A big thanks to Ilovecats and Comet Moon for editing and ideas.
Many people would consider the word soulmate to be self-explanatory, but how far is one supposed to take the term? Some would say that any person you share many interests with is a soulmate, while others insist that the only way to qualify is to be your perfect match.
Soul has many definitions and all of them and none of them are true at the same time. Though every living creature has a soul in one way or another, human souls are, by far, the most complex. It could be described as the essence of the being, but in truth it is only a third of what makes us human, as three separate aspects are to be united to create a unique individual — body, mind and soul.
A soul can exist without a body. It works in the opposite way, too. When a person is insane they have lost only their mind while their bodies and souls are still present. But whatever theoretical combination we use, if one of these three aspects is missing the individual is sentenced to a pale half-existence.
Thus, a soul is unique to an individual and allows them to exist. We cannot be sure what happens to the soul once we die, as we cannot be sure where they come from, for we lack the insight to do so.
But if someone provided us with this much needed ability we would find out that souls are created at the same time new lives are shaped, and 'assigned' to the bodies during the process.
If we continue to dissect the word soulmate, we would find that a mate is a partner. If you choose to stretch that definition you could say that a mate is a perfect partner. To mate, means to join two parts perfectly. Whoever coined the term, gave it far more thought than the first glimpse lets us perceive.
When all of this is combined you end up with two essences which are joined to a perfect fit.
The only problem with this whole concept is that it just does not happen in the real world. Sure, you find someone, fall in love, and everything can end up well. But not perfect. Perfection can only be aspired to; never can it be reached.
The merging of bodies does happen in the human world. It is a very common biological process that most complicated creatures undergo. Merging of minds also occurs, but is limited to the magical folk through rather obscure and less usual practices of Legilimency. All of this is done by humans. We can manipulate what we can see or access but the soul is out of our reach, thereby limiting the ability we have to modify it. In fact, the only physical beings which have some kind of access to the soul are Dementors. But even those foul, unnatural creations cannot destroy or shape it. All they can do is take it away, leaving their victims in a poor excuse for an existence.
The term soulmates could only be used properly if someone or something decided to use the Record of Souls in a way it has not been used before, and even then there is little chance it would ever happen.
In fact, the only way it could happen would be if two marks merged together.
Exactly two years later Harry Potter was walking along Diagon Alley accompanied by Hagrid. It had not been easy to pretend to be surprised as the large man informed him that he was a wizard, but he had managed to pull it off to his rather gullible audience. As they approached Gringotts Harry could feel Ginny giggling through their link.
What is it? he asked.
I still can't get the image of Dudley's tail out of my mind.
Through time their connection only grew stronger and now they could share their emotions and what they were seeing. If they tried enough they could even see each other's memories. That did not bother them at all. If anything they were happier that way.
Harry had to suppress a grin. Yeah, that was funny. I wonder how they plan to get it off.
You could do it once you buy a wand. Just a Finite Incantatem and it would go away.
I couldn't even if I wanted to. Remember the Decree you told me about?
They can't track spells like Finite and Lumos. The twins told me that. They use low powered spells all the time since there's no way of tracking them.
That's actually good to know. We're entering Gringotts so we have to stop talking.
OK Harry. Remember to ask the goblins about any relatives of yours. Maybe you could live with them if they exist. Bye.
"Yeah, that's a goblin," said Hagrid quietly, misinterpreting Harry's gaze. "Best ter watch yourself when you talk to 'em. I've got your key with me. Here, take it. And take this money sack, you’ll need it. I've got some other business 'ere. Special mission from Dumbledore."
With that the half-giant went to the counter to speak with one of the unusual creatures. While Harry was approaching one of the goblins himself he heard Hagrid mumble something about 'You-Know-What in the vault seven hundred and thirteen,' whatever that meant. Although he had seen Ginny's memories of goblins it was still a little bit disconcerting to see them in front of him. But he also knew he should act accordingly and not let the goblins see his discomfort.
"Sorry sir, I would like to see my vault."
"Name?" the goblin asked from his high stool without looking up from his work.
"Harry Potter," he answered somewhat awkwardly.
"Mr. Potter," said the goblin with what could only be described as a poor attempt of a smile. "I hope you understand you need a key to access a vault."
