Soul magic is strange and complex. Most wizards do not believe that this is an area worthy of study in any great detail. However, the author of this book disagrees. Bonds are not unusual. Many simply exist below the surface, in the undercurrents of magic and are never seen. For example a sibling bond or a mothers bond with her children. You will never see physical proof of it but it can be reliably estimated that it's there.
Occasionally, however, there will exist a bond of such strength it manifests a physical reminder upon the bond mates. This is very similar to the wedding marks on vowed couples and is generally treated the same way in the eyes of the Ministry. These bonds arise out of friendship and love and can only occur under the most specific of circumstances. The souls can bind for any number of reasons. Seeing another in a new light, surviving some ludicrous feat of danger or for others, it can be as simple as a kiss.
It has often been theorised that the founders of Hogwarts were bonded in a similar way. It's true that if anyone were to study their portraits they would probably notice a small tattooed bracelet around each wrist. This would suggest that their bond arose through friendship (A more detailed description of bond tattoos can be found on page 195).
During my time teaching charms at Hogwarts, I was only fortunate enough to meet one set of bond mates. I taught them charms classes from their first year and was the one to explain to them what their tattoos meant. When their lives finally calmed down enough following the end of the war, I managed to persuade them to tell me their story, for the purposes of education and history.
Their story is what follows,
Master of Charms
Professor of Charms at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Head of Ravenclaw House
It is important, before we begin their story, to start with someone else's. It has been widely agreed upon that had certain events not taken place, our bond mates would never have realised their connection to each other and a very different account of history would have been written. So allow an old man to set the scene. It was the 5th of November 1981, You-Know-Who had been defeated by a baby and the man who betrayed James and Lily Potter to him was in court for their murders. Many had agreed that an obvious dark wizard such a Sirius Black did not deserve the benefit of the doubt that a trial provided. However, on the night of his arrest, he pleaded with Amelia Bones, who was a junior Auror at the time. It has been agreed that it was her decision which changed history. She arranged for a trial, under the conditions that Black was questioned with Veritaserum, and that, dear readers, is where we find ourselves now.
A man sat chained to a chair, on a dais a crowded courtroom, his long black hair hanging around his face. A tall wizard, by the name of Augustus Merkton, rose to his feet, knees creaking and spoke.
"Considering your statement given under Veritaserum and after reviewing your memories, this court finds Sirius Black innocent of the charges placed against him. Furthermore," He raised his voice to be heard over the cheers from the assembled crowd. "The court awards you with the guardianship of Harry Potter in accordance with his parent's will. An arrest warrant for one Peter Pettigrew will be issued for aiding the murder of James and Lily Potter at a later date. The court is adjourned." The man watched in disbelief as the chains unwound themselves and he stood. Sirius Black got to his feet and met the icy gaze of Albus Dumbledore. He knew that were it not for Amelia's efforts he would have gone straight to Azkaban without a trial. He also knew that Dumbledore had placed Harry with his Aunt and Uncle. Sirius had once asked James and Lily, in jest of course, who would get Harry if something happened to them. The answer had been Sirius, then Remus, then Alice Longbottom...At no point had Lily mentioned her sister to him. A sister who had, by all accounts, hated Lily. Sirius strode out of the Ministry for Magic and basked for a moment in the sunlight. He made his way down a dirty alleyway and Disapparated.
Four days later, Sirius Black and Harry Potter went into seclusion. Albus Dumbledore had lost his chosen one.
Make no mistake dear reader, that Harry Potter has his part to play in this tale. But he is not the main character. Oh no. It would be another ten years before our leading lady ventured into the magical world. It was in 1991, in a damp and dingy room when she took her first step.
Hermione scowled at the Professor. He towered over her, his long braided beard almost touching the floor. Her mother would have tutted at that. Facial hair was untidy, she'd tell her father when he forgot to shave.
"So you are a wizard?" She asked doubtfully.
Professor Dumbledore resisted the urge to scowl back at the young girl. He hadn't had such trouble with a student in years. "Would you like a demonstration?" She nodded tightly, her fluffy brown hair escaping from its braid to form a mane around her face. He flicked the knobbly stick and levitated her bed. Hermione tried very hard not to be impressed.
"What do you want with me?" She folded her arms and returned to her signature glare.
