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the magic shop (welcome home)

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in the beginning, there was nothing but silence.

 

the space is dark, empty save for a single pinprick of light in its very center. it is an unknown place, unnecessary & unasked for. it waits, the air still & suffocating with eons of unfulfilled obligation. it has no master as of yet, a void of patience. it knows that need cannot be rushed, it must be wanted. the centuries pass like wind through candleflame, flickering & soft, always waiting, ever patient. it is unchanging, unwavering, eternal.

 

it is well rewarded for its diligence. the air tightens, clenches around an unseen sound. the light flickers, then brightens until it is nearly blinding, hovering in the center of the dark space. the walls tremble, draw closer then expand, they can sense it. he is coming.

 

the master.

 

he tumbles into the space gracefully, feet finding purchase on the worn floor. he straightens after a moment, unsure & nervous as he examines it. the space rejoices in silence; it has been waiting.

 

welcome,” it whispers, melodic & slow, letting the sound soak him in peace. “ we have been waiting.”

 

he is tall, strong of build & of magic, the power radiating from his core. his features are delicate, gentle, however, kind in the shadow of friendliness. the space is proud; a worthy master. it is curious, what this young witch will do with it. the space is malleable, pliant. it will take whatever form he asks of it.

 

he circles the space slowly, takes in its energy for a moment as he ponders. the space waits, centuries of practice in patience behind its bated breath. the witch smiles suddenly, pausing in his pacing as he stares into the bright circle of light; the space’s power, its heart & soul. “you are perfect,” he hums, hands clasped behind his back. “you will be everything.”

 

           

 

                             • • •

 




the witch disappears once more, but returns fairly quickly, ready to begin the transformation. the space is no stranger to waiting, but now it thrums with an eager energy; it is finally becoming. it has purpose, it is needed; a need the witch is happy to explain.

 

“you will be a place for those who are lost,” he explains, arms covered in runes as he traces out the foundations. “those who have no home will come to you & i, to seek solace.” the space is overjoyed to have such noble bearings, to be needed by those so desperately. however, it is concerned; a pause to its joy. such a need is too strong for one witches power; the space does not wish to fail. the witch seems to sense this, an ink stained hand reaching up to appease it. “don’t worry,” he hums, a warm shine to his eyes, “the others will find us soon enough.”

 

the room has to quiet for several days before it comes up with an answer, the light shining twofold in its discovery. seven masters. the space will have seven.

 

the first witch has already set the foundations for them, each a specialist of their own magic. the space can sense each binding spell, each place wherein their magic resides in all its glory. the first is the most powerful, his magic leading him to the space before the others. he is of spells & charms, littered with runes. he is the First Master.

 

they have to be patient, much to be done before the Second Master arrives. the space is restless, thrumming with unknown energy; it must be fulfilled. it knows of its purpose now, can feel it deep within its infrastructure, & it tires of patience. the first master is kind, however, soothes its anxious spirit. “soon,” he promises as he sets about creating. “soon.”

 

the space is now home to a building, solid & strong despite its small size. each brick has been crafted meticulously, the outside sparkling with magic. the inside is hollow & bare, confusing the space endlessly. “that is for the second,” the master replies, enigmatic despite his excitement. the space waits.


                             

 

 

                            • • •

 

 

 

the second master arrives bloodied & staggering.

 

he is slight of build yet strong, pushing & pulsing magic surrounding him. he stands tall, almost intimidating, cut & bruised from unknown battles. the first master is overjoyed, easily leading the newcomer to rest. “i knew you’d find me soon,” he praises, & the second master simply grins. “you left a difficult trail to follow, seokjin. but i managed.” the first master is nervous now, hands wringing. “will the rest come? do you think they will be willing, yoongi? you & namjoon understand, but will they?” the second master is unfazed, simply taking in the energy of the space, almost fond. “they will come,” he says calmly, & the space understands.

 

with two masters, the space is more fulfilled; it also grows more impatient. the second master is skilled, quick movements & sharp words creating a myriad of shelves & crevices inside the building the first master had created. he is of a different magic, strong & imposing; he is of creation. his magic takes from the air around them, what the space considers nothingness, & produces whatever the witch desires. “he is of creation energy. his magic takes from the littlest, most mundane things & turns them into power,” the first master - seokjin, as he’d insisted to the space - explains one day, as they wait for the third master. “he is rough, but kind; the world has not treated him kindly.” the space is grateful for the knowledge, adjusting its temperament to match with its new master. it hums as it waits & learns, the little pinprick of light growing stronger & stronger.

 

 

 

                            • • •

 

 



the third master arrives calmly, with little fanfare. one moment, the space is observing the gentle dynamic between its two masters, the caring way they seem to interact; the next, it watches as another steps into the air, almost as though he’d been walking through it the whole time. the third master radiates a different form of energy, almost vibrating with its power; he is of natural origins. even as he walks, the space can feel fresh air breathed into it, warmth & purity. the first two masters are just as pleased to see him, a soft cry of his name - namjoon - before welcoming him in with ease & familiarity that creates a strange sort of longing inside the spaces being. it does not understand the new feeling, & tucks it away to think over later.

 

with the third master in place, little details begin to appear within the building. flowers & herbs begin lining the shelves, ivy creeping over the sparkling bricks & caressing the space. the space finds the new additions welcoming, almost comforting; it also brings the space newfound excitement. it is near halfway fulfilled, nearing its purpose with every passing day.

