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Sweet talk to me (it's magical)

Chapter Text

It was the first match of the year, the first match of Kihyun’s last year at Hogwarts. That year he wanted to win. He wanted to win with every single fiber of his being, he had trained all summer long just because he desidered that trophy so badly. He had been playing Quidditch since his third year at Hogwarts, but they had never managed to snatch the final victory because the Hufflepuffs seemed actually unbeatable, and the black and yellow team had won the cup four years in a row.

They were the first ones Slytherin was going against to start the season, and Kihyun was pacing back and forth, his eyes fixed on his own shoes while he traced the same route in the locker room over and over again. A pair of big brown eyes were following his movements, as they always did, and their owner was nibbling on his lower lip, his nerves showing in the way he bit into it hard enough to draw blood.

“Min, you're hurting yourself,” Kihyun voiced, still not stopping his hurried steps. The uneven blink that followed brought Minhyuk back to reality.

“Merlin,” he said, finally tasting blood on his tongue, cursing while he used his sleeve to dab at his mouth. He had a lot of bad habits, but that one of the worst in Kihyun’s opinion, because he always ended up with red stains on his clothes and uniforms.

“I'm so nervous. We need to win this one, both for the spirits of the team and the points,” Minhyuk commented, his voice muffled by the fabric of his robe, his eyes still glued to his best friend. Jimin, who was sitting next to him on the wooden bench, nodded his head once in agreement. He had not said a word since he entered the locker room, and Kihyun knew he was focusing and he wouldn’t speak until they were all on the field, ready to play. A head of black hair peeked at them through the open door.

“Boys, it's time to get going!” Joy chirped, her short hair bouncing in excitement. Yeri was standing next to her, her smaller frame making her look defenseless and too tiny, fragile and gracious in her green and silver uniform. Kihyun was aware that she would snap everyone's necks without breaking a sweat, if she wanted to. She was the fastest seeker Slytherin had in years, and the team didn’t really care that she was a first year student. Winning was all that mattered, and Yeri could have been the ace they needed to finally bring that trophy home.

“We can do it!” Jimin shouteds when they were in the middle of the field, their hands all joined together. They roared in unison, eyes ablaze and adrenaline running through their veins, and they took off on their brooms, scattering around in the air and getting ready to beat the Hufflepuffs. Yeri started circling the field, her eyes attentive and big while she searched for a glimpse of gold in the middle of chaos. Kihyun had to keep an eye on the small girl, he needed to make sure that when she finally spotted the snitch no one would try to interfere, that was the plan they had in mind. They would let tiny Yeri take care of the snitch and win the game with those points. The rest of the team just needed to make sure the ‘puffs didn’t get too much of an advantage.

The game was ferocious, the Hufflepuff team was actually as strong as Kihyun remembered, and their beaters were even a little bit scary. That said a lot given that Kihyun had to deal with Jimin on a daily basis. They managed to score some points, but the opponents were increasing the gap and they needed Yeri to find the golden ball, as soon as possible. Kihyun trained his eyes on her, making sure she was not slacking, but she looked as fierce and focused as the first second the game started. He knew full well that she was determined to win the game and prove to everyone that she was in the team for a reason, and that reason was that she was the best seeker Hogwarts had seen in years. Kihyun turned his head back to the main action, to Minhyuk and Joy throwing the quaffle back and forth, but his brain captured a movement in the corner of his vision and he whipped his head around just in time to see Yeri diving down to get the snitch. She was much closer than the Hufflepuff seeker, and she was flying so fast towards the ground Kihyun was maybe a little bit worried for her safety.

The stadium had gone silent, all eyes watching as Yeri easily got closer to the snitch, they were gonna win and the whole team was ready to celebrate. What Kihyun wasn’t expecting was one of the Hufflepuff beaters to swing a bludger in her direction, one that the tiny seeker easily avoided with an incredibly well executed somersault mid air, eliciting screams of triumph from the Slytherins on the bleachers. Kihyun was still not convinced, his eyes leaving Yeri for a split second to look back at the beaters, and he could see the blond one readying himself to send another ball towards the girl still following the trail of gold to the ground. She was so close, Kihyun couldn’t let him fly her off the broom when they were almost holding victory in the palm of her hand, quite literally. So Kihyun did what he thought was the only option he had, given that he didn’t have a bat to send a bludger against his skull. He dived down, getting faster and faster until he was near the buff beater and he was crashing against him, bumping his shoulder with all the force he had gained from the aerial manoeuvre.

The other boy didn’t have time to register what was happening, he was too focused on swinging his bat to send the bludger in Yeri’s direction, but Kihyun’s disturbance made him lose his balance and the heavy ball went crashing against his shoulder instead. The hard blow made him lose the grip he had on his broom, and soon he was falling towards the ground right under Kihyun’s horrified stare. The Slytherin chaser dived down to catch him but it was already too late, the loud thump of his body falling on the field below them was followed by a deafening silence, the whole stadium growing quiet at the sight. Yeri was the only one screaming, the snitch held tightly in her hand, but she soon stopped when her eyes fell on the boy laying on the ground, his body limp because he had probably lost consciousness in the impact. Kihyun thought he spotted red dirtying the gold of his hair.

Suddenly teachers were running back and forth, and before Kihyun and the whole team had their feet on the grass the boy was rushed to the hospital wing. Someone was pushing Kihyun to the ground, and the surprise blow worked perfectly, the chaser too stunned to put up any fight.

“What is wrong with you?!” someone was yelling at him, someone that was very angry and was shaking him back and forth, clutching his hands at the front of Kihyun’s robe. Kihyun realized it was the other Hufflepuff beater, his dark hair and sharp eyes making him look murderous. At the back of his mind Kihyun recognized that Hufflepuffs could be scary, too.

“Let him go! He didn’t do that on purpose!”
It was Minhyuk coming to his rescue, and some other guys dressed in black and yellow that came in his aid to restrain their friend. Kihyun was still speechless, his mind trying to wrap itself around what had just happened. Joy put her hand on his shoulder, making him turn around and setting her gaze on his stunned expression.

“Kihyun? Are you alright?” she asked, but he couldn’t find any words to answer her question.

“I think he’s in shock,” he heard her say, but all he could do was let his body fall on the ground because his legs weren’t holding him up anymore. Yeri sat down next to him, taking his hand in hers and depositing the golden ball that started it all in his palm.

“I got it, captain. You did well. It’s not your fault,” she pointed out, closing his fingers one by one around the little, shiny snitch. Kihyun felt just then guilt bubbling up in his stomach, filling it until he was ready to spill its content on the ground.

“What if he doesn’t wake up?” he questioned quietly. The small girl was close enough to hear him.

“Don’t worry, cap. He’s gonna wake up. Magic can fix lots of things, I’m sure he just hit his head and he will be as good as new in no time.”

The reasoning should have helped his mind to quiet down, but all he could think of was: “but what if?”

 

Truth was, it took Lee Hoseok more than a few days to wake up. Kihyun learned his name in the days he spent sitting at the foot of his bed in a wooden chair that was starting to take the shape of his butt. Jooheon, the other scary Hufflepuff beater, tried to kick him out of the infirmary, but Kihyun was nothing if not stubborn and he stayed rooted in his place. He left his spot only for classes and to eat, always thinking of bringing something back to the boy lying on the small bed, who looked more pale each day passing. The nurse told Kihyun that Hoseok was ok, the slash at the back of his head was superficial and he had just a light concussion. What was worse was his shoulder, which had some kind of nerve damage Kihyun didn’t know the proper term for, something that even magic couldn’t fix in little time. Which meant, Hoseok wouldn’t be able to play Quidditch for a long while. Jooheon screamed at Kihyun the first day he saw him sitting there, telling him Hoseok was supposed to have tryouts for a professional Quidditch team the following month, and he had high chances of being employed even before his graduation. Past tense, because now Hoseok wouldn’t be able to play for some months at least, and Kihyun felt guilt eating him alive every second he spent sitting there, doing his homeworks while Hoseok slept.

In the moments Kihyun spent contemplating what he was supposed to do to ask forgiveness to the beater, once he had woken up, he started to notice little things about the boy sleeping peacefully in the hospital bed. For one, his blonde hair was probably enchanted to look like that, because he had very dark and well shaped eyebrows to contrast it. Second, his nostrils were shaped like little hearts. It was a weird thing to notice out of all the pretty facial features Hoseok had, but Kihyun had an eagle eye for the extra-ordinary. Hoseok seemed also very, very intimidating, with his big body and his handsomeness, but Kihyun knew that if he was a Hufflepuff, the boy was probably sweet. It didn’t mean that Jooheon looked less intimidating, just that Kihyun didn’t take his death threats very seriously.

“You’re still here, you snake?” the dark-haired boy always asked him for the ten days Kihyun camped in the infirmary, but then he proceeded to sit next to him and do his homeworks quietly, asking from time to time if Kihyun knew some things he didn’t understand. Kihyun kind of adopted Jooheon, making sure the boy ate his meals and studied. It was weird, but it was also fun and it helped Kihyun shake away the guilt still holding his heart in its clutches.

It took Hoseok eleven days to wake up, and when he did he was extremely confused.

“Who are you?” he asked to Kihyun, who was doing his potions homeworks and got scared to death when he heard his voice. He sounded like he needed some water, so Kihyun slowly got up and helped him drink from a glass the nurse always put on the bedside table in case Hoseok had woken up.
“I’m Yoo Kihyun, Slytherin, seventh year prefect and chaser. I made you fall off your broom and gave you a concussion.”

Hoseok narrowed his eyes at him, shaking the glass in front of him to ask for more water.

“I’m so, so, so sorry! You have no idea how sorry I am, Lee. It’s been an accident, believe me. I’m sorry.”
Hoseok gulped down the whole glass again and then realized he had done everything with his left arm, because the right one was tightly wrapped in white gauze and secured against his torso. His lips turned upside down in a frown and Kihyun almost started crying.

“What’s this?” Hoseok asked in a small voice, trying to move a little. He probably felt some sort of pain because he emitted a startled cry, his eyes moving up to pin Kihyun.

“What’s this?!” he asked, with more urgency in his tone. Kihyun got smaller under his stare.

“I’m sorry, I don’t know the medical terminology. The nurse said something about bone and nerve damage, and that it will need time to heal.”

The blond boy looked devastated by the news. He tried again to lift his arm, but he immediately stopped and emitted a soft, pained sigh.

“Ok, so it’s no Quidditch for me, I guess.”
“Lee, believe me, I’ve never been more sorry in my whole life. I’ll do anything to make you feel better, everything you want, I’ll become your slave.”
“Don’t joke about that,” was Hoseok curt answer, his gaze fixed on the bandage wrapping around his right shoulder. He was still pouting and Kihyun was panicking, not knowing what to say.

“I guess I’ll need help with homeworks, maybe. This is my writing hand,” Hoseok reasoned, “But I’ll ask Jooheon for it. Don’t worry, you’re forgiven, you can go.”

He made a shooing motion with his good hand, pointing to the door. Kihyun stayed rooted to the spot.
“Jooheon is a sixth year and I don’t think he has the time to follow your schedule, too. I’ll do it.”
“There’s no need. You seem like a very busy man. Just go.”
“I’m sorry for ruining your chance of becoming a professional Quidditch player.”

The look Hoseok gave him should have been full of hatred, but it was just sad.

“Don’t worry, it’s not like I would have passed the tryouts anyway. You just made things easier.”

Kihyun’s eyebrows knitted together over his eyes, the words making him worry for Hoseok’s head condition.

“Are you feeling dizzy? Maybe you’re still recovering from hitting your head.”
Hoseok laughed, and even though Kihyun had never heard Hoseok’s laughing before, he immediately noted that was a forced one. Hoseok’s knuckles were white where he was clutching the comforter still covering his legs in his left hand.

“I’m fine. Don’t worry, just go. I’m sure Jooheon will be here soon enough to fill me in on everything I missed.”

Then, moving his eyes away from Kihyun’s face and talking in a more ushered tone, he added: “I don’t need your pity.”

“I’m not pitying you! It’s my fault that you’re hurt and I’m gonna take care of you, and I don’t care if you want it or not. I’ll stick to you like glue.”
“What do you know about glue, aren’t you a pureblood?”

“My best friend is a weird man. You don’t want to know what I found glued to my bed one time I told him I wouldn’t help him with charms. A hint: it was alive.”

Hoseok snorted a little, hiding his smile in his hand. Kihyun thought that he looked like a soft kitten, his eyes shining with glee. He wanted to see him smile more.

“So, I’m gonna go do my duties as a prefect and then come back with all the stuff you missed in these eleven days…”

“What?!” Hoseok shouted, and finally the nurse realized he was awake and came rushing in the room.

“No yelling in the infirmary!” she shouted, and then proceeded to push Hoseok to lie back down on the bed, checking his shoulder with precise and efficient movements.

“I’m gonna come back, Lee! And I’ll bring you food,” Kihyun said, while Hoseok gave him a dirty look that wouldn’t pass for intimidating even if he had his wand in his hand. He just looked like a soft, angry marshmallow.

“Just call me Hoseok, you snake.”
“Ok Seok, see you in a bit!”

Kihyun escaped the room before the nurse could force-feed him some potion to shut him up.

Chapter Text

Kihyun realized three fundamental truths while he helped Hoseok during his recovery.

One, was that when you couldn’t use your dominant hand, even the most basic tasks became very difficult. Yes, Hoseok had magic, but even using his wand with his left hand was extremely difficult for the boy, and he kept making the wrong movements, messing up his spells and becoming a danger for himself and others. Even the most basic charms became hard, and Hoseok was pouting all the time, which wasn’t very good for Kihyun’s well-being. He was glad Jooheon had taken the task of helping Hoseok with clothes upon himself, or Kihyun would have probably lost his sanity, because Hoseok was cute and hot and Kihyun was so very much gay.

Two, was that everyone was wary of Slytherins. It happened more than once that people asked Hoseok if he was ok, and if the Slytherin boy beside him was maybe giving him a hard time. Hoseok just looked at Kihyun out of the corner of his eye and smiled, his lips curling up and making his cheeks seem so soft and squishy Kihyun wondered how no one ever felt the need to pinch them. Kihyun felt it all the time, but never acted on it. The blond Hufflepuff told everyone that Kihyun was his friend and he was just helping him. Kihyun heart did backflips in between his ribs, literal fireworks erupting within his ribcage every single time Hoseok grinned at him with his eyes all squished up by his round cheeks. There were moments in which he wondered how and why he had never noticed Hoseok in the previous six years at Hogwarts, but then he remembered he never paid attention to anything and anyone that was out of his comfort zone. Hoseok, with his big biceps and light hair, his adorable laugh and sweet personality, represented everything that Kihyun deemed “out of his comfort zone.” He was used to Minhyuk, loud and obnoxious, and Yoongi, silent and introverted, but he never had a friend quite like Hoseok.

The third truth was that Kihyun was fucked. Utterly, beyondly so. He was fucked, because Hoseok was sweet and soft and extremely, disgustingly beautiful, and Kihyun was this close to getting a crush on him. It was terrifying, because Kihyun never had a crush before. He knew he was attracted to boys, but he never felt something for anyone, never felt that weird fluttering in his chest whenever someone smiled at him, never felt his blood rush to his cheeks whenever someone got too close to him. Hoseok made him feel all that, and then some more. Kihyun was not an inexperienced little boy, because Minhyuk was his best friend and Minhyuk was weird and Minhyuk made him try some things that would make them feel good. He was not scared of sex, or sexual acts, or whatever. He was old enough, but also he was not, because he felt like having a crush on the boy he made fall off his broom and ruined the future of would not have been the best idea ever. It was a dumb move, something he could probably blame on his young age and hormones. That was it. Moreover, Hoseok was straight.  

Well, Kihyun was not sure if Hoseok was actually straight, but a lot of girls seemed to be interested in him and tried to do the most to help him out as they could, bringing him homemade cookies, offering him to do his homeworks, gifting him things that could help him during his recovery. Hoseok didn’t seem to mind the attention, he took every single flirting word with a smile and soft thanks, his plump lips stretching over his perfect teeth. There were boys, too, coming along to steal a minute of Hoseok’s attention, but the boys were usually less loud and less in his space, so Kihyun figured they were mostly friends and not admirers of his. The girls, though, looked at Kihyun like he was a threat, and then tried to ignore him like he wasn’t nothing more than a fly buzzing around their heads. Kihyun didn’t mind, cause at the end of the day Hoseok always run back to him with a skip in his steps and a big smile upon his dumb, adorable mouth.

 

A month passed, slowly but surely, and Hoseok’s arm wasn’t still in its best condition. The nurse had told him to be patient, that nerve and tendons damage took time to heal even if they were treated with magic. Hoseok didn’t seem to mind that much, but Kihyun felt guilt eating him alive every single time he went out to the Quidditch field to train with his team. Sometimes Hoseok came along, even if Jimin threw a tantrum the first time he saw Hoseok sitting on the bleachers and almost hexed him to fall down.

“He’s gonna spy on us and report to his team!” he whined, trying to retrieve his wand from Joy’s hands, where the witch was clutching at it and keeping it away from Jimin’s reach.

“He won’t do anything like that,” Kihyun assured him, because Hoseok had promised that to him and Kihyun was already so whipped he believed every word the boy said. Jimin had pouted all night long, but at least he had stopped trying to cast a nasty spell upon Hoseok. The cunning smile Joy had on her face when Kihyun defended Hoseok was telling enough, but the girl had made it clear that night that she saw everything Kihyun was trying to hide.

“Cap, you know I can tell from a mile away that you like him?” she had told him, whispering when everyone else was busy running to the locker rooms to change and finally go to eat their dinner. Kihyun raised a brow in her direction.

“I dunno what you’re talking about,” he countered, trying to get away before Joy stopped him with a hand on his shoulder.

“Kihyun, it’s ok. You’re human too, you can get crushes,” she pointed out, smiling widely at him and wriggling her eyebrows in an overdramatic manner. Kihyun’s shoulders came up to his ears in a dismissive gesture, trying to play it cool. If Joy saw so easily through him, maybe everyone else could too.

“It’s not that deep. He’s hot,” he pointed out, and Joy laughed at that, finally letting go of his shoulder and nudging him towards the showers.

“That he is, cap. That he is.”

The guilt that ate Kihyun from the inside never subsided when he was on the Quidditch field, but it did disappear a little bit whenever he found Hoseok sitting cross legged on the floor of Kihyun’s bedroom with his homework spread all over the floor, parchments and ink scattered around. Sometimes Kihyun found him in his room when he came back from his Prefect’s duties, casually resting on his bed or on the carpet, saying that Yoongi had let him in. Kihyun discovered that Yoongi had taken a liking to the Hufflepuff boy, because in some occasions he found him curled up in Hoseok’s lap in his cat form. Hoseok didn’t know it was actually Yoongi and not Kihyun’s cat, so he spoiled him and gave him cuddles and ears scratches, and he even called him Lil Meow Meow when Kihyun said that the black kitten didn’t have a name. Kihyun started calling Yoongi that on occasions when he wanted to make him mad, and it was very effective.

Minhyuk was a little bit jealous of Kihyun’s new friend, but Minhyuk also had so many things to do and so many people he liked that his jealousy subsided almost immediately. He pouted for a couple of days, but then he saw a tall Ravenclaw that caught his attention and forgot he was mad at Kihyun for “having a new best friend.”

The real problem was that Kihyun didn’t really know if Hoseok actually liked him as a friend, or if he maybe felt grateful for the things Kihyun had done for him since he was injured and that was the actual reason why he kept him around. There was this irrational fear, in Kihyun’s mind, that one day Hoseok would realize he didn’t need to keep Kihyun around anymore, and that Kihyun was the cause for his misery in the first place. But also, there was hope in his heart, hope that Hoseok liked him (maybe that he liked him just as much as Kihyun liked Hoseok) and that they would still be friends when Hoseok healed completely. He didn’t really dare to wish for Hoseok to return his feelings, but he couldn’t help if his mind sometimes wandered, if his heart beated strongly in his chest whenever he found Hoseok waiting for him, or if his stomach flipped upside down everytime Hoseok asked for his help and then smiled at him so big and bright Kihyun was sure he could obscure the sun.

