Chapter 13 : Bring on the Wonder
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“Well, are you going to tell me or just sit there?” she asked angrily.
“Ok, honey, I didn’t lie to you. And you're not a half blood. Actually you're a pure-blood.”
“Wait a minute,” she turned and looked at Brett, “You're a descendent of Gryffindor and Slytherin,” she glanced back at her mother, “And your wife was one of Ravenclaws. So if you're my parents, that means, oh Merlin, that means that I am too.” Draco gently squeezed her shoulders, as if to reassure her and said, “Are you going to tell her the rest? Everything?”
“Well, it depends on what she wants to know,” Brett said as he looked upon his daughter.
“I want to know everything. I want to know why you lied, what all these impossible things you did were, why you did them. I want to know who the man whom I’ve always thought as my father is, I want to know what happened to make you do this, I want to know what happens now.”
Brett nodded as he took a deep breath, “I lied to keep protecting you, because it was the only way to keep you as safe as I could. I did everything I did to keep you safe, to keep you out of Voldemort’s eyes,” he chuckled darkly, “I didn’t count on you becoming Harry Potter’s best friend, his best friend who was doing everything she possibly could to help him get rid of Voldemort.”
“And I'm Bryan . The three of us, we practically grew up together. I’ve know Brett since first year, and the both of us have known Josi since fourth.” Hermione nodded at him and then turned her attention back to Brett.
“What happened to make me hide you? Well, the fact of you being born I suppose. Voldemort, he’s been after me since we came into this war during seventh year, because of these special gifts I have. For being who I am. Well, I didn’t join his side, never will, and he decided he would do anything to get me on his side. Or would put me through any sort of hell he could think of before he killed me. Or maybe kept me just on the verge of living, to torture me.”
“How do you know that? And what special gifts?”
“How do I know? Well not only because he's Voldemort but because he told me once. He had captured me and Prongs and Padfoot. He said we each had three days to decide but luckily we were saved before then. I can sort of see the future. I don’t know if it really will happen because once I know what it is, I can change it.”
“You said gifts as in plural.”
“Hermione, you can do it to. I’ve seen you do it.”
“Wandless magic, and there are a few other little small things that aren’t really important. But back to your original question, when we found out Josi was pregnant, I wanted to hide her then and there. Prongs talked me out of it. Said something like it would be really suspicious and everyone would want to know why we were going into hiding, well, a better hiding anyways. We were all already hiding. And when Lily found out she was pregnant a few days later, I knew he was trying so hard to keep to his words, to not bring her into a better hiding place.
“We were scared, more than scared than we had ever been. Dumbledore told the four of us about the prophecy, along with the Longbottms. The three of them were all due at the end of July, Lily and Alice were due on the thirtieth, and Josi was due on the thirty first.”
“Wait a minute, wait a minute, are you telling me that even the birthday I’ve always celebrated is a lie as well?”
“Well, I wasn’t going to tell you that, maybe you were premature or something, but yeah. Your birthday is the thirty first of July.”
“That’s Harry’s birthday too.”
“Yeah, Lily was a day late.”
“When you were born, I had to make my decision. It was extremely difficult to make but I knew what I had to do. I changed the memories of the staff so that they thought you and Josi had died. That’s what I told everyone. And then I made Josi think that all our friends were still angry with us, even though it had been nearly a year a half since they had forgiven us.”
“Forgiven you for what?”
“For not telling them everything. About my gifts.” She nodded. Accepting another part truth as the full truth. Merlin, he hated this. Hated what he was still doing.
“And after she finished recovering, we headed to the States, back home, to see all of our old friends, show you off. We spent the first night with Bryan and they both had a few glasses of celebratory champagne. So I put mind blocks in their heads. It probably wasn’t so smart of me because if they had seen me, in all this time, before it was time to get rid of the blocks, they would have been destroyed anyways.”
“Why?” Draco asked as he again squeezed Hermione’s shoulders.
“Because of the weak foundation, right?” Brett nodded at her statement.
