“Shit, what is it? What’s wrong?”
I fight the cold terror clawing up my chest as I watch Voldemort torture the remaining life out of what is no longer anything recognizable as human. The terror unfortunately claws back. I grab the offender, hissing when my wrist is twisted and pinned to the floor.
“Potter, snap the fuck out of it!”
“Shit—What the fuck?” I yelp, very much awake, my shoulder stinging from where Malfoy smacked me.
“You were screaming. I thought you were being murdered.” He releases my wrist to cover his face with his hands. He’s crouched on the floor, feet just brushing my right hip as he sits back and slumps against the side of the bed. “Fuck, you scared the fucking life out of me. Fuck.”
Blinking at his dim features in the warm glow of the night light, I relax back to the floor, letting the fear slowly drain from my body as I try to collect my wits. “Sorry. I don’t sleep much. He… he likes to pump visions into my brain when my guard is down.”
Pushing his bangs back from his face and gripping his hair, Draco sighs another weary sigh. “What the fuck does that even mean?”
“Snakeface. He uses my scar to feed shit into my head.” Once the words are out of my mouth, I immediately wish I could take them back. Malfoy’s spent a lifetime finding out anything he can about me and twisting it to sound the worst among our peers. I really shouldn’t be handing him information where it’s clear I’m fucking crazy.
“You’re telling me You-Know-Who tortures you in your sleep? Every night?”
Fuck, he sounds scared. “Yes. But It’s not me. It’s other people he’s hurting.”
“Real people? Did you see… Did he show you stuff he’s doing this very night?”
God, I’m like the biggest ass. “I don’t know. I didn’t see your mom, if that’s what you’re wondering. Or your dad.”
It is, and he gives another heavy sigh, rubbing his temples, his hair a perfect mess. His legs seem extra long from this angle, his calves strong, thighs muscular.
“Sorry I woke you. I’m used to having silencing spells for when I’m in the dorm.”
“Shit, don’t your relatives say anything?” He fans his fingers out over his face, eyes meeting mine through the opening. “How are they not knocking down the door right now to make sure you’re okay?”
Yeah, he’s more than a little naïve. “They don’t care, Malfoy. They all wear earplugs so they don’t have to hear me. They’re probably hoping one day they’re going to wake up and I’ll really be dead. Go to bed and stop asking so many damn questions.”
“Damn, you’re a surly bastard. Are you going to be pissed off at me the whole time?”
Probably. He’s hot as fuck, in my personal space, and I can’t touch him. Yeah, I’m going to be fucking grumpy as hell. “Go to bed.”
Petulant prat. “What, you want to sleep on the floor?”
I open my eyes, finding him biting his lip while studying my face. “You freaked?”
He nods, another sigh escaping him. “Will you just… just talk to me for a bit? My heart is racing and the night just feels alive with terrible things right now and I keep wondering about my parents and if they’re…”
I hold up my hand, my arm feeling heavy with sleep. “I get it. But let’s talk about something that’s going to calm you down, not freak you out more.”
“Kay… What do you want to talk about?”
“Nothing, I want to go back to sleep,” I say bluntly. “You pick.”
“Oh. Alright.” He tilts his head back on the side of the bed, closing his eyes, arms resting on his knees. I close my eyes, hoping he’ll talk himself to sleep without needing me to answer. I don’t get much sleep, pretty much ever, and my body fights for it when it’s available.
“Tell me about your boyfriend.”
I snort sleepily. Fucking prat just won’t let it die. “Paul’s not my boyfriend. I don’t think we’ve ever had a full conversation.”
“Oh… So do you do that with a lot of guys? Just, what, casually…”
“If you’re asking if I’m a slut, no. I’m very selective in who I let touch me.”
“Can’t really tell… Unless you like ruffians covered in tats and piercings. You probably do. You have terrible taste in lots of other things as well.”
Probably. Compared to him, I’m always a mess. “Fine. You tell me what kind of guy I should like.”
“Hmm… That’s a good one. Well, for starters, someone you want to actually talk to. A wizard, naturally.”
“No? You have to date a wizard, Potter, you can’t just date some clueless muggle. What the hell are they going to say when you start sparking in the middle of the night, screaming about all the blood?”
That makes me open my eyes. “I was sparking?”
He nods, blinking at me sleepily. “Green. Scared the shit out of me. You can’t do that to a muggle. It’s plain cruel.”
It’s really difficult to look away from his face. When he’s tired, his guard is down. Nearly sweet looking. “I’ll sleep in a different room. Wouldn’t be right to put anyone through that.”
“That’s dumb. You’d have to walk all the way to the other room just to be cuddled. Or you’d make him have to walk all the way to you through the dark to check up on you.”
Like I want to be cuddled? “Not if I put up a silencing spell. He’ll never know I’m—”
“You’re messed up. Why the hell wouldn’t you want your boyfriend to wake you up and hold you after dreaming fucking terrible things in your sleep? Why the hell do you always want to be alone all the time? I’m always alone when I come home for the summer, and I hate it. People make things better. Alive.”
The sound of his voice is lulling me to sleep, but it’s a question I really can’t ignore. “Life is pain… The less pain at this point, the better.”
He’s quiet. I think I may have fallen asleep because when he does speak, it seems far away. “How long have you been having those nightmares?”
“Long… Three years… Four.”
“That’s fucked up, Potter.”
It sucks, that’s for sure.
My silent reply is completely ignored. “You need to date someone that won’t let you be alone.”
I like being alone.
“Someone that can challenge you. Not just feel you up in some crowded room. You can totally do better,” he mutters.
I don’t want to do better.
“Someone that can appreciate just how much you sacrifice… Really, you give too much. All the time… and you won’t ever accept anything in return… I mean, the world is waiting for you to either win or die at his hands, and you sleep on a lumpy mattress. Tonight the floor, for someone you can’t stand.”
I can stand him… I really can.
“You let me rip on your shitty boyfriend and your stuff and your hair… and pretty much anything that pops in my head at the time cus I just have to fucking talk so I don’t think about shit. And you still sleep on the fucking floor even though you get terrible nightmares and probably can’t sleep even more… You even got me that light that probably keeps you up… Hell, me talking probably keeps you up… You’re fucking amazing. Seriously.”
I’m pretty sure I’m asleep. His hand on my cheek feels cool, fingers brushing lightly over my features. A thumb presses into my scar, running up the length of it and then slowly down, repeating in slow swipes.
“Sweet dreams, Harry.”
Yeah, I’m definitely dreaming.