So, I was reading over my previous story, The Malfoy Curse, and let me just tell you all right now, I am sorely disappointed with myself. Really. Anyway, here's a new story. I hope to satisfy eager readers with this one. It's quite dark, I'm warning you right now, darker than anything I've ever written. I know this first chapter isn't that great, but hopefully it'll get better as I brainstorm some more. Enjoy, guys.

The night was cool. Dark. Quiet.

The way she liked it.

She watched as a lone firefly buzzed around her head. Not even covering her ears could stifle the infernal noise it was making. She appreciated its beauty for a brief moment, then grabbed it in her hand and crushed it.

She wiped the remainder of the firefly on the log she was sitting on.

Hermione didn't think she could ever be the same. Her way of thinking had changed.

For the worse? For the better? She wasn't sure.

Uncertainty. Lately that was all it had been.

A cold breeze lifted her dark brown curls from her shoulders, blowing her robes in the direction it was going. She did not shiver. She did not move.

Daddy, I'm sorry. Daddy, I love you.

Too fucking late, she thought to herself.

Slowly, she walked back into the castle. When she was in the corridors, every movement of the flickering flames on the walls made her jump and look anxiously behind her. Every creak, every groan, and every whistle of wind made her feel as though someone was watching her.

Softly, she hummed a little tune, then louder as it went on. She didn't know where it was from, but she sung it when she was alone, which was most of the time.

The Fat Lady wouldn't let her into Gryffindor Tower.

She had stood outside the portrait hole for an hour, waiting to be let in, but she was denied access to her own common room.

"-and another thing, young lady-"

"Relax, I'll be going," Hermione said calmly. "I'll come back in the morning."

The Fat Lady paused in her rant. "V-very well, then! See to it that you find a place to spend the night!"

Hermione began to walk away from the portrait, but in a fit of rage, she kicked her foot into the Fat Lady's face.

The Fat Lady fled from the portrait, screaming. Hermione tore off bits of canvas until there was no more of the painting left. Then, she crawled through the remaining hole and settled down in front of the fire.

She burned everything she had ripped.