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i want you to want me to stay | a taekook in hogwarts story

Chapter Text

Taehyung dropped his forehead onto the banquet table, the spoon, which was upright in one hand, bashing against the wood and splashing droplets of milk from his bowl onto the table. He groaned quietly in defeat. Taehyung hated mornings; this morning especially. He'd cast a silencing spell around his bed and stayed up until the early hours of the morning alternating between reprimanding himself for daydreaming and not writing notes in the Potions class earlier and stressing over the Potions essay he'd realised was due the next day. His eyes had just started dropping closed when a hand smacked the back of his head.

"Morning sleepyhead,"

"Not sleeping.. hmf.. I... happen to be... evaluating the finish of this wood. Yep... wonderful." Tae lifted his head, patting the table for good measure as he strained to open his drooping eyes.

"With a side of milk?" Namjoon nodded towards the puddles of milk which were splattered over the table in front of Taehyung and drew in a despondent breath. Taehyung smiled his half-there smile and nodded, eyes blurring over slightly from lack of sleep. Namjoon paused for a moment and sighed before raising his eyebrows fondly at the silver-brown haired boy. "Tae, what did I tell you about staying up all night?"

Taehyung exhaled loudly, his shoulders and his brow dropping "I know, Joon, I know it makes me more tired and less focused," Taehyung groaned again "but I had to finish that essay for Potions and I just don't get it. I just don't. And you know I can't afford not to get it. My grades this term haven't been the best and I really need to stay in Potions."
Namjoon sighed, placing his hand reassuringly on his cousin's shoulder. Truth was, Namjoon had been there being just a year older than his cousin. He didn't know whether it was a family thing or a Ravenclaw thing but he too had once been fond of all-nighters and learned the hard way.

"Hey, hey, I know, Tae. But you know you can ask me or Yoongi for help anytime, no shame in that."

Taehyung raised his eyebrows, a hint of a smile forming on his lips "Joon, you know I love you man, but honestly? I think I'd like to keep my hair brown and my eyebrows visible for just a little while longer. You know you were even worse at potions than I am."

"That was one time!" Namjoon whined in defence, his hand slapping the table and flinging his fork in the direction of the Slytherin table behind them. The other Ravenclaw laughed softly at Namjoon.

"My point exactly, Joon, I don't want to be the second victim in your line of eyebrowless friends." Namjoon finally broke out into a little smile as Taehyung turned back to the food "And about Yoongi? Look, I know he's your best friend and he seems nice and all, but even for a Ravenclaw the amount of time that boy spends studying in his room is unhealthy."

Namjoon raised an eyebrow at Taehyung while pouring himself an orange juice "Whoever said he was studying?".

Yoongi, Namjoon's best friend wasn't much of a conversationalist to anyone who wasn't Namjoon, who he'd been friends with since the first class they'd had together. He loved books and his own company which often lead people to view him as snobbish or unapproachable. Needless to say, he and Taehyung were complete opposites - Yoongi had exactly one friend while Taehyung would speak to anyone and everyone who showed an interest- but weirdly they'd become almost friends after bonding over their joint concern for Namjoon over the past year.

"I did not ask for that information." Taehyung almost choked on his croissant.

He had just reached for another and had begun pulling it into bite size pieces when somewhere behind them a roar erupted from the crowd. Taehyung turned his head slightly towards the noise and he caught sight of a few black-and-green figures nudging each other and looking in his direction. Taehyung turned his head back quickly and rolled his eyes. Slytherin 6th Years, why was he surprised? He could put bets on it being Park Jimin and his lapdog Jeon Jeongguk.

Taehyung had encountered Jimin's group a fair few times before, being in the same year and all, but he couldn't say he'd ever taken a real liking to any of the group which consisted mostly of Park Jimin and his loud, loaded and loathsome friends. On the boat to Hogwarts in their first year, Taehyung had been sat besides a very young Jeon Jeongguk. Of course, they hadn't known each other- they'd shared only a few nervous smiles, but hadn't said much besides the basics of name and which house they hoped for. After the sorting hat had inevitably called Slytherin for the young Jeon he figured there wasn't much chance Jeongguk would want to associate himself with Taehyung and that was the end of that.
He couldn't deny the Slytherins were smart, though, but it was in a completely different way to the way in which you'd say Namjoon is smart; Slytherin were cunning; they knew exactly what they wanted and how to get it. But that's not to say that every Slytherin is inherently evil, no, Taehyung had Slytherin friends, but it was common knowledge not to mess with Jimin's posse.

Taehyung shifted anxiously in his spot on the bench, a strange cold shiver making its way down his spine at the sound of the Slytherin's voice. He found himself subconsciously straightening his robes, fingers lacing together nervously before shooting a look to Namjoon who seemed to be doing the same.

"And to think I almost made it through breakfast without wanting to strangle either one of them." Namjoon said, his eyes glancing over to Jimin and Jeongguk, and he exhaled again. He looked down at his spoon, eventually resorting to trying to scoop up his french toast in the absence of his fork. Taehyung nodded in agreement and reached for a second croissant which he quickly shoved into his mouth to satisfy the growl in the stomach.

"Would one of you like to claim the offending piece of cutlery?"
Taehyung froze, the alarm evident in his widening eyes and the remainder of his croissant dropping out of his hand onto the table. He gulped, almost positive that the person behind him was Park Jimin, probably the most dangerous of all the Slytherin 6th years- Jimin had connections, and an exceptionally bad temper. Normally Jimin wouldn't target the Ravenclaws as, usually, they liked to keep to themselves, however he seemed to have taken a particular disliking to Taehyung since the beginning of the year for reasons unbeknown to him, other than he was Namjoon's cousin.

Joon and Jimin seemed to, well, they seemed to have some kind of history that Taehyung couldn't quite put his finger on. He couldn't get it out of Namjoon and it somehow hadn't been exposed in the years since whatever it was had occurred. But it was definitely something- even hearing Park Jimin's name seemed to put Joon on edge.

"Joon, don't look now but I'm pretty sure you hit that group with your fork." Taehyung mumbled through chewing the croissant and picking up the bits that he'd dropped. "They're behind us." He whispered with exceptional volume and nodding his head very obviously in the direction of the two Slytherins.

Namjoon's eyes momentarily flashed panic before returning to their normal calm state. "Just my luck."

"Yours is it, Kim?" The cold voice teased. Taehyung could practically feel the breathe of the blonde wavy-haired boy on the back of his head. He shifted slightly so he could see the two of them. Sure enough, behind them stood Jimin who had towed along Jeongguk as well as a growing group of his Slytherin friends. Taehyung's his foot tapped rapidly against the floor as he cleared his throat.

"Do you uh.. do you mean me Kim or him Kim? Because we're both.. we're both Kim." Taehyung spluttered, croissant crumbs flying from the corner of his mouth, which he quickly tried to brush away.

"Believe me, we know who you are, Kim." The blonde one sent a quick and pointed look at the brunette who quickly seemed to busy himself with a loose thread on his robes.  "And I'm sure we'd all fully appreciate it if you could keep your food in your mouth."
Taehyung eyes widened and he nodded quickly, his hands clasped tightly together now and resting in his lap and he began blushing a furious pink. The Slytherins behind Jimin all began nudging each other and smirking, a few looked over at Jeongguk who seemed fascinated still with this loose thread.

Jimin reverted his narrowed eyes back to Taehyung, hand dipping into the pocket in his robe. Jeongguk's eyes looked over at Jimin for the first time and seemed to hold a sort of warning look as Jimin held out the fork out to him. Jeongguk stared at it momentarily before clearing his throat. “It's not worth it Jimin, let's go." Jimin remained staring pointedly at Jeongguk as if waiting for him to take it  "Seriously Jimin, he's not worth getting a detention."

Jimin sighed and rolled his eyes "I'll do it myself." He snapped "Did this fork or did this fork not come out of your grubby Mudblood hand?" Jimin's dark eyes snapped onto Taehyung's.
There was an audible intake of breath from the Ravenclaw table behind Taehyung followed by a few murmurings. Taehyung froze.

"What did you say to him?" Namjoon whipped around to face Jimin, gripping his spoon tightly in his fist and banging it on the table as he stood up. Safe to say he was failing to keep his cool today.

"Mudblood." A second Slytherin, Hyojong snickered from somewhere behind Jimin. "I'd watch it if I were you, Kim, you're not much better. Half-blood scum."

Namjoon muttered something under his breath and turned as if to walk towards them.
"Joon." Taehyung warned under his breath, tugging on his friend's robes to sit him down again but he shook his head, not making eye contact with Taehyung. "They can't speak to you like that Tae."
At this point, he'd realised that the rest of the great hall had fallen silent, bar a few murmurings. Taehyung knew that nobody would confront the group of Slytherins for fear they'd be next in the firing line.

"Joon sit down. Just take the fork and forget it. Please." Taehyung pleaded under his breath, shaking slightly. He may abnormally sociable for a Ravenclaw but he was definitely not one for confrontation. Namjoon paused for a moment before nodding. He drew in a breath and sat down on the bench again, right on the edge with his fists clenched tightly by his sides.

"Really, Kim? I didn't realise your incompetence in Potions would lead to such extreme jealous violence." Another Slytherin, Minnie chipped in. She linked pinkies with Jimin who had puffed out his bottom lip in a false pout at his friends behind him. The crowd of Slytherins that had gathered to watch burst into laughter as if Taehyung wasn't sitting right there.

"Anyone would think you're asking for a detention, Kim, you know that's against school rules, don't you? Attacking another student?" Jimin jeered, leaning dangerously close to Taehyung whose breath hitched.

"Come on, Jimin, you know I wouldn't." Taehyung swallowed, his eyes skimming over the green group, landing again on Jeon Jeongguk who's face seemed to be quarrelling with itself. One moment it flashed a similar pour of disgust to Jimin's, the next a troubled furrowed brow.

"Ah, Tae-Tae it's okay." Jimin cooed patronisingly, bending down so his face was level with Taehyung's "We can't be good at everything. But at this rate, I am starting to wonder whether the Sorting Hat got it right in putting you in Ravenclaw. Maybe you'd be better suited to Hufflepuff?"

Taehyung furrowed his brow. Was that such a insult? One of his good friends, Hoseok, was a Hufflepuff. Maybe it was the humiliation of the immense green wall of laughter directed at him, or maybe it was the way Jimin managed to get into his head enough for him to question himself, but Tae suddenly felt incredibly overwhelmed, a lump forming in his throat.

Namjoon drew in a loaded breath as he pulled the fork out of Jimin's hand. "It's actually my fork. So nice of you to return it, Park." Namjoon muttered through gritted teeth as he snatched back the offending piece of cutlery and wiped it on a napkin. "Just in case you spat on it. I'd rather not imagine the many things I could catch off you."

"Thanks." Taehyung said meekly to Namjoon. He turned away suddenly from the crowd of Slytherins, anxious not to let them get to him. He breathed out deeply. Within seconds, the Great Hall has returned to its usual loud hum of tens of conservations.

