Authors Note: All right, here we go gang. Been a LONG time since I tried my hand at the FanFic game so let's see how this goes. I've had this general idea percolating around in my brain for some time now so I finally decided to get it down on paper. At the moment I've got twelve chapters written and it's nearly 60k words in length so I'm not being stingy here. This is definitely going to be an AU story with my own twist on the whole Soul Bond concept. I'm going to stick roughly close to canon up through fourth year, possibly fifth, that's where it's going to take a sharp left into the twilight zone and we'll be totally off the map from then on.
I'll be doing it like the book series, one year per story so I'll try to upload this one say once a week or so and then with any luck I'll spend a few weeks, hammer out half the sequel and continue. I've already got a bunch of little scenes sprinkled throughout the rest of the books that have come to mind written up that I think should be fun and I'm looking forward to getting to them.
This is going to be a Harry/multi story. But I do have a real reason for it too, it's not just an excuse to pair Harry up with multiple girls. It's going to be Harry/Hermione/Daphne/Susan
So without further ado, chapter one of Soul Scars
In the Wizarding world there are many great and wondrous things alongside just as many terrible things. Magic is an amazing tool to perform good works but it has just as much potential to be turned to evil. Of the many amazing things that can be done with magic or are done because of magic, none is said to be greater than the bonding between two souls. When a witch and a wizards magic and soul both resonate in perfect harmony with each other they are said to be soul mates, a concept known even in the muggle world.
But as with all things, there are two sides to every coin. Soul mates share a distinct relationship, and if that relationship ever progresses to a true bonding of their souls then what happens to one can happen to the other until it has stabilized. Any mark, any scar inflicted upon one bond mate will appear on the other, no matter where they are.
Soul Scars, they're known as. A phenomenon known to every man, woman, and child in the Wizarding world. Few believe them to be real though as a true soul bond is such a rare occurrence. They are only too real, however, and the greatest story yet untold involving scars of the soul will be key to saving everyone. It will take embracing the scars, and the path walked in retrieving them to truly bring forth the light to drown out the darkness.
Lord Voldemort bit back the urge to sigh, frustration mounting in his chest. The silly girl hadn't the good sense given to a niffler when she refused to step out of the way and let him get on with his purpose. As the acid green light of the killing curse struck her he turned away, not even noticing the soft, golden glow that surrounded her body as she fell.
"Harry Potter," he said, his voice a sibilant hiss as he approached the crib. Standing inside, his little hands clutching at the crib railing stood a fifteen month old boy, a shock of unruly black hair crowning his head and brilliant green eyes regarding the Dark Lord with an intensity he had rarely seen even in witches and wizards ten or twenty times his age.
"The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord," he hissed. "There is no way I will let you grow up to one day destroy me. This is where you meet your end, Harry Potter." He lifted his hand, and gestured with the yew wand he held loosely between long, spidery fingers. "Avada Kedavra!" he spat and a vicious smile split his face as a flash of green light shot from the tip of his wand and struck the boy right in his forehead.
Avada Kedavra. The killing curse. A curse that did no physical damage, yet tore the soul from a living being and ripped it asunder. When the curse struck the child though, something unimaginable happened. A golden nimbus surrounded him and he felt, though he couldn't understand, the love and protection of his mother surrounding him as her soul, so recently parted from her body, fought against the terrible curse directed at her child. As the curse filtered through the tattered remnants of his mothers protection the soul of a child was fractured and split. One portion remained within his body as the skin of his forehead split open and the blood began to flow. Three other portions were torn free to float before him, unable to rejoin with the rest of him as long as the taint of evil magic remained on him.
The resulting explosion from the spell backlash happened so fast that the Dark Lord Voldemort didn't even have time to blink much less react as a wave of power rippled outward from the tiny form in the crib and his body was ripped to shreds by the wall of energy. The wall of the room erupted outwards in an explosion that was heard miles away.
Back at the tiny cottage in Godrics Hollow there was no one left to watch as three wisps of golden energy floated out through the shattered wall and suddenly sped away into the night, drawn to those that could nurture and protect them.
In the Ministry of Magic, there exist many departments, each dealing with a portion of Wizarding society. None of them are more shrouded in secrecy than the Department of Mysteries, hidden deep within the ministry itself. In the early hours of the morning, there was no one present throughout much of the Ministry, and thus, there was no one to notice the tree on the wall of a certain room.
