So technically guidelines prohibit the use of lyrics written by someone other than the author of the fic, for copyright reasons, obviously --- it is illegal to reproduce quotes from any souce without proper documentation, but I figure if I do document the souce of these lyrics, legaly it should be alright and therefore should satisfy guidelines. If not, please let me know and I will remove the lyrics.

Lyrics reproduced here are:

Bennett, Eliza (2008). "My Declaration" Inkheart. Found: stlyrics. 02 February 2009.

(You can also listen to the song at the link above.)

I'm gonna be someone, I'm gonna give something,
I'm taking it on, I'm taking it on.
It's gonna be my life, so I'm gonna live each day and each night,
Taking it on, I'm taking it on

They were home. Miranda could hardly believe it. Her own bed, her own room, just as she'd left it; like the whole thing had been just one crazy dream.

Her heart ached, but it was a good hurt. It was something she'd wanted to feel since her mother had died. It gave her comfort and warmth, and it was better than the numbness she'd felt before.

'cause I can't keep hiding,
no I can't keep hiding,
and I can't keep running away

She crawled carefully out of bed, afraid that her toes would hit the rocking floor of the Unicorn and not her bedroom's stable carpet, but the soft rug was solid beneath her feet. She was being silly. But she sat on the edge of the bed, letting it all sink in.

She would miss that place. Those people. Malachi. Medusa. The Minotaur, and the fairies.


She smiled, and for the first time since her mother's death, Miranda felt excited about the day ahead. She felt glad to be there, sitting on her bed, about to get up for school. She felt like she could take on anything life had to throw at her.

More importantly, she felt a desire to do something with her life. To live it. To love it. Whatever it was.

So I'm gonna be stronger,
I'm gonna be better made,
I'm gonna give everything,
Just to bring me back again.

And maybe, if she was everything that she could be, one day she'd go back. Back to the place where the air always smelled of her mother's perfume, and the seas were the colour of her eyes. Back to the place that had taught her how to live again.

I'm gonna be a braver soul than this,
I'm gonna jump at all those many chances that I've missed,
I'm gonna live my life beyond all these fears and forms of cowardice that keep leading me on.
I'm gonna shine out like a beacon in the night,
I'm gonna wrap my fingers around the stars tonight,
'cause I'm taking it on, 'cause I'm taking it on.

She got up, and dressed herself with more care than she had lately, picking out nice clothes that reflected the confidence she felt inside. Her friends probably wouldn't recognize her. She barely recognized herself, but she liked the changes. She was ready to take chances again. To go out and dance like no one was watching — she'd danced for a sea serpent, could an audience get more intimidating? She laughed at her own silly thought.

No I can't keep hiding,
no I can't keep hiding,
no I can't keep running away

She tried to be more subdued at breakfast. As soon as she was around other people, she felt the confidence begin to slip. What if it had only been a dream? What if she had really lost it?

But she was not the only one who'd changed. Cassie was eating like the world was going to run out of pancakes. Her dad looked ready to face down an army of… Miranda resisted the urge to finish that thought. She felt the familiar rational creeping up again. The voice in her head that refused to accept the impossible. It threatened to take her back to that place where there was no feeling, nothing but anger, where she would be glad enough to drown in her own loneliness.

She couldn't let that happen, and gazing at the suddenly coloured drawings in her mom's portfolio, it was easy to put that nagging logic to rest.

Where magic was concerned, it doesn't pay to ask too many questions.

So I'm gonna be stronger,
and I'm gonna be better made,
and I'm gonna give everything,
Just to bring me back again.
So I'm gonna be stronger,
I'm gonna be understood,
and I'm gonna give everything
Just to bring me back again!

Steve picked her up like he always did. Their fight seemed so silly now. Could it even be called a fight? He looked at her strangely. It was a familiar look. Questioning, uncertain. It was the look people had given her often enough in the months after her mother died. She smiled at him. His confusion deepened, and it made her laugh.

She hadn't laughed in a long time. Not in this world, at least.

'Are you okay?' So, he'd thought she'd lost it. For a moment, Miranda considered the possibility that she had, but that exuberant, hopeful feeling that filled her up just wouldn't go away, and she didn't want it to. If she was crazy, so be it. It was better this way.

'Yes,' she said firmly, smiling. 'I am. Finally.'

He looked at her again, head cocked to one side.

'We're going to be late,' she pointed out.

He stepped back to let her pass. He even opened her door for her; either he thought she was too unstable to manage, or something in her mood was catching. Either way, it was a nice change.

'cause I can't keep hiding,
no I can't keep hiding,
and I can't keep running away.