A/N: Second fanfic ever. I know the Veela thing is pretty overdone, but wanted to try my hand at it, and there don't seem to be as many Hermione being the Veela ones, not that I've found anyway. So, hope you like it. Sorry about any mistakes I didn't catch.
Hermione trudged her way into Transfiguration class. She had only been back at school for a month and a half for their final year but already she felt exhausted.
After that year on the run, the stress of the last few years combined and the war, she had been hoping to just settle into a nice routine for school and study hard for her N.E.W.T's. But that didn't seem to be going very well for her.
She had thought she would get better, with regular meals, regular sleep, no more having to run or fear for her life. But she was tired all the time, even when she got a full nights sleep she woke up exhausted. She had even changed her diet to consist of healthy and high energy food and plenty of water. It had helped her energy levels a little, but not enough.
Hermione didn't know what was wrong with her. All the stress finally having time to catch up with her maybe? Made about as much sense as anything else. She had even thought of giving up her Head Girl position so she would have less responsibilities and no late night patrols. But she quickly scolded herself for the notion. She had worked hard for that and she wasn't going to give it up just because she was a bit more tired than usual.
Hermione blinked blearily at Professor McGonagall. Though Headmistress, she still had to take Transfiguration until a replacement could be found.
"Are you ill child?"
"No, I'm just a bit tired," she replied.
She took a step towards her desk and was suddenly light headed. Her vision clouded over and she just about fell, would have if not for the surprisingly gentle support of Goyle who had been coming in behind her. He helped her to her seat.
Since returning to Hogwarts this year, the boy had been subdued and very quiet, mostly keeping to himself. No more racial slurs, no more insults, no more taunting. In fact, it was that way with a lot of people since the wars end.
"Mr Goyle, would you mind escorting Miss Granger to the hospital wing and ensure she gets there safely."
"I'm fine Professor, really-"
"You most certainly are not. Off with you."
Goyle helped her up, taking her bag and slinging it over his own shoulder, supporting much of her weight as they made their way slowly and silently through the hallways. They got to the hospital wing without incident and he helped her up onto one of the cots.
He seemed surprised at the use of his first name and she offered a tremulous smile.
He only nodded. "I'll track down Madame Pomfrey for you."
Setting her bag down he went in search of the medi witch, starting with her office. A few moments later the woman came bustling out, Goyle behind her. He made his way to the entrance and slipped out.
"Right, what seems to be the trouble with you Miss Granger?"
"I'm not sure. But Professor McGonagall sent me here because I almost collapsed in class."
"Do you know what brought that on?"
She shook her head. "I've just been really tired all the time."
"Are you getting much sleep?"
"A decent amount I thought. Sometimes I still have...bad dreams, but it's not all the time."
Madame Pomfrey took out her wand and started casting her usual diagnostic spells.
"Anything else?" She asked. "Headaches? Any other aches and pains? How is your appetite?"
"I do get head aches a lot, they started coming quite frequently during that year on the run, but I figured it was stress and lack of food, I thought they would go away once everything went back to normal. Appetite wise...I suppose I don't eat as much as I used to before the war, and food isn't as satisfying. But last year we often had to go a few days without food and I just assumed my stomach shrunk or something. Again, with a proper routine and regular meals and sleep I thought it would go back to normal, but it isn't."
"Have you been taking anything for the head aches?"
Hermione shook her head. She had always tried to avoid medication, preferring a more natural remedy to things. During their break between the war and the resumption of school while it was rebuilt, she had taken to learning reflexology hoping to help with some of her problems. It eased things a little, but not significantly. She just didn't like the idea of relying on pharmaceuticals or potions, not unless she knew it was going to be a one off. She didn't want to become dependent.
Madame Pomfrey couldn't find anything wrong with her aside from the damage she'd suffered during that year on the run, still a bit under nourished but that was to be expected.
"Do you mind if I take a sample of your blood Miss Granger? I'd like to run some more tests, just to be sure."
