A/N: Hello everyone! So, hopefully those of you who were fans of this story long ago read my author's note about how I will be changing certain aspects of my story. To save you the trouble of going through the story and trying to find the differences, I'll update you here:
Hermione does not know who her real family is, her message to Harry/Ron during the summer has changed, Draco and Blaise are NOT lovers just best friends, there is no random female voice or "stages" Hermione will have to still go through. The voice is actually her mother's. Basically the whole plot has changed, but much of the story is still in tact.
Originally I had plans to bring some Greek mythology into the story, but I decided I did not want that and the review I received persuaded me to change my path. I also did some minor editing in all the chapters. I was fifteen when I began this story so I thought I'd tweak it a bit. I think that's all for the differences... ENJOY!
Previously on Faith:
'Peek-a-boo!... Oh, is the little whiney girl going to CRY?... We were too lazy, so we decided to ask you!... Let good 'ol DADDY help you there…We took you in when they didn't want you!... Can I borrow your homework, Hermione?... You're a mistake!... Hey Hermione! Pay attention!... Come on! You're our BEST friend!...Honey, I'm s-'
And it was then that the world came crashing down on her and she truly felt the absence of love and comfort from her parents and her two best friends, the only people who she thought she could always count on.
She was truly alone.
End of Chapter 5
She was always the top of the class. She prided herself on being the best despite whatever others deemed as a setback, aka her blood. She was fiercely loyal and protective of her friends. She had the best family. She had loving parents who worked hard to give her a comfortable life free of worry and stress. She made friends with any and all people willing to befriend her. She was known by many, if not all, in the Wizarding world for her friendship to the famous Harry Potter. She was a Gryffindor through and through; always confident in her ways, brave and proud 'til the bitter end.
At least that's who she was.
The next morning, Hermione woke up, her head feeling just as muddled as it was the night before. There was a dull pain in the back of her head and no matter how many ways she tried to relieve the stress of it, the constant pain remained.
She went through the motions of getting ready for class, her hands absently tying her gold and scarlet colored tie. She threw a wistful glance at the window remembering just how easy it would be just to end it all. The memory of her mother's voice came, but she shook her head to get rid of it.
She felt a fog encase her mind as she headed down the hallway to the common room.
Upon seeing her, Draco stood up from his place on the couch. She barely acknowledged him. "Ready to go?" She turned her empty eyes on him. Apparently he had been waiting for her. Her eyes flickered around the room, but she did not see his partner in crime. "Blaise is already in the Great Hall. He'll meet us-"
"Stop." Her soft voice, barely above a whisper, interrupted him. She lifted her eyes to face him. "Leave me alone. I don't know what you want, but I don't want your help." Surprised, Draco began to speak. She held up her hand to stop him, her voice strained. "I said leave me alone, Malfoy."
She slid by him, ignoring his calls. She didn't hear him. Didn't hear anything but her mother's dying voice and her father's enraged roars.
As Hermione entered the Great Hall, she felt as though every eye focused on her. Her heart quickened as she looked down to make her way to the table. She glanced up and saw Harry and Ron looking at her, but she chose to sit as far away from them as possible.
The second years she sat next to glanced at her in confusion but shrugged it off as nothing before returning to their conversations. She could feel the heat of multiple gazes on her. Her face began to flush and her palms began to sweat. Gulping, she hunched in her seat as though making herself feel smaller would cease the staring.
She heard the second years scoot away from her. Hermione gripped her goblet as two pairs of legs and familiar scents came into her periphery.
"Hermione." She winced at Harry's condemning voice, but did not lift her head.
She wanted to believe they were going to apologize to her. She wanted to believe they came to their senses, but the sinking feeling in her stomach won over the false sense of hope.
"Where were you last night? We sent you owls but Hedwig and Pig came back without a response. What is wrong with you? Did you know we had to spend all night doing our homework? We didn't get to sleep until at least five in the morning! Hermione, you're being so selfish! Hermione? Hermione!"
A rough hand grabbed her shoulder. She jumped at his touch, falling backwards onto the floor. Everything in her bag scattered haphazardly onto the floor. Ron, the owner of the hand, glanced at her, surprise and annoyance on his face.