"Arrogant little pricks." Namjoon muttered under his breath "Just forget what he said, okay Taehyung? It doesn't mean anything."
Taehyung nodded, his hand going up to rest in his forehead as he thought over the situation that had just occurred. He was fully aware of the audience the scene had attracted. When he turned again to the call of a purposeful cough, through his slightly blurred vision, he caught a pair of chocolate brown eyes. They stared back at him through thick black lashes, aghast. Jeon Jeongguk. Taehyungs brow furrowed in confusion. His eyes didn't seem teasing or even angry, just... sad?

Jeongguk's mouth opened as if to say something but his eyes caught a raised eyebrow from Jimin and he quickly played it off as a cough. Quickly, Jimin took Jeongguk's hand and pulled him back towards the Slytherin table, looking Taehyung up and down once. Taehyung's eyes followed the brunette boy. He seemed to be looking everywhere but at Jimin, at one moment he seemed to turn back towards Taehyung but Tae shook it off. There was no reason for Jimin's second-in-command to be even remotely interested in talking to Taehyung.

He drew in a breath, pushing himself up off the bench. "I- I think I'll go back to the dorms. I'll see you later, Namjoon,"

"But you haven't finishe-" Namjoon protested, holding up the remains of Taehyung's crossiant, but Tae was already out of earshot.
Namjoon sighed and looked over at the Slytherin table, his eyes immediately locking onto Park Jimin whose eyes already seemed to have been locked on Namjoon. They taunted him. Namjoon shook his head knowingly. He knew what Park Jimin was up to.

* * *

As soon as Taehyung entered the Ravenclaw common room he broke, tears streaming down his pretty face which he quickly tried to wipe away, scared that someone would notice and make a fuss. He made a quick scan of the room, noticing just a small mint haired boy in the corner of the room but he seemed to be turned away from Tae. Taehyung swallowed and quickly made his way up to his dorm room. His heart was pounding, but not just from Jimin's words- the way Jeongguk had looked at him in that moment had held something, like he had a secret he needed to get out but he just couldn't. He sighed and shut the door quietly, trying not to alert the mint haired boy of his presence and jumped onto his blue bed.

Taehyung bit his lip. He had to admit he felt sorry for Jeongguk sometimes; constantly being second to Park Jimin; constantly at the helm of his anger. Hell, sometimes they looked like they actually hated each other, like their friendship was some sort of marriage of convince. It was weird.

He quickly shook it off- Jeongguk had done more than his fair share of bad deeds in the past, with or without Jimin. Why should he feel sorry for him? Last year alone Jeongguk had sent a group of first years into the forbidden forest on a 'treasure trail' (the poor things came back shaking), put giggle water in all of the Gryffindor's drinks during the OWL exams so nobody had been able to concentrate during the exam (Taehyung had still come out with mostly Os which he was immensely proud of), and he'd set Jimin's awful cat Shackles loose in the poor Hufflepuff's common room in the middle of the night and laughed as he screeches and clawed anything in sight that was able to be clawed at.

Tae shook his head again, sitting firmly down on his blue sheets. He wasn't about to feel sorry for Jeon Jeongguk. In fact, he wasn't going to feel sorry for himself either. He didn't really know why he'd let Jimin's words affect him so much. He picked up his notebook again, placing it in his lap and flicking it to the page which he'd spent so long agonising over last night. He drew in a breath before swinging his legs onto the bed, crossing them for good measure. He placed the notebook in his lap, and the Potions text book next to him alongside a half eaten chocolate frog he'd kept for a time such as this when he needed the moral support. The quill which he'd left at the end of the bed had left a small ink stain. Taehyung didn't notice as he drew in a breath, determined. He was going to write an incredible Potions essay; he was going to show Park Jimin and Jeon Jeongguk that he was more than capable; he was going to show them that they'd underestimated him.

By the time a knock came on Taehyung's door late afternoon, his tears had been long dried, the tissues discarded and any other evidence of the minor breakdown he'd been having, all eradicated. In fact, by the time a knock came on Taehyung's door late afternoon he was almost completely composed again, and he'd almost finished the Potions essay, be it a masterpiece or not. So, when Yoongi entered and awkwardly stood behind the open door, Taehyung was taken quite by surprise.

"Yoongi? Can I.. er.. help you?" Taehyung looked up from his notebook, balancing his quill between his index and middle finger. His face showed a slight look confusion which Yoongi seemed to notice, but didn't care to point out.

"Um, Namjoon?" Yoongi said quietly, one eyebrow raising. Taehyung immediately understood and nodded, beckoning the mint haired boy to come and join him. Yoongi shifted awkwardly a few steps towards Taehyung's bed. Despite being a year above Tae, the older seemed to find Taehyung a little, well, intimidating. Maybe it was the loud bellowing voice or maybe it was his extreme love for social interaction but the two were, in theory, opposites. They got along, of course, even having the odd moment of bonding when Namjoon tripped over and they both fell about on each other laughing, but other than that they tended to keep their social interactions to the odd friend nod of acknowledgement in the corridors or smile over the table at dinner.

"Oh yeah. Sit by me, could you possibly read over my essay?" Taehyung held out the notebook to Yoongi with a hopeful look on his face, and Yoongi rolled his eyes good-naturedly but nodded, perching awkwardly on the end of the bed. Yoongi took the notebook out of Taehyung's hands and placed it in his lap. As he met Taehyung's eyes a thought promptly popped into his head. Yoongi opened his mouth as if to say something, but shook his head, deciding to leave it, his eyes avoiding Taehyung's as he buried himself in the Potions essay.

"So what exactly did Namjoon say? About me? This?" Taehyung asked, bouncing up and down slightly on the bed. He was running off half a croissant and many chocolate frogs and the effects were beginning to show.

"About that." Yoongi muttered, eyes still focussed on the essay in front of him "Namjoon didn't actually tell me anything? I just.." He sighed "I saw you crying, Taehyung." And finally Yoongi looked up at him with a pained expression. "I know what that feels like, Taehyung- feeling like you aren't good enough- I've been there. Hell, I'm still there."

Taehyung stopped bouncing, momentarily taken aback. "You, hyung?" His brow furrowed. Yoongi always seemed so strong, so determined. "Wow.. I.."

Yoongi nodded, eyes still on the Potions essay "Yeah. Yes. I.. no offence Taehyung but I'm not really in the mood to talk about it right now." He flashed an apologetic smile to Taehyung who returned it dejectedly. He understood, of course, but there was a part of him almost hoping Yoongi would finally open up to him.


"Anyway," Yoongi coughed "I finished your essay. It's getting there, Taehyung. Truly. Definitely not worth crying over." He finished, wincing at his attempt to crack even the smallest joke. Taehyung, however, was grateful for the attempt to break the awkward silence flashed a small smile in Yoongi's direction.

"Actually.. um.. I wasn't crying about that." Taehyung said softly, shrugging. His head dipped a little in embarrassment, hand coming up to rub his brow. "It was Jimin and his band of brainless boggarts. They.. they said some things."

Yoongi nodded to himself, frowning. He placed his hands in his lap, tucking his fingers between his calf and his thigh. "Well, you know what I think?" Yoongi asked. Taehyung shook his head. "I think fuck them."

Taehyung broke out into an immense grin, shuffling his way across the bed to Yoongi before throwing his arms around his shoulders in a back hug. "Thanks hyung." He giggled, his arms righting around Yoongi's back. This was the first proper contact they'd had that didn't involve Namjoon in some way. It was... nice? If there was anything that was going to cheer Taehyung up it would be making a friend.

"You're easily consoled." Yoongi raised his eyebrows, but he laughed fondly at him the same way Namjoon had done earlier at the dinner table.

Suddenly Taehyung's head shot up and a devilish grin spread across his face. He shuffled around to face Yoongi, grinning "I've got an idea."

"Well I don't like the sound of that." Yoongi drew in a playful breath

"I want to dye my hair like yours, hyung. Mint green. Show Park Jimin and Jeon Jeongguk that they don't control me." He beamed, his hands going to ruffle Yoongi's hair.

Yoongi ducked out of reach from his hands out of instinct, groaning. "You do realise this wasn't a choice I made myself? I am walking evidence of Namjoon's clumsiness." He deadpanned.

"All the better, Yoongs- can I call you Yoongs? - Jeongguk won’t be able to just ignore me like he did earlier.” Taehyung remained beaming, eyes sparkling with his plan, but Yoongi sat cross-legged opposite him looking unconvinced. He folded his arms into his chest with a look of slight suspicion spreading across his small features.

"Taehyung, are you alright?" Yoongi scrunched his nose at him, his mouth opening just slightly.

Taehyung blinked back, eyes holding no trace of him playing a prank. "Never been better, why?" He said, slightly confused.

"You've mentioned Jeon Jeongguk twice in the last minute."

"Yes?" Taehyung blinked again, eyebrows furrowing in confusion as he stopped bouncing on the bed.

"Well that's twice more than you've ever mentioned him before."

"Your point being?"

Yoongi's eyes widened as a thought popped into his mind "Do you, like, like Jeongguk?"

"Jeon Jeongguk?" Taehyung repeated.

"No, the bloody queen, who do you think I mean? Of course Jeongguk." Yoongi rolled his eyes, sighing. He swung his legs onto the bed and crossed them so he was facing Taehyung.

"Why would I like Jeon Jeongguk?"

"Stop saying ‘Jeon Jeongguk’ for fucks sake!" He held his hands up to Taehyung to emphasise his point but his tone was soft.

"You asked me! And no, definitely no, I don't like him. I mean number one he's part of that group, number two he's kind of rude, number three he talks to Jimin and that's definitely more than reason and four... he's too handsome for me anyway." Taehyung pouted with his bottom lip protruding an impressive amount. He shrugged his shoulders dramatically as he slumped on the bed, defeated. "Also he's a huge dick."

“Oh yeah?” Yoongi chuckled to himself lowly, his arms folding across his chest “Actually I think I might've heard that too." He smirked, pretending to be deeply considering the statement.

Taehyung groaned again, resting his forehead on the edges of his hands "I meant he is a huge dick not that he has a huge dick. Although he probably does have that too to go with his rich family and top grades and good looks." Taehyung sighed loudly. "Now I'm just depressed."

Yoongi opened his mouth to reply but was interrupted by the door to Taehyung's dorm swinging open. He looked turned his head, Taehyung looked up. One of the other kids from his year trickled in and Taehyung smiled a small smile of acknowledgement at them. However, a few moments later in crept Namjoon sheepishly. Yoongi gave him a pointed look, nodding his head in the direction of the door as if to tell him to leave. Namjoon squinted, stood in the doorway, looking intensely at Yoongi as if trying to decipher what he was saying. Taehyung stared at the scene in confusion, before taking to his feet.

"Well I'm very glad we had this bonding session Yoongs but I really do have to get on with the schedule." He beamed, patting Yoongi on the shoulder and speaking very loudly as he swung his legs over the side of the bed and skipped towards Namjoon who was looking at Yoongi in confusion and mouthing ‘Yoongs?’
"Joon, how do you feel about helping me turn my hair a mint green, just like Yoongi hyung's?" He pleaded, his eyes widening with hope and hands clasping together. “I know you did Yoongi’s.”

