Another long update, this was a rather random update for me was unplanned but I think that is the way they must be done. Thank you for the continued reads and reviews. I am continuing on without a beta so if anyone is interested drop me a line.
Merlaina returned to her room in a frenzy. She did not know if Professor Snape would keep quite. She knew if Snape knew Dumbledore would find out, that is if Dumbledore didn't know already. She began feeling that everything was caving in on her and for the first time, in her life, Merlaina did not know what to do.
She grabbed a piece of parchment from her desk and began writing, 'My secret is' but before she could finish a tap came from her window. She walked over to let the owl in and untied the note and read,
The interviews are being moved up a month. You must return to the States now to prepare.
"Bless Merlin, how he works in mysterious ways," she said aloud relieved. "Linny!" she shouted.
"Yes miss," the little elf asked who had appeared behind Merlaina.
"Pack up my things I'm returning home."
"Yes miss, your office too miss?"
"I will get the things from my office. I will leave before dark."
Merlaina quickly left her bedroom and made her way to her office to gather her things. She did not have many items she needed to pack but she gathered her texts and numerous notes. She would have to send her last report from the States. Frantically she pulled out draws looking for anything she was forgetting.
"I never took you as the running type." Merlaina froze at the sound of his voice. She hated how he could always sneak up so silently.
She turned to face him, "The interviews have been moved up a month. My grandfather is requesting my immediate return."
"Very," she said rather plainly. "Now if you would please step aside I need to make sure all my things are packed." She spoke trying to get through the door.
"I told you that I would tell a soul yet you still doubt me."
"I do not have time to discuss that with you anymore."
"You will find the time."
"Severus move away on your own or I will do it for you,” she threatened. Professor Snape moved out of the door way to allow the blonde to leave. Merlaina gave him a dirty look and headed back to her room, Professor Snape following behind.
"You will not be able to hide forever," he whispered from behind. "You have to make me understand or I cannot help."
Merlaina stopped in her tracks and sent her books and notes to her room silently. She then turned around to face him. "Has it occurred to that I do not need nor want you to understand," she whispered angrily. "What is done is done and there is no explanation good enough."
Merlaina felt her temper rising to the surface as she spoke, "First explain that," she said pointing to his left forearm, "Did you do it because you were an outcast? Did you do it because she did not and would not love you?" Professor Snape said nothing and just stared at her. "That is what I thought; there is no excuse that would be good enough." With that she turned away from him and went to her room.
Merlaina sat at her kitchen table in her Washington, D.C. brownstone reading a letter from Hermione Granger. She spoke of the upcoming last task and her and Victor's budding relationship. She mentioned that students were missing Merlaina's tutoring sessions but understood why she had to leave.
Merlaina folded the letter back up and stuck on the tray that set atop the dark formal table. Two months had gone by since Merlaina left the confines of Hogwarts and she had been appointed Dean of Schools just three weeks ago. Officially Merlaina would begin her new job in late August. In the meantime she was busy speaking with the retiring Dean and assessing vacant teaching positions as well has looking over lessons plans for all levels.
She had not heard from Professor Snape or Dumbledore. Dumbledore last words to her before she flued from his office kept haunting her. "Success can only be measured by those who know the truth. Good luck we shall see each other sooner than later." She couldn't help but think somehow someway he knew. She figured the Headmaster had sent Professor Snape to find her secrets she regretted how successful Severus was at his task.
"Merlaina your grandfather is her. Should I send him in?" A medium built average looking woman close in age to Merlaina dressed in a skirt suit asked.
"That is fine Martha, thanks." Merlaina replied to the women. Martha was Merlaina's best employee. She was only a few years older than Merlaina. Martha a squib, just like her mom, and has the terrific gift of organization. Martha was the only 'servant' that traveled between Merlaina's homes, as she was in charge of the other workers. Martha was Merlaina's right hand women and was extremely irreplaceable in Merlaina's eyes.
A tall slender man around the age of seventy walked into the room. He wore chinos with a navy sweater vest over a crisp white shirt. His hair was white as snow and cut short giving him a rather classic look. "Merlaina dear sorry to drop by like this but,"
"I was in the neighborhood," she finished for him standing to great him. "You have said that every time you have come since I have been back." She walked over and gave him a hug and a kiss on the cheek. "Please have a seat," she said motioning to the kitchen table.
The two sat down and Merlaina looked at her grandfather waiting for him to speak. "You are my favorite granddaughter."
"I am your only granddaughter," she said trying to hide the fact she was sick of this game they had been playing for weeks.
"Well yes and that is why I come. Perhaps today is the day you will finally tell me what happened at the damn school in Britian." His voice rose in frustration and anger.
"I have told you everything about Hogwarts. The experience was very good for me and it helped sealed the deal for the job I begin in August. Then in four years I begin my campaign. I don't know what else you want to hear, but I have told you several times now there is nothing else to tell."
"For once your Occlumency is better than my Legilimency as I cannot force it out of you. Your mind has never been this closed. I am an old man Merlaina but I am still within my mind and know something is going on, it is affecting you and whatever it is may affect your job and your goals. We cannot risk that,” again his voice rose at his granddaughter.
Merlaina laughed amusingly, "We? What about just me?"
"Now Merlaina you know our best interests are your best interests," he said with a patronizing tone.
"Oh yes Grandmother has been parading men around here like dogs and you are too worried about me being distracted. I think the both of have YOUR best interests at heart."
Merlaina's grandfather stood up slamming his fists on the table, "Don't you bad mouth your Grandmother. She was married years by the time she was your age, it is time. You WILL do both! You it owe to us after what you did to our daughter!"
"She's my mother!" Merlaina shouted back standing up to face him. "She chose to do nothing!"
"Because she loves you too Merlaina, you are still such a child. You will not understand until you are a parent. I will see later this week at family supper. My daughter has been asking about you. I think the time is close for forgiveness. So you will come and you will be pleasant, no matter the topic of conversation." He emphasized his last phrase as Merlaina listen to him emotionlessly.
"Very well Grandfather." She said kindly giving her Grandfather another hug and kiss. "I hate auguring with you."
"You are just so stubborn."
"I wonder where I learned that from." She playfully said.
"Guilty," he said as the two walked to the door. "I will see you later my dear."
"Love you Grandfather."
"I love you too,” and with a pop he was gone.
Merlaina walked up to her room and sat on her bed with and sighed loudly. She fell back with her arms wide open with her eyes shut. These visits from her grandfather were tasking and part of her wanted to tell him that she had an affair with another professor one who bore the mark, but she was too scared of his reaction.