Harry glanced up at the head table where the faculty was currently watching the scene in front of them. They did not move thinking it was just a regular everyday accident. It was the Golden Trio. Nothing seriously bad ever happened between them.
She kept her gaze on the floor as she rushed to pick up her belongings.
"Hermione! What is wrong with you?" Harry hissed, his voice wobbling from his attempt at controlling his anger. "Stop making a scene!" He grabbed at her arm which was still hurriedly shoving everything in her bag. She yelped at the grip he had on her arm. The pain potion had started to wear off.
"Potter, let her go," a deep voice stopped them as well as many of the students around the scene.
"Malfoy this has nothing to do with you. Mind your own business, ferret," Ron snapped from his seat as he moved to yank Hermione back onto the bench. She cowered away from him, but he did not notice.
"She's the Head Girl. She is my business. Or have you forgotten that I'm Head Boy? It wouldn't surprise me if you did. You never did have much of an intellectual ability considering the small pea brain in that thick head of yours," Draco drawled, his eyes glistening with authority. Ron jumped out of his seat as his face colored to a spectacular shade of red. Harry stood up next to him in an attempt to be intimidating. Draco regarded them coolly, a pale eyebrow rising.
"I assure you your scare tactic is enough to make a five year old girl giggle." Enraged, Ron punched him straight in the face. Harry pulled him back from continuing his assault.
Draco stumbled backward a few steps as his fellow Slytherins ran to aid him. When Blaise moved to retaliate, Draco held his hand out to stop him and the others from continuing. He could practically feel the Slytherin's anger mounting.
"No, don't." He gingerly touched his jaw and moved it around a bit before glancing at the two Gryffindors. Hermione, shocked at the twist of events, huddled near the Gryffindor dining bench. "I would've thought you would hit harder than that, Weasel. You hit worse than a third year Granger!" At this claim, the Slytherins and some other students managed to chuckle. Ron seethed in fury, now held firmly by Harry and Seamus who was sitting near the scene.
Glancing up at the faculty table, Draco saw the faculty's rigid forms as though transfixed at the scene in front of them. Dumbledore, however, cleared his throat as his stood up. Draco watched in satisfaction as the two boys gulped at the sound and slowly turned to face the Headmaster.
"Mr. Potter and Mr. Weasley I do not condone fighting in my school as you well know. You have disregarded the Head Boy's request and have not only ignored it, but also physically attacked him. These are dark times and I will not have my students fighting under the roof of this school for any reason. Fifty points from Gryffindor and detention tonight after dinner. I expected better from you both." At Dumbledore's disappointed stare, the boys looked down ashamedly at their feet.
"Yes, Professor." Normally their two voices would not have been able to carry up to the faculty table but the room had silenced completely.
Draco smirked gleefully at the humiliation of the two Gryffindors in front of every student and teacher. Had he not been raised with the finest manners he would be dancing around reveling in their misery.
"Ten points from Slytherin," Dumbledore's voice burst his bubble. Shocked, Draco glanced up at the Headmaster completely appalled at the loss of points. "While your intentions were good, Mr. Malfoy, baiting Mr. Potter and Mr. Weasley verbally is hardly the way to go."
Draco glared at the old man standing at the faculty table wanting to hex the brains out of him, but he knew better than that. He schooled his face back to its stony exterior and nodded in acceptance before leaving with his housemates who were still behind him.
Dumbledore turned his attention back to the rest of the school, the twinkling in his eyes returning. "I believe classes will be starting soon. I advise you finish up your meals and start heading out if you do not want to be late. Pip, pip!"
As Dumbledore returned to his seat, it was as if a silence spell had been taken off the student body. Noise erupted as conversations before the incident carried on. Some conversations discussed what had just happened.
Hermione looked miserably at the floor, her face warming quickly as she felt a multitude of gazes coming from all different areas around her. Unable to handle it, she grabbed her bag and ran out the hall ignoring the calls of her two best friends.
Classes went by in a blur for her. For the first time in all her schooling, Hermione did not find herself participating in her classes much less paying attention to any of her teachers.