Taehyung's eyes held so much hope and Namjoon just couldn't bear to be the one to tell him no. "I mean... if it goes wrong on your head be it" He murmured, already completely regretting his decision "Let me just grab my wand."

Chapter Text

In all honestly, Taehyung had expected some kind of reaction to his new hair (which had come out a pale shade of grey-blue instead of the mint green he'd had in mind, but he was working with it- this was Namjoon he had asked after all). A few points in the corridor, the odd smile maybe but he had not anticipated the high fives, nor the impressed looks thrown in his direction nor the odd ruffles of his hair. Hell, even Yoongi had said he was 'pleasantly surprised'. Taehyung must've spoken to twenty, thirty people by the time he'd arrived at his morning Potions class, each of them complimenting his new colour, asking him how he'd done it.

Unsurprisingly, he'd entered the classroom to Park Jimin and the rest of his gang lounging across their counter top, waiting to see it for themselves. News travelled fast in Hogwarts. Actually, Taehyung wasn't at all surprised that someone must've alerted Jimin, but he had no idea why Jimin cared so much.

Jimin looked Taehyung up and down twice, evidently taking in his new blue hair with disgust. He scoffed and rolled his dark eyes before turning back to face the front of the classroom, feigning disinterest. He tapped the two either side of him to follow suit which they did, sending a last smirk at Taehyung before making a point of turning their backs on him and looking smugly at their blonde haired ring leader. Only Jeongguk's eyes lingered a little longer; they too looked him up and down, lingering on his blue hair for longest. Taehyung stopped still, suddenly feeling very conscious of Jeongguk's judgement- physically that boy was practically flawless and Taehyung was no match for that- but his eyes were unreadable this time.

"Ah, Mr. Kim, just in time." Taehyung jumped at the sudden sound of the Proffessor's voice so close to his ear. "Welcome back to Potions, don't be late next time etcetera etcetera." Slughorn trilled, just as the bell sounded. "We were just picking partners. Sit down, sit down."

Taehyung nodded and cleared his throat, heading towards his table, thanking whoever was up there listening to him- if there was anyone- that he hadn't been incredibly late again; he couldn't sit through another one of Slughorn's detentions. He squeezed past the maze of desks and stools- avoiding all eye contact with the Slytherins on the front row- until he'd reached his table, first on the left, second from the back. His brow furrowed in confusion slightly when he realised his usual parter, a hufflepuff called Hoseok, wasn't sitting in the stool beside his. Strange. Hoseok wasn't usually one for skipping classes.

Even so, Taehyung drew in a breath and sat down on the stool at his allocated table, spreading his books and quill in a neat array in front of him. Looked like he'd be doing this one by himself. Unless he could ask someone about Hoseok.

"Today class we will be brewing an Elixir to Induce Euphoria . Can anyone tell us what ingredients we might need?" Slughorn announced from the very front of the class, tapping the Advanced Potion Making textbook his was holding in his left hand.

Taehyung looked around anxiously, completely ignoring Slughorn's question, before shifting to the edge of his stool. He was going to ask someone about his Hufflepuff friend. He leaned right over Hoseok's stool and quickly reached out to prod the person on the stool after Hoseok's- a Gryffindor girl, Rosie, Taehyung was pretty sure.

"Anyone at all?" Slughorn almost pleaded.

Taehyung leaned a little further, taking his eyes off the Professor momentarily to lean further over. He tapped Rosie again, a little more desperately, now balancing precariously on the edge of the stool.

"Rosie, do you know where Ho-"

"Mr Kim, what are you doing?" Slughorn's voice echoed from the front of the classroom. The whole class seemed to turn in unison.

Taehyung froze, half-on and half-off his stool, one hand outstretched towards Rosie and the other gripping the edge of the desk for dear life. "Um, I don't have a partner, sir." He swallowed, a light pink colouring his cheeks as he realised he was being watched by every pair of eyes in the classroom, including Jimin's, Jeongguk's and the newts' in the jars lining the walls. How he managed to continuously find himself in these situations he just didn't know.

"Well, I'm very sorry to hear that Mr. Kim. I must admit, I too was a lonely child." Slughorn hummed in sympathy, nodding, hand over his chest. He could hear Jimin whisper something to Hyojong next to him at the front of the classroom and he was pretty sure t was intentional, but chose to ignore it, thankful that he had somehow escaped being reprimanded for a second time in ten minutes "Actually, I am still very much a lonely adult." Slughorn continued, almost lost in his own woes. Taehyung looked anxiously to the left then right before slowly pulling himself back into his stool, highly confused why Slughorn was disclosing any of this information. Even so, his eyes never left the professor for fear of being caught out again.

"Anyway," Slughorn coughed, shaking himself out of his slump "Everybody get out your Advanced Potion Making textbooks!"

The class dispersed into chatter as they turned to find their textbooks. Taehyung's brow momentarily furrowed, almost confused at how he'd managed to get away with that, but with a sigh of relief and flushed pink cheeks he picked out his textbook, placing it in front of him and pushing all of his other utensils to the far side of the table to clear a space for it.

"Mr Kim!" Taehyung jumped again as the Professor appeared by his side, much too close to him for comfort "Mr Kim, whatever happened to the lively one with the orange hair that sat next to you?"

"Hoseok, sir?" Taehyung's gaze flickered questioningly to the empty stool next to him before he placed his textbook down and turned to face the Professor.

"That's the one. Where is he today?"

"He's.. not here, sir." Taehyung said, signalling to the empty space beside him.

"Well why didn't you tell me earlier we could've had this sorted easy." Slughorn patted his shoulder. Taehyung drew in a sharp intake of breath, slightly annoyed that Slughorn had put him through that humiliation earlier for no reason. But, he flashed a smile through gritted teeth, not wishing to find himself in detention that evening; not with the amount of work he had to get done for the following day. Slughorn too seemed satisfied with his conclusion; his eyes seeming to scan the room before finally landing on a certain raven-haired, green-robed boy and he smiled. Taehyung felt his stomach drop. Of course it was going to be Jeongguk. Jeongguk was top of the class. As their class had an odd number of students, Jeongguk was the only one in the class who 'didn't require a partner' as he was a consistent grade O student.

"Ah, Mr Jeon doesn't have a partner if I remember rightly. There you are. Problem sorted." Slughorn sounded far too merry for the sentence he'd just given Taehyung. Even Jeongguk himself -who had been intently discussing something with a Slytherin girl, Minnie, who was sitting across from him- had stopped in his tracks when he'd heard his name.

Taehyung gulped, his mouth moving but no words coming out. He knew he'd told Yoongi that he wasn't going to let that group get to him but everything is totally different when actually faced with it, right?

Slughorn, sensing some kind of tension, looked between the pair, his brow furrowing. "There won't be a problem, will there?"

Taehyung scrambled to his feet quickly, shaking his head "No, sir." He swallowed. "No problem."

"Excellent. Good lad."

Slughorn ambled his way back to the front of the classroom, continuing to ramble on from where he'd left off- something about the dangers of using Wormwood probably- as Taehyung gathered up his equipment. Why he'd agreed he'd never know, but he had and now he had to deal with it. An hour with him surely couldn't be that bad, surely. At least he wasn't with Jimin.

He flashed a small smile at Rosie who flashed one back at him. Everybody knew that messing with Jimin's group was almost like social suicide; they could -and would- destroy you in seconds should you put a foot out of line.

Reluctantly, Taehyung made his way to the front of the classroom, to the Slytherin's table, clutching his books to his chest and doing his utmost not to make eye contact with any of the students around him. He closed his eyes, drawing in a breath and willing the patience to come to him such that he'd be able to sit through an hour of Potions next to Jeon Jeongguk. Seemed he wasn't as brave as he'd hoped his new hair would inspire him to be.

"What have you come as today, Kim? An ice cream?" Jeongguk's voice reeked of sarcasm, and he sensed a small smirk had crossed his lips, but it was a half hearted effort compared to what he'd have had to put up with had he been partnered with Park Jimin. Taehyung had to admit, he'd almost hoped that Jeongguk would still be sporting the almost-guilty lost-puppy attitude he'd shown momentarily in the Great Hall yesterday but there seemed to be no sign of that today.

"Could you pass me the Shrivelfig please, Jeon?" Taehyung sighed, sliding into the stool beside Jeongguk. Just fifty minutes and he'd be out of there. He could manage that.

"I didn't realise they let Cornish pixies study at this school. You must feel privileged." Jeongguk continued, eyes remaining on his textbook as he scribbled something in the corner of the page. A drawing of an eye or something.

"Would you mind actually giving me the ingredients so we can get this thing over with?" Taehyung tried again.

"Maybe I should let them know that somebo-"

"For fucks sake I don't like this any more than you do, Jeongguk." Taehyung snapped, snatching the quill out of Jeongguk's hand, still wet. Jeongguk's head snapped up, astonished. Taehyung paused, shocked even at himself. Jeongguk's dark brown eyes met Taehyung's blue and he felt his confidence start to slip away again even though surprisingly they didn't seem to hold any malicious intent behind them, he seemed almost.. shocked?

Taehyung cleared his throat before continuing "But if you're really that intent on not talking to my face, just write it down on here." He shoved the 'notes' page in the back of his Potions handbook across the table towards Jeongguk.

Jeongguk looked at the book with a raised eyebrow before drawing in a breath and finally pulling it towards him. He picked his quill out of Taehyung's hand, making direct eye contact with him as he did, and began scribbling something in black ink. After a few moments pushed the book back towards Taehyung, and nodded to the page, a smug smirk evident on his lips. God this boy really blew hot and cold.

~fuck off~ Taehyung read and scoffed. Mature, Jeongguk.

~as soon as you pass me the shrivelfig, happily. someone has to do the work. god knows how you keep your grade Os up~ Taehyung shoved the book back at Jeongguk.

~clearly some of us are born naturally gifted~

~will you just pass me the shrivelfig~

~the purple one or the green one~

~you know which one it is jeongguk~

Taehyung watched, unimpressed, as Jeongguk leaned over the desk to collect the phial. He popped off the cork with ease and made a show of pouring it into the cauldron. Just as Taehyung was about to reach for the porcupine quills, Jeongguk held his hand up and pulled out his own quill.

"Let me write, Kim." He said, hand remaining in front of Taehyung's face, until he'd finished and had shoved the book back at Taehyung.

~you've got the porcupine quills kim~

"Really?" Taehyung pursed his lips in frustration. He was really doing this? Jeongguk pointed at the book again and Taehyung gave in. He had to admit, it almost was more fun to talk like this, through notes, just the adrenaline of almost being caught each time.

~you're insufferable, jeon. this is so stupid it would be so much easier to just talk to my face~

Taehyung almost smiled as he passed the book on.

