It looked familiar, but at the same time somehow really different. The castle. Hogwarts – that was the name of this place. Carriage with strange horses stopped right in front of the huge door. The school where Yuuri studied magic before was way smaller and definitely not that scary. These were his first thoughts when he stepped on the cold autumn ground.
When they started to open up, he pressed bag in his hands a little bit tighter. Yuuri's other stuff should be already inside. Tall women behind the door looked like she doesn’t know what a smile is. Yuuri quickly bowed for her, because that’s how he was taught. That was a common sign of respect in Japan. As an answer, she nodded.
“Yuuri Katsuki, right? I am professor Baranovskaya. Please follow me.”
“Good evening....” that moment Yuuri felt glad that he didn’t listen to his friends who said, that in western countries he should smile more.
Yuuri's reactions weren’t fast enough to look at everything. Since it was evening, he saw only a few students passing by, but Yuuri couldn’t concentrate on them enough, because there was so much more around him. He was pretty sure that if someone asks to describe how Hogwarts looks like, he wouldn’t be able to. The boy was sure that he doesn’t even know enough words for that. Huge castle. Graceful, gorgeous, but intimidating and somehow scary… no. Not even close enough.
“Mr. Katsuki, where are you going? Here please.”
Yuuri felt so lost, that he didn’t notice how professor Baranovskaya stopped next to a big wooden door.
“I am sorry.” He blushed and quickly came back. She opened and entered, Yuuri quickly looked at the corridor one more time and followed her.
The room was spacious. It wasn’t a classroom, more like someone’s office.
“Hey there! Yuuri? I am Christophe Giacometti, one of the teachers here.” Yuuri instantly stepped back, when he saw a tall man in front of him. The blond man was smiling widely, showing a totally different impression than professor Baranovskaya gave just a few moments ago.
“I have some things to do, I am leaving him to you, Christophe.” The women from before rolled her eyes, like this kind of friendly attitude towards students would be unacceptable and then after nodding quickly to Yuuri, she left.
“Byeee, Lilia!” Christophe waved already to the closed door. “She is not always so grumpy, it’s just lately there is a lot of work because as you know we are searching for a new Headmaster. So as Deputy Headmistress she is trying her best. Poor old women, don’t you think she deserves more rest?” professor Giacometti laughed.
Yuuri was standing all lost in confusion. Not only professor just shared some information that is obviously not for students, but also called her old, and Yuuri didn’t know how to react to that. Well, she wasn’t young, but with all respect, Yuuri can’t speak or think like that about professors. Yuuri just came here, but on the other hand, does he have a right to disagree with professor Giacometti? Christophe was obviously young. In his school, Yuuri has never seen very young professors. Is it common here?
“You look so tense.” Professor laughed, and went to the big desk, Yuuri saw there an old hat. “It’s been some time since we had an exchange student. Are you excited? You must have read a lot about this place, right? You are in the sixth year?” professor Giacometti took hat into his hands.
“Yes… Sir.” With so many questions Yuuri wasn’t sure where to start, so he just said this word, which basically answered everything. Somehow this answer made professor laugh.
“I know that your school is sorting students by their exam results, but here we have four Houses, as you already know I think. This what we are using the hat for. Come here.”
Yuuri blinked, he has read about this so he knew, but of course, he can’t interrupt professor. The boy took a deep breath and came closer. How does it work? Will professor just put the hat and… oh. As soon as the professor did that, Yuuri couldn’t see anything. Obviously, it was too big for him. Pitch black.
“Well… what we have here.” Yuuri couldn’t help, he flinched when a silent voice started speaking right into his ear. Professor next to Yuuri giggled. That was unexpected. “It’s unusual to have a student in the middle of semester… I can see that you are smart… friendly… brave… which House you like the most?”
So now Hat is asking questions? Really? Yuuri never thought about that. He liked all of them, every house had something interesting and unique. Anything would be fine. So he should just speak out loud?
“Really? Even Slytherin?”
Oh. God. This hat can read minds?? Slytherin… well… why not? Or would this challenge be too big? Gryffindor? Yuuri didn’t think he is brave enough…. Ravenclaw? No no, he is not that smart. And not that friendly to be in Hufflepuff.
