On the outside, Jeon Jungkook may seem confident and collected walking across the ministry atrium, all pressed robes and shined shoes.
The briefcase in his hand is sleek and modern, fitting his image: a fresh- faced muggleborn auror making his way up the ranks scarily fast. It is his knowledge of the muggle world and deep understanding of technology, the Daily Prophet reads, that lends him him so much success in a world dominated by the old bloodlines. The junior assistant to the Minister of Magic walks beside him and everyone is now that much more aware-
this boy is one to look out for.
On the inside, however, Jeon Jungkook is a mess. His throat is too dry and when he gulps, he swears everyone in a ten metre radius can hear him. Jungkook adjusts his grip on the briefcase, fingers slipping a little on the sweat that’s accumulated there.
“... Everyone was knocked out, so gone, and then Hoseok gets a call! You’ll never guess from who-”
“His manager?” Jungkook finds himself smiling despite his nerves, having heard this story one too many times.
“Fuck- exactly- his manager! Wait,” Seokjin says, narrowing his eyes, “How’d you know?”
Jin’s put out and Jungkook wants to laugh. “You can still tell Taehyung, dude. He’ll laugh.”
“Already did. Next time I tell you a story, pretend you’ve never heard it before.”
Not for the first time, Jungkook wonders if Seokjin is fit for his role as junior assistant. He mock salutes, mirth all over his face that he’s sure Seokjin will see. “Whatever you say, mister assistant sir, done-”
He’s grinning wide and Jungkook lets Jin believe he's been successfully distracted.
He’s about to make his way to the meeting rooms when Seokjin places an arm on his shoulder.
“Jungkook... you’ll be okay, right?” His voice is low, suddenly serious.
Jungkook just shrugs. “It’s not my first big case.”
Their eyes meet and he knows Jin can see right through him. “This one’s different. You don’t have to take it.”
Jungkook doesn't let himself pause, spares no moment for doubt.
“I do, actually,” He replies, perhaps with more resolution than anything he’s said all morning. “It’s been a long time coming, Jin. You know that. I’ll be fine.”
Jungkook feels a twinge of annoyance when Jin steps back, shaking his head slightly.
“Good luck then,” The older boy offers, thoroughly unconvinced.
“Thanks.” Jungkook turns away with a tight smile.
If he’s being honest with himself?
He’ll need it.
The meeting room is full of wrinkly wizards and witches and Jungkook feels ten times more out of place.
There are actually only six of them. But they take up so much space, six pretentious people sitting on six huge, pretentious chairs- that it’s suffocating.
He takes deeper, slower breaths to lower his heart rate. Refuses to think about the meeting and its proceedings, instead opting to chat with one of the witches about the best places new to buy robes. Jungkook’s about to slide Taehyung’s card over when he walks in.
Jungkook’s glad he’s sitting down because his legs feel like jelly and honestly, they wouldn’t have been able to support him. There’s a churning in his stomach that he wants to listen to, something buried deep urging him to run far away.
It’s been five years and Park Jimin has only grown more enchanting. His height hasn’t increased one bit- a fact Jungkook knows must hurt the boy. Jimin’s died his hair again and it’s dark silver, almost grey. He’s sporting a bored expression and there’s something about his half- lidded eyes that draw Jungkook in. He looks sinful. He is sinful.
Their eyes meet and Jimin’s shuttered, slightly disinterested poker face shatters.
There’s full blown surprise on his face, shock rearranging his features into something far more familiar. Pain and regret join the mix- but that could just be Jungkook projecting.
Jimin blinks and Jungkook watches as his mask of indifference slips back on. He’s taking the last seat left.
The witch at the head of the table bangs her gavel.
“The department of Magical Law enforcement calls this meeting today to discuss further steps into the investigation of businesses operated by Park Hyun Seok…” The witch pauses to fix her eyes on Jimin, who refuses to meet her gaze, “And son. Three weeks ago, Park Hyun Seok was found to be entangled in a dragon product smuggling ring. In light of this evidence, the wizengamot authorised the inspection of Park businesses and facilities, stipulations outlined on page six of the handouts before you.”
There’s rustling noises as everyone else in the room flicks pages to read through the stipulations and conditions.
Jungkook doesn’t need to. He wrote them.
He uses the time to school his thoughts, remove himself from a panicked state of
-he's here he's finally here he's just as beautiful but this time I'm gonna make him pay the bastard the bastard the bastard-
to a more stable state of mind, one he'll need if he wants to navigate this meeting and the weeks to come.
He can't help himself. Jungkook glances at Jimin who’s leaning back in his chair, already staring back at him with an unreadable expression.
Jungkook can’t bring himself to look away.
He wishes he knew what was going through the boy’s head.
NINE YEARS AGO
Jungkook is ready and raring to go, decked out in blue with a new broom clutched in his gloved hands.
He’s the only first- year on his team, which kinda sucks because everyone else babies him to no end. He’s stopped doing his hair in the mornings- why bother when your teammates, your teammates’ girlfriends and even members of the opposing team ruffle your head every time they walk past?
The whistle sounds.
He’s up in the air, basking in the whoops and cheers of the team around him. Jungkook shifts his gaze along the stands and across the skies, holding out for the snitch- but he’s easily distracted, especially when the Slytherin chaser scores goal after goal, parading in front of his house after each one. There’s a chant going up, heard faint up in the sky-
“Park Jimin! Park Jimin! Park Jimin!”
And although his teammates think it’s annoying, Jungkook finds the chaser’s antics amusing.
He’s caught sight of the snitch, glinting gold in the distance and he’s off- weaving through the air, tears in his eyes, small body allowing the broom to fly near maximum speed- until he’s knocked off course by something big.
It’s the slytherin seeker. Frustrated in a big way Jungkook grits his teeth, itching to sock the other boy in the mouth.
He doesn’t, though, fully aware that engaging with the stockier senior will result in nothing but harassment off the pitch for the rest of the year.
He’ll show him by winning the match.
It’s when he’s making his second round over the grounds that something whooshes right past him and he glimpses a flash of orange hair.
“Hey bun!” The voice is high and bright, a little breathless. “Sorry for our seeker back there! He’s a little hostile. Don’t tell him I said that, though!”
Jungkook doesn’t know what to do. Park Jimin’s right in front of him, here to distract him with his face, with his cute nose and pretty eyes. He’s here to distract him because there’s no way the slytherin seeker could beat him to the snitch in a fair go.
“I won’t,” he replies, a little bit snooty.
Jungkook feels Jimin’s gaze on him, neck heating up as he continues searching for the snitch.
“What’s your name, bun?”
“Jung-jungkook.” He gets out, cursing himself for the stammer. “What’s yours?”
Park Jimin smiles big, showing off that infamous crooked front tooth. Jungkook’s not sure how the flaw ends up adding boyish charm to Park Jimin’s face- it’s unfair.
“You don’t know my name, Jungkook?”
Jungkook has no response to this, continuing to scan the skies, ears slightly red.
“My name’s Jimin. It’s good to finally meet the cutest seeker on all the quidditch teams.”
“Thanks,” Jungkook smiles shyly. He feels like he's going to fall off his broom any second. “It’s good to meet you too.”
Jimin looks at the scoreboard. The current numbers read Ravenclaw: 60, Slytherin: 150.
“You think,” Jimin starts slowly, “We could score so many goals that it doesn’t matter who ends the game? Think we can widen the gap that far?”
Jungkook bristles. “I’ll catch the snitch before then,” He calls out, narrowed eyes scanning his surroundings with double the effort.
“Will you now?” Jimin yells back, speeding up to keep pace.
Their eyes meet and Jungkook can see the laughter in the older boy’s eyes.
“Yeah. It’s on.”
The memory only brings pain now and Jungkook tries to bury it, skim reading the handout in front of him again to bring him back to the present.
“As I’m sure you all have presumed, Jeon Jungkook will be the auror conducting the inspections. These will begin at the Park estate and extend to any company facilities. Park Jimin?”
Jimin finally looks up at the witch.
“Yes?” His voice is light and holds the barest hint of impatience.
“You will assist Jeon Jungkook in this investigation and provide any materials or support he may need. He will accompany you to all meetings, conferences and site visits. Do you accept this?”
Jimin takes a breath.
“With all due respect, Madam Bone, I’d like to request another auror for this investigation.”
Jungkook, along with the other committee members, finds himself at a loss for words. The room is still, waiting for Jimin to elaborate.
“Jeon Jungkook is... young. Too young for this case and, I worry, not unbiased enough to ensure fair proceedings. His work on the O'Hara case leads me to believe he’s still too fresh and emotional for the scene. Lives were almost lost and I recall the Minister telling me there had been a huge waste of auror time and resource. We are talking about a massive company here,” He says, gaze flitting around the room to make eye contact, “And I want to save the department time by requesting a more capable, senior auror for the job from the start.”
The older committee members start whispering among themselves and Jungkook feels heat rising to his face. The O’Hara job had been a one- off- and the situation had been rectified almost immediately. He’d learnt from it.
The fact that Jimin had discussed his failures openly shouldn’t cut this deep.
He shouldn’t be this surprised that Jimin had chosen to fight dirty.
Listening to Jimin use his deceptively sweet voice to turn the committee against him, manipulating them with this false worry- Jungkook takes it as a lesson. Everything’s different now.
He hates Jimin. This is something he must remember if he wants to last through the investigation.
He can’t let his opportunity slide- too much rides on this. Jungkook put the hard work in for a reason and he refuses to lose his chance at revenge- and justice- now.
“Madam Bone, if I may?”
She gestures to go ahead and he swivels, addressing the room.
“Respectfully, members, I’d like to point out that I’ve successfully handled and completed a number of jobs after the O’Hara case, and I’ve truly learnt from every assignment I’ve taken. Additionally, I was the one to compile and present most of the findings on the Park family. I would go so far as to say no other auror would have the prior knowledge that I do to conduct an investigation with sufficient depth.”
He’s proud that his voice carried loud and clear- public speaking is still a mission for him but Jungkook counts every step as a victory.
The members continue to discuss and Jimin has his shuttered expression on again, gaze fixed on the paper in front of him with nostrils slightly flared.
Madam Bone bangs her gavel again.
“The committee has decided that Jeon Jungkook will remain as the head auror on this investigation. Park Jimin, do you concede?”
Jungkook's knee jumps, the tiniest celebration.
Jimin scoffs, well aware that he doesn’t have a choice.
“Yes.” The answer is blunt and lifeless.
“Meeting is adjourned.”
Everyone is up and shaking hands, and then all six members filter out of the room.
