Chapters 1-10

‘The Apprentice and the Necromancer’ by JunoMagic
Chapters 1–10

Marriage Law

‘A marriage law?’ Harry crumpled the edge of the paper as he waved the Daily Prophet angrily around. ‘Don’t they have anything better to do just now?”

It was six months after the last battle. The dead were buried, but there were still Death Eaters on the loose.

Hermione looked up from her plate, grateful for the distraction. Kreacher behaved as if he had to win a cooking competition at each meal, but she had less appetite than ever.

‘Well, at some point things have to go back to normal,’ she said. Normal. How could anything ever be normal again? she thought. ‘What do they say?’

‘Something about squibs and jea-ns and precautions and bloodlines,’ Ron mumbled around his toast.

Hermione turned to the third of the trio and frowned. ‘How do you know about that? Since when do you read?’

Ron had the grace to blush. He swallowed convulsively, then cleared his throat. ‘I don’t actually. I overheard mum talking about it.’

‘Give me that, Harry,’ Hermione demanded. ‘I bet it wasn’t “jeans” you heard mentioned, but “genes”.’

Harry rolled his eyes, but handed over the paper. Hermione pushed her chair back from the table, and disappeared behind the paper until only the top of her head, a wisp of bushy brown curls remained visible. After a few minutes she put down the paper, shaking her head in a bemused manner.

‘You know, this actually makes a lot of sense,’ she said at last. ‘The Ministry must be losing its touch.’

‘What?’ Harry stared at her. ‘What’s sensible about coming up with a marriage law when there are still Death Eaters running around?’

‘So what are those jeans?’ Ron asked.

‘Well – basically it’s a law against inbreeding. Just think of that tapestry,’ she waved her hand towards the door and the rest of the house, ‘and how everyone among the pure-blooded families is related to everyone else. Magical ability is tied to our genes, Ronald. Oh, don’t look at me like that. I’ve told you about them before. How a baby gets red hair? Remember? Information encoded in the cells of our body?’

Ron ducked, wincing.

Ashamed, Hermione bit down on her lip. She really shouldn’t get that impatient with him. She knew how frayed her friend’s nerves still were. But did he never really listen to her? Did he never remember a single thing she told him?

‘Anyway, inbreeding is bad for the genes. If you have a tiny, stagnant gene pool, the risk of “bad” genes “meeting” and combining unfavourably is much higher than in an open society. Basically, if purebloods kept on marrying purebloods and got no new genes from outside, you might end up with a bunch of crazy squibs when all is said and done. The Ministry has bespelled the genealogies of all wizards and witches so that only those persons may marry and procreate –’ She did not even sigh at Ron’s clueless look. ‘– have babies, that is, who won’t be mixing up bad genes. Basically, they want to prevent Draco from marrying his sister and producing another generation of lunatics.’

‘But Draco doesn’t have a sister,’ Harry said, widening his eyes innocently.

Hermione stuck her tongue out at him. At least he’d understood her. ‘So you see, Harry,’ she went on, ‘this law actually has something to do with – with clearing up the situation – some – some more.’

Ron rubbed his nose thoughtfully, finally wrapping his mind around Hermione’s explanation. ‘And how exactly are they going to do that? That law-thingy?’

‘Well, if you want to marry, you have to apply to the wizarding genealogy offices. They take blood samples of your blood and your prospective wife’s and run tests, comparing them to the combined bloodlines of the wizarding world. If they come up clean, you may marry and have babies. If not, you won’t get a licence. And –’ Hermione snorted, ‘if you try to have illegal unprotected intercourse, the men won’t be able to function.’

Both Harry and Ron went pale. Their hands jerked. Hermione felt the corners of her mouth twitch with amusement. If she hadn’t been there, they’d have probably touched their bits just to make sure they were still attached to them. Men! Really. Thinking always of one thing and one thing only.

‘So what else is new?’ she asked, picking up the paper again.

‘Snape’s trial is about to begin,’ Ron muttered.

‘What?’ Harry and Hermione shouted together.

Ron flinched again, paling slightly. ‘I – I heard – someone at the Ministry talk about it yesterday, when I went there for the Wizard Wheezes files …’ Ron didn’t read anymore than he used to, but he was getting better at listening to people. With one notable exception, Hermione contemplated.

‘But.’ Harry’s voice sounded strained. ‘He’s not well enough for a trial. What the hell are they thinking?’

Snape was still in St. Mungo’s, Isolation Ward. Hovering on the brink of death for weeks, the healers still were not sure if he would ever be able to talk again or what other permanent damages the snake venom had inflicted on his body. Additionally, the memories he had given Harry hadn’t been extracted with the normal spell, and could probably not be restored.

That Snape was alive at all was mainly due to Hermione’s quick reaction. She shuddered, thinking back to those hectic minutes, when she’d somehow managed to get the blood flow staunched with magic and then had kept him breathing and his heart beating, using Muggle First Aid. She’d ended up in St Mungo’s for two weeks herself, just from coming into contact with his poisoned blood.

‘He won’t even be able to defend himself,’ Hermione whispered, horrified.

Harry’s green eyes flashed dangerously. Snape had always been a touchy subject with him. But since Snape’s continued loyalty had been revealed, guilt and shame had been added to the already volatile mix of Harry’s attitude towards the Potions Master.

‘Then we will have to defend him,’ Harry announced.

19 Responses to Chapters 1-10

  1. Buzzy says:

    What a great setup! I love the way you’ve modified the Marriage Law enough to make it plausible, as opposed to the ridiculous version of the original challenge. That choice shifts the dynamic, removing the distraction of needing to deal with why the Ministry has become so obviously corrupt. Making Severus the one who needs saving, instead of Hermione, is a great role reversal, and having Severus unaware of the plan is a very nice little plot twist – I anticipate a great deal of suspicion on his part, making things difficult for Hermione.

