The first morning of his fifth year doesn’t live up to his expectations. Baekhyun wakes up earlier than he would have liked because Jongdae is incapable of moving around without waking up even the centaurs in the forest, and then he runs into Oh Sehun on his way to the prefect’s bathroom. He doesn’t have anything against the third year, actually likes him, but it’s far too early for his brain to process so much lisping.
And then Park Chanyeol shows up.
Baekhyun hasn’t seen Chanyeol in two months and it has been glorious, a much needed break from an entire school year of putting up with him, but now they are back to rooming together and he isn’t sure he’ll be able to take it without eventually snapping and possibly committing manslaughter. Park Chanyeol is simply too infuriating. He isn’t even sure what it is about Chanyeol that makes Baekhyun dislike him so much - it could be how he struts around the castle as if he owns it, or that ridiculous smirk he wears every time he catches the Snitch, or the fact that he called Baekhyun a girl during their first year.
Oh right, that’s it.
Baekhyun still can’t believe it; it was bad enough to be a shy muggle-born with no idea of what was going on - he didn’t need some tall freak to call him feminine. Baekhyun remembers sputtering out some sort of protest while Jongdae laughed, the little shit of no help as usual, and then realization dawned on Chanyeol’s face and instead of apologizing like an actual human being, he laughed. Laughed - right in his face. Baekhyun has wanted his head on a spike ever since.
“Good morning Byun,” Chanyeol greets from the sink. They are the only two students in the bathroom now; given it was a special one, reserved for prefects, Head Boys, and Quidditch captains. Baekhyun grumbles back a response and makes a beeline for his usual shower stall without a glance to him.
After casting every privacy charm known to man (Baekhyun is still as shy as the first time when it comes to his body) and placing his towel on the rack, with his clothes safely out of water’s reach, Baekhyun opens the tab and begins to go about his business. It is in the middle of rinsing his hair when Chanyeol decides to be friendly and strike up a conversation with him.
Why, God, why him?
“So,” Chanyeol says, "O.W.Ls this year, huh?” Baekhyun makes a noncommittal grunt and watches from the corner of his eye as Chanyeol enters the stall right next to his. He’s sure Chanyeol can’t see anything below his chest, courtesy of his charms, but it is still unnerving to have someone so close to him. Baekhyun chose long ago to shower in this particular stall because it is the farthest from the sinks and door, and therefore most students just shower at least three doors from him. “Are you nervous?”
Baekhyun chances a glance towards him. Chanyeol is weighing two different shampoo bottles in his hands, his curly hair plastered to his face from the water; Baekhyun looks away immediately, wondering what possessed the tall boy to get such a ridiculous perm. “Of course I am,” Baekhyun replies. He doesn’t know what Chanyeol wants to accomplish by talking to him, but whatever. Maybe it’s his way of saying sorry for insulting him four years ago.
“Me too,” Chanyeol laughs as he scrubs his hair. Baekhyun can smell his shampoo - strawberries - which Baekhyun rather approves of. They continue to talk about mundane stuff like that until they are both out of the shower and begin to dress. Baekhyun dispels the charms around him once his pants and shirt are on, and proceeds to knot his tie when he feels eyes on him. With a glance to his left, he can see Chanyeol looking at him with a pensive expression; his shirt is still half-unbuttoned and the tie is loose around his neck. Baekhyun blushes softly and diverts his gaze back to the mirror.
“What are you looking at?” he mumbles, not meeting Chanyeol’s eyes.
The tall boy shrugs and says, “Just noticed I was right. You really do have a girl’s body.”
Baekhyun’s hands freezes as he smooths down his tie, and he meets Chanyeol’s amused eyes with his own wide ones. Baekhyun bristles and walks out, uncaring that he didn’t brush his teeth.
Baekhyun ends up going back to the bathroom once Chanyeol leaves for breakfast to finish getting ready. Chanyeol’s words keep ringing in his head, and he can’t help but stare at his reflection in the mirror for a moment; with his robes off, he can see the way his pants cling tightly to his hips - Baekhyun is actually quite proud of the fact he doesn't need a belt. He supposes his waist can be… confusing, for someone with a brain the size of a pea, but just looking at his shoulders, you can tell he is a boy; they are broad, broader than Jongdae’s. It makes no sense for Chanyeol to say he looks like a girl when he clearly doesn’t. Baekhyun concludes he is just too dumb for logic to register in his head.
With his spirits lifted, Baekhyun decides to join his house for breakfast. The Great Hall is buzzing with first day energy, and Baekhyun lets his body absorb it as he makes his way to his seat next to Jongdae. He finds his friend stuffing his face with sausages and scrambled eggs (the breakfast of champions, he always says).
"Good morning," Baekhyun sits down with a wave in Jongdae's direction. Jongdae gives him a tight-lipped smile, because he knows Baekhyun doesn’t like the sight of chewed food in mouths.
Baekhyun helps himself to some toast, not as hungry as he usually would; the first day of school always gives him the jitters. Kim Minseok, their Head Boy, is giving the first year students instructions on how to get to their classes while the Head Girl gorges herself; not even her duty can keep Choi Sooyoung away from food. One of the new kids, Park Sooyoung, raises her hand timidly and asks why one of the Slytherins called her a ‘mudblood’. Baekhyun can feel his heart twist in sympathy; he can relate to her confusion, because he’d felt the same way when it happened to him the first time some elitist prat made a jab at his family. Minseok pales at the question but answers as nicely as possible; Baekhyun can see her face fall.
“What an asshole,” Jongdae mutters, now finished with his breakfast. Baekhyun hums in agreement, moving his toast around the plate in an attempt to scoop the bit of butter that escaped him.
Just then, Professor McGonagall starts passing out their timetables. Baekhyun scans his quickly and vaguely registers they have all their classes with Slytherin. “We got Transfiguration first,” Jongdae says, “Double period, too.”
Baekhyun shrugs. “Beats having double Potions like last year, though.”
“What electives are you taking this year?”
“Arithmancy,” Baekhyun says, “Muggle studies, muggle arts, and muggle music.”
“You’re taking those to make your life easier, aren’t you?” Jongdae asks. Baekhyun just smiles.
“You’re jealous because you have no idea who Britney Spears is,” Baekhyun teases.
Jongdae splutters. “Excuse me! That’s the chick with the song about the circus!”
At Baekhyun’s mildly shocked face, Jongdae grins smugly and laughs. “That’s right, I know stuff.”
Baekhyun makes it to Transfiguration just in time for Professor McGonagall to call for silence. He slips into his seat next to Jongdae and opens his book quietly, already bracing himself for the onslaught of information. The first twenty minutes of class Professor McGonagall lectures them on the importance of their O. W. L results. And then she delivers unexpected news.
“This year we will be implementing a new study system for 5th and 7th years,” she speaks, “The head of houses will be assigning partners to help each other with revising, homework, and one-on-one practicing. The professors were in charge of writing the couples, and there won’t be any switching. Now, please pay close attention for I will be announcing the pairs.”
Thus, she begins to recite pairings: Jongdae and Amber Liu, a kind Hufflepuff, are together; Baekhyun’s other roommate, Jinho and Kim Seokjin, the Ravenclaw boy who sat behind Baekhyun during Potions all throughout third year, is the next couple of study partners. Afterwards she mentions some other students, and Baekhyun tunes them out until he hears his name called:
“Byun Baekhyun and Park Chanyeol.”
Jongdae tries his best to smother his laughter into his arm, but to no avail. Baekhyun can feel Chanyeol’s eyes on him, but he honestly is too busy trying to wrap his head around the fact he will have to work with Chanyeol for a whole year.
By the end of the day, Baekhyun has managed to avoid running into Chanyeol. They still share classes, of course, but given that they sit in different ends of the classrooms, it wasn’t too hard. However, he forgot about one very important factor: they share a room.
Baekhyun walks in, ready to collapse face first on his bed after spending two hours doing homework with Jongdae in the common room, to find Chanyeol scribbling away in a parchment, carefully dipping his quill in ink every once in a while. Baekhyun vaguely remembers how in his first year, a Slytherin muggle-born named Lu Han began selling cheap ballpoint pens to purebloods for ten Sickles each. Every Muggle-born in the castle had to hide their mirth when the poor kids marvelled at the wonder that was not dipping for ink every ten words or so.
“Baekhyun!” Chanyeol exclaims when he sees him and hastily puts away his things, “I’ve been waiting for you.”
“What for?” Baekhyun asks as he reaches for his pyjamas. Normally he’d go to the bathroom for privacy, but tonight he is just too damn tired for that, so he simply changes behind his bed’s curtains.
“So we can set up a schedule for practicing,” Chanyeol answers as if it were obvious. Finally in his pyjamas, Baekhyun re-emerges and pretends to think about what times he would be free when he knows he has many free periods throughout the week, plus the weekends.
“I can meet you before lunch on Wednesdays and Fridays, and after four the rest of the week. You have Quidditch practice every Saturday morning, don’t you?”
“That’s right,” Chanyeol nods, “I can meet you after lunch on that day. I’m free all Sunday.”
After talking for a bit more and working out a schedule, Baekhyun bids him goodnight and goes to bed, anxious for the year to come.
Their first study session goes as well as Baekhyun expected, which is to say, not good at all. Chanyeol is nearly twenty minutes late, and he actually has the nerve to strut into the empty classroom with a ridiculously smug look on his face and merely smirks when Baekhyun demands to know where he was.
“Listen Park,” Baekhyun seethes, “I have no interest in working with you, alright? The only reason I'm doing this is because Professor McGonagall is making us. But I have no problem with studying on my own so if you’re not gonna take this seriously -”
“Relax,” Chanyeol huffs, dumping his messenger’s bag on a nearby desk and pulling his wand from his robes, “I was working some magic of my own on a cute Hufflepuff, if you know what I mean.”
Baekhyun sputters, scandalized at the way Chanyeol wiggles his eyebrow and nearly walks out if it weren’t because the taller Gryffindor has great reflexes and stops him by the arm. “Sorry, sorry,” he apologizes, not without an amused smile on his face, “Let’s get to work, alright?”
Baekhyun contemplates leaving him, but figures he doesn’t want an angry Professor McGonagall on his case so he stays; that woman is old, but she’s still the Headmistress and she’s still terrifying. In the end, he stays, if only to save himself the trouble of possible detention.
They decide to work on Charms first, one of Baekhyun’s best subjects (he’s good at all of them, if he may say so himself); Chanyeol asks if they could practice Cheering Charms, since those are apparently his favourite, and Baekhyun agrees because he feels like he could do with a better mood before next period, Herbology. Turns out, Chanyeol is surprisingly good at Charms, and by the time they are due for their next lesson, they’re both grinning broadly.
Baekhyun’s first Divination class of the year is ridiculous, but that isn’t particularly surprising. Professor Trelawney has never been Baekhyun’s favourite teacher, and this year it seems like her craziness has multiplied; not ten minutes after class started did she predict Jongdae would die at the hands of his best friend, to which Jongdae gasped dramatically and scooted his chair as far away from Baekhyun as possible. Baekhyun flicks him in the ear at the first opportunity he gets.
By the end of the period, Baekhyun’s eyes are sore and itchy from staring at the crystal ball in his table for so long. Chanyeol, on the other hand, looks like he had the time of his life sitting next to that Slytherin girl for the entire lesson. They meet up at the same empty classroom as the day before and discuss the class for a few minutes as they try to figure out whether to do homework or revise past lessons. In the end, they settle for their Potions homework so they take it to the library to begin their research on moonstone.
Weeks go by like that; Baekhyun and Chanyeol meeting up during their free periods to do homework and practice performing spells. Sometimes they get by their sessions without a scratch, though more often than not Chanyeol will make a ridiculous comment that will cause Baekhyun to bristle and walk away. Before they even notice, October begins to roll around the corner and Chanyeol comes up with the most ridiculous idea Baekhyun has ever heard.
“Park, you can’t be serious,” Baekhyun mutters. The muggle-born is trying his very best not to look at the Seeker too much today; it’s a Saturday, and the taller boy is wearing muggle clothes, a tight-fitting sweater and jeans, with his hair pushed back his forehead. Baekhyun hates himself for feeling affected by his appearance. He also tries to ignore the way Chanyeol hasn’t stopped checking him out the entirety of the morning.
“Well of course I’m serious,” Chanyeol, murmurs back, sliding closer so that his body and Baekhyun’s are pressed together. The short boy squirms uncomfortably as he flips through his numerous textbooks. The chilly October air filters through the open windows of their dorm; Jongdae is somewhere with Amber doing homework, while Jinho said he’d meet up with a friend of his out in the grounds.
“Come on,” Chanyeol insists, one of his large hands grabbing onto Baekhyun’s wrist to stop him from writing. Baekhyun blushes at the sight of how tiny his hand looks next to his. “It’s just for practice, Slughorn already taught us how to do it in class, and it’ll be fun.”
“And it’ll be fun,” Baekhyun imitates Chanyeol if only to appear non-affected. “What on earth could be fun about Polyjuice? And may I remind you that Slughorn was pretty clear about this potion being, you know, off limits to underage students?”
Chanyeol finally let’s go of his hand; Baekhyun definitely isn’t disappointed. “What could be fun? Baekhyun, its Polyjuice! We could transform into one another and confuse everyone! We could morph into anyone we want!”
Baekhyun stares at him with a blank face. Eventually Chanyeol gives up and turns around defeated, ready to go back to studying in silence when Baekhyun sighs. “Alright, we can have it ready in a month, but I’m not doing everything myself!”
Chanyeol cheers loudly and tugs Baekhyun into his arms.
The potion is finished by Halloween, much to Chanyeol’s pleasure. Baekhyun had been hiding it in Moaning Myrtle’s bathroom, even if he had to ignore her everytime they went in. Although it was rather fun to see Chanyeol blush under all of her attention.
“So when should we take it?” Chanyeol asks after Care of Magical Creatures that day, hunching over to speak in Baekhyun’s ears. The short Gryffindor blushes at the proximity and the warm air blown on his ear. As of late, Baekhyun has been having a bit of a hard time controlling his emotions whenever Chanyeol’s around.
“I was thinking before dinner,” Baekhyun answers. Dinner would be a good time to have fun with the potion without risking ruining each other’s marks or reputation in class.
“Alright, how do we do this?” Chanyeol asks once they are in the bathroom. Baekhyun is holding the tiny cauldron in one hand and a cup in the other, carefully serving equal portions for both of them.
“First I need a hair,” Baekhyun mumbles, plucking a strand of his own with a wince and dropping it in Chanyeol’s cup. When Chanyeol doesn’t make a move, Baekhyun reaches up and pulls one out himself from the tall Gryffindor’s head. Chanyeol goes ‘ouch!’ and rubs the spot with a pout. Once the potions are ready to go, Baekhyun puts the one with his hair on Chanyeol’s hand and pushes him inside a toilet stall. “Now, we undress and pass each other our clothes, put them on and then we drink it.”
“Sounds like a plan.”
Baekhyun tumbles out of the bathroom in too long legs. It feels somewhat weird to see things from such height all of a sudden, and Baekhyun can only hope he doesn’t fall because he’s sure it would hurt more than usual. Granted, he’s sure nothing will hurt more or be nastier than the transformation. Chanyeol had left already five minutes ago, after telling Baekhyun what a terrible person he was for not warning him about the taste. Chanyeol had looked weirded out, seeing his own body in front of him, but the Seeker had merely laughed it off before walking away.
The Great Hall served temporary distraction for Baekhyun, with all the Halloween decorations and whatnot, but soon enough he finds himself at a loss because he’s supposed to be Chanyeol and Chanyeol always sits with the Quidditch team, and Baekhyun is pretty sure he’s only said three words to them total in all his years at Hogwarts, excluding Chanyeol and Jinho. Either way, the whole point of this was to have a little fun with their friends, so he marches up to where Jinho is sitting and plops down next to him. Other than a clap on the back from their roommate, no one pays any mind to him, and Baekhyun would be lying if he said he wasn’t disappointed. That is, until 4th year Choi Minho turns his head to look at him and says, “So Yeol, how’s it going with you and Baekhyun?”
Baekhyun halts in the middle of chewing through a mouthful of apple pie and looks up to find the entire team looking at him. He chews slowly, trying to comprehend the meaning behind the question. He had no idea Chanyeol talked about him to his friends; somehow, the idea makes him shy.
“What are you talking about?” he asks, not meeting anyone’s eyes. Minho snorts and is about to answer when Chanyeol, in Baekhyun’s body, comes up to them and asks to talk to him, alone. Baekhyun isn’t oblivious to the meaningful looks the team sends his way.
Once they’re out of the hall and away from prying ears, Chanyeol stops walking, turn to him and the sudden fire in his eyes takes Baekhyun aback. Even if he is currently taller, he still feels at his mercy. Chanyeol moves up a step on the staircase to stare right into his eyes and with a deadly serious voice he asks, “Why didn’t you tell me Slughorn invited you to a Halloween party?”
Baekhyun splutters confusedly and is about to ask what he means but Chanyeol continues, more and more offended with every word. “You also failed to mention you are free to bring anyone you want.”
“I’m… sorry?” Baekhyun asks meekly, but Chanyeol only huffs and looks affronted.
“Sorry isn’t enough,” Chanyeol whines, suddenly childish, “Why didn’t you invite me? We could have gone together!”
The hall suddenly feels a lot hotter than before. Baekhyun looks at Chanyeol, pouting at him with his face, and fears someone will see them and misunderstand the whole situation. It is true that they no longer scowl at each other whenever they cross paths in the halls, nor do they have passive-aggressive arguments in the common room, but that doesn’t mean Baekhyun wants others to believe they’re friendly now. Because they’re not – absolutely not.
“Well, do you wanna go right now?” Baekhyun offers hesitantly. He knows that’s what Chanyeol is after, but it still feels odd to ask him to go to a party with him. It felt too much like a date.
