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please don't say you love me (because i might not say it back)

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yoongi doesn’t pay attention to his surroundings until he tries to reach for another piece of toast and there’s a bird sitting on top of the neat stack of warm, buttered goodness, effectively blocking his attempts to enjoy his breakfast in peace. he stares at the little thing—something yellow; a canary, maybe?—for a long moment, debating whether or not he should just shoo it away. then again, its dirty bird feet have been on the toast, which means he shouldn’t eat it. he could feed it to hoseok, maybe, or seokjin.

with a sigh, he makes a shooing gesture with his hand in the direction of the bird, but it doesn’t move. “c’mon,” he mutters, shooing a little closer to the creature. it still doesn’t move.

“i don’t think it’s a real bird,” says namjoon, leaning over to him on the bench. “magical ones aren’t afraid of humans or being touched.”

“will it go up in a puff of feathers if i touch it?” yoongi asks hopefully, and namjoon shrugs before taking a bite of his toast—snatched from the pile before the bird landed there, likely. yoongi huffs, rubbing at his eyes; he didn’t sleep much last night, some second year having gotten sick at two in the morning, and as a prefect of his house, he’d been obligated to deal with it.

moments later, a new voice joins: “are you gonna do something about those?” it’s seokjin, perpetually late to breakfast, even though the slytherin common room is one staircase away from the great hall.

yoongi knows what he’s talking about without having to open his eyes. if he does, he’ll see the same thing he’s seen at breakfast for the past week—littered in between the plates of eggs and bacon and beans and fruit, are little boxes, perfectly wrapped with white ribbon. he has no idea what’s inside of them, because he hasn’t bothered to open any of them. it’s nothing from his parents back home (although they rarely send anything, anyway, still too apprehensive and disapproving of magic even a near seven years later), or even from friends that he’d want gifts from.

no, yoongi knows all about these gifts.

“the house elves will deal with them,” says yoongi, finally dropping his hand and stabbing at the mushroom left on his plate. “they always do.”

“maybe you should… open one for once?” suggests namjoon, already reaching out for one, and yoongi exclaims a, “no!” but it’s too late—namjoon’s hand closes around the nearest box, a little blue thing that reminds him of something he’s seen in tiffany’s commercials, which can never be a good thing.

the moment namjoon’s hand comes in contact with the box, it bursts open with a loud bang, and a dozen more canaries like the one on the plate of toast fly forth from inside, circling above the ravenclaw table before they swoop down and come to rest on anything they can reach: other plates of food, the little gifts scattered around yoongi, one on yoongi’s hand.

“oh, fuck,” says namjoon.

yoongi responds with a glare and a scowl in namjoon’s general direction. it’s not just the birds that bother him—although they do bother him. it’s what he guesses is coming next, because these kinds of things always come with something more. something worse.

“sorry,” says seokjin after a moment. “do you think you could get them to move? i’d really like some—”

he doesn’t get a chance to finish before the birds burst into song.

this is how yoongi knows they’re magical—normal birds don’t actually sing with words, but these little bastards start crooning at him. it takes a few seconds for yoongi to understand what they’re saying, trying to place the song as a magical one from the likes of celestina warbeck or the more infamous one incantation, but then he picks it up.

the birds are singing i want to know what love is by foreigner. a muggle band.

yoongi is even less amused as he decides that he’s had enough. the gifts were easy to deal with when they were just sitting there, but now this little show is disrupting his breakfast, not to mention the breakfast of everyone around him—the entire ravenclaw house, and the part of the hufflepuff table that he can see from where he sits. the entire great hall has gone suspiciously quiet, save for the stupid birds screeching that they know yoongi can show them what love is.

the ravenclaw slams his hands on the table, pushing himself into a standing position. for a moment, he locks eyes with hoseok from across the great hall—the gryffindor is at his own table for once, howling with laughter. fucking traitor.

somehow, that only fuels him, and yoongi steps out from the bench before turning around to face the slytherin table. because of course he knows who conjured those birds and charmed them to sing, and who has been sending him little gifts for the past week. there’s one idiot standing up from the slytherin table, too, on the benches, passionately lip-syncing along with the birds, arms outstretched toward yoongi like he expects the seventh year to be impressed.

over the birds—i wanna feel what love is, i know you can show me—yoongi shouts, “jeon jeongguk!”

and jeongguk, the idiot in question, just opens his eyes and smiles wide, wide, all of his stupid bunny teeth on display. he’s proud, yoongi realizes. of course he’s proud.

“yes, min yoongi, o love of my life?” asks jeongguk, hips still swaying to the silent beat of the birds.

yoongi grits his teeth. “first of all, i’m not the love of your life,” he says, and is about to speak more but the birds somehow increase in volume, practically screeching the lyrics at the top of their lungs, and he looks over to namjoon. “please fucking silence those things.”

he doesn’t bother to watch namjoon fumble for his wand, just turns back to jeongguk with his arms crossed of his chest and a cool expression on his face. finally, after a few seconds, the great hall falls into blessed silence—although he knows that means that every single student in the room is watching them. watching him.

at this point, he knows they wait for this kind of thing. they’d probably be disappointed in there wasn’t a public spectacle between he and jeongguk at least once a week.

“get off of that fucking bench,” he begins, and he sees jeongguk’s smile falter for the first time. they both know yoongi isn’t afraid to give him a detention for that, or take away ten house points, which will have the other slytherins frowning at him all day. so jeongguk obeys for once, clambering down but still keeping that cheeky look on his face.

“anything else i can do to please you?” asks jeongguk, which should be mocking, but yoongi knows is far from it. “taking you out on a date, for instance?”

“you could stop sending me this shit,” says yoongi. “you’re disturbing my breakfast with your gifts and now you’ve disturbed everyone else’s breakfast with your little musical number.”

“i wouldn’t have had to keep sending you them if you would have just opened them the first time they showed up,” says jeongguk with a shrug.

yoongi’s eyes narrow. “and what, might i ask, is inside?”

“there’s only one way to find out.” and there’s that same cheeky grin, the sort of thing all of the slytherins seem to have in common. yoongi knows jeongguk—knows he’s not a stereotypical slytherin, although hardly anyone is a stereotype of their house anymore. he looks unassuming on the outside, soft and innocent, but there’s something particularly cunning underneath the big glasses and bunny smile of his.

which is why yoongi is hardly going to fall for anything the bastard tells him.

“i’d rather not,” says yoongi with a slight grin. “the only thing you’ve given me over the past few years is a massive headache and an excuse to perfect my non-verbal jinxes.” not that he would jinx jeongguk without a good reason; he follows the rules, and not only because it’s his job as a prefect to be a model student. jeongguk is the one who seems to think it’s hilarious to leave people he doesn’t like hanging upside down from trees just for the fun of it.

jeongguk’s smile falters again, only for a moment. before he can retort, though, yoongi continues: “if you try to pull this stunt again, i’ll report you to your head of house. i’ve heard she doesn’t take lightly to these kinds of things.” it’s a low blow—the low ohs from the slytherin table tell him enough, but then he’s grinning at jeongguk again.

“okay, honey?” he asks, smile all saccharine sweet. jeongguk looks at a loss for words. “good. now i’m going to go back to my breakfast.”

with that, yoongi turns and returns to his bench, plopping back down between namjoon and one of his other housemates. the birds are still there, silent at least—and he finally swats them, watching as they do go up of a puff of feathers the moment he makes contact with them. satisfied, he grabs the piece of toast he’d wanted in the first place and takes a bite, only then realizing that the great hall is still deathly silent, like every student is collectively holding their breath.

yoongi looks up, mouth full of toast, and then adds over his shoulder, “by the way, gukkie? that song’s like, thirty years old. if you want to impress a muggleborn with a muggle song, you could at least update your repertoire.”

and then he eats his fucking toast.

the public rebuking works wonders on jeongguk’s attempts to woo yoongi, at least for a few weeks. but yoongi knows, even then, that it won’t last forever—it never does. he shows up for breakfast every morning anticipating another round of gifts or more birds to serenade him, but he’s thankfully left in peace where he can eat his toast and eggs without having to worry about muggle bands from the eighties haunting him like his parents are trying to relive their glory days.

besides, he figures all of them have better things to do. with the end of the semester quickly approaching, almost time for christmas, the students have to buckle down and prepare for exams. they’re not quite the newts that yoongi knows he’ll be sitting at the end of the school year, but these ones are almost as bad.

while he would rather be playing games in the student commons or reading a good book for the evening, yoongi instead finds himself crammed into a corner of the library with the rest of his closest friends—including jeongguk. because while yoongi may appear indifferent or even despondent toward the younger boy, it’s not quite the case. and they still run in the same friend group, so trying to stay irritated with jeongguk for his antics is always a bit difficult.

especially now, when he’s all cuddled up against the window, practically falling asleep over his study notes.

yoongi doesn’t realize he’s been staring a bit too long until someone nudges him and he looks over to see hoseok. “stop staring and ask if he needs help,” says the gryffindor. “i swear that kid is going to fail if he doesn’t start focusing on the right things.”

“as if you don’t spend more time practicing quidditch than your spells,” counters taehyung from across the table. “you’ve been out on the pitch almost every day this week and you don’t even have another game until the new year.”

“have you been spying on me, badger?” asks hoseok.

“please, there’s nothing to see when it comes to the gryffindor team,” scoffs taehyung. “we all know it’s the hufflepuff team that is going to take the quidditch cup this year.”

namjoon interjects with, “weren’t you just talking about focusing on studying?” which effectively silences the bickering pair.

“can one of you seventh years help me with this transfiguration shit?” asks jimin, further down the table—a slytherin himself and a prefect as well, which means yoongi is more inclined to help him than jeongguk.

seokjin beats him to it, though. “i’m a natural at transfiguration,” says the slytherin. “you know, i think i could be a metamorphmagus…”

yoongi rolls his eyes, but tunes them out as he turns back to look at jeongguk. it’s true that he doesn’t seem to spend as much time on his studies as he should, too interested in quidditch and playing pranks on the other houses and trying to convince yoongi that they should be a thing.

which is—a whole other story. yoongi can’t quite remember when it started, only knows that it seems to have been going on for the better part of the past year and a half. jeongguk had always just been that cute kid in their friend group, only one year below him but still the youngest of them all considering he’d been born almost at the cut off date for the school year. the rest of them baby him despite the fact that he doesn’t need it—there’s a reason he’s a slytherin. yoongi didn’t realize that until it was a little too late, though.

now jeongguk spends his time coming up with new and inventive ways to try to make yoongi fall in love with him, or… something. yoongi isn’t entirely sure—and he’s asked the others, and they have no idea, either—but it’s clear that jeongguk has a massive, disgusting crush on yoongi. he’s gone beyond the blushing and stammering he used to do as a third or fourth year every time yoongi tried to talk to him or offered to help with homework.

no, now he’s gotten to the annoying phase. with grand (un)romantic gestures and singing and blatant flirting that is proving to get him nowhere. yoongi can’t help but be hard on him, even if they are friends.

but… maybe he still has a soft spot for the sixth year. so, glancing over at the rest of his friends, who all seem to have found their studying partners or are lost in their own worlds, yoongi heaves a sigh and gets up from his spot at the table. he makes his way to jeongguk, curled up in an alcove by the window, and is about to shake the boy awake when he glances down at the study notes at jeongguk’s feet.

or—they were study notes. now, scrawled over top of what jeongguk needs to actually pass his goddamn classes, are… poems. love poems. with yoongi’s name all over them.

all thoughts of being gentle flee yoongi’s mind, and he picks up a stray textbook at jeongguk’s feet before whacking him with it. the boy wakes with a start, banging his head against the glass of the window, and yoongi can’t help feeling a little smug about it.

