Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter. No lie.
A/N: So… I have a secret love (fetish) for sickfics… and I was sick alllllll of last week (which completely sucked, since I still had to go to dance practice because my team has a showcase in less than a week…). As per my fetish, I've wanted to write a sickfic for a while now, and there's actually been a blank Word Document in my FF folder titled "AS !Sickfic" for pretty much forever. Since I had inspiration, I wrote this in celebration (?) of my bedridden week. XD
Because I wrote it when I was sick, I've probably made more changes to this story from my spiral to typing to posting because… yeah, it wasn't up to usual standard. Haha :)
Anyway. I hope you enjoy!
It was always a surprise to Al Potter when he woke up feeling like he'd just been hit head-on by the Hogwarts Express. That mid-spring morning that he fully expected to be just like any other, he didn't have a clue as to why he assumed sitting up would make it better, but it obviously didn't. It only made his ruthlessly pounding head feel ten tons heavier with the congestion that forced him to breathe through chapped lips.
He groaned, and immediately regretted it as the sound scratched mercilessly against his throat and choked him into a coughing fit that grated on his lungs.
Misery. That was the lightest, most positive label he could give the feeling.
Though Al's entire body ached as he did so, he swung his legs off the bed. He swayed slightly as he stood, center of gravity thrown off and limbs having much greater downward pull than usual. His vision went blurry, and he blinked until it cleared; the amount it helped was minimal.
Al grunted again, mostly involuntarily, and sluggishly crossed to his wardrobe. Sick or not, he still had classes to attend.
As he leaned on the wooden cabinet to steady himself enough to change his clothes, he realized with great contempt that this was all Nikolas Zabini's fault. The bastard had been ill the week earlier, and he could hardly blame his other dorm-mate, who'd been healthy as a hippogriff for what seemed like his entire life.
"Al, are you okay?" The boy with the steel immune system asked, noticing the black-haired boy's weak movements and lack of characteristic energy in the morning.
"Yeah, fine," Albus lied, more through his nose than his teeth, voice barely recognizable beneath the nasal tone that turned the "n" to a "d" when spoken.
Scorpius Malfoy had never been gullible. Still half-dressed himself, he walked to the shorter boy for a closer look.
Al felt squirmy under his gaze, suddenly conscious of the fact that his hair was wilder than usual, eyes nearly bloodshot with dark purple circles down to his cheekbones.
"You look pale." The blond pointed out.
"I'm always pale," The rebuttal was hardly legitimized by his thick voice. His head was hurting even more now, Scorpius's quiet voice ringing through dulled eardrums and vibrating whatever snail-like apparatus was inside.
"Not his pale. You sound awful," A sympathetic smile turned the corners of Scorpius's pink mouth.
"Thanks," Albus grumbled bitterly.
"Go back to bed, Al. You're too sick to go to class."
"I said I'm fine," Al replied stubbornly, positioning wavering fingers to button his white shirt.
Under any other circumstance (and even this one, actually), the way Scorpius swatted his hands away and unbuttoned the shirt again could've been construed as sexual. Al found himself flushing as the blond pushed the shirt back off his shoulders and tugged it off his wrists, Scorpius clearly meaning no harm in the action.
The Potter was left standing dizzily in front of the Malfoy in a tank-top and pajama pants patterned with little Golden Snitches, feeling unfocused and vulnerable with an obstinate streak. The scowl on his face showed as much.
"Go back to bed, Al. You're sick. You need to rest." Scorpius's gentle tone was staring to irritate the raven-haired boy.
He simply stood there glaring daggers for a few moments before reaching out to grab the white button-up still in Scorpius's hands.
The blond was still faster, however, and he held it behind him just out of reach.
The sudden movement jarred the woozy Potter, and before his brain could even process that he was falling, Scorpius's big hands were on his bare shoulders, putting him back in balance.
"Either you're going to bed or you're going to Madame Pomfrey." The Malfoy was firmer now.
Al was indignant. "Fine. She'll tell you I'm fine."
Of course, she did just the opposite. Nullifying any trust Al had put in her, the traitorous woman confirmed that he had a cold. He felt a blow more to his pride than anything hit him as he recalled the everyday knowledge that there was no magical remedy for the common cold. Equipped with a bottle of sickeningly sweet (was it supposed to be cherry flavored?) liquid, the trip back to the dungeon dorm was even more disheartening than the already-humiliating one there, with Scorpius's smug smile and the laughs he was attracting as he trekked the school in only a gray tank-top and pants that rode embarrassingly low on his hips.
That, and he felt absolutely awful.
By the time they were back in the dorms, Al didn't have the energy or willpower to defy the blond's calm order to go to bed.
The worst thing about waking up ill, Al soon learned, is that the one inkling of hope that you'll wake up miraculously better is instantly dashed.