“Each House have so much more values than the ones you are thinking about. Of course, it’s hard to understand for someone who just came here. But that’s why I think you will perfectly fit in there. Your heart is too kind. Other Houses don’t deserve to have you. Hufflepuff!!”
Yuuri was still thinking about Hat’s words when professor took it off. Yuuri blushed, have professor Giacometti heard everything that the hat said?
“Well… it didn’t take that long. Then Hufflepuff it is! Sadly, it’s not my House… still, I will see you at Charms class.”
“Oh…” Yuuri couldn’t help. He liked professor Giacometti. He was friendly and maybe because he looked so young Yuuri could feel a little bit more relaxed in this unknown place. “Then who… who is the Head of my House?”
“It’s….” someone knocked on the door before he finished the sentence. “Come in.” The door opened and this time young woman came in, she smiled widely for Yuuri and then looked at the professor.
“Chris, are you coming? We want to talk about something before the meeting.”
“Sure, Mila, just a second. I will just introduce Yuuri to someone who will take care of him.”
“Oh, it’s our new student. What a cutie. Let’s go then.” She smiled again and disappeared behind the door.
“That was a professor of Muggle Studies. You don’t have this class, right?” professor Giacometti asked and Yuuri shook his head. He followed professor to the corridor and then stayed behind two of them. He tried not to listen too much what professors are talking about until women looked at Yuuri again.
“So you are in Hufflepuff? Lucky Shorter…” she laughed and Yuuri couldn’t say this woman is talking seriously or not. Who is Shorter?
“Professor Shorter Wong is the Head of your House. Also, he teaches History of Magic.” Giacometti explained for confused Yuuri. So many names. How to remember everything? “He is now in another city with some project, but he was really excited about new exchange student.”
Yuuri imagined professor Wong as an old man, he couldn’t explain why. Maybe because of the subject he was teaching. They stopped in front of one classroom and both professors were arguing who of them will knock for about a half minute. Is that teacher so strict? Also, aren’t classes over long ago? Finally, Giacometti lost.
He knocked and opened the door just a little bit to look inside.
“Oh. Where is professor? Already left for the meeting? That’s great… Eiji, have you finished? I want you to meet someone.” Professor stepped back and other boy came from the class. “Yuuri, meet this is Eiji Okumura. He is from Gryffindor, but since you are both from Japan I thought you can become friends. We must leave you now, Eiji, take care of him. See you later, Yuuri. If you have any question feel free to stop by any time.” Both professors waved for boys and went back the same way.
“Come here, Yuuri. We are taking extra classes of D.A.D.A. but professor Nikiforov had to leave for a meeting. So it’s just us. I am almost done with the task… after that, I will show you around. Oh, as professor Giacometti said, I am Eiji, nice to meet you.” Every second here Yuuri felt more and more surprised. Everyone seemed so friendly. And it was nice to find someone talking in Japanese. Since boy called him by the first name, Yuuri decided that it’s common here.
“Sure, don’t worry.” Yuuri looked around, there were four students more besides them. Yuuri saw that their neckties are in different colors, so they must be from different Houses. Eiji’s had red and gold. Gryffindor. The boy who sat close the window with blond hair had green and silver, few tables behind him there were others two one with blue and bronze, another with yellow and black. It’s Yuuri’s house colors. Eiji’s table was just in front of another boy from Gryffindor. Yuuri noticed that the blond next to the window is looking at him, but that boy didn’t seem interested in anything else except the book.
“Neeeew student! In what House are you??” suddenly student from Hufflepuff shouted and Yuuri turned around. Now he got everyone’s attention. Oh no. Yuuri didn’t like that at all.
“Hufflepuff…” Yuuri answered silently, but that boy just jumped in the spot from happiness and closed the book. It’s like he was waiting for this chance all along.
“Phichit, calm down.” Eiji laughed. “Professor Giacometti told me to show him around. You need to study.”
“Come on, you won’t be able to show him our House. I am coming along!” Phichit quickly looked at the boy next to him, but he just sighed. Are they friends?
“Shut up, both of you.” the blond next to the window hissed.
“Yurio like always. Let’s goooo! Let’s not disturb the princess!” Phichit grabbed Yuuri’s hand and the boy from surprise dropped the small bag he was caring with himself. All papers and books fell from it. “Sooooorry!”