Which, it wasn’t. At all.
Chanyeol nods his head excitedly and tugs Baekhyun up the stairs and in the direction of Slughorn’s party. A few feet away from the door, Chanyeol links his arm with Baekhyun and steers him forward, gentler than before so it doesn’t look like he’s kidnapping him. Baekhyun fights the blush on his cheeks and instead focuses on not tripping over his own feet (although he has seen Chanyeol trip multiple times even when there’s nothing to be tripping over).
Inside, the party is in full swing: there are many students from all houses and years mingling around, eating ice cream from giant bowls and chatting among themselves. Slughorn himself is enjoying a glass of firewhiskey by the fireplace, laughing along to whatever Kim Junmyeon is saying to him; Baekhyun wonders what in the world could possibly be so funny if it came from the 6th year.
Almost immediately, a couple of third years come up to them and start blabbering about Quidditch nonsense to him. Baekhyun tries to follow the conversation but his knowledge on the sport is zero, so he simply nods along and prays they don’t ask him any questions. Chanyeol disappears as soon as he gets the chance, and Baekhyun can see him over by the desserts table, eyeing the multiple cakes and the short Gryffindor hopes he doesn’t do anything to embarrass him. The two kids eventually grow tired of their one-sided conversation and leave him alone, and Baekhyun only has a second to feel relieved when he sees Slughorn approach Chanyeol, obviously believing he is Baekhyun.
Baekhyun nearly barrels through the party in his haste to get there before Slughorn but is too late, for their professor is already discussing their lessons with Chanyeol. Baekhyun acts as nonchalant as possible while he listens in to the conversation, reaching for a chocolate covered strawberry when Slughorn says, “So, Mr. Park, Mr. Byun, how did you two manage to make a successful Polyjuice potion in the school?”
Chanyeol chokes on his drink but Baekhyun is too busy staring open-mouthed at their professor to pat him on the back. Slughorn does the job for him anyway, laughing amicably. “Relax boys. You didn’t think I wouldn’t notice, did you? Of course, I am a big fan of the potion myself and it doesn’t take a genius to tell you two aren’t yourselves. My advice would be for you to enjoy the effects while they last, though. You should be back to normal tomorrow morning.”
With that, Slughorn walks away, striking a conversation with some prefects. Baekhyun and Chanyeol don’t discuss how obvious they apparently are, content with eating and occasionally chatting with other students. By midnight they all had to go back to their dorms, since extended curfew and professor supervision could only get you so far, and Baekhyun fell asleep on his own bed, careful not to wake any of their roommates, and wondering if going back to his old body would hurt as bad as the first transformation did.
The next morning Baekhyun wakes up with a kink in his neck. Somewhere to his right, Jinho is humming quietly to himself while going through his morning routine. Baekhyun ignores his alarm going off in favour of cuddling under the sheets in an attempt to salvage the warmth on his bed, until someone does it for him.
“Jesus, Park, would it kill you to turn this damn thing off?” Jinho mutters, and when he gets no response he pats Baekhyun’s leg and says louder, “Yah, Park, I’m talking to you. What are you doing in Baekhyun’s bed?”
Baekhyun bolts upright when he hears that, throws the covers off his body and looks down in alarm to find that his legs are too long and too thin to be his. Across from his bed, he can see a tuft of brown hair peeking out from under the blanket. His brown hair.
Before the panic sets in, Baekhyun makes a show of looking disorientated (it wasn’t too difficult) and looks at Jinho with a lopsided smile as he’s seen Chanyeol do multiple times before. “I guess we got back a little too late and didn’t notice. Nothing to worry about.”
Jinho shrugs, clearly no longer interested, and goes back to folding his pajamas. Baekhyun climbs out of bed carefully, looking around their dorm room; Jongdae is already gone, backpack included, so he’s not coming back. Jinho is practically ready too, and not a minute later, he walks out the door with a wave and a reminder to go to breakfast soon. As soon as the door shuts close, Baekhyun flings himself on top of Chanyeol and starts shaking him awake.
“Park I swear to God if you don’t wake up right this instant you’re gonna regret it so hard!”
Chanyeol groans tiredly but opens his eyes anyway and it takes him two seconds for them to land on Baekhyun on top of him and comprehend the situation. He screams. And because Baekhyun is a very loud person, the sound is somewhat shrill. Baekhyun covers his mouth with his hand to shut him up, shushing him. Once Chanyeol shuts up, Baekhyun removes the hand and they both stay looking at each other in surprise.
“What the fuck Byun?” Chanyeol rasps out. Baekhyun doesn’t find it as threatening as Chanyeol intended it to be considering it’s voice.
“How the hell am I supposed to know?” Baekhyun bites back. Chanyeol’s owl, Loey, makes an odd sound from his cage and flutters his wings around. They both ignore him.
“We should get ready for class,” Chanyeol mutters minutes later, pushing Baekhyun off him and getting out of bed. Baekhyun gapes at him, dumbfounded.
“Class?” he asks incredulously. “Is that seriously what’s on your mind? Park, we should have changed back hours ago!”
“I know that!” Chanyeol nearly shouts, tugging his pajama shirt over his head and bending down to rummage through Baekhyun’s trunk for his uniform. “But nothing good is going to come out of sitting in bed and staring at each other. The best thing we can do is go to Potions and ask for Slughorn’s help.”
Baekhyun is admittedly a little ashamed he didn’t think of that. But he’s also rather pissed because Chanyeol doesn’t look nearly as freaked out as he should. However, before he can voice out his thoughts, Chanyeol is tossing him his (Chanyeol’s) uniform and telling him to get dressed and down for breakfast as soon as possible. Baekhyun is left staring at the clothes in his hands when Chanyeol walks out, and is about to change into them when the Seeker duck his head in and says in the most infuriating tone of voice, “And I know I have a sick body but please don’t stare too much, I’m shy.” Then he winks, fucking winks and leaves again.
Sneaking around the school wasn’t exactly how Baekhyun imagined his school year to go. He figured there would be a little more anxiety over exams and a little less anxiety over seeing Chanyeol’s friends. He just hopes Chanyeol doesn’t get any weird ideas and starts talking to his friends. Or worse, Baekhyun’s friends.
Baekhyun makes sure to be the last to arrive in class and the first to leave. At Transfiguration, Professor McGonagall gives him a confused look when she catches sight of him stumbling away from his usual seat, obviously wondering if Chanyeol had fallen off his broom and hit his head.
Baekhyun can’t wait for Potions - there, Slughorn takes one look at him and widens his eyes, seemingly understanding the situation. Right behind Baekhyun comes in Chanyeol, messenger’s bag slung over his shoulder.
“Alright class, settle down now,” Slughorn calls unsteadily. “Today we are preparing a special potion, called the Drought of Peace. Most wizards don’t consider this potion particularly helpful, however I’ve always thought it is quite underrated. Please, be careful with the ingredients, you don’t want to send the drinker into a heavy sleep. The instructions are on the board, the ingredients are on the cupboard, and you have exactly one hour and thirty minutes to finish. Begin.”
Baekhyun drags himself over to the cupboard to retrieve the ingredients; he passes Jongdae on his way and is about to whine at him about how he can’t stand Park when he remembers he is Park at the moment. So instead, he swallows his words and gathers everything he needs before dumping them on next to his cauldron. The potion turns out to be harder to make than expected, with so many specific instructions on stirring and whatnot, but Baekhyun wasn’t one to give up so he pushed through, adding ingredients when needed, and counting minutes. As he waits seven minutes before adding syrup of hellebore, Chanyeol appears behind him. Baekhyun is keenly aware of the eyes on them, but does his best to ignore them.
“I’m labelling my vial with my name,” Chanyeol whispers, “I’m not as good at potions as you are and I wouldn’t want to ruin your marks.”
The sentiment makes Baekhyun’s heart flutter, and he nods in thanks before grabbing for the syrup. “Thank you,” he mutters, “You should go back to your cauldron, unless you wish to miss your mark and mess up the potion.”
Chanyeol nods and walks away. Baekhyun allows himself, minutes later, to glance at himself across the hall. Does he really scrunch up his nose like that when he’s concentrated? He never noticed.
Ten minutes before the lesson is over, Slughorn begins to go around the class, glancing at every cauldron to evaluate the results. “Your drought should be a silvery colour by now. Mr. Kim, what is this?”
Jongdae smiles sheepishly and murmurs something. Slughorn looks mildly amused and allows him to turn in what Baekhyun can only assume is an attempt at the Drought of Peace. Baekhyun makes some low-key hand gestures to Chanyeol until the Seeker gets the hint and peeks at Jongdae’s cauldron. If his expression is anything to go by, Jongdae did not follow the instructions by heart.
Slughorn continues with his stroll around the class, nodding at a few cauldrons and shaking his head at others. Expectedly, when he stops by Baekhyun he gives a silent ‘ah’ and nods his head fervently before moving on. When the final bell rings all the other students gather their things and trickle out.
“Mr. Byun, Mr. Park, if you may,” Slughorn calls, “I would like to have a talk with you.”
Baekhyun stays put in his seat, while Chanyeol moves to sit next to him. Once the last student is out the door, Slughorn shuts it close and turns around to gape at them. Baekhyun figure it isn’t a good sign if their Potions professor looks so dumbfounded.
“What in Merlin’s beard happened boys?” Slughorn exclaims.
“Honestly professor, I don’t know.”
Baekhyun hates how defeated he sounds; it’s especially unnerving because it came out in Park’s voice and he’s pretty sure he’s never heard the Seeker use that tone in all the years they’ve known each other. Chanyeol, in Baekhyun’s body, tugs at his school bag and looks back and forth between them with worry.
“Professor,” he says, a frown marring his features, “can you help us?”
Slughorn plops down on his seat with a heavy sigh. His face answers for them. Baekhyun is already looking down dejectedly when Slughorn speaks. “I may know of a potion that could help you.”
Baekhyun nearly cries in relief. “But I will have to tell Professor McGonagall about this.”
“What?” they both cry out. Professor McGonagall was one of the few people who scared Baekhyun in the world, and the prospect of her knowing of just how badly he had screwed up gave him the chills. Chanyeol looks just as terrified as he is, Baekhyun’s features contorted into a look of horror.
Maybe they were exaggerating.
They weren’t exaggerating.
Baekhyun has never been to the Headmistress’s office for a scolding. Not even before he began attending Hogwarts and went to a Muggle school, he was always a good kid. He wonders if this is how his brother always felt whenever he got in trouble – probably not. Baekbeom lived for making adults inhale deeply in an attempt to lecture without shouting.
And right now Baekhyun wishes he could Disapparate out of Hogwarts and away from Professor McGonagall’s reach. Their professor is looking as angry as Baekhyun has never seen her, lips white from how hard she was pressing them together. Chanyeol is the one telling the story while Baekhyun tries his hardest to sink into the fluffy cushions of his seat and disappear forever. He heard about that kid James using Hogwarts’s secret passages to get out of trouble – and now he wishes he knew the quickest way out of Professor McGonagall’s office and into the nearest town.
Chanyeol’s voice trails off when he finishes his story. They’re silent afterwards, watching Professor McGonagall’s nostrils flare in a weak attempt to relax. It doesn’t seem to be working very well. After minutes of silence, Professor McGonagall finally speaks up.
“Let me see if I understand,” Professor Professor McGonagall says slowly. “You two thought it would be fun to use Polyjuice potion…”
“And went behind my back and your professor’s…”
They nod again.
“And somehow you screwed up. And now you’re stuck in each other’s bodies.”
They nod once more.
“I believe there is no need for me to tell you why what you did is possibly the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard,” she begins. Baekhyun and Chanyeol shake their heads no. “Well, I’m going to do so anyway. There is a reason why Polyjuice is off limits! Not only is it extremely dangerous because of its uses, if done incorrectly it could cause serious damage to whoever drinks it! Tell me, Mr. Byun, did you follow the instructions perfectly?”
Baekhyun stammers and raises a hand timidly when he notices Professor McGonagall is looking at Chanyeol instead of him. Their professor doesn’t even bat an eye once she realizes her mistakes and simply fixes her glare on him instead. “I did, ma’am. I’m sure I did.”
“Well, clearly something went wrong along the way.”
Baekhyun feels his ears burn. He knows just as well as she does that he screw up one way or another. He looks down dejectedly and listens to what Professor McGonagall has to say; mostly she just rambles, clearly annoyed at their stupidity. Chanyeol is restless next to him, bouncing his leg up and down, and fiddling with his hands. He doesn’t even look half as ashamed as Baekhyun.
“Professor Slughorn,” Professor McGonagall says finally. Slughorn looks up sharply from his spot by the door and walks forward. “What do you suggest we do?”
“Well professor,” Slughorn sighs, “There is one thing I can think of, but it’s a long shot. I’ve never had to do it before.”
Baekhyun and Chanyeol look at him expectantly. Professor McGonagall, for all her angry façade, looks intrigued too. Slughorn takes a moment before he speaks, seemingly to gather his thoughts. “Many years ago, there was a situation similar to this. Two wizards, older and more experienced than Mr. Byun and Mr. Park here, made a mistake when preparing Polyjuice and didn’t change back. In their case, they were delinquents, yet they sought help from the Ministry when they realized their problem. They called me, along with a few other Potion experts, to help. It took us a few weeks to figure it out: there is a potion, not taught in any school, called the Reverser.”
In their seats, Chanyeol and Baekhyun both lean forward. Slughorn continues, “As the name indicates, this poison will reverse the effects of the latest poison the drinker has ingested. In your case: Polyjuice.”
Professor McGonagall nods. “I heard about this; their intentions were never revealed and the Ministry never looked into it further.”
“The Reverser,” Slughorn says, “It’s extremely difficult to make, and not to mention it takes time.”
“How long?” Baekhyun blurts out before he can stop himself. Thankfully, Slughorn seems amused with his eagerness; Professor McGonagall gives him the same look his mother does when she wants to reprimand him but can’t, eyes wide open and lips pressed thin.
“Six months,” Slughorn answers.
Baekhyun’s heart plummets to the bottom of his stomach. Six months! That’s not until April! When he looks over at Chanyeol, he sees the Seeker is wide-eyed too, and when their gazes meet, they know they’re both thinking the same:
Per Professor McGonagall’s instructions, no one can know about the situation. “I will inform your professors myself,” She said, “I don’t want news of this spreading around the school. And I certainly don’t want the Ministry finding out; we will handle this situation ourselves.”
She dismisses them from her office next, but they haven’t gone far when she calls out their names and says, “One last thing. Mr. Park, since Mr. Byun is not part of the Quidditch team, and my understanding is he isn’t a fan of the sport either, I will give you two weeks to train Mr. Byun.”
Baekhyun splutters. “Excuse me professor, but I’ve never played Quidditch in my life. I really doubt two weeks will be enough to get me even acquainted with flying, much less –”
“I know that,” Professor McGonagall interrupts. “However, we can’t afford to lose not only the Seeker, but also the Captain of the Gryffindor team.”
“But what if I suck?”
“Then we pretend you broke your leg and can’t play,” Chanyeol says brightly. Baekhyun gapes at him. “And besides, I’m a great teacher. I’m sure I can get you in shape before the next game.”
Professor McGonagall seems content with that, nodding her head and letting them go. The walk back to their dorm is quiet, Baekhyun staring at his shoes with every step and Chanyeol whistling softly. That’s when Baekhyun realizes the fault in their brilliant plan.
“Chanyeol,” he says. The Seeker halts to a stop, almost running into a wall. “There’s a problem.”
“If I allegedly break my arm,” Baekhyun starts, “Madam Pomfrey could easily mend the bones in an instant.”
“True,” Chanyeol mutters. One of his hands rubs his chin, making him look like an evil genius from one of those cartoons Baekhyun used to watch when he was little. “I guess there’s no other choice – you’re gonna have to learn how to play.”
The smile on his face doesn’t match at all the seriousness of the circumstances. Baekhyun tries to convey his feelings, but they reach the entrance to the Gryffindor common room then.
“Unicorn braid,” they say at the same time, and the Fat Lady opens for them to climb through.
Inside, they find Jongdae hunched over one of Baekhyun’s muggle books, browns furrowed in concentration. Baekhyun nudges Chanyeol with his elbow and urges him to follow him to their room and they bypass Jongdae without their roommate noticing them. Jinho is gone, thank god, so they can talk without problem.
“Well this sucks,” Chanyeol proclaims, throwing himself on his bed. Baekhyun is too jittery to sit down, so he chooses to pace up and down their room in restlessness, running his hands through his hair. “At least Slughorn will be able to help us.”
“Yeah, but we’re still going to be stuck like this for six months,” Baekhyun presses. “How are we even going to last that long?”
“I’m a bad liar,” Chanyeol confesses sheepishly. Baekhyun isn’t surprised at all.
“Not to mention I have to play Quidditch,” Baekhyun groans in misery. All he wants to do is crawl into a hole and hide until all of this is over.
Their dorm room falls silent after that. When Jongdae and Jinho come back later that night, they find them both passed out on their beds, still dressed in their uniforms.
Baekhyun grips the broom between his legs tightly, a small whimper tearing out of his lips when Chanyeol takes off from the ground. The last time he flew a broom was during his first year and he has to admit he was terrible at it. And no matter how many times he tells Chanyeol so, the other boy just smiles and assures him it’ll be all right.
“Will you relax?” Chanyeol laughs into his ear; Baekhyun has never hated his own laughter more before. “I’m right here.”
“You’re behind me,” Baekhyun presses, “What if I fall forward? Will you catch me then?”
“Of course,” he answers immediately. Baekhyun blushes, reddening even more when Chanyeol wraps arms around his waist and tugs him the tiniest bit closer.
“Now,” Chanyeol instructs. “Lift the broom handle just the tiniest bit to gain altitude… there you go. Now guide it to a horizontal position so we’re stable.”