    • JunoMagic says:

      W00t! Great to see you here. 😀

      The original MLC the lawyer in me stimply couldn’t stomach. But at the same time the *idea* absolutely intrigued me. And didn’t let go until I figured I’d try to twist it and bend it a little and see what happens …

      Having Severus unaware of the plan was a lot of fun. And yes, he’ll be definitely a pain in the behind. But that’s his job!

  2. MikeK says:

    What a great start. Lots to like. Luna being smarter than everyone thinks. Hermione marching off to a fate worse than death, feeling honor bound to do so. The sneaking suspicion that Luna is really getting Hermione out of the way so she can become a Weasley. She’d fit right in.



    PS: It needs classic soap opera cliffhanger organ music.

  3. Budgie says:


    I really love your story so far, and I can’t wait to read on!

    Just wanted to let you know that the link to part 2 does not work, either you get a warning that it “Cannot modify header information”, or the page closes down… *sobs*


    • JunoMagic says:

      It should work now. I’ve been trying to get a caching plugin working to speed up the performance of the site, but the dratted thing won’t work and even worse, as you’ve seen, BREAKS stuff. *ARGH!*

      Happy you like the story so far! 🙂

  4. thebagatelle says:

    I love your whole plot. I am so excited to keep reading. You take things at an absolutely perfect speed– the characters developing bit by bit is perfect. The whole idea is brilliant.

    I don’t think I’d be able to rave enough about your work. *claps*

    • JunoMagic says:

      Thank you very much for spending time with my story and even more for taking the time to leave a comment. 🙂

      I’m very happy you like the story so much so far!

  5. Sindie says:

    I think I’m going to love this! I’ve been an avid reader of SS/HG since 2003, and I especially love when an author does a post-DH fic. 🙂 I followed the link from some artwork on DeviantArt and am so glad I did! I’m also happy to see that this is a completed fic, so yay! I can read to my heart’s content and not worry about it being abandoned! 🙂

  6. Lothloriel says:

    Followed your link from, and am so glad I did! I read this when you were first putting it up, and loved it then. I love it even more now that I have actually gone back and re-read the gloriousness that is Abhorsen. 🙂

    Also, may I say that I absolutely love the site. There’s something about reading a wonderful story in a functional, beautiful setting.

    You have always been one of my favorite fan fic authors for your skill, unexpectedness, the way you deftly take a story I think I know and turn it upside down and inside out while remaining true to the spirit of it, and this story is no exception.

  7. emra says:

    Iv’e just read this entire fanfic in a few days, it was AWESOME. Of course, I didn’t take the time to write reviews then, I was too enraptured with the story. And when I saw you had a sequel, of course I had to read that first too. I did resolve to come back latter and leave a review on every tenth chapter, so here I am.

    So, starting with chapters 1-10:
    Really well done. I like the tension in Ron, Hermione, and Harry’s relationship. Especially that Harry and Ginny foresee the coming doom of Ron and Hermione’s romantic relationship.

    I like the cute nicknames you give Harry, like ” the Boy-Who-Could-Use-Cusswords-Without-Being-Scolded.”

    The healer at Mungos is a treat, extremely likable. 🙂

    And best part: Arthur Weasley mentions that Snape’s sentence has some similarities to muggle theories of rehabilitation and Hermione just has to express her frustration. Her hitting her head on the desk is like a facepalm X 10.

    And last but not least, I am definitely looking forward to seeing how the sequel develops. My only hope is that further maiming of our beloved main characters is limited. If the pace of terrible injuries maintains itself from this fic, by chapter 200 of the next one they’ll all be sitting around in Mungos each of them in a “johnny got his gun” kind of situation.

  8. obsidianjg says:

    Intriguing setup. I’m not quite sure how I feel about Ron’s characterization, but after the summary, he has to get out of the picture. Even after finally reading all the books, my feelings for Snape are not overly friendly ;-).

    • JunoMagic says:

      You just totally and absolutely MADE my day. *dances*

      Now, your comment: Yes, obviously writing SS/HG Ron must disappear. Mostly. 😉 But also, I never liked him (much) in canon, so … Otoh, I always adored Snape. In HBP I *knew* without any doubt that he hadn’t killed Dumbles … Also, one thing about “Apprentice” is definitely that I’m not always sharing the characters’ opinions. I have them being stupid and making mistakes, and being beastly, and doing things that made me go “DON’T DO THAT!” even as I was writing the relevant chapter. It’s pretty wild and sometimes even *gasp* controversial. But I had tons of fun, and I hope you’ll enjoy it, too — even if you don’t really like Snape. 😉

  9. Tamari says:

    I was referred to your story as a “must-read” and I’m happy that I followed this recommendation. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful idea. I especially enjoyed the way you made them behave “real” and how smothly you added Alina and her mother to the known characters.
    I hope you will some day continue with the sequel.

    • JunoMagic says:

      Thank you for spending time with my story, and I’m thrilled you enjoyed it — especially my OCs. I know many people are dubious about OCs, so I’m always very happy when readers like the additional characters I created. I really, really want to finish the sequel (it’s all plotted out!). But offline life has been utterly awful since 2010, each year in its own way, and 2013 is less than fun so far, so I doubt much will happen this year. 🙁

  10. Gabi Cristian says:

    I’m excited to start your story–I stumbled across it through a “favorite story” link on I’m not sure how I feel about Ron and Harry’s characterizations so far, but then again I don’t particularly like either one of them in canon, either, so you’re probably spot-on.

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