A/N: With this story, I wanted to dive a bit into the lore of how this AU came to exist within the two universes it adds together. This chapter is the first of several that is going to show a deeper look into the relationship between Magic and the Force and also why Hermione and Obi-Wan's bond exists. Thanks as always to WordsmithMusings for their alpha help!
35 BBY - 1998, November
He hadn't felt anguish so strong through their bond since the end of Hermione's war. It surged through him at a most inopportune time, during one of the tea luncheons he and Master Qui-Gon regularly attended with the other renowned Force-users of their lineage. Masters Yoda and Dooku were just as observant as his own Master was to any large emotional shift, and he was sure the three elder men had also noticed the stiffening of his posture.
"Something the matter is, young Padawan?" Yoda questioned, his gaze so intense it was if he could see into Obi-Wan's soul. In reality, he knew the Master was more likely reading his Force signature.
Master Dooku's eyes narrowed in interest. "It does not appear this emotion comes from yourself, Obi-Wan," he murmured in his deep timbre before taking another long sip of his tea.
Obi-Wan's fingers were tapping nervously against his cup as he set it on the table as every second he stayed there meant another moment Hermione could be in danger. He gave Master Qui-Gon a pleading glance, wanting to know if he was required to make up an excuse and stay or if it was safe to give the true reason before he left.
The slight quirk to Qui-Gon's lips now drew the three Jedi's attention. "Have either of you heard of soul bonds? Particularly ones that bridge to other worlds?"
Obi-Wan had not been expecting to see the blatant shock that now graced Dooku and Yoda's features. He didn't think it was even possible for Master Dooku to break his poker face.
"I knew of a Jedi bonded to a powerful warrior," Dooku said carefully, dark eyes roaming over Obi-Wan as if he were seeing him for the first time. "And there is mention of such bonds in the archives."
This wasn't news to him. The first thing Obi-Wan had done when he went back to the Temple after meeting Hermione and Sirius was to search the archives for any information about soul bonds, magic, wizards and animagi. He'd only come up with a few vague statements regarding the fact that such bonds had occurred to several Jedi throughout the Order's history, but that any more concrete knowledge was stored within the Great Holocron. He was unable to view the Holocron without approval from the Council and supervision, so that had been where his search had come to a reluctant end.
"Her name is Hermione," Obi-Wan told them, a smile spreading to his face. "She's brilliant, she's a witch, and you do not want to be caught against her in a fight." His jaw tightened as another wave of heartbreak and terror washed over him. "And right now she's in trouble, Masters, please excuse–"
Master Yoda shook his head with a wave of his hand. "Us later you will tell, but need you now your Hermione does. Go, now!" He urged, the other two Masters nodding in agreement.
With a nod of his own in return, Obi-Wan stood from his seat and let the warmth of their bond fill rush through his body and transport him to his soulmate's side.
Out of all the scenes he'd been expecting to greet him when he arrived, the sight of his own bloodstained body wasn't one of them.
He'd appeared just behind Hermione in a darkly painted room with faded carpet that had definitely seen better days. Part of this conclusion was drawn from the holes and rips in the rug that allowed a wooden floor to show through, but the other reason was largely due to the body that lay upon it.
While Obi-Wan's eyes told him that the battered and still form on the ground was Harry Potter, his other senses knew better. He'd learned the wizard's Force signature– or magical signature, as they called it here– many months ago, and he could feel it resonating from below his feet. There were four other signatures that he was aware of around them, but what was emanating from the body in front of him was dark.
Hermione had her back to him and was facing a set of wooden cabinets that spanned the entire wall. One hand was clamped over her mouth while the other shakingly held her wand by her side. The angle of her head indicated that she was staring at what appeared in every way to be the dead body of her friend and brother.
Both of them shifted as the door to one of the cabinets opened wider, and Obi-Wan watched in confusion as he stepped out. The figure was physically identical to him, save for the lack of lightsaber at its waist, the scrapes and bruises that littered its face, and the gushing wounds that criss-crossed its chest.
"You said you'd be there for me, Hermione," the not-him gasped as it fell to its knees. "You promised. You failed me!"
A low keen sounded from Hermione as her shoulders began to shake. "Please no, I wouldn't…"
Obi-Wan has seen enough. He moved forward quickly, wrapping his arms around Hermione's waist and carrying her back towards the door. "Harry! Ginny!" He shouted, keeping one eye on the bloody scene in front of him, unsure if the bodies would follow them. "Anyone! Hermione needs help!"
