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(A/N:  Gosh!  I have so much to say and it takes so much time!  I was hoping this chapter would get a bit more action in it but I already had seven pages by the time I set it all up.  Guess that's something I'm going to have to work on!  Promise the next chapter will have lots of action.)


Micaela had never been to a funeral before.  She didn’t expect herself to get so emotional, but she tried to hide her feelings as much as possible.  She needed to be strong for Zach.  His hand clamped onto hers half-way through the service and Micaela squeezed it supportively.  The way people spoke about Zach’s mother made Micaela deeply saddened.  It only made her reflect on her own mother, whom she meant nothing to.  Clearly, Zach had been his mother’s pride and joy, and for that she envied him mercilessly.


The service ended with a finality that stung all who were involved.  Zach walked in a daze with Micaela obediently at his side, accepting condolences and meaningless gifts.   Zach made sure they were always touching; a slight brush of the hands, a small push in the back, one shoe to another.  Micaela hoped her presence was somewhat helpful.


‘Has your Uncle contacted you?’ Micaela looked up in astonishment at the man Zach was currently speaking to.  Zach’s face showed a similar reaction, but he concealed it quickly, shook his head with indifference and beckoned Miceala on to the next acquaintance.  Micaela stepped forward eagerly but she felt Zach’s hand push her in the small of the back towards the door.  He pulled her outside, grabbed her hand and hurried to a set of doors across the hall.  They burst into the kitchens.


Zach let go of her and rubbed his forehead whilst he paced the room.  Micaela watched him nervously, absentmindedly fiddling with her skirts.  Her eyes never left his distressed countenance.


‘What are you thinking?’ She asked finally.


‘I have to find him,’ Zach said with conviction.  He stopped pacing and sat down on a chair and buried his head in his hands on the table in front of him.  Micaela approached him silently and put her hand in his hair.  He looked up at her miserably with permanently red-rimmed eyes.  ‘I have to find out who he was.’


‘Slytherin?’ Micaela asked confused.


‘No.  My father,’ Zach confirmed. 




‘You know that conversation I overheard?’ Zach asked.


Micaela nodded silently. 


‘I’ve been thinking about it for so long.  All the time.  You know that was the last time alone I had with my mother?’ Zach sighed. 


‘Zach- ‘ Micaela started.


‘She told me everything!’ Zach cried out.  ‘She told me everything, all the time and yet she never ever told me it was Salazar.  She never told me Salazar was the one killing her!’


Micaela flinched as Zach stood up angrily kicked his chair away.  She stepped forward to comfort him but then stopped.  Perhaps she should let him rid himself of his fury first. 


‘I thought she told me everything, but now I find out she kept things from me.  She lied to me!’ Zach was desperately holding back his tears.  He gripped the bridge of his nose between his forefinger and his thumb and squeezed shut his eyes.  A few angry tears dripped down his cheeks.  ‘And then some asshole has the presumptuousness to ask me if my Uncle has contacted me?  Does he think I’m a fucking fugitive too?’


Micaela bit her lip.  She had nothing to say.  Zach sat back down, breathing heavily, utterly exhausted.


‘I have to find out who my father was, because right now I don’t have anyone else,’ Zach whispered more to himself than Micaela.  Micaela sat down next to him and stared straight ahead, like he was doing.


‘Let’s do it then.’



Godric refused.  Micaela furiously argued back but he was stubborn with resolve.  There was no way he would allow her to stay with Zach for the rest of the weekend.  What about her virtue?  Did she want to offer the Daily Prophet more of an excuse to splash her across the front page of every newspaper?  Micaela didn’t really figure her social standing could be even more destroyed than it already was, but Gryffindor wouldn’t listen to such a feeble argument as that.  He felt her social standing was more than admirable.  Micaela pitied his denial. 


At last they came to an agreement.  Micaela and Godric would remain for supper and then return to Hogwarts with or without Zach.  Micaela sighed in exasperation. 


‘That gives us less than a few hours,’ Micaela whined as she reported back to Zach, who was already furiously disassembling his mother’s quarters.  He looked up at her and smiled at her discouragement.  ‘He is so overly protective sometimes.’


‘He’s just making sure I don’t take advantage of you,’ Zach teased.  He grinned his lopsided smile and Micaela’s heart seemed to jump out of her chest.  She blushed and looked away, picking up a pile of papers and flipping through them.


‘What exactly are we looking for?’ Micaela finally asked.