Jimin and Jungkook are left alone, the older boy’s usually plush lips drawn into a straight line.
It's silent, neither boy willing to make eye contact or break the ice. Jungkook can't seem to come to terms with the whole situation- sure, he'd wanted this, he'd orchestrated it- only to find that the passion and conviction that had brought him to this point was gone, had disappeared the moment Park Jimin walked through those double doors with stiff shoulders and blank eyes.
Jungkook is a professional, though, unafraid to make the first move.
He gets up, starts moving towards the older boy. His steps are slow and measured but Jimin still watches him approach warily, as if Jungkook is a dangerous animal.
As if he's the one that needs to be scared out of the two.
Jungkook extends his palm and after a beat, Jimin takes it.
It’s warm and dry and just as small as he remembers.
EIGHT YEARS AGO
It’s noisy and cramped on his bench and Jungkook can barely think with all the people talking at him. Jimin sits, draped all over Jungkook feeding him bite after bite. It’s the only way Jungkook’s been able to eat anything all morning.
“Are you going to get Farish back for what he did to you in the hallway?”
“He’s not going to spoil match tactics, go the fuck away,” replies Jimin while Jungkook tries to swallow his food.
“Are you scared? It’s the semifinal!”
“No,” Jungkook blusters, even though he hasn’t been able to think about anything else for days now. “We’re gonna smash it.”
Jimin watches him with a little smile, and Jungkook’s heart flutters- still not desensitised.
When the younger boy’s finished eating, Jimin steers him away from the table and crowd around it. “The boy needs to get on the field now! See you in the stands! Bye!”
Jungkook’s being hustled out of the dining hall fast, and then he and Jimin are making their way down to the quidditch grounds.
“Good luck for the game, bun.” Jungkook's heart trips over itself. He’s so easy.
“You only want us to win because we’ll be easier to beat in the finals.”
Jimin says nothing, rolling his eyes. Jungkook elbows him. “Don’t you?”
“You think you’re so smart, don’t you gukkie?” The question is cooed, sickly sweet. They’ve reached the locker rooms and Jimin’s about to turn back.
“Look out for me in the stands. I’ll be cheering.” Jimin blows a tiny kiss. Jungkook can only watch him go, disoriented and a little flustered.
The memories threaten to drown him and he digs his fingernails his palms to stay grounded. He can’t go down the rabbit hole, not now, when he needs all his focus on one task. Sending Park Hyun Seok to Azkaban. And possibly Park Jimin, too. Although that last part… Jungkook wishes he could dissociate and truly, truly aim to convict Jimin. Maybe he is too biased for this case- but even so, there’s no one else to take it on. No one else would risk their lives and reputations like this. He’s not sure what that says about his sanity, but hey.
In for a penny, in for a pound.
“I trust you can apparate to the estate?” Jimin’s voice is neutral, overly formal and his eyes are wood. Jungkook can’t see through.
“Yes but-” Jimin’s gone before the word’s even out.
Jungkook exhales, all the worry and uncertainty surrounding the whole investigation finally catching up to him.
He’d been to the estate only once before.
On that night when everything had ended.
Jungkook's not sure what that memory will do to him when he reaches the estate but he can't dwell on that- not now.
He lets the vortex take him, sucked into the familiar black tunnel before he’s deposited onto the grounds just outside what is, for all intents and purposes, Jimin’s castle.
It’s huge and built almost entirely of stone and makes Jungkook shiver- both because of his past experience within the imposing walls and because of the thought that none of his tech- phone, laptop, playstation- would work here.
Jimin’s already making his way through the double doors, small frame disappearing around the corner. Jungkook lengthens his strides to keep up- he doesn’t trust the older boy much but in this estate, Jimin’s the only one he can rely on not to kill him.
There are motherfucking sconces along the hallways and it’s only afternoon but the castle is so, so dark.
The smell of burning torches and damp hallways takes Jungkook back in time and all of a sudden he feels incredibly vulnerable, chest constricting.
It takes him a second or two to clear his head before jogging after the sound of rapidly receding footsteps.
“Excuse me? Park Jimin!” Calling him formally leaves a sour taste in his mouth but Jungkook’s got to dissociate his feelings from his job somehow.
The other boy pauses, turning back with an impatient look on his face.
“You’re to give me a tour of the facilities. Today.”
Jimin looks to the ceiling and starts walking towards Jungkook. His face is still blank and Jungkook wants to shake some feeling into him.
He doesn't know what he was expecting- more cooperation? More emotion? Something- anything to acknowledge their past?
Whatever he'd been expecting, Jimin wasn't delivering.
The older boy’s voice drops as he gets closer.
“Listen Jungkook, the meeting was nice. You did well convincing the wizengamot you’d be even a little bit useful. But here’s the thing- you have a price on your head and no friends in this house. The longer you stay, the lower your chances of making it through the night. We can give you money.” Jimin’s finally animated, speaking with anger now, a fire in his eyes.
Jungkook feels insulted, cheap.
“I don’t want money . I want your dad to rot in azkaban for what he did and what he continues too. And you too, ideally. For helping him. You could make friends with the dementors, actually. Father- son bonding time.”
Jimin looks away, clenching his jaw and when he speaks up again, his voice is brittle.
“You’re stupid. The most we’ll get is a slap on the wrist and you know it.”
“I know what goes down in this estate.” Jungkook spits back. “It’s disgusting, and disgusting people live here.” The attack is personal and scathing.
All professionalism is thrown out the window but Jungkook didn’t expect himself to maintain composure for long anyway.
“You’ll die,” Jimin hisses and they’re so close now that his perfect illusion is broken. Jungkook can see his dark circles, can see Jimin’s lips, red and raw from biting.
“I did almost die in this house once, five years ago,” he whispers, watching carefully as Jimin’s mask of indifference shatters. “I think I can handle more. I’m bigger and stronger now, see?”
Jimin holds his gaze for two seconds before it tracks south to move down Jungkook’s body.
“That means nothing to me,” Jimin bites out after taking in his fill.
Jungkook steps back. He knows he’s won.
“Let’s start the tour.”
Two hours later, they’re halfway through and Jungkook’s doing well. He has the estate mapped out and his notebook’s filled with areas to explore. They’ve apparated to a facility and there are hundreds of boxes before him filled with brooms.
The Celox 92. Jimin’s old broom.
Jungkook gets closer, more interested in the huge cauldron at the centre of the room. It smells terrible and its contents are a murky brown. He lifts some into the air with his wand and it’s as expected: Foloi gum.
Jungkook turns back to where Jimin is leaning on the doorway, hair mussed and tie half undone.
“This is Foloi gum”
Jimin says nothing.
“Elves make your brooms, don’t they”
Jimin nods once.
“Breathing in Foloi gum day in day out reduces their lifespans to about two years after they’ve first inhaled it. It’s poison for them. Their deaths aren’t clean either. They cough up blood for days before their bodies finally give up. That’s why it’s illegal.”
Jimin won’t say anything and Jungkook is frustrated again. He wants a response, he wants Jimin to know he's wrong.
“Did you know that, Jimin?” His voice is measured, doesn’t betray any underlying anger.
Jimin looks like a marble statue in this dim light. He finally meets Jungkook’s gaze head on, pursing his lips.
“Yeah, Jungkook. Yeah. I did.” His voice is clear, bored, and there’s no remorse, no sign of regret at all.
Park Jimin is a scumbag. For some reason, Jungkook had held out hope after all this time, thought there could’ve been some explanation for the way Jimin acted that night and afterwards. That Jimin could give him some kind of excuse.
He needs to stop. Jungkook feels a sinking in his stomach- not for Jimin, god knows he doesn’t deserve it- but for the elves.
He takes a few more notes, snaps a couple of photographs and nods stiffly at Jimin.
God knows what else the family has going on.
It only takes four days for the castle to suck the life out of him. He’s been assigned a guard detail to replace Jimin.
Jimin had muttered something vague about a waste of time, said it’d be more productive like this. He’d run, leaving the guard to make his life hell- Jungkook found himself the recipient of far too many hexes with shoelaces tangling, papers cutting into his skin, water in his goblet disappearing as soon as he’s poured it.
He knows that they report to Jimin: he catches them all laughing in the offices one day, the group straightening up and attempting to control their guffaws when he walks through the door. That’s how he knows that he’s been the butt of almost as many jokes as hexes.
That night, he rationalises this with the fact that he found reports of the company dumping toxic waste on centaur territory. It’s a serious offence.
So why doesn’t he feel like it’s worth it anymore?
A week passes and each day Jungkook wakes up disoriented and a little sadder. He’s greeted with the same drab sight every morning; plain gray walls, a lone window in the far corner, luggage bag beside his bed.
He hasn't bothered to unpack.
Jungkook’s notepad’s been growing fatter with all of the evidence he’s accumulated but it’s not enough. Hyun Seok has something on the advisor to the minister- he’s not sure what it is, but he knows that all the evidence he’s gathered so far will result in, at best, a heavy fine. No trip to azkaban like the fucker deserves.
He doesn’t have much time left; at the beginning, Jungkook was treated like a joke. Which was okay. He could handle it. Then sly comments turned into dirty looks, threats whenever he was alone with someone. He hardly saw Jimin anymore- but even when he did, the boy was no help at all.
In fact, Jungkook had been cornered the other day by three especially nasty pieces of work. They'd crowded him, scattered his papers, laughed at his work. Upended his water bottle over him and started to tear muggle clothes apart when Jimin walked in.
Jimin had paused, taken in the damage with that shuttered gaze that never seemed to leave his face anymore.
In that moment when Jimin's fists had clenched, when his eyes narrowed with anger, Jungkook allowed himself to hope.
But then Jimin had stepped back, said nothing- just snorted. He’d walked away, leaving Jungkook to make it out of the mess himself. The other three had sniggered, emboldened, before lifting their wands again leaving Jungkook no choice but to fight.
Jungkook hadn’t been hurt, just supremely humiliated as he’d ran, clutching his wet papers, finally apparating to his own room.
He’d wanted to give up so bad at that moment, leave the castle and all the ugliness inside- but the thought that all the effort he’d put in so far would go to waste didn't sit right. Jungkook would be lying if he claimed he wasn’t in this for revenge. But there's more to why he's pushing this case through the ministry so doggedly.
The employees in this estate, just like the family they work under, are cruel and sick on another level. And there are other families, other bloodlines where this happens. This case will be an example, the first of many: it’ll feel that much better, Jungkook convinces himself, when he finally shuts this place down.
Today, though, he’s managed to arrange a meeting with Hyun Seok himself and Jungkook’s determined to make progress. If not a direct admission from the man himself, Jungkook will find something he can latch onto and use for permission to investigate further.
