Chapter 3 : Impossible or Improbable?
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“How could you,” she gasped. “How could you pretend that he was my father?”
“He is your father,” her mum said, softly. “But we knew if you met him in his current form you’d reject him before you could get to know him. We had to deceive you so you’d give him a chance.”
“No,” Hermione, argued in disbelief. “It isn’t possible.”
“It is,” Voldemort said from the place where nice, gentle Thomas had sat moments before. “Everything we told you is true. I met your mother while I was working. True that work was recruiting Death Eaters, but it was a true statement. I had always known I would need to look like my old self some days so I preserved hairs in my younger days, before I...started to look like this. That’s how I was able to be out and about in London that day and that’s how I was able to stand before you today and appear as the man whose nose, hair, and eyes you have.”
Hermione sat there, puzzling this out. It wasn’t possible, was it? She couldn’t be Voldemort’s daughter. He was evil and she wasn’t. She wasn’t, was she? No, of course not. She was friends with Harry Potter. She’d fought Voldemort. But, had she? She’d fought his people, but he’d never really attacked her. He hated Muggleborns and yet he’d attacked Harry and Ron but never her. Why? Unless…
“Oh, my god…”
“Do you see, Hermione? Do you see the truth now?”
“This is insane. You’re evil. You kill people for fun,” she exclaimed.
“That is rumor spread by those who are ignorant and those who wish to malign me.” He spoke calmly, as if she hadn’t just called him a murderer. “I kill those who disobey me and those who wish to harm me and those I care for. I know that Dumbledore says I am incapable of love, perhaps I am. But I am capable of respect, admiration, and appreciation. I can care for people, in a way. It may not be the way of most, but it is a way that works for those willing to put up with me.” He smiled. “I will not deny however that I am a dark wizard or evil, if you wish to put it so bluntly. But that simply means that I will use any means necessary to get what I want, even if it means hurting others.”
Hermione sat there utterly shocked. To know that Voldemort did these things was bad. To see them was worse. But here she was, sitting before him, unrestrained, listening to him calmly explain it as if it were simply a hobby. It was an odd feeling.
But she did wonder. “So why did you send me to live with Squibs?”
Callisto answered this one. “We knew no one would suspect a Muggleborn of being involved with the Dark Lord. The best way to sell that was with non-magical parents. We couldn’t trust actual Muggles, so we went with Squibs. I’d known Jane and Joseph since I was young. I knew they would take good care of you and protect you as well as possible.”
Hermione nodded. It had been a wonderful plan. They were right. No one would have made the connection. She only had one more question.
“What happens now?”
“You will stay here, with all of us,” Voldemort began. “You will call me whatever you feel comfortable with. You will learn about us and who we are and our mission. You’ll learn the truth behind what the Order has told you about me and what I do. The only thing that you are not allowed to do is leave. I cannot allow you to tell Harry Potter where I am. Do you understand?”
She nodded, a little scared, but somehow not as much as she thought she ought to be.
“Good. Then Wispy will show you to your room and you can get ready for dinner.”
Hermione stood quietly, still processing the information. She was Voldemort’s daughter. She was Hermione…Riddle? She tried the name out as she walked.
“Hermione Riddle? Hermione Jean Riddle? Hermione Jean Riddle.”
Hermione spun around at the familiar drawl. Draco Malfoy stood looking proud as ever in his cut off jeans, though he seemed to have lost his shirt. She gave his chiseled abs a cursory glance, glad she had enough self control to be able to focus on his grey-blue eyes.
“Yes, Malfoy,” she drawled similarly. She felt a new sense of mischievousness somehow. Perhaps it was her new relations.
He quirked an eyebrow at her. “What are you doing here? Aren’t you supposed to be with Potter and the Weasel?”
“Since when do you care what I do, Malfoy,” she challenged.
“Since I don’t want Mudblood filth in the same house as me!”
“I’ll have you know, Malfoy, that I just met my real parents and had a shocking revelation.” She had to rub her new blood status in his face. For all the years he’d rubbed ‘Mudblood’ in hers. “I’m a Halfblood, Malfoy. Pureblood mother, Halfblood father.”
Malfoy blinked at her, confused for a moment. But he quickly regained his composure and scowled at her. “Well that’s still not as good as Pureblood. Pureblood is always best.”
“Is that so, Draco?”
Hermione smirked a bit as Draco turned to see Voldemort behind him. “I would prefer it if you would call my daughter by her first name from now on, Draco. If you insist on calling her by her last name, then at least address her appropriately as Miss Riddle. Is that clear, Draco?”
He nodded as if afraid. “Of course, sir.”
“Very good. Hermione, I would like it if you would extend the same courtesy to Draco.”
She nodded, deciding at that moment what she would call him. “Of course, Father.”
He smiled at her fondly, but did not address the new title. “Thank you, dear.” Then he walked away to leave her smirking at the newly chastised Malfoy.
“So,” he began, clearly nervous.
Hermione felt a little smug. She finally had something, besides grades, that was better than Malfoy.
“You’re the Dark Lord’s daughter,” he said, assessing.
“That about sums it up, Draco,” she replied, being sure to follow her father’s orders.
“Mm-hmm. And how long has this been the case?”
“My whole life I’d imagine,” she grinned.
He scowled at her. “Obviously, Gran-,” he sighed. “Miss Riddle. But if you’d known before, you probably would have rubbed it in my face sooner. Which I don’t appreciate, no matter whose daughter you are.”
“Any more than I appreciated you rubbing your blood in my face because of whose son you are. You knew you could get away with it then. You aren’t so sure now, are you?”
“You haven’t been a Riddle a whole day yet and you’re already acting superior,” Draco chuckled.
“I’m not acting superior. I’m just giving you a taste of your own medicine,” she argued. “You deserve to feel bad. You deserve to feel ashamed. For all the years you called me Mudblood, for all the years you made me feel inferior because my blood wasn’t as pure as yours. Well guess what, Draco. My blood still isn’t as pure, but I’m still me and I’m still better than you. But now, I have the name to prove it.”
And with that, she turned on her heel and stalked away.
AN: So from this point on, if Hermione says father it’s her birth father and if she says dad it’s adoptive father. The same applies for mother vs. mum. R&R please.
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