Disclaimer - I usually forget t is, so I decided to be good for once. I do not own these characters. Apart from Phlann of House Vree, they all belong to R. A. Salvatore. Phlann is mine, however. If you wanna borrow him, go ahead, just ask first, ok?

Memories of Another Time

Zaknafein, a commoner of the 15th house of Menzoberranzan, House Do'Urden, had just started his first year at Melee Magthere. At 23, he was older than the nobles that were there and roughly the same age as the other common soldiers.

He watched as the younger male in the bed beside him moaned in his sleep. Jarlaxle was his name and although he was a noble, nobody but the 20 year old knew what House he was from. It was never stated out loud, which made everyone either think he had his House's disfavour, or there was a secret he was keeping. Zaknafein was leaning more towards the latter thought.

A frown formed on the younger's face as Jarlaxle muttered something in his sleep. Zaknafein had laughed the first time he saw this, thinking it strange. Drow did not dream, but this one obviously did. It was a known fact now, after he had woken the whole complex after he woke up screaming once. That had earned him a painful beating by one of the Master's.

Going over to Jarlaxle's bed, Zak covered the younger drow's mouth with one hand, watching as eyes flew open from the slight touch. A muffled gasp was felt more than heard coming from the covered mouth.

'Another night terror?' Zak signed in the intricate sign language of their people.

Jarlaxle looked dismayed, but nodded his head, yes anyway. He shrugged, laid back down and concentrated on his wildly beating heart.

Zak nodded silently, understanding that that one didn't like to talk about such things. If any of the other male's had dreams, they were usually talked about extensively. Although the only dreams he seemed to hear about had a lot of sexual activity happening in them. He too had dreams of that sort every now and then.

Jarlaxle turned over and stared at the commoner that had the bed next to his. 'Thanks for waking me' he signed, glad every time the other male did so.

'Are they the same, or are they different?' Zak asked, his facial expression and quick hand movements giving away his curiosity.

'Same.' Came only one word for an answer. Zak raised an eyebrow. That was more information than he usually could get.

'Maybe if you talk about it...' Zak started, but stopped at the sudden red glow of anger radiating from the other bed. 'Or not. It was just a suggestion.'

'Go back to sleep.' Was all the reply he got from the nobleborn. Sighing, Zak nodded, laid down and was soon fast asleep.

Jarlaxle was not so lucky. Every night since he had arrived at Melee Magthere for training as a fighter he had woken up by the same terrifying dream. He knew it would be impossible to even try to sleep again that night, so he glared angrily at the ceiling above his bed, rubbing at weary, red eyes. He also knew that Zaknafein had stayed awake until he had woken up, making sure he didn't scream again.

He liked the older male that had decided to help him. For a drow, Zaknafein was alright and held to his promises, something that only he and Zaknafein shared it seemed. Each of the other drow in the bunkroom, he had learned fast, cared about no one else but themselves and the glory of their House.

With a quiet sigh, Jarlaxle rolled onto his side and stared blankly at the wall he was next to. He stayed like that the rest of the night, pondering why he kept having the awful dream. He did know the reason, but was afaid to even think it.

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The Loremaster had dismissed them to the menial tasks always given to them for being first-year students. Servants for older students, helping hands in the kitchens and, worst of all, cleaning the building.

On the kitchen floor, scrubbing as best as the exhausting work allowed them, the first-year students - all 8 of them - were set to work. Zaknafein watched as one of the older students, a seventh year by the looks of him, came treading through the spot he had just cleaned, purposefully dirtying the floor again.

Growling softly under his breath, he cursed the bastard with a hundred deaths in the Demonweb Pits, before angrily scrubbing at the spot again.

He heard a quiet sigh next to him, then a little further down, as the other students had to also redo their work. The only one who seemed to have gotten out of that treatment was Jarlaxle who was a little further away from the rest of the group, slowly scrubbing the same bit of floor over and over, a slightly panicked look in his eyes.

Zak got up off the floor, careful not to dirty the floor at the same time and made his way over to the younger male. He was soon scrubbing diligently at the floor next to the drow he had been helping.

After an hour of this, he noticed the pace of the other male slow, then stop altogether. Zak watched a strange glint come into Jarlaxle's eyes.

"Zak?" muttered the younger of the two, turning his gaze to the one who kept him out of trouble so often.

"Yes?" Zak asked, seeing the other begin to sway on his position on the floor.

"Catch me." Replied Jarlaxle, before his eyes rolled into his head and he fell forwards almost into the bucket of water he had been using to scrub the floor with.

Zaknafein managed to catch the drow and keep him from knocking over the water, but didn't know what to do after that. Grabbing onto Jarlaxle, he picked him up and moved him to one side of the kitchen and laid him on a table. It was then that one of the master's decided to walk in, this one the Master of Weapons, Dantrag Baenre.