~unfortunately i've already done my share of charity work for the term by being partnered with you. insufferable, however, is a wonderful word~

~is that what you're calling making conversation these days~

~for the record i suppose i’d rather be helping the community by partnering with you than helping some old wizard polish his wand. at least you still have teeth~

~is that a compliment~

Taehyung surprisingly found himself vaguely amused as he again slipped the book back in Jeongguk's direction. Jeongguk pulled the notebook from his hands gently and Taehyung could've sworn he saw a hint of a smile flicker across his lips, but he didn't have the time to get a good look at him because Slughorn had already called the class' attention to the front. Both Taheyung and Jeongguk's heads snapped to this front. From this angle, he could just about make out Jimin's blonde curls a few Slytherins or so in front. He'd almost forgot he'd been sitting so close to him.

"And now class, I want you all to listen very carefully. The next bit it highly difficult." Slughorn wheezed.

Taehyung retracted his book back into his chest slowly, trying not to look suspicious. He'd had enough close calls this class already. Jeongguk's hand reached out to grab his arm firmly. Taehyung stopped dead, swallowing at the unexpected contact. He couldn't exactly put his finger on what he was feeling. Nerves? But not because he was scared of Jeongguk, no not anymore. He may be infuriating but he didn't believe he was truly malicious.

Jeongguk's grip was strong "I haven't read it yet." He frowned, his hand quickly releasing Taehyung's arm to tap the top of the page.

"Mr Jeon would you like to share with the class how we counteract the side effects of this potion?"

Jeongguk sighed, almost as if the question was below him "Add a sprig of peppermint, sir, that should stop the excessive singing."

Slughorn look a little taken aback, clearly expecting to have caught Jeongguk out. He paused momentarily but nodded "Yes. Yes, very good."

Taehyung had to admit he was a little impressed, he wouldn't have been able to answer that question even if he'd actually heard any of what Slughorn had been saying before it. Jeongguk just rolled his eyes and turned back to Taehyung, leaning on one -fairly toned- arm into Taehyung's half of the table.

He lowered his voice this time, careful not to be caught again "Can I read it now?" Jeongguk's fingers were already edging towards the corner of the book but Taehyung pushed it towards him anyway.

"Or.. we could just talk face to face, like this, like any normal people would?" Taehyung suggested, but there was no bite. His voice came out a little strained, still a little in shock.

"But where's the fun in that?" Jeongguk raised an eyebrow, smirking as he pulled out his pen. Taehyung smiled a little to himself but shook his head. Jeongguk was certainly a handful but almost... tolerable? He shook his head again, resting his chin on his fist. His mind began to wander.

Somewhere in the classroom he could hear Park Jimin screeching at his poor partner that she'd stirred it the wrong way. Taehyung winced slight for her. How Jeongguk put up with Jimin- especially sleeping in the same dorm- Taehyung just didn't know. He just didn't seem like the sort of person who you could easily get on with. What Jimin had over Jeongguk for him to willingly remain friends with him he'd be intrigued to find out.

Taehyung was suddenly shook by the loud ring of the school bell. He hadn't realised how close he was to it and the vibrations through the desk had almost made him jump out of his skin. Clearing his throat, Taehyung stood straight up behind his stool, looking around to check that nobody had seen him.

His eyes widened, panicked as he suddenly realised, looking around that everybody else was holding up tiny phials of finished Potions. He cleared his throat again, tapping Jeongguk lightly on the shoulder "Did we.. um.. finish.. the potion?" He asked sheepishly, feeling a little guilty that he'd been daydreaming for last however many minutes.

"Yes, Kim. I sorted it, don't worry." Jeongguk rolled his eyes but he was smiling slightly underneath it "Here, I'll even let you keep the finished product, lucky boy." He raised his eyebrows once teasingly at Taehyung and nodded towards it before turning back to gather up his books.

"Class dismissed. I'm expecting that write-up by next lesson!" Slughorn called but it was useless, his voice seemed to get lost amidst the flurry of rushing students.

Taehyung picked the phial of the elixir out of the clamp and placed it safely into a pocket in his robe before collecting his books off the table. He finally turning to Jeongguk, remembering he still had his textbook.

Jeongguk seemed to be finding something amusing judging by the small smile spread across his lips and the pale flush across his cheeks "Looks like I'll be seeing you next lesson, partner." Jeongguk chuckled to himself, tucking his quill into his robe, then placing the textbook into Taehyung's arms on top of his already large stack of books. "See you around, Kim." He smirked, turning on his heel and flouncing out of the classroom.

Taehyung watched him leave, a little aghast and a little unsure of what had actually just happened. He'd made it through the class not only without strangling Jeongguk but maybe even starting to enjoy his company. What had changed?

He felt his pile of books starting to slip, and at that moment he swore he could remember seeing Jeongguk writing something in his textbook before he'd placed it on the pile and left. Curious, he placed his books back on the table and flicked through his textbook to the back page, the 'Notes' page. There, in a neat looped cursive Jeongguk had written:
~you're not so bad, kim. that's a compliment~

And truly, for the first time, Taehyung thought maybe Jeon Jeongguk wasn't all that bad himself.

* * *

"Why do I feel like I'm getting deja vu?" Taehyung laughed as he approached his friend from the other end of the hospital wing, shaking his head "They should rent you a permanent bed in here, Seok, I swear to god."

"Well, someone's got to keep them busy." His orange-haired friend laughed, recognising his friend voice and propping himself up on his elbows to see him “Hey, nice hair. Joining me and Yoongi in the rainbow hair squad I see. Just Namjoon left to convince now. How did you know I was here anyway?"

"Namjoon." Taehyung admitted, taking a seat on the edge of Hoseok's bed and rolling his eyes playfully. "Though he's one to talk, he's definitely in here almost as much as you are."

"If I'm renting a bed then he's definitely already bought one. He did send me a card though which is sweet of him."

Taehyung shifted up the bed and reached over to nosy though the small collection of cards and gifts that were neatly presented on the table next to Hoseok's bed.

"Surprised you don't have anything from Yoongi. I know how fond he's growing of you." Taehyung winked in Hoseok's direction as he fumbled through the stack of cards. He could just about see the boy bite back a smile out of the corner of his eye and he chuckled to himself "Anyway, what did you do this time, Seok?"

"You're only here because you want to know when I'll be back in Potions." Hoseok teased, leaning over to pinch Taehyung's cheeks softly "Scared you'll have to partner with someone else?"

"With Jeon Jeongguk. It's already happened."

"Oh god, I'm so sorry." Hoseok said, retracting his hand and placing it over his heart, feigning being serious. Hoseok was never serious.

Taehyung shook his head fondly, "Actually, it wasn't horrendous." Hoseok raised his eyebrows in suspicion "And, I gained an Elixir to Induce Euphoria out of it."

"Ha, you should try it out on Yoongi tonight see if it cheers up. He's got a stack of essays to complete for tomorrow, poor guy."

Taehyung rolled his eyes fondly "As much as I know you love to talk Yoongi, I want to know what happened to you. Walk into the door again? Bitten by Jimin's mangy cat?" Taehyung continued rummaging through the desk top and felt as his hand knock over a small container.

Hoseok's smile wavered for just a second "Actually that's the reason." He said, eyes focussing on the container Taehyung had just knocked over. He held it up into the light. A packet of Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans. He wasn't surprised, they'd definitely been known to have some... odd side effects, especially the new flavours.

Hoseok drew in a breath, sitting up straighter in his bed "I think someone slipped puking pastilles into my Bertie botts. Or maybe I mistook one for the other. I mean, I have done that before. One moment I think I'm about to try one of those new bacon and peppermint flavoured ones and the next my stomach is gurgling and I'm running towards the bathroom thinking I'm about t-"

"Okay Hoseok, thanks for the visual." Taehyung's eyes were wide with alarm. He did not want to know the ins and outs of the unfortunate side effects of Puking Pastilles and he certainly hoped he'd never experience them.

"So yeah. That's about it. I've been in here since pretty late last night and the nurse said I'll probably have to stay a few more days just to make sure, you know how these things can keep coming back." Hoseok shrugged nonchalantly before reaching for the chocolate frog on the table next to him. He unwrapped it quickly and took a bite "It has its perks."

Taehyung nodded, not really listening as he opened the packet of Every Flavour Beans. Something smelt a little off. He leaned back a little, inspecting the contents of the packet. Something was definitely off. "Where did you actually get these, Seok?"

"Found them on my bed last night. Honestly, I assumed it was probably Yoongi. I was telling him at dinner the other day about how much I like them." Hoseok hummed and shrugged again. He took a bite of his chocolate frog. "But then, of course, I know Yoongi wouldn't do that."

"Then who?" Taehyung, chewed his lip in thought "Was anybody else there that could've overheard?"

Hoseok shook his head, taking another bite "Just you and Joon. But I'm pretty sure Jimin's group were sat behind us that night."

Taehyung inhaled a deep breath, rolling his eyes at how obvious it was "Of fucking course it was Park Jimin." He spluttered through sarcastic laughs and rested his clenched fist on his forehead "Of fucking course. Who else would it have been?"

Hoseok shook his head and placed his hand on Taheyung's shoulder "Leave it now, Tae, come on I'll be out of here in a few days." He pleaded lightly.

"I'm going to ask Jeongguk about it, see what he knows."

Hoseok paused, eyes widening slightly as he turned to face Taheyung directly "Are you and Jeongguk like.. friends now?" Hoseok giggled.

Taheyung scrunched his nose up at Hoseok "Why does everybody keep asking me that?" Hoseok who held his hands up in defence but remained beaming widely.

"Look at you, melting the ice prince." He giggled, pretending to punch Taehyung's shoulder playfully.

"We'll see, Seok, we'll see." Taehyung nodded along, but he wasn't so sure. The idea of being friends with someone who he probably wasn't meant to be friends with was completely thrilling, but Jeongguk was definitely going to be a tough one to crack.

Chapter Text

Taehyung hummed softly to himself as he walked down the hallway from the medical wing. He hadn't noticed at the time but while he'd been with Hoseok it had grown exceptionally dark outside, meaning most likely it was close to curfew. That would at least explain why there was so few people around

Deciding he had a little time before he needed to be back at the he walked over to the large arched window that looked over the courtyard. He placed his hand softly on the ridge of the window and leaned against the wall. From here the courtyard was breathtaking- fireflies lit the trees like a string of fairy lights and tiny hopping frogs decorated the border of the fountain. The areas around the bases of the engraved stone benches had just starting to blossom the first begonias of the year and a host of incredulous bugs and beetles scurried between them. Hogwarts was so peaceful at night; different from the hectic atmosphere of his home town in the suburbs of a big city; different even from the busy atmosphere of the classes he had his lessons in every day. See, as much as he loved being surrounded by people- and he really did- Taehyung could really appreciate his own company once in a while to just gather his thoughts.

"Pretty, isn't it?"

Taehyung turned his head towards the sound of the deep voice, his breath hitching- he'd been a little too caught up in his own thoughts to realise that a certain green-and-black robed boy had been standing behind him. Jeongguk.

"I couldn't sleep." Jeongguk continued even though Taehyung hadn't asked. His voice was nonchalant but his eyes had a slight pinkness to them, almost as if he'd been rubbing them, and Taehyung felt his heart squeeze. It was funny really- he hadn't properly spoken to the boy before this morning, so why he so suddenly cared whether Jeongguk had been taking care of himself he just didn't know.