It’s going to be a big day- Jungkook prepares himself as he gets ready.
He can’t let the trauma of their first meeting affect him, can’t let what happened That Night cloud his head and affect his judgement. He skips past the dining hall, doesn’t want breakfast- he wouldn’t be able to keep it down anyway- but more than that, he doesn’t want to run into Jimin before the meeting.
Try as he may, he just can’t dissociate memories of the old Jimin, the one he knew, with the Jimin standing before him today. His current self genuinely feels nothing but contempt and anger towards the boy and everything he stands for- regrettably, Jungkook’s brain loves going on trips down memory lane. A part of him is so frustratingly hung up and just can’t let go of the way Jimin used to look when he genuinely, properly smiled, exposing that crooked tooth- or the sound of the shriek he’d let out whenever Jungkook teased him in any way, high pitched and indignant.
He’s standing outside the huge double doors. They’re red and black and pretentious and like everything else in this goddamn castle, made of stone. Jungkook shivers as he knocks, once, twice.
The doors open wide- no footman, only a tiny elf with bowed head beckoning him forward.
Park Hyun Seok’s office is huge, and utterly chilling. There are swords hanging on the wall and numerous pieces of art- which seems fine- until Jungkook looks closely to identify common themes through all of them. Death, kneeling. The temperature seems markedly lower in the room and there are no personal artefacts, save one framed photograph of Hyun Seok and Jimin.
Hyun Seok looks somewhat happy, as close Jungkook thinks a man like that can come to happiness. There’s a smug expression on his face, arm wound tight around a young Jimin- younger than he’d been when Jungkook first met him. Jimin was smiling but it was fake. His crooked tooth wasn’t showing, and his eyes weren’t in crescent moon shape like Jungkook knew they’d be if Jimin was trying at all. In fact, Jimin’s expression looks awfully similar to the one he sports now: shuttered and slightly contemptuous.
On the surface, the photograph is the most benign object in the room, but there’s something mesmerising about it. Out of everything in the room, it creeps Jungkook out the most.
“Jeon Jungkook,” The voice is oddly chipper, jarringly so- just like he remembers. Chills run down his spine.
Jimin’s dad stands in the center of the room behind his desk, arms out and welcoming. The man is short and bald and there’s an aura around him that’s so attractive but unnerving at the same time- it whispers at him to come closer, to look deeper into Hyun Seok’s eyes, that there’s more that awaits Jungkook.
Hyun Seok’s eyes are what sets him furthest apart from Jimin. They’re sharp, oh so cold and spark with malevolence.
Jungkook’s instincts are telling him to run.
“I’ve been looking forward to this meeting all week,” He says, like he didn’t order Jungkook’s food to be poisoned just yesterday. “How can I help you?”
Jungkook pauses, looking down at his notebook to steady himself. He has to be like stone.
“I just needed to ask a few questions about how much you pay the witches and wizards in your production plants.”
“Oh, Jungkook, my boy…” There’s a grotesque grin on Hyun Seok’s face and he sighs, long and loud. His knuckles drum an off- beat melody on his desk.
“We can discuss their pay... or yours . I can help you,”
"No, I-" Jungkook starts, but the man steamrolls right over him.
“What could a million galleons get you… a new house to to move into? What is it that muggles are so into these days… a car? A house? Or perhaps a chance for your parents to stop working and relax for the rest of their lives. They’ve earned it, have they not?” Hyun Seok is almost whispering now.
The images have started to take root in his mind. Jungkook blinks.
“No?” Hyun Seok looks almost affronted. “You don’t think your parents deserve to retire?”
“I mean no, I don’t want your money, stop. I’ll never take your dirty money- ” Jungkook grits his teeth, tries digging his nails into his palm to clear his head. “I want answers. Your financial reports have holes, too many holes. How much do you pay the workers in your production plants and how do you recruit them?”
Hyun Seok’s voice takes on a hysterical tone.
“The stick and the carrot and the carrot and the stick and the donkey!” He doubles over in laughter and Jungkook grips his wand tighter.
“You don’t want money? What about… safety? You have a lot of friends, do you not?”
Jungkook’s attacked with visions of Hoseok flying, Hoseok being attacked, falling and smacking his head on the ground below. Blood pooling, sticky and thick, a puddle underneath his head.
Visions of Jin, dismissed from his position as junior assistant. Jin crying on the way home, catching a curse from behind- Jin falling forwards, dead on a street in the middle of nowhere.
Then comes Jimin, Jimin walking up to his father, Hyun Seok snapping Jimin’s neck. Jimin’s face stuck, forever, in that awful blank expression-
“Enough!” Jungkook screams, hands clasped over his ears. “Threaten me however you will, I need my answers! By the power of the ministry I demand you answer my question!”
The buzzing in his ears fades until only Hyun Seok’s cackling remains.
“Jungkook, Jungkook... you are just so funny. Carrying a torch for my son? After all he did to you? Still?”
Jungkook says nothing, not trusting his own voice.
“If you must know, we don’t pay them. The workers. And we don’t recruit them. They come to us, begging for work, begging to take them away from wherever they’ve come. But it doesn’t matter,” Hyun Seok’s voice takes on a grating quality, harsh as he continues, “It doesn’t matter because if other people’s safety doesn’t matter to you- which, by the way, is an excellent quality to have if you’re looking for employment here- maybe it’s your own safety that matters most.”
Hyun Seok remains motionless, a pleasant look on his face while Jungkook starts to find it hard to breathe.
Jungkook clutches his throat, panicked, trying to take slower and longer breaths, but as the seconds tick by his windpipe constricts further and further until his chest hurts.
“If I… die…” Jungkook chokes out, “The ministry will know… they’ll know. I sent letters.”
“Don’t lie to me, boy!” There’s a flash of anger on Hyun Seok’s face and Jungkook’s struck with excruciating pain until the man’s features smooth out.
“I know you sent no letters. Remember the last time we met, Jungkook?” Hyun Seok’s voice is light, conversational and Jungkook’s getting whiplash. He can’t let those memories overtake him right now, he can’t- they’ll render him helpless and as soon a that happens, Jungkook is gone.
“It doesn’t matter- whether I sent specific letters… I’ve been updating the ministry on my schedule and they know- they- they know I’m meeting with you today. I can’t die…”
There’s silence and Jungkook’s vision is long lost. Suddenly, he crumples to the ground. Air’s never felt so sweet, so grounding, relief to his dizzy mind. When he can lift his head again, he looks up tentatively, scared of Hyun Seok’s next move- but Jimin’s dad is nowhere to be seen.
He knows he can't wait, can't stay a moment longer: Jungkook crawls out of the room in disbelief- for a minute he'd really thought he wouldn't make it.
He leans on the wall outside, still not able to see clearly, knees still unable to provide full support but there’s a soft hand on his waist and another on his arm and someone’s leading him away.
He's not confused, not wary- he doesn’t have to look to know that it’s Jimin- but he does anyway. He smells like vanilla and musk and looks angelic in the low light.
Jungkook swears there’s relief in the older boy's eyes but he's tired, so tired of hoping.
They’re so, so close.
“What happened.” Jimin’s voice is shaky, undone.
“Your dad happened.” Jungkook doesn’t dwell on it. He's over Jimin and this entire operation.
“I’m visiting a plant tomorrow and then getting the fuck out. Don’t worry,” he sneers, “I’ll be gone from your life real soon.”
Jimin's grip on Jungkook tightens.
“Okay. I’m coming with you tomorrow.”
Jungkook shakes his head, adamant.
“No. You’ve done enough here, blocking me at every step. I know you set your little cronies on me to make my life that much harder, too.”
Jimin doesn’t deny it and it’s just another stab to Jungkook’s heart.
“I don’t want any complications tomorrow. I don’t want you there.”
Jimin’s jaw clenches. “Someone needs to come with you, you fucking idiot, to make sure you don’t get yourself killed. The price on your head’s no joke-”
“Why the fuck would you care? If I live or die? You definitely didn’t care that night.” It comes out just as venomous as Jungkook had intended, the statement a thousand times more impactful because of its truth. Jimin had turned on him when it had come down to the line, that night when shit hit the fan. Jimin hadn’t given a flying fuck.
“You’re right,” Jimin whispers after a second, drawing even closer.
“It doesn’t make a difference to me whether you live or die. But any death in this house,” Jimin leans further in, lips almost moving against Jungkook’s skin, “Is a bitch to clean up. I’m saving myself the trouble.”
Jimin steps away and Jungkook hates that he misses the stability his touch gave him.
“If you want to inspect tomorrow, we have to leave tonight. I don’t want to waste any time.” His poker face is back but it doesn’t affect Jungkook that much- not after he’s seen past it to what lay beneath.
“Be ready in two hours. Dress warm. We’ll be using the floo network.”
Jungkook’s still angry, at Jimin but mostly his dad and the whole situation he’s found himself stuck in. He hasn’t spoken to a friend in over a week, none of his gadgets work because of the magical interference- all he’s been doing is witnessing progressively more horrific things and collecting evidence. Jungkook knows one thing for sure- he can’t spend another night at the estate. It’s just too dangerous.
He's shaken, too: a lot more than he lets on. He'd bluffed back in the office, refusing to be bullied by Hyun Seok and his threats- and he hoped to God that the man had been bluffing too. It seems selfish and greedy but to Jungkook, no amount of revenge or justice or righteousness was worth the lives of his friends. He refuses to think about the last vision Hyun Seok had thrown at him and what that meant.
Jungkook’s dressed in his auror best: hoodie, sweatpants and a red beanie. Comfort over everything. He’s itching to go but Jimin, mysterious as ever, hasn’t given him a location. Jungkook’s assuming someone will come by to collect him, and settles down to tie his laces.
There’s a flurry of black material, and then Jimin’s inside his room.
The other boy peels his robe off, revealing almost identical plain clothing underneath. He’s almost drowning in the fabric of his hoodie, sleeves brushing fingertips- Jungkook inhales slowly and forces himself to look away.
“We’ll be staying the night at the plant manager’s house,” Jimin says softly from behind him, motions slow as if he knows Jungkook’s about to break.
“And in the morning he’ll take us to see the workers.”
Jungkook doesn’t reply, extending his hand palm up for Jimin to pour floo powder into.
“Methusa Fields. Follow me.”
Jungkook breaks his silence to repeat the words, emerald flames licking at his body as they zoom away from the castle.
They stumble out safely, bags clutched in hands and all articles of clothing intact.
