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The Soul Mate Law
|BY : CeliaEquusCategory: Harry Potter > Het - Male/FemaleDragon prints: 21476|
|Disclaimer: I have no claim on the Harry Potter franchise, and am making no money from any of my fan fiction.|
“At the Start”
There was much tapping of feet in line, and some witches and wizards fiddled with their wands.“It definitely won’t bring people back to life, will it?” Ron asked. “I mean, what if someone’s soul mate turned out to be,” he gulped, “You-Know-Who?”“I doubt that, Ron,” Harry said, re-reading the pamphlet for the umpteenth time. “You’ve gotta know your soul mate first, and they’ve kind of got to, you know, have a soul.”“If we already know who our soul mate is, then why…”“No, I mean you have to have met them, or been near them at some point,” he said, frowning as he pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose. “Even seen them just across the street in Diagon Alley. Didn’t you read this?”“And what about age?”“What about it?”“Well, what if there’s a big age difference?”“Ron, they won’t allow underage people to marry,” Hermione said, giving him a withering look. “That would be taking things too far, even for the Ministry.”“And a marriage law isn’t taking things too far?” he asked, waving his arms.“At least you don’t have to bare…”“Whoa!” Harry interrupted. Someone ahead of them in the queue had just disappeared.“Someone’s just found their soul mate,” Ron said.“Thank you, Captain Obvious,” Hermione said.“Oi!”“As I was saying, you don’t have to bare children,” she continued, and they shuffled along a couple of places as the line moved forward. “Just hope that you’ve met your future companion, or no one will appear. According to the pamphlet.” She made a face.“‘Future companion’? Did you hear that, Harry? She’s talking about him like he’s a pet!”“‘Him’?” Harry asked, raising an eyebrow. Ron looked confused for a moment, and then blushed furiously.“For Hermione, not for me,” he said. “A-anyway, at least we were allowed to group together, and not have to go alphabetically like everyone else.”“At least families won’t be separated,” Harry pointed out, and Hermione rolled her eyes.“Oh, the advantages of being a war hero – or heroine,” she said. “We get to stand together in line, not apart. Never mind that this entire thing is so damn inhuman in the first place!” she shouted. Everyone looked at her, and the whole area fell silent.“Uh, yeah,” Ron said, scratching the back of his neck and trying not to look like he knew Hermione. “So, who d’you think you’ll get, Harry? Imagine if it was a Slytherin!”“I hope it’s Ginny,” he said. “Or someone else we know.”“Let’s just hope there’s no incest,” Hermione said. “The point of the law is to put a stop to inbreeding.” She shuddered. “Breeding. It makes us sound like we’re cats or dogs.”Finally they reached the head of the line. The boys began to argue about who should go first.“Oh, move over,” Hermione grumbled, and she pushed between them. She walked up to the spot outlined in a smoky ring. “Let’s just get this over with.”“You will not be disappointed, Miss Granger,” one of the Ministry employees said. “Trust me. You’ll be paired with your true love.”“There’s a difference between a soul mate and a true love,” she said, and she sighed. “Just… do it.”“Very well then. Move to the edge of the circle and touch the wood of the door with the tip of your wand.” Hermione stretched her arm out and just managed to make contact. “Thank you. Now, open the door.”“…How?”“An Unlocking Charm,” he said with a ‘duh’ face.“It’s that simple?” she asked, flabbergasted. He nodded. “Grr. Fine! Alohomora!”“Move back now,” the female employee said, standing on the other side of Hermione. “Right in the middle of the circle. That’s right. It’s opening!”Sure enough, the door started to creak open. For all her scepticism and annoyance, Hermione found herself becoming nervous. It was taking an awfully long time.“Is there something wrong?” she asked as the door stopped. Suddenly, it slammed shut. Hermione glanced at the workers’ shocked faces. “Does… that usually happen?”“N-no,” the man said. “Oh, but don’t worry! It started to open, so there’s probably just some complication.”“‘Just’?”“I’m sure it’s noth…”WHOOSH! The door flew open and they had to squint against the fading light. It was easily broken as someone walked forward, and disappeared as he stepped over the threshold.Hermione’s jaw dropped open. He was a few inches taller than her, and had hair ginger enough to rival the Weasleys’. His handsome, dark brown eyes narrowed as he studied her, and she swallowed.