"You're a witch, Hermione." He smiled at her kindly and Hermione's eyes narrowed. "I've come to deliver your acceptance letter to Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry." He handed her a letter. "This will explain everything. I've informed your carers that you will be attending a school for the gifted and that I'm taking you to buy your school supplies. Shall we?" He held out his hand expectantly.
"You just think I'm going to go with you? You, a representative from a school I've never heard of or applied for?" The tiny girl seemed to be amused by this. She shoved her hands into her pockets and stared at him. "Do you know what happens to kids who go off with weird old men?" There were a lot of pamphlets about this topic and Hermione had read all of them out of sheer boredom. "Are you going to offer me sweets, as well?"
Professor Dumbledore scowled.
"Young lady," He started.
Hermione tipped her head back.
"STRANGER DANGER!" She screamed. The wizard glared at her and vanished before the social workers could arrive, leaving the letter on the floor. More fool him, Hermione admitted. One of the boys had worked out yelling that was a really good way to get attention a few months ago. Hermione would have to scream for quite a few minutes now before anyone came to check on her. As soon as she was certain he had gone, Hermione snatched it the letter and retreated to her bed to read it, her eyes skimming avidly over the thick parchment.
Dear Miss Granger,
We are pleased to inform you that you have a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all the necessary books and equipment.
Term begins on 1 September. We await your owl by no later than 31st of July.
As you are a muggleborn witch there are instructions as to how to acquire your equipment enclosed.
Hermione flicked past the book list to the instructions. They seemed simple enough. She glanced at her clock. It was four in the afternoon which was no time to go gallivanting through London, especially at the grand age of 11. Although she recognised the street name, and it was fairly close by. Hermione could hear the other children in the orphanage being summoned for chores and slid the letter under her pillow. She'd go tomorrow.
Hermione was an accomplished sneak. Breaking out of the orphanage hadn't been a problem and money wasn't one either. There were a lot of children at Lambeth and she'd very quickly learned that the quieter you were the easier it was to be forgotten. She was fairly confident that the money she had in her pocket would be enough. She'd been swiping it from the lawers in the posh black suits who sometimes came by for ages. They always carried an obscene amount of cash and weren't very good at keeping a firm hand on their jackets.
The pub door was pained black and dingy, and Hermione stared at it in askance. A red-headed family wandered through in front of her and she followed them, shutting the thick door quietly. She walked closely behind them as they slipped around the bar and through a door at the back. Hermione couldn't see what the middle-aged mother at the front did but the brick wall they'd all been facing expectantly rippled back into an archway revealing a new street.
In her head she tried to rationalise that but only came up with one answer. Magic. All those things she couldn't explain were magic. Hermione glanced at the signs around her as she followed the family up through the street to a tall rickety white building, which Hermione assumed was a bank. It had the same air of stiff bureaucracy that the banks of the high streets of London had. The sign above the entrance read. "Gringotts.". The last time Hermione had been in a bank it had been with her mother and none of tellers looked like this. They were short creatures with long pointing ears, sparse hair and hooked noses. Many of them sat counting stacks of money, but this wasn't money as Hermione knew it. The thick buttery golden coins glinted in the candlelight and there was the steady background noise of clinking. It looked nothing like the roll of crumpled banknotes Hermoine had stuffed in her pocket.
Summoning her courage Hermione walked up to a teller.
"Excuse me, Sir?" The clinking stopped and the creature blinked and looked at her in amazement.
"I was wondering if I'm allowed to use this money here?" Hermione reached into her pocket and pulled out the thick wad of cash. It was about £300 in total and had taken her a while to accumulate.
"Muggleborn?" It asked as it reached out and counted the notes.
"I believe so." It grunted and sighed.
"Well you will have to exchange your notes for Galleons." Hermione frowned thinking of pirates.
"Is that a currency?"
"Yes." The creature smiled icily as though there was nothing better than money as it finished counting the notes and tucked them under a heavy paperweight made of brass. It then produced a small velvet sack and began to deposit gold and silver coins into it. He tied the string and pushed it across the desk. "Two hundred and ninety-seven pounds exchanged for two hundred and seventy galleons and eighty sickles." He went back to counting and Hermione sensing this was her dismissal shrugged and took the sack.
