Actions

Work Header

a magical mess

Work Text:

“Hi, I’m Yoo Kihyun, Ravenclaw prefect, and I can’t believe that I managed to receive Saturday detention from one of the best teachers in the whole entire school—”

Shut up, Minhyuk. This is no laughing matter! I, a model student, a prefect, have to go to detention because of that fucker Chae!” Kihyun grinds his teeth in frustration as the duo lounge on the chairs on the Ravenclaw’s cozy common room. Minhyuk, a Slytherin, technically wasn’t supposed to be in the Ravenclaw dormitory, but he’s there so often that no one bothers to make him leave.

“Alas, how blasphemous! What shall we ever do?” Minhyuk sighs dramatically, gazing up at the ceiling with a look of exaggerated melancholy. Kihyun shoots him a withering glare, crossing his arms with a huff. Rolling his eyes in exasperation, Minhyuk stretches over to where Kihyun sits and rests his head on Kihyun’s lap. “Alright, consider this: it’s not completely his fault that you ended up with detention. I’m sure half of the water in the classroom was your contribution.”

“Make that one half and an additional six pints, thank you.”

“Not the point here.”

Kihyun coughs. “Ah, yes, right. Do continue.”

“What I’m trying to get at here is that you’re both really dumb. Who starts a show-off by seeing who can fill a bowl with water the fastest? The worst part is that you both decided to keep going at it even when the bowls were filled! Both of you have kidney stones for brains, I swear!” Minhyuk cries, pinching the bridge of his nose. “Look, I get you guys hate each other, but seriously, how old are you? Negative five?”

“This conversation ends here. I’m going to bed,” Kihyun answers dismissively, escaping into the boys’ dormitory before Minhyuk can protest. Suddenly, he stops mid-stride, turning around to face a very exhausted Slytherin.

“What do you want?” Minhyuk asks irritably.

“Negative five isn’t an age,” Kihyun says with the biggest shit-eating grin Minhyuk’s ever seen.

“As if I don’t know that, you twit!” Minhyuk yells after him, but Kihyun’s already gone before Minhyuk has the chance to throw something at the insufferable Ravenclaw.

“You should know by now that Kihyun doesn’t like admitting that he’s wrong.” A figure suddenly approaches from behind Minhyuk.

“Oh my god!” Minhyuk jumps in surprise. “Can you fucking not?”

Changkyun smiles unapologetically. “Sorry. Care to fill me in?”

Minhyuk breathes in heavily, running a hand through his hair. Changkyun plops himself right onto Minhyuk’s legs, causing Minhyuk to screech in pain.

“What the hell’s wrong with you? What did you eat to make you this heavy?”

“This is a public space. You should learn to make room for others,” Changkyun replies innocently. “Also, don’t blame me for being heavy when you’re just a weakling.”

“You and Kihyun are both fucking shits, did you know that?” Minhyuk doesn’t get how such a Slytherin-esque kid managed to be sorted into Ravenclaw. Maybe being an asshole was a Ravenclaw thing. Shooting a glare at the back of Changkyun’s head, Minhyuk suddenly has a great plan. He shifts his thighs slightly so that Changkyun won’t notice, and then proceeds to knee the fourth-year in the balls as viciously as he can. Immediately, Changkyun lets out an inhuman screech and falls to the ground, whimpering in pain. Minhyuk laughs gleefully, wondering why Kihyun adored this kid so much when he’s having so much fun making Changkyun suffer.

“Long story short, Ravenclaws and Gryffindors had Charms together. They were learning about some water-making spell when Kihyun decided it was a brilliant idea to challenge Chae Hyungwon and see who can shoot water out of their wand the fastest. They ended up going grossly overboard and flooded the entire Charms classroom. Flitwick, the gentlest soul amongst souls, got pissed, which is scary in the notion itself. Cut to now, when Kihyun’s being a little bitch about Saturday detention.”

“Doesn’t sound too atypical to me,” Changkyun murmurs, stroking his chin with his hand pretentiously.

“Just talk some sense into him. I’m going to bed,” Minhyuk says dismissively, walking towards the exit of the common room.

“Bed isn’t a place!” Changkyun calls after him. Minhyuk almost hexes the stupid kid, but he’s gone before Minhyuk can pull out his wand.

“Fucking Ravenclaws and their ‘atypical’ bullshit,” Minhyuk mutters under his breath. Looking around warily for Filch and Mrs. Norris, he slithers through the halls and back into the Slytherin dormitories. Flopping down on his springy bed, Minhyuk stares up at the ebony ceiling. “Bed is totally a place,” he mumbles to himself as he drifts off to a heavy slumber.

 

 

It’s Saturday, and Kihyun knows exactly what that means.

Detention.

Oh, even thinking about that wretched word leaves a stain on Kihyun’s pride. The fact that he and detention could be associated together is absolutely shameful to his identity as a wizard. One does not simply imagine that Yoo Kihyun would be spending an hour reflecting over his horrible decisions on a beautiful Saturday morning in a stuffy classroom with the person he hates the most in the entire universe.

Of course, as much as he abhors the notion of going to detention, he supposes he has to get there at least ten minutes early, just in case. Life waits for no one, after all.

Life waits for no one, after all, Kihyun repeats mockingly inside his head when Chae Hyungwon shows up at the door of the classroom, clearly drowsy—of course he took a nap prior to this—and somehow still manages to make it to detention on time. Why does Lady Luck have to play favorites? Why does Chae get everything and Kihyun’s still stuck with all the shit he has to deal with—

You’re losing your composure, his conscience reminds him. Absentmindedly, Kihyun smooths out his robes as he waits for Chae to sit down preferably somewhere far away from him. Alas, not everything he wishes for can come true. He watches in horror as Chae decides to take a seat at the desk right next to his. Clearly his eyes are so shitty that he can’t even see that there are clearly over ten open seats waiting for him to grace his royal ass upon. What is the purpose of Chae’s glasses? Are they for decoration? Kihyun’s pretty sure his head already serves that purpose.

“Why, thank you,” a voice says snidely, “At least my head is worthy enough to be an embellishment, unlike a certain someone.”

Kihyun whips his head around quickly to face the source of the voice. “You bastard—”

“That habit of yours is pretty funny, you know? Imagine if you let something like that slip in front of Slughorn!” Chae cackles nefariously, obviously because he knows and savors the fact that the Potions master favors him over Kihyun. This of course makes Kihyun’s face flush beet-red in anger. He stands up quickly, almost knocking over his desk in the process.

“Don’t you dare think that being on Slughorn’s good side makes you better than me in any way!” Kihyun spits out, feeling his cheeks heat up, “I’ll show you! I’ll get better grades than you in Potions, just you wait—”

“Alright, very interesting conversation boys, but it’s time for you both to settle down. Mr. Yoo, especially,” Professor Flitwick squeaks as he climbs onto an elevated chair, the sole purpose of the chair being so that he can properly look down on the other two. “Now, I’m sure you both know why you’re here today.”

“I have my reflection, Professor,” Kihyun announces proudly, pulling out his neatly-written paper from inside his robe. Chae shoots him an odd look but also presents his reflection to Professor Flitwick. Flicking his eyes towards Chae, Kihyun shoots his nemesis a smug smile.

“Well done, boys,” Professor Flitwick says, smiling warmly, “I have never seen students so eager to write reflections.”

Kihyun puffs his chest up in pride, feeling a warm buzz throughout his body after being praised. Chae twists his expression uncomfortably, and Kihyun knows it’s because Kihyun passed in his reflection first. Ah, now frog face knows what it feels like to taste defeat. Gryffindors need to be put in their place every once in a while so that they remember they aren’t the elite house or something ridiculous. Where do Chae and his little friends get all their misplaced pride from? Did they pull it out from their bottoms? The mystery remains forever unsolved.

Flitwick reads over the reflections, seeming very pleased. When he finishes, he looks up with an overly enthusiastic grin that always means something bad. “As you both already know, I’m not one to give you harsh punishments. I can see that you’ve both reflected upon your mistakes and understood why your actions were not proper classroom behavior. As for the rest of the hour, you can both become friendly with each other! Alas, I will not stay, as I have work to do,” Flitwick rattles off cheerily, “A reminder that if any of you attempt to leave the classroom before detention ends, I will know. So, if you don’t want to be a duck, don’t try your luck.” Flitwick gives Chae a knowing smile before disappearing out of the room.

“Professor, I can’t do that—” Kihyun protests, but Flitwick’s out of the door before he can reason with the Charms professor about how he absolutely can’t stand Chae Hyungwon, nevermind be on friendly terms with him. Unfathomable. Unthinkable. Someone burn that possibility with fiendfyre.

“Ugh, why you?” Kihyun mutters unhappily, unable to suppress his frustration. Why did he have to be stuck in detention with someone of such a low caliber?

“What, can’t be in a room with a Gryffindor? Oh yeah, you can’t stand us because we’re all cocky and think we’re the shit,” Chae drawls, raising an eyebrow mockingly. Kihyun tries to not to think about how charming—what the fuck, no.

“Screw you,” is all Kihyun says.

“Gladly,” Hyungwon replies smugly.

Kihyun resists the urge to throw up. He hates the fact that he just considered the possibility that Chae was attractive. Not in a thousand moons would Kihyun ever genuinely think that. “Is being an annoyingly massive flirt also on the criteria to becoming a Gryffindor?”

“You’re hopeless,” Chae sighs, leaning back onto his chair, “God, why do I even like you—”

Kihyun’s voice hitches. “What?”

Chae seems to realize that something’s wrong, judging by the way his eyes widen dramatically and his cheeks flush a flaming crimson. “Wait, no, I wasn’t supposed to say that—fuck, shit—” he stammers.

Kihyun frowns toward the Gryffindor in confusion. Chae actually shies away when Kihyun leans closer, which seems very uncharacteristic of him. Just then, something inside Kihyun’s head clicks. Narrowing his eyes, he feels a familiar lump clogging his throat.

“Don’t think you can fool me with that act,” Kihyun spits harshly, stabbing a finger into Chae’s chest, “I know your little tricks as well as I know that you’re a piece of Gryffindor scum that looks down on everyone else because you think you’re the ‘superior house’. If you think I’m like one of those girls that you can charm easily with your words, you’re fucking wrong.”

Chae seems flabbergasted and at a loss for words, much to Kihyun’s delight. Finally, he gets to put Chae in his place. He’s sick of always being made fun of for being a Ravenclaw, sick of people calling him a loser and telling him that all he can do is study and get good grades. He’ll show them that he can be a great wizard without having to be born in a house that wastes their breath yelling about bravery and courage.

When Chae’s silence extends to a little over a minute, it starts to become a little unsettling. Kihyun looks over to see what’s going on, only to find Chae’s expression is eerily calm and stony. Fiddling his fingers mindlessly, Kihyun almost begins to feel regret for what he said before.

But, then he remembers the way Chae smirks at him whenever they get back an exam in Potions and Kihyun knows he means every word he said.

The rest of detention passes in a pregnant silence.

Unbeknownst to the both of them, a little figure peeks in from the classroom window, carefully observing the situation.

“It seems that I’ve made it worse,” the figure whispers sadly, hoping optimistically that the next detention will produce better results.

 

 

Kihyun’s first detention with Chae leaves him in a sour mood for days. To distract himself, he chooses the obvious option: studying. Moving to the library would be a practical decision, but the peace is quickly interrupted as a fellow Ravenclaw sticks his head into Kihyun’s personal space.

“Kihyun, c’mon, let’s go!” Changkyun pleads as he tries to Accio the books that Kihyun’s currently poring over, which results in an intense game of tug-of-war. Kihyun loses, unsurprisingly, considering that his twig arms were no match for Changkyun’s magic. He ends up falling onto the ground, bookless and marked with rug burns as battle scars.

“Changkyun, I really need to finish my homework,” Kihyun protests, “I have five papers to write, nine worksheets to finish, six exams to study for, not including O.W.Ls, and at least nine pages worth of notes to take. If it isn’t clear enough already, I don’t have the time to watch a Quidditch match.”

“But, Kihyun,” Changkyun whines, “Jooheon’s playing today! I really want to see him play.”

“Then go by yourself! Why do I have to come along?” Kihyun throws his hands up in exasperation from the ground, almost stabbing himself in the eye with a quill.

“Because I want you to come!” Changkyun replies, sticking out his bottom lip pitifully. “Please?”

Resist, resist, resist. Kihyun closes his eyes and takes a deep breath. When he opens his eyes again, Changkyun’s still there with his ridiculously big and teary puppy eyes. Kihyun sighs and places his quill down, clearing his throat as he stands up. “Well, I guess I have no choice,” he proclaims, pushing his hair back, “if my cute junior wants me to go.”

