The train rattles, swaying gently as it travels across lush green fields. Clouds hang heavy in the sky, promising rainfall by the time they arrive to the castle. The trolley witch travels down the corridor, calling out, “Pumpkin Pasties!” The creaking of her tea trolley approaches his cabin, and despite the rumbling ache in his stomach, he doesn’t stop her.
Yoongi doubts he could stomach even a chocolate frog.
The lulling movements of the train help ease him, as well as the ring held by a silver chain around his neck—his grandmother’s. The metal is cool under his fingers, his thumb circling it once, twice, an infinite number of times as he watches farms pass in a blur of green.
The pain in his gut sharpens.
Leaving home never gets easier—not for him, no matter how many days he’s spent away. The anxiety will settle, he knows. Once the school year begins, he’ll be too drowned in his studies to fester over the fact that he’s left his grandmother, sickly and alone, with no one but the visiting home nurse to keep her company.
There isn’t a trace of magical blood in his family—not a single drop. It’s only by a cruel fluke of destiny that he’s inherited magical capabilities from...somewhere. When he’d gotten the letter from the school of Witchcraft and Wizardry, he merely scoffed in disbelief and tossed it in the shredder. To his horror, the letter had re-emerged completely in tact. No matter how many times he shoved it back through the shredder, how many times he ripped it up, or burned it—it came back, perfectly pristine.
There hadn’t been a time in his life where he contemplated the thought of having magic. There were no freak accidents or strange occurrences. He had hoped that, by some stroke of luck, it had been a mistake. But instead, when he learned how to use it, he found he was remarkably skilled at magic, even more so than some of his pure-blooded peers. “You’re a natural,” one of his professors had told him. The words made his stomach churn. No, he had wanted to respond. There is nothing natural about this.
And for him, a Muggle-born, to be sorted into Slytherin of all houses—he wondered what he’d done in his past life to deserve it. He hadn’t known about the stigmas surrounding the house, but when all he received were pitiful glances and torment from a few bad apples, it was easy to figure out. He knows better now, though—knows that there’s a difference between what the house stands for and the people who are inside it. Still, the pure-blooded Slytherins are the ones who tend to be most persnickety about wizard pedigree.
Once he was told that he should be ashamed of his non-magical family tree. But in Yoongi’s mind, it’s him who’s gone and made everything a mess. He never wanted to be a wizard. He shouldn’t be one.
It was hell in the beginning—submerging himself into a world he had no knowledge of, integrating himself, trying to become part of it, when really, he shouldn’t belong there at all. Solitude had never bothered him in the past, but coming to Hogwarts was like boarding a ship to an alien planet: he was truly and utterly alone.
Now that he has his bearings—a solid footing in the wizard world—it’s no longer as intimidating, though he still gets bouts of anxiety. And he still hates leaving home, but...
At Hogwarts, he’s no longer alone.
There’s a loud thump on the door of his cabin. It startles him, and he turns sharply to find a face squished against the glass, peering in on him with a wide grin. The auburn-haired boy turns to shout something down the corridor before sliding the door open noisily.
“Yoongi,” Hoseok exclaims, jumping down on the seat to wrap his arms around the other. Yoongi leans into the embrace, sighing faintly.
“Hobi,” Yoongi responds, leaning back with a grin, noticing that Hoseok has already changed into his robes, yellow tie folded neatly over the material. “It’s good to see you.”
Hoseok returns the grin brightly, clasping Yoongi’s hand in his own. “I’ve missed you. I sent Mang with a letter, but he must’ve confused the directions, because he came back within a few hours, letter still in claw!”
That pulls a laugh from Yoongi. Mang, Hoseok’s Scops owl, is a small, gangly thing with wide eyes. For some reason, the little owl has a unique fondness for Yoongi, and he’d be lying if he said he didn’t adore the creature in return. Yoongi glances around.
“Where’s your luggage,” he asks, raising a brow. “And everyone else?”
Hoseok claps his hands, rubbing them together as he rises to stand. “I was sent to find you! Come now,” he pulls the elder up, grabbing his hand and scooping up Yoongi’s suitcase for him. “Everyone’s waiting!”
The train corridor isn’t very crowded, but it is rather small, so Yoongi sticks close behind Hoseok, letting the younger lead him by the hand. They’re—or rather, Hoseok is—greeted by chipper calls of “Hello!” and “How are you?” that Hoseok answers just as enthusiastically. They approach the end of the carriage, and Hoseok slips the door open to the last cabin.
Loud shouts of his name greet Yoongi as Hoseok pushes him inside, sliding the door closed behind them. Several hands reach out and tug at his clothes, and a pair of arms wraps tightly around his waist from behind, squeezing a squeaky wheeze out of him.
Kim Taehyung—Ravenclaw, and the only other Muggle-born that Yoongi knows—jostles him around like some kind of stuffed plushie. There’s a laugh bubbling in his chest, but the grip around his stomach proves to be more distracting, as a wave of nausea crashes over him. Doing his best to push it back, Yoongi smiles at his friends—albeit a bit shakily—leaning back against Taehyung’s chest as casually as he can muster.
Hoseok moves past Yoongi and Taehyung, who stand in the middle of the cabin, and plops down next to Namjoon and Seokjin, the Ravenclaw and Gryiffindor sifting through an outrageous pile of chocolate frogs.
“Hello, Yoongi,” Namjoon sings, pulling out the card from inside a box. Seokjin winks at Yoongi, a chocolate frog perched in his hair. Namjoon holds the card out, and—
“Merlin’s beard!” Seokjin attempts to groan, but it ends in a giggle. “Literally, Merlin’s beard.”
Namjoon sighs, tossing the Merlin card aside. The portait of the wizard cries out in dismay as it falls to the ground. “That’s the seventh one already. Merlin’s beard, indeed.”
Taehyung's laugh rings loud against Yoongi's ear. The Slytherin attempts to wiggle out from the other's grip, but Taehyung clings onto to him tighter, twirling him around, facing them towards the other two in the cabin.
"Jimin," Yoongi pleads, reaching out for the boy sat with a box of Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans in his hands. "Control him."
The Hufflepuff giggles, shaking his box of jelly beans. "Here, Tae! Release, boy!"
A playful growl rumbles behind him, and Taehyung leans forward, nipping Yoongi's shoulder gently, tugging at his shirt repeatedly.
"Oh, now it's worse," Yoongi complains, attempting to lean away from the younger's teeth. Jimin's eyes scrunch up in fond, squeaky laughter as he collapses into the boy sat next to him while clapping his hands in glee. Yoongi turns to said boy, the last wizard in the cabin, who watches them with a small smile.
"Jungkook. Kookie," he greets, a pout pulling at his lips as he gazes at the Gryffindor pleadingly. "Help me?"
The younger looks over Yoongi's shoulder at Taehyung, and the two seem to have a silent conversation. Whatever mind waves they share turn out to be highly counter-productive, though, as Taehyung digs his nose against Yoongi's neck, startling a yelp out of him. Jungkook's face falls flat.
"Down, Tae," Yoongi orders teasingly, a nervous chuckle leaving him as he glances at Jungkook. "That's quite enough."
Taehyung finally releases him, a smirk gracing his lips—not that Yoongi sees it. He leaps at Jimin, throwing an arm over the wizard's shoulder, exclaiming about trying to find a vomit-flavored jelly bean, yelping when the other flicks him on the forehead. Yoongi fixes his shirt and grabs his suitcase from where Hoseok left it near the door, hesitating as he contemplates where to sit. There's three on either bench, so no matter where he chooses, it'll be a tight fit. The options are: sit with Hoseok, Seokjin, and Namjoon, or sit with Taehyung, Jimin, and Jungkook.
After taking a step towards the sliver of space next to Namjoon, the clearing of a throat halts him. Hoseok stares at Yoongi, before his eyes jump to the wizard next to the window on the opposite bench. Then, he looks back to Yoongi pointedly. The Slytherin glances to Jungkook, who observes the passing fields apathetically. However, his blank expression is betrayed by the way he runs his tongue over the inside of his cheek, again and again—something the Gryffindor does when he’s agitated. The beginnings of a flutter tickle at Yoongi's stomach. Turning back to Hoseok, he scooches the boy over and places his luggage in the space created next to the wall, murmuring out, "Take care of that for me, will you?"
Hoseok nods, a wide grin splitting his lips. The younger won't let him hear the end of it, he knows. None of them will. Still, Yoongi turns and approaches Jungkook, nudging the Gryffindor's knee with his own. Jungkook's eyes snap up to him, tinted with the barest smidgeon of hope.
"Let me have the window?" Yoongi asks, tilting his head in question. The younger answers by sliding closer to Jimin and patting the small space created next to him.
"Look, just the right size for you," Jungkook teases, a smile finally breaking his blank facade. Yoongi scoffs, squeezing down beside him. It's definitely a tight fit. From his shoulders down to his calves, he's pressed against the younger.
Taehyung lets out a loud, drawn-out groan from the other end of the bench. "I'm being smothered to death," he complains loudly, leaning over to glare at Yoongi, but the Slytherin sees another smirk twitching his lips. "Yoongi, you're the smallest and the lightest. Why don't you throw a leg over Kookie's? Give us some more space, hm?"
The cabin is filled with conspiratorial giggles. The urge to argue that physically, in doctor's terms, Jimin is at least a quarter of an inch shorter than him rushes through Yoongi. The only reason Yoongi seems shorter is because of his lithe form—he isn't nearly as built as the younger.
"He said smallest, not shortest," Hoseok laughs when Yoongi says so.
"Either way, I've grown several centimeters during the summer," Jimin informs them smugly. "I doubt you're taller than me now, Min."
The cool grin on Jimin's lips drops when his friends gasp and begin clapping enthusiastically. "I knew you could do it, Jiminie," Seokjin cries, wiping faux-tears from his eyes. Jimin rolls his eyes, muttering to himself.
"That's not the point," Taehyung interrupts, turning back to Yoongi and Jungkook with a pout. "Won't you do me the favor? I can't ride all the way to Hogwarts like this."
"Then sit on the floor," Yoongi smiles sweetly. The others break out into rambunctious laughter. Taehyung sticks his tongue out and Yoongi resists the urge to do the same.
A soft touch caresses Yoongi's leg, sliding down to his inner thigh. The breath catches in his throat, and his gaze snaps up to Jungkook, who stares back at him with a grin. Yoongi has to fight back a gasp when the grip on his thigh tightens, and the younger lifts his leg, sliding closer and placing it on top of his own. At the change in balance, Yoongi instinctively wraps his arm around the Gryffindor's neck in fear of tipping over. Jungkook keeps pushing closer, and rather than just his one leg, Yoongi finds himself sitting sideways with his back touching the train wall, fully situated on the younger's lap.
"We'll never hear the end of it," Jungkook clarifies, one arm winding around Yoongi's waist and his other hand settling on the elder's lap. "I'd rather not start the year already on Tae's blacklist."
The fading laughter comes back full-force, twice as loud, mixed with teasing croons and sighs. There’s a flush creeping up his chest, Yoongi knows. The nausea he’d been feeling earlier isn’t replaced. Rather, the context of his stomach pains has been twisted around to something much more pleasant. Peering up at Jungkook through his lashes shyly, he finds the younger has resumed watching outside the window. Instead of the blank expression from earlier, a pleased smile graces his lips.
If he’s stuck here for the rest of the train ride, he might as well get comfortable (is what he tells himself). Yoongi pulls his arm from around Jungkook’s neck, tucking it underneath himself as he rests his head on the younger’s shoulder. The urge to rub his grandmother’s ring creeps back up on him. It’s only because it’s easier to reach that he settles for stroking the hand in his lap instead. A soft sigh escapes Jungkook, and he turns, tucking the elder’s head under his chin, his own fingers tracing indecipherable patterns on Yoongi’s waist.
It’s nothing, Yoongi tries to convince himself, closing his eyes, drifting off slowly to the quiet chatter of his friends and the rattling of the train. Think nothing of it.
Winter comes too soon. The air in the castle becomes a tad colder, a bit drier, and there’s talk of a blizzard approaching. The snow never falls too heavily on Hogwarts, though. (Still, they get a couple of feet.) Yoongi thinks the school might be charmed against extreme inclement weather. In instances like these, he praises the existence of magic. He’s always been susceptible to the cold.
Magic has yet to fail him—not during the day—but when he’s laying in his bed at night, no warming spell seems to last very long. It’s not as if the Slytherin dormitory is freezing, though it’d seem it would be, since it’s situated under the Great Lake, after all. Who’s idea it was to stick the Slytherins in the dungeons?
The common room proves to be no better. Despite sitting less than two feet in front of the fireplace, a chill still creeps over his spine. The glow of the green lamps doesn’t provide much light, making the room seem that much colder, the shadows worsening his shivers. The windows creak, and he flinches, watching the water pulse behind them. They won’t cave in—magic flows through the foundation of the castle. Still, his heartbeat picks up, and he finds it difficult to tear his eyes away.
Your fear is irrational, the wizard in him drawls.
Your existence is irrational! is what the Muggle in him shouts back.
