Authors Note: There may be inconsistencies with DH. I didn't go back and check anything in the epilogue, mostly because I couldn't force myself to do that. DH may disagree with my saying that Rose looks like Hermione or the children's ages. For the sake of this story, ignore that. Like you weren't ignoring the epilogue anyways…
Disclaimer: I do not own anything related to Harry Potter. If I did, it would be much different.
Summary: Rose Weasley has developed an interest in Legilimency and the truth about her mother's relationship with Harry Potter.
Rose Weasley loved to learn. Just like her mother, she never shied away from the library nor opted to under load on her classes.
Therefore, it was only natural that when her Uncle Harry told her that in his 5th year at Hogwarts he studied Occlumency and Legilimency she became curious, even though her mother did say that Harry never really devoted himself to it.
The mind had always fascinated her, especially since her own was always churning. There was so much she already knew that the idea that she could learn even the unspoken was appealing.
Needless to say, Rose devoted much of her own 5th year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry to the study of Legilimency. She figured that since she didn't have a need to close her mind to external sources Rose only focused on Legilimency in order to pierce the blockades of those around her.
As her skills grew, Rose surpassed just the simple preliminaries of learning the theories and became able to see into the minds of others. She had to be careful, she knew. If she tried Legilimency on someone who was fully awake or aware they would undoubtedly notice her intrusion. As a result, slumbering unsuspecting students and professors became her favorite forms of practice.
At times what she saw amused her. Professor Longbottom, who she practiced on while he was dozing during one of Professor McGonagal's monthly speeches, seemed to have a recurring memory of chasing after a particularly finicky toad in the corridors of the Hogwarts Express.
Being a typical teenage girl, Rose couldn't resist peaking into the minds of those she found more interesting and appealing. For example, the mind of Scorpious Malfoy was always of particular interest to the young Weasley.
At times, when peering into his mind, mixed in with the snippets of luxurious backgrounds she distinctly saw her own self flashing in his mind, and not always in the most appropriate situations, something that both excited and incited her.
Rose had been practicing her newfound skills for several months in secret, and was looking forward to her time at home during Christmas…
Christmas had always been Rose's favorite part of the year. Not only was it a time that she got to spend with her family, but Uncle Harry, Aunt Ginny and her cousins always came over to their house for Christmas Eve. Christmas itself was always spent over at Grandma Weasleys complete with a big feast.
"Rose!" her mother's voice carried up the stairs, "Come downstairs, please. Harry's here."
Rose immediately jumped off her bed and ran down the stairs.
There was always something about Harry.
Of course, Rose loved her father, but somehow she always felt closer to Harry. He understood her more. Probably because she was just like her mother, as so many people had told her. It always seemed to Rose that Harry was more attuned to her mother than her father.
Closer than friends. Something her father coined 'honorary siblingship'. Rose didn't have the heart to tell her father that 'siblingship' was hardly a real word.
As she entered the kitchen Rose saw her mother and Harry in a deep embrace, her mother's mouth close to his ear, murmuring something to him.
Seeing Rose staring, Hermione moved away from Harry.
Harry turned and spotted Rose. "Rose! It's been way too long!" Harry enveloped Rose in a hug and kissed the top of her head. "Merlin, you look more and more like your mother every time I see you."
Rose smiled, "Except I have this horribly bushy hair and there's never a stray hair on moms head." Rose tossed her hair around, proving her point and she hit Harry right in the face with all her bushy hair, tickling him and causing him to sneeze.
"Told ya." Rose laughed after she blessed Harry's sneeze.
Stepping back, Harry appraised both sets of hair in question. "Actually," Harry began, leaning closer to Rose as if it were a secret, "when we were younger your mother was quite the frizzball."
Hermione frowned, but Harry smiled and continued, "But me, I loved her hair. She was beautiful. She's never been anything but."
Rose saw her mother's face soften. "Just like you." Harry said as he ruffled her hair.
"Oh, Harry!" You're such a charmer." Hermione lightly berated as she ran a hand through her straight and frizz-less hair. "I must say though, I don't miss that hair one bit."
She turned to Rose, "Your hair is perfect."
Rose blushed slightly, and wanting to get the attention off of her hair asked Harry where the rest of his family was.
