DISCLAIMER: Not mine! It's all J. K. Rowling's.
WARNING: This story takes place in the future and contains HBP Spoilers! Be warned!
BETA READER: SnarkyRoxy – thank you very much!
A/N: I hope you enjoy reading this fic as much as I'm enjoying writing it! It's my first attempt in writing and I'd love some feedback. I also would like to warn you that English is not my first language, but thanks to my awesome beta reader SnarkyRoxy you won't have to suffer too much, so be nice in the reviews…
Chapter 1: The Wizarding Letter
Hermione Granger was seated at the table appreciating breakfast in a Sunday morning when an owl came through the left window of her apartment. Even living in the Muggle world for more than eleven years, she was still in contact with some of her friends from the Wizarding world. But this wasn't an owl she recognized; not from Harry and Ginny, nor from Ron or any other Weasley…
She took the letter from the bird and offered it a piece of toast. The owl accepted the treat and left through the same window it had arrived from. Hermione looked to the parchment in her hands and saw the symbol on the sealing wax. It was a letter from Hogwarts.
She eyed letter for several minutes, hypnotized by it. A letter from Hogwarts… Who is sending letters from Hogwarts? I was very careful to avoid contact with anyone from there since… It's an official letter, Hermione! she admonished mentally.
Gathering her courage, she turned the letter over in her hands, read the name on it, and closed her eyes. She had been expecting this day, but deep inside she had held some hope that it would never come. He had displayed magical abilities since he was one year old and she still had hoped against all logical thoughts that this day wouldn't come. Even when she knew her hopes were unfounded and illogical, she had still hoped this letter would never arrive.
She placed the dreaded letter on the table and sipped some tea from her cup. Opening her eyes, the letter was still there. She stared at the yellowish parchment resting in front of her, trying to think. It was a lost battle, she knew. She had thought about it since he was born and never got an answer that would solve this problem. She sighed, lifting her eyes from the letter and met deep black ones staring at her.
"Good morning, mum," her son saluted and took the chair in front of her. "Is there something wrong?"
"No, nothing," she answered with a light shake of head, returning her attention to the eggs on her plate. "Why would there be?"
"You've been staring at that Wizarding letter since I came to the room. Took at least a minute for you to notice my presence," he said with a smirk. "Is it from Uncle Harry or Uncle Ron?"
Why does he have to smirk like that? she thought and sighed again. He is a remarkable reminder of his father when he smirks…or grimaces, or… she was brought back from her mind ramble by her son's voice.
"Mum! Stop staring at me!" he admonished with his strong voice and a grimace. "Are you feeling all right? You seem a little…lost this morning. Is it the Wizarding letter?" he asked, and before his mother could predict his actions, he took the letter from the table. She tried to take it from him but it was too late, he had already grabbed it.
He eyed the letter but couldn't find the sender's name or recognize the seal symbol, so in an instinctive move he turned the letter over, his eyes widening at the same time his mother brought her hands to her face.
Mr. Nathan Granger
Wingfield Court, E14 2DR
"Mum, it's for me! Who would send me a wizarding letter? It's not from Uncle Harry or Uncle Ron and I don't know any other wizard," he said still staring at the parchment in his hands. He flipped the letter and broke the seal, hearing another sigh from his mother. Unfolding the papers he read.
of WITCHCRAFT and WIZARDRY
Headmistress Minerva McGonagall
Member of the Wizengamot
Dear Mr. Granger,
We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all the necessary books and equipment.
Term begins on September 1. We await your owl by no later than July 31.
Hermione lowered her hands from her face when she heard him unfolding the letter. She knew exactly what words were written there. She observed how his expression changed from the frown he put in his face when he was unfolding the parchment, to one of surprise when he read that it was from Hogwarts, and finally to a wide smile when he finished the last line and looked back at his mother.
"I'm a wizard!" he declared, with self satisfaction in his voice.