Hermione held her arm out in response while Madame Pomfrey retrieved a vial and magically drew some blood from her vein, sealing up the incision as soon as she was done.
"All right, well nothing obvious seems to be wrong with you, possibly you're working yourself too hard too soon after everything you've been through. For now, take a Pepper-up to help you through the rest of the day."
At the look on her face, Madame Pomfrey chuckled.
"Don't worry, we won't make a habit of it, it's just for today. Hopefully we'll come up with some answers for you soon."
Hermione nodded and drank down the potion she handed to her. She could feel it start to take effect, but it wasn't as invigorating as she remembered.
"Be sure to eat plenty of fruit and veges and keep your fluids up."
Hermione nodded, not bothering to tell her she'd already been trying to do that.
Hermione struggled through her week in a daze, each day returning to her dorm absolutely shattered and barely managing to get through her homework. Sometimes her head aches were no longer just head aches but full blown migraines.
Her friends were beginning to get really concerned about her and Harry had tried to talk to her about it, suggesting she go to Madame Pomfrey. Hermione had told him she'd already been and the woman had found nothing wrong.
On Friday, after dinner though, Hermione was called up to the Headmistresses office. Were her grades beginning to suffer? Surely she wasn't in trouble for anything, her, Ron and Harry had done nothing remotely troublesome since returning to school. There was no reason to.
She got up there and was instantly admitted into the Headmistresses office.
"Take a seat Hermione," she said, giving her a tight smile.
She didn't offer tea or biscuits, just went straight to requesting a house elf serve some up. That was different. Hermione watched her flavour her tea to taste, stirring slowly. Professor McGonagall was usually a very direct and blunt woman, yet here she was, procrastinating with tea and biscuits and now cleaning her glasses.
"Oh my God you're taking away my Head Girl position!?"
The old woman's eyes widened. "No of course not, why on earth would you think that?"
Hermione sunk into her chair in relief. "I don't know."
"Have some tea Hermione, it's chamomile."
Hermione did as she was told, hoping the woman would get to the point.
"Madame Pomfrey passed on the results of your blood test to me," she said eventually.
Hermione frowned. Wasn't that a breach of confidentiality?
"Before you get all affronted, she felt the news I have for you would be better coming from me."
It was a fair assumption. Hermione looked upon the woman as a grandmother, outside of class anyway. And she trusted her implicitly.
"I had thought nothing had come of the tests when I hadn't heard anything by the next day," Hermione said.
It usually didn't take long in the wizarding world to get results like that, especially not for a prominent and enclosed school like this. There were all sorts of concerns about contagiousness and such so Madame Pomfrey's requests were usually rushed.
"The results caused for some research to be done."
"Am I dying?"
"No no, of course not."
"Then please just tell me because you're really beginning to scare me."
"We have discovered you're part Veela Hermione."
"What!?" Hermione managed a breathless gasp at the statement.
"That was the research that needed to be done. And we had to get in touch with the Ministry to do it. Your maternal grandmother was a full blooded Veela."
Hermione shakes her head. "But my mum isn't-"
"We suspect it was the fact you were born with magic that activated the Veela gene within you while bypassing her."
"Are...are you sure? I mean, nana Nereid surely would have said something or..."
Hermione trailed off. Her nana had died shortly before Hermione had received her Hogwarts letter. She never would have known and likely would have believed Hermione's Veela gene would remain latent as it had done with her mother.
"Ok," she breathed. "Ok so I'm part Veela, that's ok, I can work with that. I mean, they get inhuman strength and agility-"
"Actually, due to the fact you're not full Veela, you won't manifest any of the physical traits. Your change is internal. You may experience a heightening of your senses, not to the degree of a full or even half blooded Veela, but enough to notice a difference. And you certainly won't gain wings or anything like that."
"Oh." She wasn't sure whether to be disappointed or not. "So is being a Veela why I've been so tired lately? Am I going through some kind of hormonal or biological transformation or something?"