 

Chapter Text

When Kihyun came back from a full day of classes, he found Hoseok lying on his bed, his injured arm still resting tightly wound up against his stomach, the other behind his head in a pose that made him look as if he had just found the most comfortable place in the world. Kihyun knew well that his bed was not that cozy, but the other boy seemed so at peace he didn’t have the heart to say anything.

“What are you doing here?” he asked instead, letting go of his bag full of books that fell on the ground with a loud thump. Hoseok smiled at that, raising his eyebrows in fake surprise.

“What have books done to you, weren’t you the one that said ‘you have to take care of your school material?’” Hoseok joked, the corners of his lips upturned in that kitten-like grin that Kihyun really adored.

“It was a long day,” Kihyun explained, pouting a little until Hoseok scooted over to make some room for him on the bed.

“I also collected notes and homeworks for you, since the professors seem to think I’m your babysitter now.”

Kihyun ignored the “you kinda are” whispered by Hoseok, asking instead: “Where were you today?”

“I went to my check up, and it seems everything is going smoothly! I’ll be almost as good as new in a couple of weeks,” Hoseok said, his good arm raising in the air in a victory gesture. Kihyun’s face went dark, instead.

“Hoseok…”

“Kihyun. We already talked about this. Shut up and come here, please,” he patted the space beside him on the mattress, smiling warmly at Kihyun, whose face was still scrunched up in a sad frown.

“Hoseok. I'm…”

“If you say you're sorry one more time I'll stick my wand into your throat to shut you up.”

Kihyun choked on air at the remark, his eyes growing dramatically wide as he tried to cough and free his airways. It took a moment for Hoseok to realize why Kihyun was suffocating, and he immediately blushed, his pretty ears growing hot and pink.

“I didn’t mean it like that!”

“I know, I know,” Kihyun rasped out, wiping tears from the corners of his eyes. He would never say it out loud, but he wished Hoseok meant it like that. He felt like a total loser, thirsting after a (probably) straight boy. Hoseok coughed awkwardly a couple of times before patting again over the covers, gesturing for Kihyun to come closer. Kihyun wanted to crawl in his lap and kiss him senseless, but just sitting next to him on his bed would have to do.

Obviously, as soon as his butt touched the mattress, an owl came crashing against the window right in front of his bed, making a familiar screeching sound and scaring Hoseok to death. Kihyun just sighed, standing up and retrieving some snacks to feed the bird, which ruffled his feathers and accepted the gift, letting Kihyun take the small envelope attached to him.

“Whose owl is that? Is it ok?”

“Yeah, don’t worry. He’s Minhyuk’s. He’s a little bit clumsy, just like his owner,” Kihyun patted the little owl’s head twice before letting him out of the window. He knew Minhyuk wasn’t waiting for an answer anyway.

“Isn’t Minhyuk like… Three doors down this corridor?” Hoseok gestured to the door, and Kihyun just nodded.

“Couldn’t he come here to tell you what he wants to tell you?”
“He’s lazy and dramatic,” Kihyun explained, sitting back down on his bed and opening up the parchment in his hands.

‘Suck my dick’ said Minhyuk’s pretty handwriting, and Kihyun was suddenly very aware of Hoseok peeking behind his shoulder to look at what the message stated. His blood rushed to his face in an instant, even if he didn’t know if Minhyuk really meant it that way or if he was just flipping him off for no apparent reason. A little chuckle escaped Hoseok’s lips, making Kihyun turn towards him with surprise written all over his face.

“He’s very eloquent,” Hoseok commented, taking the short note from Kihyun’s hands and scanning it closely. Kihyun wanted the earth to swallow him up.

“Does he mean it literally or metaphorically?”

“I-I don’t know,” Kihyun stammered, his cheeks growing hotter by the minute. Hoseok just grinned at him, examining Minhyuk’s words closely. He hummed some tune under his breath, and looked at the scroll through his index and thumb forming a circle, like if he was looking at it through a magnifying glass. Kihyun snorted, still on edge, but got more comfortable on his bed and kept his eyes glued to Hoseok.

“I think it’s meant metaphorically. Look, the words’ edges are so sharp!” Hoseok pointed at the word ‘dick’ and Kihyun really wanted the ground to just open up and make him disappear. Or maybe if a dragon came by and roasted him alive…

“Do you guys usually do this?”

“Do what?”

“Send each other dirty messages.”

Kihyun knew Hoseok was joking, he could see the teasing glint in his eyes, but he couldn’t help feeling a little defensive. That was not a topic he liked to joke about, because coming out to his parents was the worst experience of his life and joking about his sexuality wasn’t something he liked to do. He was not Minhyuk.

“We do sexual stuff, sometimes,” he said bluntly, his gaze fixed on the blanket at the foot of his bed. He could feel Hoseok’s eyes on him, and he couldn’t help feeling a little exposed, a little embarrassed.  

“We’ve started last year, because Minhyuk is the horniest teenager in this school and can’t keep it in his pants. At least he can be honest about his weird kinks with me without scaring innocent people.”

Kihyun shrugged as though what he just said wasn’t that big of a deal, but he couldn’t look Hoseok in the eyes.

“I should have seen that coming,” Hoseok commented, his voice still carrying the teasing undertones, “Minhyuk having weird kinks is not a surprise at all.”

Kihyun couldn’t stop the laugh that bubbled up through his lips, and Hoseok joined him, giving back to Kihyun’s the note he still held in his not injured hand.

“Are you two together, then?” Hoseok asked next, and Kihyun just wanted to go down the corridor and kick Minhyuk in the shin. He had found out, during his previous six years at Hogwarts, that physical harm was way more satisfying than simple magic.

“We’re not, we’re just…”
“Friends with benefits?”

“You could say that,” Kihyun murmured, the blush still high on his cheeks. Hoseok seemed pretty chill about the whole dick-sucking discourse, but it didn’t mean Kihyun didn’t feel embarrassed anyway.

“Do you like him?”

“I mean, I wouldn’t be doing those things with him if I didn’t like him at least a little bit. He’s annoying, and loud, but…” Kihyun paused, his gaze meeting Hoseok’s unimpressed one, “But that’s not what you meant. No, I don’t like him that way. I don’t have feelings for him.”

The smile that appeared on Hoseok’s face took Kihyun’s breath away. He was so gone for Hoseok already, he couldn’t be interested in Minhyuk even if he tried.

“And does he have feelings for you?”
“We barely tolerate each other, why do you suddenly think we’re a couple!”

“That’s a lie and you know it, you love Minhyuk,” Hoseok flicked at Kihyun’s ear with his fingers, and Kihyun whined just to be coddled a little bit. Hoseok sighed, but then he brushed his fingertips over the shell of Kihyun’s ear in a soothing gesture anyway.

“I love him, but that doesn’t mean I’m crazy enough to be in a relationship with him. I’m not in love with him!”
“Ok, do you like someone else then?”

Kihyun breath got stuck in his throat for the second time that day, but this time Hoseok patting his back helped him get air to his lungs.

“I don’t,” he said when he finally could form proper words, but Hoseok raised an eyebrow in his direction, not believing him.

“I don’t!” Kihyun insisted, feeling his blush run down from his cheeks to his neck and chest. Maybe he saw Hoseok following its path with his eyes, or maybe he didn’t.

“Ok, so, can I find you a boyfriend?”
“You what?”

“I want to find someone for you, jeez, Kihyun, did they not teach you English in your pureblood household?”

“I… I have no time for relationships,” Kihyun muttered through gritted teeth, his eyes looking everywhere else but at Hoseok, who was still smiling and looking at him with mischief written all over his pretty face.

“Are you sure about that?” he questioned, scooting closer to Kihyun on the bed. Kihyun stood up in a panic, making shit up about finding something in his trunk. He went through some clothes and socks and then remembered he had a magical chessboard in there somewhere. When he dug it out and put it on the bed between him and Hoseok, the older had a little pout curling his mouth that made Kihyun’s chest fill with warmth and with the need to run his thumb across Hoseok's bottom lip. He resisted.

“I just need good friends,” Kihyun pointed out, and Hoseok seemed to think about it while he positioned the white pieces on the board.

“Well, you have me, and Minhyuk, and Yoongi. And Jooheon, even if he’s still faking being mad at you.”

“Are you my friend?” Kihyun couldn’t help but ask, the words leaving his mouth before he could stop them. He bit his own tongue in retaliation.

Hoseok paused, the fingers of his injured arm playing with the queen while she tried to escape his grip. “Don’t you want to be my friend?”

“No! That’s not what I meant.”

“Then what? You’re still helping me out of pity? Or guilt? There’s no need, you can stop.”
“That’s not what I meant either! Hoseok, just… Why would you be my friend? I destroyed your chances of being a professional quidditch player and ruined your last year at Hogwarts.”

Hoseok sighed, running a hand through his blond locks and then patting Kihyun’s head lightly with the same hand, the same way he petted Yoongi when he was in his lap (both in human and cat form, because Yoongi one day was tired of being called Lil Meow Meow and turned human during one of their cuddle session, scaring Hoseok and making him scream so loud Kihyun swore he heard him from the dungeons.)

“I’ve always wanted to be a teacher,” Hoseok said, and Kihyun furrowed his eyebrows.

“What?”

“I will never know if I would have passed the tryouts, and I won’t be able to play for a while so they won’t ever let me try again. But I’ve always wanted to be a kindergarten teacher, getting to work with tiny, magical kids.”

“For real? That’s…” adorable, sweet, incredible, “a very nice job. It would suit you.”

“Do you believe that? I really hope so,” Hoseok beamed, his eyes scrunching up and his tiny dimple making an appearance on his cheek, so faint Kihyun could have missed if he wasn’t paying attention.

“I’m sure you’ll be able to do anything you want to,” Kihyun stated, the game of chess long forgotten. The tiny pieces were going in their place on their own, tired of waiting. He was so mesmerized by Hoseok. His personality wasn’t one Kihyun would associate with his killer looks, but the more time they spent together, getting to know each other better, the more KIhyun fell for Hoseok's warm heart and sweet, caring nature.

“Thank you,” Hoseok tried to hide his blush by covering his face with his palm, but Kihyun noticed it anyway and smiled at him, real big. He hoped Hoseok couldn’t see literal hearts forming in his eyes.

“Kihyun? Let’s play”

Hoseok had moved his first chess piece and it was Kihyun’s turn to move.

Chapter Text

Minhyuk liked to think that he knew his best friend very well, probably like the palm of his hand or the inside of his pockets. He knew Kihyun like the Marauder’s Map knew the grounds of Hogwarts.

Since the first day they met at Hogwarts, the first day of their first year there when they both got sorted in Slytherin, he and Kihyun had always been inseparable.

Well, that’s what Minhyuk wanted them to be, but it took some time for Kihyun to get warmed up to Minhyuk’s loud presence. He knew he was loud, and he knew not everyone liked that, but he never had any problems in making friends during his short life, and he could recognize interesting kids when he saw them. Minhyuk had immediately been attracted to the tiny and soft looking Kihyun, all round cheeks and aggressive stance, his eyes so fierce they seemed lit by little fires. The boy was smart and he was extremely closed off, guarded even. It seemed like he didn’t want to let anyone near him. Whenever someone tried to talk to him, he usually didn’t spare them more than a couple of words, focusing on his studies rather than the people surrounding him.

But Minhyuk was persistent, and beside asking for help with his homeworks and helping Kihyun with the things he struggled with (they were few, but they existed), Kihyun started to slowly open his heart up to the slightly older boy. It took time. It took so much time, they were already halfway through the school year when they started to sit next to each other during meals or classes. Their first year was quite uneventful, full of homeworks and chess matches, because Kihyun liked the game and Minhyuk liked to spend time with Kihyun. The only remarkable accident happened during Charms, one day that Minhyuk was supposed to make something levitate and instead put his own robes on fire. Kihyun poured water onto him and then calmed him with soft words and even softer touches, making the tears in Minhyuk’s eyes disappear.

They went their separate ways for the holidays, but Minhyuk sent his tiny owl every other day to Kihyun’s mansion and anxiously waited for his letters, that often came back sooner than Minhyuk would have hoped for. Minhyuk could actually call Kihyun friend without the other boy showing his teeth in distaste.

Their second year saw Yoongi entering their little friend circle (triangle was maybe the best word for it, since it was only the three of them.) He had just transferred to England and he wasn’t very fluent with the language, his stuttering and his permanent frown a deterrent for everyone that tried to approach him. But between Minhyuk’s constant attention that the older boy shied away from and Kihyun’s help with the language and the school subjects, Yoongi started to come out of his shell. He looked intimidating, and grumpy, and always cold, but Minhyuk was good at reading people, and he saw that Yoongi was actually just shy. The friendship between him and Kihyun bloomed at a rapid peace, leaving Minhyuk a little to the side, a little lonely. He didn’t mind that, cause he had several other friends throughout the castle, so he wasn’t actually alone, and he was happy if Kihyun was. During that summer he spent two weeks at Kihyun’s home, basking in the sun while Kihyun read books aloud for him.

At the start of the third year, Minhyuk and Kihyun both got into the Quidditch team. It was fun, and it was a really exhausting activity, the difficulty of juggling complex subjects and training taking a toll on them both. They often fell asleep at every given opportunity. Yoongi went to watch them during the matches, but he was usually in his cat form and they never saw him. When asked about it, why he had never showed up to cheer for them, Yoongi explained that he’d been a registered Animagus since he was eleven years old, and his friends stared at him with saucers-like eyes. From that moment on, he climbed in their laps to take naps whenever he could, a tiny ball of black fur that well resembled the person he actually was.

On their fourth year, Yoongi fell in love. Park Jimin was his name, and he had just became a beater for the Slytherin Quidditch team. Kihyun liked him, and so did Minhyuk. Their little friend triangle became a square, which was cute, but Minhyuk started to feel uneasy, like there was something out of place and he couldn’t quite put his finger on it.

The last day of the year he kissed Kihyun on the mouth and then run away, not answering to any of Kihyun’s letters until the end of the summer. When he saw him again in the common room at Hogwarts at the beginning of their fifth year together, he started crying and asked for forgiveness, being so dramatic he kneeled in front of him and clutched at his robes, telling him how he was his best friend and he couldn’t lose him. Kihyun had peeled him off the ground and taken him into his room, because that year he had been appointed as Slytherin’s Prefect and he then owned a single room. All the cuddles Kihyun gave him were enough to reassure him that everything was going to be whole again between them, and Kihyun went as far as telling him that he didn’t mind if Minhyuk wanted to kiss him from time to time.

And so he did, pressing his lips briefly over Kihyun’s, closing his eyes and enjoying the warmth of Kihyun’s mouth against his. Daring to open his mouth a little bit, he found out that Kihyun had probably more experience than him in kissing, because he soon found himself pinned to Kihyun’s bed with Kihyun’s tongue tasting his mouth. He sighed a little, letting Kihyun take control and enjoying the moment. When he got bored, he used one of his hands to tug at Kihyun’s hair, which made the smaller boy whimper. Kihyun’s eyes were burning, the flames in there more scorching than ever. The timid request coming out of Minhyuk’s lips next, if they could do other things too, was answered by a solemn nod. Kihyun told him that they could do whatever Minhyuk felt like doing, and that he trusted him completely. Minhyuk cried again.

So their fifth year started wildly, and between their O.W.L.s and the Quidditch, they didn’t even have time to breath. Minhyuk was always able to sneak his way into Kihyun’s bed anyway, and even if their relationship wasn’t always peachy, they made things work. When they got angry at each other Minhyuk was always ready to use muggle ways to make Kihyun even angrier, and then made other things that lifted Kihyun’s mood. By the end of the year, everyone was talking about Kihyun throwing Minhyuk in the lake and Minhyuk being kindly brought to the surface by a mermaid that he made friends with. Kihyun was so angry they hadn’t spoken for a week, but then Minhyuk had fallen to his knees and well. Kihyun forgave him.

Sixth year was kind to them, even if Kihyun became Captain of the Quidditch team and made them train like there was no tomorrow, his focus on winning the cup so intense he almost broke them all. Joy had to spike his soup, one day, so they could rest for at least a week. Minhyuk started looking around, because despite liking Kihyun and liking the kind of arrangement they had, he also wanted to find someone to, well, date. There were some boys he liked, and some girls too, but no one ever sparked his interest. There was a Ravenclaw, tiny and with a big nose, that came by one day to ask him out on a Hogsmeade date. His name was Changkyun and he was cute and funny, but Minhyuk didn’t feel the spark and so they stayed just friends. Changkyun was smart, and he had one very handsome friend Minhyuk had put his eyes upon called Hyungwon. Hyungwon looked like a sleepyhead, his eyes always drowsy and his tall, slim figure going around the castle as if he was barely awake all the time. Minhyuk liked him, but he didn’t find the courage to ask him out and soon the year ended, leaving him with regrets and a hint of sadness.

Summer came and went, his time spent between Kihyun’s bed and the pool in his garden. Minhyuk’s mom was a little disappointed that he spent so much time with Kihyun, but she let him go. Minhyuk felt the looming, scary thought that soon their time together at school would end and that they wouldn’t be friends anymore, and that’s why his mother just told him to enjoy his time at Kihyun’s instead of telling him to spend more time with his family.

And that’s the main reason why Minhyuk didn’t like Hoseok.

Minhyuk knew Kihyun like the palm of his hands, and yet he would have never expected him to become so chummy with the Hufflepuff beater. The two spent so much time together Minhyuk couldn’t help feeling left out, jealousy taking its ugly roots in his heart and making him hate everything that Hoseok was, even if the older boy wasn’t nothing but sweet, and caring, and just fucking perfect. Minhyuk hated him.

Minhyuk hated seeing Kihyun with literal sparkles in his eyes, he hated that now Hoseok was Kihyun’s cuddle buddy instead of himself. He loathed the way they seemed to just… click. Like they were just made to be friends.

 

“I don’t like him,” he had said to Kihyun one day, sitting at the foot of his bed while studying for one of their imminent tests. Their professors were going crazy over preparation for N.E.W.T.s and Kihyun was crazy over winning the Quidditch cup. They barely had any spare time, and what they had Kihyun spent with Hoseok. Minhyuk was so bitter.

“I know you don’t, Min, and I’m sorry you’re feeling like this.”

“You’re ignoring me,” he whined, writing down some notes for their Transfiguration class while chewing on his pen. He was still trying to understand, after seven years at Hogwarts, while pureblood still insisted on writing with ink and quill. It was so stupid.

“I’m not ignoring you, I was trying to help Hoseok since I’m the one who broke his arm in the first place.”
“You like him,” Minhyuk accused, stopping his scribbling to watch Kihyun’s reaction. The smaller boy just shrugged his shoulders.

“I don’t like him,” he sighed, not raising his eyes from the parchment he was drawing planets' orbits on, “He’s a good friend and a good kid. And I hurt him.”

“You so like him,” Minhyuk murmured, but let the subject drop, focusing back on his studies. What he liked the least in the world was to fight with his best friend.

“I’ve seen you’ve made friends with that Gryffindor muscle boy…” Kihyun trailed off, waiting for Minhyuk to take the bait.
“Yeah.”
“That’s it? Nothing to say about him?”

“He’s a good friend,” Minhyuk mimicked, and Kihyun sighed, stopping his task to watch Minhyuk intently.

“Now you’re just being annoying,” he stated, but then put his things away and removed the rest of Minhyuk’s books from his bed, peeling gently his fingers away from his pen and his notes.

“I know you’re feeling left out, and I’m sorry. I don’t want you to feel like that. You know I love you.”

“I know,” Minhyuk pouted, disgruntled and still annoyed. He let Kihyun curl in his lap and couldn’t resist petting his hair while he kept talking.

“I’m not replacing you, ok? You’re my best friend. You’re irreplaceable, now and forever.”

“I hope so.”

“I swear!” Kihyun whined, kicking his legs in the air and making Minhyuk laugh a little, his hand still caressing Kihyun’s head.

“Ok, I believe you. But I will need at least one present to forgive you,” he stated, curling down to press a kiss on Kihyun’s lips and making him giggle.

“I got you the best present for your birthday, just you wait.”

Minhyuk’s birthday was the following week, and the boy was extremely excited for it, Changkyun telling him that he and Kihyun had organized the best party Hogwarts had ever seen. He really hoped there was a bit of alcohol, since he was finally becoming an adult.

“You know that Hyunwoo is already eighteen? His Hogwarts’ letter got lost the first year so he started one year later.”

