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It's been 386 days since I lost my magic. 

    386 days since I realized I wasn't The Chosen One after all.

    386 days since I fell in love with Tyrannus Basilton Pitch.

    I didn't realize it that day or even that month but, looking back now, I can absolutely tell you that it was that day, lying against his chest as he held me tight and told me that everything was going to be okay.  That was the first time that I had truly felt safe in my entire life.  It was like my entire world had been set aflame and only we remained. 

    As I said before, I didn't recognize this at the time because I had kind of accidentally killed the only father figure I ever had in my life and stopped the greatest threat to magic of all time in one fell swoop. Real. Heavy. Shit.  And all I got from that was a useless tail and a really inconvenient pair of wings.

    That's a lie.  I ended up with Baz too.

    After 7 and a half years of being at each other's throat and thinking that one of us would die at the other's hands before it all ended, we fell into each other.  Baz says that he wanted me the entire time but I still like to bring up the numerous attempts on my life that he performed.  My want for him seemed to come out of nowhere that night in the woods when he tried to kill himself but my therapist seems to believe that I squashed the feelings I had for him deep down all those years because I couldn't quite make sense of them yet.  Still, she doesn't think that we need to put a label on it just yet, if ever.

    There is a knock on my bedroom door.  I lay very still, hoping that Penny will just move on and forget that I am here for just a few minutes more.  Then I remember that Penelope Bunce isn't one to just move on.

    "Simon.  I know you heard the knock and I know that you are pretending to be a corpse so just get the hell up.  We need to be on our way to the airport in 20 minutes.  I'm not missing this flight because you stayed up too late doing whatever the hell it is you do in there when Baz isn't here."  She hits the door two more times for good measure and I let out a very loud groan for her benefit.

    I sit up in bed, looking around my very empty room.  I've never been one for material possessions.  Couldn't have much in the children's home without some little twat stealing it.  I just grew accustomed to only having the basics.  Penny always moans about how depressingly bare my room is but I really do enjoy how minimalistic it is.  Almost everything is white. The duvet on my bed.  The floors.  The walls.  The table in the corner where I keep the few books I own.  Everything is almost the exact shade of Baz's skin and that comforts me on nights when he is away.

    I need to pack.  Penny is going to kill me.  I pull on a green jumper that is laying on the floor of my closet and find a nice pair of brown trousers.  I want to be comfortable on this flight.  My therapist was incessant about making sure I am completely relaxed on this trip. 

    We are flying to Chicago.  For a few different reasons.  One: Penny's father, Martin, has been working at a lab there for the better half of the last year.  He had done some research at the lab a couple of summers ago and made a lasting impression apparently.  He was invited to be a part of a team that was getting closer to fixing the dead spots around the world that I/The Humdrum had been causing for pretty much the last decade.

    Two: Penny's boyfriend, Micah, lives in Chicago and the two of them are going to be scoping out flats.  Penny plans to move permanently to the states in the fall.  She's transferring to some university here so that she can spend more time with Micah.  They've been having distance issues and both agree that the relationship is too important to give up on.  So, they compromised.  She moves to America but they spend every holiday in the UK.  As if there was really a choice.  Penny's mom would never let her be in America on Christmas.

    Three: My therapist, one of three magickal therapists in the world, is based in Chicago.  We have weekly Skype dates that consist of me crying a lot while she nods a good bit.  About a month ago, I casually mentioned that I was feeling a little anxious about Penny's upcoming trip to Chicago and she decided that it was the perfect excuse for us to finally meet face to face.  I can't say that I disagree with her.  It would be nice to be in the same room as the person who is helping you tackle all of the dark shit that your mind is concocting.

    I finish zipping up my very lightly packed suitcase when Penny screams the final warning that she will leave me if I don't hurry up.  I step into my shoes, take one last look around the room to make sure I'm not leaving something important behind, and walk quickly out of the room.  Penny is standing at the door, bundled up like there is a blizzard outside.  I raise my eyebrows at her.

    "Shut up.  I want to be prepared for anything.  You ready?"  She asks, already walking out of the flat before I can even nod.  I follow her and lock the door behind me. 

    The ride to the airport seems to go by very quickly.  Time isn't something that I have a firm grasp on anymore.  I feel like I fade in and out of the world sometimes.  Penny taps me on the leg to bring me back.  We've arrived. 

    We spend the next couple of hours going through all of the steps to be cleared to fly.  As we sit on a bench, waiting for our flight to be called, I remember that I haven't even spoken to Baz this morning.  I really am a terrible boyfriend.  I pull my phone out of my pocket to find that he has already messaged me an hour ago.  I didn't feel my phone vibrate.

    "Be safe, Snow.  Call me as soon as you land in Chicago.  If you see any boys that you think are cute, remind yourself that I am a vampire and I am not above killing you in cold blood. I adore you.  Don't forget to call me."  I'm smiling to myself.  Penny sees my face and looks down at my phone.  She gags, making a big show of it.  She likes to pretend that Baz and I are too gushy with each other but I know she loves it.  She loves that I am finally happy with someone.

    I start typing a message back to Baz when they call our flight number.  Penny stands up immediately, jerking me up with her.  I pocket my phone and take a deep breath.

    I like to think that I am okay most days.  It's taken a very long time to admit to myself that I am a much different person than I was when I was The Chosen One.  I am a great deal more fragile that I care to admit to out loud.  I am constantly plagued by nightmares.

    I see almost the same thing every time I sleep.  Ebb's lifeless body.  The Mage hovering over her, breathing like a starving wild animal with fire in his eyes.  I relive that night over and over again but the ending is always different.  I don't stop The Humdrum or The Mage.  I die. Penny dies.  Baz dies.  The only time I don't wake up screaming is when Baz is there.

    He wakes me before the tragic end.  He saves me.  He's always saving me.

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