Oh, what to do?
There’s only one thing to do.
There’s a blanket thrown over one of the common room couches. Yoongi grabs it, wrapping it around his shoulders. He pats himself, feeling for his wand, tucked into the waistband of his sweats. Pulling it out, he grips it firmly in his hand.
“Lumos,” he whispers. The tip of his wand lights, glowing brightly.
The halls of the castle are empty. Moonlight shines through the large, arching windows he passes. He’d never been inside a castle before coming to Hogwarts. It’s something he’s glad to have experienced—the tall stone walls, the long staircases, the large courtyard, and the castle grounds. It’s especially beautiful at night, when everything is empty—hauntingly so.
Speaking of haunted—
A ghost emerges from the wall. Yoongi pauses, letting the man cross in front of him. The ghost turns to him, floating in the middle of the hall.
“Off to the Astronomy Tower again?” The ghost whispers.
Yoongi nods, stepping closer to the man. Part of the ghost’s body fades with the light of his wand. “Ah, yes. I couldn’t sleep. It’s too cold.”
The ghost smiles. “And sitting in the tallest tower of the castle will ease that?”
A chuckle slips past Yoongi’s lips. “Well, climbing all the way up there will warm my muscles for sure.”
The ghost laughs with him, shaking his head. “I’ll let you get to it, Min Yoongi.”
“Thank you,” Yoongi smiles, bowing his head. “It was nice seeing you.”
The man blinks, before an appreciative smile spreads across his lips. He nods, continuing his path across the hallway, disappearing into the wall. Readjusting the blanket over his shoulders, Yoongi does the same, shuffling forward, resuming his route to the Astronomy Tower.
The ghosts and paintings of Hogwarts tend to favor him. Perhaps it’s beacuse his first year at the school was spent just like this—wandering the halls at night. They saw him—a lonely boy—and maybe they pitied him. Maybe they could relate to him. Either way, he’s befriended many. It’s thanks to them that he’s able to roam the castle, warning him of nearby professors and caretakers.
The way to the Astronomy Tower is peaceful and uninterrupted. The cool air that greets him when he steps up to the balcony is a down-side, but he’s no longer underground. In fact, he’s the farthest he could possibly be from the dungeons. That in itself soothes him. Wrapping the blanket tighter around himself, he sits, staring up at the stars. Only once the beginnings of dawn begin to creep up in the sky does he travel back down to his dormitory. There’s enough time for him to sleep an hour or so. Despite being awake the entire night, his rest is fitful—the dorm still too cold, too dark.
Later, he shuffles groggily to breakfast, bypassing his own house table and moving towards the Hufflepuff’s. It’s not an unusual occurrence (he rarely ever sits at his own table), yet a few first years send him reproachful glances as he plops down next to Hoseok. The Great Hall’s enchanted ceiling depicts a clear sky, and sunlight shines down through the windows. It’s warm and bright. Yoongi finds himself settling, his eyelids fluttering as he’s hit with a wave of exhaustion.
Hoseok turns to him with a cheerful smile, only for it to slip off his face as he observes the elder. Yoongi avoids his gaze, pouring himself a cup of tea. The other opens his mouth to speak, concern furrowing his brows, but another person slides onto the bench in front of them, interrupting him.
“Good morning,” Jimin chimes happily, reaching out for the orange juice. “Slept well?”
“No,” Hoseok frowns, not taking his eyes off Yoongi. “Not quite.”
Jimin purses his lips as he pours himself a glass of juice. He raises the glass to his mouth, glancing up at Hoseok. Following the elder’s gaze, his eyes land on Yoongi, widening as he stares at the Slytherin. Yoongi resists the urge to squirm.
“Oh, Yoongi,” Jimin tuts softly, lowering his cup. “Your cute eyes have gone puffy!”
The Slytherin says nothing, poking at the soup in front of him. Jimin looks to Hoseok, and the elder shrugs, shaking his head. The Great Hall gradually fills, the chattering of other students surrounding them. The silence between the three of them is somber and slightly awkward. Hoseok swallows the bite of apple in his mouth, placing it down on his plate.
“I’ve told you, Yoongi,” he starts gently. “Never hesitate to come to our dormitory if you can’t sleep.”
Jimin nods enthusiastically. “You can share my bed! I’d love to cuddle you!”
The prospect isn’t bad to Yoongi. It would probably help immensely, really. (Secretly, he might be craving a good cuddle.) The soft yellows and browns of the Hufflepuff common room, accented with green potted plants—kind to the soul. And there’s just something about Hufflepuff hospitality that eases the tension in him.
“Jimin would love to cuddle who?”
Seokjin swings his legs over the bench, settling down next to Jimin, and Taehyung takes the Hufflepuff’s other side. Namjoon follows and sits on Seokjin’s right. There’s no one else with them. Yoongi deflates a bit, until a hand comes to rest on his shoulder. He turns, watching as Jungkook balances on his shoulder as he climbs over the bench, sitting down next to the Slytherin.
“Yoongi, that’s who,” Jimin informs as he feeds a biscuit to Taehyung.
“Who wouldn’t love to cuddle him? He’s the ultimate little spoon—I can’t help but want to scoop him up,” the Ravenclaw grins, waggling his eyebrows, but his eyes are sharp—perceptive—raking over Yoongi’s face.
A scoff escapes Yoongi, and he ignores them, absentmindedly placing fruit on Jungkook’s plate. The Gryffindor laughs softly, leaning into him. Namjoon peers across at the elder. “You haven’t been sleeping again.”
“He hasn’t,” Hoseok confirms, ignoring the glare Yoongi sends him when he interrupts.
“Yoongi...” Seokjin starts carefully. They’re all so careful with him.
Indignation flares up in Yoongi. Still, he tries to push it back. They’re only concerned for his health, he knows. “Yes, Jin?”
“There’s potions for insomnia in the Hospital Wing,” the elder tells him. “Natural remedies, too, if you don’t want to use those,” he adds on quickly.
“It’s not insomnia,” Yoongi argues quietly, keeping his gaze down on the table. “It’s just...it’s too cold in the dungeons.”
“You’re always welcome to the Ravenclaw Tower,” Namjoon assures him, and Taehyung grins in agreement, sending Yoongi a thumbs up. “You’re smart enough to solve the riddles to get in, that’s for sure.”
“I doubt your snoring will help him,” Jungkook pipes up, tossing a grape into his mouth. Namjoon huffs in offense, slumping back with a pout. Seokjin pats his back sympathetically.
Jimin laughs into the palm of his hand. “That’d be rather counter-productive, wouldn’t it? We’ve already extended him an offer, so luckily that won’t be needed.”
Taehyung flicks a crumb at the Hufflepuff. “What are you, a realtor? Maybe I want to cuddle with him.”
“The point is for him to sleep. You’d keep him up all night with your conspiracy theories,” Hoseok grins, dodging a crumb from Taehyung. “The both of you would.”
The other opens his mouth to argue, but Seokjin reaches over and shoves a slice of toast between his lips. “The point is,” he smiles as Taehyung glares at him, yet still gobbles up the toast. “You’re welcome in any of our dorms. I’ll tell you the password to the Gryffindor common room.”
A nervous laugh bubbles out of Yoongi. Seokjin stares at him, tilting his head curiously. “Well, you see—”
“He already knows this week’s password.” They turn to Jungkook, who lets a sly grin spread over his lips, and they stare—faces a mix of smug and—no. They’re just smug.
“My, my,” Seokjin smirks with a raised brow. “What’ve you been up to, Yoongi-chi?”
A hint of pink dusts the Slytherin’s cheeks. “Nothing at all,” he mumbles hurridely. “I had just asked him to proofread my essay for Potions the other day, that’s all.”
“Why would you go to Kookie, of all people—”
“Well, he is rather good at Potions.”
“Wouldn’t it be easier to meet in the library?”
“Oh, I’ll bet he proofread your paper, all right—”
“Okay, that’s enough,” Yoongi exclaims, jumping forward to shove an apple slice in Taehyung’s mouth. The younger flails dramatically, Jimin patting his back while cackling loudly.
They stop heckling him, thankfully, but Jungkook has this cheeky grin that he kind of wants to wipe off with his own—fists... Yes, he wants to punch the smirk off the younger, that’s it. The tingling in his stomach is caused by pure, unbridled rage, for sure. Yoongi resumes eating, pouting slightly as he sends a flat glare to the Gryffindor. Jungkook only giggles in response.
A loud screech has heads turning in the Great Hall. A single, brown owl flies in through the window, and then: hundreds of owls enter the castle, flying across the Great Hall, dropping packages and letters, some even snatching a pastry. Excited chattering explodes in the hall. There’s a high pitched scree and a small bundle of feathers swoops down, tumbling in front of them. A quaintly wrapped box slides across the table.
“Mang!” Hoseok laughs. “What a magnificent entrance!”
The owl jumps up gracefully, ruffling its feathers in greeting before hopping over to Yoongi. The Slytherin strokes the owl, allowing him to walk up his arm and perch on his shoulder. Hoseok reaches forward, pulling the box towards him excitedly. “This must be the homemade fudge my mother promised to send,” he exclaims, opening the box quickly. They all perk up—Hoseok’s mother makes the most delicious sweets.
A letter suddenly drops in front of Yoongi, missing his soup by mere inches, startling him. Mang croons disgruntledly as Yoongi jumps underneath him, and Jungkook’s grinning amusedly, so Yoongi pinches his side in annoyance. After tossing a slice of bacon to the messenger owl which delivered it with a shake of his head, he grabs the envelope—an ivory, blank thing that has no name or address on it. The paper is smooth under his fingers. He sits there, running his hand over it with a blank expression. Fear does not course through him, no, but...
Apprehension surely does.
A hand falls on his thigh, fingers stroking his leg soothingly. He turns to find Jungkook watching him, concern concealed behind his eyes, and he tries to send the other a reassuring smile, but it feels stiff—forced. The letter is heavy in his palm. Jungkook glances to their friends, finding them gathered over Hoseok’s box of fudge, distracted. Leaning closer, his eyes return to the elder.
“Are you scared?” Jungkook whispers, his fingers still swirling on Yoongi’s thigh. A quiet, tired laugh stutters out of the elder.
“It’s always nerve-wracking, isn’t it? These kinds of things,” he murmurs back, staring at the letter in his hand. Jungkook hums, moving impossibly closer, their bodies pressed tightly beside each other.
“I’m here,” the younger whispers against his ear. The hand on his thigh tightens—warm and firm and grounding. “Whatever it says, I’m here.”
Despite the rather negative emotions coursing through him, a small smile graces his lips. “I know,” Yoongi laughs softly—a bit disbelievingly.
(It’s when the younger says and does things like this that he’s left so achingly confused, with infinite questions filling his mind. Cringey ones like “Do you really like me?” and “What are we?”)
Every two weeks the letter comes. A simple, straightforward letter that informs him of his grandmother’s health. In the past few, there’s been report of her condition...deteriorating. The visiting nurse had her moved to a senior’s living center, where she can be monitored more closely. Yoongi writes his grandmother every week—bittersweet letters filled with promises and apology. Though nothing too exciting happens at school (perhaps he’s become too desensitized to magic), he hypes it up, telling her what a grand time he’s having—tells her about his friends and his classes. Still, there’s only so much he can reveal—she’s surrounded by Muggles, after all. She writes back to the best of her capabilities, asking the nurse for help if she’s too tired.
I’m okay, he writes her every week, no matter what. I’m happy.
The letter shakes in his hand as he slits it open, unfolding it slowly. Jungkook moves his hand from Yoongi’s knee, wrapping it around his waist instead, tugging him even closer. (Close, always close.) The elder appreciates it—appreciates him. The letter is brief, as it always is, and he scans over it quickly. The breath leaves him in one sharp exhale.
“Love?” Jungkook asks softly, brows furrowed in concern when the other stays silent, eyes boring into the letter. It’s then that Yoongi notices their friends have quieted as well, sending the Slytherin their own worried glances.
“She’s stable,” Yoongi whispers, stomach fluttering not only at the joy he feels, but at the pet name the younger says so casually, as if it were the easiest thing in the world to call Yoongi his love.
(Think nothing of it. It’s...nothing. Right?)
A light laugh stutters out of the younger. “That’s wonderful, Yoongi,” Jungkook grins, hugging the elder close to him. Around him, their friends let out relieved breaths, beaming at Yoongi. “Absolutely fantastic!”
“She wants me to visit her for Christmas break. As if I hadn’t already planned to,” the Slytherin scoffs, his own grin breaking over his face.
They resume eating, Yoongi munching happily on the rather large piece of fudge Hoseok offers him, Mang now snoozing lightly on his shoulder. His grandmother is in stable condition. It’s all he can ask for. Yoongi sighs, a load of tension he didn’t know he had falling off his body. Slumping to the side, he lets his head fall on Jungkook’s shoulder, closing eyes.
“Are you sleepy?” Jungkook smiles, pinching Yoongi’s side.
“Of course,” the elder huffs, swatting the Gryffindor’s hand away. “So damn tired.”