“wha—hyung?” asks jeongguk, rubbing at his head as he blinks up at yoongi, all bleary and sleepy. his hair is sticking up funny. yoongi tells himself not to find it cute.

“what the fuck is this?” the ravenclaw asks, snatching the study notes/love poems from jeongguk’s feet and shoving them at him. “exams start in less than two weeks and you’re spending your precious study time waxing poetic about—” he pauses, grabbing one of the poems so he can actually look at him. “my ass?”

“hyung,” says jeongguk again, snatching the piece of paper back from yoongi. although there’s a light dusting of pink on his cheeks—caught off guard, likely, doesn’t quite have his ‘i’m a piece of shit’ slytherin façade up yet—his lips curl into something less doe-like. “that was just one. i also have some about your hands and lips and—oh, this one is particularly good. it’s a—”

yoongi hits him with the textbook again. as jeongguk complains with a pouting ow!, yoongi grabs the study notes again. “you have to study, jeongguk-ah,” he says. “we’re all here to study and help each other with the things we don’t understand, and we’re not going to leave you in the dust. and even if you think writing poems is more interesting than learning golpalott’s laws of potionsmaking, you still have to study. and luckily for you, i happen to be very good at potions.”

with that, he makes his way back to the table where the rest of their friends are currently studying, making sure to choose the seat with an empty one across from him. and then he waits.

the truth is, he does want jeongguk to do well in his classes. wants him to be happy, wants him to get what he wants. but when the thing jeongguk wants is yoongi, things start to get a little complicated. yoongi does like him, he just… doesn’t like jeongguk’s immaturity and inability to focus and desire to be a complete teenage boy at the best of times. even jimin and taehyung, jeongguk’s fellow sixth years, have somehow managed to pull themselves together for the end of year exams, and jeongguk is still being a little shit. yoongi is going to blame the transformation from a cute first year to this on the fact that puberty hit him especially hard and now he thinks he’s merlin’s gift to the magical world.

but. but. yoongi waits. because no matter how annoyed he can get with jeongguk’s antics, he’s still going to do whatever he can to help the slytherin last through this idiot phase he seems to be going through.

finally, after yoongi has gotten tired of hearing hoseok and namjoon quietly argue over the best way to disarm an attacking erumpent (which he unfortunately can’t chime in on, considering he doesn’t even take care of magical creatures), the chair across from his scrapes back, and jeongguk takes a seat.

“nice of you to join me,” says yoongi.

for once, jeongguk doesn’t respond with some cheeky comment. instead, he tugs at his green tie a little, loosening it—yoongi is forced to stare at jeongguk’s bare forearms since he rolled up his sleeves, and. yeah. puberty hit him very hard—and looking a little sheepish.

“i guess i could use some help,” jeongguk admits quietly. “i just—i got bored, hyung. potions is so boring.

“were you trying to come up with a recipe to make me fall in love with you or what?”

jeongguk has the good sense to flush, just a little. “no,” he protests. “i wasn’t actually going to show them to you. they were for my private collection.”

“you have more?”

“aren’t you supposed to be helping him study?” asks taehyung, scowling where he’s sitting nearest to yoongi. “i’ll tell the librarian you’re being loud and she’ll kick you out.” they’d chosen the back corner for a reason, but yoongi narrows his eyes anyway.

“she can’t kick yoongi-hyung out,” says jeongguk. “he’s a prefect. they’re always nicer to the prefects.”

“damn right,” jimin mumbles, nose stuck in his textbook.

“he’s right, though,” says yoongi. “enough about your love poems. i’m legitimately going to help you study potions, if you haven’t ruined those notes with sonnets to my eyebrows or whatever.”

“oh, that’s what i should have written out.”

jeongguk. focus.”

it works, somewhat. yoongi was right when he said he was exceptionally good at potions, as it’s always been one of his best classes. he figures it’s because it’s a bit of a mix between the muggle and the magical, a bit like cooking with his mother. it’s a tie to his muggle roots while propelling him into the magical world he feels he fits better in than the muggle one.

in any case, yoongi does his best to help jeongguk review his sixth year notes for the class. jeongguk still gets distracted too often—if not by something else in the library, then by yoongi himself. sometimes yoongi thinks he’s just doing it to get a rise out of yoongi, just wanting his attention when yoongi has left him some problems to solve while he tries to study his own notes.

“hyung,” says jeongguk for the fourth time in thirty seconds, voice muffled because he’s laying his head on his arm and his mouth is half covered by his sleeve. “hyung. hyung. hyung.” the last one is accompanied by jeongguk’s foot casually sliding up yoongi’s leg, and the ravenclaw startles from where he’s been trying to help taehyung with something instead.

“what do you want?” he hisses, turning dark eyes on the slytherin.

jeongguk pouts. “i finished doing all of the recipes.”

yoongi takes a moment to grab the paper in front of jeongguk, looking through what he’s written there. “this is wrong,” he says, pointing to the bottom of the recipe for the love potion. “it’s rose thorns, not petals, and you have to stir it clockwise, not counter. okay?”

he puts the paper down again only to see jeongguk pouting even harder, making his eyes all big and glossy at yoongi and—and yoongi will not find it cute, he will not.

“it’s so hard,” whines the sixth year, and yoongi sighs.

“i know, baby,” he says, pet name slipping out just like that—“but it’ll get easier the more you review it, and then when exams come, you’ll know it like the back of your hand. or like the back of mine.”

jeongguk keeps pouting, and yoongi reaches over to brush his hand over the slytherin’s hair, like he knows jeongguk likes. he can’t help it at times like these—when jeongguk is less of a brat who keeps trying to get into his pants and more of a brat who is still the kid yoongi befriended years ago: uncertain of his place in slytherin house, bewildered and fascinated with all of the muggle culture and technology that his little pureblooded heart could get yoongi to show him. despite the thighs and biceps and utterly asshole-ish tendencies when it comes to trying to get yoongi’s attention, he’s still just… jeongguk.

and no matter how hard yoongi is going to be on him, he’s still just as soft as ever for the younger boy.

“do you want me to help you one-on-one more?” he asks quietly as he cards his fingers through jeongguk’s hair; the slytherin looks up at him over the top of his glasses. “i’m serious about making sure you do well, guk-ah. i’ll put in as much work as you to guarantee that. you got time tomorrow?”

“got quidditch practice tomorrow,” jeongguk mumbles.

yoongi hums, stilling his hand for a moment—only for jeongguk to whine low in his throat, nudging yoongi’s hand with his head to get him to continue playing with his hair. yoongi grins, just a little—only to himself. “what about friday?” he asks.

“yeah,” says jeongguk. “i could do friday.”

“alright, we’ll do it on friday,” says yoongi. “and every other day after that until you’re confident in this. remember that you’re here for school, okay?”

when jeongguk doesn’t respond, yoongi tugs a little at his hair. “baby,” he says—and maybe it’s a low blow, because he knows it’ll get jeongguk to respond to him, to agree to whatever yoongi wants him to. sometimes yoongi wonders if he ought to be the slytherin between the two of them, although he knows he fits better in ravenclaw.

still—“‘kay,” mumbles jeongguk. good enough.

when they get back to the common room, all going their separate ways, namjoon just gives him this look, and yoongi threatens to hit him with a fur hex. the fact that they both know what he’s talking about without even saying a word is probably a bad thing.

jeongguk does well on his exams, in any case. so does yoongi—although it’s usually a guarantee for him, considering he’s been a top student for most of his years at hogwarts. he’s less concerned about his own grades, more about jeongguk’s—but the boy comes back from christmas holidays with a megawatt smile on his face, waving his official hogwarts transcript in yoongi’s face while shrieking that he got an e in potions—not quite an o, but it’s an troll either. yoongi gives him a big wet kiss on the forehead and then spends the rest of the day overthinking it.

a new semester at hogwarts, though, brings about more than just more classes and studying and more ways for jeongguk to attempt to convince yoongi to date him. it also means more quidditch.

if yoongi is being honest, he’s never really understood the point of the sport—although he’s never really understood the point of any sport besides basketball, which he still likes to play over the holidays when he goes back home. there’s too much violence and he has no idea why anyone would want to fly around on a stick two inches thick. besides, what’s the point in having chasers and keepers and the lot when the seeker is the only one who really matters?

still—still. yoongi finds himself decked out in slytherin apparel, including jeongguk’s slytherin scarf and seokjin’s extra slytherin ear muffs with massive green stripes running down his cheeks. jimin even gave him a little slytherin banner to hold, although he’s noted with some exasperation that none of his other friends are being forced to go all out like that. he grumbles, but he is happy to support jeongguk, chaser for the slytherin team—and a good one at that.

sitting in the stands with the rest of his friends, yoongi buries his nose into the scarf wrapped around his neck. “why is it so fucking cold?” he grumbles.

“i know someone who could warm you up,” says jimin, wiggling his eyebrows, and yoongi flings an arm out to smack him.

“i hope you mean yourself,” says yoongi, “considering heart eyes mcgee is up there.” he looks up into the sky, spotting jeongguk as he swoops after the gryffindor in possession of the quaffle; they’ve been fairly even for the entire game, but yoongi finds himself wishing someone would just catch the snitch already.

speaking of—“go, hoseokie!” screeches taehyung a little further down the stands, waving his gryffindor banner in the air. it’s always a little hard when slytherin and gryffindor play each other, considering both jeongguk and hoseok are on their house teams, but hoseok understands that almost half of their friend group are slytherins, and yoongi is sort of obligated to cheer for slytherin, lest jeongguk pout at him for two weeks straight every time he so much as claps when gryffindor scores.

namjoon tends to stay neutral in these cases, not wanting to upset either side. but taehyung—well. yoongi’s fairly sure he’s been in love with hoseok for almost as long as jeongguk has been in love with him, so he’s not surprised about the hufflepuff’s support.

“oh, he’s got the quaffle!” someone shouts from beside him and yoongi turns forward to see jeongguk zooming down the pitch with the quaffle tucked under his arm. he swerves past a gryffindor player before tossing the ball to one of his teammates, who tosses it right back once jeongguk is in a better position, and once he’s gotten his hands on the quaffle, he sends it flying through one of the hoops.

jeon scores!” the voice of the announcer rings out across the pitch. “another ten points to slytherin, now at ninety to eighty.

their half of the stands erupt in cheers, yoongi along with them—more clapping than yelling, although jimin and seokjin, so proud of their house, seem to be screaming about how much they want jeongguk to end them with his thighs. as jeongguk turns and swoops back across the pitch, though, his eyes catch on yoongi’s.

the slytherin comes to a halt in front of the section they’re sitting in, eyes all bright even though his cheeks are pink with the cold. “that was for you, min yoongi!” he yells, throwing yoongi an exaggerated wink before yoongi lets out a groan and sits right back down.

beside him, jimin scoffs. “score goals for your own house at least!” he shouts at jeongguk, although yoongi looks up to see the chaser is long gone, going after the quaffle again.

“trust me, i don’t want him to score goals for me, either,” says yoongi.

“do you think quidditch makes his head even bigger than it already is?”

“i don’t know, but if he doesn’t shut the fuck up, i’m going to smack him with his own broomstick.”

of course, jeongguk doesn’t shut up. he swoops and swirls and passes, slytherin slowly taking the lead as jeongguk appears to make it his personal mission to win for them—and every time he scores a goal, he flies by yoongi and points at him before grinning and grinning, and yoongi knows. jimin elbows him, and he knows what that means.

after the fourth or fifth time—yoongi stops looking, to be honest, wishing he was just back in the castle now that the entire section of the stands he’s sitting in stares at him every time jeongguk flies by—he hears taehyung give a wistful sigh.

“why doesn’t hobi-hyung do that for me?” he asks.

“because, dipshit,” says seokjin behind yoongi. “hobi is the seeker and half the time, he doesn’t even catch the snitch.”