“Yay!” Changkyun cries, snuggling his face into Kihyun’s robes. “You’re the best!”

“Of course I am,” Kihyun says proudly, marching out of the library with a happy Changkyun in tow. A little part of his brain tells him that he’ll probably regret this, but he pushes the thought aside. If he agrees to something, there’s no turning back.

They arrive at the Quidditch field just before the match starts. The stadium is already crowded with students, all wearing the color of their respective house. Kihyun notices that a good number of red-clad people are holding up numerous lion-themed gadgets, which could only mean that today’s match is between Gryffindor and Hufflepuff, considering that Changkyun’s currently bursting his eardrums by hyperventilating over a certain Hufflepuff.

As Kihyun’s dragged over to to sit with some of Changkyun’s fourth-year friends, a booming voice fills the entire stadium.

“WITCHES, WIZARDS, AND MAGICAL BEINGS OF EVERY KIND, TODAY IS THE DAY YOU’VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR! A DESTINED MATCH BETWEEN THE TWO POWERHOUSES, GRYFFINDOR ANNND HUFFLEPUFF! IS. EVERYONE. READY?”

Cheers explode from all around Kihyun, making him cover his ears instinctively. Amidst the red and yellow banners being waved in front of him, he can just make out a black speck in the distance. He doesn’t have to see who it is to know that it’s Minhyuk.

“Alright then! On my right, we have the Gryffindor Quidditch team! First up is their Captain and Beater, Shin Hoseok!”

A confident figure strides up to the field and waves cheerfully at the crowd, throwing out winks here and there before mounting his broom and swiftly kicking off into the air. Shin Hoseok is the type of person Kihyun would never imagine associating himself with: an outstanding Quidditch player—enough to be scouted by teams worldwide—that’s so popular he can’t walk through the halls without being flocked by at least a dozen girls. In short, he’s a typical stuck-up, muscle-headed Gryffindor. Kihyun can’t forget that. It’s only because they’re neighbors do they ever associate with each other. This arrangement is also what allows for Kihyun to know that the great Shin Hoseok is also deathly afraid of garden gnomes (gnomes—funny, right? Kihyun finds it absolutely hilarious). Under all that ‘cool’ guy look he’s going for, Hoseok’s a little bitch on the inside. Enough said. Kihyun doesn’t want to waste his breath on Gryffindors.

“Next, we have Gryffindor’s Chasers: Park Jimin, Jackson Wang, and Chae Hyungwon!”

At the sound of his name, all the nerves on Kihyun’s forehead began popping. Looks like Kihyun’s going to be wasting his breath on a particular Gryffindor bastard after all.

There are so many things he can say about Chae Hyungwon: he’s insufferably tall, annoyingly smart despite being the laziest person on the planet, and frustratingly stupid all at once. Last detention was evidence enough that they are incapable of ever interacting with each other. Kihyun lives to make Chae Hyungwon grovel at his feet one day, begging him to forgive him for his sins and praising Kihyun for his greatness. The fact that Chae’s also a Gryffindor would make the entire experience a lot more satisfying.

“Just let him live, Ki.” A voice suddenly breaks through his thoughts. Changkyun raises an eyebrow next to him, smiling knowingly.

“Please stop doing that,” Kihyun demands, still strung up about thinking about how irritating Chae Hyungwon is.

“What?” Changkyun asks innocently.

“Reading my mind, obviously.”

“I’m not a Legilimens, you know. It’s just that every time Hyungwon gets mentioned, you become like this.” Changkyun proceeds to scowl and scrunch up his face so that he looks like a prune. “It’s really not too difficult to guess what you’re thinking.”

“I will choose to ignore everything you just said,” Kihyun huffs, turning back to the field. There he is, that frog-shit Chae, swooping through the air with that ridiculously ugly smile of his. It almost makes Kihyun want to puke, knowing how fake it is. He watches as he and Hoseok chat amicably and high-five the other Gryffindor players as they are called out to the field. Birds of a feather flock together, Kihyun scoffs silently.

He continues to glare daggers at Chae from where he sits until Minhyuk bellows, “AND NOW, FROM HUFFLEPUFF, WE HAVE THEIR FINE CAPTAIN AND SEXY—I MEAN SKILLED KEEPER, SON HYUNWOO!”

Kihyun resists the urge to facepalm. As if Minhyuk couldn’t get any more obvious about his very apparent affection towards the sixth-year. He almost gags when Minhyuk’s voice lilts a little at the end flirtatiously. Giggles erupt from a group of third-years behind him, and Kihyun tries not to feel embarrassed for his friend.

“Kihyun, your face is red,” Changkyun supplies helpfully.

“I know!” Kihyun snaps, which only makes his cheeks burn a brighter scarlet.

“Heh,” Changkyun chuckles, “It’s funny to see how easily you get embarrassed.”

“Just be quiet, you.”

“You wish—oh my god, Kihyun, look,” Changkyun suddenly stops, eyes widening. “It’s him, oh my god, it’s him! Does my hair look okay?” He turns towards Kihyun, pointing at his head. Kihyun looks over impassively, pretending to evaluate the state of Changkyun’s hair before turning back to the field to see what the cause for Changkyun’s sudden outburst is, ignoring the other’s protests of, “You didn’t even check!”

“And next, we have Hufflepuff’s Beaters, Choi Youngjae and Lee Jooheon!”

“Does my hair look okay?” Changkyun demands fiercely. Kihyun, startled, jumps for a second as Changkyun waits for his judgement.

“It’s wonderful, alright?” Kihyun replies hastily. “Just… calm down, please.”

“Good.” Changkyun’s face quickly relaxes as he sighs in relief. “I have to look good for Jooheon, after all.”

“As if he can see you from here,” Kihyun mutters under his breath. Luckily, Changkyun doesn’t hear him, as he’s currently preoccupied with screaming until he permanently destroys someone’s eardrums. Kihyun really doesn’t get it; it’s not like Lee Jooheon is a celebrity or anything, so what’s the big deal? Why does Lim Changkyun simply lose his mind whenever anything involving the Hufflepuff arises? It’s a mind-boggling concept to Kihyun, although he gets the feeling that he is also guilty of being unreasonably emotional around certain people.

“Oi, Yoo Kihyun, stop thinking so loudly!” a voice cackles, suddenly snapping him from his thoughts. Kihyun’s suddenly aware that there are many curious eyes directed towards him, which makes him shift uncomfortably. When he looks down at the field, it’s Lee Minhyuk that shoots him a vicious smile, and Kihyun just knows that he’s going to strangle someone once this ridiculous Quidditch match is over. Cheeks burning a flaming crimson, he scooches closer to Changkyun and buries his face into the other’s shoulder. When he feels Changkyun’s shoulders shaking, he slaps Changkyun’s arm as hard as he can, earning a loud protest from his friend—not that Kihyun cares. He makes a note to get better friends when he has the chance. Just then, his eyes wander around the stadium and happen to find Chae’s, who’s pointing suspiciously in his direction and laughing as he whispers something towards Hoseok.

Well, that makes a grand total of three people to murder for today.

“Without further ado, let the match begin!”

The stadium explodes into screams and whoops of excitement as the referee throws the Quaffle into the air, signaling the beginning of the match.

“And they’re off! The Quaffle has been caught by Gryffindor first! Park’s got the ball, makes a quick pass to Wang, who just narrowly dodges a Bludger from Lee, handing it off to Chae, who’s shooting towards the goal and and HE SCORES! GRYFFINDOR GAINS THE FIRST POINT!”

“Darn.” Kihyun grinds his teeth in frustration. “I really hoped that Chae would crash into that pole.”

“Hufflepuff’s on offense now. Taylor’s got the Quaffle—makes a tricky pass to Wu, who’s about to cross over to Gryffindor’s side—HE GETS HIT BY A BLUDGER FROM SHIN, WHAT A SMASH—and the ball’s back to Chae, who passes to Wang to score and HE’S BLOCKED BY THE ONE AND ONLY SON HYUNWOO!” Minhyuk yells enthusiastically, not seeming at all ashamed of himself.

“The Quaffle is in Wu’s hands now—she makes a long pass to Kawasaki, who swiftly spirals over a Bludger—expertly tosses to Taylor, who’s going in with a sharp turn and SHE SCORES! THAT’S A POINT TO HUFFLEPUFF!”

“This is so much fun!” somebody next to him squeals. It takes a couple seconds for Kihyun to register that it’s Changkyun, who’s bouncing excitedly in his seat. Kihyun had been so fixated on burning holes into Chae’s broom with his eyes that he’d forgotten all about his surroundings. Changkyun turns to him with sparkling eyes. “Did you see Jooheon there? He was so cool when he hit that Bludger! I kinda want him to hit me like that too—”

“Don’t you dare finish what you’re going to say,” Kihyun growls, clamping a hand over Changkyun’s mouth. “I will not allow it.”

“Whatever you say, Kihyun,” Changkyun replies cheerfully, not at all fazed. Kihyun buries his face into his hands and wonders how his innocent Changkyun managed to learn that how to say things like that. Perhaps he’s been a very irresponsible parent. He will find whoever it was that taught his son how to think such scandalous thoughts and teach them a very painful lesson.

“The Quaffle is in Chae’s hands now! He’s going in for a forward attack with Park in tow—seems to effectively catch Hufflepuff’s attention—and WHAT IS THAT, A REVERSE PASS? That’s difficult even for professional players yet Chae pulls it off flawlessly—Park catches the Quaffle swiftly and ducks under the beaters, racing towards babe Son Hyunwoo and fakes—tosses the ball to Wang, who’s been waiting at the goal for this opportunity and SCORE! GRYFFINDOR’S IN THE LEAD WITH ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL PLAY!”

Kihyun really thinks he’s wasting valuable time watching Hufflepuffs and Gryffindors toss a stupid red ball around, but seeing the Changkyun is so immersed in the game, he supposes he’ll have to stay until the end. There are many sacrifices that must be made in the long journey called ‘parenting’.

“Hufflepuff’s ball now. Kawasaki zig-zags with the Quaffle and passes to Wu, who almost doesn’t catch it, as she seems to be distracted by something—GRYFFINDOR’S SEEKER IS GOING IN FOR A SHARP DIVE—HAS HE SPOTTED THE GOLDEN SNITCH? HUFFLEPUFF’S SEEKER KIM IS HEAD-TO-HEAD WITH THEM, SHOOTING DOWN TO THE GROUND AT AN INCREDIBLE SPEED—THEY’RE GOING AND OH! GRYFFINDOR’S JEON PULLS UP SHARPLY—BRILLIANT EXECUTION OF THE WRONSKI FEINT—KIM LOOKS SURPRISED, BUT MANAGES TO PULL UP AT THE LAST SECOND, AVOIDING A NASTY CRASH. The Quaffle’s still in Wu’s hands, and she passes it to Taylor and is INTERCEPTED BY CHAE! Chae rushes to the goal—ooo, that’s a mean hit from Hufflepuff’s Choi—Chae seems to be wounded, but nonetheless goes for the goal—zooming in, ONLY TO BE BLOCKED BY SON HYUNWOO AGAIN!”

“Yikes, that looks like a bad hit,” Changkyun comments, grimacing as he watches Chae Hyungwon fly across the field. Kihyun doesn’t respond, because he doesn’t care if that stupid frog fuck gets hurt, does he?

“It’s Hufflepuff’s possession again, and Taylor is going for arrow formation to intimidate Gryffindor, which seems to work momentarily—Shin aims a Bludger and IT HITS THE QUAFFLE OUT OF TAYLOR’S HANDS! WHAT ACCURACY, AS EXPECTED FROM GRYFFINDOR’S CAPTAIN! Wang catches the ball and heads towards the goal—ref’s called for a time-out, it seems that Chae’s taken a bad hit.”

Even Kihyun can tell that Chae Hyungwon is injured, despite how much the other seems to be trying to hide it. All the players on the field stop where they are, watching as Chae slowly descends to the ground where the ref’s waiting. He stumbles a little as he gets off his broom and is escorted off the field by his teammates like a princess.

“It seems that Chae is unable to play for today, so Gryffindor and Hufflepuff have both agreed to postpone the game to a week later in consideration of Chae’s injury,” Minhyuk announces. The stadium is already abuzz with conversation, and Kihyun sees this as his chance to leave.

“Hey, Changkyun, let’s go!” he whispers, tugging at Changkyun’s sleeve.

“Okay,” Changkyun agrees pliantly, which surprises Kihyun. He was expecting the fourth-year to protest because he wanted to watch his idol for a little longer. He supposes that Changkyun has something important to do after the game and doesn’t bother asking questions.

