I dedicate this chapter to a respected author, a loyal reviewer, and a good friend. Lee Velviet, this is a thank you for your previous dedication and I offer it to you as a birthday present. Please know your reviews are the ones I look forward to the most. Just for you, I have made the ending one that will not totally break you. Please, enjoy your gift. Your Friend, ~The Turkey -=-=-=- Darkness... Fear... Silence... Emptiness... Her world was nothing but blackness with no sound, no light, and no hope. Nothing but an overwhelming fear and a tremendous dose of loneliness. Her sanity was at its breaking point, the adrenaline in her system and fear in her heart pushing her mental capacity towards its peak. She dared not utter a word, should her current surroundings shatter and reveal a fate far worse then this painful solitude. She knew not how much time had passed. Moments, hours, days...or eternity. It all blended together in the bleakness, leaving her raw and unprotected. She could feel it, the stretching of her mind's spectrum as it was pushed beyond its limits. Her pupils ached in their dilated state and she wished mightily for deafness in order to silence the shrill tone that echoed within her ear drums from the lack of sound. She was surrendering to the tiny voice inside her that she had ignored for a week now. A whisper that had tried to coax her to submit to the ingrained instinct to respond to death. Sorrowful eyes glazed over with brimming tears that were denied passage down flushed cheeks. Mirrored in their liquid amber depths laid evidence of broken dreams and shattered hope. The hardness that had dominated her heart had acted as a shield against time, time that would have allowed her to grieve and move past. But instead, she was left behind. Now, as her barriers lay in shards at her feet, her mourning was finally allowed to begin. Longing coursed through her as it never had before. There was such a raw desperation to drown her senses in him that it was frighteningly overwhelming. She needed to see his face, smell his scent of light herbs and delicate musk, touch the smoothness of his skin with her own, hear him whisper gruffly in her ear, taste the passion in his kiss. This feeling was intense, as much so as her deeply rooted love for him. Forget he broke his promise; forget he left her behind. All that was important resided in the fact that she belonged to him. In life or death, it didn't matter; her essence did not heed the difference. Her lower lip quivered without control. Oh how she missed him. It had not even been two weeks, yet it felt as if a lifetime. How would she cope? Could she, even? Would she remain bound to him to all her days, or would she find another to fill the void that currently consumed her? Was there such a person? She closed her eyes against the blank nothingness around her as she spoke. "I still love you, Draco Malfoy." Suddenly she felt warmth around her and could see light from beneath her eyelids. Snapping them open she fell to her knees with a choked sob as she took in her surroundings. She stood before an overly large stone fireplace. Within its simplistically designed grate crackled a warming fire, heating and illuminating the room. Straight across from the fireplace resided a king sized bed dressed in fine silver silks and deep emerald crushed velvet. The four wooden posts were dark, nearly black, but within its polished grain held a hint of moss coloration. Beside it was a nightstand of the same wood with an onyx candelabra on its clean surface. Against the side wall, directly across from the door, was a fair sized desk strewn with a thin layer of parchment and several bottles of different inks. But none of this is what made her heart stop, it was the figure sitting in the chair. Her breath caught in her throat and refused to move as she looked on in horrified wonder. Was this real? Was he real? "D..Draco?" Her voice caught as the urge to cry was once again upon her and only intensified as she went unnoticed. "Draco," she asked more firmly with a bit more volume, yet still nothing. With a twinge of anger she approached him. She fought down the joy of seeing him again along with the pain and sorrow that accompanied it. Did he not know how much agony she had been through? How much she was still suffering? What happened? How did she get here? What was going on? Was she loosing her mind, was this a dream, or was this in fact reality? She looked down to see he was writing steadily, yet with a sense of haste upon a long sheet of parchment. "What are you writing?" Still, not even the slightest hint of recognition. "Give me that!" She reached forward to snatch away the insufferable piece of paper in order to draw his attention towards her, but to her dismay her hand passed all the way through. This was wrong, backwards! She was not supposed to be the ghost figure, she wasn't dead! What the hell was going on?! She felt her Weasely temper flare, she did not like being this confused. The heated anger was short lived though, her system cooling fast as her sorrow returned to the forefront. It was so strong that not even her untamable fury could defeat it. So lost was she in her melancholy thoughts she failed to notice Draco had moved from his desk to stand before the fire, an elbow propped up on the mantle as he looked down at the parchment in his hands. Only when he cleared his throat did she look up in surprise and she scrambled to his side to hear his whispers as he read his words. Fairest Virginia, If you are reading these words I have undoubtedly fallen victim to a vicious crime and am no longer among the living. I have cast a difficult spell that will take my memory and bring it to you. I have chosen you to be witness of my death for reasons you will most likely never understand. For this I apologize, but you were the closest person to me and the most logical choice for yet another difficult spell. I have enchanted a Misterium Orbis to call upon you if you are resistant to the pull of the magic. I fear your stubbornness will not allow the magic to penetrate deep enough to let the spell work, so this is to ensure my wishes are carried out. It will somehow bring you to me, or me to you....somehow, you will find me. Much as I dislike it, I do not fully understand the details of this charm, it's too ancient to comprehend it completely. No harm shall come to you, of this I have made sure. Do not misinterpret my words, I cannot return to you to live on as we had planned. I have focused all of my magical power into allowing us but a few moments. I do not know how I will appear, or how long we will have, or if it will even work like I so believe. I do so hope that you do not grieve long for me, Virginia, I am