"I have it right here, sir," Harry answered showing the brass key.
"Most fortunate for you Mr. Potter. I shall call someone to show you the way to the vault-"
He was cut off as Harry spoke, "Sir, I'd like to know if my parents left a will."
"Let me see if I understand. You wish to initiate the reading of the will of your late parents?"
"Erm, yes sir," he replied uncertainly.
"You understand that the reading of the will trigger a binding magical contract and declare all other contracts which may interfere null and void?" the goblin asked.
"Um, I just want to find out if I have any other relatives so I can live with them, sir."
"Very well. You will be escorted to your vault by Bagnarok. When you finish, come see me again and we'll have everything prepared for the reading of the Last Will and Testament of your parents." With that he called another goblin who motioned Harry to follow him.
Ginny, did you hear all of this?
Yes Harry, but I'm not sure what it all means.
What have I done?
Don't worry, I'll be here for you and besides, nothing bad can really happen.
I hope so. Just please stick around with me.
Harry entered the cart behind Bagnarok but was too overwhelmed by the conversation he had participated in minutes ago to even try to enjoy the ride. Once they arrived to the vault and the goblin opened it, even the huge stacks of gold did not distract him. He emotionlessly filled with coins the sack Hagrid luckily gave him and returned to the cart, still pondering the new situation. The 'magical binding contract' part of the will bothered him, because if he understood everything that had been said, once he heard it he would be forced to follow the rules it set. All of his choices would disappear as soon as the words reached his ears. On the other hand, he hardly had any choices anyway, and his parents would have only wanted what was best for him. He hoped so at least...
Before he was even aware of what was happening he found himself back in front of the first goblin he had talked to. Without having time to utter a single word he heard the booming voice of Hagrid behind him.
"Blimey Harry! Where 'ave you been?"
Harry turned around to see the large man looking at him in concern. "I'm sorry, Hagrid, but we need to stay here to hear the will of my parents." He was not in the mood to explain that he was the one who demanded that in the first place.
"Ah, Lily an' James," said Hagrid sniffling. "You take so much after them. Great people. I'll wait for ya here."
"Follow me, Mr. Potter," ordered the goblin.
Harry followed the goblin to a door with a sign labelled Wills and Last Testament Dpt. The goblin held the door open for him and Harry found himself looking at a small room with a desk in the centre and rather uncomfortable chairs around it. Goblins did not seem to care much about comfort.
"Sit down, Mr. Potter. I will go get Drenok so we can start the reading of the Will and Last Testament of Lily and James Potter." With that the goblin left the room.
Harry briefly wondered if all goblin names sound like unpleasant diseases. He heard Ginny's laughter in his mind.
Gin, it's not funny.
I know Harry but I just couldn't help myself. She managed to sound apologetic.
Before either of them could continue their mind conversation the door opened and two goblins entered.
"Mr. Potter," the new goblin greeted Harry with an almost predatory grin. "It's a pleasure to meet you even under such dire circumstances. I am Drenok. I was present when your parents drafted their will a few days after your birth.
Harry was notcertain how to answer that, so he merely nodded.
The goblin continued unfazed. "First of all, you need to understand that once the will is read you will need to follow all rules set in it. The magic that binds you to the agreement will also bind other possible parties mentioned in it. Do you wish to proceed?"
"Good. Please show me your right hand." Harry did so. "I need to make a small cut on your palm to confirm your identity. We use blood magic for will protection."
Harry gulped but did not move his hand. The goblin took a knife out of his pocket and made a small cut at the centre of Harry's palm.
"Now, if you will, please set your hand on the glass ball on the table."
This was the first time Harry noticed the ball, which stood on a black pedestal covered in runes. It was red and a faint light seemed to emerge from its centre. Harry put his hand on the ball and suddenly felt he could not remove his hand from it.
A voice echoed in the room.