They arrive to the Great Hall just in time for dinner. As per usual, Kihyun takes his seat at the Ravenclaw table next to Changkyun. Tonight’s dinner is a variety of hearty foods, such as roasted potatoes and a vast array of mouth-watering meats. All the studying and game-watching has left him half-starved, so he piles some food onto his plate and digs in. From the corner of Kihyun’s eye, he can see Changkyun scarfing down a few chicken legs before wiping off his hands on a napkin, seeming to be done.

“I’ve got somewhere to go—I’ll be back soon, so don’t come looking for me,” Changkyun says before heading out of the room.

“Okay,” Kihyun mumbles through a mouthful of food. He’s definitely really curious about where Changkyun’s going, but he needs to respect other people’s privacy too, so he doesn’t follow.

“What are you doing in your lonesome, princess?” A voice suddenly appears from behind him.

“Screw off, Hoseok,” Kihyun grumbles, not in the mood to interact with knuckle-faced Gryffindors. He can almost feel Hoseok grin from behind him, which makes him insanely uncomfortable, compelling him to turn around to face his neighbor (which, by the way, he vows to change—he really needs to convince his pig-headed family to move somewhere else away from Hoseok).

“How could you treat this when I’m only seeing you out of my good heart and will? Princess, you mustn't be so cold,” Hoseok laments, spreading an arm for dramatic effect. Kihyun resists the urge to poke out his eyes with his wand.

“Shouldn’t you be with frog fuck—I mean, your friend? He seemed to be hurt pretty badly,” Kihyun says, catching himself just in time.

“Madame Pomfrey works wonders, so I didn’t have much to worry about. The problem is that the Choi kid from Hufflepuff was apologizing so much for hitting Hyungwon that he wouldn’t listen to anyone who told him to stop, so I left him for the others to handle,” Hoseok explains cheerfully, absentmindedly blowing a kiss towards some girls walking by. He suddenly snaps his gaze back to Kihyun as if he’s forgotten something very important. “Ah, yes, your Ravenclaw friend was also there. What was his name… Changhyuk or something?”

Kihyun feels something rise up his chest. “Changkyun,” he spits out, feeling very bitter all of a sudden. So that’s where Changkyun went—to see Chae and hang out with all of Chae’s stupid Gryffindor buddies. Of course. Obviously Kihyun isn’t worthy enough to be his company. After all, everybody likes Chae better because he’s also a Quidditch hot-shot and smart without even trying. Kihyun can’t compare to someone like him.

He tries not to slam his fork onto the table as he storms out of the Great Hall, leaving a very confused Hoseok.

“Was it something I said?” Hoseok wonders to himself as he watches Kihyun’s figure disappear out the doorway.

 

 

Stomping heavily on the stairs towards the hospital wing, Kihyun tries not to smash anything along the way. He feels pity for the poor suit of armor that he happened to come upon on his way there. All he needed was a really good kick and an object to be his victim. Still, it didn’t really help to ease his bitterness.

Kihyun really doesn’t know why he feels so betrayed. Perhaps it’s because he’s a possessive prick, an asshole, or a bad mix of both. Changkyun can make friends with anybody he’s willing to be friends with, he’s his own person, Kihyun chides himself, yet a little part of his brain also asks why? Changkyun knows you hate Chae’s guts, so why would he go spend his time with him instead of you? Was your friendship really just one-sided all this time?

Slapping his cheeks, Kihyun tells himself to snap out of it. Overthinking anything right now isn’t going to help him with getting the information he wants. He settles for going with what he thinks is right because Yoo Kihyun can’t possibly have ideas that go completely awry, right?

Right my ass, he thinks as he steps into the hospital wing, realizing that the whole Gryffindor Quidditch team’s there already (excluding Hoseok, of course) along with Changkyun, who’s sitting in a chair next to a hospital bed. Chae’s hospital bed.

“Changkyun?” Kihyun forces out, eyes welling up when he sees just how close his son and bastard Chae are to each other.

“Kihyun, I told you not to follow me!” Changkyun cries, eyes darting back and forth between him and Chae. Wiping his eyes, Kihyun shoots a nasty glare towards Chae, which earns him a little side smile. Kihyun’s fist is itching to bury itself into that annoying face. Oh, how Chae manages to make his blood boil with even the littlest things.

“What do you think you’re doing with Changkyun?” Kihyun snaps at Chae, who looks offended and a bit confused.

“I’m not doing anything—” Chae replies indignantly. What a lying bastard.

“I can’t believe you’re eloping with him!” Kihyun wails, clutching his chest painfully. Changkyun watches in amusement as Kihyun points a shaky finger at him, announcing, “I’m disowning you! Never step a foot into my house ever again!” With a stifled sob, Kihyun turns his heels and stomps out of the hospital wing, leaving a stunned Gryffindor Quidditch team and an surprisingly unsurprised Changkyun.

“Does he… have problems?” Jackson asks hesitantly, still gazing at the door that Kihyun left through in disbelief.

“I think he’s high,” Jimin remarks, running a hand through his hair, “just like my dad’s cholesterol levels.”

“What does ‘high’ mean?” Jeongguk, still a petite second-year, chirps in curiosity.

“It means he’s smoking something good—

“Okay, this conversation ends here,” Hyungwon cuts through, raising an arm for everyone to stop. He turns to Changkyun, whom seems to be watching the Gryffindor team babble in amusement, and asks, “Shouldn’t you go and make up with him? Considering that he looks like he just experienced a Shakespearean tragedy.”

“It’s fine. He’ll be fine.”

“He called you his son.”

“...We’re working on that.”

Hyungwon rubs his temples, feeling a headache coming up. “See, the problem is that he’s probably going to dump all the blame onto me when it was you that came looking for me first. I’m fed up with Yoo always treating me like fucking bacteria.”

“Aw, maybe if you would just tell him that—”

“Don’t even try finishing that sentence.”

Changkyun holds his hands up in surrender. “Yes, Oh Great Chae Hyungwon, my lovely childhood friend.”

“That’s better.” Hyungwon smiles with a little huff. “But seriously, he thinks we’re eloping. First of all, gross.”

“I’m so offended,” Changkyun gasps, “There’s so many people who’d want to have my hand in marriage—”

“Don’t be delusional. The thing is, how do we explain that you came up to supposedly check on me but actually wanted to talk about coming over during the holidays to play Overwatch on my beloved PS4?”

“Don’t sweat the small details.”

“I—ugh,” Hyungwon groans, “You’re all so fucking weird. Also, how does Yoo not know we’re… associates?”

Changkyun laughs sheepishly. “I might’ve decided not to tell him because he might get heart failure if I did?”

Hyungwon rubs his temples again. “Merlin save us all.”

“Hey, your hand seems okay now.”

“You noticed that just now?”

“My bad.”

Plopping back onto the hospital bed, Hyungwon sighs heavily. “Pomfrey’s an angel. I’m also very done with you Ravenclaws.”

“Aaagghhh,” a loud groan comes from the bed next to Hyungwon’s. Changkyun peeks over curiously, wondering what in the world could be making that ghastly sound. All he sees is a lump underneath the white covers of the bed, shifting around whilst groaning miserably.

“And that would be…?” Changkyun looks over to Hyungwon and motions vaguely at the lump.

Hyungwon raises an eyebrow and glances over before sighing. “Choi Youngjae, one of the Hufflepuff Beaters.”

“So why is he like that?” Changkyun inquires, slightly concerned for the other’s well-being.

“After I got off the field, he followed us to here and kept on apologizing for hitting me—”

“I’M SORRY!” the lump under the covers wails, trembling pitifully.

“IT’S OKAY! PLEASE STOP SAYING SORRY!” Hyungwon yells very suddenly, startling everyone in the room. Clearing his throat, he looks pointedly at Changkyun and continues, “Like I was saying, he kept on bowing and doing all that polite shit. We finally made him stop after five minutes and now’s he’s like that. We’ve tried everything to make him move, but he won’t budge.” Hyungwon tips his head towards the lump.

Changkyun walks slowly towards the bed and lifts up the covers carefully, revealing a boy curled on in a ball with his face buried into the bedsheets. Tapping the boy’s shoulder, Changkyun lips slowly widen into a maniacal grin as he quietly whispers into Youngjae’s ear, “I’m going to eat your brains out.”

“NOOO!” Youngjae wails, wrapping his arms around his head as he turns to face Changkyun with teary eyes and a runny nose, “I’M SORRY FOR WHAT I DID! I PROMISE I’LL ONLY AIM BLUDGERS AT MYSELF! PLEASE DON’T EAT ME!”

“See?” Changkyun turns around and smirks smugly.”Problem solved.” Turning back around to face Youngjae, Changkyun cups the Hufflepuff’s cheeks and inspects his face thoroughly. “Aw, his cheeks are so puffy because he’s a Hufflepuff, get it—mmf!”

“It’s because he’s been bawling his eyes out for the past hour, you asshole,” Hyungwon retorts, arming himself with another pillow. “Make another pun like that and it won’t be a pillow that hits your face next.”

“Okay, okay,” Changkyun surrenders, holding his hands up. Tilting his head a little, he whispers to the boy, “Your name is Choi Youngjae, right?”

“Y-Yes?” the boy stutters. Changkyun strokes his chin thoughtfully, trying to remember why the name sounds really familiar. Suddenly, an image of a bespectacled boy pops up in his mind and Changkyun remembers why he recognizes Choi Youngjae.

“I’ll get Jaebum to pick up his Hufflepuff later, so don’t worry about him,” Changkyun informs Hyungwon, motioning towards Youngjae. Frowning, it only takes a moment for Hyungwon to understand what Changkyun means. Putting down the pillow, he lays back down onto the bed in relief.

“Hurry up,” Hyungwon murmurs, pulling the covers over his body. “I’m going to take a nap now, and whoever tries to wake me up will die a very painful death.”

“I’ll make sure to tell Kihyun what you said about him!” Changkyun calls over his shoulder gleefully as he prances out of the hospital wing.

Hyungwon shoots up from his bed almost immediately, screaming, “You bitch!”, but Changkyun’s already out of sight before Hyungwon can do anything to endanger the life of his friend that piece of shit. “Agh,” he groans, burying his head into a pillow.

All the Gryffindor Quidditch team manages to process is that they mustn’t wake their chaser up, Choi Youngjae’s face is flushed a flaming, crimson red, and the fact that Ravenclaws are undeniably insane.

 

 

“Minhyuk, I want to talk to you!” Kihyun demands as he storms into the Slytherin common room. He only knows the password to the Slytherin dormitories because he’s friends with a Slytherin that frequents the Ravenclaw common room only to free-load off the snacks.

“What?” Minhyuk replies irritably, occupied with painting his nails. “Can’t you see that I’m busy?”

“This is an urgent matter. As the only friend I trust right now, you are obligated to listen to my every woe and misfortune.”

“Oh?” Minhyuk raises his eyebrows. “This has something to do with Changkyun, I’m guessing.”

“Damn right it does! My son—no, Lim Changkyun,” Kihyun corrects himself, wiping away a tear, “has betrayed me for the enemy.”

Minhyuk groans, pinching the bridge of his nose as he feels a migraine coming up. “Merlin, you’re so stupid.”

Kihyun bristles. “Excuse me, I have the best grades in our year—”

“No, not grade-wise—I mean people-wise. Also, correction: you have the best grades of our year in every subject except Potions. Chae Hyungwon is evidence enough.”

“As if I didn’t know that,” Kihyun mutters. As if he didn’t stress over that very subject every single night, wondering why he just wasn’t good enough to beat Chae.

“Look,” Minhyuk says a little guiltily, scooching closer to Kihyun whilst doing some last finishing touches with his ivy green nail polish, “I didn’t mean it like that. What I want to say is that I’m surprised you didn’t know Changkyun and Chae Hyungwon are friends. Like, they say hi to each other in the hallways, and Changkyun sometimes drops by the Gryffindor table during lunch. He’s the person you spend the most time with besides me, and you’re telling me that you didn’t even know he had other friends besides you?”

“I—” Kihyun sputters, unsure of how to explain himself, “I really didn’t know at all.”

Minhyuk blows on his nails, splaying them out to dry. “You’re probably so focused on Chae every time you see him that you forget about everything else. How cute is that?” he giggles, batting his eyelashes at Kihyun.

“I am not cute!” Kihyun protests, cheeks flushing a light pink. Minhyuk mutters something under his breath and bursts out into a fit of giggles, which makes Kihyun narrow his eyes. “What was that?”

“Nothing,” Minhyuk replies slyly, “I just thought that some people might think differently.”

“What?”

“Don’t try using your brain too much, alright? You’ll burn yourself out. Now be a dear and help me dry my nails,” Minhyuk coos, plopping down right next to Kihyun on the couch.

“I don’t understand,” Kihyun says with a little frown, glumly casting a small Drying Spell onto Minhyuk’s nails. Gasping happily, Minhyuk inspects his now painted nails with bright eyes, smiling cheerfully to himself.

