Auhors Note: Here's another chapter for you. I like to think that I haven't rushed this too much, and that it's as realistic as anything can be in an AU story about witches and wizards. Please feel free to tell me if you think it isn't. Hope you enjoy- Bee x
Hermione stood, silent and staring at Severus. She could hardly breath for fear that the moment would be shattered, and that it was all just some sick joke. Perhaps it could have been if the news had come from another person but not from Severus. He rarely joked about the few things that mattered to him in life, and when he was joking, it was always obvious because he was so bad at it. He was not accustomed to the practice and so he found it difficult to pull off one of those jokes where others could not tell if you were being sincere or joking.
"Don't do this to me Severus. Be serious!" Hermione practically roared the last, pulling herself far away from him. She crossed to the other side of the room and leant against the wall, head in her hands.
"Hermione, I am being serious." Severus replied softly, not rising to the fact that she had pretty much yelled at him. It was not something that he did very often, which could mean only one thing. He was being serious, he wasn't joking, and he knew.
"How long have you known?" Hermione asked quietly. She could have asked any number of other questions but only one question mattered above all others.
"Two weeks. I could not think of the appropriate time to tell you, especially after everything had happened." Severus did not make a move towards Hermione. She assumed that he just stood there, watching her and waiting for any response, whatever it may have turned out to be. Hermione didn't know what to think, or how to feel. Inside, her emotions were a massive jumble, all fighting each other for dominance over her.
"Who are they Severus? Who are my parents?" She asked, her voice cracking with barely restrained tears. After what seemed like her whole life, she was finally going to know who her real family were, and perhaps why she had been left with the Grangers. Her fingers fluttered to the locket wrapped around her neck.
"Evan and Belladonna Rosier, they were Death Eaters Hermione. They loved you dearly though, that much I know for certain." Severus stated, making a move towards Hermione. She lifted her head up to look at him, her eyes shining with the pain she was feeling.
"What happened to them? Why was I left with the Grangers?" Hermione asked. She had not even acknowledged what Severus had said. The name Evan Rosier had been familiar to her, and she remembered that he had been killed by Alastor 'Mad-Eye'Moody. It caused her a pang of sorrow in her heart when she recalled that, and she had to supress a sob.
"Alastor Moody killed Evan when they were rounding up the Death Eaters after the first fall of the Dark Lord. As for your mother, she was reprimanded in custody and when they released her, she chose to leave for France to stay with her French family after hearing a rumour that they were intending to charge her for conspiracy and send her to Azkaban. As for why you were left with the Granger's, that is a question that only one person here can answer." Severus turned and gestured to the previously silent and still portrait of Albus Dumbledore.
Hermione approached the portrait, shy and embarrassed that she had not even noticed her old Headmaster. He smiled widely at her, his eyes twinkling.
"Ah Miss Granger, or, should I say Miss Rosier." Albus greeted her, his smile fixed firmly on his face. Hermione could not really understand why anyone could find any part of this situation she currently found herself in happy.
"Can you tell me why they left me with the Granger's Professor Dumbledore? Why did my mother not take me with her?" Hermione asked. She could not wrap her head around it. Surely her mother could not have loved her if she had left her behind in Britain. Albus sighed heavly before opening his mouth to speak.
"Miss Rosier. This is a situation that surely must be trying upon you. There are many revelations that you have discovered this night. Your mother will have loved you. If she had not, she surely would have left you to fend for yourself, rather than placing you in the care of Mr and Mrs Granger." Hermione had to concede that in this instance he might very well have a point with his words.
"Is she still alive?" Hermione asked desperately, looking between the portrait of Dumbledore and Severus, waiting for either to give her any answer to her question. Severus and the portrait of Dumbledore shared a look with each other before they both looked back to Hermione. She knew the answer they would give before they even opened their mouths.
"Neither of us know, Hermione." Severus stated, with sadness in his voice and his eyes. It was at that moment that once more she was struck by the realisation that Severus cared for her more than she had ever originally thought.
"Hermione. Hmm, is that even my real name?" She questioned, with so many thoughts flying through her head. It felt as though her identity was being forcibly taken from her, and it was not the most pleasant feeling in the world. She had been dying to open the proverbial Pandora's Box though, and she could not undo what had been unleashed.