“But it was a lot easier for me to break them when I needed them to break. I altered their memories so that they had married instead, that they were Jackson and Rebecca Granger, with a beautiful little girl. They knew nothing of magic and I hid their wands in a desk that I knew they would never get rid of. And then I left. I checked in every once in a while, a neighbor just walking my dog, or the mailman substitute, or something. But I was always making sure you were alive, and ok and not about to be attacked by anyone.”
“Just like what you did with Potter,” Draco said, more to himself, as his eyebrows drew together in thought. But Brett nodded anyways, “But I checked on Harry more. I knew that Josi and Bryan would do a good job of bringing you up and protecting you. And then we come back to now. Now you know everything.”
“No, not everything. You didn’t tell me about all the nearly impossible things you did.” He sighed, he had hoped that she wouldn’t remember that particular question. He didn’t want to answer it, not that he really knew why, but still.
“I put the mind block on them. I changed their memories, their names, I didn’t name you. Josi did so yes, your name is your real name. I put a lot of charms and spells on the houses you’ve lived in.”
“I made it unplottable; I made it so that any wizard passing it wouldn’t think it was anything but a Muggle house, I made it so you couldn’t Appaperate in or on the grounds, and a few other things.”
They heard him mumble, low enough so that even Josi, who was sitting nearly as close as possible to him couldn’t make out what he said.
“What was that?” Josi asked.
“I said I put a barrier on your skins so that should any exceptionally skilled wizard walk by you, he wouldn’t be able to sense that you were wizards.”
“Is that even possible?” Hermione gasped. She looked up at Draco and said, “So that's what you meant.” He only nodded in response.
“How did you do that?”
“It was, relatively simple. I just used the spell that I put on the house and modified it a bit so that it would stay on you.”
“But, but how? I mean you would have to make it so that it would grow with me and move with our bodies, and it would have to have been skin tight so that should they bump arms with us or something… and modifying a spell isn’t simple, especially downsizing it from a house to a person, and then with the other modifications… how long had you been working on it? Years probably.”
“No, not years. Just as long as you two were in the hospital after you were born Hermione.” Her mouth dropped open, widely.
“That’s, that’s not possible. They work for decades upon decades at the ministry to develop and modify spells for just one thing. You can't do multiple adaptations in just days. It’s not wizardly possible.”
“It’s another one of his special gifts. He could always make a spell do exactly what he wanted it to do.” Josi looked at him, amazed herself. He had certainly done a lot to keep them safe. She just wondered what he had done with her son. Maybe she would never know, but she hoped that she would atleast meet him. Maybe she already had. She shook herself out of her thoughts and into the present.
Hermione was looking at Bryan when she said, “You're still my dad, no matter what, you’re still my dad.” She looked at Brett and said, “He’s still my dad.”
“I know, I never once believed he would be anything but. He has raised you, and provided for you, and helped you learn. He's done so much more than I have. I know I kind of forced him into it, but I respect him. I know that I couldn’t have found anyone better to do what I couldn’t.”
He was now looking at Bryan, who was simply looking back and when Brett whispered, “Thank you,” so quietly, he hardly heard it, he only nodded. He agreed with Hermione, no matter what, he would always think of her as his own.
The next few days passed in a blur for Hermione. She had told Harry, Ronald and Ginny the truth, with Draco right there beside her. Gently squeezing her shoulders. Sure, she hadn't told them everything, simply the big facts.
“Wait, you're a pureblood?” Ginny had asked.
“Yes, and both of the people I thought were my parents are magical. Even though my dad isn’t really my dad. My real father is the man who's been helping us research, Brett. Vance isn’t his real last name but I haven’t asked. He was protecting me and my Mum when he did everything he did.” They had been stunned and asked her many questions, which she didn’t always answer even though they were in the privacy of hers and Draco’s common room. She was sitting in the same chair as before. And when they were finally leaving she remembered she had one more thing to tell them, “And Harry?”
He looked back at her, still trying to absorb all the information she had told them. Which, granted, wasn’t all that much.
“We have the same birthday.” The three had stood stunned in the doorway for a moment before nodding and stumbling out into the hallway. She wasn’t sure what they would think, wasn’t sure what they should think, but really she didn’t care. She still had Draco with her, which was something she never thought she would say, so she did.