Part of her wanted so badly just to return to the way everything was before she found out, but all she could think of was how badly she just wanted to sleep. Sleep and never wake up. She wanted her mother.
After some thinking, she knew she would always refer to her adoptive mother as though she were her biological mother. She loved her mother who raised her and loved her. It was in these thoughts Hermione found herself wallowing in her guilt.
Maybe she did deserve all those summer nights filled with pain and brokenness. Maybe she did deserve to be punished. She felt empty and her heart had pained to the point where it numbed.
She knew Harry and Ron were mad at her, could feel their malicious glares on her back. Neville and some of the other Gryffindors had asked her if she was alright, but she only managed to give them a nod and a weak smile.
When they tried to delve deeper, she whispered a minimal amount of words to get them off her back. Many had sided with Ron and Harry and glared at her or just plain out ignored her.
It was on her way back to her common room during dinnertime that she heard an interesting conversation about her. It seemed as though Draco and Pansy were coming from the Head common room and on their way to the Great Hall. They were coming toward her, so she ran and hid in another hallway until they disappeared.
"…doing, Draco? Standing up for the Know-It-All." She heard Pansy's familiar lilting voice question the blond Slytherin.
"I have my reasons, Pansy. Just trust me."
"Trust you? She's a Gryffindor, Draco! Your parents-"
"My parents know. They were the ones who told me to watch over her."
"What?" Pansy's voice rose in surprise. Draco shushed her.
"Pansy! Must you be so loud? I thought your mother taught you not to raise your voice like that? It's completely unladylike."
"Oh quiet you!" Hermione heard Pansy playfully shove at Draco. "Don't go all 'pureblood this' and 'pureblood that' on me. I know perfectly well what is expected of me as a pureblood female. You're my best friend and we're alone. Why should I feel the need to pretty myself up for you?"
"Ouch. You wound me!" Again, another shove.
"Oh, honestly! Sometimes I wonder how I was able to put up with you and Blaise since we were babies. I'm surprised I didn't just strangle you for stealing my toys all the time!"
"Ah, but you did give me that right nasty hit on the head that one time I stole your lollipop!" She heard Draco tease the dark haired girl.
"That is beside the point! Stop making me get off topic, Draco! Why would your parents order you to take care of her? She's a muggle-born, for Merlin's sake! I would have thought your parents would want you to continue in your horribly elementary way of tormenting her."
"'Horribly elementary way of tormenting her?' Merlin! You're awfully catty today aren't you, Pans?"
She heard them stop walking. Her heart quickened thinking they knew she was eavesdropping. Then she heard him laugh, a genuine sound she had never heard coming from Draco Malfoy's mouth. She had to admit it sounded good.
"It's your womanly time isn't it?" Hermione's mouth dropped in surprise. She was sure she could imagine Pansy's own mouth open in surprise.
"You-you! Draco Malfoy! Stop poking me! I'll have you know it is none of your business whether it is my womanly time! Stop changing the subject!" Pansy breathed out in exasperation. There was a moment of silence.
"She's not who we thought her to be, Pans." Draco's voice had lost the good natured giddiness it had moments before. Their footsteps continued to fade away as they continued down the hall. "She's Blaise's…" Hermione couldn't hear the rest as they had passed the point of successful eavesdropping.
I'm Blaise's what? What is going on? She began to panic thinking of all different situations, each as horrible as the last. What was going on?
She glanced down the hall and bounded toward the front doors of Hogwarts, away from her original destination. She couldn't breathe. She couldn't think. She needed air.
Hermione glanced at the bell tower. Ten o'clock. She had been sitting by herself staring into the Great Lake's dark abyss for three hours.
It was bitterly cold out by the lake and she could feel the little sprinkles of water droplets as the underwater creatures splashed in and out of the water, completely oblivious to the dark torrent of thoughts surrounding their surveyor. She didn't mind the cold. Really, after staying out so long and feeling so out of her body, she welcomed the cold. It numbed her more.
She had cried bitter tears. Bitter, pitiful tears. She wanted her mother back. She wanted the father she knew before the accident. She wanted Harry and Ron to notice. She wanted them, with all her heart, to pull her out of her sadness. She wanted Draco and Blaise to leave her alone. They were only creating more problems, more questions she couldn't seem to find answers to.