"They're coming. Don't you worry. I just came early to spend some time with my favorite girls, especially since I knew that Hugo and your father would be running around buying last minute presents."
Hermione shook her head in annoyance. "I really had hoped that Hugo would be more responsible."
Harry laughed. "With Ron as his father? I don't really see responsibility passing down from his end."
"Stop it, Harry" Hermione laughed in response.
"So Rose, how's Hogwarts treating you?" Harry asked as he missed Hermione's dismal attempts to swat at him.
"It's good. We've been learning the most fascinating things in Ancient Runes." Rose's voice sped up in excitement; she just loved to talk about things that intrigued her. "I have been having trouble, however, distinguishing between the symbols for friendship and love. They're so similar, sometimes I mix them up. It's hard to tell the difference, it's really all the matter of one single small line."
"I agree. It's often confused." Harry added.
Rose caught Harry glance at her mother. Although she couldn't fully tell because she was standing slightly behind Harry she was sure that his eyes portrayed a message.
Hermione bit her lip. "Rose, why don't you go work on your holiday work a little bit. Get it out of the way for tonight."
Rose began to protest but Hermione cut her off. "You'll be able to see plenty of Harry later."
Harry seemed to think that Rose going upstairs was a bad idea as well. Maybe he just didn't want to deal with what Rose was sure Hermione was about to chastise him about.
"Don't make her go! I haven't seen her in months, I miss my little Rose. Come on, Rose, if you give her a pouty face you won't be able to resist." Harry stuck his own lip out in a pout as Rose followed suit.
"Oh, no, Harry James. Don't you dare start teaching her your tricks. It's bad enough that I can never say no to you!" Hermione laughed. "Rose, you really are quite good at that pout, but not good enough. Homework. Upstairs."
Rose frowned at her mother, but agreed to go upstairs. "Your mother always was such a hardass" Harry smirked.
Rose laughed "Always."
"Very funny, you two. I just want you to stay on track while you're home, Rose. Besides, I would like to talk to Harry alone for a little."
Again, a meaningful glance passed between Hermione and Harry, though this time Rose saw it.
"I'll just go do my homework then." Rose turned and walked out of the kitchen, closing the door behind her.
However, she did not go upstairs. Instead, Rose pressed her ear, careful not to nudge the door, and listened intently.
"You shouldn't have said that. I thought we agreed about what needed to be done." Rose heard her mother say.
"Hermione," Harry said, "I don't know if this is enough for me anymore. It's too hard. You must know how hard this is for me, you must, isn't it hard for you?"
"Of course it is! You and I –" Hermione paused. "Just to be safe – MUFFLIATO!"
All of the sounds from the kitchen ceased, leaving only white noise. Rose cursed her clever mother.
She couldn't help but wonder what that had all been about. If there was one thing Rose couldn't stand, it was not knowing the answers to something. She had to find out.
Christmas Eve dinner had been a fun and festive affair. With all of her cousins, along with her parents, brother, and Ginny and Harry, the table was never lacking for conversation. Rose easily started up a conversation with James about his strategy to beat Slytherin at the next Quidditch game.
After everyone had been fed and watered, sleep seemed to overtake most of the Weasleys and Potters. Seeing that everyone was going to the Burrow tomorrow, Harry and his family decided to spend the night to make things easier to leave in the morning.
After a quick game of exploding snaps, all of Rose's cousins and Hugo went off to sleep, no doubt Hugo dreaming of all the food he would be eating the next day.
Ginny, always one to turn in early, especially after a fair amount of wine, kissed Harry rather sloppily on the cheek and headed towards the guest room.
Ron, tired from a long day of last minute shopping, followed suit and headed off to his own bed.
Hermione, always the night owl, stayed up and began to thoroughly clean the kitchen, trying to get the hardened gravy smudges off of the table by hand. Her mother thought that it was lazy to use a wand for everything.
Rose sat with her mother in the kitchen, watching her scrub the table.
"Need any help with that?" Rose turned towards the voice and saw that it came from Harry.
"Sure, you can help me put away the leftovers." Hermione answered, smiling as she finally got the table clean.