Baekhyun does as told, and the broom stays afloat ten feet in the air. The Quidditch pitch isn’t Baekhyun’s favourite place, considering he only goes when Gryffindor has a game and Jongdae drags him there, rambling on and on about team spirit and supporting their roommates and whatnot.
“I’m gonna take over now,” Chanyeol informs him, his arms leaving their place and holding on to the handle between them. “Keep your hands on the broom, and don’t freak out.”
Baekhyun doesn’t have time to wonder what he means by that – the broom is suddenly tilting upwards and they’re shooting to and over the Forbidden Forest, circling a few trees before going down and swooping over the lake. The whole time, Baekhyun is too terrified to scream, hands tightening on the broom to the point his knuckles turn white.
“You’re very stiff,” Chanyeol chuckles behind him. Baekhyun doesn’t bother answering him.
Thankfully, they land back on the ground soon enough and Baekhyun tumbles off the broom, lands on his hands and knees and nearly throws up. He doesn’t, because he knows it’ll be embarrassing and he would hate it if Chanyeol saw him do that. “Don’t ever,” he gasps out, “Do that again. I swear to God Park.”
Chanyeol is laughing at him, obnoxiously loud and Baekhyun wants to smack him. But he doesn’t trust his legs right now and so he stays right where he is, slumped over on the ground, the grass tickling his chin.
“That wasn’t so bad, was it?” Chanyeol asks. Baekhyun sends him a withering glare and huffs, attempting to get off the ground. His robes are covered in grass and dirt, and his hair is a mess.
“Piss off,” he rasps out. Chanyeol barks out another laugh and helps him to his feet.
“Don’t worry Baekhyun,” he says. “We have permission to come out here every night to practice. I also managed to reschedule the games – Gryffindor won’t be playing until December. Plenty of time to make you the best flyer, yes?”
No, Baekhyun wants to say. He’s about to, but the hopeful smile on the other’s face stops him. Instead, he nods feebly.
True to his words, Chanyeol takes him out to the field every night for practice. Baekhyun discovers that perhaps he doesn’t like to fly, but his body – or Chanyeol’s – does, and all he has to do is let muscle memory do its work. For the first two weeks, Chanyeol rides the broom with him, one arm locked around his waist for support.
After that, he starts flying solo, Chanyeol right beside him on a burrowed broom, since Baekhyun doesn’t have one himself. The fear ebbs away little by little every night, until he can finally rise up into the air and soar from one end of the pitch to another without a singly whimper.
“I think it’s time we move on to Quidditch,” Chanyeol announces one afternoon. The common room is quiet, most sixth years taking Apparition lessons. Baekhyun isn’t sure where the rest of the students are, but he’s grateful for the short reprieve. The older boy isn’t too excited to learn he’ll be attending practice soon – he’s only managed to get out of it so far because of Professor McGonagall putting him ‘in detention’.
“I have some knowledge,” Baekhyun says defensively, hours later, when Chanyeol tried to explain the game to him. “Seven players on each team: three Chasers, one Keeper, two Beaters and one Seeker.
“The chasers try to get the Quaffle through the hoops,” he continues. “Ten points for each time they do it. The Keeper protects the hoops. The Beaters protect their teammates from the Bludgers and try to steer them to the other team while the Seeker looks for the Snitch. The team that catches the Snitch is awarded one hundred and fifty points and, in most cases, wins the game.”
Chanyeol is impressed. Baekhyun can tell, because his eyebrows are close to his hairline and his mouth is hanging slightly open; it makes for a pretty ugly expression on Baekhyun’s face and he grimaces. “Stop making that face,” he grumbles. “I look ugly.”
Chanyeol snaps his mouth shut immediately.
“Ok, well,” he coughs. “I see you know the rules. Let’s practice catching the Snitch, alright?”
Baekhyun barely has any time to prepare himself before the Snitch is released into the air and it starts buzzing around, circling him for a second before zooming away. Baekhyun kicks off the ground and goes after it, careful to keep the little thing in sight.
Professor McGonagall has set charms all over the pitch to keep them out of view and hearing, so he doesn’t need to worry about anyone catching sight of them. He can hear Chanyeol flying close behind him as precaution but doesn’t let him distract him from his task.
He’s already lost track of the Snitch. Baekhyun comes to a stop mid-air and waits, looking around the field – he can’t see the ball anywhere. Chanyeol is looking, too, but he doesn’t seem to know where it is either.
There’s a flicker of movement to his right, and Baekhyun glimpses the Snitch’s tiny wings fluttering towards the ground. He shoots after it right away, stretches his arm out and catches it.
“How did you do that?!” Chanyeol exclaims when he joins him on the ground. Baekhyun sits dumbfounded on his broom, staring at the Snitch in his hands. “It took me forever to catch my first Snitch and you did it so fast! Are you sure you never played Quidditch before?”
“I mean, I did baseball when I was a kid, but…” Baekhyun trails off. Chanyeol asks what baseball is but doesn’t get an answer.
Quidditch try outs are the next weekend. Choi Minho makes sure to remind him at least three times a day, and asks him constantly if he’s done with detention. Baekhyun never noticed, but the team seems to rely on Chanyeol more than on any other member. Maybe because he’s the captain.
Chanyeol gives him pointers the night before on what to look for, and reminds him that first years are not allowed to join the team so if any shows up, he has to send them back to the dorm.
“Three of our players graduated last year,” Chanyeol tells him after breakfast while doing their Herbology homework. “All chasers: Kim Taeyeon, Lee Jinki and Henry Lau. So that’s what we need the most. I know we’re not supposed to be biased when picking the members, but the ones we still have are great, so don’t exchange them unless really necessary, ok?”
“I thought we had a few days to decide?” Baekhyun says. “I was planning on having you watch the tryouts and let you choose who’s in.”
Chanyeol shrugs. “Now you’re supposed to discuss it with the other members. That means you need to talk to Minseok, Jinho and Minho before making a choice. Of course, I can still sit in and watch if you want.”
Baekhyun does want that. Chanyeol settles on the bleachers, parchment on his lap to at least pretend to be working while watching. To Baekhyun’s surprise, Jongdae shows up with a bright grin.
“I’m trying out for the team!” he tells him when Baekhyun asks what he’s doing. “Relax Yeol; you don’t have to look so constipated. If I’m in, I’m in. And if I’m not, no hard feelings.”
“Right,” Baekhyun smiles. Jongdae nods and smiles back before making his way to where the other students are waiting. Baekhyun lets Minho take charge for the most part, giving his input every once in a while but mostly just stays quiet.
He’s impressed with Jongdae’s skills, to be honest. Baekhyun knew already that the pureblood had an older brother who was part of the team his whole life, but since his friend never said anything about playing, he figured he wasn’t interested. However, watching him fly around the pitch, scoring forty points all on his own, Baekhyun has to reconsider.
The other students do well too, some more than others. Two hours later, Baekhyun meets with his teammates in the dressing rooms to discuss. He’d managed to sneak off a few minutes earlier to a bathroom where Chanyeol told him who he thought did best, and now it’s time for him to deliver the message.
“I think Jung Hoseok did well,” Jinho comments. They’ve narrowed it down to six kids, and now they have to decide on only three.
Minseok nods. “He’d be a good chaser. Also, that boy, Kim Taeyong. He’s Taeyeon’s little brother, right? His sister is one of the best chasers our team’s had in a long time. I say he’s in.”
“What do you think, Chanyeol?” Minho asks him.
“I think so, too,” he nods. “Both of them. And Jongdae. The three could be our new chasers.”
“I had no idea Jongdae was that good,” Jinho admits. Baekhyun chuckles in agreement.
“I know, right?” Minseok asks. “His older brother was a Seeker, I think. He graduated during my first year, but if I recall correctly he was a rocket, zooming in and out of the pitch.”
“So?” Minho prompts. “Do we have our new teammates? Cap?”
Baekhyun considers for a moment, and nods. “Yeah, we do. Let’s go tell them.”
Hoseok is delighted to hear the news – he’s a third year and he immediately grabs the two Hufflepuffs next to him and shakes them with excitement. One of them, Min Yoongi, mentions something about creaming him in their next match; that’s when Baekhyun remembers Yoongi is a Chaser for the Hufflepuff House. The other boy, Seokjin, pats his back and reminds him to write to his brother Jungkook to tell him the news.
Taeyong isn’t quite so forward, but Baekhyun can still tell he’s more than pleased. He’s sitting with a few other second years and even first and third years from different houses. None of them are from Gryffindor except for Taeyong and that muggle born Sooyoung, but Baekhyun recognizes Yuta and Johnny as some of the new recruits of the Slytherin team.
And finally, Jongdae has the audacity to smirk at the news. Chanyeol is with him in their dorm room, reading yet another one of Baekhyun’s muggle books he brings from home, and Jongdae turns to him with a smug smile and says, “See? I told you I’d make it.”
“Never said you wouldn’t,” Chanyeol shoots back. Baekhyun’s gotta admit that was a pretty good impression of him.
“Our first practice is on Monday,” Baekhyun tells him. “At four till seven. We have the pitch for ourselves Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at the same schedule. Got it?”
“Got it, boss.”
Their first game is against Slytherin. Baekhyun almost throws up what little he can eat during breakfast, and if it weren’t because of Chanyeol getting a bit of the Drought of Peace from Slughorn, he probably would have passed out.
He doesn’t drink too much of the drought, just a drop and mixed with his tea, but it’s enough to calm his nerves. At least he no longer feels like he’s going to cause an earthquake with how hard he’s shaking.
Chanyeol doesn’t stop giving him pointers, mostly to avoid the Bludgers and to fly at a moderate pace, but the closer they get to the pitch, the louder the buzzing in his ears gets. By the time he enters the dressing room, he’s forgotten everything Chanyeol told him.
Taeyong looks pale as a sheet as he puts on his uniform, and Hoseok doesn’t look much better either. The only ones completely at ease are Minseok, Jinho and Minho - they’re laughing and horsing around as they get ready. Minseok beams when he sees Baekhyun and beckons him with a shout of ‘Yeol!’
“Yeah?” Baekhyun tries to sound as nonchalant as possible, but he thinks the shaking of his voice gives him away.
Jinho gives him a sympathetic look and asks, “Is this because we’re playing against Slytherin? I know Lu Han beat you last time, but you’ve practiced a lot since then, right? There’s no need to worry.”
Lu Han, the Seeker for Slytherin House and the Captain of their team – the same muggle born who tried to sell ballpoint pens at a ridiculous price until he was caught and put in detention for scamming. Baekhyun remembers how fast and nimble he is and suddenly he feels sick for a whole different reason.
He wonders if it isn’t too late to back out, but Madam Hooch enters the room then and announces the game will begin shortly. Baekhyun gulps, hard, fixing his uniform one last time before walking out on the field.
The roaring is deafening. Of course, he knew to expect such reaction, since he too would be part of it when Jongdae took him to the games, but it still feels electrifying. He even catches some of the words his fellow Gryffindors are chanting – Chanyeol, his name. Or who he is at the moment.
The captains are told to shake hands. Lu Han takes his in a firm grip and sends him an angelic smile, which Baekhyun knows very well not to buy, and then the whistle’s blown and the two are kicking off the ground.
The game is a little of a blur. The commentator, a 2nd year named Im Nayeon, narrates everything that happens on the field, from the scores, to who gets knocked over by whom. Baekhyun hears her say Taeyong’s been hit by a Bludger but doesn’t have time to worry too much because there’s a glimpse of gold and he doesn’t think about it, just throws himself in the direction of the Snitch.
Turns out, Lu Han has seen it too, and he’s going for it. Baekhyun is flying Chanyeol’s broom, the fastest model in the market, and he has to believe that that particular fact has something to do with him catching the ball instead of Lu Han. The Gryffindor House goes wild with cheers; his teammates all dive to his side and scream in his ear. Lu Han pats his back and congratulates him but reminds him that this doesn’t mean they won’t be playing head-to-head again.
Baekhyun is in cloud nine. He doesn’t process leaving the field, changing back to his robes and going to his dorm room. His teammates are all going to celebrate their victory in the common room but he declines, insisting that he’s just going to rest for a bit. Chanyeol follows him to their room, and when he shuts the door behind him he’s suddenly all over him.
“You did it!” Chanyeol shout-whispers, hoisting him up and shaking him side to side. Baekhyun is still too shocked to react, but he manages to nod his head slowly. He vaguely wonders how Chanyeol can lift and hold him, considering Chanyeol’s frame is larger than Baekhyun’s, not to mention the older boy has never worked out in his life.
Chanyeol continues to praise and congratulate him, even if he doesn’t get much of an answer. There’ a party going on down in the Common Room, they can hear it, but neither makes a move to join. Chanyeol finally lets him go, placing him back on the ground with a wide grin on his face.
“I’m so proud of you,” he gushes out, eyes lit up like a little kid. Baekhyun feels heat prickling at his neck with all the attention he’s receiving from the other boy; somehow, Chanyeol’s approval makes him giddier than that of his teammates.
“I couldn’t have done it without you,” he admits. “Thank you.”
Chanyeol pats his shoulder. “Are you kidding? You saved my reputation out there – and you beat Lu Han. That puts you on the Chanyeol Approved List.”
“Lu Han got the Snitch the last time, right?” Baekhyun asks. Chanyeol grimaces, but soon the smile is back on his face.
“It doesn’t matter anymore” he says. “We won. Should we go down to the party?”
Baekhyun isn’t too interested in going to a party right now, but he realizes Chanyeol is the kind to celebrate this kind of accomplishment, so he puts on his best smile and joins the rest of the House.
Meeting with Chanyeol for practice no longer felt like a punishment. Granted, they still argue over petty things, especially because Chanyeol continues to flirt with anything that moves, which is giving Baekhyun the kind of reputation he’s never wanted, but at least now they can talk things through - after a few well aimed insults.
Baekhyun helps correct Chanyeol’s charm pronunciations, and in exchange Chanyeol helps him perform defensive spells. Baekhyun’s always had the same problem with Defence against the Dark Arts, and that is he’s never had to face anything remotely dangerous, which leaves him helpless when practicing. Most purebloods and half-bloods at school have parents who participated in the Battle of Hogwarts and who told the tales of the monsters they encountered, and so those students have an idea of what it is like to be in danger, even if through their parents’ memory.
However, Baekhyun doesn’t have that. At least, Baekhyun thinks that’s the reason why he’s not confident with spells of this category and therefore rubbish with them. Chanyeol insists he just needs to concentrate, but it isn’t until they ask their Defence against the Dark Arts professor for help that he manages to perform a successful round of spells.
Their teacher is a young half blood from America who lends them a Boggart. Now Baekhyun worked with the Boggart during his third year, much like every other student, but their professor insists it’s a good place to start.
When the Boggart climbs out of the trunk and takes the form of Matthew, Baekhyun blanks. Matthew, in all his six foot four glory, leering down at him and telling him he’s disgusting. Thankfully their teacher left them alone for a while, after they insist they already know how to deal with the Boggart.
Baekhyun tries to get the words out, but his mind is frozen, and he can’t even tear his eyes away from Matthew. Tears spring to his eyes at the most hurtful words, and his throat clogs up when he mentions his past crush on Taehyung.
That has been his best kept secret in all his teenage years. He may not be ashamed of whom he is, but he certainly tries to keep his lifestyle away from his friends. He doesn’t doubt the Boggart is messing with him somehow, but Chanyeol is right there, listening, and now he knows.
Matthew is suddenly dressed in drag, and it’s enough to make both Chanyeol and Baekhyun laugh – even if Baekhyun’s is strained and weak. The Boggart dissolves with a loud bang, leaving behind a wisp of smoke.
They don’t talk. Chanyeol grabs the trunk and leaves after muttering something about finding their professor; Baekhyun stays behind, too shocked to move. He doesn’t realize his legs are about to give out under him until Chanyeol is back and guiding him to sit on the floor, back resting on the wall.
Chanyeol lets Baekhyun sag against him with a pained sigh and wraps an arm around his shoulder. If they were in their own bodies, it might have been a little more comfortable, but even with the height difference between them Baekhyun manages to curl into his side, making his body as small as possible.
“Are you ok?” Chanyeol asks him what feels like hours later.
“Fine,” Baekhyun mumbles back. Chanyeol doesn’t ask who Matthew is, or about anything he said, and Baekhyun is thankful for that.
“Are wizards religious?” Baekhyun asks Chanyeol the afternoon before leaving. They’re the only ones in the common room, asides from two first years playing chess.
The two of them curled up on the windowsill hours earlier - far enough from each other to avoid curious glances from the few Gryffindors still around but not so much they can still murmur their conversation. After weeks of pretending and hiding and tricking every single student in Hogwarts, it seems as if Baekhyun can finally breathe again: the Hogwarts Express has gone already, taking a majority of the students away to their families. Baekhyun’s tickets home are for two days later, and Professor McGonagall has agreed to let them stay longer than anticipated and later on Hagrid will take them to the train station.
To take Chanyeol with him isn’t Baekhyun’s idea but rather it’s more of a collective agreement between the two of them, Slughorn and Professor McGonagall; this way they can keep an eye on each other. Baekhyun believes it is absolute bullshit, but saying no to Professor McGonagall is a death wish Baekhyun doesn’t have. After Christmas, they’ll be traveling to London to celebrate New Year with Chanyeol’s parents, and just thinking about it is enough to give Baekhyun a headache.
At least they’ll both get to see their families.
“Why do you ask?” Chanyeol is playing with a Chinese finger trap, brows scrunched together in concentration.
“That’s not an answer. And you’re never getting out of that if you keep fighting it like that,” Baekhyun adds, eyeing the way Chanyeol continues to tug his fingers in a weak attempt to free them.
Chanyeol sulks as he shoves his hands in Baekhyun’s face. “Help me then.”