Hardly anyone ever entered that room. It was a room where the Unspeakables studied some of the most potent, most powerful magics that existed anywhere in the world. And in that room there was a chart, like a family tree that spread across one entire wall. Dozens of feet high and more wide it listed every living witch or wizard in Great Britain. Lines connected various names. Lines that indicated parents, siblings, spouses, and potential soul mates.
Parents and siblings were connected by a simple, black dotted line to indicate the familial relationship between them. Spouses were connected by a solid red line to show they were married and their marriage was recognized by both Wizarding law and by magic itself.
Soul mates were connected by a gleaming silver dotted line until they met and if they ever entered into a relationship then those lines would become solid.
There were only a handful of solid silver lines on the entire wall.
On the night of November 1st, 1981, the name Harry James Potter flashed once, twice, a third time, and from his name three silver dotted lines extended outward. When the lines reached the names of three young witches all four names flashed again and the simple dotted lines grew and thickened into a solid unbroken silver bar connecting their names together.
A moment later they flashed again, the brilliance of the light bathing the entire room in a soothing glow before fading away, leaving three gleaming golden lines connecting the four names together. Slowly, silver dotted lines extended out as all the names on the wall shifted and moved, creating a clear space for the four names to occupy.
Each witch was connected to the name Harry Potter by the gleaming golden lines. Each witch was also connected to the others with simple dotted silver lines.
No one would notice for several years to come.
There was a quiet crack that split the still night air in the early evening on a small residential street in Crawley. A tall, bald man with dark skin and a gold hoop earring in one ear took stock of his surroundings for a moment before pulling a slender wooden stick from one sleeve and waving it about in an intricate pattern, all the while muttering under his breath.
When he felt the magic take hold he strode forward confidently, red and white robes swirling around his legs as he walked.
He noted the house he was looking for easily enough as he approached, the muggle police vehicle parked outside being a fair giveaway and as he approached he heard a child scream from inside the house and every bit of glass blew out of the windows, littering the snow covered front lawn.
He cursed under his breath as the tingle of accidental magic passed over him and his confident walk turned into a sprint as he rushed into the house, wand flicking back and forth as jets of light shot from the end to strike several of the muggles inside the home.
It was utter chaos.
At least four bobbies collapsed bonelessly to the ground as his stunners struck them. Standing in the center of an overturned family room were a man and a woman with a young girl clutched between them, looks of utter terror etched on their faces.
"Mr. And Mrs. Granger?" he asked in a deep, smooth voice.
The indicated individuals flinched, eyes wide, their arms wrapped protectively around the small form held between them. Above their linked arms all he could see was a shock of bushy brown hair and a pair of fear filled, cinnamon colored eyes peering at him.
"Who the hell are you?" the man snapped, his face flushed with fear and rage. "What the hell is going on here?"
"Mr. Granger, my name is Kingsley Shacklebolt, I'm an Auror with the Ministry of Magic and I'm here because we detected some rather strong magic occurring at this residence."
"Magic? Are you completely off your nut?"
Kingsley sighed. This was going to be difficult. "I assure you magic is real and I promise I'll explain everything to you as best I can but first can you tell me what's happening? Why are your police here?" Surreptitiously he cast a low powered cheering charm at the three of them, hoping to cut through some of the obvious panic he could feel in the room and quickly get to the heart of the matter.
Dan Granger was not a man that was quick to anger. At a little over six feet tall he was broad shouldered and in excellent shape, a holdover from his time as a younger man in the military and knew that he struck a somewhat intimidating figure. The events of the past several months however had done much to fray his usually calm nerves and left him with a tenuous grip on his temper. "I don't sodding know!" he snapped. "We don't know what's been happening. They're saying we're abusing our daughter but we have never hurt her, we just don't know where they're coming from!"
Kingsley motioned toward the couch behind them. "Please, can we all sit down and discuss this calmly?" he asked. "I'll do my best to help but we need to find out exactly what's been happening."