Their destination is a tiny sitting room with off- white carpet and peeling paint. The place looks like it was real cute about fifty years ago, paintings mounted square with one another, crocheted doilies on the table yellow with age.
Footsteps sounds from the hallway, and a wiry older woman steps into the light.
“Master Jimin? And a guest!” Her voice is thick with sleep and she’s dressed in just a robe.
“Miss Bina!” Jimin’s voice is strained and they embrace, Jimin’s arms hovering, unsure.
“It’s been so long, master, let me get you some tea- and who, may I ask, have you brought with you today?”
“He’s… from the Ministry. Wants to have a look at the plant tomorrow. Will you be able to show us around?”
Miss Bina stares at Jungkook, gaze turning markedly colder. He refuses to fidget.
“Certainly. Let’s get your bags upstairs now and master, you must join me for tea, it’s been so long…” The lady’s muttering is drowned out by the clanging of pots and the opening of a tap as she disappears into the kitchen.
It’s been a long day. He looks over at Jimin who’s sunk into a chair looking just as tired as Jungkook feels, playing idly with a corner of the tablecloth.
Jungkook's emotionally exhaused, something inside him rebelling at the thought of small talk.
“I don’t want to stay for tea,” Jungkook whispers.
Jimin turns slowly to look at him and there’s a defeated look in his eyes that Jungkook relates to on some deep level. His hair looks almost indigo in the faded light.
Jimin nods dismissal and Jungkook can’t get out of there fast enough.
He’s looking for his luggage when Jungkook realises there’s only one room. One room with a double bed on which both boys’ luggage lay stacked.
He curses. There’s only one option, he thinks, taking in the moth bitten couch. Jungkook reaches out to feel it and it’s quite spongy- a little more comfortable, actually, than the pallet bed they’d given him back at the manor.
“Reparo,” Jungkook mutters, watching the holes stitch themselves back up.
“Scourgify.” This spell is tentative. Water bursts from his wand, soaking the couch. The excess drips off the corner, running brown with grime, and then finally clear.
“Engorgio,” He finishes, and the couch doubles in size. Jungkook grins, using a hot air charm to dry the floor and his clean new bed.
A quick change later he lies moderately comfortable, slipping between dreams, lulled in and out of consciousness by the muffled voices carrying through the walls.
FIVE YEARS AGO
Jimin and Jungkook sit studying underneath the huge willow tree on campus, filtered sunlight creating dappled shadows across Jimin’s face. He’d gotten rid of his orange hair when he went back home last summer, claimed he wanted to go natural again.
It's black now, and it brings something out in Jimin he’s never seen before. Jimin's always been loud and bright but something about his new look gives him a different level of self- assuredness. It's hot, and Jungkook isn't the only one that thinks so.
“Tris waved at you,” He murmurs.
Jimin looks up, throws a quick smile and wave back in her direction before continuing on with his work. “So?”
“What if she asks you to the ball too?”
Jimin sighs, biting his lip. “I don’t know what I’ll say.”
Jungkook’s surprised. Tris is pretty. She’s nice, sweet, dances well and Jungkook knows for a fact that the two get along like a house on fire. They’d left him out of their plans more than once, a fact Jungkook was a little (a lot) bitter about. “Why?”
Jimin hums. “I’m kind of- I think- I think I’d rather go with a guy. You already know that,” He admonishes, whacking Jungkook with a notebook.
There’s a lull filled only by the chirping of birds and distant chatter of other students. Jungkook uses it to think, consolidating his feelings.
“I think… to this ball. I wanna take a guy, too.”
Jimin shuts his book and rests his chin in his hands. Four years into their friendship, Jungkook still isn’t immune to Jimin’s gaze, especially when it’s this focussed.
“Is this a spur of the moment decision, or…”
Jungkook chews on the question, setting his books down too.
“I think I’ve known for a while now.”
“Yeah?” Jimin’s eyes are dark, hopeful, and they’re daring him.
Jungkook rubs the back of his neck, watches as Jimin’s eyes drop to follow the motion.
“I was, uhh, thinking, whydon’twegototheballtogether- I mean-”
“What?” Asks Jimin, eyes dancing. “Could you repeat that, please?”
Jungkook groans. “Do you maybe wanna come to the Yule Ball with me? We can dance heaps and take photographs and it’ll be lots of fun, I’ll promise not to ditch-”
Jimin’s dissolved into giggles and Jungkook likes that tinkling laugh so much he’s done for.
“Bun- we’ll do all those things- and do you think at the end of the night, could you... could you maybe give me the kiss you’ve been promising since third year?”
Jungkook's stomach swoops and his face is burning as he buries it in his books, letting out a muffled, “Maybe.”
Jungkook’s intoxicated and he doesn’t know how- it’s not alcohol because he’s barely sixteen and no, alcohol is certainly not okay for his liver, he’s still growing for god’s sake! Jimin’s beside him dancing and he’s fucking gorgeous as usual- everyone’s dancing, everyone’s having a fucking good time, jolly- and he think’s Jimin’s other older friends have slipped something into the punch. He saw that sketchy guy running around with a flask, it's probably euphoria elixir, he knows-
There’s a circle forming and Jimin’s right at the centre, centre stage as usual, Jimin’s born to be adored, Jungkook has no chance- Jimin’s pulling Jungkook forward by his bowtie and they’re so close and they’re dancing, they’re flying. He wants to impress Jimin. He can do anything!
So Jungkook starts dancing and he may not have the technical knowledge Jimin does but boy, does he have passion . And he knows how to entertain . He doesn’t know if he does well or if he looks good but Jimin has collapsed into his shoulder, giggling, and Jungkook counts that as a win.
A while later, the music slows right down. The haze from before’s mostly cleared. Someone latches onto his arm, pulling him back onto the dance floor- it’s Jimin.
Who else could it be, who else would it be.
Jungkook put his arms around Jimin’s waist and Jimin’s hands come up around his neck to play with his hair. It feels so, so nice. He wants to stay here forever.
“Your eyes are pretty.”
Jimin ducks his head and his gaze turns soft.
“Everything about you is pretty.”
“Oh,” he replies, a little dumbly. He licks his lips, and Jimin’s eyes follow the movement.
And now he’s staring at Jimin’s lips, he’s been sneaking glances at them for a while now. How could he not? They’re perfect and -
They’re on his.
God, this is the most magical thing Jungkook’s experienced in his five years here. He’s kissing back and there's a tingling in his stomach that's reached up all the way to his heart, the hums coming from Jimin’s throat so new, so exciting.
However long later, the music fades out and they break apart. Jungkook’s unable to take his eyes off Jimin’s glossy lower lip, not even when Jimin takes his hand, dragging them both outside.
The cold air outside magnifies his emotions tenfold. Jimin’s on the verge of asking something, mouth opening and closing adorably.
“Do you want to-”
The night air is charged with promise.
The shout comes from above and they break apart, Jungkook turning to see a small, black haired figure running down the stairs. That voice- Jungkook's heard it before, scratchy and low.
It's Min Yoongi.
Jungkook's rubs his eyes- did the older boys slip billywig venom into the punch along with Euphoria Elixir? But even if they did, why would he be hallucinating Min Yoongi, of all people?
He knows he's not imagining things when Jimin stiffens in front of him, fear splayed across his face. Jungkook steps in front of him instinctively, protectively, but Jimin leans around, addressing Yoongi when he draws near.
“Tonight?” It’s barely a whisper.
Yoongi nods and up close, Jungkook can see that something's obviously very, very wrong. His eyes are wild, bloodshot and tufts of hair stick out in every direction.
The senior nods again to Jungkook, taking in how close the boys are standing.
“Um. Hi Jungkook. Sorry to interrupt- it’s just, Jimin... you asked to be there.”
“Nah, yeah Yoongi- you- this is what I want." Jimin's stepping away, fingers twitching.
“We can’t waste time,” Yoongi says and it’s strained. “They’ve already begun. We need to floo to the Hog’s head and we can apparate from there.”
“Okay,” Jimin’s voice is thin, hollow. “Okay. Okay. I’m ready.”
Jungkook’s confused. He grabs Jimin’s hand. “Where are you going?”
“Remember what I told you about my dad?”
Jungkook nods, swallowing.
“Tonight me and Yoongi and some others are going to do something about it-”
“I’m coming with you.” The earlier haze is completely gone and Jungkook’s more than one hundred percent sure about this.
“You can’t, Jungkook. This isn’t your fight.”
“I want to help, Jimin.” Jungkook draws closer, bravery surprising even himself. “This is important to me, too. And I don’t feel okay with you just going by yourself.”
Jimin doesn’t meet his gaze. “Bun, please. It’s too dangerous, please listen to me on this-”
“It’ll be less dangerous if I come along to help.”
Yoongi’s hopping from foot to foot. “We can’t stay, Jimin. Jungkook can come if he wants-”
“ Yes, Jimin, I’m coming. Yoongi, lets go.”
Jungkook shifts on the sofa, breathing erratic. He hates this memory, he hates it. It’s been suppressed for so long he thinks he’s lost part of it forever. Whatever he can recall comes in fuzzy blocks. Not enough to comprehensively understand what went down that night, but enough to incapacitate him, knock the breath clear out of his lungs every time it’s triggered.
FIVE YEARS AGO
“Jungkook, stay close to me, please- we’re not going into main quarters, we’re burning the East wing and getting the fuck out. No separating, okay?”
“Okay,” Jungkook replies, confident still.
He hold Jimin’s hand as they apparate from place to place, covering each section before they move on.
Yoongi pulls putty out of a bag, smearing its entire contents over the floor.
“Be careful. Step back,” He calls.
Yoongi leans over it close to the ground, whispering a spell. He blows once, gently and suddenly, the whole chamber is ablaze with blue flame.
Yoongi grins, sharp and dangerous in the azure light from the fire. Jungkook steps back, giving the two a moment- and he keeps stepping back.
He’s not sure why his feet feel compelled to move away, quickly, soundlessly but then he feels something strike him at the back of his skull and he falls, vision fading to black.
He regains consciousness in a dimly lit room. The only similarity between this room and the one he’d last seen Jimin in are the cold stone walls. There are chains attached to his hands and feet.
Jungkook’s heart stops in his throat, whole body seizing before he realises the spell wasn’t directed at him.
Beside him, there’s an entire row of witches and wizards shackled to the ground. Jimin’s dad and his cronies stand tall before them all while he rants- his voice is scratchy and nightmarishly cheerful- but Jungkook’s head is ringing and he can’t pick up on any of the words.
“And what, young man,” Jimin’s dad’s attention turns to him; Jungkook’s breath is coming out in short pants. “Is your role in all of this?”
