An Unusual Bond

A/N: I was reading the story Vacation by XxEJMxX, and a thought came to me when considering the multi way relationship it was leading up to so far. Polygamous relationships do occur in real life, it just isn't all that common, and in my other fic, Firebird, I dally with the idea of soul bonds. So, a question came to me- what if soul bonds existed and there was an example of a polygamous relationship, with several people all being the soul mates of each other? Thus, this fic was born. So, if you do not like the idea of a multi way relationship, fem harry and all that, well, this isn't the fic for you, and I suggest you go find something else unless you want to try and approach it with an open mind. You have been warned. I can take constructive criticism, but a flame stating everything is sick isn't going to be taken note of. I will ignore it. As I said, this sort of relationship happens in reality- this is a what if case involving magic and creatures. As I said earlier, inspiration (especially for the relationship) comes from XxEJMxX and Vacation. You should go check it out.

Disclaimer: I own nothing!

Chapter 1

It is a commonly known fact that each sentient being in every realm has a soul mate. All, at some point in their lives, have a name written on their wrist. Sometimes, the name is there from birth, and at others it comes later on in life. These are the names of the person's soul mate. The mark, much like a tattoo, is there from birth if a person's soul mate is born before them. If it is not there from birth, then it will appear later on, when that person's soul mate is born.

However, knowing the name of your soul mate does not mean you are going to find them. It only reminds you of the potential. And there are also cases, very rare ones, of those with more than one name on their wrists. This is their story.

Thor, Loki and Sif were the first, all three of them having the other twos names on their wrists, one on each. For an age they did not understand how Thor and Loki could have each other's names, but then their parents confided in them the truth, when they were believed to be old enough. It had unsettled Loki greatly, almost sending him over the edge. Had it not been for Sif and Thor, he would undoubtedly have done something highly regrettable. However, they knew that there was still a long way to go. Each of them felt strangely incomplete still, a feeling that had been described to them as one that came with (and mostly being ignorable) of those who had not yet found their soul mate. Yet their wrists had no other names. They knew then that there were, or would be, others who would eventually join them, and they resolved to keep an eye on what was happening.

James Buchanan Barnes was the next name to appear on their wrists, followed a few months later by Steven Grant Rogers. Little did the three know that the two grew up together, Bucky protecting Steve who had a myriad of health problems- and didn't let it stop him to his soul mate's dismay. Steve was always picking fights with those assholes who decided to bully and harass others, often leading to Bucky stepping in to protect the smaller of the pair, and then cleaning him up afterwards. Neither of them recognised the other three names on their wrists, Thor and Loki's on their right, and Sif on their left, just under the other name. Ten years after they were born, Natalia Romanova appeared on the other five's wrists. While the Asgardians wondered if she was close in location to Steven and James, Bucky and Steve wondered if she was in Russia, like her name may indicate, or somewhere else. Similarly, they also wondered if the other three were close together, and if they were near Natalia. She was only new-born, so she needed someone, and it was obvious that Loki, Thor and Sif were the oldest of the group so far- wouldn't they be best to watch out for the kid?

Natalia was a different matter. She always tried to not focus on the names on her wrists. To do so could lead to her looking for them later on. That could become a weakness, and in the Red Room there was no room for weakness. Besides, if they were found, the Red Room may use them too. Or worse- use them against her. So it was best to ignore the names, she decided. Make it seem as if they meant nothing. As if they didn't exist.

When Bucky fell from the Hydra train, Steve was devastated. While they had had to hide their relationship in public, it made it no less painful to lose his soul mate. His very heart felt like it was tearing itself to pieces, dying with Bucky. The only comfort he had was that Bucky's name hadn't disappeared. It had simply lightened from jet black to grey. He didn't know what it meant; all he knew was that he had lost the most important person in the whole world to him. And anger at Hydra for his loss spurred him on in his mission. The Asgardians had been in the midst of battle when it happened, and it was noticeable that something was wrong. The lightning attacks increased, killing enemies from the oncoming army ten in each direction in front of Thor. Sif truly showed her mantle as Goddess of War, cutting through her opponents as if they had simply been standing there, unarmed. Several had the chance to raise their weapons in defence, yet it mattered not. One swift stroke of her double bladed sword destroyed whatever weapon they had and killed them quickly and efficiently. A battle cry left Loki as magic streamed out of him, doing as much damage to the oncoming army as Thor had done with his lightning. After the wave of raw energy had passed, he was a blur, sending knives into the soldiers stupid enough to continue trying to come at him. He worked his way towards the other two, keeping in mind their safety. They had lost one they did not yet know. He did not want to lose someone he already knew and loved, and was sure the other two would feel the same. Natalia felt relief at the sight of the faded name. She didn't know what it meant that his name was grey, instead of gone completely, but she was sure it meant James Buchanan Barnes was dead. It was one less person to be used against her by anyone, by any of the Red Room's enemies. It was one less weakness to worry about.

