Mildred took one last look at the secret room, before letting the door shut with a snap. She locked it, leaving her and Sybil's journals of how to create illusions and control the elements whilst dancing in the middle of the floor. Maybe one day, someone would find it, and bring them the joy it brought her and Sybil.
She picked up her CD player and her CDs, carrying them outside. It was the middle of the night, and freezing cold. Mildred didn't care.
She cast a spell on the player so it didn't need electricity to work, and put in on the floor at the base of the tower. She put in Sybil's favourite CD and waited for the music to start.
It had been three months. Ethel and Esmeralda were back at school, and both were miserable. Ethel and Mildred had grown closer, but Esmeralda was quiet and withdrawn.
And Mildred, at the bottom of the tower that took Sybil Hallow's life, began to dance.
The soft music of the piece woke up the students and teachers, who tried to locate the source of the sound.
"It's Mildred." Felicity said suddenly, pointing out of the Window. Everyone found a window to peer out of. Mildred was alone at the base of the tower, dancing to the familiar melody.
Then she started the illusions. Sybil's favourites. The snowy peaks of the Himalayas, the mystical forest, the Amazon rainforest, the herd of African elephants, and then something much closer to home.
It moved through the corridors, opened a door no one recognized, although they knew it was somewhere in the castle. The castle could hide rooms from students, or reveal secret ones if it seemed you worthy. It seemed this was one of those times.
Then, for the first time ever, There was a person. Sybil Hallow, standing in the room, dancing the same dance as Mildred was currently dancing. They were perfectly in sync, the live person and the memory one, and everyone watched as the room slowly faded away.
But Sybil was still there, both girls still dancing, until Sybil got fainter and fainter, before vanishing. When the music stopped, Mildred collapsed to the floor and cried.
"Mildred, quickly, it's Sybil!"
"What? where is she?" It was the middle of the night, and Mildred was a bit groggy.
"The North tower." Mildred shot upright and pulled on her dressing gown, sprinting out of the room as fast as she could, Maud and Enid on her heels.
She pushed past Miss Hardbroom, Miss Cackle and Miss Drill, gently putting a hand on Clarice and Bea's shoulders and pulling them back. Miss Drill and Miss Hardbroom quickly restrained them for running forwards again.
Mildred heard two more sets of footsteps rush up the steps but she ignored them, walking towards the edge of the tower. Sybil looked like an angel. She was wearing a white nightgown, and her long blonde hair was moving gently in the biting wind. She was rigid at the edge of the tower, not even flinching from the cold.
"Sybil, no!" Esmeralda said firmly but quietly, standing to Mildred's left. Ethel stood on her right.
"I can't do it anymore."
"Do what anymore? Sybil, what are you hiding?" Mildred winced. She thought Sybil had told them.
"I'm going to die. Cancer. Mum and Dad said not to tell you, because we tried everything and nothing worked and we didn't want to upset you. But I will not let the cancer kill me. If I die, it will be on my own terms."
"How long?" Ethel whispered.
"I've had it for a year, and I have a maximum of a week left." Ethel choked back a sob and Esmeralda looked crushed.
"Please don't do it Sybil." Ethel begged.
"But it hurts, so much. I just want to end the pain." She whispered.
"Sybil, take my hand." When she heard Mildred speak she turned her head, scrutinizing the outstretched hand. After a moment's hesitation, she reluctantly took it. Mildred slowly pulled her backwards, and into a firm hug.
"If you have to do it, then do it. It's your life. I would rather you didn't, and so would everyone here, but the choice is yours. I would probably do the same in your situation." She whispered so quietly no one could hear her but Sybil.
"Can you do one thing for me?" She asked as quietly as Mildred. "Lock the room up, leave nothing in there but our journal. It could save a life one day, for a while it helped save mine."
Mildred squeezed her tighter and nodded. No one knew what was said between them, and no one ever would except the two girls.
Sybil let go and smiled at her older friend, before running into Esmerelda's arms, and pulling Ethel into the hug. They sagged with relief, thinking it was over. Mildred felt a tear run down her cheek, knowing otherwise.
Sybil suddenly pulled away forcefully and ran to the edge, not hesitating for even a split second before she jumped. All Mildred could do was turn and walk away silently, trying not to listen to Sybil's sister's pained screams. It was over, and there was nothing she could do about it.