Summary: He has loved her since their first meeting when he was little more than a dying boy and she the Goddess that healed him.
Author's Notes: Because I've been gone forever, this chapter is a double-feature.
Soul marks were one of those topics in the magical world that were considered common knowledge but were never discussed in detail. No one liked to admit that they didn't know much about the mysterious marks that appeared on witches and wizards throughout history, that they didn't know why they existed or how they came to be, only that they did.
There were theories and plenty of essays arguing one way or another. The only thing that researchers - Light, Dark, and Gray alike - agreed on was that soul marks were rare and the sign of a great destiny.
Of course, they didn't seem rare when practically every seventh magical mentioned in the history texts had a soul mark, but it was the truth. The sheer commonality of them was relative, seen only when looking back over the thousands and thousands of years of magical history.
Merlin had had a soul mark; Morgan le Fay did too. As did the Hogwarts' Founding Four.
And now, so did she.
Helen groaned, sinking further into the water of her bath. As if being the Chosen One hadn't been bad enough, now she had to deal with another 'great destiny'?
"Why do these things always happen to you?"
As she'd always done when she needed more information and didn't know where to start, Helen had called Hermione. Within minutes, her best friend had stepped from the Floo in a whirlwind of bushy hair and mile-a-minute chatter that ended with the ever-familiar exasperated question.
"Because I'm Helen Potter," she replied, the familiar words and cheeky, self-deprecating smile appearing without thought as it always had. Hermione sighed, eyes softening as she reached out and clasped Helen's hand.
"We'll figure this out, Helen. Just as we always have."
Helen smiled. "Of course, Hermione."
Horcruxes were considered some of the darkest magic for a reason: to make one was to tear your soul apart, to give up the possibility of ever having a soul mate, no matter that the chances were already impossibly low.
To have a mark, your soul had to be intact.
In the magical world, any magic that involved the soul was generally considered taboo; it was, ironically in her opinion, the closest Magicals would ever come to agreeing with religious muggles: souls were precious.
Helen had only recognized the mark for what it was due to previous research into Horcruxes.
Helen watched fondly as Hermione pulled book after book from her beaded bag, mumbling to herself as she sorted through them. After the bushy-haired witch had unceremoniously torn Helen's shirt off to examine the marking for herself, Helen had endured a ten-minute questioning that would've made Mad-Eye proud before Hermione had dived into research mode with a familiar zeal.
Clearly, she'd been bored with her studies.
Shaking her head, Helen finished buttoning up her shirt and headed to the kitchen. She'd put the kettle on and make some sandwiches; they'd need them before long, there was no doubt about that.
Of course, she hadn't expected to turn around from getting fruit from the refrigerator and find herself nearly stepping off a cliff. So much for fruit salad to go with the sandwiches, she thought, glancing down at the container of chopped fruit then back to the wide expanse of the ocean before her.
Wondering if she was back where she'd been before, she turned around – and froze at the sight of the boy who stood not even two feet away from her. Her heart jumped, whether from excitement or fear, she couldn't tell.
Then she smiled, beamed really, in greeting.
He had aged, not by much, but it was clear that more time had passed for him than it had for her. He was a little taller, had gained a little weight, and his skin had darkened from being in the sun. But his smile had remained the same, joyful and impish and just the slightest bit pleased with himself.
He also had a tattoo. Helen tilted her head and closed the short distance between them, reaching out to trace the two lines of squiggles that reminded her of waves.
They were fresh, the skin still raised beneath the ink.
Suddenly, she realized that beneath her touch, the boy had frozen, not even seeming to breathe.
Emerald eyes flicked up to find gray-blue already watching her, something like reverence softening the intense focus of those eyes on her. With an apologetic tilt to her lips, Helen pulled her hand away and was about to step away when the boy's hand shot out and grabbed her own.
She blinked as he turned her hand around in his, his smile fading as he noticed the Blood Quill scars on the back. Almost sorrowfully, small fingers followed the shape of her own handwriting.
The scars on her hand had thrown him. He'd been agitated at the sight, almost restless, until the wind off the ocean tore the tie from her hair and sent the wild curls blowing around her. It was cute, really, how quickly he was distracted by it. Within seconds, he'd twisted his fingers into the dark locks and amused himself, stretching out the curls and watching them spring back into place.
Eventually, at his insistence, she'd sat at his feet and he contented himself with attempting to braid her hair despite the breeze constantly pulling the strands from his hands.
Where she'd ended up staying in the village for days previously, this time, Helen was only there for three hours. She'd sat on the cliffside, listening to the sound of the waves crashing to shore, with the boy as her only company, and she'd been… Happy. She'd felt content.
Then, between one blink and the next, as the boy was distracted with something in the distance, she'd found herself back in the kitchen, container empty of fruit and her hair pulled into a sloppy braid. She sighed and leaned back against the cabinet.