"This is the Will and Last Testament of Lily Rose Evans Potter and James Harold Potter made on September 10th, 1980. We, Lily and James Potter, leave all our monetary and physical possessions to our son, Harry James Potter, for him to use when he reaches the age of fifteen, according to goblin laws. Furthermore we give him the full use of a trust fund of half a million Galleons to be set up as of today. In the event of our premature death we give the custody over Harry to his godfather Sirius Orion Black. If he is unable to fulfil his duty as a guardian we award the custody to our friend Remus John Lupin. In the latter case we use the rights of the Potter Family to veto the Ministry's Restriction for Dangerous Magical Creatures. Harry's guardian is to be given full access to the Potter family vault and Potter Manor for Harry's well-being. This is our Last Testament."
Harry! You realize this means you don't need to live with the Dursleys anymore?
Before Harry could answer her Drenok spoke. "I don't know anything about your current living arrangements Mr. Potter but according to the will you are to live with either Sirius Black or Remus Lupin. You are probably not aware of the fact that Sirius Black is currently imprisoned in Azkaban. Therefore, we will contact Remus Lupin to take over your custody."
"Sir, why is my godfather in prison?" Harry asked. He knew all about Azkaban, as Ginny told him everything she overheard about it from her parents.
"He sided with He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. I am unaware of the details."
The answer was so blunt that Harry felt as if he had been slapped.
I'm sorry Harry. I… He must have done something. Wizard trials are foolproof.
Harry just gave Ginny a mental version of a nod, still too stunned to say anything.
Drenok continued, "Remus Lupin was present when your parents drafted their will. He was a close friend of theirs. I do not know his current whereabouts, but we will contact him as soon as possible."
"So," Harry replied, having finally calmed himself enough to speak, "I am to live with him."
"Yes, Mr. Potter. As I said before, the will is a binding magical contract and both you and Mr. Lupin will now have to follow it. I am not sure why your parents felt obliged to use their veto right against the Ministry's decree, but you will probably know soon enough."
"What does that mean, exactly?" asked Harry, his brow furrowed in thought.
"According to the wizarding laws members of the Wizengamot have a right to excuse themselves from certain decrees. Your family has a seat in the Wizengamot, and you will have the right to attend it once you become of age."
"Um, OK," he replied, not really understanding what all of this meant.
"Now, Mr. Potter, I believe that is all and we should not detain you anymore."
"Er, yes. Thank you."
"Goodbye, Mr. Potter," replied the goblins.
As Harry left the room he could see Hagrid still waiting for him. Not wanting to keep the large man any longer he went straight to him, his thoughts still a jumble from the reading of the will. Ginny was not feeling any better.
"Al' right 'ere Harry?"
"Yeah Hagrid. We should go on."
"Sure. Let's go."
As they left the bank and found themselves back in Diagon Alley, Harry sent a thought to his best friend. Do you think we did the right thing?
Well Harry, I don't really think things could be worse than they are right now.
I guess you're right Ginny.
And get used to that Potter! she answered playfully.
Half an hour later Harry was walking towards Ollivander's (Makers of Fine Wands since 382 BC) with a beautiful snowy owl in a cage — a birthday present from Hagrid. He had finished all of his shopping and all he needed was a wand, the thing he was looking forward to the most.
As they entered the shop, Hagrid sat on a chair while Harry looked around. The small shop was full of thousands of narrow boxes covering the walls. Suddenly he heard a noise and spun around. In front of him an old man was standing.
"Good afternoon," he said.
"Hello," answered Harry.
"Ah, yes. I thought I'd be seeing you soon, Harry Potter. You have your mother's eyes. It seems only yesterday she was in here herself, buying her first wand. Ten and a quarter inches long, swishy, made of willow. Nice wand for charm work."
As the man rattled on about his father's wand Harry could not help but to feel a bit nervous. There was something creepy about the old man.
As if sensing Harry's nervousness the wandmaker stopped his train of reminiscences. "Well, Mr Potter, which is your wand arm?"
"Er, I'm right-handed sir."
After some rather dubious measuring Harry found himself holding a nine inch beechwood and dragon heartstring wand. Before he could even wave it, it was snatched from his hand and replaced with a seven inch maple and phoenix feather wand. This one too was in his hand just a couple of seconds. And so it went on and on. Harry began to wonder if he could ever find the right wand. But Mr Ollivander wasn't going to relent now.
"Tricky customer, eh? Not to worry, we'll find the perfect match here somewhere. I wonder now… Yes, why not? Unusual combination, holly and phoenix feather, eleven inches, nice and supple."
