I sat around the Weasley’s large dining table, waiting for my letter to come. On one side of me was my twin, Harry Potter, and on the other side of me was one of my best friends, Hermione Granger. We were all waiting for the letter that would determine our futures, the letter that told us who we would marry. Three days after the war had ended, Minister Kingsley Shacklebolt had put a marriage law into place, saying that anybody sixteen to twenty-five would be paired for marriage. If you didn’t agree, you would be stripped of your magic, Obliviated, and banished to the muggle world. I wasn’t sure how our matches were determined, all I knew was that I had to marry someone at the age of eighteen.
Suddenly there was a barrage of tapping on the windows, and eight owls bearing letters were let in. an owl flew to each of us and dropped a letter in front of us, then they all flew away, back to the ministry, I presumed. We opened our letters but were disappointed in what they said. Mine said,
Dear Miss North/Potter,
As you know, a marriage law has been put into place for all citizens of our country that are between the ages of sixteen and twenty-five. As you are eighteen, you will need to come to the Ministry of Magic at one o’clock this afternoon, and you will be given your match then.
Kingsley Shacklebolt, Minister of Magic
I groaned at the letter, then opened another one that had been delivered more recently. It said,
Dear Miss North/Potter,
I am pleased to inform you that Hogwarts is accepting 7th-year students back this year for a redo of their previous year. Inclosed is a list of supplies needed for this year’s curriculum for 7th years. We await your owl of response no later than August 31st.
Minerva McGonagall, Headmistress of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
I quickly gathered parchment and a quill and wrote back to McGonagall saying that I would be returning to school this year. Today was August 27th and we would need to go to Diagon Alley for supplies soon. Ginny, Hermione, Harry, and Ron were all writing letters similar to my own.
“So, we’re all returning?” I asked the three of them.
“I am,” Hermione said. “I still want to take my N.E.W.Ts.”
“I am,” Ron said. “If only to get Hermione off my back.” We all chuckled at that.
“I am if you lot are,” Harry said, and we all nodded. “Okay, then I am.” We sent the four letters to McGonagall with Pigwidgeon and Hercules, the owl Harry and I shared.
“What time do you all have to go to the ministry later?” I asked them. They all said that they would be going at 1:00. Looks like this is going to be a very hectic day at the ministry.
We arrived at the ministry at 12:55 that afternoon. We went into the main lobby of the building and saw that there were hundreds of people there already. At 1:00 sharp, the minister stepped out, along with Minerva McGonagall and a few bodyguards.
“Quiet!” Kingsley said, using the Sonorus charm to make his voice louder. Immediately the chatter in the hall quieted and one of the Aurors protecting him brought out a goblet I hadn’t seen since my fourth year, the Goblet of Fire. “We will be using the goblet to determine your pairs. Everybody in this room, take a piece of parchment and write your name on it. Your paper will come out along with your partner’s. Understand?” Pretty much everyone in the hall nodded. “Good, now, put your names in, use magic please, this needs to be fast,” Kingsley said, looking stressed. “Once your name is called, you will need to exit this room through that door. Now, let’s start with the pairings.” I zoned out until I heard Hermione’s name called. She was paired with Ron. I didn’t pay attention again until my name was called.
“Potter, Danielle,” Kingsley read. Another slip flew out of the goblet. I held my breath, hoping I wouldn’t get a terrible match. “Malfoy, Draco.” Annnnnnd...my hope didn’t come true. I slowly made my way over to the room we were supposed to go and out of the corner of my eye, I saw Malfoy following me. He had never been kind to me and he did bully me, probably because I was brought up in a muggle home. And he bullied my twin and called my best friend a Mudblood. On my way to the room, I heard Harry be paired with Cho Chang. Poor Ginny. When I finally got to the room Malfoy and someone I didn’t know were waiting for me there.
“Come with me,” the small witch said, leading us to a small office. We followed her and sat in two chairs in front of her desk. “Okay, where are you living right now, Miss Potter?” the witch asked. I shuffled uncomfortably in my seat, I wasn’t used to being called by my real surname.
“I’m living with the Weasley’s and I am planning on going back to school this year to finish my schooling,” I said. The witch nodded.
“And you, Mister Malfoy?”
“I’m living at my family’s Manor, and I’m also planning on going back to school,” Malfoy said.
“Are you living with anybody?”
“No, my mother was killed and my father is in Azkaban,” Malfoy said. I heard a hint of sadness in his voice but he soon masked it.
“When are you going back to school?” the witch asked.
“September 1st. In five days,” Malfoy said.
“Very well. You two need to see McGonagall now,” the witch said, ushering us out of her office and into one where McGonagall was.