Harry started to load mounds of turkey and potatoes into plastic containers, and put them in the refrigerator.
"Not the pumpkin pie" Hermione quickly said as Harry picked it up.
Harry smiled, "I wouldn't dream of it. You and I both know how much you love pumpkin pie. I was just going to cut us all some pieces."
"Oh, good." Hermione got out three glasses and poured milk into them. She set one down in front of Rose, who was already sitting at the head of the table, and placed two others down one both sides of her.
Harry, Hermione, and Rose made easy conversation as they ate their pie. Rose couldn't help but notice how conversation never seemed to lag between the two friends. It wasn't as if her parent's had awkward moments, but usually the conversation would quickly turn into petty arguments or insensitive jabs at each other.
Life was always more serene with Harry here. Not only was he fun to be around, but he was so used to mitigating Ron and Hermione's fights, that things ran smoother.
"How's work, Hermione?" Rose was pulled from her thoughts as Harry addressed her mother.
"I'm actually up for a promotion." Hermione smiled, obviously happy at this recent event.
Harry reached across the table and took Hermione's hands into his own, rubbing his thumb softly in circles over her skin. "That's just great. You really deserve it. You do so much for the Ministry."
"I just do my job" Hermione said sheepishly.
"My ass you do!"
"Harry!" Hermione interjected, pointedly staring from Harry to Rose, indicating that due to the present company, such language was not acceptable.
"Seriously, mom" Rose piped up, "it's not like I haven't heard that word before. I do go to school with a bunch of teenagers, you know. Also, dad swears all the bloody time."
Harry laughed deeply as Hermione frowned, "Obviously it's rubbing off on you."
"Hermione, give her a break. Rose is a wonderful girl, and I frankly don't see any of Ron in her at all." Harry stopped at Hermione's glare. "Anyways, we're getting off topic. As I was saying, you do more than you should for the Ministry, for the world in general."
"This coming from the guy that killed Voldemort." Hermione said with a smile playing on her mouth, she knew how much Harry hated the reminder of his fame.
Harry scoffed, "Thanks to you, house elves actually have a half-way decent existence. More than half-way decent for those who you have found paying jobs for. You have a lot to be proud of. I know I'm proud of you."
"Thanks, Harry. That means a lot to me. I never knew you felt so strongly about what I do."
"Of course I do." Surprisingly, Harry looked away, not making eye contact with either Rose or Hermione. "It's really stupid, but I've always felt that you were doing all this stuff…" Harry struggled with his words, "not necessarily because of me, or anything. Mostly, because of Dobby. I mean, he was always important to me, and when he died, I always thought that I should have taken up his cause. But, I couldn't, not really."
"After all of the stuff with Voldemort, life just got so hectic. It was like everyone wanted a piece of me. I just kind of lost focus on what was really important. I never told you, but I always respected what you did with SPEW, even if I made fun of it with Ron." Harry said.
Hermione smiled at Harry kindly, "I always suspected. You did set Dobby free after all."
There was that look again. Rose lost count of how many times she saw her mother and Harry send each other messages through their eyes.
Rose cleared her throat. Both Harry and Hermione turned, apparently forgetting that she was there. "I think I'll go up to bed now." Rose yawned for a sense of realism. "So sleepy."
Rose got up from the table, and after putting both her empty plate and glass in the sink, kissed both Hermione and Harry on their cheeks. "Goodnight."
Harry stood up to give her a tight hug. "Night, Rosie."
"See you in the morning, honey." Hermione said as she fondly ran her fingers through Rose's hair.
Rose left the kitchen, glancing back as Harry moved from his seat into the one that Rose had only moments before been occupying, closer to Hermione.
There was definitely more to their relationship than they let on.
Rose waited until she heard her mother climb the stairs to her room before she took action.
An hour later, assuming that everyone was asleep, Rose crept out of her bedroom and silently climbed the stairs downstairs. As she expected, Harry had fallen asleep on the couch as he always did at their house, the television still on.
Harry was quite the couch potato, and seeing that Ginny was wary of anything muggle, the Potter family did not own one. Ron, of course, after discovering the wonders of television, insisted that they get one.
Whenever Harry was over at their house he would sit himself down in front of the television until he would eventually fall asleep in light blue glow.
