1 Reprieve From Boredom
This year at Hogwarts, was...relaxed or at least that’s what Harry kept telling himself. With no Voldemort this year, no Professor Snape, even Malfoy occasionally nodding at him in the hall, it was...relaxing.
Who was he kidding? It was bloody boring is what it was.
He had never thought of himself as liking the thrill of danger, he didn’t seek it out, it just found him. But with this year completely dangerous and mystery free, he would welcome just the hint of something out of the ordinary that would need him and his friends to investigate.
It was midway through his eighth year and he was thinking it was more likely that he would fall asleep in class again than anything out of the ordinary happening. Many of the new teachers wouldn’t even call him out for it. He was getting special treatment up to his ears, it was annoying and if possible made him even more bored.
He received a sharp elbow in his ribs from Hermione, at least she wouldn’t let him slack off in class. Trying to stay awake, he leaned back in his chair balancing on the unsturdy back legs.
The noise came from directly in front of Harry startling him enough to make him fall out of his chair. He clambered to his feet, embarrassed, but no one laughed at him. Harry thought he seen a smirk on Malfoy’s face but he didn’t laugh or say any smart remarks. It was a sad day at Hogwarts when you wished Malfoy would be a git.
Harry righted his chair and a single letter fell to the ground. His starved curiosity snatched the letter up as if he were a man that hadn’t ate for days and someone placed a pasty in front of him. He looked around, but it appeared like everyone had gone back to not paying attention to him. He cast a quiet spell over the letter to check for any hexes or curses attached to it, when none were visible he unfolded the letter and read:
Dear Anonymous Reader,
I hope my letter is not an inconvenience to you at this time, my apologies if it is. I am sending this letter as a requirement for my Divination class. If you have received this letter than it is because the spell cast to send you this letter believes you to be my soulmate (not that I believe in such romantic nonsense, but an assignment is an assignment). We will be sending several letters throughout this week, be forewarned.
Nothing is required of you other than to receive them, you don’t even have to read them. I won’t be offended. I’m sure anyone that is compatible with me would have better things to do with their time then read letters from, someone they may not have even met. But if you do read them I will try to make them short and somewhat entertaining. I will have to guess on what you will find entertaining.
Until next time.
Yours Truly, AW
AW. Well Harry definitely thought this fell into the mysterious category. What sort of spell sent letters to your soulmate? Did Harry even believe in soulmates? He was leaning towards no and found himself agreeing with the author of the letter. Thankful of two things: that he didn’t have to write a letter to a stranger, it seemed such an awkward task, and that he wasn’t taking Divination this year. He folded the letter up into his pocket and tried to pay attention to the teacher.
As forewarned Harry received a second letter two days later, this time he was in the common room with Ron and Dean. The letter popped out of thin air, and fell into Harry’s lap. The same neat handwriting scrolled, My Love across the outside of the letter. Harry chuckled at the sarcasm.
“What is that? A love letter?” Dean asked, leaning over to get a better look.
“You aren’t getting strange fan mail again are you?” Ron asked.
“No it’s just an anonymous letter someone has to send me for a class assignment.” Harry said, unfolding the letter to read it.
As before I hope this letter finds you well and at an opportune moment. I did cast a waterproof charm on it just in case you were caught in a downpour or perhaps showering. I will be required to write one more letter, then we will both be free from this hassle. The teacher wishes the class to write something personal about ourselves, so that our soulmates can get to know us better.
I think that is a violation of privacy and you will receive nothing personal from me. I did promise to try to make the letter interesting so I will share with you a hex that I have been working on. It is my own personal invention so I suppose that would meet the criteria required from the teacher.
Stulidus with one straight swift wand movement to the left. No more than three fingers distance is needed. Once you have it down it is very easy to complete silently. It is a harmless hex that makes the person stutter on their words. Enjoy.
Yours Truly, AW
“Soulmate? What kind of assignment is this?” Ron asked, reading the letter over Harry’s shoulder.
“And you don’t know who it’s from?” Dean asked.
“No and the writer doesn’t know who I am. There isn’t really anyway for me to respond. So I just have to wait for the next one.” Harry shrugged and put the letter away.