Baekhyun pushes the hands away with a smirk. “No, you wanted to try it, you do it.”
The pout he gets in response does nothing to sway him; it’s his face anyway. “And to answer your question,” Chanyeol says, “I don’t really know of many wizards who believe in any god, capital G or otherwise.” When he doesn’t receive an answer, he looks up to see Baekhyun in deep thought. “Are you?”
“Yeah,” Baekhyun hums. “I believe in God. I was raised in a catholic family.”
“How does that work out for you?” Chanyeol asks, trapped fingers long forgotten in his lap. “With being gay and all.”
“Now you’re going to use that?” Baekhyun raises an eyebrow in his direction. “You’ve known for a month – it took you a while to mention it.”
“I knew from before,” Chanyeol admits.
Baekhyun whips his head around so fast his vision swims. Chanyeol gives him a half smile. “I sort of figured… I’ve caught you staring at a few guys in our year and older before.”
The ‘including me’ goes unspoken but it still rings loudly in the quiet of the common room. It’s when Baekhyun realizes they are alone, the first years probably gone to bed; the night sky is dark, not a star in sight.
“Do you have a problem with that?” Baekhyun asks quietly, not quite meeting Chanyeol’s eyes. It’s not as if he expects the Seeker to hate him or be disgusted; if he really knew all along and didn’t like it, he probably wouldn’t treat him as nicely as he does.
“I don’t,” Chanyeol says. “I don’t see a problem with liking whoever you want. But, if you’re gay and you’re religious… isn’t that hard?”
To be honest, Baekhyun didn’t go through any of the life-changing moments most of his friends did. He was always… Baekhyun, more interested in boys than he was in girls. When he finally figured it out, he didn’t freak out or think God would love him less. He was also sure his parents wouldn’t stop loving him for something so dumb like that.
He played many sports growing up and never touched a doll in his life, so when he came out to his family they didn’t believe it. It was almost insulting; suddenly he wasn’t feminine enough to be gay? He remembers he was about to tell his parents to shove their preconceptions where the sun doesn’t shine when his brother stood up and told them they should be ashamed of themselves; Baekhyun didn’t have to fit into their stereotyped idea of what a gay boy should be like to be valid.
As for his religion, well… God created everything, didn’t he? Including every human being, and if he really condemned people for his lifestyle, why make them like that in the first place?
“I think God will love you,” Baekhyun says in the end. “No matter what.”
Chanyeol nods, seemingly satisfied with the answer and goes back to his finger-freeing mission. Baekhyun stares out his window and they fall into a comfortable silence that isn’t broken until ten minutes later by Baekhyun, who can’t hold his curiosity in anymore.
“Me?” It takes a second for Chanyeol to recall their conversation and understand the question. “I think I don’t care,” he shrugs. “Truth be told, I’ve only dated girls before, but that doesn’t mean I’d be opposed to dating a boy. Boys can be cute. I like cute things.”
“Or non-binary,” Chanyeol’s eyes twinkle. He chuckles at the dumbfounded expression on Baekhyun’s face. “Are you surprised?”
“A little,” Baekhyun admits. “Most wizards are very… homophobic.”
“And transphobic,” Chanyeol adds. They both know what he’s talking about – the young transgender girl who committed suicide before the end of her seventh year, driven to madness by her peers. Baekhyun was a first year when it happened, too young to fully understand the situation, but he did know it was bad. Not just her death, but also the people who drove her to do it.
“Are you gonna help me get out of this or not?” Chanyeol demands suddenly. Baekhyun looks startled at the fingers on his face and sighs, taking the trap off Chanyeol for him. “Finally,” Chanyeol mutters, rubbing his fingers. “Thanks.”
“No problem,” Baekhyun yawns loudly and stretches his now ridiculously long arms over his head. “I’m going to bed. See you in the morning.”
“Operation: Parent Trap, activated.”
The train station is nearly empty. Baekhyun is sitting on a bench, surrounded by their suitcases and Chanyeol’s pet owl, Loey, comfortably seating on his cage. On his lap rests his laptop, five tabs all opened on different Pop Culture information. Chanyeol, leaning his back on a stone pillar next to him, looks more confused than Baekhyun has ever seen him. Baekhyun feels a little smug; when he arrived in Hogwarts, he had no idea what was going on, while Chanyeol was one of the lucky bunch who already knew about magic. Now, the tables have turned, and it’s Baekhyun’s turn to be the knowledgeable one.
“The Parent Trap is a Muggle movie,” Baekhyun explains. “Twin sisters meet each other at a summer camp and decide to switch places when they go back home so they can spend some time with the parent they never knew.”
Chanyeol looks so lost it’s almost adorable. Baekhyun feels a little bit endeared (to be fair, Baekhyun’s always been cute.) “Although,” he continues, “I think Freaky Friday is a more fitting name.”
“And that is…?”
“Another Muggle movie. Mother and daughter swap bodies after eating magical fortune cookies and can’t change back until they learn to live with each other.”
“That is so stupid,” Chanyeol deadpans.
Baekhyun points a threatening finger in his direction. “Don’t diss my childhood.”
“How about Freaky Trap?” Baekhyun suggests after a while. Chanyeol makes a face.
“No? Freaky Friday it is then.”
“I don’t understand why you insist in naming this… disaster.” Chanyeol murmurs, loud enough for Baekhyun to hear.
“It’s my way of staying sane.”
His home is located outside of Heathrow, in a small town with ten thousand habitants. Every kid in town attended any of the three schools; everyone went to the same restaurants and shopped at the same stores. Chanyeol has his nose pressed against the window of their taxi anyway, eagerly taking in the scenery as if he’s never seen something quite so fascinating.
Baekhyun always loved his hometown for that – the familiarity, the warmth. If you had a problem, there were always people willing to help; custom service was on point. When he left for Hogwarts, it was difficult to adapt at first, but he managed somehow. So to be home always makes him feel better.
“We’re here,” the driver says, parking in front of the house. Baekhyun pays the fare with a grimace and slips out of the taxi, followed by Chanyeol. Once the taxi drives away, Baekhyun turns to him and says, “You’ve never ridden on a car, right?”
Chanyeol shakes his head, seemingly still amazed by the ride. Baekhyun then notices Chanyeol’s coat is buttoned all wrong and fixes it for him, muttering under his breath about how he needs to pay more attention to these kind of things, he’s supposed to be the Muggle one.
Baekhyun’s mom greets them at the door. The whole train ride there, Baekhyun grilled information on Chanyeol, facts after facts about his mother and father and brother, until the Seeker had looked ready to pass out and demanded a break. On top of that, he quizzed him on Pop Culture until even Baekhyun himself knew the stuff by heart.
“Baekhyunnie!” his mom cheers, throwing her arms up in the air and tugging Chanyeol to her. “It’s so good to see you!”
“You too mom,” Chanyeol says, just a hint of awkwardness in his voice. Baekhyun himself stands on the side, eagerly waiting to go inside; his back is killing him, and he can't wait to drop dead on his bed.
“Mom, this is Chanyeol,” Chanyeol says, waving at Baekhyun. His mom smiles politely and shakes his hand with a curt bow, then lets them in.
“Please come in,” she insists. “My husband should be home soon with my other son. Baekhyun, I prepared your room; there’s an extra blanket on your bed and a few more pillows. We thought about putting a mattress on the floor but your bed’s big enough, right Baekkie?”
Chanyeol stutters out an answer and a smile; Baekhyun would groan if he weren’t so tired. So instead, Baekhyun thanks her profusely and follows Chanyeol up the stairs, enjoying a little too much the boy’s show of knowing his way around the house. The truth is he only knows where to go because Baekhyun gave him a rundown of the house before leaving the station.
His room is the same as he left it in September, a little childish now that he spends most of his year somewhere else ever since he was eleven, obvious by the Superhero posters on the wall.
Chanyeol stands in the middle, looking around with curiosity gleaming in his eyes. There’s nothing much to look at; posters hung up on the wall, a desk pushed against the wall under a window, his dresser halfway open and a bedside table with a lamp on. Still, Chanyeol smiles and tells him he likes it. Of course.
Dinner couldn’t have been better. Baekbeom arrives minutes before the food is ready, and Chanyeol introduces him to Baekhyun Mrs. Byun calls for everyone to take a seat at the table. Chanyeol does his best to pass off as Baekhyun, and the older boy is impressed with what a good work he does.
“Chanyeol,” Mr. Byun speaks around a mouthful of chicken. “You’re a… what are they called? Pureblood?”
Baekhyun nods his head twice, bobbing it up and down the way Chanyeol always does. “That’s right, sir. I’m the…7th generation now.”
“Wow,” Baekbeom whistles. “What a lineage.”
Baekhyun nods once more. “Most of us are Gryffindors, except for a few Ravenclaws – but we don’t talk about that,” he adds with a laugh. He can see Chanyeol roll his eyes at the table, and holds back a smirk; it’s true that most Parks are Gryffindors, and that whenever one of them ends up in Ravenclaw is a mini scandal.
“Ravenclaw is the smart house?” his dad asks. Both Chanyeol and Baekhyun nod this time.
“Say, do you play any sports?” Mr. Byun asks him.
“I do, Quidditch.” Baekhyun answers. “I’m the captain of the Gryffindor team, and I’m the Seeker, ever since my second year.”
“What’s a Seeker?” Mrs. Byun questions.
“We’re in charge of chasing and catching the Snitch, this tiny ball that flies around and is worth five-hundred points for whoever catches it; it’s an automatic win for the team.”
“That sounds fun.”
“It is, but sometimes it can take hours or even days to catch it.”
“Days?” Baekbeom raises his eyebrows. “How tiring.”
They continue to ask Baekhyun (Chanyeol, technically) all about the wizarding world, things Baekhyun never shared when he came home, and stuff about pureblood families. By the time they retire to bed, Baekhyun is certain he talked more than he ever did before. They both collapse face down on the bed, Baekhyun groaning his way through it while Chanyeol kicks and flails his limbs around in a stretch.
“I think I’m gonna pass out in a second,” Chanyeol informs him. “I’m exhausted.”
“At least put some pajamas on before you do.”
Five minutes later, Baekhyun is wriggling under the covers, teeth brushed and face washed. Chanyeol walks in after, hair in disarray from when he put on his shirt and his head was stuck in the hole – Baekhyun had to help him before leaving the bathroom.
Chanyeol hesitates shortly but pulls the extra covers back and slips under. Baekhyun has a queen-sized bed, courtesy of his parents, buying a king sized one a few years back, so it’s not like they’re squeezed together or anything. But Baekhyun can still feel his warmth through the layers of bedsheets, and he hopes he doesn’t do something stupid during the night.
“Well, goodnight.” Chanyeol murmurs to him.
Baekhyun wakes up feeling warmer than usual. It can’t be the weather, because it is winter in England; and the heater is always set at the same temperature so it’s not that, either. He cracks an eye open and all he sees is a tuft of brown hair; when his brain finally process it, he realizes he’s warm because Chanyeol is all over him, his hair too close to Baekhyun’s nose and mouth for comfort – Baekhyun’s own legs are thrown over Chanyeol’s.
Fighting back a blush, Baekhyun pulls away quickly but careful not to wake him up and rolls over to check the time – it’s only 7 am, and there’s no way he’s getting out of bed so early. Baekhyun rolls over with a sigh and closes his eyes again.
The next time he wakes up the room is brighter and Chanyeol is still on the bed with him, but at least there’s a decent amount of space between them now. Chanyeol’s mouth is open and there’s drool pooling on his chin. As he moves to get out of bed, Baekhyun catches sight of himself in the mirror hanging on his dresser.
He’s been working very hard to maintain Chanyeol’s figure through these months per Chanyeol’s insistence, and he has to admit that it pays off: his arms are buff, biceps thick enough for Baekhyun to want to curl into a ball and cry, but not too much for his physique to be off-putting. The shirt he wore to bed rides up and there’s a glimpse of the abs he’s been avoiding to look at since November.
Baekhyun diverts his gaze immediately. It’s too early to get an awkward boner; and he’s definitely not about to get an awkward boner because of the body he’s currently occupying. A knock on the door stirs Chanyeol awake but Baekhyun is the one who calls out a quiet ‘come in’ instead. Mrs. Byun pokes her head in and smiles at Baekhyun, then widens the grin when she sees Chanyeol’s messy bed hair and even coos at him – her son, as far as she knows.
“Breakfast is ready boys,” she tells them. “I’m going out to get groceries and then the bank, and my son and husband are at work so you two will be alone for a few hours. There’s no problem, right?”
They both shake their heads no, Baekhyun even throwing in a smile and she waves goodbye, shutting the door behind her. Chanyeol rolls out of bed and lands on the floor with a thud and a whine, his face puffy from sleep. Baekhyun holds back a laugh and shuffles out of his room, tripping over the rug in the hallway - Chanyeol's body seems to be prone for clumsiness.
Chanyeol is right behind him, muttering about one thing or another. The Seeker follows Baekhyun like a lost puppy, marvelling at every Muggle thing he sees; Baekhyun fights back a little endeared smile when he catches a glimpse of Chanyeol ogling the WiiU in the living room.
“Ooh, pancakes!” Chanyeol cheers when they enter the kitchen, taking a seat on the round table. Baekhyun snatches the two coffee mugs his mother left for them on the counter and moves them to the table too, then grabs the maple syrup and pours a decent amount on his plate, giving the jar to Chanyeol afterwards to do the same.
“My mom always makes me pancakes my first day back,” he tells him, taking a bite out of his breakfast. “Hogwarts is evil and don’t serve pancakes, which is preposterous.”
Chanyeol chuckles around his coffee. “My mom makes me bacon and eggs when I get back; that’s what she always cooked for me on Sundays when I was little.”
“Baekbeom loves bacon and eggs,” Baekhyun shares. “I only like it with cinnamon buns, to be honest.”
They eat with minimum conversation, random comments on the food or the weather – it’s comfortable. When the food is gone, Chanyeol insists on doing the dishes (“I grew up with house elves doing it, I’ve never had the chance to do domestic things like this”) and Baekhyun takes the chance to grab his phone and check what he’s missed.
There isn’t any Wi-Fi in Hogwarts, despite how many Muggle-borns and half-bloods ask Administration constantly to have modern assets of their world in school. So Baekhyun has to survive months at a time without the internet, and when he gets home he always has to wait a few hours for his phone to assimilate the onslaught of texts and social media notifications after so long.
Baekhyun scrolls past old messages; checks group chats and replies to recent messages from his friends asking if he’s back already. In the meantime, Chanyeol takes his sweet time investigating the house, poking his head into different rooms and peeking at pictures with interest.
“Hey, Chanyeol,” Baekhyun calls out. Chanyeol ambles back into the living room after prodding the washing machine and dryer. “My friends want to hang out – you interested?”
“Uh,” Chanyeol mumbles, “Sure? I don’t know them though, you sure you want me to go? What if I screw up?”
“You’re right,” Baekhyun mutters, sending a quick apology to his friends and promising to go out with them in the summer. They’re disappointed, whines filling the group chat and Baekhyun has to smile at that, insisting that he just wants to spend time with his family since he won’t be staying in town for long. Taehyung asks if they can’t go there themselves instead, and both Somin and Matthew back him up immediately, but Baekhyun declines politely. It wouldn’t be good to expose Chanyeol to them anyway – his parents and brother might be easy to fool, but his friends are far too sharp for that. Not to mention Chanyeol has too much of a good memory.
“Sorry,” Chanyeol apologizes. Baekhyun sends him a dumbfounded look, and he continues, “You probably wanted to meet up with them but you can’t… because you’re not yourself.”
Baekhyun can sense Chanyeol isn’t just talking about today, considered how he avoids looking at Baekhyun directly, not to mention the frown pulling down his face. The older boy feels bad for him; Chanyeol obviously blames himself for their current predicament, and even if Baekhyun would love nothing more than to put the entire fault on him, he knows it wouldn’t be fair. “Don’t be,” he tells him, “It isn’t your fault.”
If the smile Chanyeol gives him is any indication, he probably understood Baekhyun’s message.
“Besides,” Baekhyun continues, “They like to bring up embarrassing memories of my childhood and I’m not sure I want to give you so much ammo.”
They go out anyway. Mrs. Byun insists Baekhyun takes Chanyeol sightseeing, and they’re leaving the house shortly after lunch, bundled up under layers of clothes and with a promise to be back before midnight – a feat considering his mom never lets Baekhyun out for too long. She promises to feed Loey and to let him out for a little while to stretch his wings, because the owl’s been reckless all day and Baekhyun can’t stand to listen to him wreak havoc on his cage.
“What do you want to see?” Baekhyun asks. When Chanyeol doesn’t answer he looks back to find the pureblood bending down to pick up a three-leave clover. Chanyeol beams up at him brightly and pockets the clover before shuffling to catch up with him.
“I don’t know,” Chanyeol says. Baekhyun groans when he sees that their height difference is ridiculous. “Is there any place you want to visit?”
Baekhyun would love to go to Pops – a diner a few blocks away from his house. But he thinks that's best left for dinner, so instead he grabs Chanyeol’s elbow and steers him in the direction of the park.
“There’s a zoo nearby,” he says, “It’s one of our best tourist attractions, along with the cinema. We also have an antique store that many people visit, mostly historians. And, of course, our very own haunted house. It’s not really haunted,” Baekhyun rushes to explain when Chanyeol turns hopeful eyes to him, holding back a laugh when he pouts.
They talk as they walk, Baekhyun pointing out the stores they pass and explaining a little about his town’s history. It isn’t until they are almost at the zoo when Chanyeol gaps and breaks away from his grip, rushing to crouch near an alley entrance. Baekhyun isn’t too sure what has him so excited until he hears a distinct ‘meow’ and a tiny head is poking out from inside a cardboard box.
Chanyeol looks far too happy to reach out and pet the kitten on the head tenderly. The little thing pushes his/her head closer to the warmth of Chanyeol’s hand with violent purrs.