Rose felt slightly guilty about what she intended to do. Sure, she often peaked into people's mind at Hogwarts, but those ganders were mostly innocent, done for the purpose of helping her learn more about Legilimency and just occasionally because of curiosity.
This was completely different.
Not only was this due to curiosity, but she was definitely crossing a line here. Rose was intending to look into the mind of Harry Potter to understand his relationship with her mother.
When Rose thought about that, she couldn't help but think that she was messed up.
Still, even the brief thoughts of burning in hell for her immorality could not deter Rose.
She pulled her wand out of her pajama pocket and concentrated. Rose had known that Harry was practiced in Occlumency, so she expected more of a resistance. To her great surprise, Rose got into Harry's mind fairly easily.
Her mother must have been correct, Harry never did really commit himself to learning to block outside intrusion into his mind.
Rose was pushed directly into Harry's dream. This was unsurprising, often when she intruded on sleeping people's minds she was greeted by their dreams. More concentration had to be used to break past Harry's dream into his memories, his subconscious.
Soon the strange visions of a house elf with large green eyes petting a serene looking hippogriff faded and Rose entered Harry's memories.
Flashes of Harry's past played before Roses eyes.
A young Harry stood in front of a large snake tank as a particularly big snake slithered past him, leaving Harry staring open mouthed after it.
Ron and Harry ran into platform 9 ¾, bounced off of the wall and fell to the ground.
Rose frowned, trying to concentrate harder and find memories of Harry and her mother. Memories materialized.
Hermione kneeled next to Harry, both of them clearly young. Rose could here fragment of words "Friendship….bravery….Oh, Harry". Hermione threw herself into a fierce hug, nearly knocking Harry down.
Harry peered down at the petrified form of Hermione, stroking her marble-like hand softly while Ron sat in a chair across the room.
"You better hold on to me." Harry took Hermione's hands and pulled her arms to wrap around him as the hippogriff flew higher and higher.
The hulking figure of Viktor Krum came into focus. "…talks of you often." Viktor said accusingly, looking down at Harry. "We're friends….."
"But I don't think you're ugly." Harry said, almost absentmindedly, like Hermione should know this as he obviously knew.
"You're more fanciful than ever" Hermione said as Harry blushed a deep crimson.
A haggard looking Hermione crossed a slightly moldy looking tent to run her hand through Harry's hair.
Rose saw flashes of Hermione and Harry, holding hands, talking in confidence, finding comfort in each other. One particular scene caught her mind and Rose decided that this was the memory in which she would fully devote herself to.
Concentrating, Rose entered the memory. Unlike the other fragments, Rose entered this memory as if she were actually there with Harry and Hermione, sitting next to them in what appeared to be her very own living room.
Rose had read about this. It was very rare to have such concentration and practice as to manifest a memory in such a way. Unlike most other types of Legilimency, this almost mirrored entering a pensive, totally engaging in the past.
Her living room was very different from how it was now, and the way her mother was wearing her hair and how young she looked told Rose that this had happened quite some time ago.
Harry and Hermione were sitting next to each other, a fire roaring just a few feet in front of them. Rose sat down on the chair next to the couch, listening intently.
"Reminds me of Hogwarts" Harry said, gesturing to the fire with his chin and smiling softly.
Hermione's eyes shone, "We certainly did spend many nights like this. I think that was my favorite part of Hogwarts. Those nights with you. Just us, in front of the fire."
"I don't know" Harry said jokingly, "I really enjoyed all those Defense Against the Dark Arts lessons with Umbridge."
"But no, seriously. I always enjoyed those nights." Harry turned to Hermione, his face suddenly losing lingers of the smile brought on by memories by Umbridge. "You've always been there for me. Not even Ron could say that. When things got too tough…" Harry trailed off.
"Not that I blame him. It was never his fight. Or yours, really. You guys could walk away at any time."
Hermione shook her head. "I never would have done that."
"I know." Harry said quickly. "I don't regret it."
"Regret what?" Hermione creased her eyebrows in confusion.
"That you stayed. In the tent. Even though it was putting you in danger, I never wished that you would have left. I needed you too much."