She couldn't avoid the surge of pride and happiness rising inside her. His wide grin was contagious and she found herself smiling back at him, ignoring the tears rolling down her cheeks. She was crying from despair and loss when he was breaking the letter seal, but now… she couldn't figure out her feelings. Am I happy or sad about it? she caught herself thinking. I'm definitely proud for him. He seems really happy to find out he is a wizard, too. But… no buts, Hermione! she admonished mentally. Let him decide, just like your parents let you.
"Mum, have you listened to anything I just said?" Nathan asked.
"I'm sorry, son. What were you saying?" she said, returning her full attention to him.
"I was asking when you'll have some time for us to go buy the books and equipment I'll need. And we also need to send an owl confirming I'm going to Hogwarts as soon as possible!" he said with the same enthusiasm his mother recognized from herself when facing the expectations behind an exciting new challenge.
It discarded the need to voice the question she was forming in her head. It's more than clear from his reactions and words that he prefers a Wizarding education to a Muggle one. He is going to Hogwarts. Oh, God! He is going to Hogwarts! she thought and the smile faded from her face at the same instant that she remembered her problem. She had to ask him anyway, so, hoping for a miracle, she said, "Are you sure you want to attend a Wizarding school, Nathan? It's really different from your actual school, and your friends won't be going to Hogwarts with you," she pointed out to him, with a hopeful face.
He eyed her for a moment before asking, "Don't you want me to go? I thought you would be proud of me for being a wizard," he said quietly.
"I'm really proud of you, Nathan. I'm just asking you if that's what you want. Do you want to be a wizard, Nathan?" She hoped against all odds for a negative answer, but didn't expect the reaction her words had.
Nathan was on his feet the moment she finished her last question, a pained expression on his face. "You don't want me to be a wizard? Why? You're a witch! And my father was a wizard, right? You don't talk about him but I know he was! And I bloody will be a wizard, too. I'm going to Hogwarts!" And with that he left the kitchen, leaving his distressed mother staring at the door to the living room.
She sighed gravely and buried her face on her hands once more. Why did he have to bring his father in on the matter? I never said he was a wizard, where did he get that idea from? She had never revealed the identity of Nathan's father. Not to him; not even to his father. It was a decision she had made before his birth.
It wasn't that people never asked. Nathan asked once a year, on his birthday. Her answer was always the same: "Your father's name is not important, Nathan. We have each other and that what's important." Of course, he wasn't happy with her answer, and the question became a birthday tradition. Nathan was so stubborn and determined that it was difficult to know from whom he had inherited those features, his mother or his father; most probably from both of them. Hermione never changed the answer, though. She defended her secret with all her might; even if it led to a fight.
On his eighth birthday, Nathan was so determined to discover his father's identity that he didn't eat anything during the whole day and refused to open a single gift. He gave up his stand after a week, but Hermione was really disturbed by his actions at the time. She suffered with every meal he refused, every hatred-filled gaze he directed at her. Even Harry, who visited her on special dates such as birthdays and holidays, was distressed that year, and came back to check on them the next day.
"Why don't you end this damn mystery once and for all, Hermione? It's okay, 'Mione. I won't judge you, or be angry with you. Not after eight years, not even if it's Snape," Harry said that year. It was a long time since he brought up the subject between them. Sure enough, Harry had noticed the evident physical similarities between Severus Snape and Nathan, but never questioned Hermione directly, and she never denied or confirmed his suspicions. "I won't ask you, Hermione, but I want you to know that I'm here if you ever feel like talking about it. And I really think Nathan should know who his father is." And that was the last time they talked about it.
She knew from Harry and Ron that Severus Snape was back teaching Potions at Hogwarts. After the war was over, his name was cleared with all the evidences Albus Dumbledore had left proving his innocence and loyalty. Well, he was still hated by many for his actions the night the late Headmaster died and for his association with Voldemort. He never denied the Avada Kedavra he used on Dumbledore, but he was absolved by the Wizengamot after their analysis of Dumbledore's memories and letters, describing his conversations and reasons leading to Professor Snape's actions that night.
