Adair wasn't able to speak for several minutes. Her mind went blank, unable to process what she had heard. Finally, she came to the sluggish realization that Dumbledore probably expected her to react in some way.
"Me?" she said, lamely.
Dumbledore only nodded his head, still looking her in the eye.
Finally, it seemed that her thoughts and emotions caught up to her, all in the same instant, because suddenly she was overwhelmed with feeling.
First disbelief, of course. There was no way that this could be true. She knew who her parents were. They were Joann and Eric Robinson, the most average people on the face of the earth.
Then came confusion. If, by some chance, what Dumbledore was saying is true, who were these people she had lived with for 16 years?
Finally, came the strongest emotion. Anger. Assuming this was true, why hadn't he told her earlier? Didn't he think something as momentous as being Voldemort's grandaughter was important for her to know? She looked at him, breathing hard, and suddenly she could not stand it. She hated how calm he was. She let her anger overtake her completely, drowning out everything else. She started out quietly, hissing through her teeth.
"I just have one question, Professor. Why now? Why did you finally decide to tell me that I'm the spawn of Satan? Did it suddenly occur to you over your morning pumpkin juice that it's something I should know?"
When he gave no reaction, she could not control herself anymore.
"YOU THINK IT'S OK TO CALL ME IN HERE AND DROP A BOMB LIKE THAT AND THEN JUST SIT THERE, NODDING LIKE AN IDIOT? YOU HAVE JUST SINGLE HANDEDLY TURNED EVERYTHING UPSIDE DOWN AND YOU CAN'T SEEM TO SAY ONE SINGLE THING. YOU HAD PLENTY TO SAY EARLIER, PROFESSOR, DIDN'T YOU, WHEN YOU.. WHEN YOU... when you..."
She couldn't yell anymore. Just as quickly as it had started, her anger faded, and she was left empty again. She wilted and put her head in her hands, suddenly exhausted.
She sat there looking at the carpet, feeling guilty. Had she really just spoken like that to the headmaster? Merlin, he must hate her now. But then, she felt a comforting hand on her shoulder. Looking up into Dumbledore's eyes, she saw nothing but love and compassion.
She cracked. She stood up, threw her arms around Dumbledore, and, right there in the Headmaster's office, began to sob. Dumbledore continued to pat her on the back, waiting patiently for her sobs to slow down. When she was reduced to the occasional hiccup, the headmaster finally spoke.
"I know this is hard for you to accept, Adair. But I want you to know right now, this doesn't change who you are. You are still Adair Robinson, a good-hearted, brave, Gryffindor, and the dutiful daughter of Joann and Eric Robinson, who still love you very, very much. Where we are from has no bearing on what we will become, Adair. It is all in the choices that we make. Now, if you are ready, I would invite you to sit down and we will discuss the technicalities of your situation."
Adair nodded and sat down carefully in the chair again. Dumbledore's mention of her parents had made her feel a strong desire to see their faces, hear their voices. They didn't know anything about the magical world, so surely they couldn't know about Voldemort, but why didn't they tell her she was adopted? Didn't they realize that it wouldn't have mattered to her? But now, when she had to find out like this, from the headmaster of her school...she felt so betrayed.
Then Dumbledore, as if he had read her mind, suddenly spoke, "Adair, there are some people here that I know you must want to speak with."
Adair looked up as Dumbledore beckoned her parents through a side door of the office. She looked at them with a blank expression. Her mother opened her arms, but Adair stayed where she was, staring at them both. Dumbledore, sensing the tension, conjured two chairs, and invited Adair's parents to sit.
The clock ticked loudly as they all sat there, silently, with Adair avoiding her parent's gaze.
Finally, Dumbledore, looking at Adair' parents, said, "Would you like to tell her, or would you like me to do it?"
Adair looked at the three of them, confused. "Tell me what? What more could you possibly have to tell me?" It came out sounding harsher than she intended.
Adair's mother squared her shoulders and took a deep breath. "I'll do it," she said. Adair's father put a hand on her shoulder
Joann then looked straight at Adair, taking her hand.
"Adair, your father and I... we're not really Muggles."
Adair looked at her, dumbfounded.
"I'm actually a muggleborn, but your father Eric is a half-blood. We are Aurors for the Ministry of Magic. When your parents died, Dumbledore thought that, for your safety, it would be better to raise you away from the magical world, with people who would be able to protect you if something happened."
Adair looked at her, a feeling the sense of betrayal growing stronger inside of her. She yanked her hand away form her mother. "So you were just my bodyguards, is what you are saying. Just people assigned and paid to keep me alive. You don't really care-"
"No honey that's not it at all-"
"What is it then?" She was yelling now. "It's your job isn't it? As aurors? Protecting people from dark wizards? Tell me, are you really even married? Or is that just a cover too?"
Joann's eyes began to fill up with tears, and she opened her mouth to speak, but Dumbledore cut back in.
"Adair, calm down. No one 'assigned' them to do anything. Joann and Eric were good friends of your parents as well as part of the Order. When your parents died, they were heartbroken, of course. They approached me, Adair, not the other way around, about being the ones to raise you. I thought it was a perfect solution. Joann and Eric already cared about you, and I could be confident that you would be safe. On top of that, as I understand it, they were trying to have a child of their own at the time, but were having trouble conceiving, so they were overjoyed to have you. It was heartwarming, watching such beauty come out of such an ugly situation. Dark times really do bring out the best in people."
Adair listened, not completely convinced. She was finding it hard to trust them, knowing what they had kept from them all these years.
"Why didn't you trust me?" she whispered. "I suppose I understand waiting to me to tell me that I am, you know..." She couldn't bring her self to say Voldemort's grandchild. "But you could have at least told me about witches and wizards. Prepared me, you know. I wouldn't have told anyone if you had told me not to. We could have still lived like Muggles."
"Oh sweetheart, we wanted to. You don't know how much we wanted to. But you were so young, you wouldn't have understood. It was so much easier to wait until you were older. We wanted you to have a normal, happy childhood, because we love you very, very much."
Adair looked up into her parents eyes, and saw that they were telling the truth. All the anger flowed out of her and she leaned in to hug them both, holding them very tightly. She had not completely forgiven them, but at least now she could understand where they were coming from.
When she finally looked up, Dumbledore was smiling at them all. "Thank you very much for coming in Mr. and Mrs. Wesley-
"Wait, Wesley? Robinson isn't your real last name?" asked Adair.
Adair's father nodded, looking slightly guilty. "We thought it was for the better."
Adair simply nodded. She felt like nothing could phase her anymore. She nodded at Dumbledore to continue.
"Yes, well. Thank you very much for coming, but if you please, I would like a few more minutes alone with Adair." said Dumbldore
Adair's parents got up. "Goodbye sweetheart, we love you," said Adair's mother.
"We will talk more over break," said Adair's father, kissing her on the head.
And they walked over to the headmaster's fireplace, tossed in some floo powder, and disappeared.