AN: Written for XxXRegretXxX's The Start and Stop Challenge. I had intended this to be a rather happy fic, but it got out of hand and somehow turned angsty and rather the opposite of happy. But I hope you enjoy anyways! Word/Phrase #3 'tarnished'

Tarnished silver, tarnished copper, tarnished brass.

The tarnished silver gates loomed higher as I stepped closer. Malfoy Manor. How long had it been?

In the end, it's all tarnished. It doesn't matter – it all becomes the same one day. They tarnish. Its magic and shine wasted away.

Her magic and shine wasted away. Gone with a flash. Five, ten years passed since it had started to happen. When she started to tarnish. It started with the shattering of the Golden Trio. It no longer existed. It's leader, dead. Slain. Mutilated before and after death. Murdered. All that was left was for his best friends to pick up the pieces. For Weasley and Granger to move on – to continue. To seek revenge.

Her magic and shine – gone. Not because of Potter. She felt no remorse to it, despite the simple fact that she had known him for as long as she had known about magic. Despite the fact they had their share of chaste kisses between classes, in broom closets, or at night, sneaking out. But it meant nothing to her, and she was sure it meant nothing to him either. It wasn't real love, and it would never be real love. There was no romance or passion. There was nothing to remember him for. He was the boy who lived – and then the boy who died.

Her magic and shine disappeared. Not because of Weasley either. He disappeared. When he left, she thought her heart was going to shatter into a million pieces, she felt this calming sort of relief coursed through her. He was her first love, after all. A foolish love it had been, at that. Just a crush. He promised to come back, after he had sought his revenge over his best friend's murder. She pleaded for him to stay, or at least let her come with. She would be lonely, so lonely. He should have stayed, too. Less than a week later, his murder was in the papers.

It took her magic and shine away. His silver eyes and silver hair melted her heart. It was only a matter of time, now that she looked back to it. But she was so entranced, trapped in the moment. Only caring about now, not later. He robbed her of those two things. He never meant to, she understood. But still, it did not change the fact that he did. Now, she was just a toy. Not even close to as alive as she had once been. She went to the motions, eating, dressing, walking, avoiding Death Eaters, sleeping.


She hated it.

It was the only time she revisited it.

When he uttered his last 'I love you', his last goodbye.

The Dark Lord killed him, or she was always led to believe. But she was having doubts, the things she had witnessed had fault. That night, she had foolishly followed. Someone said Malfoy – the blinding green light flashed and there was a bone-chilling scream. She ran after that. Ran and ran, apparating when she felt she couldn't run any longer.

She hadn't actually seen his dead body.

And now, as she approached Malfoy Manor, she would see it for her own eyes. If he was dead or alive.

She still remembered those five blissful years she spent with him. It was after Golden Boy and Ginger Head.'s time. They had been murdered. And she had been left alone. So alone, so cold. She wanted to die. Dead. Be dead. She had nothing to live for. Draco. Her savior. A familiar face among a familiar place. They loved each other. Not at first sight. In fact, when Draco came into the picture, she was most definitely disappointed. Why hadn't they sent someone better for her instead of this useless old coward? As a matter of fact, the Death Eaters hadn't sent Malfoy, he came of his own accord. How he found her, she still didn't know. But after the Battle at Hogwarts was lost, because Harry died, the Death Eaters swarmed the whole place. All of Country. The Ministry was already half taken over, anyways.

She was the first on the list. She was a muggleborn - of dirty blood. How she had escaped their grasps this far was unfathomable. But evidently it was possible - she was living proof of it.

It looked of disrepair. So different from when I last set eyes on it. The figures inside - the light shining through the windows, it gave me a good idea who was inside. Two adults, and one small child. One male, one female. It looked as though they were the parents of this said child. It made my heart clench.

And then I opened those tarnished silver gates and waited for fate to throw something else to me.