Chapter 12:   Diem de Corpus

The following day at six am, Ron brought Harry to a remote farm in the countryside. Ron took out his wand and faced him. Tapping his wand on each of Harry's shoulders, Ron said, "diem de corpus!" Then, "Remember you're fasting today, only water until after sunset."

"I'll remember mate." Then they both walked up the steps of the farmhouse porch. Ron knocked on the door. After a brief moment, the door behind the screen swung open and an old weathered man looked out at them.

"Mister McGregor? I'm Ron and this is Harry. Harry is here to accomplish first day bonding."

They moved back as the screen door swung opened and the man stepped out onto the porch.

"Been expecting you." He looked at Harry. "Ready to begin?"

"Yes I am Mister McGregor."

"Call me Ian." Ian looked at Ron. "You can leave. Come back thirty minutes before sunset."

Ron nodded. Then after walking a short distance away, he disapparated.

"You can start in the family garden. Follow me."

At six am, Ginny brought Hermione to the entrance of St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries. Taking out her wand, Ginny turned and faced her. Tapping each shoulder with her wand she said, "diem de corpus!" She pocketed her wand. "Remember, you have to fast from all food today, only water until after sundown."

Hermione smiled. "Yes, I'll remember."

"Okay, let's go in. We need ask for Althea at the administration desk."

"Good morning," said Althea. "You must be Ginny and Hermione. I've been expecting you."

"Hello Althea. I'm Ginny and this is Hermione. She'll be staying with you today."

"Welcome to St. Mungo's. Minerva has briefed me." She looked at Hermione. "Are you ready to begin?"

"Yes I am."

"Very good. Ginny, you can meet up with Hermione before sundown at the elder care center. It's the tall building a short distance from here. There are stairs that will take you to the observation deck on the top of the building."

"Thank you," said Ginny. "I'll be going then. See you later today Hermione."

"Bye Ginny."

"You will be helping us with various tasks such as serving meals, assisting visitors, and visiting with patients. If a patient has concerns or a medical related question, inform someone at the nurse's station. Most patients are here following some type of accident. They can be feeling anything from anger to embarrassment. Part of your work today is to help the patients feel at ease. This assists their body's natural healing process."

Althea handed Hermione a visitor booklet. "This contains floor maps showing the patient areas that you may enter and other general information. If you have any questions throughout the day, you can ask me directly or at a nurse's station."

"Thank you."

"We'll be starting you off in the maternity section." Althea smiled. "We had a couple of new arrivals into the world last night."

Harry spent the morning working the ground of the McGregor's garden. Using a shovel, he turned the remains of the harvested plants into the soil. Then he weeded and tended to the late bearing plants. Harry found the work moderately burdensome. It reminded him of the yard tending chores he'd done while growing up at his aunt and uncle's house. Ian stopped by from time to time to give him further instructions. Harry thought certain that he'd surprised Ian once or twice. He had selected the proper tool from the shed without Ian having to tell him.

About midday, Harry moved to the barn to do some repair work. He needed more help with this project and Ian seemed to enjoy answering his questions and showing him what to do. Part of the barn door had been damaged. With handsaw and hammer, Harry cut the necessary wood and nailed it into place. He gained a new understanding and respect for those who call themselves carpenters. Though a lot of work, when the job was completed, he felt a certain satisfaction as he and Ian looked at the results of his labor.

About midafternoon, Ian gave him a tool belt containing hammer, nails, fence wire, and wire cutters. After instructions from Ian, Harry walked the fence line making needed repairs as he found them. The fence line needed only a few repairs as it wound its way around the very large field and looped back to the farmhouse. This gave Harry some time to think and look around at the farm and countryside. It was quiet and peaceful with little more than the wind and the smell of the plowed wheat field to keep him company. The fence was the only marker in that vast open valley that identified the McGregor farm. It helped Ian and his neighbors live in peace with each other.