‘Anything,’ Zach replied shrugging.  ‘A birth certificate would be more than agreeable.  Perhaps a letter from someone with my father’s name on it.’


‘You don’t even know his name?’ Micaela looked up in astonishment.  Zach’s face crumpled.  Micaela sheepishly looked down.  ‘Sorry.’


They ransacked Zach’s mother’s room reading all her papers, looking under every surface, flipping through every book, but to no avail.  There were lots of healer’s notes and lists of medication, but no sign of her past. 


‘It doesn’t surprise me,’ Zach said slumping onto the bed.  ‘She was a thorough woman.  She wouldn’t have left anything around for me to find.’


‘Why do you think she kept it from you?’ Micaela questioned.  She sat down next to him on the bed. 


‘She said it would put me in danger, but I think I’ve done a good enough job of that myself.  After all, I’m friends with you,’ Zach teased, elbowing her in the ribs.


Micaela glared at him and nudged him back with her shoulder.  Zach laughed and lay back on the bed, putting his hands under his head.  Micaela followed suit.


‘I think we’re overlooking an easy option.’


‘Oh yeah?’ Zach asked rolling over on his side so he could observe her more easily.  ‘What’s that?’


‘We could ask Gryffindor, you know.’  Micaela was ready for his protest.  Zach barely had time to open his mouth to retort her before she was continuing.  ‘I know that might bruise your pride or whatever.  Or you just don’t want to get anyone involved, or you have to do this yourself for some nonsensical reason, but I think all of those excuses are feeble.’


Zach sighed and rolled back on the pillow.  ‘If we can’t find anything by tonight.’


‘You’ll do it?’ Micaela sat up in surprise. 


‘Is it that surprising that I would listen to you?’ Zach laughed.  Micaela laughed too and rested her head on her shoulder, observing him through her long lashes.  ‘What?’


Micaela bit her bottom lip and smiled.  She shook her head, ‘Nothing.’


‘No, really.  What?’


‘Did you ever tell your mother about me?’  Micaela’s insides squirmed with nervousness.  Why was she so embarrassed to ask that?


Zach observed her for a little while and then nodded.  ‘She was the one who suggest I get that ring for you, remember?’


‘Oh, yeah.  I’d give anything to have that back,’ Micaela reminisced. 


‘I think I ruined it for you.’


‘How so?’


‘Trust in love?’  Zach looked bemused.  ‘Don’t you think I reversed that for you?’


‘It wasn’t your fault,’ Micaela defended.


‘It was.’




‘Do you think we could ever be like we were?’ Zach inquired. 


Micaela shook her head.  ‘No.’


Zach’s face crumpled and he grimaced.  ‘I hurt you so bad.  I didn’t expect you to forgive me.’


‘No,’ Micaela shook her head at his misunderstanding.   ‘I don’t think I could ever be your friend.’


Zach frowned for a second and then caught the meaning of her words.  He sat up slowly and Micaela froze.  His face was suddenly inches from hers and her breath slowed dramatically.  She couldn’t seem to look away from his lips.  She could feel his breath on her face and his all-too familiar smell washed over her.  His hand cupped her cheek and her stomach tightened.  His thumb methodically rubbed her soft skin and he rested his forehead on hers. 


‘I could never be your friend,’ he whispered.  His lips touched hers with an electric shock.  Warmth filled Micaela’s body and her stomach did a flip in her abdomen.  Zach’s lips were soft and gentle, but Micaela was only a passive rider.  She had no idea what to do.  She felt his hand on her waist and a tingling sensation rushed up her spine.  Several shark knocks were delivered to the door and Micaela gasped and pulled away from the embrace.  Her lips were bright pink and her face flushed.


‘Who is it?’ Zach’s voice quivered as he called out.


‘Supper, master,’ a squeaky voice replied, then quick, short footsteps were heard retreating.


Micaela’s heart beat furiously and she put her hand to her flushed cheek.  Zach laughed nervously and hopped off the bed, offering her his hand.  Micaela ignored it and moved toward the door, fixing her disheveled hair as she did so.


‘We’ve been really foolish,’ she reprimanded him, trying to maker her voice sound controlled.  Zach flashed her his famous lopsided smile, but Micaela ignored it.  ‘Godric would be furious if he found out.  I owe him too much to disappoint him like this.’


‘Micaela, I’m sure Godric knows more than you give him credit for,’ Zach started, but Micaela shook her head grimly and exited the room without a further word.