Kihyun hummed, his eyes closed where he was still laying against Minhyuk’s thighs.

“Oh, really? And that Hyungwon guy? The Ravenclaw you liked last year?”

“I don’t know, Changkyun told me that he got a boyfriend. But I hope he’s gonna be at the party anyway.”

One of Kihyun’s eyes popped open suddenly, and Minhyuk realized he fucked up.

“The what?” Kihyun asked, his eye focusing on Minhyuk and getting smaller and smaller.

“I’m sorry! It’s not Changkyun’s fault, he couldn’t resist to this pout!” Minhyuk whined, showing how  irresistible is pout actually was to Kihyun and batting his lashes.

“I knew we couldn’t keep the secret from you anyway,” Kihyun sighed, massaging his temples and looking at Minhyuk like a disappointed father.
“You better feign surprise when you get there next week,” he menaced, sitting up and batting Minhyuk’s hand away when he tried to reach for him.

“I promise I will! I’ll win an oscar with my performance!”

“A what?” Kihyun asked, but his question got muffled by Minhyuk pressing a kiss to his lips, soft and unsure. Kihyun cocked his head to the side to kiss him better, tugging at him until the taller boy was sitting in his lap, his legs on either side of Kihyun.

“I invited Hoseok too, is that a problem?” Kihyun asked, uncertainty filling his voice, looking at Minhyuk from below. Minhyuk shook his head.

“It’s ok as long as you kiss me some more, now,” he said, and stole another peck from Kihyun’s mouth, grinning in the process.

 

Chapter Text

After Minhyuk’s birthday party, Hoseok slept in Kihyun’s bed. Kihyun tried to convince himself that there was a real reason there, a matter of convenience in which since the party had been held in the Ravenclaw’s common room, it was faster for Hoseok to walk back with Kihyun and sleep there with him.

Truth was, the time that would have taken Hoseok to go from the Ravenclaw common room to the Hufflepuff one was the same it took them to get to the dungeons and Kihyun’s room, but neither of them seemed to be very good at Maths that night. They were not exactly drunk, because Kihyun kept everyone in check and fulfilled his duties as a prefect, but well, they weren’t exactly sober either. Hoseok kept giggling, tripping on his own feet, and Kihyun really wondered how no professor heard him and came out to scold them.

Kihyun had left Minhyuk in Changkyun’s hands because his best friend seemed very occupied in talking with a certain Gryffindor when he and Hoseok had decided to call it a night. He had told the younger Ravenclaw to make sure that Minhyuk kept his clothes on and that he didn’t make any stupid things like Accio-ing his broom and flying naked on it inside the castle. It went without saying, that was something Minhyuk had already tried to do at least once in their life at Hogwarts. Changkyun was a very reliable kid, and Kihyun was sure he would take good care of Minhyuk.

When they finally reached Kihyun’s room, after several stops on the way to avoid Hoseok falling on his butt, the Hufflepuff literally passed out on top of the covers, his head buried in Kihyun’s pillow. The Slytherin sighed, watching how his friend’s chest rose and fell with his steady breathing, mesmerized by the slope of his nose and the soft curve of his cheek.

It took him a moment to realize he was creepily staring at Hoseok while the boy sleeped. He shook his head, feeling pathetically stupid while he brushed his hand over Hoseok’s blond fringe to get his hair out of his eyes. Hoseok murmured something in his sleep and rolled over, hiding his face and finally breaking the spell he had casted on Kihyun.

It took Kihyun a moment to move Hoseok under the blankets, his strong body being difficult to relocate, but when both of them were safely tucked in bed and Hoseok had rolled over again to cuddle up to him, Kihyun asked himself what the fuck was he doing.

 

In the middle of the night there was a loud bang, the door to Kihyun’s room getting forcefully opened and crashing against the wall. Kihyun sat up in bed, his heart in his throat as he blinked sleep away from his eyes to look at the noisy intruder. Minhyuk didn’t waste time, closing the door behind his back and launching himself between his best friend’s arms, landing in a heap of messy limbs on top of Kihyun. Hoseok groaned when Minhyuk’s knee dug into his stomach, finally opening his eyes at the commotion and noting how Minhyuk’s cheeks were wet with tears.

“What happened?” he gently asked, but Kihyun gestured at him to stay quiet, while he hugged Minhyuk close with one arm. The dark haired boy burrowed his face into Kihyun’s neck, little sobs wrecking his body.

Hoseok shuffled closer to them, one of his hands stroking Minhyuk’s hair slowly to help him calm down, the injured one finding Kihyun’s free hand under the covers and intertwining their fingers together. Kihyun raised both his eyebrows at him, but he didn’t question him further, just squeezed once in what he hoped Hoseok would read as some coded signal to stay silent and let him handle the situation.

Kihyun kissed the top of Minhyuk’s head, meaningless words leaving his lips while he tugged Minhyuk down towards the mattress. The sniffles leaving Minhyuk’s lips were covering Kihyun’s whispers, but that didn’t really matter, because in a couple of minutes Minhyuk fell asleep, sandwiched between Hoseok and Kihyun’s bodies.

When soft snoring could be heard coming from Minhyuk’s mouth, Kihyun mouthed at Hoseok to just go back to sleep, tugging at his hand until the three of them were all lying down, a heap of limbs where Minhyuk kept tossing and turning in his sleep. He seemed to find a comfortable spot with his head buried into Hoseok’s chest, his arm around Hoseok’s torso and his legs tangled with Kihyun’s.

The shorter of the trio couldn’t help but snort a laugh at the sigh his best friend emitted when he put his cheek against Hoseok’s solid peck. Hoseok smiled at Kihyun over Minhyuk’s shoulder.

“Goodnight, babies,” he whispered in the dark, and Kihyun was glad for the fact that the blond couldn’t see him blush.

 

Kihyun had woken up early on a Sunday to make a quick trip to the Great Hall, getting as much comfort food as he could. Seeing Minhyuk cry in his arms in the middle of the night had unleashed the protective friend in him, and he went around the Hall to investigate the motives of his best friend being so sad.

It seemed that the previous night everything went well, Minhyuk was the perfect birthday boy and Changkyun had even escorted him to the Slytherin dormitory before going to bed. No one had seen him cry or be anything but cheerful and smiley. Kihyun got all the breakfast food he could and went back to check on his best friend.

Getting back into his room, he found Minhyuk with his cheek on Hoseok’s shoulder, drool falling out of his semi-open mouth. Hoseok had an arm around Minhyuk, and Kihyun couldn’t help but coo at them. Maybe he should have let them sleep, but he wanted to know what was going on with Minhyuk and his tears.

“Wake up, sleeping beauties! Breakfast is ready!” he chanted, casting a quick spell to make his voice louder. Hoseok jerked awake so fast he almost fell of the bed, stealing a giggle from Kihyun’s lips.

“You almost killed me,” the Hufflepuff whined, falling back into bed and clutching at his heart with both hands, while Minhyuk just rolled over on the other side. Kihyun started pulling at his leg until the other boy opened his eyes.

“Is the Giant Squid trying to pull me under? Cause I’ll gladly go.”
“I have breakfast, don’t be so dramatic,” Kihyun countered, ruffling his best friend hair and jerking his head in the direction of the food piled up on his desk. Both Hoseok and Minhyuk seemed definitely more awake when they put their eyes on the waffles.

“You can both eat all you want, I already ate,” Kihyun gave them the green light, and the two boys rushed out of bed to fill their mouths. Kihyun silently put a cup of coffee in Hoseok’s hands and the way Hufflepuff’s face light up made his stomach churn, its contents getting flipped upside down.

“Min, what happened last night? Everyone seemed to think you were fine,” Kihyun asked when his best friend had more than enough pancakes. The taller boy’s face fell, his forgotten sulky mood emerging again in full force.

“Nothing,” he murmured while chewing, his cheeks full of food. He kept his stare down, avoiding looking Kihyun in the eyes. Hoseok quietly sit on the bed, nursing his coffee and pretending he wasn’t there.

Kihyun hummed, getting closer to his best friend before tilting his head up with one finger under his chin. Minhyuk let him manhandle him, his teary-eyed expression telling enough for Kihyun.

“Why are you lying to me?”
“‘Cause I feel like a pathetic idiot,” Minhyuk whined, drying his tears with balled up fists. Kihyun squatted down next to him, where he was sitting on Kihyun’s desk chair.

“What happened?” he asked softly, as if he was speaking with a feral beast that needed to be tamed.

“Just that I’m pathetic, I always fall for people that would never love me back.”

“Don’t say that,” Kihyun reached out to take one of Minhyuk’s hands in his, praying it open finger by finger.

“That’s the truth! I’m just unlovable!”
“You’re not, don’t say stupid things now. Everyone loves you! I love you, Changkyun loves you, Jimin and Yoongi love you. I’m sure Jooheon loves you too. And Hoseok!” he said without thinking, whipping his head in the Hufflepuff’s direction. Hoseok was sitting with his legs crossed, his nose buried in his cup of coffee.

“I sure love you, Minhyuk. You’re extremely easy to love,” Hoseok confirmed, smiling warmly at Minhyuk. That only made the Slytherin wail louder.

“But see, you only love me as a friend!”

“You want Hoseok to love you as more than a friend?” Kihyun asked, confusion coloring his voice as his eyebrows furrowed in puzzlement. Minhyuk shook his head.

“I don’t like the Puff,” he sneered, finally remembering of his hatred towards Hoseok. Kihyun snorted.

“But you cuddled with him all night long, even when I left for breakfast. You two seemed so chummy,” Kihyun singsonged, amusement written all over his face. Minhyuk tried to hit him over his head, but Kihyun dodged him.

“Shut up.”
“Who doesn’t love you, Minhyuk?” Hoseok asked, finally steering the conversation in the right direction. Kihyun threw an apologetic smile at him over his shoulder, but the Hufflepuff just shrugged.

“It’s not that… It’s just that whenever I found someone I like, I don’t even have a chance to confess my feelings.”

“You’re talking about Hyungwon?”
“I’m talking about Hyungwon and Hyunwoo. They’re both taken. They’re each other’s boyfriends.”

Minhyuk pout was the saddest thing Kihyun had ever seen in his whole life, the strings of his heart being pulled by the way his best friend looked gloomy and resigned.

“Oh no Min, I’m sorry,” he said, standing up and hugging Minhyuk to his chest. The taller boy wasn’t crying anymore, but he sniffled a little while tugging Kihyun closer.

“I’m just unlovable,” he whispered into Kihyun’s robes, and Kihyun never wanted to hear him repeat those words ever again.

“You’re not,” Hoseok said in his place, getting closer to them and leaning back against Kihyun’s desk, leaving so space between them.

“You’re just unlucky,” Kihyun confirmed, “It’s not your fault that the two boys you like are together. Stranger things have happened in this castle, you know?”

“I heard Minhyuk is friend with a mermaid and a Hippogrif, for example,” Hoseok said, his eyes sparkling with genuine curiosity. Kihyun really wanted to kiss him for being so sensitive and smart.

“Is that true?”

“Sure it is! Min, do you want to tell Hoseok the whole story?”

Minhyuk seemed still put off, the corners of his lips curled down in a frown, but he nodded quietly in agreement, getting up to take Hoseok’s hand and guide him back to bed.

“I want cuddles,” he simply stated, and Kihyun just laughed, following them under the blankets again.

Chapter Text

When Hoseok finally removed his bandages he whined like a baby. Kihyun was in the infirmary with him, and he couldn’t help but snicker under his breath when Hoseok’s major problem turned out to be how his biceps weren’t the same size anymore.

“You know, for being such a big boy you sure cry a lot.”
Hoseok threw a dirty look over his shoulder at Kihyun where he was sitting on one of the tiny beds of the hospital wing, sticking his tongue out in his direction.

“This is your fault,” he pointed out, but his words didn’t really have any bite to it. Kihyun felt bad anyway, an apology spilling out from his lips by reflex.

“I know, I’m sorry.”

“Shut...”
“If you two lovebirds stopped bickering, I would remove this thing,” the nurse called them out, and Kihyun was sure his ears had never been redder than in that exact moment. Hoseok just faced the witch, extending his arm and letting her do her job. She carefully removed the cast, and then she put some ointment on Hoseok’s skin, massaging him lightly and asking him where and if he felt any pain. Kihyun could feel anxiety bubble up in his throat every time he saw Hoseok wince, more so given that he couldn’t see his face from where he was sitting. Hoseok’s back looked tense, and Kihyun couldn’t stop cursing his own self for hurting him in the first place.

“It’s better than I thought!” the nurse stated, her fingers still prodding at Hoseok’s bones for a close inspection. Relief washed over Kihyun’s body like a warm wave, making a tiny grin curl his lips. Hoseok threw a blinding smile at him, turning his head around and winking. Kihyun was sure his heart had stopped beating at some point during their whole friendship and now his body was just floating around, being infested by his own spirit.

“See? Everything is fine!” Hoseok exclaimed, excitement coloring his voice. The nurse kept moving her hands up and down Hoseok’s arm, massagging and poking, but Hoseok’s eyes stayed glued on Kihyun.
“Lee Hoseok! I can’t believe your audacity!”
Jooheon entered the room with long, angry steps, his eyes ablaze with fire.

“And Yoo Kihyun! Any of you two could have told me today was the day!” he shouted. The nurse sighed, her eyes rolling back in annoyance.

“Is this a love triangle? Can you sort your problems out of here and possibly without yelling?” she demanded, finally releasing Hoseok’s arm from her grip. Jooheon shut his mouth immediately, scared of the consequences of pissing her off. She was notorious for having a temper.

“I’m sorry miss, Honey here is just worried about my health,” Hoseok tried to amend, smiling at her and stealing another sigh out of her lips.

“You’re lucky you’re my favourite. By the way mister Lee, no Quidditch for you until we’re done with therapy. You’re gonna come here three days a week for the next month or so and we’re gonna put you back into shape, is that clear?”

“Yes ma'am,” Hoseok nodded, thanking her profusely before Jooheon dragged him out of there and towards the Great Hall for lunch, so fast they were almost running.

“I can’t believe you’re still being friendly with the snake,” Jooheon whisper-yelled, making it clear he was talking about Kihyun, who was walking just a step behind them.

“I can’t believe you’re still faking not liking Kihyun,” Hoseok countered, slowing his pace so Kihyun could catch up with them.

“I don’t like him or his friend.”

“You don’t like Minhyuk? Don’t make me laugh,” Kihyun stated, following the boys to the Hufflepuff table and sitting down with them. Their fellow housemates didn’t even flinch, used to Kihyun’s presence at their table by that point.

“I don’t like sneaky snakes.”
“Keep telling yourself that,” Kihyun smiled towards Jooheon, showing his teeth, “Don’t ever say that to Minhyuk’s face, you’re gonna break his heart and I’m gonna need to break your bones-”

“Kihyun,” chastised Hoseok, putting food into the Slytherin’s plate since he was now able to use both of his hands to do things. He looked happy about it, helping everybody in his near vicinity by filling their dishes, smiling at everyone. Kihyun’s heart did its usual flip, the one it did whenever Hoseok’s tiny dimple showed up on his pretty face.

“How’s Minhyuk by the way?” Hoseok asked, “I haven’t seen him around recently.”
“He’s… sorting some things out.”

Kihyun had promised that he would keep his mouth shut about Minhyuk’s newest relationship, because the young wizard was not really sure about it. They’ve talked about it together, and Kihyun had tried to be as encouraging as Minhyuk needed him to be.

“He’s happier than when you last saw him, I can tell you that.”
“I’m glad,” Hoseok said, and then started devouring his food at an alarming rate, so fast Kihyun and Jooheon stared at him in awe for a second or two before they began eating too.

“What do you want for your birthday?” Jooheon questioned at some point, his voice barely audible over the sound of Hoseok munching on his food.

“Whose birthday?” Kihyun asked, looking at Hoseok in confusion.

“Yours, snake. What should i gift you?” Jooheon’s nose was deep into his lunch, but Kihyun could see the faint blush covering his cheeks.

“Didn’t you just say that you hate me? Why would you gift me something?”

Jooheon’s answer got lost in the potatoes he was chewing on, and Kihyun stared at him until the boy felt uncomfortable and finally looked up, his face so red he could have probably cooked an egg over his forehead.

“You’re my friend,” Jooheon whispered through his teeth, his mouth in a pout. Kihyun heard Hoseok snicker into his cup.

“Is that so?” Kihyun kept teasing Jooheon just to see how much more intense his blush would get.

“I’m gonna get you a bezoar because with that attitude you’ll get poisoned sooner or later,” Jooheon stated, getting back to his potatoes and ignoring Kihyun’s cooing noises at his cuteness.

“There’s no need to get me anything at all,” Kihyun said in the end, smiling at the way Jooheon pouted even more. His cheeks looked so soft that Kihyun felt the need to squish them.

“That’s not helping!” Jooheon whined, and then he turned towards Hoseok, “What are you getting him?”

Hoseok seemed confused for a moment, his newly healed right hand clutching a fork that was midway to his mouth. He smiled a little, the corners of his mouth turning up in that little grin of his that made Kihyun’s brain melt through his ears.

“I’m gonna take him to Hogsmeade and let him choose!” Hoseok announced, seeming proud of his smart thinking. Kihyun saw his life pass before his eyes.

“What? And when did you decide that?” he snapped, maybe with too much aggressiveness given the way Hoseok’s face fell immediately.

“I mean! You haven’t told me anything about this idea,” Kihyun tried to amend, not looking at Hoseok for fear to see his sad or hurt expression. Kihyun was glad he was not a Gryffindor, so he could proudly admit to himself that he was a fucking coward when it came to Hoseok.

“I actually just thought of that. But if you don’t want to go…”
“No!”

Kihyun was sure his ears were as pink as Jooheon’s just moments before, but he couldn’t let such an opportunity escape him.

“I mean. No, I would love to go. It’s a nice idea.”

Jooheon was trying really hard not to laugh in Kihyun’s face, and Kihyun made sure he kept trying by giving him the dirtiest and most intimidating look he could muster.

Hoseok seemed amused by the whole interaction as he kept eating silently, a smile plastered to his face. Kihyun hid his read cheeks in his cup, taking a sip of water.

“It’s a date then!” Hoseok joked, and Kihyun’s life flashed before his eyes for the second time that day when he choked on his beverage, Hoseok patting his back while tears formed in his eyes. Jooheon laughed out loud at him and Kihyun promised to himself that he would spike his juice the following morning.

“It’s a date,” Kihyun crocked out, wiping his eyes with the sleeve of his robe and trying to calm his wild heartbeat.

 

Kihyun didn’t really like getting gifts for his birthday, because he didn’t know how to react to them. It was weird, but it had been like that since he was a little kid and his parents had always tried to give him the best presents they could find. Kihyun, the tiny boy he was, bowed and said thanks, but he wasn’t very good at showing his joy or emotions in general. His parents had always run with it. They never tried to pry things out of him, or asked him to smile more, to talk more, to express himself more. At the age of almost seventeen, Kihyun was still not sure how to feel about birthday presents.

He didn’t know how to feel about Hoseok wanting to buy him birthday presents, in the first place. The day was pretty cold, and Kihyun was regretting a little bit going out on such a perfect day for hot chocolate and snuggles. Hoseok was all bundled up in his dark grey coat and his black and yellow scarf, his nose hiding just below it, and his light hair making a nice contrast with the rest of his clothes.

Falling in step with Hoseok was easy, as it was chatting with him while they went around Hogsmeade, their breaths coming out of their mouths in tiny condensations clouds. What wasn’t easy was choosing something that he wanted as a gift.

“Hoseok, I don’t really need anything. Just buy me some sweets or something like that,” he repeated for the third time that day, while the blond kept looking around the shop, going through expensive robes and wizard hats that Kihyun didn’t want or need.

“You’re becoming seventeen! That’s an important age!”

“It’s just a number,” Kihyun sighed under his breath, following Hoseok’s steps and vaguely looking at the clothes on display.

“My parents already buy me a lot of robes, there’s no need for more,” Kihyun pointed out, trying to make Hoseok reason, “When you talked about presents I thought you would buy me some Chocolate Frogs.”

“I can buy you those too, but I want to gift you something meaningful!” Hoseok stopped in his steps, turning around and pouting right in Kihyun’s face. If there was a thing Kihyun was sure about by that point, it was that he would never recover from his stupid crush over the Hufflepuff beater. Whatever the boy did, whatever he said, Kihyun would always feel his heart beating ten times faster in his chest and his stomach turning itself inside out.

