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Remember to Be Kind

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“You left your books again, Jimin?! This is the third time this week!” His friends said, calling out to him as he ran back towards the stairs leading outside.

“I’ll be back soon! Save me a seat at the table!” Fifth year Gryffindor student Park Jimin shouted over his shoulder, waving his hand as he took the steps three at a time. His robes billowed in the wind, trailing behind him as he set out across the grounds.

The lake was quiet and peaceful in the late afternoon, although it felt a little strange to be out there alone. The slowly setting sun mirrored its own journey against the water, casting a soft orange glow over everything.

Against the sound of the water lapping against the shore, Jimin hummed softly to himself as he jogged back over to the lone tree on the hill, slowing to a walk as he approached. Slightly out of breath, he walked around to the other side of the tree, eyes focused on the ground. When he spotted the textbook he’d left propped up against the oak, he bent down.

“There you are,” he muttered to himself, patting dirt off the cover.

The sun was warm against his back and the breeze that picked up blew his hair back, cooling the sweat the prickled on his forehead. The sounds of the other students faded off in the distance, as they all filed slowly back into the castle for dinner. It felt just like the end to any other day.

But then it happened. The catalyst to all that happened afterwards.

Because the very moment Jimin stood back up, a splash in the lake caught his attention. He glanced over, and was immediately enthralled.

There was a fully clothed boy in the lake, bobbing up and down in the now choppy waves. The telltale soapy glimmer of a Bubble-Head Charm popped out of existence as the boy smoothed wet black hair back against his scalp. He took in a gasp of fresh air, letting the water drip down his neck.

He swam carefully back toward the shore, holding his right hand in a fist above the water. A curling tentacle from the depths of the lake eventually helped him along, lifting him up the collar of his wet uniform and depositing him back onto the shore before slipping quietly back under the waves.

Jimin felt very much like a voyeur, peering out from the shade of the lone oak tree on the hill. And yet he couldn’t look away, not when the boy’s wet shirt clung to his figure, almost translucent enough to see the skin underneath.

And as the boy clambered to his feet, opening his palm to reveal a ring that he held up to the fading sunlight to examine, Jimin finally got a good look at his face.

Oh, Jimin thought blankly as the wind rustled through the trees, ruffling his hair as it passed.

I know that boy.

That was Min Yoongi.

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

He wasn’t exactly Yoongi’s friend. Quite the opposite, really. Although they shared Potions class together, they’d never really interacted other than That-Which-Had-Happened in their first year, which had, up until that point, colored Jimin’s opinion of the other boy very unfavorably.

And yet for as much as he wanted to forget all about what he’d seen, he couldn’t help but to replay it over and over in his mind as he walked back to the Great Hall, textbook gripped tightly in his suddenly sweaty palms.

Why had Yoongi been out there in the lake? And what was that about the ring?

It was a burning question that distracted him all day, one that made him pay no attention to where he was going until he’d mistakenly found himself in front of the Ravenclaw common room instead of his own.

He spent the whole night with his arms folded under his head, staring up at the canopy of his bed with a puzzled frown.

Thankfully, Jimin didn’t have to wait long for an answer.

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

The very next day, an unmarked parcel containing one gold ring dropped into third year student Wendy’s lap.

The girl shrieked upon unwrapping the gift, so loudly that it drew everyone’s attention. Every student and even the professors were turning in their seats, staring bemusedly at the Ravenclaw student as she clutched it tightly to her chest, stamping her legs excitedly as if she were a child.

“What’s going on?” Came the whispers, from up and down each of the four house tables.

“What’s she shouting about?”

Although most people were staring in Wendy’s direction, like owls with their heads on a pivot, Jimin whipped the other direction to look over at the Slytherins instead, eyeing the only person who seemed to be completely unaffected by the noise coming from the Ravenclaw table.

Yoongi didn’t react at all. Instead, he sat there studiously reading his textbook at the lone end of the Slytherin table, wearing that same sour expression on his face as he’d had when Jimin had first met him, all those years ago.

And yet all that flashed in Jimin’s mind was the way Yoongi had looked when he’d taken that first breath of air - dewy and fair-skinned, still dripping wet with water, condensation beading up on the bow of those very same scowling lips.

“Something the matter?” One of his best mates asked curiously, breaking through the solid wall of Jimin’s thoughts to pass him a basket of biscuits.

“It’s nothing, Namjoon,” Jimin muttered, reluctantly turning back to face forward.

And it really was, wasn’t it?

Yoongi obviously liked the third year, which was why he’d given her a ring (although whatever it was about her that was special, Jimin had no idea). Simple as that.

And yet something about it still nagged at him for the rest of the day, and the next day afterward. There was just something strange about the whole thing. He just couldn’t quite put his finger on it yet.

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

To understand That-Which-Had-Happened and That-Which-Was-To-Happen, you’d have to understand first that Park Jimin hadn’t come from a prominent wizarding family. No, in fact his parents were hardworking muggles stuck firmly in the middle class.

He’d no idea what life would be like in the ‘Wizarding World’, having only read about witches and wizards in the books his parents had read to him as a child.

Everything had been new and exciting, from the ash wand he picked up for the first time at Ollivander’s, to the fire that came out of his mouth the first time he’d eaten a Pepper Imp. And then, of course, there was Hogwarts.