“You don’t have to. Now, if you don’t mind, I have somewhere to go. Hurry up and go make up with Changkyun now, won’t you? Mmm?”

“Okay,” Kihyun responds obediently, feeling like a kid that’s just been scolded for his wrongdoings. Minhyuk grins in satisfaction and promptly skips out of the Slytherin common room, leaving Kihyun with his own thoughts.

Wandering through the castle halls, Kihyun takes the time to reflect on what Minhyuk said. Perhaps he had been too rash with his feelings and left his mouth to run off on its own without having thought about what was coming out of it. Kihyun had never really considered the notion that Changkyun might have other friends besides himself.

But, still, why did it have to be Chae? Kihyun’s sure that Changkyun’s aware of how much the Gryffindor ticks him off, so why did he have to be friendly with someone that Kihyun disliked? Isn’t this basically Changkyun’s way of showing that their friendship isn’t as important to him as Kihyun thinks it is?

Kihyun goes to sleep that night tossing and turning in his bed, trying to rid himself of the sinking feeling in his stomach.

 

 

“Chae Hyungwon, get the fuck out here!” Minhyuk yells impatiently, rapping his knuckles loudly against the Fat Lady, causing her to yelp “Stop that!”, which of course doesn’t deter Minhyuk from knocking even more heavily and rapidly.

After a minute of incessant knocking and name-calling, the portrait finally swings open to reveal a disheveled Chae Hyungwon, who clearly has just gotten out of bed, evident by his night sky pyjamas and fluffy, baby blue slippers. Rubbing his eyes blearily, Hyungwon looks Minhyuk in the eye, as focused as a sleepy teenage boy can be.

“What do you want?” Hyungwon mumbles sleepily, leaning on the edge of the doorframe.

“What do I want? More like what are you trying to pull, huh?” Minhyuk demands, putting his hands on his hips. “Are you even serious about this?”

“Serious about what?” Widening his jaws into a massive yawn, Hyungwon settles to laying down on the floor of the common room.

Minhyuk groans in exasperation, letting himself into the Gryffindor dormitory. “I never should’ve agreed to any of this. It’s Changkyun’s fault, that sneaky bastard.”

“It’s not my fault Yoo hates my guts,” Hyungwon grumbles, head flopping to the side.

“Stop whining like a kid and explain to me why you let Kihyun find out about you and Changkyun.”

Hyungwon blinks in confusion. “I don’t know! We weren’t careful enough?”

“Great, now all this undercover stuff is ruined because of a slight miscalculation,” Minhyuk sighs, unsatisfied with Hyungwon’s answer. “Well, whatever happened between you guys, the damage is done. Changkyun probably won’t be able to help you for the time being, at least not until Kihyun decides to calm his dramatic ass. I’ve already done as much as I can.”

Hyungwon heaves a heavy sigh, sitting up slowly. “I don’t get why I even try anymore.”

“What—” Minhyuk bristles.

“I mean, we don’t match at all. To him, I’m basically on the same level as dog shit. Even when I try to be nice to him, he just thinks I’m trying to make him look bad,” Hyungwon rants.

“It’d be easier for the entire world if you just didn’t like him,” Minhyuk interjects bluntly.

“Yeah,” Hyungwon murmurs, eyes clouding over, “a lot easier.”

Minhyuk widens his eyes in shock. “Wait, no, I didn’t come here to make you cry—”

Hyungwon sighs in exasperation, widening his eyes for Minhyuk to see. “Does it look like I’m crying?”

“Surprisingly, no,” Minhyuk answers amicably, “Although I wouldn’t mind if you did.”

“I’m just really frustrated.”

Scoffing, Minhyuk remarks, “I can tell you are, emotionally and sexually—”

Hyungwon’s cheeks flush a deep red. “Oh my god, no!”

“Aw, so innocent,” Minhyuk coos, giggling.

“Look, I almost told him, if that makes you feel any better,” Hyungwon suddenly says, pulling his legs up. Minhyuk’s eyes almost pop out of their sockets.

Really ?” Minhyuk gasps in shock. “When? Where? How?”

“During detention, I was insulting him and somehow managed to say some embarrassing stuff,” Hyungwon mutters, cheeks dusted a faint pink.

“Of course,” Minhyuk comments in exasperation, “I knew I had too much hope in you.”

“Hey, I was panicking, in my defense,” Hyungwon protests.

Minhyuk rolls his eyes. “How did he react?”

Hyungwon looks up at Minhyuk morosely. “He yelled at me because he thought I was making fun of him.”

“Well, if I were him, I’d do that too,” Minhyuk groans, “You’re the person he despises the most! You have to start with the basics.”

“Thanks for reminding me,” Hyungwon returns wryly, flipping over onto his stomach.

“Look, all I’m going to say is that your ‘I-act-like-I-don’t-like-you-but-I-actually-do’ act is definitely getting in the way of the grand scheme of things, and you definitely have to stop with the whole ‘I’m an asshole’ facade if you want him to get a hint,” Minhyuk says, looking down at Hyungwon.

“If I weren’t a Gryffindor, this would all be much easier,” Hyungwon mutters glumly, burying his face into his legs.

Minhyuk softens at that, knowing well enough that it isn’t completely Hyungwon’s fault that Kihyun despises him so much. Kihyun’s unhealthy obsession with grades and his prejudice towards Gryffindors stems all the way back to his experiences with his family, all of which has nothing to do with Hyungwon. Nothing’s going to change itself overnight. Still, that doesn’t mean there aren’t things that he can’t fix.

“I understand that, but you have to start changing up your methods or else nothing’s going to work out,” Minhyuk reminds him. “Don’t think that I’m obligated to help you or anything—I’m only involving myself in this because I know you’re serious about him and that you’re not a complete asshole.”

“Okay,” Hyungwon responds with some sincerity, seeming a little more awake than he was before. “Are you sure about the asshole part though—”

“Don’t push it,” Minhyuk warns, eyes flashing dangerously.

“Mhm,” Hyungwon hums in assent, lips twitching with a little mischief.

There’s a small pause between them before Minhyuk breaks the silence. “He may be a jerk sometimes, but he’s also incredibly kind and takes care of other people when they’re in need.”

“Yeah,” Hyungwon murmurs softly, “I know.”

Minhyuk breathes out slowly, sensing that his job here is done. Turning on his heel, he proceeds to step out of the Gryffindor common room. Just before he exits the portrait of the Fat Lady, he says, “Just make him happy, for a lack of better words.”

“I’ll try,” a quiet voice drifts out from the room. Minhyuk smiles in satisfaction before sealing the entrance of the common room, walking with a little skip back to the Slytherin dorms.

 

 

Kihyun wakes up with a strange twinge in his stomach. He can’t put a finger on why, but it reminds him of the occasional anxiety he gets before taking an exam.

“Am I pregnant?” he wonders aloud.

Are you stupid, Yoo? A voice snickers inside his head. Men can’t get pregnant, dumbass.

“Shut up, of course I knew that,” Kihyun grumbles, climbing out of bed unenthusiastically. As he quickly gets dressed, draping his robes over his shoulders and fastening his navy blue tie, he suddenly remembers that he actually does have an exam. In Potions, to be exact.

Well, good! He totally didn’t sleep last night because he was studying his ass off, thinking about the one-hundred ways he was going to humiliate Chae after he aces the exam, and regretting everything he said to Changkyun. Definitely not. What jests! How wonderfully amusing.

Somewhere in the Gryffindor dorms, a certain Chae Hyungwon sneezes, rubbing his nose sleepily before snuggling into his pillow some more, wondering why it felt like his ears were burning.

Somewhere from the entrance of the Ravenclaw dorms, a certain Lim Changkyun watches in concern as Kihyun rambles to empty space, wondering if his friend had really snapped this time.

Of course, Kihyun is blissfully unaware of anything, including a certain Slytherin by the name of Lee Minhyuk who’s currently cursing a certain Ravenclaw under his breath as he chucks his nightcap into his clothes trunk.

“Merlin, why does Kihyun have to be so dense?!” Minhyuk complains to fellow Slytherin Min Yoongi, who, much like a particular Gryffindor, couldn’t be fucked to get out of bed.

“So you even figured out his density? Impressive, Lee. Didn’t peg you for a chemist,” smart-mouth Park Jinyoung comments, smirking because he knows how good he is at riling up Minhyuk.

“Bitch,” Minhyuk hisses, flipping his hair for dramatic effect.

Suddenly, Yoongi sits up rather quickly, eyelids still heavy from slumber. Slowly, he opens his mouth and mumbles with surprising clarity, “Watch yer profanity.”

Minhyuk stares blankly at Yoongi as he falls back onto his bed again, fast asleep after a few seconds. Meanwhile, Jinyoung sits at the edge of his bed, nodding in approval.

“What was that?” Minhyuk asks, bewildered by what just happened.

“A decent impression of Hagrid,” Jinyoung assesses, “and also a reference to a Muggle ‘meme’ that you wouldn’t understand. Muggles have their own delightfully odd and peculiar humor.”

Minhyuk snaps his fingers. “Right! Changkyun told me about something called the ‘nay nay’, and also another thing about ‘whips’, and he did some very strange things that he claims to be ‘the most iconic dance moves of the recent millennium’.”

“I don’t think I’ve heard of that one,” Jinyoung says with eager interest.

“Looks like we’re going to have to go to the library to open up some nice contemporary books and do some good ol’ research,” Minhyuk suggests, lacing his arms around Jinyoung’s. With jubilant smiles stretching across their cheeks, the couple skip off into the sunset—

“Whoever the fuck is doing this narration needs to stop this instant!” Minhyuk screeches loudly, shattering the beautiful image of the beach and confusing the hell out of everyone in the Great Hall as they eat breakfast. Even Jinyoung gives him a weird look—Minhyuk knows that he hangs out with some wild people, so supposedly he should be used to random bouts of shouting—and raises an eyebrow in confusion. Sitting on Minhyuk’s other side is Yoongi, still wrapped in a singular blanket and not giving a singular fuck about anything as he slowly nibbles on some crumpets.

“You okay there, bro?” Jackson Wang asks out of genuine concern as he passes by, making his way toward the Ravenclaw tables (totally not because he’s off to see his boyfriend or anything). Minhyuk raises an eyebrow at the bouquet of yellow and red roses in his hands but doesn’t say anything.

“Oh, yes, fine. Completely fine and dandy,” Minhyuk says not-quite-so-convincingly, smoothing out his robes absentmindedly.

“Alright, my dude.” Jackson shrugs, and Minhyuk is alone once again with his thoughts. Deciding that there seemed to be nothing better to do, he pays a visit to the source of his troubles at the Ravenclaw table. With a mini-speech all ready inside his head, Minhyuk strides over to where Kihyun is sitting, who seems to be furiously… doing something with his hand. Merlin save us all.

“Who the fuck in their right mind would jerk himself off in the Great Hall?!” Minhyuk whisper-screams, quickening his footsteps toward his Ravenclaw friend. “Kihyun, this is simply not the right place—”

“Oh, morning Minhyuk,” Kihyun greets cheerily, revealing that he was in fact not violating the holy seats of the Great Hall (thank god) but rather shaking what seemed to be a soda can very enthusiastically.

“What are you doing?” Minhyuk questions suspiciously.

“Some person left this here with a note saying that ‘a surprise for you!’, and I think it means that they left something for me inside this container, so I’m shaking it to see if there’s anything inside,” Kihyun explains, continuing to shake the soda can furiously.

Minhyuk almost wants to cry. “Kihyun, that can will explode if you keep doing that.”

“What did you say?” Kihyun asks as he pops open the can. Already, Minhyuk knows it’s too late as he dives out of the way, screaming “Armageddon!” as carbonated sugar water bursts out of the opening violently and soils Kihyun’s freshly cleaned robes.

“Bloody hell!” Kihyun curses loudly, attracting the attention of a certain Ravenclaw that was sitting at the other end of the table.

“You could’ve just opened it to begin with,” Minhyuk cries in exasperation, catching a look from Changkyun as he makes his way towards them. Tilting his head towards Kihyun is enough for Changkyun to understand what Minhyuk is suggesting.

“Clearly you’ve never drank soda before,” Changkyun comments casually as he casts a Drying Spell on Kihyun’s robes. Meanwhile, Kihyun watches with a slightly conflicted and puzzled expression on his face.

“Changkyun…” Kihyun begins, coughing awkwardly, “Thank you.”

“No problemo,” Changkyun replies nonchalantly.

