"Kageyama’s mad at me."
Yachi and Tsukishima looked up from their seats in the common room. Tsukki had his arms bent at the elbow, a length of yarn wrapped around both of his hands as Yachi pulled and wound it into a ball. Yamaguchi still found it funny how tolerant Tsukishima was of Yachi's whims.
"That doesn't sound right," Yachi said and Tsukishima nodded.
"Are you working on your Hinata impression?" Tsukishima asked. "Make it whinier."
Yamaguchi sighed and flopped down on the couch next to Yachi, throwing his legs over hers. "Okay, so maybe he's not mad," Yamaguchi revised. "But he's avoiding me."
"Why would he do that?" Yachi asked.
Yamaguchi hesitated. "We've been working on our Patronus charms together," he confessed. Yamaguchi went red and ducked his head. "Since the rest of you can do them."
Hinata wasn't the best wizard of them — not by a long shot — but the Patronus Charm used a person's happiest memories, and Yamaguchi had never met someone happier. Hinata was happy to be at Hogwarts, happy to play Quidditch, happy anywhere. Just a couple of nights ago, he’d climbed into Yamaguchi's bed, and sighed in contentment when Yamaguchi slid his arms around Hinata's middle and kissed the side of his neck. "I'm so happy I'm here," he told Yamaguchi, just before rolling onto his side so they were face-to-face. They didn't talk much after that. So of course Hinata was the first to figure it out, a shouted “Expecto Patronum,” and then a brilliant sun shooting from his wand.
Tsukishima and Yachi needed to work harder for theirs, but magic came naturally to both of them and before they all knew it, Yachi’s fox and Tsukishima's dragon were playing together before fading away. Which left only Kageyama and Yamaguchi.
“Lots of great witches and wizards can’t make a Patronus,” Yachi said. “They’re really complicated! It’s not a big deal if you can’t.”
"The thing is I figured it out last night," Yamaguchi said, his voice a mix of apprehension and pride. "And now Kageyama’s avoiding me."
"I don't think Tobio would be mad about being the last one. At least not about this," Yachi said, exchanging a glance with Tsukishima.
Yamaguchi shook his head. "No," he said, pulling his wand from his robes and climbing to his feet again. "Look." He pointed the wand toward the Gryffindor fireplace, and gathered up his happiest memories. "Expecto Patronum!" The spell shot from the end of Yamaguchi's wand and suddenly the moon was in the sky, inside the common room. Yamaguchi looked back at them.
"Ohh," Yachi breathed.
"Oh," Tsukishima said, his eyes going wide. "Yamaguchi," he said, and his voice was rough.
Yamaguchi smiled. "At least I knew you'd like it," he told Tsukishima. The full moon faded. "But you can see why Kageyama wouldn't."
"Yeah." Tsukishima shook Yachi's yarn off, and she made a dismayed sound that died away as Tsukishima pulled her to her feet. She stood in front of Yamaguchi and wound her arms around his middle, while Tsukishima hugged him from behind. "We'll make him come around," he murmured into Yamaguchi ear.
“Tsukishima told me you’re mad at Yamaguchi,” Hinata said to Kageyama.
They were in the Potions classroom, making up the afternoon’s assignment gone wrong. Kageyama didn’t answer, trying to keep track of how many clockwise stirs he needed. If he fucked this potion up again, he’d have to miss Quidditch tomorrow to fix it. And he wasn’t about to do that.
“You’re never mad at Yamaguchi,” Hinata continued, abandoning his cauldron so he could bother Kageyama at his station. “So what happened?”
Kageyama slammed down his jar of bat wing. “Why don’t you just ask Tsukishima, since you two are so close?”
“Don’t be like that,” Hinata said, putting his hand on Kageyama’s arm. Kageyama slumped a little. “We’re all close. You know. We’re all— that’s why I wondered.”
“His Patronus pissed me off,” Kageyama mumbled. “It’s the fucking moon.”
Hinata’s eyes widened. “Oh!” His fingers tightened on Kageyama’s arm. “You know, he can’t help that. It’s not – I mean, you know that’s not because of you, right?”
Kageyama growled, something he couldn’t help when he was mad and he hated that, hated that he sounded like an animal even in the times that he wasn’t. “I know. It doesn’t matter. I still hate it.”