When he’d stepped into the castle for the very first time, he was wide eyed with wonder - filled with the naive innocence only a muggleborn could have. There were whispers of excitement filtering in through the crowd, all this talk about sorting and hats and houses, but Jimin barely heard a thing. He walked with a slackened jaw through the Great Hall for the first time, looking up to see the floating candles and the enchanted ceiling that showed a starry night sky.

Like most things back then, the divide between the Hogwarts houses had been completely lost on his eleven year old self. He didn’t know what it really meant to be a Slyther-whatsit or a Huffle-who, only that the bright grins and the whooping cheers of his new housemates filled him with a giddy joy as the hat on his head announced loudly - GRYFFINDOR!

He remained equally as starstruck for the rest of the ceremony, eyes widening comically when the headmaster’s speech ended and the towering mountains of food appeared before them in the blink of an eye. By the time the feast was over, belly full and mind buzzing, he’d followed the rest of his new house back towards the common rooms. The warning he barely heeded from the Headboy to ‘keep up, keep up’ went in one ear and out the other as he trailed slowly behind the group, eyes wandering as he tried to follow the ghostly figures weaving in and out of the dusty chandeliers.

It was only when he felt a cold draft that he looked down to realize that he was the only one left in the hall.

In his flustered dash to rejoin the rest of his house, he turned the corner quickly - only to run straight into another boy.

They both fell back onto the floor. Jimin shook the stars out of his eyes first, getting up and dusting his pants off before walking over to the other boy who remained seated on the floor, grimacing with a hand on his head.

“I’m sorry about that, my parents say I’m a bit absent minded at times,” he said, sticking out his hand to help the other boy onto his feet. “My name is Park Jimin, what’s yours?”

Jimin found himself on the receiving end of a frosty glare that had the smile on his own face fading. The boy, black haired and sullen, sneered up at him with reddened and watery eyes. As if Jimin was nothing but a bother.

He smacked Jimin’s hand out of the way, standing up without any help.

Jimin’s young heart had ached, stung by the rejection of his peer.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to offend you, I just -“

Jimin found himself silenced again when the other boy pushed him out of the way, not bothering to look back as he rounded the corner Jimin had just come from.

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

Jimin didn’t learn his name until their third year.

Even though they’d shared the same Sorting Ceremony, they’d barely crossed paths since.

In stark contrast to Jimin who quickly built up a circle of close friends, the other boy always seemed to be alone.

This was all to say that by the time he was fourteen, he’d practically forgotten that the other boy even existed.

It wasn’t until one day, in a strange mirror of their first meeting, that the boy had very nearly ran into them as he and his friends walked down the corridors to their next class.

Just like he had before, the boy had scowled fiercely at them, muttering curses under his breath as he brushed roughly past them.

“Well, good to see that Yoongi’s still an arsehole,” Hufflepuff student Hoseok said with a roll of his eyes.

“Yoongi?” Jimin parroted, looking over his shoulder with a frown to stare at the boy’s back.

“Yeah, Yoongi. Slytherin in every way. A pure blooded bastard - with no manners!” Hoseok said. The other boys quickly nodded, each having apparently formed the same opinion of the boy as Hoseok.

“You know, I hear he’s a genius,” the only other Hufflepuff in their group, Taehyung, tacked on with a mumble. “Rumor has it that he mastered wandless magic when he was only eight.”

“Hah! I’ll believe that when I see it,” Hoseok snorted. “If I were him, I’d be more concerned about learning how to hold a conversation. He’s certainly not going anywhere in life with that type of attitude.”

At the time Jimin had readily agreed. It even pleased him to know that he wasn’t the only one who felt that way about the other boy. So he’d laughed, and nodded along, and thought nothing more about Min Yoongi for the next two years.

 

 

-

 

 

Several weeks after the ring incident, and absolutely nothing of interest had happened.

The only thing that was on most of the student’s minds were the first exams of the year, which was why all the members of Jimin’s ragtag group were huddled up together in the library, pouring over textbooks and scribbling notes down on parchment.

Besides Jimin, there were two other Gryffindors seated at the table. No one could forget Jungkook. Handsome and effortlessly charming, he was the poster child of their house who, since the very first day he’d been sorted, had seen no end to the number of times he’d been shyly confessed to by another girl in his year. Then there was Namjoon, another Gryffindor. He was a year older, an excellent Keeper with a spotless record, and a surprisingly studious student for someone with such an athletic build.

There were two Hufflepuffs in their group: Hoseok, who you could always find just by following the sound of loud, boisterous voice - and Taehyung, who was, in stark contrast to his fellow housemate, very quiet. And very strange. He kept his pet toads in his pocket. How they survived in there, no one knew.

They only had one Ravenclaw friend, the always flustered teacher’s pet Jin, who, if not constantly nagging them to study, was always worried about something.

“Oh for the love of Christ, how am I supposed to finish my muggle studies essay if I can’t find my damn quill?” Jin grumbled, digging through his bag. He gave up quickly, throwing his hands up in defeat and turning to the boy seated next to him.

“Taehyung, could I borrow one of your quills?”