It took some time, longer than he would have liked, but eventually he got the Granger family to sit and he waved his wand, causing the overturned furniture and broken fixings to quickly right and repair themselves. Another wave and a tea set appeared on the low coffee table in front of them. Emma Granger, as she'd been introduced to him, jumped at first but then peered curiously at the set just as her daughter stared with wide, innocent eyes. Her eyes flicked up toward his and he gave her a small smile and a wink before he tapped the badge pinned to his robes once with his wand and muttered a few words.
"My partner is outside, she'll be in in a moment to take them out and modify their memories once we have the story here. I promise you, I have no ill will toward you or your family and will do my best to answer any questions you may have." He sat in a plush armchair and set about pouring four cups of tea. Once everyone had a cup in hand he leaned back in the chair and blew on the hot liquid for a moment before taking a slow sip.
"You said something about not knowing where something is coming from?" he asked and the Granger parents both nodded. "May I ask what it is that you mean?"
They shared a glance, their daughter sitting almost squashed between them on the sofa but she paid them no mind, instead focusing on stirring the cup of tea in her hand with her spoon.
"The scars," Dan said after several moments of silence.
Kingsley arched an eyebrow. "What scars?"
"Her scars." Dan jerked his head toward his daughter and Kingsley took a closer look at the girl. The hair and eyes, he'd already noted. But aside from their color he finally took note of the intelligence behind them. For a girl of barely five years of age he could tell that she was listening to and absorbing everything that was being said around her. She smiled at him, showing a slight overbite, but there was nothing but genuine joy now in her smile. She was obviously a happy child.
"I have to ask again, what scars, if I may?"
The story poured out of them then. Since the time there daughter had been two years old they would randomly find scars appearing on her body. Sometimes they would see open wounds, but invariably they became scars within minutes. The parents were terrified. They had no idea what was happening to their little girl and this year they had finally attempted to seek help from their family doctor.
"Of course that didn't go well at all," Emma said with a derisive snort. "That's why they showed up at our door tonight, to take her away."
"Why would they take her away?" Kingsley asked, startled. It was obvious to him what was going on and it took him a moment before he raised his free hand, the one not holding his tea cup, and smacked himself in the forehead. "Pardon me, I think I understand. They think you're hurting her?"
"May I see these scars?"
They shared another long look, hesitating for a moment so Kingsley spoke up again. "Please, I believe I might have an idea what is happening and can possibly explain it to you, but I need to see the scars, and I promise you, I do not believe that you are hurting her yourselves. Just looking at her I can tell that she is comfortable around the both of you and if you had been there's no way she wouldn't be afraid of you."
"Show him, Dan," Emma said, her voice a broken whisper. "I don't have the slightest clue what's going on but if he can explain it to us I want to know. I can't stand not knowing what's been going on."
With a bit of coaxing Dan got their daughter to stand and turned her around so her back was facing the robed man in their home and he lifted the back of the light purple pajama top that she was wearing. Kingsley sucked in a breath, letting it hiss past his teeth as a slow anger started to build in his chest. The Grangers flinched as his dark eyes hardened and he quickly schooled his expression, letting none of the anger show.
He muttered a quiet apology for his reaction and set down his cup. Standing, he approached the three of them and dropped to one knee, studying the long scars crisscrossing the child's back. There were dozens of them. Long lines of raised scar tissue that extended up under her shirt and at least one he saw stretched below the waist of her pants toward her right buttock. As he watched the girl flinched and a pained whimper escaped her as a fresh cut opened up across the center of her back.
The wound bled briefly but then sealed up, becoming yet another scar.
"Soul Scars," he whispered.
Dan gathered his daughter up into his arms and pulled her onto his lap where she quickly settled in, looking at the stranger in her home. "What did you say?"
"I recognize this phenomena. They're called Soul Scars, but while I could tell you the definition, I don't think I am expert enough to explain the rest of this. First of all, your daughter is much too young for this to be happening. I can't begin to explain it so, if you'll indulge me a moment, I'm going to make a call and ask someone else to come. In the meantime I'll answer any questions you have regarding magic and the like while we wait?"
They nodded and he stood and placed his wand to the tip of his throat. He muttered a few words then extended his arm and muttered another incantation. A bright flash of silver left the tip of the wand and a shape rocketed across the room and through the wall of their home, leaving it undamaged, so fast they didn't have a chance to identify what the shape had been.
"There," he said and returned to his seat. "Now we wait."
