Chapter One

As I sat alone against the stone wall of the Entrance Hall, I looked up at the first years, thinking how young and innocent they were. I watched them walk out through the heavy oak doors and onto the spacious grounds. Perhaps the circle the lake and talk with each other about random things that didn't really matter in the greater scheme of things? Perhaps to go marvel at the Whomping Willow in all it's violent wonder? Or maybe, just maybe, to go tell the person that they've 'loved since first laying eyes on them' so?

I suppose it doesn't really matter. We all have a chance to be happy, don't we? It's my own fault that I didn't take mine when I had the chance.

I stare and I think, my expression is blank and lifeless. Then I see him, coming out of the Great Hall, walking towards me. Will he say something snide? To hurt me like he always does? I don't think he knows just how deeply his words cut me.

"What's wrong with you, Potter? Hearing your mother's voice again?" He said with an icy laugh.

My green eyes stare up into his blue ones, and then trail over his perfect blonde hair and back over the walls, finally resting on the great marble staircase.

"No... I was just thinking.... What business is that of yours, Draco?" I spat, hoping he would catch that I had called him by his first name.

"Thinking? I didn't know you were capable of such a feat," he replied lightly, his hands brushing his hair back out of his face.

"Just leave me alone," I whispered helplessly.

I stood and pushed past him, deliberately brushing my shoulder against his. I loved the electric feeling it sent through my body, even though his face showed a disgusted stare as I touched him.

"Walking around the lake... Will help." I thought to myself as I walked further away from him, his insults still ringing in my ears.

"Hearing your mother's voice Potter? Oh look, here comes Potty and the Weasel. That's why all the Slytherin's sing.... Weasley is our king...."

"SHUT UP!" I shouted aloud as every horrible thing that he had said to me ran though my mind, hurting me, confusing me.

I never did understand my obsession with the blonde bully. I'm still trying to figure it out. Why do I always lay awake thinking about him? Why can I never get him out of my mind?

I can't sleep and I dream about him.

It's driving me mad. Really. I can't stand it. I need to get him out of my head.

"Harry?" came Hermione's voice, prying into my thoughts and wrenching me back to reality.

I had obviously been a little more out of it than I thought. I was laying face down on the grass, pounding the ground with my fist and screaming loudly.

"Harry?" she said again. I couldn't ignore her any longer.

"Yes, 'Mione?"

"Are you all right?"

All right? All right?! Is she crazy? Do I look all right?

"Yes, I'm fine, just... Stressed. With Sirius being gone and Voldemort being back...I've got a lot on my shoulders right now."

I figured that was a pretty adequate reply, but no. Of course not. It never is.

"Oh Harry!" Hermione exclaimed, throwing her arms around my neck and squeezing me tightly.

"'Mione! Get off," I grunted, not being able to do much else as she had me in a sort of headlock.

"Sorry Harry, but I'm worried about you. We all are," she whispered. She had let go of me just in time for me to see a silver tear run down her face.


"Yes, we. Ron, Luna, Neville, Ginny, me!" We!" she said in that tone of urgency that she had mastered and made her own over the years.

"Well, you can tell 'we' that I'm fine," I said, standing up haughtily and taking note of the dark grass stains on my knees.

I left her to stare after me as I crossed the grass, the frost crunching under my feet and leaving shallow prints.

"We're worried about you Harry. We just want what's best for you Harry," I muttered angrily to myself.

All their wanting what's best for me is depriving me of my privacy.

Winter was usually a beautiful time at Hogwarts, but all it meant to me was having to stay inside. Trapped with Malfoy and the others who seemed sent by Merlin to scorn me.

I stare out the window of my dormitory when I can get a moment to myself. The snow would swirl around in white clouds and then fall gracefully to the ground; it left me wondering why I couldn't be like that. Free.

"Harry, what are you doing?"

Ron. Again. Does he never know when to not?

"Ron, what does it look like I'm doing?" I snapped irritably, shaking my head and turning back to the open window.

"It looks like you're wallowing in your own self pity again. Harry, seriously, what's happening to you? You used to be so... Happy," Ron said lamely.

"Happy?" I snorted with contained laughter.

I turned from the window again and crossed the room to face him, my feet thudding softly against the light gold carpeting.

"You expect me to be happy?" I heard the malice in my own voice. It scared me a little, but at that point, I didn't care anymore. "How can I possibly be happy? My godfather, the closest thing that I ever had to a real parent, has been dead for over a year, yes, Voldemort is gone, but the Death Eaters are still around! How in the bloody hell do you expect me to be happy? I don't think you'd exactly be all laughs and giggles if a scare on your forehead was so constantly in pain that you can't sleep, you can't think and at times can't breathe. On top of all that, there is something confusing me that I'd rather not talk about, so if you'll excuse me, I'm going to find somewhere where I can be alone."

With that I stalked out of the room and down the stairs. When I crossed the common room Hermione asked me to come sit with her, but I ignored her as thought I hadn't heard her.

I just walked on and on, not paying attention to where I was going. Not until I walked slam into Malfoy, anyway.

"Potter, do watch where you're going," he said, brushing himself off dramatically as though he had fallen in the dirt and was ridding himself of the dust.

"Sorry," I muttered, probably blushing, but I couldn't really tell. I was numb to it all.

"Sorry," he snickered, tossing his head in a way that made his blonde hair fall beautifully into his perfectly blue eyes.

I didn't reply. For the first time I was noticing how easy it was to get lost in his eyes. In this light they didn't look that steel gray, but more a gentle watery blue.

"What on earth are you staring at?" His voice brought me back to reality and I blinked a few times.

"What? Nothing, sorry," I muttered again and started to walk away.

Every encounter I had with Draco Malfoy was unpleasant, yes. But strangely enough I always looked forward to seeing him in the hallways. Why? I don't know. I don't understand it. I'm sure it's nothing. No matter. He's my enemy, we should look forward to tormenting each other.

"Ahh, but you don't torment him, do you? It is in fact he who torments you," came that voice in my head that has a way of making me think quite the contrary of what I'd like to be thinking.

Again, I found myself so lost in my own thoughts that I didn't notice where I was until I ran into something. This time it was the wall of the astronomy tower and I had nearly fallen out the window.

I curled up against the wall and stared out the window, the snow still swirling around, pouring into the room and spilling onto the floor when the wind blew it just right.

Hours passed, thoughts passed. Same thoughts as always. Sirius falling through the veil, Bellatrix cackling madly, Voldemort's high-pitched squeal of pure delight when he thought he had had me cornered.

"Ron's right... I shouldn't torture myself" I muttered and stood up, starting back down the stairs to the main corridor.