"Rose, can I speak to you for a moment?" Hermione's voice was soft and cautious and Rose knew instantly something was bothering her mother.
She had been finishing homework, sitting at the kitchen table while her Mum supervised a bunch of pots as they cleaned themselves. The Hoover was sliding along the carpet, and forth, dragging its electrical cord behind it. The cord was attached to a plug, and the Hoover did occasionally get plugged in but at this time the plug lay limp on the floor, far from the socket.
Hermione always believed that housework should never be done by house-elves. The plight of house-elves was something she had spent months trying to fight for in her younger years. Now, since she and Ron had began trying to start a family, she worked for the Ministry and was happy doing so. The children needed a stable house hold, one that meant they understood what it was like to be a muggle. Rose and Hugo had both attended their local primary school since they reached five years old and Hermione felt it was important they had muggle friends as well as friends- like their cousins- who were part of the wizarding world.
Now though Rose was nearing the end of her primary school years and that meant sometime in the next month she would receive her Hogwart's letter, just as her parents had.
Rose wasn't in the same boat as her Mum had been however, Rose knew all about Hogwart's, all about her parent's and uncle Harry and the things they had done. There was one dark part of Hermione's past that Rose had stayed sheltered to for quite some time and Hermione felt it was time to delve into that place and explain the darker side of the magical world to her daughter.
Rose laid down her pencil on the kitchen table, and stood, following Hermione into the soft and flopping living room.
The Weasley house wasn't one based on style. Hermione had always been a fan of shabby, old and second hand furniture- Ron agreed on anything that reminded him of his childhood home.
Rose sat herself down on a cream sofa which was covered with a brightly coloured crocheted blanket. The sofa made a definite grown as she sat down, the springs complaining about the weight of someone sitting on them.
Rose suddenly jumped back up, rubbing her back as a disheveled cat, the colour of her hair, came running out from behind the blanket.
Crookshanks. He had never really taken to the children, or the husband, much to Hermione's annoyance. But Crookshanks had always loved his mistress and she loved him back.
Hermione found herself laughing and Rose fixed her with a glare which only made the laughter worse.
"Sorry dear, but it was pretty funny."
Rose rolled her eyes and sat down for the second time on the lumpy and saggy sofa.
"You're worse than Uncle George!" Rose cursed at her mother. She was so like her Dad, Hermione thought, watching Rose.
"So," Rose asked, leaning forwards in her seat, "what's wrong?"
"It's, well I'm not certain how to say this, it's about school." Hermione paused, clasping and unclasping her hands briefly before reaching for the end of her sleeve and beginning to roll up the sleeve of her thick fleece jumper.
At the top of Hermione's forearm, near to the bend for her elbow, was a messy scar. Rose had seen her mum's scar many times before but never had she realised what it told her.
Hermione twisted her body more towards her eldest child, making the scar more clear. She used two fingers to stretch the skin and make the mark more clear against the pale skin on the inside of her arm. For the first time Rose motives something, it wasn't just a lumpy scar, it was made up of letters. Letters were carved into her mum's skin, letters spelling out a word; mudblood.
"what's a mudblood?" Rose asked, hoping she was pronouncing the word correctly. She then smiled,
"Were you part of a secret cult at Hogwarts?" She teased.
Hermione smiled very softly,
"If only it were that simple," she sighed, taking a deep breath and looking her daughter directly in the eye.
"A mudblood, Rose, is a foul term for a witch or wizard born to muggle parents."
"That can happen?" Rose asked, shocked, and watching as her Mum nodded.
"You know that during the dark times your Grandma and Grandpa- my mum and Dad- were placed under a spell in order to forget who I was?" Hermione waited for her daughter to nod before she continued, "well, the main reason they weren't safe is because they were muggles. I was a muggle-born, or to use that horrid word, a mudblood."
Rose swallowed hard, she didn't know what to say. She'd had no idea her grandparents had been muggles, not that it mattered at all. Muggles were just as much people as she and her family, they simply did not have the magic inside them that her folk possessed. Rose found herself filled with questions, what was it like to think you were a muggle when you should be a witch? What did the muggles think of their special child? Did muggle children like her mum?
Rose missed her chance to ask questions however as Hermione had yet more to say.
"So to answer your question, this isn't the mark of a secret gang.
"You remember the stories Dad has told you about the Horcruxes?" Rose nodded eagerly this time,
"During our hunt we were caught by some death eaters and, as you know, we were rescued by Dobby the house elf. However when we were with the death eaters a witch selected me to try and get information we didn't have. She carved this into my arm." Hermione shuddered at the memory, remembering what it was like to know you would be killed.
"But, I don't understand, why were the death eaters so against muggle-borns?"
"They believed," Hermione began with a deep and bedraggled sigh,
"That only pure bloods should have the right to be true witches and wizards, that those who were born half bloods or, or mudbloods, were not of good enough stock to be granted that right."
Rose bounced once in her seat, her eyes widening, "you mean a bit like the way that Hitler treated Jewish people?" She asked
Her mother smiled ever so slightly,
"Yes, like that- I knew a normal muggle education would do you good someday."
"But why?" Rose asked, outraged. Hermione shook her head slowly, shrugging her shoulders,
"Why did Hitler do it? Why does anyone. But I'm not here to tell you why. I'm here to warn you of these words."
Rose nodded curtly, taking in all the information before her expression softened to worry once again.
"I'm not a mudblood though, am I? You didn't adopt me did you?"
Hermione laughed- she had definitely given birth to Rose, and had the stretch marks to prove it.
"I'm telling you," she began with a slowly fading smile, "because Rose Weasley, you are a strong, confident and kind young lady. No you aren't a muggle born but I know you will stand up for those who are, and help show the Slytherin house what I tried to show them. That your birth doesn't define who you are."
Rose nodded, her expression set to serious as she silently agreed with her mum that she would do exactly that.
"Now, back to your homework," Hermione insisted rising from the sofa and heading to the staircase at the end of the living room to check on her other child, Hugo.
"Mum?" Hermione turned back to her daughter,
"What happened to that witch?"
Hermione found herself letting a small laugh escape and to Rose's confusion she said,
"That's one for grandma Weasley."