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"You don't need to make that many academic calendars, Scor," Albus said.
Scorpius stayed glued to the task. "Everyone deserves a chance to succeed. I want to pass sixth year, and I'll do everything in my power to do so."
Albus sat down next to him, his arm brushing Scorpius's, although Scorpius didn't react, continuing to scribble down words in his neat, mostly-unsmudged lefty cursive.
"Colour-coded by day of the week, yes?"
Scorpius nodded, now numbering the days in the calendar.
"You could just buy one, or use magic, you know."
"I have to do this."
"Okay," said Albus, but he didn't sound very happy about it.
**
"You've been lying in bed for three hours, Scorp, you okay?"
"'M good. Just gotta finish this essay." He was still staring at the ceiling, lying in his bed, cocooned in at least two blankets. Or three? They were all green; he couldn't tell them apart.
Albus said something, but he missed it. "Hm?"
"How is this working on your essay?"
"Oh." He wanted to say I don't know, but found himself unable to speak.
"Scor? Mate, you're worrying me." The other boy's voice came out much softer than before.
He didn't want Albus to worry but could barely bring himself to give him an apologetic look.
"Hey, hey. It's... Merlin, you told me the word, you get overwhelmed about something and... nonlingual? No. Am I close?"
Scorpius attempted a shrug.
"Non... non... nonverbal. It's nonverbal. We were working on sign," Albus recalled. "But I can't... what do you need, Scor?" He kicked the floor. "Sorry, that wasn't a yes or no... do you need hugs?"
Scorpius nodded, eyes barely registering anything anymore.
Without any further words, Albus collapsed on the bed, lying on top of Scorpius, resting his head on his chest. "Sensory... input," Albus said, obviously trying to remember the words and definitions Scorpius had taught him.
Scorpius nodded softly, his chin bumping Albus' head.
"Validation," Albus mumbled. "I can't validate you if I don't know what's wrong." He paused, as though waiting for an answer, but not expecting one. "Is it school?"
Scorpius nodded, once.
"It's not that you don't understand, is it? It's that you've taken too much on. You're overwhelmed?"
Scorpius nodded.
"You're absolutely brilliant," Albus said into his collarbone. "You don't need to study. You say you want to, but you obviously shouldn't if it's stressing you out so much."
Scorpius shook his head. He needed to study. If he studied he could forget his problems. His dysphoria and dyscalculia and the fact that he hadn't eaten in God knew how long and the headache caused by too much reading.
"You don't need to study. We should do something fun. Um..." Albus was obviously grasping at straws. "Do you want to go down to the kitchens and get our own personalised meals from the elves?"
It only took a second for him to nod. He was starving, and he didn't want to brave the Great Hall.
"Can I carry you?" Albus asked.
Scorpius snorted at the idea of the shorter boy trying to carry him. He nodded.
"Really?" Albus asked, lighting up. Scorpius nodded again and Albus stood. "Piggyback?"
Scorpius nodded and Albus bent down, lowering himself down. "C'mon, get up."
Scorpius did, squeezing his legs around Albus' waist and his arms around his shoulders, holding on with a death grip but smiling all the same.
Albus reached up and held onto his lower thighs, right above his knees, and shoved the door open.
Scorpius grinned as Albus bolted out of the common room before anyone questioned their current situation. Albus was incredibly strong for his size, Scorpius contemplated. He could feel the muscles in his boyfriend's arms working, and he'd be lying if he said it wasn't at least a little bit hot.
Albus turned a corner and Scorpius gripped tighter.
"Sorry, babe," Albus mumbled.
Scorpius kissed his neck to let him know it was okay but Albus stumbled, his knees buckling.
"Sorry," Scorpius said, energy having come back to him despite collapsing on the ground.
"You're not," Albus said. He was blushing fiercely.
"I'm not," Scorpius responded. "It's interesting," he added after a pause to catch his breath- he most certainly didn't have all his energy back, but if he rationed it, he could definitely make fun of Albus a bit. "One little kiss and your knees literally give out."
"Shut up," Albus hissed through his blush.
"Make me," Scorpius responded.
Albus, of course, did, climbing right onto Scorpius' lap and kissing him, resting his hands on the other boy's shoulders as Scorpius threaded his fingers through Al's hair. Albus whimpered, shifting in his lap and cupping Scorpius' neck.
Scorpius pressed another kiss to Albus' neck, revelling in his shiver. "Collapsed," he mumbled. "All because I kissed you."
He slipped his fingers under Albus' shirt as the other boy protested, "You're supposed to shut up."
Scorpius pressed Albus against the nearest convenient wall. "Watch your mouth, young man."
The fun part, he reflected, of making out with Albus - besides all of it, of course - was the way he became an overly sensitive mess so quickly.
Albus shivered again, pressing his lips to Scorpius'. Scorpius bit down on Albus' lip just to hear the sound he'd make.
"Aren't we supposed to be getting food right now?" Scorpius pointed out, pressing kisses down Albus' neck.
"Mm - there are better things to do," Albus responded.
"Nothing better than eating."
"You can eat th-"
"Shush."
"When did you last eat?"
Scorpius squinted at the wall, trying to remember. "Um... yesterday breakfast, I think?"
"Yep. Food is more important." He stood up and added, "I'm carrying you. No more kisses."
"Ever?"
Albus huffed and Scorpius snorted. His boyfriend began to run again, bolting down the hall, gripping Scorpius' legs so hard he worried he'd be bruised.
They reached the kitchens soon enough and Scorpius reached up to tickle the pear, grinning and bouncing on Albus' shoulders when an elf opened the door for them.
"Messers Malfoy and Potter!" Pyka greeted, beaming. "Come in, come in!"
"Pyka! The finest table for my gentleman and me," Albus requested, smiling.
"Of course, Sir Potter! The best we have." Pyka winked, and Scorpius could almost feel Albus glow with pride. He'd taken up the task of teaching the house elves sarcasm and jokes last summer, and Pyka had gotten the hang of it.
She led them to the back of the kitchens, to the small round table the two boys frequented.
"For my boyfriend," Albus began, "three pancakes, topped with syrup, two strips of bacon, a glass of chocolate milk, and a bowl of one scoop vanilla, one scoop chocolate ice cream."
Scorpius' heart inflated to the point where he thought it would come out of his chest.
"And I'll have a sandwich, lettuce, bacon, cheese, and mustard; strawberry milk; and -" Albus trailed off, noticing the look Scorpius was giving him.
"Two and a half scoops of strawberry ice cream," Scorpius finished.
"Coming right up," said Pyka, making herself scarce- the elves had long since learned the looks that meant intense snogging was on the horizon.
"I love you," Scorpius whispered, and the phrase resonated within him down to his bones as he spoke.
"I love you," Albus responded.
"You recited my order word for word."
"Yeah."
"I really, really love you."
Albus kissed him, and Scorpius climbed right over the table to him, sitting down and kicking his legs off to the sides of the chairs. Albus kissed him deeply and Scorpius shifted, trying to become closer to him, as close as physically possible.
"You're fucking amazing, you know that, right?" Scorpius asked between sloppy lovestruck kisses.
"No, you," Albus said.
Scorpius snorted.
"Your food is here," Pyka said.
Scorpius climbed off his boyfriend but stayed sandwiched next to him. "Thanks, Pyka."