"In a way. You turned seventeen back in your sixth year correct?"
"A Veela, like most magical creatures, reaches maturity and begins the chemical changes to attract their mate. Despite only being quarter blooded this will apply to you."
Damn, Hermione didn't like the sound of that.
"A Veela's survival becomes dependent upon their mate Hermione."
Hermione felt the breath leave her. "How dependent?" She managed to choke out.
"They will die without them."
"How long can they survive without them?"
"It varies. But never more than a few years. Potions can help, maintaining good health, but a Veela's energy comes from their mate Hermione. Without them, a Veela can only survive for so long. Most tend to last until their twentieth birthday, give or take a few months."
"I turned nineteen this year," she said, her voice sounding far away to her own ears.
McGonagall nodded. "On the positive side, your mate is someone you've met."
"How do you know?"
"A connection is forged, without that connection, there can be no mate. It is someone you've had to have regular contact with at least and considering where you've spent much of your life during your developing years, it's very likely your mate is within the castle."
"What if he died in the war?"
"Don't be so pessimistic."
"But I won't know until I can't find him will I?"
She could feel hysteria beginning to rear its ugly head. Mated? At such a young age? Or die...
She closed her eyes and took a few deep calming breaths, willing herself not to get worked up. It wasn't as if she had the energy for it anyway. She was exhausted and she had homework and she did not feel up to dealing with this right now.
"How will I know if I find him?"
"I don't know," she replied. "However, you have full access to the restricted section and I will allow you the use of my floo to get in touch with Fleur Weasley, she will likely be of more help than I."
Hermione nodded. "Thank you. I think...I think I'll just...go back to my dorm right now though."
"Of course, the use of the floo is an open offer."
"You won't tell anyone about this will you?"
"Not without your permission Hermione."
Hermione rose to her feet before walking in a daze back to the Heads dorms. She flopped onto the couch in the common room and let herself cry. She couldn't believe this! She couldn't even ask her mother about it, she hadn't been able to reverse the memory charms and now they would never know her. And she would never know that little baby growing in her mothers belly. That thought got a quick mental shove, as if she needed to add to the feeling of being overwhelmed with a bit of grief.
Hermione had moved in with Harry at Grimmauld Place after that disappointment and intended to live there after graduation until she found her own place. Harry had tried to convince her to live with him indefinitely, he found the place quite lonely on his own. Hermione, unable to deny him, had agreed to stay as long as he needed someone else there.
Order members still passed through it, Remus and Tonks mostly to check on them. Professor Snape had spent time recovering there until they'd managed to clear his name. The Weasley's had stayed for a short time, mostly to see that Harry and Hermione were all right.
It had been a long summer.
Hermione awoke to the gentle shaking of her shoulder and she opened up her puffy eyes with a bit of difficulty.
"Geez Granger you look like shit," Malfoy said softly. "And you're hogging the couch."
"Ever the charmer," she muttered, her voice hoarse. Sitting up, she rubbed at her sore eyes.
Malfoy had been appointed Head Boy and surprisingly, they were getting on ok and had been working well together. They tried to avoid fighting, and had managed a bit of a teasing friendship.
"What's wrong?" He asked, plonking down beside her.
"Just got some bad news."
He nodded, but didn't push. They weren't exactly at the confidante stage just yet.
"You should...you should probably head up to bed Granger, you look like you could use the sleep."
Hermione nodded. "If Harry and Ron-"
"I'll send them off and I'll do it without resorting to hexes," he assured her with a roll of his eyes.
She disappeared up to her room, Draco watching her go. He was a bit concerned, had been for awhile actually. She was not looking good. He'd heard her screams sometimes, from her nightmares, her pleading and begging. He carried a lot of guilt about her torture in his home at his aunts hands. Part of his reformed attitude when dealing with her was because of that guilt. She had held up admirably through all of that and never gave up any information that they wanted. Her strength and loyalty was something to be admired and he wasn't so blinded by his prejudices any more that he couldn't see that.