“Tsukishima was Yamaguchi’s friend before the rest of us were,” Hinata said, and he had his head tilted and he was looking so intensely at Kageyama that Kageyama wanted to wrench his arm away and hide. Or he wanted to lift Hinata up onto his potions station and kiss him until they were both breathless. The fact that one person could make Kageyama feel so much all at once was almost too much to take, and Kageyama had to deal with that four times over. “Of course his happiest memories start there,” continued Hinata. “But it’s not like he picked it.”
“I know,” Kageyama said again, though his voice had less of an edge now. “Maybe I just wish I had happier memories.”
Kageyama had been seven when he got bit, after a stupid idea of sneaking out alone with his broom during the full moon so it would be bright enough to see. He’d just started playing Quidditch and he was already in love, and he hated every evening when his parents told him he had to come in for the night. But after he’d touched ground, something was waiting for him. The thrill of being alone and free and flying came crashing down, and now he felt like anything happy was tainted with something awful.
Hinata hopped up onto Kageyama’s table himself and pulled Kageyama in between his legs. He took Kageyama’s face in his hands and leaned down to slot their mouths together. “We’ll make a lot together,” he said after they pulled apart. “It’ll get better. But you gotta forgive Yamaguchi first.”
Tsukishima had a calendar and planner open on his bed when Kageyama threw back the drapes.
“King,” he greeted, without bothering to look up. “Nice of you to remember your subjects.”
“I apologized to Yamaguchi,” Kageyama said, pulling the drapes shut behind him.
“I know. He already told me.” Tsukishima piled his things up at the end of the bed, and only then did he finally look at Kageyama. “Which is good because loyalty would have prevented me from doing this.” He reached out and grabbed Kageyama by his collar, pulling him down on top of him and pressing their mouths together. They never talked much when this happened, since Tsukishima usually made sure Kageyama’s mouth was otherwise occupied, but that was sort of a relief. It was nice to lose himself in something, sometimes. Tsukishima didn’t do that a lot.
Kageyama’s chest hitched when Tsukishima’s tongue found his, and he gasped when Tsukishima tugged on his hair. He smelled vaguely like Yamaguchi’s soap, which meant this was probably the second time today Kageyama had been in a similar position, and that made Tsukishima groan and roll Kageyama onto his back so he could get his mouth on Kageyama’s throat. His fingers twisted impatiently in the material of Kageyama’s robes, but with the way Kageyama was already lifting his hips and rubbing against him, it probably wasn’t going to be a concern for long.
“Two days till the full moon,” Tsukishima said into Kageyama’s ear. “We’re all coming out with you this time.” They didn’t always, sometimes it just wasn’t possible because of scheduling or because sneaking four people into the dungeons after Kageyama took his Wolfsbane could be tricky, but it was best when they could.
Kageyama groaned then, though Tsukishima didn’t know if it was from the thought of them all together or Tsukishima’s teeth scraping against the shell of his ear. Tsukishima tugged at the fastenings on Kageyama’s robes and pushed Kageyama’s shirt up, sucking in a breath over how hot Kageyama’s skin was.
Tsukishima shifted down and placed a kiss on Kageyama’s stomach, right on the silvery scar that stretched across his middle. “Hinata told me you need more happy memories.”
“Ugh,” Kageyama said, throwing an arm over his eyes. “Hinata talks too much.”
“No kidding,” Tsukishima said, dragging his tongue against the full length of Kageyama’s scar while pulling open Kageyama’s trousers to slide his hand inside. Kageyama’s hips jerked up and he gasped. “But his ideas are occasionally good. Wanna see my idea?”
Tsukishima’s idea needed his mouth, too, but not for talking, and the only word Kageyama got out after that was Tsukishima’s name.
“Is Kageyama doing okay?” Yachi whispered to Hinata in Muggle Studies. After their OWLs in fifth year, they didn’t have much schedule overlap. They had Defense Against the Dark Arts and Potions together, but those classes were usually too busy for talking. Sometimes Muggle Studies was, too, but Tsukishima was deep into another argument with their professor about the potential viability of WiFi networks at Hogwarts, and they both knew that could go on for a while.
“He’s sleeping, I think,” Hinata said. “At least he was when the rest of us left this morning. I think he’ll probably skip classes today.”
“The day before seems rougher than transformation day sometimes.” Yachi sighed, thinking of the dark circles shadowing Kageyama’s eyes. He rarely even argued with Hinata this close to the full moon, which was how Yachi first figured out his secret, back in third year. It felt like a million years ago now.