Maybe next time she'd get his name.
Godric is eager to catch up to his peers.
Without the hindrance of weak lungs and all the risks that came with them, he is throwing himself at the world with a vengeance within weeks. It isn't all play, though; he attends his lessons with the Shaman and learns with the same kind of fervor, maybe more given his motivation.
He wants to see Her again. He needs to see Her again. It has been nearly three moon cycles since he woke alone, Her scent lingering on his blankets, and he misses Her. Desperately.
There is no sun without Her.
He sits at the Shaman's side, listening closely to the man's words when something… changes. At first, it is like a whisper, quiet as it brushes past him, but the feeling grows until he cannot ignore it; it has an almost physical presence, the way it reaches beneath his skin and tugs at his soul.
He is off, running in the direction of the pull without a second thought because he recognizes this feeling, knows this call.
It is Her soul reaching for his.
He runs until the roar of the ocean drowns out the world.
And there She is.
His reckless sprint towards Her slows when he sees her distant, distracted expression. She is as beautiful as he remembers, standing at the cliff's edge, looking far into the distance. He wonders if there is something there, if She is seeing more than his mortal eyes could ever hope to. He hesitates in his approach, stopping just a short distance behind Her.
Was he wrong to follow the call? Did She not actually want him here?
She turns, suddenly, and sees him. Her eyes light up; a wide, happy smile appears.
He can only return the smile with his own.
He'd forgotten how it felt to be around Her, to feel Her skin against his own. It is more than just Her power, drifting from Her body to sink into his skin. When She traces his tattoo, he is nearly overwhelmed with giddiness, with the feeling of wholeness that he has only experienced when She is near.
When She pulls away, it isn't the familiar marks on the back of Her hand, reflecting in the sunlight, that has his own hand darting out to capture Hers. It's that he doesn't want to lose that feeling of peace, of being complete.
He studies the marks on Her hand eventually, relieved at the similarity to the marks on his skin, at the realization that they are not just another oddity to add to his collection, but words of the Gods. At the same time, he is upset; the words on his skin are as dark as Her hair, like another tattoo that he wears with pride. But the words on her hand are scars.
And the thought that someone out there could scar Her, would scar her, frightened him, angered him.
She is his sun. She is not meant to be harmed.
The Goddess's hand is held out in offering, a chunk of brightly colored fruit, unrecognizable to him, held between Her fingers. His eyes dart between Her's and Her hand; juice trails down Her fingers to Her arm, Her hand remaining aloft as She smiles in encouragement.
His heart is racing and his hand trembles as he accepts the gift. He is sharing food with a Goddess, he thinks dimly, watching as she chooses her own chunk of fruit and pops it into her mouth.
He mimics her actions without thought. His mouth waters.
He has never tasted anything so sweet.
She is not with him for long.
Between one moment and the next, when his attention is pulled away by the sound of his name carrying across the distance between he and his mother, She is gone, slipping through his grasp like the wind.
He lingers there, standing where She sat. He fancies to himself that he can still feel the warmth of her body in the ground where her body had rest. Can still smell the sweetness of her hair, taste the tang of her power on his tongue.
It does little to ease the ache in his soul.
Like his village, Godric continues to grow. Under his father's leadership, their village has nearly tripled in size, and despite his relatively young age, Godric is an important figure. Not only is he one of the best warriors they have, his victories inked on his skin, not only is he next in line to be the tribe's spiritual leader, but Godric himself is part of what draws people to their tribe.
With every new addition, his story - the miracle of his existence, the continued appearances of the Goddess - is retold.
Godric is favored by the Gods.
He is ten and two summers old. The night is warm, quiet, and sitting outside to admire the sky is a balm to his soul. He has not seen the Goddess in three cycles of the moon. This is not the longest he has gone without seeing Her, but he is… restless.
(He remembers her last visit: the coolness of her lips as they pressed to his forehead, her pride-filled smile…)
There are whispers. From other tribes, from the elements. Rumors of an army steadily marching across the land. He wants to see her, wants the reassurance of her presence.
It is not just the possibility of a military threat that has him wanting to see Her.
He is getting older and despite his every intention otherwise, there are hints that he will need to marry eventually. He is hesitant about it, though. His life, his world, has revolved around the Goddess since the day She had first appeared before him. He has no interest in a wife, in children. He wants only to serve, to dedicate himself to his savior.
Is there even room in his heart for a wife when he is already so wholly committed to Her?
Cripes, it's been an age and a half since I posted. For the record, nothing is abandoned, even if it takes me an eternity to update.
Also, it's a work in progress, but I'm cross posting my stories on AO3 under the same penname. At some point, I may even extend to wattpad and potentially tumblr if there's enough interest/I get terribly bored.
I realize this is still horrendously short compared to what you were probably hoping for, but I hope you enjoyed it all the same. With all luck, your wait for the next chapter won't be anywhere near as long.