“For a Head Boy you’d think you’d keep better track of where you put your things,” Taehyung added cheekily, although he relented and handed over one of his extra quills.

“Well, as a Head Boy I’ve got more important things to worry about,” Jin huffed, snatching the quill out of Taehyung’s fingers, “...unlike you. How’s that chocolate frog card collection of yours coming along?”

“Quite well, thank you,” said Taehyung without pause.

On the other side of the table, Namjoon looked up from his textbook.

“You know, we do have our Hogsmeade trip coming up this weekend,” he added helpfully, “we could always stop by Scrivenshaft’s if you need more quills.”

Jin hummed, crinkling his nose in quiet consideration.

“Speaking of,” Hoseok interrupted, leaning forward to leer over at Jungkook, “seems like our resident golden boy will be too busy to join us. I have it on good authority that he has a date… at Madam Puddifoot’s!

The table of boys erupted in howling laughter and loud whistles, turning Jungkook’s face a bright red. The noise attracted Madam Pince, who quickly rounded the corner like a viper to silence them.

“Gentlemen, this is a library, not a place for gossip!” The librarian hissed, glaring down murderously at them over her beak-like nose. They squirmed uncomfortably in their seats, sheepishly apologizing and averting their gazes.

When they’d all obediently bent their heads back down over their textbooks and scrolls, Madam Pince narrowed her eyes, giving them one last hard look before turning away with a sniff to menace another group of misbehaving students.

“It’s not a date,” Jungkook hissed, as soon as the coast was clear, “Yoona was just hoping to get some help on her Charms homework.”

“At Madam Puddifoot’s? What mentally capable man goes to that hellscape to do homework?” Namjoon whispered, closing his Arithmancy book and giving up all pretense of studying.

“No, no, you are missing the more important detail here - how on earth did Jungkook get seventh year Yoona to go on a date with him?” Jin hissed, giving in to the draw of gossip despite his best attempts to appear above it all.

“What do you mean! He’s the most eligible bachelor in our entire year…”

“Have you forgotten the fact that Yoona has never been interested in anyone before? Not even when that Durmstrang exchange student who everyone else was mooning over last year was head over heels in love with her?”

“Well, I suppose that’s true, but…”

The group burst into another furious round of whispers. They only quieted down when Jimin, the only one at the table who hadn’t said a word in the past hour, finally spoke up.

“Oh, that reminds me,” Jimin asked, with a troubled expression on his face, “is that third year Wendy going out with anyone?”

The boys looked at each other curiously, not sure how to answer the question that seemed to come completely out of nowhere.

Hoseok took the dive first, leaning slowly forward to peer over at Jimin.

“Wendy Son?” He asked, frowning when the other boy nodded. “I don’t believe so? ...why did you want to know?”

“You’re not seriously interested in a dating a third year, are you?” Jungkook added quickly, voicing the question everyone else had been thinking.

“No, no, no,” Jimin said, shaking his head quickly. “I was just - just curious - because of what happened at breakfast the other day.”

“You mean when she lost her mind over a ring?” Taehyung said with a husky laugh.

“Right, I just don’t know who else would have sent her that kind of gift unless they were interested in her romantically,” Jimin mumbled, quickly covering up his tracks.

“It really was strange, wasn’t it?” Jin agreed, tapping the feathered tip of his borrowed quill against his chin. “She seemed much too excited for what it was. It wasn’t even enchanted, from what I could tell.”

“I think it was hers to begin with. Don’t you remember last week, when she made that huge fuss about dropping some piece of jewelry in the lake?” Namjoon pointed out, making Hoseok snap his fingers across the table in recognition.

“Right, I remember that!” He said. “She practically threw a tantrum about it - said it’d been her grandmother’s, or something silly like that.”

“Are you telling me that someone actually dove into the lake to get that ring for her?” Jin asked in an incredulous tone.

“Why else do you think she was so excited about it? I could hear her shrieking about it from our table!” Hoseok responded.

“Well, in that case, Jimin’s right,” said Taehyung, “she must have a very devoted boyfriend if they went out of their way to do that sort of thing.”

“I wouldn’t do it,” Hoseok said, shaking his head resolutely as he folded his arms over his chest, “Not even if Yoona begged me to do it.”

“You liar, you’d bend over backwards for her if she even looked your way!” Jungkook bit back, taking revenge for Hoseok’s previous comments.

Tables flipped, the tips of Hoseok’s ears turned quickly red, and the other boy folded his arms and looked away.

“I wouldn’t!” “You would!” “Oh, shut up!” “You started it!” “Guys…”

As the group’s volume began to rise again, making Madam Pince poke her head out from between the aisles to glare at them again, Jimin tuned out the rest of the conversation, sinking back slowly into his chair with a troubled hum.

Perhaps he should have let it go, having had his own conclusion reflected back to him by his friends - but Jimin did nothing but brood over it instead.

 

 

-

 

 

It was just a little bit chilly, that weekend in Hogsmeade. It had rained earlier that day, forming large muddy puddles of water that the Hogwarts students splashed through on their merry way there.

