Chapter 4 : The Impossible Hope Restored
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Caution - slight sensitive theme/topic/issue
He ran down the corridor, what first, what first! Snape or owl, who should he contract first. It was difficult when something as big as this had happened. It was the sort of moment when you wanted to run to the roof and shout it out loud. Blaise was waiting, Snape he decided, Snape first then he could help fetch the others. By the time he reached Snape’s office he was panting and out of breath. As a formality, he knocked.
“Enter” the fear inspired voice called.
“Sir” Malfoy panted, Severus removed his fearsome attitude at the sight of Draco. There were as close as family, “We found her, we found Julietta. She fainted, Blaise sent me to gather everyone” Malfoy was so out of breath from his long run that every word came out ragged.
Severus’s face must have shown a whirlwind of emotions all at once, for that’s how his brain felt. He felt a fluttering beating in his heart which had been absent the lasy eighteen years. Despite his earlier talk with Blaise he’d all but given up on ever seeing Julietta again. To have the impossible blown up and make possible was something he’d never thought would happen. He regained his composure slightly, “Well” he began, his voice rather raspy, “We must write a, no no, that would take to long” he mumbled to himself. Malfoy looked on in confusion and irritation. He saw the remains of a silver wisp, knowing Severus had sent patronuses with messages – sent for their quick speed. He turned, both serious and ecstatic towards Malfoy, “Take me to her”, Malfoy nodded leading the way.
Julietta or Hermione was still unconscious, Blaise had carried her over to one of the common room sofas. She looked so peaceful but Blaise was worried that she should have woken up by now. He looked her over and felt a protective brother streak emerging. As she’d changed to her true form her current clothes no longer fitted her correctly. He withdrew his wand and quickly rectified that problem. He wanted no one to look at his newly found sister inappropriately.
“Where is she?!” demanded Severus as he ran into the Heads Common room. The journey over had made him more nervous that it wouldn’t be her. Blaise motioned him forward and moved away to give him space with Julietta. The look his face portrayed could have melted the hardest of hearts. If the students of Hogwarts ever saw their Potions master like this he’d lose all the fear, respect and appearance of a fierce man.
“No” whispered Severus, “We should wake her when everyone’s here. We wouldn’t want to shock her more than once” he said seriously.
He looked down upon the beauty that lay unconscious on the sofa. She truly was stunning, just like her Mother. Her long black hair waving slightly as it reached the middle of her waist. Her figure was long and slender, Severus knew with just one glance that her image would break a lot of hearts. Even in her unconscious state she didn’t seem at ease, her eyes were rolling around under her eyelids. Severus didn’t yet know who she used to be, that would come later but he was nervous to find out who she previously was.
There was a loud bang and crash from outside and the portrait hole seemed forcefully pushed open to reveal both Blaise’s and Malfoy’s families. They looked flustered, nervous and excited. Mrs. Zabini was already in tears when she arrived, those tears ran faster when she looked upon the unconscious form of her daughter. Her Julietta, her Julietta, impossible. Everyone’s face was a picture of shock. A little unsure face peeked round Mr. Zabini’s leg, little Toby – Blaise’s 5 year old brother – looked around the room curiously.
With everyone gathered round but not so close as to be alarming, Severus stepped forward, “Enervate”. Hermione’s eyes rolled around under her eyelids before she managed to open them up. Her first thought wasn’t so great, it was ‘oh god, they’re going to kill me’. In hindsight it was a legitimate thought she was staring into the eyes of people who hated her.
“Julietta?” a woman she didn’t know asked, Hermione looked confused. She really didn’t understand, she remembered fainting but didn’t really remember anything beyond that.
“Why are you all staring at me? What’s going on?” she looked at them nervously. The lady who’d spoken was crying. Malfoy Senior looked like he was going to jump her and Snape, Snape was actually smiling.
Blaise spoke to Hermione smoothly, “Do you remember why you fainted?” Hermione shook her head, so Blaise handed her a small mirror. She looked in it sadly, a tear running from her face.