“I… I don’t believe we’ve met,” she said faintly. He walked over to her, and held out a hand. There was a definite spark as she placed her hand in his. “Um… you probably know who I am.”“I do,” he murmured. Her heart beat wildly at the purr in his tone. Gods, what a voice! It was even sexier than Professor Snape’s.“Are… are you related to the Weasleys?”He chuckled. “No, mistress. Bastet forbid.”“Bastet?” Harry asked. He as confused as well. None of them had ever seen this man before… had they?“The feline goddess,” he replied.“Hey, Hermione! He’s perfect for you,” Ron said.“He means that you’ll like my Crookshanks,” Hermione said, blushing under the scrutinising gaze of her soul mate. “He’s a cat… and, uh, a half-kneazle.”“You are unusually flustered, mistress,” he said. “And yet,” he looked down at the hand holding hers, “I can understand why.” He pulled her closer, out of the magical circle.“Why do you keep calling me ‘mistress’?” she asked, frowning. “I don’t under…”“Hermione,” he said, “I am Crookshanks.”Her mouth opened and closed like a fish several times. He nodded, and she raised her right hand. She cupped his cheek and tilted his head down. His eyes never moved from hers as she studied them. She glanced down as she placed her left hand on his chest, but then looked up at his face.“It can’t be…”“It is,” he said. “I am he. I was waiting for you to come home when suddenly I disappeared. Then – somehow – I became this: what you see here…”“Shh.” She stroked the plain robe the magic had clearly provided. It was a human chest she could feel beneath the fabric; a man’s chest. And that was male stubble on his cheek.But those eyes…“Mistress?” he whispered, bending his head further. Her eyes widened.“Oh my god,” she said weakly. “It is you. Crook…”“Hermione!” Harry and Ron shouted as she fainted. The man – Crookshanks – caught her before she could hit the floor, and cradled her body close to his chest.“I will wait for you over here,” he said. He looked concerned as he stared down at Hermione, leaning against the wall to wait.“Er, come on,” the female employee said, dragging Ron forward. “You next.”“Hermione,” Crookshanks said. “Wake up, my mistress.”“Gaah! Millicent Bulstrode?”“Oh, great! I’m going to be stuck with a Weasley?”“Please move on…”“Wake up,” Crookshanks said, jogging Hermione in his arms. She moaned and shuffled. Her hands went to his shoulders as she pulled herself up, half-conscious.“You’re next, Mr. Potter.”“…Okay.”“Mistress,” he said, and he rubbed his head against hers. “Mmm, mistress. Wake up. Hermione?”“Gin? Oh, thank Merlin!”“Harry! I can’t believe it’s you!”“Charming,” he said as they joined the others. “Hey, Ron. It’s your sister!”“At least you got your first choice,” Ron said, scowling at Millicent out of the corner of his eye.“Did you even have a choice?” Harry asked, raising his eyebrows.“Well, no, but…”“Maybe it’s like the Sorting Hat. I mean, I thought about Ginny first.”“Why didn’t anyone tell me?” he exclaimed. “Then I could have thought of someone!”“How come Hermione got her cat?” he said. They watched as Hermione came around, and then gasped when she looked up at Crookshanks.“It wasn’t a dream, was it?” she asked. He shook his head. “Oh. Um, you can put me down now.”“I hate it when humans mention putting someone down,” he said, but he helped her stand. “Are you well?”“I’m okay, I think.” She frowned, and then looked up at her friends. “Hello! I thought you were coming on the second morning, Ginny? I mean, we didn’t see you in line…” Then she realised that Ginny and Harry were holding hands, and beamed. “Oh, I’m so happy for you! Congratulations. And, uh… Ron? Millicent?” She shook her head in amazement. “H-hello. How are you?”“I’ve been better,” the former Slytherin said. They’d been out of school for a couple of years by now, but apparently old grudges still held. “Let’s just get out of here.”Hermione nodded. She was surprised when Crookshanks tugged her into his side; she hadn’t even realised that they were still holding hands. He looked down at her.“Come on,” he murmured. Well, now she knew why there was a purr in his voice.Hermione nodded, and all six went to the next point on their ‘Soul Mate Tour’. It was a large room with several booths.“C… Crookshanks?” she said. “I think we should go to that one first.” She pointed at a place with ‘Name Changing or Registration’ over the top.