Accidental Contact by Emlyn
Summary: A chance encounter on the streets of Diagon Alley lead to a life-altering experience for Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley.
Categories: The Bond Challenge (2012-4), The Bond Challenge (2012-4)
Accidental Contact by Emlyn
Chapter 1: Chapter 1Author's Notes:
On one side of the street through Diagon Alley were Hagrid and Harry, buying school supplies. On the other side was Mrs. Weasley and children doing the same thing. When 11 y/o Harry and 10 y/o Ginny saw each other, they stopped, and then walked towards each other meeting in the middle of the Alley. Mrs. Weasley caught Hagrid’s attention when she called out to her daughter to come back. When the two children met up, they looked at each other for a few seconds then hugged each other like long lost, adult friends. A bright, golden white light started to engulf them for over thirty minutes while they didn’t move.
In the meantime, all the instruments in Headmaster Dumbledore’s office either spun out of control or exploded. Fawkes brought him to the source of his sensors at the same time the head of Gringotts Wizarding Bank arrived to witness this occurrence. The herald Goblin spoke first, breaking the silence of all those around.
“A Soul Bond. The strongest of the four known Bonds, never witnessed in over 1700 years. Gringotts will prepare for them.” And then he left, knowing the names of the new, bonded couple.
Molly Weasley turned to Albus Dumbledore, confusion evident on her face. “Albus, what was that goblin talking about? What did he mean ‘a Soul Bond?’ My Ginny can't be bonded. She's just a baby.” She paused to take a breath and then continued. “Who ever heard of a Soul Bond anyway? Everyone knows they are just a myth. The only people who believe in Soul Bonds are authors of romance novels. It's all a bunch of balderdash!”
She turned away from Albus, before he even had a chance to reply, and approached the two children with a determined look on her face. Molly had had enough of this nonsense. She didn't have time to waste. She still needed to finish shopping for school supplies for her four sons, and she needed to return home to the Burrow and prepare supper for her family.
Before Albus could call out a warning, Molly Weasley was hurtled across the street and landed with a sickening thud against the exterior wall of the cauldron shop. He hastened over and bent solicitously over the stricken woman.
“Molly, can you hear me?” he inquired softly. He was attempting to not draw attention to their group, but his efforts were rather futile, considering the fact that two children were surrounded by a bright light in the middle of the Alley.
The Weasley boys looked torn. They didn’t know whether they should keep watch over their baby sister, or attend to their mother, who was still lying unmoving against the shop-front.
Dumbledore took charge. “Percy, watch your sister. If anything changes, let me know immediately.” He turned to the next eldest. “Fred, George, run to the Leaky Cauldron and Floo your father. Tell him he is needed in Diagon Alley and ask him to contact Andromeda Tonks and let her know we might need her services.”
Finally, he turned to the youngest Weasley boy, “What is your name, young man?” He asked brusquely, then without stopping to wait for an answer, Dumbledore continued, “I think it best if you went and sat down next to your mother. It will be reassuring to her to see you safe when she comes round.” He patted the boy gently on the shoulder.
“My name is Rrrron, sir,” he managed to eventually stutter out. He was rather overwhelmed at being addressed personally by the great Albus Dumbledore. He'd only ever seen him from a distance, and the elderly wizard was quite an imposing presence, especially up close. “What's wrong with my mum? Will she be all right? And why did Ginny do that to her? That wasn't very nice.”
Dumbledore looked around and was surprised that, apart from a few curious glances directed at the fallen Mrs. Weasley, no one was stopping and the expected crowds were not gathering. Had the Goblins done something to discourage people from noticing what was going on? Perhaps he ought to look into it, but first he had to deal with the situation at hand.
“Excuse me, Mr. Potter, Director Ragnok respectfully requests a meeting with you, at your earliest convenience.”
Harry let go of the red-headed girl’s hand and turned to face the Goblin who had just addressed him. Recognition flared in his eyes.