“I thought you were allergic to cats,” Baekhyun says dumbly.
Chanyeol gives him a toothy grin – the kind that Baekhyun always gives Somin when he does something she specifically said he couldn’t – and corrects him, “Actually, you’re allergic to cats, Chanyeol.”
Baekhyun scoffs, ready to throw back a witty response, but gets distracted when Chanyeol starts making cooing motions at the kitten. “I wish I had a camera,” the Seeker says wistfully, long fingers tickling the cat under the chin.
“You do,” Baekhyun says matter-of-factly, waving his phone around with a tiny smile. Chanyeol grins and stands up, “You go; it’s no use to take a picture of me looking like you.”
That makes sense, Baekhyun thinks. The kitten doesn’t seem too put out with the two of them exchanging places – by the looks of it, as long as he/she is pet, it’s all good. Chanyeol manages to snap a few pictures with Baekhyun’s guide before the older boy starts sneezing. Baekhyun groans when he recognizes the tell-tale signs of an allergy attack creeping up on him and swats at Chanyeol’s arm when he catches him snickering.
“Shut up,” he grumbles. Chanyeol does his best to hide his laughter from Baekhyun – not that he succeeds.
The zoo is right around the corner. Chanyeol lights up like a Christmas tree when the entrance comes into view, practically dragging Baekhyun forward. He has to remind the pureblood that technically, he’s the one who should be excited, but Chanyeol hushes him and tells him to give him the entrance money.
It’s just his luck that the cashier is Jiwoo. She recognizes him right away, sitting up straighter and almost screaming through the window, “Baekhyun!”
Baekhyun only manages to duck down and whisper her name into Chanyeol’s ear before they’re standing at her booth. “Jiwoo,” Chanyeol greets her, a big smile on his face. Thankfully, he can read the ambience.
“I thought you said you wanted to spend your time with your family,” she says, eyeing Baekhyun – Chanyeol – up and down. There’s no bitterness in her voice, but rather she sounds amused. Both Baekhyun and Chanyeol blush at the obvious implications and Chanyeol laughs nervously, saying, “This is Park Chanyeol, a friend from school. He’s staying with us for a few days.”
“I’m Jeon Jiwoo,” she introduces herself, sticking her hand out through the small hole in her window to shake with Baekhyun.
They exchange pleasantries with her for a minute until her manager reminds her she has a job to do and she gives them their entrance tickets with an eye roll he doesn’t see. After Jiwoo wishes Chanyeol a nice stay, they wave goodbye and walk away quickly.
“She’s pretty,” Chanyeol comments. They stop to grab a map from a basket in the entry and Baekhyun gives him a side look.
“Her boyfriend is pretty too,” he says pointedly, “And tall. Taller than you, I think.”
Chanyeol chuckles, reaching up to ruffle Baekhyun’s hair. “Jealous?”
“Of?” Baekhyun shoots back. Chanyeol shrugs and keeps his mouth shut, although Baekhyun can see he’s fighting back a smile. Chanyeol picks up his pace suddenly and Baekhyun is startled for a moment until he sees he’s rushing to where the monkeys are.
They walk around the zoo for a long time because Chanyeol insists he wants to see all the animals and the attractions. Baekhyun indulges him, mostly because he hasn’t been to the zoo since he was little and he has honestly missed it - they stop for ice cream, running into Baekhyun’s fifth grade math teacher, who marvels at how much he's grown and smiles kindly at Baekhyun, asking who he is.
After leaving the zoo, Chanyeol asks Baekhyun if they can go to the cinema – he’s never seen a movie before, since he’s a pureblood and lived in a wizard community his whole life. Baekhyun is more than happy to comply and soon enough they’re buying tickets to watch the newest Spiderman movie. Baekhyun makes sure to order buttered popcorn and gummy bears to munch on plus two medium cokes, and Chanyeol looks absolutely delighted when he learns the movie is in 3D.
After Baekhyun explains to him what 3D means, anyway.
“I just had a religious awakening,” Chanyeol declares hours later as they exit the cinema. Baekhyun can’t help but agree.
“Marvel never disappoints,” Baekhyun nods. The sun is going down already, the sky a mix of orange, red and yellow. “Are you hungry?”
Chanyeol nods, smiling sheepishly as they throw away the popcorn box and gummy wrappers. Baekhyun almost skips as he leads Chanyeol to Pops, the day getting progressively darker. It’s night time when they see the advertising billboard, the name ‘POPS’ highlighted in red letters.
Baekhyun ushers Chanyeol inside, leading him to his favourite booth – until he notices, his friends are all there, talking and laughing. Baekhyun makes a strangled noise while trying to hide Chanyeol behind him, but Jiwoo notices them anyway and waves at them, effectively catching their attention. Matthew, who is sitting next to her with an arm slung around her shoulder, beams brightly and literally screams his name. Thank God the servers and other workers are familiar with them, otherwise they would have probably been kicked out; Matthew doesn’t know what quiet means.
If Chanyeol recognizes Matthew, he doesn’t say it.
After much insistence, Baekhyun joins them begrudgingly. “Baekhyunnie,” Somin coos, reaching over Taehyung to pinch Chanyeol’s cheek, “We missed you! Although,” she gives Baekhyun an onceover, “I can understand why you didn’t want to hang out with us.”
When Baekhyun’s eyes widen to twice their size and Chanyeol blushes like a thousand suns, Somin is quick to swoon, saying, “I’m kidding Baek – sorry Baekhyun’s friend.”
Baekhyun nods in her direction to send the message that there are no hard feelings – even though he wants nothing more than to throttle her. “I’m Jeon Somin by the way. These are Kim Taehyung, Matthew Kim and I think you already met Jiwoo?”
“Park Chanyeol,” he introduces himself, sending them all a smile. Meanwhile, Chanyeol continues to look like he swallowed a bee, probably because he’s smarter than Baekhyun gives him credit for and can put two and two together. Jiwoo laughs at his expression, but soothes him with a rushed, “Relax Baekhyun, I made sure to tell them you’re just friends,” she winks at the end of her sentence, which doesn’t really help at all.
A waiter who comes by to take their orders saves them from more torture courtesy of Baekhyun’s friends. The girls order strawberry smoothies and a large order of fries to share, while Matthew and Taehyung argue over whether to get hot dogs or burgers. Baekhyun settles for a cheeseburger and Chanyeol says he wants the same, probably because he has no idea what to get but can’t ask Baekhyun without his friends getting suspicious.
“Chanyeol,” Taehyung calls his name. It takes Baekhyun a nanosecond to remember he’s Chanyeol and he sends Taehyung a sheepish smile. “You go to school with Baekhyun, right?”
“That’s correct,” Baekhyun nods, “We’re roommates.”
Matthew raises an eyebrow. “Really?”
Baekhyun doesn’t let that expression affect him too much. He has a sudden flashback of the Boggart taking shape of Matthew, and he suppresses a shiver when he realizes they had the same expression - lips curling to form a sneer until Taehyung shoots him a look and Matthew smiles playfully.
Baekhyun looks away to pay attention to what Chanyeol is talking with Somin and Jiwoo.
“You really don’t have P.E?” Jiwoo asks.
“Nope,” Chanyeol pops the ‘p’ at the end exaggeratedly.
“How come I have to run every day and they don’t?” Somin demands, looking affronted.
“What do you think all those damn stairs are for?” Baekhyun grumbles. Chanyeol laughs loudly, leaning into Baekhyun’s space. The older boy sees Matthew narrow his eyes in their direction but doesn’t pay much attention to it.
Their orders arrive then, leaving no room for Baekhyun’s friends to embarrass themselves anymore. Baekhyun practically inhales his meal, Chanyeol doing the same next to him; it reminds Baekhyun of the way Chanyeol eats during the Halloween fest in Hogwarts.
Baekhyun’s friends make most of the conversation, with the two of them adding comments of their own every once in awhile, but otherwise keeping to themselves. After eating, Jiwoo convinces Taehyung to buy her a brownie and he complies, grumbling something about asking her boyfriend to do it instead even as he fishes his wallet for the money. Matthew laughs at him the entire time, until his attention is captured somewhere to the back of the diner.
“Oh, that’s sick man,” he says, a little shiver shaking his body at the end. Baekhyun twists his head in the direction of where Matthew is looking and feels his food rising up his throat at the same time his stomach sinks.
Two boys around their age, a tall blond one and a shorter redhead, just walked in. They’re holding hands, looking happy and painfully in love as they seat in a corner as close as they can. They have their backs slightly turned to them, but even from there, Baekhyun can see the blond leaning in and pecking the redhead on the lips, causing his companion to blush.
Baekhyun turns around quickly, his mouth dry. Next to him, Chanyeol is strangely quiet and stiff, not quite looking at anyone. Baekhyun wishes he wouldn’t look so nervous or else his friends might notice. But considering how Jiwoo is too busy scolding Matthew while Somin and Taehyung scowl at him, Baekhyun figures it’s ok.
“I just think it is wrong,” Matthew is saying, throwing his hands up in the air when Jiwoo asks him why he has to make comments like that. Jiwoo frowns and removes his arm from around her.
“You’re an ass,” Taehyung informs him.
“Oh not you too,” Matthew groans. They continue to argue, Matthew spewing bible verses and biological facts while Taehyung counterattacks with psychology and even more biology.
“Guys,” Somin tries to intervene, glancing back and forth between them and the two boys - they’ve noticed, and now the redhead looks ready to get up and knock some sense into Matthew.
Baekhyun doesn’t realize his eyes are starting to water until Chanyeol suddenly stands up, throwing a couple of bills on the table and tugging Baekhyun to his feet. He stumbles, not quite used to sudden moves with long limbs.
“We’re leaving,” Chanyeol says, not waiting for a reply. “Matthew, don’t talk to me for a while.”
Matthew’s taken aback expression is lost on Baekhyun as he’s pulled to the exit, passing by the two boys who seem to be discussing whether to leave the diner or not.
The two of them are silent the entire walk home. Baekhyun tries his best to disappear into his coat, taking slow steps and Chanyeol walks right beside him, not once trying to start a conversation. They stay quiet even after they get home, climbing the stairs side by side and entering the room at the same time. Baekhyun lets Chanyeol shower first, going downstairs to get water in an attempt to calm his racing heart.
Twenty minutes later, they’re lying on the bed, Baekhyun bundled up in blankets courtesy of Chanyeol messy fussing and trying not to cry. Finally, Chanyeol asks:
“Are you ok?”
Baekhyun opens his mouth to reply but all that comes out is a strangled sob. The dam breaks, tears rolling down his cheeks with scary speed. He doesn’t even register Chanyeol grabbing his arm, but he notices when there’s a chest under him and arms winding around him, one hand rubbing up and down his side while the other rests against his neck.
“He’s one of my best friends,” Baekhyun gasps, “How could he say that?”
Chanyeol hushes him softly. “Does he know?”
“No,” Baekhyun shakes his head. “I’ve only ever told my parents and Jongdae and, well, you. I think Taehyung knows, though.”
“He was fighting Matthew,” Chanyeol remembers. Baekhyun nods, sniffing. It takes him a few more minutes to calm down, but soon he’s not crying anymore, just a hollow feeling in his chest that he doesn’t like. Chanyeol doesn’t give any indication that he’s uncomfortable, and Baekhyun is honestly too tired to move, so they stay in that position.
“Matthew… the Boggart became him,” Chanyeol remembers. “He was saying things about you and Taehyung. And today, you looked very uncomfortably around him. Want me to shake him off for you?”
Baekhyun is unfazed by the question. He’s thought about sending Matthew on his merry ways more than once, but he can never bring himself to pick up the phone or go to his house to tell him.
“He’s my friend,” Baekhyun says. “I don’t think I could ever cut him off completely. But,” he adds, his voice muffled by Chanyeol’s chest, “I would really appreciate it if you could tell him to stop being a dick – at least in front of me.”
“You got it,” Chanyeol promises.
After a while, Baekhyun asks in a whisper, “Have you been working out?”
Chanyeol’s chuckle rumbles on his chest, sending a shiver down Baekhyun’s spine. He nods. “Yeah, is that ok?”
“Yeah,” Baekhyun admits, “I’ve been too. But only because you make me,” he adds, nose scrunched up.
“Well, I expect you to keep up after we change back, you know?” Chanyeol tells him. “I’ve worked too hard for this body to just go to waste.”
Baekhyun tells him to shut up just in time before his eyelids close and he starts snoring.
Christmas Eve rolls around before they even notice. Mrs. Byun has the both of them help her in the kitchen while her husband and Baekbeom clean the house and put the presents under the tree.
His friends have been texting him non-stop, questioning why they left the diner so suddenly, if Chanyeol was ok and whether or not they could come by on Christmas morning to give him his presents – Baekhyun shrugs them off, saying it’s best they just stay away for some time. He wishes he could pretend things are ok, but he’s too tired to do that. Taehyung sends him a message privately after, asking if he’s ok – Baekhyun has to give it to him, the kid is smarter than he looks.
Matthew stops texting two days later, after Chanyeol went to his place to do Baekhyun the favour. When he came back, he was sporting a bruise on his left cheek, but at least he fools Baekhyun’s parents into thinking someone had tried to rob him when he was out.
If his parents notice the absence of his friends, they don’t mention it. Baekhyun does notice his brother giving both him and Chanyeol odd looks when they stiffen everytime someone mentions the quartet, but thankfully, Baekbeom keeps his mouth shut.
Chanyeol does everything Mrs. Byun tells him to without protesting even once – Baekhyun wonders if he remembers he’s supposed to be her son and that he should probably whine a little bit more. Chanyeol looks very happy to be involved in the decoration process, and Baekhyun can’t help but ask him why.
“The house elves always did all the work at home,” Chanyeol explains to him while they are in the backyard, rearranging the Christmas lights in the fence. “I never got to do much.”
Baekhyun nods, understanding. When he was little, he always loved putting up the Christmas tree, especially when it was his turn to place the angel at the top - his brother took claim of the star before Baekhyun was even born. It seems like Chanyeol missed many things growing up.
Once they’re finished with their work, they go back inside and Mrs. Byun sends them on their shower and dress nicely. As Baekhyun retrieves the dress pants and shirt he purchased earlier in the week to wear, he cringes at the memory of the godawful dress robes Chanyeol had shown him before; and to think he’s going to have to wear them in New Year. Baekhyun’s never felt a stronger desire to cry.
“At least I look good,” Chanyeol says.
Baekhyun turns around and finds him standing by the doorway, two Christmas sweaters hanging on his arms. Chanyeol hands him the pink one with a little elf on the front and then pulls the blue one over his head – the one with the little doggy wearing a Christmas hat.
“They’re fitting,” Baekhyun chuckles, looking at the designs on their sweaters. The elf on his sweater looks a little like Chanyeol, with the big ears and wide smile.
“This puppy looks exactly like you,” Chanyeol decides while checking himself out in the mirror (technically, he’s checking Baekhyun out, but the older boy figures it is best he doesn’t think about it too much lest he’ll have a stroke). Baekhyun swats his arm and finishes combing his hair before marching out the door.
Downstairs, Baekbeom is putting the plates in place, perfectly dressed in a similar fashion to them; his sweater is green and has a candy cane on the front. “I see mom got to you too,” he says as a way of greeting.
Chanyeol sighs good-naturedly as he takes a seat on the table; Baekhyun sits down next to him, hands folded on his lap like a well-mannered boy and waits with them for his parents to join them.
While the dinner is delicious, especially the mashed potatoes Chanyeol cooked, Baekhyun can’t help but feel left out; when his father starts poking fun at Baekbeom’s childhood horror stories, Baekhyun has to bite down on his tongue more than once not to blurt out jokes of his own.
Mrs. Byun asks him what’s wrong at one point in the evening, while Mr. Byun is in the kitchen applying the final changes on their dessert. Baekhyun has to send his mom an apologetic smile and promise her he’s ok, just a little homesick – it isn’t exactly a lie, either.
Dessert turns out to be his father’s crème-Brule, Chanyeol positively salivating at the sight. Mr. Byun laughs off the praises, even though Baekhyun knows that is his father’s real pride and joy, and urges them all to enjoy it well. Later, they settle around the tree and wait for the clock to strike midnight so they can open the presents.
In the meantime, Baekhyun’s parents ask them about their stay, whether Chanyeol’s enjoyed his time in town and if there were anywhere else they’d like to visit. Baekhyun knows Chanyeol wants to check out the haunted manor and says so out loud, to which both his parents laugh and tell him they’ll drive the two of them there two days from now.
After a couple of hours of browsing through old photo albums with Baekhyun pretending to be surprised at his lack of clothing when he was a toddler and Chanyeol biting his lip so he doesn’t say anything stupid, midnight finally arrives and the two boys are ushered to open their presents.
Chanyeol’s parents sent him via owl a new broom, which Mr. Byun pulls out of his secret hiding spot for obvious presents. Baekhyun, fully aware of how in love Chanyeol is with Quidditch and flying, does his best impression of an excited Seeker after receiving the newest model broom, the fastest and lightest that’s ever been built.
Baekhyun’s parents also got Chanyeol a present - a little pocket watch, with his initials engraved in the back and little diamonds on the top. Baekhyun doesn’t even have to pretend to like it.
When Chanyeol reaches for the square box in the middle, he does so a little recklessly and Mrs. Byun nearly has a heart attack when he tells him to be more careful. Chanyeol blushes and apologizes quickly, gingerly setting the box in his lap and removing the lid.
“Puppy!” Chanyeol gasps. Baekhyun, who’s sitting next to him and trying to figure out how to adjust the time on his new watch, sticks his head inside the box and peers down at the small corgi sitting there, a red bow on its head. It gives a small bark and raises itself up on its hind legs to paw at Baekhyun with his front.