Jungkook glances to their friends quickly, before returning his gaze to Yoongi, and almost shyly, “Hey, Yoongi...”
“When you can’t sleep,” the younger starts, licking his lips, squirming under the Slytherin. “You—...You can come to me,” he whispers, fingers tracing the table idly. “I want you to.”
A sweet something flows throughout Yoongi. There’s—it’s—Jungkook is just. He’s a lot. There’s a lot that Yoongi is feeling—a lovely, saccharine symphony pulsing through his heart, circulating his body, and he—he doesn’t want to stop experiencing it, this fullness in his heart that’s so good, he could cry.
Jungkook—bold, yet sweet Jungkook—who’s a little shit one second and then steals his breath in the next. Jungkook, who’s got a certain love for life, a pride in who he is that Yoongi can’t help but admire. Jungkook, who’s a poster-board Gryffindor, who’s talented in mostly anything he tries, who’s so endearingly in love with Muggle music and video games, always asking Yoongi about them. Jungkook, who touches him so sweetly, without Yoongi asking, because he just knows that the elder wants it—needs it. Jungkook, who’s so warm.
Yoongi thinks he’d like sleeping beside the younger.
“I will,” he whispers back. “I’ll come to you.”
The stone staircase groans as it reveals itself, spiraling down from the Headmaster’s Tower. The gargoyle statue gives Yoongi one final half-grin before it spins completely from his view, disappearing behind the spiral stairs. Yoongi runs a hand through his hair, taking a deep breath and setting his shoulders, before stepping onto the first stair. He braces himself on the wall as he walks up, the staircase already shifting underneath him, returning to its hiding place.
The door to the headmaster’s office is unlocked, and Yoongi doesn’t hesitate to let himself in: his presence is expected anyways.
The Headmaster’s office has always been a wondrous place to him—eccentric and mysterious. The office is a large circular room with many windows. The walls that aren’t occupied by tall, packed bookshelves are decorated with portraits of all previous headmasters. Some of the portraits offer him a smile, a wave, or a simple nod. Most of them, however, snooze quietly, their heads lolling as they rest.
There are several circular tables in the room, with parchment and books stacked on them, as well as little, silver contraptions that whirr and buzz, adding to the ambiance. The scent of incense floats lightly throughout the office. Just ahead of him, a few steps up lead to a platform that holds the headmaster’s desk, and seated in the tall chair, watching him with a calculated expression, the head of the school himself:
Professor Bang, headmaster of Hogwarts.
The man isn’t very indimidating physically, but his aura exudes dignity and solemnity—the Headmaster’s presence simply demands respect. Yoongi walks forward until he stands at the base of the stairs and bows. The headmaster nods in acknowledgement and rises, climbing down the stairs to settle in a large, plush armchair near the fireplace of his office, gesturing for Yoongi to take the seat across from him.
The Syltherin does so, and Professor Bang wordlessly taps the tea set sitting on the small table beside him with his wand. The tea pot instantly rises, pouring tea into two cups, one of them floating over to Yoongi. He reaches out with both hands, and it settles into his palm. Professor Bang sips from his own teacup, eyes closing as he sighs happily.
Yoongi clears his throat when the silence stretches out a bit longer than he’s comfortable with. “Professor—” His voice is still slightly croaky, so he clears it once more. “Professor Bang?”
The headmaster hums. Yoongi’s eyes wander around the office in his awkwardness, voice pitched embarrassingly high as he asks, “You called for me?”
Professor Bang merely nods in acknowledgement. Yoongi tilts his head in confusion, but gives up, taking another sip of his tea. He makes eye contact with one of the old headmaster’s portraits and raises a brow. The man in the painting shrugs in response. They sit quietly, drinking their tea slowly, until the dregs of tea swirl at the bottom of their cups.
“I’ve—I’m finished with my tea, Professor,” Yoongi raises his head, lifting his cup as if to prove it. The tea pot floats over to him, and he tries to avoid it, waving his cup around, but the teapot follows haphazardly, and he surrenders, not wanting tea to spill over his robes. Still, he can’t help but frown unhappily.
The headmaster chuckles quietly at his antics. “So you have, Min Yoongi. I have as well. Wasn’t that nice? A quiet spot of tea.”
There is a nice calmness in Yoongi that he didn’t have an hour ago. “I suppose it was, yes.”
The fireplace crackles in the resumed quiet, and Yoongi can’t help the exasperated sigh that escapes him. “Pardon me, Professor Bang, but did you need anything, perhaps? I’m missing class right now.”
One of the headmaster’s eyes cracks open, peering at him. “Which?”
A smile pulls at the professor’s lips, and Yoongi would even dare say it looks smug, slightly wry. “Ah, yes. Your favorite, no?”
That’s not untrue. All of the classes at Hogwarts are rather interesting, especially for him more-so. But Charms is by far his best subject, which...seems rather ironic. Charms, arguably the most ‘magic power’ involved subject, being the easiest for a Muggle-born, arguably the least magical here. At least in his opinion.
“You can say that,” Yoongi mumbles, averting his gaze as his finger traces the rim of his cup. The headmaster continues to stare at him, expression scrutinizing.
“I can see it. Inside you,” Professor Bang declares suddenly. Yoongi’s eyes jump to him, brows furrowed.
“Excuse me, sir?”
The headmaster leans back in his seat, intertwining his finger over his stomach. “Potential,” he says firmly. “A great wizard in the making.”
Yoongi tightens his grip on his cup, staring down at the reflection of his eye in the liquid. There’s nothing he can say to that—not anything other than the fact that he doesn’t believe it, doesn’t want to believe it.
He was never meant to be here.
“I wanted to...check-in, let’s say,” Professor Bang continues on. “About your plans after graduating.”
“I’ve told you, Professor,” Yoongi responds as politely as he can. “I plan to go back to the Muggle world, get a Muggle job, and continue to live a Muggle life. That hasn’t changed. It won’t.”
The headmaster closes his eyes, shaking his head regretfully as he lets out a heavy sigh. “You forget, Min Yoongi.”
“What?” Yoongi grits calmly, unable to prevent himself from growing defensive and annoyed. “What am I missing, Professor?”
“You’re not a Muggle,” Professor Bang states bluntly. “You’ve never been a Muggle, though you believed you were. You’ll never be a Muggle.”
The headmaster doesn’t say it unkindly, but the statement is so frank that it’s almost harsh, hitting Yoongi right where it hurts. The Slytherin slumps back, swallowing thickly as he stares into the fire. Professor Bang watches him, eyes sympathetic.
“You can’t avoid who you are—what you are,” the man pushes gently. “Yoongi, whether you like it or not, magic flows through your veins.”
“It shouldn’t,” Yoongi croaks, tightening his grip on his cup, watching the flames dance. “It shouldn’t be possible.”
“It is. You, and many others—including your friend, Taehyung—are the proof.” Professor Bang rises from his seat, strolling around the office idly. Yoongi watches him as he paces around.
“What’s holding you back, Yoongi? What makes you feel you have no place here?” The headmaster asks, stroking his chin. “Surely not the, ah—marking jinx that occurred last year?”
A weary scoff escapes Yoongi. That had been quite the event. He’s never considered himself a victim to bullying, not really. The most he’d ever received was heckling from a few jerks in his house. But the marking jinx, as Professor Bang calls it, had been an entirely different level.
Perhaps it’s because he hadn’t been very invested in being a wizard in the first place that the term had never really got to him. Plus, in the beginning, he hadn’t known the severity of it—how degrading it was to the person being called it—in this case, him. Still, it wasn’t as if he was a stranger to the word. (It was the go-to insult of prissy, high-class, pure-blooded wizards, after all.)
It was rather obscure at first—and he hadn’t noticed it for a good while: the word appearing on his skin whenever he spoke—written in the crook of his elbow, inside his thigh, under his belly-button, across his shoulder blades. It was when he was laughing heartily with Hoseok that he discovered it, or rather Hoseok discovered it, gasping loudly at the word that appeared over Yoongi’s forehead.
All of his friends are rather bright and bubbly, save for Namjoon and Jungkook, who tend to be more introverted—though they definitely have their moments. (Namjoon is actually the biggest pervert out of them all, don’t be fooled.) When Hoseok had hurriedly gathered them all to tell them what happened, it was the first time he’d seen them so...angry.
By the end of three days, his entire body was covered in scrawls and scribbles of it. Yoongi hadn’t been bothered by the word before, no, but standing in the bathroom, staring at himself in the mirror, ‘Mudblood’ written over every inch of him—he...he was starting to feel it.
Namjoon had found him like that, hidden away in an unused bathroom near the Hospital Wing (where he’d been staying as the professors figured out how to fix him), gazing wordlessly at his naked chest. The Ravenclaw himself had tried his best to reverse the jinx, but nothing had helped. Then, he’d simply wrapped his arms around the elder, pulling him away from the mirror.
(It was useless. The word was all over his hands and arms—places easily seen.)
They never discovered who did it to him. Professor Bang had docked significant points from all houses. Yoongi had resented him a bit for doing that—though he knew it was for good reason—in fear of receiving even more harassment. But his friends—they were like guard dogs, metaphorically snapping and growling at anyone who as much as glanced at Yoongi the wrong way.
(He loves those boys. He really does.)
He wasn’t one-hundred percent the same after the jinx—not even when it was removed from his skin. Yoongi’s not the type to let people put him down and walk all over him, but...a tiny piece of him died that week. The infinitesimally small part of him that thought he might have a place here, that wanted to belong here.
But he won’t tell Professer Bang that.
“That’s not the case,” Yoongi mumbles, keeping his gaze down. “I need to take care of my grandmother.”
The headmaster watches him with...some sort of look in his eyes—not exactly pity, but quite sad either way. “Yoongi, your grandmother would want you to explore your possibilities. Don’t limit yourself. Don’t let the opinions of others limit you.”
The Slytherin shrugs half-heartedly. Professor Bang sighs.
“Reconsider. Give it some thought. That’s all I ask,” the headmaster encourages. Yoongi chews at his lip.
“Thank you,” Professor Bang gives him a kind smile, nodding his head. “You’re a fine wizard, Yoongi. The world can be yours if you’re only willing to grasp it.”
“I don’t want the world,” Yoongi mumbles, a bit rueful. “I just want to be normal.”
“If you are always trying to be normal,” Professor Bang quotes seriously. “You will never know how amazing you can be.”
Yoongi tilts his head in curiosity. “That sounds familiar.”
“It’s a from one of your famous Muggles,” the headmaster straightens up almost proudly. “Maya Angelou.”
A laugh stutters out of Yoongi despite his rather glum mood. “Very impressive.”
Professer Bang bows jokingly, settling down in his desk chair. He ruffles through some parchment, before pointing at a sheet with a shake of his head. “Did you know your boy wants to be an Auror?”
Yoogni frowns, immediately countering, “No, he wants to be a Potioneer, if not a profesional Quidditch player.”
Professor Bang raises an arched brow, amusement dancing in his eyes. He turns to the parchment. “Jeon Jungkook,” he reads. “Career option one: professional Seeker. Option two: Potioneer.” The headmaster turns back to Yoongi with a sly grin. “Correct.”
Realization dawns on Yoongi. A deep flush instantly floods the Slytherin’s cheeks, rising to the tips of his ears. He waves his hands in denial, spluttering. “I’m—he’s not my—I don’t know what you’re talking about—we’re just—”
The headmaster has the audacity to laugh. Yoongi snaps his mouth shut, simmering in horrified embarrassment. Professor Bang shakes his head fondly, until his mirth fades and he grows serious.
“You might think you want nothing to do with the wizarding world, Yoongi. But this is their world—your friends’ world, and his world. Will you be prepared to say goodbye to them?”
Yoongi sucks in a sharp breath. He...
He doesn’t know.
A cheer explodes from the crowd. A boy clad in red and gold circles around the oval pitch on his broomstick, pumping his fists with a bright grin. The announcer, a fellow student, some Hufflepuff kid, makes a crude joke about the player always getting it in—the fourth of fifth time he’s said something of the sort. It seems to be the last straw, because a professor’s voice replaces his, letting out a loud, “Another ten points to Gryffindor!”
“That makes it 200-40, in Gryffindor’s favor!” The professor states.
There’s a loud crackle. It’s the student again. “Gryffindor has it in the bag, for sure! Keep it up! I’ve got ten galleons on you!”
There’s an audible scuffle for the mic.
Quidditch was one of the hardest things for Yoongi to get behind when he came to Hogwarts. Simple muggle sports were too much to him, and this—he’d definitely never play Quidditch, not ever. To him, there’s nothing fun about dangling hundreds of feet in the air on a broomstick—emphasizing stick.
But Jungkook loves it.
The first time he’d seen the younger was at a game exactly like this one—Ravenclaw versus Gryffindor. At the time, he’d been slowly integrating himself into Hoseok’s friend-group (the Hufflepuff was his first friend at Hogwarts). He’d already known Namjoon, and it was at that game that he’d met Jimin, Seokjin, and Taehyung. The younger Ravenclaw was decked out in maroon and gold. Even Namjoon had a small flag with the Gryffindor symbol on it.