“Griphook, isn’t it?” he began tentatively. At the Goblin’s affirmative nod, Harry continued. “Erm, I think I could come right now. Let me check with Hagrid.”
“Hagrid,” he called to the giant man who was standing a bit to the side. “Do we have time to return to Gringotts? They say they need to meet with me.”
Hagrid hemmed a bit and then admitted that they had no further commitments. He wasn’t certain that Dumbledore would approve, but the Headmaster was busy speaking with the angry red-headed woman, and he hated to bother him. He reasoned that since the Headmaster hadn’t told Harry couldn’t visit Gringotts, it would be alright.
“Erm, I ‘spect so, Harry. Don’t forget we need to finish yer shopping. Can’t have ye going off to Hogwarts missin’ half yer supplies,” he cautioned, giving Harry his reluctant approval.
Harry handed Hagrid his list. “That’s a brilliant idea, Hagrid. Here’s my list. You finish buying the supplies, whilst I meet with the Goblins. That way, I won’t be holding us up, and you can make certain I have everything I need.”
Hagrid stared bemusedly at the list in his hand and watched Harry walk swiftly away in the direction of Gringotts, Griphook by his side. Shaking his head, he glanced at the list and slowly set off to gather the rest of Harry’s supplies. At least he could buy Harry something special for his birthday, he consoled himself. He’d have to check out Eyelops Owl Emporium and see what they had in stock. Perhaps he could find something exciting for Harry - at the very least, he could buy him an owl.
Director Ragnok greeted Harry courteously and then glanced around expectantly. “Mr. Potter, where is your bond-mate?”
“Bond-mate? What’s a bond-mate?” Harry’s confusion was obvious.
The Goblin took a deep breath, then motioned for Harry to take a seat. He then seated himself behind his massive desk and steepled his long, thin fingers. He took a moment to appraise the young wizard sitting in front of him. He had much to impart to him, and he hoped the young man was sufficient to the challenge.
“Mr. Potter,” he began delicately, “when you and the young lady connected a short time ago, you created a bond between the two of you. She is your bond-mate. By initiating the bond, you have set into motion several momentous changes that will have tremendous repercussions.” He paused, gauging Harry’s reaction.
Harry sat in front of the Goblin, his face impassive. It was a skill he had perfected, living with his relatives. His uncle tended to be quite volatile, and he had learned early on that allowing his thoughts and feelings to show often proved to be detrimental to his health. He wasn’t certain how to react to what the elderly Goblin was saying, but he was determined to hear him out before coming to any conclusions.
“Please, sir, do continue,” Harry quietly urged. “I want to hear everything you have to say. There is so much I don’t understand. I never even knew I was a Wizard until early this morning. Hagrid was the one who explained to me that my parents hadn’t died in a drunken car crash.”
Harry looked a bit overwhelmed at the thought, but forcibly suppressed his emotions and focused his attention on the Goblin in front of him, intent on learning all that he possibly could. Here was someone who was offering to explain things to him, and, unlike Hagrid, he didn’t appear to be attempting to conceal information, and Harry wanted information.
There was one thing Harry had learned in his short life, and that was that the more information he possessed, the more he could protect himself. It didn’t necessarily give him power, but it did help to make wise, or at least wiser, choices. And wise choices led to a happier, healthier life - or at least that had been his experience up to this point.
“Having a bond-mate,” continued Ragnok in an even voice, “means that you are now legally considered an adult according to both wizarding and goblin laws.” He was about to continue, when Harry’s soft voice interrupted him.
“Excuse me, sir, why would having a bond-mate make me an adult? I’ve only just turned eleven.” Harry’s face revealed his extreme puzzlement.
“Marriage automatically grants one legal adult status,” was Ragnok’s succinct reply. He was curious as to how the young man would react to this pronouncement.
Harry mulled the statement over, before he jumped up from his seat, eyes wide, and started to pace around the room. After a minute, he resumed his seat, his face once again impassive. “Are you telling me that having a bond-mate means I’m married?”
