A/N: I really like fanfictions where "male" characters are actually female. But there aren't enough of them about South Italy (he's my favorite character and my first true love :3). And they're often unfinished. Sad :(.

This will be continued…when I say it will, dammit. So there.

This is just a prologue. Here we go! :)

Disclaimer: STARFIRE67 holds no claims to Axis Powers: Hetalia. All rights belong to Hidekaz Himaruya, the creator of said anime/manga.

There are many nations in the world. Each nation has its own personification, its embodiment, its representative. Most of these personifications are male, while the few remaining female nations are left scrambling for power or are conquered by male nations.

However, there is one female nation that no has ever seen, though she attends every meeting and she was once highly sought after by several nations. She hides the truth from the rest of the world, unable to trust them, even those closest to her. She could be revealed at any moment, and could be in serious danger if found out.

No one knows the truth. But what is the truth?

It is a secret, kept between two people (one of whom is dead). A secret that must be kept at all costs. It could change and seal the fate of a country in mere seconds.

The secret is about Italy Romano, South Italy, Lovino Vargas, who is not a male, contrary to belief.

"He" is a female.

And this will not be secret for very much longer.

But, in order to know the whole truth, one must start at the beginning.

Romana gripped Rome's large, warm hand tightly in her tinier one as they walked. This was strange for many reasons, the most prominent being that Romana usually walked in front of him, with purpose.

Not that Rome was complaining, or anything. He loved Romana very much (she was his precious granddaughter) but she was an independent young girl.

"Grandpa?" Romana asked, voice hesitant and timid.

Rome frowned. Since when did Romana ever act so timid around him?

"What's wrong, carissima?" he asked, gently picking the tiny girl up and cradling her against his chest.

"I-I…I heard some of the boy nations talking about girl nations being useless and stupid. That…that all w-we can do is c-cook and clean and we're st-stupid and-and-!"

"Sh, sh…" Rome held the sobbing girl closer, rubbing soothing circles into the small of her back. "Carissima, what made you think they were right?

"The female nations I know-including you-are all very bright and caring. Egypt and Greece are fine women; they even have their own children!"

"But Greece and Egypt have boys!" Romana retorted, no longer crying but still upset. "And I have a brother! Not a sister; a brother! Why am I a girl when everyone else is a boy? Even you, Grandpa!"

"I know, I know. But that doesn't mean you're useless, carissima."

"How?" Romana asked honestly.

Rome frowned. He made a mental note to ask Romana whom she'd overheard later. Whoever hurt his granddaughter would certainly pay.

"Romana, you're a very strong and independent girl. You'll be a powerful and fine young woman one day. You can do anything you want to if you set your mind to it, got it?" Rome said, and Romana nodded, smiles forming on each face.

"Romana, I'll need to leave soon."

Romana's head snapped up, her amber-hazel-green eyes wide. "Why?"

"I've spent lots of time preparing you, but I still need to teach your brother-"

"I haven't even met him," she grumbled.

"But I haven't taught him very much, and to have a functional country, you must both be educated," Rome said. "We both know the reason you and your brother exist. But, before I leave, I will teach you something."

Romana did seem to brighten, if only a little. "What will you teach me?" she asked.

Rome frowned thoughtfully. He hated to teach his dear granddaughter a lie, but it was essential. He didn't trust anyone enough with this. Too many people could harm her, take advantage of her youth and innocence. Rome shuddered to think about the consequences of this getting out; France was growing stronger, Prussia was always looking for new territory to conquer, and even countries like Austria and Spain were turning toward his young grandchildren's shores.

"Does anyone know you're a girl, Romana?"

"I don't think so. France and Spain and Austria and them all call me a boy. What's that got to do with anything?"

"You'll need to go along with it from here on out, carissima."

Romana was silent for a moment, contemplating Rome's words. "Y-you want me to lie?" she asked, her voice trembling. "But I thought it didn't matter that I was a girl."

"Oh no, no, carissima! It doesn't, really; it's just…others don't think the same. I don't want you to get hurt," Rome clarified, patting her shoulder comfortingly.

He grasped the small girl's hands in his. "Do you understand?"

"I…I understand, Grandpa," Romana said.

"Good! I'm going to tell you three things, and you'll need to remember them all for the future.

"First: One day, years from now, your…breasts are going to develop. When they do, they're going to get bigger, and you'll need to wrap them up in public so no one will see them. That's going to be very important.

"Second: At around the same time, you'll start…bleeding. Don't look at me like that! It's not too serious. Just put rags in your undergarments and change them. It will happen for a few days then stop, so you'll need to keep track of when and how long it lasts. Carissima, it will happen every month, and won't be too different from that time.

"And most importantly: Never tell anyone that you're a girl. Never. We are the only ones that know, carissima. Let's keep it that way."

Romana nodded, her face void of emotion, though her eyes were tinged with slight fear and…excitement? "I'll do my best, Grandpa."

"It's all I can ask for, carissima." Rome hugged the girl close and kissed the top of her head.

But he still knew that Romana's secret would not stay secret forever.

A/N: End of prologue! :) Review and tell me what you think!

Carissima-Dearest. (Latin)

Rome is still alive, so Latin is still in use! ;)