“Maybe some stationery?” Kihyun gave up, but Hoseok shook his head.

“Quills are useless when you’re out of Hogwarts by the end of the year,” Hoseok whined, twirling around and resuming his march through the store. Kihyun sighed again, following him when he got out of Gladrags Wizardwear and into the street, the freezing breeze hitting their faces as soon as they stood outside.

“Let’s go get something to drink before we resume the search, ok?” Kihyun proposed, tugging Hoseok’s sleeve to make him move towards The Three Broomsticks. The Hufflepuff seemed put off for a moment, his frown making Kihyun regret even proposing the idea, but in the end he nodded and went after Kihyun’s steps.

“Wait!” he shouted at some point, making Kihyun halt in the middle of the street and people turn in their direction. The smile on Hoseok’s face made Kihyun’s heart skip a beat.

“I think I got an idea! Would you mind going ahead and ordering Butterbeers for us? I’ll be there in five minutes!”

He run away so fast Kihyun couldn’t even try to argue.

When he came back, exactly four minutes and fifteen seconds later (Kihyun counted), he had a satisfied grin curling his lips and Kihyun wondered how he still hadn’t fallen to his most primal instincts and kissed him.

“All done! Ki is gonna get a nice present from his friend Seok,” he said while sitting down beside Kihyun, and suddenly the Slytherin was reminded of the reason. They were friends . Nothing more than that.

“I bought you Chocolate Frogs in advance,” Hoseok moved up and down in his seat while he thrusted the tiny package in Kihyun’s hands. Kihyun couldn’t suppress the grin that appeared on his lips at the sight of the sweets.

“Thank you,” he said, opening the box and offering one to Hoseok, who gladly took it and made a frog jump in his mouth. He teared apart the wrapper to check which figurine he got, but Kihyun snatched it from his hands before he could turn it over.

“The figurines are mine! It’s my birthday present!”

They bickered and argued until a girl passing by bumped into their table and almost made their drinks topple over. They were lucky enough to have fast reflexes thanks to Quidditch and they managed to save them.

“Hey!” Kihyun called out, outraged by the way the girl kept walking without even looking back. She stopped in her tracks and turned around, her expression one of pure fear.

“I’m so so so sorry!” she bowed her head, her hair escaping from the yellow beret she was wearing, and Hoseok emitted a short laugh.
“Seulgi, one day you’re gonna kill yourself with your clumsiness,” he called her out, and Seulgi seemed relieved and surprised to see Hoseok sitting there. Kihyun didn’t remember ever hearing her name, but now that he was looking at her better, he was sure he had already seen her somewhere.

“I’m so sorry Seok, I saw your… friend and got scared.”

“Scared? Of Kihyun?” Hoseok emitted a short laugh as Kihyun furrowed his brows in outrage.

“Hey! What are you insinuating? I am scary, the girl is right,” he countered, but that simply made Hoseok laugh harder in his face.

“Yeah, keep telling yourself that,” he quipped when he could breathe again, “Seulgi, sit down with us! I haven’t seen you in a while. I’m gonna show you this boy is a loser and you shouldn’t be scared of him.”

Beside the fact that Kihyun didn’t really want Seulgi to sit there and that Hoseok was trying to destroy his scary facade that he took quite some time to build, Kihyun started feeling pissed off. More so given that the girl was in the Hufflepuff Quidditch team and the two housemates started talking about tactics and when would Hoseok go back to training. Kihyun felt left out.

He popped a Chocolate Frog in his mouth, hiding the figurine he had snatched from Hoseok’s fingers and the one he just got in the pocket of his pants. Time seemed to slow down while Kihyun didn’t get to speak a single word, so he excused himself to the bathroom. Hoseok didn’t even notice Kihyun picked up his coat.

Standing in the freezing afternoon, just outside The Three Broomsticks, Kihyun realized he was putting too much hope over something that would never happen. Hoseok had other friends, and Hoseok had other interests. If Kihyun hadn’t made him fall off his broom, they would have never even talked to each other, and Hoseok would have probably already accepted one of the several proposal of dates he constantly received from girls. Maybe he would have been going out with someone like Seulgi, pretty, athletic, and sweet.

Kihyun let go of the air trapped in his lungs, watching as it showed up in a little white cloud before his face and then disappeared slowly. He wondered what would Hoseok think if he just left without saying he was going back to the castle. Would he worry? Would he think that Kihyun was rude for leaving like that?

“Hi,” said Hoseok, exiting the door to the bar and getting closer to Kihyun, “What are you doing out here?”

Kihyun shivered, the cold getting to his bones and freezing the tip of his ears and his fingers. The step Hoseok took in his direction made Kihyun take one back to leave some space between them.

“It was getting stuffy in there. I’m gonna go back, I still have some homeworks to do,” he lied, because what else could he say. That he didn’t like the way Seulgi was looking at him? That he was uncomfortable with being faced with the reality of how things were between the two of them?

“You? Leaving homeworks for the last minute?” Hoseok didn’t seemed persuaded, but Kihyun just shrugged, trying to sound as convincing as possible.

“Minhyuk asked me for some help and so we’re going through our assignments together.”

“Oh, Minhyuk is the reason. I should have known.”

“What?” Kihyun frowned, trying to decipher Hoseok’s expression, “What does that mean?”

“Nothing, nothing. Have fun with Min! I’ll make sure Seulgi gets back safely to the castle later. It’s gonna get darker soon.”

The smile that Hoseok graced him with was nothing like his usual one, his eyes not curling up and his dimple nowhere in sight. A cold, tight fist got hold of Kihyun’s heart and squeezed it.

“Oh yeah, make sure she’s safe. Say hi to her from me, too,” Kihyun’s smile was as forced as Hoseok’s, but he waved his hand in the air anyway and made his way back to Hogwarts, steps hurried as he left Hoseok behind his back.

He didn’t stop until he was safely bundled up under his covers and he could sulk in peace, enjoying the warmth after the long walk he just took in the freezing afternoon.

At some point he must have fallen asleep, because when he opened his eyes again there was a tiny ball of black fur next to him. Yoongi opened an eye and meowed loudly.

“It’s nothing, I’m just tired,” Kihyun told him, closing his eyes and getting closer to Yoongi’s cat form to cuddle with him. The purr that started pouring from Yoongi made the pain in Kihyun’s chest a little bit better, but it wasn’t enough to delete it completely.

Chapter Text

As a prefect, one of Kihyun’s duties was patrolling the castle during nights to make sure everyone was in their bed and not sneaking around to break the rules. It had never been a problem for him, roaming the dark corridors by himself and making sure everyone was safe in their rooms, tucked in and warm under their blankets. Being a perfectionist, Kihyun liked for things to be in order.

That night he wasn’t supposed to be around, given that it was his birthday and Minhyuk had insisted all day that they should celebrate it someway. Kihyun had instead spent the whole afternoon in the library, studying and writing essays, but then he realized he couldn’t escape Minhyuk at night. He wasn’t in the mood to celebrate. He wasn’t in the mood to deal with Minhyuk’s loud mouth, even if his best friend just wanted to make him happy.

Kihyun was in the mood to be alone.

Exchanging his patrolling night shift with the Ravenclaw’s prefect was easy, and then he had the perfect excuse to be gloomy while he silently walked through the castle, with no one to witness how sad he actually felt.

It took him longer than usual, his pace slower than it normally was, and his mood getting sulkier with every step he took. He was glad he didn’t meet anyone around, because he was sure he would snap at some poor kid if he had to scold them and put them to sleep.

By midnight, he was near the Astronomy tower. Usually students went up there to make out under the stars, how romantic, and Kihyun had even been one of them once or twice. He climbed up the stairs hoping that he wouldn't find anyone there that night.

Obviously, luck was not on his side. When he put foot outside, he saw a silhouette leaning on the stones, their back towards the door and Kihyun.

“Hey! It’s past curfew! You should be in your bed.”

A familiar laugh was carried by the wind to Kihyun’s ears, and his blood run cold in his veins. Weighing the idea of turning around and faking not having seen anyone, he took a step back towards the stairs.

“Shouldn’t you be in bed too? Or somewhere with your friends, celebrating?”

His tongue glued to the roof of his mouth, Kihyun took another tiny step back, wishing he could be down the stairs before the boy turned around to face him.

“Mmh, mister Yoo? What are you doing out patrolling on your birthday’s night?”

“It’s already past midnight, it’s not my birthday anymore.”

Hoseok turned around, his eyes fixing in Kihyun’s before the Slytherin could escape.

“Well, happy belated birthday, then.”

“Thanks. You should go to bed.”

Kihyun couldn’t really see Hoseok, still several meters separating them and the darkness of the night enveloping the light-haired boy. What he could do, was hear his accentuated lisp and the way he slurred his words. He was drunk. The moon was nowhere to be seen, and Kihyun wondered if he Hoseok could see the sadness on his face under the dim lights of the stars. 

“I should, shouldn’t I? But I wanted to see the stars,” Hoseok whined, his eyes getting back to the sky and his back facing Kihyun again.

“Well, you saw them enough. It’s time for sleep.”

“Will you escort me back to my dorm?” Hoseok asked, and Kihyun gritted his teeth out of exasperation. Suddenly, he felt tired.

“I will. C’mon, let’s get going.”

With one last look into the darkness, Hoseok turned around and followed Kihyun down the stairs, not emitting a sound. Wondering if he should be the one to talk, Kihyun kept walking ahead of him, turning around just once to make sure that Hoseok was still behind him.

“How was your birthday?” Hoseok asked out of the blue, making Kihyun recoil in surprise, his ears having gotten used to the eerie silence filling the castle.

“Normal.”

“Just normal? No amazing presents or surprises?”

“I had school work to do, and then Quidditch practice, and then prefect duties. No time for surprises.”

Hoseok just hummed in response, and Kihyun wondered if that was the end of the conversation. The Hufflepuff dorm was just around the corner.

“Kihyun.”

“Yeah?”

Stopping and turning around, Kihyun realized Hoseok was closer to him than he thought he would be. He could see his blown out pupils and the way he kept avoiding Kihyun’s eyes.

“What’s up?” Kihyun asked again when Hoseok didn’t give him an answer. Trying to keep his cool, he didn’t take a step back when Hoseok got even closer, his gaze still glued to the floor.
“I… I think I forgot the password,” Hoseok muttered, barely audible despite the complete silence in which the hallway was immersed in.

“You what?”

“I can’t remember the password,” Hoseok cried out, his voice just an embarrassed whisper.

“How can you forget your own dorm password?!” Kihyun demanded through gritted teeth, trying not to raise his tone despite the annoyance boiling in his veins. If it was possible, Hoseok’s voice got even quieter.

“I don’t know, I can’t remember it anymore.”

“Are you serious?”

“Why would I joke about this?” Hoseok whined, jutting his bottom lip out and making Kihyun’s heart skip a beat. Stupid traitor.

“Are you sure you can’t remember? Try again.”

Hoseok squeezed his eyes shut, his nose scrunching up and his hands moving to massage his forehead. For a second, Kihyun found the situation quite comical. Then, Hoseok opened his eyes and shook his head side to side.

“I can’t. There’s like, a blank space where the password should be.”

Sighing, Kihyun weighed the possibility of waking up someone to ask for the password, but it was already too late and he was not sure how the head of Hufflepuff would react to being woken up at that hour.

Kihyun was nothing but a weak, gay, seventeen-years-old boy.

“Let’s go,” Kihyun said, starting to walk in the direction of his own dorm. Hoseok stayed rooted in his place instead of following him.

“Where to?”
“You’re gonna sleep in my room. C'mon.” Kihyun tugged at his arm until Hoseok moved on his own, letting him go as soon as he started walking.

Silence filled the space between them, forming a tangible barrier between them where there usually were friendly words and soft laughs. Kihyun felt a weird pain in his heart, his chest aching in what he thought was discomfort, but it was probably something more similar to heartbreak.

The weird mood between them lasted until Hoseok was sitting on Kihyun’s bed, his eyes looking at everything but said boy.

“I’m sorry,” Hoseok breathed out at some point, when he noticed that Kihyun was piling pillows and blankets on the floor. Before he could stop himself, Kihyun’s head snapped in his direction.

“For what?”
“For being an inconvenience. And a bad friend.”

“You’re not an inconvenience, you’re just tipsy.”

The blush that covered Hoseok’s cheeks and his ears made Kihyun feel the need to brush his fingers against his skin and follow it down his neck. He wanted to comfort Hoseok even though he was the one that was left alone on his birthday, sad and gloomy.

“And a bad friend?”

“You’re not a bad friend either. We’ve just been busy.”

“That’s the lie you told yourself?” Hoseok scoffed, but Kihyun didn’t want to fight with him, so he didn’t take the bait, ignoring Hoseok’s quip and going back to arranging pillows on the hardwood floor.

“Why did you drink?”

Hoseok let himself fall back on Kihyun’s bed, spreading his limbs in a starfish position.

“I felt alone and the sky was pretty. I just drank one glass of Firewhiskey.”

What Kihyun hated the most, was that he could understand what Hoseok was feeling just by hearing his voice. It made him angry at himself, for getting so attached. For letting Hoseok in.

“Well, you should have gone to bed like every other student.”

“I wanted to tell you happy birthday.”

Silence filled the room once again, Kihyun frozen in place where he was crouching to fix the blankets on the floor. He couldn’t see Hoseok’s face from where he was, but he could hear the sadness pouring from his words. It made the pain in his heart grow some more.

“I wanted to come here and ask Minhyuk to let me in so I could give you my present,” Hoseok went on, his voice just above a whisper. Kihyun wasn’t sure if he was properly breathing.

“But then I thought you wouldn’t like to see me, so I felt sad and I went to drink alone. And then I thought you would scold me if you found me drinking alone, so I stopped after the first glass.”

Kihyun couldn’t help himself, standing up from his place on the floor to sit down next to Hoseok on the bed, putting one of his hands on Hoseok’s knee in a comforting gesture. He hated hearing the way Hoseok was talking, so self deprecating and full on bitter.

“I would have liked to see you,” he muttered, looking at Hoseok’s face to study his expression. The older boy had his eyes closed, a frown curling his mouth.

“I’m not sure about that.”

“Seok,” Kihyun called out, clutching his knee to get him to open his eyes. Hoseok squeezed them more shut.

“Seok, look at me,” he pleaded, and Hoseok finally complied. His stare was kind of liquid, and Kihyun didn’t know if it was because of the alcohol or because he was about to cry. Unsure on what to say, he let the truth spill from his mouth.

“I’m sorry that I left like that the other day. I felt out of place,” he finally said, because the thought of having gone away with an excuse had eaten him alive for days. Hoseok rolled on his side, facing Kihyun.

“It’s ok, I get it. I didn’t realize that until Seulgi pointed out that you hadn’t said a single word since she sat down with us.”

“It’s not her fault! It just felt awkward.”

“I know. It’s my fault, I didn’t even notice.”

Kihyun sighed, gently squeezing Hoseok’s knee again. The older boy closed his eyes, and Kihyun couldn’t help but stare at his puffed out cheeks and plump lips. For a moment, he thought of confessing his feelings, but then Hoseok spoke again.

“I’ve been the worst friend. I couldn’t even see you were uncomfortable.”

Right. Friends.

“It’s not your fault, I should have said something. I…” Kihyun thought of lying once again, but he didn’t really see the point of it anymore. “I felt a little bit jealous. You and Seulgi seem so close, I thought that you’d rather spend your time with her than with me, the asshole that made you fly off your broom and broke your arm.”

Hoseok’s eyes snapped open, his hand reaching out for Kihyun’s. The Slytherin let him lace their fingers together, but couldn’t look at him.

“Ki, stop beating yourself over that. I told you, it’s fine. I’m fine.” Hoseok tugged at Kihyun’s hand, silently asking him to lay down, too. Kihyun resisted the pull.

“I just can’t help it. Even if I try to not think about it, I always end up feeling like shit for having ruined your future.”

“Stop,” Hoseok said, his voice firm. He sat up, taking Kihyun by his shoulders and forcing him to look in his direction.
“You didn’t ruin anything. I’m seventeen, I have all my life ahead of me and I’m quite smart. I can do whatever I want to do, even if it’s not Quidditch. It doesn’t matter.”

“It does. It’s what you wanted to do.”
“Kihyun, stop. I want to do many other things.”

For a second, Kihyun was sure Hoseok’s gaze had slipped to his lips. But then he was looking into Kihyun’s eyes again, and the Slytherin felt his blood boil hot in his veins.

“You’re my friend, and I’m really glad to have you by my side. The way we met isn’t important.”

Kihyun turned around and sighed, ignoring the feeling in his gut telling him he should just kiss Hoseok and get it over with. For once in his life, he just wanted to act, instead of weighing pros and cons and making lists on why he should or shouldn’t do something.

“Despite everything, I’m glad we’re friends, too,” he finally stuttered out, and Hoseok tugged him to his chest, hugging him close and burying his face into Kihyun’s shoulder.

“I’m sorry that you didn’t get to celebrate your birthday. And that I didn’t get to give you your present,” Hoseok whispered against Kihyun’s shirt, letting him go after a little while. Kihyun wanted to go back between his arms, but that wasn’t appropriate. He patted Hoseok’s shoulder lightly instead, shrugging his own.

“It’s ok. You should keep it for Christmas, since it’s coming up soon,” he reassured Hoseok, and finally a real smile curled Hoseok’s mouth, warming up Kihyun’s heart and melting the layer of frost laying on it.

“Ok, but I will get you something else too. Maybe some more chocolate frogs,” Hoseok chuckled, laying down on Kihyun’s bed again. Taking it as his cue to go, Kihyun made to move towards his cocoon of blankets on the floor. Hoseok stopped him before he could move a muscle.

“You’re not sleeping on the floor on your birthday’s night.”

“My birthday is already over,” Kihyun pointed out, but Hoseok was already tugging him to lay down, and this time Kihyun couldn’t help but follow his lead. It was easy, falling down next to Hoseok on his bed and be enveloped by his warmth. It was easy to forget that everything Kihyun wanted, he would probably never get it, when Hoseok tugged him closer and made sure Kihyun was safe under the covers.

“Happy birthday,” Hoseok whispered in his hair, and Kihyun wasn’t sure if he was dreaming when he felt Hoseok’s lips on the top of his head, leaving a kiss there.

“Thank you,” Kihyun murmured back, already half asleep. He let Hoseok hug him closer to him before mumbling his goodnight into the darkness.

Chapter Text

It was not easy forgetting Christmas was approaching when you lived at Hogwarts. First of all, there were decorations in every single corner of the castle, even the most hidden ones. The professors enjoyed putting tinsel and holly up on every wall, and it seemed they made it a race to decorate as much as possible. Voices said that the one who won could request any gift they wanted from their colleagues, so the battle was extremely ferocious every year. It sounded like a nice time.

If one would miss the golden and silver strands hanging from the ceilings, there was no way to avoid seeing the enormous Christmas trees stranded all around the castle, covered in snow and enchanted candles that burned non-stop. Twelve of them were in the Great Hall, and it was impossible to ignore them given the space they took up.

Mistletoe was all around the common rooms, and even though the kisses exchanged under it were usually just pecks on the cheeks, there were some bold kids that went a little overboard, making the prefects’ lives a living hell.

But even if one would navigate the castle with their eyes closed, they couldn’t avoid hearing the Christmas carols being blasted at all hours, students and teachers’ voices melting together over jolly notes and filling the air with that unmistakable Christmas spirit.

Despite the unavoidable festive atmosphere, Kihyun was so busy that year that he almost forgot about the holidays approaching. Between homeworks, extra study, and Quidditch practices, Kihyun didn’t think about Christmas once, and he completely forgot about presents too.

A few days before the scheduled departure for students who were going home for the holidays, Kihyun finally remembered he was supposed to buy something for his friends. He had to thank Minhyuk.

“Ki, I don’t know what to gift them!” his best friend told him that morning over breakfast, hiding his pout into a warm glass of milk. Kihyun observed him as he gulped it down, his brain slow in catching up with his words.

“What?” Kihyun asked him, raising a curious brow in Minhyuk’s direction.