“he could still catch it for me,” says taehyung.

“trust me, you don’t want that kind of attention,” says yoongi.

as if on cue, the stands cheer again and yoongi looks up to see jeongguk zooming off from the hoops after throwing the quaffle through again. as he comes nearer to the slytherin section, yoongi lets out a huff but stands up anyway.

“i know it’s for me!” he shouts at jeongguk. “but i don’t want it!”

“i wasn’t going to say that!” jeongguk laughs at him. “i actually scored that one for jimin.”

beside him, jimin cackles. yoongi huffs again, sitting right back down.

he watches jeongguk anyway, listening to the announcer steadily increase the score as neither seekers catch sight of the snitch. yoongi thinks his toes are about to fall off and he’d probably skip out of the game if he didn’t know that jeongguk would be upset, and there’s only so many times he can see that kid frown in a day before he loses all sense of how not to give into his big doe eyes.

it’s fascinating how jeongguk plays anyway, one of the faster players on the team as he dips around a pair of gryffindor players and accepts a pass from one of his teammates. he heads for the hoops, quaffle tucked tightly under his arm, and—yoongi sees the bludger before jeongguk does, likely, letting out a gasp as one of the gryffindor beaters sends the iron ball spiralling at jeongguk and—

“he’s going to fly into it!” shouts yoongi, and he’s up on his feet before he even realizes it, dread filling him as the bludger flies across the pitch and—collides with jeongguk with a painful noise that yoongi can hear from where he sits.

there’s a collective gasp from the crowd as the force of the bludger sends jeongguk spiralling—he’s still holding onto his broom, although he lost the quaffle upon impact—toward the other side of the stands. jeongguk tumbles straight into the bottom of the hufflepuff stands, barrelling through the wood in a dramatic exit that has yoongi not not not breathing.

yoongi stares at the hole in the stands, heart in his throat as he waits for some sign that jeongguk hasn’t been knocked unconscious. and then, after thirty seconds of fear, he sees the slytherin pop out of the stands onto the pitch. he’s dragging his broom with him, waving a hand in the air as a show that he’s fine, although he’s limping just a little—and the game continues as jeongguk makes his way to his own bench.

it’s only then that yoongi realizes he’s got a white knuckled grip on the front of the stands, hardly breathing.

it’s namjoon who speaks first, says—“you were really worried, weren’t you, hyung?”

yoongi takes a moment to compose himself—tries to force his heart back into his chest—before he turns around and glares at the other ravenclaw. “like you weren’t?”

“sure,” shrugs seokjin. “but we all know that kind of thing isn’t serious. even broken bones can be fixed with the flick of a wand.”

“well, excuse me for forgetting that,” he hisses, plopping back down on his seat with crossed arms. it’s hard to remember when he’s a muggleborn, sometimes, when he’s so used to sports injuries taking players out of games for months or even forever. jeongguk has gotten seriously injured in quidditch games before, and he’s still fine, but yoongi can’t help it.

and maybe it’s less about thinking the sixth year might be out of games for months. maybe he just doesn’t want jeongguk to get hurt regardless of the severity or how easily it can be fixed with magic.

jimin leans over, keeping his voice low as he says, “i think you care more about him than you let on.”

yoongi elbows him in the ribs. “he’s my friend,” he protests.

“and yet you’re always acting like a heartless bitch when it comes to him. but i see you, min yoongi. all it takes is a little pressure and you crack, just like that.”

yoongi just frowns, keeping his eyes on the sky as he waits for the game to end. he doesn’t want to admit that jimin kind of has a point—jeongguk is his friend, but they’re all his friends. he’s never so harsh with the others, never making them jump through so many hoops. hoseok declares his love for yoongi every damn day and yoongi just accepts it, while he’s constantly ribbing jeongguk for trying to think out of the box to convince him that they should be together.

and maybe it’s because, deep down, he does care for jeongguk more than he cares for the others. maybe he is soft for him, maybe he does like all of the attention—but just a little. he’s extraordinarily good at hiding it, as long as things like this don’t happen.

gryffindor wins the game, thanks to a spectacular snitch catch by hoseok—taehyung screams so loudly that yoongi worries he’ll lose his voice, and the rest of the slytherins groan in defeat. jeongguk, having returned to the game shortly after his crash, looks all sorts of upset, although he gives hoseok a hug anyway, knowing that quidditch rivalries only stay on the pitch.

after, when the players have showered and are heading back to the castle, yoongi catches up with jeongguk. he’d stayed behind just for this, letting the rest of his friends run ahead to prepare for the party that would be taking place in the gryffindor common room—even if most of them cheered for slytherin instead, no one is going to say no to inviting them when seokjin and namjoon are the ones who are able to get half of the alcohol that they need for the party.

“hey,” says yoongi when he spots jeongguk leaving the pitch—one of the first slytherins, hair wet and already beginning to freeze in the winter air.

jeongguk startles as though he wasn’t expecting anyone, but an easy smirk curls on his lips when he sees it’s yoongi joining him and nods for the seventh year to walk with him back to the castle.

“hyung,” greets jeongguk.

“good game,” says yoongi. “tough about the loss, though.”

“we’ll get them back next time,” shrugs jeongguk, and yoongi knows that he’s trying to appear nonchalant about it; in reality, quidditch means a great deal to him, maybe because he’s never been the smartest kid and hasn’t gotten the best grades in the world. quidditch is what he has, always dreamed about playing professionally.

yoongi pauses before he reaches over and ruffles jeongguk’s hair. “you did good.”

“did you see all of those goals i scored for you?”

and—there it is. yoongi rolls his eyes, picking up the pace as he tries to break away from jeongguk.

“not enough goals, unfortunately,” he calls over his shoulder. “considering you still lost.”

hey!” shouts jeongguk. “it’s not my fault hobi-hyung caught the snitch first!”

“excuses, excuses,” sighs yoongi, but he’s giggling as jeongguk catches up with him and knocks their shoulders together. he likes to think jeongguk knows anyway—how proud of him he is, even if he isn’t very good at saying it all of the time. the way jeongguk is smiling, even with the teasing, makes him he does.

yoongi would consider himself a good student—not only because of his grades, but because of his affinity for following the rules and being a role model when it comes to plenty of other things. being a prefect helps, considering students are always asking him for help with things, the professors trust him with responsibility, and he’s trusted to patrol after hours to make sure there are no students out of bed.

however, he’s not sure he’s this good of a student—one who, through reputation or action, invites literal hoards of first and second years to help him however they can. it’s not the first time a student has wanted to repay him for his help in some area by offering to carry his books on the way back from lunch or relay messages for him rather than forcing him to get an owl, but… considering this is the fourth time today that a first year has found him in the corridors and proclaimed that she was at his service, min yoongi, sir!—he’s suspicious.

“what exactly are you meant to be doing for me?” he asks the girl who caught up to him in the fourth floor corridor—a hufflepuff with her tie done all wrong, but bless her for trying.

“um,” the girl begins, eyes widening slightly like she hadn’t expected him to question her. other students move around them, making their way to classes, and she presses a little closer to him. “i’m supposed to carry your books or get your snacks from the kitchens or tie your shoelaces if you need. for example.”

yoongi raises an eyebrow. “you’re supposed to?”

“o-oh, no,” she says, eyes wide. “i mean, i want to!”

“what’s your name?”

she fidgets only a little. “amelia,” she finally admits.

“well, amelia,” says yoongi. “you’re very kind to offer to help me, and i really appreciate it. but did someone put you up to this?”

the second year’s eyes widen again, impossibly—he didn’t know eyes could be that wide—and she quickly shakes her head. “no, sir,” she says. “i—i wanted to do this all on my own! i just heard that, um—you… are very nice.”

yoongi would like to think that his reputation of being a good student and prefect, and someone who can be trusted and respected has spread through the school like that. it’s not uncommon for younger students he’s never spoken to before to know him, considering his position as prefect but—he has a feeling this isn’t quite like that. he has a feeling he knows exactly what this is about.

the ravenclaw bends down a little more, so they’re at the same height. “you can be honest with me,” he tells the girl. “i’m not going to get you in trouble or anything, no matter what the other person said to you.”

he waits until she nods to show that she understands before he asks, “was it jeon jeongguk?”

the look on her face says enough—looks like she’s been caught in a lie, or like she’s surprised that he knows. but there couldn’t be another reason for all of the tiny children that have been sent his way in the past few days, all willing to bear the burden of being a student. he feels a bit bad for them, considering they probably have their own homework and friends to deal with.

so he has to ask, “did he promise to give you something?”

amelia steps a little closer, whispering like it’s a conspiracy: “an autograph.”

yoongi has to resist the urge to roll his eyes. “that’s it?” he asks.

“and chocolate frogs from honeydukes,” she adds. “and i can tell my friends that i know him, which is huge! he’s like, famous, you know.”

with a bit of a snort, the seventh year straightens up again. jeongguk sure has made a name for himself, if not through quidditch, then with these ridiculous public antics that are always hard to ignore.

“oh, i know,” he says. “thank you for telling me. and thank you for offering to help me, but i’ll be okay for now. i’ve got good arms to carry my books and i can even tie my own shoelaces.”

“are you sure?” asks amelia. “he said i’m not supposed to let you tell me no.”

“will you go away and not tell him if i give you a sugar quill?”

she gasps, hungry eyes watching him—second years are too easy to please, he thinks. but he digs a sugar quill out of his bag anyway, handing one over to the hufflepuff and watching as she skips away happily.

and with that dealt with—he has a slytherin to find.

he finds jeongguk on the quidditch pitch—not surprising—and he stands on the sidelines with his arms crossed over his chest as he waits for the slytherin to notice him and come down from the sky. he appears to be flying laps, trying to push himself harder every day (and yoongi knows for a fact that jeongguk has a massive essay due in two days and he’s barely even started it, which isn’t surprising, but maybe there’s more than one thing he needs to give the boy a good talking to about). after a few minutes, jeongguk does notice him and immediately flies for the ground, hopping off of his broom with a big, sweaty smile on his face.

“hey, hyung!” he calls, shaking his sweaty hair out of his eyes. it’s still cold as shit out, even though most of the snow has melted, so yoongi doesn’t understand why jeongguk is wearing shorts, but he’s not going to complain. “came to watch me?”

“no, i came to yell at you,” says yoongi, tightening the fold of his arms. the words don’t deter jeongguk—at this point, he thinks the sixth year might actually get off on yoongi yelling at him. he stops a few feet from the ravenclaw, one hand on top of his broom and the other on his hips. still smiling.

yoongi frowns. “do you think i’m too weak to carry my own books?” he asks. “or too stupid to tie my own shoelaces?”

the smile slides off of his face. “which one ratted me out?” he asks.

“it’s not hard to figure out that not every bloody first year in the castle wants to be my servant for the day, jeongguk,” says yoongi. “and as nice as that is, i don’t appreciate you bribing children to do things for me with autographs and chocolate frogs.”

“so it was that hufflepuff girl,” says jeongguk, sniffing slightly. “knew i should have given her a licorice wand, too.”


“what?” he asks with a pout. “i had a whole plan set up and she ruined it!”

“so you weren’t just sending first years to do my bidding randomly?”

“it was going to be great, hyung,” says jeongguk. “the first ones were just there to make you feel pampered, not because i don’t think you can carry your own books. i’m just saying you’re worthy of having someone else carry them for you and you shouldn’t have to carry your own books.”

“i’m not a fucking—”

“i know!” says jeongguk, running a hand through his (sweaty, wet, fuck) hair. “but that was just the beginning. it was gonna be a whole thing with them sending you pieces of a message every day until it finally spelled out something.”

yoongi is not impressed. “let me guess,” he says. “it would be some massive banner that says, will you please go on a date with me before i literally keel over and die, and there would be firecrackers and a toad singing kiss the girl from the little mermaid.”