He wondered if the bad news she'd received was about the decline in her health. Maybe he'd try to discretely ease some of the burden of Heads duties for her.
Professor McGonagall had allowed Hermione to meet Fleur in Hogsmeade despite the fact it wasn't a Hogsmeade weekend. They had arranged to meet at the Three Broomsticks. Hermione had successfully managed to avoid her friends, knowing the bomb dropped on her last night had wreaked havoc on her stress levels and she was looking more terrible than usual. She had wanted to forgo the interrogation.
When Hermione spotted Fleur in the almost empty place, she headed towards her. Fleur got up and greeted Hermione enthusiastically, pulling her into a hug.
"Hi Fleur," she returned. They took their seats. "How are you?"
"I'm well. You do not look like you could say the same," she said, reaching across and brushing one of Hermione's curls out of her face. The woman had always been quite touchy-feely.
"Uh, no. Not really. I... What I say here, I need you to keep it a secret please, no one can know."
They were interrupted as Rosmerta took their order. Both women went with Butterbeer.
"You have my word," Fleur said once they were alone again.
"Thank you," Hermione sighed, taking out her wand and casting muffliato around them for added insurance. "I recently, as in yesterday, found out I am part Veela."
Fleur's eyes widened. "I see. You have not found your mate I take it, if your current ill health is any indication."
Hermione nodded. "I didn't even know I needed one. How do I find one? How do I know?"
That was her biggest concern right now.
"It is difficult to explain, you just do. It is different for every Veela. For some, it is scent, for another they will only be able to tell by touch. For some they will know upon seeing. Others still just feel it by being near them."
Hermione was stunned by how unhelpful that was. "How did you realize Bill was yours?"
"I just had to look at him and I felt it. There was an instant connection," she replied.
"Professor McGonagall told me that a Veela will have met their mate before."
Fleur nodded. "I had met Bill, he was doing some work for the Gringotts branch in Paris. I met him there, very briefly. But when I turned seventeen and met him again while he was doing work for the Order, I realised. We dated for almost a year-"
"A Veela can date?" Hermione interrupted.
"I didn't tell him he was my mate," she told her. "While there are perks to being a Veela, there are disadvantages too."
"There are advantages?" She said it flatly.
Fleur just gave her a small smile. "While a mate may possess desirable traits to a particular Veela, that does not necessarily mean they are going to get along. A mated pair will have some sort of history, and that history does not have to be a good one. A veela unfortunately is compelled to do what it takes to keep their mate happy, if they're lucky, and they usually are, the mate will reciprocate, as Bill does. He does not wield the power he has over me. But there are a few who take advantage of this compulsion and will withhold what a Veela needs from their mate to force them into submission."
Hermione's eyes widened.
"As I said, it is very rare, Veela do have innate defence mechanisms to cope with such things, but there are a few who are unaffected."
"What does a Veela need from their mate and what kind of defence mechanisms?"
"Blood Hermione, Veela are sustained by their mates blood."
Hermione's face contorted in revulsion at the idea of drinking someone's blood.
"Blood!? What makes us any different from vampires?"
"We don't die in the sun for starters. And the blood of anyone won't sustain us, only our mates. We also don't need to drink as much as often as them. We're also not dead."
Hermione flushed at Fluers tone. It may have been a bit insulting to imply Veela were no better than vampires.
"Sorry. What about these defence mechanisms then?"
"Pheromones. We release them, when we do so, it can make our mate calm, release a lot and they will become much more compliant. Depending on the amount you can even make them...amorous."
Hermione quirked a brow. Did she mean horny?
"That's it? That's the extent of our defence?"
"Don't underestimate it, it can be a very powerful thing," Fleur assured her.
Hermione nodded, but was still unconvinced. Her next question made her a bit uncomfortable and she squirmed in her seat a bit. It was a stupid one she knew, but it had sort of been bothering her since she found out about her heritage, though not to the extent everything else was.