There was a cry of "Is that Obi-Wan?" from somewhere in the house as footsteps stampeded up and down stairs until they reached the two. Draco was the first to burst into the hallway just as Obi-Wan lifted her out of the room, Harry hot on his heels.
"What happened?" Draco ordered, his hand clenched tensely around his wand. Harry had pushed past him to check on Hermione, pressing a kiss to her hair when he made sure she was unharmed.
With his arms wrapped around Hermione's waist and her fists clenching the front of his robes, Obi-Wan wasn't in a position to shrug. "There's a dead Harry and dying… me that came out of the wardrobe," he merely said, tipping his head at the room they'd come out of.
Harry stared at him for a moment before turning and entering the room, ignoring Draco's groan of, "Potter, can't you not be impulsive for once?"
"Oh," his voice drifted out in reply in a stoic tone. "It's a boggart. A powerful one, too. Get the others?"
"Given the state of this house, I'm not surprised," Draco grumbled, but he did as requested and leaned over the banister just as Ginny reached their landing. "Oi, get up here, you lot! Boggart!"
Ginny paused as she caught sight of Hermione tucked in Obi-Wan's arms. "Is she alright, Obi-Wan?" His uncertainty must've shown clearly on his face as the ginger pursed her lips worriedly and nodded. "You two go downstairs to the kitchen, I'm sure Dobby can make you some tea." She gently brushed a cluster of curls off Hermione's shoulder before heading into the room with Draco.
Obi-Wan looked down at his soulmate, who had started to loosen her grip on him. Her silent, shaking sobs had greatly subsided and were now reduced to a hiccup every few seconds. He pulled away from her just enough so he could see her face, but the space caused her to press closer to him.
"Darling, do you think you're able to walk downstairs?" He asked quietly. "Or would you rather we wait a moment?"
He waited as she took a deep breath, knowing she was grounding herself. "I can walk," she replied. "I can walk," she said again, this time in a stronger voice that filled him with pride. Even shaken, she was resilient. He offered her his hand to hold on to as they walked down to the kitchen, but she brushed it aside to loop her arm around his waist and press her side against his as they walked.
They reached the ground floor in silence, but once they began walking down the main corridor a ghastly screech came from a portrait on the wall. Obi-Wan was used to the moving pictures in the newspapers and photographs of the magical world, but he wasn't prepared to see a painting talk as if it were alive. The woman in the frame had clearly seen better days, with her yellowed skin and frayed, gray hair. Her racket had stirred the other portraits lining the walls, and their responding shouts for her to quiet only made the noise louder.
"Filthy mudblood, staining my family's house–"
Obi-Wan's annoyance bubbled up and over at slur hurled in Hermione's direction, despite how she only rolled her eyes at the word. "Do not call my soulmate by that offensive term!" He said firmly, eyes glaring harshly in the painting's direction. He knew what the word meant, thanks to Hermione's retelling of some school stories. He knew she said she was not affected by its usage, but he still did not want her to have such offensive words said to her.
His loud voice had somehow quelled all the voices from the corridor's portraits. Hermione stopped walking in surprise, her movement pulling him to a halt as well.
"How did you get them to do that?" She asked in awe.
"Is this not normal?"
One of the paintings spoke up before she could reply. "Your robes, boy– where are you from?" The man had long black hair that was tied back with a green ribbon, and wore maroon robes with a gold "W" clasp that reminded Obi-Wan of something a senator would wear.
He glanced down slightly at his cream padawan robes, wondering what the portrait could possibly want. "Far away," he replied dryly. Not wanting to delay any further, he led Hermione down the hall once more, listening to her directions where to go.
Before they moved out of ear shot, Obi-Wan was certain he heard the portrait respond with a quiet chuckle, "Oh, far away indeed, I'm sure."
Luna had appeared out of a hidden door in the tiled floor of the kitchen once they'd entered. Hermione was now sitting with her there, both of them sharing a cup of tea that the house elf named Dobby had popped in to bring them. Dobby had seemed quite pleased to see Obi-Wan again, and he made sure to thank the little elf for helping them during the war. Dobby's eyes had welled up with tears before he popped away.
Harry had led Neville into the kitchen several minutes later, and while Neville went to join the girls, his dark-haired friend pulled Obi-Wan into a side room. He'd wanted to stay with Hermione, but she'd smiled softly and told him to go with Harry. She'd be alright.
"Obi-Wan, do you know what that was upstairs?" Harry asked in a low tone, his eyes flickering to the ceiling briefly before looking back at the Jedi.