“the—the what?” asks jeongguk. “i’ve never seen that one, can you show—”

“oh my god,” groans yoongi, and he steps forward to give the slytherin a rough shove. “you’re unbelievable, jeon.”

“for the record, i wouldn’t have said anything about keeling over and dying.”

yoongi stares at jeongguk for a moment—at his big grin, not ashamed in the slightest. at his sweaty face and his dumb shorts and how proud he is of constantly trying to convince yoongi of something that they’ve never even bothered to discuss before. his head is so massive that yoongi can hardly see around it. he’s never met someone with such a big ego, someone so full of himself, someone so utterly convinced that if he just tries a little harder, he can get what he wants, even if he’s coming up against a solid brick wall.

sometimes yoongi has to commend him for trying. but not right now.

“the answer would have been no,” he says. “just for the record. stop sending me children to do things for me.” he turns to head off of the pitch, but is caught by jeongguk grabbing his wrist at the last second.

“hey, wait,” says jeongguk, voice gone all soft as yoongi turns around to look at him. for a moment, he thinks jeongguk is going to apologize, and then he says, “what if i convince another seventh year to do your homework for you instead?”

“goodbye, jeongguk,” says yoongi, pulling his hand from the slytherin’s grasp and trying to power walk out of the pitch before the little shit comes up with something else to say.

“what about room service?” jeongguk calls after him. “or someone to do your hair in the morning? or someone to yell at me for you?”

he pauses at the last one, almost out of the stadium, but then he turns back to look at jeongguk, still standing in the entrance looking all eager and wanting. yoongi is the one who smirks this time.

“nah,” he says. “i like doing that too much myself.”

“fucking—” he hears jeongguk huff, but yoongi is laughing too loudly to hear anything else as he heads back to the castle.

as winter melts into spring, yoongi finds himself growing more and more antsy about end of year exams—more specifically, newts. they’re not called nastily exhausting wizarding tests for nothing, and while he’s sure that he’ll do fine, he can help but be nervous. if he wants to get a good job at the ministry, maybe be a spokesperson for the minister or even an unspeakable, he’ll have to knock all of his exams out of the park.

the only consolation, maybe, is the fact that hoseok, seokjin, and namjoon are in the same boat as him.

“i know we don’t have newts for another like, three months, but i’ve already started having nightmares,” says hoseok as he slumps into the seat next to yoongi. they’re sitting at the ravenclaw table for lunch, mostly because seokjin claims that the ravenclaw table has the best pumpkin juice, which doesn’t make any sense considering it all tastes the same to yoongi. but he’s not going to argue.

“i’ve been having nightmares about newts since i was a fourth year,” counters namjoon as he dishes out some salad for himself before passing the bowl over. “i think it’s the collective ravenclaw nightmare.”

“i have nightmares about clowns eating my feet,” says yoongi. “i don’t know what collective ravenclaw nightmare you’re talking about.”

“you’re not worried?” asks hoseok, already stuffing half of a roll into his mouth.

“of course i’m worried,” says yoongi. “i just know there’s no point in losing hair over it when, like you said, they’re not for three months and i’ve done well enough on every other year-end exam since first year.”

“is yoongi bragging about his big, fat brain again?” asks seokjin as he joins them, too, snatching the other half of hoseok’s roll out of his hand. “not all of us are smart enough to be ravenclaws, you know.”

yoongi rolls his eyes. “if you would apply yourself rather than wasting time trying to perfect jeongguk’s prank ideas, maybe you would be getting my kind of grades, too.”

the truth is, yoongi doesn’t think he’s that smart. he just works hard and does his homework on time and studies as much as he can. being a ravenclaw doesn’t guarantee intelligence—he likes to think he was placed in ravenclaw house based more on his creativity and problem-solving skills, as well as leadership—and it just helps that he wants to do well. the last thing he wants is to fail his newts and end up back in the muggle world. a place he’s never quite belonged.

of course, he can’t really say that to seokjin—doesn’t need the mushy hugs from the rest of his friends reminding him that they’re his family now, especially since his parents rejected magic long ago.

still—he moves his plate a little out of the way, making room for the assignment he needs to finish before his next class. just revisions, but he needs to stay on top of them so that he doesn’t get overwhelmed with the thought of homework and studying when it’s barely march.

“aren’t you worried about quidditch?” asks namjoon, and hoseok groans.

“don’t fucking remind me,” he says. “that win against slytherin didn’t actually do much for the standings—” ha, says seokjin, and hoseok throws a grape at him, ”—because we did so shit in the beginning of the year, so we have to win against hufflepuff at next weekend’s match if we even want a hope of ending up in the finals.”

“hufflepuff have been doing really well this year,” says namjoon. “good luck with that.”

“i won’t cheer for you,” says seokjin. “the true test is if taehyung cheers for you even though it’s against his own team.”

“yoongi still cheers for gukkie when he’s playing ravenclaw.”

yoongi stops writing, staring at his paper as he tries not to let himself blush. it’s not exactly true, but it’s not—exactly a lie, either. he waits for the conversation to continue, but the longer he stares at his paper, the longer the silence continues, and then he finally looks up to see all three of his friends staring at him.

“oh, fuck off,” he snaps, grabbing a grape from hoseok’s plate and tossing it at seokjin, too.

“i’m not the one who said it!” the slytherin protests.

“what’s wrong with wanting to cheer for my friend?” yoongi grumbles, turning back to his homework so he doesn’t have to see the way the others are still looking at him. “quidditch is stupid, anyway.”

“you’re awful at house pride,” says namjoon. “as a fellow ravenclaw, i feel like we should strip you of your ravenclaw privileges.”

“and what, make him an honourary slytherin?” asks seokjin. “no, thank you. i don’t want the little gremlin hanging out in my common room.”

yoongi chucks another piece of fruit at him—the first he can grab, which happens to be an entire orange, and seokjin cackles even though it hits him in the side of the head. it prompts hoseok to start tossing fruit at him, too, and yoongi is happy to go back to his homework as the other three get into a food fight of sorts. at least they’ve given up on teasing him about cheering for jeongguk, which he’ll still stand by as something a good friend would do. it has nothing to do with feelings.

as if on cue, there’s a thump and yoongi looks up to see a little red envelope sitting on his empty plate. looking even further up, he sees an owl flying away from the table and out of the roof of the great hall, where the owls always come from to deliver letters—although that only happens at breakfast. which means this is from someone else, likely another student.

yoongi is already groaning.

the arrival of the letter stops the other three from their bickering, and they all stare at the envelope for a moment before namjoon says, “i’m not touching that shit. remember what happened last time?”

“it’s a howler,” says yoongi, putting down his quill so he can grab the envelope. “we have to open it or it’ll burst into flames.”

“who the fuck sent you a howler?” asks hoseok, crowding into yoongi’s space as the ravenclaw turns it over, searching for a name. there’s only his on the front, in writing that he doesn’t recognize, although that doesn’t really say anything.

“did i send it?” seokjin muses. “i’m the type to send you a howler, but i don’t remember… i would remember that kind of thing, right?”

“shut up,” says hoseok. “just let him open it and then we’ll find out.”

yoongi hesitates for a moment. it can’t be from his parents—they have no way of sending howlers, considering they’re muggles, but he knows if that they could, they probably would. the only letters he’s gotten from them were angry ones, demanding that he give up the magic life because it was too dangerous or strange. ones from his brother with the same sort of sentiment, although much less concerning and more mocking, calling him a freak and all other sorts of nasty things. eventually, he just stopped opening their letters when he saw their names, and then they stopped sending them altogether. he knows it’s not because they’ve changed their mind about magic—it’s because they never liked using an owl to deliver their messages.

so if it can’t be his parents, he doesn’t know who else it could be. he doesn’t know any adults in the magical world, but another student might be angry at him for something—giving them a well-deserved detention or busting their make-out session in one of the broom cupboards just the other week.

there’s only one way to find out.

with a breath, yoongi opens the flap of the envelop and it immediately jumps to life, hovering in front of him as the envelope takes on an angry face with a snake’s tongue, prepared to shout the whole great hall down at him.

yoongi is prepared to hear something awful—maybe it’s another purist idiot still clinging to whatever voldemort did years ago, wanting to call him a mudblood. and then a familiar voice rings out in the great hall, loud and loud and loud, silencing everyone else eating lunch as it shouts at him.


“oh my god,” whispers namjoon.


“those aren’t… those aren’t the right pairings,” mutters yoongi painfully.


with that, the howler dramatically rips itself into tiny pieces which flutter down on top of yoongi’s plate and homework. the great hall is, once again, deathly silent.

for a long moment, yoongi just stares at the space where the howler was. he’s not entirely sure how to deal with this, at least until he turns to look over at the slytherin table and sees that jeongguk is sitting right in the middle of it, smirking at yoongi.

yoongi opens his mouth—he’s suddenly come up with a hell of a lot of things to say about this—but then there’s another thud and he whips around to see another howler on his plate, just like the first. and he has to open this one, too.

“it might be best,” begins hoseok, “to let it burn.”

yoongi can’t help but think he’s right—but he picks up the howler anyway, opening it and watching it spring to life just like the last one.

this one begins like a continuation of the last one: “REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD LET ME TAKE YOU ON A DATE,” jeongguk’s voice screams in the great hall. “REASON NUMBER ONE—”

yoongi, with a flick of his wand, sets the howler on fire.

he can hear a gasp from behind him—jeongguk, likely—as the howler goes up in flames with a wheeze of i’m a very good hand holder, but yoongi doesn’t even bother to look, just flicks his wand again and sends the smoldering paper onto his plate, where it won’t start anything else on fire. and then he calmly returns to his homework, which is much more important than anything jeon jeongguk has to yell at him.

it’s silent in the great hall again, at least for a few moments, before chatter begins to pick up again—just another day with jeon jeongguk and min yoongi.

“that was stone cold,” says namjoon.

“he asked for it,” mutters yoongi, writing a little too aggressively; he accidentally rips his paper, letting out a curse as he does so.

“honestly,” says seokjin. “i wanted to hear the rest of it. do you think he had it memorized? i could go ask him.”