Jungkook doesn’t reply, still catching his breath.
Jungkook screams. Agony, fire under his skin in the worst way.
“Hogwarts boy, why are you here?”
He can’t think.
“Jimin…” Jungkook’s plea is pitiful. Laughs resound around the room. He feels his heartbeat, louder than a drum, tastes the thump- thump on the back of his tongue.
It’s not Jimin’s dad this time, It’s someone else, someone more enthusiastic and Jungkook thinks his bones are going to pop out from his sockets. Another comes too close for comfort, using the tip of his wand to make a cut just under his left cheekbone, slanting downwards. Jungkook can feel hot drops of blood dripping down his jaw.
The door screeches open and light footsteps sound.
“Jimin, son…” Jungkook jerks his head up, rattling at his chains.
“Is this boy your friend?”
Jimin's right in front of him but Jungkook's vision is blurry. He's dizzy and Jimin's gaze feels alien as it scans his body.
“He thought he was. I guess.”
Jungkook feels entirely detached. He can’t process the situation and he’s floating, the thread tethering him to reality finally cut. He wants to scream, yell at Jimin to quit playing, to get them both out but he can barely breathe right now, let alone form coherent words.
Jimin’s dad chuckles. “You took care of the other boy?”
Jimin laughs. “Yoongi? He’ll not be breathing for much longer.”
Jungkook's eyes widen. Holy fuck, Yoongi.
He gets closer, stopping just beside Jungkook.
“Help us out, son. It’s been a long time since you had a turn.”
Jimin groans. "Today was too much, I'm too tired to."
"Help us out, son." Jimin's dad's voice is insistent, uncompromising.
Jimin lifts his wand. Steady, bored.
Jungkook loses consciousness once more, unthinking, unfeeling.
Jungkook’s face is wet with tears and sobs wrack his body. The betrayal doesn’t cut so deep anymore, not after five years but there’s still so much trauma holed up in that place in his mind.
He’d had the chance to leave. He'd made it out and had the opportunity to live his best life somewhere else.
But this time, he chose to come back to the Park Estate. Jungkook chose to come back and now, in the thick of the operation, Jungkook’s not sure why.
Revenge? Justice? The elves? All these motivations fall just a bit short. There’s something else he’s not considering.
Maybe Jungkook really is a masochist.
The door creaks open and Jungkook hastily wipes his face.
Jimin walks in, clearly stumbling- the boy’s trying to remove his jacket but he doesn’t seem to have the coordination.
Jungkook closes his eyes. A manipulator. It’s been a lifetime since he heard that name.
“Jungkookie…” Jimin get’s closer and there’s no point pretending to be asleep anymore. Jungkook sits up.
“You’re awake!” Jimin giggles and now he’s right in front of Jungkook.
“She… she fed me wine.”
Jungkook doesn’t know how to respond. This whole time, Jimin’s maintained a wall between them blocking off any and all emotion except for anger.
“I see that.”
He's a liar, a two- faced liar.
Jimin sinks down and suddenly, Jungkook has a lap overwhelmingly full of the older boy. Jimin’s stroking his neck, thumbs brushing his cheeks where they pick up on wetness. Jungkook's body is melting and he hates it.
“Are you sad? I hurt you again, didn’t I?”
The only light in the room comes the moon, high up above and everything is so still.
It feels like he can do anything, say anything without any repercussions.
“Yeah, I am. You did.” Jungkook tilts his chin up, staring straight at Jimin. It’s satisfying, a little bit, how Jimin’s eyes also pool with tears.
Jimin’s head dips down and he presses a kiss, soft, gentle, on Jungkook’s jaw. His hair is soft against Jungkook's neck and hot flushes run through Jungkook’s body. He’s so weak , so easy , Jimin doesn’t even have to try to rile Jungkook all the way up.
“I’m sorry.” He presses kisses all the way up Jungkook’s jaw, slow.
“I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. You didn’t... deserve any of that. What happened to you. Because of me.”
Jungkook feels Jimin’s hot tears from where they’ve transferred to Jungkook’s neck and his head’s in a tailspin. It’s so hard to think about what this means, to process it when Jimin’s moving, warm and overwhelmingly right there on his lap.
"You mean what you did to me? If I didn't deserve it... why'd you do it?"
Jimin lifts his face and all the walls are down now- his eyes are a maelstrom of pain, helplessness, regret. His hands have come up, shaky, carding through Jungkook’s hair, brushing it back once, twice, three times.
Jungkook feels himself falling and he needs to reign it in. The blowback from this would be too painful, too much-
“This isn’t real. None of your feelings are real.”
Jimin’s shoulders droop. He leans down again excruciatingly slowly, pressing a kiss to the scar underneath Jungkook’s left cheekbone.
“This is the realest thing I’ve done in five years.”
Jungkook sucks in a breath.
“But you-” Jimin’s voice breaks. “You hate me,”
Jungkook’s fingers hook into Jimin’s belt loops of their own accord, thumbs brushing the soft skin underneath his hoodie. Jimin’s hips twitch against his. His next words admit a truth he hadn't even been able to face himself.
“I don’t hate you. I…”
“You what, bun?” Jimin’s voice is high and breathy.
He needs to snap out of it.
“I think this is a bad idea.”
It’s easy, lifting Jimin and depositing him onto the bed.
He paints a pretty picture, silver hair shining in the moonlight, waiting on the bed with dark eyes. Jungkook’s tempted, so, so close to caving in.
Why is it, he wonders, that he wants so bad what gives him the most pain?
“At least come sleep on the bed, Jungkook. The couch is too uncomfortable. I won’t- I won’t try anything if you don’t want me to, I promise-”
Jungkook looks to the ceiling for support. He’s pretty sure he’s half hard.
Jimin’s eyes flash with hurt, and the boy slowly lies down, pulling the covers over him.
Jungkook settles down on the couch. Lies awake listening to the sound of Jimin fidgeting, barely two metres away.
Sleep doesn’t come easy that night.
They haven’t met each other's’ eyes all morning, not while they had breakfast, not while waiting for the tractor to pick them up, not even now when they’re standing right outside the plant.
“Why can’t we just apparate,” Jungkook had asked on the tractor ride.
“Oh,” Miss Bina had replied, “There’s a spell against apparition on these fields.”
“Why?” Jungkook had probed.
No one had answered.
The plant itself is unimpressive, large but one- storied. It was painted white, stuck out like a sore thumb amongst the fields. Not that anything grew on the fields anyway: they look barren, too dry.
Miss Bina undoes about three locks before they reach the final double doors. Jungkook can hear a faint cacophony, the sound of the thousands of workers in the factory completing their daily tasks. There’s nothing high tech about the plant- it’s all a little shabby, worn down.
The doors swing open and it’s sensory overload.
Desk after desk after desk, the workers look like they're about to sit an examination. Each employee has two boxes. They take magical artefacts from the first box- clocks, photo frames, lighters- anything really, enchant it with their wands, then place it into the second box when they’re done. All of them at the same time. Like clockwork.
One of the workers drops a clock on the floor. She jumps up and snatches the clock back, panicked to no end. Her fingers shake as she works in double time, relaxing only when she catches up to the workers around her.
Jungkook moves closer to the girl.
“How long have you been working for?” He speaks softly, scared of spooking her. She doesn’t even look up.
“You can take a break!” Yells Miss Bani and it’s simultaneous, the sigh that goes up across the room. In the plant, Miss Bani is a completely different person. The workers all look at her with fear and her small eyes are perpetually squinted, disapproving and picky.
The girl is too thin, too tired.
“A day and a half, I think, sir.” Her voice is raw, like she hasn’t used it for a while.
He needs more answers, but he’s scared of what they’ll tell him.
“How’d you hear about this job?”
The girl’s silent for a while. “I… I didn’t. I had to pay a debt and my contractor put me in a ship and brought me here.”
Jungkook gulps. “When’s the last time you went outside?”
The girl frowns, looking at him like the question’s stupid. “Weeks, maybe. We’re not allowed to go outside often.”
Jungkook clenches his jaw, stalking back to where Jimin stands.
“Where the fuck are we right now,” He spits.
Jimin flinches. “Australia.”
Jungkook’s arms are on his head. He goes back, interviews more workers but their stories are the same. They were picked off the streets, promised fair employment. Or their contractors bought and sold their debt, leading them here in the end.
The whispers follow him wherever he goes.
“I was tricked, and now the magic has me trapped.”
“I’d die if the magic let me.”
However they’d arrived, their situations now were identical. They couldn’t leave. No apparition allowed, this field was in the middle of the outback- there's no way anyone would be able to make it out alive.
Magical slavery. To mass produce the goods too complex for elves.
Jungkook’s sure he’d find more if he walked down to the living quarters and took a peek at the conditions the workers were kept in but the evidence he has is more than enough. It smells bad enough where they are and he doesn’t want to throw up today, not if he can help it.
Jimin’s standing by the corner, listening with that damn blank gaze again. All the walls they’d torn down last night were back up, stronger than ever.
Miss Bani’s standing beside him. He addresses her when he speaks.
“I’m done here. Ready to leave.”
To say the ride back to the house was tense is an understatement. Jimin’s trying to meet his eyes but Jungkook’s seething.
Jimin’s been aware of this for at least five years now. He hasn’t lifted a finger to help.
Last night, Jimin had drinks with the plant overseer, the woman responsible for the daily subjugation of people enslaved in the factory.
A wave of self- loathing hits him. Who’s he kidding, he’s no better.
He’d almost fucked the boy last night.
It’s only when they’re back inside their room, packing their bags that Jungkook lets it out.
“No more nights at the estate. This is all I need. I’m collecting my things from my room, and then I’ll see you at the court proceedings.”
Jimin’s blocking Jungkook’s path to his bag.
“Don’t let your emotions get in the way. Think about it! Think, with your head and not your heart!”
Jungkook’s can’t believe his ears.
“You’re disgusting . I hope you know that. Vile. It takes a whole different kind of bastard to live off this kind of money and not give a single fuck about the lives of these people. You've enslaved them, Jimin, they don't deserve this, none of them do. You deserve just as bad of a sentence as your dad, god I hope you rot in azkaban. I hope you take a lifetime to reflect on what you did. Or more specifically, what you didn’t do.”
He’s yelling and he thinks Bina can hear him.
What the fuck, she’s going to jail too.
Jungkook grabs his bag, making it all the way downstairs to the fireplace in a matter of seconds. He hears Jimin scrambling to keep pace behind him.
He wishes the green flames of the network burn hot enough to hurt.
They stumble out of the fireplace in Jungkook’s room and he immediately starts gathering his belongings.