Ragnok nodded his head.
“But I can’t be married,” Harry protested. “I’m only just eleven. And the girl, I don’t think she’s even as old as I am. We can’t possibly be married. We can’t.” Then he closed his mouth, bit back his protests and motioned for the Goblin to continue.
Several hours later, Harry emerged from Director Ragnok’s office holding a thick stack of parchment and a large cage containing an impressive-looking snowy owl. Upon entering the lobby, he met a sizeable contingent of people who looked to be waiting for him. He took in the group in front of him, and noted Hagrid’s absence. He wondered where he was and what had happened to his school supplies.
Since he wasn’t acquainted with anyone in the group, he made to move past them, but was stopped by the voice of an elderly man whose white beard easily reached his waist. He was clad in a rather flashy royal blue robe adorned with moons and stars.
“Wait, Harry, we must talk,” insisted the man.
“Excuse me, sir, how do you know my name?” asked Harry politely. Politeness he had learned, tended to smooth his way.
The elderly wizard laughed, blue eyes twinkling merrily. “Why, Harry, my boy, everyone knows your name. Be that as it may, I am Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.”
“Oh, then you must be the one who placed me with the Dursleys,” stated Harry blankly.
“Why, yes, so I am,” responded Dumbledore, a bit non-plussed that Harry was aware of that fact. “Which brings us directly to the topic we must speak about. Lend me your arm, and I will be happy to answer your questions while I escort you back to your aunt’s and uncle’s.” He held out his arm for Harry to grasp, and was unnerved when the boy moved back several steps instead of taking his arm.
“Come, my boy, it is time to go. We have tarried here too long, and we are starting to attract attention. It is no longer safe for you to be here. Voldemort,” he whispered, “has eyes and ears everywhere.” He looked around, attempting to ascertain the level of interest Harry’s presence was generating.
Harry took two further steps backwards, and replied. “Thank you, sir, but I’m not planning on returning to my aunt’s and uncle’s. They would much prefer never to see me again, and I would hate to disappoint them. I’m going home.”
“But Harry,” Dumbledore spluttered, “your home is with the Dursleys. It is the only home you have. They are your only living relatives, and, as such, are providing you a level of protection you will not have anywhere else.”
Harry just shook his head. “I’m sorry, sir, but they aren’t my only living relatives. And my home was never with them. They hate me and everything about me. I’m never going back.” He turned around and addressed the Goblin standing behind him.
“Mr. Griphook, would you be willing to escort me home?”
Griphook indicated that he would be more than glad to help out such an esteemed customer.
“Don’t forget to check with the Director before we leave,” cautioned Harry. “I would hate for you to get in trouble for leaving your post.”
Albus stared at Harry in amazement. This could not possibly be happening. The boy had to return to his home. He needed the protection the blood wards afforded him. He made one further attempt to persuade the young boy to accompany him.
Stepping closer, Dumbledore reached out his hand to clasp Harry’s shoulder. Before his hand made contact with the young wizard, Harry had shrugged it away and was inching closer to the Goblin guards stationed at the rear of the bank.
Harry looked around warily at the other members of the group. The red-haired man didn’t look very threatening, but one could never be certain. The tall, stern-looking lady almost seemed to be gazing at him sympathetically, but she was in the company of Mr. Dumbledore, whom he wasn’t sure he could trust. The other man puzzled him. He was dressed quite shabbily, and looked tired and care-worn. The man almost looked sad to see him. Harry wondered why, but he didn’t have time to find out, because, at that moment, Griphook returned and proceeded to lead him out of the bank and into the street.
By the time Dumbledore reached the steps of Gringotts, the two of them had completely disappeared.
