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"SO TAKE ME OUT TONIGHT"

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"SO TAKE ME OUT TONIGHT"

"THIS SHIP OF FOOLS I'M ON WILL SINK"

CHAPTER SIXTEEN

   They were out of time. It was June thirtieth and the Vanishing Cabinet remained as broken as ever. No matter what they had tried, they could not figure out the faded page of A Guide to Medieval Sorcery said and even after trying every wand movement they could think of, they were still unsuccessful. Both of them had completely neglected classes, meals, and friends as they had barely even left the Room of Requirement the entire month.

   And it was easily visible. They looked like walking corpses, the lack of sleep and immense stress manifesting themselves in the dark blue circles under their eyes, the greyish tinge of their skin, the shakiness of their fragile hands, the loss of fat and muscle in their bodies that were now nothing but layers of skin covering bone.

   They were sitting on the floor of the Room of Hidden Things. Amongst the abandoned and forgotten objects, they had turned into Lost Items too, no longer knowing what or who they were. They were children who had been forced to become soldiers for a side they did not believe in, forced to commit cruelties that would never be washed off their blood-stained hands.

   But they had failed. Albus Dumbledore was still alive. And they were out of time.

   "I'm sorry," muttered Draco, not looking up from his hands that were scraped and bruised, his porcelain skin marked with blotches of red and blue.

   "No, Draco, don't be sorry," Anabelle whispered in reply. "What are you sorry about?"

   "This was my plan," he said sorrowfully. "It was my stupid plan."

   The girl shook her head, not caring about the tears that were leaking out of her coffee eyes. Crying had become so common that it was as natural as the fact that the sky was blue. "No, Draco," she shook her head again. "It's like you said, I wasn't doing anything, at least you tried."

   He only shrugged and they entered a poisonous silence that was like acid corroding their thoughts as they silently wept for themselves and each other. Anabelle's brown eyes found a battered antique clock and she watched as the hands moved, marking the passage of time.

Tick, tock

Tick, tock

Tick, tock

   That's the sound of your life running out.

   "I love you, Draco," she said, and for the first time in multiple hours, he looked up.

   Another tear left his already puffy grey eyes as his bottom lip quivered. "I love you, Ana."

   Using the last remnants of energy in her body, Anabelle stood up and collapsed onto the floor next to him. Draco wrapped an arm around her thin frame as she laid her head on his chest, one of her hand moving to grip his shoulder, her birch wand being held in her lip fingers of her other one. With a last particle of hope, she weakly pointed it at the Vanishing Cabinet that mocked them and muttered the words she had grown to despise, "Harmonia Nectere Passus."

   She let the wand fall to the cold floor with a clatter as she let her eyelids fall shut, squeezing out a few fresh tears. Anabelle gripped at him as if she was gripping to life itself, begging that by some miracle they may be saved from the wrath of Lord Voldemort.

   "Anabelle," Draco said suddenly, his voice strangely loud in the depressive silence.

   "Yes?" she whispered in answer, keeping her eyes shut.

   "Anabelle," he said again, his head leaving where it had been atop her own as he stood up with her still in his arms. "The Cabinet. It's fixed!"

   "What?" The girl snapped her eyes open as she looked up.

   "It's fixed!" Draco repeated as she stood up and he ran to the Cabinet just to make sure his eyes weren't getting the best of him, but the cracks in the wood had disappeared and the door was back on its hinges.

   A laugh escaped past her lips as she joined him. "We did it," she shouted in jubilation. "Merlin! We've done it!" The boy looked down at her with equal celebration and without a second thought, he cupped her cheeks and kissed her.

   Her hands flew up to his collar as she happily responded, tears of joy leaving her eyes though she didn't mind. It was disgusting. They were celebrating their success of a murder. They were selfish. They were monsters.

   But Anabelle had long ago realised this.

   And she laughed into the kiss.

   They only broke apart when they heard a drunken voice shout, "Who's there?"

   Panic overtook her features as she looked at him with wide eyes. "What are we going to do?" she breathed in fear.

   "Don't worry," Draco whispered back, his voice so quiet that she nearly had to read his lips to know what he was saying. He cautiously walked over to where is bag lay disregarded on the floor and began to shuffle through it. Anabelle cringed as something moved and made a loud jingling noise.

   "For Merlin's sake, Draco," she whispered, but the sass still easily identifiable. "You're a bloody wizard."

   He nodded his blond head, a light blush not failing to paint his cheeks as he pulled out his wand, pointed it at the bag, muttered a spell, and a lump of what looked like graphite flew into his hand.

   Anabelle looked at him in utter bewilderment but a second later he had crushed the piece into powder and the room was engulfed in an impenetrable darkness. She stumbled around to find an object and she leaned against it. "How – dare – you – aaaargh!" somebody shouted and she heard the door creak open and slam closed and then the darkness fell.

   "Who was it?" she inquired immediately as the boy appeared in the small clearing from behind a tower of armchairs.

   Draco's lip curled in distaste as he answered. "Professor Trelawney."

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