“Very well.”“Um…” But he didn’t seem ready to relinquish her hand, so she didn’t mention it. She just pulled him over to the booth.“How can I help y… Hermione?” It was Padma Finnegan.“Hello,” she said. “How are you, Padma?”“Seven months along,” she said, and she grimaced as she shuffled in her chair. “That’s why the counter’s higher here; otherwise I couldn’t fit. So,” she continued, “what brings you here?”“Uh, Padma, did Parvati ever tell you about my cat?” Hermione asked, her eyes darting nervously to the man beside her.“I think so. How is he?”“I am well, Mrs. Finnegan,” he said. Padma’s jaw dropped.“…This is why we’re here,” Hermione said. “He’s my… soul mate.”“Your cat is your soul mate?” Padma asked, staring at him.“Yes. And he doesn’t have a last name. He’s just… Crookshanks.”“W-well, we’d better sort that out,” she said, flustered. “Um… yes. Would you like Crookshanks to be your last name or first name?”“Hermione may choose for me,” he said. “She will take my last name when we marry. I believe that is the human custom?” The two women nodded. “Mistress?”“Oh!” Hermione exclaimed. “Uh, yes. Let me think…”
The month that passed was awkward. Crookshanks had to borrow clothes from Harry so that Hermione could take him shopping for things. By the end of the day they were exhausted, and decided just to leave everything in the living room while they went out for dinner in Muggle London.“Do you wish for me to sleep on the couch?” he asked. “I used to do that sometimes…”“Crookshanks, we have a spare bedroom,” she said, and she touched his arm. He dropped the bag he was holding in that hand. “Oh. Sorry.”“Just… not used to handles,” he said. “I suppose it is best that I learn to sleep in a bed.”“You used to sleep with me sometimes,” she reminded him. “If I was upset about something you would curl up with me.”“I am no longer a half-kneazle, mistress.”“No,” she said softly, gazing up at him. “You’re not, and I’m so sorry about th…”“My duty has always been to you,” he said, and he stroked her hair as though she was the former cat. “Ever since you rescued me from that hell hole of a pet shop. I was just waiting for someone like you to come along. Perhaps… perhaps this explains why the room chose me as your mate.”“Maybe.” She watched as Crookshanks dropped his hand and picked up the shopping bag.
By the day of the wedding it was as though he had been a human all his life. There were certain cat-like things about him – including the odd moment when he’d bat at his backside, trying to find his tail – and he was also a natural Legillimens thanks to his kneazle background. For the most part, however, he was fine, and even had a wand. After all, he was now a wizard and Hermione was teaching him magic.Their engagement was a controversial one as soon as it had been leaked that she was marrying her former cat. She received some scathing letters about how she ‘couldn’t do any better’ and that it was ‘justice for a Mudblood to mate with another animal’. She burned the correspondence before anyone could find it, but Crookshanks had known that there was something wrong. She refused to tell him.Fortunately there were far more controversial pairings. Draco Malfoy’s soul mate was apparently Gregory Goyle, and Pansy Parkinson hadn’t even found hers during the first round. In the second round it turned out to be Justin Finch-Fletchley. Then, horror of horrors, Theodore Nott’s father was coupled with a girl he had seen in the street once, who was only in her sixth year at Hogwarts. To add insult to injury, she was also a Gryffindor.Hermione and Crookshanks set the date for a month from the day they were ‘united’ by the door: after the first wave of articles in the Prophet, but before the gossip could die down completely. By the time they returned from their honeymoon there would undoubtedly be bigger news, and they could live in relative peace.That was the theory, anyway.
A/N: His name has already been decided by me, my friends, so you’ll just have to wait until the next update to find out what it is. In the meantime, I hope you’ve enjoyed what’s happened so far.I shall reiterate so that you are duly warned: there is no bestiality in this fic. I’ve done research so that Crookshanks will still exhibit some feline behaviour, but I wouldn’t want to go that far, despite the fact that he used to be a cat/half-kneazle. So… since he’s now human, it isn’t bestiality, right? Right! The only smut in this fic will be in chapter two, just so you’re duly warned.Please review!