Obi-Wan ran a hand through his copper-toned hair with a slight shrug. "Draco said it was a boggart, and a powerful one. All I know is that it showed untrue scenes and seemed incredibly dark."
Harry sighed darkly. "Well, seeing both of us dead would definitely count as dark."
"No, no not that." Obi-Wan took a moment to think on how to explain what he had felt. "The Force, what connects all living things as my Master describes it, has two sides to it: light and dark. Hermione mentioned magic is like that too. Either way, what I felt emanating from it was dark." He paused as a better term came to mind. "Malicious."
"Oh," Harry murmured in understanding. "That's interesting to hear. Anyways!" He shook his head to get himself back on track. "Like Draco said: what you saw was a boggart. They're dark creatures that show you your worst fear, your darkest nightmare. The countercurse works best with multiple people present to disorient it, since we turn it into something funny. It's destroyed by laughter."
"How curious," Obi-Wan murmured. "Is there any chance you have some records on boggarts that I may study?"
Harry finally smirked. "You two were made for each other," he teased. "I'll give you some of our earlier school books– we've got a few copies floating around the house." He ran a hand over his face, suddenly looking years older. "That's not what I meant to show you right now, though."
Harry led the two of them into an empty room just off the hallway. The walls were covered with a tapestry of a tree and its many branches, all of which had names embellished on little scrolls. Some spots had blackened scorch marks around them like a halo, as if they had been burned off and hidden at some point, but now the names in those places shone more golden than the older names.
"First," Harry told him. "Sirius named me Heir Black, so I've had to go to the bank to get the titles sorted out." He grinned a bit. "It turns out I was the Heir Potter as well, but now that I'm eighteen," he shrugged, "I'm already Lord Potter. I have a familial manor, several actually... But that's not my point!" Obi-Wan waited patiently for him to return to his original point. "I just wanted to let you know, I was planning on giving this house to Hermione in the future. Which, by extension, includes you."
Obi-Wan hadn't prepared to hear that.
"Draco's mother is a Black," Harry plowed into the rest of his explanation with a wave at the walls around them. "He was able to find the spell that restored disowned names to the ranks of the family. Here's Sirius." He pointed out a name towards the bottom of the tree. "My Grandmother Dorea was his great aunt, and here, Draco's mother is his cousin."
"Is the whole magical world so… interrelated?" Obi-Wan found himself asking.
Harry winced. "Unfortunately. The purebloods intermarried quite often, and with three wars back to back that decimated the population…" He shrugged. "But there was something interesting we found." He pointed farther up the list, where several names were linked together with golden bonds. "Draco noted some of the ones that had been blasted off looked strange, even for wizarding names. Hermione suggested you have a look."
He looked at some of the names. Nim'atalik? Mar Feles? Thame Cerulian? He… he knew these names. These were Jedi.
Master Cerulian was the lowest name on the branches, linked to the name "Elladora- 1850." She had been born almost 150 years prior, and yet was linked to a Jedi. And not just any Jedi– one of his lineage. He let his finger brush against the line between their names. "Harry, these names are of renowned Jedi knights. Master Cerulian here is my master's grandmaster."
Harry stared at him with wide eyes. "Well… that certainly wasn't what I was expecting."
Obi-Wan let out a breathy laugh. "Neither was I. Hermione!" He called loudly, hoping she could hear from down the hall. By the sound of footsteps that echoed out in response, she was on her way.
He found himself smiling at the sight of her once she appeared in the doorway. Curls circling her head like a halo, dark eyes slight with curiosity, light purple sweater like a ray of starlight in the dark manor.
"Yes?" Her brows rose quickly in question before smoothing out in realization. "Oh, did you show him the names, Harry?" She stepped into the room, her eyes surveying the tapestry with a curious eye, at least until something made her stop in her tracks. "What?"
The boys' eyebrows furrowed in confusion until they turned around and saw what she was looking at. There was a new series of branches and joining lines fading into existence beneath the names "Isla Black—Bob Hitchens", the bottom set of which was paired with a golden thread. Obi-Wan had to blink several times to make sure he was seeing things correctly.
Lyra Ella Hitchens Jones—Patrick Henry Jones
Patricia Isla Jones Samson—Liam Samson
Helen Ella Samson Granger —Daniel Mason Granger
Hermione Jean Granger—Obi-Wan Kenobi
Harry and Hermione stared with wide eyes at the final set of names before blurting out together, "Oh fuck. "
"I was going to say 'kark,' but I think your swear is far better suiting," Obi-Wan muttered, smiling sheepishly at the magic users when they turned their incredulous stares onto him.