“It’s alright, don’t worry… really.” He leaned down to take everything back, Phichit and Eiji helped him.
“Okay, let’s go. I will just finish later.” Eiji sighed and put his stuff in the shelf, then showed them to move when Yurio sighed again too loud. Phichit said something to the man he was sitting together before and then they were in the corridor.
“That boy seemed mad…” Yuuri looked back at the classroom door.
“Yurio is always like that… you did nothing wrong.” Eiji said with confidence. “He is not bad, just sometimes angry.”
“Yes, like most of them in Slytherin.” Phichit giggled.
Except for the blond boy from before, Yuuri felt like everyone here was waiting for his arrival. They walked to some main places, even if Yuuri was sure that he wouldn’t be able to find them by himself later. Phichit was one year younger, but Eiji studied in the same year and Yuuri was glad to see that they are taking same classes. Maybe, professor Giacometti knew that? Both of his new friends were super funny, they told Yuuri about all professors, some gossips and general things. It seems that most of the teachers were young since last Headmaster thought that young generation of professors could work as inspiration for students. Victor Nikiforov, professor of Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher was youngest among them. He came here just last year, but he seemed the most favorite one. He was also quite famous Pureblood in the world of Magic. It seems that Yuuri also heard about him before. Nikiforov finished with the best grades and wanted to become Auror, but because of unknown reasons, last second he chose to come and become a teacher here in Hogwarts. Phichit laughed that it’s one of Hogwarts mysteries. Phichit showed where their House is and told Yuuri how to enter. After that, he left Yuuri with Eiji and ran to date. Just when he left, Eiji told Yuuri that he is dating with the boy that they saw in the classroom. Seung-Gil. He was from Ravenclaw.
“Do you have…” Yuuri couldn't finish the question when he understood that he shouldn’t be asking this. “Sorry…”
“You wanted to ask am I dating someone?” Eiji smiled and Yuuri slowly nodded. He just got too much into conversation. That’s so embarrassing. But Eiji didn’t seem mad. “Not really… but… I am in love with someone. From the moment I came here. That’s one of the reasons I stayed in Hogwarts after my exchange program.”
“I see… is he from Gryffindor?” Yuuri asked because Eiji wasn’t avoiding this topic.
“No… he is not. It’s complicated…” He silently laughed and it was a sign for Yuuri don’t ask questions anymore. Somehow for one moment, Eiji’s eyes seemed really sad. Maybe that person is a professor? That would be really complicated.
After few moments of silence, Eiji started speaking again, as nothing happened. He showed for Yuuri the place where Hogwart's ghosts liked to meet. It was really strange. A room full of transparent people floating in the air, they seemed to know Eiji pretty well and were also interested in Yuuri. Back in Japan they also had some ghost, sometimes they were able to tell a lot of interesting stories, but just a few people listened.
“Oh. It’s almost ten. If someone catches us, we can lose points. Better go back for today. How about I come to your House tomorrow before classes and we can go together?”
“If that’s not a big trouble for you. Thank you for today.”
“No problem! I am sure you will like here in Hogwarts. See you tomorrow.”
They were next to the door leading to Hufflepuff dormitories when Eiji waved for Yuuri and turned to the stairs leading back to where they came from.
Yuuri wished they could become friends, but Eiji was in his sixth year, of course, he must have a lot of friends, so it’s probably impossible. Yuuri went to the bedroom that Phichit showed for him before and took out his clothes and stuff, made sure that everything would be in order. Then took a look at his new uniform. He liked those colors.
“Yuuri?” someone knocked and Phichit came in. “How is the place? You like it here?”
“Yes, everyone is so friendly.” Yuuri smiled. “Eiji showed me some interesting places and he said that we will go tomorrow to classes together. He is really nice.”
“Yes, that’s what I think. If you ask me, Eiji should be in our House.” Phichit sat down on the chair next to the table. “There were times when few students were living in the same room, just not long ago they did separate rooms for everyone.”
“Really?” Yuuri tried to put in order all the papers that fell from his bag earlier in the classroom.
“Yup. Talking about Eiji, maybe he will be able to find a friend. You know since you are also from Japan and so on. He is always alone.”
“What? But he is so friendly! I was sure he has a lot of friends.”