She walked down the hallway breathing heavily.  She touched her forehead and could feel her deep blush.  How on earth had she let herself lose control like that?  She thought of Tucker, who had never pushed her to such lengths before.  Was she scared?  More than anything. 


She paused outside the door to the dining room at the sound of muffled voices.  She frowned and peered around the slightly cracked door.  Godric was crouched near the fireplace whispering to the flames. 


‘I haven’t found a thing.  No knowledge of his whereabouts.  The Slytherins have always been rather thorough though,’ his voice growled deeply.  Another voice issued from the bright flames in response, causing Micaela to widen her eyes in surprise.


‘Do you have any idea where he has fled to?’  The voice was that of a stranger and Micaela craned her neck further in curiosity.


‘He hasn’t fled.  I know that for sure.  I can almost sense him.  It’s disconcerting.  I must get Micaela back to Hogwarts as soon as I can, although even such a safe place as that may prove futile to protect her.’


‘What about the boy?’


‘I’m keeping a close watch on him, too.’


‘Does he know?’


‘He might suspect,’ Godric sighed. 


Something brushed Micaela’s calf and she jumped back in surprise, covering her mouth with both hands to hold in her scream of terror.  Her palpitating heart relaxed, however, upon seeing the house elf staring up at her angrily.


‘Spying at doors?’ He growled, raising his eyebrows up in amusement.  ‘My master would not approve.’


Micaela opened her mouth to lie, when a brilliant idea flashed through her mind.  ‘How long have you served Master Zachary for?’


‘Too long,’ He muttered under his breath and then looked up at her in horror.  He proceeded to bang his head against his hand in fury.  ‘Bad Krick! Bad! Bad!’


Micaela shushed him and held out her hands helplessly.  ‘Stop! Shhh.  It’s alright.’ 


She at last dragged him away from the door and into the kitchens while he continued to abuse himself.  At last he stopped and swayed from left to right slightly, his head spinning.


‘How long?’ Micaela demanded.


The elf sighed, ‘Twenty three years.’


Micaela’s heart lifted in exultance.  ‘That’s a very long time.  I’m sure the Slytherins are very much indebted to you.  You must miss Zachary’s mother very much.’


‘Very, very much,’ Krick agreed, looking miserable. 


‘She must have been a very great mistress.  Pity she never had a husband,’ Micaela hinted.


The elf looked up at her and glared.  He pointed an accusing finger at her and mocked, ‘Very clever.  You are a very clever one.’


Micaela pretended to look innocent. 


‘Krick is forbidden to speak of Zachary’s father,’ the elf snarled.  Then realising his mistake he began beating his head against the kitchen counter.  ‘Bad Krick! So very bad!  What an awfully big mouth!’


‘Stop!’ Micaela yelled in fright.  Zach rushed into the kitchen, his wand held lividly in his hand. 


‘What on earth?’


‘Master,’ the elf groveled, bowing.


‘Zach!  He knew your father!’ Micaela practically shrieked. 


Zach stared at her aghast for a moment and then finally understanding the situation ordered the elf to tell him all.


‘It was a very long time ago.  You were not alive yet,’ Krick started.  Micaela laughed.  Of course he hadn’t been alive yet.  It was his father’s story.  The elf glared at her, however, and continued.  ‘Your mother would disappear and then reappear constantly.  Master Slytherin did not like this at all.  Not at all. He ordered Krick to follow her.  She led Krick to a small village which Krick had never seen before.  Then Krick saw her with a man.When Krick told Slytherin, he confronted your mother.  There was lots of yelling and Krick got hit with a candle, so Krick left.  But Krick overheard a few things.’


‘What things?’  Zach interrogated him.


The elf’s eyes grew large but he continued.  ‘Krick overheard the master demand his name.’


‘What was it?’ Zach cried out.


The elf frowned.  ‘Krick can barely remember.  It was….no….yes!  It was Nicolas Molliber.’


Zach grinned up at Micaela.  ‘We have our man.’


Micaela beamed back. 


‘So then Krick decided to-‘


‘That’s enough!  That’s all we needed,’ Zach laughed in bliss, patting the elf on the head. 


‘Doesn’t master want to hear the rest of the story?’ Krick looked deeply hurt, but Micaela and Zach had already left the kitchen.


 (A/N:  Please review and tell me what you think!  It's much appreciated.)

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