Author note: I know it's been ages. You probably didn't expect to ever hear from me again! But, I meant it when I said I won't stop. I've actually had this written for awhile- but it definitely needed some beta'ing. Didn't happen- long story- so, it's not perfect. I'm sending it anyway- then, I'll go back and fix it later. Constructive critics about mistakes will be welcome, just try not to focus on it too much. I'm really excited about this part. I know there is a lot of stuff written out there. I haven't personally seen anything quite like this idea. I hope you like my idea and that it's some kind of pay off for you for having to wait. There are only about 3 or so more parts after this. So, we are close to the end. I'm hoping my muse sticks around for a bit to get it finished properly. christy
Harry fidgeted nervously as he waited at the door for his Aunt to answer. He didn't want to be there and it would have been obvious to anyone. His friends could feel the negative energy radiating from him as they waited on either side of him. They had seen the curtains move a bit when they first arrived. She knew they were there; she just wouldn't come to the door.
It was unclear just then, if she enjoyed making them wait or was just nervous or angry with them being there. If she were waiting for them to leave, she would be waiting a long time. They were determined to get what they had come for from her.
Finally, Harry heard the locks turn on the door. A look of distain was on her face, as she looked from Harry to Ron to Hermione and then looked back to Harry. "I thought you said you were never coming back here."
Harry clenched his fists, hating that he was here. "Believe me, I didn't want to. I had to. It's important to all of us that I talk to you."
"It's not important to me. How dare you come back here?" She folded her arms and glared at him.
The anger that Harry had been trying to keep under control flared in his eyes. He felt a surge of power as he inadvertently caused the light behind Petunia's head to break, causing her to jump in fright. Trying to sound unfazed, "If you want to continue living in your happy little muggle world, you'll talk to me."
Knowing he had her, she waved them all inside without a word. She led them to the living room. Ron and Hermione sat on either side of Harry on the sofa as Petunia stood in front of them.
"You'd better sit down, Aunt Petunia. I need to ask you some important questions about the Evans family line."
She was visibly surprised then covered it. "I don't see the point…" She began in a huffy manner.
"You will." Harry took a deep breath and looked at her. "You already know I'm a target by Voldemort. What you don't know is that I'm all that stands between him taking over everything…even the muggle world. I need to know as much as I can about my Evans family history. There may be something there that could help me defeat him so we can all live."
Petunia's face had gone from red with anger to white with fear as he spoke. "Y, you...you're the one?" She whispered.
"Do you know anything about it?"
Petunia looked up at him with narrowed eyes and sighed, "No, not really. Just odd things here and there that Lily used to talk about."
Harry found it especially difficult to speak with his aunt about Voldemort and his prophecy. Before, he had always talked to people that loved him about his situation and that was strange enough. It was more than weird to talk to someone about his situation that could really care less about him.
But, he desperately needed some answers. And there was no one left to ask. And he did now have her complete attention. Realization of the gravity of the situation he was I could be seen on her face. It must gall her to know that I'm the one she has to look to for her family's safety, he thought. He quickly told Petunia of their suspicions and of Godric Gryffindor.
Petunia admitted to not knowing much about the Evans history. It had never really mattered to her. But, she did remember her mother knowing the name Gryffindor when Lily was sorted. However, Petunia didn't know why her mother thought it was important and didn't ask. She asked Harry to follow her and led him to a hidden compartment in the attic. There were only 3 boxes there. She allowed Harry and his friends to take them.
"I never liked you." She said simply as they were walking out the door, arms folded.
"No kidding." Harry snorted.
Petunia frowned at him. "But, I never wished you dead. You are blood after all. Vernon and I did what we could for you. I hope what I gave you helps you. I haven't ever opened those boxes in all these years. I don't need them. But, maybe you can find something in there. I will ask you to not come back here. I can't have you endangering us here.
"I won't if I can help it. Don't worry." He said a bit sadly.
Harry turned to leave. But, was stopped when Petunia tugged on his shirt and quickly released it. She looked at him strangely. "For what it's worth, I do wish you luck. Lily would probably be proud of you."
Harry smiled, not unkindly at her. "Thanks." He said simply.
As they left, Ron broke the silence. "Weird."
"Yeah." Harry replied. The trio walked quietly back to Mrs. Figg's house to apparate back to #12 with the boxes in hand.
At the hotel an anxious Ginny was waiting. Taking her hand, Harry said, "Let's grab some lunch first."
Ron stared at him, "Are you mad? Don't you want to see what's in them? "
Harry looked away and walked into the kitchen without a word.
Hermione punched Ron in the arm. "Don't you see he's a bit overwhelmed by all of this? Give him a chance to catch his breath. Ok?"
"Oh, sure. Well, I could eat a bit."
