Disclaimer: OK, you really should know by now that nothing but Bryn belongs to me.
A/N: Well, guys, this is it. Yep, this is the last chapter of Shades of Grey. I want to thank everyone who's read this, whether you've been with me from the beginning or only found this story recently. Also, keep an eye out for the sequel, which will most likely be called Colors of War.
Chapter 28 - And A Candle Burns: On the evening of August 4th, Bryn was packing a knapsack. Inside were four bottles of the Animagus potion, spelled against breakage. There were also clothes and books, shrunk to fit easily. Her wand was in a special holster at her waist. She was wearing a black tank top, black jeans and combat boots, pacing her apartment. Harry, Ron, and Hermione would be there soon. Some of Harry's things were there already - he'd chosen to leave them in storage at Bryn's apartment rather than at the Burrow.
Bryn went through her bag one last time. The Coven Grimoire was there, along with Necronomica Advantica, In A Creature's Skin - the Animagi book -, and Darkest Arts. She had also packed a Muggle book of hers, from back when she had first read Tamora Pierce's Song of the Lioness quartet and was obsessed with the idea of living out in the wilderness. It was called The Ultimate Survival Guide, and told about how to live in almost any environment. She didn't know if they'd need it, but it couldn't hurt to be prepared.
Bryn glanced over at her window. She could see her misted image reflected back at her. A year ago today, she'd made her decision to come to England. How things had changed. She'd found out the secrets of her past, and was now going on a quest that could have come out of a Muggle fantasy novel - and she'd read quite a lot of those, so she could tell that for sure.
There was a knock at her door. She looked through the peephole to see Harry, Ron, and Hermione. "Just a minute," she called.
She walked slowly over to a small table. There, a white candle with spiky black runes on it sat in a dish of red liquid. Bryn took a deep breath and chanted the Calling Spell. A wind rose up in the room as she finished and lit the candle. She watched the flame for a moment before walking out the door, shutting the lights off as she went.
In the darkness, the candle flame created a small circle of golden light. There was an eerie quality about it. In the Abyss, a spark of witchfire appeared, calling to it one of the captive spirits. Slowly he followed the ghostly flame that would lead him back to the living world, as four teens left for a place that had seen murder nearly sixteen years earlier and a man followed them, an unseen guardian. And as this all happened, in a darkened flat, a candle burned.