“What do you mean what?! I have to buy Christmas presents for my boys!” he whined, snatching an apple slice Kihyun had meticulously cut and peeled from his plate. The shorter boy let him, because he knew Minhyuk never ate enough fruits.

“Am I part of said boys?”
“Of course you are, you’re always my first boy,” Minhyuk smiled at him, patting his hair with the hand he wasn’t using to steal food from Kihyun’s breakfast.

“And what about the other boys? Do you have any ideas?”

Furrowing his eyebrows, Minhyuk shook his head side to side.

“We’ve been officially together for less than a month and I really don’t know what I’m supposed to get them,” the black-haired boy paused to eat another apple slice. Kihyun started peeling another fruit.

“What do you get your boyfriends who have been together with each other for more than a year? I’m gonna fail miserably because they know each other much better than I do.”

“C’mon Min, you’ve always been good at choosing gifts. Do you remember what you got me the first year?” Kihyun chuckled a little, remembering the tiny book still sitting on his shelf at home.

“I got you a book about basic jinxes, because you always tried to hex me but you sucked at it,” Minhyuk’s laugh followed, and the sun made an appearance from behind the clouds, illuminating the whole Great Hall and making tinsel and snow glisten.

“It’s still the best gift I’ve ever gotten.”

“What about the chess board I got you last year?”
“That’s a close second.”

The grin curling Minhyuk’s lips made Kihyun always feel like he had just won the biggest prize ever. Whenever he was able to make his best friend smile, Kihyun knew that his day would be a good one.

“Ok, I’ll take that. Back to the important matter, what should I get you this year?”

“I don’t need anything, and you already gifted me a new broom that I didn’t need for my birthday.”

Kihyun had found it the day after his birthday, wrapped in a messy way only Minhyuk could manage to think it was artsy. Seeing the present, Kihyun had felt bad for ignoring his best friend the day before.
“That’s because I want to win the Cup this year,” Minhyuk pointed out, finishing his milk and sporting a moustache made of white foam. Using his napkin to wipe it, Kihyun beamed at him.

“We’re gonna do it.”

“I’m sure of that, my captain.”

“We could go to Hogsmeade tomorrow and see what we can find for your sweet boyfriends,” Kihyun suggested, because he finally realized he needed to buy something for Minhyuk, too. And for Yoongi and Jimin. Maybe even for Joy and Yeri, after all they had been extremely good players until that moment. And perhaps Kihyun was thinking of some blond guy he should definitely give something to.

“Don’t ever let Hyungwon hear you calling him sweet. He thinks he’s fierce and intimidating.”
Kihyun couldn’t help but snort a laugh through his nose, finishing his apple and washing it down with some coffee.

“Hyungwon? He’s as intimidating as Lil Meow Meow.”

As soon as those words were out of his mouth, Kihyun found himself on his back, on the floor. Yoongi was glaring at him from his place on the bench some seats to Minhyuk’s left, wand in hand.

“Use that nickname another time and I’ll drown you in the lake.”

 

Finding gifts for Hyunwoo and Hyungwon turned out to be a difficult task, mostly because Minhyuk was the most indecisive person to ever walk on Earth. They spent so much time walking through the few shops in Hogsmeade that even the sellers started to give them weird looks, wondering what was wrong with those kids.

Despite not having any ideas before reaching Hogsmeade, Kihyun was able to buy what he needed to in less than half a hour, and then he had just two gifts left to choose. The one for Minhyuk, they decided they would choose it together. On the other hand, buying a present for Hoseok sounded like a good idea in theory, but it was turning out to be quite the challenge.

Meanwhile, Minhyuk wandered around resembling a lost puppy, his eyes downcasted and his lips pouty.

“Min, come here!” called out Kihyun at some point, while they were walking through Honeydukes Sweetshop. He pointed his forefinger towards a weird looking book, its hard cover resembling the texture of chocolate.

“This could be a good idea for Hyunwoo! It’s an enchanted book that has some spells in it to conjure tasty food and sweets with just a few ingredients.”

Minhyuk stared at it, sceptical if the expression on his face was anything to go by. Even so, he took the book from the shelf and opened it at a random page. Both of their noses were hit by the sweet smell of apple pie, the fragrance so real their mouths started watering. Flipping through some pages, they realized that every recipe had a different, distinctive aroma. The smile that curled Minhyuk’s lips made Kihyun breathe a sigh of relief.

“This is perfect!” Minhyuk jumped up and down, closing the book and cutting off the scent of freshly baked biscuits, “Ki, you’re a genius.”

Feeling extremely motivated by his first purchase, Minhyuk started walking with an excited skip in his steps, amusing Kihyun to no end.

“What about Hyungwon?” Kihyun asked once they were inside Dervish and Banges, searching through shelves upon shelves of magical devices. Before he could ask again since Minhyuk didn’t reply, he heard a shrill sound, so loud Kihyun thought there must have been a young mandrake plant somewhere in the shop. Instead, when he turned towards the source of noise he realized that it came from Minhyuk’s hands.

His best friend was holding a silver device that was emitting the loudest sound Kihyun had ever heard in his whole life.
“What’s that?!” he shouted to Minhyuk, who seemed to be struggling with turning the thing off. It took him a moment, but he finally managed to make it shut up. The store owner was just a step away from them when the shrieking stopped.

“You weren’t supposed to activate it,” the wizard said to Minhyuk, his eyebrows knitted in disapproval, his stern expression making Minhyuk cower under his gaze.

“I’m really sorry, I didn’t realize I was activating it. But I’ll buy it!” Minhyuk thrusted the silver thing into the seller’s hands.

“It’s ok, if you asked me I would have showed you better. Are you sure you want this? Nothing else?”

“I found something too!” Kihyun interjected, presenting two round, hand-sized mirrors decorated with golden frames.

“Oh, the long-distance mirrors. That’s a nice choice,” the owner said to him, taking everything with him to the counter. Minhyuk tilted his head to the side, curious, following the man towards the cash register.

“Long-distance?” he asked, and the man nodded his head.

“They’re made for long-distance communication. They’re bounded by magic, so when you look through one of them you can see what the other is reflecting.”

Minhyuk turned around towards Kihyun, raising his eyebrows.

“Who are those for?” he asked, and Kihyun couldn’t stop the smile that curled his lips.

“For us. Since you’re worried about our life after Hogwarts, I want to make sure you’ll always have a way to find me.”

For a long instant, Minhyuk seemed too overwhelmed to properly speak, his eyes starting to sparkle with unshed tears. Then he tackled Kihyun to the ground. Kihyun knew that Minhyuk always made himself look sure of himself and sassy, but he had a sensitive heart.

“Ki!” Minhyuk wailed, hugging his best friend and crushing him under his body, squishing their cheeks together.
“I love you so much!” he shrieked in Kihyun’s ear. The man behind the counter laughed, asking if he should wrap the presents.

“Yes, please! Make a very nice package for the alarm, it’s for my boyfriend.”

Huffing another giggle, the seller casted a quick spell to cover the gifts with sparkly, green and white paper.

“Is it an alarm?” Kihyun asked, finally being freed from Minhyuk’s embrace and nodding his head towards the shiny ball that was now silent and secure in its package. It looked vaguely like a Remembrall, but the inside of it was made of metal gears instead of smoke.

“Yeah, since Hyungwon is always saying how it’s impossible for him to wake up in the morning I thought this could help him. He can’t miss it,” Minhyuk chuckled, paying and wishing happy holidays to the man behind the counter, who smiled at them and told them to go back soon.

“That’s a very useful gift, Min. I’m sure he’ll love it.”

“His roommates won’t,” Minhyuk grinend, cheeky, and then he took Kihyun’s hand and interlaced their gloved fingers together, tugging him towards Madam Puddifoot’s to get some hot tea to warm their cold bodies.

 

Despite the promise Kihyun had made to Hoseok the day after his birthday, that they would see each other a little more, in the month that lead to Christmas they met only two times. One was on the weekend after Kihyun’s birthday, a Sunday during which they spent some time together in the library. Obviously, they didn’t get to talk much, but they both managed to finish some school work.

The second time was on the Quidditch field, when finally the nurse had given Hoseok the green light to train again. Kihyun had seen him briefly, when the Slytherin team and the Hufflepuff one met while the first was leaving after practice. Hoseok had smiled at him and waved his bat in the air with his right hand, showing that his injury was finally completely healed. Kihyun couldn’t help but grin back at Hoseok, raising his hand in the hair to wave at him and eliciting a giggle out of Joy and Yeri. When Kihyun glared at them, they pretended they were not laughing at him. Kihyun knew better.

Even if he tried really hard to see Hoseok out of class, they didn’t manage to spend time together until the day right before Christmas holidays started. Kihyun was coming back from Quidditch practice once again, because the team needed the extra work before they would stuff their faces with food at home, and there was a match waiting for them once they got back to the castle in January. As the captain, he needed to be sure every single player was ready to beat Gryffindor’s ass. He didn’t care if the field was covered in snow, the Slytherin team didn’t stop just because of some storm.

Getting back to his room with his gear and broom under his arm, Kihyun found Hoseok sitting on his bed, a book between his hands. He lifted his head from where he was reading and smiled at Kihyun, his teeth shining in the dimly-lit room. Kihyun felt a shiver run through him, and he pretended it was because the cold from outside still clung to his skin, despite the hot shower he took.

During the time they spent apart, Kihyun had tried to think about his own feelings for the Hufflepuff beater, to reflect over what he really wanted from the slightly older boy. In the days Kihyun didn’t see or talk to Hoseok, he could lie to himself. He could think that what he felt was nothing more than what he had always felt for Minhyuk, that Hoseok was just a friend. A nice friend, one that Kihyun treasured and wanted to keep close.

But when his eyes fell upon Hoseok and his round cheeks, his pretty grin and his beautiful, sparkly eyes, Kihyun couldn’t lie anymore. He was very much enamoured with the boy, and he didn’t know what to do about it. Fear of ruining their friendship was what kept him from spilling everything, but there was something else too. Fear or rejection. Fear of imposing his feelings over someone that didn’t know what to do with them. Fear of ending up with a broken heart.

There were days in which he felt bolder, in which he looked at Hoseok from afar while the boy stuffed his cheeks with food at breakfast and he wanted to jump over the Slytherin table and scream his love at the top of his lungs, in the middle of the Great Hall. Then little shifts happened in the room, like a girl passing by and brushing her hand over Hoseok’s shoulder, or someone calling him and Hoseok smiling at them the same way he always smiled at Kihyun.

Those moments reminded Kihyun that he wasn’t different from all the rest of Hoseok’s friends, and that he shouldn’t hope to be.

That night, seeing Hoseok sitting with his legs crossed on his bed, a big smile splitting his face in half, Kihyun felt the pull once again. The one pull that would have made him a good Gryffindor, if he ever listened to it. The need to be brave and say what he thought, tell Hoseok that he didn’t want to spend two weeks away from him. Invite him over to his house, to meet his parents and show him his place. Tell him that he wanted to kiss him under the shining stars, on a quiet night.

There was a reason if Kihyun was sorted into Slytherin, and it wasn’t his courage.

“What are you doing here?” he asked to Hoseok, taking his sweet time to clean his Quidditch clothes with a quick spell and fold them neatly, his back towards the other boy. When he finished, he searched for a package hidden at the bottom of his trunk.

“I wanted to give you your present before we went home,” Hoseok said, and Kihyun could hear him shifting over the covers, closing the book he was immersed in.

“Yoongi let me in,” he stated, and Kihyun could hear a smile shining through his words.

“Of course he did.”

Turning around, Kihyun held his own present for Hoseok between his sweaty palms, the red wrapping silky under his fingertips.

“I want to give you yours, too,” he said, taking a step towards the bed and thrusting the envelope right under Hoseok’s nose. The Hufflepuff knitted his eyebrows in confusion, but he put his hands out for Kihyun to deposit two boxes in them.

“It’s heavy,” Hoseok pointed out, “Should I open them now or on Christmas day?”

“I’d say now, because one of them is something edible,” Kihyun countered, laughing at the way Hoseok eyes light up in excitement.

Not taking his gaze away from Hoseok’s face, Kihyun stood a couple of steps away from him, studying the way his nose scrunched in concentration while he struggled to untie the golden knot keeping the first package together.

“Biscuits!” Hoseok cried out when he finally got to open it, raising his eyes on Kihyun and beaming at him, “Gingerbread biscuits! These look so good.”
“I baked them myself,” Kihyun muttered, his cheeks blooming in red, “No magic involved.”

Hoseok’s mouth fall open in a silent ‘o’ of surprise, but Kihyun didn’t give him time to marvel too much, nudging his shin with his socked foot.

“Open the other one.”

Silence fell upon the room, the only sound being the one of paper being ruffled while Hoseok teared the wrapping of the second present apart.

“A book? ‘Advances in child magic and behaviour’,” Hoseok read out loud, opening it and going through its pages in complete awe.

“You said about wanting to be a teacher for magical kids and I thought you would enjoy reading something about it. I hope you don’t own it already.”

“Kihyun, this is…” Hoseok closed the big book, letting it fall shut in his lap before looking at Kihyun with literal stars shining in his eyes, the same shapes Kihyun had cut the biscuits into, because stars seemed to remind him of Hoseok lately.

“This is the best gift ever. It’s so thoughtful.”

Hoseok stood up, and Kihyun felt the need to run away as fast as he could. He stood still instead, rooted to his spot.

“Thank you,” Hoseok said, tugging Kihyun by his hand into a one-armed hug, just brief enough to be on the right side of friendly.

“Mine isn’t that special,” Hoseok started fidgeting with the little, squared box in his hands. Before he could ruin it, Kihyun snatched it from his palms.

“I’m sure it’s amazing,” Kihyun countered, feeling a rush of excitement running through him that he never got when opening presents before. It probably had something to do with Hoseok’s closeness, his eyes fixed on Kihyun to study his reaction.

The box was velvety, of a rich night blue color, and it reminded Kihyun of the ones his mother used to store her jewelry. For a second, Kihyun’s heart stopped in his chest. He was scared of what Hoseok had bought for him.

Opening it, he found a silver gleam inside. A silver wristwatch was staring back at him, its clock face in the same dark blue of the box. Kihyun looked at it briefly before snapping his head up to look at Hoseok.

The Hufflepuff had the corners of his lips folded upwards in a grin, his eyes staring into Kihyun’s and stealing all of his breath away from his lungs. For a second or two, Kihyun was pretty sure Hoseok was about to kiss him. Kihyun thought he saw him sway forward, his gaze slipping down Kihyun’s nose, scalding on his already heated cheeks. Kihyun felt the pull again, when his gaze ended on Hoseok’s plump lips. Instinctevely, he licked his own, being unable to look away. Electricity run through his body, making his fingertips buzz with the need to touch Hoseok’s skin, feel its warmth against his own. Run his hands through Hoseok’s blonde locks and tug him impossibly closer, feeling his breath against his own mouth. Molding their lips together until they would not know where they ended and where the other started anymore.

“Do you like it?” Hoseok asked, his words breaking the spell that his eyes had casted upon Kihyun. The Slytherin looked back at the watch as fast as he could without snapping his neck in half.

“I do,” Kihyun breathed out, his voice a little shaky, “You didn’t have to.”

“It was your seventeenth birthday, I just couldn’t let it pass.”

“It’s beautiful.”

Kihyun stared at the gift in amazement, watching the silver hands move slowly in a circle. Suddenly, he noticed there were four of them, and that one of them was in a gleaming red colour.

“That one is the enchanted one,” Hoseok told him, pointing at it. Kihyun raised his eyebrows, surprised.

“Is it magical?”
“Do you think I would ever get you a normal clock?”

“This must be so expensive,” Kihyun cried out, directing a stern look towards his friend. Hoseok just shrugged his shoulders, “Not as expensive as you think, probably. Don’t worry about it.”
“But…”
“No buts. As I was saying, that hand is enchanted.”

Kihyun observed the red mechanism, unmovable in its place while its companions kept spinning around. He raised his eyes, a question written on his face. Hoseok chuckled when he looked at his confused expression.

“It’s supposed to point to the thing your heart desires the most.”

Blood run cold in Kihyun’s veins, his body paralyzed in its place. He kept still, waiting for the hand to move, to tear Kihyun’s facade apart.

“When you wear it on your wrist, the red hand will guide you towards your biggest desire. I don’t know if that is actually true, the seller seemed quite sketchy.”

Hoseok huffed a laugh, and Kihyun tried to follow him. It came out a little bit strangled even to his own ears.

“It’s so stunning, Seok. Thank you.”

Hoseok beamed at him, his eyes disappearing when his round cheeks squished them closed. He put one of his hands on Kihyun’s head, patting his hair lightly.

“It’s really nothing. Yours is much better!” Hoseok told him, retrieving Kihyun’s gifts and gathering everything in his arms.
“Now it’s better if I go back to my dorm,” he said, his lips still curved in a smile. Kihyun’s first instinct was to ask him to stay over that night, but he knew that was the worst idea he could have. If Hoseok slept there with him, Kihyun would probably blurt something stupid out, like that his heart leaped every single time Hoseok smiled in his general direction, or that he felt shivers running through him when Hoseok called his name. It made him feel stupid and hopeless, the fact that Hoseok had that kind of power over him.

Kihyun nodded his head, taking his wristwatch out of its box and putting it on under Hoseok’s scrutiny. He made sure the Hufflepuff couldn’t see the clock face, turning it towards himself to admire it better.

“It looks good on your wrist.”
“Thank you again, Hoseok. I love it.” ‘I love you,’ he wanted to add, but he stayed silent as Hoseok moved closer to the door. The red hand on Kihyun’s watch followed him.

“It’s really nothing. And thank you for your gift, it’s perfect. You’re amazing.”

“I’m glad you liked it. Happy holidays, Seok. See you in a couple of weeks. Have fun back at home,” Kihyun told him, his eyes watching as the enchanted hand pointed directly at Hoseok’s body. He raised them briefly to commit that Hoseok to his memory, the way he looked that night, his gleaming eyes and his pretty smile.

“Happy holidays, Ki. Be happy.”
“You too,” Kihyun breathed out when Hoseok was already out of the room, and still the red metal piece kept pointing towards the direction in which he disappeared. Kihyun took a deep breath, finally looking away from it.

Sighing, Kihyun removed the watch from his wrist, putting it back into its box. He already knew what his heart desired the most, he didn’t need an enchanted clock to remind him how pathetic he actually was. 

Chapter Text

Hoseok had always been surrounded by lots of friends throughout his childhood. Despite being shy, he seemed to be the type of kid that others liked to be near to, that they liked to keep around. Maybe it was because he was generous, always sharing his food and his toys, maybe because he liked to laugh and have fun, to play games and avoid conflict at all costs. He wasn’t sure what the reason was, but he scored numerous friendships during his early years.

Some he lost along the way, some turned out to be children with nasty personalities, but with some of them Hoseok was still close at the age of seventeen. They didn’t know he was a wizard because he met all of them when he was attending muggle school and Hoseok had to keep the secret from them, but he often met them during the holidays when he returned home from Hogwarts, and they were always happy to see him and hug him.

His mother had raised him the best way she could, explaining him things she knew about the magical world that she heard from Hoseok’s father before he passed away. She did what she could, narrating events and describing things she had never seen before, trying to recall everything her husband had told her about the wizarding society. Hoseok loved listening to her stories, they made him feel part of something bigger, and they made him feel connected to his dad. 

Hoseok was three years old when his father died, and he didn’t remember much about him, just some short fragments that he wasn’t sure if he actually lived or if he dreamed of. He had pictures of him, but he couldn’t remember his voice, or his laugh, or the way he walked. 

When his letter arrived, Hoseok wished that his dad could be there with him to open it together. He wished that he could accompany him to the train station and send him off with a kiss on the cheek and barely contained tears in his eyes. Instead, his mother cried for the both of them. 

Despite his mom doing her best to educate him about magic, when Hoseok first year at Hogwarts started he got surprised by everything that was around him. Starting from the train, all the way to the magical tables and candles in the Great Hall and the stairs that moved around on their own, Hoseok kept getting shocked by whatever he saw. The Sorting Hat put him in Hufflepuff, and among his fellow housemates he found even more friends.

His life at Hogwarts was as full of love as it had been before, maybe even more since he met Jooheon during his second year. Jooheon was lovely when he entered the school, a scaredy cat with soft-looking cheeks and the prettiest dimples Hoseok had ever seen in his whole life. Before Jooheon could even realize it, Hoseok had befriended him. Maybe it was Hoseok's magical power, he wasn’t sure. Maybe he was just lovable and charming like that. He never really questioned why he got so many friends.