Jimin and his friends went about their usual schedule - first a trip to Honeydukes, to refill Taehyung’s unusual collection of chocolate frogs, then to Spintwitches to ogle over the newest line of brooms. They were boys, after all. They sat down for a butter beer or two or three at the Three Broomsticks before slowly making their way over to Scrivenshaft’s — only after, of course, an absolutely necessary pit stop to make faces at Jungkook through the embellished frou frou drapes of Madam Puddifoot’s pink windows.

When they finally arrived at the dusty door of the quill and parchment shop an hour later, they stepped inside into a shop that smelled overwhelmingly like wet wood and aged paper.

The group quickly dispersed into the aisles. Jin and Namjoon stood shoulder to shoulder as the two eldest mulled over which set of new quills to purchase. The rest - Jimin, Hoseok and Taehyung - were left to their own devices, wandering aimlessly around.

It was not much warmer on the inside of the shop as it was outside, and Jimin found himself shivering, wrapping his scarf just a little tighter around his neck as he rounded down the end of one aisle and stepped down another. Knowing just how picky Jin was and how much time it would probably take the other boy to make his choice, Jimin took his time. He skimmed his fingers over row after row of brightly colored parchment, watching the way the paper fluttered underneath his fingertips. It reminded him of the little notes they used to pass each other in class, crudely formed paper frogs and birds that would hop or fly along quietly until they reached their recipient. Jimin cracked a small smile.

By the time he’d finish perusing every single type of parchment that the store carried, it was five minutes later. Jimin found himself standing listlessly by the window, watching as students and villagers alike walked past, the sounds of their conversation silenced to a dim whisper by the weak Muffliato charm cast over the shop.

Jimin recognized more than a few of his classmates, bending their heads toward each other as they passed by the shop, whispering gossip to each other and throwing their heads back in joyous laughter.

There were also third years running about, easily distinguishable by the armfuls of sugar quills and fizzing whizzbees they carried and the excitement written clearly all over their faces - this was the first Hogsmeade trip of the year, after all, and also the first time the third years had ever been allowed to go.

Jimin slipped his hands into his pockets, rocking back on his heels as he lazily watched them all pass by the window. Just as his mind began to drift off into daydreams though, he found his gaze snapping to a familiar face - Wendy was slowly making her way across the street with a gaggle of her friends. She was beaming from ear to ear, giggling at something her friends said as she tucked a lock of hair behind her ear. A ring was on her finger, but Jimin couldn’t tell whether or not it was the same one he’d seen Yoongi picking out of the lake.

And just as the age old adage goes - ‘speak of the devil and he should appear’ - to Jimin’s great shock Yoongi was making his way out of Dervish and Banges at the very same moment. Closing the door firmly behind him, the slytherin stepped down from the stoop, walking briskly toward Jimin’s left - and headed directly into the incoming path of Wendy and her friends.

Jimin held his breath, leaning so far forward that he was stretched onto his tiptoes. He placed his hands on the dusty windowsill so that he could crane his neck to see out the window, puffing hot breaths of white fog onto the cold glass.

Come on, come on, Jimin thought to himself, waiting with a strange and nervous anticipation for Yoongi to look up, or for him to hear Wendy’s loud laughter. Something.

And yet he would only be disappointed.

The slytherin never looked up as he passed by. Never even looked in her general direction. It didn’t seem like he even recognized her. Like two ships passing in the night.

Flabbergasted, Jimin couldn’t help but gape openly, digging his fingers into the windowsill as he tried to follow Yoongi’s figure down the cobblestone road.

When the slytherin disappeared out of view, Jimin found himself slowly backing away from the window as if compelled by an Imperius Curse that the other boy had cast on him. Dry-mouthed and blank-faced, he made his way wordlessly to the entrance. He bumped into Taehyung along the way, practically flattening the other boy against the shelves in his hurry.

“Oi, Jin hasn’t bought his quills yet!” Taehyung shouted as Jimin flung open the door. Hearing the commotion, Jin and Namjoon poked their heads out from the shelves.

“Where are you going?” Someone called out to him.

“Something, uh, something came up,” Jimin said numbly, his fingers still gripping the doorknob tightly. “I’ll see you guys back at school, alright?”

Without bothering to wait for his friends to respond, he shut the door, jogging toward the looming castle in the distance in pursuit of a slowly retreating figure.

 

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

 

Kibum “Key” Kim had been hiding the fact that he liked men for three years now. Ever since he’d ‘fraternized’ with another boy behind the bleachers during a Ravenclaw-Gryffindor quidditch game, he’d been both elated and terrifed at the revelation that he was gay.

Although he’d come to accept that fact about himself, what he had worried endlessly about was what would happen if his housemates found out. They’d make fun of him, he was sure of it, and he’d never be able to live it down. At least not during his seventh year, not when he’d worked so hard over the years to become well respected by his peers.

All this was to say that he was very sensitive to the teasing words of his peers, more so than most boys his age. Unlike them, he had something to hide.

“Ahhh!” Key shrieked, in a high-pitched voice, as he tripped and fell flailing forward into a deep puddle of mud. It splattered fantastically all over his clothes, covering his robe and his previously white button-up shirt with a thick, goopy brown. He looked down at his clothes in dismay, only to freeze when he heard the snickers.

“I’ve never heard you sound like that before,” one of his friends crowed, holding his side as he shook with silent laughter.

“You sound like a girl, mate!” Said another one of his friends, joining in the laughter that grew louder and louder.

