“I hardly know where to begin,” Remus began to Harry and Draco while sitting down on a hardback chair. Although he was tired and hungry, he wanted to tell his tale, or at least the part that he could.
“Remus, is it true?” Harry asked, disturbed and shocked. “Did you Obliviate Hermione’s mind?”
“Yes, I did,” he admitted, his eyes upon the man he considered a son.
“Why?” Harry asked, appalled. He sat down near Remus. Draco preferred to remain standing.
“I still cannot reveal all to you, but I will tell you that Marcus Flint told Severus that Hermione was in danger from Blaise Zabini. He said that his mistress’ sister, Miss Ward, your downstairs maid, informed Mr. Zabini that Miss Granger would be alone in the woods with Severus, so Mr. Zabini went there to abduct her.”
“Why would Blaise Zabini want to abduct Hermione?” Draco asked.
“Blaise Zabini is a man who lives well above his means. He lost a lot of capital during the war, and he has gambled away most of the rest. According to Marcus Flint, Blaise Zabini has been having an affair with Miss Clearwater, whose fortune is not quite what it was. He wanted Miss Clearwater to marry Lord Malfoy so he could siphon off some of Malfoy’s money through Miss Clearwater.”
“Do you know his intent that day?” Draco asked, his jaw tight.
“Mr. Flint said that Mrs. Smith’s sister was also one of Mr. Zabini's sweethearts, and he reveal to the woman that he wanted to make sure that Hermione was gone long enough so that Miss Clearwater could find a way to convince Malfoy to marry her. Snape also tried to convince Draco to change his mind that day, although he was not part of their plan. If their mutual convincing did not work, Zabini would hold her for ransom. He was involved in the carriage incident, as well. He hired the three men to abduct her that day, but again, Marcus Flint foiled that plan."
"I surmise that Mr. Zabini is the one that killed Mrs. Smith’s sister because she probably told her sister and Mr. Flint his intent... or else Mr. Flint would not have known of his plans, and the young girl in question would not have been killed.”
“Why did you Obliviate Hermione?” Draco asked, since Harry seemed to be too shocked to ask any questions.
“Two reasons. I thought I would erase any pain she might have felt from the Cruciatus curse Mr. Zabini inflicted upon her, and I wanted to ease the fear of her kidnapping. It was apparent when I found her that she had been cursed. Second, Snape lied to me. He told me that he told her what he believed was the truth of her parentage and I wanted to buy myself some time to figure out what I was going to do, so I Obliviated her short-term memory. Little did I know, Snape did not tell her a thing. He just said that to me to hurt me. It only ended up hurting Hermione,” Lupin said with remorse.
Harry finally found his voice and asked, “What do you mean? What is the truth of her parentage?”
Lupin stood up to face the window. He could not look upon Lord Potter’s face because he did not want to see the disappointment he knew would come with the truth. He said, “Twenty-two years ago was a dark time for us. The Dark Lord was in power. He believed in blood purity, although he himself was a half blood. Our world was in chaos and the light side seemed to be losing the fight.”
“There was a prophecy at the time that a child born of a Muggle-born and a pureblood would rise and bring an end to the Dark Lord.”
“Yes, the prophecy about me,” Harry said.
Lupin turned and said, “We did not know at the time who the prophecy meant. A child was born from a Muggle-born and a pureblood, and the babe’s mother came to me, having already confided her condition to me previously. She asked me to hide the baby for fear that it might be the baby from the prophecy. I did. That baby was Hermione.”
“Who was this mother?” Harry asked.
“I cannot say, for I took a wizard’s oath never to reveal that secret, and I never have. However, I will tell you the lie that I told everyone at the time. Andromeda Black, Sirius Black’s cousin, and Lord Malfoy’s aunt, was secretly involved with a Muggle-born named Theodore Tonks. Andromeda and I were very good friends. She came to me around the same time and said that she was with child and afraid. The Dark Lord and his followers had just killed Theodore Tonks. She feared for her baby. She too knew of the prophecy, and wondered if her baby could be the one. She knew that her brother-in-law, Lucius Malfoy, was a close follower of the Dark Lord.”
