The Harmony bond, chapter one.
IMPORTANT – the email address shown for me at the top of most chapters is now out of date, make sure you use the address at the top of the LATEST chapter
To anyone who has been on another planet since 1997, this is to let you know that Harry Potter belongs to J. , her various publishers and Warner Brothers. This story and any new characters belong to me.
Most of my stories are canon-compliant, but this is strictly AU (Alternative Universe), which means it does not comply with canon (The official Harry Potter books.) Being canon-compliant, my previous stories have been Harry + Ginny ship (romantic relationship). This story will be Harry + Hermione (romantic relationship as they grow older). It is also my first attempt at a soul bond fic.
(N) = See explanatory note below.
"Tell me again," Mr. Granger asked, becoming exasperated with his eight-year-old daughter. "Just WHAT are we doing taking this route home?"
"I've explained, Dad. I don't know. I just know we have to be here."
The Grangers had become used to slightly strange things happening around their daughter, but this was out of character, even for her. Normally she was so logical, never doing anything without a reason, and usually taking ages weighing the pro's and con's before she decided what she wanted to do.
Half an hour after leaving the ferry which had returned them from their brief holiday in northern Spain, she had suddenly become frantic, and instead of merely following their route on the road atlas, had demanded that they leave the normal route and take a road leading through one of the more rural parts of Surrey.
Her mother, sitting in the back seat, as Hermione loved to navigate and it was easier sitting in the front, sighed and said, "Your father's becoming tired, dear. Don't forget, he still has a long way to drive. Let's get back onto the main road."
Hermione had grabbed her father's arm suddenly, "Please, Dad. Just a little while longer?"
Seeing unaccustomed tears in his daughter's eyes, he nodded and replied, "Just a little while, okay?"
Brightening, Hermione smiled and said, "Okay, Dad."
"So where are we now?"
"In another mile we should be approaching Little Whinging," Hermione replied with authority.
Sure enough, a minute later they passed a sign saying "Little Whinging." As they passed a park, Hermione screamed out, "Dad, look!"
Without a word, her father stopped the car, and got out, running towards a gang of boys who were beating up a smaller boy.
"Get the bloody hell out of here," he shouted at the gang.
Hermione, who had followed him, but was a little way behind as she couldn't run as fast as her father, had caught up far enough to hear her father. She knew how angry he was as he never swore like that.
The boy was groping around on the ground for his spectacles and finally found them and put them on. "Thank you," he said.
His spectacles were broken and his face was bleeding, but he wasn't crying. He tried to stand, but couldn't get up properly.
"I think we need to get you to a hospital to be checked over," Hermione's father said. "You can call your parents from there."
"My parents are dead," the boy said quietly.
"Who do you live with then?" asked Hermione.
"That's none of our business..." began her father.
"My uncle and aunt," the boy replied.
Hermione heard a gasp from her father when he picked the boy up, but didn't ask why. Somehow she knew he wouldn't tell her and she didn't want to further embarrass the boy.
When they reached the car, her father put the boy in a back seat and leaned across to his wife. Hermione heard him whisper, "He's so light. There's something wrong here."
The boy obviously heard as well, and began to struggle. "I'm okay. Just take me home. I want my cupboard."
"Your cupboard?" asked Hermione. "What's that?"
"Where I live, of course," the boy replied. "Under the stairs."
"Show us where you live," said Mr. Granger, with a strange tone in his voice.
The boy directed them, and Mr. Granger went to ring the doorbell. The boy insisted on walking after him and Hermione followed him.
A large man opened the door. "What do you want? What you doing with HIM?" The word HIM was almost spat out.
"I found him being beaten up by a gang of lads," said Mr. Granger. "He's obviously hurt and needs to be seem by a doctor."
"Rubbish. Just childhood games," the man replied, trying to reach for the boy. "A lie down is all he needs."
"And why is he so underweight?" Mr. Granger asked, stepping between the boy and the man he had already decided he didn't like. "And what's this he says about living in a cupboard?"
The man waved his arm airily. "He's just a liar. Always been trouble."
But Hermione had already darted past her father and the man.
Both the man and her father shouted at her to come back, but Hermione had already opened the door to the cupboard under the stairs. A stink of stale urine wafted at them, making Hermione wretch. Turning to the front door again, she demanded, "Then why is there a bed in here?"
Her father pushed past the man to see for himself.
"Hermione. Go back to the car. I will deal with this."
Seeing a phone in the hallway near the front door, he picked it up.
"What do you think you're doing?" the large man yelled, but Mr. Granger angrily pushed him away. The other man might have been fat, but Mr. Granger was taller and much more muscular.
"Calling the police," he replied, then he spoke into the phone. "Police, please. And possibly an ambulance. I've found an injured and probably abused child." He turned to the other man. "Where are we?"
The man didn't answer, but the boy gave the address, which Mr. Granger quickly repeated.
Nobody said anything after Mr. Granger put the phone down. A larger boy appeared from the kitchen. "What's going on?"
Hermione screamed, "That's one of the boys who was beating him up."