The master was dismissing them when he realised that one of their number was asleep on a table. Anger immediately made his face flash a dangerous red colour. Until he noticed the being on the table to be Jarlaxle. The Master rolled his eyes, ordered him to be carried back to the first-year bunkroom, and to be left alone to face punishment later.

Zaknafein didn't waste any time in picking the unconscious drow up and carrying him back to his bed. By the time Jarlaxle was in his cot in a deep sleep, Zak was in his own, exhausted.

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Zaknafein woke the next day, still tired, but ready for the day ahead of him. Looking at the bed next to his, he noticed it was empty. Frowning slightly, he turned to the bed on his other side. His frown deepened when he noticed that bed, too, was empty.

He suddenly bolted upright, noticing he was the only one in the room. He had slept in. He had never rushed so much in his life as he changed from his night clothes into his normal clothes and ran to the Loremaster's class, hoping to all the gods who were listening that he wasn't too late.

He made it to the class just as the Loremaster himself arrived and while he was given an awful look as if to tell him he would be in trouble later, the adult male let him join his classmates.

Silently he sighed, glad to know he wouldn't be punished in front of the rest of the class. Looking around for the one drow he could class as a friend, he was surprised to find Jarlaxle was absent from the room they we in.

Frowning slightly, he sat down where he usually did, next to a male commoner of House Vree by the name of Phlann.

The lesson bored him, as all these drilling lessons seemed to. What did he care that they were supposed to hate their surface cousins, or any other race that was not his own. He didn't, no couldn't, hate a race he had never seen and probably never will.

By the time the class was dismissed, he was just lucky he hadn't fallen asleep and the Loremaster thought the glazed look in his eyes were caused by fantasies of slaughtering the faeries that had banished them to the Underdark.

He gladly stayed in the room for his punishment...to clean the floors by himself, it seemed, would teach him not to sleep in. By the time he had finished the job, he was determined to ask one of the masters where Jarlaxle was.

As the Loremaster came back to tell him to get out of the classroom, he was confronted with a determined looking Zaknafein. He was bombarded with the one question he hoped not to hear.

"Where is Jarlaxle?" Zak asked, the question coming out a command which was not necessarily good for his overall health. He had managed not to be whipped yet, a feat not many in their class had achieved.

"He has been placed in a private room until he wakes." The master replied, monotone voice ringing loudly within the empty room.

"He is sleeping? Has he been punished?" Zaknafein couldn't help but wonder. He had slept in and barely got away with a slight punishment. Jarlaxle, it seemed, had slept the entire day away.

The Loremaster smirked. "Feeling bitter? Jarlaxle we had to make an exception for. This is not the first time he has collapsed but will be his last. You will make sure of that."

"Me? What am I supposed to do? Knock him hard enough atop the head so he sleeps all night instead of a few minutes?!" He said, sarcasm heavy in his voice.

A frown made its way to the Loremaster's face, deepening the lines on his face. "No. He was supposed to be taking a potion every night, but has decided against doing so. It is specially made for him and his nightmares."

Zaknafein looked curious. "Do you know what they are about?" He asked, wanting to know what could plague the mind of his friend.

The Loremaster was about to reply, but was stopped by Dantrag. The Weaponmaster of the school glared at the young drow, before beckoning him closer.

Zak made his wary way over to the Master, head down, not wanting to anger the volatile drow in front of him. He lifted his head when ordered to.

"Jarlaxle has woken and would like to talk to you." Dantrag announced, boring his angry golden eyes into the young first-year student.

Zak nodded, before following the adult to where the single rooms were. He had never been in this part of the complex before and looked about him eagerly.

He was ushered roughly into one of the end rooms, where a scowling Jarlaxle was sitting on the bed.

"They told you about that little potion I'm supposed to be taking? Hah! That is punishment on your behalf more than it is mine." Jarlaxle stated, anger clearly heard in his voice. The younger drow crossed his arms over his stomach as his scowl deepened. "The stuff tastes horrible!"

Zaknafein shuffled closer to the bed and nearer to his doom. "Does it stop the night terrors you keep having?" He asked, seeing the scowl turn to a slight frown, making the younger's handsome face seem less severe.

"Yes." Jarlaxle replied, shoulders stooping as he realised now Zak would make sure he took the foul smelling and even worse tasting concoction.

"Good, because I don't want to get into trouble for sleeping in again." Came Zak's answer, before the elder of the two walked all the way to the bed and sat on it next to Jarlaxle.

Both got up and left the room, glad that Dantrag had seemed to have left them alone throughout their encounter. They made their way back to the first-year bunkroom, before going to sleep once again, Jarlaxle having taken whatever it was he was ordered to take and Zaknafein making sure he did.

They Both slept in pleasant blackness for t e rest of the night.

A/N - Ok, yes, Jarlaxle did seem mighty wimpy in this first chapter, but don't worry, next chapter he will...be more himself. Well, still, I hope you enjoy this story. Please r/r or I might not continue it.