“give him some ice for the burn while you’re at it,” says namjoon, and then they’re off teasing again as yoongi glares at the rip in his paper and tries to ignore the weird pounding of his heart. he doesn’t want to date jeongguk. they’re just friends, that’s all.

but that doesn’t explain why he kind of wants to hear the rest of it, too.

sometimes, yoongi can’t stop thinking about what his life was like before hogwarts. he had friends, but it was different from the group of brothers he’s found in the magical world. there was always something different about him, even from a young age; he didn’t show signs of magic until he was seven or eight, but that did nothing to attract friends to him. he was so afraid of himself that he closed himself off from other children his age, preferring to spend time in his room with books or video games rather than risk accidentally using magic around someone who would probably report him to the police.

that didn’t make his home life any better—his parents were constantly taking him to doctors, demanding to know what was wrong with him. his older brother, apparently more likely to believe in the existence of magic, bullied him endlessly for his ability. yoongi suspects, even now, that his brother is just jealous that he doesn’t have the ability to do magic and will now lead a boring muggle life.

seven-year-old min yoongi couldn’t think like that, though. so he was lonely. so he was miserable.

so he thinks of those times now, on his birthday—because he remembers the other birthdays, the ones where his brother would steal his presents and break them, then hand them back and demand that yoongi use his magic tricks to mend them. he never could, of course. his magic didn’t quite work like that. his parents loved him as a child and still do, but there was always that rift between them because of the magic, and he saw how they treated him differently than his brother. his cake was always a little smaller. his birthday parties always a little cheaper.

it doesn’t bother him now—not when he’s found his true family here at hogwarts, with people who do everything in their power to make his birthday to best day possible.

it goes like this: he wakes up early to all six of his friends sneaking into his dorm (minus namjoon, considering he’s already there) and kicking out the rest of the seventh year ravenclaws in it, just so they can pile him with presents and hugs and well wishes to start the day off right. he tries not to tear up at what they’ve given him—a mix of expensive and homemade, but all extremely valuable and meaningful to him considering who they’re coming from. taehyung gives him eighteen kisses on the face in lieu of giving him birthday bumps, even though he knows they would all love to use their magic to send him tumbling through the air anyway.

and like this: for once, he actually lets someone else pamper him, even though he has to grit his teeth when he sees one of his friends do something wrong, like holding his books the wrong way—he can’t help being a perfectionist. he blames it on the ravenclaw in him. but namjoon carries his books to classes considering they’re in most of the same ones, and seokjin loads his food up with all of the best variety from all of the house tables (because he’s still convinced the quality is different at each table). jimin takes over all of the prefect and patrolling duties for the day, even if that means he has to do double himself. taehyung and hoseok constantly ask him what he needs and run to get it every time, even if it’s something minor, like a tissue. halfway through the day, yoongi has to start making things up so that they don’t feel useless.

and like this: jeongguk doesn’t ask him out on a date all day. doesn’t pull one stupid stunt, doesn’t send him a howler or write him a love poem. yoongi didn’t ask for it, but it’s proof that jeongguk knows—knows that the perfect gift he could give is just laying off for one day.

for one day, he’s not his typical slytherin brat self. instead, he’s something more like the kid that yoongi met when they were just eleven and twelve—shy, sort of, when he talks to yoongi. soft and careful not to step on the elder’s toes. it’s like he’s not sure how to act when he isn’t playing up the fact that he clearly has feelings for yoongi, which is interesting—and something the ravenclaw will file away for later.

for now, though, he just enjoys what his friends have given him.

he has a fantastic birthday. he goes to sleep happy and full of love and convinced that maybe jeongguk is going to turn a new leaf with this wooing thing.

and then the next afternoon, he pops into his dorm to grab a textbook and there, on his bed: a box of chocolates.

with furrowed brows, he approaches his bed and picks up the box, checking the little note that’s attached.

happy birthday, hyung! it says, written in jeongguk’s handwriting. try not to eat all of these at once :)

to be fair, yoongi tries not to be suspicious. it’s not like everything jeongguk does is wrapped up in his attempts to make yoongi go out with him, but... jeongguk gave him a very nice gift yesterday, on top of putting the wooing attempts on the back burner. there’s no reason for another gift, although—he lets out a little groan as he opens the box and sees what kind of chocolates they are: they’re from his favourite chocolatier shop back home, an assortment of caramel and nutty flavours, plus the coconut flavoured ones that yoongi hasn’t been able to find anywhere else.

he vaguely remembers mentioning the shop to jeongguk once, in a throw away conversation.

and now here the chocolates are. throwing all caution to the wind, yoongi picks up one of the chocolates and has it halfway inside his mouth when he stops and—thinks. he loves the chocolates and jeongguk knows that, but he can’t put his guard down just because they managed to go one day without some sort of public stand off.

as much as it pains him to not devour the entire box in one go, he slowly puts the chocolate back. he waits until the evening, when all seven of them are meant to hang out in the student commons. as he and namjoon drop their books off in the dorm, yoongi grabs the chocolates again and tosses one to his fellow ravenclaw.

“what’s this?” asks namjoon, looking down at the little chocolate in surprise.

“birthday present,” explains yoongi. “from my favourite chocolatier shop. they’re really good, you should try it.”

maybe it’s a testament to the darker side of ravenclaw wit and wisdom—he’s well aware that it’s not very nice to make namjoon his guinea pig, but he prides himself on thinking things through rather than being rash or reckless. and as namjoon just shrugs and pops the chocolate in his mouth, yoongi has to remind himself that there’s a very, very low chance that he’s just purposely poisoned his best friend.

he watches namjoon carefully for a moment as the other ravenclaw chews and swallows.

“wow, that really is good,” says namjoon, and then he’s turning back to his own belongings, discarding his books and grabbing his ravenclaw sweater before adding, “ready to go?”

if yoongi is being honest, he’s a little disappointed. but there’s no time to eat the chocolates himself now, so he just grabs his own sweater and heads out the door for the student commons to join the rest of their friends.

they’re in the middle of an especially intense game of exploding snap when it kicks in—whatever was in the chocolates. it has to be the only explanation for the way namjoon suddenly loses interest in the game, instead focusing all of his attention on jeongguk, who sits across the table from him. yoongi doesn’t notice it at first, too busy trying to out seokjin for cheating while trying not to make it seem like he’s really the one cheating—but when jeongguk loses a hand, namjoon gives a great gasp.

“that’s unfair!” he exclaims. “jeongguk-ah should never lose this game. he’s the most amazing player in the entire world. just like he is with quidditch.”

there’s a moment of—hesitation from the entire group. yoongi meets jimin’s eyes from across the table, eyebrows furrowed before taehyung gives an awkward laugh and says, “alright, hyung.”

jeongguk, on the other hand, seems pleased with the attention. as always. “he’s right,” says the slytherin. “i am the best at everything.”

“yeah, except you just lost the fucking game,” snorts yoongi, to which namjoon reaches over and smacks him in the arm.

“don’t swear at him!” says namjoon. “he doesn’t deserve that.”

“well, don’t fucking hit me,” says yoongi, giving the other ravenclaw a shove back.

“you know who could hit me,” says namjoon where he’s toppled over onto the carpet, staring up at the ceiling. the game has halted, all six of them staring at the ravenclaw as he says, “jeongguk. jeongguk, you could hit me any time and i’d say thank you.”

jeongguk’s eyebrows are furrowed this time, too, clearly confused as he says, “uh… sure?”

“no, you don’t get it!” gasps namjoon, suddenly pulling himself up into a sitting position. his face has changed entirely into something soft and fond and—oh shit. yoongi understands in that very instance, just seeing the way namjoon is looking at jeongguk—it’s the way jeongguk looks at yoongi when he thinks yoongi can’t see, which means—“i’m in love with you.”

the silence that abruptly settles over them is deafening. it feels like hours pass as they all just sit there, staring at namjoon or each other. although the rest of the students in the commons continue to talk or play games or study, there’s a little bubble where the seven of them sit, completely and utterly shaken by the sudden confession.

it seems no one knows what to say.

and then yoongi throws his cards at jeongguk.

“you piece of shit!” he shouts, and their group bursts into action and noise again. yoongi lunges at jeongguk at the same time that namjoon lunges at yoongi, and seokjin and jimin reach for namjoon, and hoseok starts laughing uncontrollably, and taehyung just sits there.

“what the fuck!” yells jeongguk, but yoongi’s already climbing on top of him, smacking his chest.

“you tried to feed me a fucking love potion!” he snaps. “that is extremely unethical and very rude and not—” smack, “—going—” smack, “—to make—” smack, “—me love you for real!”

“let go of him!” screeches namjoon. “you’re hurting him! i’ll protect you, jeongguk-ah!”

“you fed it to namjoonie-hyung?” asks jeongguk, cowering as yoongi continues to smack him. there are hands on him, too, trying to pull him off of jeongguk, but he fights against them, too filled with anger.

“this isn’t funny!” snaps yoongi. “you can’t do that.”

“they only last for twenty-four hours,” protests jeongguk.

“so have fun dealing with the new love of your life for a day,” huffs yoongi, and he finally stops trying to attack the slytherin. he gives the boy one last rough shove before he clambers off of him, letting namjoon clamber on instead, already trying to nurse his wounds with coos and exclamations of how much he loves jeongguk. it’s a disgusting sight, and yoongi feels terribly for namjoon—he’ll remember all of this once the potion wears off.

he doesn’t feel bad for jeongguk, though, who is suddenly being smothered by namjoon. the utter obsession that comes with a love potion will be fantastic for jeongguk to deal with—there will finally be someone more obsessed with him than he is with himself.

with another huff, yoongi collapses onto the sofa a few feet away and tries to fix his hair. it’s only then that he notices the other four staring at him.

“what do you want?” he snaps. “did you just expect me to eat them myself?”

“you could have at least used it on someone other than namjoon,” suggests seokjin. “it would have been funny to see like, a third year obsessed with him.”

jimin scoffs. “all of the third years are already obsessed with him.”

“oh my god,” shouts jeongguk, muffled under—well. yoongi looks over and sees that namjoon has the slytherin in something akin to a headlock, although it’s more of a loving one. he’s not sure jeongguk can breathe. “someone help me!”

there’s yet more hesitation in the group. and then hoseok says, “nah, mate, you did this to yourself. it’s what you get for trying to pull that shit on yoongi.”

“i’ll help you,” says namjoon. “with whatever you need! i’ll do anything for you, jeongguk-ah, let hyung love you.”

yoongi snorts. “yeah, glad that’s not me,” he says, although—there’s a weird feeling in his chest as he watches the two of them. jeongguk finally breaks out of namjoon’s hold, although the ravenclaw is quick to latch onto jeongguk wherever he can. and jeongguk, for once, doesn’t actually seem so against it, at least when namjoon is just trying to cuddle him.

as the others suggest they just… keep playing their game, yoongi tries to keep his attention away from the inseparable pair at the end of the table. namjoon is just cuddling jeongguk, all content as jeongguk pats his head once in a while.

and he’s. fuck. yoongi clenches his jaw, glowering at his cards as he’s able to place the cool feeling in his chest as—jealousy.

which is bullshit. there’s nothing to be jealous of. there’s no reason why he should want to be the one cuddling jeongguk in the middle of the student commons, in front of all of their friends like it’s normal. he doesn’t care about having all of jeongguk’s attention on him—in fact, he’s always quite upset when all of jeongguk’s attention is on him. maybe he’s just jealous of jeongguk; sometimes namjoon will sneak into his bed when he can’t sleep, and that’s. yeah. that’s it.

and if he feigns feeling too tired to continue hanging out at eight fucking thirty in the evening, it has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that namjoon keeps whispering in jeongguk’s ear and making the slytherin giggle with his cute bunny smile on display.

(he sets the chocolates on fire, too.)

the easter holidays arrive much faster than yoongi would like; as much as he knows he’ll enjoy a week without classes, the beginning of april means that the beginning of june is right around the corner—and that means year end exams. that means graduation. the idea of leaving hogwarts, and three of his best friends behind is absolutely horrifying, so he tells himself that he won’t worry about it until he has to. the professors have assigned enough homework and exam preparation over the easter holidays anyway, so he doubts he’ll have much time to panic about a year without jeongguk, jimin, and taehyung.

but it also means a week without having to worry about jeongguk, period. since the incident with namjoon and the love potion (which someone in their friend group feels obligated to bring up at least once every few days, much to namjoon’s chagrin—yoongi has never seen him blush so much in the entire seven years that they’ve known each other), jeongguk seems to have calmed down with how grandiose his wooing attempts are. there are less balloons and flowers and love potion-infused chocolates, more little things like constantly badgering him to go on a date, little gifts he’s gotten for yoongi at hogsmeade that yoongi can only accept if he admits his undying love for jeongguk.

he does love jeongguk. he just needs a fucking break. he’d had to give jeongguk detention last week for attempting to charm the outside of the castle to have the words ‘jk <3 yg” written on it in massive, glittery pink paint. so—a break.

still, at the hogsmeade train station, yoongi finds himself to be just a little sad. he’s going home for the week, but jeongguk isn’t—his parents are travelling, currently somewhere in south america, and jeongguk has chosen to stay at the castle instead of crashing with one of their other friends. hoseok is staying too, so at least he won’t be alone, but yoongi can already tell that jeongguk is wishing it was someone else who was staying—and not in the cheesy, so we can be alone together and do questionable things way, just in the jeongguk is always a little lonely without yoongi way.

yoongi sets his trunk down at his feet, just shy of the door to the train, and turns back to face jeongguk, who’s come to see him off. all of them off, really, but the other four are already on the train, saving yoongi a seat.