Kingsley answered every question the Grangers had as best he could. Every question except for those pertaining to their daughters scars. After half an hour they had been brought up to speed, though the shock had still done a number on the level headed Granger family.
"So… I'm a witch?"
Kingsley directed his gaze down at the young girl, still cradled in her fathers arms. "Yes, you are, Hermione. Magic is very real, and what you did today, destroying the windows of your house, that was known as accidental magic."
"How did I do that?"
"Well, let me ask you a question. When those police came, and said they were going to take you away from your parents, how did you feel?"
The girl latched tightly onto her fathers shirt, fingers clutching desperately at the fabric. "Scared," she whispered.
Kingsley nodded, giving her a reassuring smile. "I would have been scared too, little one, there's nothing wrong with that. And that's what let you do accidental magic. When you're scared, or angry, when your emotions are high, that's when you do accidental magic like that." He glanced at the broken windows and pulled his wand from his sleeve before he waved it in a sweeping gesture. All of the broken glass on the floor and in the snow outside flew up off the ground, fitting themselves back into the frames and in moments the glass was repaired as if nothing had happened. He turned back and smirked at the wide eyed expressions on all three Grangers faces. "And that," he said, "is controlled magic, using a wand to cast a spell."
"Can I get a wand?"
"Not, just as yet, young lady. You have to be 11 years old before you can get your first wand."
All four individuals present turned to face the new voice that had intruded on their discussion. Standing in the doorway was a man with the longest beard and hair that any of them had ever seen. Shock white and cascading down his chest and back until they could both be tucked into his belt, should he choose to. He was dressed in deep blue robes with gold stars and comets swirling and flitting back and forth across the cloth.
"Mr. And Mrs. Granger, this is Professor Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where your daughter will one day be able to attend, should she wish."
The Grangers greeted him, wondering just what to make of this new character.
"It is a pleasure to meet you, of course," he said as he stepped the rest of the way into the house. With a flick of his wrist he sent the stunned officers outside and the door swung closed with a quiet click. Another wave of his hand and a large comfortable looking armchair in a lurid purple color sprang into existence next to the simple chair Kingsley was occupying. "I do wish the circumstances of our meeting could have been better though."
"Can't say that I disagree with you," Dan said. "So you're the gentleman that Kingsley said could explain things to us?"
"That would be me. I was told my presence would be of help, so here I am. I have many years of experience in some of the most obscure branches of magic, so while I cannot claim to be an expert in everything I do know a considerable amount about a great many things."
He reached into the folds of his robes and withdrew a dark drawstring bag. Opening that, he reached in and pulled out a hard candy which he popped into his mouth, sucking on it with apparent relish.
"Pardon me," he said and held the bag out toward them. "Sherbert lemon?"
Dan, Emma, and Kingsley shook their heads while Hermione sat up and reached for the bag but at a glance from her mother she slouched back and put her hand in her lap.
"So," Dumbledore said after several moments of sucking on his candy. "From the message that Mr. Shacklebolt sent me, there appears to be some trouble with young Miss Granger, here?"
Kingsley quickly relayed the information that he'd so far gathered and had Hermione stand so her father could show the old wizard the scars on her back.
"And one of them appeared as I was sitting here watching," Kingsley finished. "They're Soul Scars, aren't they Professor?"
"Mr. Shacklebolt, I haven't been your professor for more than ten years, please, call me Albus. But you are right, they do appear to be so," he said, "at her age though, I can't even begin to explain how this is possible."
"Would someone please tell us what you're talking about?" Dan snapped, his frayed nerves getting the better of him.
"I do apologize, Mr. Granger," Albus said, "and I beg your forgiveness and indulgence. In our world we see amazing things on a daily basis, so for something to surprise and confound us the way this has is a rarity."
He popped another candy into his mouth and sucked on it idly for a moment as he contemplated how to explain.
"Have you ever heard the phrase, 'soul mates'?" he asked after a lengthy silence.
Dan and Emma shared another look. "Well, of course," she said. "The idea that two people are perfectly suited to each other. That no other person in the world would be better for them to be with."
"Simply, but aptly put. Yes, in the muggle world, soul mates is merely an ideal, but in the Wizarding world they are all too real. Rare, but real." He leaned back in his armchair and steepled his fingers in front of his face as he spoke, blue eyes twinkling merrily at them.