“I had made arrangements with the same person who was to take this other woman’s child, to also take Andromeda’s child as well, but it was too late. Andromeda’s confinement ended and she died in childbirth just as her baby died, tended only by a midwife. That same night my friend delivered her baby with only myself in attendance. And that was when I came up with my lie.”
“I told Sirius and Severus Snape that Andromeda was pregnant with my child, and that Andromeda died but that baby lived. I took the child from the other witch, this child being Hermione, and asked Severus to leak the information to the Dark Lord."
“I thought that would protect the child, as it would appear that she was born from two purebloods. However, Sirius never believed that Andromeda was pregnant with my child. He asked who the baby’s real father was, and since I could not convince him it was my child, I told lie number two. I told him it was James Potter’s child. To this day, I am not sure why I said that. I had to say it was someone and I knew that Sirius would do anything to protect James and his children.”
“Lupin, why all the deceit?” Harry asked. Then he gasped. “Hermione is not really my sister, is she?” He stood up and turned the man to face him.
After a long pause, Lupin answered, “No, she is not James’ daughter. But I told Sirius that because the truth was that Hermione was HIS daughter. My wizard oath to the mother prevented me from revealing WHO the mother was to Sirius or anyone. In addition, it was a convenient lie, and that is what I told Hermione’s adoptive parents as well. They were sister and brother-in-law to James’ wife, so I told them Hermione was really James' child and they happily took in the child, assuming it belonged to Lily’s husband.”
At that moment, Hermione stood outside the door, about to knock, when the sound of voices made her instead stop to listen.
“Sirius and I made a pact to protect Hermione throughout her life. Sirius did so thinking she was the child of his beloved cousin Andromeda and his best friend James. I did so, because she was the child of my other best friend and a woman I care for greatly. I also thought she would be in danger from the prophecy. Snape agreed to help take care of her out of obligation to the light side, but still believing she was mine. When Hermione’s adoptive mother was dying, Snape went to the woman. He had grown up with Rose and Lily, and was fond of them both.”
“On her deathbed, Hermione’s adoptive mother told Snape her version of the truth, which was that the child belonged to James Potter.” Remus stopped for a moment, to pour a glass fire whiskey.
Hermione had heard enough, even though she hadn’t heard the truth. She ran back to her room. She believed that she and Harry were brother and sister! She was filled with joy but also with confusion! If James Potter was her father, who was her mother?
Remus continued, never once aware Hermione had only heard part of the story, and that part being the lie. He said, “I would never have told Snape that lie for he hated James Potter. I also could never have told him the truth about Sirius, for if there was anyone he hated more than James Potter, it was Sirius Black. That is why I told Snape she was mine. After Snape talked to Hermione’s adoptive mother on her deathbed, he knew I had lied to him all those years, because he now thought James was her father. With regret, I had lied to him, just not the lie he thought. Snape told me that day in the woods he revealed to Hermione that James was her father, hence the reason I felt the need to Obliviate her memory, although I found out later that he did not tell her a thing,” Remus said.
“Pray, tell me, who is her mother?” Harry asked. “I do not care for she will always be like a kin to me, but I would like to know.”
“I cannot,” Lupin said. “I will, however, say she is related to someone in this room.”
“Yes of course she is!” Draco shouted. “If she is Sirius Black’s daughter, that means she is my distant cousin!” Draco, in frustration, made a display of himself by clearing the top of the desk with his hands, aggravated with the web of lies, and the hurt they had caused everyone.
“Tell us who Miss Granger’s mother is! You already told us her father was Sirius Black! Unless her mother still lives, your wizard’s oath is no longer binding!” Draco shouted. All he could think was that Sirius, his mother’s first cousin, was pureblood. What if the mother was as well? What if Lupin continued his lies to this day and Hermione was never in any danger from the prophecy? If she were a pureblood, they would be free to marry!