“You are receiving letters from a stranger?” Hermione asked, walking in with Ginny. Ginny looked at Harry but didn’t say anything. She still wasn’t talking to him after he broke up with her, which he didn't’ think was fair because it wasn’t like they were that serious and he had given a legit reason. He didn’t want to be in a relationship right now. It wasn’t like he broke up with her then started dating someone else.
“It popped out of thin air.” Ron told her.
Great here it comes.
“Harry! You didn’t open it did you? It could be cursed and dangerous or it could’ve been a port key or something.”
“I checked it first.” Harry said. “It’s fine. It’s from a student for a class assignment.”
Hermione didn’t look like she was buying it. “What kind of assignment?” She asked forcing Harry to go into every detail he knew about the letters, it wasn’t much.
“If you get another one, don’t open it until I’ve had a chance to check it.” Hermione warned.
“Is there really a spell that will send a message to your soulmate?” Ginny asked, sounding quiet like the first time Harry had ever spoken to her. Maybe he should talk to her again. He liked Ginny and wanted to be friends with her. She was funny and smart and strong willed. He didn’t care for this version of her.
“I’m not sure, but I think I’ll look into it. Divination, you said?”
The next day Hermione came rushing into the common room with a large book in her hands. “I found it!” She declared, to both Ron and Harry who didn’t know what she was talking about. When they just looked at her with blank eyes, she continued. “I found the spell that is sending the letters to you. I pulled up past curriculums in Divination and found a spell that they used to use all the way until the seventies by the previous teacher, to send letters to your supposed soulmate.”
“So it really is harmless then?” Ron asked.
“Yes. It would appear so.” Hermione said, sounding like she really didn’t want to.
“Let me see it.” Harry asked, holding out his hand. The spell seemed easy enough. “Do you think that we could try it? Then I could send a letter back and then they would at least know that I got theirs.”
“It seems easy enough.”
“It sounds fun. I might try it too.” Ron said, Hermione smiled but she looked worried. She was probably worried that she wouldn’t be the one on the receiving end.
The spell was simple with few things needed. It required a circle to be formed out of unicorn hair and the item to be sent to contain a single drop of the senders blood.
“You go first.” Harry told Ron. Ron didn’t look as confident as he had earlier and Harry wondered if it just now dawned on him that the letter might go to someone else besides his girlfriend.
He spoke the incantation and then placed the letter in the circle. It shone brightly then the letter disappeared. Seconds later a pop sounded and the letter landed in Hermione’s hair. She pulled the letter out and beaming opened it.
Hermione? Was the only thing written.
“Ron!” She laughed and threw her arms around him. Harry was wishing he had wrote something better in his letter. Maybe the person was his soulmate and they were making jokes about it, when they should be meeting. He didn’t even know her name. Or his? What if it was a bloke. He didn’t think he was attracted to men, but the letter did seem like it was from a man. The handwriting was neat like most girls he knew, but it was very small and precise and seemed more masculine to him.
“My turn. I guess.” Harry placed his letter in the circle and it disappeared just like Ron’s only Harry had no idea who it went to.
My friends and I figured out the spell your class is using. It used to be part of our curriculum as well, but hasn’t been for many years, with the change of teachers. The current teacher only likes doom and gloom, I’m sure she didn’t find using Divination to find love as appealing. I took Divination for several years, thankfully I was able to quit it this year. I don’t put much weight in the class, nor the teacher.
Hopefully this is the same person. I just thought about it and wondered if the spell might find one person more compatible, but then it might not be the same for the other person. We will see, because you said you had to send one more letter.
I have not yet tried the hex you invented but it sounds entertaining and I can think of at least one person I’d like to make stutter through a class period. I will let you know how it goes.
The next few days seemed to drag by more than normal, waiting for a response to his letter. He did finally end up trying out the hex. He had planned on using it on Malfoy, but then thought about the last time he hexed him with an unknown spell and decided to try it on someone else. They had an unspoken truce after all and Harry didn’t want to be the first one to break it. He had sent the hex at Seamus instead, for being rude to Ginny. Harry figured he got off light, because Ginny was a second away from firing her own and she knew some mean hexes.
