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“I can’t believe that in three months’ time we’ll no longer be Hogwarts students.” Scorpius started, his voice breaking the silence which had fallen between the two boys laying by the lake. Albus, who was propped up on his elbows so that he could watch the way the sun reflected off the surface of the water, turned his gaze away from the shimmering lake and fixed his gaze upon his best-friend.

Scorpius, however, was not looking at him but instead was laying back with his hands behind his head and his eyes closed. He looked peaceful and almost as though he had fallen asleep, which Albus would have suspected had it not been for Scorpius opening his mouth to speak again. “I don’t think that seven years of school is enough…” He added thoughtfully and Albus couldn’t help but scoff.

“Of course, you don’t.” Albus mocked, rolling his eyes even though he knew that Scorpius was unable to see him. “If it were up to you then you would never leave.”

“That’s true.” Scorpius grinned to himself, nodding and humming although, still, he did not open his eyes and Albus found himself continuing to stare at Scorpius – his eyes raking over the boys soft features, the way his pale skin seemed to shine as the sun’s rays hit it, how his white-blond hair was pushed back away from his forehead with the exception of a single strand… Albus fought the temptation to reach out and push the strand back. “Perhaps I’ll come back to teach.” He mused and there was a tone of finality in his voice which pulled Albus out of his daze.

“Teach?” Albus asked, and edge to his tone that must have been picked up on by Scorpius because a moment later he finally opened his eyes to look at Albus. Their eyes met and Albus felt his chest tightening, a sensation he tried to ignore.

“Yes, well, I mean why not?” Scorpius asked, his grin faltering slightly as is expression was clouded with uncertainty.

“There’s no reason why not.” Albus said simply, giving half a shrug and looking down to pick at the grass. “I just didn’t know you’d already figured out what you wanted to do.” His Mother has stated multiple times that it was alright for Albus not to know right now what it is he truly wanted to do once he’d left Hogwarts – and Albus’s wide range of class choices was, he hoped, capable of allowing him access to pursuing any type of career he’d find interesting. His Mother’s consolations, however, could only ease his nerves to a certain extent. That is where Scorpius had saved him, albeit unknowingly to him, by also being at a loss as to which path he was going to take.

“Albus?” Scorpius voice prompted Albus to lift his gaze from the grass, although he didn’t quite meet Scorpius’ eyes. “Are you okay?” His voice now was laced with concern and Albus nodded, already beginning to feel worse for making Scorpius so worried. Albus’s future was not Scorpius’s to worry about…

“I’m fine… I’m fine.” He cleared his throat, trying to ignore how he did not sound fine. He did not sound fine at all…

“You don’t sound fine.” Scorpius said and this time Albus did look up at him, wondering for a moment if Scorpius had somehow managed to perform legilimency without his knowledge. “I know you, Albus, and I know when you’re lying… And I’d like to know why you’re not fine.” Scorpius added, fixing him with an expectant but patient gaze.

“It’s—”

“Don’t say that it’s nothing. It’s not nothing, if it’s worrying you then it’s something.” Scorpius raised a hand, shaking his head and cutting him off before Albus had even the chance to finish his sentence.

“I just don’t know what I’m going to do.” Albus said, the tightness returning in his chest and even in his throat. Merlin’s beard, what was wrong with him? He thought to himself as he tore another handful of grass from the earth.

“Well… First you can stop killing the grass.” Scorpius said slowly, a playful smile forming on his lips despite the severity of his tone. Albus gave a weak smile back and made a show of lifting his hand up and away from the ground, his fingers stained slightly green. “Secondly… What do you mean you don’t know what you’re going to do? After school? You know there’s nothing wrong with that!”

“No. I… I know that. I just mean generally… Specifically. I don’t know what I’m going to do.” Albus repeated, giving a sigh as he realised how pathetic he sounded.

“That’s not very specific, at all, Albus…” Scorpius pointed out, looking completely nonplussed now.