“You can throw things, hex me, call me names, but I shall not reveal that. I made a solemn oath, and I intend to keep it,” Remus vowed.
“Does Hermione know any of this?” Harry asked.
“No,” Remus answered.
“Then we shall not tell her,” Harry decided. “We will tell her that you Obliviated her memory so that she would not recall being hexed. We will say nothing else at this time. She may never trust you again, Remus, but I am not sure that is a bad thing. I am not sure I trust you anymore. You are still welcomed in my home, but trust will have to be forged again.”
“What of Miss Granger? Is her only threat Mr. Zabini?” Draco asked.
“I believe that there are more threats out there then we may be aware of, but that is just a gut feeling. I may be wrong. I think Snape must have told his version of the truth to Miss Clearwater. She must assume Hermione is pureblood, and that her parents were Andromeda and James Potter. She must have told Mr. Zabini this. That means they assume she is free to marry Lord Malfoy and they may try to stop that,” Remus answered.
He continued, “However, what we must hide from everyone, at least at the moment, is that she while she is not pureblood, she is still free to marry Lord Malfoy and without him losing his estate.”
“What do you mean?” Draco asked.
“Do you not see, Lord Malfoy?” Remus asked. “If your father’s will is valid, you will lose your estate if you marry anyone of less than pureblood. Therefore, your estate will be entailed to your only living relative.”
“We have discussed this!” Draco said. “There is no one! All my relatives are dead!”
Harry understood what Remus was referring to and said, “No, not all. You yourself said that Hermione would be your cousin.”
“Yes, on my mother’s side,” Draco said. “The will says it must be entailed to someone from the Malfoy side.”
“Lord Malfoy,” Remus said, “Were your mother and father not second cousins themselves? Were Sirius Black and your father not second cousins? That would make Hermione your only living relative, Lucius’ second cousin once removed, and she would inherit the estate. I already ascertained the validity of this from a solicitor, and he confirms it.”
Draco was shocked beyond words! This could be the answer to his prayers!
“Again, I say this information should not go beyond this room, for she could still be in danger. I think she should still be protected. My biggest fear is that someone, someday, might still connect her with the original prophecy, and that some rogue follower of the Dark Lord, though he is gone, may still try to harm her. There is also the possibility that someone might seek to harm her if they think she could inherit such a large estate. Let us not act too quickly on these events. Let us stay the course and watch her as we always have.”
“Then we shall protect her,” Harry said. He turned to Malfoy. “Remus and I will go back to Potter’s Hall. I shall send Daphne Greengrass to stay here tomorrow as a chaperone, if that is acceptable. My understanding is that she had a falling out with Miss Clearwater because she accepted a marriage proposal from Mr. Charlie Weasley. She has nowhere to stay now, and I invited her to stay at my home. I am sure she would be willing to come here instead.”
Draco merely nodded.
Draco looked at Remus and said, “Someday, old man, you will need to tell us the whole truth, promises made or not, do you understand?”
“I have been threatened all my life, and by more intimidating men than you, Lord Malfoy, no offense. I will consider your threat a mere consequence of your tired state of mind. Goodnight.” He went out to the veranda and Disapparated away.
Harry went over to Malfoy and said, “I will work on him. We will find out the mother. I know you are hoping it will be a pureblood, are you not, so you may marry her?”
“I do hope that,” Draco conceded, “but I have to admit, the other outcomes are just as favourable. Either she may be a pureblood, or if not, she still stands to inherit my estate, which means I could still marry her.”
“Do not put too much hope in that first notion,” Harry said. “I do not think Remus would have spent his lifetime protecting a pureblood, for a pureblood baby, born illegitimate or not, would never have been in danger from Voldemort. We must watch for those who mean her harm, such as Blaise Zabini.”
“If I find Blaise Zabini, he is a dead man,” Draco told Harry with an icy stare.
