Chapter 1 : i'll hold your hands, they're just like ice
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When Albus arrives back to the Slytherin dormitory, the last thing he is expecting to find is Scorpius lying spread eagle on his four-poster bed, face screwed up in utter disgust, nostrils flared and lips pinched together like he’d been sucking on a lemon.
Albus paused in the doorway, glancing around warily. “Scorpius, what happened? Did you find the nargle from last week? Little bastard, I knew he was still in here…”
A moment of silence passes and when Scorpius does decide to break it, it is with a sneeze and a shudder so violent, his entire body spasms.
Albus stares. Scorpius swears.
“Bollocks.” A tiny honking noise erupts from Scorpius’ throat, which Albus recognises as a valiant effort to breathe through his nose.
Albus arches an eyebrow, trying not to smile. “Scorpius. You’re sick.” It isn’t a question.
“Doe,” Scorpius mumbles, because he is a professional in the art of denial.
“Malfoys,” Scorpius says thickly, his face still pinched, “do not get sick.” As if to punctuate his statement, he sneezes, the sheer blast radius of it causing Albus to jump.
Albus struggles to hold back a laugh. “Uh, did your mum have an affair with an elf then? It would explain your ears…”
“Fuck off,” Scorpius snaps, his eyes squeezed shut. “Look, I know you have this hang up or whatever about you being the breadwinner, hero-to-them-all while I’m at home battling consumption but, believe it or not, I am not sick.”
“What are you, seven?” Albus rolls his eyes, shrugging off his bag as she begins rooting around in their bathroom cabinet. “Here, let me see if we have some Pepper Up potion.”
Scorpius sneezes again and groans, his voice low and congested. “It’s Christmas Eve,” he moans pitifully. “It’s the holidays. I can’t be sick.”
Albus just crosses the room, potion in hand, and sits on the bed beside him. His fingers trail instinctively across his jaw, feeling the roughness of a twelve o’clock shadow under his fingertips. Scorpius’ face, otherwise pasty and sweaty, is flushed pink, his platinum hair sticking to his forehead in oddly shaped clumps and his tongue darting out sporadically to moisten his chaffed lips. With his already thin and lanky physique, Scorpius looked particularly frail and sickly, lying sprawled across the bed—but Albus knew better, having been on the receiving end of his jinxes more times than he cares to count.
Other than the somewhat-regular rise and fall of his chest, Scorpius remains still. Albus kisses him softly just because he can.
“You’ll get sick,” comes Scorpius’ muffled protest against his lips. Albus just grins, darting a tongue to slide against the seam of their lips. Scorpius sighs, opening up to let him in. Their tongues slide together for a moment before Scorpius pulls away, hacking up a violent coughing fit.
“You,” he says on a wheezy breath, “are disgusting.”
“Then I guess it says something about your taste in men,” Albus laughs.
Scorpius mumbles something that sounds like shut up but comes out as hudp, his face buried into the mattress, congestion wrapping around his words like a particularly thick, snotty blanket. Albus struggles to hide a grin as he threads his fingers through Scorpius’ thick, blond locks.
After a few moments of silence, Albus places the potion on Scorpius’ beside table and makes to move to his own bed. “Look, just take this. You’ll feel better in the morning.”
Pulling himself upright, Scorpius takes the potion, knocking it back with a shudder of repressed disgust. There is a long pause where Albus waits for Scorpius to say something. When nothing is forthcoming, he smiles slightly, lifting himself off the bed. As he turns away, there is a gentle rustle of blankets and then slender fingers are wrapping themselves around his wrist, tugging gently. Albus turns to see Scorpius watching him carefully.
“Stay, please.” Scorpius’ voice is soft, almost timid. Then he coughs, sniffing as he rubs his nose roughly; Albus can’t help but smile at him, relishing in the moment where Scorpius Malfoy appears so incredibly human.
Scorpius tries to shoot him a withering look. All Albus can see is a cute wrinkle of his nose and a half-hearted attempt at a frown. “I mean, you’re going to catch whatever it is anyway. Who snogs sick people, Al?”
He punctuates this with a sneeze and Albus can’t help but laugh.
“Oh, sod off,” Scorpius growls, his voice drowsy with the effects of the potion. His body curls itself around Albus’ unconsciously, legs entwining easily, arms slung loosely across his chest.
Within moments Scorpius is asleep and Albus is still smiling, warm and comfortable and unbelievably content.
“Merry Christmas, Scorpius,” he murmurs, his eyelids heavy as he slips off into dreaming.
A/N: Merry Christmas, Gill! I hope your day is fabulous and happy holidays! :)
(An extra thanks to Molly - SnitchSnatcher - for reading this over for me! Merry Christmas to you too, dear ♥)
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