Hermione spent most of the morning on her feet accomplishing her assigned tasks. She cared for and helped entertain the young children in the day care area while parents went to visit family members. She organized activities and played games with them. One particular game was a big hit and the children enjoyed it very much. So much so, that some of the children cried when being picked up by a parent to leave. Hermione would silently mouth "Sorry" to a parent while the child got one more turn at the game. The parents on the other hand, would mostly mouth back "Thank you." Hermione spent a fair amount of time in the mush pot.

Later, she helped serve lunch to patients and had barely a moment to rest. She talked to some of the patients and helped brighten their day. Some patients were cross and irritable. Others were embarrassed. But most were just looking forward to the day when they would be able to go home.

One of the tougher areas for her to serve lunch was in the Janus Thickey Ward. She saw Gilderoy Lockhart who asked if she wanted an autographed picture of him. After saying yes, Gilderoy gave her ten signed photos. But the hardest to bear was serving lunch to Frank and Alice Longbottom. She tried to talk with them and tell them how their son had helped defeat the dark lord. But no matter what she said, Frank and Alice just looked at her with a vacant stare as they tucked into their lunch. She felt so sorry for them and particularly Neville. She wished in her heart that she could do something to reverse what the cruciatus curse had done to their minds.

By midafternoon, she was in the elder care center walking from room to room just talking with the aged residents. They all had stories to tell about events in their lives and about their children. Sometimes she heard parts of a story more than once. Each was happy to see her and a bit saddened when she had to move on. It seemed to Hermione that her youth and life force was reenergizing the elderly, if only for a time, simply by being in their presence and listening to them talk.

Late in the afternoon, Harry was sitting on the farmhouse porch talking with Ian and his wife Martha.

Ian said, "Not many wizards come to do the ritual anymore. Seems folks are in a hurry these days. I never expected to meet you in person or find you to be so practical and sensible."

Martha said, "Yes, you are such a nice down-to-earth young man. Your fiancée is a very lucky girl."

"Thank you. It was her idea to do this bonding ritual. I'm the luckiest man in the world to be engaged to her."

Martha said, "How long have you been engaged?"

"A few months, but we've been good friends for seven years and know each other really well. We've been through a lot together."

"Ian and I only knew each other three months before we were bonded. We both came from farming families and chores came before courtship. Having farming in common helped us know we were right for each other. It was about six months before our telepathic link formed. For some couples we've met, it took years."

She reached over and patted Harry's hand. "Be patient." She glanced at Ian with a smile. "It's so nice when it finally happens."

"Nice indeed," said Ian. "I've always felt a little sorry for my brother Dougal. He doesn't have any magical abilities. My brother owns the farm on the other side of that distant tree line to the north."

There was the sound of a whoosh as Ron arrived. Harry introduced his best mate properly to Ian and Martha.

Pointing, Ian said, "The two of you best be on your way to that hill. The sun will be setting soon. You are both welcome to stay for supper when you get back."

Harry looked toward Ron. Anticipating his question, Ron nodded.

"Thank you Ian," said Harry. "That's very kind of you."

Ginny arrived at the elder care facility a short time before sunset. As she entered the building, the distant sound of people singing greeted her. She made her way up the hall and it opened into a large common area. Looking in, she saw the room filled with elderly people. Some were eating supper. Others were hunched over in wheelchairs but smiling none-the-less. Many others sat in chairs around the room happily singing. At the far side of the room, she saw Hermione holding a piece of sheet music. Hermione stood between a woman playing the piano and a man playing a standup bass. Both musicians seemed to be in their sixty's. Ginny smiled.

... You'll never know dear, how much I love you,
Please don't take my sunshine away. [2]

The song ended and everyone in the room clapped. Hermione looked up and saw Ginny grinning broadly at her. Hermione covered her mouth with the sheet music as she laughed. Then she motioned to Ginny to come over to her.

"Ginny, I'd like you to meet the musicians. Playing the piano is Liz Beth and over here on the bass is Tom. Liz Beth, Tom, this is my best friend Ginny."

"Pleased to meet you," said Ginny. Then looking at Hermione she said, "It's almost sunset. We need to go so you can witness it."

"Okay. But I want to come back and do a few more songs before we go."