“Without you.” The words had left Albus’s mouth before he had been able to stop them and he watched as Scorpius expression changed from confused and surprised, to a softer almost pleased look.

“Albus, I’m not going anywhere.” He said with a light chuckle.

“But it isn’t going to be the same, is it?” Albus said, unable to stop himself now that he had started opening up to Scorpius. “We’re not going to be in school anymore, we’re not going to see each-other every day, be able to spend time with each other almost every minute of the day, sleep together—”

“Sleep together?” Scorpius repeated, cutting Albus off and staring at him with widening eyes. His usually flawlessly pale skin was marred by the pinkish tinge which appeared in his cheeks.

“Yes.” Albus said before stopping himself and shaking his head as though to clear it. “In the same dorm room, sharing a room, you know what I mean!” How could he be so flustered right now, and Scorpius be so seemingly calm?

“Yeah.” Scorpius said, nodding, and Albus was suddenly curious about whether he was talking to him or more to himself.

“The point is,” He pressed on, “Once we leave school, that’s it, isn’t it?”

“Is it?” Scorpius asked, fixing Albus with a look of determination. “Your Dad and your Aunt and Uncle stayed friends after leaving school, they’re still the best of friends now.” He pointed out and Albus nodded. He, too, had tried to comfort himself with fact but it still didn’t stop him from overthinking and lately that was all Albus had been able to do.

“But it’s not the same and what if we’re different, what if we barely or never get to see one another because we’re so busy being… adults that you forget about me?”

“Albus.” Albus stopped, his body and mind freezing as he felt Scorpius grab his hands. Despite his reaction to the sudden action, Scorpius did not let go.

“I’m not going to forget about you. I’m never going to, I never could.” Scorpius said and Albus found himself unable to blink, let alone tear his gaze away from Scorpius’s face. “You’re my best-friend and I’m yours and we’re going to stay best-friends forever.”

Silence fell again as the two of them sat there, hand-in-hand, and staring at each other so intensely that Albus had forgotten that they were even at Hogwarts, he forgot that he was completely unprepared for this time of his life he was about to enter, he forgot… for a moment… his own name.

“Best-friends forever?” Albus asked, the tightness in his chest loosening slightly although he was still finding it somewhat difficult to breathe as though there wasn’t enough air around him.

“Best friends forever.” Scorpius nodded in confirmation, a familiar grin spreading across his face. Albus noted vaguely that neither of them had pulled their hands out of the others hold.

“I just… don’t want that to happen.” Albus admitted in a murmur, “I mean I don’t want us to ever be apart – again.”

“Me neither.” Scorpius responded immediately and Albus knew that they were both thinking of the exact same time. “And we won’t be.” He added, catching glimpse of how Albus had started to sink back into his own thoughts. Albus just nodded, his eyes still fixed on Scorpius’s.

“Ever.” Albus’s voice was a whisper, barely a whisper, when he spoke again, and he found his eyes travelling slowly down Scorpius’s face to rest on the boy’s lips. Why was he staring at Scorpius’s lips? Scratch that, why couldn’t he stop staring at Scorpius’s lips? And why, most importantly of all, did it look as though Scorpius’s lips were getting closer and closer to his face…

Albus’s eyes fell closed before their lips had even touched and he melted into it immediately, returning the kiss and squeezing Scorpius’s hands in his. His lips twitched, even whilst kissing Scorpius, when he felt the other boy squeeze his hands back.

It was over as quickly as it had happened and Scorpius and Albus pulled apart simultaneously to stare at each other. The smile on Albus’s lips threatened to grow wider and he watched as Scorpius looked worried, relieved and then happy in turn, as though he had not expected Albus to have been as completely fine with what had happened as he was.

“Forever?” This time it was Scorpius asking and Albus took note of how the word best-friends was not, in fact, included in that statement. However, opposed to panic, Albus felt something spark in his chest – drawing attention then to how all the tightness he had felt before had vanished. Now, he could breathe…

“Forever.”

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