Soon after, the throbbing in their wrists alerted them that something similar had happened to Steve. Another name darkened to grey and Natalia faced the same sense of relief that he could no longer be used against her. However, faced with the fact that there was no one to take out their frustrations on this time, Sif, Thor and Loki got drunk with the Warrior's Three before the three soul mates collapsed into bed together to sleep off the alcohol, only to wake up to killer headaches the next morning. Their resolve to find Natalia had grown, but still she could not be located, and they did not know why. But they would keep looking.

Years later, new names slowly began to appear on their wrists. Clint Barton, Virginia Potts, Anthony Edward Stark, Bruce Banner and Jane Foster. Clint grew up in a circus, always wondering about the names on his wrist (especially why Natalia Romanova changed to Natasha Romanoff) until he heard about the child genius son of Howard Stark. He determined that one day; he would meet the other boy. However, as he grew up, his life became one of crime as he used his talents with a bow and the skills he picked up at the Circus, to become a thief, before he got noticed and recruited by S.H.I.E.L.D. His mentor and S.O Phil Coulson helped him find a reason for his life- to protect people. And when a mission called for him to assassinate a Russian spy, he hesitated, something staying his hand, even though he had the red haired beauty in his sights. He didn't kill her. Instead, he shot her with a tranquilizer and took her in. He got one hell of a lecture of Coulson for disobeying his orders, but when he realised she had the same list on her wrists, except with one difference. Where his read Natasha Romanoff, hers read Clint Barton. She had railed against S.H.I. as well as him at first, not wanting to open herself up to weakness, and still having a lingering sense of loyalty to the Red Room, but she came to realise she owed Barton a debt. He spared her life, not even knowing it was her name on the list. Perhaps she could give S.H.I.E.L.D a shot. And Barton was good enough that he wasn't so much of a weakness. He was lethal himself. So she became his partner, in more ways than one.

Virginia 'Pepper' Potts, led a happy enough life, and when the chance to become the personal assistant of Tony Stark arose, she took it, having taken other similar jobs in the past. He had the ability to drive her crazy, and he didn't even really realize who she actually was for a few years, while he was on a self-destructive binge. It was only just before that fateful trip to Afghanistan that Colonel Rhodes pointed the list on her wrists out to him that Tony noticed. It had left him floundering, and she told him that they could talk about it after he got back from his trip, and gave him time to think. A part of her had always wished she hadn't done that, because the time he was missing was hell, only having his name still in jet black on her wrist telling her he was alive keeping her going through the worst of it. But then, he became Iron Man, and she had new worries to deal with concerning him, but they were getting on better- it still didn't stop her wanting to whack him over the head with a mallet at times however.

Tony Stark led a lonely childhood. His father was more interested in finding the man whose name was on Tony's wrist, instead of caring so much for Tony, but he threw himself into his own studies and experiments, trying every way possible to make his dad proud. His mother was better. She loved Tony without a shadow of a doubt- but that sense of comfort was taken from him when they died in a car crash. He began drinking and partying and he slept with many partners, not really knowing what he was looking for. Perhaps he was hoping to run into someone who happened to have the same list on their wrists as he did. Perhaps then things would be better. Until then, however, it was up to Pepper Potts, James Rhodes and Happy Hogun to try and watch him, and be there for him, even though he failed to realise that Pepper, smart, wonderful Pepper, was one of the names on his list, and she had been there all that time, waiting for him to realise, and he only realised it before that trip. When he was kidnapped and held hostage in Afghanistan they worried about him, he knew, and all he could think about was getting back so he could talk this through with Pepper, and try and make it work even though, with him involved, it would probably be a mess. And when he came back, they worried even more, especially when he began to construct the Iron Man persona. But nothing would dissuade him. Not even dying. And didn't that exasperate Natasha when she was trying to get him to at least be honest with Pepper? How could one of the people she and Clint were linked with have such a lack of care with his own life- especially when the other one of their weird group of names had been so sensible, and doing all she could to keep Tony on track? So she watched him for Fury and helped Coulson get Stark working on a cure, before playing her part to take out Vanko and Hammer.

