Disclaimer: The characters don't belong to me.


A boy sits alone in the common room and stares into the fireplace. The fireplace is not lit and he thinks that perhaps it never will be. Slytherins don't mind the cold. But he privately does not consider himself a true Slytherin anymore, and he doubts the others would consider him a Slytherin either if they found out about the thoughts and feelings he has been having ....

He laughs out loud thinking about that. It is the laugh all Malfoys can do, cruel and taunting. He remembers how he used to practice laughing like that, seeing in the mirror how bitter he looked, how he could look so much like his father. His laugh echoes in the emptiness of the common room and he hears how forced it sounds. He stops and there is once again the silence.

He shakes his head and leaves the thought of his feelings about her in the depths of his mind. He is cold and he rubs his hands together and brings them up to his face. With his eyes covered by his hands, he is in the darkness and still cold. Only by thinking of her, he knows, can he make himself warm. But he also knows that thinking of her in the way he has been is a sin to himself and his family - especially his father; a crime that he knows should never be anywhere near the Malfoy name.

He removes his hands from his face and studies the common room. Everything is dark. The stone walls, the tables and chairs, the sofa, and even the people who come there perhaps. He wonders what her common room must look like. Bright and lively, he assumes, just thinking about her house's colors. The fireplace must be lit most of the time. He grins sheepishly as he thinks about her sitting there, doing her homework in front of the fireplace, but his grin turns into a frown as he thinks about who probably sits next to her and probably whispers something in her ear and makes her smile the way he never would be able to….

The boy shakes his head again and refuses to think about that anymore. He knows that would only let his mind wander until it would finally settle into something he didn't want to think about. Sooner or later, he hopes that he will forget his feelings for her.

His feelings for her.

He wants to laugh again but cannot bring himself to do it. He knows it will sound forced again. He knows he cannot keep telling himself that his feelings for her are because of simple teenage hormones. He is fully aware of what he feels. He is fully aware of it, but for the sake of all he has been taught and all he believes in, he will not admit to anything. Malfoys are very good at that.

He taps his fingers on the arm rest as he shifts his gaze over to the fireplace once again. He is cold. More perhaps, than he was before. He is sure that Pansy would not mind making him warm, but he cringes at the thought. No, if anyone could make him warm it would have to be her. He knows that.

He curses himself for allowing her to enter in his thoughts again. Even when she is far away she invades his thoughts, but he it doesn't annoy him as much as it used to. He looks forward to his thoughts of her, as sinful as they are. And who would go and tell his father in Azkaban? Certainly not himself and he does not believe anyone suspects anything. No one questions why he looks over to the Gryffindor table in the Great Hall or why he sits and stares at the golden trio in Potions, everyone assumes he is making a devious plan in revenge of his father's imprisonment. No one assumes he is looking at her. At least he hopes no one does.

His father said he would be out of Azkaban in no time, the Dark Lord would set them all free. He is hopeful of that day. No Malfoy belongs in Azkaban, especially not his father. The boy turns his hand into a fist as he thinks of his father in Azkaban. His father had looked miserable when he and his mother had visited him over the summer. His father's face seemed older and he thought he had seen a trace of fear in his eyes as they talked together. Fear was something the boy had never seen in his father before then and he didn't like it. Potter, he assures himself, would pay dearly, and he laughs the Malfoy laugh again just thinking about it.

Thinking of her makes him stop laughing again. He wonders what she would feel if she found Potter, one of her best friends, in a bloody pulp, killed by the Death Eaters and the Dark Lord. He can imagine her horrified face, her brown eyes wide and fearful. Weasley would be at her side looking frightened as well and he would hold her as she would turn to him, crying into his arms....

No, that would not do, the boy thinks picturing the scene. The Weasel held her enough. He had seen them holding hands in the hall and hugging and...

He stops the thought. He will not think anymore of that. Instead he settles his thoughts into when his father would be back. His father had said in no time at all, but that was three months ago and he was not back yet. There was no sign that he would be back either. The boy shudders at the thought. He wonders what that would be like. The summer without his father wasn't a big deal to him, he went months and months without seeing his father sometimes, but never forever like what was being threatened now.

He knows that many people in the wizarding world would not mind his never returning. He knows that many actions his father has taken have been wrong, but he knows the senior Malfoy had his reasons to do such things. His father always had a good reason. Malfoys always have a good reason. ... So what now was his reason for thinking about her? For feeling anything but hatred towards her?

The boy continues to tap his fingers on the armrest as he stares intently at the fireplace, as if expecting it to light on it's own. The silence is deafening and he wonders if he should go down to the Great Hall where all the rest of his house mates are. Where she is. He thinks better of this, however, and decides it better to stay in the common room. He had stayed in the common room in the first place just to have time for himself instead of being pestered by the idiocy of Crabbe and Goyle and the sickening ownership Pansy seemed to have on his arm. The quiet is deafening to him though and he wants to hear laughter. The laughter he always seems to hear loudest now, even from across the room.

He throws his head back and looks up at the ceiling. The boy scrunches his face into frustration as he comes to terms with the memory. He remembers it had been laughter that had brought him to the back of the library that night. Her laughter. It had carried him past the rows and rows of books. He had just wanted to see her. To see her face happy unlike the glare she always seemed to reserve for him. He saw her smiling and laughing with the Weasel as he watched them in the space between two books, behind the bookshelf where he was standing. And he knows he had felt the strongest surge of envy watching the Weasel that night.

That was the night when he realized he... loved her...

He loves her.

And just thinking about that makes him settle back into his seat and sit and stare at the unlit fireplace again, tapping his fingers.

A/N: Confused? Yes, you're not the only one. Also, I know this can be boring at times. I started the story as an experiment on the writing style. Nothing turned out the way I wanted it to. I think it's terrible, but yes, this is the story.

Review. Please.