Draco Malfoy has been having nightmares.

Draco shoots up in his bed, drenched in cold sweat. He is breathing hard, his silver eyes opened wide. He had the dream again, and it's like it's been since this all started, about a month ago.

This has started happening nightly — the bolting up, drenched in sweat, but he's never remembered why. First, he had the nightmares every other day, maybe after three or four. But now, this past week, he's been waking up terrified about something he can't remember. He wants so badly to just be able to sleep in peace, to just go through one goddamn night without being awakened by the dream he can't even recall.

But he can't. He's even started to get used to it. Last night, he went to bed knowing. Knowing he would be shaken awake by whatever was tormenting him inside his own head.

He hates it.

He knows he's not going to be able to go back to sleep. He looks around, but it's just blackness before him. He moves his feet, dangling them over the side of the soft mattress. They hit the floor with a soft, quiet thud.

He's been in this castle for a long time — long enough to be able to tell exactly where he's going in complete darkness.

Or maybe it's just because he's used to this. Getting up, knowing no more sleep will come. He wonders what time it is tonight.

As he heads downstairs, he tries hard to recall the dream, with no luck. He knows he won't be able to remember, but that doesn't stop him from trying every night.

The common room is completely empty, except for two people, who seemed to be asleep. The fire in the fireplace is dying down, except for a few still red-hot embers.

He stops and stares at the scorching ashes, and they make him think. Remind him of his relationship with Pansy. He remembers in fourth year, and fifth, how they were almost inseparable—they were by each other's sides constantly, the flame just starting to burn, wild and passionate.

In their sixth year, their intimacy had gotten greater by far. It was extremely different, and yet, the same as it had always been. They'd become lovers. Their love had grown, and so had they.

But this year, something changed. Not for Pansy, but Draco was starting to wish Pansy would just go away. The things they would do, that they found a necessity, just seemed irrelevant, insignificant to Draco now.The flame, the passion, had died. All it was were embers now. It was gone from Draco, you could see it in his eyes. But Pansy, however, could not.

Draco doesn't want to be around her anymore.

He's not really sure how this happened, he doesn't really know why. He just knows that he doesn't love her anymore.

Draco walks over to the clock: it reads 4:35, so Draco knew he didn't have to be in class for a while. He was thankful for this.

Draco sighs and sits down in a chair. He closes his eyes. He's tired, but he knows this kind if exhaustion; he's been through this almost every day since the nightmares started.

He sits there for a while, eyes closed, lids heavy and tired, but, he doesn't sleep. He's just there, thinking. Thinking, not sleeping. He knows what he has to look forward to today. It's the same thing everyday; walking — or you could call it strutting — into the Great Hall for breakfast, grinning one of his classic arrogant smiles. He smiles a lot, he has to smile a lot. If he doesn't have a smile plastered on his face, or he isn't making someone look like a bloody fool, then his friends will think something was wrong.

Wrong. Something definitely is wrong. And that something is a girl in his year. That something has bushy chestnut curls, chocolate brown eyes.

Hermione Granger.

He doesn't really know what's going on right now. Hermione Granger has a different place in his life than everyone else. He never wants to hurt her. He will, though. If he doesn't, his friends would ask questions. Draco didn't know why he actually has to force himself to say something hateful to Hermione, and on those rare occasions he saw tears shimmering in her eyes, he wanted so badly to hurt himself. And he loathes this. He loathes her. Or at least, this is what Draco tells himself.

Slowly, he opens his eyes.

The room is brighter, so it's obviously morning, or close. He sees movement out of the corner of his eyes, and he turns his head towards it. Whoever was lying on the sofa is up now, stretching their arms and legs. Draco stands up also, exaggerating a yawn and stretching his legs also. He walks slowly, his bare feet gliding swiftly across the cold ground as he walks.

He heads up the stairs and to his dormitory almost mechanically, and changes in a trance like state. He's done this enough to just know where to go, what to do. Even while he's not thinking. About it, anyways…

He gets ready for the day slowly, trying to busy himself so he doesn't have to think. He likes it better this way. He doesn't want to think. If he starts thinking, if he had to take a look at where his life is headed, he would probably end up the same way he was a few months ago.

He can remember what he used to be like a few months ago. He was just…. Alone. Always alone. He still is alone, but he's learned to deal with it. He can see the scars on his wrists, faded a bit with time, a reminder of what he once was. That was only a short time ago. But a minute can feel like days, an hour an eternity.

He sighs and knows it's time for class. It's Friday, which he is grateful for. He knows he'll be going home for the holidays in five days, and he is happy. He gets to spend some time alone for a bit. He really needs that. More than anything.

He puts his shoes on and sighs, the ache rising in his chest once again.

Author's Note: Please review, I want to become an author someday, and I want to know if I'm any good at all, even if it's just fanfiction!