“You’re cheering for Gryffindor? Rather than your own house?” Yoongi had asked with a raised brow.
“Of course!” Taehyung grinned. “Kookie’s on the team, after all!”
Jimin had pointed him out to Yoongi, and well, admittedly, he couldn’t see Jungkook at all. Seokjin had laughed, tossing the younger his binoculars, and there the Gryffindor was, circling the pitch slowly, eyes searching for the Snitch—focused and intense. It was...interesting, to say the least. Jungkook was.
Gryffindor had won that game—Jungkook swooping down so suddenly that Yoongi jolted in worry, thinking he was falling. The younger pulled up, merely feet from the ground, Snitch in hand and a bright grin plastered on his face.
(He’d met Jungkook after the game, outside the locker rooms, the youngest strolling up to them happily, all disheveled hair and flushed cheeks. It kind of reminded him of a rabbit—that smile on Jungkook’s face.)
They come to his every match, supporting him. While he’s not as dramatic in his support of Jungkook as Taehyung or Hoseok, he still has a red scarf wrapped around his neck—with thin, yellow-gold stripes and the Gryffindor insignia embroidered at the end. The colors surround them as they sit with Seokjin and his house.
“I’d love to see you decked out in face paint like Tae and Hobi,” Jungkook had told him that morning as he wrapped the scarf—his scarf—around the elder.
“I’d never do that, not even for my own house,” Yoongi scoffed, discreetly breathing in the soft scent of sugar quills that seemed to emanate from the material.
“You’d do it for me,” Jungkook grinned, smoothing over the scarf, his fingers grazing the elder’s neck.
The younger had laughed brightly. “I suppose this’ll do just fine. Root for me, yeah?”
“Of course, Kook,” Yoongi softened, smiling as his fingers brushed through a patch of bedhead in the younger’s hair. “Always. Be careful, okay?”
“Always,” Jungkook had smiled back, closing his eyes and leaning into the touch.
The younger’s made a name for himself. Golden Seeker. Golden like the Snitch he chases. It’s common knowledge that he’s the best Seeker across the four houses. It’s easy to forget outside of the Quidditch matches—since the Gryffindor is rather shy when it comes to strangers—but Jungkook’s...popular. There’s boys and girls that he’s never seen Jungkook even talk to shouting the younger’s name, cheering for him. It makes something like pride well up in Yoongi. (And perhaps a bit of smugness.)
Those cheers run through the crowd now—calls of Jungkook’s name.
“Jeon’s in pursuit! I repeat, Jeon has spotted the Snitch!” The announcer sounds mighty pleased, which makes sense, considering that he has his bets placed on Gryffindor.
“Go, Kookie!” Taehyung and Hoseok shout in unison, raising a banner they actually hand painted themselves. This spurs the rest of them on, Seokjin and Jimin basically screaming, while Namjoon and Yoongi clap, large grins on their faces.
The Snitch darts down to the ground, inches above the snow-covered grass. Jungkook goes for it, diving so sharply that Yoongi is struck by deja vu, his clapping hands stuttering to a halt. The younger’s speed rises as he approaches the Snitch. Jungkook’s arm shoots out, and he yanks his broom up, but it shudders, and he isn’t quick enough. He must try to avoid a straight plummet down, because his broom jerks to the side, but he’s still traveling too fast—headed for the wall of the pitch, slamming into it.
The bang of his collision is loud enough to reach their ears. Yoongi feels it, deep in his chest, a gasp tearing out of his throat. The crowd falls silent as Jungkook lies in the grass, until his hand slowly raises, the Snitch held firmly between his fingers. Hesitant cheers spread throughout the crowd, until most of the Gryffindor house plus some are clapping and hooting, but all Yoongi can do is stare at Jungkook, everything in him silent and frozen. Jungkook’s arm falls, and he stills in the snow—unconscious.
“That’s the game,” the announcer says, somewhere distant in Yoongi’s mind. “350-40! Gryffindor wins!”
“Oh, you idiot,” he hears Jimin murmur.
The walk to the Hospital Wing is a bit hazy, and Yoongi wonders faintly if he’s blanked out, because suddenly there the large, wooden double doors are, just in front of them. They stand outside for an immeasurable amount of time, not allowed to visit Jungkook quite yet. His heart beats loudly in his ears the entire time. Seokjin keeps close to him, a comforting hand placed on the younger’s arm.
Finally—finally—after what feels like several hours sitting there (really, it’s only one or two), the large door swings open slowly with a loud creak. “You can visit him now,” the matron tells them, disappearing in her chambers at the very end of the Hospital Wing. “But try not to jostle him too much.”
Seokjin asks gently, “Do you want to go in first, Yoongi-chi? Have some time?”
The others nod in agreement. They seem more put together than him. Perhaps because they trust magic more than he does—even Taehyung, though he’s also Muggle-born—and they know Jungkook will be fine. Or maybe they’re restraining their own fear and worry for his sake. Guilt rises in him the more he thinks about it.
“No,” Yoongi mumbles, not having the heart to make them wait to see Jungkook any longer. They’re his friends as well. “No, let’s all go in.”
The Hospital Wing is mostly empty, save for one girl who seems to be jinxed with purple skin. The rest of the beds lining either wall remain empty, except for Jungkook’s. They walk further into the room, until they all stand at the foot of the youngest’s bed. The Gryffindor is propped up on large, fluffy pillows, seemingly asleep, but his eyes crack open when he hears their approaching footsteps. A sheepish smile spreads over his lips. Yoongi finds himself hanging back, behind the rest of them.
“It was only a few factured ribs. And maybe a slight concussion,” Jungkook rushes out, voice rough around the edges, eyes searching amongst them. Yoongi shuffles behind Hoseok a bit—hiding. It must’ve been worse than that. The loud bang of Jungkook’s collision still echoes in his ears.
“I’m mended. The matron just wants me to rest,” Jungkook attempts to console them, slumping back into the pillows.
“You’re an idiot,” Jimin deadpans. Yoongi knows the Hufflepuff has been waiting to say that, and he can’t say he disagrees. “An extreme idiot.”
Taehyung sits at the edge of the bed, placing a hand over Jungkook’s calf. “He’s right, you know.”
“It wasn’t nearly important enough for you to dive for the Snitch. You were in the lead,” Namjoon frowns, crossing his arms. Jungkook averts his gaze, looking down at his feet. There’s something rather unpleasant about upsetting Namjoon—disappointing him.
Seokjin huffs, moving closer to flick the younger Gryffindor’s foot over the blanket. “Don’t pout like that. You scared us nearly half to death.”
“I don’t think Yoongi’s even breathed properly since the game ended,” Hoseok adds, rubbing a hand over the Slytherin’s back, pulling him closer, when he notices the elder still remaining quiet—distant. Jungkook’s eyes snap up at that, and he almost attempts to rise from the bed, but Seokjin sends him a warning look.
“But I’m—I’m okay now,” Jungkook assures, almost whining as his eyes bore into Yoongi, mentally willing the elder to lift his head and look at him. Yoongi swallows, shuffling on his feet, shrinking further into himself, much to the younger’s dismay.
Seokjin clicks his tongue as the others all sigh. Jungkook thinks they’re being rather unfair to him, and he’s—he’s lying in a hospital bed for crying out loud. He doesn’t want them to grill him about hurting himself, not that he’s fine now. (Jungkook knows it’s because they care.) And that look on Yoongi’s face. Jungkook, he—he doesn’t like it, doesn’t like the elder looking like he’s struggling to hold back tears. (He doesn’t know if it’s the tears or the holding back that he dislikes more.)
Taehyung huffs, taking mercy on the younger—at the confusion and pain in his expression—though he doesn’t want to have to say it aloud. Still, his friends are wizards. They’ve lived their entire lives as wizards. Many things aren’t as...fragile to them as it is to Yoongi, and even to himself. “Listen up, Jungkook,” he starts, voice falling deeper in a way it only really does when he’s extremely serious or upset. The other turns to him with wide eyes.
“Had you been a Muggle,” Taehyung meets his gaze grimly. He hates to say this in front of Yoongi, he really does. “That crash would have been extremely fatal. Magic, insta-mending doesn’t exist back home for him and me, remember? We were all scared, yes. But it’s ten times scarier when, for a second, you forget that broken bones can be fixed within the hour.”
Jungkook’s mouth hangs open wordlessly. The others suck in sharp breaths, and Taehyung figures they hadn’t thought of it that way either. Turning to Yoongi with furrowed brows, Jungkook finds the elder with his hands pressed to his face, taking in a shaky breath that leaves the younger aching. The Slytherin is standing too far from him—not close enough, never close enough.
“Yoongi,” he calls, voice wavering a bit. Yoongi can hear the regret and borderline desperation in it. “Come here, love. Please.”
There’s no way Yoongi can ever refuse him. Shuffling away from Hoseok’s comforting hands, he moves to the side of the bed not occupied by Taehyung, sitting close to the head of it. Almost the same second that he’s seated, Jungkook reaches out a hand, twining his fingers in the elder’s hair, tugging him close as he leans forward, putting their foreheads together gently.
“I’m sorry,” Jungkook murmurs into the space between them, massaging Yoongi’s scalp, heart pulsing painfully at the sniff the elder lets out. “I never want to scare you like that, baby. I’m sorry.”
That only serves to further damage Yoongi’s fortifications—Jungkook’s sweet touches and words. The damned pet names that make him melt, make him a jumbled mess inside. Yoongi’s eyes flutter shut. Jungkook’s free hand rises to cup the elder’s cheek, twitching when he finds it wet.
“Oh, love,” Jungkook sighs, caressing Yoongi close to him, brushing his face and petting his hair. “My sweet love. I’m here. I’m okay.”
I want to kiss you. The thought—the urge—hits Yoongi so strongly that a shiver runs through him. His lips tingle, hyper-aware of Jungkook’s, mere inches away. I want to kiss you.
A sniff sounds from behind them. “Sorry,” Hoseok rubs his nose, wipes his eyes. “Sorry, you two are just—”
“Sickingly sweet,” Jimin finishes for him, his own cheeks dusted pink from observing the two.
Taehyung claps his hands, exclaiming “Disastrously dear!”
“Cringingly cute,” Seokjin pipes up with a wink.
“Retchingly romantic,” Namjoon finishes. It’s the winning alliteration, as their friends collapse into loud laughter, swatting at Namjoon appreciatively. Jungkook beams, not moving away from Yoongi, and the Slytherin finds it in himself to let out a chuckle.
“What would you say we are?” Jungkook asks him lightly, eyes crinkling at the corners, but there’s a serious light behind them, making Yoongi’s heart stutter. Jungkook watches him, a bit carefully, as Yoongi averts his gaze.
“Wonderful,” he mumbles.
“Woefully wonderful?” Someone asks jestingly, but Jungkook doesn’t pay too much attention, focused solely on Yoongi.
“Just...wonderful. Wonderfully wonderful,” Yoongi mutters shyly, cheeks flushing.
Jungkook’s breath catches in his throat.
Christmas at Hogwarts is—well—magical. Everlasting, unmelting icicles hang from the banisters of the Grand Staircase. A few suits of armor have even been enchanted to sing carols. But his favorite part by far—the Great Hall. The hall is decorated with twelve giant trees, holly, mistletoe, and warm, dry snow falls from the ceiling. Yoongi could sit there all day, just basking in it.
But he’s going home.
It makes him giddy—so pleasantly happy—going home for the holidays. There’s a bag full of small gifts for his grandmother from his friends, as well as sweets in his trunk. (She can’t eat candy, he knows, but she’ll still be amazed by a sentient chocolate frog.)
All seven of them are going home for the break. They’ll spend a week with their families, and then they’ve decided to meet at Hoseok’s house for the remainder of break to celebrate the New Year, as well as come back to school together. Yoongi’s excited, so immensely excited.
They gather and share hugs, giving each other loud, dramatic goodbyes. Yoongi’s mood is too pleasant to complain when Hoseok gives him a wet kiss on the cheek, or when Jimin slaps his ass. He might even let out a giggle when Taehyung wraps his arms around his waist and twirls him around. Thankfully, Seokjin and Namjoon’s goodbyes are simple hugs and ‘see you soon’s.
When Jungkook steps up to him, Yoongi finds his giddiness settling into something warmer as he gazes at the younger. There’s a flush on Jungkook’s cheeks from the cold, the tip of his nose pink.
“I’ll miss you,” the younger admits quietly, clasping Yoongi’s hands in his own. “A lot.”
A laugh leaves Yoongi as he moves closer to Jungkook, peering up at him with happy eyes. “It’ll only be about a week until we’re together again.”
“Oh, but even a week is too long,” the younger croons back at him, grinning teasingly. “How will I survive?”
Yoongi hums in contemplation, hands leaving Jungkook’s to tug at the younger’s coat, pulling him closer. Jungkook leaves his hands hanging by his side, but he leans forward a hair.
“You’ll have to make do,” Yoongi muses, and the younger’s eyelashes flutter as the Slytherin’s breath fans over his face.