“Oh” she murmured. It seemed Mrs. Zabini couldn’t hold back any longer. She threw herself into Hermione for a hug, she made no reaction bar her shocked expression. Hermione managed to push her off though, unnerving Mrs. Zabini. Anger blazed in Hermione’s eyes.
“Who am I” she growled, the families gathered looked a little taken back. Mr. Zabini felt it was time he took charge and explain.
“My name is Andrew Zabini and this is my wife Natasha Zabini. You’ve already met our son Blaise and this little man is Toby. I’m guessing from your expression you already know the Malfoy’s and Professor Snape?” she nodded, “Good. You my dear are our Julietta. Our lost daughter and Blaise’s lost twin sister, You were stolen from us shorly after your second birthday. We don’t know who took you, why they took you or where they put you. But a day hasn’t gone by when we haven’t thought of you or ceased looking for you” he paused for breath.
“We were heartbroken when you were taken. Not even Dumbledore could find you. Severus and Lucius are your Godfathers, they were out of their minds when you disappeared, launched countless search parties to find you”
Severus watched Julietta curiously, she was angry yes, she also seemed sad and scared. Severus put up his hand to silence Andres, “Your scared. Please before your appearance changed, who were you?” everyone looked at her intently, and she paled considerably.
Hermione gathered courage and pulled up her right sleeve, revealing the sill imprinted ‘Mudblood’ on her arm, the Malfoy’s paled. “Before this morning I was Hermione Granger. What’s inscribed on my arm is the remains of Bellatrix Lestrange’s torture on me that she did in Malfoy Manor – when you did nothing to stop her” she glared, tears falling Malfoy Senior and his wife, “During the summer my p-parents died in a car crash. In their will it stated that I was adopted or kidnapped, it couldn’t decide. And if my summer could get any worse, I find my best friend of 7 years and now ex-boyfriend of a year and a half shagging some slut in some abandon classroom. Half of you in this room hate me, just because my names changed and I’m now a pureblood. I’m to expect that you all suddenly like me!”
Blaise unknowingly wrapped an arm around his sister, surprisingly she didn’t pull away. Lucius looked lovingly down at his Goddaughter, “Julietta” no response, “Hermione” she looked up, meeting his grey eyes with a piercing glare. “From the Oder you know Severus was a secret spy for the light. I understand this will be hard for you to believe but surely even you have seen recent headlines. I never made a transition to the dark side. I was Dumbledore’s spy from the beginning. Dumbledore is a great man but I don’t think he really understood how much I came to hate my life and how much I was stretched by both sides of the coin. There were times – I’m not afraid to admit it – when I just wanted to end it all. I tried to find excuses or ways out so I didn’t have to harm so many people, I always found an alternative to death. Voldemort never suspected, or I wouldn’t be here today. I may be a pureblood but I had many muggle and half-blood friends before his rise. I had to drop them all to play a convincing role as a death eater. I hated every second of it. I know you’ve been hurt at the hands of us and others, but not a day goes by that I don’t regret what happened to you at Bellatrix’s hand, if I could have stopped it I would have” Lucius sighed in defeat as he let it all out, still Hermione said nothing but her eyes softened, “I’m sorry for calling you a Mudblood, every time I had to say that word it made me feel sick, Draco too was forced to say it” Hermione turned to look at the troubled and sincere face of Draco Malfoy.
Her brain hurt, it was a lot to find out that she was adopted/kidnapped in the first place. To find out she was really a Zabini, Blaise’s twin sister, was a little harder to digest. To learn her Potions Master was her Godfather oddly relieved her. However, Lucius Malfoy as her Godfather? Perhaps before his speech it seemed a little far-fetched and hard to believe but he’d mentioned Dumbledore and if he’d acted on Dumbledore’s request then Hermione would know it to be true.