“how much homework have you got?” asks yoongi.

jeongguk shrugs. “enough,” he says. there’s already a pout in his voice, one that yoongi has to stop himself from grinning at; there’s a strange duality to the boy standing before him, and this jeongguk is so different from the one everyone knows on the quidditch pitch, or even in class, or in the middle of the great hall as he declares his love for yoongi.

“you gonna be okay doing it without me?” teases yoongi, and the slytherin frowns at him.

“that’s not funny,” he says. “hobi-hyung said he’ll help me, but he sucks at potions. he literally got a poor every single year until professor clampton had to tell him to drop it because it was wasting precious hogwarts resources.”

yoongi can’t help but snort, remembering all too well how hoseok had lamented to him that the education system had failed him. “you’ll be okay,” says yoongi, although he finds he means it for more than just homework. it’s weird—they’ll only be about for a week. but there’s something squeezing tight and tight around his heart anyway.

with a pout, jeongguk stuffs his hands in his coat pocket. “have fun at home,” he says.

“you know i won’t,” says yoongi, taking a step forward and reaching up to adjust the collar of jeongguk’s coat for no reason other than that he just. feels the need to touch him. “have fun in the castle with no one in it.”

“i’ll eat all of the easter chocolate for you,” says jeongguk, and he peeks up at yoongi through his eyelashes, shy little smile on his lips.

“good,” says yoongi. “don’t let hoseokie put whipped cream on everything at breakfast. he’s terrible for that.”

“yes, hyung.”

“and make sure you go to bed at a decent hour even if you don’t have class in the morning.”

“yes, hyung.”

“and write me if you need anything even if it freaks my parents out that there’s an owl on the windowsill in the middle of the day.”

hyung,” says jeongguk, and he’s grinning even wider, which was the point, maybe—he catches yoongi’s wrist where the ravenclaw has still been smoothing down his coat even though there’s no wrinkles. “i’ll be fine. i’m a big boy.”

“you’re a baby, jeonggukkie,” says yoongi. “my baby. gonna miss you.”

he thinks he sees jeongguk’s cheeks darken, just a little. he opens his mouth, about to say something—and in this moment, this soft, private moment, it could be anything—and then the train whistle blasts and startles the both of them. yoongi snatches his wrist away, almost having forgotten where they are, and instead reaches for his trunk.

“miss you too, hyung,” says jeongguk. his grin is already fading.

“i’ll be back in a week,” says yoongi. “and if you spend the whole time coming up with new ways to ask me out on dates, i will get right back on this train and nope the fuck out.”

hyung,” giggles jeongguk, but yoongi is already climbing on the train, turning back to give him a little wave before the doors close.

“wear clean clothes!”

“you’re not my mom!”

“thank fucking god, i’d have to disown you.”

yoongi doesn’t hear what jeongguk says because the doors close, and the train starts its slow beginning down the track. he peers out of the window, giving jeongguk a wave as the slytherin stands on the platform and waves back, although a little less enthusiastically than normal.

he’ll be fine, yoongi thinks. they’ve gone whole months without seeing each other, so it’s fine.

even if he feels a bit like he’s leaving half of his heart at hogwarts, anyway.

yoongi finds him in the astronomy tower. it takes half an hour, because it’s the last place he looks; jeongguk is always surrounding himself with other people, even if he doesn’t always involve himself in what they’re doing. he once told yoongi that it was something about just feeling like a part of something, having the option to join in and speak even if he doesn’t choose to. yoongi knows that most people see it as a aloofness, the great jeon jeongguk not thinking himself worthy of interacting with others. maybe it’s because he’s a slytherin that people assume those things. maybe it’s because jeongguk is usually so good at being larger than life anyway.

so yoongi didn’t think to look in the astronomy tower—isolated, dark, lonely. that’s the first clue that something is wrong. or the second, maybe—the first was that he was missing at all. they’ve all been back from the easter holidays for a few days, but they haven’t really gotten a chance to sit down and swap stories, well wishes from parents, check over the ridiculous amount of homework they had to do. that was supposed to be tonight—the first night since returning that all of them are free, even if it’s just for a few hours.

and jeongguk hadn’t been there. yoongi thinks of how strange he’s been acting since all of them got back to hogwarts, even though he’d been proud to show yoongi that he did all of his homework and only let hoseok put whipped cream all of his breakfast once. and yoongi knows that jeongguk will talk to him, at least more than he’s likely to talk to the others. it’s a little manipulative, but also the simple fact that the two of them understand each other differently than the others.

so he finds jeongguk in the astronomy tower. after yoongi has walked up all of the stairs to get there, only taking one or two shortcuts, he’s out of breath, but he creeps into the tower anyway, lighting his wand for better searching. the sun has already set, the last bit of light of day filtering into the tower from the open sides, and—oh.

yoongi turns out the light from his wand, pocketing it before making his way over to the edge of the tower. he silently joins jeongguk at the edge, sitting down on the floor next to him and staring out at the horizon. he doesn’t say anything, knows that this isn’t about him—jeongguk has to be the one to speak first. it’s clear that he hasn’t just forgotten about the meet-up, and that he isn’t just busy or caught up with other things. he came here on purpose, to be alone.

it takes two, three minutes. yoongi doesn’t count the seconds as they pass, just stares out at the fading light as he waits. and waits. and knows he’ll wait as long as it takes.

finally—“i always thought the grounds were so pretty,” says jeongguk quietly. “my brother used to tell me all about it before i got to hogwarts, about the trees and the hills and how he could see the lake from the gryffindor tower. and it was his favourite part about school. it’s why i was so sad about being in slytherin at first, i think—i wanted to see it, too.”

yoongi frowns a little, has no idea where this is going or where it’s come from. but he’s not going to ask about it, just going to let jeongguk say what needs to be said. “to be fair,” he replies. “it gets old after the first year, anyway.”

he watches jeongguk, sees the sixth year’s lips quirk up into a half-hearted smile. “yeah,” he says. “so does an underwater view of the black lake. i used to think maybe i’d see mermaids—the first time i met seokjinie-hyung, he was trying to learn mermish so that he could put signs up on the window in the common room. he wanted to talk to them.”

vaguely, yoongi can recall that part of second year when seokjin tried to communicate exclusively in mermish. namjoon had introduced yoongi and seokjin not long before that, and yoongi had been convinced the slytherin was an absolutely hopeless case. (sometimes he’s not sure his first impression was totally wrong.)

“have you ever seen one?” asks yoongi.

jeongguk shakes his head. “they don’t like people.”

“sounds like me.”

a pause. then—“did they send you to find me?” asks jeongguk.

“i sent me to find you,” replies yoongi. “they just assumed you were busy with something or forgot, but i knew it wasn’t that.”

jeongguk turns to look at him for the first time since yoongi sat down, and yoongi sees how tired jeongguk looks, how unsure of himself. usually the boy is leaking confidence, but here, under the cover of night and privacy, it’s all been wiped away.

“how’d you know?” asks jeongguk.

with a shrug, yoongi says, “i pay more attention to you than you think.”

there’s something there—jeongguk is watching him carefully, darkness in his eyes. and then he turns back to the horizon, such little light left to illuminate them. he’s not going to question it.

“i’m homesick,” says jeongguk quietly, just like that. he’s blunt about it, matter-of-fact. yoongi doesn’t say anything, waits for him to continue. “it’s weird because i’m sixteen. like… i shouldn’t be homesick? but—i dunno. i just saw my parents at christmas but there were so many other relatives home and they all had more interesting things to talk about than quidditch and homework. and my brother wasn’t there anyway, because he’s starting a new job in america and then i didn’t get to go home for easter, either and i just—” he huffs, frustrated. rakes a hand through his hair. “it’s stupid.”

“no, it’s not,” says yoongi instantly. he reaches out, places a firm hand on jeongguk’s thigh and squeezes. “it’s not stupid. you’re allowed to miss your parents and your brother and whatever else you want. it’s hard being away from them all year, even when you’re a teenager.”

“and it makes me feel worse that i’ve been kind of distant from you guys lately,” adds jeongguk, but he’s looking down, staring at yoongi’s hand on his thigh. “i know tonight was supposed to be us hanging out for the first time, but i just—i couldn’t listen to everyone talk about how great it was at home with their families. makes my heart hurt.” he sniffs a little, wiping at his eyes.

yoongi’s heart hurts, too, but for a different reason; he hates seeing jeongguk in pain, feels this primal urge to protect him, even if there’s not much he can do about homesickness. still, with a frown, he removes his hand from jeongguk’s thigh and slides it up the slytherin’s back instead, curling it around the boy’s neck and tugging him over until jeongguk ends up leaning against him, head against yoongi’s shoulder.

“if it makes you feel better,” he begins, “i can tell you terrible stories about my time at home and how much my parents gave me the cold shoulder.”

it’s meant as a joke, but jeongguk sniffs again. “that would still make me sad,” he admits quietly, and yoongi curls his hand into jeongguk’s hair, gentle and soothing. “makes me sad that they don’t love you the way you deserve to be loved.”

“it’s alright,” says yoongi. “i have all the love i need right here.”

yoongi means all six of his friends and the family they’ve become for him. but he also means what jeongguk gives him in moments like this, when it’s just the two of them—when it’s not about the grand gestures and the attempts to win yoongi’s heart. there’s no reason to perform here.

as if jeongguk can understand his thoughts, he says, “missed you so much, hyung,” as he turns his face into yoongi’s shoulder, arms suddenly curling around him. there’s a hand fisted into the shirt of his stomach, holding on so, so tightly, like yoongi is his only lifeline. yoongi kisses the top of jeongguk’s head, hand still caught in his hair.

“missed you too, baby,” he says, and then—

“why do you do that?” jeongguk pulls away just as quickly as he latched onto yoongi, head coming up so suddenly that he almost headbutts yoongi in the nose. the ravenclaw blinks at him, hand falling to his side at the almost angry look on jeongguk’s face.

“do what?”

that,” says jeongguk, gesturing to all of him like it explains anything. “every time i try to do something for you or ask you on a date, you yell at me and get angry at me, but then when we’re alone like this, you’re all—all—” he flounders for words, gesturing wildly at yoongi, who is at a loss for words himself. jeongguk huffs. “you’re giving me mixed signals,” he settles on. “you call me baby all the time and help me with homework and cuddle me when i’m sad, but as soon as there are other people around, it’s like you’re afraid of being seen with me.”

yoongi’s eyebrows furrow. “you’re not much better,” he says defensively. “you’re always doing stupid things to try to prove your love to me and being an asshat with an ego the size of china, but when there’s no one around, you’re suddenly all meek and shy.”

“maybe it’s a defense mechanism,” jeongguk shoots back.

“what, being shy?”

“no, being an asshole. if i’m all over-confident and annoying all the time, it makes it seem like your rejections don’t sting that much, even though they do.” jeongguk is pouting at him now, eyes hurt hurt hurt. “because i really do love you, hyung, but i don’t know how to make you accept that or—or love me back, so i do all of this stupid stuff because i know you’ll just say no anyway.”

yoongi—stares. he’d never considered that before, never understood that maybe the jeon jeongguk that everyone else knows is the wrong one. maybe the jeongguk who makes birds sing for him and sends him howlers is just scared.

“jeongguk-ah,” he begins gently. “i don’t—i don’t want all of those grand gestures. you know, i…” he stops, turning his gaze back out of the tower as he awkwardly tugs at his ear. he’s never been good with feelings. “i like you more than you think i do. but all of the stuff that you do in front of everyone isn’t helping because it—it embarrasses me. and i can’t give into it in public because you know, i—”

“you have a reputation?” asks jeongguk. yoongi flushes.