After a long speech of how thankful Chanyeol is for his new pet (with Baekhyun thinking that it’s actually for him), Chanyeol finally settles down long enough to name his puppy. He goes through all the possible names, Baekhyun shutting them all down, until he finally says, “How about Myeongryeong?”
The puppy barks once again and starts licking Chanyeol’s fingers, much to the Seeker’s delight. Mr and Mrs. Byun finish exchanging presents, Baekbeom gifts his little brother a new videogame and gets in return cologne, and all this while Baekhyun plays with the new puppy, already teaching him tricks.
They’re ushered to bed shortly before one a.m., Myeongryeong nipping at their heels and running after them up the stairs. He also sleeps between them, and even if the fur gives Baekhyun allergies now, at least he’s warm, so that’s ok too.
There’s isn’t any time to visit the haunted house. Baekhyun makes sure to act properly disappointed, just like he saw Chanyeol this morning. Mrs. Byun promises to take him if he ever visits again, and all she’s missing are the overly exaggerated winks, but Baekhyun knows Chanyeol would probably be more than happy to visit again. He tells her so, to which Mrs. Byun beams and gives them both big hugs before sending them on their way.
Baekhyun waits while Chanyeol says goodbye to Myeongryeong, perhaps a little tearfully. Myeongryeong obviously has to stay in the Byun household so Chanyeol can’t take him with him – Baekhyun asked him the night before if there was anything he could do, but Chanyeol just smiled sadly and shook his head, petting the corgi on the head.
Mr. Byun drives them out to London and to the Park Manor. Baekhyun has known that Chanyeol’s family is rich for years, but this is the first time he visits his home - and damn. The mansion is huge, Victorian style and three stories tall. A butler opens the car door and takes their trunks, all while Mr. Byun gapes at the building in front of him in awe.
Chanyeol says goodbye for him; Baekhyun barely has time to wave to his dad before a girlish squeal reaches his ears. Chanyeol’s big sister, Yura, is squeezing the life out of him in a second, jumping up and down around the entrance hall and Baekhyun has no option but to hop along with her. He catches sight of his dad driving away from the manor and feels a pang of longing before Yura is all over Chanyeol, ruffling his hair and asking if her brother was treating him nicely.
Yura treats Chanyeol like he’s her brother – which he is – and asks all about their Christmas morning, whether their traditions as Muggles were the same or not. Baekhyun can’t even feel bad about Yura almost ignoring him because Chanyeol’s missed his sister a lot these past few months and it’s good for him to see her. Even if as far she knows she’s talking to Chanyeol’s muggle born friend Baekhyun.
The inside of the Park manor distracts Baekhyun from his self-pity fest; long hallways stretched to his right and left, and in front a grand staircase winds around the house, leading to the two top floors. He’s not sure what awaits him at each end of the hallways, and he doesn’t get much time to think about it either because Yura is rushing him to show Baekhyun to his room.
The guest room is right next to Chanyeol’s room, and Baekhyun finds out you can get from one room to the other through a door/painting hanging on the wall when the frame swings forward. Chanyeol’s dormitory is roughly the size of Baekhyun’s entire house – just his bed is huge.
What really catch his attention are the instruments in one of the corners. Baekhyun sees an electric and an acoustic guitar, a bass, a drum set and a piano, and the lack of dust tells Baekhyun that they’re important enough for the house elves to clean them even when the owner is away.
“I didn’t know you play instruments,” Baekhyun tells Chanyeol as a conversation starter. Chanyeol hushes him unexpectedly, glancing at the painting on the wall; the little boy is smiling confidentially at him before he skips out of sight.
“I’m glad I was such a nice kid,” Chanyeol mutters. “Listen Baek, you need to be careful in this house. Too many paintings eager to gossip around.”
Baekhyun ignores the nickname to his best capacity and nods understandingly. “And yes, I play instruments,” Chanyeol continues. “I can’t read music so I learnt by ear.”
“Impressive,” Baekhyun compliments him. “I can play the piano, too. I also sing.”
“Me too,” Chanyeol smiles. “We should sing together sometime.”
That maybe comes sooner rather than later. Chanyeol’s parents insist Chanyeol sings for them while they wait for dinner to be ready, and Baekhyun has no choice but to agree – after he coerces Chanyeol to sing with him too.
Sitting on the bench of the grand piano in the living room, Baekhyun tries to calm his racing heart. “Do you know All I Want for Christmas?” he mutters to Chanyeol when the Seeker sits next to him. This is the first time in years Baekhyun’s performed for anyone and he’s afraid he’ll screw up.
Chanyeol nods, a soothing smile on his face. “Relax,” he tells him quietly. “You’ll be fine. And if you mess up, my parents will assume it was me anyway.”
“Thanks,” Baekhyun frowns. Chanyeol laughs silently and motions for him to start. “You lead, I’ll follow,” he tells him.
The first few notes are tentative, Baekhyun running the song through his head as muscle memory kicks in. Soon he’s playing with more confidence, right on time for the first lines of the song. Baekhyun feels taken aback when he opens his mouth and hears Chanyeol’s singing voice – he’d expected a rougher tone, but the Seeker has a deceptively sweet voice.
Chanyeol jumps in with the next verse and their voices blend together seamlessly, Baekhyun’s high pitched tone delivered perfectly by Chanyeol. Baekhyun was worried they wouldn’t sound good, especially since Chanyeol said he’d never taken lessons, but the younger boy must be some sort of music prodigy because he can perform with someone else’s voice as if it’s his own.
Chanyeol even nails the high notes with a startling precision. When the song is over, Yura claps the hardest, Chanyeol’s parents close behind. They praise Baekhyun, or rather Chanyeol, on his sweet voice and compliment their son on his improved skills.
Baekhyun is impressed too, if he’s being honest. Impressed with Chanyeol’s ability to sing so well and impressed with his own self. The Parks try to push them to sing again, but a house elf pops in and announces dinner is ready and served.
The dining hall looks much like the rest of the house, Christmas lights hung up around the walls and trinkets lining the furniture. Dinner reminds Baekhyun of the banquets in Hogwarts because of the amount of plates and the variety of food to choose from, not to mention the Parks are all lively people who can rival the students’ chatter.
Overall, Baekhyun has a good time sitting with them, laughing and talking with his supposed parents and sister, who also make sure to include Chanyeol – Baekhyun – and ask about his muggle life. They seem particularly fascinated by school subjects like physics and chemistry, and ask all sorts of questions Baekhyun doesn't hear many pureblood wizards make. Thankfully, he gave Chanyeol a crash course the night before and he can answer the easier ones, and then blame all these years in Hogwarts for his rusty memory on those he can’t respond.
Later that night, Baekhyun tosses and turns on the bed, unable to fall asleep. He’s exhausted, and his eyes keep slipping shut, but his brain refuses to shut up. After what feels like hours of counting sheep and breathing exercises, he kicks the covers off and strides to the painting on the wall. He hadn’t paid much attention to it, but he remembers Chanyeol referring to the little boy like it was him, and now that he takes a closer look, he can see the resemblance.
The little boy is snoring on the chair he’s sitting on, black hat falling on top of one eye. “Hey,” Baekhyun whispers. When the boy doesn’t answer, Baekhyun jostles the frame a little and watches the kid jerk awake.
“You’re not Chanyeol,” the boy says.
“No, but you are, right? When he was little,” Baekhyun asks. The boy nods. “Mind letting me through, Chanyeol?”
Little Chanyeol thinks about it for a second but allows it anyway with a secret smile on his face. In the other room, Chanyeol is awake too, sitting upright on the bed and browsing through some book. The bedside lamp doesn’t illuminate much, just enough for Chanyeol to read, leaving Baekhyun in the darkness.
Now that he’s here, Baekhyun stands awkwardly at the foot of the bed, unsure of himself. He doesn’t even know why he’s here.
“Can’t sleep?” Chanyeol asks. The moonlight streaming through the windows casts shadows over his face.
“No,” Baekhyun whispers, shaking his head. Chanyeol pulls the covers back and pats the bed, inviting Baekhyun to join him. The older boy climbs in next to him, feeling like a little kid who’s too afraid of the dark to sleep alone. But he figures Chanyeol doesn’t mind.
“I can’t sleep either,” Chanyeol tells him. Baekhyun stays quiet, wrapping the blanket around his body and putting an arm underneath the pillow. Chanyeol turns the lamp off and puts the book down with a sigh, resting on his side to look at Baekhyun. They stare at each other in the dark until they fall asleep.
The following days Baekhyun wanders around the Park manor in awe, Chanyeol following close behind to tell him stories when the paintings aren’t around. Chanyeol explained to him that the people in the portraits are all relatives, dead and alive alike, and more than eager for some gossip.
He shows Baekhyun his favourite spots in the house, like the playroom where they keep his childhood toys, the music room where he used to practice with his instruments, and then his secret hide out.
It’s a medium sized room, plastered with posters of Quidditch teams and wizard bands. There’s a desk with a sketch book and there are canvases lining the walls. The only way to enter the room is through a painting, much like the guest room, and the hall it is in has more portraits than any other in the house.
“They were looking at us weird,” Baekhyun tells Chanyeol when they are safely inside. The Parks displayed in the hallway all either smirked or scowled at the sight of the two of them walking into the room.
Chanyeol shrugs disinterestedly. “They probably think we sneaked in here because we’re together.”
“And that doesn’t bother you?” Baekhyun raises an eyebrow in his direction. Chanyeol shrugs once more, playing with a crystal ball on the desk.
“I’d rather have them think we’re making out than find out that we switched bodies. If word gets to Professor McGonagall that we were busted…” he shivers at the thought. Honestly, Baekhyun can relate.
“Your painting knows,” Baekhyun murmurs. He thinks Chanyeol will be angry to know that Baekhyun revealed their secret, but to his surprise, Chanyeol just smiles.
“I was a pretty smart kid,” he says.
“Humble, too,” Baekhyun shoots back. Chanyeol smiles wider and ushers him to look at the sketchbook. There are drawings of miscellaneous things; of Chanyeol riding a broom; catching a snitch; Hogwarts at night; the Gryffindor common room; bed flowers in a clearing; a full moon.
“This is what I wanted to show you,” Chanyeol says excitedly, flipping to a recent page. Baekhyun gasps.
It’s a sketch of Baekhyun. The drawing is beautiful, from the shading of the collarbones to the attention to detail. Chanyeol captured his face perfectly – the curve of his mouth, the dropping of his eyes. Baekhyun is so touched, he tears up a little.
“Do you like it?” Chanyeol asks. There’s a hint of hopefulness in his voice, like a little kid showing his picture to his parents.
Baekhyun nods. “I love it,” he tells him truthfully. “It’s amazing.”
“Thank you,” Chanyeol is more than pleased, and Baekhyun can practically hear the smile on his face. Chanyeol then rips the page off the sketchbook and hands it to Baekhyun. “Merry Christmas, Baekhyun.”
Baekhyun doesn’t know what to say. He takes the page carefully and stares at the drawing with his mouth hanging open. “I didn’t get you anything,” he says dumbly.
“You don’t have to,” Chanyeol reassures him. “I did this around October. I planned on giving it to you at the end of the year, as a thank you for saving my marks,” he laughs. “But I guess this is a better time.”
“I’ll get you something,” Baekhyun decides. “I don’t know what, but I will. And thank you, again. It’s… thank you.”
They both do their own thing after that. Baekhyun takes his time inspecting all the drawings in the sketchbook, marvelling at how talented Chanyeol is.
“I didn’t know you could draw,” Baekhyun comments. “You also play a million instruments and sing. You’re almost a Quidditch pro,” he counts with his fingers. When he turns around to look at Chanyeol, he sees the Seeker is blushing, not meeting his eyes.
“What can’t you do?” Baekhyun demands with a chuckle.
“I can’t sing as well as you,” Chanyeol answers. “You also have an uncanny ability to make people laugh. Others feel comfortable around you, even if they’ve never met you before. In the two months I spent in your body at school, I had more people come up to me for advice or just to chat than when I was myself. And,” he continues, “I’ve seen you dance. You’re good. You also caught your first Snitch in, like, fifteen minutes, which is amazing.”
“Is this a compliment contest?” Baekhyun mutters. Chanyeol smiles.
For New Year’s Eve, the Do family joins them. Baekhyun’s met their son before, a Ravenclaw fourth year named Kyungsoo. Chanyeol seems excited to be seeing the younger boy, which has Baekhyun wondering if maybe they’re close – back in Hogwarts, Baekhyun had to hang out with the Quidditch team and a few other fifth years from other houses that are friends with Chanyeol, but Kyungsoo was never around.
Yura, dressed in a sparkly red dress, greets them at the entrance much as she did Chanyeol and Baekhyun, guiding them to the living room where the huge Christmas tree is set. Kyungsoo doesn’t look too uncomfortable when he takes a seat on one of the sofas, leaving Baekhyun to wonder if he’s been here before.
“His family always spends the Holidays with us,” Chanyeol tells him in confidence. They’re alone in the kitchen, fetching more hot chocolate for them. “He doesn’t really like me.”
If Baekhyun isn’t mistaken, there’s sadness in his voice. “Why not?”
“I… when we were little,” Chanyeol starts. “I always wanted to play with him. I guess I was too pushy, and now he avoids me as much as possible.”
“His loss, then,” Baekhyun says without thinking. Chanyeol raises an eyebrow in his direction, looking taken aback.
“Three months ago you hated my guts,” he states. “Now you defend me?”
“Are you complaining?”
“No. It just leaves me to wonder why you disliked me so.”
“You said I looked like a girl,” Baekhyun frowns, feeling a little foolish. “And never apologized. I took that grudge and used it to hate everything you did.”
Now Chanyeol is the one frowning. “I said that in our first year. And you hated me for five years?”
Baekhyun falters. It’s been almost two months now, but he still isn’t used to looking at Chanyeol and seeing himself – and despite being his body, all he sees is Chanyeol, shoulders hunched and the corners of his lips turned down.
“I… I guess so,” he mutters. “I’m sorry. But you also messed with me a lot, you know? You were always trying to get in my nerves.”
“I thought we were having fun,” Chanyeol defends himself. “I taunted you, and you always got so flushed, like a disgruntled puppy.”
“Well it wasn’t fun for me,” Baekhyun snaps, getting angry. “You were so infuriating, making fun of all the time I spend studying or like the first time we had Care of Magical Creatures and you laughed at my reaction to the plants, or the time when - ”
“I get it,” Chanyeol says, deflated. “I was an ass to you. I’m sorry.”
Baekhyun sighs. He’d been fuming just thinking about all the times Chanyeol made his life miserable, but now the fight’s left his body and he just wants to forgive him and move on. So he does.
“It’s ok,” he tells him. “I’m over it. We’re friends now, right?”
Chanyeol doesn’t say anything and Baekhyun fears he made the wrong assumption. He’s about to take it back when Chanyeol hugs him. Baekhyun’s hair tickles his nose, given the height difference, but it’s a nice hug. It’s warm, and comfortable.
“We should get back,” Chanyeol murmurs, his voice thick.
The fireworks show is really nice, Baekhyun has to say. They’re wizard fireworks and create figures up in the sky, magical creatures that dance around before fading away. Baekhyun hides his amazement to the best of his abilities, but he can’t stifle the gasp that escapes him when a red and yellow phoenix explodes in the sky and flies around the manor before dissolving in light. Thankfully, the show is loud and no one hears him but Chanyeol, who is sitting next to him; the Seeker gives him a smile and ruffles his hair in secret.
The two of them tried to make conversation with Kyungsoo more than once, but the Ravenclaw boy either gave clipped answers or straight out ignored them. Baekhyun could tell it hurt Chanyeol to be brushed off so easily and eventually stopped approaching Kyungsoo at all.
They’re sent to bed at three a.m., after the Do family retire to their own home through the fireplace. Ever since the first night, Baekhyun and Chanyeol have been sleeping on the same bed, whether on the guest room or Chanyeol’s own bedroom. Tonight, they are staying in the former - Baekhyun feels a little light headed, courtesy of the elderflower wine Yura kept slipping the two of them throughout the night, and he collapses on the bed with a giggle.
Chanyeol isn’t much better off than him, stumbling across the room in an attempt to rid himself of his shirt at the same time he tries to toe off his shoes. It’s funny, if Baekhyun’s being honest, especially when he runs into the trunk at the foot of the bed and stubs his toe.
Baekhyun tries not to laugh at his companion’s misfortune, but his pained groan makes it hard. Chanyeol mutters a low ‘shut up’ when Baekhyun starts giggling again, which only makes Baekhyun laugh even harder. Finally, Chanyeol flops on the bed, twisting and flailing until he can wiggle under the covers.
Baekhyun is shorter than Chanyeol, and his toes are grazing his legs. Baekhyun raises an eyebrow when his foot slides further up. “What are you doing?”
“I’m getting comfortable,” Chanyeol answers. The foot stays put, right at his calf. At least it’s warm.
“Goodnight,” Baekhyun murmurs after a while. Chanyeol makes a sound that might have been a response that gets cut off midway with a snore.
Going back to Hogwarts feels different than before. It’s the first time Baekhyun isn’t dreading the moment he has to walk into their dorm room and see Chanyeol. Jongdae and Jinho are already settled in when they enter; Baekhyun didn’t see either of them on the Hogwarts Express, probably sat in a different car.
“Did you hear?” Jongdae asks them excitedly when he sees them. “Rumour has it there will be a Triwizard Tournament next year! What I wouldn’t give to participate.”
“You have to be seventeen to apply,” Jinho reminds him. “Not to mention reckless. The games were cancelled because wizards kept dying,” the pureblood explains, turning to look at Baekhyun (well, he’s looking at Chanyeol, but he doesn’t know that). “Then, they started the games again and Cedric Diggory died, a Hufflepuff. That’s around the time people began to realize Voldemort was back.”