“I need to talk to-“
“No need Miss Zabini, I’m already here” Hermione gasped and turned to face the appearance of Dumbledore himself. “What Mr. Malfoy here has explained to you is correct, he was indeed working for the light. Do not judge him too harshly, he cannot be faulted for his actions that have appeared less than good. He did a great service to us acting as he did. And he is wrong, I do know how much I asked of him and how badly it impacted his life and I apologies for that. Lucius I never thought things would get so far, please excuse an old man’s meddling, I only did what I thought right. I hope you will accept my apology”, Dumbledore was most sincere in his words, earning a forgiving nod from Lucius.
He turned his attentions back to Hermione, “Now, Miss Zabini, your past is quite a mystery to all, what a puzzle you are. I’m sure we will be able to solve it one way or another. I must ask you – and I understand how hard this will be for you – but will you continue by the name of Hermione Granger, or will it now be Julietta Zabini?” asked Dumbledore politely.
Hermione thought hard for a moment. She’d been a Granger for the last eighteen years of her life. She’d been the great muggleborn, friend of the light, part of the Golden Trio. She’d still be the last two even if she wasn’t Hermione Granger anymore. She was no longer a muggleborn, surely she had no claim to the name now. She loved her parents will all her heart and she’d never forget them but perhaps it was time for a new start. War changes everyone, Hermione didn’t feel guilty in leaving Hermione behind. It was the right thing to do, Hermione Granger no longer existed. She was just a memory, a person who was no more. In her step stood Julietta Zabini, proud and tall, still a friend of the light and still part of the Golden Trio. She was still a bookworm.
“I have no regrets from being Hermione Granger but I am not her anymore, and I haven’t been for quite some time. I think I’d like to be Julietta Zabini, a new start is what I need”
“Very well” said Dumbledore, “About your house-” he was cut off by Julietta’s outburst.
“I’m aware as a sort of new student I’m required to be sorted again, but I would like to remain in Gryffindor. I know it’s an odd request and you never know, I might change my mind. But I’m happy there, don’t take it away” she glanced at Dumbledore, not knowing how much of an effect her words had had.
Dumbledore studied her momentarily, “Very well Miss Zabini, for now you will remain in Gryffindor. Now I feel I have stood here long enough, I will leave for you to get better acquainted” he nodded his farewell, and walked from the room.
“Julietta” said Blaise, “Not that I’m not completely happy that you decided to accept your true name, but why did you?”
Julietta sighed, “Because I looked at my life and realized it could give me no more. I was fed up with being the bookworm that no one really appreciated. My old life could offer me nothing more. I know what you are thinking. You think that I am trying to push my problems away, to run from them. I’m not. I just want a chance to be someone different”
A little hand appeared on Julietta’s leg, “Are you my sister? My names Toby and I’m 5!” the little boy proclaimed proudly.
Julietta smiled, “Yes I suppose I am your sister and 5 wow that’s a really big age, your almost an adult” little Toby smiled brightly at her and she knew she’d already won him over, besides her Blaise groaned, “What?”
“You going to become his favorite sibling now, good luck with that” he smirked.
She smiled timidly, fate it seemed had taken the upper hand in her life, she could either fight it or accept it. She looked around the room of faces, could she one day hope to call these people her family? With so much past it seemed unlikely, but she was a determined little thing and would strive for it all the same. She always wanted siblings but alas none ever came. Toby was adorable, in a way only a 5 year old could. He had a face she knew would charm her more than Teddy. The hardest people to accept a new would be Draco and Lucius Malfoy and Professor Snape. She could tell by looking into the faces of her ‘parents’ that they were greatly holding back their emotions, perhaps in fear of scaring her and losing her again. Yes, this ‘getting to know each other’ period would be hard, she hoped she’d make it.
Her ‘parents’ had long since departed, promising to meet up at their house on the weekend, so they could get to know one another. The Malfoy’s left soon after that, Lucius with a devastatingly disappointed look in his eye, like he was about to cry. Finally Snape departed, though he demanded that she call him Severus when they were in private. He felt elated, and knew for sure that this year’s Zabini Christmas Party would be one to remember.
Hop you are enjoying reading this :3
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