Her True Name
Disclaimer: Neither the Harry Potter or Buffy the Vampire Slayer worlds are mine, nor do I own DaimlerChrysler. The original character here was inspired by all three, and is mine. Disclaimer ends.
According to some theories, there exist alternate realities, though nobody quite agrees how they come to exist. Some say that it's based on choices; when you could choose to buy a car or have a friend buy it for you, for example.
Anne had been alive, if that was the word you chose to use, for two hundred and forty-four years before that comment was made, and she wondered how true it was. The young Muggleborn witch assured her it was truth, but then, Anne had once gone by that name as well, and Hermione Granger still did not know that Anne was not her true name either.
The name she had been born with, the name she had borne through her first twenty-two and one-half years (at some point, she had counted precisely the days between her birth and death), shone at her in chrome in the misty moonlight of a foggy London night.
Her oldest friend, the only one she had met who shared her fate (or most of it, anyhow, seeing as he had never been a Slayer), had offered to go through the drudgery of buying her new car for her, as a birthday present. She should have known, soul or not, that her second lover still had a mischevious streak.
She tilted a head at the witch standing beside her. "Thoughts?"
"It's... serviceable." Hermione contributed. "And if you were attacked by Death Eaters, you could do some serious damage. I think it's the American's answer to a Range Rover?"
"Something like that." Anne grinned. She had asked for an American vehicle, and Angel had certainly done that, left-handed steering and the Jeep nameplate as well. She hadn't known there was a model of car out there with her original name on it, but supposed that perhaps it was new. After the terrorist attacks a year and a half ago (was that another set of alternate realities?) the name was certainly a word that had come back into common usage in the States.
And at least it was a prettier namesake than that enormous statue, shimmering silver in the moonlight. He'd even remembered her heritage and her convictions, judging by the license plate - the state of her birth, and the date of her sixteenth birthday.
"Shall we take it for a drive?" Hermione asked, tracing a hand along the curve of its fender, joining Anne at the rear of the SUV. "What is it?" She asked, suddenly concerned at the haunted look in Anne's eyes.
"Just remembering my past." Anne reached out a long, deathly cold finger, tracing across the chrome letters of her first name. "How much have I told you about my human life?"
"You were American, and a Vampire Slayer, I know that. And guessing by some of your artifacts, born sometime around seventeen seventy."
"Close enough." Anne nodded. "In my time, it was not unusual for children, especially girls, to be given virtues as their names. Faith, Hope, Charity..."
"Chastity and Patience and so on."
"Yes, well, my family did it too."
Hermione glanced at Anne's eyes, softened by the revelation of another bit of truth to her lover. A warm hand, calloused from twelve years handling a wand, rose to Anne's cold cheek. "And what is your true name, my love?"
"This." Anne caressed the chrome lettering, then let her hand fall away, and Hermione glanced down. "Not much better than Hermione, I'm afraid."
"It's wonderful... Liberty."