“Theo Nott said that Zabini is still missing, so he may already be dead. Do not seek vengeance, Lord Malfoy. It will destroy you. I say you visit your old friend Flint, and see what more he knows. No matter what, I still love her like a sister. I hope your love for her is as sincere. Again, do not hope for things that may not be true.” Harry went to the veranda and left as well.
Draco knew there was truth in those words, but damn it all, he could still hope.
Elsewhere, in the village, Ginny Weasley was walking down the dark cobblestone street alone when she spied a man standing by a lamppost. She approached him and stopped.
“You did a right fine job mucking everything up, girl,” the man said.
“I tried, and it cost me my engagement! Lord Potter now hates me!” Ginny said.
“You did not really try, did you? I know what you said to his cousin. You were supposed to persuade her to seek the solace of Lord Malfoy. You were supposed to make sure to secure their union! All you did was try to secure your own!” he chastised. “You tried to convince her to leave, when your job was to drive her in to the arms of Lord Malfoy.”
“I am sorry, sir, but if what Mr. Zabini told you was the truth, that she is really the child of James Potter and Andromeda Black, then that would mean that she would be the firstborn child of James Potter and she would inherit Potter’s Hall over my Harry! You know the ways of magical inheritance! The firstborn inherits the estate, male or female, and I had to think of his future over yours!”
“That is your problem, not mine. Although, I have to tell you, I know for certain her mother was not Andromeda Black. The story about James Potter being her father may very well be true. I doubt Severus Snape would have told his ward that if he did not believe it. However, no one ever need know that. You still should have encouraged her union with Malfoy!”
“Answer me this, why is that so important to you? Why do you want Hermione Granger and Lord Malfoy to marry? You know he will lose his estate! It will be entailed away until they find an heir,” Ginny said.
“As I said, I know that Hermione Granger is not Andromeda Black’s daughter, because I am the child that was born that night. I am the child of Andromeda Black and Theodore Tonks!”
Ginny gasped. “No, that cannot be. That's why you want them to marry! That means you would inherit the Malfoy estate if Malfoy marries Miss Granger, because his estate would go to his closest living heir, and you were born before her!”
“Of course, that is why I wanted you to encourage their liaison, but you failed. Therefore, I am forced to go ahead with the charges against your brother George. He will be arrested tomorrow, and thrown in prison!”
“NO, please, give me more time! She is at Malfoy’s estate now! They will fall back in love, I am sure!” she said.
“I do not think so. I now feel he will not give it all up for her,” he argued.
“If you do not give me more time, I will tell your secrets! I shall!” she injected.
The man laughed and said, “The little witch threatens me? You will not tell a soul, but perhaps you could serve another purpose. Your brother will retain his freedom for now, but if you continue to act for selfish reasons, I shall be forced to go ahead with the prosecution. Find a way back into Miss Granger’s favour. Find out where she stands with Lord Malfoy.”
“But what of Harry?” she asked.
“Harry Potter is an honourable man and I am afraid he is lost to you, and that is your own fault. You could have persuaded Miss Granger into the arms of Malfoy, and you yourself would now be the upcoming mistress of Potter’s Hall, if you had only followed my orders. You ruined your chances for that, so your only recourse now is to act to save your brother. Do it or your whole family will face ruin!” He Disapparated away and she sat on the curb and cried.
Draco sat alone in the library at Malfoy Manor contemplating the day and everything he had heard... lies and truths. He wondered if he should reveal anything he had learned to Hermione. He wanted to tell her everything, very much. What a turn of events. Even if she did not turn out to be a pureblood, she would be his only living kin, being the child of Sirius Black, and would inherit Malfoy Manor if he married her.
He chuckled at the thought. His father never thought of that, did he? What did Draco care if the estate was in his name or hers? Magical inheritance was different from Muggle inheritance. Not only could women inherit estates, but also once a party married, they automatically shared all monies, titles, and property. He would keep his home, fortune, and title, and have the woman he wanted.
Yes, he wanted to tell her these things, but he felt some duty to Potter and Lupin. He would wait. He would protect her until the threat of harm had passed. He would keep his distance and be nothing but cordial to her.