Hermione was one of the few who kept her hopes up on the spy's loyalty after the Headmaster's death. She refused to believe that the great Albus Dumbledore could be mistaken for that long, and kept trying to find evidence that Snape was loyal to the Order, even after what she heard Harry say he did. And from the many theories she came across, one was right and they found the letters and memories Dumbledore had left for them, proving Professor Snape had killed him by his command.
After that, Severus Snape was back as a spy for the Order, and was essential for their victory in the war. He saved many lives, including her own when she was captured during a confrontation between the Death Eaters and the Order of the Phoenix. There was only one Horcrux left and they were very close to the end of the war when she was taken by the Death Eaters. She stayed in their power for the nine days it took Harry to destroy the artifact and Voldemort himself, practically unharmed thanks to Snape. He protected her from the other Death Eaters the best he could without instigating suspicions that could blow his disguise and she was grateful for that.
That was one of the main motives why she didn't tell anyone he was Nathan's father. She couldn't do that to him, not after the pain she knew he felt for what he had to do to heep her safe. No, she would never tell anyone that Severus Snape was her son's father. Not even Nathan or Severus.
On the other hand, Nathan was leaving for Hogwarts in September. She couldn't deny him that! She couldn't prohibit Nathan to attend Hogwarts when she knew very well how it felt to receive that letter. No, she couldn't. She would deal with the consequences the best she could! She hadn't been a Gryffindor for nothing, right?
She left the table with another sigh and went to find Nathan. She found his bedroom door closed and knocked lightly three times. When she was turning to leave for the living room and wait until he was ready to talk to her, the door flew open with a bang and Nathan was back in his bed clutching his letter with his chin up and a defiant glare in his eyes. She sighed and entered the room.
"Nathan, I'm very proud you were invited to study at Hogwarts, I am. I'm just sad because it means you're leaving home, leaving me…" and meeting your father, she added mentally. It was true. Part of her sadness was because she'd have to let her little baby go. "I don't like the idea of you living so far away from me…"
Nathan got up from his bed and enveloped his mother in a tight hug. She couldn't avoid the tears that threatened to fall from her eyes again. Her son was really a special young man. She knew he was ready for Hogwarts.
Eventually, they broke the hug and she forced a smile on her face. She looked at Nathan and said, "We are going to Diagon Alley next weekend for your books and supplies. We can send an owl to Hogwarts from there."
"Oh, mum! Thank you. I won't disappoint you, you'll see. I'll be the best wizard to ever set foot in Hogwarts!" he said hugging her again.
She laughed at his pretentious words. So confident and passionate, determined to do his best to make her proud. So much like her at his age…
She petted his shiny coal-black hair and teased him, "You're a very ambitious young man if you think you're going to be the best wizard Hogwarts have ever seen! You know Harry Potter studied there, don't you?"
Nathan had always been fascinated by the stories Ron, Harry and his mother used to tell him every time they met. He smirked at her and said, "Vanquishing that Voldemort guy wasn't that big of a deal. And it was ten years ago."
She chuckled and retorted with amusement, "You think it's nothing, do you? Oh, I want to see you argue with him about that some day or Ron, for that matter."
"Uncle Ron would never win an argument with me!" he said dismissively before adding, "and Uncle Harry doesn't think it was that big of a deal, either."
"Well, I have to agree with you that one of Harry's most noble qualities is his modesty. He would never admit that what he did was extraordinary," she said nostalgically, and then looked down her nose to Nathan. "You should learn from him, you arrogant prat!" And they laughed together.
"So, is it really okay for me to go to Hogwarts, mum?" At her nod of confirmation, he added, "I'll send you an owl every day, I promise!" Beaming at his mother, he took her hand and urged her to follow him to the bed. "Do you want to see the list of books I'll be using, mum?"
"Yes, let's see the books you'll be using, Nathan," she said cleaning the last tears from her face with the back of her free hand.
They sat on his bed to read the assigned book list together and talk about Hogwarts, something she only did when Harry, Ginny or Ron came to visit. Her baby has grown up and was time for him to experience all the fascinating and worrisome things the Wizarding world could offer. Including his father…
A/N: So, that's it! I finally got the courage, and published it! Now review!