"Have you even tried, Jeon?" Taehyung asked, trying to echo Jeongguk's nonchalant tone as he turned back to face the fountain. His fingers traced along the ancient brick of the wall- being alone with Jeongguk made him nervous for some reason and it showed.

Taheyung could practically feel Jeongguk shrug "Well, not yet. But I thought a walk might help with that."

"What are you really doing?"

"I am placing my left foot forward then my right one, Taehyung. It's called walking."

Taehyung rolled his eyes, pretending to be above Jeongguk's humour but a trace of a smile was clearly evident on his lips.

"So, you come out here a lot, Jeon?" He asked, changing the subject. His fingers began to intertwine together tightly. It was a sort of nervous habit of his. His heart was definitely beating a little faster but he didn't really have any reason to be nervous. Maybe it was because he'd never really been alone with a Slytherin before let alone Jeongguk.

"Yeah.. Well, whenever I study late in the library. It's on the way to the dorms anyway." Jeongguk replied. Taehyung could sense him shrugging as he walked up to where Taehyung was sitting on the wall. Jeongguk drew in a light breath and sat down, balancing precariously on the edge of the wall to Taehyung's left. They were clearly in view of each other but neither turned to look at the other.

"I don't think I've ever seen you study for anything in your life, Jeon." Taehyung said, his eyes following a firefly. He couldn't help the small smile that was growing on his face, probably a nervous smile he guessed. He didn't exactly know where their boundaries were yet but whatever that encounter had been in Potions, it had certainly crossed the line of the sort-of-acquaintances-that-hate-each-other-by-proxy relationship that they'd had going on for five and a half years.

"How do you think I keep my grades up, Taehyung?"

"I'm sure you have your ways, Jeon."

"What are you implying there, Kim, hm?" Jeongguk elbowed Taehyung playfully, causing Taehyung's hand hastily dart out to grab something and stop himself falling off the wall. This something happened to be Jeongguk's forearm. Taehyung swallowed as he regained his balance and he couldn't help notice that his cheeks had warmed. This was nice. It was almost like they were.. friends?

Jeongguk smirked "You can call me Jeongguk, you know."

"What?" Taehyung looked puzzled. With wide eyes he suddenly realised he was still holding Jeongguk's arm. With a small cough he let go, placing his hand firmly and quickly into his lap, hoping Jeongguk wouldn't notice it had ever been there.

"Call me Jeongguk." Jeongguk repeated and Taehyung felt his cheeks warm again both because it was very evident in his Jeongguk's face that he'd definitely noticed Taehyung grab his arm but also because their deep brown eyes had made accidental contact. "I mean.. your friend Namjoon isn't here. You don't have to pretend you aren't swooning under that facade you tend to put on around me."

Taehyung swallowed, Jeongguk sounded amused but he couldn't tell whether he was joking or not. He didn't put on a facade, did he? And he wasn't swooning. He wasn't. Not at all. He just wanted to be friends, that's it. Less than that even- just friendly acquaintances.

There was an odd silence and the two seemed to hold each other's gaze for what felt like a few minutes before Jeongguk looked away and drew in breath."In all honesty, I can't concentrate in the common room." He almost sighed. He didn't seem to be speaking to anyone in particular, more just thinking out loud. His eyes- which were now trained on Taehyung again, waiting for some sort of response- seemed to have lost their mischievous sparkle. He seemed surprisingly.. genuine.

Taehyung's eyebrows furrowed, perplexed. "Oh?" He stuttered, biting the inside of his cheek as he took it in. He'd always thought that Jeongguk had just gotten lucky on the academic front or maybe he just cheated on tests To get the grades he did. To be honest he hadn't really even given much thought to it until now, but Jeongguk did consistently achieve Os in every class, he'd just never linked it in his mind to Jeongguk having to actually study. Taehyung didn't want to know what the Slytherins got up to in their spare time but he'd always assumed it wasn't plain studying. Jimin and Jeongguk had always seemed inseparable- you rarely saw one without the other which was, well... weird... but it was widely accepted that they came as a duo. Maybe, just maybe there was something else behind closed doors that nobody saw.

"Why don't I ever see you?" Taehyung stuttered, trying to choose his words carefully so as not to say anything that could trigger cold Jeongguk again. He seemed to be making some sort of progress with him. "I mean, the library is practically my second home."

Jeongguk opened his mouth as if to say something that seemed like 'I know' but he bit it back, his eyes showing some sort of inner conflict. "Restricted section." Jeongguk said eventually, his signature smirk slowly making its way back into his lips. Cocky Jeongguk was back. Taehyung couldn't help but feel a sensitive topic had been touched upon but he brushed it off as unimportant for now. God this boy blew hot and cold. "It's quiet and hardly anybody goes in so nobody sees me. Have to keep up my image and all."

Taehyung nodded at that. He understood in a way- your reputation at the Hogwarts basically determined how easy a ride you'd get. Maybe, he thought, just maybe he’d judged Jeongguk all wrong. Taehyung hummed in reply and looked up again at Jeongguk.

"Plus," Jeongguk continued, he seemed to be leaning in slowly, so slowly, and for a moment Taehyung allowed his eyes to flicker to Jeongguk’s lips, almost expecting him to kiss him. But Jeongguk just breathed out and lowered his voice "if you sit in the corner by all the old herbology books, you get the best view of the whole library and you can just people watch; laugh at a few first years who can't reach the top shelf.. or a few sixth years who can't keep it in their pants."

Taehyung's eyes began to widen, he almost felt stupid for even thinking that Jeongguk would want to kiss him but he laughed anyway whether it was out of embarrassment or actual shock. He hated to admit he was a little impressed that’s a Jeongguk had managed to get away with it for so long "But how-"

"I have my ways." Jeongguk seemed to chuckle a little. He really was something else.

It was then that Taehyung realised Jeongguk had been waving a few sheets of paper about in his left hand. Taehyung froze, his blood running cold. "Shit, shit is that what I think it is?"

Jeongguk scrunched his nose, puzzled as he followed Taehyung's eyes to his hand. "Oh, this?" He asked, waving it again "If you mean Slughorn's potions essay then, yes, I'm afraid it is, Kim."

"Shit, shit, shit." Taehyung immediately stood up, fumbling to pull his cape back up his shoulders. "I forgot all about it. I'm so screwed. I haven't even started. I'm going to be sick. Ah, I'll just be sick tomorrow and not turn up. Okay, sorted... ugh but my perfect attendance."

Jeongguk appeared to be mildly amused by Taehyung's whinings, his shoulders shaking slightly with laughter. Taehyung rubbed his forehead a few times trying to piece together a plan. "Taehyung, it's not the end of the world." Jeongguk laughed. Taehyung turned to Jeongguk with a look of pure panic in his eyes and pointed at his face. Jeongguk rolled his eyes, still laughing as he thrust the paper towards him "Merlin's sake you can just copy mine. We were meant to work together anyway."

Taehyung groaned , scrunching his eyes shut and putting a hand to his forehead as he contemplated. He opened his eyes again, shaking his head "I can't do that, Jeongguk. I just can't cheat."

"Jeongguk, eh? We're on first name basis now?" Jeongguk nudged him again with his elbow.

Taehyung rolled his eyes, trying to brush Jeongguk, but for some reason something in him wanted him to stay with Jeongguk "I'm going to go now-"

"You'll be calling be Gukkie next-"

"Goodbye, Jeon." Taehying shook his head, already walking swiftly down the hallway but he was smiling. He simple held up his hand, trying to pretend he wasn't listening.

"Isn't the Ravenclaw dorm that way?"

Taehyung slowly stopped walking, pulling his top lip into his mouth. He was right. He’d definitely gone the wrong way. Slowly Taehyung nodded, pointing his finger in the other direction "... yes. I was... just going the long way. For.. quiet..ness.." He coughed.

"Mhm." Jeongguk nodded teasingly, making a show of raising his eyebrows and looking around. Sure enough they were the only two left in the corridors, but he didn't mention it. He simply lifted his hand and waved back to Taehyung. “Good luck with Potions.” An almost fond smile crossing his lips as Taehyung scuttled quickly in the opposite direction "Goodbye, Taehyung." He whispered, but Taehyung was already out of earshot.

* * *

As soon as he reached the Ravenclaw dorms, head full of Jeongguk, Taehyung swung the door open and grabbed hold of the bed post, holding his chest to catch his breath. His head was spinning with whatever just happened outside. But the dorm room was weirdly silent.

"Er.. Tae, I hate to be the one to tell you but this isn't your room?" Namjoon cleared his throat, looking up from whatever he was holding in his lap.

"Guys-" Taehyung breathed, fully knowing he was in the wrong dorm but decidedly ignoring Namjoom anyway. "Guys I.." Taehyung started again, drawing in another breath.

"..really need to get fit?" A second voice chipped in. Out of the corner of his eye there was a flash of mint green, wriggling into view.

"Yoongi? You're in Namjoon's dorm?" Taehyung looked up for the first time, his eyebrows furrowed in confusion. This he hadn’t expected. Namjoon and Yoongi were both Ravenclaw but they weren’t in the same dorm room; It was definitely past curfew and he didn't really take neither Namjoon nor Yoongi to be rule breakers. Must be something going on. Taehyung shrugged, it could wait, he had news of his own. Namjoon was sitting cross legged on his bed with a slightly amused-looking Yoongi on his right, legs hanging off the edge of the bed and holding something in his palm. "Was I not included in the plural 'guys'?" Yoongi asked.

"Actually, I was referring to Namjoon and his crab but I can include you in the plural 'guys' if you want." Taehyung shrugged, pointing to the little glass cage in the corner of the room. While most other students tended to opt for owls or cats, Namjoon had found this tiny crab washed up on the beach a few summers ago or something and couldn't bear to part with him, thus ending up with a tiny crab in a tiny glass box in his room.

"So, what I wa-"

"Did you see Hoseok?" Namjoon interrupted, his knee tapping against the bed, clearly trying to change the subject.

"Nope haven't seen him. Anyway-"

"I'm right here!" Hoseok chirped, raising his hand from the bed on the opposite side of the room.

"Hoseok? I thought you were in the hospital wing?" Taehyung's eyes lit up as he noticed his friend and he quickly skipped over to him, jumping onto the foot of the bed beside him, completely forgetting whatever he was trying to say before.

"Weren't you with him like an hour and a half ago?" Yoongi asked "I mean, Namjoon said he'd told you.."

Taehyung hummed in thought "I was?" He nodded slowly in realisation. "Oh.. I was."

There were mutual looks of confusion between all four of the boys in the room. There seemed to be at least two different conversations going on at once.

"He's in love, guys!" Hoseok blurted suddenly. His eyes quickly widened and he covered his mouth with both hands as if to stop anything else coming out. Taehyung's head whipped quickly around to face Hoseok, his cheeks blazing.

"No I'm not! We're just friends." Taehyung protested

Hoseok's own head whipped back to look at Taehyung with a puzzled expression "I was talking about Joon?" Hoseok said. Slowly his smile grew and he leaned closer to Taehyung, resting his chin on his fist. "Wait.. who did you think I was talking about?"

