his mouth.
“Keep it, and yes, if you would like I will sit here with you.” He rubbed her shoulder soothingly and Hermione nodded.
“Thank you, I would like that very much.” She gave him a small smile and Severus inclined his head. “Well, here goes nothing. Thank you for sitting here with me, Sir.” She opened it and was about to read when she decided to read it aloud. “Hermione Jean Granger, these are your top choices, but if you have another, they must have you on their list and you must be observed and approved by the Ministry. Draco Malfoy. George Weasley. Percy Weasley. Lucius Malfoy. Jackson Marxz. Sirius Black. Zachary Martin. Johnathan Spears. And lastly Severus Snape.” She let out a gasp and turned to look at her Professor. He was looking down at her with confusion. “S-Sir, I-I’m sorry. I had no clue they w-would match u-us. Obviously you wouldn’t want t-to be paired with m-me.” She looked down and Severus was still quiet. “I am just a buck-toothed, bushy-haired know it all.” She mumbled and let her hair fall in her face. Severs winced and lifted her chin.
“Miss Granger, you are none of those things.” He gave her a warm smile and Hermione flushed. At least he was trying to be nice.
“Well luckily Ronald isn’t on my list so I don’t have to argue and just flat out tell him no.” She said morosely. Severus was about to comment when an owl swooped in from the open window and dropped a scroll in Severus’ lap before making a swift exist. Most likely to not be hexed.
“Looks like it’s my turn.” Hermione looked ready to bolt and Severus gave her a small smile. “You may stay while I also read my missive.” He opened it and Hermione held her breath. “Let’s see, Hermione Granger, Abagail MacDonald, and Luna Lovegood. All former students, fucking perfect.” He sneered and looked over at Hermione. He wondered who she would pick. Suddenly another owl swooped in with a letter for him. “It’s Miss MacDonald asking to see me.” He accio-ed a piece of parchment and pen and replied with a short note. “No thank you. I’m sorry but I could have a more stimulating conversation with a plank.” He huffed and Hermione let out a twinkling like laugh and Severus realized how much he had come to like that sound.
“Professor, I do not think I would be able to marry more than half of the people on this list. The others I don’t think I know other than you, what should do?” Her mind was rushing around a mile a minute and Severs realized she needed to be calmer to think about this.
“Here, take this, it will allow you to think more clearly.” He accio-ed a calming draught and held it out to her. Hermione took it and downed it in one gulp.
“Thank you, sir. I think I’m going to my room to think for a while.” She took the letter and stood, fleeing from the room. Severus sighed, she was the best match for him, and he knew it, but he could never take her like that, ruin her. He would only be a burden to her, an embarrassment. Hermione made her way up to her room and closed the door with a heavy sigh. She fell into her bed clutching the handkerchief he had given her. She wondered if he would be alright with agreeing to marry her, but she wished he would not have to be bound once more.
It had been exactly two weeks since she had received her letters. She had, in the past two weeks, received invitations to tea with Lucius, dinner with Sirius, lunch with Johnathan Spears, and a letter from Percy saying her way already engaged to Angela. She had not heard anything from Severus, or seen him for that matter, since they both received their respective letters. It was almost one in the morning and Hermione was a head full of raging thoughts. She got up and walked out of her room, heading for her Professor’s room. She knocked quietly on the door, it was met with a low ‘enter’ and Hermione opened the door. She walked in and closed the door behind her.
“Um, I wanted to talk to you, sir, about.” She cut herself off as she noticed that her former Professor only had on a pair of lounge pants, and a pair of reading glasses that sat on the end of his nose as he lounged back on his bed, reading. Hermione felt her mouth grow dry, he looked absolutely, edible.
“Yes, Miss Granger?” Severus looked over the rim of his glasses at her.
“I-I never mind, Sir, i-it’s stupid, really, I shouldn’t bother you with it.” She turned and made to leave when Severus jumped up and was next to her in seconds. He covered the hand that was resting on the knob of the door with his and Hermione bit her lip. She could feel the heat of the hard planes of his body pressed up against her back. “P-Professor?” She mumbled quietly.
“Severus, call me Severus.” He breathed hotly in her ear and Hermione turned only to find him press himself closer and herself pressed against the door. “Hermione.” He muttered huskily and Hermione itched to reach out and touch him.
“If you had no objections to it, would you consider me? I know I am not pretty, Severus, not even as pretty as Luna. I-I get caught up in my work, a lot, forget to eat even, sometimes for days. I would rather you not have to be bound to someone once more, but I will allow you any freedom you wished. Any w-woman you may desire, I-I would not deny you t-that.” At this she looked down, before making to continue, at this Severus cut her off by moving closer.
“I would not want any other woman than you, Hermione. I mean that, I would gladly have you as my wife. You are beautiful, intellectually stimulating, and one of, no, the sweetest witch I know, I hope this is not out of pity, or anything else.” He stroked her cheek and Hermione placed her hand over his, much like he had done with hers earlier. She ran her fingers up his arm and let it rest on his shoulder.
“No, but before we do this, I would like to release you of the life debt you owe me. I will you honor you as my husband, will not stray, and always, always,” She said it again for emphasis. “Defend you.” She watched as warmth spread through his eyes and a small smile found its way to his lips. Hermione’s eyes flicked down to his mouth, but returned to his intense eyes.
“I will honor you, my soon-to-be-wife, respect you, never stray, and always keep you safe.” With that he leant down and captured her lips with his own as a shimmering, gold, light surrounded them as an official binding was set in place.