chapter four

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chapter four : the sleepless night

chapter four : the sleepless night

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he couldn't sleep. he tried, and he tried, but sleep would not come. he lied with his eyes closed for a long time, praying for some kind of dream to overtake his mind and warp his reality. he prayed to stop thinking, but his mind was in overdrive. he couldn't stop.

finally, after four months of almost nothing, the boys had made up. albus had called him his best friend and he couldn't have been more ecstatic than in that moment.

after promising to do better, for them to be better people and better friends to one another, albus had gone to bed. but scorpius couldn't sleep. he couldn't stop thinking about rose, about albus, about his life. it was terrifying: to be only fifteen and already feeling these levels of existential dread.

he hoped that when the sun came up the following day, things would be better. he hoped rose wouldn't be mad at him: that they could celebrate their anniversary a day late. maybe she'd let him take her for a picnic beside the black lake, the vast body of water beside the hogwarts castle. maybe he could sneak her into the kitchens and they could fill up on sweets. maybe.

he pulled his blankets closer to his body, letting them fall just below his chin, and he listened to albus' quiet intakes and exhalations of breath. he wasn't alone. one of the two people he feared hating him the most didn't hate him at all. albus had called him his best friend. they were okay.

"i need to sleep." he whispered to himself, begging his body to let him. again, he focused on albus' breathing. in and out. slowly, scorpius tried to mimic the patterns in his own breath and found that it was surprisingly calming.

however, the moment he started thinking about what he was doing - the serenity ended. he wasn't calm anymore. he didn't feel peaceful or dreamlike. he felt wiry, like he needed to move. but where would he go?

he climbed out of his bed and paced along the floor, biting his lip and tried to think of soothing things. he sat at the edge of his bed and listened to albus breathe. it didn't help. what was he dreaming of? was rose asleep? was she dreaming?

scorpius was desperate for sleep. he debated heading to the hospital wing for a sleeping tonic. however, he feared getting caught by filch or mrs. norris, or even peeves, the ever-so-annoying poltergeist. within the common room, scorpius could hear the ghost of the bloody baron shaking his chains around woefully.

"i need to sleep." he said again, this time a little louder. suddenly, albus made a loud sound from his nose - a heavy inhalation of breath one makes when they wake up and scorpius watched in the dim light as the smaller boy sat up slowly and peered at him through tired eyes.

"what're you still doing up?" he asked, wiping away the eye crusts. his blankets pooled around his lap and his hair looked moussed. strangely enough, it looked good.

"i can't sleep." scorpius admitted, biting his lip in embarrassment. albus seemed to ponder something for a moment, and then with a sigh, he began to move over on his bed, patting the newly made space.

"c'mere." he slurred tiredly and scorpius walked to him instantly. he crawled into the bed, sinking down beside his best friend. they hadn't done this before. scorpius was all bones and he accidentally brushed his cold feet against albus' ankles, causing the boy to lurch forward in surprise. the bed was small, and no matter how much they tried not to, they were spooning each other. albus slept with his back to him, and the blond tried to make himself relax. "good night, scorpius."

"night, albus." the blond said, and after a bit, he heard the dark-haired boy's easy breathing. every time scorpius would exhale, he noticed small hairs at he base of albus' neck shift with his hot air. he felt the other boy shudder. it made him feel strange. he closed his eyes tight, trying not to direct his breath on the other.

breathe anywhere else, please. he exhaled again and albus' sleeping form shifted. at first, scorpius thought the boy was trying to scoot further away from him, but then he felt his back directly against his torso. he swallowed thickly. he breathed out again and albus careened his neck so his nose dug into the base of scorpius' throat.

no, there wasn't a chance in hell scorpius was ever going to sleep that night.

---△⃒⃘---

scorpius awoke to a weird shimmer casting over his eyelids. he opened his eyes and noticed that the water outside the window in his and albus' dorm seemed lighter than usual: it was late!

albus wasn't in the bed anymore. in fact, he wasn't even in the dorm. it was just scorpius enveloped in albus' duvet and quilt from mrs. weasley. quickly, scorpius sat up and casted a tempus charm, figuring it was already past his first class of the day.

why had albus let him sleep in so late? he remembered last night vividly: the way sleep seemed like something that would never come. and then, albus had told him to get into bed with him and he had willingly. and then albus had moved right against him in his sleeping state, and had shuddered against scorpius' breathing in... in arousal? was that what it had been?

scorpius blushed and got out of albus' bed quickly, fixing the blankets to appear neater, and hurriedly ran for the loo. he was in desperate need of a piss. when he returned, he dressed in his school clothes, deciding he shouldn't blow away any more of his classes for the day.

by the time he was dressed and ready for the day, the second classes were nearly beginning, and scorpius just made it to the potions classroom when professor slughorn stepped in, overly cheery.

"good morning, students!" the professor smiled. he then made his way to the front of the classroom. scorpius remembered stories of professor snape, the late potions master that had held the teaching position before slughorn - or technically after slughorn, as the old man had taught at the school before.

while the professor droned on with his lesson, scorpius realized he was sitting alone. he glanced around the classroom and saw that albus was sitting with rose. he wished the ground would swallow him whole. potions with the gryffindors and his girlfriend still hadn't wanted to speak to him.

soon, the professor was done giving his spiel and it was time for the students to brew the potion he'd been talking about - something called draught of peace. he stood and headed for the supplies cupboard, and by fortune or misfortune, he didn't know, collided with rose.

"watch it." she muttered, moving to pick up her dropped ingredients, and scorpius grimaced.

"rose, i'm sorry..." he started.

"y'know, now's not really the best of times to talk, scorpius. how about we meet somewhere else to talk? then maybe you can just not show up again." she snapped and then hurried away from him. from where albus was sitting, scorpius saw his best friend give him an 'uh oh' look.

yeah, things were not going to be as easy as he hoped.

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