Key’s face burned a bright red.

“I - I did not,” he stuttered, struggling to his feet. As quick as he could, he pulled his wand out from his pocket, trying and failing in his flustered state to successfully cast a cleaning charm on himself. The words were like lead in his mouth, and the magic sputtered and fizzled as he continued to stutter his every attempt at casting it. It only made his friends laugh even harder, and the redness on his cheeks grew.

Just as he began to feel humiliated tears welling up in his eyes, he felt the telltale tingle of a cleaning charm wrap around him, wiping the mud off of his face and off of his clothes, leaving them spotless once again.

Looking around at the faces of his friends to see who had helped him, he noticed that they were frozen, staring behind him at something. He whirled around, only to come face to face with a Slytherin he didn’t recognize.

“I hadn’t realized you hadn’t passed second year Charms,” the boy said snootily, folding his arms over his chest. “If I had known, I might not have pushed you.”

“...you pushed me?” Key asked, as the confusion began to fade away into anger.

“Well some people do have places to be, you know,” the little shit had the audacity to sneer. “Next time hurry up, won’t you?”

“Fuck you,” Key bit back, this time supported by his friends who had just as quickly flipped from making of fun of him to cheering him on.

The slytherin boy looked completely nonplussed by his show of bravado though.

“Are you just about finished?” The boy said, quirking an arrogant eyebrow.

Key reached out, shoving the boy backward as hard as he could. The slytherin fell into the puddle, splattering his uniform with as much if not more mud as had been on Key’s.

Key’s chest swelled, and he puffed it out like a big bird, trying to tower as much as he could over the fallen boy.

“Finished,” Key said coolly, before spinning on his heel and walking away. He was followed closely by his friends, who were once again singing his praise.

Other than to seethe over the indignity of it all for another minute, he spared no other thought on the slytherin who still sat there shivering on the ground, covered head to toe in mud.

 

 

-

 

 

After what felt like ages, Yoongi finally got up with a sigh, wiping the mud out of his eyes as best as he could. He took out his wand, casting a few cleaning charms on himself to get rid of most of the mess. After it became clear that there was nothing more he could do, he tucked his wand back into his pocket.

Suppressing a shiver, he wrapped his still somewhat damp robe tightly around his body, taking a step forward to continue his trek back to the castle - but then he paused.

Something didn’t feel right.

He turned around, looking behind him with a frown.

Yoongi wasn’t sure what he’d been anticipating, because there was nothing to see. Other than a small group of students trailing a couple hundred yards behind him, all there was to see were the large and barren trees of the forbidden forest, lining the dirt road.

He stared for a second longer before blinking and shaking his head, dismissing the strange feeling he’d felt.

Must have been nothing, he thought to himself, as he started to walk back toward the castle. This time, he didn’t look back.

 

 

-

 

 

Jimin’s heart was leaping out of his chest. A bead of sweat rolled down his forehead as he kept himself pressed as close as he could to the thick bark of the tree he’d been hiding behind.

And as he stared blankly in front of him, his body still frozen with the pounding adrenaline of almost getting caught, his mind raced.

Yoongi hadn’t pushed the other boy, Jimin thought to himself. Yoongi hadn’t been anywhere near him.

And yet he’d said he had.

There it was again. Another strangely altruistic occurrence, seemingly witnessed by nobody other than himself. One that made the realization slowly dawn on him, as he stood there frozen in the shadow of that tree.

Yoongi hadn’t done it for the praise, or the love, or any other type of reward. He’d done it solely because he’d wanted to.

 

That night, as if in a daze, Jimin sat down and wrote a letter.

Chapter Text

It was funny, really, how often things that were on the top of one’s mind could come up in conversation. Either there was a greater force at work here, or perhaps he’d simply never noticed until it became something of interest. Or, in this case, some one.

“Now, this is a murtlap. This little creature might seem frightening to behold but you may be surprised to know how charming they can be if you just give them the right care and attention…”

The professor of Care of Magical Creatures, a hapless looking man with glasses too large for his face, tried his very best to capture his students’ attention with what he hoped was a rousing demonstration of the proper murtlap grooming technique. Unfortunately for him, most of the students in the pen weren’t even looking in his direction, instead huddled in small groups over the rat-like creatures that they held cupped in their hands.

“Merlin, he wasn’t joking when he said these things were ugly,” Hoseok said with a grimace, holding onto the scruff of his murtlap with two pinched fingers as far away from himself as he could.

“I don’t know. Don’t you think mine sort of looks like someone we know...?” Taehyung asked, trailing off as he gave his friend a pointed, teasing look.

Jungkook snickered silently, shoulders shaking as Hoseok growled under his breath.

“Shut up, Taehyung. I saw that Ravenclaw girl hurl that Bat-Bogey hex at you in dueling club last week. You didn’t look that great either, with bats flying out of your nose.”

“Ah, Joy? She’s a great dueling partner,” Taehyung said without skipping a beat, stroking the fleshy curls of skin on the back of his murtlap as it purred under his touch. “Probably not as good of a dueler as Daniel Kang, but then again who is?”