The seventeen-year-old turned toward the sound that roused him from the restless sleep and grimaced. "Why aren't you in class?" He muttered more at Scorpius than to him.
"I can't come back on my sick best friend?" The blond asked, affronted.
"No, you need to go to class." Al rolled back over, face-down on his pillow. In all honesty, it was just about impossible to breathe in that position, but he conveniently ignored the fact.
"I've been in class," His voice was closer now, and Al focused on everything but the self-conscious need he felt to fix his beyond-messy-nearing-hopeless hair, "I simply asked to excuse myself some ten minutes before class ended. Assuming I was going to the lavatory, the professor let me go without specifying."
Al heard the smirk in his voice. He sighed dramatically, which only led to more coughing. He sat up, feeling shaky and overall terrible.
Scorpius lightly rubbed his back. He could probably feel Al's heart pounding. "Did you take the medicine Madame Pomfrey gave you?"
Al frowned and looked away.
Scorpius turned stern. "That's a 'no', isn't it?"
The way Al looked pointedly in the opposite direction was undermined when he (borderline-violently) sneezed into his own shoulder.
"You're not invincible, Al. if you want to get better, then you have to take the medicine."
"I'm a seventeen-year-old man. I can handle myself when I'm sick." He crossed his arms.
Scorpius sighed, and Al saw him shake his head from the corner of his eye.
Irrational anger bubbled in his stomach, and the Potter scooted to the edge of the bed. "I'm going to class," He declared, and stood up to get ready for the second time that day.
The short walk to his wardrobe was complicated considerably by the fact that he started coughing three steps in, and the coughs turned into four successive sneezes that made his ears pop and ring unbearably loudly.
It was only then that he faltered, and apparently Scorpius had already anticipated it, because he was there to catch him before he even really began to fall.
The Potter groaned, and even he didn't know whether it was because he may as well have been an invalid at this point, or because he was so mortified to be in this state in front of Scorpius.
Because… yeah. He kind of had a crush on him.
A little bit.
He was blushing more intensely than ever, the heat only amplified by the fever that raised his temperature to an almost alarming one.
The blond wrapped his arms around his waist from behind, and Al would have pushed him away if his skin didn't feel so cool on his own.
So, he finally gave in, relaxing against Scorpius's chest. "You feel cold," He mumbled contentedly.
Scorpius's chuckle was close to his ear, coursing a shiver down his spine even over his subdued senses. "Everything probably feels cold to you right now."
To avoid further pain in his throat and embarrassment from his croak of a voice, Al only hummed in halfhearted agreement.
Albus was led back to his bed, and Scorpius told him to lie down, so he did so without a second thought.
The Malfoy sat down beside him seconds later with the prescribed amount of the syrupy liquid perfectly measured out in a tiny cup. "Here," He held it out for the Potter.
The black-haired boy looked at him with wordlessly pleading eyes, pride rolling over in its grave as he acknowledged just how pitiful he must have looked, curled up on his side with such an expression.
"Come on, Al," Scorpius said with a warm smile, "Being that cute is uncalled-for."
He covered up choking on his own breath with another short coughing lapse. Grudgingly, he sat up and took the cup from the blond's hand without meeting his eyes. He downed it in one swallow, tipping his head back so it came in minimum contact with his taste buds. Somehow he still tasted it, his face instantly wrenching up at the bittersweet concentration.
Scorpius took the cup from his hand without a word, sounding much like he was stifling laughter.
Eyes still squeezed shut, Albus didn't see Scorpius lay down, only felt a hand on his shoulder carefully pulling him back down as well.
He sniffled, and instantly wished he hadn't, because how uncool could he possibly get? Cracking his now green-and-pink eyes open, he was relieved to see an amused expression on the blond's face rather than a disgusted one.
Al shivered suddenly, and wondered how in Merlin's name someone could go from scorching hot to freezing cold in a span of two seconds.
"Cold?" The Malfoy noticed his trembling.
He began to answer and was interrupted by a sneeze. Drained of all energy, he only feebly nodded, eyes watering slightly.
The blond moved and adjusted the sheets, and Al almost complained about him moving around too much when the thick blanket fell over his torso and his chills were sated.
"Better?" Scorpius asked.
The Potter answered in the form of a contented smile, burrowing further in the blanket.
He frowned, however, when he heard the blond's light laugh, and even when his face burned and he internally wondered how he could look any more helpless, he lifted the blanket again and let it fall over both of them. Throwing all reservations to the wind, he slid in more and loosely fisted his hands in the blond's shirt, hiding his crimson cheeks.
Albus blamed his sickness. In full health, he never would have done something like that… even if he'd wanted to for pretty much forever.