She curled up, her knees pulled to her chest as she stared out into the dark lake. She wanted to lash out, scream, anything to rid her of the horrible pit of emptiness and self-blame she found herself in. But she couldn't.
Taking in a deep breath, Hermione finally stood up. She needed her answers.
By the time she reached her common room portrait, she felt the harsh sting on her skin as the heat from the building attempted to seep through her ice cold skin. The cold had numbed the dull pain of her bruises and now healing injuries. The potion, whoever sent it, had helped enormously.
Once she gained access to the common room, she entered upon seeing the two people she was hoping to run into. Draco and Blaise, hearing the door open, immediately shot up from their seats.
"Granger! Where the hell have you been?" Draco asked in a barely controlled voice. Hermione froze in her steps, surprised they had been waiting for her apparently worried. She opened her mouth to respond, but was interrupted.
"Do you know what time it is? It's almost ten-thirty! You've been missing since classes got out!" Blaise scolded, his eyes reflecting the worry he felt.
She stepped back, her heart beating a mile a minute. Her eyes widened as she felt the familiar rushing of blood in her ears. Her face heated up in her panic. Seeing her reaction, Blaise's eyes widened.
"No, no! I'm sorry, I'm sorry. Calm down. Breathe. We were just worried. You weren't at dinner and neither of us had seen you since classes got out. You weren't in the library or anywhere else we looked." Hearing the distress in Blaise's voice, she began to feel her tense body relax somewhat.
Breathe Hermione, just take a deep breath. You can do it. Her mind cajoled her. Hermione glanced at the two Slytherins in front of her.
"Why were you looking for me?" At their responding silence, she continued her questions. "Why are you trying to help me, a Gryffindor, the same girl you," here she glanced pointedly at Draco, "have endlessly tormented the second I stepped onto the Hogwarts Express first year? Why? It doesn't make sense. None of it does. You don't know me. You don't know what I've been through. What gives you the right to wheedle yourselves into my life?" Her voice began to rise in her hysterics.
She needed her answers. She needed to know what they knew. She needed to know who she was and she knew they had the answers. She couldn't go to the faculty. She knew they would just dilute everything and possibly even keep some facts out. She knew the two boys in front of her would tell her. What did they have to lose?
After what felt like a long time, Blaise responded, albeit reluctantly, "Okay, just calm down, Hermione. Let's just sit down on the couches and you'll get your answers." She sat down on the armchair facing the large couch the two boys sat in. She gripped the arms unsure whether she was ready or not. She had to be prepared for the worst.
"There's no easy way to start this, but we know you are not the blood daughter of John and Anne Granger," Blaise held his hand up to stop Hermione from interrupting him. Draco sat back and watched the scene unfold. It was Blaise's story to tell.
"This past summer, Draco and I were called into a meeting with both our parents. With the surmounting tensions, it is a known fact that the Dark Lord will be ready to attack in the near future. My parents were supposed to remain neutral in the war. But they should have known that the Dark Lord would do anything at any cost to gain the prestige of the Zabini family on his side."
He took a deep breath. "It is unknown how exactly he found out. My parents believe he was able to reverse any memory charm placed on the healer in charge of my mother when in labor. When the memory charm was reversed, she was so weak from the onslaught of memories, he had free reign on her mind. The Dark Lord then found out information he used to blackmail my family with." At seeing how hard her brain seemed to be working trying to figure out how she was involved with this story, he offered Hermione an amused smile. She was always a thinker.
"You see, when I was born, my mother gave birth to another child after me." Understanding finally settled on her face, her breath shortened at the turn of events. She felt the beginnings of her body trembling. "I am a twin. My sister, whom I had no knowledge of until this summer, was given away in the muggle world in an attempt to protect her from the wrath of the Dark Lord.
Twins are unnatural in the wizarding world, especially to old families like the Malfoys and the Zabinis. Twins are thought to have a special power in addition to normal magic. My special power, for example, is the ability to read people's minds and manipulate them to my desire. It's an interesting power, but I digress.