“Won’t you give me something to remember you by?” Jungkook murmurs, eyes half-closed as he stares at the elder’s lips. A tongue peeks out and swipes across them slowly, leaving the soft pink lips glistening so enticingly. For some reason, Jungkook finds himself nodding.
“You’re a tease,” he pouts. Yoongi laughs breathily, heartbeat picking up.
There had always been a line that Yoongi was aware of—always careful not to cross it. But he’s found himself toeing it more and more. They’ve always been...flirty. Touchy. Now...it’s to the point that if Jungkook tells him a cheesy pick-up line, he’ll actually blush, rather than groan and complain like before. Now, their friends are the ones complaining. It’s kind of funny.
“Wrap it up, lover boys. Let’s go, Kookie,” Jimin calls. The two live in the same village, so they’ll be traveling home together. Jungkook turns to him, waving his hand.
“Yeah, yeah. Just a minute!”
The younger turns back to Yoongi, opening his mouth to speak, but the Slytherin lurches forward before he can, quickly pecking Jungkook’s cheek.
“Have a safe trip,” Yoongi whispers into Jungkook’s ear. The elder startles when Jungkook lets out a loud squeal, jumping forward to embrace the Slytherin, digging his nose into the space between his neck and scarf. Yoongi squirms, but Jungkook only tightens his grip.
“This is so unfair,” the Gryffindor whines, pressing his face more firmly against Yoongi’s neck, hiding his blush. The elder pats his back amusedly. “I miss you already...”
Jimin groans and Yoongi laughs, pushing against Jungkook’s chest gently, encouraging him to lean back. The others have gone. It’s just the three of them, standing outside the entrance of the castle. “I’ll miss you, too, Kook, but it’s time to go now, yeah?”
The younger pulls an exaggerated crying face, nodding his head. It earns another laugh from Yoongi. “But first,” Jungkook sobers up. The other raises his brow in question. The Gryffindor leans forward, but rather than a give a quick peck like Yoongi, he presses his lips to the elder’s cheek slowly, applying more pressure before letting up gently, only to push back against Yoongi’s cheek again.
“Now we’re even,” Jungkook grins when he pulls away. Yoongi smiles back shyly, raising a hand to flick the younger’s earring.
“We are. Now, get a move on before Jimin hexes me,” Yoongi laughs lightly, shaking his head. Jungkook gives him once last hug, before running to catch up with Jimin, who’d already taken off down the snow covered path, muttering to himself. The two will be traveling to Hogsmeade, where they’ll leave for their home village via Floo powder.
Yoongi himself opted for a less magical route home: the train. Plugging in his earphones, he makes his way to the station. The ride is peaceful, and after a few hours that he’s spent listening to music and napping, he arrives at his stop. Next is an hour long bus ride, until he reaches his hometown. Soon, familiar landmarks pass by, and excitement slowly pools in his veins, nerves settling just under his skin.
The first thing he does when he arrives in his home town is check himself into a hotel. Their old home had been sold to help cover the costs of his grandmother’s nursing home, and it’s not as if he needed it now anyways, not that he’s living at Hogwarts during the school year.
Yoongi draws himself a nice, warm bath. There’s no fancy wizarding soap here, just plain hotel-room shampoo and conditioner, and the simplicity makes him smile brightly. Afterwards, drying his hair in his pajamas, he goes over the plan for his stay. The rest of the night will be for getting settled. Tomorrow is Christmas Eve—he’ll go to the nursing home then. Opening his suitcase, he pulls the bag of sweets and gifts out, setting it on the desk so he doesn’t forget.
There’s just something different about hotel beds. Yoongi snuggles in his comfortably, basking in the sounds of the Muggle town—the cars and distant engines of airplanes, the occasional voice drifting to his window from the street below, the sound of a siren.
Home. He’s home.
The next morning is cold, the chilled air seeping into his room. Peeking outside the window, he finds several inches of snowfall. He cringes slightly. Snow is pretty and all, but he hates the cold. Dressing warmly, he prepares himself for the nearly ten minute walk to the nursing home. He nearly steps out the door without his bag of gifts, and he curses softly, giggling at himself as he runs back in to grab it.
The walk goes by faster than he would’ve thought, being ankle-deep in snow. Maybe there’s a certain pep in his step that has him taking longer strides. He checks his map, and—there it is. The nursing home is a tall, brick building, decorated with white and blue lights. It looks homely, with a large garden courtyard in the front and smoke rising from a main chimney in the building. Yoongi opens the steel gate, making his way to the automatic doors.
“Welcome,” the receptionist, a middle-aged lady with purple highlights, calls brightly when he enters. “Do you have an appointment?”
Yoongi steps up to the desk hesitantly. “Ah, I’m not sure about the visiting hours, actually, but I’m here to see my grandmother?”
“You came at just the right time, dear,” the woman smiles kindly, standing in front of her computer and leaning down to type. “What’s the surname?”
Shuffling his feet, Yoongi leans an arm on the tall desk wall. “It’s Min.”
The woman types in her database, before pausing. “Did...did you say Min?”
“Uh—Yes, M-I-N, Min,” he spells out, just in case she heard wrong.
There’s something in the receptionist’s voice, in the way she swallows thickly. Yoongi finds himself freezing in place, holding his breath.
“Oh, dear,” the woman breathes, stumbling back, steadying herself on the desk.
“Miss?” Yoongi asks with wide eyes, not even daring to breathe. The receptionist’s gaze snaps up to him.
“I need to sit down,” she rushes out.
Dread begins building in Yoongi’s gut. “Miss, please just tell me the room my grandmother’s in,” he rasps out shakily, eyes growing wider.
The receptionist’s eyes begin to tear up, much to his absolute horror. “Miss,” he tries again, voice growing slightly more desperate as his heart begins to thud painfully in his chest. “Please, what room is she in?”
“You didn’t get the letter,” she gapes at him almost silently, eyes impossibly wide, almost as panicked and horrified as he is. “Bloody hell, you didn’t get the letter.”
“What letter?” Yoongi’s breath is starting to come quicker. There’s sweat building in the palms of his hands, and the room’s a bit hazy, a bit spinny.
The receptionist is muttering to herself. “This is why I’ve tried to get them to implement email notifications. You would’ve known sooner—”
“Known what?” Yoongi snaps, fingers clenching into fists. “Listen, miss, it’s the holidays, and—and I—I need to see my grandmother, okay? So please, please. Just—where is she?”
The woman lets out a shaky breath, collapsing down in her desk chair. “She,” the receptionist starts, bringing up a hand to cover her mouth, pushing back her sorrow. “Last week, she—”
“Please...” Yoongi whispers. “Please.”
“Oh lord,” the receptionist breathes out. “Oh dear, she’s—she’s passed.”
Yoongi’s stomach nearly lurches up his throat. “No,” he mumbles, hands starting to shake, trembling so painfully.
“Dear, I’m so sorry, I can’t—I can’t even fathom—”
“No,” Yoongi exclaims, nearly hyperventilating. “No—you’re—she was fine. She’s s-supposed to be fine. Where’s my nan? She can’t be d—Where is she?” Yoongi’s never been able to yell, but he tries his damnedest, voice cracking as he slams his hands on the counter. His heart is thundering in his head, and he can’t think, he—he can’t breathe. The receptionist lets out a soft sob into her hand. Somewhere, in a part of his mind that’s still functioning properly, Yoongi almost feels bad for her—deilivering such terrible news on Christmas Eve.
“Please,” Yoongi quivers, everything in him trembling. Aching. “Please, tell me this hasn’t happened. This can’t be happening.”
“Please, sir,” the receptionist sniffs. “I can pull up the address of her grave—”
A pained noise rips out of his chest. “She’s been—she’s—buried?”
“In—in your family plot, sir. Now, please—”
Yoongi is flying out the automatic doors before she can give a single direction.
The snow falls lightly around him. The toes of his shoes are drenched, damp and cold. The rest of his body feels the same, his heart feels the same, so he doesn’t notice it too much. An immeasurable amount of time passes as he stands there, head throbbing dully, staring down at the grey slab of marble.
In Loving Memory
There, under the words: his grandmother’s name. A carving of a small bird.
All he can do is stare with wide eyes. It—it hasn’t hit him, yet. That his grandmother is.
A sharp exhale leaves his lips.
It’s—it’s impossible to wrap his head around. The woman who raised him from the age of three, when his father and mother died, she’s gone. The woman who taught him to tie his shoe laces and how to cook. The woman who taught him his manners, from who he inherited his kindness, his ambition, his inner strength. The woman who held him when he cried, whether from happiness or sadness. The woman who was always there—his grandmother.
And he hadn’t been there to say goodbye, he’d completely missed her funeral—him, her only family. She was alone. She—she’d been...passed...for a whole week, and he’d been ignorant of it the entire time. He wasn’t there for here, he should’ve been there for her. Seeing her tombstone, beside his parents’, it’s too much.
“I’m sorry,” he mumbles, lips quivering so strongly it feels more like his teeth are chattering. Guilt has him around the throat, suffocating him. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m so fucking sorry—”
There’s no response. No arms that embrace him, telling him it’s okay. There’s nothing. Not here in the Muggle world, not anymore. She was it. She was all he had. The cemetery is silent, save for the distant cries of a crow. White flakes float down gently around him, wet and cold. Words tumble out his mouth in a frenzied ramble to fill the quiet.
“There was so much I wanted to tell you, so much I wanted to show you. I—I brought you candy. There’s those—those chocolate frogs I told you about, the ones that actually jump around, can you believe that?” Yoongi laughs loudly, a bit unstably, wringing his hands.
“And my friends. I’ve written about them. They—they gave me gifts for you.” Yoongi scrambles for the book bag slung over his shoulder, pulling out the bundle of gifts, pawing through them shakily—one box sliding out and burying in the snow. “There’s one from all of them. Hobi, Tae, Jimin, Namjoon, Jin, and—and Jungkook.”
Yoongi blinks away a fresh set of tears, hands pausing over the gifts. “I... I wanted to talk to you about him. I wanted to tell you that I...”
The wind bites at his cheeks, chilling his tear tracks, chapping his red, sensitive skin.
“I love him,” Yoongi whispers, brows furrowing. “I’m in love with him.”
The words float in the air, falling into empty space. Yoongi tugs at his hair, sucking in a deep breath.
“But you know, right? You know me best, after all. I wrote about him so much, so fondly. I’m smitten, honestly,” Yoongi attempts to laugh softly, but it comes out as a sob. The snow crunches under his feet as he shuffles his weight.
“Still, I wanted to tell you...” Yoongi lowers his head, biting his lip when it begins quivering again. “I wanted you to meet him. I—I wanted you to...love him, too...”
It’s wearing thin—the rope that’s tied into his sanity. There’s a tugging pull in his stomach, and he wants to give in, wants to sob and scream, wants to gag on this—this pain. His hands won’t stop shaking, and there’s a twitch in his thigh, and he fears his legs might give out on him here and now, and he’ll be stuck. Part of him wants to let it happen, wants to curl up in front of her tombstone and pass out, hopefully waking in his bed back at Hogwarts, because this can’t be real.
It can’t be fucking real.
“What will I do?” Yoongi rasps out, voice cracking, eyes glistening. “What will I do now that you’re gone?”
Once spoken, the words hit him like a freight train—slamming into him, tearing him apart.
“You’re gone,” he chokes, tears overflowing, spilling down his cheeks. Heavy sobs wrack his body, and he wraps his arms around himself tightly, as if it might help him keep it together.
He needs to get out of here, needs to move away from this empty, cold slab of stone, needs to stop thinking about the fact that she’s—she’s there, under—
He really might throw up.
Run, he needs to run.
Time passes in a blur. Everything is blurred. His vision, his hearing. One second he’s in his hotel, frantically packing, and the next he’s already aboard a train, headed for—for somewhere. His body knows where he’s going, probably, but his mind—it’s. It’s not working properly.
It feels a bit like he’s stopped existing. Like he’s just a grain of—something. Sand? Dirt? A seed? He’s—he’s floating, that’s the point. He’s riding the wind. He doesn’t know how many trains he’s boarded, how many stops he’s stepped onto, how far he’s gone. The current train he’s on jolts to a stop, and he blinks, finding himself standing and rushing off before his mind can contemplate what to do. There’s even more snow here. The scent of fresh Cauldron Cakes wafts over to him. A wizarding village?
His feet are moving, but he’s not quite sure where he is. The house on his left looks rather familiar. The entire street looks familiar, and he knows he’s been here before. It hits him as he steps up to the gate of a nice home. There’s a quaint garden in the front, with a cute bird bath, and half the front wall of the house is entirely covered in vines.
There’s laughter inside the house—he can hear it as he stands at the front door—and he hesitates. There’s happiness emanating from this home, and he—he’s the farthest thing from happy. Through the muddled haze in his head, he manages to feel guilty, because as if his own disastrously ruined Christmas isn’t enough, he has to go and ruin his friend’s as well.