The sunlight was bright when she got out and Hermione tucked the velvet bag into her satchel. Scowling slightly in the bright light, she read through the book list. A book shop would be a good start. She wandered down the street, wide-eyed at the things around her. A loud voice from further up the street caused her to turn and stare.
"I'm trusting you two to go and get your things. Behave." It was the red-haired woman from earlier. She was shouting at two boys who were walking down the street backwards. Hermione didn't have time to move before the pair crashed into her and she was knocked to the cobbles. The two boys got to their feet first, each holding out a hand. She glowered at them and got to her feet by herself.
"Watch where you're going will you?" The boys just stared at her, with identical expressions of confusion.
"Have we met?"
"No. I think I'd remember that." Hermione scowled and remembered her manners, albeit reluctantly. She stuck out a hand. "My name is Hermione."
"I'm Fred and he's George." Then continued to watch her in that almost unnerving manner.
"It's rude to stare you know." Hermione was losing her temper, something she only really had a loose grip on at the best of times. She turned to walk away and found she couldn't. The twins had linked arms with her and were dragging her down the street.
"What are you doing?"
"We're escorting you."
"Thought that was obvious."
"I can see that." She scowled. "My question is why?"
"Well, you're obviously a first year..."
"Who had no idea where she's going..."
"So we are doing the gentlemanly thing and helping," Fred smirked at her and they asked in unison. "Have you got your wand yet?"
"Er no. Can you two slow down please? I'm not a tall as you are." The twins slowed their pace accordingly and eventually stopped in front of a shop. Olivanders, read the sign above the door.
"Here you go."
Hermione turned and looked at them. "Why are you doing this again?"
Fred looked at George and shrugged. "We really have no idea. Bye!"
And they were gone. Hermione shrugged. It wasn't as if she needed them anyway. She'd be fine on her own.
The bell above the door tinkled merrily and a wizened old man turned to face her, his back to the dusty racks of boxes.
"Good morning, Sir." Hermione did her best to stop scowling. It was one of those strange childhood lessons which stuck with you despite your best efforts.
"Looking for a wand?" She nodded quietly, fidgeting with the strap on her bag. The wizard stared at her for a moment before gesturing to a low stool. "Stand up there please."
She did as she was told and smiled nervously. The man, who she assumed must be Olivander as he looked as old as the shop, took various measurements and scribbled them down on a scrap of paper.
"Yew is definitely out." He muttered. "along with phoenix and unicorn." He wandered off into the dusty stacks and Hermione was left feeling rather foolish, alone on the pedestal. He bustled back holding a small pile, which he deposited at her feet.
"What's your name?" He asked distractedly.
He frowned. "I haven't had anyone by the name of Granger in here before. You must be muggleborn. Here. Try this." He handed her a wand made out of a pale wood that looked like oak or beech and was decorated with runic-like engravings.
A small table exploded into splinters and he took it back rather gingerly.
"Not that one." He handed her another, asking "What were you doing with Fred and George Weasley?"
A jet of what looked like mud shot out of the end of the wand and splattered across the floor. Hermione handed it back quickly.
"They were showing me where to go. How do you know them, Sir?" He smiled slightly at her.
"I remember every wizard and witch who has ever come in here. But twins are special. The require brother wands, which have the same core, similar to soul mates."
Hermione frowned. "Core?"
Olivander put down the next box he'd been considering and looked at her in delight as though the chance to impart knowledge was a rare and welcome opportunity.
"Yes, core. Each of these wands has a core of something inherently magical. That is what makes it a suitable conduit for your power. For example I believe dragon heartstring would be best for you. It's slightly harder to obtain, as most dragons will only be willing to part with one heartstring, although I once had one dragon give me three. For those who can wield it, it works very well."
"So the wands with the same heartstrings are brothers," Hermione realised.
Olivander nodded pleased. "Exactly. I wonder..." He strode off into the stacks until he vanished around a corner and Hermione could see no more of him. This day was turning stranger and stranger. At least, she rationalised, all this magic seemed to follow a set of rules. Wands from the same source were brothers, the same as seeds from the same plant were identical. Hermione stepped off the stool quietly and stood in the dust until Olivander returned holding a battered blue box.