Hermione smiled and hooked her arm in his. "Really, I had no idea."
Harry looked up at them shyly as they walked in and sat at the table. "Sorry, just need to…"
Ron shrugged, "We get it Harry. 'Sides, it's your box. You can bloody well do what you want with it."
"Language, Ron." Hermione sat down, rolling her eyes as Ron grinned down at her.
They ordered up some sandwiches and drank butterbeer in silence.
That evening Harry took a deep breath and opened the first box. It was full of letters. He handed a pile to each of his friends and they began to read hoping one of them would tell him something.
Harry and Ginny continued to look through the letters long after Ron convinced Hermione to call it a night.
Ginny's heart clenched and she barely stifled a gasp with her hand as she reviewed the paper she had been reading. She read it twice before looking up at Harry. She eyed him hesitantly before saying softly, "Harry."
"Hmmm?" He said next to her.
She cleared her throat nervously, "I…well, and I…look. I may have found something. It's kinda important."
Harry straightened up to look at her. At the pleading look on her face, he instantly became concerned. "What is it?"
"I honestly don't know how to tell you. Here, take a look at this." Harry took the parchment and began to read.
"Ginny…this is a birth certificate…for a girl. It says she was born to my parents. Almost a year before I was born." Harry sputtered.
Waiting patiently, Ginny pointed to the page and said, "Harry, look at her birth date. Doesn't it seem kind of familiar?"
Harry looked again and gasped. "Bloody hell! It's…it says September 19, 1979. That's…it's…its Hermione's birthday. That can't be a coincidence. Can it?"
Ginny said softly. "I don't think so. Not in your life it can't. And they named her Jane Evans Potter. Jane is Hermione's middle name. Are you ok?"
Harry ran his hand thru his hand and began to pace. His insides were churning, with a mixture of incredulity, excitement and a glimmer of hope. "Holy, shit, Ginny. I can't believe it. It's got to be real, though, right?"
"I believe so. The math is right. Your Mom must have gotten pregnant with you right away. Makes your birth right about 10 months later, right?"
Harry began to get angry, "Nobody told me, of course. Why would anyone tell me? Or her? What about Hermione? She thinks her folks are dentists. I mean that would make her adopted. Right? How could they do that to us? Someone has to have known. Sirius or Remus? Or how about Dumbledore?"
Ginny walked over to him and put her arms around him. "I'm sure it was to keep her safe, Harry."
He wiggled out of her embrace to face her, his voice loud and his eyes sparkling with anger. "That's what they all say, Gin, but it's been years! Here I thought I didn't have anyone. No family that might have loved me…no one that mattered. I needed her!"
"I know, Harry. It's terribly unfair to both of you." She gathered him to her again. Her heart breaking for the hurt little boy that still lived inside of him. "But, look at it this way. You've found your way to each other anyway. You've always looked at her like a sister anyway. This just makes it more official."
Harry stared at her and blinked. He was still completely angry with the decision makers in his life. But, what she was saying actually made sense. It didn't make what the adults in his life did it right. Harry held Ginny close. "You're right. We did."
He sighed and let her go. Walking back to the couch, he picked up the parchment again. "Of all the bloody secrets. What else, Gin? Oh, God, Gin…I…I need to tell her. I have to. When? And how do I tell her?"
"Tell who what?"
Ginny and Harry both spun around guiltily to face Hermione.
Ron shuffled out of the room, rubbing his face sleepily, "Bloody hell. Can't anybody get some sleep around here? You're loud enough to…" Ron stopped when he looked up and noticed his sister's face. Then, he looked quickly at Harry and saw the same anxious look on his face. "What is it? What's wrong?"
Ginny looked at Ron. She suddenly felt better that she had someone else to focus on. It also made her glad that he and Hermione had gotten together. They all needed someone to lean on right now.
"I found something. Something important. Harry?" Ginny looked at him with what she hoped was an encouraging look. Harry stared at her helplessly, and then looked down at the parchment in his hands as they began to shake.
Hermione stared at them both, before walking forward intending to take the paper from Harry. Harry immediately took a step back. "No…"
Hermione felt inexplicably that she needed to see that paper and extended her hand, "Please, Harry. Let me see."
Harry shook his head and held the paper to his chest. Before he could change his mind, he blurted, "Hermione, did your parents ever tell you that you were adopted?"
"What?" Hermione blanched. "Of course, I'm not. Why would you say that, Harry?"
Harry looked up at her. She noticed that tears were beginning to form in his eyes. "God, 'Mione. Everyone lied. They all lied to us. I'm sure they thought there was a reason. There's always some kind of reason. But, in the end it was all a lie."
"You're scaring me, Harry." Hermione shivered as she stared at him. Ron came up behind her and wrapped his arms around her.
