Author's Notes: Ok... once again, by request a Harry/Draco piece for those of you who are kinky like me. This is a direct sequel to my first H/D piece, so I suggest you read that first. Its from Harryís POV.

DISCLAIMER: If I owned Harry and Draco, they would not appear in children's books.


Pretty When You Cry

Chapter Two: Alone In His Arms

By Mizery

       

Even in his arms, I was alone.

Draco had fallen asleep holding me... and for a few precious moments, I had bordered on unconsciousness myself. For so long I had taken shelter in his embrace that, in the aftermath of an exhausting and traumatic incident such as had passed only hours earlier, I had curled up against him with my head against his chest, and listened to his heartbeat until I was calm again. I let the same hands that had hurt me soothe me into a dreamlike half-sleep, as they had so many times before... before they became my enemies...

But the closer I came to sleep, the closer the nightmares crept to me, as the events of the preceding evening swam through my head... and his heartbeat became my own - quickening as his hands clasped my shoulders and threw me backwards onto his bed, skipping a beat altogether as he wrenched my hands above my head. Cold caresses and sharp nails, velvet bedclothes and his teeth upon my skin... the way his fingers clamped themselves around my jaw and forced my head against the pillows, the pain that should have been pleasure... the way he didnít seem to care. I could feel the helpless confusion clouding my senses again, hear the echoes of my own mind. *What did I do to deserve this. What did I do...*

With a gasp, I came back to my senses. Dracoís heartbeat was still steady, his breathing deep and rhythmic in sleep. Lifting my head from his shoulder and trying to catch my breath, I stole a glance at his face. He looked like an angel when he slept, he really did... and it brought tears to my eyes to think that an angel was capable of doing what he had done. I clamped my teeth down on my lower lip, and ever-so-carefully began to disentangle myself from his embrace. Suddenly I couldnít be here anymore. An hour ago I had been desperate to stay with him, clinging to the only solace I had ever known in fifteen years. But Draco was not Safety anymore. Now, I didnít know what was. The only thing I knew was that I couldnít stay here tonight, alone in his arms.

The Slytherin common room was cold and deserted, and the coldness seeped into my bones as I passed through it that didnít go away until I reached the Gryffindor tower. There was a chill in the air in the hallways of the rambling old castle at 3am, and the Invisibility Cloak did very little to relieve it. I was shivering through and through by the time Iíd reached the portrait of the Fat Lady, who was quite a heavy sleeper and took a few moments to revive. She wasnít pleased about being disturbed at this hour and snapped at me before swinging back to let me inside, and her words were like a jab in my already churning stomach. *I canít take anymore of this, not tonight...*

I shrugged the cloak off my shoulders as I reached the door to the fifth-year dormitory, and slipped inside as quietly as I could so as not to wake anyone else. The last thing I needed was for one of them to see me like this - a shaking, teary-eyed mess with a bruise across one cheekbone from where my face had hit the post of his bed. I collapsed onto my bed and drew the curtains before I dared to make a sound, in hopes that they would do some good to contain the tears that had been threatening to break loose ever since Draco had pinned me to the wall and clamped his hand over my mouth. *Shut up...* he had hissed, and it was if a lead weight had crashed to the bottom of my stomach.

I pulled my glasses off my nose. They were bent out of shape from when Iíd hit the post of the bed, and the sight of them brought a sob to my throat. I rolled over onto my stomach and buried my face in my pillow to muffle the sound. The claw marks on my chest and stomach burned under the contact and my own weight, the bruises on my hips throbbing with newfound magnitude. *...What did I do?* I did not understand - it was as if heíd been possessed. The storm had come out of the blue, and left just as quickly. One minute he was a demon, the next he was apologizing as if it had not been within his control. He had seemed so very sorry, and his grey eyes were so earnest that Iíd almost felt the need to console *him*. At the very least, I couldnít have let him see how much heíd really hurt me, in fear that it would hurt him.

Why? Why did I care if I hurt him after what he had done to me? Why? Because I loved him, that was why, even if he didnít love me. The very idea wrenched something inside me that hurt a thousand times worse than the bruises or the scratches or the bite marks, and I hugged my pillow to my chest, wishing with all my heart that it could hug me back. I didnít want to be alone again. I had been alone all my life, until there was Draco. The nightmares always knew when I was alone, and they would torture me until dawn if gone unchecked. I rolled onto my side, pulled my knees to my chest, and squeezed my eyes shut against them, and against the tears, and against the empty feeling in my chest. The silence of the dormitory pressed in on me, absent even of Ronís usual, soft snores and Nevilleís uneven breathing, and for a moment I almost wished I had stayed with him. But the physical blows he had dealt me still ached their constant reminder to my shredded soul that the comfort I might have found in his embrace would have been synthetic. No, better to be alone in my own bed, than alone in his arms.


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