"Here." He presented it to her proudly. "You remember your twins?"
"They are not my twins," Hermione muttered petulantly. "But yes."
"This is the only other brother of their wands. I'm just curious to see the effect it will have although I doubt it will be positive. I've had another wizard in here who had a brother wand this summer and I'm developing a theory about it." He gestured happily as he ducked behind the counter. "Give it a wave."
Hermione, feeling somewhat foolish by now, gripped the wand in both hands and flicked it. Confetti rained from the ceiling, collecting in her hair and covering the shop in a fine, pink, papery layer.
"Was it supposed to do that?"
Olivander watched her in shock, staring at the wand she held.
"No, it was not. But apparently this is the wand for you." He scowled, the lines on his faces bunching together. "I hate it when things don't make sense. Still a wand is a wand except when it's not. Vinewood, with dragon heartstring, ten inches long. Nice and powerful, good for defence and charm work. Seven galleons please."
Hermione dug around in her bag and produced a handful of coins, which she extended to Olivander.
"You may have to help me with this, Sir." She admitted, slightly embarrassed. Olivander nodded in understanding and picked seven large gold coins out of her hand. Then he wrapped up her wand in tissue paper, before tucking it back into the box. Olivander muttered something about this being the year for odd wand combinations and showed her out.
Tucking the box into her satchel Hermione smiled at the bright vibrancy of the street. After the orphanage where everything was painted an off sterile white, the selection of colours was wonderful, even if they were slightly overwhelming. Hermione stepped out from under the awning of Olivanders and was swept along in the busy crowd. Books, she thought desperately. I need books. Hermione came to rest in front of the Apothecary and after checking her equipment list, figured she might as well go inside. It was dark and gloomy, but also strangely inviting. The shop echoed with the bubbling of what Hermione suspected would be called cauldrons. A rich tapestry of smells assaulted her and for a second she struggled to breathe. The man behind the counter took one look at her and began to gather equipment.
"1st year at Hogwarts I assume?" His voice was quiet and calm and fit with the essence of his shop.
Hermione nodded and watched as he grabbed a small cauldron with a paper label reading, Pewter size 2, and began to drop the other items into it. Hermione winced as the set of glass vials hit the bottom with a clang, but seemed to remain unbroken.
"Built-in safety charm." the man explained seeing her expression. "Stops nasty potion accidents from occurring." The brass scales went in last and he handed the heavy cauldron to her. "You can use that to store your books in when you get to Flourish and Blotts. That'll be four galleons and two sickles." Once again Hermione held out her hand and the man picked the money from it.
Hermione thanked the man and left the shop, running her continued internal dialogue about foreign economies. Just one place left to go. The bookshop.
Hermione loved books. She always had, something her parents had always encouraged. However after their death she hadn't been able to take her library with her. She'd been left with the clothes she was standing in and nothing else. The orphanage didn't believe her when she told them about her love of books and her advanced reading ability. They'd told her to go colour something.
A flash of red distracted her and she smiled slightly when she spotted the twins. They had said they wanted to help, hadn't they? Besides they were really the only people Hermione knew here.
The two boys were standing with their noses pressed against the glass window of Quality Quidditch Supplies. Hermione coughed quietly and, without looking round, both hooked an arm around her and brought her closer to the window.
"Hello again," Fred muttered quietly, staring in awe at the display.
"What is that?" It looked like a broomstick, disturbingly similar to the one used to sweep the floor back at the orphanage.
The pair turned to gaze at her in amazement.
"It's a broomstick..."
"What does it looks like?"
"Must you do that? I can see that. I'm wondering what it does?" Hermione glared at them. "Will you two please let go of me?"
"Are you muggleborn? And what are we supposed to not be doing?"
She nodded. "Must you finish each others sentences?"
"That we must." They laughed at her.
"As for the broomstick," Fred continued. "It flies."
"Really?" She pressed her nose against the glass this time, ignoring the twin's smirks. "How does it do that?"
"Magic." George laughed. "Wow Dad would love you."
"Why?" Hermione didn't tear her gaze away from the window and the sleek broomstick within.
"Because he loves anything to do with muggles. Have you got your books yet?"