Hermione reached over and grabbed Harry's hand. It seemed to Rose that this was a common practice between them, handholding. "I needed you too. You were my first real friend. The first person I could turn to. The first person I-"
She stopped herself.
"The first person you what?" Harry asked.
Hermione took a deep breath, steadying her voice with the extra intake of air. She turned fully to face Harry on the couch and looked him straight in the eyes. Her voice was strong and full of determination. "The first person I loved."
Hermione bit her lip, searching Harry's eyes with her own. "You were mine too."
"What? But, Ginny. She was… she was yours."
Harry shook his head. "Even when we were dating, I loved you. It's always been there, since before I even knew about it."
"In 6th year, I never loved Ginny. I liked her, sure" Harry was talking quickly, trying to make himself not look away from Hermione, trying to be brave. "She was always just lust then. I was sixteen. I thought I was going to die."
Hermione interrupted. "But, I loved you then. I loved you since first year! We could have been together. If you had known that you loved me then-"
"You don't get it" Harry said. "I need to explain." He stopped, clearly thinking of how to put this right. "I loved you. But, you must understand, I really thought I was going to die. I had just found out about the prophecy. I felt I needed to experience everything, but I couldn't let myself put you in that position. You deserved more than a hurried attempt at a relationship. You deserved forever."
"There was also the factor that I thought that you didn't think about me like that."
Hermione's eyes all but popped out. "You must have known. Everyone knew. Viktor, Rita, Cho! The whole world knew. I just thought that you were too nice to come out and tell me to get over it. I never thought you were clueless."
Hermione lowered her voice, almost to a whisper. "I wish it had been me. Instead of Ginny, I wish I could have been yours."
Harry glanced down to their interlocked hands. "You always have been."
"But, after the war, you went right back to Ginny. You never even told me about your feelings."
"You were with Ron! You kissed him right in front of me during the battle. You couldn't have made your feelings more obvious!" Harry let go of her hands. "You have no idea how much that hurt me. I always thought that if I survived, you and I would just happen. It would all fall into place. Instead, it all fell apart."
Hermione reached over and grabbed Harry's hand again. He let her. "It sounds awful" Hermione began. "Ron was my rebound. My get-over-Harry-Potter guy. I knew he liked me. You were with Ginny" Hermione's eyes implored him to understand. "I didn't want to be alone. I needed someone to help me keep my mind off of you."
Harry sighed. "We really fucked things up big time, didn't we?"
Hermione laughed slightly, but with a sardonic edge to the tone. "We certainly did. All that time, we both had feelings. Some Gryffindors we turned out to be."
"Hermione, if I tell you something, do you promise not to get mad?"
Hermione nodded, "Of course, you know you can tell me anything. I think tonight proves that we can handle almost everything."
"I've never stopped loving you. You're it for me." Hermione was silent and lowered her head, avoiding Harry's eyes. "I love my family. I do love Ginny, in a way; I've been with her for such a long time. But you, my love for you is just so natural, so right."
Hermione raised her head up and looked Harry in the eyes once more. Rose could easily see that her mother was crying. "Oh, Harry. What can we do? It was so much easier living all these years thinking that you didn't love me back!"
Harry's ears seemed to perk up upon hearing her words, "Does that mean that you still love me too?"
"Of course, I do!" Hermione said through her tears. "I loved you then, I love you now, I'll probably love you forever!"
Harry leaned in close to Hermione and wiped the tears off her face. "Don't cry. This is wonderful."
"Don't you understand what this means for us!? We can't be together, Harry. You have a family. I'm married to Ron. Our families are intertwined. There's no way that we could escape them. We would hurt so many." By this time, Rose had figured out that this conversation must have been right after Ginny and Harry had their first child. Right before her.
"I know that. I know that it would be hard. But, Hermione. I need you. I love you. I want to be with you." Harry leaned in and closed the space between them.
It was strange for Rose to see Harry kissing her mother, especially when Hermione wrapped her arms around is neck, drawing him closer.
As if sensing her daughter's unseen presence in the room, Hermione broke away from Harry. "No. Not like this. I love you too much for this. I love our families too much."
Hermione scooted away from Harry on the couch. Harry followed. "I don't know what to do. I can't pretend anymore. It's all out in the open now."