“Hm… yeah. I know, it’s strange. What is it?” Phichit asked when Yuuri started searching something around and under the bed.
“One letter is missing… maybe I dropped it somewhere….”
“Was it important?”
“Not really… just…” Yuuri loved writing. He always did it, when he had spare time. Yuuri was writing on everything he could. Mostly just his thoughts, depending on the mood. It’s really embarrassing. He never told this to anyone, he didn't want anyone to see… maybe he left it in that classroom? But at this time he shouldn't be wandering outside, right? But if someone finds it… “I really need to go and take it back. I might have dropped it in the classroom. I know we shouldn't be in the corridor at this time, but…”
“Time for adventure!!” Phichit laughed. “We with Seung-Gil sometimes do wander around at night, just don’t tell anyone. Let’s go! I am sure you won’t find the classroom without me anyway.”
Oh. It’s just a first day here and Yuuri already starts breaking the rules. That’s so bad. But he didn’t have a choice, someone in the morning might find it and read, let’s just hope that any other student didn’t until now.
“Just don’t turn the light on until we really need it. I know the way.” Phichit silently said, when they walked out. Other students didn’t say anything, everyone minded their own business. “Let’s take a longer path it is safer that way.”
Yuuri didn’t have any other option just follow. If Phichit ran away at this moment, Yuuri would probably just stand in the spot until someone finds him. Professor Giacometti was so nice to him, Yuuri really wouldn’t like run into him at night.
“Wait.” Suddenly Phichit stopped him and they started moving slowly. They heard voices. Both of them didn’t try to speak silently, but Yuuri still couldn’t clearly hear what they were saying. Boys stopped next to the corner and just a little bit sneaked heads out to see what’s going on. The moonlight through the window opened the view.
It was just for a second, Phichit looked a moment later so he wasn’t able to see it. But Yuuri saw. A boy. He wouldn’t lie if he said, that he had never seen such a beautiful person before. All his facial features were captivating. Maybe someone would call him perfect, but after seeing him Yuuri felt how someone squeezed the heart. Because of the transparent body, most of his beauty was hidden away. But he is so young… he shouldn’t be… a ghost…
“Ash, please!” a voice shouted, but beautiful boy was already gone.
“Eiji, what are you doing here alone in the middle of the night?” After seeing that the man here was Eiji, Phichit showed himself. “With who were you talking?”
Somehow Yuuri felt so glad that Phichit wasn’t in time to see the ghost. Yuuri didn’t know what just happened here, but Eiji looked really confused. Phichit was trying to see someone else that’s why again just Yuuri saw how Eiji quickly wiped his eyes with a sleeve.
“What are you both doing here? Someone might see you.” Eiji tried just ignore everything and speak normally.
“Look who is talking. Yuuri lost something in professor’s Nikiforov’s classroom, so we were heading there.”
“Couldn’t this wait until morning?” Eiji was already speaking silently, but after Phichit look he just sighed. Of course, because he was also walking in the middle of the night. “Okay, I will just go with you.” Like Yuuri Phichit also understood that it’s better not to ask what just happened here, so now three of them were walking through dark corridors.
“Here it is. Just make it quick, Yuuri. I will guard here.” Phichit nodded before Eiji with Yuuri entered into the classroom.
“How does it look like?” Eiji asked.
“It’s an envelope with yesterday’s date on it. It must be somewhere on the ground. I don’t see anything… damn it. Lumos!” Yuuri enlighted the way for himself, trying to remember in which spot he dropped everything.
They were searching on the floor forever, but there was nothing here. Yuuri already started feeling guilty, that he put these two boys in the risk. Maybe he accidentally left it in Japan at Home? Why he came here in the first place?
“This one?” Eiji asked, but he wasn’t searching on the ground. The boy was standing next to the shelf, on which he put the books before leaving. Yuuri quickly came to him and took letter envelope. That’s right. This is the envelope, but somehow it seemed different, yesterday’s date was crossed and today’s written instead of it.
“You two, hurry up! It’s cold here!” Phichit looked inside the room.
“Nox!” They both quickly ran out.
“Let’s just go back fast, Eiji which way for you?” Phichit silently closed the classroom door and they starting moving forward. Yuuri put the envelope under the sweater.
