Ministry Calls For Radical New Laws
3rd JUNE, 1998 In an unprecidented call for action following the severe blow to the magical population of Greater Britain, the British Ministry of Magic is calling for several questionable laws to be passed in regards to things such as blood status, marriage, and pro-creation. In a time when we should be worrying less about creating new problems and more about addressing the ones already on hand, this reporter finds himself questioning the stability of our current government.
During a closed session late last night, the newly elected Minister of Magic, Kingsley Shacklebolt, and several members of the ICW entertained the idea of passing a marriage law in which all witches and wizards not already in an existing relationship, and within child bearing age, be required to marry in accordance with several Ministry guidelines, and that from these marriages at least one magical offspring be produced within the required allotment of time. Family Trees will be required upon application for a Bonding Ceremony and marriages will not be allowed between Pureblooded families with familial ties to eachother less than six generations. Should family trees be unavailable, Ministry personnel would be available to preform Familial Rights so that any existing relations between the applicants may be know prior to approval of the union. Other stipulations touch on the appearance of squibs within the family, the marriage of muggleborns and halfbloods, and wether or not widow(er)s with children from previous relations will be required to comply.
An inside source who did not wish to be named told this reporter that the Ministry also discussed what to do about magical beings with creature inheritance, and about possibly expanding the acceptable definition of what a pure-blooded wizard is. No mention was made of any legistlation geared towards helping with the rebuilding of places like Hogsmeade, Diagon Alley, and certain portions of Hogwarts, nor was there any mention of funding being allocated to assist in the burial of war heros, or to offer recompense to members of the community who have been left widowed or orphaned by the greatest tragedy in our nations history to date. While said source could not provide any concrete dates for the passing of these barbarian laws, it is this reporters belief that the wizarding world should be prepared. For assitance with some of the more troubling matters addressed, please refer to our classifieds for a list of matchmakers, lawyers, and for our singles column.
"This is absolutely preposterous!" exclaimed Hermione as she threw her copy of the Daily Prophet on her living room table.
"There's no way that rubbish will ever pass," said Ron through a mouthful of pudding.
"I've seen the Ministry do dumber things," grimaced Harry.
Hermione worried her lip and furrowed her brow.
"What will they do? I mean, how can they make sure everyone is complying? And what happens to those who refuse to comply?"
"Well. Way I see it, they can integrate into a different country's magical societies where these stupid ideas don't exist, or they can surrender their magic, have their wands snapped, and their powers bound," said Ron.
Hermione looked mortified.
"I dunno Mione. I thought Kingsley was smarter, but apparently he's just desperate for some kind of normal," said Harry.
"He's barmy!" said Ron.
"Surely they won't pass it this year, I mean...don't things like this take time?" asked Hermione.
"It depends," a new voice interjected. "The ICW and the Wizengamot both took hard hits. While the age of maturity in the wizarding world is 17, seats usually aren't taken up until the age of 21 to give the holder time to finish their education and settle into a career if so chosen. Both bodies have entered a state of emergency and as of now the only acting body is the ICW. With laws this insane they will push harder to have them passed before anyone can vote to have seats occupied by the newest Lords and Ladies, and before anyone can interject with a vote of No Confidence. The only remaining members are ancient. These laws won't affect them, and unfortunately not many of them have any family left so they won't think about the damage they are causing to the younger generation."
"So basically I have to worry about my last year at school, NEWTS, gaining an apprenticeship, AND being paired off with a potential pedophile so we can go at it like jack rabbits and spit out a kid neither of us will love?" shreiked Hermione.
"Yeah. Something like that."
9TH JULY, 1998 In an unprecedented move the Ministry of Magic just last night passed quiet possibly the most radical set of laws the wizarding world has ever seen. Nine new laws went into effect at midnight last night during one of several emergency meetings of the ICW that have been held over the past 30 days. These new laws range from Creature Registration and Rights to the most scandalious, The Iure Matrimoniali, or in common terms, The Marriage Law. Witches and Wizards of childbearing age will have thirty days to find a suitable match of their own, and apply for a Bond Certificate. Any witch or wizard who has not done so within the given time will then be paired up based on several Ministry conducted tests and may at that point, be immediately bonded, or may choose to recuse themselves from the magical world, a fate some consider worse than death.
For more information on the various laws please refer to our Special Edition section of todays Prophet.
"I can't believe it!" Hermione cried. "How could they do this? It's...it's...it's like human breeding! Who is the Ministry to put a time limit on finding love? And what qualifies them to decide who is right for who?"
"Just find someone you can tolerate, pop out a kid with them, and you're both free to go your seperate ways," said Ron.
"How romantic!" Hermione seethed. "Hey, Ron, lets go get bonded, screw eachother senseless, knock out a kid, and go our seperate ways," she spat out sarcastically.
"'Mione. I didn't mean it that way. It can't be that bad. I mean. You are a war hero. You can have anyone you want. Surely there is someone out there you want?"
"I don't want someone to be with me because I'm famous for being a killer. I want someone who values my intelligence, and loyalty."
"Well...what exactly does the law stipulate?" asked Harry.
"I don't know," she mumbled. I haven't gotten that far."
Harry snatched the paper from her and quickly began to scan the Special Edition section with various looks of disgust crossing his face.
"Who are these people? These laws are terrible! If you suffer from conditions such as lycanthropy and choose to marry your spouse will own you and you will have no legal say in the matters of your offspring? If you possess one quarter or more of creature blood you are considered property and the same rules apply? Thats bloody sick!"
"What does it say about the marriage part?" moaned Hermione.