"It's too difficult! Do you want me to tell you that I've always loved you the most? That you've always been the man in my life?" Hermione was almost yelling hysterically now. "Is that what you want to hear? It's the truth! Ron has never had my heart like you have! You're my Harry. I love you more than I thought I could love anyone. There's nothing more I would like than for you and I to be together, but we can't. We have to think of the future of our families."
Hermione stood, distancing herself even further from Harry. "I really do love you. If thing were different, I would have given you everything."
Harry looked up, his green eyes shining brightly with emotion, "I'm still willing to."
"You just had a son, Harry. I'm not going to let you give up your happiness. You've always wanted a family."
"I still do. Why can't it be me and you and James? Why can't we have it all? Don't we deserve it?" Harry, who obviously knew how selfish he was sounding, pouted a bit. He pulled back a little. "It just kills me that I settled when I could have had you."
Hermione's mask cracked, and she sat down on the couch once more next to Harry. "Oh, Harry." Hermione wrapped her arms around Harry and pulled him into a hug. "No matter what, you'll always have me." She leaned in and kissed him softly on the lips.
Rose suddenly felt herself being pulled back, quickly yanked from Harry's memories.
She was slightly disoriented, but as her focus came back to her, Rose could see her mother standing right in front of her, wand out, and a strange expression on her face.
"You know, it's very rude to invade on people's thoughts. I thought that I taught you better than that." It was clear that Hermione was not amused.
Rose braced herself for her mother's anger. She figured a logical explanation would be the best approach. "I know that what I did was wrong, but I'm not sorry that I did it. I had to know what was going on between you and Uncle Harry."
Hermione's brow creased. "What do you mean? Harry and I are friends, that's all there is to know." Although Hermione spoke these words almost as if it was programmed within her, as if she said it countless times a day, the truth of it did not show in her eyes. She was clearly more worried about what her daughter saw now that she knew her intentions.
Rose backpedaled. "It's just that lately, and actually when I think about it, always, you and Harry seem to be… Well, I don't know. Indefinable. That's why I was so curious."
"What did you see?" From the way her mother asked the question, Rose knew that she was preparing herself for Rose to yell at her.
"I just want you to know," Rose said, carefully picking her words, "I understand. Well, not really, but I see why it is the way it is. The truth is I always felt that you and Harry fit better."
The confusion on Hermione's face was easily readable. Rose knew that she wasn't saying what she meant to very well. "You're happier with Harry. He listens to you, respects you. I love dad, I really do, but that doesn't mean that I don't want you to be happy."
"Just so you know I wouldn't hate you if you left him, if you and Harry tried to make it work. I know that you still love him. After all that I saw, it's obvious – it's right."
Hermione finally spoke up, "Oh, honey. I'm so sorry that you had to find out like this, to find out at all. It was never something I wanted you to get involved in. It's really nothing." She glanced quickly at Harry, still slumbering deeply, unaware of the conversation happening. "What did you see?"
The question broke in her throat. It was a fight between not wanting to put herself through all the hurt and needing desperately to know the soul of the man who she loved more than anything.
Rose could see how strange her situation was. Relaying messages to her mother about a man, not her father, who loved her more. Despite all this, Rose really felt no anger towards either party involved. They were her family. She loved them, why should she hate that they felt the same way towards each other?
"I looked for it. For memories of you within him." Rose raised her head to look her mother in the eyes. "I saw you throughout the years. You loved him from the beginning, didn't you?"
Seeing no point in covering up anything anymore, Hermione nodded.
"I saw him stay with you when you were petrified. I saw you two always be there for each other. You stayed during the hunt for Voldemort. Even when dad left." Rose frowned, "You never told me that."
"We all agreed that it would be better for everyone if we didn't linger on the bad spots in our histories. Some topics are still sore." Hermione hesitated, "I think a part of Harry will never forgive your father for that. I know I haven't."
Rose swallowed, trying to push back thoughts of how really, her father was a coward. "Then, I saw a conversation. I heard it, was there for it. Right after James was born."
Hermione's expression changed, she apparently knew exactly which conversation Rose was speaking of. "How much did you stay for?" Her face was etched in worry.
