Learning to Love within the Law

Chapter 1

A/N: This is my first fan fiction in a very long time so I hope you enjoy

Disclaimer: I sadly do not own this world it belongs to J.

Nightmares, Letters and Soulmates

"You filthy little Mudblood" screamed at me as she bore her knife down on my skin. Pain searing as I felt my flesh torn open, blood spilling down my forearm as I cried for her to stop.

I woke with a start, Ginny standing over me with a pained look on her face. "This is the fifth time this week I have had to wake you 'Mione, please, what's wrong?" She climbed onto the bed and pulled me into her embrace as I softly sobbed into her shoulder. "It's nothing Ginny, just a stupid nightmare" I could tell by the way she was looking at me that she didn't believe me, not wanting to press the issue further though, she climbed under the covers and continued holding me, slowly brushing the hair away from my face. "You know, if this keeps happening, Harry is going to start getting jealous that I sleep more with you then him" she smirked down at me and I laughed softly. I thanked her and she ran her fingers through my hair till I drifted back to sleep praying not to see Malfoy Manor when I closed my eyes.

"Hermione, Ginny, time for breakfast" Mrs Weasley slowly opened the door to Ginny's room, noticing Ginny's bed empty she looked straight to mine to see the two of us, wrapped around one another. Smiling to herself, she walked over tapping Ginny on the shoulder. "Another nightmare?" Mrs Weasley looked at Ginny with concern, watching as she nodded. "Time to get up dears, there are letters down stairs for all of you, from the Ministry."

With this Ginny sat up, dropping me from her arms, and began to shake me awake, "Mione, Mione, time to get up, we have letters from the Ministry, and you know this can't be good." Upon hearing the word Ministry my eyes shot open and I looked at her, her eyes wide and alarm on her face. "You go down ahead Gin, I'll be there in a minute" With that the beautiful red head who I was lucky enough to call my best friend got out of my bed, and left.

Letters from the Ministry? What could they possibly want now? The war had only ended a few months ago and so many of us were still mourning the loss of loved ones. My mind wandered to Remus and Tonks, tears swelling in my eyes as I thought of their son Teddy, they died never knowing if they had helped succeed in making this world a safer and better place for him. We had all lost someone, the Weasley's considered themselves amongst the luckiest of all, we had all thought Fred was gone for good, he lay there unmoving as Percy and Harry dragged his body to safety, yet when we returned to retrieve him, he was gone, found kneeling beside Remus crying. When asked what happened he told us all that he could hear us, he tried to move, to speak but was unable to. We had concluded that as the wall exploded he must have been hit with a silencing charm and a full body bind by a, now dead, Death Eater. I remember George holding Fred tight and calling him a right git for scaring him. We were lucky that day, but so many weren't.

My thoughts were snapped back to attention when I heard a knock on the door. "Granger, mum wanted me to come check on you, we're waiting" Fred smirked and winked at me and it was in this moment that I realised I was only in short shorts and a long sleeve shirt that clung to my now developed body. Shooing him from the room, I quickly changed into a pair of tight black jeans and slipped a bra on under the shirt I was wearing. Pulling my hair into a bun to contain it, I felt my forearm sting. I still hadn't told them what Bellatrix had done to me, and I didn't know if I could, but with it being Summer I didn't know how long I could continue to hide it.

I made my way to the kitchen and found all the Weasley children around the table with Mr and Mrs Weasley at either end. I took my place next to Ginny apologised for taking so long, looking across to see Fred smiling, he gave me another wink and I felt the blood rush in my cheeks as I turned away.

"Right, now.." Mr Weasley stood from his chair addressing the table, "as each of you know, you have a letter here for you. Before you open them, there is something I must tell you." He paused with a sombre look upon his face and sadness in his eyes, pulling out a piece of parchment he continued, "Due to the aftermath of the war and as such, the loss of so many lives, the Ministry of Magic has passed a new law which decrees that all Wizards between the ages of 17 to 25, must be married within six months of this date, July 15th !998, to the person the Ministry has found to be their soul mate." We all starred at Mr Weasley in disbelief, this couldn't really be happening could it? This was some sort of sick joke. As Mr Weasley sat down the room erupted

"What do you mean we have to get married!" the twins and Ron yelled

"Wait do I qualify?" Both Charlie and Ginny said in unison, and then looked at each other, Ginny turning 17 in a little under a month and Charlie to be 26 by December

"What about Ginny and I?" Harry looked to be near tears.