 

the fourth master arrives soon after the third, the youngest by far; his eyes sparkle like the stars as he runs into the space, laughter filling the air as he hugs onto the rest. he is young, but strong, the celestial power bringing certain protective spells to life around the space, & sealing in the sparkling bricks of the building - the space is certain it’s a shop of some kind, especially when the fourth master - “jungkook!” he eagerly introduces himself - begins pushing little enchanted stones & rocks amidst the shelves. hearing the many names & voices surrounding it makes the space ache for a name of its own; it wants to belong, but it knows it cannot. the space is simply a tool, an aid to be used for its masters purpose. it watches them dote on one another, hug & kiss sweetly as though they were all in love. it supposes that they must be, to entrust each other so. it makes the space ache for something it cannot voice. still, it is proud to have been chosen, & it soaks up every happy moment from its masters.

 

 


                            • • •

 

 

 

the fifth & sixth masters arrive together, loud & boisterous as they tumble into the space. the pair of them are just as warmly received, hugs & cheers all around as the masters reunite. the space does not mind being ignored for the time being; it simply observes. the louder master, the fifth, is of a softer magic, a magic that holds very little power in the space but plenty in the realm from which the masters came. he calls himself hoseok, bright & excitable & it ponders his magic a moment, a word coming to it from its talks with the masters. emotions, it thinks, letting the strange term wash over it. would it explain how the space had been acting? the odd thoughts encircling every inch of it? was the space feeling? it couldn’t be so. it sets that thread of thought aside to focus on the sixth master, a pleasant warmth washing over it at the sight of the witch. he was clearly of potions, different colors & scents staining his form as he talked excitedly with the others. he called himself taehyung, & the space found itself rather connected to him already. of course, each of its masters has tethered themselves to the space in some way - seokjin soothes its worries with ease, yoongi bolsters its purpose, namjoon creates a pleasant comfort within itself, jungkook entertains & inspires it, & hoseok - despite the fact that he’d only just arrived - made it think past its usual realm. but taehyung was different somehow. taehyung felt familiar & close, as though the space knew him, knew him back when the space itself was tangible, was something like the masters themselves. the new masters are introducing themselves now, & the space forces itself out of its spiraling thoughts to focus on its purpose.

 

 

 

                            • • •

 

 



the six masters work in unison to complete the building in its entirety; potions are added to the shelves & counters, little tables & counters crafted to complete the interior. the space is thrumming once more with nervous energy, anxiously awaiting the seventh master. then, the space would be complete, the space would have purpose. the space would encompass the small shop, become one with it & its masters, & enter the realm in which the masters came. it would help those who were lost. it would mean something.

 

however, the seventh master has not arrived, & the space is anxious. the masters are planning to send the shop into the human realm, to begin the purpose, & the space does not understand. the space will be abandoned, cast aside after all of its work? the space needs purpose, it needs to be needed, or else it will return to its desolate darkness, unasked for & unused. the masters do not answer its worry until the very last moment, gathering in front of the shop with proud, bright eyes. seokjin calls for the space, kneels in front of the pinprick of light & smiles. “are you ready now? it’s your turn,” he hums, amusement resting amidst his features. the space is confused, its energy pulsing & ebbing.

 

we are waiting. the seventh master?” it asks, hesitant & scared.

 

the masters simply coo, crowd around the bright light of the space’s heart & smile.

 

“think for me, sweetheart. look back as far as you can. were you always this space?” seokjin asks, voice prodding but kind.

 

the space pulls back a bit, hovers just above & tries its hardest to think.

 

it thinks to the masters, each of their arrivals joining the space together. it thinks to before the masters, centuries of quiet stillness & something it could never place surrounding it, it thinks.

 

and then it sees.

 

the space was not the space always. the space was a man, a boy, a child. the space was something, someone, laughter & joy & sadness & anger. the space was in love, surrounded by voices & faces - by the masters. the space was loved.

 

“we’d been looking for you for centuries, darling,” namjoon smiles, feeling the recognition soaking into the air. “you were so brave for us, so long ago. you sacrificed yourself so that we could live, but your soul lived on. our bodies faded but our souls sought yours forever, & now we’ve found you.” the space remembers, flashes of hurt & fear flooding through him.

 

“it’s a different world now, but we’ll take care of you, we promise,” jungkook adds, eyes a little wet with something the space knows, but cannot place.

 

“come back to us, my love. come back,” taehyung urges, all of them expectant & waiting & oh.

 

they are waiting for him. they are waiting for the space.



something warm & bright engulfs him, pushes through every inch of his being & tugs, forces him forward. the space wills himself with it, pouring every ounce of being along with the sensation & suddenly he feels heavy, stretching & pulling & muddling until he is something else entirely.

 

the first thing he registers is darkness.

 

for a moment, there is panic, a worry pulsing low inside him that thinks he’s been left again, abandoned like the beginning - but there are hands over his face, warm words in his ears & comfort from every angle & he smiles, eyes fluttering open as he smiles up at them all. not his masters, no, his heart, broken up into six pieces & smiling back down warmly at him.

 

jimin ,” seokjin breathes gently, pulling him close. “welcome back.”

 

the rest surround them easily, a mess of hearts & limbs & love & suddenly he feels warm, complete in a way that he’d been missing all these centuries. the air is different, fresh & cool & with a jolt he realizes that they’d shifted, now stood inside the little shop. home, he thinks, peering through the glass windows to a world he’d left long ago, a world welcoming him with open arms. seokjin lets him go to open the door, happiness & warmth radiating from his smile as he peers into the bustling, loud world. “jin’s magic shop, open for business!” he cheers, the others laughing & complaining from behind him.

 

home, jimin thinks again, the warmth washing over him from all sides.

 

he is finally home.