Date: November 22nd 1975
Location: Room of Requirement
The corridors of Hogwarts were dark and empty, causing the sound of her footsteps to echo more loudly than they usually would. Melanie sighed lightly as she walked in a rushed manner, all the way up to the seventh floor, from the Slytherin Common Room to the Room of Requirement. It was the second time she was heading there since the beginning of the school year. However, where she had rejoiced over the first time, she now found herself worrying over this one. She hadn't even told Narcissa, to whom she usually confided everything, or almost. Even then, she was almost certain that there had been someone in the Common Room, watching her as she had left though she had not seen anybody. But as she had not felt or heard anybody following her, the thought had quickly left her mind, only to be replaced by deeper and more depressing ones. She had a slight idea of why her father had, once again, requested that she come and meet him as fast as she could. And even though she wouldn't have found this event worrisome a month ago, she now did. She even felt a sharp pang of fright twisting her stomach uncomfortably, but she did not want to feel those things. She didn't want to get attached, she was not one to get attached.
Frowning to herself and shaking her head in a frustrated manner, she hurried her pace, running her pale agitated fingers through her dark curls. When, finally, she reached the Room of Requirement, she stood in front of the wall, taking deep breath with her eyes closed. As she opened them, she saw that a door had appeared in front of her. She slowly pushed it open and silently closed it behind her before taking in her surrounding. Strangely, the room was different than the last time, though the purpose of her visit was the same. Lamps, for one thing, were scattered all over the place, bathing the room in a warm, yet dim, light, replacing the darkness she had found waiting for her the previous time. There was a rug on the ground instead of the dusty wooden floor she remembered. And finally, in the middle of the room there was a sofa, deep green, looking inviting and comfortable. However, she did not have time to try it. She walked to the fireplace, which was in the same exact spot as the previous night she had come, and knelt down beside it, staring intently in the bright orange flames. A few minutes later, a face appeared in the fire and she found herself looking into the cold black eyes that were her father's.
“Hello Father,” she said in a polite voice, though it was forced.
“There is no time for greetings Melanie, I am in a hurry. I will speak, you will listen,” he said sternly.
Melanie pressed her lips in a tight line but nodded, curtly, only once.
“You will be pleased to know that I have found for you a suitable man, to whom you are now betrothed. We will make the arrangement for the wedding, which will occur next Summer, as soon as you get out of this wretched school. He is a great man of a long pure blood line,” he said, his eyes daring her to complain.
As he spoke, blood rushed to Melanie’s cheek and her eyes flashed with anger, shock, pain and disgust. Was she really related to that man who claimed to be her father?
“How old is he?” she asked, her voice sounding weaker than it ever had before.
“That is none of your concern Melanie,” her father said severely.
“Father, how old is he?” she demanded once more, and something in her shaky tone apparently got the better of her father.
“He is thirty-eight, turning thirty-nine soon,” he said, clearly decided on not changing his mind, no matter what his daughter’s reaction would be.
“What?!” she cried.
“Melanie!” he bellowed. “This is my decision, not yours. You are my daughter to give away and I will not hear one word on this.”
“It is my life, Father, and as it is, I have already found someone!” she said, a slight edge of hysteria in her voice.
“What?!” he yelled, apparently not happy that his daughter had been involved with someone without his concern. “You will put a stop to this nonsense Melanie, and if you do not I will take you out of this school and marry you before you finish your year!”
“And what if I refused?” she asked coldly, her eyes glaring fiercely.
“Then you will no longer be part of this family,” he said in a low voice before disappearing.
Melanie stood near the fire for a few minutes, shaking with rage, blinded by the furious tears that lingered in her eyes. When she finally was able to move, she got back to her feet and made her way to the couch, collapsing on the soft green material and staring straight ahead, her heart aching strangely. She had never before felt all those mixed feelings – she would not agree to her father’s wishes, and she knew that his answer had been truthful. If she lost her name, she would also loose her blood status – at least, in her eyes. And then, would Xavier still want of her? She had to be honest, at least to herself if not to anyone else. He was the only reason she was going against her father’s wishes. But what if, by doing so, she lost him any way? As she sat on the sofa, tears streaming down her pale cheeks for the first time in God knows how long, she felt numbness taking over her body, making her unable to move. No more pain – just numbness.