It's early in the morning, and Pansy puffs her cigarette in silence and doesn't hear a word her lover says. She knows Hermione is talking, and she knows she can hear it, the ramble of a woman in a love beyond her means, but she's not listening. Not that Granger could say anything worth her breath.

Hermione had said, years ago it seemed, that she couldn't love her, because apparently she was a good Gryffindor girl, and therefore supposed to marry a nice Gryffindor boy, or at least settle down with some Gryffindor girl willing to share your bed, like Lavender and Parvati. Slytherins aren't even supposed to show up on their radar. "Apparently, she's changed," Pansy thought to herself.

"…And I love you," Hermione finishes with saddened eyes as she leans in to kiss her but is quickly turned away. Pansy refuses to even look at her.

"You don't love me," Pansy says and tells her to leave in a commanding voice that under other circumstances may even have been sexy, but this time is merely cold. Hermione obeys.

When she's gone, Pansy storms off, but leaves by the other door, around the back and into the alley. She doesn't want to see her; she just needs some time and a place to think.

She keeps walking on the crooked cobblestone street, and it occurs to her that she's a witch, which of course means she doesn't have to walk like a lowly muggle. She started to reach for the wand in her back pocket, but then she remembered she didn't really care enough.

When she gets home, she just sits there on the couch, thinking. Hermione was her first love, and she knew it wouldn't last, couldn't last… so why is the mudblood still in her head? She sighs and reaches for another cigarette.

Love was the farthest thing from her mind when she met Hermione; it was the kill instinct that won out in that one, even over the screaming teenaged hormones demanding otherwise.

But they did fall in love, sort of. Or at the very least they fell into bed. "It's incredible, really," she thinks to herself. "Depressing but incredible."

She never knew it could be like this, that it was really possible. And now that it's happened, she thinks it's even less real than before. She bangs her head against the wall in anger and frustration, knocking a fresh hole in the plaster.

Pansy heads for her bedroom, to sleep off the anger, but it occurs to her as she's lying there, that the long strands of dark hair on the pillow aren't her own, and it just makes her more frustrated. She stares at the little digital clock, and the time seems to pass so slowly, and it seems it takes eight years for the seven to become an eight.

Pansy does fall asleep eventually, but her dreams are filled with her Hermione, and thinly veiled symbolism for her. She wakes up screaming her name.

She shakes her head and gets up, puts on her best face, and a tight shirt fit only for wet t-shirt contests and her brother's perverted magazines. Then she heads out to the bar at the end of the alley. It's always so alive whatever the time, day or night, and it amazes her and she hopes she can capture some of the sheer life force for herself, to be truly alive for once, instead of being that creepy pale Slytherin girl.

She drinks her beer and tries to pick up somebody, some guy or some girl; it didn't matter anymore. Pansy doesn't seek true love, or fairy tale ending, just a lay to get her through the day. Slowly she realizes there's no one there willing to help her forget.

When she gets turned down, she reaches for another cigarette for compensation to her oral fixation. The guy next to her buys her a beer and asks if she's here to remember or forget. She takes it from his hand and says "Forgetting would be nice." Then she finds Hermione's number on her matchbook and she's not entirely sure she wants to.