Sunlight spilled over her table as Leah sat down to breakfast. She lifted her spoon full of cereal to her lips just as two owls flew through her window. Leah smiled and untied the leg of the first owl which was her own. Alvie, her Elf owl, brought a letter from a friend asking her to dinner the next night and the unknown owl brought news from her little Melanie.

As she read Melanie's letter, Leah sighed. They all knew that Melanie would figure it out at some time. And Mel was a sharp girl; she may have been seeking Leah's help, but Melanie could figure it out all on her own, Leah knew. She pondered how much to tell her goddaughter. She began, her sharp angular script filling the page.

That oughta do it, Leah thought as she penned her name. She just hoped Melanie would abide by her request.

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Eileen Flannery looked up at her husband, concerned. "What if this blows everything? What if everything we've worked so hard to hide her from all comes crashing down because of something an old hat said?" Rich shook his head, still staring at the letter in his hand from his daughter. "What should we do?"

"What we've been doing for all her life," he whispers, a heavy sadness in his eyes. "We lie."

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It was Thursday morning before Melanie got her answers. She saw the two owls she'd sent to her family fly towards her and she wringed her hands nervously. They dropped the letters on her plate and she said a silent prayer that they had the assurance she had been desperately wanting all week. She opened one from her mother first.

Melanie,

We are so overjoyed that you are getting along well at Hogwarts. We always knew you were talented. You make us so proud, dear.

Hmmm, that is odd. Isn't the Sorting Hat thousands of years old? He must've gotten you mixed up with someone else, because your father and I have never even seen Hogwarts, much less tried on the hat!

Best wishes, sweetheart. Love, Mom and Dad and Tom

P.S. Congrats on making Gryffindor. You are the first ever to do so in our family!

Melanie didn't think the Sorting Hat made mistakes like that, but she was placated until she read Leah's letter.

My Melanie,

I wish I could be there with you as you experience Hogwarts. You have no idea how much I miss you. I'm glad to hear you've made some friends and that you're doing well. You must keep me updated on everything going on in your new life.

As for what the sorting hat said, I want so badly to tell you that he made a mistake. But, you see, the hat doesn't make mistakes. It can see everything you've ever thought or done or said. It can see memories that you yourself cannot recall. When placed on your head, it knows everything about you. You were adopted by the Flannerys after your birth parents were killed by You-Know-Who. You're parents were in my year and were my very dear, dear friends. You're father was a brilliant man, but he was such a show-off that most people you ask will only remember him for that. He was brave too and fought to save you. You're mother was one of the kindest people I have ever or will ever have known. She helped me through many a rough spot. She also had a wicked sense-of-humor and was one of the best in our year. That's about all I can tell you. As to whom they are, both Headmaster Dumbledore and your adoptive parents would probably murder me if I were to tell you. I also need to implore you not to go searching on your own to find out who they were. You'll know one day, sweetie; it'll come out all in good time.

I can't wait until you come to stay with me for Christmas! I'm going to start counting down the days ;)

Leah

Once she finished Leah's letter she was angry. She'd been lied to her whole life?! Her real parents were dead and gone, and the parents she had known all her life had lied to her and were still lying to her. Was their love a lie too? A Suddenly, she wasn't sure that she had wanted to know all about what the Sorting Hat had said. Instead of being reassured like she had thought she'd be, her entire being flooded with despair and confusion.

The answers she had learned were not was she had been expecting. She had hoped that both her parents and Leah would reassure her that the Sorting Hat had made a silly mistake and she shouldn't think too much about it. Or maybe, that her parents had tried on the Sorting Hat only to find out that they didn't have an ounce of magic power in their bodies. But the truth was neither. And even Leah, dear, dear Leah, hadn't been able to tell Melanie the whole truth.

The ones she loved and trusted were liars. She wondered if Marie knew the truth. But she didn't want to risk asking her. Every time she had tried to talk to her sister- pretend sister, Melanie corrected- she had been rebuffed and ignored. When she was younger, she had thought that being at Hogwarts would be the best thing in the world. But now she wasn't so sure. In only a few days here, she had lost her sister, her trust in her parents and partially in Leah, and her identity. She didn't know who she was anymore. Was her name even Melanie Flannery? Or was it something else? Mel wasn't sure she wanted to know.

But she resolved to figure out who her parents were on her own, despite Leah's insistence that she not.

Author's note: So it's been a long time since I updated this. The next chapter should be up soon, too. Hope you enjoyed it! Sorry it was so short :( If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please please please, review! I will make sure to get back to you :) And thanks to everyone who has reviewed already. You keep this story going! ~Skye