Jimin’s quick on his heels, triple locking the doors, putting up soundproofing enchantments around the walls. Jungkook’s uneasy.
“Jungkook, you can’t go to the ministry with this.”
“What’re you going to do, kill me?” He wouldn’t put it past Jimin. Not anymore.
Jimin runs a hand through his hair. “You still don’t get it. You’ve been running around with blinkers on this whole time, you don’t have enough evidence-”
“I have plenty,” Jungkook sneers. “Plenty to prove you and your family are evil, I don’t need to do this anymore! Stop manipulating me, stop trying to stall. Someone needs to put a stop to this. Now. It’s time to pay.”
“Are you done?” Jimin’s nose is red and he looks broken.
“For now,” Jungkook says, refusing to back down.
“ Listen, them, for once in your life. Listen , and don’t talk.”
Jungkook’s nostrils flare as he reminds himself that Jimin doesn’t care about sentencing elves to death, doesn’t care about enslaving hundreds of wizards and witches for his own gain, doesn’t care about using the Cruciatus curse on his best friend.
“Make it fast.”
Jungkook remains standing and Jimin rolls his eyes.
“What’s an unbreakable vow?”
There’s silence for a long, long time and Jungkook’s mind races with the possibilities.
“What…” Jungkook’s voice is almost a whisper. “What did you do?”
“It’s not what I’ve done,” Jimin starts, “It’s what I can’t tell you. But listen,” he says, getting closer. He’s desperate.
“Listen. What piece of horrific old magic was outlawed after the battle of Hogwarts in 1998? It guarantees a life sentence in azkaban no matter how many ministers you have in your back pocket.”
“And what charges do you have against my father right now?”
“What the fuck- wait- your dad’s using horcrux magic?” Jungkook can’t believe this. This means... this means...
“What’s an unbreakable vow, Jungkook?” Jimin’s voice is insufferably patient and it makes Jungkook throw his head back.
“Answer the question I asked, Jungkook.”
“Illegal use of foloi gum-”
“Illegal trade of unicorn blood and centaur product-”
“The fine for that is pocket change for my dad. Next.”
“Usage of human debt- bondage system and trafficking of magical persons.”
“He’ll serve time in one of those cushy prisons, a couple of years if we’re lucky-”
Jimin sighs, pinching the bridge of his nose.
“There’s no time for your petty bullshit. Just listen. None of what you have on him so far is enough. The price on your head is triple what it was when you first walked through the doors. Father’s leaving for a meeting in about-” Jimin checks his watch, “-Forty minutes. Go to his office. It has what you’re looking for. I’m calling a meeting downstairs so no one should bother you."
It’s a whirlwind of information and Jungkook is confused. He doesn’t know what to think, what to feel.
Jungkook’s looking hard, searching Jimin’s eyes closely for any deception. Because this is a boy so adept at hiding his true feelings and how can Jungkook know that this version of Jimin, the version he’s seeing right now- how can Jungkook be sure that this is the real one?
“How do I know you’re not going to turn around and- and do what you did last time?”
Jimin closes his eyes. “There’s not enough time. But Jungkook… you chose to come back after all these years, this whole investigation is all you… really. Do you really think I’m lying right now?”
Something in Jungkook breathes a sigh of relief at finally being acknowledged.
“What am I even looking for in his office?”
Jimin rises. “Figure it out. You’re the auror, not me.”
“Hey, why…” Jungkook tries to reword his question but it comes out childish either way. Hope's rising dangerously fast and he's looking for anything to hold onto, anything to keep him in check.
“Why are you doing this?”
Jimin laughs, but it’s humourless. “Why the fuck do you think, Jungkookie ? Who do you think’s been collecting evidence on him for years now? Hmm? You saw what happened the last time we tried to rise up. You were there. My friends died.”
Jungkook flinches but Jimin barrels on.
“The people closest to him are the ones that have suffered most. It’s not easy putting the biggest and most influential dark wizard of our time away. Especially if he has blackmail material on half the ministers in the wizengamot. Especially if you made an unbreakable vow at age seventeen because the life of the boy you loved was threatened."
Jungkook is floored, speechless. His mind is blank and his mouth can’t form words, every breath shaky and wet.
Jimin is gone in a snap and a flurry of robes.
FIVE YEARS AGO
Jungkook wakes up groggy. White light filters in through the curtains; it’s almost blinding but he kind of likes it. There’s a warm palm in his, and Jungkook turns his head to see Jimin asleep in his chair, linked arm hanging off the infirmary bed.
Visions hit him of the night of the manor, hard and fast and Jungkook recoils, yanking his hand out of Jimin’s in fear.
Jimin’s jerked awake and Jungkook wishes tears weren’t streaming down his face at the memories. They sting like fresh wounds. He raises his hand to his cheek, finding raised scar tissue there. It only makes Jungkook’s tears stream faster.
Jimin’s expression quickly becomes apologetic.
“Don’t be scared, don’t be scared,” He chants, backing away to give Jungkook space. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, please listen, just listen- please, I just want to explain-”
Jungkook can’t rationalise, his brain’s screaming at him in rehashed trauma and he can’t take the stress.
“No! Don’t touch me! I hate you, I hate you, you’ve done enough! Get away!”
“Bun please, it’s not what you think, it’s-”
“Don’t fucking call me that ever again! Don’t!”
Jimin’s crying too now but Jungkook can’t be swayed.
“I never want to see you again. Don’t ever try to speak to me again or so god help me, I’ll go straight to McGonagall. I'll go to the ministry. You'll be finished.”
Jimin’s frozen. Jungkook’s had enough. He reaches for his wand, extending it towards the other boy.
“Get out, I said!”
Jimin’s eyes widen as he backs away.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry I’ll go just please- I’m going.”
Jimin graduates before Jungkook’s allowed out of the infirmary and they don’t see each other again.
Jungkook leaves Hyun Seok’s office shaken and completely drained.
He’s praying that Jimin’s managed to keep the meeting running because there’s no way he’d be able to win a duel right now.
He hears whispers following him down the corridors despite the fact that he’s alone. The horcrux burns a hole into his pocket and Jungkook’s even scared to breathe loudly for fear it’ll attract Hyun Seok’s men.
He makes his way down flights of stairs, quick but light until he reaches the banquet hall. There’s a sea of black robes and everyone’s facing away. It still doesn’t take long to locate Jimin who lounges at the head of the table, nibbling on a mango slice as he listens to another witch present, arms gesturing wildly.
“Sonorous,” Jungkook whispers. The end of his wand glows.
“I’ve got it,” He whispers. “My room.”
It’s a testament to Jimin’s control that the older boy doesn’t flinch at all. The only sign he gives that he’s heard Jungkook is a tilt of the head, first up to the ceiling and then back down in a subtle nod.
Jungkook’s putting soundproofing and protection charms up all around his room when there’s a shift in the air. He turns around to find Jimin right there, barely an inch away.
“Sorry for interrupting the meeting,” Jungkook says, hoarse. “You looked awfully comfortable there.” Because however many hints Jimin’s dropped, Jungkook needs more. He needs to be absolutely sure. It gives him a measure of relief when Jimin’s nose scrunches, face temporarily morphing into one of disgust.
“I’m a good fucking actor. I don’t even like mango. How’d you think I’ve survived here for the last five years.”
Jungkook snorts. It's tense and he's staring at the older boy who's staring right back.
Jimin’s licking his lips. “So,” he starts looking up at Jungkook through his eyelashes. “Is that… is that a horcrux in your pocket or are you just happy to see-”
Jungkook can’t wait any longer, closing the distance between them to capture Jimin’s lovely, lovely mouth with his and he swears it’s like electricity because they both shudder at the same time, sinking into the kiss long and hard. Jimin’s hands have come up, carding through Jungkook’s hair, pulling harshly at the strands, short nails scraping along the sides of his neck. There’s a delicious tug deep in the pit of Jungkook’s stomach but there’s also a fluttering in his heartspace, tingly and hopeful.
Jimin’s whining into the kiss and Jungkook’s so, so hooked onto the sounds he makes he’s sealing them all into memory for future reference. His arms reach down to hoist Jimin up and the boy immediately hooks his legs around Jungkook, grinding their crotches together, an action that draws low groans out of both of them.
“I’ve- wanted- wanted this for years. Wanted you so bad the moment I saw you in the meeting. You looked so hot in that meeting. All righteous and shit.”
Jimin’s voice is so breathy and he lets out the cutest gasp when Jungkook pushes him against the wall, using the support to push deeper into Jimin’s mouth, tongue brushing tongue, filthy but so, so good.
“Me too, baby. You were- you are so beautiful. Even more than in Hogwarts.”
There’s desperation in Jungkook’s voice and he’s so hard from just dry grinding. It’d be embarrassing if Jimin wasn’t the same way, head thrown back exposing the smooth skin of his neck. Jimin’s neck looks so soft and inviting, in fact, that Jungkook leans down, pressing soft kisses along Jimin’s neck just as Jimin had done the night before. Until Jungkook nips, biting lightly and sucking, sucking so hard that Jimin’s hips jerk, pressing into his so hard his vision almost goes white.
“Jungkookie, we- stop…I…”
Jungkook stills, stepping back after a beat, somewhat miffed- especially when he takes in Jimin’s state, pupils blown wide, chest heaving and a high flush on his cheeks.
“S- sorry- I thought-”
“No!” Jimin jumps forward, taking Jungkook’s hand. “Don’t be sorry, I want this, so bad, just not-”
Jimin expels a loud sigh, small hands pushing his hair back as he turns to the side.
“Father’s taking me somewhere, I don’t know where. He said it was urgent business.”
“Half an hour. I can’t say no, he can’t know that I helped you. Not yet.”
Jungkook’s worried, afraid of Jimin slipping between his fingers when he’d only just caught him.
“Why go? Just come back with me, you’ve done enough-”
“I can’t, you need to turn your evidence in before he knows. Trust me, you need to get out of here and get word to the ministry as soon as we leave, okay?”
Jungkook’s frustrated, fingers laced behind his neck. He’s getting flashbacks to five years ago.
“I’m scared you won’t come back. We’re so close.”
Jimin just shakes his head, getting closer to pull Jungkook’s hands apart, holding them in his own.
“Bun, I’ll be back, I promise. I need somewhere safe to come back to.”
Jungkook rattles off an address, the first one that comes to mind.
Jimin leans in to kiss him once more, slow and sweet.
And then he’s gone, leaving Jungkook flustered and aching for more.
There were more than twelve layers of protection spells on Jungkook’s door when the first attempt to break through had rattled the door.