Of course, Baekhyun knows all about Voldemort – he attends school with Harry Potter’s sons, and his tale is told almost like a bedtime story. He also knows that Professor Longbottom killed Voldemort’s snake, after telling the Dark Wizard to piss off; he has never feared or admired someone more, other than Professor McGonagall or perhaps Harry Potter himself.
“Why do you think they want to start the tournaments again?” Chanyeol asks.
“I don’t know, Baek,” Jinho sighs, “But I have a bad feeling. It’s a relief Jongdae won’t be able to participate, otherwise we’d be looking for a new roommate before the end of year.”
“Ha ha,” Jongdae shoves him. Jinho laughs and shoves him back, and then they engage in a game of push and pull, tripping over their trunks and sending Loey’s cage to the ground. The owl hoots indignantly and flutters his wings. Baekhyun picks him up with a sigh and sets the cage somewhere safer.
“Time for dinner,” Chanyeol says then, taking a peek in his new pocket watch. Baekhyun thinks it’s safe to assume he liked the present. They amble their way to the Great Hall where most students are already seated, eating and chatting.
Minho and Minseok are arguing over one thing or another, while their new teammates watch worriedly. Jongdae follows Baekhyun to the table, perhaps a little shyly, and sits next to Hoseok in silence.
“What are they…?” Baekhyun starts to ask, but Taeyong shakes his head in a silent request not to. Minho and Minseok don’t even notice their arrival; their voices are rising in volume as the fight gets heated. They’re garnering the attention of the other students, even the professors are looking at them with curiosity, and Baekhyun really starts to worry when Minho’s eyes water and he stands up and leaves the Great Hall with furious stomps.
Baekhyun doesn’t know what to say. Minseok looks frustrated as he stabs his vegetables with a fork and shoves them into his mouth. Jongdae starts to say something, but the livid look their hyung sends him shuts him up – Baekhyun hears his roommate swallow back a whimper, like a kicked puppy.
They don’t talk about it. Minseok finishes his meal and leaves promptly, leaving the others behind with matching dumbfounded expressions. Hoseok and Taeyong obviously don’t understand what just happened, but instead of inquiring about it they simply eat their dinner and make small talk with each other, albeit the conversation is subdued and almost forced.
When Baekhyun makes it back to his dorm room, Chanyeol corners him while their roommates are out and demands to know what happened, but Baekhyun doesn’t have an answer for him – he doesn’t even know Minho and Minseok that well, but their interaction certainly took him aback.
Chanyeol sits heavily on his bed. “I think I know why they’re fighting. Minseok’s younger sister is Minho’s age and -”
He falters suddenly, maybe thinking that he shouldn’t be telling Baekhyun this, but the puppy eyes the older boy sends him convince him to keep talking. “Minho asked her out a few days ago, and from what I hear, Minseok wasn’t too happy about it. My best guess is he told Minho to back off.”
“That’s mean,” Baekhyun mumbles, remembering the look on Minho’s face right before he stormed out.
“I guess it is,” Chanyeol shrugs. “Minseok is very overprotective of his sister, you know? I don’t think he did it to be mean to him, though.”
“You think he’ll forbid them from going out or something?” Baekhyun asks. Chanyeol shrugs once more and that’s the end of their conversation. Jongdae comes in then, Jinho hot on his trail, and they’re arguing too.
Just what the hell is happening that everyone’s fighting? Baekhyun hears Chanyeol mutter the same thing under his breath, but relief courses through his body when he realizes they’re discussing the Triwizard Tournament again and whether or not Jongdae would survive participating.
Valentine’s Day is eventful for Baekhyun. Students from different years, boys and girls alike and from every house, come up to him with gift boxes – chocolate, candies, lollipops and flowers. The attention is nice, but Baekhyun knows these aren’t for him but for Chanyeol.
They get a free period before lunch, and Baekhyun was planning to use the time to meet up with Chanyeol to give him his presents, but Do Kyungsoo of all people asks to talk to him. The younger boy corners him as Baekhyun is exiting Potions, an uncomfortable frown on his face when he says, “Chanyeol. Can we… talk?”
Baekhyun is beyond confused at the new development, because Kyungsoo truly seemed to hate Chanyeol; he stares at the Ravenclaw without saying a word. Someone bumps into him, nearly sending his books flying, but Baekhyun only mumbles out an apology.
“Come on Park,” Kyungsoo presses, looking like he’s having a hard time standing there.
“Alright,” Baekhyun says dumbly.
Kyungsoo leads him to the Ravenclaw common room – Baekhyun finds out their password is a riddle that changes every day and that today’s code is a cold (“What can you catch but not throw”).
They are alone. Baekhyun wonders if Kyungsoo knew everyone would be out and chose to go there for that reason, and gets the answer when Kyungsoo pulls something out of his robe.
“It’s for you,” Kyungsoo mumbles, not meeting his eyes when he thrusts the carefully wrapped box towards him.
Baekhyun takes it with a dumbfounded expression. It’s a small box, bound in red paper. He carefully tears the paper and looks at the chocolate box in his hands. Kyungsoo is blushing, staring at his shoes, waiting for an answer.
“I thought you hated me,” Baekhyun says. It isn’t the smartest response, but it certainly is the only thing that comes to mind.
“I don’t,” Kyungsoo huffs. “You just… infuriate me. It bothers me that… that I like you and you can’t even tell.”
Baekhyun wants to argue that he’s not the one giving him the cold shoulder all the time, but something tells him that’s not what Chanyeol would say. Once again, he’s roughly reminded that this is for Chanyeol – the gift, the confession – and it isn’t his place to fight. Or to accept or decline anything.
Now he just has to find a way to get out of here and talk to Chanyeol. Kyungsoo seems to deflate when Baekhyun doesn’t talk for minutes, a frown pulling down his face as he turns away to leave.
“Wait!” Baekhyun calls out to him. Chanyeol’s deep voice booms through the room and startles Kyungsoo. “I… will you give me some time to think? This is all much unexpected.”
Kyungsoo purses his lips and nods, escaping without a word. Baekhyun is left standing alone in the silence of the common room until some Ravenclaws walk in and give him strange looks; he takes the chance to slip out.
He almost trips on his way to his dorm room where Chanyeol is waiting for him. Chanyeol’s eyes light up in excitement when he sees the chocolate box and makes grabby motions.
“Who’re they from?” he asks curiously, popping two at a time in his mouth.
“Kyungsoo,” Baekhyun mumbles. He watches Chanyeol choke on the chocolate, taking pity on him and patting his back some seconds later.
Chanyeol looks as flabbergasted as Baekhyun feels with the new information. “What did you say to him?” he asks quietly.
“I told him I needed some time to think,” Baekhyun tells him, pulling gifts after gifts from his bag. “You have a lot of fans,” he grumbles.
“So do you,” Chanyeol counterattacks. He seems to be back to himself, a smile stretching his lips when he nods towards Baekhyun’s trunks. Inside are neatly piled boxes of gifts – there’s a heart shaped one with a tag that reads ‘to Baekhyun’, a heart next to his name. Baekhyun blushes at the sight, lost for words.
“These are for me?” he asks.
Chanyeol assents, popping another chocolate in his mouth. “This is so good,” he cries, looking at the box in search for a name. “Where did he even get this? Baekhyun, come here, you gotta try these chocolates.”
“Those are yours,” Baekhyun denies. Chanyeol waves a hand around dismissively.
“Consider it payback for opening one of your boxes,” he insists. “The green one – don’t give me that look, it’s one of the best brands in the world. And one of the most expensive, too.”
Baekhyun climbs on the bed, green box in hand, and sits shoulder to shoulder with him. Chanyeol gives him the box and lets him take his pick – so of course; Baekhyun goes for the better looking treat.
“Oh my god,” he moans. “What are they?”
“I have no idea,” Chanyeol laughs, turning the box in his hand and eating more at the same time. “Maybe he made them himself?”
Baekhyun looks at him very seriously and says, “Marry him. And get me more of these.”
They eat the entire box from Kyungsoo and the green box – from Slytherin 3rd year Oh Sehun – before having to go down to lunch. However, they’re both too full to even think about eating anymore, and end up passing out on the bed.
Jongdae makes some sarcastic comment about getting a room when he goes in to get his Herbology textbook, to which Baekhyun replies sleepily that they already are in a room. And bolts upright on the bed after Jongdae leaves, looking down at his body in delight.
“Chanyeol!” he shakes him awake, much like he’d done the morning after Halloween. “Chanyeol, we’re back!”
“Wha -” Chanyeol says groggily. His large eyes settle on Baekhyun and he gets up with a gasp. “Oh my God!”
Baekhyun shouts with glee as Chanyeol pulls him into a hug. He can’t help but notice that being held by Chanyeol when they are in their own bodies is better – he feels tiny, but Chanyeol gives nice hugs.
They go down to class with lighter feet, feeling over the moon. They run into Slughorn on their way to Herbology and their professor gasps in surprise, clapping their backs as congratulations. The rest of the day goes by with the two of them smiling and feeling overjoyed, dismissing the curious looks they get.
Baekhyun receives three more gifts before the end of the day, and he witnesses Jongdae giving Minseok a letter on their way to dinner – his roommate is blushing down to his neck and scurries away before Minseok can even say anything.
When he goes to shower, he runs into Chanyeol in the private bathroom, brushing his teeth sleepily. The pureblood lights up when he sees Baekhyun walk in, and his mouth forms a wide, foamy smile around the toothbrush.
“Hey,” Baekhyun greets, unable to hold back a smile of his own. They’re alone, the Head boy probably already gone to bed.
“Hey,” Chanyeol says back. Baekhyun does his best not to stare at his chest – Chanyeol is shirtless, and the abs Baekhyun worked so hard on for months are trying to make him into the sinner he isn’t.
Baekhyun makes a beeline for his shower stall, hanging his pajamas and browsing for his soap bar. “So,” Chanyeol starts, leaning against the sink as he stares at Baekhyun. “I’ve been thinking – I want to visit your parents again, and I know you want to visit mine too. So how about we make arrangements for the summer?”
Baekhyun pretends to think about it while casting his routine charms around the stall. Finally, he says, “Alright. But you need to promise not to drag me to the zoo again.”
“Deal,” Chanyeol beams. “Why do you put so many spells around, anyway? Such a waste.”
The teasing tone is what has Baekhyun sending Chanyeol a curious look. “What do you mean?”
“I mean,” Chanyeol explains. ” That your body is too good to be hiding away all the time.
Chanyeol leaves after sending a wink his way, and Baekhyun turns the water as cold as possible.
The following weeks involve a string of flirtatious innuendos from Chanyeol and blushing escapes from Baekhyun. The muggle born isn’t even sure why or when their relationship took such a shift, nor does he know if he’s against it or not.
When they’re together practicing for their exams and doing their homework, Chanyeol does his very best to sit as close as possible to him, to brush their hands together and to fluster him. He pretends like he doesn’t know how to wave his wand around for a spell just so Baekhyun will lead him through it, and it doesn’t escape the older boy that it’s all a trick.
Going to and fro classes, Chanyeol uses the crowded hallways as an excuse to loom behind Baekhyun and even guide him with a hand on his waist or on the back of his neck.
The showers are the worst, because Chanyeol likes to drop comments on Baekhyun’s body and that’s what makes him blush the most, turns him into a stuttering mess. He makes sure to let Baekhyun know that he has a nice everything – nice hands, nice lips, nice legs and nice ass. The ass comments had Baekhyun seeing stars as he came when he was finally alone, Chanyeol’s name leaving his mouth in countless whispers.
“You look nervous,” Baekhyun comments one afternoon. They’re studying in the common room, and all around them Gryffindors are talking in excited groups.
The Quidditch final is the next morning, Gryffindor vs. Hufflepuff. Chanyeol’s been a jittery mess all week, tripping more often than usual and barely getting any sleep at night.
(Baekhyun knows this because three times Chanyeol has slipped into his bed, not even bothering to cast privacy charms around them before dragging Baekhyun closer to him, snoring into his neck minutes later.)
“I am nervous,” Chanyeol stresses. His hair is a rat’s nest, courtesy of running his hand through it constantly. “Tomorrow’s the final, Baek. God, can you imagine if we win?”
“I can,” Baekhyun confirms. “You’ll be patted on the back by every student in Gryffindor, Professor McGonagall will love you and your parents will send you a gift basket.”
“Do I get a congratulatory kiss, too?” Chanyeol asks coyly.
Baekhyun averts his gaze, focusing on their Transfiguration textbook even as a blush takes over his face. “From?” he shoots back.
Chanyeol smiles playfully but doesn’t answer, and that’s then end of their conversation.
That night Chanyeol doesn’t join him out of the blue – he just casually climbs into bed with Baekhyun right when Jinho turns the lights off, throwing the blanket on top of both of them. Baekhyun is stiff, too awake to pretend it’s normal like he does when Chanyeol waits a few hours, but Chanyeol doesn’t acknowledge his uncomfortableness, pressing his nose into the crook of Baekhyun’s neck.
The next morning all three of his roommates are a nervous wreck, and Baekhyun is left to do damage control every time they trip or break things. Their housemates cheer them on all morning, over breakfast and the two hours prior to the game. And then it’s show time.
The Quidditch field is completely packed – the Slytherin house is rooting for Hufflepuff and the Ravenclaws for Gryffindor. Baekhyun sits with 7th year Ravenclaws Kim Junmyeon and Im Yoona, the two of them chatting up a storm while they wait for the match to start.
When their team walks out on the field, there’s uproar like Baekhyun’s never heard before. The entire Gryffindor house is chanting their names and Baekhyun goes along, even when his vocal chords start to protest.
Madame Hooch reminds the teams to play fair, has the captains shake hands and then blows the whistle. The players are immediately in the air, with the Seekers circling the air slowly.
Baekhyun doesn’t take his eyes off Chanyeol for a second – he hears Nayeon making jokes that have the students laughing around him, commenting on the passes and the scores. At the beginning of the game, the Hufflepuff house is leading by twenty points, but Taeyong and Hoseok alone score fifty points before Taeyong gets knocked off his broom.
His two Slytherin friends, Yuta and Johnny, start a commotion in the bleachers until Madame Hooch flies down to get him and carries him off to the infirmary. After that, Jongdae takes over and scores twenty points, even if the Hufflepuff get fifty more in.
The game goes on for two more hours, without anyone scoring any more. The players are exhausted but they don’t have anyone to relieve them, so they have to continue playing. In the meantime, Chanyeol hovers around the Gryffindor hoops, momentarily diving to the ground but coming up empty handed every time.
The Hufflepuff Seeker, 3rd year Wendy Son, looks as tired and hopeless as Chanyeol does. Nayeon tries to lighten up the mood when the viewers begin to get restless, but not even her best jokes can stop some students from complaining loudly.
Baekhyun sees it first. Just a tiny flicker of movement on the corner of the field – to Chanyeol’s right. Baekhyun doesn’t know what to do; he can’t scream out or else Wendy might catch it first, but he’s not sure Chanyeol will see it for himself either. And then the pureblood turns around and flies straight to it.
Wendy shoots after him, and for a moment the entire pitch holds its breath when they topple over and land on the ground, an unrecognizable tangle of limbs and ropes and brooms. Baekhyun holds back the need to jump off the bleachers while they wait for either one of them to stand up.
A loud cheer breaks through the crowd when Chanyeol raises his fist, victorious. Nayeon is going crazy, shouting into the mic and announcing the winners of the Quidditch final.
Chanyeol flies around the field, Snitch in hand, and stops in front of Baekhyun. The muggle born rolls his eyes when Chanyeol gives him puppy looks but leans in anyway and plants a small peck on his lips. Chanyeol goes back to his team with the brightest beam Baekhyun has seen on his face.
The celebrations go on for a week. All the Gryffindors parade around the school with proud grins on their faces, bloating about the Cup that now sits in Professor McGonagall’s office. Jongdae and Jinho don’t seem to be able to stop talking about the match, day and night retelling the tale to anyone willing and unwilling alike to listen.
However, Baekhyun thinks that Chanyeol’s method of celebrating is far better than all the others – kissing him breathless every chance they get, or even just small pecks between classes.
Jongdae tells them to stop being gross two days before their OWLs examinations, after the two of them spend the better part of their Saturday kissing in their room, successfully chasing Jinho out.
Baekhyun just can’t bring himself to care, though. Kissing Chanyeol has become his newest addiction, and only their impending exams are enough to pull him away from him – Chanyeol is close to declaring war on their textbooks.
With their examinations only days away, their professors no longer bother to give them homework, and instead use every lesson to remind them how important their results are. Professor Longbottom is more merciful than the other teachers, however, and doesn’t give those long speeches but provides useful advice, especially for the practical parts of the exams.
The weekend prior to the exams the entire Gryffindor house is in complete chaos. Underclassmen run away at the sight of the 5th and 7th years, while 6th year try to help out in any way they can.
Baekhyun spends all Sunday with his head shoved inside a book, reciting spells under his breath and quizzing Jongdae on proper potion making. Chanyeol isn’t seen for the better part of the day until dinner, when he comes into the Great Hall sweaty and covered in mud – confirming Baekhyun’s suspicion that he’d been out in the field, flying around all day.
The Great Hall is eerily quiet. Not even the professor dare utter a word in fear of angering the poor students during their internal freak outs. Dinner is mostly ignored in favour of getting in more minutes of studying, until Baekhyun snaps and shoves an entire toast covered in strawberry jam down Jongdae’s throat and makes him eat.
Slowly, all the other 5th years in Gryffindor start eating, small bites of food and cautious sips of cranberry juice. The only one eating with gusto is Chanyeol, seemingly not having eaten anything else the entire day.
At night, before retiring for bed, Jongdae and Baekhyun practice locomotion charms while Jinho lies on the floor with his Transfiguration book covering his face. And Chanyeol is once again missing. Baekhyun doesn’t have long to worry about him, though, because five minutes to eleven professor McGonagall escorts him to the common room, his hair a mess.