"It is hereby ordered and commanded that all witches aged 17 to 60 and all wizards ages 17 to 100 find an appropriate partner and present themselves at the Ministry no later than 6:30 pm on 10th August 1998 for the issuance of a Bond Certificate. Acceptable pairings are as follows: Any pairing which will result in the production of at least one viable and magical offspring within a period of 546 days (one and one half years). Pure-bloods may marry other pure-bloods given that they are related to eachother no less than 7 times removed. Muggleborns may marry pure or half-bloods, but the marriage of muggleborns to eachother is strictly prohibited. Muggleborns may not marry into any family that has a Squib within the last 6 generations. Exemptions include any witch or wizard who has a hereditary illness, has been deemed barren, has been convicted of a serious crime and is currently serving their sentence, or who has any other impairment or disability such as blindness or deafness. Any witch or wizard who refuses to comply will be subjected to mating tests and will be paired off with a suitable mate as determined by the Ministry. Failure to comply will result in your wand being snapped and your powers bound."
"I think I'm gonna be sick," said Ron, looking a little green.
"Oh come on Ronnikins! You know you fancy someone like McGonagall!" said Fred who had stopped over to discuss theory on a new invention with Hermione.
"Oh. God! The image! My eyes! They burn!" shrieked Ron.
"This is serious guys!" wailed Hermione. "Don't you see what they are doing? We have to fight this!"
"How Hermione? They aren't joking when they say they'll snap your wand. Desperate times. Desperate measures. Crazy men never think clearly. These new laws should be enough proof for that. At this point you had better sit down and review every eligible witch and wizard you know depending on your preferences. Your luck all the good ones will be gone while you sit here and wallow," sneered Draco.
"Ha!" Hermione barked out hysterically. "That's easy for you to say! You have Pansy. Your marriage has been secured since you were born!"
"Not so," said Draco. "She's already promised to someone else. I released her from that horrid contract the moment my father died."
"Then why are you not panicking?"
"Because I have found an otherwise suitable match and have already presented sufficient documentation to the Ministry to have a Bond Certificate issued," said Draco picking a piece of lint from his sleeve.
"How much did you pay her?" asked Hermione.
"I didn't pay him anything. I respectfully asked for his hand in marriage, and I am eternally grateful that he accepted my proposal."
"H-He? But. But. But-" Hermione spluttered.
"The Marriage Law states any two witches or wizards may enter a union so long as an offspring may be produced. It is a little known fact that two wizards can, with the aid of certain potions, if they are strong enough magically, conceive and carry mutliple pregnancies to term. My mate and I both meet that requirement, and I carry Veela blood which will aid in the process of becoming pregnant should I choose to be the carrier. I am fortunate that my mate will not view me as property based on the new laws our insane Minister has passed, and I love him more than life itself."
"So-" Hermione was at a loss.
"So," said Harry smiling, "that means that the wizarding worlds top 2 bachelors are off the market since three days ago."
"Wait..." said Ron.
"Guys. Draco and I..." Harry trailed off blushing.
"We're getting married. Properly. Our deepest apologies that we didn't tell you sooner. I simply did not wish to jeopardize Harry's happiness," said Draco smiling.
"Harry! That's- Oh Harry! I'm so happy for you!" Hermione squealed.
"Wow, Mate. Malfoy? Really?" asked Ron.
"Ron!" Hermione admonished.
"I didn't say I wasn't happy for him! I may not like him, but people change, and Malfoy, if Harry is happy, I'm happy. Just don't hurt him or you're a dead man, got it?" he asked holding his hand out for Draco to shake.
"Thank you, Ron. This means a lot to the both of us," said Draco accepting the offered hand.
"So how do we determine who is available and who is not? I mean, Draco and Harry snuck off and got unavailable before this even came out..." trailed off Hermione.
"I say we throw a proper dinner party. The Malfoy name is still pretty shiny, and Perfect Potter can sure attract the party goers. It can be a surprise Engagement Party at Malfoy Manor. I've recently had it redecorated and it needs a proper breaking in. Open invitations to 'mingle and maybe meet the love of your life'?" suggested Draco.
"And what? If they don't come we know they're taken?"
"No, but I'm sure the important people will come. None of our friends would turn an invitation down single or not. And I'm sure the Prophet will release names of those who have been granted their Certificates. Let's do a week from Saturday and see what kind of juicy gossip we can turn up!" said Blaise.
"Well, I'll come for the party, but I'm afraid I got a jump on the Ministry," said Fred.
"What?" choked Ron.
"I asked Ang and she said yes. We're coming to the Burrow for dinner Sunday. George and Katie will be there as well, although their annoucement will be a bit more exciting..."
"No!" exclaimed Harry.
"Yep. In six months we'll all be proud uncles. And aunts in Hermione's case. The Weasley family dinner is where it's at this Sunday. We'll make a huge dent in the available ladies."
"And gentlemen," smirked Harry.
"Mum's gonna have a stroke," whispered Ron.
"No doubt. She'll be in wedding planning Heaven. Thank Merlin Bill already got married. Can you imagine?"
"Has Percy asked Penelope yet?" asked Hermione.
"What?" splutter the three Weasley brothers.
"Oh please! They've been together off and on for years. It's only natural they would end everyones torment and tie the knot, especially with this new annoucement."
"Mum can't handle three wedding annoucements and a pregnancy," whispered Fred.
"Four. Wedding annoucements," said Ron turning bright red.
"What?" the room shouted.
"I'm getting married. We agreed not to tell. We didn't want our families getting in trouble."
"Who is it?"
"I guess you'll find out Sunday."