Hermione ran her eyes once again over the words she had read 20 times already. The thin pages creased as she gripped the notebook tightly in her shaking hands. Her mind was flooded with emotions. Primarily she was shocked, but she also felt angry and hurt, sad and confused, and now bubbling to the forefront of her mind was a deep sense of betrayal. Sat on a dusty box in the attic of her family home, Hermione realized that her parents had been lying to her for her whole life. She resented this most of all. She, Hermione Granger, had fought mountain trolls and three-headed dogs, faced basilisks and werewolves, she was even helping to defeat one of the most powerful and evil wizards of all time, but they didn't think her mature enough to know her own parentage; they didn't even trust her with the identity of her true father.
Hermione threw the book away from her in frustration. Part of her wished she had never made the discoveries she had made today; part of her longed for the ignorance she had possessed before she went looking for her second year charms textbook, but even with a time-turner you can't change what you know, and it wouldn't change the truth anyway. Hermione once again picked up the document which she had first discovered by accident and which initiated her search for answers. It was her parents' wedding certificate. Innocuous enough in itself, the papers correctly listed her parents' names as the bride and groom and then listed the witnesses, some of whom Hermione knew as friends of the family. It was only when her eyes strayed to the registered date that Hermione's brow furrowed in confusion. The day and month written were both correct as Hermione knew them to be, but the year was 1 whole year later than her parents had informed her it took place. And most significantly, if it took place 1 year later, then it took place after Hermione's birth.
This revelation in itself caused very little concern to Hermione. So she had been born out of wedlock? She wasn't bothered with such stuffy institutionalised rituals. Many people had children before getting married these days; it wasn't a big deal. So what Hermione really couldn't understand is why her parents had bothered to lie to her about it?
Of course being Hermione Granger, she could not accept such an alien emotion in her body. Confusion and misunderstanding made Hermione uncomfortable and she longed for the knowledge that would set her mind at rest. And so, as she had done so many times before with her closest friends Ron and Harry, she had set off in search of answers. This wasn't such a demanding task as those she had often faced at Hogwarts and she felt sure that a thorough search, constrained to the attic, through these abandoned boxes, would be sufficient to yield her the explanation she so desired. And, as was so often the case, Hermione was right. In less than 20 minutes she had found a promising looking notebook. While her second year at Hogwarts had soured the idea of reading a long-forgotten diary, a cursory inspection that revealed her mother's flowing script, had convinced Hermione that it was merely a normal Muggle artefact and was therefore unlikely to start wielding dark and dangerous magic.
The diary had belonged to Hermione's mother in the year leading up to her marriage. It gave a detailed account of her mother's year and soon Hermione began to read things that revealed an awful lot about herself as well. It soon became apparent that the man who Hermione had called Dad her whole life was not actually her father. And he knew it. Her mother's younger self had written about a one-off liaison with a man she had met in a quiet country pub, whilst hitch-hiking through Scotland. Hermione re-read the description of the man again. This was where things became really shocking. Hermione believed she knew the identity of her biological father. After all, how many tall, raven haired, magic baby producing men, who asked girls to call him Severus, could there be?
Hermione stood up abruptly. She'd had enough. She was tired of thinking it through and of thinking it over; tired of running through motives, possibilities and complications. She wanted out. Not just out of this attic, but out of this house. Away. Anywhere. As long as it was well away from here, she didn't care.
Hermione climbed down from the attic and flew into her bedroom, grabbing her trunk and filling it with everything she would need to survive for the remaining 3 weeks of the summer holidays and what she would need for going back to school. Casting a silencing charm over the hall, Hermione slipped downstairs and out the front door, leaving behind her nothing but a note which read:
I had to leave for a while and you won't see me again before school starts. Don't worry about me, I'll stay safe.
Love Hermione x