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Chapter 9


Out in the darkness of the hallway Mika just caught sight of a dark shape gliding away from her. “Severus!” she shouted. “Severus, wait!”

“Do you mind?!” barked the painting of an old man in his sleeping cap. “We’re trying to sleep here.”

“Yes, no shouting in the halls!” scolded another.

“Oh, sod off!” she said to both of them and left them behind, gasping in amazement at the brazenness of today’s youth, to chase after Snape.

Eventually she caught up with him. He kept walking as if she wasn’t there.
“Severus,” she grabbed his arm and brought him to a halt. “What’s wrong with you? Didn’t you hear me calling?”

“Sorry, no,” he lied. “I thought you were busy?” He began walking again.

Stronger this time, Mika stopped him again and spun him to face her. “Severus. Are you all right?” she asked. “Are you still having your headaches?” her voice softened.

At the sound of the genuine concern in her voice, Snape softened. “No, they are much better, thank you,” he answered civilly.

“Then what’s the matter?” she pleaded.

“Nothing’s the matter,” he averted his eyes from hers. He could not bear to look into their vivid beauty knowing that ‘he’ had more than likely done the same.

But Mika could tell he was lying. “Right.” She tugged his arm and began shoving him down the corridor towards her office and quarters. “My office, now. You and I need to talk.”

Once inside she turned on the light and pointed to a chair in front of her desk which she perched upon. “Now, what’s the matter, Severus?” she asked once more, her eyes and her voice pleading with the dark potions master.

She folded her arms and watched him in silence, studying his body language. Of course she could get into other people’s minds but it wasn’t something she liked to do. And Snape was constantly shielding his from Voldemort and his minions, but still, she had an idea of what might be going on.

She sighed. “I just don’t understand. I have been nothing but kind to you, haven’t I? I have helped you with the shielding, I have done all I could for the Order, and you repay me by being nasty with me and Lupin. Why can’t you two just bury the past and be friends?”

A dark cloud of anger passed over Snape’s features. “I am not his friend, have never been his friend and never will be his friend!” he growled. “And you will do well to remember that!”

Mika’s violet eyes flashed with fury which is something that rarely happened. “What in Rassilon’s name has come over you, Severus Snape? Why are you acting like such a horse’s ass all of a sudden? I thought you were a basically nice fellow and that all this nastiness was just a cover for your ‘assignment’. But I guess not,” she snapped. “I wanted to help you…”

“You only helped me because Dumbledore asked you to,” he interrupted.

“Dumbledore asked me if there was anything I could do to help, not to actually do it. I did it out of the kindness of my hearts believing you to be a noble and brave man who was risking his own life for the greater good of his people,” she glared back. “I guess I was wrong.”

Snape remained silent, his black eyes smouldering with emotion as she spoke to him. Her tone grew softer, filled with what he believed to be pity. “Whatever is the matter, Severus. I know it’s not your mission. I know it’s not really Remus. What is it then? Is it me? Are you angry with me for some reason?” She was trying to understand.

Snape knew he couldn’t hide his feelings from her any longer. He had tried not to acknowledge them himself ever since he had first laid eyes on her, but now that she was here in his school all the time around him he could hold out no more.

He stood and began pacing about the room trying to form words that were normally alien to him. But then so were the things he was feeling.

“Mika, ever since that day when Dumbledore first introduced you to the Order, I haven’t been able to think of anything else. You, with your glittering eyes, your perfect skin and your precious smile, your kindness to anyone and everyone has possessed me like some sort of demon. I… I don’t know how to act. And when I see you with ‘him’, it just fills me with anger, and sadness.” He stared at the floor, appalled at himself for actually saying such ridiculously sentimental things. Honestly, he didn’t know what had come over him. He just knew that he felt utterly miserable and Mika was at the root of it.

Mika just stared as Severus Snape, the much feared Potions Master of Hogwarts came as near to pouring his heart out as he was ever likely to do. “I honestly don’t know what to say, Severus,” she breathed, still in shock.

“There is nothing to say, is there?” he spoke to the floor. “You’ve made your choice. I had hoped…” his voice trailed off.

She continued to look at Snape in disbelief. “I show you some kindness and you suddenly think we’re dating? I care for you as a friend, but nothing more, Severus, nothing more. And I don’t see why you’re jealous of Remus. So we spend time together? We happen to enjoy each other’s company and…”

“Don’t give me that. Everyone in the school is talking about you two. ‘How ‘lovely a couple they make’,” he mimicked with a sneer, “and ‘oh isn’t it just wonderful how Professor Lupin seems so much happier since he’s been spending time with Mika’… Quite frankly it makes me sick.”

Mika just stood staring, her mouth gaping open. She couldn’t believe what she was hearing.

“I don’t see what it is about him anyway,” Snape continued his rant, his voice taking on a tone of sarcasm now.. “Maybe it’s the tattered, worn clothes he wears, or the scarred face that only a mother could love, or maybe, it’s the fact that he turns into a ravenous, hairy beast every full moon!”

SLAP! Mika slapped Snape hard in the face. “At least he’s only a monster a few days a month!” she retorted, tears welling in her eyes.

For a brief moment they stood staring at each other, neither sure what to do next. Snape felt like taking her in his arms and kissing her so hard that their lips would fuse together; Mika felt like turning into a monstrous beast and ripping him apart herself.

“Remus Lupin has something you will never have, besides me. He has dignity. He may be shabby and worn but his misfortune is not of his own making. And still he bears up and doesn’t complain. He does the best he can with what he’s got and seeing how the entire world treats him and his kind I think he’s done a wonderful job. In spite of being hunted and shunned and feared by everyone who learns what he turns into once a month, he is the most kind, generous and caring man I know. You could learn a lot from him if only you could see past your own big nose!”

Mika stopped and angrily wiped the tears from her eyes, only to find them replaced by more. “Why do you have to be so childish and vindictive? Oh, just grow up!” She turned and ran from the room leaving a very hurt and confused Potions Master in her wake.

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