Seamus ended up stuttering all the rest of the day and Harry had gotten a chewing out from Ginny about how she didn’t need him protecting her and how Ron was bad enough. She looked so mad that Harry had been afraid that Seamus’s hex was going to be sent his way instead. He had quickly apologized and fled. Whispering a shield spell as he went.
It had been worth it to learn a new hilarious hex.
That is an interesting theory about the possibility of a love letter triangle of sorts. I asked my professor about it and she confirmed that it has happened in the past and so therefore it is possible that just because one person is considered the other’s soulmate, that it does not have to be requited. My teacher rewarded me extra points for the insightful question (not that I needed them). That does not seem to be our case as I did receive your letter, but I’m sure you guessed by my knowledge of your name.
I have found Divination hit or miss. Some of the theories are interesting along with the idea that you have to be born with the ability to prophesis the future. Divination can be taught, but the true ability to foretell the future cannot. There are few magical abilities that can’t be learned and have to be inherited and I often have wondered if they have any magical relation, when they seem unconnected. Parseltongue, Seer, Necromancy, Metamorphosis, even certain branches of healing magic have to be born abilities. But even so I don’t want to pass up on learning at least the basics of any branch of magic, one never knows when it might be useful.
I will end with another spell. Pisces quoque. Arch your wand from left to right with a small upward tail. I won’t tell you what the spell does, think of it as your first surprise gift from me.
Yours Truly, AW
Harry’s friends seemed as invested in the letters he was receiving as he was. It was annoying that he had to read his final letter with his two friends reading over his shoulder at the same time. Hermione who was a faster reader didn’t even wait until he was finished to start commenting. “Oh, he sounds astute. The idea that those fields of magic could somehow be related, it is possible. I think I will do some research on it.”
Ron rolled his eyes. “Perhaps the letter was supposed to hit Hermione instead of you.”
“She wasn’t here when I got the second one.” Harry said reading over the end of the letter a second time. “You think it’s a he?” He asked turning to Hermione.
“I guess I can’t be certain, but I had assumed it was for some reason.” She paused thoughtfully, before chewing on her lip nervously. “Harry, it isn’t a big deal if it is.”
Harry must have given her a horrified look, because she quickly added, “And just because it is doesn’t mean anything. I have done some more research on this spell and sometimes the letters can just end up going to someone’s best friend. It doesn’t always have to be a romantic connection.”
“But we’re Harry’s best friends.” Ron argued looking jealous at even the suggestion that someone could be better friends to Harry then him and Hermione.
“A person can have more than one or two best friends.” Hermione shot Ron a look, that he didn’t pick up on but Harry did. She was trying to make him less nervous about the prospect that his supposed soulmate was a man.
“It’s fine.” Harry said. “It’s not like he is actually my soulmate. I don’t even believe in such a thing.”
“You don’t believe in soulmates?” Ron asked.
“Then how do you explain the spell picking you and him out of all the people in the entire world?” Ron asked. He was a romantic at heart, he just hide it well. Very well.
“I don’t know. Maybe our magic signature is more compatible than others and it has nothing to do with our souls at all.”
Hermione blinked in surprise. “Harry that is such a clever point.”
“You don’t have to look so surprised about it.” Harry mumbled.
“Then how do you explain Hermione getting my letter? Our magic isn’t more compatible than say one of my brother’s or Ginny’s, I can pick up Ginny’s wand and it works better than mine sometimes.”
Hermione looked so excited that we were getting drawn into a debate that for once didn’t have anything to do with Quidditch.
“It could be.” Harry said. “Is there some sort of test that can compare and contrast magical signatures?"
“I'm sure there is. And you could be onto something. The spell is an old one and it would be beneficial to great magical houses to marry someone with compatible magic that they could then pass onto a child. Not to mention the amount of ritual spells that used to go on which would be much stronger with a magically compatible partner.”
Ron was looking between Harry and Hermione in despair. “Or two people could be meant to be together.”
“You really think I'm destined to be with the author of this letter?” Harry waived the letter towards Ron. “They could be...I don't know.” Harry almost said ugly but the person seemed too confident and put together and he realized he was picturing someone tall, and handsome. “A Slytherin or a crazy person.”
“Or they could be your perfect other half, balancing you out. Strong where you’re weak and vise versa.”
“Ron that's so sweet.” Hermione flung herself at Ron hugging him. “Is that how you see us?”