 

In all his years surrounded by people that loved him and cared for him, Hoseok had never met someone quite like Kihyun.

Kihyun with his sharp gaze and even sharper words, Kihyun with his pride and ambition, Kihyun with his nagging, Kihyun with his silences and the way he closed off at times, leaving Hoseok to wonder what happened to make him fall silent.

But Kihyun was not only eyerolls and snarky answers. He was soft words spoken in the quietness of his room, while both of them were immersed in reading, he was wide grins when Hoseok told him something funny, he was fleeting touches when he wanted to comfort his friends. He was loud laughs, he was glasses sliding down his pointy nose, he was messy hair when he came back from Quidditch practice, he was warm cuddles.

Kihyun was the perfect Slytherin, but he was much more than that. He was a caring friend, an amazing captain, and an awesome prefect. Whatever Kihyun tried to be, he fell into the role perfectly.

The way Hoseok saw it, Kihyun was first and foremost an enigma. When Hoseok thought he had him figured out, Kihyun always did something that surprised him and left him in awe, unable to understand how a person could be so many things in so little space.  

 

In all his years surrounded by people that loved him and cared for him, Hoseok had never felt such a connection with someone like he felt it with Kihyun. There were no words to explain it, he just felt it. Ignoring the unfortunate circumstances in which they met, Hoseok was glad that he had found Kihyun along the way. He wouldn’t say it out loud, but he was happy of falling off his broom, if it meant having the possibility of knowing Kihyun. Kihyun would beat his ass if he would ever hear that, but Hoseok wouldn’t mind if it meant they would still be friends.

Truth be told, Hoseok was not sure if what connected him to Kihyun was just friendship. Sometimes he felt his heart beating so fast in his chest when Kihyun was next to him that he wondered if maybe he didn't feel something more, some sort of attraction he had never experienced before.

It was not like he didn't know what crushes were, but in all fairness Hoseok never had one. He had never experienced butterflies filling his stomach, never heard bells ringing in his ears or fireworks erupting in his chest whenever he looked at someone. Well, none of those things happened with Kihyun, either.

There were just some times in which Kihyun leaned on his shoulder and Hoseok wanted to hug him closer. Or other times in which he felt like he could listen to his laugh for hours, or in which he wanted to poke the tiny dimple appearing under his eye when he smiled really wide. Sometimes he felt the urge to comb his hair back from where it fell over his eyes, and sometimes he just wanted to take his hand and never let it go. Hoseok wasn't sure if that meant having a crush.

He had never felt real love or attraction for anyone before. He wasn't really sure if he liked boys either, but he figured that if he was really having a crush on Kihyun, that would mean he liked one boy at least. It didn't really make a difference with him. It was just surprising, that out of all the people he could crush on, it was the one boy that had almost killed him once.

There were days during which he looked at Kihyun and didn't feel anything more than what he felt looking at Jooheon, or at Minhyuk for that matter. But then Kihyun sat next to him and leaned on him a little bit, the smell of his shampoo reaching Hoseok's nose, and he suddenly didn't know what to do with his hands anymore. Should he hug Kihyun? Should he put his fingers in his hair and ruffle it? Should he just sit still? He usually did the latter, but the urge of doing something else made his palms itch.

At the beginning of the school year, after the incident, he was sure Kihyun didn't really care for him, or liked him. He just felt guilty for injuring him, and that's why he stuck to his side. He was also pretty sure Kihyun and Minhyuk would begin to date at some point or another, because they seemed to be too close to each other to just keep on being friends.

When Minhyuk got two whole different boyfriends, Hoseok was surprised. He felt relieved, in a way, and he didn't understand where did that feeling come from.

 

Jooheon wasn't helpful, at all.

“Just tell him.”

“What should I tell him, Honey? It's not like he could help me sorting out my feelings. And what if he doesn't like me like that?”

Jooheon rolled his eyes and snorted a sarcastic laugh. Hoseok stared at him, hard.

“I can't believe you really said that,” Jooheon told him, looking at him incredulously. Hoseok shrugged his shoulders.

“What? That's a possibility. We're friends, there's no way to know if he likes me as more than that.”

“His heart eyes aren't enough, it seems.”

“Don't say stupid things,” Hoseok sighed, throwing some bunched up parchment in his face.

“C'mon Seok, it's clear. You can see it by the way he looks at you.”

Hoseok was not sure what that meant. In his opinion, Kihyun looked at him the same way he looked at the rest of his friends. Despite his best efforts, he couldn't see any differences in his gaze when he directed it towards Minhyuk or Hoseok himself, it was always the same. At least to his eyes.

“It's because he has that expression only when you're not looking at him. He seems constipated.”

Hoseok threw another little paper ball at him.

“I don't understand how can you be so sure.”

“Trust me, I know.”

That conversation didn't really lead Hoseok anywhere, and he was left in puzzlement once again.

 

And then, to add more confusion to Hoseok’s already confused mind, there was what he felt that afternoon at Hogsmeade, the one in which Kihyun told him he would go back to the castle to do his homework with Minhyuk. If he had asked Jooheon, his friend would have told him Hoseok was jealous, but he had not asked. Hoseok knew he was disappointed, and somewhat he thought Kihyun betrayed him, even if there was no explanation for that. He was sad in realizing Kihyun would rather spend his time with Minhyuk than with him. 

They didn't talk for ten days, and for Hoseok time stretched, like those then days were actually seven whole years. He didn't want to laugh, to smile, to joke with his friends. He just wanted to make things better with Kihyun, to see his grin, to hear his voice. He drank a little bit on Kihyun's birthday, because despite wanting those things, he lacked the courage to knock on his door and ask for forgiveness. Fear of being kicked out of Kihyun's room made him climb the astronomy tower, and that was were Kihyun found him. It was easy saying sorry, easier than he thought it would be. And it was easy cuddling Kihyun to sleep and leaving a kiss on the top of his head. Hoseok wondered if Kihyun felt it.

 

When Kihyun gave him his Christmas gift, Hoseok thought of really kissing him for a moment. It was such a nice and thoughtful present, and it showed that Kihyun cared and listened to him. The idea of crushing him in a hug and then press his lips against Kihyun’s appeared in his head, and then it was all he could think about. For the whole time, while Kihyun unwrapped his gift and looked at the wristwatch with stars sparkling in his eyes, Hoseok kept thinking of the flavour his lips would have, and if he would kiss back.

All he could focus on was Kihyun’s mouth, the way his lisp sounded and the shiny layer of saliva glistening on his bottom lip. The need to close the distance separating them felt so strong Hoseok almost moved to make it happen.

Then, for whatever reason, he thought of Minhyuk. Of Yoongi. Of Jimin. Of all the people Kihyun considered friends besides him, and he stopped leaning in. What if Kihyun didn’t want to kiss him back? What if acting upon a feeling he couldn’t even name would make him lose his most treasured friend?

So he left Kihyun’s room with just a goodbye and the wish to be a little more courageous. He spent his first days of vacation replaying the scene and wondering what would have happened if he had actually kissed Kihyun. By the seventh night of being awake until late, tossing and turning and imagining what ifs, he decided it was time to stop. He took the book Kihyun gifted him, since he wasn’t able to sleep anyway, and started turning the pages.

While he enjoyed the sound of paper against paper and the smell of a new book, he realized there was something scribbled on the first page. It was in Kihyun’s handwriting.

‘I hope that this gift will help you reach your dreams.

You can achieve everything you set your mind on.

Everything will be fine, in the end.

P.S. Don’t forget to rest and relax.’’

There was something written under that, right above Kihyun’s signature, but Kihyun had crossed it out with ink, line upon line upon line. Hoseok wondered why didn’t he use magic to delete it, given that he could easily read it by putting the page against the light. He did just that, bringing the paper close to his reading lamp. His breath got stuck in his throat.

‘I love you.’

Chapter Text

Kihyun was no Gryffindor.

He didn’t have, never had before and still had not, any courage in his blood. He didn’t like putting himself in unnecessary risky situations.

Confidence was one of his qualities, even a little bit of boldness sometimes, but what he was famous for weren’t his guts, or his impulsivity. Before acting, Kihyun thought. He thought for long, evaluating pros and cons, trying to understand which was the best course of action, making sure he had a plan in mind.  

Thinking was what Kihyun did best, usually, and it was what made him a good captain for his team. Strategy and planning, that’s what he excelled in.

When he wrote an “I love you” on Hoseok’s book it happened as an accident. He didn’t realize having scrawled it down until he read twice the note in search for mistakes. Upon seeing the words that unconsciously slipped out of his quill, he panicked. He crossed them out, scratching the paper with force and trying to hide his feelings from his own self and from Hoseok. He was sure neither of them were ready to acknowledge them, especially not Kihyun.

Scrambling to get his hands on his wand, he stopped mid-charm while looking at the blob of ink, wondering if he should really delete it completely.

There were better ways of confessing, he knew that. He could have just said what he felt out loud, and then die a slow, painful death when Hoseok rejected him. He could have gifted him something more romantic, if he wanted to tell him he loved him.

Kihyun was aware that writing a note on the beginning of a book wasn’t a good way of letting Hoseok know how he felt about him. Even worse, writing it and then crossing it out. The spell was on the tip of his tongue, but he couldn’t let it out.

Despite the fear that held his heart tight in its clutches, making it beat out of control, Kihyun thought that maybe it was time to drop a hint. Maybe Hoseok wouldn’t even notice, wouldn’t even read the words he wrote. Maybe he was one of those people that didn’t go through the first few blank pages of a book. Or maybe he would find it and ask Kihyun for explanations. Kihyun didn’t know what he should have hoped for, if he was being completely honest with himself.

On one hand, he was tired of keeping the secret. Minhyuk’s annoying nagging was getting on his nerves, and Kihyun knew that his best friend had a point when he said his pining was becoming pathetic.

At the same time, Kihyun didn't want to ruin the relationship he had with Hoseok. Sure, they had their fair share of misunderstandings, but things got better. And if Kihyun didn't look at the wristwatch Hoseok had gifted him, he could pretend that everything was normal, that his heart didn’t try to crawl its way out of his throat every time Hoseok touched his hair or hugged him tight.

In the end, he took that little courage he had and didn't magically erase the words.

He expected Hoseok to say something about it. Anything.

At first, he thought he would receive an owl during the holidays. When that didn’t happen, he thought Hoseok would rather talk face to face with him, and so he dreaded the day they would be back at Hogwarts after the holidays.

Minhyuk spent New Year’s at Kihyun’s place, and he brought his boyfriends with him. Kihyun was happy for his best friend, he really was. He liked Hyungwon and Hyunwoo, they were exactly what Minhyuk needed, if you asked him.

Still, whenever Kihyun caught them looking at Minhyuk while his best friend blabbered about anything and they had the softest expressions on their faces, it ate Kihyun alive. He wished someone would look at him like that, too. Envy was a stupid little beast that sprouted its roots in Kihyun’s chest and made his mood sour when at midnight Minhyuk got kisses from both his boyfriends. He pretended he was fine.

Keeping the pretenses up was hard when they got back to school and Hoseok acted like nothing had ever happened. Maybe he didn’t read the note, Kihyun thought. There was no reason to put the blame on the Hufflepuff, he concluded, because Kihyun’s idea was stupid in the first place and Hoseok probably didn’t even open the book, given the enormous quantity of homeworks they had to complete during the break.

Kihyun was fine.

Except he really wasn’t. Despite the fact that Hoseok was still the same, always smiling, always sweet, Kihyun felt like something was off between them. He couldn’t quite place what  was actually different, maybe it was just his own mind playing tricks on him, but the sensation didn’t leave him for a long time, following him during all the moments they spent together.

Classes were becoming more and more demanding, and so were their Quidditch practices. N.E.W.T.s seemed still far away, but truth was June was approaching fast and their professors were all keen on drowning them in assignments and tests, so they would be ready once the real exams would take place.

Both Kihyun and Minhyuk were set on being accepted in the Auror training program, and their marks at the end of that year were supposed to be excellent if they hoped for a chance to get in.

In some way, focusing on his studies distracted Kihyun enough to forget all about his confession of sorts and the fact that Hoseok seemed completely oblivious.

Before Kihyun could use an Evanesco charm on himself to disappear and avoid his responsibilities, it was already the end of February, and Hoseok’s birthday was just around the corner.

The plan that Kihyun came up with was maybe a little bit suicidal, but nobody’s perfect. Since he had to gift something to Hoseok, he decided it was going to be his heart. Maybe it was a little over-dramatic and cliché, but Kihyun was tired of gulping down the butterflies trying to leave his stomach every single time Hoseok smiled at him. It was time to act, to stop hiding behind his fears. It was time to dig up some bravery from deep inside him and just act on his feelings.

When he and Minhyuk entered the Hufflepuff common room, where the party for Hoseok’s birthday was being held, Kihyun was ready. He had talked to himself all afternoon, trying to be convincing: he could do it. He could tell Hoseok how he felt, and he could accept a rejection. He just needed to lift that weigh off his chest and be done with it.

Upon seeing Hoseok, his hair a shade of cherry red and a shiny crown on top of his head, his eyes sparkling just as much as the jewels nestled in gold, Kihyun’s mouth suddenly felt dry.

The Hufflepuff laughed at something Jooheon whispered in his ear and Kihyun found himself frozen in place, his eyes trained on the way Hoseok’s cheeks squished his eyes closed and how his ears flushed red. From behind him, Minhyuk coughed.

“Oh Merlin, Kihyun! Stop staring at him and move, c'mon,” he whined, pushing Kihyun until the shorter boy was inside the room and not standing in the way anymore.

“And close your damn mouth,” his best friend added, patting Kihyun’s cheek lightly with his hand until Kihyun sealed his lips shut.

“You know I love you, but if you don’t stop with these heart eyes and do something I’m gonna tell him myself.”

Finally removing his gaze from Hoseok’s giggling figure, Kihyun glared at Minhyuk, hissing at him like a proper snake, showing his teeth.

“Don’t you dare.”
“Well, you better act or else...” Minhyuk started, but got cut off by a very uncoordinated Hyungwon launching himself between his arms.

“Min!” Hyungwon exclaimed, clearly tipsy if the way he slurred the single syllable was anything to go by. Draping his arms around Minhyuk’s shoulders, he nestled his face against Minhyuk’s neck and said something Kihyun was glad he couldn not hear. Before Minhyuk could threaten him some more, Kihyun made his way through the room and towards the birthday boy, who was shaking his body to the rhythm of a song Kihyun didn’t know.

When he saw him, Hoseok’s whole face lifted up in a smile so big Kihyun wondered if it didn’t hurt his cheeks. Once Kihyun got close enough, Hoseok enveloped him in a hug that smelled a little bit of sweat and a lot of cherries.

“Happy birthday, I really like your hair,” Kihyun told him, and Hoseok held him closer, squeezing him until Kihyun was wheezing, coughing when Hoseok let him go.

“Thank you, Ki!” he laughed a little when he noticed how red in the face and out of breath Kihyun was, “Jooheon enchanted it to be like this tonight. It smells of cherries!”
The Hufflepuff curled his nose up as if to try and take a whiff of his own hair, and Kihyun couldn’t help but reach his hand out to comb back a strand that fell on his forehead.

“It really looks good on you,” Kihyun told him, grinning when Hoseok bounced on the ball of his feet at the compliment, resembling a cute bunny in the way he grinned.

“If you want to drink something, Hyunwoo is giving glasses out. I don’t know what’s in them but it’s sparkly.”

Kihyun was about to decline, not feeling like he could be able to force anything inside his stomach at that moment, but for some reason Hoseok took Kihyun’s hand in his and all of Kihyun’s protests died on the tip of his tongue. Nodding once, he let Hoseok interlace their fingers and drag him towards the makeshift bar situated at the far side of the room.
Hoseok’s grip on Kihyun’s hand tightened when they had to go through a group of dancing students, and Kihyun felt the last straw of sanity leaving his body.

“Oh! Here he is, the birthday boy! Let’s give him a drink!”

Minhyuk was standing behind a table full of coloured bottles and glasses, his chin hooked over Hyunwoo’s shoulder, watching the point of contact between Hoseok and Kihyun’s bodies with hawk-eyes. Hiding a smirk behind his boyfriend’s back, Minhyuk filled two cups with a sparkly, neon green beverage and mixed it with his wand.

“That’s really unhygienic,” Kihyun pointed out, but Minhyuk just shrugged his shoulders, ignoring the quip. Before any of them could question what exactly was he making, Minhyuk had already put the glasses in their hands.

“Cheers to the birthday boy!” he exclaimed, taking a swig directly from the bottle. Wriggling his nose at the sight, Kihyun let Hoseok clink their drinks together in a toast before taking a sip.

The concoction frizzled on his tongue, tasting of cherries and lime, burning its way down Kihyun’s throat and into his guts, tiny fireworks exploding inside him. There was no alcohol in it, but somehow it made Kihyun’s head feel lighter, emptier. When he raised his gaze from the green liquid to Hoseok’s eyes, he saw golden sparks in them, as shiny as the crown on top of his head. Weird.

“Wow, Minhyuk! What’s this?! It’s so good!” Hoseok seemed amazed by the taste, given the way he gulped it down until there was not a single drop left.

Minhyuk's grin, all cheeky and mysterious, made a worried shiver crawl its way up Kihyun’s spine.

“Secret recipe!”  

From that moment on, the world seemed to speed up. Kihyun didn’t know what exactly was in his cup, but he could bet Minhyuk had enchanted it in some way, because the way his ears filled with white noise and his sight became a little bit fuzzy couldn’t be caused by anything else.

Still holding his hand, Hoseok led him towards the dancing mass of bodies in the middle of the room, his crown a little askew on the top of his head. When they stopped moving and Hoseok turned towards him, Kihyun reached out to fix it, and then left his hand trail down the side of Hoseok’s face, from his temple to his chin, stopping only when he reached his neck, letting his fingers rest there. He could feel his heartbeat even through the pounding of the bass.

Somehow, Kihyun was swaying to the music, lead by Hoseok’s hands on his hips. When did they get there? Kihyun wasn’t sure, but he didn’t really mind. Warmth spread from Hoseok’s palms to Kihyun’s skin even through his shirt, and it woke up the butterflies constantly swimming in Kihyun’s chest.

Hoseok had his head tilted to the side, leaning into Kihyun’s touch, his eyes hooded. There was still a golden halo in them, around his brown irises, and Kihyun couldn’t tear his gaze away, its magic bringing him closer to Hoseok than he had ever been before.

Given the way Hoseok was digging his fingers in Kihyun’s skin, just above his hip bones, Kihyun figured he was feeling the same pull. It was not much different from the attraction Kihyun always felt when he stood in Hoseok’s near vicinity, but there was something else to it, some sort of electric cloud that enveloped them and made them deaf to the rest of the room, sounds of people dancing and singing being drowned by the static.

For the first time since they’ve known each other, Kihyun was sure that Hoseok was attracted to him.

He could see it in the way Hoseok licked his lips when Kihyun leaned a little bit closer, putting his arms around his neck. He could feel it when Hoseok’s hands slid lower, just a tiny bit, but enough to steal Kihyun’s breath away when he felt his thumbs rub on the exposed skin of his stomach.

The smile Hoseok gave him was his usual one, big and full of joy, and Kihyun finally said fuck it. He got closer and left a peck on the tiny dimple that appeared on Hoseok’s cheek, retreating so fast he almost tipped backwards. Before he could fall on his butt and make a fool out of himself, Hoseok’s hands moved upwards to stop his momentum. They chuckled, still swaying to the rhythm, and then Kihyun noticed how Hoseok’s gaze slipped down, probably to his mouth. He said fuck it again.

For once he didn’t think.

Hoseok’s lips tasted of cherries, he smelled of cherries, and Kihyun could still feel the aftertaste of their drink on the back of his tongue. Cherries.

Everything was as red as cherries when Kihyun closed his eyes and let himself go. He could feel Hoseok’s hand in his hair, tugging at it while he tilted his head to the side to kiss him better, and he could almost taste his own heartbeat on the tip of his tongue.