Harry took the wand and felt a warmth in his fingers. He raised the wand above his head and brought it down. As soon as the wand started moving red and gold sparks shot from its tip, but before it finished its path one of the wand boxes on the shelf nearby rattled and flew in the air straight towards Harry. Before he could react a wand shot out of the box and connected itself with the one Harry was holding.
In a blinding flash of light both wands merged into one. It was as if someone had cut the two wands along their lengths and made a new one from different halves.
Harry was not sure what was supposed to happen, but he hoped he had found his wand and he was done holding and waving the blasted things. He looked up to find Mr. Ollivander and Hagrid looking at him with shocked expressions, their mouths hanging open and their eyes wide.
"Amazing!" breathed Ollivander. "In all my time I have never seen anything like this! I mean, that the first wand reacted to you was most curious, but this..."
"Sir?" asked Harry, still not sure what happened.
"Mr. Potter, you now have a wand which consists of two different ones; it also possesses twin cores. In all know history there was never such a wand. The first part, the holly and phoenix feather, eleven inches, was the brother wand of the one that gave you this scar," the old man said as he pointed to Harry's forehead. "The other one, the other half of your wand, is eleven inches rosewood and phoenix feather. But the feather is from a different phoenix. I'm not sure what this all means, but rest assured that I will look into this phenomenon and contact you once I have more information."
"Er, yes sir. Thank you," Harry replied somewhat uncertainly.
"Also, you will not need to pay for the second wand. Consider it a gift."
"Thank you," Harry replied as he paid for his purchase.
Hagrid and Harry left the wand shop. After a short stop for lunch Harry found himself on a train heading back to the Dursleys' with a ticket to Hogwarts.
Harry was sitting on a bed in his new room. He was thinking about the strange day he had just had. He had expected his first encounter with the world of magic to be weird, but this had been a little bit too much.
Soon he drifted off to sleep.
"Hey Harry!" said Ginny as she hugged him. He returned the hug, happy to see her after a long day.
"Hey Gin! It's so good to see you. This day was so weird."
"I thought so too. But look on the bright side. You will probably get a new home and you have the weirdest wand in the world," she said with a smirk.
Harry grinned as he sat down and pulled her into his lap. "Yeah, I guess. But I also have a godfather in prison and Voldemort's brother wand. Well, half of it anyway."
"A wand is just a wand Harry. And I have a distant uncle who was a Death Eater. Some things in life you just can't control," she assured him.
"I know, Ginny. Thanks, I guess. I really don't know what I would do without you."
"And you better remember that," she replied with mock seriousness but kissed his cheek anyway.
"I don't know how I'll live without you at Hogwarts."
"Well, you can always talk to me, and we'll still have our dreams together."
"I know, but it's not the same. I wish you could go with me."
"Me too, but it's only a year. After all, how do you know it's not the same? You haven't met me for real."
"You know what I mean."
"Yeah I do," she sighed. "But you'll meet me at the platform.
Harry was silent for a moment. "Do you think it'll be awkward when we meet for the first time?"
"I'm not sure. It shouldn't be. But we'll need to be careful not to let anything slip."
"I know. And then when you do come to Hogwarts it'll be hard not to act like best friends."
"And you'll probably have some new friends by then. Maybe even Ron," she added.
"Yeah. Maybe. But you'll still be my best friend," he answered.
"Really? You mean that?" she asked hopefully.
"Of course!" he said hugging her more tightly. "Nothing can top this. You're... You're a part of me."
She kissed him on his cheek again then blushed but still looked into his eyes. "You're a part of me too." She paused for a second but then continued. "Do you think that we'll ever be more than best friends?" She was on fire now and as hard as she tried she could not keep the hopeful note in her voice.
"No I don't," he started but as soon as he saw the hurt in her eyes he continued. "I know it."
"Oh, Harry!" she was hugging the life out of him.
"But not yet. Not until we meet for real. And that way it'll be easier to explain why we're hanging with each other all the time."
"You're right. Well, it'll all come soon enough," she said philosophically.
"Yes it will," he answered as he kissed her cheek, blushing only a little bit.
They continued to chat until the morning when they both woke up.