“I will just go with you guys until the stairs and then take a shortcut,” Eiji whispered. “Let’s turn here.”
“Did you find…” Phichit was going first but suddenly he stopped in the middle of the sentence. Yuuri raised his head. At first, he thought that it’s another beautiful young ghost. But this one was real. Just a light from the end of his wand made him look like a mirage.
“Good evening or should I say night.”
At that second Yuuri couldn’t explain what happened to him. Like two other friends next to him, he also had to let his eyes down from shame, but he couldn’t. Not sure was it because of those blue eyes, that went through him right away or was it because of the voice itself. Is it possible to feel something so strong from the first sight? And it wasn‘t magic. A tall silver-haired man in front him was real. Slowly slowly, some unknown force pierced his heart and Yuuri felt how his whole body trembled. What‘s that? Who is he? Yuuri felt speechless and yet for the first time today he wanted to say something so much that it even hurt. But would it be enough?
“Professor, Nikiforov… we are sorry…” Eiji murmured.
“Sorry won’t help you save 50 points for Hufflepuff and Gryffindor.” Even with these harsh words, professor didn’t look mad. Yuuri could tell, that he was just a few years older. When Nikiforov spoke, he turned eyes away from Yuuri.
“Noooo, we….” Obviously, Phichit got scared, but he didn’t know how to finish the sentence.
“Unless he will give me a proper explanation…” Victor’s bright eyes were again pointed at Yuuri. Impossible. Yuuri can’t speak, not in front of him. So this is famous Victor Nikiforov? Genius. Talented. Strong… and ridiculously beautiful. No… it’s impossible. Yuuri felt like a thirteen years old teenager. But he just turned sixteen. And Victor what? He must be around eighteen?
“Yuuri, say something…” Phichit punched him to his side.
“Vitya, what are you doing here?! Wow… boys, you should be in bed!” It was Christophe who suddenly showed himself. He hugged Victor around shoulders and pressed to his side. Yuuri quickly turned his eyes down. Are they close? Why this feeling is so annoying? “Go go go, I count to three and you must be in your beds.”
“Christophe… don’t you think you are too nice?” just from his voice, Yuuri knew that professor Nikiforov was smiling.
“Someone should be nice to our students in this place… not like Blanca… if he becomes Headmaster... I swear...” Christophe answered to Victor, but Yuuri wasn’t sure if he heard correctly because Phichit was already dragging him from the place, Eiji was going fast behind them. They didn’t talk just took separate ways next to the stairs.
“We were soooo lucky.” Phichit laughed when they were already safe in their dormitories. “See you tomorrow, Yuuri!” he went to his room and Yuuri entered his.
He couldn’t explain what happened there. He should have said something, but why he couldn’t? It’s not like Victor used some spell on him? Yuuri sat on the floor. His heart was still beating like crazy and his head felt dizzy like he had a high fever. Victor… can it be the truth? The thing he felt? Can it be real? Did he felt the same? Yuuri slowly took out the envelope under his sweater. He totally forgot about that. The boy closed his eyes and saw Victor’s face again. Did he lose his mind already? Just from this? Victor doesn’t even know his name, and Yuuri is already calling him by his first name inside the head.
But this evening didn’t end like this. Yuuri looked at the envelope again. Today’s date was written by someone else. He slowly took out the paper.
If I have lost something already? Can I be called as a whole?
What If Magic is everything I have left, but I don’t believe in it anymore?
And what if for a tiny second I believe that there is something more waiting for me out there
But there will be nothing more than Stardust?
This what Yuuri wrote, but it wasn’t the end. Someone wrote a response.
There is no whole or just part of you. You are you just you, with something lost and found.
With Magic or without it.
But if you are waiting for something, then you can tell that there is still hope.
Sometimes Stardust might shine brighter than a Star.
Maybe it’s worth the risk?
Yuuri quickly stood up, searched for a quill and sat at the table. He suddenly forgot that those letters are his biggest secret. Something inside Yuuri woke up, and he knew – he must leave an answer. No matter who wrote this. At that second he didn’t care who is the author. Yuuri never felt such passion to write, to talk… it was hard for him to speak, but in paper everything is different. Here he feels alive.
Sometimes he might say even a little bit too much.
This year might be something he was searching for all his life.