"Fleur...you're very pretty," she began.
Fleur smiled. "Thank you, that's very sweet."
"No I mean, Veela are supposed to be aren't they? You are, a lot of those girls that came with you from Beauxbatons were. So...how come I'm not?" Her voice got quieter with every word.
It was a bit embarrassing to ask, and kind of vain and girly of her, but was she so hopeless that even Veela blood couldn't help her?
"Is it because of my muggle heritage?"
Fleur seemed very surprised by the question. "Oh Hermione, are you truly so blind?"
Her eyes flashed in irritation. She wasn't blind.
"You are very beautiful, though your ill health is taking its toll. But I remember seeing you after your fifth year, you were at the Burrow for the summer. It was a few weeks shy of your seventeenth birthday correct?"
Hermione nodded, remembering seeing Fleur there then.
"You were really coming into your own, surely you noticed the way the Weasley boys were treating you, the admiring glances, the blushes, the flirtation..."
Hermione frowned. Maybe she was blind. She hadn't noticed anything. Hermione shook her head.
"The twins have always been kind of flirty, that's just the way they are, they don't mean anything by it and Ron...is Ron."
Fleur just laughed lightly and shook her head as if trying to explain something to a hopeless child.
"Never mind, forget I asked," Hermione muttered. "Next question. Rejection. How does that work? Why do Veela die and can it be circumvented?"
"There is some leeway with that, it really all depends on the Veela. Rejection will lead to death yes, a Veela's purpose is to find their mate and procreate. If a Veela feels they have been rejected, then their purpose has been taken away and their bodies will begin to shut down as well as having their sustenance denied them. But, if a Veela is truly confident they can win their mate after initial rejection, then they won't begin to wither, but they will still suffer the effects of not having their mates blood."
Hermione nodded. That was something at least.
"Ok. What about how long a Veela can last without their mate?"
"A few years at most, some can perish quickly, within the same year of reaching their maturity. One woman, a remarkable case, managed to live almost a whole decade without her mate."
"There's no way around it? No way to get the necessary sustenance from somewhere else?"
Fleur shook her head.
"What about creating a synthetic replica of whatever it is a Veela gets from their mate? Why isn't there one? That way Veela wouldn't be beholden to their mate."
"It is not something that can be replicated. It is not just the blood you take, there is a magical and spiritual element to it as well, the giving and taking of our souls. If your mate understands that, truly understands what it means to be mated to a Veela, the energy you can deride from them can last you quite some time and the connection will run very deep between you."
"What about all these tales of Veela romances? That being mated to one is supposed to be one of the most amazing things ever and how devoted they will be and how it's the deepest and purest of loves and all that?"
So far Hermione wasn't really finding anything good in this situation.
"True to an extent, but much of it has been fabricated or exaggerated. It was a way to protect ourselves. If a mate believed it to be something good, there would be less resistance, if we convinced the world it was something everyone wanted and desired then a mate was usually just grateful. They very rarely caught on to the compulsion a Veela felt to keep them content."
Hermione nodded. If a mate never realised just how necessary it was to keep them happy, they would never feel the need to abuse the power they had. By the sound of it, a mate had the power to make a Veela do anything they wanted. It was almost a hostage situation.
Hermione could remember Lavender and Pavarti, hell even Ginny going on about how romantic it would be to be mated to a Veela. The devotion and protection, the need to never doubt their loyalty. Then there was the apparent sensuality of a Veela. Hermione wondered where hers was hiding. There was nothing sensual about her.
This situation was getting worse the more she learned.
"Can there be real love though?" Hermione asked.
"Of course. Essentially you have been matched with someone compatible but like all relationships, there are obstacles and ups and downs."
Hermione nodded throughtfully. That was something at least. Things weren't completely hopeless. But then...she really loathed the idea of anyone having such power over her.