“Of course I do.” He mumbled his ears turning red. Harry choked back a laugh, and decided to make himself scarce.
No matter what the reason for the letter sending spell choosing Harry, he was glad it had. It was beginning to turn the blah year just a little more exciting. Hermione had told Ginny about the spell, because she had asked, and then Ginny had told Dean because he had asked, and then Dean had told Seamus because they were friends and Harry figured they told each other everything. And Seamus had told just about the entire school. So students of all houses and grades were completing the spell much to the teachers annoyance. In just a few days it was nothing for a letters to be popping into people’s hands throughout class. That was probably the real reason the spell had gotten taken off the curriculum. If Professor McGonagall's facial expression was anything to go by there would be a new rule in place banning the spell to weekends and after class hours. She wouldn’t ban it completely though, because in all the years Harry had been going to Hogwarts, inter-house mingling was at an all time high. And love seemed to be everywhere.
Hello again. I’m glad you were able to get extra points even if you didn’t need them. I told my friend about the idea that inherited magical abilities could be related and she has been researching it. She is a bit scary when it comes to research, but we did find a theory that could explain how they are related and why it could only be inherited and not taught. Having an ancestor that was the child of another species. Many of the inherited abilities can be seen regularly in other magical creatures that could possibly have a child with a witch or wizard. Naga could easily explain Parseltongue. Centaurs are known to be able to foresee the future. And there are a large number of unique healing abilities for a number of creatures including House Elves and Veela. The Metamorphosis ability was a stumper. The closest we could come up with was the Veela, they can morph into beautiful women, but that doesn’t explain the full ability that comes with being able to Metamorphosis.
I actually had a friend that was a Metamorgi. She could change the shape of her face, her nose, and color of her hair. She could do some sick impersonations too. She passed the ability on to her son but he’s still a baby so how much he will be able to morph is still unknown, but he does change the color of his hair depending on his mood. If his hair is orange it’s going to be a long day.
I know you weren’t wanting to give away any personal information, but I did have one question for you. I don’t really expect a response since the class assignment is over. You don’t have to continue to write me unless you want to. But I wanted to know if you were a guy or a girl. I’m a guy. Probably knew that from the name Harry.
Also I think I know why this silly letter spell was removed from Divination. The student body has taken it up and now everyone is acting love crazy. I’m a little mortified that I was the start of this letter frenzy. It’s all gotten really out of hand. People are moving on from letters, to meeting, to snogging in the halls. I suppose it’s a distraction from what everyone lost during the war. I think that is why it’s been allowed to continue.
I enjoyed both the hexes you had written to me. The fish face hex was genius. I laughed myself silly over it. A girl in my house tried to hex me and ended up spending the rest of the evening making the stupidest fish face I’ve ever seen. It’s a good thing she’s a good sport otherwise I would fear to fall asleep.
Sorry for writing such a long response.
Harry didn’t get a response for a couple weeks and he figured that was that. He was only a little disappointed, more bored again than disappointed really. No new hexes to try, no surprise letters.
Close to three weeks later he was surprised by a letter falling into his soup at dinner.
“Oh another letter!” Hermione snatched the letter up before Harry could. She spelled it clean and then handed it back to Harry.
“What’s it say?” Ron asked.
“How would I know? I haven’t opened it yet.” Harry looked at his two friends and then sighing opened the letter. They would just question him about it until he let them read it anyway.
My professor is allowing students to continue to send letters at the end of class if we so wish. Many of the students have gotten quite ridiculous over this entire thing in my class as well. That is part of the reason I didn’t respond for sometime, I didn’t want to hang back in class with a horde of fools. I did this one time and this will be the last letter I send. I have a reputation to hold up.
Attached I have sent a piece of parchment I have been working on spelling. It is one of a pair. When you write on the parchment it will show up on the piece that I have and vise versa. As soon as what is written is read it will erase. Leaving room to respond. It will be a more efficient way of communication. I could write a page on my different theories on the relationships between inherited magical abilities, but I will save it for later. It will be more interesting to discuss with a more two sided way of communication.
I will leave you with an answer to your question. I am a boy and yes I did pick up on the fact that you were as well by the name Harry.
Yours Truly, Tom