“I want to take him out hunting tomorrow,” Hinata said.
Yachi sighed. “That’s dangerous, Hinata, even with the Wolfsbane. We should just transfigure and stay with him in the dungeons, like we planned.”
Hinata shook his head, his mouth set in a determined line. He didn’t make that face much with Yachi, but Kageyama always looked dismayed when it appeared because he knew he’d already lost. “He has his head with the Wolfsbane. And I can’t fly if we’re trapped inside.”
Yachi knew Hinata didn’t really care about that. The problem was if Kageyama was stuck inside, sometimes he’d attack himself even with Wolfsbane, and the four of them would all be helpless watching him. Some wolves could just sleep through their transformation, but that required a calmer temperament than Kageyama’s. Wolfsbane was a tricky potion and lycanthropy was a horrible, unrelenting curse.
“Come on, Hitoka,” Hinata said. “We’ll keep him in line. Please.”
“Okay,” Yachi sighed. She already knew she was beaten. “But today, let’s take nice notes for him in Potions!”
Hinata smiled and reached across the aisle to touch his fingers to her hand, a gesture Yachi knew was meant as thanks. “You mean, you’ll take nice notes for him in Potions. I don’t think mine will be a lot of help.”
“You help in other ways,” Yachi assured him. “I know you were the one who got him to work things out with Yamaguchi.”
“Yeah!” Hinata said, brightening. “And I talked to Tsukishima about us helping him make more happy memories for Kageyama.” They both reflexively looked toward the front of the classroom, where their professor’s face was growing redder and redder. Tsukishima looked the same as always, face passive and his hands folded in front of him on the desk. “He said he helped!”
Yachi smiled fondly. “He’d hate me for saying this, but Tsukishima’s a big softy.”
Hinata snorted. “Well. From what I heard, there wasn’t much soft involved with how he helped.”
It took Yachi a second to work that out, but when she did, she let out a loud, “Oh!” and then slapped her hand over her mouth when a couple of other kids swiveled around to look at them. Then she giggled. “Well, that was still very thoughtful of him.” Tsukishima turned around to glance back at them then, like he could tell they were talking about him.
Hinata waved; Tsukishima narrowed his eyes and turned around again. “Gonna ask him to give me a happy memory before lunch,” Hinata muttered, still staring at Tsukishima’s back. He glanced sidelong and bit his bottom lip, and Yachi found her eyes following the movement. “Interested in coming along?”
Yachi beamed at him. “I’ll find the time.”
Yamaguchi and Hinata were acting as lookouts while Yachi and Tsukishima led Kageyama out of the dungeons. Tsukishima needed to charm the dungeon so that anyone passing by would hear the sounds of an animal pacing restlessly, like Kageyama sometimes did during his change, and Yachi with her small fox Animagus form could make sure no one was coming as Kageyama left the castle.
“Tsukki told me he was working on randomized howling,” Yamaguchi whispered, peering around the wall to see if anyone was coming.
“What?” Hinata said, too loud for someone who was supposed to be covert. Yamaguchi put his fingers to his lips.
“You know,” Yamaguchi said, “the cell will give off a howling sound every once in a while, so it sounds like Kageyama’s baying. No one will realize he’s not there.”
Hinata shook his head. “Sounds like Tsukishima has too much time on his hands.”
Yamaguchi laughed, covering his mouth. “I just think he’s trying to avoid detention with you again.”
A few months ago, Yamaguchi came down with the flu and Yachi caught it from him after trying to make him feel better, so it was just Tsukishima and Hinata around for Kageyama’s transformation. They wound up arguing loudly enough that the kids in the Slytherin dorms could hear them. Though they managed to get out of Kageyama’s cell without anyone seeing that they were there, they were caught in the halls and got detention for being out of bed after curfew. They had to clean the Owlery for three days and after, Tsukishima told Yamaguchi that he wasn’t allowed to get sick ever again.
Hinata shuddered, probably from the memory. “Okay, I guess I see his point.” He grinned at Yamaguchi, brightly enough that it was momentarily distracting. “But you’re here this time, and Yacchan, too. You’ll keep us in line.”
Yamaguchi rubbed the back of his head. “You have too much faith in me.”
“I have just enough,” Hinata insisted.
