She lay, sprawled out on her bed in a muddle of cream and gold comforters. Her breaths, softly in sync with the movement of her chest rising and descending. It was her birthday, her first birthday after the war. Ever since third year she felt that petty things like birthdays were far less important than the situations at hand, and now that the Dark Lord was gone, she felt an obligation to indulge her birthday with a morning of sleeping in.
She was at home, her muggle home, with her parents downstairs pacing the hall, preparing for the day ahead. It would be a very big day for her indeed. McGonagall allowed for the prefect’s leave from school for her birthday weekend, the war making her aware of the preciousness of family moments and friends. The new headmistress found it appropriate to grant Hermione absence. After all, her birthday did come on a weekend, and by the judgment that this was indeed, Hermione Jean Granger, she had finished her schoolwork in the last week or two. McGonagall also recognized the need for Hermione to spend time with her family, they had lost their memories (temporarily I may add) in the war, and her parents were still hostile with her actions.
Shifting her weight in the small bed, the glimpse of early noon sun entered through Hermione’s tresses. Her lashes fluttered awake and she welcomed the new year of her life with a wide grin. She was eighteen, now of age to do magic outside of Hogwarts, not that she hadn’t done it in the past without the Ministry knowing. Her age now signified the seven years she has spent in adventure and war, seven years of love, hurt, pain, and memories. Lifting her self out of bed, she came to the realization that she felt different. She felt smaller, more comfortable, more confident, and more beautiful. Birthdays did that to you, but this birthday, as she was soon to find out, was very different.
Two nights ago…
“Yes Professor?” asked Blaise Zabini.
“Mr. Zabini, I requested you to my office for a confrontation-”
“I haven’t done anything wrong this year Professor, it only just started two weeks ago.” Blaise interrupted, his hands breaking into a cold sweat and the back of his neck prickling with worried hairs, who would spread rumors this early in the year?
“That is not what I was implying Mr. Zabini. Your mother and father requested they talk to you, seeing that they had no chance in speaking to you before the year was initiated.”
“My m-mother and f-father?” The warmed skinned Italian gaped at the headmistress.
“Precisely Mr. Zabini, you may go down those doors on the right, they are expecting you.”
With a small nod, Blaise left McGonagall’s office, the portrait of Albus Dumbledore smiling at the new headmistress, the same twinkle in his eye.
Entering the room, Blaise sensed the Zabini matriarch and patriarch as he caught a whiff of their perfume and cologne mingling in the air. Staring at the fire ahead of him, he heard the shuffle of dress robes as they made their way towards him.
“Ciao, Blaise.” Greeted the warm smile of his mother, enveloping her son in a hug, later followed by his father with an equally warm embrace. Unlike the Malfoys, the Zabinis have always been a very warm family, knowing that they must rely on each other at all times.
“Mum, Father.” He greeted. He was very curious to why his parents have come to Hogwarts were, at this time of year, they should be in their family home in Florence.Acknowledging the curiosity in his son’s eyes, the patriarch began to shift the mood of the room. In a serious tone, Blaises’ father spoke, “Your eighteenth birthday is to come in the next two days, I remember.” His son nodded. “Your mother and I…” The patriarch’s throat suddenly went dry and he angled his head to look at his wife with sincere eyes. Recognizing the difficulty of the situation, Mrs. Zabini took it upon herself to be the one to initiate the news. Clearing her throat, she shifted her arms so she had her son face her. She looked deeply into her only son’s eyes, inherited by his father, and spoke in a clear, dignified tone, “We have been keeping something from you.” She searched her son’s eyes for any surge of response. Watching a flash of light reflect from the surface, she continued, “Blaise…you have a twin sister.”