"Okay. Come on, let's go now."

Harry and Ron walked to the top of the hill. There was a clear view of the countryside to the western horizon. As the sun was setting, Harry thought about the events of the day and particularly about Hermione looking at the same sunset. He missed being with her.

After asking an orderly, they climb the stairs leading to the observation deck on top of the building. It was cloudy and the sun was mostly covered. With a concerned look on her face, Ginny took out her wand and pointed it toward the west. "Vidéo Solé Occasu!" The clouds on the low horizon parted and a spectacular orange sunset became visible. The clouds reflected in shades of red and orange and beams of light spread in many directions.

Hermione smiled. "Oh Ginny, well done. It's beautiful." She watched silently as the sun slowly set thinking about Harry who was also watching the same sun.

Quietly, Hermione began to sing. "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine ..."

Ginny looked at Hermione and smiled warmly.

Harry and Ron returned to the farmhouse and joined Ian and Martha for supper. The old couple talked about the farm and about their now grown children and grandchildren.

When they were about to leave, Harry looked at Ian and Martha. "Thank you for helping me today. I learned so much from you. I'd like to invite you to the bonding ceremony."

Martha said, "We'd love to come. Thank you so much for asking."

"It will be at the Godric's Hollow church at 2:00 pm. Thank you again."

Harry and Ron went back outside. Ian and Martha followed and stood on the porch. Harry waved goodbye to them and then he and Ron disapparated.

Hermione and Ginny returned to the common area. Liz Beth and Tom were sitting at a table eating supper. There were two other empty places at the table with covered plates. Hermione smiled. She eagerly moved to the table and sat down followed by Ginny. They talked quietly with Liz Beth and Tom while they ate supper.

Hermione said, "Do the two of you play music together often?"

Liz Beth briefly glanced at Tom. "Yes we do. My husband John passed on about ten years ago. We used to play together quite regularly. It was so nice when we'd join up with other singers and musicians. As we played and sang together, we'd sometimes experience a certain oneness and a special magic that is hard to describe. It's beyond perception, thought, or human feeling. It's like a transcendent connection that is just there; intimate, dependable, and deeply synchronizing. Music can touch the soul and change who you are if you let it. That's how John and I met Tom. Now, playing music with Tom and helping others to feel a bit of happiness is all that I need."

"Harry is very uncomfortable with singing and dancing," said Hermione. "He has reluctantly danced a few times during school. To be fair, while he was growing up, it was hard for him to be happy. I hope I'll be able to help him feel different about singing and dancing in the future."

After a pause, Hermione said, "Liz Beth, Tom, it would make me happy if you'd both come to the wedding. It's on Sunday, 2:00 pm at the church in Godric's Hollow."

"We'd love to be there," said Liz Beth. "Thank you."

"Ginny, is there time for me to do a few more songs with Liz Beth and Tom?"

"Yes, there certainly is," said Ginny with a grin.

She looked at Liz Beth and Tom with a hopeful expression. "Can we do some more songs?"

After a glance at Liz Beth, Tom smiled and handed Hermione a sheet of music. "How about this one?"

Taking it from his hand, she looked at it and then giggled. "Okay."

The three of them made their way to the piano and bass. The music started and Hermione began to sing. "Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer true ..." [3]

[2] - You are my sunshine; Oliver Hood 1933
[3] - Daisy Bell; Harry Dacre 1892

Bond of the Spirits is an original fanfiction story based on the seven book series 'Harry Potter' written by J. K. Rowling. Harry Potter, the characters, names and related characters are trademarks of Warner Bros., Inc. Harry Potter publishing rights © J.K.R. This is an unofficial, not for profit site and is in no way connected with J.K. Rowling, Scholastic Books, Bloomsbury Publishing or Warner Bros., Inc. This site is not endorsed by any of these aforementioned parties. Rights to characters and their images is neither claimed nor implied. This fanfiction story is owned by the author and subject to copyright law under transformative use.

Copyright © 2012-2019 Don Buczynski
San Diego, California
Published: 6/24/12
Last Updated: 8/31/19