“I hear Min Yoongi’s even better than Daniel,” a female voice chimed in from somewhere in between them, startling the group of boys half out of their wits. Somehow, fifth year Slytherin Krystal had snuck her way into their circle when they weren’t paying attention.

“Merlin’s beard, where did you come from?” Hoseok said, holding his murtlap even further away when it hissed angrily at him for nearly dropping it on the ground.

“I have had this same class with you for the past few weeks, you know. Although I guess us girls don’t exist in your world, do they?” Krystal said, sticking her tongue out cheekily while flirtatiously twirling a lock of hair with her finger. She fluttered her eyelashes, shyly making eye contact with Hoseok who smoothed his hair back with his free hand in an attempt to look cool.

Before he could say a word, though, Jimin stepped in between them, staring at Krystal as intently as if she’d offered food to a starving child.

“Min Yoongi’s a good dueler?” Jimin asked.

“Oh,” Krystal mumbled, slinking backward with a small pout, “well, it’s just a rumor really. Something I heard floating around the common room.”

“Anyway, you’ll never guess what my sister told me the other day,” she said, face lighting up again as she leaned toward Jungkook with a shit-eating grin on her face.

“She’s good friends with Yoona, and I guess the last time they talked, Yoona was just gushing about how you...”

Jimin leaned back as his friends leaned forward, quickly losing interest in the conversation as he stared absently down at the tiny murtlap in his hands. The ugly creature snuffled in his hands, preening under Jimin’s careful attention, rubbing its prickly head against Jimin’s gentle hand.

And as Jimin continued to rub the little creature behind its ears, his thoughts naturally wandered.

I wonder, he thought to himself, a small smile growing on his face.

I wonder if he got the letter yet?

 

-

 

Min Yoongi had always blamed his bad reputation on his family’s genes. His father, and his father’s father, and his father’s father’s father had all passed down the same bitch face from generation to generation. Which was probably why everyone in his family were Slytherins as well. Well, most of his family was, if you excluded crazy uncle Junsu who’d somehow been sorted into Hufflepuff in the strangest turn of events. But seeing as uncle Junsu was also prone to doing his yardwork stark naked, maybe that did make sense.

The rest of his father’s family were all Slytherins though - proudly pureblooded and completely inscrutable. His mother, on the other hand, had been entirely different.

Sometimes, Yoongi briefly entertained what it would have been like if he’d looked and acted outwardly more like his mother. If he always wore a soft smile on his face, would that have made the Sorting Hat more inclined to put him into a house like Gryffindor, or Hufflepuff? Would that have been better for him in the long run? Maybe he’d have formed deeper relationships with his peers. Friendships where you could talk about nothing at all, and yet still feel every word as soul deep and vulnerably transparent as he had always believed they would have been.

And yet, here he was. A slytherin as disliked by other students as he was by his own housemates, as invisible and easily ignorable as the faded portraits on the wall.

Well, that wasn’t entirely true. He had a friend, sort of. Everyone else was really just a stranger. He could feel a barrier there, a lonely distance between his heart and the ones of the other students - one that he could not hope to bridge as long as his own words remained stuck to the tip of his tongue, leaving him frustratingly tight-lipped in the face of their scrutiny.

Of course he wanted it. Had always wanted it. Happiness. Not just for himself, but for others as well. In that way, he was much more like his mother than his father.

It was a secret well kept, the fact that he found himself drawn to faces that lit up with joy, like a moth to the flame whenever he heard someone laugh.

It hurt him almost viscerally, to see others hurt.

Father had always told him that he felt too much - that his altruistic side would only hurt him in the long run - just like it had with mother. So he learned to hide under that mask. One that made him look entirely unmoved, when in reality, under the surface, he could barely hold onto all his plots and schemes. Small things that would make people happy. Things that would make their lives just a little better.

He wasn’t sure why he was so fixated on helping people who didn’t even know he existed. Maybe he was a little crazy, just like uncle Junsu. And yet, he couldn’t bring himself to stop. Not when there was still so much he could do.

He did it all in secret, of course. No one could know what he did behind closed doors - no one would understand, not when they already had that picture in their mind of who he was. There was no point in changing anyone’s expectations, and as long as he got to see the smiles that crept onto their faces - as long as he could warm himself with the knowledge that he’d done something good - that was reward enough.

But then he received something strange in the morning post.

 

-

 

//You are far kinder than you let others believe. Why do you let people believe otherwise?//

 

 

Yoongi’s hands were shaking and clammy as he read the same short line over and over again. His heart raced and his breath caught in his throat when he glanced up above the creased fold of the parchment paper in his hands to stare blindly into the crowd of students eating breakfast in the Great Hall.

His eyes darted between tired faces, looking for someone, anyone, who might have been staring back at him. But there were just too many people to focus on, and Yoongi found himself lost in his swirling thoughts.

An owl had dropped the note on Yoongi’s plate the moment he’d sat down, startling him so badly that he’d nearly fallen off the bench. He hadn’t recognized it as anyone’s owl, and its plain brown coloring that he’d only barely glimpsed would make it impossible to pinpoint which of the dozen brown owls in the Owlery had actually carried the message to him.

So he could only ask himself: What did the letter mean ?

For as smart as he thought himself to be, even he couldn’t figure out a reason for someone to send him this.