Well, he would try.
One of the servants knocked on the library door. “Enter!” Malfoy shouted.
“Excuse me, Lord Malfoy, but you told the servants to keep an eye out for Miss Granger,” the footman started. Draco stood up and urged the man to continue. “Well, Sir, she is out walking in the statue garden, by the large fountain. I sent one of the other footmen to keep watch.”
“Thank you, Miller.” Draco stood up and straightened his cravat. He placed his jacket back on and looked at the clock. It was almost midnight. What could she be doing outside at this time of night? She was going to be the death of him yet.
Hermione sat on the edge of the fountain, thinking. Could the news she heard earlier possibly be the truth? Was her father really James Potter? Was she a pureblood? Who was her mother? She should have stayed and listened longer and perhaps Remus would have revealed her mother to her. She felt a ray of happiness at the thought that she and Harry were brother and sister, but also a pang of guilt. She felt as if she were betraying her mother and father by being glad at the news. Her father was not her father, and her mother was probably not her mother. However, if she turned out to be a pureblood, she could marry Lord Malfoy!
She turned slightly on her perch by the fountain to place her fingertips in the water, skimming them back and forth lightly. It was a cool evening, so she pulled her shawl tighter around her shoulders, then she heard footsteps. Looking up at the sound she saw it was Lord Malfoy.
Draco held out her wand to her. “If you are going to wander around outside at night, you may need this.” She took it from his hand. She placed it in the concealed pocket of her dress and stood to leave.
“Wait, do not leave yet. Shall we talk?” he asked.
“It is very late,” she said, even as she sat back down on the fountain's edge.
“And?” he asked.
“Surely you are tired,” she said.
“So you only seek my comfort? I must be tired, so you must leave?” he asked.
“Of course,” she answered.
“You are much too generous. I do not seek your comfort, so you should not seek mine.” He smiled to show her he was making fun, but she did not smile in return.
“I am tired of your frown,” he scolded. Walking up to her, he pulled her to stand in front of him. He looked at her face closely. The moonlight was barely visible, and the night was almost pitched black, due to the clouds. He put his hand on her cheek and said, “Smile for me, Hermione.”
“It would be false,” she said.
“Laugh for me,” he said with a smile.
“More false,” she said.
“Sing,” he said.
“You are mad,” she said with a smile.
He hand slid down her face to her arm, held her wrist, and he interjected, “I may be mad, but I made you smile. That was my goal.”
“Do you always get your own way?” she asked.
“Usually,” he answered honestly.
“How are we to proceed?” she asked.
“In what sense?” he asked back.
She could not reveal that she had heard that James Potter was her father, so she said, “We must act as if we are merely friends, is that not correct? How can I ask my heart to feel something it does not?”
“You are not a skilled liar, I take it?” he asked. “On the other hand, it is a skill I practiced many long hours to achieve. I am an accomplished liar. One might even say I am a liar of the first degree.” He smiled again.
She smiled in return.
“Teach me to lie,” she requested. The gentle wind blew the wisp of curls around her face. He came up to her and gently pushed back her hair.
“To lie effectively, you must not let anything about your words or actions betray the truth, for instance, I can touch your hair, like so...” His hand went to her hair again, but this time remained, “...and I can say, your hair is not soft, nor is it beautiful.” He waited a moment and said, “What did my eyes say? Did they betray the lie?”
Hermione reached up, took his hand from her hair, and said, “Your eyes held truth, but your hand remaining in my hair betrayed you.”
He made a sour face and said, “That was a bad example, let me try again.” He placed his hand under her chin and said, “Your mouth is merely adequate and not ripe for kissing. Do you believe me?”
A small smile crept over said mouth. She knew he lied. What sort of folly was this? She said, “You are definitely lying, Sir, for your eyes have not left my mouth since that statement left YOUR mouth.”
He grimaced. He was just having fun, but now he felt he had something to prove. He walked slightly away from her, but when he turned back around, she still had a smile on her face. He said, “At least you are now smiling, although it is beginning to irritate me. Come and stand before me, Miss.”