A shiver runs through him—or has he been shivering the entire time? It’s—it’s cold outside, and he hates the cold. That’s what encourages him to reach a trembling finger out and press down on the door bell. A voice approaches the door, chattering loudly to the others inside. The door swings open, and he faintly hears a gasp. (He doesn’t even want to imagine what his face must look like.) Hoseok’s older sister ushers him inside hurriedly, calling out, “Hoseok!”
The boy rounds the corner with curious, concerned eyes, most likely caused by his sister’s frantic yell. Hoseok freezes, eyes growing wide as he finds Yoongi trembling in the entryway, the Slytherin’s expression a mix of shock and pain. The boy’s eyes are impossibly wide, as if he’s received terrible news that he can’t believe, and that—Hoseok can figure it out. There’s only one reason Yoongi would be here, not home, on Christmas Eve.
“Don’t tell me...” Hoseok starts. A quiet sob spills from Yoongi, and it tears at the younger’s heart. Hoseok’s mother rounds the corner, her eyes falling on Yoongi. In a second, she’s in front of him, pulling him into her embrace, murmuring soft words into his ear. (She’s always had a soft spot for Yoongi, just like Mang.) It seems to be the tipping point, and Yoongi collapses into her arms, a loud wail escaping his chest.
His mother—along with his sister, who pets Yoongi’s hair consolingly—pulls the boy into their lounge, settling him down on the couch. Yoongi leans against Hoseok’s mother, weeping heavily, stuttering out nonsensical words.
Hoseok can’t imagine the pain he feels. The letter he received just a month before break—it told him she was stable, his grandmother. But now...on Christmas Eve. It’s immensely shocking to Hoseok, and he—he can’t imagine the pain, but Yoongi feels it, and that’s—that hurts him, impossibly so.
A wet gasp from Yoongi snaps Hoseok out of his stupor, and he rushes forward, squatting down in front of the distraught, mourning boy. Placing a soothing hand on the elder’s knee, he glances up to his mother for help. “Mum, should I send for the others?”
Yoongi’s instantly mumbling out ‘no’s, but Hoseok thinks having the boys would help him tremendously, and well...specifically one boy, especially.
“I’m not quite sure, dear,” his mother whispers back. “He doesn’t seem to want—”
“There will be other Christmases,” Hoseok argues firmly, sort of already set in his decision. “But this one—he needs them, Mum, and I’d—we’d both feel better if they could be here. I don’t want to keep this quiet until they arrive next week. They’ll probably hate me for not telling them sooner, honestly.”
His mother smiles down at him, a bit of a proud glint in her eyes. “Well, then, run off. You can use the Floo powder. We’ll take care of him.”
Hoseok straightens up, nodding his head determinedly. He leans forward, placing a hand on Yoongi’s cheek. “Don’t worry, Yoongi, I’ll bring them here, okay? I’ll bring Jungkook here first.”
The elder nods his head in defeat (more damned holidays ruined), heart clenching at the name, sniveling heavily. “Be—be careful, Hobi,” he croaks out, voice rough and strained.
There’s rustling—the Hufflepuff pulling on a coat, his shoes, finding the Floo powder, preparing the fireplace. Yoongi hears the loud call of words—the name of Jungkook and Jimin’s village. There’s a loud poof, and Hoseok is gone. Slumping back against Hoseok’s mother, Yoongi takes in a shuddering breath. She strokes his hair quietly, and soon his eyelids drag closed, until he falls into an empty, dreamless sleep.
There’s voices chattering quietly around him. Someone speaks in a lilting, joking tone, and tired laughs follow. Yoongi tries prying his eyes open, but they hang heavy—swollen and crusted together with dried tears. A frustrated, distraught noise leaves his throat. The laughter dissipates, and he wants to tell them it’s okay—that he wants to hear them laughing, wants to hear them being happy, because he—he doesn’t think he’ll ever be able to do or be either again, not for a long time.
There’s a painful pounding in his skull, he can’t breath through his nose, and his eyes won’t open. It’s cold. It’s so cold. The room has fallen silent, save for hushed, worried whispers. I’m awake, he wants to inform them, but instead of words, a sob bubbles past his lips.
Hands instantly caress his head, carding through his hair, wiping his cheeks. Warm breath fans over his face as he’s spoken to, the voice he’s hearing only serving to make his chest ache harder, the tears flow faster.
“I’m here, love. We’re here.”
Weak sobs continue to slip past his lips. “J-Jung—kook,” he cries, shoulders shaking. “Jungkoo-ook.”
There’s not much he can do other than reach out blindly, hands grasping onto the younger’s shirt, tugging him closer weakly. But Jungkook comes easily, clambering down onto the—the couch? A bed? Either way, the younger’s strong arms wrap around him, and Yoongi clings onto him like a koala, throwing his leg over Jungkook’s hip, pressing his face against the younger’s neck.
“I’m sorry,” he whimpers pitifully, tightening his grip on Jungkook. “I-I’m sorry.”
“No, don’t apologize,” Jungkook sniffs, trying to blink back his own tears for the elder’s sake. “It’s not your fault, Yoongi. Nothing is your fault.”
“I left her all by herself—and, now I’m—I’m alone,” Yoongi weeps softly. “I have no one—”
“Never,” Jungkook interrupts firmly, brushing his lips over the other’s hair. “I’ll never let you be by yourself, babe. None of us will,” he adds on wetly, no longer able to push back his sadness and pain as he feels Yoongi cry against him, tears sliding down his own cheeks as his chest begins to stutter with small sobs. This boy in his arms—Yoongi—Yoongi is his, and he’s hurting, so immensely, and there’s nothing Jungkook can do but hold the elder, be there for him. Yoongi presses closer to Jungkook, hiccuping loudly.
Seokjin is the first to approach them, settling down behind Yoongi, fingers raising to stroke the younger’s shoulder. Soon, Hoseok follows, and then the rest of them are climbing onto what Yoongi asumes must be Hoseok’s bed, considering that no one is toppling to the floor. They cuddle close—a pile of sniffling, sad boys—and Yoongi, he—
Professor Bang gave him an extra week off. Yoongi spent it at Hoseok’s home, helping his friend’s mother tend to the laundry, shopping for groceries with her, learning some of her sacred baking recipes. Often, he found himself sitting by the window, staring blankly outside for an immeasurable amount of time—moments where it seemed like he ceased to exist. No thoughts ran through his head. He just merely sat.
There was a certain delicacy around him. Certain things were—are still—more sensitive than others. Hoseok’s sister had brought him a bag of sweets from the shop, and when he opened it up and saw the chocolate frog inside, he promptly broke down into tears.
The day he arrived back at the castle, his friends jumped him, smothering him with hugs and loving words. It took a lot for him not to cry, but he’d had a while to get his emotions under control. And keep them under control he did. He buried himself in schoolwork—didn’t give himself the opportunity to be occupied with nothing but his thoughts. If there’s constant noise, constant distractions, he won’t realize just how empty he is. Sometimes, he tends to withdraw into himself—quiet and reserved—but those had only been short instances, and Yoongi—as much as he loves sleeping and relaxing and calm—likes to think that he’s quite a lively person. But that’s gone, for now.
The fifth night, he lays in bed, staring up at the ceiling for hours, chilled goosebumps raising on his skin. Like countless times before, he pulls on his slippers and exits the dungeons, but rather than make his way to the Astronomy Tower, he finds himself standing outside the Gryffindor Tower, tapping the Fat Lady’s portrait gently.
The woman jolts awake, sending him an irritated glare. “And what do you suspect you’re doing?”
“Please,” Yoongi whispers. “I need him.”
The Fat Lady purses her lips. “Password.”
The Fat Lady shakes her head almost fondly, an exasperated sigh escaping her lips. “Here you go, Yoongi dear. Try to come at regular times, won’t you?”
The portrait swings open, revealing the entrance to the Gryffindor common room. He wastes no time in pattering across it, through the dim light of the fireplace, climbing up the stairs to the boys’ dormitory until he reaches the correct room. Pulling the door open and letting it fall shut behind him quietly, he circles around, trying to find—
There. Yoongi approaches the four-poster bed, kneeling on the edge of it gently as he tugs the red curtains around it closed. The last curtain slides in place, encasing the bed in its own dark, quiet bubble. Yoongi shuffles up the mattress, careful not to kneel on a limb as he slips under the covers. There’s a rustle, and a confused noise escapes the boy beside him.
“It’s me,” Yoongi informs quietly, so the other doesn’t freak out. “You—you said I could come to you when I can’t sleep,” he adds on, chewing at his lip.
It’s silent, save for the nervous beating of his heart, and he almost wishes he had just stuck it out in the Astronomy Tower. For a second, part of him is sure the other has fallen back asleep. But then an arm slides over his waist, tugging him close. The Slytherin adjusts his position, turning on his side, a hand coming to rest on his stomach. A foot wiggles between his calves.
“Do you want to talk about it?” Jungkook whispers, pressing a soft kiss to the elder’s hair. When Yoongi nods after a moment of hesitation, the Gryffindor fumbles for his wand, reaching past the bed curtain and feeling around on his nightstand. Grasping the wand, he pulls his arm back and waves it around, muttering out, “Muffliato.” The four-poster bed is encased in a soundproof bubble.
Once Yoongi opens his mouth to speak his mind, he finds his throat closing up, his eyes glistening with unshed tears. It’s hard, speaking about it—what he’s experiencing. It’s so damn hard.
“‘S okay,” Jungkook mumbles, pressing closer to Yoongi’s back, lips brushing the nape of the elder’s neck. “I’m here, love...”
“I know,” Yoongi murmurs, leaning into Jungkook. The younger hums, rubbing his fingers over the elder’s stomach soothingly, encouraging him.
“It’s like,” Yoongi rasps out, voice cracking. He blinks several times. “It’s like my entire world has been shifted on its axis. I’ve lost my center of gravity, and I keep stumbling, always on edge, just about to fall.”
There’s a wobble in his voice by the time he finishes speaking. It’s the best way he can describe the lost confusion he feels. Everything is the same, really. His life at Hogwarts is the same. Yet everything is so significantly different, in a big, overarching kind of way.
“It hurts,” he whispers, bottom lip twitching. “I’m still hurting so much, Kookie, and I’m scared. I’m so scared of falling.”
Jungkook squeezes his eyes shut, pressing his forehead against the back of the elder’s neck. “It’s okay to hurt, baby. It’s okay to feel it. You need to feel it, so you can heal. I won’t let you fall, I promise.”
The elder’s breath stutters when he inhales deeply, holding his breath. “You’ll stay with me?”
“Of course,” Jungkook swears, pressing closer to the elder, running his hand over Yoongi’s chest, up to his neck and back down again. “I want to be with you always. I told you, love. You’re not alone.”
The elder exhales in relief. And so he cries. It’s not like the first time, when he felt the ground being yanked from underneath him. There’s a sense of acceptance in Yoongi now, so these tears aren’t frantic sobs of disbelief and agony. They’re a tad softer—still sad—a deep ache of sorrow making him shiver. But as Jungkook said, this is part of the process. He’s healing. The younger holds him tightly, pressing his lips against Yoongi’s hair.
When he’s calmed down again, there’s almost a feeling of refreshness in his chest, in his mind. The pain is still there, of course it is, but it’s not clogging his head, drowning all else. Yoongi reaches for the hand resting on his stomach, intertwining their fingers and tugging them up to the underside of his chin.
I love you, he mouths, knowing the other can’t hear it, can’t see it. I love you.
They lay together quietly, for a long moment, drifting off ever so slowly, Jungkook swirling his thumb over the elder’s knuckles. A dash of braveness runs through Yoongi, so he lifts their intertwined hands, ducking his head down to meet them, kissing the younger’s knuckles gently. Jungkook sighs serenely, tightening his grip around Yoongi, sliding his own lips along the elder’s nape sweetly, and if he were more awake, he’d definitely explore the way the Slytherin shivers under his touch, but he hears the elder let out a long yawn. Another time.
This bed is so much softer to Yoongi than his own. Comfortable sleepiness washes over him in the most pleasant way, making his toes curl, his stomach tingle, and his eyelids droop. The younger resumes breathing lightly, evenly, behind him, and it’s not long before Yoongi also finds himself submitting to tranquil slumber.
Time slowly melts the winter away, and as time passes, Yoongi feels something inside himself blooming alongside the buds of the trees and the tufts of grass. There’s not a night he hasn’t spent at the Gryffindor Tower, beside Jungkook, and he feels himself healing, ever so slowly. With spring comes the sun, and Yoongi’s the warmest he’s ever been.
He’s himself again, mostly—able to laugh and be happy, able to enjoy his life. Though, chocolate frogs are rather bittersweet now. They make him sad, yet they also make him smile, reminding him of one of the most beautiful things in his life—one of the most beautiful people—and some of his most precious memories.
It hits him most at night—the pain. But Jungkook is there. He’s always there.