assuredly not worth your tears. But knowing your tender heartedness you will need all the support your family and friends will offer you. Please, do not refuse them. They mean well, even Ron, that lanky git you call a brother. I write this letter to not only to try to explain what has passed and what is supposed to happen, but to express things I would dare never to say to your face. I am a prideful man, yet when it comes to you I am a coward. Knowing you will not see these words until after I am gone both pains, and comforts me. I regret not being able to see your reactions and read what you are thinking in those oh-so expressive eyes of yours, but am comforted knowing you will finally know the truth and the depth of what I was never able to say. I can only hope you will understand that this is how it must happen. I don't know how, but I know my time is short. Do not be angered with me, I felt it better to simply savor our moments as they passed. I am not so naive as to believe they will last forever, or that we will receive our dreamed 'happily ever after'. I am the son of a Death Eater and where I tread, chaos is sure to follow. I hated to bring this fate upon you, but you accepted me as I was. You were the first person who did not try to change me, but loved all of who I was. For that I am grateful. It is because of you I am the man I am now. I cannot begin to express my gratitude for your patience with me as I fought against my family, their reputation, and my inner demons. Your determination to see me through is astounding - I would never have thought I was worth such devotion. I shudder to think of the path I was so ready to take before you wormed your way into my life. I admit, I did not want to feel attracted to you. I did not want to feel the pull, but like a moth to a flame I could not resist you...despite my repeated attempts. So I finally gave in to your innocent large brown eyes, but still I only considered it lust. It was the Yule ball that started to shed light on what was really going on. Watching you dance happily with that Irish mongrel was too much, and the surge of possessiveness would have sent me reeling had I not been so angry. And you knew it too. I don't care what they say, you would have made a very fine Slytherin indeed. I will miss not seeing our wedding. I will regret never having the chance to show you, through actions, how much you mean to me, how much I actually care. I will forever feel the sorrow of never seeing you large with child, my child. Never get to hear you gripe about back-pains or have to run out in the middle of the night for merlin-aweful food combinations. Never will I see you glow with pregnancy. I wish we had the time to live a normal life, a full life. To watch our children age, to have families of their own, to spoil our grandchildren, to grow old together. But what I will miss the most is not the could have been's or the would have been's, but the simple things. The way your eyes dance when your amused, or the way your nose twitches when your concentrating. The beautiful smile you have so often graced me with when I knew I did not deserve your kindness, your affection, and your love. I will miss the feel of your hair in my hands and the taste of your tender kisses. Despite all that I will never have or ever see again, I do not regret giving into you. To be honest, you are my Savior, and I would not trade what little time we had together for anything, even a long life. For a long life without you beside me would be hollow, empty, and worthless. Yes, I can accept my impending doom, because I lived, truly lived. That is what I was destined to do. I was to learn to care. And I was to learn to let go. Though a part of me wishes to be bound to you forever, I could not bear to have you live in unhappiness. So here and now I release you. Please live on, seek and find happiness in another. Do this for me, but never forget. Swear with your heart you will never forget the time in which we shared. Hold it dear, but have it not be your lifeline. You have many years left in which to grace this unworthy planet, do not waste them. Live life as if it were to end tomorrow, for you never know when the rug will be swept from beneath you. I will forever hold you dear, Cherished Virginia. I will wait for you... She was silent as she listened to him read aloud his bared soul, his voice so thick with emotion she was unable to move, barely even breath. But as he neared the close of his letter a single tear of crystallized silver slide down his porcelain cheek. She slid to the floor at the blatant show of weakness. Never had she ever imagined she would witness dampness grace his fair complexion. She forced herself to her feet as he signed, for she did not wish to miss those final words. But instead of looking down to the parchment he stared forward.... Straight at her. His silver optical spheres were glistened with so much tenderness she knew he would never be able to express himself fully on paper. Her breath caught in her throat as his raw expression bore into her eyes, making her feel as if for the first time someone could really read her soul. Still a whisper, yet it rang in her ears......I love you. Time stood still. Though she had always known it, he had never said the words. But he said them. He loved her. But it was too late, wasn't it? After but a few moments of loosing themselves in each other's gazes a small, genuine smile found its ways to his lips. He nodded slowly, another tear falling. But this one not for past regrets or sorrowful goodbyes, but of happiness. In that moment, she understood him fully. Completely. And he knew it. He had found release, true release of the bindings that held him down. His soul was finally free. Her surroundings yet again began to dissolve, but it lacked the haste it had before. Tears fell from her large mocha eyes. She understood it, she accepted it, but that did not ease the pain of goodbye. Somehow knowing he could in fact see her in this fragile moment in which she was between dimensional plains she walked to him, placing a steady hand upon his cheek. She stretched up to kiss softly beneath each of his damp eyes, acknowledging his tears and healing him with each gentle caress. Running tender fingers through his hair she placed a delicate kiss to his lips before wrapping her arms around his waist. For the final time her senses were allowed to intake what was him. The consuming darkness held none of the terror as it had before, and she knew that all of her sorrow was finally drawing to a close with each darkening moment. At last, once all was dark and the warm body that had surrounded her was gone she heard one last fleeting whisper... Never forget... -=-=-=- The End