She walked over to him and looked up at him. It was so dark, she could barely make out his expression. He said, “Touch my cheek.”
“Are you going to prove that my touch is a lie?” she asked, amused.
“Gads, woman, just touch my cheek!” He took her hand and put it on his cheek. Unlike her cheek, his was rough with a day’s growth of beard. She moved her thumb slightly over his cheek. He said, “Now, I say that your hand on my face leaves me cold inside. I feel nothing. Your touch lacks the desire that I seek.”
She continued to smile and said, “You are correct. Your eyes do not show that you lie, but I wonder….” She reached up with her other hand and held his cheeks in her hands. With the tips of her fingers, she moved her right hand slowly down his face, to his neck. She felt his pulse. “But your body still betrays you. Until you can teach your body to lie, you will deceive no one.”
She let go of him and he asked, “How did my body lie?”
“Your pulse, Sir, it was beating quickly. I can only assume it was because you lied,” she replied. He amused her, but also she felt confused. What did this little practice have to do with the price of tea in China? It was fruitless. She turned and started to walk over to a Grecian statue of a nude man holding a bow and arrow.
Her hands went up to the smooth marble back of the statue. He watched in awe as she touched the statue all the way up its strong, well-formed back, to its equally well-defined chest. He imagined she was touching him. She let her hand roam the statue’s long arm to its bow. The arm was as tall as she was. She looked around the waist at him and said, “Now, if you could teach your body to be as cold and stone as this statue, then you might have me believe your lies. However, it is not me you must convince, but the people of the town. If you can convince others, I will go along with the ploy.”
He approached the other side of the statue and said, “Rest assured dear lady, I am a practiced liar. You are the one that must act indifferent to me. You are the one that must convince the masses, not I.” Hermione playfully hid behind the statue again. He reached around for her, and touched her sleeve. She laughed and ran from him.
He said, “I chase no one dear lady.”
“Good, for you would not catch me anyway,” she said playfully. At least this little exercise in lying made her feel happier, at least to a certain degree. She sat on the fountain once more and added very softly, “You will never catch me.” Suddenly, that thought filled her with regret.
He heard her soft words. As he approached he said, “I would not count on that.” He laughed aloud and said, “Tomorrow’s lesson will indeed be a lesson on teaching you to lie better.”
“Tomorrow there is a county fair and my cousin long ago promised to take me. You may attend as well, if you would like, since you have free will. I will practice my new indifference to you there,” she said demurely.
“I would love to attend with you, and have you ignore me, and show me disdain. Nothing would make me happier.” He laughed.
“Now I think you might lie, Sir,” she said. She stood back up and walked to the mouth of the path, where she waited for him so they might leave the garden. “It is late, will you walk me back, or would that be too troublesome, since you dislike me so?”
He walked up beside her and said, “I will only dislike you in the presence of others and only for a short duration. I know a secret, and once it is revealed, you will see that hope is not lost. I asked you before to give me time, and I ask that again from you, will you do that for me?” He pulled on one of her curls and watched it bounce in the dim light of the night sky.
“A secret?” she asked. “One that you are not at liberty to tell, I presume.” She wondered if the secret was the one that she heard, that she was James Potter’s daughter.
“Not yet, but we will be together and all will not be lost, but until I can reveal my secret you must lie and pretend that you do not care for me,” he said blatantly. The sooner he could tell her that she was Sirius Black’s daughter, the better it would be for them all.
A man stood in the shadows, behind a large statue of a Grecian woman with a large basin at her feet. He had just Apparated to the garden, because he heard from one of the servants that she was outside. He had no idea Lord Malfoy was there as well. What was the secret to which he referred? How would it set their course straight? He must find out the secret, and soon. Then, the man Disapparated away.