For a blissful moment, everything was perfect. Hoseok was kissing him, tentative at first, just pressing their lips together, barely moving. Then Kihyun got bolder, his teeth closing around Hoseok’s plump bottom lip, and Hoseok groaned against his mouth. Kihyun felt it all the way to his tiptoes. He clutched at red-coloured locks when Hoseok slipped his tongue inside his mouth, tasting of summer and happiness.

“I love you,” Kihyun thought, and poured the words into the kiss, making sure Hoseok could feel it in the way he pressed closer, so close there was no more breathing air between them. So close Kihyun had no idea where the borders between their bodies were anymore, so close they became one, molded to each other's bodies like they were made to fit. 

Even though they had their eyes closed, Kihyun could still see the gold gleaming in Hoseok's, he could feel it under his fingertips when he brushed them along Hoseok’s jaw. 

In a red world, Hoseok was shining as gold as a golden snitch, and Kihyun was full of the same bliss he felt whenever he was several meters in the air, flying on his broom, celebrating victory with his team.

No, it was better than that. It was pure euphoria running through his veins, and sparks being born whenever Hoseok touched his skin, when he cupped Kihyun’s face and made sure he couldn’t run anywhere. Kihyun had no intention to run, anyway.

 

Chapter Text

When Hoseok woke up, it was to the sound of a owl hooting somewhere outside, and to a weird feeling at the back of his head. He was pretty sure he was supposed to have a headache, but instead his brain just felt hollow and weirdly silent, a sensation he had never experienced before.

Opening his eyes to the semi-darkness of the room, he checked to see if he was in his own bed or if the night before lead him somewhere else. As soon as he popped them open, he saw a head of dark hair on the pillow next to him, its owner sleeping soundly, his mouth slightly agape.

Kihyun was snoring softly, a Hufflepuff scarf wrapped loosely around his neck and a t-shirt that Hoseok thought he belonged to himself hugging his torso. His face was quite close to Hoseok’s, and so the blond scooted a little to give him some breathing space, moving towards the edge of the mattress. He turned around in bed to check the room, his gaze falling on Jooheon’s empty bed and the mass of limbs on the floor next to it.

He spotted Jooheon sleeping on the carpet, his body half-hidden by Minhyuk’s long limbs that were tightly wrapped around him like octopus tentacles. Their heads were so close together they were basically breathing the same air, and Hoseok could only imagine how disgusting that was, given how much they had probably drank during the party.

Thinking of the night before, Hoseok remembered having quite some fun. He remembered the happiness that filled his chest when he saw Kihyun entering the room, the bubbly feeling in his gut when Kihyun had let him take him by the hand. It was something new for them, being so affectionate in public. Usually, Kihyun shied away from his touches when they were in the presence of other people. Hoseok remembered the weird, neon green drink they had, and he remembered dancing together, closer than they had ever been before. And that was it.

Closing his eyes, he tried to focus and make other memories resurface, but all he could think of was Kihyun’s hand on the side of his neck and the momentary thought that he should have probably kissed him. He squeezed his eyelids together until he saw little stars dancing in his vision once he opened them again, but he couldn’t recall anything else of the previous night. He didn’t know how he and Kihyun ended up in his bed, and he didn’t know how much he had to drink to forget the whole party. Not matter how hard he tried to focus on his memories, they slipped away like smoke in the wind. 

Sighing, he was about to leave the safety of his blankets to go downstairs and reach the Great Hall in a hunt for breakfast, when a slim arm sneaked its way around his waist, a tiny hand clutching at his shirt, its fingers tugging at the white fabric with strength.

Kihyun shuffled closer to him, plastering his chest to Hoseok’s back and nosing at his neck, murmuring something that Hoseok couldn’t understand. The Hufflepuff held his breath, his whole body freezing in place, his heart beating frantically in his chest. He could hear his own blood thumping in his ears, he could feel his mouth getting dry. Kihyun said something else, something that sounded like Hoseok's name, and then he fell silent again. His sharp nose was poking at Hoseok's spine.

Feeling Kihyun’s breath hitting his skin, Hoseok realized the Slytherin was still fast asleep, and he relaxed in his hold, finally releasing the air still trapped in his lungs.

Kihyun nuzzled closer, his lips brushing the base of Hoseok’s neck and making a shiver run through him. Emitting a little surprised squeal, he hoped that Kihyun was still deeply asleep and that he wouldn’t be woken up by his attempt at getting some space between their bodies. Given the way Kihyun hugged him tight and didn’t let him get away, Hoseok figured he was still in the land of dreams.

He gave up on his efforts when he realized Kihyun wouldn’t let go of him, his hold getting firmer around Hoseok’s torso every time he tried to escape. Surrendering to the cuddles, he tried to enjoy their closeness and the warmth that Kihyun's body provided. Hoseok closed his eyes once again, letting the rhythm of Kihyun’s breathing and the soft snores coming from the floor lull him back to sleep.

When he woke up again, it was to an empty room. There were no more Jooheon and Minhyuk on the floor, and Kihyun had disappeared from his side. He rolled over in bed, realizing that the sheets were still warm and he had probably missed the Slytherin’s escape by a couple of minutes.

He buried his face in the pillow, squeezing his eyes shut and trying to put the scattered pieces of his memory back together. His mind seemed filled with static, a weird, annoying sound that kept buzzing and left him wondering why did he drink that much the night before. Despite his efforts and his rolling around in bed, nothing seemed to change the emptiness of his head. The fuzziness was tinted in red and green, swirling around behind his closed eyelids. He recalled vaguely the taste of cherries and lime, but nothing more.

He realized he had fallen asleep again when he opened his eyes to Jooheon’s poking his cheek.

“Good morning, sleeping princess!” Jooheon smiled at him, all dimples and sunshine, and Hoseok opened his arms so his friend could lay down in bed next to him.

“Good morning, Honey, did you sleep well?”

Jooheon flopped down on top of Hoseok, resting his head on his chest and snorting a laugh through his nose.

“I have the worst backache ever, it feels like I’m suddenly eighty.”

“Why were you sleeping on the floor to begin with?”

“I wasn’t!” Hoseok could hear the pout in Jooheon’s voice even without looking at him, and it pulled the corners of his mouth in a grin. “I was on the bed when I went to sleep, and Minhyuk and Kihyun were sleeping on the floor! But then I woke up and Kihyun was in your bed, while I   was on the floor with Minhyuk.”

Jooheon talked fast, his words spilling from his mouth accompanied with annoyance, and Hoseok couldn’t suppress the chuckle that escaped him, even though he knew it would anger his friend. As on cue, Jooheon sat up to regard him with a betrayed expression on his face.

“Sorry, but when I woke up this morning you seemed quite comfortable in Minhyuk’s embrace.”

Hoseok knew he struck a nerve when Jooheon’s frown grew deeper while a light blush colored his cheeks.

“I would have been more comfortable in my own bed,” he grumbled, crossing his arms over his chest and turning his head away to hide his red face. There was no way Hoseok could miss it, but he pretended he did.

“I’m sorry you’re in pain,” Hoseok reached out to tug at Jooheon’s cheeks, eliciting a soft whine out of him. Beside the initial protest, he let Hoseok squish him and went as far as smiling at him.

“How did the party go last night? I think I drank too much, I’m missing some parts.”

Once Hoseok’s words were out of his mouth, Jooheon’s eyebrows rose in surprise, so high that Hoseok wondered if they could disappear somewhere inside his hair. 

“I’m pretty sure you had just a couple of drinks, and without alcohol in them.”

“That’s not possible,” Hoseok’s voice came out as a whisper, “I don’t remember much at all. I think I forgot everything that happened after that sparkly neon drink Minhyuk gave us at some point.”

Hoseok noticed how Jooheon’s face went from bafflement to anger in the span of a second.

“Lee Minhyuk,” he muttered through his gritted teeth, and then he was rushing off the bed and out of the door, so fast Hoseok didn’t even have the time to tell him: “See you later!”

 

 

When Jooheon found him, Minhyuk was having breakfast with his two boyfriends at the Ravenclaw’s table. Jooheon cleared his throat behind their backs, hoping that his face showed just how angry he was.

“Oh, Lee,” Hyungwon nodded at him when he noticed he was standing there, a little smile softening his features, and Jooheon almost slipped and let his lips curl up in a grin. Instead, he glared at Minhyuk when the Slytherin turned around.

“Lee Minhyuk, do you mind having a word with me? Outside?” He demanded, jerking his head in the direction of the exit. Cheeky, Minhyuk smirked at him.

“I’m sorry Jooheon, as you can see, I’m already taken. I don’t need any other boyfriends.”

Jooheon saw Hyunwoo nudging him gently with his elbow, and Minhyuk seemed to deflate, his grin disappearing and his mouth curling in a petulant pout.

“Fine, fine. Yes, Honey, let’s go.”

Jooheon pretended he didn’t hear the nickname falling from Minhyuk’s lips, and he pretended it didn’t have any effect on him. He kept walking until they were out of the Great Hall, in a deserted hallway, and he turned around to regard Minhyuk with the angriest expression he could muster.

“What’s up, kitten?” Minhyuk asked, smiling like Jooheon was nothing but that, a little cat that was puffing his hair at him but was actually harmless.

“What did you do last night?”

“You need to be a little more specific,” Minhyuk tilted his head to the side, his eyebrows raising in confusion, “I did a lot of things last night.”

For a moment, Jooheon thought of waking up with Minhyuk’s limbs all around him, his pretty face just millimeters from his own nose, and panic rose once again inside his chest, like it did just hours before. He willed it down, thinking of the confused face Hoseok had on his face that morning.

“What did you give to drink to Hoseok?”

The little o-shape Minhyuk’s mouth took told Jooheon he was the culprit of the whole fiasco.

“What happened?” Minhyuk asked, taking Jooheon by the elbow and guiding him towards a nook in the wall, trying to hide from prying ears and eyes.

“Hoseok doesn’t remember. He doesn’t remember kissing Kihyun,” Jooheon hissed, trying to keep his voice low in case anyone was passing by. By the way Minhyuk’s face fell, Jooheon understood that it wasn’t something he actually planned. He felt relief wash over him in a warm wave.

“It wasn’t supposed to go like that,” Minhyuk whispered, more to himself than to Jooheon. He sank his teeth on his bottom lip, biting on it until he was bleeding. Worried, Jooheon fished a tissue out of his pocket and pressed it on Minhyuk’s mouth, trying to stop him from hurting himself.

“What did you give them? Because I suppose Kihyun doesn’t remember anything, either.”

Minhyuk took the tissue out of Jooheon’s hands and kept dabbing at the little cut, his face illuminating with some sort of understanding.

“Oh, that’s why he wasn’t freaking out this morning,” Minhyuk said, still talking to himself, “It's because he forgot everything.”

Raising his eyes over Jooheon, Minhyuk looked at him like he was a puppy left outside in the rain, and a kicked one too for good measure. Jooheon had to bit his tongue not to coo at him.

“Oh Merlin, I fucked up.”

For a moment they stood in front of each other, letting the reality of what happened dawn on them. Then, Jooheon cursed, so loudly that Minhyuk physically recoiled, taking a step back and hitting his back on the wall behind him.

“Lee Minhyuk, you’re a fucking disaster!”

“I know, I know! I’m so sorry! I just wanted to make things easier for them, you know?” Minhyuk let his head fall back, banging it against the bricks.

“They were being so,” he took a breath, squeezing his eyes together, “So fucking annoying . It was just a bit of liquid courage!”

“What did you do to their drinks? Did you spike them?” Jooheon asked, guilt bubbling in his stomach. He should have never let Minhyuk handle the bar.

“It was just a tiny spell!” Minhyuk cried out, distress clear on his face and in his voice. If Jooheon had listened to his heart, he would have caressed his cheek and told him that everything would be alright. But Jooheon was a loyal friend and Minhyuk was just an idiot.

“You’re a moron,” Jooheon spoke his thoughts aloud, and Minhyuk just whined in response, keeping his eyelids shut, the corners of his mouth curled downwards.

“I know that.”

“What are you going to do?”

“I can’t do anything! If I tell Kihyun, he will murder me.”

Thinking about it, Jooheon realized there was really nothing they could do about it. If they told them about the kiss, Hoseok and Kihyun would probably never speak to each other ever again out of embarrassment. They would know, but they wouldn’t remember and it would be even worse than not knowing, because they would always try to recall memories they didn’t have anymore thanks to Minhyuk’s poorly executed charm.

Feeling an impending headache just around the corner, Jooheon massaged his head.

“We can’t tell them.”

Minhyuk nodded, his teeth sinking on his lip again. This time, Jooheon let him be. He deserved a little pain for the mess he made.

“We can’t, it would be worse than not knowing anything at all.”

“We’ll pretend we didn't see anything,” Jooheon told Minhyuk, already feeling bad for the lie he would need to sell to his best friend.  

“I’ll tell everyone else to keep their mouths shut,” Minhyuk affirmed, the Slytherin in him shining through the menacing undertones of his sentence. “They won’t discover it, not over our dead bodies.”

“It’s gonna be your dead body, if Kihyun finds out,” Jooheon pointed out, but he regretted it as soon as Minhyuk hit him with his best pout, eyes so sad one would think Jooheon had just killed a bunny in front of him.

“Wouldn’t you be sad, Honey,” he asked, getting closer to Jooheon and putting his hand on his shoulder, squeezing lightly, “If Kihyun killed me? Wouldn’t you devastated? Such a pretty boy, dead so early? Gone so young?”

Breath stuck in his throat, Jooheon shook his head, trying to will his heart to slow down just a little bit.

“I,” he started, but then Minhyuk inched closer and the next words died on the tip of his tongue.

“Wouldn’t you cry, if Kihyun hexed me into the oblivion?”

“I’ll make sure he won’t find out,” Jooheon stuttered out, and Minhyuk’s grin grew so wide it split his face in half.

“That’s my boy,” he said, letting go of Jooheon’s shoulder and finally giving him some space to breathe.

“Let’s keep this little secret between us, uh?” Minhyuk smirked, his troublemaker expression back on his face, and Jooheon couldn’t help but sigh in disappointment. Minhyuk had already forgotten he was the cause of the problem to begin with.

“Fine. I just hope those two idiots will get together sooner or later.”

“They will, don’t worry. I’m sure of it. Kihyun just needs a little push…”

“No more pushes!” Jooheon interrupted him with a hiss, “Let them be.”

Minhyuk raised his hands in defeat, looking amused by Jooheon’s sudden outburst.

“Ok, kitten. I’ll just keep minding my own business.”

“You better.”

“Aw, look at you, trying to sound menacing. But you’re not a tiger, you’re just a little kitten.”

Before Jooheon could fight him, say anything to counter his words, Minhyuk had walked away, waving his hand in the air as a goodbye. When he disappeared inside the Great Hall, Jooheon released a breath he didn’t realize he was still holding.

“Fucking idiot.”

Chapter Text

If there was a moment of the year Kihyun had grown to hate, it was the beginning of Spring. It wasn't related to the season itself. It was actually nice to see nature come back to life, trees and flowers bloom while animals woke up from their seasonal nap. Kihyun liked when days started to become longer and he could spend more time outside, either reading under the shadows of the trees near the lake or flying on his broom at the practice field.

His hate wasn’t towards Spring itself. It was more related to the incredible, unexplainable horniness that took hold of the castle just when the snow started to melt under the slightly warmer sun.

As a Prefect, Kihyun's life became a living hell when the first pollens started to spread around Hogwarts’ grounds, and all its young inhabitants suddenly started to look out for mates, exactly like animals did in the Forbidden Forest.

As soon as the warmer weather came by, Prefects needed to be on high alert. Kihyun and the rest of them had to detach people that seemed to be glued to each other by their mouths, they had to chastise kids hiding in the closets to make out, they had to run around and be hyper-aware of the possibility of finding someone doing nasty stuff at every corner. Especially at night, when darkness could conceal them better.

Most students were smart enough to find good hiding spots for their extra-curricular activities, but the younger and most inexperienced ones were easier to find. And to scold.

So, with the arrival of Spring, Kihyun knew what to expect. He knew hormonal teenagers would start to send each other lustful looks over meals and try to find someone to make out with under a staircase. He knew it, but that didn't mean he was prepared when people started to flirt with him.

And by people, he meant Hoseok.

It all started right after Hoseok's birthday party, which Kihyun couldn't remember at all. He knew he marched to the Hufflepuff common room with the intention of emptying the contents of his heart, finally admitting his crush to Hoseok, but he didn't expect to wake up the following morning with his limbs around the Hufflepuff and his hard-on pressing to the small of his back. Embarrassed, he escaped from the room before anyone could see him.

Especially not Minhyuk, who was snoring softly on the ground, his arms and legs tied around Jooheon in a vice-like grip. That was unexpected, but Kihyun didn’t have the presence of mind to question it.

Only when he reached his own room, frazzled and still in a panic, he realized that he was wearing one of Hoseok's t-shirts and no pants. Luck was on his side, because it was too early on a Sunday for anyone to be around the castle, not even teachers.

When he brought the shirt back to Hoseok later that day, with apologies for leaving in such a hurry, he realized that the redheaded was as empty-headed as he was. They sat on the floor of Hoseok’s room for a while, trying to put together whatever they remembered of the previous night, but both of them couldn’t recall anything right after drinking a weird, sparkly neon drink.

Whatever had happened was clouded by some sort of smoke, white and so thick there was no way to get through it. All Kihyun could recall was the smell of cherries and lime, and he supposed it was what the green beverage tasted like.

Minhyuk was no help either, when Kihyun confronted him over dinner. His best friend just shrugged his shoulders, nibbling at the chicken in his plate before stabbing a roasted potato with his fork.

“You two danced and drinked a lot, nothing out of the ordinary,” he said, but Kihyun knew he was hiding something even before he finished his sentence.

“Didn’t I,” he started, lowering his voice to avoid anyone overhearing their conversation, “confess?”

Shaking his head in denial, Minhyuk took a sip from his glass before fixing his gaze back on Kihyun. He blinked, the movement uneven but always endearing.

“Not that I know of.”

Well, he really hoped that he didn’t make a fool out of himself with Hoseok and then forgot about it.

Whatever the deal was, their memories didn’t come back. Kihyun wondered if he had drunk that much, recalling having just one glass, but he guessed in the confusion of the party they might have gone overboard without realizing. He gave up on finding out what went on that night, and he went back to his regular life.

Except, some things changed.

At first it was just Hoseok’s hair colour that changed, from his usual platinum blonde to the new cherry red, which made him look like a giant strawberry, soft and sweet.

The way Jooheon looked at Minhyuk changed too, his eyes always finding the Slytherin chaser when he wasn’t looking, and escaping every single time Minhyuk turned in his direction. Kihyun didn’t know what was going on, but there definitely was an awkward air between the two. He guessed Spring was starting to get the better of Jooheon, too.

And then even more things changed.

Kihyun thought he was just seeing the world from a shifted, rose-tinted perspective. That all Hoseok did made him blush because he was head over heels, and that everything was still the same between the two of them. That Hoseok was never, had never been and would never be interested in him.

He had girls chasing around him like swarms of bees, and he could pick anyone to go on dates with. Even some brave boys got the guts to ask him out, but somehow all of them got rejected, boys and girls alike.

When asked about it, Hoseok shrugged his shoulders, his glance glued to the book in front of him.

“I don’t know,” he said, chewing on his pen while they sat together in the library. The rest of his words came out in a barely audible whisper: “I just don't like any of them.”

The blush coloring his cheeks matched with his hair, and Kihyun could barely contain the coo that menaced to escape his mouth. He faked a cough to avoid asking something stupid like: “But do you like me?”

Still, there was no way he could ignore how Hoseok leaned more into his space when they sat together outside. Or how he always made sure to lay his head down into Kihyun’s lap and ask for his hair to be pet with insistence. Or, and that was the most uncommon behaviour, how he laced his fingers through Kihyun’s at any given opportunity.

Sure, Kihyun was not delusional. He knew friends held hands all the time. Minhyuk liked to hold his hand too. But the way Hoseok brushed his thumb over Kihyun’s knuckles made tiny sparks dance inside Kihyun’s ribcage, and all Kihyun could think of in those moments was that he would never let go of Hoseok’s fingers if he could.

Being used to Minhyuk’s clinginess, he thought he wouldn’t be that affected by Hoseok being all touchy feely. He was wrong.