Kihyun suddenly feels a rush of courage from their little exchange, which compels him to spill everything that’s been on his mind for the past few days. “I’m sorry for what I said in the hospital wing. I really didn’t mean any of it—I wasn’t thinking and—”

“Oh, so is that what this is all about?” Changkyun interjects, sighing in exasperation. When Kihyun looks up at him in confusion, Changkyun raises an eyebrow in response. “It’s not hard to notice that something’s bothering you when your face looks like this,” he says, proceeding to scrunch up his face uncomfortably.

“I—” Kihyun says, “Am I that obvious?”

“Yes, you are. Anyway, I’m not mad at all, actually. I figured you were being a little hot-headed when you launched your tirade and stuff. It’s good to blow off some steam every once in awhile, right? As friends, I’m supposed to take it and then help you with whatever’s bothering you.” Changkyun grins, giving Kihyun a big, cheesy thumbs up.

A heavy weight seems to lift from Kihyun’s shoulders as he feels himself being able to breathe easy again. Friends, the word echoes in his mind, he said we’re friends. Friends!

“My son!” Kihyun sobs very grossly, tears welling up at the edges of his eyes, “I want to hug my son!”

“There there,” Changkyun murmurs soothingly as he holds Kihyun in a tentative embrace. In return, Kihyun squeezes Changkyun tightly (read: very tightly), causing the other to double over, gasping for air. What the hell did Kihyun eat to become so strong? Only scientists can tell. Their touching reunion ends up becoming a series of Changkyun slapping Kihyun as hard as a choking boy can because if he doesn’t Changkyun’s afraid he’ll die from being hugged, which is a really stupid way to die. Nothing could be worse than having something like “died from choking to death while sharing loving embrace with friend” engraved on his tombstone. Hell the fuck no.

There’s also the whole ‘son’ thing that Changkyun needs to take care of.

“Kihyun, I hate to break it to you, but I’m not your son,” Changkyun says morosely as they detach themselves from each other.

Kihyun furrows his eyebrows in displeasure. “How can you say that?”

“It would be biologically impossible. How can you have a child that’s one year younger than you? You couldn’t have done the shiddly doo with someone when you were that young.”

“To hell with that ‘biology’ and whatever you speak of—I’m calling some grade A bullshit right there. Can’t you just accept that you might’ve been adopted? Yeesh, always asking questions about sensitive topics. This is not how I raised you!” Kihyun shouts, lifting his chin a little so that he seems taller than Changkyun (reality: he’s still short).

Changkyun pinches the bridge of his nose, one-hundred percent done with Kihyun’s… ideals. He’s beyond help, Changkyun sends a telepathic message to Hyungwon. He’s not even going to try to convince Kihyun that he’s being nonsensical. Not to promote stereotypes, but how could a Ravenclaw be this ridiculously close-minded and frankly dumb? Perhaps the Sorting Hat should’ve taken another thought before sorting Yoo Kihyun.

Meanwhile, Minhyuk, having been completely forgotten by his two friends, watches their exchange in horror.

What the fuck is wrong with them? he screams silently. How much Firewhisky did they drink?

From the other side of the room, Chae Hyungwon and Shin Hoseok watch the situation unfold in both amusement and disbelief. It’s more of Hoseok being amused and Hyungwon being completely done with everything.

Why the hell do I like him? Hyungwon questions himself as he watches Yoo and his best friend have a strangely enthusiastic reunion. His chest tightens a little as he watches Yoo embrace Changkyun tightly, and he almost thinks what if that were me instead—

“Aw, look at the princess making up with his friend, how sweet,” Hoseok chuckles, pulling Hyungwon from his thoughts, “So, when are you going to sweep him off his feet, oh brave knight?”

“Oh, shut it,” Hyungwon groans, “and stop talking like you come out of a fairy tale or something.”

Hoseok raises an eyebrow. “The girls love it though.”

“Well, frankly, it makes me want to puke,” Hyungwon says bluntly, lip curling in disgust, “So stop, please.”

Hoseok pouts, almost making Hyungwon actually regurgitate his breakfast. “Well, it’s not like I’m doing it for you anyway. The princess is more my type.”

The air around Hyungwon abruptly changes, and suddenly Hoseok regrets what he just said before. Hyungwon turns to face him with a scarily serious look on his face, causing the hairs on his neck stand up.

“Don’t you dare touch him,” Hyungwon growls, voice barely audible. Still, it sends shivers down Hoseok’s back. Everything about Hyungwon at the moment screams don’t mess with me.

Understanding that joking around would probably lead to him suffering a very painful death, Hoseok holds up his hands in surrender. “Alright, my knight, I’m not going to be that person that goes after his friend’s crush, so please calm down.”

“I’m very calm right now,” Hyungwon says nonchalantly, as if he weren’t giving off murderous vibes just now.

“Of course you are,” Hoseok assents, smiling secretively to himself. Hyungwon nods contently, only to turn back to face Hoseok again, eyes wide in surprise.

“Wait, how did you know about that?” Hyungwon almost stammers, cheeks flushing a scarlet red.

Hoseok grins cheerily, singing, “I have my ways.”

“You—” Hyungwon says, except now he’s chasing after Hoseok, who senses that it’s a good time to run away.

“Ohoho, come and catch me!” Hoseok trills as he prances off towards the Gryffindor dorms with Hyungwon hot in pursuit.

“Okay, stop, stop, cut!” Minhyuk finally screeches, causing Kihyun and Changkyun to break apart. “Kihyun, we still have a Potions exam! Did you forget?”

“Of course I didn’t forget,” Kihyun replies unconvincingly. “Speaking of which, I vowed that today would be the day that I score better than Chae!”

“Well, the test isn’t going to take itself!”

“I know!”

“Let’s go, then!”

“Okay!” Kihyun says enthusiastically. Turning to Changkyun, he smiles warmly and cups the younger’s cheeks, saying, “Unlike you, us fifth-years are busy, busy people! I have an exam now, so have fun in Transfiguration!”

Minhyuk and Kihyun leave hand in hand, and Changkyun’s caught between wondering why Kihyun was so excited about an exam and how Kihyun knew that he had Transfiguration first today.

He’ll never know, he supposes.

 

 

“Results, results, results!” Kihyun announces on the day they get their Potions exams back. “Minhyuk, how’d you do?”

“Fine,” Minhyuk says proudly, “A ninety-five. What’d you get, ninety-eight?”

“Correct! How’d you know?” Kihyun says incredulously.

“I can see your exam paper,” Minhyuk deadpans. Kihyun looks down to see that indeed his results were out in the open for anyone to see.

Suddenly, a loud voice comes from the other side of the classroom. “Wow, Hyungwon, I can’t believe you got an eighty-nine! What happened?” Hoseok exclaims, holding up Chae’s exam paper.

“Put that down, you idiot,” Chae hisses quickly, head ducking in embarrassment.

Realizing that he just scored higher than Chae, Kihyun readies himself to let out a victory cheer when he abruptly stops himself. Chae getting an eighty-nine in Potions? Kihyun’s can’t recall a time when Chae’s scored anything less than a ninety-seven! And now apparently Chae’s gotten an eighty-nine? Something is fishy about this.

Striding over to where Hoseok and Chae are, Kihyun slams a hand on the desk and demands, “What’s up with you, Chae?”

Chae doesn’t even flinch. Raising an eyebrow quizzically, he asks, “What do you mean, what’s up?”

Kihyun grinds his teeth in frustration. Clearly Chae knows what’s going on but chooses to play innocent. “Your exam scores, obviously!”

“What about my exam scores?”

A vein on Kihyun’s forehead throbs angrily. “Are you trying to make fun of me?! Did you score lower on purpose just I could do better than you?” he shouts.

For once, Chae seems to be a bit flustered. “What, I—” he almost stammers.

“I don’t need your fucking sympathy!” Kihyun explodes, eyes flaring in fury. “I can be better than you at anything, just you watch!” With that, he grabs his textbooks and storms out of the classroom, leaving behind a speechless Hyungwon and a worried Minhyuk.

“Wow,” Hoseok whistles, “Princess really hates your guts.”

“Shut up,” Hyungwon grumbles, standing up to chase after the furious Ravenclaw. Minhyuk quickly follows suit, worried that his friend might do something rash.

Kihyun stomps down the stairs, fists itching to punch something. What the fuck? he thinks hotly, Who does he think he is? As if Chae didn’t humiliate him enough already, and now he pulls this type of shit. This is why he hates Gryffindors—they all have their heads stuck up their asses.

“Well, if it isn’t prissy Yoo? Off to hang out with your Mudblood buddies?” A voice drawls, stopping Kihyun in his tracks. Already, he knows that he’s going to have to take a small detour. Theodore Knotley, another annoying eyesore that happened to be from his house. All he does is parade around his stupid goons and terrorize anyone that’s easy to pick on. In short, he’s a major asshole.

“Shut it, Knotley. Nobody asked for your opinion on who I choose to make friends with,” Kihyun spit, not in the mood to deal with Knotley’s bullshit. “Don’t call Changkyun a Mudblood—that’s an insult to him and to me.”

Knotley sneers, puffing up his chest as his goons flock behind him. “Oh really? I thought you guys weren’t friends anymore? And here I was thinking that you finally saw some sense! You’ll catch their disease if you hang around that crowd.”

Kihyun feels his anger flaring, but he tries to push it down, warning himself that nothing good would come of lashing out. He has enough sense to know that five against one is going to end with his loss.

“You know, for a Ravenclaw, you’re pretty fucking stupid,” Kihyun hisses, “I heard you got held back by a year because you couldn’t even learn how to cast Expelliarmus.”

“Of course, prissy Yoo only knows how to pick on other people’s grades,” Knotley scoffs.

“And you only know how to insult other people’s parents,” Kihyun shoots back, “Really mature, wouldn’t you say?”

Knotley laughs coldly. “Watch your mouth, fucker.”

“Watch my mouth? Do you know how pathetic you sound right now?”

“Me, pathetic? Oh, that’s fresh, coming out of you—calling me pathetic when you’re the same type of scum as those filthy Mudbloods—”

Stop saying that word,” Kihyun seethes furiously, fists clenched tightly. “Don’t make me kick your ass right now.”

“Try me, Yoo,” Knotley smirks, beckoning a hand.

“Make sure you don’t regret this,” Kihyun says, ignoring the logical side of him that saying don’t do it, you can’t win, and lashes out. Throwing out a punch, he gets a good hit on Goon #1’s face, which sends him tumbling down the stairs.

“Beat him!” Knotley commands, and his underlings surge forward. Blocking a punch from Goon #2, Kihyun drops down and sweeps his foot under the goon’s legs, making him lose his balance. Quickly, Kihyun springs up and whips out his leg for a roundhouse kick. Side-stepping Goon #3’s punch, he easily hits the back of the goon’s head, knocking him out cold.

All those martial arts lessons from his insufferable brothers finally pays off. Kihyun feels triumph bubbling inside his chest; however, it’s short-lived.

Out of nowhere, pain explodes on the back of his head. Suddenly, two people are surrounding him, and one buries his fish into Kihyun’s stomach, knocking the breath out of him. Wheezing, Kihyun winces as he clutches his stomach. Knotley and his two remaining underlings surround him with vicious expressions on their faces.

“You think you’re really smart, huh?” Knotley cackles, digging the sole of his shoe into Kihyun’s cheek, “How does it feel to be groveling at my feet, hm? Looks like the Great Yoo Kihyun isn’t so great as everyone says.”

Kihyun spits out a mouthful of blood onto Knotley’s trousers and glares at him. “Piss off.”

Knotley aims a kick at Kihyun’s temple, causing Kihyun’s face to slam into the stone cold ground. Agony explodes from his nose as he hears a nasty crunch—broken for sure. Groaning in pain, Kihyun tries to sit back up, but is mercilessly knocked down again with a punch.

“Do you know how it feels to be me? Someone who’s not smart, yet somehow landed in Ravenclaw? Oh, of course not, because a prefect like you would never understand!” Knotley lets out a strangled laugh. “All you know is how to look down on people from your throne like we’re all cockroaches! Every fucking day I get people asking me, ‘Knotley, how’d a bloke like you end up in Ravenclaw?’ and I’d want to punch their faces in because to hell with them! And you,” he stabs a finger a Kihyun, “you’re the worst of them all! You just look at me like I’ve some fucking trash that you happened to cross upon your path!”

Kihyun’s entire body is screaming in protest, but he speaks anyway. “I don’t give a shit about what you think of me—however, I don’t tolerate anyone who insults my friends.”

Knotley scoffs, eyes burning in a maniacal frenzy. “Oh wow, so scary. Prissy Yoo cares about Mudbloods? Hell, they’re even worse scum than the Death Eaters! We should seriously just kill them all—”

“Who the fuck are ‘we’?! Are you being bloody serious right now? How can you just disregard someone for something that they had absolutely no control over—and you dare to even compare them with Death Eaters, who’ve mercilessly killed people in cold blood—”

“Oh, what was that?” Knotley asks, laughing hysterically, “I’m disregarding Mudbloods because they don’t have magical blood? You’re a fucking hypocrite! Don’t act like you don’t hate Gryffindors or something—you’re just as fucked up as me! Quit talking like you’re some saint and I’m the sinner.”