Maybe it’s a joke? Yoongi shook his head, scowl deepening as he gritted his teeth with displeasure. No. More likely a prank. Someone’s trying to play games with me.

The question was who? And why?

“What’s that?” A voice crept into his ear.

Yoongi started, looking over his shoulder to find Daniel Kang leaning over him with curiosity written all over his face. Blanching, Yoongi quickly tucked the letter into his robe, not wanting anyone else to read it until he’d figured it out for himself.

“It’s nothing,” he mumbled, looking away uncomfortably from his only friend’s burning stare.

Daniel stared expressionlessly at him for a long moment before shrugging and letting it go without a fuss, climbing over the bench to sit down beside Yoongi. As soon as he had sat down, a gaggle of first year girls passed by, greeting Daniel shyly and barely containing their high pitched giggles when Daniel greeted them warmly back with a winning smile.

Still troubled by his thoughts, Yoongi watched the entire interaction silently, blinking when the first years looked back and saw him staring back. They paled quickly as if they’d seen the Bloody Baron rising up from the middle of the table, huddling back up together as if to protect each other as they moved quickly away. Yoongi snorted, glancing back down at his plate of cold beans as the sneer grew on his face.

Typical, really. That Daniel could win the hearts of any girl with just a smile and a wink, while Yoongi’s own face could make all the plants in the greenhouse wilt.

With his good looks and cheerful personality, Daniel really should have been a Gryffindor. And yet here they were, sitting side by side at the Slytherin table.

They weren’t exactly friends (Yoongi couldn’t imagine himself having one, and Daniel was far too popular and far too kind for his own good), but Daniel was probably the closest thing to a friend he’d ever had. Yoongi wasn’t quite sure how that friendship had formed, but he was sure it had to do with Daniel’s pushy and outgoing personality. He was friends with absolutely everyone, and yet for some reason, every few days, he insisted on eating breakfast with Yoongi, engaging the quieter boy in conversation as if Yoongi had much interesting to say.

He didn’t, really.

So Daniel did most of the talking while Yoongi picked at his breakfast sausage with a fork, robotically nodding his head every now and then as his mind wandered back to the letter that was burning a metaphorical hole through his robe.

Had he let something slip to someone he’d talked to recently? But he’d barely talked to any one.

Except Daniel. Maybe it was Daniel? No, Daniel didn’t seem the type to play tricks.

Then who…?

“How about winter break? Did you have plans this year or were you going to stay in the castle again?”

Yoongi shrugged.

“I don’t know. Nothing special,” he said. “Father’s probably going to be too busy working to spend time with me, so I might just stay here again.”

“Well, you could always come over if you want. Mom always asks if you’re going to come over or…”

Yoongi reached out and took a croissant from one of the many baskets, tearing off a piece and chewing on it he thought long and hard about the letter he’d received. A few minutes passed like this, a slow drain on him as Daniel’s never-ending barrage of words went over his head. It wasn’t until two familiar students walked by that he actually paid attention, watching as they walked past with heads bowed together in a hushed discussion. He noticed the frowns on their faces almost immediately, unintentionally leaning to the side in order to eavesdrop on their conversation.

“Why don’t you tell her?” One was saying to the other in a hushed whisper.

Yoongi recognized them both as sixth year Hufflepuff students. Suho and Minseok. Friendly, and always polite. If a little bland.

“I can’t tell her,” Minseok muttered furiously back, wringing his hands and looking worriedly over his shoulder. “Dasom wouldn’t be interested in someone like me!”

“Really? Have you ever even tried to talk to her? I think if you did you’d find that she’d be more than willing to go out on a date with you.”

“Oh yeah, and how do you know that ?”

“I just know. Anyway, what’s the harm in trying?”

“I just… my tongue ties itself in knots every time she even looks in my direction.”

“Oh come on, Minseok, you -” “- Yoongi, are you even listening to me?”

Daniel had his arms folded over his chest, which was not a good sign.

Yoongi blinked once, and then twice, before glancing back down at his food.

“Oh, uh… yeah. Right. Sorry, you were saying?” Yoongi said.

And as Daniel began to talk again, Yoongi was filing away what he’d just heard into his little mental filing cabinet, pushing his worries temporarily aside to focus instead on the new scheme that was already beginning to unfold in his mind.

 

-

 

“Where’re you going now, Jimin?”

Jimin turned back for a moment, lifting a book above his head and waving it.

“I’m going to return a book. I’ll be back before you know it!”

“Hey, do you think you could return this while you’re at it?” Jungkook called out to him, reaching into his bag and tossing over a well-worn book that looked like it’d been read cover to cover many times.

Jimin caught it, turning it around in his hand to read the cover with furrowed eyebrows and a frown.

“Travels… with Trolls? Isn’t this a Lockhart book?” He asked, sending the group of boys into a fit of contagious laughter. That’s a girl’s book! They were practically shouting, slapping their knees and throwing back their heads.

“It’s not mine - it’s Yoona’s,” Jungkook mumbled in explanation, the tips of his ears turning a deep red. “She asked me to return it last week and I was going to use my Remembrall to remind me, but I couldn’t find it anywhere.”

“Isn’t the whole point of a Remembrall to remember where you’ve put things?”

“I know - the irony isn’t lost on me, Jin!”

