I have struggled with Heads or Tails because after chapter 15 was posted my flash drive containing all my work crashed. I’m feeling motivated enough to redo all the work I have already put into this story because it wouldn’t be fair to Merlaina. Hopefully I can keep the motivation going!
Merlaina sat in her room on the couch reading The Daily Prophet in an attempt to catch up on the news. Setting on the couch next to her were several recent copies of The Apprentice, the daily American wizarding paper.
“Good afternoon Ms. Jones,” Merlaina knew that voice too well.
“Please don’t be afraid to come in Professor Snape,” she looked up at him as he entered and closed the door. Her eyes found the paper again and she continued to read the paper. “This Skeeter woman is really a piece of work. Have you read this article about Hermione Granger; she’s just a kid for Merlin’s sake.”
“I could care less about Miss Granger’s extracurricular activities,” he drawled slowly. “I have however, come to show you something I’ve been thinking about for some time.”
“And what is that?” Merlaina asked with a bit of sass.
“Just come with me,” Professor Snape walked over to Merlaina and took the paper from her hand and dropped it on the stack of the other newspapers. He took her by her upper arm and led her out of her room before she had time to protest.
“What the hell is this about Severus?” She spat at as he drug her up the stairs to the third floor.
“Just be patient Merlaina. I want to show you something.” His tone was calm.
Merlaina was furious but she did not want to cause a scene since several students reminded during the break. She kept her month shut all the way down the forbidden hall as she pondered why the hall was forbidden but decided she did not particularly care to know why. What she could not understand was why Professor Snape was taking her here.
They stopped in front of a door and Professor Snape took out his wand unlocked and opened it. He roughly pushed her in the room and released her closing the door behind them.
“Honestly Severus what are you getting at?” She almost yelled at him rubbing her arm.
Professor Snape pointed over to a cupboard that was making an awful racket all on its own, “over there,” his tone was dry.
“A boggart?” Merlaina began laughing. “You drug me up here to see a boggart? Professor if you wanted to know what I feared most all you needed to do was ask.”
Professor Snape seemed unaffected by her words. He had the look of a man on a mission. “What is your greatest fear Merlaina?”
“My fear has always been the same. Even the first time I saw one I knew what it was going to do, make me feel as though I have failed everything. I would think that would have been obvious to you.” She looked up at him in the eyes she knew he did not believe her.
“Show me” his words lingered in the otherwise empty room.
Merlaina looked at Professor Snape puzzled. She sighed as she walked over to the cupboard, “I can’t believe you would waste my time with this,” she turned and looked back at him with a smirk, “can’t fight off a boggart on your own Severus,” she asked mockingly.
“Show me,” he said again.
“Fine,” she said rolling her eyes. Merlaina drew out her wand and motioned for the cupboard to open. Sure enough something flew out but it was not what Merlaina expected. Her breathing immediately became shortened and panicked. “Father,” she muttered barely above a whisper. Her bottom lip began to quiver and tears were forming in her eyes.”
The image of her father moved closer to Merlaina as she backed up. “It was her!” The figure pointed his finger at Merlaina shouting. “It was her!”
“Riddikulus Merlaina, use the charm and he will go away,” he just stood off to the side looking at what was unfolding before him. He was still calm and expressionless.
“Father,” She cried tears streaming down her face.
“It was her!” The boggart continued to shout.
Professor Snape again spoke very calmly and slowly pronouncing every syllable, “It is a boggart, not him.” She just shook her head. She couldn’t believe him. “Cast riddikulus,” he instructed her.
Merlaina had run into the back of the room, with nowhere else to go the boggart continued his decent to her. She completely froze dropping her wand and sliding down the wall. She covered her ears with her hands to block out the shouting. Merlaina tucked her head into her knees in an attempt to not to see her father.
Merlaina felt Severus’s robes brush her arms as he moved in front of her. She lifted her head slightly uncovering her ears. She could not see what the boggart shifted into but she heard Severus cast the riddikulus charm and heard the cupboard latch.
She looked up at him still shaken and she stretched out her hand, “help me up,” she demanded. Severus gripped her hand and pulled Merlaina up to her feet.
His grip tightened as pulled her close to his chest and looked into her eyes and asked, “Why are you afraid of your own father?”
Merlaina’s heart rate quickly increased and there was panic in her voice,” None of your business.”
“How could a daddy’s girl like you be so afraid of her father?” He held her hand even tighter, “Why Merlaina,” he demanded.
“I don’t know why I saw my father Severus so let me go!” She tried to struggle away from him but it made her situation worse. He wrapped his other arm around her waist and looked deep into her eyes. She was startled and there was nothing she could do.
Merlaina was looking towards a man. This was the same man the boggart took the form of.
“Merlaina dear, I didn’t know you would be coming by today. I have session all day and a meeting with the Vice President. You should have called; I could have rearranged my schedule.” He began fumbling with a briefcase and looked back up at Merlaina, “Actually I am sure Vice President Bush would love to see you again. You should come with me.”
Merlaina’s eyes were sad but she shook her head as to clear her thoughts and there was suddenly no life left in them. “I must father,” Merlaina raised her right hand with the palm out and calmly spoke, “Avada Kedavra!”
The man fell to the floor. Merlaina simply turned and with a pop was gone.
Merlaina was crying, “You have no right!” she screamed at him. Professor Snape loosened his grip on her wrist and she went limp in his arms causing him to fumble to hold her up.
“This is the first time you have relived it,” he said a bit surprised.
“Yes,” she whispered into his chest, “but yet I know that I did it,” she paused slightly and then looked Professor Snape in the eyes “Severus, I killed my father.”
“I’ve known,” he responded calmly his features were softening.
“How long?” she whispered.
“A while, I knew you had to see. This was the only way Merlaina. You have to tell me why you did it that is the only way I can help you.” He looked into her eyes again but she denied him. She was too focused.
“I don’t need your help,” she spat at him her body was beginning to tense up again. Merlaina began to struggle out of his arms but he responded by holding her tighter. “You will not understand. Hell, I don’t even understand but I did it and I wanted to kill him,” she screamed out.
“Let me see Merlaina,” he spoke as if talking to a student. “If I was going to tell anyone I would have already, trust me.” He was so calm his words never wavering.
“Let me go Severus,” again she tried to wiggle away from him. His arm left her waist and his hand came to rest on her right check. He gazed into her teary eyes and wiped the tears with his thumb as he let go of her wrist and cupping her face with both hands.
“Merlaina, I care about you.”
“I don’t deserve being cared about, not by anyone. I am a murderer and I alone will live with that till the day I die. I do not wish to discuss this anymore.” She paused before continuing, she looked away from him she spoke softly, “I will understand if you turn me in to the authorities.”
Professor Snape let Merlaina go, “I will not turn you in to anyone. I am no saint myself Merlaina. Everyone lives with their demons.”
Merlaina dried her face with her hands and looked up to Severus, “why don’t we just keep our demons to ourselves from now on or next time I will be the one leading you to a Bogart.” Without another look towards him she left slamming the door behind her.