Draco heard the sound of someone Disapparating. Quickly, he scanned the area around them, instinctively placing his arms around her shoulders. “It is very late and you must get your rest if you want to go to the fair tomorrow.” He felt the hairs on the back of his neck stand at alarm. Someone had been watching them. He would have to set men out to guard the grounds starting tomorrow.
“Is something wrong, Draco?” she asked.
He smiled slightly. She called him Draco. She seemed in a better mood, was showing signs of enjoyment again, was teasing with him, and most importantly, she called him Draco. He said, “Nothing is the matter, Hermione. Let us go back inside, for once again, your body betrays you.” His hand went from her shoulder and he turned slightly to place his large hand on her neck. “Yes, your pulse beats louder than you claim mine did. Your body tells me that you care deeply for me.”
She removed his hand from her neck and started down the path, turned her head slightly, and said, “I have no idea what you mean. I could not give two snaps for you.” She snapped her fingers twice, smiled and turned back.
He marched up to her, took her hand, kissed the top and said, “Liar.”
Chapter End Notes:
Coming up, someone shows interest in Hermione, and Draco shows he is a terrible liar after all.
Chapter 27 ½ : Synopsis of A Web of Lies:
To aid in any confusion the reader might have, I will give a brief summary of the facts that have so far been presented in chapter 27.
Twenty-two plus years ago, a woman got pregnant by Sirius Black. The reader does not yet know her identity. She went to Remus Lupin, her good friend, for help. She was afraid her child would be in danger from the prophecy about the Dark Lord, because she was Muggle born and Sirius was pureblood, and they were not married, so she did not want to ruin her reputation. Sirius never knew this woman was pregnant.
Lupin asked Lily Potter's sister if she would take the baby, which was Hermione, because he thought she would be safer raised by Muggles, and raised by someone who understood about magic. Lily's sister was happy to do so, because Remus told her Hermione was James' child.
Meanwhile, (on the other side of town) Andromeda Black fell in love with a Muggle-born named Theodore Tonks. Death Eaters killed him. Fearing for her baby, (thinking it might too, fulfill the prophecy, and because she was not married, and she did not want to disgrace her family) she went to Lupin for help as well. He asked Lily's sister to take that child as well.
Both children happened to be born on the same night, Hermione first, and then this other child.
Andromeda, alone with only a midwife, died in childbirth. The midwife told Lupin the child died too, but really, this midwife, (identity to be named later) took the child and gave it to a pureblood family to raise, giving it a letter telling it who its real mother and father was. The identity of this child is not yet revealed to the reader.
Thinking his duty was done with Andromeda, when both she and her child died, Lupin enlisted Sirius' help with the protection of Hermione. He did not want to tell Sirius Hermione was his child with this unnamed woman, so Lupin told Sirius that Hermione was the child of Andromeda (Sirius' cousin) and James Potter. He told a slightly different lie to Snape... that Hermione was the child of Andromeda and Lupin.
Therefore, here is what we know so far...
Andromeda died in childbirth. Her child, a son, was taken and given to a pureblood family to be raised. He knows his birthright, and he wants Hermione and Draco to fall in love, because per Lucius’ will, Draco would lose everything if he married less than a pureblood, and this man thinks he would inherit Draco's estate, because he believes Hermione is not a pureblood. (Which is actually true, she is not - but she is related to Draco, a distant cousin, so she could still inherit his estate, which this man does not yet understand, because he believes she is the daughter of James Potter and an unknown woman.)
Snape also believes Hermione is the child of James Potter and an unknown woman, because on her deathbed, Hermione's adoptive mother told Snape that James was Hermione's father. He told this to his ward, Penelope Clearwater and to Blaise Zabini.
Hermione's real mother's identity is unknown by all but Lupin. It will remain unknown for now.
Hermione's real father is Sirius Black, not James Potter. She is the true heir if Draco loses his estate, because she too is related to Draco, but is one hour older than Andromeda's child. This unknown person does not yet know this fact about Hermione. That is the real secret that needs kept, because when and if this man finds this out, he will try to kill Hermione.
Complications aside, the romance will continue, and the mystery will continue to unravel.