“i guess,” he says. “it’s a poor excuse for yelling at you, but that’s who i am, i guess. i don’t know how to deal with vulnerability and feelings, so i automatically resort to being a twat unless it’s just you and me. i don’t have to worry about what other people think then.”

he chances a glance at jeongguk to see the other boy is still frowning at him. “if you liked me, it wouldn’t matter what other people thought,” says jeongguk.

“i know. but i can’t quite get my actions to match up with that belief.”

they fall silent for a moment, and yoongi suddenly feels terrible for how he’s been dealing with it all, even if he has been rightfully annoyed by a lot of it. “the thing is,” he says, then. “i don’t mind them as much as i let on, because… i dunno. i like when you do things for me or when you pay attention to me. but maybe i’d just like something a little less… public.

yoongi winces even as he says it, and keeps his gaze firmly away from jeongguk. but then he feels a hand on his wrist, feels fingers slowly moving down until jeongguk’s hand is covering his against the floor of the tower, splayed out finger for finger.

“this is less public,” mumbles jeongguk.

“i just—” says yoongi. “i don’t want the jeongguk who has his head up his ass all of the time and thinks that the best way to win a guy’s heart is by getting peeves to drop glitter bombs on him while saying the only way to fix it is by changing into a date-appropriate outfit. i know that’s not you. and grand romantic gestures are fine as long as you actually talk to me first to make sure i’m okay with that, or at least give me a chance to tell you my own feelings before you try to put me on the spot in the middle of breakfast. i don’t want the quidditch star or the heartthrob. i just want—i want you, jeongguk. this you, the one you always are with me. that’s the boy i—i love.”

he’s afraid that jeongguk will be angry at him for it—will say that he can’t have this jeongguk without having the quidditch star and the heartthrob, too. he’s too busy staring at their hands, waiting for jeongguk to take his away and leave, afraid that he’s messed it up. but then jeongguk curls his fingers through the spaces between yoongi’s, hooking them into yoongi’s palm.

says, “you love me?”

yoongi closes his eyes. there, he sees the past six years of knowing jeongguk, of watching him grow up. of following behind one step at a time to make sure that jeongguk doesn’t fall, or if he does, that there’s always someone to help him back to his feet. the first quidditch game jeongguk played in, when yoongi almost broke hoseok’s hand with how hard he was squeezing it as he watched their little jeonggukkie speed around the pitch, almost hitting other players or narrowly missing being knocked off his broom by a bludger. the time jeongguk invited all of them over for christmas and there weren’t enough beds for all of them despite the fact that jeongguk’s parents are magical, so he and yoongi shared a bed and there was nothing special about it, just the two of them staying up for hours talking. jeongguk breaking down in the bathroom after he failed his first exam, and yoongi promising he would make sure it never happened again.

and even—the days in between. every time he sees jeongguk walk into the great hall for breakfast, hair a perpetual mess and tie crooked. every time jeongguk smiles at him, whether over lunch or while studying or when they’re playing gobstones in the commons. every time he so much as thinks about jeongguk and hates the distance between them, a whole castle away, and he knows. he knows.

it’s never been a question.

“ask me out,” says yoongi, looking over at him now and trying to ignore that hopefulness in jeongguk’s eyes, “properly. no fireworks in the great hall, no howlers, no gifts. just you and me, like it should have been from the beginning. okay?”

jeongguk nods, just slightly. “okay,” he breathes. “yoongi, will—”

“not here,” says the ravenclaw, slipping his hand out of jeongguk’s and standing up. “you can put some effort into it. and my butt is too cold right now for this.”


“i’m leaving!”

“you can’t just disappear after confessing your love for me like that!”

they don’t end up with the rest of the group—yoongi runs away from the tower and jeongguk chases him and they laugh about it, at least until yoongi leads him right to the ravenclaw tower and the eagle knocker gives them an especially hard riddle, like it doesn’t want to let either of them in if jeongguk is there. and yoongi tells jeongguk to plan his ungrand romantic gesture to convince yoongi to date him, this one last time, and jeongguk leaves with this look in his eye and yoongi has to scream into his pillow until namjoon shows up and gives him the most suspicious side-eye he’s ever seen.

a week later—and yoongi tries not to spend the entire week watching the calendar, caught between panicking about newts and panicking about the fact that he’s graduating and graduating means leaving jeongguk, and what if they don’t have time—he’s in the middle of a defense against the dark arts essay when taehyung steals his quill.

one moment, yoongi is explaining how to resist the imperius curse and the next, his hand is entirely empty. he blinks before looking up and catching sight of a suspicious person in hufflepuff robes fleeing from his table at the library, and yoongi lets out a quiet, “hey!” before the fifth year at the table next to him shushes him.

yoongi huffs, looking down where he’d been forced to stop writing in the middle of a sentence—middle a word, really—and then grabs his bag, hoping he has a spare quill inside. after rummaging through some sugar quills, which aren’t going to help him write, notes, a textbook, and some other various items, he comes up empty-handed.

then—“looking for something?”

yoongi looks up to see jeongguk standing beside the table, shit-eating grin on his face.

of course.

“jeongguk-ah,” yoongi begins. “i really need my quill back. i have to finish this essay as soon as possible.”

“i know,” says jeongguk, clasping his hands behind his back. “but unfortunately, you seem to have misplaced your quill and i don’t think anyone has—”

“oh my god,” says the fifth year who shushed yoongi earlier. “i’ll give you a fucking quill if you just shut up and let me study in peace.”

yoongi snorts, and turns to see jeongguk glaring daggers at the younger student. “i don’t think anyone has a spare,” the slytherin continues, because clearly this was planned—and yoongi wants to know what quills have to do with anything, although he’s willing to find out.

“so…” begins yoongi.

“but i know where we can get new ones,” finishes jeongguk, teeth catching on his bottom lip, and—oh. he’s shy. yoongi gets it, suddenly, knows that this is what jeongguk has been planning since yoongi told him to do something more private, just for the two of them. and despite the essay that he has to finish, yoongi is well aware that this is more important.

so he puts his things away, rolling up what he has of his essay and stuffing it in his bag before looking over at jeongguk expectedly. “i really do need a quill,” he says. “and if you just happen to know where i can find one… lead the way.”

jeongguk’s answering smile is bright, bright, bright, all bunny teeth and hope and relief. like somehow he thought yoongi would reject him again, even if this is private—or so yoongi hopes. he could exit the library to a whole cheering squad of fourth years yelling at him to date jeongguk, but he doubts the slytherin would be that idiotic.

jeongguk holds out his hand between them, tentative and timid. yoongi takes it, lacing their fingers together with a smile of his own, and ignores the swooping in his stomach.

there’s no cheering squad outside of the library—or booby trap of glitter and paint, no peeves. in fact, there’s nothing but a regular saturday of students milling about, and yoongi breathes a small sigh of relief as jeongguk leads him down the fourth floor corridor and toward the stairs. it’s only once they’re on the third floor and jeongguk brings them both to a stop in front of a statue of some knarled witch that he begins to question what’s happening.

“where are we going?” he asks as jeongguk looks both ways down the corridor. another student walks by, and jeongguk watches her until the coast is clear before turning back to the statue. “jeongguk.”

“you’ll see,” says the sixth year off-handedly before approaching the statue and whispering something. suddenly, the hump on the back of the statue slides open and jeongguk turns back to yoongi, smile back on his face. “c’mon, hyung,” he says, reaching out to grab yoongi’s hand and dragging him toward the statue.

“what the fuck,” says the ravenclaw. “what is this? how do i not know about this passage?”

“because it’s not a passage within the castle,” says jeongguk as he leads yoongi around the back of the statue and points down to—a slide?

“jeon jeongguk, what are we doing?” yoongi demands, but then jeongguk gives him a rough shove into the back of the statue and he lets out a yelp as he falls onto the slide and has no choice but to go all the way down.

once they’ve both made it down the slide and jeongguk takes his hand again, tugging him down a dark, dusty passage that seems to have no end, yoongi realizes that they’re leaving hogwarts. “you know this is against the rules, right,” he says, even though he doesn’t try to stop walking. “and i’m a prefect, so it’s double against the rules and also i can give you detention for the rest of the year if i wanted?”

“yeah, but you won’t,” says jeongguk, and yoongi thinks he ought not to be so confident in that. “breaking the rules will be worth it and you won’t want to get me in trouble for this.”

“it better be worth it,” huffs yoongi. “how much longer do we have to walk?”

“oh, stop being lazy,” says jeongguk. “unless you want me to carry you? you’re small enough for that.”

with a kick to the shin, yoongi grumbles a, “shut up,” but he doesn’t complain about the walk after that.

an hour passes before they get to the end of the passage, a set of stairs that leads to daylight. yoongi can imagine where they might be, considering there’s only one place to go this close to hogwarts, but still, he lets himself be surprised as jeongguk leads him to the stairs with a hop in his step. he’s been suspiciously quiet the whole time, not giving yoongi any hints as it what he’s planning, but then they get to the stairs and he brings yoongi up with him until they step out—and into hogsmeade village.

they’ve come up next to the park, behind a large tree that hides the passage well, and yoongi takes a moment to look around before he turns to jeongguk with a raised brow.

“we have a hogsmeade weekend next week,” he says. “why are you taking me now?”

“because,” says jeongguk, and his cheeks are all pink as he averts yoongi’s eyes. “you said you wanted something less public, something that isn’t all dramatic and doesn’t involve all of hogwarts like i normally do. and if i try to take you to hogsmeade when everyone else in the castle can go, it’ll basically be the same thing, just in a different location—all of them would see and know and it wouldn’t be just for the two of us. but here…” he pauses, gesturing out to the park; it’s filled with strangers, some children with their parents, some elderly couples on benches. dogs, adults. “no one knows us. we’re just… two people and we’re the only ones who know the truth.”

yoongi is—impressed. even with breaking the rules, which he would normally frown upon, jeongguk has a good point. there’s no way they could do anything in public and still be private unless they somehow managed to get away from the rest of the castle. and now they’ve done it, as long as no one recognizes them as students and tries to rat them out to a professor.

“you did good,” says yoongi, and he sees jeongguk blush again, just a little.

“i’m not done yet,” says the slytherin. “i just had to get you here. i planned plenty of other non-dramatic things.”

with that, he tugs on yoongi’s hands and leads him away from the tree and the passageway, through the park to the streets of hogsmeade. they’re familiar, although after having the privilege of visiting the village for four years, the magic of the place has worn off for yoongi. there are always so many other students in the shops, over-excited third and fourth years who still haven’t gotten used to being let out of the castle. but here, when it’s just he and jeongguk and their hands intertwined, everything is different. he sees it with fresh eyes, feels just like jeongguk said—they’re just two people. they could be anyone or anything.

to people who see them pass by, they might already be together.

and the idea, the thought—it makes yoongi’s heart jump.

jeongguk takes him to madame puddifoot’s first, because it’s nearing lunch anyway, and although yoongi grumbles about how pink everything is, he feels something fizzy in his stomach. puddifoot’s is notorious for being a hot spot for couples, and the hostess takes one look at their linked hands before giving them a knowing look and leading them off to a table. they order drinks and food, sharing something called a puppy love pie, with apple pieces inside shaped like hearts. it’s disgustingly romantic, and something that yoongi would usually scoff at, but it’s nice when jeongguk keeps offering him more bites of the pie and bumps his foot under the table.

at one point, a mother and her young daughter take the table next to them, and halfway through their meal, yoongi hears the girl whisper to her mother, “i wanna be like them someday.” he flushes red, red, hopes that jeongguk hasn’t heard it—but the way the sixth year downs the rest of his drink in one go just to hide his face reveals otherwise.

they go to honeydukes sweetshop next, and yoongi has to physically keep jeongguk away from trying to stuff his arms full of fudge and candy. as it turns out, that’s not why they’re there anyway.

as the employee in the shop rushes off to the back to get something for jeongguk, the slytherin turns to him with that shy look again. ”so i’m really sorry about the love potion thing,” he says. “it was really stupid of me and i wasn’t thinking about how wrong it was, and… it was extra wrong of me to do that with the chocolates from that place you love.”