Kihyun’s about to spit something back when he realizes that despite how much Knotley is a piece of shit, he does have a point there. Kihyun’s always held a grudge against Gryffindors because of his family and he’s always justified himself by thinking that ‘oh, Gryffindors are all cocky and egotistical’, just like how Knotley thinks that Muggleborns shouldn’t be able to attend Hogwarts or live, much to his disgust.

Much to his despair, Kihyun realizes that hell, he’s no different from Knotley.

“And you think you have to right to preach about not discriminating others when you’re the one that does it the most!” Knotley almost screams. “Get real, Yoo! You call me scum, yet look at yourself—”

“Okay, that’s enough,” a chillingly cold voice interjects. Kihyun looks up feebly to make out the figure of Chae (what the hell is he doing here?) and Minhyuk huffing as he catches up to him.

“Oh, well if it isn’t the biggest Mudblood of them all,” Knotley sneers. Chae’s face doesn’t even twitch as he raises his wand threateningly.

“Leave right now before I make you,” he says slowly, each word heavy in unmasked fury.

“Try me,” Knotley responds, grinning maliciously as he pulls out his wand and points it at Kihyun. “Do anything and Yoo’ll have to suffer an Unforgivable.”

“You wouldn’t.” Chae narrows his eyes, holding his wand firmly.

Knotley’s eyes gleam. “But I would.”

Under Chae’s stony glare, Kihyun can almost detect a flash of panic flitting through his eyes. “I implore you to put your wand down.”

Knotley spits on the ground. “Do you think I’m stupid or something? All you fuckers treating me like I’m some child, I’ll fucking show you—” he growls, tightening his grip on his wand.

“Don’t you dare—” Chae starts.

CRUCIO!” Knotley suddenly screams just as Chae yells, “EXPELLIARMUS!”

Things happen so fast that Kihyun almost can’t process them. Before anything manages to shoot out of Knotley’s wand, his wand is flying towards Hyungwon, followed up by Minhyuk crying, “Petrificus Totalus!” Knotley’s limbs snap together, and his underlings, upon seeing that their leader’s down, quickly escape before they get hexed too.

“Cowards,” Chae mutters, breathing heavily. Kihyun’s surprised by how frazzled Chae seems—usually Chae is seen not giving a single fuck about anything. At least, not until now.

“—hyun, Kihyun!” a voice calls. Kihyun snaps out of his daze and meets Minhyuk’s worried gaze. Anger and concern are swirling through his eyes at a million miles per hour. “Where did they hurt you?”

“I’m fine,” Kihyun breathes out, trying to prop himself up. He winces as he stands up, stabbing pains still present in his ribs.

“You’re bleeding,” Minhyuk stresses, furrowing his eyebrows. “We’re taking you to the hospital wing right now. I’m going to murder those fuckers once I get my hands on them.”

“Seriously, Minhyuk, I’m fine—” Kihyun reassures until he’s suddenly cut off by a sharp pain in his head, causing him to see stars as his vision goes blurry and the world to do an one-eighty. “—Seriously, I’m okay—” he slurs as he stumbles down the hallway, tripping over his own two feet almost immediately. He expects to make contact with the stone-cold ground, but instead painfully bumps his nose, already injured, into a surprisingly warm chest. For a moment, Kihyun, brain still delirious from pain, puts his hand on the chest and touches in a way that he would find terribly inappropriate in a normal setting. “Why the hell is this so solid? I demand for a more comfortable support!” he complains irritably.

“Demanding as always, Yoo,” a low voice remarks snarkily, although there’s no bite in the words. That would’ve confused Kihyun if it weren’t the fact that the voice sounded too familiar to him.

“Fuck,” Kihyun mutters under his breath as he weakly pushes himself off the chest and stumbles. A rush of panic shoots through his veins when he realizes that he’s falling backwards. Almost immediately, a hand wraps around his back, stopping Kihyun. He’s met with dark, unreadable eyes that stare back into his own irises. “Chae,” he echoes in surprise. Usually, at this proximity, Kihyun would be quick to push him away in disgust, but he thinks that the pain is messing with his brain and rendering his body extremely sluggish.

“You’re really stupid, did you know that?” Chae says with a tremor in his voice that goes unnoticed by Kihyun.

“Screw you, you’re the dumb one here,” Kihyun slurs, “Just a dumb, pig-headed Gryffindor who’s going to give me shit for being in Ravenclaw. I’ll show you, just wait—”

“You’re bleeding,” Chae says dumbly.

“Of course I am, dumbass,” Kihyun replies, tasting something metallic inside his mouth. He lets the blood trickle out of his mouth, not even caring if it soils his robes. Chae widens his eyes comically and immediately picks him up princess-style.

“We have to get him to Pomfrey,” he says urgently, ignoring Kihyun’s weak attempts to resist and feeble protests of “Put me down this instant!”. Minhyuk nods numbly and they quickly head to the hospital wing. Stomach churning, both Minhyuk and Hyungwon temporarily forget about the tensions in their tentative friendship and focus on getting Kihyun medical aid. They both try not to wince as they leave behind splatters of blood on the stone ground.

 

 

“Madame Pomfrey, when can I be excused from the hospital wing? I’m sure I have a lot of the work to make up, so the earlier the better,” Kihyun asks sweetly, playing up the ‘good boy’ act.

Madame Pomfrey, a woman of respectable standards, doesn’t fall for it and turns a handle so that Kihyun is propped up into a slanted sitting position on the bed. She then proceeds to change his bandages, ignoring any of Kihyun’s pitiful pleas to let him out of the hospital. Being a regular at the hospital wing, Madame Pomfrey has long gotten used to Kihyun’s quirks and knows that he would much rather be studying than doing anything else.

It’s only been three days since he’s been trapped in the infirmary, which in Kihyun’s opinion is three days too long. Madame Pomfrey had mended his bones on the first day and given him a sleeping potion to help ease him through the pain. Now, he’s just waiting for his wounds to hurry up and heal so that he can go back to class.

“Kihyun!” a voice calls. Kihyun sees Minhyuk and Changkyun striding towards his hospital bed with a variety of snacks in their hands.

“Well, it’s good to know you two have the decency to bring me food,” Kihyun huffs unabashedly, eagerly reaching out for the chocolate frogs. Happily munching on the sweets, he raises an eyebrow when he sees Minhyuk and Changkyun visibly sighing in relief. “What’s the matter?”

“I’m just glad that you’re getting better, Kihyun,” Minhyuk says softly, his eyebrows furrowing slightly, “I was afraid you might be traumatized after that incident.”

“Oh, well clearly you didn’t have to worry about anything—I’m fine and dandy here, can’t you tell?” Kihyun says, hums contently between bites. It’s true that he needed a day to get over the incident and all, but Kihyun bounces back quickly. Everything Knotley had done to him resulted in purely physical injuries, which all healed quickly thanks to Madame Pomfrey’s expertise.

“Well, your bandages certainly don’t give off that impression,” Changkyun remarks. Looking down, Kihyun realizes that the sheer amount of bandages wrapped around his arms and legs does indeed look concerning.

Kihyun smiles confidently. “A kid like Knotley won’t be able to do much to me.”

“Yeah, sure. If it weren’t for Hyungwon, you would’ve been screwed,” Minhyuk mutters, anger creeping up his expression, “That fucker Knotley, he even tried to use an Unforgivable on you—I’ll never forgive him.”

“He got suspended and basically reserved himself a spot on the Ministry’s naughty list,” Changkyun comments, “It’s like killing two birds in one stone, except everything’s going to be hell for him.” Kihyun feels comforted by thought that he won’t have to deal with Knotley anymore.

“I just really want to go to class,” he whines.

“You only woke up yesterday—you’ll at least have to stay another two days or so before I think you’re clear to be discharged,” Madame Pomfrey sighs in exasperation, fed up with Kihyun’s incessant complaining.

“Darn.” Kihyun’s shoulders slump in defeat.

The trio chat, which mostly consists of Minhyuk and Changkyun telling them about their class antics and whatnot. Apparently, Minhyuk had somehow managed to charm Hyunwoo after a Quidditch match and they finally managed to get together. No wonder Minhyuk seems to have more stars than usual glittering in his eyes whenever he talks about the Hufflepuff. Kihyun congratulates him and genuinely feels happy for his friend on his successful love life. As for Changkyun, his pursuit on Jooheon is still a work in progress. Apparently they’ve chatted a couple times and Changkyun found out that they shared a common love for ‘hip-hop’, whatever that is. Changkyun informs him that it’s a type of music, which really intrigues Kihyun. “Do you hop and shake your hips to the music?” he asks, feeling quite mortified about the whole notion. Changkyun bursts into laughter and promises that he’ll show Kihyun someday. When it’s time for Minhyuk and Changkyun to leave, the sun is already casting warm yellow-orange strips against the white curtains of the hospital wing.

“Homework to do, O.W.L. prep to start. In conclusion, fifth year sucks,” Minhyuk bemoans. Changkyun, as a fourth-year, doesn’t have to worry about O.W.L.s just yet. What a lucky bastard.

“Stay well and don’t cause trouble for Madame Pomfrey,” Minhyuk reminds as they’re leaving. Kihyun rolls his eyes.

“Yes, Mom,” Kihyun drawls, “I’ll do whatever you say.”

Minhyuk rolls his eyes at him too, and Changkyun watches in amusement before they wave goodbye, wishing Kihyun a speedy recovery.

The hospital wing is silent except for the footsteps of Madame Pomfrey occasionally walking around, opening cabinets to find various potions and organizing her drawers. Kihyun watches all of this in mild interest before deciding to absorb himself into a book, which he relishes doing every once in awhile.

“That boy didn’t come today,” Madame Pomfrey suddenly says. Kihyun perks up in attention and looks up from his book with a confused quirk of his lips.

“Who?” he asks curiously.

“The Gryffindor boy—Chae Hyungwon, was it?”

Kihyun stiffens. “Why would he be here?”

“Oh,” Pomfrey echoes softly, “you must’ve not known, then. I thought your friends would’ve told you.”

“What about Chae? Why would he come visit me?” Kihyun asks a little too harshly, judging by the slightly taken aback look on Pomfrey’s face. “Sorry, that came off a little rude.”

Pomfrey nods in satisfaction, quickly accepting his apology. “He was the one that carried you here.” Kihyun squints his eyes, vaguely remembering something about chests. “Worried sick, the poor boy."

Chae, worried about me? That can’t be, Kihyun thinks to himself. Nodding skeptically, he listens as Pomfrey continues.

“I tried to convince him that you were going to be fine when I gave you the sleeping potion, but he refused to listen and stubbornly stayed by your side throughout the entire night. The boy told me that he’ll look after you and urged me to rest, which is very considerate of him, but I made sure to keep an eye on you just in case anything went wrong. In the end, the boy took especially good care of you, so I didn’t have to worry at all,” Pomfrey’s eyes soften, “You’ve made a very good friend, Kihyun. Treasure people like him while you still can.”

“I—” Kihyun, suddenly speechless, croaks out, “I will, Madame.”

Pomfrey gives him a gentle and knowing smile. “Good.”

That night, Kihyun does some thinking. For the first time in his life, he considers the possibility that Chae Hyungwon may not be as bad as he initially thought.

 

 

Chae Hyungwon wakes up to someone shaking him roughly awake. Groaning as he rolls over, he opens one eye to find Hoseok beaming at him too brightly for the morning.

“What?” Hyungwon grumbles in irritation, “Can’t a person get their beauty sleep around here?”

“You’re already beautiful enough, frog prince! Let’s go visit your princess now, shall we?” Hoseok chirps, pulling Hyungwon out of bed, which actually causes Hyungwon to fall ungracefully onto the ground, tangled in his covers.

“You absolute dumb shit,” Hyungwon hisses, crawling out of the mess that Hoseok pulled him into.

“Let’s go!” Hoseok says cheerfully, waiting by the door. Hyungwon sighs in defeat and grabs his clothes. Hell, he’s so tired from the other night that he planned on sleeping in a little before going to class. Of course, it wasn’t like Hyungwon didn’t want to get rest—it was rather that Yoo was ridiculously good at worrying him with his stupid fidgeting and sleep-talking in the middle of the night. Even if he went back to the dormitory, he highly doubted that he would’ve been able to get a wink of sleep anyway.

The point is, Hyungwon’s not in the mood to move. But, perhaps, he’s more concerned about Yoo’s well being than he would like to admit.