Bruce was another lonely child, and again the reason was his father. This time, Bruce was less lucky than Tony. Where Tony's father had mostly ignored him, Bruce's was physically abusive. Like Tony, he threw himself into his studies to escape his father, eventually getting his doctorate, and working with Gamma Radiation to try and recreate the Super Soldier Serum. Then the accident happened. Little did he know that his name on the wrists of his soul mates flickered for a while, causing worry from all of them, until it solidified once more in jet black. But the absorbed radiation had left him permanently changed. Now he had to deal with The Other Guy making an appearance if he became too angry, and he was being chased by the army who wanted to dissect him.

Jane Foster, much like Pepper, had led a happy enough life, if a tad on the lonely side, when it came to making friends. She was nice enough, and got on well with people, but her quick, science geared brain had left her miles ahead of her peers in school, and she would often confuse her classmates with what Darcy would later come to affectionately call 'science babble'. It was only at college level where she met others who kept up with her that she was able to learn how to start to tone it down a little, and even if she didn't, at least there she had people who could keep up with her thoughts, strange as they could become. And then, New Mexico happened, and Thor had literally dropped right out of the sky and she had hit him with her car! How mad was it that he had fallen into her lap like that, and brought with him tales of other worlds, introduced her to two others of their strange little bond (unique from what she could gather) and almost died protecting her from some enchantress with an obsession with him, thus regaining his powers. After that, things only began to get stranger.

One thing that they all worried about however, were the last two names. They had appeared almost fifteen years after Jane's name had appeared. Hermione Jane Granger and Cassia Lily Potter. Hermione was born the September before Cassia and what none of them knew was that the two girls met when they were eleven and on the train to school.

Until their fourth year at Hogwarts, the two girls kept the full extent of their relationship secret until Christmas of their fourth year, and the Yule Ball. As one of the champions of the Tri-Wizard Tournament, Cassia had to be one of the ones to open the ball, so she asked Hermione to go with her. It was the best day of her life, she thought. The other three champions grinned at the sight of all the gaping faces as the youngest Champion entered with her Girlfriend.

Fleur had been the first to notice it. A little known fact about Veela were that they were able to see Soul Bonds. One of the shimmering gold lines connected the two girls and other ten gold threads spun out from them to others who were nowhere near them. She had kept the eight to herself, but told her fellow champions about the two girls.

"They're soul mates?" Cedric asked.

"Oui. But zey will be faced with opposition to zeir relationship."

"These beliefs are outdated. They have a bond deeper than most couples, and it should not be contested." Krum said. "I for one vill be taking their side."

"Me too," Cedric nodded.

After that, they approached the two girls.

"How do you know?" Cassia asked. She was pretty sure she wanted to go for her wand, up until they assured her they were siding with her and Hermione.

"We want you to know, we're on your side. You shouldn't have to hide to protect the idiots who cannot see you two are meant to be together," Cedric said.

"How would we tell people?" Hermione asked. "Make a banner and hang it up outside the great Hall?"

"No, but the Yule Ball is going up," he answered.

"You should go together," Fleur added.

"Ve will keep others from ruining your night," Viktor ended.

"You would?" Cassia asked, confused. "Why?"

"Everyone deserves to be 'appy. You two as well."

So, the two girls took their advice and on the Yule Ball, they walked in, arm in arm and they danced together, ignoring the stares and whispers. At the end of the night, Ron had kicked off at them, saying that it wasn't natural, and Cassie had snapped at him.

"If you think that, you can bloody well sod off and don't come back. Hermione and I have each other's names on our wrists, and nothing will change that. You aren't going to split us up because you don't like us being together."

The next morning, he came back and grovelled, saying he was sorry. Grudgingly, they gave him another chance. A few days later, Fred and George took him to one side.

"You'd better keep it together little brother. If we find you've tried to hurt either of those two girls again, you will regret it. We think it's great they've gotten together, so let it be."

Ron swallowed and nodded. He knew what the twins could and would do to him, so he didn't try anything again.

Many teachers tried to take the girls to one side and explain to them that their type of relationship just wasn't done, but neither was having any of it, explaining they had each other's names on their wrists, so nothing would persuade them to split up.

They stuck together through the best and the very worst of the years that passed, weathering the war. That was, up until Cassia's seventeenth Birthday. The week before, the Grangers came to pick her up. Dan and Emma had been very accepting of her relationship with their daughter and they all left the country for a holiday in France. It was there that the protection spell her mother had placed on her unravelled, revealing one hell of a surprise.

A/N: This opening chapter was a lot of descriptive text, just for a starter. More conversation will be present in coming chapters and I will explain further deviations from cannon in later chapters also.