“it was a pretty shitty move,” admits yoongi. “but it’s—”

“don’t say it’s okay,” says jeongguk, and then the employee returns with a box in hand. jeongguk takes it, shoving it in yoongi’s direction and the seventh year takes it to see… a familiar logo. “the reason i had to wait a week to bring you here is because i had to make sure these made it. i got the guys here to order chocolates from that place without the love potion in them, and… the box is charmed so that if you ever want more, you just have to tap it in a certain pattern with your wand and honeydukes will get the message and order more for you.”

yoongi stares at the box for a moment, mouth half open. and then he looks up to jeongguk, at the way the slytherin is watching him so carefully—a little fearfully.

“jeongguk-ah,” breathes yoongi. “this is… amazing. i haven’t gotten to eat these chocolates for so long and now you’ve just given me a never ending supply?”

“i know you said you didn’t want to do this with gifts, but i couldn’t resist that.”

yoongi has a thought, suddenly—he wants to kiss jeongguk.

somehow, it shocks him. and it’s less to do with gratitude and more to do with understanding, more to do with finally seeing the reason behind all of the gifts and public declarations of love—jeongguk has been trying to show yoongi his heart, but he’s just done it wrong. because maybe both of them are a little terrible with vulnerability and feelings, so it was easier for jeongguk to make it into a game and it was easier for yoongi to pretend he didn’t feel anything at all.

and now here they are. and jeongguk is still doing the same things, but it’s private, intimate. it’s just them and this fucking chocolate.

“thank you,” says yoongi quietly, hugging the box to his chest. “this really means a lot, guk-ah. i love it.”

he hears jeongguk breathe out in a relief, visibly relaxing. “good,” he says. “i’m really glad. i was hoping that you wouldn’t think it was weird, but i just—i wanted to make up for the love potion thing. and i want to make up for the rest of it, too, but that might take a while.”

“good thing we have a while, then,” says yoongi, and immediately feels himself turn red. how fucking cheesy—but it’s worth it, just to see the way jeongguk turns red, too.

they spend the afternoon popping into different shops, drinking butterbeer at the three broomsticks, sitting around in the park while they talk about this and that. it’s not the first time they’ve spent time together, but it’s the first time it’s been like this—without the threat of other friends crashing their party, without someone watching their every move. yoongi feels free, somehow, and unafraid to hold jeongguk’s hand as they walk around the streets.

and jeongguk is sweet—he’s always sweet. he’s not the hot shot that everyone expects him to be, not when he’s with yoongi, and the fact that he planned this out specifically for yoongi makes the ravenclaw’s heart clench. makes him feel loved, makes all of the arguing worth it, in the end.

eventually, once they’ve eaten candy apples with changing flavours and fed ducks in the park and talked and talked and talked, jeongguk says, “oh, yeah! i almost forgot.” he hops off of the bench they were sitting on, tugging yoongi with him as he heads back to high street, and yoongi is once again forced to follow.

they end up at scrivenshaft’s quill shop.

yoongi has to hide his face in jeongguk’s shoulder as the younger boy shakes with laughter.

“this whole thing was to get you a new quill!” says jeongguk as yoongi shoves at him.

“you’re a fucking idiot, jeon jeongguk.”

“i told you. i really do feel bad about taking you away from your essay, but now i can buy you quills in bulk to make sure you never run out.”

that’s what he does—buys yoongi ten quills, all different colours and lengths, which doesn’t cost much money, but it’s the thought that counts. and it’s strangely domestic, as they look at stationary and quills and ink, like they’re shopping for their own home office. yoongi tries not to imagine it, because it’s jumping the gun. but he can’t help it.

and as much as he would like to stay here, stay in this little private world jeongguk has made for them, yoongi knows there’s a castle calling—an essay and prefect duties and friends who will be wondering where they’ve disappeared off to. the longer they stay away, the more likely it’ll be that they’ll be found out, and he really doesn’t want to end up in detention because of this.

their walk back to the tree and secret passage is slow, though, still attached by the hands, and yoongi feels a bit at a loss as they finally make it. he looks down at the stairs hidden by the roots of the tree and then hesitates, looking up at jeongguk hopefully.

“so,” begins yoongi. “was this just… something that you wanted to do for me as a friend or did you have ulterior motives here?”

“definitely not just as a friend,” murmurs jeongguk, hand fidgeting with yoongi’s fingers.

yoongi waits for something more, but it doesn’t come. jeongguk isn’t looking at him.

“are you getting shy on me, baby?” he asks. “you’ve been asking me out on dates publicly for almost two years and now you can’t even say it once when we’re alone?”

“it’s different,” pouts jeongguk, glancing up at him. “in public, it’s so easy because it’s just like… i dunno, a performance. i did want to go out with you but it was partially just because i knew everyone was expecting it and you never said yes, anyway. this is like… taking off the mask and being real.”

“that’s the whole point,” says yoongi. “i don’t want the performer. i want you.”

“you keep saying that,” he mumbles.

“because it’s true. and because… you’ve proven to me that you don’t have to make everything super public and dramatic and that you do just care about me for me. you don’t have to be dramatic and egotistic to get my attention. i like this better.” he squeezes jeongguk’s hand, stepping a little closer until he can peer up at jeongguk properly. “i’d be happy with public things, too, but… you have to be less of an asshole.”

jeongguk purses his lips. “as long as you actually show me that you like me too and stop sending me so many mixed signals,” he counters.

“whatever you want,” says yoongi.

and he waits. rubs his thumb over jeongguk’s knuckles, lets the boy take his time before jeongguk is lifting his head and looking in his eyes.

until jeongguk says, “will you go out with me? on a proper date? and like—” he pauses then, flushes—“be my boyfriend?”

yoongi can’t help the way his lips curl into a smile, all sorts of knots tying and untying themselves in his stomach. for a moment, he just wants to look at jeongguk—all open and ready and wanting. his big eyes, full of stars and galaxies and all of the magic in the world. his hand clinging to yoongi’s, breath held in his lungs while he waits and hopes. yoongi isn’t sure why he was ever unsure about this.

“yes,” he says finally. “i would love to go out with you and go on proper dates and be your boyfriend. all you had to do was ask like this.”

jeongguk’s eyes get brighter, somehow.

“yeah?” he asks.

“yeah,” says yoongi.

and then—jeongguk’s eyes flicker down to his lips, just for a moment.

“can i kiss you?” he asks next, voice quiet and shy. yoongi can’t help but giggle a little, so incredibly endeared by the boy before him.

“just because you asked so nicely.”

at first, jeongguk doesn’t move. doesn’t do anything, just stares at him as they stand behind an old tree and hold hands and wait on the cusp of something. and then jeongguk takes another step forward, until their toes are knocking against each other, and leans down and tilts his head and kisses yoongi.

it’s soft and gentle and so, so warm. yoongi thinks about magic. thinks about knowing, when he was seven, that there was something singing in his veins that was calling him out, calling him to something more, something deeper. he thinks that maybe there’s more than one kind of magic—different from dark magic or good magic, something that feels just like this: the spark that lights itself deep in his gut as jeongguk kisses him, just a gentle press of his lips as they share the same air. and this: the humming he can practically feel within him, awakening something new as jeongguk finally moves a little—raises his free hand to cup yoongi’s cheek and opens his mouth, capturing yoongi’s bottom lip with it and bleeding all of his magic into yoongi like that, too.

yoongi doesn’t realize he’s reaching for his wand until it’s in his hand, until the incantation is in his head, and then he’s giggling into jeongguk’s mouth as the slytherin pulls away and looks up and—

“hyung!” he says, scolding, as mini fireworks explode over their head. “you said no fireworks!”

“i couldn’t help it,” teases yoongi. “that’s how my heart feels when you kiss me.”

“disgusting,” says jeongguk. “let me do it again.”

and he does.

yoongi doesn’t pay attention to his surroundings until he tries to reach for another piece of toast and there’s a bird sitting on top of the neat stack of warm, buttered goodness, effectively blocking his attempts to enjoy his breakfast in peace. he narrows his eyes only slightly, and then leans toward it, whispering, “you’re supposed to be over there,” before nodding his head toward the hufflepuff table. the bird—a finch charmed green—just cocks its head at yoongi, and the ravenclaw frowns. what’s the point of conjuring birds if they can’t even understand him and do what he wants?

not that one little bird will make a difference, especially when yoongi looks over to see jeongguk making his way into the great hall. on cue, taehyung jumps up from the hufflepuff table and beckons jeongguk over, keeping the slytherin from heading to his own table—or the ravenclaw table, which has become considerably more likely in the past week.

jeongguk makes eye contact with him first, as though checking to see if he can sit with someone else for breakfast, and yoongi just shrugs before watching the sixth year join his friends at the hufflepuff table. falling right into his little trap.

he keeps his eyes trained on his boyfriend as jeongguk takes a seat beside taehyung and then appears to notice something on his plate. the green finch on yoongi’s toast finally seems to snap into action, fluttering up into the air before it flies over to the hufflepuff table and lands in front of jeongguk.

“what—” he hears jeongguk say before there’s a loud bang and the little box that yoongi set on jeongguk’s plate (that he must have touched) explodes in a furry of feathers and beaks.

luckily, yoongi can see jeongguk’s face from here. he sees the surprise and confusion as the birds settle down in front of him, and then sees the moment that jeongguk must recognize it for what it is—and his eyes rise to yoongi’s, sitting at the ravenclaw table with a shit-eating grin on his face, as the birds burst into a soulful rendition of can’t fight this feeling by reo speedwagon.

jeongguk continues to stare at him as the students in the great hall fall into silence. he knows what they’re expecting—although they must wonder why the tables have turned like this, and maybe yoongi doesn’t mind giving them a show just this once.

over the birds screeching about how they’ve forgotten what they’re fighting for, jeongguk stands up from the hufflepuff table.

“min yoongi!” he yells, and yoongi puts down his fork so he can prop his elbow on the table and rest his head in his palm, amused.

“yes jeon jeongguk, o love of my life?”

“first of all,” says jeongguk, oh so reminiscent of the last time this went down, but then the look on his face melts into that look yoongi loves so much—the fond one, the one that says he can’t quite believe he’s got this after so long. he pushes the dishes in front of him out of the way before he climbs over the table, using taehyung’s shoulder as leverage, and comes to a kneeling rest on the bench across from yoongi.

“you’re damn fucking right,” he finishes before grabbing the sides of yoongi’s face, tugging him half out of his seat, and kissing him.

there’s a collective gasp around them, but yoongi isn’t paying attention, just fists his hands into the front of jeongguk’s shirt to pull him closer and he’s giggling into it even as jeongguk continues to kiss him, and someone cheers across the great hall—seokjin, probably, still coming to breakfast late—and then there’s ridiculous applause and wolf-whistling, which just makes yoongi laugh harder.

“are they always going to be like this?” he hears namjoon ask.

“yes,” says hoseok. “they can finally get all of those years of sexual tension out. merlin, help me find a spell with which i can bleach my eyes.”

yoongi finally pulls back, ignoring his friends and everyone else in the great hall and the dumb birds that are still singing, and just. looks at jeongguk, at his bright eyes, at the smile on his face. even in the midst of a public declaration of love, it feels private, feels like he’ll never have to worry about not belonging or being unsure about either of their feelings. this is theirs, their magic, their love. it’s been a long time coming, but it’ll be worth it.