"Hermione, I told you to go back to the car," Mr. Granger said, but the last part of his words was drowned out by a siren as a police car pulled up outside.
"Now, gentlemen," said the police constable. "Can one of you explain what is going on?"
"This man tried to break into my home," blustered the large man. "And this girl came running in, trespassing on private property."
"Is this true, sir?"
"They've been keeping him in a cupboard," yelled Hermione.
"Who? This man?"
"No. The boy. I'll show you."
"Don't be silly, child," but Hermione had once again got past her father. This time however she was grabbed by the larger man.
"Take your hand off of my daughter," her father threatened.
"IF you don't mind, sir. I will just take a look," the policeman said. Not waiting for a reply as he pushed past the two other men.
It took a few seconds for him to see the bed and less than that to smell the cupboard.
"Who has been living in here?" he asked.
The boy, who had been holding onto Mr. Granger's legs, said, "Me, sir."
"And he's terribly underweight," added Mr. Granger.
The policeman realised that he was scaring the boy and made an effort to appear friendly. "Son, what's your name?"
"Harry, sir. Harry Potter."
"Well, Mr. Potter, would you mind lifting up your shirt for me?"
Harry looked unsure, but did as he was told.
Mr. Granger wished his daughter wasn't seeing this as he heard her gasp. Harry's ribs were clearly visible and there were dark marks all over his chest and abdomen.
However Hermione recovered more quickly than her father and pointed to the large boy, who had remained silent after the policeman had arrived. "And he was beating him up."
"Just kids playing," scoffed Harry's uncle.
The policeman pulled himself up to his full height. "I have reason to believe that this child has been abused. He obviously needs to go to the hospital, then I would like you to come down to the station to answer some questions, if you please."
It was obviously not a request. "Am I under arrest?"
"No, sir. Nothing like that." Hermione heard the policeman say in a low voice to her father, "Not yet."
Harry was clinging to Mr. Granger. "Can I take him to the hospital,officer?"
"I'm sorry, sir, No. We have to take him. But you can follow us if you wish."
"Can I go with him, Dad?"
"You go with your father, Miss. You'll see him soon enough," the officer replied. He made a radio call explaining the situation and he asked for the duty social worker to meet them at Casualty. (N)
The examination took a long time. The Police had left, after taking a formal statement from Mr. Granger. Harry's uncle had gone with them, his bluster gone.
A harassed looking woman had come in and introduced herself. "I'm the duty child care social worker," she explained. "The doctors want to keep him in, at least until tomorrow, to run a lot more tests on him."
"What will happen to him?" asked Hermione.
"Once he's released, he'll go to an emergency children's home for a few nights, until we find him some temporary foster care."
"Can't we keep him, Dad?" Hermione pleaded.
"He's not a stray puppy. Hermione."
"There are rules and procedures and things. We can't." He turned to the social worker. "We really have to be going. Can you give me your number, please? I'd really like to know how things go with him."
She nodded and pulled out a card and handed it to him.
"By the way," she said, "if you really are interested, there's a desperate need for foster parents. I'm not saying you'd be able to help Harry here, but there are a lot of other needy children out there."
"What will happen to Harry in foster care?"
Her face fell. "He'll probably be passed from one foster family to another until he's eighteen, possibly with some weeks in a children's home between families."
"Can't he be adopted?"
She grimaced. "He could be, but the chances of an older boy finding an adoptive family is pretty slim. But at least he'll be properly fed, assuming the courts don't release him back to his relatives."
"Could that happen?"
"It could do. In this case I don't think it's likely. He's got too many injuries over too long a period."
"Well, please let me know how he gets on."
"I'll tell you what I can;" she agreed. "Oh, and Mr. Granger. Thank you. Most people would have driven on and done nothing."
"Not my dad," said Hermione, proudly.
For the first time, the social worker smiled. "You can be proud of your father. There's not many like him."
"I am. But couldn't we adopt Harry?"
"I'm sorry, dear. To get approval as adoptive parents takes months or years. Harry needs help now."
"Can I at least say goodbye to Harry?" asked Hermione.
The social worker looked at Mr. Granger. "I don't see why not," she replied.
She led Hermione into the cubicle where Harry still was, until they could find a bed on a ward.
"I've got to go now, Harry," Hermione explained. "But they should find you a new family now."
"Nobody will want a freak like me," Harry said sadly.
"You're not a freak. You're a nice boy with a horrible uncle, that's all," insisted Hermione.
But Harry turned away.
"Don't look away from me," snapped Hermione. "We care about you and don't you forget it."
She grasped his hand and everyone in the room heard a loud CRACK and Harry fell back onto his pillow and Hermione collapsed to the floor, both unconscious.
"Get a doctor in here," called out the social worker. She turned to Mr. Granger and asked, "What just happened?" but he had bent down to his daughter, who felt like she was burning up.
"I don't know," he replied.
I hope the start of this isn't too clichéd. Please review and let me know if you think it is worth continuing.
(N) Casualty is the informal British term for the Accident and Emergency Department, or A&E, what Americans call the Emergency Room.