Taehyung's eyes widened, realising his mistake. He looked around the room at each person, swallowing  "Um.. nobody... a person. I speak to lots of them. So.. Namjoonie's in love?"

“It must be Jeongguk! I saw them together." Hoseok mouthed loudly at the same time to Yoongi. He'd placed his hand by his mouth to cover it but he had spoken so loud that it might as well have not been there.

"Namjoon and Jeongguk?!" Taehyung spluttered, his jaw dropping just a little. For some reason his heart had dropped.. was he jealous? Surely not. Not over Jeon Jeongguk.

"Wait what? I thought you liked Jin, Namjoon?" Yoongi chipped in again, pointing between Namjoon and Taehyung. "Wasn't that literally the point of this gathering?"

"I do like Jin! God knows why anyone would want to associate themselves with one of Jimin's lot."

Taehyung sat up straight, his mouth open in protest "Actually Jeongguk's nice.. I mean he's decent.. um tolerable?" He looked between his friends, becoming less sure of what he was saying with each unconvinced look they gave him. "We.. Jeongguk and I.. we bumped into each other and got talking. He's not that bad guys."

The three of them just stared at him as if he'd told them he was in love with Jimin himself.

Yoongi blinked "Please tell me you're not serious, Taehyung."

Taehyung just shrugged, moving his arms in some weird expressive way as if trying to convey some sort of reasoning. "Well.. it's a long story.. so Namjoon you and Jeongguk are not.. just not.. Namjoon?"

Namjoon shook his head suspiciously, eyes slightly narrowed and mouth poised to ask some intrusive question that would no doubt give away Taehyung’s weird feelings for the Slytherin.

"Ah the story!" Hoseok bounced up on the bed, clapping his hands. "Go on Joonie, spill the beans!"

Taehyung closed his eyes and clasped his hands together, thanking whatever was up there listening to him that Hoseok, bless his heart, was easily distracted. He looked over to Namjoon who looked incredibly sheepish. He was fiddling with a small piece of paper in his lap and doing his utmost to avoid all eye contact with his friends.

Just then the final bell rang, signalling curfew. Not that many people necessarily abided by it anymore except the teachers, the first years and some especially cautious Ravenclaws.

"Hurry up, Joon, we're hoarding an illegal stowaway here." Yoongi joked, notioning to Hoseok on the other side of the room who was incredibly and unapologetically Hufflepuff. He literally radiated Hufflepuff. And the fact he was wearing his yellow and black cape helped too.

"I'm trying guys. It's just an extremely emotionally traumatic story for me." Namjoon said, his face bright red and covered with his hands. "I'm sure Hoseok can survive a few minutes longer." Yoongi and Hoseok exchanged a look of amusement and Taehyung looked between the two, confused but amused. Yoongi scrunched his nose up affectionately at Hoseok from across the room. Taehyung smiled to himself. They were sweet. Obvious, but sweet. If only one of them would grow the balls to say something to the other, he thought.

"Okay." Namjoon breathed out loudly, his eyes still closed. "Okay. But please be aware I am bearing my soul to each and every one of you here so let's not laugh at my misfortune too much. And also let's all promise right now that this never leaves this room. Thank you all in advance for your kindness."

They all muttered their agreements and Yoongi shook his head in amusement. He was mouthing something and doing some sort of hand gesture to go with it, evidently aimed at Hoseok but Taehyung smiled along anyway, even throwing in small wink to the pair.

"So," Namjoon started "I'm sure by now we all know I've had the smallest crush on Kim Seokjin for a while-"

"Pining for him since third year." Yoongi corrected.

"Crush." Namjoon replied.

"Desperately in love." Hoseok offered. It was true, Namjoon wasn't exactly the best at keeping secrets, especially his own secrets- he left his diary wide open under his bed in clear view. It was basically asking to be read.

"Anyway I'm sure we're all also familiar with the diary I write in every evening." Namjoon reached beneath his bed and pulled out the small leatherback journal and held it up to them as if they weren't all well-acquainted with it already. "Professor McGonagall asked me to give him a note, with him being a Gryffindor Prefect, and we all know my memory isn't the best and so I thought I should probably write it down so I didn't forget it. And well, I happened to bump into him in the library-"

"Stalked him into the library." Hoseok whispered loudly to Yoongi across the room. Both were beaming.

"Me being my painfully awkward self, I decided I'd probably make a fool of myself if I spoke to his face so I decided I'd just give him the written note. Wrong decision." Namjoon groaned again, his hand going up to rub his eyebrow. "So I worked up the courage to tap him on the shoulder and he turned around and I was all flustered and I just kind of mumbled something and shoved the piece of paper into his hand and ran into the next aisle. Well, somehow I managed to write the note on the back of.." Namjoon trailed off, mumbling inaudibly. His face was incredibly red by now. Like, tomato red.

"Sorry what did you say it was on the back of?" Yoongi smirked, folding his arms over his chest smugly. Taehyung too was holding back a smile. He knew he probably shouldn't be laughing - he hadn't been any more successful in his romantic pursuits than Namjoon had been- but there was just something about Namjoon, IQ 148, fumbling over a boy that tickled him.

"It was.. an annotated illustration of how luscious I think his lips are." Namjoon mumbled quickly, trying to hide his face with his hand. The three tried to hold back their laughter. Taehyung tried to hide his face with the back of his hand and Yoongi seemed to be biting back his smile while Hoseok just let it all out.

"I can't hear you." Hoseok spluttered. He was almost doubled over with laughter.

"AN ANNOTATED ILLUS- I'm really not repeating this." Namjoon whined, his face scrunched in embarrassment.

"Namjoonie, don't you worry," Hoseok started again in between fits of laughter "As fellow homosexuals I'm sure none of us will object when I say that Seokjin's lips are incredibly luscious."

Namjoon lifted his finger to protest but Taehyung interrupted, nodding in agreement "Objectively talking, of course. We would never dream of stealing your man."

"He isn't my man." Namjoon said quietly, his bottom lip sticking far out in a pout. He cringed, gripping his diary tightly to his chest "And I don't think he ever will be now. You can guess the rest of the story. He read the wrong side. Let's just say I don't think I'll ever be able to face him again."

Taehyung bit back another laugh and jumped up off the bed which he'd been sitting on with Hoseok and he ran over to Namjoon. He sprung onto him, into a back hug. He meant it in the most supportive way, of course, but he was pretty sure he was cutting off Namjoon's air supply judging by the groan he was welcome with. Even so, Namjoon wrapped one arm around Taehyung's back. With one hand Taehyung beckoned for the others to join which they did; Hoseok and then Yoongi successively with Namjoon's groans getting louder each time someone else piled on top of him.

"Thank guys." He said, voice sounding a little thin and choked under the weight of his three friends. "But this story goes nowhere or I will make sure to murder each one of you incredibly painfully."

"On Merlin's honour." Hoseok said to which Yoongi and Taehyung hummed in agreement.

"I'm holding you all to that, now give me a proper hug."

*     *     *

The next day, Taehyung waltzed into Potions, carefree and humming and sat himself in his new temporary seat at the front of the class. The nurses had advised Hoseok to have the day off again just to make sure the charm had worn off so it looked like he'd be partnered with Jeongguk again. Surprisingly, the idea didn't fill him with the absolute dread that it may have done a week ago. Actually, he could almost say he was looking forward to it- after their talk last night he'd seen a more human side to Jeongguk, one he'd never expected to see, and it intrigued him as to what actually lay beneath the surface of the cold Slytherin persona he put out.

"Good morning, Kim. You're surprisingly early today? Couldn't wait to see your favourite Potions partner?

Speak of the devil. Jeon Jeongguk hovered over Taehyung's shoulder for a few seconds before slipping into the stool next to him. Taehyung could feel his cheeks flush again for no apparent reason. It seemed to be a common occurrence around Jeongguk.

"Didn't fancy a Slughorn detention." He replied, mentally slapping himself for sounding so feeble. What was it about Jeon that got him so weak? True, he was undeniably good looking but his friends weren't exactly unattractive and he didn't feel like this around them.

"You keep telling yourself that, honey." Jeongguk winked, patting Taehyung's arm lightly.

Taehyung swallowed- his eyes had somehow met Jimin's whole Jeongguk had been speaking. Jimin was sitting a mere three seats away from the two of them and he seemed to be eyeing the pair incessantly. Taehyung was surprised that Jeongguk hadn't immediately reacted in all honesty: he could practically feel Jimin's eyes on his arm where Jeongguk still hadn't removed his hand, and he knew that Jeongguk could probably sense it too. Jimin's eyes narrowed and Taehyung felt his heart beating viciously in his chest, but this time it didn't feel nice at all. Truthfully, Taehyung was a little intimidated by Jimin's power considering the boy was actually several inches shorter than himself and in no way especially gifted at any particular subject to warrant a status as high as he had. And yet somehow, he managed to maintain a group of loyal followers.

In all honesty, Taehyung didn't really want to move Jeongguk's hand but he was glad that he did when Jimin turned back to his group, scowling but satisfied. He seemed to have narrowly avoided another face to face with the ringleader himself. Taehyung really wasn't one for confrontation, especially not with Jimin and especially not after he'd embarrassed him in the Great Hall a few days ago.

Suddenly the doors to the classroom swung open.

"Right class, everybody pull out your essays!" Slughorn burst into the room, waving his hands about manically.

"Oh shit!" Taehyung cursed to himself. His stomach dropped; he'd forgotten. Quickly he opened his folder and began frantically flicking through the papers with some far fetched hope that he'd done the assignment and just forgotten he'd done it. After a few moments of hopeless flicking he sighed and slumped his stool, his hand going to his forehead. He'd definitely forgotten. "Shit, I was going to do it."

From the seat next to him, he heard Jeongguk sigh quietly. Taehyung bit his lip. He hoped this wouldn't reflect badly on him too, considering they were Potions partners.

He felt a tap on his arm again. He removed his hand and turned to see Jeongguk who was smiling softly "Lucky I wrote one for you then, Kim, isn't it?" He said quietly, almost flushing.

"What?" Taehyung looked down at the hand Jeongguk had outstretched to him, his heart beating quickly. Surely there was no way.. but sure enough, he was holding out a rolled piece of paper with blank ink and cursive handwriting all over it.

"Just write your name on it and hand it in. Slughorn won't notice the difference, trust me." Jeongguk whispered, nudging the paper into Taehyung's hand to urge him to take it. His eyes held some sort of pained expression and Taehyung's heart leapt again. He felt awful. How could he forget? He'd have to pay Jeongguk back somehow which wasn't ideal but he wasn't going to let himself abuse Jeongguk's apparent kindness.

"Why? I.. why?" Taehyung was speechless. He couldn't think of a single reason Jeongguk would think to help him out like this.

"Just one friend helping out another, I guess."

"Friends?" Taehyung smiled, his heart filling, and he nodded "I'd like that."

"Me too." Jeongguk swallowed. He seemed to be avoiding all eye contact with Taehyung. Could he possibly be feeling as nervous as Taehyung was feeling?