The twins grinned in amusement at her reaction to the bookshop. In fact Hermione couldn't think of a time when they hadn't been smiling at something. It seemed to be ingrained into their DNA to find the silver lining to everything. With their help Hermione gathered her school books, plus several others, including one on broomsticks and their uses and was heading for the counter when Fred stopped her. He held out a book rather shyly and George nodded approvingly from his side. Hogwarts: A History.
"You'll like this."
"It's very useful."
"How do you know that? You hardly know me." Hermione had argued. But she accepted the book anyway.
It was lunchtime when they eventually extricated themselves from the crowd of shoppers. Fred and George each carried a small stack of books which they tucked under their arms and various other shopping bags. Hermione had her cauldron, which was now weighed down by everything she'd bought and dragged a Hogwarts school trunk behind her. After Flourish and Blotts they'd visited Madam Malkin's and she'd equipped them with everything they'd need. Fred and George had apparently both grown over the last year and needed entirely new uniforms. Hermione's were plain black but the twins both had crests and red lining,
"It's because we're in Gryffindor," Fred explained.
"When you arrive they'll sort you into your house and your robes will change accordingly."
George had laughed at her unspoken question. "Magic, Hermione. Magic."
The Leaky Cauldron was still quiet and Hermione settled herself onto a sofa beside the boys.
"So next year you'll be in first year?" she nodded and they glanced at each other again. "Can we write to you?"
"Why would you want to do that?" She asked, confused. "Term starts next week. And I really wouldn't. No one knows I'm here and they read all the post we get."
As one they scowled.
"Then how did you get the money?" Fred cocked his head to one side in confusion.
Hermione blushed slightly. "You really don't want to know."
"Hmm." Both watched her with an expression that said they could probably guess but they mercifully left it at that.
"So will I see you at school?" She asked desperate to change the subject.
They nodded and she smiled weakly. Hermione didn't make friends easily but these two were...different. Special. "Can I ask you a favour?"
"Of course my dear lady." They swept long deep bows, doffing their invisible hats at her. She just raised an eyebrow.
"I can't take all this stuff home. Someone will notice and wonder where I got it from." Hermione twiddled her thumbs. "Would you mind taking my stuff home for me?"
"You want it back on the train?" George seemed to be trying to work out some impossible equation and had his tongue stuck between his teeth. "Yes, I suppose we could." He glanced at his brother and they nodded in unison. "We'll have to ask Mum though."
"Speak of the devil," Fred muttered.
Mrs Weasley came bustling through the back entrance of the pub and glared at her two sons in suspicion.
"What have you two done now?"
"That's all she ever greets us with..." Fred grinned at Hermione.
"Our dear mother believes nothing but the worst of us."
Mrs Weasley snorted in amusement. "That's because I raised the two of you. Now, who have you got there?"
Hermione was pulled to her feet by both twins, who had linked arms with her again and presented to their mother.
"This is Hermione," Fred stated.
"We found her," George added.
"Can we keep her?" They pleaded in unison, giving their mother identical puppy-eyed looks.
Mrs Weasley looked at her two sons and smiled in amusement. The last time they'd gotten like this had been over a kitten. "All right but you have to convince her parents."
The pair turned to Hermione.
"Where are your parents?"
"So we can ask if you can stay with us."
Hermione shrugged, "In Highgate cemetery." The boys grinned and turned back to their suddenly pale mother.
"Brilliant. How do we get there?"
Mrs Weasley smiled at her children in pity and sadness, before offering her condolences to Hermione. "I'm very sorry for your loss. Who brought you here?"
"No one." Hermione shrugged again. "I followed the instructions on the letter. And thank you. It's very kind of you to care."
Fred and George had gone pale. Their mother's words had sunk in and they stared at Hermione in a shocked silence.
"I had the money and Fred and George helped me to get to the shops. They've been very helpful." Hermione smiled at the still silent boys "Actually this is the first time they've been quiet all day."
Molly Weasley was maternal and she had been since her name had been Prewitt. She looked the girl over closely. She was pale and on the wrong side of thin, as though she hadn't been getting enough food and had spent more time inside than outside growing as she should have. Molly was suddenly filled with pride at her two sons, who'd taken her under their wing.
"Would you like to have lunch with us, dear?" She glanced at her sons. "They'll try and make you once they snap out of it."