Three spells remained, and only three minutes until Jungkook could leave.
Jungkook pulls the horcrux out of his pocket, fidgeting with it. Jimin’s expression in the photograph continues to hurt him but no longer sets him on edge.
It was clever, disguising the horcrux as a fond family memento, charming it so an onlooker’s gaze would skip right past. Breaking through the charm took a tremendous amount of mental focus, so much that if indeed, someone managed to find and take the photo frame like Jungkook did today, their minds would be left too weak to use even the simplest defensive magic.
Another protective barrier is smashed.
Jungkook glances at his watch, follows the thin hand as it tick, tick, ticks past the twelve.
It’s go time.
Jungkook clutches his luggage and disapparates to his working quarters.
He’s prepared for a fight and that’s exactly what he gets.
A wizard stands, match in hand, about to burn his papers. Another’s already begun ripping pages out of binders, the loose pages shredding themselves into pieces behind him
“Aguamenti!” The shout alerts the other two to his presence and Jungkook’s papers are soaked but that’s fine- he can get them back if he makes it out.
“Stupefy!” Their wands hum, furniture crumbling as it gets caught in the crossfire. One goes down.
Jungkook rolls along the floor, grabbing three binders while narrowly missing the disarming spell aimed at him.
“Confringo!” He yells as he gets back up, incapacitating the taller wizard while he delivers a vicious kick to the smaller one’s stomach. He’s out.
The shorter wizard hasn’t even hit the ground before Jungkook disapparates out of the castle for the last time ever.
Jungkook’s heaving, water dripping from his clothes as well as well as his luggage and the binders he’s clutching in one hand.
The house he’s in is familiar and warm and brightly lit- with light bulbs, not torches for god’s sake- and it smells incredible. Jungkook is about to cry at how much better he feels just from the change of location.
He toes off his shoes immediately, padding over to the dining table. There Jin and Taehyung are, conversation halted and faces frozen in shock.
Taehyung’s spoon slips from between his fingers. It clangs against his dish and Jin’s jolted into action, rushing forward to pull him onto a seat, drying him off with a flick of his wand.
“What happened, it’s been so long since we heard from you-”
“Are those- are those burn marks on your clothes? Jungkook, what happened to you?”
Their voices are two shades of the same concern and care.
Jungkook finally speaks up. “Do you guys remember Jimin?”
Taehyung and Jin exchange looks.
“Of course we remember Jimin,” Taehyung says carefully.
“Well.” Jungkook’s voice is flat. “He’s not as evil as I said he was.”
The trauma, stress and worry has proven too much for Jungkook and he lies, drifting in and out of consciousness in grey morning light. Jin and Taehyung have waited through the night with him, curled up in each other on the couch opposite.
A mess of arms and legs crashes into him and Jungkook jolts awake. Jimin’s on top of him and his entire body is freezing, damp. The smaller boy’s sobbing hysterically, breaking the dreamy silence of early morning and it’s all Jungkook can do to sit up and hold Jimin close, rubbing his back in soothing motions.
Something breaks in Jungkook when he finds cuts all over Jimin’s arms, pulling Jimin even closer and rocking him in his embrace.
“I’ve got you now, baby,” Jungkook whispers over and over again, pressing kisses to Jimin’s forehead, his temple. There’s a rising panic in his chest but he needs to bury the shock and anger and allow the smaller boy a place of safety right now.
“Shhh… I’ve got you.”
Jungkook's rocking Jimin in his arms now, gentle and steady.
"We need to take him to St. Mungo's.”
He’s made aware of Taehyung and Jin watching with wide eyes.
There’s a tugging on his sleeve, and Jungkook refocuses his attention on the boy in his lap.
“Father-” Jimin’s voice is breaking. “Still… still out there. It’s not safe…”
Jungkook catches Jin’s eyes, gesturing at him to write to the minister.
“Do you know where he might be, baby?” Jungkook’s trembling but he keeps his voice soft.
“Aoraki- in- in New Zealand… Gukkie?”
“Yeah? Yeah, Jiminie?” Jungkook nuzzles into Jimin’s head.
“Am I a horcrux?”
Everyone else is dead silent, the echo of Jimin’s wet sobs the only sound in the room.
Jungkook’s heart is racing and he shakes his head wildly.
“No, baby, no… No. You’re not. You’re here, safe with me. Me and Taehyung and Seokjin.”
Jimin’s mouth falls open as he twists around, taking in his old friends.
“Taetae? Seokjinnie? I’m… I’m not evil, I promise, I promise-”
“They know, baby they know, don’t worry,” Jungkook rushes to reassure him.
Jimin’s fist curls into the collar of Jungkook’s shirt.
He never finishes his sentence as his eyes drift closed, head drooping to rest on Jungkook’s chest.
The light outside is soft and it bathes Jimin’s eyelids gently.
Wake up, it seems to say.
The birds outside are excited, singing a happy song.
Wake up, they seem to say.
And Jimin rises, thankful for the large windows and the thin walls.
Memories hit him in waves: his father amidst the white backdrop of Aoraki, pure terror displayed on the face of a shivering teenaged boy, blinding green light, blood in his mouth staining the snow red when he’d spat it out.
Jimin presses himself into the warm spot he’s made on the bed, curls his fingers and toes into the sheets to ground him and remind him that in this present moment, he is safe. His heart rate lowers, beat by beat.
Where he is exactly, though, remains a mystery. He remembers Taehyung and Jin, a brief glance at the dear friends he’d never been able to contact after he graduated. He remembers someone mentioning St. Mungo's- but this room with its yellow curtains and multitude of animal plushies is definitely not the stuffy wizarding hospital.
How long’s he been asleep for?
Jimin feels new- not only has he just awoken from an incredibly deep sleep, perhaps the best shut eye he’s gotten in years- but Jimin knows in his heart that he never, ever needs to go back to the estate again. He hasn’t been released from the unbreakable curse, he never will be. He'll never be released of the nightmares, everything he was forced to do and see. And that sucks. Because Jimin will have to be careful for the rest of his life, treading lightly whenever the subject of his father comes up.
But Jimin’s hardly complaining: up until a week ago, he’d operated under the assumption that he’d never find a work around for the curse, that he’d be stuck in that poisonous castle with his father until the day one of them died.
He hadn’t really allowed himself to hope, hadn’t dared to think of escape: the last time they’d attempted something, tens of good witches and wizards had died. Yoongi had been forced to flee, skipping across the ocean to live on the run for a good year.
Now that he remembers, letters are in order. To Yoongi, to Jeongyeon, to Sungwoon.
But first- Jimin pads to the door, feet sinking into the plush carpet. There’s someone he needs to see first, someone that deserves a better explanation in exchange for all he did.
The door swings open and there he is, asleep on an awkward angle on the couch. Jimin’s hit with the memory of their night at Methusa fields, how Jungkook had slept, uncomfortable, on the couch then too. His face heats as he remembers how forward he’d been that night. Emboldened by the alcohol he’d chugged down to make the conversation with Miss Bina a little less unbearable.
Jimin perches on the loveseat next to the couch, playing with Jungkook’s fingers while he waits for the boy to wake up. Staring down at his face, muscles smooth and relaxed, Jimin realises. He owes Jungkook everything . Despite pushing him away, attempting to drive him out at the beginning of the investigation, Jungkook had soldiered on.
He's so old now, the boy Jimin had doted on, cooed over at Hogwarts. His features have sharpened, gaze deepened and his body- oh, his body- it’d all hit him like a truck when he’d set eyes on Jungkook in that meeting room for the first time in five years. The boy is gorgeous, and Jimin is the luckiest wizard alive.
Jungkook stirs, squeezing Jimin’s hands where they were entwined with his.
Then he jolts up eyes widening comically, hair adorably ruffled up.
“Hi,” Jimin smiles.
“Hey,” Jungkook breathes. “You’re awake.”
Jimin rolls his eyes. “An amazing observation made by the most talented auror of our time.”
Shy, Jungkook ducks his head like he doesn’t know whether to accept the compliment or snap back at the snark.
God, Jimin misses having this effect on him.
They make small talk over cereal and Jimin can see Jungkook using his words carefully, not probing too deep, hesitant to set Jimin off. He takes pity on the younger boy, asks Jungkook how long he’s been out for.
“A couple days,” Jungkook says, gnawing on his lip. Jimin pulls his lip back with his thumb.
“We didn’t even know how you had the energy to get here. You were in really bad shape that night, Jimin. You scared me.”
Jimin sighs, regretful. As usual, he’s brought suffering to people that were only trying to help.
“I’m ready to talk.”
The couch seems like the most comfortable place to talk and they relocate to sit side by side, Jimin beginning in hushed tones.
“Aoraki is the highest peak in New Zealand, a place Father and I had talked about when we were young. It’s where Father took me two nights ago. They say the magic is strong there, that it amplifies everything… and I think it did.
“He brought a boy with us. He was young, so young- I wasn’t sure why but when we got to the top he… he said… he said I needed to kill him. Said… said that I needed a horcrux, too.”
Jungkook’s foot, which until now had been tapping a steady rhythm on the carpet, stills.
“I said no, and then he- used the cruciatus curse. On me, and then the boy. And then on me, and then the boy and he told me to kill him if I had a conscience, kill him to end his suffering, kill him because it was either me or him that night. But I didn’t-”
Jimin’s voice breaks and Jungkook pulls him closer, arm wrapped tight around his shoulder. Jimin can’t look into Jungkook’s eyes, can’t bear to see the judgement that’ll appear in them soon.
“And then he got tired.” Jimin’s whole body is shaking now. “He said I’d be his next horcrux, that at least this way I’d be somewhat helpful to- to the family. He was about to kill the boy and I totally freaked and I attacked him but it wasn’t enough, wasn’t fucking enough. I tried to save the boy, I tried to save him and I couldn’t, I couldn’t and I’m sorry that I’m so useless-”
Jungkook’s hushing him, rubbing circles on his back in soothing motions.
“Shhh, baby it’s okay, you-”
“No, it’s not!” The next words come out in a strangled scream. “It’s not fucking okay, you think I’m evil, the world thinks I’m evil but I’m not. I never wanted this. I never wanted any of this-”
“Jimin I understand, I get it! It’s me we’re talking about! I didn’t know the whole story, that’s why-”
Jimin just sobs harder and he’s hiccupping on his words.
“You still don’t know the whole story yet! You still don’t fucking know! That night after the Yule Ball, it wasn’t me!”
“What?” Jungkook looks thrown, not comprehending.