Suddenly an idea struck him. Taehyung took out his quill and opened the back of his Potions textbook again, flicking to the notes section. For some reason he felt that this would portray more emotion than his words could get across. He could feel Jeongguk's eyes on him as he quickly scribbled a note. He swallowed then pushed the book towards Jeongguk, nodding slightly to the page. He was nervous. Jeongguk pulled the book towards him and beamed almost instantly as he read the message.

~thank you, jeongguk, really. and please, call me tae~

Chapter Text

Taehyung was sat in the library a week or so later, his hands in his hair and his head in his Potions textbook. Slughorn had decided to send them an Owl to tell them that they'd be having a test within the next month on the entire term's work and Taehyung- being as hopeless at Potions as he was- had decided to start preparations as early as possible. After all, he'd need all the help he could get if he was going to pass.

Taehyung drew in a breath and squinted again at the page in some hope that it would help him process the words on the page. After a few seconds, he let out a defeated sigh, slumping slightly in his chair, it seemed almost useless- he'd been here almost an hour and turned only two pages. For some reason he couldn’t stop think about Jeongguk and that Potions class, the way he’d already had that essay written out for him like he’d just known he’d forget. He could feel his mouth slowly curving into a smile at the thought. God, what was happening to him? Since when did he care about Jeongguk that much? Taehyung shook his head, trying again to focus. He'd just started reading the chapter on Golpalott's Third Law when he felt something brush his shoulder lightly.

Taehyung immediately sat up from his dazed state, rubbing his eyes gently to to wake himself. His began scanning the table, looking for whatever it was that had hit him and moments later he found a tiny scrunched piece of paper settled on the library desk by his textbook. His hand hovered over it, desperately tempted to do something, anything else than spend the next 3 hours looking at words that made no sense to him, but he shook his head, pushing the paper ball to the side.

Taehyung nodded to himself, mentally congratulating himself on his determination not to let it distract him. He knew he couldn't afford to fail this test, he couldn't- his entire career relied on what he got in his NEWTs next year and surely learning a good chunk now for this exam would mean less work in the future. With a sigh Taehyung returned to his textbook, restarting the paragraph he'd been reading for the third time.

He'd almost made it through half a page when he felt something else. This time it had hit his forehead, almost directly in the centre. This time he was sure that someone must definitely be trying to get his attention. With a slight hesitance he checked the table again, unsurprisingly finding that a second ball of scrunched paper had appeared right in front of him.

Taehyung looked up quickly, eyebrows furrowed in confusion. Someone was clearly trying to get his attention, but who he really didn’t know. All his friends were already busy- Hoseok with Quidditch practice and Namjoon with some revision session, and with Yoongi being Yoongi, he preferred to revise in the familiarity of his own dorm room and not the library, which meant that it couldn't be any of them. And besides, surely they would just come right up to him instead of flinging bits of paper at his body. It was all a bit odd.

His eyes scanned the library. It looked fairly busy which he knew was usual for this time of year, coming up to the mid-year exams, but it made it all the more difficult to pinpoint who it was that was trying to get his attention. Well, whoever it was was certainly doing a good job of hiding themselves.

Taehyung's eyes scanned the rows of bookshelves, each packed with students presumably doing research, before shifting further left to the rows which housed the less well-used books. These aisles were definitely quieter but everybody there just seemed way too absorbed in their own work to be bothered to bother him.

Taehyung's eyes continued left and further back, to the thick rope that separated the Restricted Section from the library. Somewhere in the back corner he could see a small flicker of light, like some sort of candle. Surely someone wasn't in there? Taehyung had been in maybe once, for his fifth year Defence Against the Dark Arts study and honestly it was a little too secluded and creepy for his liking. But he supposed that would be exactly why someone might choose to stay in the Restricted Section- got privacy, to get away from everyone else. His mind suddenly flickered back to what Jeongguk had said last week. Could it possibly be? Taehyung leaned forward a little intrigued, his eyes squinting to try to make out any sign of a person in there.

"Alright there, Taehyung?" Someone tall suddenly appeared next to him, causing Taehyung to jump out of his skin and hit his shoulder off the desk.

“Oh god I'm sorry!" The tall person continued, his eyes wide and arm reaching out to pat Taehyung’s shoulder.

Taehyung turned, eyes wide and cheeks flushed a cute pink “Seokjin!" He exclaimed as soon he noticed the the tall man standing next to him was none other than the love of Namjoon’s life. Taehyung was fully aware of how weird he must have looked leaning over the table like that but while he was completely embarrassed, he was just as relieved that it hadn’t been a teacher or worse, Park Jimin. “I.. uh.. I didn't see you there!"

"Clearly." Seokjin laughed softly, patting Taehyung's shoulder. He watched as Seokjin's expression slowly changed, moulding to one of more nervous hopefulness as he cleared his throat “Actually, I was hoping you could help me."

"Oh?" Taehyung sat back in his chair, arms crossed. He'd recovered from the initial shock now but he had to admit he was a little confused. Why on earth would he be able to help the Gryffindor Prefect?

"You're Namjoonie's cousin? Right?" Seokjin's cheeks began to colour slightly pink and he looked down. Taehyung nodded, mildly amused as it finally clicked- he'd never seen the Gryffindor Prefect so bashful in the few times they'd spoken which meant Namjoonie may just be in luck. "Well I.. er.. need to seem him about.. a note. If you could just let me know where he'd be I'd be very grateful." Seokjin continued.

Just then Taehyung noticed that the flicker of light from the Restricted Section seemed to be moving, as if it was looking for something. Weird. He squinted again, trying to search for some flash of a green and black robe or raven hair. Something that would confirm his suspicions.

"Taehyung?" Taehyung jumped again, his eyes reverting immediately back to Seokjin apologetically.

"Oh! Sorry yes, er..really must stop doing that..” Taehyung stalled, trying to remember what Seokjin had asked as his eyes flicked quickly between the Restricted Section and Seokjin's flushed face. "Um, he'll probably be with Hagrid or actually he might be back at the Ravenclaw dorms now, it is pretty late. I assume you know the passwo-"

"Okay thanks Taehyung, catch you later!" Seokjin cut him off, lifting his hand in thanks but by the time Taehyung had even opened his mouth to say goodbye, Seokjin had already dashed off, leaving Taehyung a little lost and incredibly bemused.

Taehyung shook his head, trying to expel the encounter out of his head but to little avail. He looked down at his palm, suddenly remembering the piece of paper he'd been clutching. It almost burned how tempted he was just to open it. Honestly, Taehyung knew he should be getting work done but it had gone too far now; his curiosity had peaked and he knew in his heart that he wouldn't be able to concentrate with both the paper situation and the Seokjin encounter playing on his mind. So, after a few moments of deliberation and a quick survey of the area, Taehyung collected up his textbooks, quill and the two pieces of paper, unopened, and made his way over to the Restricted Section as inconspicuously as he could.

It wasn't totally forbidden for sixth years to use the Restricted Section but it was still widely accepted that a student shouldn't enter without recommendation from a professor due to the content they'd be exposed to. And not just that- the room itself was so incredibly old and decrepit itself that it wouldn't be completely unbelievable for something in there to just collapse. In a way, even the thought of investigating the Restricted Section was a thrill for Taehyung and his rule-abiding ass so when he stepped one foot under the thick rope guarding the entrance and ducked below it, clutching his textbooks tightly to his chest, he truly felt like a new man.

"You actually came?" A familiar voice said from the far corner of the room. it sounded a little taken aback but he knew immediately who it was. The whole place was extremely dark except for a single candle which had been lit and placed on a small table in the corner. But by the dim light, Taehyung could just make out flashes of green and black- it was Jeongguk, he’d been right. But surprisingly, he sounded rather happy to see Taehyung.

"I-I.. yes. So it was you?." Taehyung replied. He turned to quickly scan the area behind him to check nobody had seen him come in before he took a few steps forward.

"You're okay Tae, nobody can see you here." Jeongguk replied quickly, a small fond smile spreading across his face. The way Taehyung's name sounded coming out of his lips was nice, soft though it really shouldn't have surprised Taehyung as much as it did to hear it- he had asked Jeongguk to call him that. "I just saw you having what looked like a quarter life crisis. I thought you might want some.. um.. help?" Jeongguk continued. Taehyung could see him sit forward in his chair, leaning his elbows on his knees and resting his chin on his fist. He looked good.

Taehyung's cheeks flamed. He folded his arms around his waist, hugging himself in embarrassment "Mmh." He nodded; he couldn't believe that Jeongguk had seen him like that. He sighed, something in him urged him to tell Jeongguk about his troubles and truly, he wanted to open up to him but he was so scared-he and Jeongguk were still very new friends and as much as Taehyung wanted to deny it, Jeongguk still ran with Jimin's circle and his loyalty most likely still lay with them.

"I-I.. it's just Potions." Taehyung said reluctantly, giving in. Jeongguk could probably already tell anyway. “I don't.. I don't understand like three quarters of the content, no matter how hard I try or how many times I reread it."

Taehyung looked down, his hands still protectively and tightly wrapped around his own waist. He could feel his cheeks flaming again. He hated feeling this vulnerable and useless. He looked over to Jeongguk; there was still a fair distance between them but he could see the other's face so clearly. In a way Taehyung was surprised that he wasn't laughing at him. Actually, he showed no signs of mockery or amusement, he looked almost thoughtful.

"I could teach you." Jeongguk said quietly, nonchalantly, shrugging.

Taehyung's confused eyes widened, meeting Jeongguk's chocolate ones "W-what?"

"I'll teach you. Here." Jeongguk repeated. Taehyung's eyes were drawn to the way he was chewing on his bottom lip almost nervously. It was unusual to see Jeongguk nervous. "Nobody needs to know.. if-if that's what you're worried about. Nobody will see us."

"You'd do that?" Taehyung swallowed, he really didn't understand Jeongguk at all; since they'd become partners his personality had done a complete turn. He was almost like a completely different person. Taehyung suddenly remembered a few days ago in the Potions class when Jeongguk had written his essay for him. Why exactly had he done that? How had he known that Taehyung would forget about the essay? He shook his head, biting the inside of his cheek slightly as he began to pace. He had to get answers. “Why, Jeongguk? Why now? Is it some sort of joke? Am I charity work?"

Jeongguk shook his head lightly "Didn't you read the notes?"

Taehyung paused before shaking his head. His eyes flashed confusion but he was intrigued now. His eyes moved to the tiny pieces of paper which he'd forgotten he'd been clutching and he looked up at Jeongguk again. Jeongguk nodded to them. With a deep inhalation of breath he opened he first note.

~did you know that you scrunch your glasses up your nose when you're concentrating? it's cute~

Taehyung felt a small smile spread across his lips and his pushed his thick glasses back up his nose. He only wore them occasionally when he knew he'd need to be reading for a while because he didn’t really like them- he’d always thought they were too big for his face. But for some reason Jeongguk's compliment had made him feel incredibly warm and tingly and he didn't understand. How could the Slytherin’s mere words have so much effect on him? He opened the second one.

