"The words of the weak, Draco. Love itself is weakness. Love is the only way out for those without the strength to endure. Those who lack ambition."
"Allow me to point out the flaws in that particular bit of nonsense."
"Silence!" Voldemort stood and took a few steps toward Draco's chair, his wand held out before him. "My patience with you is wearing thin."
Draco recoiled the slightest bit. "You wanted honesty."
"I want answers, Mr. Malfoy." Voldemort lowered his wand. "Did Potter say anything about the book? Did he give you the password?"
"Of course not! He's not stupid, naive maybe, but he knew you wouldn't be able to open it. He couldn't understand why you would want it to begin with."
"What did you tell him."
"I said I didn't know and I don't."
"Very well, then. How did you lose the book?"
"Polyjuice potion. Two of your wizards came to the door, claiming to have been sent by you to retrieve it. I handed it to her. To Sara Lemke."
"The Elemental herself came after it?"
"Yes. I recognized her just before she made off with it." His eyes became pained with the memory of her words.
Voldemort considered this for a moment. "She has been a thorn in my side for far too long." He raised his wand again, "Finite veritas."
"That was wholly unnecessary! How rude!" Draco yelled, "Besides, I didn't tell you anything other than what I would have said without the curse! I may be a lot of things, but I'm not a liar!"
"Go home, Draco. It seems I have a swordsman to visit."
"Thank you." Draco said and suddenly found himself standing in the grass on top of a hill, overlooking London. He turned to find his house right behind him.
Draco sprawled out on the cool blanket of green and stared up at the stars, again getting the sensation of being two places at once. He thought of the bed on the roof of the tower. A smooth glass of Finnegan's Swill and the Moonlight Sonata, drifting from the player, blending peacefully with the still of the night.
* * *
...thus he was, thus he died, thus he will live for all time... *
Sara cradled the pillow, occasionally dabbing at her eyes with a scratchy paper tissue as she lay in bed, watching a movie about Beethoven on the hotel's TV. She was crying for Vanya, whom she had come to love. She'd slipped into a deep coma the night Sara had recovered the book from Draco, one she wasn't to return from, having drifted beyond even Sara's reach. A week later she died. That was 2 days ago. The funeral had been this morning.
Sara found she could no longer stay in Vanya's little fieldstone house. She no longer wanted Romania or the cold mountains to surround her. She had sent Greg home to England, knowing she wasn't going back and thinking it unfair to take up any more of his life. He hadn't seen his friends and family in two years and she wanted to be alone anyway. Standing beside Vanya's grave in the rain, Sara realized she had never been truly alone in her life.
The moment she'd foreseen so long ago had come to pass as Sara put Mr. Sanders on a train earlier in the evening. She'd smiled as they stood on the platform. She had taken his hand and thanked him for all his help. He hugged her and kissed her cheek, promising to see her soon, but she got the feeling as he walked away that she would never see him again.
She ordered room service, knowing there was no one in the room across the hall to bring her dinner. No one to share a table with in a nearby cafe. The thought was a little frightening, though she felt solace and a kind of liberation in her loneliness. It was how misery should be.