Every single time Hoseok brushed his fringe back from his eyes, every time he whispered something in his ear during their study dates in the library, every time Hoseok put the palm of his hand against the small of Kihyun’s back, his heart beated so loudly in his chest he wondered how the older boy had still not heard it.

It thumped in Kihyun’s throat, reminding him just how strong the feelings he felt for Hoseok were, and how pathetic he was being, still not finding the courage to confess.

Minhyuk always chose the worst times to remind him how pitiful he was.

“Just because you’re in love with Hoseok it doesn’t mean we can let them win.”

They were flying together over the Quidditch field, playing their second match of the year against the Hufflepuff team. And they were losing.

“Shut the fuck up,” Kihyun hissed through his teeth, tossing the Quaffle to Joy and cheering when she scored once again. Minhyuk howled next to him, raising his hand in the air to await her high-five. They were still several points behind, but they were focused on avoiding that the Hufflepuff team increased the gap between them too much.

They still relied mostly on Yeri catching the Snitch. She had established a record, getting the golden ball in the first three matches of the year, and she had no intentions of interrupting her winning streak.

The Hufflepuff Keeper threw the ball to one of the Chasers and the game started again. Kihyun moved towards Seulgi to get the Quaffle out of her hands, but before he could get close enough, Hoseok was in his way, bat on his shoulder, big smile on his face.

“Hello,” he said to Kihyun, as the Chaser tried to move around him, a “Get out of the way,” escaping his lips before he could stop himself.

“Ouch, that’s rude. Aren’t you going to crash into Seulgi like you did with me, are you? She’s not as strong as I am.”

While he talked, the Quaffle escaped the Slytherin Keeper's grasp, Hufflepuffs increasing their score. Kihyun didn't give an answer to Hoseok, he just rolled his eyes and flew over to his side of the field so the game could start again. Shame burned on his face just like the hot sun did, his cheeks red because of Hoseok's words and the warm weather.

Slytherin chasers started to attack once again, tossing the Quaffle between them with ease. A Bludger flew right over Minhyuk’s head,and the he turned around, his teeth bared towards the boy that had sent it in his direction. Hoseok waved his hand in the air and winked at him, swinging his bat once again and aiming for Kihyun this time, who had the Quaffle in his hands and was getting closer and closer to the Hufflepuff keeper.

Before the ball could hit him, Jimin appeared out of nowhere, sending it back to the opposite team's beater.

“You better look out, Lee! We aren’t all weak for you like our captain is!” Jimin shouted towards Hoseok, and then he dived down to avoid the Bludger flying again towards his face.

Another cheer of victory came from the green and silver crowd sitting on the bleachers when Kihyun scored, his fist raised in the air to ask for louder shouts.

The main game went on like that for some time, Jooheon and Hoseok too focused on trying to stop the Slytherin chasers to notice when Yeri started flying upwards at supersonic speed, her eyes focused on a shiny golden spot in the sky above their heads.

The Hufflepuff team scored two times before three loud whistles echoed inside the stadium, everyone’s attention turning to the referee who was pointing her hand towards the sun.

“Slytherin wins! Two-hundred and fifty points against one-hundred eighty!”

Yeri spiralled down on her broom, a big smile tugging at her lips while she showed the whole stadium the Snitch held between her fingers.

The green and silver audience cheered so loud Kihyun couldn’t catch what Minhyuk tried to tell him, but he supposed it wasn't important. Soon enough the whole team was around Yeri, flying to the ground in a victorious formation. When their feet touched the grass, they immediately drowned the tiny Seeker in a group hug.

“I knew you could do it!” Joy shouted in her ear, kissing the top of her head and laughing when Yeri made an offended face.

“You were doubting me this morning,” she pointed out, but her protests were drown out when she got raised and tossed in the air by her teammates, all chanting her name at the top of their lungs.

Once the euphoria died down and Yeri got her feet back on the ground, the Hufflepuff team walked by to congratulate them.

"Good game," Jooheon said through gritted teeth when he shook Kihyun's hand, and the Slytherin chaser couldn't stop the laugh that escaped his lips, happiness for the victory and amusement at Jooheon's pout mixing together.

Laugh that died in his throat when Hoseok enveloped him in a congratulatory hug. For a second, Kihyun thought the whole stadium went silent at the scene, everyone fixing their eyes on them. Then, he realized that the temporary absence of noises was due to the frantic beating of his heart inside his ears.

"You played well!" Hoseok told him when he let him go, and Kihyun noticed that the crowd wasn't focused on them, but his team was, teasing smiles curling their lips when they saw Kihyun's flushed face.

"You too," Kihyun stuttered out, unable to look Hoseok in the eyes.

"Victory looks good on you," Hoseok added, and Kihyun could feel Minhyuk snickering behind his back. He wished the ground to open up and swallow him whole so he would have avoided making a fool out of himself before muttering out another: "You too."

This time, Minhyuk's laugh was loud and unmistakable. If there was a way for Kihyun's blood to rush all to his cheeks, it would have done that.

"I didn't win, Ki," Hoseok pointed out, a giggle coming out of his lips. Being the dinner for some creature in the Forbidden Forest would have been better than standing there and making a fool out of himself in front of his teammates, Kihyun reasoned. And Minhyuk. Merlin, Minhyuk was never going to stop making fun of him. He was doomed to be the butt of his jokes for the rest of his pathetic life.

"I guess you just meant that I look good," Hoseok added, mischief coloring his words. In all honesty, a swim with the giant squid sounded like a nice afternoon activity. If he drowned in the lake, Kihyun wouldn't have been mad. At least his blushing cheeks wouldn't have been under the sun for everyone to see.

"Yeah," he said before he could stop himself. He finally looked at Hoseok, who beamed at him, his red hair shining under the sun, the wind messing it up. Kihyun squashed the need to reach out and fix it for him, and tightened the grip around his broom instead. "You look great. You always do."

He realized the rest of their teams had walked away when he didn't hear Minhyuk's obnoxious laugh behind his back. It was just the two of them in that moment, standing in the middle of the grass field. Hoseok's grin was even brighter than the sun above their heads.

"Should we get a celebratory drink?" The Hufflepuff asked, putting his hand out for Kihyun to take. Hoseok was giving him a chance to back out, to turn his back and walk away. To pretend nothing had happened. If he wanted, he could have escaped.

Kihyun had been running for too long.

When he finally took Hoseok's hand in his, he couldn't help but smile, lacing their fingers together and tugging him towards the locker rooms.

"First you should get a shower. You sweated too much while trying to stop us, and you still lost."

"I don't know, I feel like a winner right now."

Kihyun didn't need to look at Hoseok to see the smirk on his face, but he turned around anyway. The sunlight reflected in his eyes, and for a second all Kihyun saw was red and gold.

 

Chapter Text

Exams were always hard. Exams made Kihyun nervous, not because he was not prepared for them, but because he was scared of failure. He was scared of getting bad grades and compromising the rest of his bright future, of not being able to enter the Auror training program. 

The week before N.E.W.T.s he buried himself between books, parchments, and potions, getting as far as consuming his meals in the library, much to the displeasure of the librarian. She didn’t kick him out just because Minhyuk smiled at her, all sweet praising words about her new haircut, but it was a close call.

Speaking of Minhyuk, Kihyun had never seen him studying so much ever before, not a single time during their seven years in the castle. When Kihyun pointed it out, his best friend shrugged his shoulders, biting the end of his pen. He made a vague gesture with his free hand, his eyes trained on the page before his eyes, but he had a grin pulling up the corners of his lips.

“If I don’t get good enough grades I can’t come to the Auror program with you, and I don’t wanna leave you,” he simply stated, the words coming out in a whisper to not disturb the quiet atmosphere in the room. 

Kihyun’s heart melted inside his chest, but he pretended he wasn’t affected by Minhyuk’s statement, scoffing and then burying his smile between the pages of his Herbology book. Minhyuk kicked him in the shin below the table, making him whimper in pain. 

“You’re not gonna say how much you love me, and that you’re glad we’re never going to be away from each other?”
“I was actually hoping you would stop pestering me once we were out of here,” Kihyun mumbled, lifting his legs swiftly on his chair to avoid another vicious assault. His best friend scowled.

“And I was hoping by now you would have confessed to Hoseok, but alas,” Minhyuk teased, his whisper loud enough for the students sitting next to them to hear them. A couple of people turned in their direction, annoyed shushes asking them to be silent. Yoongi raised his head from where it was resting on top of his books just to glare at them, but his intimidating expression was a little ruined by the mess of hair at the top of his head. The pair of friends barely contained their giggles.

“Shut the fuck up, both of you,” he said, before closing his eyes again and resuming his process of osmosis. Wiggling his eyebrows in silence, Minhyuk tried to reinforce his point by gesturing wildly. Kihyun pretended he couldn’t see him, raising the book in his hands so he could use it as a physical barrier between them.

Exams were hard, but Kihyun was positive that dealing with his feelings was worse. No one believed him when he said that he tried, but he really did his best.

The first attempt at a confession happened during the party after the Quidditch match between Slytherin and Hufflepuff. Maybe Kihyun had drunk a little, and maybe Hoseok looked stunning in his black and yellow shirt. Maybe Kihyun had walked over to where Hoseok was dancing with Jooheon and had pushed the younger Hufflepuff out of the way, showing his teeth when the boy had tried to protest, stealing a laugh out of Hoseok’s pretty lips. Maybe he had put his arms around Hoseok’s neck and tried to put all of his charms in his smile, cocking his head to the side and swaying his hips to the music. The Hufflepuff Beater looked amused, but he went with it, putting his hands on Kihyun’s hips and dancing with him, grinning widely at Kihyun’s antics. Kihyun swore that he was about to say the words when Jooheon jumped on his back and brought him down with him, shouting something about honor and war, which didn’t make any sense. Usually, drunk people didn’t make much sense. 

The second attempt happened during one of their study dates. Spring was starting to warm up, leading up to summer, and they were sitting cross-legged near the lake, books in their laps. The temperature was nice, the atmosphere calm, and Kihyun was at peace. When he raised his head from his Astronomy homework, he caught Hoseok staring at him. Kihyun expected him to look away, or to say something, maybe that Kihyun had a leaf stuck on the top of his head and he looked funny. Instead, Hoseok held his gaze, his expression unreadable. For a second, the world stopped spinning around its axis. Everything went still, the air between them growing warmer, together with Kihyun’s cheeks. Tongue stuck to the roof of his mouth, he tried to swallow the knot tying up his vocal chords. The way Hoseok was looking at him was new, but not unfamiliar. It was the same as always, but it was also more intense, more heated. Just more. Heartbeat frantic, Kihyun finally opened his lips to talk, say something, anything.

“I…”

Running like a man who was trying to escape a feral beast, Minhyuk chose that moment to appear on the scene, yelling something that Kihyun couldn’t catch and then flinging himself into the lake, clothes still on. Behind him, slower and looking resigned, Jooheon followed him, walking to the edge of the water and waiting there. 

Just like that, the moment was gone, and Hoseok was laughing, eyes closed and head thrown back. 

“What in Merlin’s beard are they up to?” Kihyun wondered, his eyes following Jooheon while the younger boy conjured a towel for Minhyuk, who was coming back to shore with the biggest, dumbest smile plastered to his face. 

“I don’t even want to know,” Hoseok commented, and Kihyun turned towards him once again. The weird light in his eyes was gone, but he looked happy and carefree, and Kihyun was content with that.

“I don’t think we’d understand, anyway.”

After that, it had been a series of ruined moments that Kihyun regretted not seizing, because too soon exams were just around the corner, and they didn’t have much time to see each other. Kihyun was pretty sure he would blurt everything out as soon as they met in the bathroom or somewhere else equally embarrassing.

The promise he made to himself was that as soon as N.E.W.Ts were over, he would run all the way to the Hufflepuff common room and spill his guts, no matter what. He had all the good intentions in the world, but after a week of sleeping three hours every night, the only task he was able to perform once his last test was over was walking all the way to his room and collapsing on his bed.

“Kihyun!”

There was someone calling him. It was a familiar voice, a voice that Kihyun should have been able to connect to a face, but all he could come up with was red. Everything was red, and it smelled good. It was a smell he knew well, a fragrance that he liked. It reminded him of golden stars, and laughs. Someone was laughing.

“Kihyun, wake up,” the voice said, and Kihyun felt the earth shaking, his limbs being tugged at. He turned around in bed, trying to escape the attacker that was trying to steal his precious sleep.

“Go away,” he mumbled, and Hoseok chuckled harder, shaking him even more, until Kihyun finally opened his eyes.

“Ki, I have great news!”

The excitement in Hoseok’s voice finally woke Kihyun up, his mind leaving the world of dreams behind and focusing on the Hufflepuff boy seated on his bed. Slowly sitting up, he rubbed his eyes with his fists until he was awake enough to tune in on Hoseok’s rambling.

“...and then they said yes! So I’m leaving as soon as we’re done with graduation day!” The boy was gesturing all around, his hands making shapes in the air that Kihyun couldn’t understand.

“You’ll need to say that again, because I lost half of it.”

Hoseok’s big smile threatened to split his face in half, excitement clear in the way he couldn’t sit still. He put his hands on Kihyun’s shoulders, and the Slytherin almost had a heart attack when he leaned closer to his face, speaking slowly as if he was communicating with a child. 

“Professional Quidditch,” he spelled out, and Kihyun’s eyebrows knitted over his eyes on their own accord.

“What about it?”
“I got recruited by a professional team! They asked me if I can start training with them next week, but I obviously asked if they can wait until graduation.”

Kihyun was too stunned for words, so he just launched himself towards Hoseok to crush him in a hug.

“Oh Merlin, Hoseok! That’s great news! Best news ever, probably.”
The laugh that bubbled out of Hoseok’s mouth was delighted, and he nodded as he hugged Kihyun tighter in his embrace.

“I’m so happy for you,” Kihyun went on, “I knew you could do it.”

“Thank you for believing in me,” Hoseok giggled, probably a little high on adrenaline, and Kihyun let go of him to take in the delighted expression on his face. Happiness looked good on him, his eyes sparkling with excitement and his cheeks pink, probably because he run all the way there to deliver the news to him. Kihyun felt the usual pull in his chest, the one he experienced whenever his feelings were too many to stay trapped inside his body. This time, there was nothing stopping him.

“I’m very proud of you,” he said, and Hoseok’s eyes disappeared with the force of his smile, the flush on his cheeks growing stronger.

“And I have something to say to you, too.”

“I’m in love with you,” Hoseok affirmed, speaking over him.

Kihyun stared at him, stunned into silence. That was supposed to be his line.

“Wait, what?”

The blush on Hoseok’s face reached a darker colour, and he hid his cheeks in his hands. Kihyun’s heart did a flip inside his ribcage.

“I’ve wanted to tell you for a while now, but I couldn’t find the right moment,” Hoseok went on, and Kihyun suddenly felt so wrong . Those were his words. He was the one desperately in love with Hoseok, what was that? Hoseok? In love with him ? It sounded fake.

“I actually thought you would say something sooner or later, but it seems like you aren't in Gryffindor for a reason,” Hoseok teased, and Kihyun finally snapped back into his body, regaining control over his mouth and his brain.
“What?” He repeated, because it seemed like his mind was just filled by a big question mark. Hoseok laughed in his face.

“I mean, what? What do you mean in love with me? I’m the one who’s in love with you.”

Hoseok giggled harder, hiding his whole face inside his palms, his shoulders shaking with the force of his amusement. “You’re so stupid.”

“I am not stupid! I wanted to tell you today, but then I fell asleep, and then you came here, and now you’re the one confessing! This isn’t fair.” He watched as Hoseok kept laughing at him. “Stop making fun of me,” he whined, crossing his arms over his chest. 

“I think you’re still half asleep,” Hoseok commented, finally looking at Kihyun while wiping tears away from the corners of his eyes.

“Wait, wait.” Kihyun abruptly stood up. “So, you like me?” Pointing a finger at his chest, and then at Hoseok, he started walking back and forth beside his bed. His mind wasn’t exactly lucid. Maybe he was still dreaming, after all.

“I like you, a lot,” Hoseok confirmed, smiling harder than ever when Kihyun stopped his pacing and looked at him with big, round eyes.

“You like me ?”

“I like Yoo Kihyun, Slytherin Prefect and Chaser, Captain of the Quidditch team,” he confirmed, “Perfectionist, professional nagger, a bit of a freak and a nerd if you ask me.”

“You like me.”

“Yes,” Hoseok scooted towards the edge of the bed, putting his hand out for Kihyun to take, “I like you. Unless you’re not Kihyun, and you’re just some random student that took his looks with Polyjuice potion.”

Lacing his fingers with Hoseok’s, Kihyun let himself be dragged on his bed once again. He sat in front of Hoseok, his eyes focused on the way their intertwined fingers looked. 

“I like you, too. A lot.”

“Yeah, I figured.”

Raising his gaze, Kihyun followed a path that led him to fix his eyes into Hoseok’s. There the weird look was again, warm and sparkly, and Kihyun could finally give a name to it. It was love. 

“Merlin, I’m such an oblivious dumbass.”
The snort that escaped Hoseok was not pretty, but Kihyun found it endearing nonetheless. He was fucked.

“You definitely are. You’re lucky you’re cute.”

“Am I?” Kihyun inquired, because that was new, coming out of Hoseok’s mouth. It sounded right.

“Very cute. Also, very kissable.”
“What?” 

“You look very kissable, Kihyun. Can I kiss you?”

Kihyun wanted to ask what kind of stupid question was that, but instead his body acted for him, closing the gap between him and Hoseok and aiming for his lips. 

Like the big dumbass he was, he missed, ending up kissing the corner of Hoseok’s mouth, and eliciting yet another laugh out of the Hufflepuff. 

“You’re such a mess,” Hoseok stated, before taking Kihyun’s face between his palms and finally pressing his lips over Kihyun’s. 

If fireworks were supposed to erupt inside him, Kihyun couldn’t feel them. He couldn’t feel anything, because his mind was screaming Hoseok’s name and his heart was spelling it out, one letter at a time, so loud it drowned any other sound in the room. 

It was nothing but a peck, but the electric feeling running through Kihyun’s body seemed to say otherwise, his hands moving to tangle between Hoseok’s locks before he could move too far away. Kihyun wouldn’t let him escape.

“I’m not going anywhere,” Hoseok said against Kihyun’s lips, and the Slytherin realized he must have voiced his thoughts out loud. Finally opening his eyes, he watched Hoseok’s from up close, staring at his long lashes and the way they fluttered shut once Kihyun moved closer again. 

Kissing Hoseok reminded him of the times he played a dangerous game with Minhyuk, flying as high as they could and then down towards the ground with maximum speed, always trying to get as close to the green grass below them as they could without crashing. The adrenaline rush he felt when Hoseok’s hands ended up on his back, below his shirt, was exactly the same one. 

Before he could stop himself, he had climbed into Hoseok’s lap, his knees on either side of Hoseok’s thighs, his hands still tangled into red locks. Hoseok wasn’t an eager kisser, nor overenthusiastic. He let Kihyun set the peace, let him lick his way inside his mouth, let him take control. When Kihyun bit his lower lip, he whimpered, making the pull inside Kihyun’s gut grow stronger and warmer. Sooner or later he would combust like a Phoenix, and then he would be reborn from his own ashes just to come back and kiss Hoseok some more. 

Kihyun didn’t know how much time he spent peppering Hoseok’s neck with lovebites, but when Yoongi knocked on the door to say he was going to eat dinner with or without them, they both recoiled, so engrossed in each other they almost forgot there was a whole castle outside Kihyun’s room.

“Should we go to dinner?” Kihyun asked, because now that he thought about it he was a little hungry. After all, he had skipped lunch to collapse after the exam. 

“Yeah, let’s go. We have time to resume this conversation later.” Kihyun stood up and put his hand out for Hoseok to take. The Hufflepuff obliged. 

“You’re not going anywhere,” Kihyun echoed, smiling at Hoseok while quoting his words back at him.
Hoseok’s grin froze on his face.

“Well, about that…” He paused, his eyes shying away from Kihyun’s.

“What?”
“I forgot to tell you a little detail.”

Kihyun’s blood, which was still buzzing with energy from their previous makeout session, run cold in his veins.

“The Quidditch team I’m gonna play for,” Hoseok bit his lip in worry, and Kihyun dreaded the next words coming out of his mouth, “is in France.”