“Atleast I know I still have you Malfoy.” And he had chucked as they moved to the couch to just sit and laugh and talk the rest of the night away.
She still wasn’t sure how to act around her father and her parents when they all sat to research with each other. Her mother said she spent most of her time doing just that because she had so many books and so much time to do it in. Especially since she really didn’t have anything better to do. Bryan, it was still so weird to call him that, he was helping her since he too had nothing better to do. Brett, and she didn’t think she would ever be able to call him ‘Dad’, was helping after he finished everything he had to do for his classes.
There were nine people in the world at this moment who knew who it was staying in the walls of Hogwarts. The buzz of Muggles staying in Hogwarts, let alone Hermione Granger’s parents, died down after three or so days for there was much more interesting gossip.
She had found out who her real parents were on Friday. On the following Thursday, nearly a week since she had learned the truth, she, Draco, Harry, and Ronald were called from Defense Against the Dark Arts by a note signed by McGonagall herself. And when they arrived in her office, she simply sent them to Brett’s classroom, saying, “There’s something extremely important about the Jareds Josi found out. And yes, I know what the ‘Jareds’ are. So go, shoo, I have work to do too.”
And they had left, nearly running to the Ancient Runes classroom, not knowing what to expect. They walked in on Brett swinging Josi around in a hug while she laughed.
“You are a genius.” He laughed as he set her down. She just continued smiling until they heard someone clearing their throat from the doorway. They almost instantly broke apart from each other.
“Oh hi. So you all got out ok? Good, good, so Josi thinks she knows where the bust is. If he left it where he found it atleast.”
“Really? Where?” Hermione asked, pushing the former image from her mind.
“Well, I was looking through the books and diaries and everything and I found an address inside one of them. And when I looked it up, to see where it is, and who owned it and all, I think that’s where it is. It’s an old palace of sorts. It was in the Ravenclaw family for centuries before I think it was my great-grandparents sold it off because they didn’t like China . So the people that bought it lived in it for oh, forty years or so, and then they died. It’s been abandoned ever since.”
“Where in China? I mean we can take a plane and then a cab or whatever if they have those in China …”
“Why can't we just Appaperate there?” Ron asked, almost interrupting Hermione.
“Well Ronald, we’ve never been there before, and even if we did it's so much harder with a picture rather than a memory. And anyways, it is far too long, we could splinch ourselves or even worse. I, for one, am not willing to take that chance.”
“Wait a minute, who all would be going?” Draco suddenly asked, “We can't all go, mainly because that would raise suspicion. But also someone needs to get all the stuff so we don’t fall too far behind in classes. And Brett, you can't go because you're a teacher…”
“I think that Harry, Hermione and I should go.”
“Why not me?” Ron asked, hurt a little at what Hermione’s mother had said, “And don’t you want Hermione not to die?”
“She won't die Ron. And besides, I think that the less people that go the better. Harry has to go, well because he’s Harry. Hermione would be useful on how to destroy it and I can look out for the traps and everything he is sure to have set because I'm more tuned to it than you are.”
“How? You didn’t know you were a witch for eighteen years,” he said angrily. She moved so she was right in his face and said, “You better watch your tongue before I have to ask Molly if I can cut it out. I was in the Order for nearly three years, and McGonagall said so herself, we were the best. Our group, you know not one of us died on a mission.”
“Oh. So when do you leave?” he asked as he gulped slightly.
“As soon as possible.”
“So then before dinner or after? Either way I think that you should go through to the Shack and then Appaperate to the train station and take a cab to the airport. Let us know how everything goes?” Brett said as he looked at his wife, feeling that old spark of fear he had back when they worked in the Order. She nodded and smiled encouragingly at him, "We’ll be fine."
“Oh, you’ll need,” he moved to his desk and rummaged through the drawers before pulling out a Muggle wallet, “My credit card. Got one earlier, the code is 9294. Anything you need, go ahead and use it.” The dismissal bell rang and everyone looked around. Finally Josi said, “After dinner, pack light and we’ll be gone.” Harry and Hermione nodded, and the four students left the classroom. Hermione and Draco had a free period but Harry and Ron had to go to some useless class that neither really cared about.
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