~Look up, Tae, can I speak to you?~

Taehyung folded the two pieces of paper again and put them safely in his pocket “And what was it that you wanted to tell me?" He asked. He'd shuffled a little closer to Jeongguk by now, and he was standing within a few foot of him; close enough to easily sit in the chair beside him but without intruding in the other's private space too much.

"Well.. you see.. that's.." Jeongguk stopped and looked down sheepishly. Honestly, Taehyung had never seen him so unsure of himself and it was.. weird.

“God this is so hard." Jeongguk sighed, his head dropping and his hand moving to cover his face. Taehyung's heart dropped- he hadn't meant any harm, he hadn't realised it would be such a sensitive topic. He moved quickly to kneel beside his chair.

“Hey, hey it's okay." Taehyung said softly. His hand moved to slowly rub soothing circles into his back "Talk to me Gukkie."

Jeongguk flushed lighty, doing his best to avoid Taehyung's eyes "I..okay, just promise me you won't say anything until I'm finished."

Taehyung paused, unsure of what he was about to promise himself to. He couldn't lie, he was a little nervous but d it would get Jeongguk to talk he knew he’d have to agree. "Yeah, yeah of course, I can do that."

Jeongguk nodded to himself and drew in a deep breath before he started "We met that day, the first day, on the boat, I-I'm not sure if you remember. Even from that moment I could sense you were special, different, and not just in the way of intelligence- you were kind; you spoke to me and you offered me your sweets. You were a stranger yet you welcomed me so easily. I've always admired you for that, the way you are with people. And then when I was put in Slytherin I watched for you, I watched your face drop. And so I thought it best not to associate myself with you anymore. I couldn't have you corrupted by me and my.. life. I found new friends. Park Jimin unfortunately happened to be sat next to me and we became friends I guess you could say. Honestly, I thought you'd be a lot happier if you weren't associated with me so I did all I could to stop you approaching me. You see I have a kind of.. complicated family history which means that Jimin.." Jeongguk bit done on his lip to stop himself from talking. He sounded like he was about to break. His fingers were tightly intertwined in his lap and Taehyung could feel his shoulders tensing under his hand. Something in Taehyung was aching for Jeongguk, aching to just hold him in his arms and make him feel better and wipe away his tears. God, he'd had him all wrong.

"Well, that doesn't matter right now." Jeongguk continued meekly, his eyes flickering closed for a moment. "But when Slughorn partnered us in Potions it felt like a calling, like fate, like we were meant to find each other again and.. and.. what I think I'm trying to say is that I.. I like being around you Tae and that.. that I don't want to go back to.. what we were."

There were a few moments of complete silence where Taehyung looked at Jeongguk and Jeongguk looked at his hands. Taehyung's eyes held so much admiration yet so much concern for the poor boy. He exhaled and sat back on his heels, his hand falling away from Jeongguk's back, just trying to take in everything he'd just heard. If Taehyung was being honest with himself, he'd thought about that day a lot, actually he thought about Jeongguk a lot, but he'd never really understood why. But every time he encountered Jeongguk he just felt himself being drawn in more and more and something about that made him incredibly nervous.

"I don't either, Gukkie." Taehyung whispered slowly, and he looked up to the raven haired boy in the chair next to him. To his surprise he could see that Jeongguk's eyes had filled with tears, a few stray ones had already slipped down his cheeks and left damp streaks.

Taehyung swallowed, his heart clenching for the beautiful boy in front of him. "Hey, hey, don't cry. It'll make your eyes all puffy." He whispered and Jeongguk laughed a little at that. Without thought, Taehyung's thumb moved to wipe the dampness from under Jeongguk's eyes and suddenly their faces were within a few inches of each other. Taehyung shivered; he hadn't realised how close they'd gotten but it definitely wasn't healthy for his heart.

Taehyung's breath hitched as he felt Jeongguk responding by inching towards him. His heart was pounding so hard he was sure it could burst out of his chest any moment. He was sure Jeongguk could hear it. If he was honest with himself, he’d probably had thoughts about this a few times before but he’d never actually imagined it happening. But weirdly, being this close to him felt so right.

"Thank you.. for talking to me, Gukkie, I.. I know how hard it must be.. for you.." Taehyung continued, his voice shaky and hesitant and barely above a whisper "So I guess it's my turn to talk right?"

"You don't have to.." Jeongguk offered, their eyes looking directly into the others. "Just be here with me, that's enough."

Taehyung drew in another shaky breath "Gukkie, if you keep saying things like that, I think my heart is going to give out."

Jeongguk let out a small breath, evidently nervous, but his hands reached for Taehyung's shaky palms and he smiled softly. With just a light tug, Jeongguk placed Taehyung's hands slowly on his chest, just over his heart. "Mine's crazy too." Jeongguk whispered, surely referencing his own pounding heart. Taehyung smiled again slightly, feeling a little more reassured. He'd never seen Jeongguk this gentle with anyone and honestly he was a little taken aback, but he liked this side of him. A lot.

Taehyung soon found himself admiring how well Jeongguk’s robes fit him. They seemed to dip in just the right places to show just the outline of his toned body. Just thinking about it triggered inappropriate thoughts in Taehyung’s mind, god how he wished he could see what he looked like without the robes. He shook his head, trying to shake the thoughts away. Honestly, he'd never truly noticed how striking Jeongguk was before, too blinded by the prejudice of him being friends with Jimin he guessed, but being so close to him like this, his hands placed firmly on his chest, dim light highlighting his glowy skin, Taehyung was sure Jeongguk must have been sculpted by the gods and it was starting to drive him insane.

With a sudden start, Taehyung realised he'd been just staring at Jeongguk for a weirdly long period of time and his cheeks began to flush to a pretty pink shade as he averted his eyes away from Jeongguk’s chest. But surprisingly Jeongguk hadn't seemed to notice yet,  his eyes instead trained on Taehyung's lower lip. Taehyung swallowed; he could feel his heart racing, threatening to implode under the incredible and tangible tension in the room.

"Jeongguk, I.. I.." Taehyung started but he was silenced by Jeongguk placing his hand lightly over Taehyung's mouth.

"Don't speak." Jeongguk pleaded quietly, slowly taking Taehyung's hands in his and wrapping them around his neck. He paused for a moment, his eyes roaming the plains of Taehyung's face before trailing again to his lips. “Please Tae, just kiss me."

Taehyung gasped slightly as Jeongguk's hands slipped to his waist. Taehyung’s eyes flickered to Jeongguk’s lips and he smiled, reaching to grab a hold of Jeongguk's green robe. Slowly, Taehyung pulled Jeongguk towards him their noses bumping softly and their lips finally, finally touching. He sighed against Jeongguk's lips, content, relieved that it hadn’t all been in his head. Jeongguk seemed to be kissing him in return and it was soft, so soft and so so easy to get lost in.

Taehyung, desperate to be closer to Jeongguk, inched his body forward until their chests were pressed together. Being this close he could feel how rapidly both of their hearts were beating but it felt right, so right, like it was something he'd been holding back for years, something that he hadn't known he'd needed but he knew now that he wouldn't be able to give it up.

Taehyung bit down softly on Jeongguk's bottom lip, eliciting a low groan from him. Taehyung's thumb quickly went up to caress and soothe the small wound. He could feel Jeongguk's tongue lightly flicking against the pad of his thumb, caressing it and Taehyung giggled softly to himself. He liked this side of Jeongguk. He lifted his abdomen up slightly and slid himself into the Slytherins lap, his hands moving to wind tighter behind Jeongguk's neck and into his raven hair.

"Fuck." Jeongguk seemed to whisper in Taehyung's ear as he pulled away, breathless. It sent some sort of hot shiver down Taehyung's spine to every inch of his body. This was new, he felt electric, he’d never felt like this with anyone. Taehyung smirked, proud to have gotten a reaction out of Jeongguk. Jeongguk’s lips turned slightly upward and he pulled Taehyung in again for another sweet kiss. And damn was he good at it. Jeongguk smiled again, breathing out a shaky breath as his free hand roamed slowly down Taehyung's clothed chest to eventually settle on his upper thigh.

Taehyung hummed, his hands gripping Jeongguk’s hair tightly. He could feel himself getting incredibly hot and incredibly turned on. It would be so easy to just let Jeongguk have his way with him right here right now, god he wish he could, but he knew they shouldn't, not in public, not when they hadn't even talked about what just happened. God, Taehyung wished he wasn't such a logical thinker; he wished he didn't care about consequences. But he knew he wouldn't forgive himself if he got either of them in any trouble for this.

Reluctantly, Taehyung leaned back, breaking their deep kiss. He pressed their foreheads together. "Not here, Gukkie, we can't. Someone will hear us." He whispered.

"So we're keeping this a secret?" Jeongguk whispered in return but it sounded almost like a whine.

"That depends what 'this' is Gukkie."

Jeongguk’s eyes seemed to be searching Taehyung’s face for some sort of answer. Taehyung pressed a short bit sweet kiss to Jeongguk’s lips in reply. A sort of unspoken confirmation he hoped. “It's.. something new. It's something with potential. It's.. something we don't have to define right now if you don’t want to, Tae.”

Taehyung nodded. He didn’t know whether that was the answer he wanted or not. Honestly, he didn’t know what he wanted. He mind flickered to Namjoon and Hoseok and Yoongi and the way they'd reacted when he'd told them he'd hung out with Jeongguk. He didn't even want to imagine what they'd say if they found out they were.. well, kissing in the Restricted Section in broad daylight. Maybe it would be best to keep it on the down low for a while, assuming there would be a next time to keep on the down low that was.

Taehyung nodded at Jeongguk but his eyes still held a little evidence of his anxiousness “But I'll see you again, right?”

"I still need to teach you the entire Potions syllabus don't I?" Jeongguk smiled the sweetest little smile and Taehyung melted all over again. He didn’t know why he’d ever doubted him. Jeongguk brushed a piece of hair out of Taehyung's eyes and it was so gentle and so sweet that Taehyung could feel himself tear up a little. How he’d thought this beautiful boy was anything but a sweetheart -albeit a cocky one at times he’d have to agree- he just didn’t know.

"You really meant that?" Taehyung bit back his smile. His hand slowly moved to cup Jeongguk’s cheek. He couldn’t believe how soft this boy was underneath his tough facade.

"Of course I did, Taehyung. I know we haven’t exactly been close in the past. I was stupid, I know that now, but I'm here for you from now and I want to know everything.” Jeongguk placed his hand on top of Taehyung’s hand which was on his cheek. “Besides, it’ll make studying so much more interesting.” He winked and Taehyung shook his head fondly at him.

“I mean.. I’m sure I could sneak you into my bedroom.” Jeongguk continued, his cocky side starting to come back out and his hand starting to find its way back to Taehyung’s thigh.

Taehyung swallowed, trying not to pay too much attention to Jeongguk’s wandering hands as he raised his eyebrows at him “Don’t you have room mates?”

Jeongguk shook his head “Perks of being friends with Jimin.” He said, his fingers slowly starting to trace patterns onto Taehyung’s thigh. The corners of his lips slowly started to turn up into a smirk. “Oh, and the password is Serpensortia. You’ll need it.”