“That night after the Yule Ball. They took you,” Jimin doesn’t want to continue, having relived the trauma over and over in his worst nightmares but he soldiers on anyway. “And then they knocked me out, chained me to a bed. Made me watch through a two way mirror as they fucking tortured you and then- and then- I watched myself walk into the room- except… except it wasn’t really me.”
“Polyjuice,” Jungkook croaks out.
Jimin nods, mind scrubbed raw.
“And then my heart broke but they made me watch, watch as you lay on the ground in the middle of the room. Father was- he was so close to killing you. He gets- he got- so possessive. Didn't like how close we were.”
Jungkook breaks in. “But then you made the unbreakable vow.”
Jimin breathes deep and it feels like he’s so drained, so empty that the air fills every crevice of his body.
“But then I made the unbreakable vow.”
Jungkook throws his head back, eyes closed.
“What vow did he force you to make?”
Jimin’s smile is twisted. “I would tell you… but then I’d probably die.”
“Is Yoongi really-”
“No!” Jimin sits up, staring into Jungkook’s eyes to drive his point home. “I made Yoongi leave because there was no chance in hell he’d survive the night. He’s in New York now. Don’t know if he’ll ever come back for good.”
Jungkook swivels around to stare at him with wide eyes.
Jimin agrees. “He really did a number on us, didn’t he?”
Jungkook doesn’t meet his eyes, fingers tracing a pattern on Jimin’s thighs.
“Jimin… he’s gone now.”
Jimin’s stomach clenches and he refuses to let himself hope, let himself get carried away.
“They found him, thanks to your tip. He was too weak to apparate far. Seems like you really did a number on him, too.”
Jimin feels like he’s having an out of body experience, finally allowing his mind to race while his body stays still, staring at Jungkook in shock.
“Where is he now?”
“Chained up in the ministry basement. They’re awaiting final verdict but it’s a pretty clear cut case. They were wondering if you could testify...”
Jimin bites his lip. He wishes he could, more than anything, out of pure spite- but he’s just gotten a second chance at a happy life.
“I don’t think I can.”
Jungkook nods. “Don't worry about it, baby. They have plenty of witnesses now that it’s certain he’ll be sent away.”
Jimin’s head is pounding so hard he can feel it in his eye sockets, down the bridge of his nose. But it’s a good kind of pounding, the kind of ache that makes you feel whole, cleansed, fresh. He feels like he’s emptied all the tears his eyes could possibly hold, and now it's time to move on.
The silence stretches on and Jimin’s shakes have subsided, soothed by Jungkook’s presence beside him and the stretch of possibilities that lie ahead.
“You know I-”
“I have to-”
They both chuckle, Jimin resting his head on Jungkook’s shoulder.
“You first,” he says.
Jungkook clears his throat. “I fucked up. I should’ve known you-”
Jimin’s not having a bar of it. “Shut up, shut up, shut up. I should’ve sought you out earlier, shouldn’t have given up on you, I’m sorry- umph!”
Jungkook’s leaned across to cover Jimin’s mouth with his palm.
“Let’s both agree,” he whispers into Jimin’s ear, “To never try to apologise for that night ever again.”
Jimin nods all too eagerly.
Watching muggle television and laughing softly at whatever dumb joke Jungkook’s making now is much too good, much too easy a rhythm to fall into.
It’s not like the good old days.
It’s not like they’ve gone back in time five years because five years ago, Jungkook would never have had the guts to rest one hand atop Jimin’s upper thigh, yanking it up so the smaller boy was half in his lap, fingertips of the other hand tracing Jimin’s hipbones dangerously.
Jimin twitches every now and then, breaths coming progressively faster.
He can’t take it anymore.
“Where, uhh… where are Jin and Taehyung?”
Jungkook looks down at him with dark, dark eyes and Jimin shivers.
“Jin has to stay back finish paperwork at the ministry. Tae’s with him for moral support. And banter.”
Jimin twists on Jungkook’s lap so that he’s facing him, lips moving impossibly close to Jungkook’s earlobe.
“When will they be back?”
Jungkook looks out the window, considering. He looks like a goddamn vision in this light, chiseled to perfection. Jimin is, once again, pulled to the scar on his cheek, tracing it with his eyes first and then a finger.
Jungkook’s eyes turn liquid. “Not for a while.”
Jimin licks his lips, smouldering his own gaze as he looks down at Jungkook.
Jungkook lets out a barely there sigh, the final puzzle piece falling into place.
He surges up to Jimin, lips meeting desperate and heady.
Jimin’s heart rate spikes, a frisson of electricity going straight down his spine to light him on fire.
Jungkook’s sucking on Jimin’s lower lip and then Jimin brushes his tongue over the roof of Jungkook’s mouth, eliciting the most delicious whimper from the boy.
Jungkook yanks Jimin into his lap until they’re chest to chest, crotch on crotch grinding on each other only to get each other hard incredibly fast. Jungkook’s palming Jimin’s ass through his boxers, kneading the soft globes, drawing Jimin’s cock even closer to his own.
Jimin can hardly think, running his hands all over Jungkook’s arms, neck, shoulder, chest until his shirt’s coming off and being thrown in a corner, small hands grabbing at the button on Jungkook’s jeans.
Jungkook lifts Jimin up, carrying him to his room without once breaking the kiss. Jimin’s shirt comes off, and then his boxers and Jimin’s thrown on the bed, bouncing a couple of times before he settles.
“We could’ve done it on the couch,” Jimin whines, making grabby hands at Jungkook.
“Too small,” Jungkook replies in that husky tone of his, the one that sounds like burnt honey and melts everything in Jimin’s body. “I need space.”
Jungkook takes his jeans off slowly, and Jimin’s pouting at the delay. Jungkook’s cock is perfect and Jimin’s not surprised. Like everything about him, it makes Jimin’s mouth water and toes curl.
Jungkook sinks down, kissing up along Jimin’s thighs slowly, slowly, teasing around and around.
Jimin needs contact, and he needs it bad.
“I’ve thought about this a lot,” He moans through Jungkook’s wet kisses.
“What,” Jungkook says, amused, “Me on my knees? Going down on you?”
“Everything,” Jimin whines, hips jerking, looking for friction. “You. Me. Us. On a bed together, naked. Doing everything.”
“Yeah?” Jimin can feel Jungkook’s smile against his thigh. “Me too.”
And then Jungkook has Jimin’s cock in his mouth and Jimin’s seeing stars, letting out little whimpers and tiny moans.
“The sounds you make, they go straight to my dick, every single one of them,” Jungkook says hotly. “Keep making them. And make then louder.”
Jimin’s cheeks are scarlet but he gets louder, letting Jungkook know exactly how well he’s doing. Jimin’s thrusting into Jungkook’s mouth a little bit and he pulls the other boy up by the hair, kissing him wet and deep and sloppy.
“How do you want to do this,” Jimin asks when they break apart, foreheads against each other.
Jungkook’s panting. “I don’t care.”
Jimin decides for them. “I want, more than anything, for you to fuck me so hard I can’t walk tomorrow-”
Jimin’s extremely confused for the space of four seconds, until Jungkook’s back with a packet of lube and a box of condoms.
“Slow down, big boy,” Jimin murmurs, catching the blush on Jungkook’s cheeks before he settles back between Jimin’s legs, kissing the life out of him. They’re both painfully hard, cocks rubbing against each other and their stomach, rutting against each other in a harsh rhythm.
“Did you think about me… in between?” Jungkook leans close, watching Jimin’s eyes soften at the question.
“Most days,” Jimin whispers. “I thought about you when it became too much, when I needed my brain to focus on better things. Did- did you?”
Jungkook presses kisses to the corner of Jimin’s lips.
“Most days,” he echoes, “I liked to pretend that it was all a dream and I’d wake up hungover from the Ball. I liked to pretend that you- that you weren’t evil-”
Jimin draws his legs up, exposing his ass and Jungkook’s mouth opens. “You don’t need to pretend anymore, bun.”
Jungkook hums, running his hands all over the smooth flesh. “I don’t. You’re good. You’re so good for me.”
It hurts, at the beginning when Jungkook drizzles lube onto his ass and on his fingers and he pushes in with one finger, then two, then three. It’s not Jimin’s first time but it’s been a long, long while but Jungkook doesn’t seem to mind at all. He peppers Jimin’s ass and thighs with butterfly kisses, taking time, whispering reassurances.
It hurts even more when Jungkook starts pushing in but Jimin wants this, he wants to do this. So, so bad. So when it becomes tolerable, and then pleasurable, Jimin rocks his hips up and down, meeting Jungkook stroke for stroke, holding onto his shoulders, holding onto his hair.
He remembers something, and reaches up to flick a nipple. Jungkook’s next thrust is stronger, and Jimin’s smirk is wide.
“I like that,” Jungkook pants.
“I know, Gukkie,” Jimin replies, using both hands to pinch, flick and twist at Jungkook’s nipples until Jimin bounces with every thrust.
And then Jungkook starts hitting Jimin’s prostate dead on instead of brushing past it and Jimin’s seeing stars. It feels good, so, so good and he’s about to come from this alone.
“Jungkook, I’m close. Hold off, okay, Jungkook, don’t come yet.”
“Okay, baby.” Jungkook’s voice is strained but he keeps going hard, fucking in and then out, sticking his thumb into Jimin’s mouth for him to suck on. Jimin places his lips over it, sucks hard and deep and Jungkook’s loud groan gets Jimin closer.
“Jungkook- don’t- ahh! Jungkook!”
Jimin’s orgasm is earth shattering and there’s only two strokes of oversensitivity until Jungkook’s coming too, messy and from the sounds of it, just as good.
They lie together on Jimin’s bed, sated and dozing off. When the cum starts to dry on their bodies Jimin roots around the dresser for his wand, cleans them both with a flick of his wrist.
Jungkook snuggles closer happily, drawing the blanket up around them.
“We should probably sleep now,” He says. “Tae and Jin will be back soon and you should probably be rested up for that reunion.”
Jimin sighs, nodding. “I’d like that,” He mumbles. “Lots of reunions… I want to travel, as well.”
He feels Jungkook smile against his skin. “We can do that. And when I’m busy with work, Taehyung can take you. He and Jin go everywhere .”
Jimin’s satisfied. He wants to fix things, too. Everyone at the estate, everyone working for them. It's a goddamn mess and someone needs to step in before the power vacuum is filled. There's a lot of work to do, but that's for another day and another discussion.
They hold each other close. Jimin breathes in Jungkook’s musk and he just knows he’s going to dream happy. There’s a thought that plays in his head for a long time before he finally dozes off.
He really is the luckiest wizard alive.