There’s a lot to be happy about. Even something as simple as laying on a spread blanket beneath the shade of a tree, listening to the Earth come alive after its sleep. Birds are singing, wind rustles through the leaves of the trees. Something—maybe mermaids—splashes in the Great Lake, off in the distance. Taehyung and Jimin sit with him, chattering together. (Jungkook’s at Quidditch practice. Namjoon has prefect duties. Hoseok and Seokjin are heckling the house elves for food in the kitchens.)
They sit for a long while, basking in the fresh weather and the cool breeze. It’s blissfully relaxing—until Yoongi notices a rather suspicious amount of giggling coming from the two next to him. The Slytherin turns from where he’s sprawled on the blanket, eyes fluttering when a spot of sunlight breaks through the branches, landing directly over his face, drawling out with a raised brow, “What’re you two up to?”
Jimin’s eyes widen, and he looks out at the Great Lake, whistling innocently as he discreetly hands something to Taehyung. The latter turns to Yoongi with a bright grin. “What are you up to, Min Yoongi, you sneaky minx?”
“Nothing?” The Slytherin purses his lips, frowning at the cringey nickname. Jimin’s head spins to squint at him.
“You think we don’t know about—”
Taehyung slaps a hand over Jimin’s mouth, earning an indignant squawk from the Hufflepuff. “Never mind that, just smell this.”
A small jar of a smooth, shining, iridescent liquid is shoved under his nose, nearly toppling over on his face. Jimin squeaks, clutching at Taehyung’s outstretched arm. “Be careful, you—”
Taehyung huffs and puts the jar down, swatting at Yoongi. “Sit up, you’re making my life so difficult.”
A startled laugh slips past Yoongi’s lips, but he complies, recognizing the potion, already figuring what the two are trying to do. It’s not as if it’ll come as a shock to him, so he’ll indulge them. This might be rather fun, actually. Taehyung scoops the jar back up, passing it to the elder. Yoongi takes a long, dramatic sniff, closing his eyes, face serious.
It’s his plan to mess with them, but once he takes a whiff of the potion, he’s a bit distracted, finding his breath stuttering, automatically inhaling again, and again...and again, deeper. A moan almost slips past his lips, that’s how good it smells. Temptation runs through him—the urge to snatch the jar and run, keeping it to himself.
Amortentia is a dangerous potion indeed.
There’s something he can’t quite describe, but it reminds him of the wind, and the air—something fresh. There’s a hint of vanilla and jasmine, a burst of mint, and—and sugar quills. Oh, the sugar quills. Yoongi takes in another breath, eyelashes fluttering.
“Well?” Jimin asks, still clutching onto Taehyung. “What does it smell like?”
It takes a couple of coughs before his throat is clear enough to speak. Pulling a disgusted face (it’s rather difficult, he’s trying his hardest not to laugh, and he’s still slightly dizzy from the wonderful smell), Yoongi lowers the jar from his nose. “What’re you doing, mixing all your perfumes together, Tae? It doesn’t smell very nice.”
Taehyung’s mouth drops open, eyes growing comically wide, and Jimin rolls back onto the blanket, kicking and squirming as he lets out loud, squealing yells.
“You—you can’t be serious,” Taehyung gapes, fingers twitching as if he wants to snatch the potion away. “That has to be wrong...”
A wheeze escapes Jimin from where he’s sprawled over the blanket, and Yoongi bites his tongue to refrain from cackling—he can’t tell if the Hufflepuff is laughing or crying. Taehyung’s brows furrow, and he gazes down at the potion in Yoongi’s hand, chewing at his lip in distress.
“I’m—I’m flattered, reallly, but,” he stutters, wringing his hands anxiously. “What about Kookie? Doesn’t it—it doesn’t smell like him?”
It does, but he won’t tell them that just yet. Raising a brow, Yoongi tilts his head, questioning, “What does Jungkook have to do with you starting your own perfume line? Don’t tell me you added his perfume, too. This is a terrible way to go about it. You can’t just mix them together and slap a label on it.”
A stricken look passed over Taehyung’s face, and Jimin rolls up, pointing an accusing finger at the Slytherin. “Stop it! I know what you’re doing! You’re confusing him!”
A pout forms on Yoongi’s lips, and he blinks his eyes innocently. “What? I’m being completely honest. It’s meant to be constructive criticism.”
“That’s Amortentia,” Jimin declares loudly, rising into his knees so he’s positioned taller than the elder. “Obviously Amortentia, if you’ve taken a basic Potions class—which you have.”
Yoongi fakes a gasp. “No,” he mumbles, lifting a hand to cover his mouth, turning to Taehyung with wide eyes. “But—But I smell...you.”
A nervous laugh stutters out of Taehyung. “That’s fine! It just means you think I smell attractive. Anyone with eyes would feel the same.”
“Or a nose,” Jimin adds on off-handedly.
Shaking his head frantically, Yoongi lurches forward, clinging onto Taehyung’s sleeve. “No! I...I think...I might...love you,” he declares, gazing with wonder at Taehyung.
The Ravenclaw’s eyes dart all over the place, freezing somewhere over Yoongi’s shoulder, rushing out, “Did I spill some on you after all?”
“How dare you question my affection,” Yoongi accuses, sucking in a sharp breath. He rises on his knees to place his hands firmly on the younger’s shoulders. “I’m in love with you.”
Taehyung’s eyes widen, gazing up over the elder’s shoulder. Jimin mouth falls open, and Yoongi’s about to cackle loudly and send them both of his middle fingers, shouting out, “You wish!”
But then an arm is wrapping around his waist, tugging him back, and Yoongi lands on his ass with an “oomph.” A pair of legs encase his, and he’s being slid across the blanket until his shoulders connect to a chest. A chin rests on his shoulder, hair tickling his ear. The faint scent of sugar quills wafts to him—so much sweeter than the Amortentia when it comes from the source.
“I had better heard wrong,” Jungkook warns, tightening his arms around the elder’s waist. There’s a tiny joking, teasing lilt to his voice, hidden beneath the seriousness, so Yoongi leans back against him easily, instantly relaxing in the younger’s arms. “Otherwise you have a lot of explaining to do, Kim Taehyung.”
“What did I do?” Said boy gapes, his mouth flapping open. Yoongi no longer bothers restraining his chuckles, earning him a flick on his leg from Jimin.
“He tried slipping me Amortentia,” Yoongi pouts up at the Gryffindor. “Said something about wanting the genius Min Yoongi’s love, I’m sure.”
A laugh bubbles out of Jungkook, and Yoongi squirms slightly as the other’s breath fans over his ear, crooning sweetly. “Who wouldn’t want you all to themself?”
Yoongi tilts his head to the side, resting it on the younger’s shoulder. “Oh, but not everyone is so lucky,” he muses through pursed lips, internally cheering in triumph when Jungkook’s eyes dart down to them.
“Maybe just one person? A special someone?” Jungkook wonders softly, rubbing his hand convicingly up and down the elder’s side, a grin spread over his lips, mirth shining in his eyes. Yoongi hums, closing his eyes in contemplation.
“Yeah,” he agrees after a short while, opening his eyes to meet Jungkook’s unwavering gaze. “Just the one.”
They’re snapped out of their little bubble by a loud retching noise. Both turn to Jimin and Taehyung with flat glares, finding one glancing around nonchalantly and the other picking at his nails innocently. Jimin meets their gazes and shrugs. Taehyung looks up from his hand with a pout.
“You’re so mean,” he complains. “Messing with me like that. I was so scared that Kookie would beat me up.”
They laugh, much to Taehyung’s chagrin. He’s completely serious. Jungkook’s scary when he’s mad, and his muscles are no joke. He’d be completely obliterated. No magic could save him then.
Yoongi turns to Jungkook, wondering aloud, “You’d beat someone up for me?”
A flirty grin spreads over the younger’s lips, and he bats his lashes. “I’d do anything for you, love, including kicking ass.”
Yoongi giggles gleefully, as the other two groan.
“You’re shameless,” Jimin grumbles.
Jungkook ignores him, tilting his head curiously. “Say, what did the Amortentia smell like?”
Taking a deep breath, Yoongi grimaces. “Certainly not like sweaty practice robes. Have you even showered? And you’re touching me?”
A pout graces Jungkook’s lips, and Yoongi nearly melts into a pile of fluff when the younger says: “I just couldn’t wait a minute longer to be with you.”
“I have cavities,” Jimin deadpans. Taehyung nudges him, giggling out, “I don’t know, I’m kind of loving this.”
“Besides,” Jungkook’s starts. Then, he ducks his head down, whispering something in the elder’s ear. Yoongi flushes deeply, lips pressed into a flat line as he squirms in the Gryffindor’s arms. Jungkook only holds him tighter, not letting him get away, an almost feral grin spread over his lips.
Jimin cackles, yanking a tuft of grass from the dirt and launching it at the youngest, watching it float around them uselessly. “Kookie, you pervert! What did you say to him?”
Jungkook only grins smugly in response. It’s completely unfair how unfazed the younger is. That just won’t do, so Yoongi counterattacks. Raising a hand to press at the back of Jungkook’s neck, he lets his lips brush against the younger’s jaw as he says, “Sugar quills.”
The Gryffindor swallows. “Sugar...quills?”
“That’s what the Amortentia smelt like. Sugar quills,” Yoongi whispers, running his nose down the younger’s neck. “Do you know what else smells like sugar quills?”
“I know!” Taehyung exclaims, raising his hand. Yoongi shoots him a glare, before turning back to Jungkook with warm eyes. The younger licks his lips, hands sliding down Yoongi’s side to grip his hips.
“Why don’t you tell me?” Jungkook says, eyes simmering with—with something. It makes Yoongi’s stomach jolt. “I want to hear it from you.”
A breathy laugh leaves Yoongi. “You,” he admits quietly, and he’s pressed so close that he feels and hears the way Jungkook’s breath catches. “The Amortentia smells like you.”
The chair across from Yoongi slides back, but he keeps his gaze down on the parchment, not bothering to acknowledge the other. Namjoon rests his head down on the table, yawning widely. A tired sigh leaves the younger. At that, Yoongi glances up, running his eyes over the Ravenclaw.
“Busy day, Healer Kim?” Yoongi asks, returning to his parchment, quill scratching over it as he writes. Namjoon shrugs, rubbing at his eye.
The younger mumbles, “Quite a few students have come down with the Mumblewumps. There’s not much we can do but tell them to rest.”
Namjoon aspires to be a Healer, working at St. Mungo’s Hospital, so he routinely helps in the Hospital Wing. Sometimes he dedicates himself too much, however, and he still has schoolwork to attend to, added on to being a prefect, resulting in him skipping meals and skirting his sleep time. There’s dark shadows under his eyes, and his gaze is rather unfocused and hazy—not usual for the Ravenclaw.
Yoongi glances around the library before reaching into his book bag, discreetly sliding his hand over to the other. Namjoon raises his brow, but takes the small object, a laugh stuttering out of him when he sees what it is.
"Pepper Imps? Not exactly library food."
Yoongi shrugs one shoulder. Part of him is slightly disappointed in missing out on seeing steam shoot out of the younger's ears and nose. "Then maybe you should follow your own advice and rest."
Namjoon chuckles ruefully, slipping the peppermint candy into his robe. "I will. I promise," he swears, lifting his right hand. The Slytherin nods in approval, resuming his writing. Namjoon watches on curiously.
"What are you doing?" The Ravenclaw gestures towards the parchment.
"Writing," Yoongi mumbles, dipping his quill in his ink pot. "Obviously."
"Sorry, what are you writing? Pardon my mistake," Namjoon smiles, resting his chin on his fist. A sigh leaves the elder's lips.
"A letter," he says simply, voice nonchalant and casual. Namjoon is a clever one, though, so he takes one look at Yoongi's carefully crafted, blank face, and smiles kindly at the Slytherin.
"Are you writing about me?" Namjoon jokes, glancing down at the parchment.
"Yeah, about how you're bothering me right now," Yoongi huffs, and the other laughs quietly. They fall into companionable silence, as Yoongi continues to scribble and Namjoon closes his eyes, resting his head down on the table.
Yoongi is nearly done with his letter when a loud snore tears out of the Ravenclaw, startling him, his quill digging a sharp line across the paper. There's not very many people near them, not at all, so Yoongi is rather tempted to let the younger sleep. However, that can't be good for his back, so Yoongi stands, rounding the table and placing a hand on the other's back.
"Namjoon," he calls softly, shaking the Ravenclaw's shoulder lightly. "Joon, wake up, come now."
The younger grunts quietly, lifting his head, blinking his eyes blearily. "S-Sorry..."
Yoongi shakes his head. "Don't apologize. Let's get you up to your bed, yeah? Or, if you're too tired, I'll take you to Hobi, okay?"
Namjoon nods slowly, allowing the shorter to help him up. "But your letter..."
Ducking out from the Ravenclaw's arm, Yoongi rolls up the parchment and places it in his bag, packing away his quill and ink. He heft his bag over his shoulder and returns to Namjoon, pulling the younger's arm over his shoulder, letting the taller lean on him as they begin to walk, exiting the library.
"Don't worry about it," Yoongi assures quietly. "I'll finish it up later."