Instead of shying away, his best friend complied further by looping an arm around his waist under the blanket, warming him considerably.
It was comfortable in a way he'd never really experienced, the small step past friendship feeling welcome and natural despite being unfamiliar territory. It made Al forget about the fact that he felt like he was dying a slow, painful death and helped him lay his attention instead on the fact that his fellow Seventh Year was being so instinctively caring towards him, so willing to help and assuage his misery.
The inhale-exhale through his dry mouth grew deeper, steadier, and he let himself get used to this soothing atmosphere almost enough to doze off until he remembered with a jolt that it was still during school hours and Scorpius had class.
He tugged at the taller boy's shirt.
"Hmm?" Scorpius mumbled, sounding like he was beginning to sleep himself.
"You have class," He whispered, voice still horribly nasally and gravelly.
"I can miss one," The blond responded sleepily, shuffling closer and tightening his hold on the smaller boy.
Al was more sleepy than coherent, so he very nearly took the blond up on the offer. Seconds before he drifted into unconsciousness, however, he shook his head and reasoned, "At least one of us has to get the notes for today."
"Ask your cousin."
The blond exhaled noisily and took his time removing himself from Al's bed, looking at the smaller boy with (the most adorable) sad eyes and pout that Al deliberately disregarded.
"I'll be back soon," Scorpius said once his hand was at the doorknob.
"I'll be sleeping, so don't worry about it," Al said, tone reflecting the ache and fatigue that dragged in his every nerve.
He felt more than saw the Malfoy's silver eyes roll before he left the dorm.
True to his word, Al wrapped the blankets more snugly around his body—he noted with dissatisfaction that they weren't nearly as warm as Scorpius's body heat—and went to sleep.
Optimists insisted that third time was the charm, so Al officially declared himself a pessimist when disappointment fell over him and he woke up still as sick as before. He didn't even have time to spare complaining before he was overcome with simultaneous coughing and sneezing, leaving him shaky, throat burning, eyes tearing by the end.
Burying his face in his hands, head pulsing, he moaned his best friend's name pathetically.
"Are you hungry?" Scorpius asked from beside his bed.
"Not really," He replied honestly to the boy who'd woken him.
"Oh," He looked slightly crestfallen, "Well, I brought some soup from the kitchens in case you want it." He set the porcelain bowl on the bedside table. Al was sure that it smelled good from the way it looked delicious, but he couldn't smell anything, much less taste it.
The Potter tried to speak, but no sound came out. He cleared his throat and tried again. "Thank you, Scorpius," Feeling shy, he looked up through thick lashes at the pale, handsome boy.
The usually-neutral face broke into a sweet smile that made Al want to curl up and hide forever.
He found himself staring (like an idiot), blinking slowly through hazy vision, and coughed to cover it up.
"You should go take a shower," Scorpius suggested as if his prescribed treatment was at the same level of authority as Madame Pomfrey's herself, "It'll make you feel better. Plus, it might help you sweat out some of your fever."
Al just sat there for a few seconds, mind not comprehending anything past Scorpius telling him to shower, brain muddled and ears fuzzy.
"Go," The blond urged with a good-natured expression.
Sighing, Al slothfully complied, each step sending a dull twinge up his spine.
He wasn't quite sure how he made it through the process of his usual shower regime in such a state (barely motivated, with only hardly more energy than was required to work the hot-and-cold taps on the shower), but he did so in a rather timely manner. The steam was relaxing—though a bit suffocating at first—, and he felt his head clearing just a little by the time he turned the water off.
Scorpius, taking on the role of his mother for the day, had laid out clothes for him before he got in the shower, so Albus gratefully put them on. The soft cotton of both the pajama pants and oversized shirt (sure that he didn't own anything so ill-fitting, he came to the conclusion that it probably belonged to Scorpius) felt nice on his skin, airy enough to cool him, warm enough to accommodate his oh-so-indecisive chills.
He didn't even bother to properly dry his hair before leaving the now-stuffy tiled room and starting on a path to his bed.
Scorpius was already sitting there as if he owned it, mindlessly fiddling with the end of his tie, still so unbelievably good-looking even with such a bored expression.
Al didn't even stop to gauge what would be a "safe" distance for one seventeen-year-old male to sit beside his seventeen-year-old male best friend (regardless of whether or not either considered themselves entirely heterosexual). He simply crawled onto the bed and kneeled at the blond's side, head resting against his shoulder, hands braced on the mattress for stability.
Something sharp shot through Al's chest when Scorpius's hand pushed him back, fearing that he was being rejected.
He didn't lift his head in half-shame, half-heartbreak.
Because he was set in the negative, Al was genuinely surprised when he felt both of the blond's hands smooth through the sides of his hair and cradle his head upward.