Hoseok gives him a little wink and all rationality jumps out the window as he chucks a pillow at the other’s face, earning him a cackle as he chases after his dumbass captain.

“You ass,” Hyungwon breathes out when they finally come to a stop, “keep those stupid mechanisms above your eyes to yourself, or to anyone else besides me.”

Hoseok’s eyes twinkle in amusement. “You know, that should be my job, being a tease.”

Hyungwon rolls his eyes, completely done with Hoseok’s bullshit.

As they enter the infirmary noisily, they are immediately pushed out by a slightly cross Madame Pomfrey. “Do you boys know that I have patients sleeping right now?” she hisses angrily, “If you’re going to see someone, I’d ask of you to not act like a gang of ruffians.”

“Yes, Madame,” they say obediently. Hyungwon glares daggers at Hoseok, blaming his friend for riling him up to begin with. Hoseok quirks his lips in response, which almost makes Hyungwon want to smack him again if it weren’t for the fact that they were under the scrutiny of Pomfrey.

“You insufferable twit,” he mutters under his breath when they get away from Pomfrey.

“Please mind your profanity,” a voice whispers from behind voice. Hyungwon almost lets out a yelp as he jumps up in surprise, realizing that somehow Madame Pomfrey—he swore she was on the other side of the room, sorting out potion bottles—is right behind him. So much for getting away, he thinks wryly. Hyungwon rubs the back of head sheepishly and apologizes before kicking Hoseok in the shins to stop him from giggling hysterically.

“I hate you,” he hisses furiously to his companion as they approach Kihyun’s hospital bed. Bursting out into spontaneous laughter, Hoseok is then quickly silenced by a glare and the flick of Hyungwon’s eyes towards a lump on the bed. Hoseok quickly clamps a hand over his mouth, eyes wide in realization.

Hyungwon grabs two chairs for them to sit in, and Hoseok accepts gratefully. It’s still quite early in the morning, the sun just rising over the horizon. The slivers of light slip through the curtains of the windows on the far side of the hospital wing, casting a soft glow over the ground and fading out into the whites of the walls. A gentle quietude settles over the two boys as they watch time tick by slowly, soaking in the calming ambience of sky-blue oceans washing up the shores of sunrise beaches above their heads. Hyungwon’s eyes stray towards Kihyun’s sleeping figure, watching his chest rise and fall ever so slightly.

It’s moments like these when Hyungwon wishes—actually, scratch that, he hopes all the time—that Kihyun would rid himself of his blatant animosity towards him. Hyungwon admits that he hasn’t been very nice to the Ravenclaw either, but sometimes he doesn’t know what else their relationship would be without endless bickering. Of course Hyungwon wants something more than being mortal enemies, but he doesn’t know how he’s going to obtain that without making Kihyun feel like he’s making fun of him, which seems to happen every time he tries to act like a decent human being.

If only time could stop right now, he thinks absent-mindedly, eyes flitting over the room and always back to Yoo, noticing the way his hair flattens over his forehead and how sleep softens the other’s features. Taking note of the way the covers are slipping off the bed a little, Hyungwon stands up to pull the snow-white covers over Kihyun so that he won’t feel cold. The other hums in content, snuggling into the blankets with a small smile on his face that makes Hyungwon fall a little more.

A part of him tells him that he’s completely screwed, and he completely acknowledges how stupid it is to be in love with a boy that despises his guts.

“When?” Hoseok suddenly says, breaking Hyungwon out of his trance.

“When what?” he asks a little too loudly, startled by the sudden question.

“Him.” Hoseok tilts his head towards Kihyun. “When did you start liking him?”

Hyungwon widens his eyes in surprise. Hoseok often teases him about Kihyun, but never has he asked a question that’s so directly related to the other. It renders him speechless for a moment, unsure of how to answer. Searching through his face for an answer, all he gets is genuine curiosity mixed with an intensity in his eyes that Hyungwon finds unfamiliar.

“I don’t know—maybe around the summer of before fourth year? It was vacation and I had some time to think and it suddenly came to me that ‘Shoot, I think I like Yoo’. Honestly, it’s hard to say,” Hyungwon says quietly, trying to sort all his thoughts together, “It just happened, you know?”

Hoseok’s eyes twitch strangely. “You still like him even though he hates you?”

“I guess,” Hyungwon says weakly, “It sounds pretty dumb when you say it like that.”

“No, it’s not that. Love is irrational, after all,” Hoseok murmurs, uncharacteristically serious. “It’s rather that you don’t act like someone who has a crush on Kihyun.”

“Hell, if I tried anything remotely close to flirting, I swear he would chuck me off a bloody cliff without a second thought,” Hyungwon replies, laughing harshly. Hoseok watches Hyungwon with an unwavering gaze, observing his body language carefully. Shoulders slumping, Hyungwon seems weary in a way that’s different how he usually is. He almost looks defeated, face haggard in a way is unlike him.

“Look,” Hoseok says suddenly, “You can’t blame yourself for all of this. Kihyun’s problem with you isn’t exactly because of you yourself. I’ve been his neighbor for a good ten years or so, and I can tell you that his parents are a little,” Hoseok does a little twirl of his fingers pointed towards his head, “cuckoo, you know?”

“How so?” Hyungwon perks up in interest.

“They’re like Pureblood enthusiasts, except instead of screaming about how bad Muggles are, they spend their days filling peoples' heads with Gryffindor propaganda. Kihyun, being the youngest of the family, was supposedly the easiest to brainwash,” Hoseok explains, sighing wearily, “However, unlike his siblings, Kihyun didn’t listen to his parents, which was probably a good thing, but instead he developed a complex against anything he considered Gryffindor-esque. Everything only got worse when his parents almost disowned him for being sorted into Ravenclaw. Now, you have Yoo Kihyun, grown up but still the same as he was ten years ago because he has too many things to prove and keeps all this frustration bottled up, which is probably the reason why he lashes out at you a lot.”

“His parents are fucking assholes” is the only thing Hyungwon can think of to say at the moment. “As in, King Kong, big-enough-to-destroy-an-entire-city sized.”

“What’s King Kong?” Hoseok asks curiously.

“Nevermind,” Hyungwon dismisses, “But seriously, that’s really messed up. Who the hell completely shames their child just because they didn’t get sorted into a particular house? Fucking ridiculous, if you ask me.”

“Ridiculous, indeed,” Hoseok echoes, shaking his head.

“Even so, why me specifically? There’s plenty of Gryffindors out there,” Hyungwon wonders, “I mean, I’m not even that brave or whatever. Isn’t he annoyed by those extremely Gryffindor people?”

Hoseok pauses for a moment, eyebrows furrowing as he ponders over the question. “Well, I do have a theory, although I don’t have any concrete evidence to prove it.”

“Do tell.”

Hoseok shifts uncomfortably. “I think Kihyun’s jealous of you.”

“...Jealous of me?” Hyungwon exclaims in disbelief, voice rising a few octaves. “How? Why? What?

“Prince, it’s just a theory. Calm down.”

Hyungwon recollects himself slowly, taking in deep breaths before peering skeptically into Hoseok’s eyes. “Really though.”

“Yes, really. Trust me when I say that Kihyun wouldn’t tell me something like this himself.”

“Yeah, no. He probably finds you gross,” Hyungwon says, chuckling.

“How rude!” Hoseok gasps in hurt, “I wash myself everyday!”

“But seriously, Hoseok, he’s jealous of me? Unless Yoo strives to be a lazy dumbass, I suggest he finds himself another role model.”

“There you go with the self-deprecation! Hyungwon, you have stellar grades, a body that I would die for, and great face proportions. You also have a great friend named Shin Hoseok to top it all off.” Hoseok beams brightly.

“You can stop there,” Hyungwon says, scrunching up his nose in discomfort. Does he not feel embarrassed to say that type of stuff?

Hoseok claps loudly. “Right, back to my theory! I think Kihyun’s jealous of you because you’re basically everything his parents wanted him to be. Tall, an outstanding Quidditch player, a Gryffindor, the list goes on. I think that somewhere deep inside Kihyun’s cold little heart, he still wants his parents’ approval. He probably thinks you’re an eyesore because you have everything that he wants but can’t have.”

Hyungwon opens his mouth to say something, but then promptly closes it because hell, what Hoseok’s saying actually makes sense. For once, his friend’s words aren’t just all wishy-washy fiction. It explains why Kihyun just despises him for no apparent reason. He understands everything now, although it doesn’t make him feel much better.

“Who’s being so noisy in the morning?” a sleepy voice mumbles in slight irritation. Both Hoseok and Hyungwon swerve their heads quickly towards the source of the sound. There Kihyun is, in all his morning, just woken up glory, stretching his jaw to unleash a gargantuan yawn. He blinks slowly, letting his eyes gradually adjust to the light in the hospital wing. Hyungwon tries not to think about how cute Kihyun looks with his slightly puffy cheeks and fluffy hair. However, he allows himself to stare a little.

“Rise and shine, princess,” Hoseok says, smiling brightly. Kihyun blinks once, twice, then thrice, finding it hard to wrap his head around the fact why Hoseok and Chae are by his bedside.

“Merlin, I think I’m seeing things,” Kihyun rubs his eyes, blinking some more. Hoseok and Chae are still there. “Goodness, who put these wax figures of Gryffindors at my bedside? They look absolutely horrendous.”

“How cold, princess! We came here to see how you were faring, right Hyungwon?” Hoseok replies, nudging Hyungwon with a little wiggle of his eyebrows. Shooting him a look that could kill, Hyungwon casually elbows Hoseok hard in the ribs, causing the other to double over, choking sadly.

“Right my ass,” he mutters in disgust. Kihyun watches them tussle in uncanny fascination, almost like how a child gazes upon animals in the zoo. “We’re going to leave now, how about that?”

“Wait!” Kihyun says, eyes wide, “I have something to say.”

What is it going to be? ‘Fuck you and screw off’ or something? Hyungwon can’t help but think.

Kihyun hesitates a little, which is really unlike him. Usually he just says whatever he thinks and deals with the consequences later. It’s too much work for him to think through everything and consider how his words might impact the feelings of every single person. However, he gets the feeling that if he doesn’t say what’s on his mind right now, he’s never going to have the chance to say it the way he wants it to come out.

Sensing something particular about the atmosphere, Hoseok excuses himself quickly with a “Need to take a dump, I’ll be waiting in the Great Hall”.

The hospital wing is void of noise, so quiet that Hyungwon swears that he can hear a pin drop. Whatever Kihyun wants to say, it’s clearly important.

“Is it true that you stayed here with me on the first night?”

Hyungwon almost screams.

How does he know that? Hyungwon made sure not to tell anyone or leave a trace of him behind. Of course he was going to guarantee that Kihyun didn’t know, or else how would he be able to explain himself? He can’t just tell Kihyun that he’s had a massive crush on him since forever and cares a lot more about him than he lets on. Kihyun’s going to think that he’s joking for the millionth time and then they’ll never speak again, which is something that Hyungwon wouldn’t be able to handle oh hell what do I do

“I’ll take that as a yes then?”

Fuck fuck fuckity fuck he knows—

“Oh bloody hell,” Hyungwon slips out, face burning in humiliation or nervousness—he can’t tell what he’s feeling anymore.

Kihyun then does the most unexpected thing: he laughs.

And no, it’s not one of the triumphant cackles that he unleashes every once in awhile after he’s finally done with his homework, nor is it the kind where he’s sneeringly chuckling because he finds something stupidly funny. It’s Kihyun’s genuine, raw laughter, which takes Hyungwon by surprise. Scratch that, he feels like he just got hit by a train. Or body-slammed by a sumo wrestler. He’s not an expert on analogies—it’s the feelings that count.

Never in his life has he heard a sound so clear, so endearingly happy and carefree. Perhaps it’s because he and Kihyun are always at each other’s throats, so he’s never seen upfront what Kihyun looks like when he’s enjoying himself. Honestly, Hyungwon thinks he’s been missing out on the best parts of life. The way Kihyun’s eyes fill with mirth and crinkle at the edges and how his nose scrunches up adorably—there’s just something ineffable about how beautiful he is. Perhaps it’s the fact that Kihyun’s features just glow up gently and leaves a stupidly bubbly feeling in Hyungwon’s stomach is what makes him want to melt into a puddle of goo. Fuck, he really wants to kiss him.

Hyungwon quickly snaps out of his daze before he really leans over and does something dumb. Kihyun’s eyes train into his as he chews on his lower lip, still hesitating over god knows what.

“I…” Kihyun trails off, blanking out, “Thank you, I guess? I don’t really know what your intentions are, but I starting to think that you’re not as bad as I thought? I mean, I could be wrong and you would still be a muscle-headed asshole and I could just thinking too much but—oh Merlin, your eyes are leaking.”