"Soul mates are drawn to each other. Two people born with souls and magic so perfectly matched that if they ever happen across one another in their day to day they will be pulled to each other. They will seek each other out, yearning to be close to one another.
"It is an amazing thing to witness, so I have been told. Though just because two people happen to be soul mates, doesn't mean that they will ever enter into a romantic relationship. More often than not they do, but if they chose not to they would still be the best, most steadfast and loyal of friends for all of their days."
"That's all very interesting, but what does it have to do with these mystery scars?" Dan asked.
"Ah, that is where we get to the crux of the matter," Albus murmured, the twinkle in his eyes dimming somewhat. "When two soul mates come together, and then enter into a romantic relationship, there is the possibility of forming a soul bond. An extremely rare event where the two individuals literally share of their very souls with each other. He would have a piece of her soul and she would carry a piece of his."
"And you're saying that's what happened to Hermione?" The girl in question looked up at her father, noting the stony expression on his face and not really understanding why, but she committed the conversation to memory anyway, sure that it was important, even if she didn't entirely comprehend it yet.
"I am, though I cannot see how it was possible considering how such a bond usually forms."
"And how is that?"
"Through an act of love."
Dumbledore let that hang in the air for a moment before raising a hand to stave off the inevitable explosion. "Yes, in adults that usually manifests itself as an act of physical intimacy not appropriate for young ears," he said with a wink at Hermone who giggled softly and burrowed her way deeper into her fathers arms. "In one as young as your daughter, it would be something much more innocent. A holding of hands, a hug, even a simple kiss on the cheek as long as it was given with the intent of expressing the emotion of love and was accepted for such. Tell me, does your daughter have any very close friends?"
The Grangers shook their heads. "She's not yet in school and there aren't any other children near her age in this neighborhood. Since the scars started showing up about two years ago we've been nervous about the idea of getting her in school because we were concerned that someone would think we were hurting her. Which is basically what happened anyway when we took her to the doctors."
"All the evidence suggests that your daughter has formed a bond with someone, yet we have no indications as to with whom, how, or even when." Dumbledore stroked his beard with one hand, eyes fixed on a point somewhere in the distance as he considered the situation. "With your permission," he said after another lengthy silence, "I would like to cast a spell on your daughter. A simple diagnostic spell that will show us her soul like an aura around her. That will tell us if she is holding a piece of another soul within her."
Dan and Emma quickly agree and within minutes little Hermione found herself standing in an open space in their sitting room, facing the old man with the long beard and hair. She felt he kind of looked like Santa, except his clothes where the wrong color and he was far too skinny.
Dumbledore removed a slender wand from within the folds of his robe and turned to Hermione. "Now, hold still, please, Hermione. I promise this won't hurt at all, it will just allow us to take a look at what's happening with you, okay?"
She nodded, her eyes wide with wonder at the idea of getting to see more magic and he waved the wand around her head, muttering a long incantation under his breath as he did so.
A moment later, she began to glow. A dim, silver light poured from her skin that slowly grew in intensity until she was surrounded by a brilliant nimbus of silver light. She giggled again, waving her arms and watching as the light swirled like a cloud of smoke around her.
"There," Dumbledore muttered and pointed at her. She looked down. While the rest of her body emitted the same soft, silver radiance, a single spot, about the size of her fist, hovering just over her heart pulsed with a steady golden glow. "That spot of gold there belongs to someone else. Do you understand?"
"I think so. You said there's a boy, somewhere, and I have a part of his soul with me?" Hermione said.
"Dumbledore smiled and nodded. "Yes, little one, that is exactly right. And it is a very special thing for you to hold anothers soul within you. Cherish it and care for it as if it were your own, child." A moment later the glow dissipated and she crawled back into her fathers arms, suddenly feeling quite tired.
"Well, that proves that she has created an initial soul bond, somehow."
"Initial bond?" Emma asked, her head spinning with the massive information dump they'd received that night.
"Yes. When two soul mates enter into a romantic relationship and trigger the formation of a soul bond, but before the physical act of love needed to finalize it, we get what we see here. The scars that keep appearing on your daughters body are wounds actually being inflicted on the boy that is connected to her. Any scars he gets, she will acquire and any scars that she collects will appear on his body, just as they have been appearing on hers.