"Maybe you better start over, Harry. You're not making any sense." Ron said.
Ginny laid her hand on Harry's arm, "Show her the paper, Harry. She'll understand better."
Harry couldn't take his eyes off Hermione. The truth was sinking in as he stared at her. He realized that this would have a greater affect on her more than him. He had everything to gain. He couldn't help but feel some elation as he looked at her. His sister. She was his family, his real family.
But, how would she feel? She had grown up with loving parents. How would he fit in with that dynamic? He heard her say his name softly and realized they were still waiting. It was hard to focus and he desperately wanted her to understand how he felt. But, how did he feel about it all? There was still so much he didn't know.
There was one thing that he knew without a doubt. He could tell her that. He cleared his throat and spoke brokenly, "I want you to know. This piece of paper doesn't change anything. It just makes how I feel about you official. I love you, Hermione. You've always been a sister to me." He slowly handed her the paper that would change her life- their life.
Hermione walked forward out of Ron's arms. She hesitated before extending her hand to take the parchment from Harry. Her hand was shaking as his was. At last, they broke eye contact as she looked down to read.
She read it twice before understanding what Harry had so badly tried to tell her.
Her hand flew to her mouth as she gasped and dropped the paper.
Ron and Harry both lurched forward to catch her as her knees gave out. "Somebody better tell me what the bloody hell is going on!" Ron shouted as he and Harry settled her on the couch. Ginny ran to get a glass of water.
Hermione looked up at Harry again and stared as she reached up to touch his face. "I think Harry's my brother, Ron."
"What? You lot aren't making any fucking sense!"
Harry walked over and picked up the birth certificate and showed it to Ron as he kneeled in front of Hermione unable to take his eyes off her. "Look, here. I've got a sister. She was born the same day as Hermione. Her name was Jane. Hermione's middle name is Jane. It looks like she's my sister."
When Ron had read thru the parchment, he looked up at Harry and whispered, "Bloody hell."
"Exactly." Said Hermione. Ron looked down at her in surprise.
"Hermione, have your parents ever said anything to you. Gave you any hints, anything? Ginny asked.
Hermione rubbed her temples as she racked her brain, trying to think of any conversation she may have had with her parents that might have been a hint. Something she may have overlooked. "I can't think. No, I don't think so. I didn't have a clue." Suddenly, there was only one thing she could think of, "Just the part about my being a witch. My dad said he always knew I'd be special. Neither of my parents ever seemed surprised. I always just thought they were intelligent enough to take it well. Accept it."
"That could be something. We haven't had time to think it all through, of course. I was just wondering who knew and how it was kept a secret. There had to have been a secret keeper."
"You're right, Ginny. It's the only way it could have been kept quiet. The boy who lived having a sister is pretty big." Ron stroked Hermione's hair absently.
"Ron, really. " Hermione admonished. Then, she looked up at the only other boy she had ever felt close to. She was still feeling the shock. It was a bit overwhelming. But, she would be ok. It was Harry she was not sure about. "Are you ok, Harry?"
Harry looked at her surprised. "Me? You're worried about me? Merlin, Hermione. This is big for both of us."
Things were becoming clearer to her. "Yes, Harry, I know. But, if this is all real- and its looking like it is- I seem to have gotten the better end of this deal."
"You had to go live with your, or I guess, our horrible relatives. I had great parents, Harry. Regardless of everything else, they are great parents to me. Now, it seems I also have a great brother, Harry."
She felt the need to touch him again as she laid her hand on his shoulder. "I don't know why they didn't tell me I was adopted. But, it really doesn't matter, does it. I mean, I have questions, of course I do. The important thing here is that we've always been family, Harry. You were right. It is just a piece of paper."
Harry reached out to her and pulled her into his arms. "I'm glad you didn't go through the childhood I did. It's ok. I'm glad, though, Hermione. I'm really glad that it's you."
"Me, too, Harry. Me, too."
"I guess that explains the hair then." Hermione finally said to break the silence.
Harry loosened his grip on her and leaned back to look at her puzzled. "What?"
Hermione held a handful of her own hair, "This unruly mess. I always wondered where I got it. Mom and Dad have such nice straight hair. Evidently, I can blame the same gene pool as you." She smiled at Harry as he laughed and hugged her again.
"You are amazing. How can you be so calm? I feel like a complete mess."
"If it had been anyone but you Harry. I know we are right. This is just right, isn't it?"
"Yeah. It is."
"Don't get me wrong. I do want to get to the bottom of this. Since we can't go see my parents right now, we'll start with Remus. It only logical as he was closest to them then we'll go from there."
Author's note: Hope you all liked it. Hope I didn't make too many typos or anything. Also, I'm sure I'll have to spruce it up a bit. And I'll try not to be as long this next time. Thanks! Christy