Story Title: The Bonds of Blood
Author Name: Darth Marrs
Story Url: Story Link 1
Alternate Url: Story Link 2
Content Rating: Mature
Length: 200,985 words
Story Summary: YASBF Yet Another Soul Bond Fic starting with the Chamber of Secrets. Harry and Ginny have to learn to live with a bond that steals away their privacy and leaves them dependent on each other and frightened for their future.
Confession time: Within the Harry Potter fandom there are two plot devices which sucker me into checking out a fic every time: Time-Travel/Re-do fics and Soul-Bond fics. Yes, I realize they can be cliche. And that’s probably why you’ll only find a handful of Time-Travel and Soul-Bond fics rec’ed on my blog. This story definitely merits a rec as an outstanding soul-bond story, largely because of the very unique direction the author goes with this established fandom trope, all the while juggling multiple plot-threads, managing an exciting adventurous story, and writing with obvious technical expertise.
What really makes this soul-bond fic different are two elements which are obviously fairly soon. First, Harry and Ginny aren’t instantly in love and delighted with this soul-bond. There is no needless angsting or lashing out at one another, but there is an understandable adjustment period which is rather rough on the two children, who are still in the pre-pubescent “boys/girls are icky” stage at that age.
Second, and this is what really stands out to me, the author does not overly romanticize the idea of two children ages 11 and 12 going through the physically intimate (if not sexually active) side-effects of this bond. And when Harry and Ginny are older, though still quite young, and the bond seems to be pushing them toward sexual intimacy, the author handles the situation with enormous tact and wisdom, writing as a parent and not as a 13-year-old fangirl who is too blind, immature and ignorant to understand the serious problems with such a situation. Frankly, too many soul-bond fics seem to depict very young children in extremely graphic, titillating situations, with the author excusing their behavior by claiming that the soul bond has matured them or has made them magically emancipated adults. Forgive me if I, as a mom, am not impressed with such an argument. As Dumbledore says in this story, “Regardless of their legal status, they are indeed children and to be protected by all responsible adults.”
And there we have the crux of the issue. JKR wrote about Harry being forced to deal with adult responsibilities while still a child, but she did not make it seem glorious, enviable or laudable for him to be place in such a situation. She was honest about the fact that Harry should never have carried such a burden. I have immense respect for any author who keeps that adult perspective in mind when depicting a soul-bond concept, working to make sure that the story is neither written as an offensive piece of smut that is sexually-exploitative of both the young characters and the young readers, nor making it seem noble and exciting to have children carrying adult-sized burdens. It’s not noble, exciting, or romantic – it’s wrong. And that’s why Darth Marrs’ story is so fantastic: he is honest and forthright about the positive and negative circumstances, thus giving the story both depth and meaning, as well as a strong sense of realism.
And any author who can write a magical soul-bond in an action-packed, FUN story, yet portray it in a way that seems real is pretty flippin’ talented in my books.