"The scars are the primary way for bond mates to recognize each other. Unless they cast the diagnostic spell that I used at every person they meet, it's the simplest way. Of course, with the bond they share as opposed to simply being soul mates she should be able to feel his presence when they are close enough to each other. Once the bond is finalized, the scars will stop showing up and they will be connected to each other on a much deeper level."
"So, what does all this mean for Hermione?" Dan asked, looking down and the now sleeping girl on his lap. He was beginning to feel more and more overwhelmed as the night wore on and wasn't sure how much more he could take.
"Well, there is good news and bad news. The good news is that, when your daughter eventually meets this boy, she'll know it and she will luckily be spared the usual hardships of young love."
"She will feel herself drawn to him, and he to her. They will be almost compelled to be together and to watch out for each other."
"That sounds as if they're being forced into this." Emma didn't like how this good news was sounding.
"Quite the contrary, Madam, I assure you," Dumbledore said, a gentle smile on his lips. "What the soul mate and soul bond means is that they are uniquely suited for each other. Without the bond and just with the soul mate connection, when and if she happens to meet this boy it is still a very likely possibility that they would eventually come together. The bond simply gives them a nudge in the right direction, making it easier for them to recognize each other all the sooner.
"She will never have to deal with the usual insecurities of young love. She will never trust the wrong man, or give her heart to someone not worthy of her. She will never worry how he feels about her because her bond mate will compliment her, and she him. His strengths will shore up her weaknesses, and her strengths will support him. They will be as close as two people can be, emotionally in tune with each other. Of course, they are still two very different people. They will disagree, and they will, at times I imagine, fight and argue, just as any other couple. But their bond will ensure that they will always know that their mate cares for and loves them and that nothing will be able to come between them. He will be incapable of treating her poorly or intentionally hurting her and she would feel the same for him."
Dan and Emma took a moment to absorb that information. As parents, it was a comfort to know that their daughter was sure to find a man that would treat her right and cherish her as they knew she deserved to be.
Something Dumbledore had said worried Dan, though.
"You said there was bad news?" he asked.
"Ah, yes. That, I am afraid does concern me." Dumbledores voice had turned grave and somber. "Those scars. Those marks are the signs of abuse. Belt lashes, unless I miss my guess. So, while your daughter has someone out there that is, for all intents and purposes, perfect for her, it seems fairly obvious that he will have some challenges of his own to overcome that may make things difficult for them both.
"His living situation is obviously not a good one. His mental and physical state by the time they meet is anyones guess. At best, he will likely have a long road to recover from the obvious physical and emotional abuse that he is suffering. Young Hermione should be able to help him, though. Their bond will allow her to reach him where he might close himself off from others. She will simply need to be gentle and patient with him."
Hermione Granger pushed her trolley with her school trunk ahead of her as she walked through the busy station, her eyes fixed on her goal with a dogged determination. Her soul mate was waiting for her.
Over the years since wizards had first visited her home she had spent countless hours considering her situation. She had a soul mate! More than that, there was a boy out there guaranteed to be her friend.
As the years had passed her by, and the number of scars grew, the ache in her heart had grown alongside them. Her soul mate was suffering. She knew it. Could feel it in her bones. She didn't feel all the pain from the scars herself. They formed and healed too quickly. But she knew that he felt it. Knew that he was suffering. She could feel his fear, pain, sorrow, and the aching hunger that gnawed at his belly.
The year previously, just before receiving her letter to Hogwarts (Delivered by an owl of all things), she had gone to her mother and, with tears in her eyes, told Emma Granger that 'he' was hungry. At first, her mum had given her a confused look, before realization struck and she folded her daughter into her arms as the girl broke down into sobs against her.
"They're starving him, mum!" she had cried. "He's so hungry, I can feel it."
Hermione Granger had always been an avid reader, and when she realized the trauma her soul mate was suffering she did the only thing she could, since she couldn't save him from it yet. She had hit the books. Her bookshelf at home was filled with books on psychology, PTSD, and medical texts regarding treatment, both physical and mental, for long time sufferers of abuse. Added to those books were books on nutrition and anything she could find to help craft a diet for someone suffering from long term malnourishment.
Armed with all the knowledge she could find, she strode purposefully toward the barrier leading to platform 9 3/4, determined to find him and save him, whoever he was.