“What?” Hyungwon croaks, touching his cheeks tentatively. Much to his disbelief, he feels something wet. What the hell, now he’s crying? Smooth, Chae, so smooth. Now Kihyun’s going to think that he’s a crybaby and his reputation as Cool ‘N Suave™ is already crashing down. Great, just great. He really wishes that he could throw himself out the window right now so that he wouldn’t have to experience all this embarrassment.

“God, I’m sure I’ve said worse things to you,” Kihyun remarks as he dabs tissues onto Hyungwon’s cheeks, who goes completely still the moment Kihyun leans closer to him. “You’re such an ugly crier, Chae.”

Suddenly feeling bold, Hyungwon says shakily, “Truce.”

“What?”

“Truce,” Hyungwon repeats. “As in, can we have a truce?”

Kihyun looks at him, puzzled. Hyungwon immediately regrets everything that’s coming out of his mouth.

“I mean, I get that you hate me and have this whole ‘Gryffindors suck’ campaign going on—”

“Well of course,” Kihyun says with much certainty, “You are undeniably very insufferable.”

Hyungwon’s heart sinks a little.

“But I think I’ve somewhat misunderstood you. Perhaps my impression of you was a little more extreme than it should’ve been.”

Almost immediately, the heavy weight on Hyungwon’s shoulders suddenly lightens. He hates how Kihyun has this effect on him: it only takes him a few words to turn Hyungwon’s world upside down and right side up again.

Again, Kihyun does the thing where he grins widely and lights up like the sun, making Hyungwon’s ears warm and his stomach twisting and turning in the best way possible.

 

 

“Say that again.”

Kihyun rolls his eyes in irritation. “Like I’ve said for the millionth time, we’ve called for a temporary ceasefire.”

After being discharged, Kihyun’s been relishing the company of his books, essays, and something else. Ever since his little peace talk with Chae, he’s decided to do something he’s never done before: be nice to Chae Hyungwon. He’d definitely wanted to do it eventually, but didn’t really see himself being able to consistently act like a normal, not-angry human being around him. Surprisingly, it’s actually been working out very smoothly, and his friends just can’t seem to believe that Kihyun’s capable of even having a civil conversation with a Gryffindor.

“Changkyun, it’s a miracle,” Minhyuk whispers in awe, “Has Christmas come already? Can I hear the jingle bells ringing in the distance? Where are the sweet sounds of children caroling?”

“Alas, is that apple pie and savory turkey that I smell?” Changkyun sighs dreamily, drooling at the thought of scrumptious Christmas dinners.

“Are those mistletoes I see because—”

“You guys need to leave. I have work to make up and it’s not going to do itself unless I get some peace and quiet in here,” Kihyun says dismissively, pushing them both out of his dorm room.

“You’re no fun,” Minhyuk complains, obediently dragging himself and Changkyun out of the room because despite being a meddling best friend, he knows his limits. He’d rather not deal with a stressed out, tear-stricken Kihyun.

Meanwhile, Kihyun’s still poring over his numerous textbooks, furiously scribbling down notes when he suddenly chucks his quill against the wall. He regrets almost immediately, as the quill leaves an ugly stain on his royal blue walls. Well, to hell with that. Usually he wouldn’t mind if Minhyuk and Changkyun were messing around while he did his homework, but for some dumb reason he just isn’t able to concentrate like usual. In fact, every time he tries to focus on his Potions essay, his mind just somehow strays to Chae Hyungwon, infuriatingly enough.

Hell, just because you were civil with Chae and now you’re tentative friends doesn’t mean you have to think about him all the time, Kihyun chides, What are you, some lovestruck teenager? Why are you getting so used to this? Don’t forget that he’s a Gryffindor—

“No,” he suddenly says aloud, “Stop that. You promised yourself to give him a chance, didn’t you? Yoo Kihyun doesn’t go back on his promises, does he?”

Glaring down at his unfinished essay, he picks up his quill again and begins to furiously scribble again, putting all of his effort into concentrating on his work. Nothing exists; he is the words, the words are him. What effects are created by adding more wormwood than needed in a sample of the Draught of the Living Death? Simple: the potion will brew an unnatural green and the finished product could potentially could cause violent hiccupping instead of prolonged sleep. A variety of side effects could also appear, such as excessive sweating after consumption or potentially death—

“Done!” Kihyun announces triumphantly, throwing himself onto his bed. As he stares up at the ceiling, an image of Chae’s face somehow appears again. Thinking about it now, the past few weeks have been quite pleasant ever since he agreed to have a truce with Chae. Kihyun’s somehow been at peace with himself, and he’s done some rethinking about his biases and whatnot. Turns out that as much as he doesn’t want to admit it, he’s been a pretty big prick to people that don’t necessarily deserve it. After all, his family doesn’t represent all Gryffindors.

In fact, it feels like there’s a heavy weight that’s been lifted off Kihyun’s chest, and he wonders if it has anything to do with the fact that he’s not always angsting over how horrible other people are.

However, there is still one thing that’s bothering him. It would be an understatement to say that particular “thing” were a small matter.

The truth is, Kihyun’s found himself, as evident from his prior studying session, thinking excessively about Chae Hyungwon. In fact, he’s doing it now, and he doesn’t even realize it, nor does he seem to be able to stop himself.

It is also interesting to point out that Kihyun’s actually been like this for a very long time, just that now his thoughts about Chae are leaning more on the positive side rather than the dark, distasteful side. Surprisingly enough, as much as it bothered him before, Kihyun’s actually starting to find it nice, which disturbs him a little. Kihyun’s actually entertaining the notion that Chae might be more handsome than he had given credit to him for. He’s especially daunted by the possibility that Chae could actually be quite charming .

Overall, Kihyun’s head is a big fat mess. And, as always, Chae Hyungwon is there to make it worse.

Cut to dinner that night—Kihyun’s having a rather jolly time inhaling some mashed potatoes when he suddenly feels someone tap his shoulder.

“Whad do you whant?” he mumbles through a mouthful of food. To his genuine surprise, he finds Chae standing there, face showing signs of slight discomfort. In fact, Kihyun’s so shocked by Chae’s appearance that he almost chokes.

Correction: he does choke and almost spits all his food onto Chae’s robes. Luckily for him, the latter doesn’t happen. However, wheezing and gasping for air is not a very pretty scene to see. Kihyun pounds his chest as he coughs violently from the bits of potato mush stuck in his throat. When he finally saves himself from dying a shameful death, he finds Chae looking down on him with an amused expression. Kihyun considers the thought that Chae wears a smile better than a frown.

“Ah, yes, so what were you saying?” Kihyun coughs politely, pretending like he wasn’t almost die from a lack of oxygen seconds ago.

“I didn’t say anything,” Chae replies, raising an eyebrow quizzically.

Kihyun coughs awkwardly to cover up his embarrassment. “I mean, what do you want?”

Chae runs his fingers through his hair, which is a habit that really bothers Kihyun because hell he’s actually really attractive when he does that—wait what—

His mind is all over the place. Chae continues to be indecisive, shuffling his feet and fiddling with his fingers, until he finally says, “Will you meet me in the library after dinner? I need to talk to you about something.”

“Oh, yes, I do have a question regarding the Charms essay prompt, if you don’t mind me asking you about it. I’ll meet you there shortly,” Kihyun says eagerly, eyes lighting up.

Chae looks like he’s about to say something, but he seems to quickly decide against it and walks away. Suddenly, some strange impulse pushes Kihyun to grab Chae’s arm, forcing him to stay.

“If you have something to say, then say it here,” Kihyun demands, feeling oddly bold, “The other things can wait.”

Chae’s expression is strangely panicky as he tries to escape from Kihyun’s grasp. Nevertheless, Kihyun keeps his grip tight and doesn’t let go.

“We don’t have all day here, Chae,” Kihyun comments.

“Fine,” Chae groans, abruptly pulling Kihyun up from his seat, “Then you’re coming with me to the hallway, at least.”

“What?” Kihyun says dumbly as Chae drags him out of the Great Hall with monstrous strength that Kihyun didn’t think Chae had in him. When they stop at a more secluded part of the castle, the shouts of rowdy kids eating dinner is only a faint murmur in the distance.

Chae locks his gaze into Kihyun’s, and he notices how Chae visibly swallows, which is quite distracting for a reason that Kihyun can’t fathom. There’s an odd tension in the air that makes Kihyun a bit nervous, unsure of what is so important that Chae feels the need to drag Kihyun out of dinner to say. A heavy silence hangs over them, and looking into Chae’s dark eyes isn’t really helping to calm his racing heartbeat.

“You’re so impatient, did you know that?” Chae asks, sighing.

Kihyun huffs, “Well, you were being annoyingly indecisive. You should be thankful that I’m helping you out.”

“Yeah, sure,” Chae remarks, but there’s no malice in his tone. Rather, it almost sounds fond, which is uncharacteristic of Chae.

“So,” Kihyun prompts, looking up at Chae, “What did you want to say again?”

Chae inhales deeply, closing his eyes for a second. When he opens them again, Kihyun gets the feeling that something big’s going to happen.

“Okay, first, before I say anything, will you promise me to not run away screaming no matter what?”

This raises Kihyun’s suspicions about Chae. What could possibly be so terrifying that it would cause Kihyun to run away? Surely he’s joking, Kihyun thinks, although the seriousness in Chae’s expression says otherwise.

“I promise.”

Chae breathes out in relief. “Okay, so I may or may not have had a massive crush on you since last year and I was wondering if you could consider the possibility of us going out?”

It is then that Kihyun’s brain decides to completely shut down.

“I mean, of course, there’s no rush, but I just really needed to tell you before I did anything impulsive that would weird you out.”

What?

“And obviously you don’t have to say yes, I mean, it’s completely your choice—”

“That’s why!” Kihyun suddenly exclaims, throwing his hands in the air.

Chae gives him a confused look. “Why what?”

“I’ve found the answer. No wonder why I keep thinking about you these days! It’s because you’ve been sending me all these mating signals,” Kihyun says in realization, “It was your fault all along, Chae.”

For a moment, Chae just stares at him in utter disbelief. Then, he bursts out into abrupt laughter, breaking the tension between them. Kihyun watches dumbly as Chae doubles over, clutching his stomach as he’s overcome with bouts of hysteria. He’s lost it, Kihyun thinks to himself as Chae leans against the fall to support himself, throwing his head back as he laughs boisterously. His expression is free of furrowed eyebrows and hardened scowls; instead, it’s candid happiness and grins that stretch widely across his cheeks. It’s in this moment that Kihyun realizes just how beautiful Chae really is.

“You never cease to surprise me, Kihyun,” Chae says between chuckles, tears forming at the edges of his eyes. Kihyun almost misses the fact that Chae doesn’t call him Yoo.

“Well, I am quite special, I’d say,” Kihyun says, suddenly aware of just how close they are. He can feel the heat radiating off of Chae’s body as he somehow manages to almost completely close the distance between them. Kihyun flinches a little when Chae cups his chin and tilts his face upwards, but he doesn’t shy away.

“Hey,” Chae murmurs breathily, “Push me away if you feel uncomfortable, ‘kay?”

Kihyun’s stomach is twisting and turning with conflicting emotions. Losing himself in the depths of Chae’s eyes, he suddenly wonders what exactly he’s doing. A rush of panic engulfs Kihyun as he realizes that he’s undeniably scared. Of course he knows what might happen if he lets this continue, but somehow he finds himself wanting to take that risk. He’s never been quite so daring before, but perhaps there’s always a first for everything. Chae is the unknown, and perhaps Kihyun’s willing to step beyond his boundaries. After all, life is short and regrets are overrated.

“Alright,” Kihyun replies, voice trembling.

And just like that, Chae closes the distance between them.

Chae’s lips are soft and a bit cold, sending shudders down Kihyun’s spine. Holding Kihyun’s head tenderly, Chae kisses him in the gentlest way possible, so much that butterflies flutter inside Kihyun’s chest. He wraps his arms around Kihyun like he’s the most precious thing that he’s ever touched before, holding him in a warm embrace. Chae’s eyelashes flutter as he presses his lips delicately against Kihyun’s, the corners of his mouth curving ever so slightly. After what seems like eons, they break apart slowly. Chae’s cheeks are dusted a faint pink, his eyes slightly unfocused, as if he just woke up from a dream. Kihyun’s lips tingle as the lingering sweetness of Chae’s lips remains. Feeling slightly winded, Kihyun murmurs breathlessly, “Wow.”

“Yeah,” Hyungwon echoes lovingly as he buries his face into the crook of Kihyun’s neck, eyes glittering with stardust and looking the happiest Kihyun’s ever seen him be before, “Wow.”

And for the first time in a long time, Kihyun lets himself fall a little in love.