My Essay on the Unbreakable Vow.
The Unbreakable Vow is one of the more powerful spells in Wizarding History. Since its invention in 1568, after the betrayal of Mary, Queen of Scots, the Unbreakable Vow has affected Wizarding Law like non other.
The Unbreakable Vow is a spell to ensure trust between two parties with a third party as a binder. Today, it is merely an old ritual between ancient families to keep trust with each other, but its effect in history was much more widespread.
The Unbreakable Vow first links the hand of both parties in a tight clasp. The first party asks three questions and the second party agrees to them. If it is a mutually binding agreement, the other participant then asks three questions and the first party agrees. The Binder throughout all of this has his/her wand trained over the binding, creating ropes of magical fire and when the ceremony is over, the magical fire merges with both parties involved. The Unbreakable Vow is finished.
It was invented by the ever eccentric Midus Somrash from Greece, an overly paranoid trader of magical weapons, such as wand holsters, Re'em blood imbibed goblin swords, mage staffs and other such gadgetry. He invented the spell to make sure that whoever bought his products would not use them on him or his family. Unfortunately, this backfired on him when he did not tighten up the loopholes in this agreement and Jonathon Greengrass killed him and stole Midus's customers and stock.
It then faded out of use until the famed usage of it by the Dark Lady Iris in 1672 to sabotage the supporters of King Charles I, her famed lover who scorned her for Princess Henrietta Maria of France. She made all of her supporters swear not to ever support royalty again. This however backfired when King Charles II came to power in 1651 and her supporters swore allegiance to him, leading to all 172 of them dying painful deaths.
The Ministry of Magic then seized hold of it in 1683 and used in the many Wizengamot proceedings to try and make sure the criminals wouldn't lie to them without knowing. Back then, Veritaserum had not been invented and memories were often tampered with. To the Ministry, the Unbreakable Vow became a savior in court, with many criminals being forced to tell the truth. However, this was soon stopped when the revolution against the Statute of Secrecy occurred in 1742. Many of the criminals swore the Unbreakable Vow and then lied and died rather than betray the cause. Over 200 wizards and witches slaughtered themselves in this manner before the Ministry stopped the revolution. After a widespread vote in the Wizengamot, the Unbreakable Vow was removed from court proceedings to keep the wizard population high. Instead, Veritaserum and occasionally Dementors was used to keep the court proceedings, non-fatal.
Many Pure-blood families however saw a death by Unbreakable Vow a huge breach in honour, and anyone who died from Unbreakable Vow were blotted off the family tree, as was custom with those who disgraced the family name. Some Pure-blood families continue that tradition to today. Unbreakable Vows are still used but they are far and few between, as it was recently discovered, the recipients under the Unbreakable Vow are more likely to contracts diseases and die younger. They often age prematurely or get arthritis at just 50 years old.
Therefore, Healers have put a Class B ban on Unbreakable Vows until a way to prevent the side-effects are found.