"No. Hermione Jean Granger was an alias for you. Your real name is Lyra Carina Rosier. Your parents followed the pureblood fashion of naming what was most precious to them after a constellation in the sky." Severus answered her question bravely. Hermione took hold of her locket and opened it up, staring at the picture within it of her as a baby with her parents. Evan and Belladonna in a loving photograph with baby Lyra. It was a scene she knew could never occur ever again. Evan, her father, had been killed by an ally of her's, and her mother, Belladonna, had fled to France. She could very well be died, having died without ever seeing her daughter again. It was a fate that Hermione would not wish upon her.
"How many people know?" Hermione asked, wondering if there had been any others who had concealed the truth from her. The portrait of Dumbledore shook his head. That, in itself, was at least a consolation.
"I don't look like either of them." Hermione said quietly, examining the photograph of her parents once more. Her father was a tall man with dark hair and blue eyes. It was an unusual combination and it looked startling to say the least. The woman beside him, her mother, had healthy peach coloured skin with a faint blush on her cheeks, and high cheekbones. Her oval shaped face was framed by light blonde hair, far less visually stunning than that of either Narcissa Malfoy or Fleur Delacour and her family. She had shockingly bright blue eyes that danced with joy. She was slightly plumper than the athletically built man standing beside her, and she was shorter by several inches Hermione would guess. She had eyes the colour of honey, and plain brown hair that frizzed terribly.
"You will have been placed under Glamour Charms for your protection Miss Rosier. It was common practice for centuries whenever any witch or wizard was forced into hiding for one reason or another." Professor Dumbledore explained, reminding Hermione of a very important fact that she had forgotten. She blushed a little once more and ducked her head down. She heard a chuckle issue from the portrait.
"Would you be able to remove them Severus?" Hermione asked, looking up and focusing on the dark haired man who stood waiting for her. He had the look of a condemned man in the few moments that he assumed she had not been looking. He had been unable to place the mask once more over his features quick enough. She had noticed, and it broke her heart to think of the fate she was consigning him to. This whole war broke her heart.
"I would Hermione. However, the process would be irreversible. These Glamour Charms are strong and resilient, but once they are broken, they cannot be reapplied. You would forever lose the visage of Hermione Jean Granger." Severus explained. This left Hermione with a very heavy decision to make, with potentially devastating consequences. If she told Severus to remove the Glamour then Harry and Ron, along with all her other friends, might not recognise her. She did not know how she would be able to bear the pain if they rejected her, based simply upon this startling revelation. If she did not, then her true identity might be lost to her. She could not deny her heritage, and she mourned for what had been cruelly taken from her before her first recollection. She had no memory of the people in her locket, but she could feel the love they had held for her.
"Do it Severus." Hermione sighed heavily and dropped the locket, feeling the warm metal bouncing once before settling against her skin. She took a few steps towards Severus till she was standing before him. He removed his wand and aimed it at her. He attempted to smile reassuringly, and it was such an unusual expression to see on his face, that Hermione could not help herself. She started laughing.
As she was laughing, Severus quickly set to work. Soon, Hermione felt a strong tingling sensation all over her body and the unusual sensation of being pulled, pinched and stretched in several places. Despite that, it was not a painful experience to have the Glamour's removed, however she was sure that if any witch or wizard less skilled than Severus had attempted to remove them, it would have hurt considerably. After she had stopped laughing, Hermione stood and waited still and silent for Severus to finish his work.
In what seemed like very little time at all, Severus replaced his wand and ran his fingers through his hair. Hermione smiled faintly at him and held her hands out. She gasped when she looked down and found that her hands were thinner and more rosy coloured than they had been before. She spun round on her heel, feeling her hair swishing against her back by her hips. She searched for a mirror, her eyes scanning the room. Soon enough, she found one in the corner of the room and she practically sprinted up to it.
The reflection that Hermione saw in the mirror was both alien and yet familiar at the same time. The reflection seemed so right, even though her brain tried to tell her that it was wrong, and that she was seeing a different person in her position.
Her hair was indeed long, trailing down to her waist, and was the same blonde as her maternal mother's. She had grown in height by three or four inches and her eyes had changed from honey to the same blue as her mother's. Her cheekbones were high, which was almost to have been expected, and she had roughly the same build as her father. She had the same curves as her mother had and she had to admit that Lyra Carina Rosier was a near perfect blend of Evan and Belladonna.
"Severus, look at me." Hermione said, as she turned to look at Severus. She had a large grin spread across her face, exposing her white teeth that were the proper size. She ran across the room and threw herself at Severus, earning a large laugh from the portrait of Dumbledore, who watched the scene with happiness.