Minerva looked at him disapprovingly. “I seem to recall warning you, Albus, that they were the worst sort of Muggles, and that nothing good would come of this.” She turned to the shabby-looking man. “It was a pleasure to see you again, Remus. I do hope you will stop in for tea. I’ve missed our chats.” She nodded to the rest of the group. “Gentlemen, I shall take my leave. I have much to attend to before the opening of term. Albus, if you need me, you know where to find me. Arthur.”
Upon landing, Harry thanked Griphook for his assistance and asked him to convey his appreciation to his superior. Griphook promptly disappeared, after all “Time was Money,” and Harry found himself alone in front of a stately looking manor built of cream coloured stone. He stared at it with awe. He owned a house! He’d never owned anything before. This was amazing!
Clutching the sheaf of parchment in his hands he slowly approached the house, eyes darting everywhere at once, trying to take it all in. He was not surprised when the door opened and several small creatures appeared in front of him and bowed low. The Goblins had informed him that his family owned several house elves who had been caring for the property in both his and his parents’ absence. The Goblins had explained that the elves would be overjoyed at his return and for the opportunity to serve him.
Several hours later, he was seated in the Potter family study, steadily working through a stack of mail and financial and legal documents. It appeared that someone had been blocking his mail. This had been discovered when Ragnok had mentioned the quarterly statements he was supposed to have been receiving. Harry had looked at the Goblin blankly. His Hogwarts letter had been the first piece of mail he had ever received in his entire life.
Ragnok had not been pleased to learn that and had done his utmost to retrieve the missing mail. Fortunately, it was not possible for anyone other than the intended recipient to dispose of mail. Thus, it simply remained an issue of locating the missing mail and retrieving it. Ragnok was not terribly surprised upon apprising the location of Harry’s missing mail. The man had appointed himself Harry’s caretaker after all.
Harry had quickly sifted through large stacks of fan mail and put those aside. More interesting were the enrolment letters he had received from several other schools of Magic. He read through those much more slowly, and then stuck his head into the Floo and called Ragnok for a conference. At the end of the conference, he had a much better idea of the opportunities being afforded him.
It was only eight in the evening when he pulled his head out of the Floo, but he ached all over, and he had a hard time focusing his eyes. Quickly recalling the information on bonds Ragnok had provided him with, Harry realised that he needed his bond-mate. Thanking the stars that the Director had provided him with not only her name, but also her address, Harry grabbed a bit of Floo powder off the mantel and concentrated on stepping through the Floo while clearly enunciating, “The Burrow.”
The Burrow was a scene of chaos and confusion. People were milling all about, talking loudly and gesticulating. At the table, slumped over wearily, head resting on her crossed arms, was his bond-mate. She looked completely defeated and quite uncomfortable.
Surprisingly enough, Harry’s entrance was scarcely noticed. The only person who espied him was a red-haired boy who looked to be a few years older than Harry himself. He grinned wickedly and nodded towards the table. It seemed that Harry had at least one ally.
Harry debated his next course of action. He was being physically compelled to join his bond-mate at the table, but knew it would be rather rude of him not to announce his arrival. While he was inwardly debating what to do, his bond-mate raised her head and the look in her eyes left him no choice. He slid in beside her, gently leaned her against his chest, and took her hand in his. Then he started speaking to her in a low soothing voice.
Ginny gave him a tired smile. With all that had happened this day, seeing him in her kitchen was hardly surprising, and she welcomed his presence. The short time they had had together earlier in the day had been nothing short of spectacular, and she had been heartbroken when her mother had whisked her away before she had had a chance to say goodbye, or anything else, for that matter.
After speaking together for quite some time, completely unnoticed by most of the room’s occupants, Harry gestured for the red-haired boy to come over. He introduced himself and asked for some help in acquiring the means with which to write a short note. The boy, who had identified himself as George, was quick to comply.
It didn’t take Harry long to compose a short note explaining the situation, and for he and Ginny to slip quietly out of the house via the Floo. In fact, it was the spark of green flames as they departed that drew everyone’s attention, and then - pandemonium ensued.
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