"Right after you told him you would never leave him. You kissed him. Then you pulled me out."
Hermione seemed slightly relieved by this answer. "That was a very personal conversation, Rose."
"I know. But, I had to know. He loved you so much! He still does. He was willing to give everything up for you - "
Hermione cut her off. "If you heard the conversation then you know why I couldn't allow that. He had a family. You came along not long after."
"That's another thing I need to know." Rose took in a deep breath, bracing herself. She had been wondering about this for a long time, and what she had just witnessed added fuel to her suspicions. "I know I left the memory after the kiss. I don't really know… I don't really know how to ask this." She paused.
"I've always felt close to Harry. Like he was more than just my Uncle…" Rose knew from the look in her mother's eyes that she understood exactly what was being insinuated.
Hermione sighed. "It's not like we weren't going to tell you, Harry and I. We were, just when you could understand, when you could keep it quiet."
"So he knows."
"Of course Harry knows, he named you. Ron had no idea, just agreed that Rose was a pretty name." Hermione smiled in spite of herself, no doubt at Ron's ignorance and easy acceptance.
Rose was confused, "Wait, what does my name have to do with anything?"
"Harry named you after his mother."
Rose shook her head. "No, Lily is named after Harry's mother."
"Ginny named her that," Hermione explained. "Harry never wanted to name his children directly after his parents. Maybe a middle name or something. I think he finds it rather unsettling that his children are named after his dead parents." Hermione said. "You're named in honor of her. The Evans family was keen on flowers, you see. Lily actually had a sister named Petunia. You carried on the tradition."
"Does dad know?" Rose asked, but she assumed that he didn't.
"No. Our families are too interwoven to cause such a big scandal. We love you so much, darling, but you must understand that if it gets out that you're the daughter of Harry Potter… It will hurt so many people." Hermione's eyes started to water.
"We never wanted it to be like this."
Rose reached out and hugged her mother. "I'm not mad. I think a part of me always knew. I still love you, and I love Harry. I just wish that you could have had the life that you deserve."
Hermione pulled back from her daughter and glanced down at Harry. His sleeping face was turned upward in a slight grin. "Sometimes, life just turns out in such a way that you have to be thankful for everything you do have. Maybe someday we can have that life, when I'm less of a coward. More than anything, I just don't want you and your brother to hate us. And of course, Harry's children. Maybe someday it will be easy.."
Rose was filled with a deep sadness for her mother. Someday was probably far off, if it was there at all. She followed Hermione's glance down to her father. Now that she knew the truth she could see that while she most definitely looked like her mother, parts of Harry could be found within her self.
"Yeah, maybe someday."
Hermione ran her fingers through Rose's hair. "You really are a remarkable girl. I never thought that you would be so understanding about all of this. It's quite a lot to handle."
"All I know is that I love you, and I love Harry. And you love Harry, and he loves you. When there's that much love, it can't be anything to be upset about. I'm your daughter, and just like you, I would never abandon those I love."
Hermione smiled. "If anything, you're like your father. You have the biggest heart I've ever seen."
The next morning, as her brother and cousins eagerly ripped open the presents that were piled up under the tree; Rose looked over to see Harry and Hermione sitting next to each other, watching their children while speaking softly to each other.
Ron and Ginny were both opening their own presents, almost as impatiently as their children. Ginny squealed as she admired her new diamond tennis bracelet while Ron tried out his newest present, something Rose thought was more suited for a 13 year old, but obviously appealed to Ron.
Ron went over to thank Hermione for the noisy contraption. Hermione simply nodded, and turned back to her conversation with Harry. Rose was surprised when Ron said nothing, and just dove back into his piles of presents.
She wondered if no one else could see. Didn't anyone else notice Harry's hand on Hermione's knee? Or the way that their faces lit up when they were around each other? Couldn't anyone else see that they were in love?
As she was staring, Harry caught her eye. She smiled at him. Her father. Harry smiled back, his eyes sending her a silent message, one like Rose saw her mother so often receive. 'I know, it's okay. I love you'.
Rose decided that it didn't matter if no one else could see the truth, could see their love. She could see their love. She could see their future, she could see the someday.