Baekhyun doesn’t even protest this time when Chanyeol slides into bed next to him wordlessly – he does whine a little when Chanyeol tries to huddle the blanket, but the pureblood placates him with an arm thrown over his waist and shoving Baekhyun’s face into his chest.
Baekhyun can’t stop shaking as he gets ready on Monday. He doesn’t run into Chanyeol in the bathroom and he’s sort of thankful for that – enough distractions without adding him into the equation – but he does slam into Taeyong while rushing down the stairs when he realizes there’s only fifteen minutes left of breakfast. He shouts an apology over his shoulder, never stopping until he skids to his usual spot.
None of the fifth years spoke much this morning either. Chanyeol, sitting with his teammates, seems to be reciting charms under his breath, his utensils shaking slightly on the table.
When the other students leave for lessons, 5th and 7th years mill around the entrance hall until nine thirty when they’re called to enter the Great Hall again. Inside the four tables have disappeared and replaced with single desks, and McGonagall stands at the front. Once they’re seated, she announces the start of their first exam and Baekhyun turns over the paper in front of him, heart pounding.
Baekhyun slumps against the wall, exhausted. All around him, his classmates are in varying degrees of relief and fear, but most are numbly looking around.
“I feel violated,” Chanyeol murmurs next to him, letting his head rest on Baekhyun’s shoulder.
“That was just the first exam,” Baekhyun groans. “And we still have the practical part left. Fuck, I want to die.”
Jongdae joins them on the floor with a calm smile. “That wasn’t so bad,” he laughs. Baekhyun gives him an incredulous look and Jongdae drops the smile. “Ok, it was terrible – but still! It could have been worse.”
“Maybe I should just give up on wizarding,” Baekhyun moans in despair. “Go to community college or something.”
“You didn’t finish Muggle School,” Chanyeol reminds him.
They join the rest of the school for lunch and then wait for their names to be called for the second half of their exam. They waited in the small chamber next to the Great Hall, but Baekhyun didn’t have to wait long for he was called in the first group, thanks to the cursed alphabet.
Professor Flitwick directs him to Professor Marchbanks, the old lady head of the Wizarding Examinations Authority, who asked him to make the golden cup on the table levitate. Overall Baekhyun feels like he did well, although he wishes it hadn’t taken him so long to think of the Colour-Change charm.
That night he and Chanyeol exchange experiences between stolen kisses in the common room when no one is looking, too preoccupied with studying for tomorrow’s test. Jongdae throws a balled-up piece of paper at them and Jinho scowls when Chanyeol retaliates by planting a loud smooch on Baekhyun’s cheek, but mostly they’re ignored by their housemates.
It gives Baekhyun a sense of comfort, to know that at least the people he lives with don’t mind his sexuality. It’s not like he’d care too much if they were against him – but he can do with all his hair on his head, to be honest.
For two weeks Baekhyun develops a routine: waking up early to take a long shower, goes down to breakfast, gets through the theoretical exam, has lunch, takes the practical test and then goes back to the common room to study some more before dinner and goes back to bed. Most of the time, the 5th and 7th years stay up late after dinner to review years of notes, but Baekhyun uses that time to watch Chanyeol freak out.
Personally, Baekhyun thinks he did particularly well during Transfiguration and Potions, although his Defence against the Dark Arts was a little lacking – he’s forever grateful to his professor for making him practice the Patronus charm, because Professor Tofty asked him if there was anything he knew to do not part of the program, for extra points.
Herbology was an absolute breeze, as were Astronomy and Divination. Care of Magical Creatures was easier than expected, and his electives were all things he’s already familiar with, so there wasn’t anything to worry about. However, Arithmancy proved to be a pain in the arse, but that was over quickly. As for History of Magic, Baekhyun thanks the heavens he has good memory, otherwise he wouldn’t have narrated the Giant Wars as well as he did.
After the two weeks of examinations are over, Baekhyun breathes for what feels the first time. There’s still another week before school lets out, but at least they’re spared from attending lessons, and so Baekhyun takes the chance to… explore his relationship with Chanyeol.
That means they make out any time they get. Chanyeol likes to sneak up on him to plant kisses along his cheek and nape because he knows it makes Baekhyun giggle; he also seems to enjoy leaving butterfly kisses all over his face.
When they’re not busy being gross all around the castle – as Jongdae so kindly put it – they take their time to talk and figure things out. They write to their parents on the same day asking if they can spend the first half of the summer in Chanyeol’s place and the second at Baekhyun’s.
The Byuns answer first with an excited affirmative. At the bottom of the letter, Mrs. Byun tells her son that his friends have been coming over asking about him and wants to know what to say to them. Baekhyun asks her to tell them he’s fine but not to say anything else.
As for the Parks, they agree easily, as long as they promise to stay in their own rooms during the night. Baekhyun blushes down to his Adam’s apple but Chanyeol just laughs loudly.
Baekhyun still has to go to his place for a few days to get clothes and to pick up Chanyeol’s gift. Chanyeol pouts the entire ride home in the Hogwarts Express and refuses to let him go, holding him in his arms until they arrive at the London station.
Chanyeol kisses him soundly before getting off the train. They part ways outside without a word, they’ll be seeing each other shortly anyway. Baekbeom picks him up at the airport and interrogates him on his examinations but Baekhyun can’t tell him much about his results since he won’t be getting them until July.
His parents are thrilled to see him and have a feast that night. Baekhyun is showered in delicious homemade meals courtesy of his mother, and his father later hands him a wad of bills and tells him to call his friends.
Calling Taehyung is easy. The younger boy is happy to hear from him, and asks to meet up with him; though Baekhyun isn’t too eager to go out, he still agrees and they go for a snack the following afternoon. They don’t talk much on their walk there, probably because Baekhyun keeps his head down resolutely, kicking at stray rocks.
They enter the locale of Taehyung’s choice and a waiter leads them to a two-person table near the back.
“Hyung, I’m so sorry about what happened,” Taehyung apologizes first thing. The bakery they’re at is crowded and Taehyung needs to speak a little louder than usual to be heard.
Baekhyun takes a sip from their shared strawberry smoothie – oh if only Matthew could see them now. “You stood up to him,” he says softly. “And I don’t want to make things about me, but I think I was your main concern and not those two boys.”
“When don’t you want to make things about you?” Taehyung asks playfully. Baekhyun chucks his straw wrapper at him and just like that they’re back to normal.
Taehyung invites him to his house to play videogames until Baekhyun has to go home. Ms. Kim is happy to see him – she undoubtedly knows at least a small part of what happened – and offers them snacks every other hour until they’re both too full to think of eating anything else.
Around 10 pm Baekhyun puts his console down and yawns loudly, letting his head fall on the pillow behind him. Taehyung gives him a fond look but the tiny smile fades quickly and he looks away – Baekhyun doesn’t miss it.
“Tae,” he calls firmly. When Taehyung doesn’t look at him again, he prompts, “What’s wrong with you?”
An internal battle seems to be breaking out inside Taehyung. Baekhyun waits with baited breath for his friend to speak, but what he says really isn’t what Baekhyun was expecting.
“How did you come out to your parents?”
Baekhyun gapes at him. Taehyung looks nervous out of his mind, biting his lip as he waits for him to say something.
“I…” Baekhyun stutters. “I just told them. I braved myself for whatever reaction they could have but there aren’t any magic words for it or anything. You just need to be sure you want to tell tem.”
“That’s not very helpful,” Taehyung frowns.
Baekhyun shrugs. “I know. I wish I could be more helpful, but I mean it – you need to be certain you want your mom to know, and you have to be ready in case she doesn’t react the way you want her to. And in case worst case scenario happens, you can just live with my parents.”
Taehyung smiles softly and that’s the end of their conversation.
Two days later, Somin and Jiwoo invite themselves to his house and raid his pantry, digging around until they find the onion dip and actually dare to dab in his kitchen. Baekhyun tries to kick them out but unfortunately two girls are stronger than him.
“So,” Somin starts, plopping down on his bed and getting comfortable. “I hear you and Tae made up.”
“Yeah,” Baekhyun confirms. He lets out a laugh at Somin’s ‘oomph’ when Jiwoo throws herself on top of her.
“When are you talking to Matthew?” Jiwoo asks. “He’s not entirely sure what he did, but he knows he hurt you and he’s sorry. He also said something about hitting you?”
“I – yeah,” Baekhyun falters. He’d almost forgotten about that.
“What happened?” Somin prods him with her foot while coating her chips with the dip they so savagely searched for.
“It was nothing,” Baekhyun dismisses. Truth is he doesn’t know what Chanyeol said to Matthew that day.
“Really?” Jiwoo drawls. Baekhyun feels cornered between the wall and two way-too-smart girls. “Because the way Matthew put it, it wasn’t just ‘nothing’. Look,” she sighs, “I’m not here to tell you to be friends with him – he’s my boyfriend, but he’s an asshole. I know that, we all know that. But most of the time he doesn’t even knows he’s being an asshole. That’s not an excuse,” she interrupts him when Baekhyun starts to protest. “All I’m saying is you two should talk now that you’re both cooled off.”
Baekhyun hates the fact she’s right, almost as much as he hates Somin for dripping onion dip on his quilt.
Matthew’s house is on the other end of town. Baekbeom drives him there and promises to stay in the area just in case Baekhyun needs him; no matter how many times the wizard insists he’ll be fine.
Baekhyun’s insides are jittery when he knocks the door and completely shrivel up when Matthew opens it. The older boy had opted for showing up unannounced mostly because he couldn’t bring himself to pick up the phone, but he suspects one of the girls told Matthew he’d be going because the tall boy doesn’t look too surprised to see him.
They sit on the couch in the living room and immediately an uncomfortably silence wraps around them. Baekhyun racks his brain in an attempt to remember the speech he memorized, but Matthew speaks first.
“I’m sorry I hit you,” he mumbles. “And I’m sorry I acted that way – I just didn’t know you were…”
Matthew waves a hand in his direction. Baekhyun falters, unknowing Chanyeol told him. A spark of fury ignites in his chest but it dies when Matthew continues.
“You seem surprised,” Matthew laughs. “I know I look stupid but I’m not. It’s obvious.”
Baekhyun deflates, looking at the floor. “Do you hate me?”
He hates how insecure, how tiny he feels at the moment. He can’t bring himself to look at Matthew as he waits for an answer and he’s ashamed to think that he’d rather have Matthew hate him in secret and stay friends with him than to know the truth and having to cut off ties with him.
Baekhyun tries to tell himself that maybe, if Matthew is honest and they stop being friends, things will be fine; but the idea of losing one of his best friends scares him more than anything else.
He’s plagued with memories of the two of them riding around town at night on their bikes, laughing at Taehyung’s feeble attempts of hitting on girls and giving other guys glares whenever one tries to hit on Somin and Jiwoo. He remembers how nervous Matthew was when he asked Jiwoo out and how ecstatic when she said yes.
There’s one memory that stands out the most, however: when Matthew beat up all those other kids in the third grade because they made Baekhyun cry.
In fact, now that he thinks about it, Matthew has always been there for him, protecting him from bullies and making sure he’s ok. It’s a little preposterous to think Matthew will hate him now.
“I don’t hate you,” Matthew says finally. He looks pained, his hands digging into the cushions. “I don’t… understand you. But I want you to stay my friend and I want you to be my friend. Will you forgive me?”
Baekhyun nods, not fighting back the big smile on his face. Even if this isn’t the best solution to their problems, he at least gets to keep his friend; hoping Matthew doesn’t act like a jackass again, Baekhyun thinks it’s safe to say they’ll be fine.
The Park Manor is still as big as the last time Baekhyun was here. He can’t help the eager giggle he lets out when he sees Chanyeol waiting for him in the front entrance, dressed in casual clothes. He holds his gift box tighter, ignoring the amused look his brother gives him.
“Hi,” he greets Chanyeol shyly. Baekbeom drives away quickly after Baekhyun says goodbye, muttering something about not wanting to see his little brother making out. Chanyeol envelops him in a hug, shaking him side to side until Baekhyun pulls away carefully.
Chanyeol pouts when he realizes Baekhyun is no longer in his arms, but it quickly transforms into an excited grin when Baekhyun thrusts the box towards him and beams, “Merry Christmas!”
The little puppy pokes his head out of the box as soon as the lid is off. Chanyeol gives an overjoyed shout of “Puppy!” and takes him out, cradling him in his arms and cooing.
The dog nips at his fingers when Chanyeol tickles his muzzle, sending the Seeker into a fit of unmanly shrieks. Yura ambles out then to see what all the commotion is about, giving Baekhyun a friendly smile before her attention is diverted to the animal in her brother’s arms and she squeals in delight.
“There’s a bow on his head!” she gushes, tugging at the red string on the puppy’s head. “What’s his name?”
Chanyeol thinks about it for a few seconds before saying, “Toben.”
Toben seems satisfied with his new name, yapping cutely and licking at Yura’s face.
Chanyeol’s mouth leaves a hot trail of kisses along Baekhyun’s neck at the same time his hands grope possessively at his boyfriend’s sides. Baekhyun muffles a whine into his hand, his legs entangled around Chanyeol’s waist while his other hand gripsruffles Chanyeol’s hair.
The taller man presses a smile into Baekhyun’s shoulder, his tongue peeking out and drawing circles around his collarbones. One of his hands leaves his hips to settle on the side of his face, his lips coming back up to Baekhyun’s mouth to kiss him silly.
Baekhyun is dizzy when they pull apart, a groan escaping him when he sees Chanyeol’s mouth is swollen and red, his hair sticking out in all directions. Chanyeol doesn’t give him time to appreciate the sight, diving back down to his neck and sucking at the skin, lapping at the bruised area with his tongue.
At the back of his mind Baekhyun can hear Toben and Myeongryeong pawing at their door, but he can’t bring himself to care too much, not when Chanyeol’s hands are sliding his shirt up too slow for his taste.
“Will you stop messing with me?” Baekhyun groans, tugging at Chanyeol’s hair. The fucker dares to smirk into his neck but at least he tugs shirt up all the way.
Baekhyun lifts his arms and lets Chanyeol take it off him, moaning when Chanyeol sucks a nipple into his mouth. Baekhyun is hard, cock straining against his pants, and he cants his hips up in search of friction .
Chanyeol ruts down against him at the same time and no matter the layers of clothes between them they still groan, humping each other like the hormonal teenagers they very much aren’t.
When it becomes too much for Baekhyun, obvious in the way he starts whining, Chanyeol makes quick work of the elder’s shorts, yanking them down along with his boxers. Baekhyun gasps when Chanyeol’s hand wraps around his dick, but doesn’t have much time of relief because Chanyeol hasn’t even finished the first stroke up when Loey bursts through their open window and pulls at Chanyeol’s hair.
Baekhyun can’t even form a coherent sentence so he settles with shouting a jumbled mess of words when Chanyeol dares to pull away to check the mail.
“What the fuck is wrong with you?” he cries as one of his hands goes down to his cock. However, Chanyeol slaps the hand away with resolution and Baekhyun can only whimper in response, tugging at the blankets under him.
“Jongdae is getting married,” Chanyeol comments.
“Great,” Baekhyun answers. “Now get over here and suck me off before I break up with you, you asshole.”
“To Kyungsoo .”
Baekhyun groans even louder. He’s tempted to kick Chanyeol out and finish this himself, but soon enough large hands are back on him, Chanyeol leaning in to press kisses into his neck while jerking Baekhyun off quickly.
The older boy keens, hips thrusting up in a desperate attempt to reach his climax. Baekhyun ignores the amused chuckles muffled into his skin, clawing at Chanyeol’s back. He feels dirty, completely naked while Chanyeol is still dressed in his office suit and tie, but it only adds to how good he feels – the silk of the tie brushes against one of his nipples, the roughness of the jacket giving delicious friction to his skin.
Baekhyun cums embarrassingly fast, whining Chanyeol’s name when it gets too much, but the bastard doesn’t pull away, flicking his wrist and swiping his thumb over the slit of his cock. When he does release him, it’s only to lift his stained hand to Baekhyun’s face.
With the first press of the fingers against his mouth, Baekhyun parts his lips and allows Chanyeol to slide the digits in; sucking on them and licking at his own cum. Chanyeol’s eyes are glassy as he follows the movement of Baekhyun’s tongue, making the actions even better for Baekhyun.
Baekhyun sucks him off, and even if it’s sloppy and with a little too much saliva, Chanyeol still groans and fists his hands into Baekhyun’s hair, cumming down his throat with a growl that almost has Baekhyun hardening again.
Tired but sated, they collapse on their bed, Chanyeol curling around the smaller boy, taking hold of his hand and lifting it to the light. The metal band glints in the sunlight, catching both of their attentions.
“I can’t believe the little fucker is getting married two weeks after we did,” Baekhyun grumbles, but the smile on his face betrays his faux annoyance. Chanyeol smiles too, linking their fingers together.
“Think of it like a compliment,” he says, “He was so touched by our love, he wants to proclaim his.”
Baekhyun is quiet for a second, and then exclaims, “That was so corny! Oh my god Chanyeol,” he laughs. Chanyeol laughs with him, nuzzling into his husband’s neck and sniffing his scent. Baekhyun thinks it’s weird, but he stopped questioning Chanyeol a long time ago, understanding the Auror is just quirky like that – he says he likes the smell of the older boy, like baby powder.
“I’m surprised he’s marrying Kyungsoo though,” Chanyeol muses. “I didn’t know they were together.”
“Me neither,” Baekhyun whispers, already falling asleep. Chanyeol chuckles, brushes Baekhyun’s hair away from his eyes and pecks his cheek softly.
“Good night baby,” he tells him. Baekhyun mumbles something back and is snoring in less than a minute, his fingers still curled around Chanyeol’s.