All I could do was look at Percy who seemed to be the only person as out of it as I was, it wasn't until Mrs Weasley stood, that everyone became silent again.

"Alright, alright. Now, yes you have to get married." She looked heartbroken, "Ginny there is a letter for you too, so I can only assume that means you qualify as you will be of age within the time frame. Charlie, you do not have a letter. Therefore you seem to be have made exempt." Charlie couldn't stop grinning until he saw his father shake his head and realised it was not the time. "Harry dear, I do not know what will happen between you and Ginny, but you and Hermione will always be family. Now, take your letters and we will start from the oldest." Mrs Weasley handed out the letters, I could see her hands shaking and I gave her a loving smile as handed me mine. I looked around knowing these people would always be my family.

"Percy dear, you first" We all turned to look at Percy, as his eyes scanned his page, we saw what can only be described as a light bulb go off in his head as he registered who is bride to be was.

Looking up at us he cleared his throat, "Audrey Kenealy…"

Charlie laughed "I know her! She was the year below me in Ravenclaw, right looker that one is Perce, good luck to you" He winked and Percy went the familiar Weasley shade of red.

Fred and George went next; they looked at each other stood up, and linked arms, "Ready Fred?" "Ready George!" the both ripped open their letters and scanned. They let go of one another and Fred dropped into his chair whilst George jumped up in the air. "YES! Angelina Johnson, mum, dad, I got Angie!" The excitement on his face was evident, George and Angelina had been dating since the war ended and you could see in Ginny's face that this gave her hope for her and Harry. "Fred, Fred, who'd you get?" "Ahh, I'll wait whose next?" I couldn't tell if he was happy or not but he was definitely shocked.

It was Ron's turn now and he looked at me and winked. We had decided to stay simply friends after our kiss, and by we I meant me, but Ron had taken it rather well, "Do I have to bother we all know it'll be Hermione," I thought I heard Fred scoff but ignored him, still watching Ron. He opened his letter and his jaw dropped. "Lavender Brown? You've got to be joking! She's mental that one." The smile was now gone from his face and I was trying not to laugh at the idea of Won Won and Lav Lav getting married. Then it hit me, wait who could I be paired with?

Harry took a deep breath and squeezed Ginny's hand and whispered "no matter what I will always love you" kissing her on the cheek, I wanted them so badly to be paired; they deserved happiness more than the rest of us combined. Harry opened his letter and beamed, at the sight of his face, Ginny opened hers too and started crying as she leapt into his arms.

"Sooooooo, you didn't get each other?" George and Charlie joked as Mrs Weasley swatted at them before going to give Harry and Ginny a hug. The room began congratulating them and I had almost forgotten I had yet to open my letter, almost. "Go on then Hermione." Ginny said whilst still crying from happiness. Well it was now or never, and never wasn't an option.

Miss Hermione Jean Granger,

The Ministry is pleased to announce the Marriage Law. All witches and wizards between the ages of 17 to 25 are set to be married to their soul mate as determined through the Ministry.

We assure you extensive lengths were met in ensuring the correct pairing of all wizarding couples.

All couples must be married within six months of this date, July 15th 1998, and once married there will be no divorcing said spouse.

All couples must have a child within the first two years of marriage and at least two all up.

There will be no cheating; you will be bonded to your spouse at your ceremony

Any breaking of these rules and you will have your wand snapped and be sent to Azkhban for a length of time.

Now, to the happy part, as determined by the Ministry your soul mate is

Fredrick Gideon Weasley

Good luck and the Ministry wishes you a long happy marriage

Sincerely yours

Kingsley Shacklebot

Minister of Magic

I couldn't believe it, Fred! Fred Weasley! I was going to marry Fred Weasley! The biggest prankster ever born, he was my soul mate. I managed to tear my eyes off my letter long enough to look up and find Fred staring at me, with what looked like hope in his eyes.

"Hi there" he smirked whilst giving me a cheeky wink

"Hi" I managed to stumble back before my face went bright pink

"Wait, why are they looking at each other like that?" Ron sneered

Ginny and George understood instantly. "OH, MY, GODERIC!"

"I'm going to be a Weasley…" It was a near inaudible murmur but it was enough for everyone to register.

Suddenly there was an uproar and the last thing I remember seeing was Ron dive over the table and tackle Fred to the floor whilst everyone screamed.