Yachi poked her fuzzy little head outside just then, her ears pricking up when she spotted Hinata and Yamaguchi, alone and waiting. It was nearly as adorable as her human form. She scrambled back inside and came back a moment later with Kageyama skulking behind her. Yamaguchi knew Kageyama hated being a werewolf, but he was really so impressive like this – larger than a regular wolf, with fur so dark that he nearly disappeared in the night. Hinata shifted into his crow form and landed on Kageyama’s head, his black feathers almost invisible against Kageyama’s fur.
The three of them scrambled off into the Forbidden Forest while Yamaguchi hung back and waited for Tsukishima. A minute or two ticked by; Yamaguchi started to get agitated, worrying that Tsukishima had been caught out after hours. If Yamaguchi went back in and they were found together, that would probably mitigate the damage; he was a Prefect and even though he didn’t have patrol duty, he still had more reason to be out than the rest of them.
“Hey,” Tsukishima said, coming up behind him. Yamaguchi jumped. “What?”
Yamaguchi shook his head. “Nothing. Sorry, Tsukki! Everyone’s already gone into the forest.”
“Let’s head after them,” Tsukishima said.
Tsukishima stretched a little and turned into his wild horse form. As usual, Yamaguchi thought he made a pretty horse, stupid as that sounded, with light hair and dark markings around his large eyes. Yamaguchi didn’t shift right away, patting Tsukishima on the side of the neck.
“I should get you a saddle,” Yamaguchi teased and Tsukki shook his head violently to dislodge Yamaguchi’s hand. He laughed. He supposed there were only two ways he got to ride Tsukishima: in his little guinea pig Animagus form, hitching a ride on Tsukishima’s back, and –
Before Yamaguchi had a chance to change himself, there was a rustling commotion from the forest and Yachi and Hinata reappeared first. Kageyama followed, sprinting at top speed. A dark mass came out after them, a lethifold or something else, Yamaguchi wasn’t sure. All he knew was he had his wand out before everyone other than Kageyama could shift back, and he was shouting before thinking and suddenly a second full moon appeared in the sky and the creature retreated back into the Forbidden Forest.
Yamaguchi fell on his ass as soon it was gone, sucking in great big breaths as his heart beat wildly against his ribcage.
“God, Yamaguchi, are you okay?” Hinata shouted, but it sounded faraway and detached. Then, Kageyama crept up and folded his legs under him so he could put his huge head in Yamaguchi’s lap, some kind of thank you or offering reassurance, Yamaguchi didn’t know. All he knew was he was grateful. He exhaled shakily and patted Kageyama’s head, scratching behind his ears.
After a moment, the other three joined them. They touched however they could – Hinata’s head on Yachi’s shoulder, Tsukishima’s fingers interlaced with Yamaguchi’s, Hinata’s legs flopped over Yamaguchi’s, all sorts of contact that meant that they were together and they stayed that way until the sun just started to rise up over the horizon again.
After classes the next day, Yamaguchi went back to Gryffindor Tower. He was understandably tired from the events of the night before and thought he’d nap before dinner. And of course he also wanted to check in on Kageyama.
He was sitting up in bed with his curtains pulled back when Yamaguchi came into their room, the dark circles that haunted his eyes before and after the full moon already receding. It never failed to impress Yamaguchi how strong Kageyama was; he’d read about werewolves who couldn’t function for days before and after their change, how it drained their whole life force away. Kageyama was never like that.
“Hey,” Yamaguchi said.
Kageyama smiled at him, his real one, not the scary we’re gonna win this or else one, and Yamaguchi beamed back.
“Look,” Kageyama said, pulling out his wand and kneeling in the middle of his bed. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. “Expecto Patronum!”
A spectral wolf burst out of Kageyama’s wand and ran all around the sixth year boys’ dorm before lying down at Yamaguchi’s feet and disappearing.
“Wow,” Yamaguchi breathed, wide-eyed. Kageyama flopped back against his pillows again, looking suddenly exhausted. Yamaguchi ran over to fret at his bedside. “God! Kageyama, don’t do that again until you have all your strength back.”
“I won’t,” Kageyama said, his eyes already slipping shut. “I just wanted to show you.” He patted the space next to him and Yamaguchi climbed in next to him.
“You found some happier memories?” Yamaguchi asked. He curled up behind Kageyama and pulled them tightly together.
“Yeah. I guess,” Kageyama grumbled, “the moon isn’t so bad sometimes.”