The halls of the castle are rather empty, only a stray student or two roaming around. There's a trip to Hogsmeade this weekend, so that's where most everyone's gone. Yoongi didn't really feel like going out, so he hung back at Hogwarts, along with Namjoon and Hoseok. It had taken a lot of convincing for Jungkook to go with Jimin, Taehyung, and Seokjin—the youngest not wanting to leave Yoongi. The elder had to pull out his most effective pout to persuade the Gryffindor, and the younger had left with promises of bringing back plenty of sweets for him.
Namjoon's head starts lolling around as they walk, leaning a bit more heavily on the Slytherin, so Yoongi reroutes, heading towards the Hufflepuff common room, knowing that Namjoon won't be able to make it all the way up to the Ravenclaw Tower. Yoongi doesn't think he'd make it either. Namjoon's starting to lean on him more and more, and Yoongi really doesn't have the muscle mass for this. (He's a bean compared to the Ravenclaw.) Luckily, as they round the corner, a familiar auburn head bounds towards them.
"Hoseok," Yoongi breathes, gazing with wide eyes at the other. "Please help me."
The Hufflepuff laughs heartily, already picking up Namjoon's other arm and slinging it over his shoulder. "I was just looking for you two," Hoseok grins, easily taking a good three-quarters of Namjoon's weight off Yoongi.
They stumble off to the hall where the castle kitchens are located, until they reach a pile of stacked barrels. Stepping toward the barrel second from the bottom, in the middle of the second row, Hoseok knocks out a certain pattern, and the barrel opens up, revealing an earth passage.
"Come on," Hoseok sighs, jostling Namjoon awake. "Let's get inside, and then you can sleep, hm?"
Namjoon mumbles something nonsensical before turning to Yoongi. The Slytherin stumbles a bit as his arms are suddenly full with the younger. "In your letter, tell her I say hi?" Namjoon asks in his ear, tightening his grip around the elder.
Yoongi blinks rapidly. "Y-Yeah," he whispers. "I will."
Namjoon gives him a close-lipped smile, dimples popping out cutely, before turning to the entrance of the Hufflepuff common room and climbing in. Hoseok sends him a grin, moving forward to poke at Yoongi's cheeks.
"I suspect you won't be staying with us?"
Yoongi shuffles his weight, averting his gaze, parchment heavy in his bag. "Well..."
"It's okay," Hoseok assures, rubbing at the elder's cheeks unabashedly. "Don't worry about it. We'll just be napping anyways."
But Yoongi does worry about it. There's an itch in his fingers, and he wants to finish up that last line of his letter, but...he wants to spend time with the two, also. Napping is his favorite pastime after all. It's settled.
"I'm staying," he declares firmly, meeting Hoseok's gaze. The younger blinks, a large grin spreading over his lips.
"Well, then," Hoseok laughs, gesturing to the open barrel. "Come on in!"
The bed creaks under shifting weight. Yoongi’s eyes open as Jungkook settles under the covers, the curtains around the bed already drawn closed. The younger smells fresh and clean, hair still slightly damp from the shower, and Yoongi finds himself reaching out, pulling the Gryffindor closer, so he can press his nose against the younger’s neck.
Jungkook lets out a pleased hum. “You’re not asleep yet?”
Shaking his head pitifully, Yoongi murmurs against the younger’s collarbone. “Can’t sleep when you’re not here.”
A happy sigh escapes Jungkook as he wiggles his arm under Yoongi’s head, his other hand trailing down the elder’s side lightly, down past his hip—making Yoongi shiver—until his hand clasps at the back of Yoongi’s knee, pulling it up and hitching it over his hip. The elder traces Jungkook’s back lightly, drawing meaningless patterns, basking in the sweetness of skinship and affection.
“Well, I’m here now, love,” Jungkook whispers, brushing his lips over the elder’s temple. “Sleep, okay?”
Almost immediately, Yoongi feels his eyelids droop as the younger settles into the mattress, pulling the Slytherin impossibly closer. There’s no more words exchanged between them, there’s no need. A content sigh parting his lips, Yoongi traces his nose along the younger’s neck and jawline. Jungkook starts humming something—a melody that reminds Yoongi of brushing fingers, pet names, and sugar quills.
The words lay heavy on the tip of his tongue, and in this moment—peaceful and happy—he doesn’t have the strength to prevent them from falling past his lips.
“I love you.”
Jungkook stills, his humming cutting off sharply. The elder sighs and reaches for his wand—perched by the pillows, up by the headboard. He leans away from the younger, waving his wand around. “Muffliato,” he whispers the familiar spell out—they use it most nights to hide their pillow talk. Jungkook’s roommates are likely asleep, but this is a conversation he’d like to keep one-hundred percent private.
It might not be the most romantic confession. It might be anticlimactic and boring, but Yoongi is happy, simply wrapped up with the other, laying in bed together, and he knows that Jungkook knows, but he wants to tell him—he wants to say it, over and over again.
Yoongi places his wand back where it was, finally turning to face Jungkook, who has yet to move, speak, or breathe, really. The younger blinks widely when Yoongi gazes at him expectantly. The Slytherin sighs again, exasperated. Sliding his palms up from Jungkook’s chest to his face, he cups the younger’s cheeks.
“I love you,” he repeats firmly, squishing the cheeks together a bit. “I’m in love with you.”
The younger’s eyes crinkle at the corners, a grin spreading over his lips. “Say it again.”
Yoongi smiles, gummy and bright. “I love you.”
“Again,” Jungkook orders breathlessly.
“I love you,” Yoongi laughs, leaning forward to press their foreheads together. “I love you, Jeon Jungkook.”
A whine slips past Jungkook’s lips. “I want to kiss you. Let me kiss you, please.”
Yoongi frowns, pouting playfully, pushing at the younger’s chest lightly. “Aren’t you going to tell me you love me, too?”
Jungkook lurches forward, and a noise of surprise escapes Yoongi as he’s rolled—practically shoved—onto his back, the younger settling between his legs. “I love you,” Jungkook breathes, a giddy giggle slipping past his lips. “God, I fucking love you so much.”
The elder tuts teasingly. “Watch your language,” he scolds. “Now, I really shouldn’t let you kiss me. Your dirty mouth will taint my purity.”
A scoff leaves Jungkook, and he lets his weight fall onto the elder, pressing him down into the mattress. Yoongi breathes in shakily, clutching at the younger’s biceps. “Purity,” Jungkook huffs, lowering his head to run his lips over Yoongi’s throat, mouthing at the skin, and watching with intense eyes as the elder tilts his head back easily, lips parting in a silent gasp.
Latching into the skin, Jungkook begins sucking and teething all over his neck messily, almost desperately, not letting up until a dark shade of red paints the elder’s skin, relishing in the heavy rise and fall of the Slytherin’s chest underneath him. Leaning up, he runs his tongue over Yoongi’s ear, sucking the lobe into his mouth. A steady stream of quiet, “ah, ah, ah”s leave the elder, and Jungkook moans softly at the way Yoongi’s hips jerk, pressing up into him so sweetly. The Slytherin is digging his fingers into the younger’s back, massaging the muscles beneath them, and Jungkook sighs through his nose.
“Kiss me,” Yoongi mumbles, the words slurred together, a lisp muddling them. It’s impossibly cute to the younger. “Kook, I want to kiss you, too—so much—just—”
Quickly, mercilessly, Jungkook scrapes his teeth over Yoongi’s ear, along his jaw, down his jugular, startling a drawn out, “oh,” from the elder. The younger’s hands slide down his sides, gripping at the back of Yoongi’s thighs, and yanking them apart, spreading them as much as possible. Yoongi’s mouth falls open, eyes almost rolling to the back of his head when the younger grinds his hips down hard, teeth clamped down on the elder’s collarbone.
“Beg me for it,” Jungkook pants out lightly, circling his hips down almost painfully hard, his hands still clamped down on Yoongi’s thighs, keeping them pried apart. “Want to kiss you so badly, but I-I want to hear you, ah, say please.”
“Do it for me, baby? I want it—”
Yoongi nods frantically, wanting nothing more than to please the younger—except maybe to feel the weight of Jungkook’s tongue against his own. “Please,” he moans lowly. “Please, Kookie. I need you, always want you, I love you—”
The younger drives his hips down harder, faster, and Yoongi’s heart is beating so strongly, he can feel it in his throat, his hips bucking up to meet the other’s. “Please, Kook—oh my god—please, plea-mph—!”
Finally—finally—Jungkook lurches forward, pressing their lips together. Despite the desperate canting of their hips, the kiss is slow and gentle. They kiss softly, over and over again, and Yoongis heart is so full it just might burst right out of his chest. His fingers slide down the younger’s neck, feeling the fluttering pulse beneath the skin. Yoongi moans low in his throat, tangling his fingers in Jungkook’s hair. He yanks the younger’s head back, earning a groan.
“Kiss me,” Yoongi pleads, already loosening his grip on the other’s hair, pulling him close again, bucking his hips up with wet gasps. “Kiss me for real, like you want to. It’s okay, babe—give it to me—”
Jungkook moans loudly, mouth crashing onto Yoongi’s messily. The kiss is sloppy and wet—everything Yoongi craves. Their tongues tangle together—rubbing, licking, sucking. Jungkook doesn’t go easy on him, practically biting at Yoongi’s mouth, their teeth clinking together, exchanging harsh pants of air.
“I love you,” Yoongi rasps out, throwing his head back when Jungkook attacks his neck again. “L-Love you—”
Jungkook shudders, pressing his face against the elder’s neck, breathing heavily. “Love you too, baby—fuck—”
“Language,” Yoongi teases lightly, tugging on Jungkook’s hair, laughing breathlessly.
“Ah, Yoongi. What a pleasant surprise.”
Yoongi opens the door further, stepping into the office, nodding his head respectfully. “Professor Bang.”
The headmaster makes the familiar path from his desk to the fireside armchair. The Slytherin is already half-way across the room when he beckons for the student to join him. Settling down in the comfortable chair across the headmaster’s, Yoongi automatically holds his hands out, a cup of tea meeting them gently.
“I apologize,” Professor Bang begins softly, a spoon swirling in his cup. “I have yet to give you my condolences in person.”
Yoongi shakes his head. “There’s no need, Professor. You said so in the letter, plus you gave me time off. I appreciated it very much. Thank you.”
The headmaster doesn’t argue, nodding his head in acknowledgement. The office is silent between them, but Yoongi doesn’t feel awkward or pressured this time around. He closes his eyes, leaning back in the chair, cup cradled close to his chest.
“Is there a reason you wanted to see me?” Professor Bang asks curiously. It almost makes Yoongi laugh. Oh, how the tables have turned.
“I wanted to check-in about my future,” he informs, lips curling up. Professor Bang raises an amused brow. “Give you an update on my decisions.”
Professor Bang releases his teacup, and it floats it the air. Yoongi follows suit, his own cup hovering near his head. The headmaster says nothing, letting the student take his time. A deep breath, and—
“I’m done running.”
The headmaster’s lips twitch at the corners. “Oh?”
Yoongi nods firmly.
His future had revolved around his grandmother, and when she passed, not only had he lost the foundation of his past, but he had lost the certainty of what’s to come. For a short while, the answer to his career questions remained the same: get a Muggle job, be a Muggle. That’s what he wanted, he told himself, no matter what, even though she’s gone, because while his future had revolved around her, his love for the Muggle world was more extensive than that.
There’s been much time for contemplation, however. It’s not as if he had a sudden epiphany. It was more like he decided to stop ignoring the things he’d already known for a long time. For example: he won’t last a single day living in a world without his friends. As Professor Bang had told him in the winter, the wizarding world is their world. But even more obvious: the wizarding world is his world, too. There’s no running from it. Not anymore.
And, well. He’s in love. There’s no way he can leave Jungkook, not ever. He plans to spend the rest of his life with that boy. Jungkook’s it, for him.
“That’s a rather nice look in your eyes,” Professor Bang smiles knowingly. Yoongi clears his throat, flushing lightly, averting his gaze.
“I’ve decided I want to pursue something with Charms,” Yoongi continues on. “Maybe I’ll work for the Ministry of Magic, or maybe I’ll be something like a Metal-Charmer.”
The headmaster’s eyes light up. “Oh,” he draws out. “You could make a personalized Snitch for your boy.”
The idea had never struck Yoongi when he considered being a Metal-Charmer, but...well that sounds rather cute. “I suppose so,” he mumbles, a shy smile on his lips.
A sly grin pulls at the headmaster’s lips. “Not denying it, I see.”
A laugh leaves Yoongi, and he shakes his head. “No, I’ve decided to face many things head on, including that.”
There’s a gleam in Professor Bang’s eyes that almost looks like...pride. Yoongi swallows, finding himself feeling choked up. “There’s that Slytherin ambition.”
The words strike Yoongi, making him suck in a breath. Slytherin ambition?
Well, he rather likes the sound of that.
The quill scratches along the parchment, midnight blue ink sprawling across the paper. The parchment is slightly crumpled, a bit weathered from sitting in his bag.
I’m okay, Yoongi writes. I’m happy.
This time, he means it.