“Hello Miss North, Mister Malfoy,” McGonagall said. We nodded at her and sat down. “So, you both are returning to school?” We nodded again. “There will be an extra floor added to Hogwarts for students that are paired. At Hogwarts you will be taking a life class, learning about marriage and family, and how to keep up with it all. This class is mandatory and I assume you both know the penalty for disobeying the law?” We nodded again. “Very well. I will see you in five days.” McGonagall then ushered us out of her office, and we were led to a large room with lots of tables for two people. Malfoy and I sat down at one and we just sat in silence.
“So…” I said. Malfoy looked up at me but he didn’t respond. “Look Malfoy, we are getting married, we need to be able to get along,” I said.
“What do you want to know?” Malfoy said quietly, still not looking up at me.
“Just tell me about you,” I said.
“Fine. My name is Draco Lucius Malfoy. I’m eighteen. My mother was killed by my father and my father is in Azkaban for life,” he said.
“I’m sorry,” I said.
“For what?” he asked, finally looking up at me.
“I know it must’ve been hard for you,” I said.
“What would’ve?” he asked.
“Everything. Growing up in that kind of household, having to become a Death Eater at sixteen because of your father’s mistakes,” I said.
“How did you know that?” Malfoy asked.
“My best friends are the Golden Trio. you learn a few things when you’re friends with them,” I said. “But the point is, I know it was your father’s fault that you became a Death Eater.”
“Yeah, it was his fault. Everything was his fault. He messed up, I had to fix it or else I would die, along with my mother. I hate him,” Malfoy said, but I saw a hit of sadness in his face.
“It’s okay to miss your father,” I said. “He’s still your father.”
“Yeah, one heck of a father he was,” Malfoy laughed humorlessly.
“Draco, I’m serious,” I said. His head snapped up to look at me.
“Did you just call me Draco?” he asked. I nodded. “It’s weird, I don’t think I’ve ever heard you call me that.”
“Yeah, I don’t think I’ve ever called you that before,” I said.
“Now, enough about me, tell me about you,” Draco said.
“My name is Danielle Lily North-Potter. My friends call me Dani. When I was born, my parents wanted to protect me so they gave me to a muggle family and they adopted me. I learned that I was a Potter when all of the Wizarding population had to produce a valid family tree. They figured out that I was adopted and gave me to the right family. My muggle family was killed during the war so I couldn’t ask them about it,” I said.
“Who killed them?” Draco asked softly.
“The Aurors figured out that it was Bellatrix, before she was killed,” I said softly.
“Sorry,” Draco said quietly. I couldn’t hear him.
“I’m sorry,” Draco said, louder. I was taken aback. Never in my life had I heard Draco say sorry.
“For what? You’re not responsible for your aunt’s actions,” I said.
“Not just for that, for everything over the years,” Draco said. “All the bullying and names.”
“It’s okay, Draco, I know that you were brought up to know that mudbloods like me were below you,” I said.
“Don’t call yourself that and don’t say that word,” Draco almost growled.
“Okay…” I said.
“I despise that word,” Draco said. “I vowed never to say it again.”
I smiled at him. “That’s good, Draco,” I said, putting my hand on top of his. He smiled at me hesitantly.
“Get your paws off my sister, Malfoy!” Harry approached our table, Cho following quickly behind him.
“Harry, it’s okay,” I said, forcing him to look at me.
“Dan, he’s going to hurt you,” Harry said.
“No, he’s not. I promise, I won’t let him hurt me,” I reassured him. Harry relaxed.
“You better watch out, Malfoy,” Harry growled, grabbing Draco by the collar of his shirt and pulling Draco down to his height.
“Don’t worry, Potter. I won’t hurt her,” Draco drawled.
“You better keep that promise,” Harry said, shoving Draco away and pulling me with him as he walked.
“Harry, let go of me!” I said, tugging at the and he was holding and trying to get away from him. He looked back at me after a few seconds of struggling, seeming to realize that he was pulling me. I finally pulled my hand free and looked at him indignantly.
“What was that for?” I asked.
“Dani, they paired you with Malfoy!” Harry said.
“Harry, we can’t control this. You need to learn to get along with Malfoy because one day, you’ll be family,” I said. “And you also need to learn that you can’t control me.” I walked away from him, heading back to the table where Draco was sitting.
“I’m sorry about him, he can be a little hot-headed sometimes,” I said, sitting back down in my seat across from him.
“No, it’s okay, I know that he won’t trust me for a while,” Draco said.
“But you’re still my fiance, and he needs to learn to get along with you,” I said. “And you need to get along with him.” Draco nodded, and just then we were shadowed by more people coming to talk to us. I looked up and saw Blaise Zabini standing next to Ginny. I got up and hugged her, saying, “Is this who you’re matched with?” Ginny nodded. I made a sympathetic face. “You’ll learn to love him,” I said, and she nodded.
“Just like you’ll learn to love Malfoy,” Ginny said.I agreed. “Just like that.”