Pink once again, Al kept his gaze lowered in a moment's hesitation before looking at the Malfoy.
There wasn't much he could see, however, because Scorpius's face was closer and higher than eye-level. His heart raced uncontrollably, only to come to a complete stop when he felt Scorpius's cool lips press against his forehead.
Time froze for a second; every part of Al's body from his heart to his lungs to his widened green eyes halted as warmth swept over him, dulling the illness for the time.
Nothing could have ruined the moment more than the sneeze that forced the Potter to jerk back and shield his face in the crook of his elbow.
Looking up apologetically, Albus was happy to see a slight smile on Scorpius's face.
"Your fever has gone down," He said casually.
Al nodded, vision swimming from the simple movement.
There was a small lapse of silence, where Al cursed his immune system much further than just to the grave.
"Do you need anything?" Scorpius asked after a while with sincere concern.
The Potter's mind raced for a minute in an internal war of "Should I?". Biting his lip uncertainly, even if the "You Should!" army had just triumphed, he cleared his throat and said, "I need you to lie down."
Though he looked rather confused by the request, Scorpius did so, lying on his side with expectancy in his silver eyes, propped up on his elbow.
Again plucking up his courage, once more spurred on by the rampage of chills across every inch of his skin, Al crawled to Scorpius's side and laid down as well, head against his chest, hands timidly rested on his abdomen.
He heard Scorpius's soft laugh, felt him push long blond hair back into place, then drape an arm around his slim waist, holding him close.
Al coughed into his own hand, and the caring way Scorpius rubbed his back melted some of the icy sensation under his skin.
"You know you're probably going to get me sick now, right?" Scorpius joked.
Al rolled bright green eyes. "You're the one who insisted on being my mother for the day,"
"I wasn't really thinking 'mother'," He trailed off, and Al backed away a bit to see his face, which was contemplative, "More like caring boyfriend,"
Al froze to the bone, heart beating dangerously fast.
Scorpius didn't give him time to properly react, however, before continuing on as if he hadn't said anything to cause a potential heart attack, "I don't mind, though, as long as you'll take care of me when I do,"
Al grinned in spite of himself, suddenly bashful. "I will," He whispered, unable to look Scorpius in the eye.
"You promise?" He asked playfully, a smile in his soft voice.
The Potter only nodded.
Finally settled in comfortably, breath ghosting over Scorpius's collarbone, Al was caught off-guard when the hand lazily caressing his back moved to his chin, tipping it up.
He blinked once, twice slowly, taking in the odd look in Scorpius's eyes that made him shiver more than his chills did.
Al really should have seen it coming, but he didn't have enough brainpower to put two and two together, so when Scorpius dipped his head to meet his lips, it had the shock value akin to the Giant Squid marrying a Veela.
It took a few stunned moments for him to even grasp what was happening, but once he pulled himself together (and after an internal roar of happiness), he pressed his lips more fully against Scorpius's, eyelids falling shut.
They shifted closer, the blond's hand threading through still-damp raven hair, igniting his senses and pitching him into what he could only place as pure bliss in that moment.
Ever persistent, spiteful at that, his cold made itself known again when after short, chaste contact, Al was completely unable to breathe, throat constricting.
Regretfully pulling away, he ducked his head and coughed until his throat was raw and he felt like he would be able to speak properly for weeks.
He moaned unhappily, hands again curled in Scorpius's shirt.
Scorpius just remained on his back, rubbing consolingly.
There was another loaded silence. Al re-lived every breathtaking moment of the kiss in full detail, abhorring the fact that he was sick infinitely more.
"You're really stupid, you know," He said with a smile after three successive replays.
"Why?" Scorpius affected hurt.
"Because it's pretty much a sure thing that you're going to get sick now,"
He grinned fully, and Al bit his lip to keep from breaking into his own grin.
"I know. And I expect you to keep your promise when I do." He punctuated his (completely illogical) words with a quick peck to Al's dry lips.
After turning bright red, Al shook his head and burrowed back into the blond's chest. "You're so stupid."
"You love it."
The Potter didn't even give him the satisfaction of knowing it was absolutely true as he expertly feigned sleep, only for it to turn into real sleep minutes later.
He woke the next day feeling much, much better. Sitting up and stretching without feeling like his head weighed a few tons, he was left to smile empathetically when he heard a sneeze from the bed beside him.
A/N: His cold is the biggest cockblock in the world. Just saying. XD
There's nothing wrong with shameless fluff every once in a while, right? :)
Oh, anyone following Uprising… it (clearly) wasn't updated this Friday, and I'm sorry to say that it won't be updated next Friday either, because of the whole showcase situation…
Either way… Please Review and Favorite, and Alert me if you want to see more :)
Thanks for reading :)