While still neutral, the Zabini's have been known to associate with those of the dark side. They did not choose a side, but they had the loyalty of many of the old families who understood their decision. If the Dark Lord had known about my mother giving birth to twins, he would have taken them from my parents and trained them to be his followers, just as dark as he. He would have forced my parents to join his side.
Draco and my parents had no choice but to cast a memory charm on all who had witnessed my sister's birth and left the baby with a muggle family to escape the Dark Lord's power. Now that he knows, our parents thought it pertinent to tell us the truth after the Dark Lord threatened my parents with the life of my sister. He does not know who she is or where she is thanks to my parent's Occlumency.
However, now that he knows, they know that she will likely be in danger soon. The Dark Lord will use all assets to find my twin and make her one of his followers, just as Draco and I have been made. Draco's family has taken an oath to my family to protect the secret and my sister at all costs. Draco and I were given strict orders to protect my sister.
I'm sure you would understand our surprise when we were told that my sister was none other than you, Hermione Granger." By this point all blood had drained from Hermione's face.
Her eyes felt like they couldn't get any wider and her body wouldn't stop the tremors from the shock. She glanced at her hands now held out in front of her as though hoping to find some kind of answer or sign. They began to shake so badly she was forced to place them under her legs.
Now was the perfect time to faint just like in all those books and movies where the female character has been given utterly surprising news. She wanted so badly to faint because she had no idea what to say or what to think. Her mind was running over his words ten times over, processing his words at a snail's speed. Here, Draco stepped in.
"It's hard to take in, we understand. We know once you have taken it all in you will have questions for us. Earlier you told me you didn't want our help, but we have to help. I have to. I made an oath to Blaise's parents, to your parents to protect you. They can't get you, not while the Dark Lord is still rising in power. We are all just as caged in our current lives as you are." To their surprise she laughed, a harsh remorseful sound erupting out of her silence. She sat straight up.
"Just as caged in your lives as I am? How do you know what I've been through? Tell me, do you know what it feels like to feel the stinging hot flash of pain as a leather strip tears mercilessly into your skin? To hear how worthless and selfishyou are just for breathing? To feel the constant stabbing in your heart every time he tells you how you killed his wife? Do you know how horrifying it is living under the same roof as the shell of the man you once knew constantly beats you? To know you were the one who brought him to this? Do you?" She yelled as tears rolled down her face.
Blaise was silent, his fists clenched at her tears and the misery that was held in her voice. Draco, however, thought differently, his eyes flashing. He stood up in his anger, ignoring Blaise's motions to not say anything.
"I will have you know, Hermione, your blood parents, your family has suffered the receiving end of the Dark Lord's wand countless time for their refusal to give you up. Your family has been neutral in this war since the beginning and not only have they pledged themselves to the dark cause, but also put themselves in harm's way, subjecting themselves just so you can live free of the cruelty they now face every day. My family has gone behind the Dark Lord's back to promise the safety of the secret and you. Do you know what happens to a person if they are found going behind the Dark Lord's back? Do you?"
At her pitiful head shake, he continued with his voice low and cold, "Death in the cruelest form possible. The Dark Lord does not take these matters lightly. It does not matter whether they are from one of the old families. He will kill if he finds out. My family has put their life on the line for you just as your own family, who has never had the chance to raise you, has done. Just think about that." With that, he swept up to his room, Blaise glaring at his back. He moved to comfort her shaking form.
"Don't, Blaise. I just- I just need to go." She stood up from her seat and quickly walked to her room.
After hearing the snap of her door closing, he ran a frustrated hand through his hair. This was not how he imagined this conversation to go. He lay on the couch unwilling to leave both his best friend and his sister when they needed him the most. He fell asleep to the silence of the Head common room.
End of Chapter 6
A/N: Well, how did you like it? Good, bad? I fully intend to finish this story as well as all my others since I hate leaving things unfinished. I sincerely apologize it took at least 2 years to actually update something. I have to admit I like where I'm going to take this story as opposed to what I planned to do 5 years ago when I first started it. As always feedback is welcome!
I am in need of a Beta for my stories. If you would like to be one, let me know!
Also, thank you so much for everyone who has read/reviewed this story. It is without your words I wouldn't find myself writing or taking it along the path it is now on. Thank you again!