Reluctantly Hermione nodded and allowed herself to be dragged off to the large table near the back of the room. Even in their catatonic states, Fred and George managed to glare at their younger brother and sat on either side of her, effectively blocking her in.
"I'm sorry," Fred began.
"We didn't know."
She smiled at them. "It's ok. No harm done." They relaxed slightly and eventually the rest of the Weasley clan sat and Mrs Weasley smiled as she introduced her.
"Everyone, this is Hermione. She's been kidnapped by Fred and George." Hermione blushed slightly and focused on eating her stew. She rather liked this strange family.
"So where do you live?" Mrs Weasley asked. Hermione blushed slightly.
"Lambeth Orphanage." Fred and George turned their puppy dog looks back onto their mother.
"Please, can we keep her?"
She just chuckled and shook her head, watching the three with plain curiosity. Eventually the meal was over and Hermione handed her cauldron to Fred and her trunk to George. The only thing she kept was her satchel which she filled with the books they'd bought.
"Thanks for looking after this for me." They both nodded as their mother looked on in amazement at the tiny girl.
"We'll see you soon. Okay?" Hermione nodded somberly and grinned at them.
"September 1st, between Platform 9 and 10 at 10:30."
The twins nodded in approval. "Don't be late," they warned. She smiled back and nodded before leaving the Leaky Cauldron and heading back into muggle London.
Lambeth Orphanage was not a cruel place, or at least not intentionally. However no one really seemed to care what happened to the occupants and they were left to their own devices. Which was how, Hermione as an 11 year old girl was able to slip out for almost half a day and return with none of her carers any the wiser. After a meagre dinner of fish fingers and beans, which made her glad she'd eaten her fill at lunch, Hermione returned to her room. Most occupants were forced to share rooms in order to save space and install good social skills. Hermione however was given a tiny room all of her own, because the other children refused point-blank to share with her. She lay on her bed flicking through A Beginners Guide to Transfiguration, when a knock came at the door. Quickly kicking her satchel under the bed and dropping a pillow over the book, Hermione sat up in time for the door to open. He was back. Professor Dumbledore regarded her with something akin to dread as the tiny girl stared him down.
"What are you doing back here?"
He flinched at her accusing tone. "I came back to apologise. It was unnecessary for me to lose my temper last night. I was under a lot of stress."
Hermione merely raised an eyebrow. "Is that it?"
"That and I wished to take you shopping for your school supplies tomorrow."
"Much like your temper tantrum last night, that will be unnecessary." She parroted his words back at him and resisted the urge to stick out her tongue.
Dumbledore frowned. Most adults did when Hermione got snarky.
"Have you decided not to go to Hogwarts?" He asked, reaching for what she now knew was his wand.
Hermione snorted. "Hardly. I have already bought all my school supplies today." She fished out her Transfiguration book for proof. "I will be on the train next week, Professor."
"Did you go on your own?" He demanded.
"Where is your trunk?"
"Hidden. I presume you've told the Head care worker where I will be going next week?"
He nodded silently, his face pale behind his long beard which he wore tucked into his belt.
"Is there anything else I need to know?" She asked, trying to make it obvious that she wanted him to leave.
"No, Miss Granger. I think you've done everything." She nodded as though she'd suspected as much and stood to open the door, brushing past him as she did so.
"Well, then I shall see you when term starts. Good night Professor." And she shut the door in his face.
Hermione waited until she was sure he had gone before she opened her hand. In it was a small cigarette lighter, made of silver and engraved. She giggled slightly as she realised she'd just pickpocketed her new Headmaster. Hermione clicked it and the lights went out. She clicked it again and a small ball of light shot back to the bare bulb hanging from the ceiling which flickered into life again.
Hermione smiled and tucked the lighter in her pocket. Could be useful, she reasoned.
In the Weasley home two, thirteen-year-old boys considered the trunk and cauldron sitting on their bedroom floor. Their mother had been ecstatic that they had, for once, decided to do something helpful. She'd even given them extra pudding which had annoyed their little brother Ron.
"Do you think she'll be ok?"
Fred turned to his brother and sighed. "I don't know. She can look after herself though."
They sat down on their respective beds and glared at the calendar. Just five more days.
"I wonder if Dad knows anything about muggle orphanages?"