Jimin shrugged, tucking both books under his arm as he turned back around.

“Alright, then I’ll be right back!” He reminded his friends, although it didn’t seem like they were listening anymore. They were too busy teasing a bashful looking Jungkook, making the Gryffindor fold in on himself with embarrassment. Jimini laughed to himself, still smiling as he rounded the corner and disappeared out of view.

 

-

 

When he got there, Madame Pince was too preoccupied with scolding a wincing first year about the mistreatment of one of her ‘precious books’ to spare him any time, so Jimin walked further into the library, determined to put the books back on the shelves himself.

He made his way over to the fiction section first, tucking Travels with Trolls away with the rest of the popular Lockhart series and chuckling when the image of a red-faced Jungkook popped back up in his mind.

The other book he had was one Professor Sprout had recommended him, a book on weed treatment that his mother had asked him to copy down a section of. Though she was a Muggle, she was always fascinated with all things magical, and ever since he’d brought her back a Bouncing Bulb in first year, she’d become increasingly invested in her little magical plant garden that she secretly had in their backyard.

Jimin followed the signs until he reached the Herbology section, stepping into the aisle and climbing onto the ladder that smoothly slid over to the shelf he was looking for. As he climbed his way up to the top, he found himself poking up over the top of the shelves, giving him a birds eye view of the rest of the library as he slid his borrowed book into the top shelf.

Before he stepped back down, though, he spotted a familiar face in the Potions section, quietly poring over a book.

Jimin stopped, and took a breath.

Stepping up to the very top of the ladder, as quietly and carefully as he could, Jimin leaned over to get a better view.

In many ways, Yoongi looked exactly the same as he usually did. Same impeccably neat uniform, black hair brushed in a very particular way that almost covered his eyes. And yet Jimin found himself just as strangely captivated with the sight as he had been that day at the lake.

The way the bridge of his nose met the curve of his lips, the slender hands carefully tracing every word on the page, there was just something… poetic about the way he noticed all the details he’d never had the opportunity to notice before.

And though Jimin was just a naive young man - though he was the kind of boy who liked to play quidditch and gobstones more than he liked to sit down and read a book - even he could understand that if he only stopped and paid attention, he would find that there was something about Yoongi that was special.

Apparently, he was the type to read aloud, Jimin realized, listening to Yoongi’s quiet mutters as he scanned the book for whatever he was looking for. For once, Yoongi didn’t look the least bit threatening. He wasn’t quite smiling, no, but he wasn’t frowning either, features smooth and untroubled in a way Jimin had never seen before.

Jimin, in his endless curiosity, wondered just what it was that Yoongi was reading that could make the boy look so enraptured, because his eyes lit up with a quiet kind of joy that made Jimin’s heart skip a beat.

It was only too bad, really, that Jimin could only see it from up here. It was frustrating to have such a limited view, leaving more things to imagination than he’d hoped.

Yoongi quietly put the book he’d been studying back onto the shelf, gently yanking the one next to it out instead. He treated the books with reverence, as if they were something to be treasured, always light with his touch and slow to turn each page.

When he cracked open the new tome he held in his hands, a cloud of dust was sent flying into the air making Yoongi sneeze once, twice, and then a third time. Yoongi looked dizzy by the end of his sneezing fit but he shook it off right away, scrunching up his nose and wiping it with the sleeve of his gown.

Jimin stifled the laugh that threatened to burst out of him. He couldn’t stifle the soft smile that crept onto his face though, and as a strange feeling of warmth began to fill his chest, Jimin leaned down to prop his head on his hand - only to miss it by a mile.

Losing his foothold on the ladder he was precariously perched on, he slid forward and promptly ate shit, faceplanting at thirty thousand kilometers per second into the sturdy wood frame of the shelves.

 

THUNK!

Yoongi looked up from his book with a frown.

He glanced behind him, but nothing seemed amiss.

That’s odd, he thought to himself as he turned back around, I could have sworn I heard something.

 

-

 

“What happened to your nose?” Jungkook asked Jimin, the next day on their usual Thursday afternoon jog over to the dungeons. They were late to Potions, but that was normal. It wasn’t their fault that their previous class had been all the way over on the other side of the grounds.

“Oh diz?” Jimin said nasally, pointing at the bandage Madame Pomfrey had carefully stuck onto it only after tut-tutting him for five minutes straight.

“Idz nuthing, really,” he said, quite unconvincingly. Jungkook gave a him a long sideways look in response, but said nothing more as they both stepped in through the door.

The Professor looked just as unamused about their tardiness as she always was, giving them a hard look before pushing her glasses back up her nose.

“Quickly take a seat, gentlemen,” she said, only turning back to the blackboard when they obediently stowed their belongings underneath the table and clambered up onto the tall stools.

While Jungkook was preoccupied with setting up his inkpot and pulling out parchment to take notes, Jimin tuned out the monotone drone of the Professor, slowly flipping his textbook open to the right page as he stared over at the table diagonal to him, where someone wearing a familiar mop of jet black hair sat.

It had only been two days since he’d last seen the other boy in the library. But he couldn’t pull his eyes off of the living breathing enigma that was Min Yoongi. He watched Yoongi closely, lips curling into a smile as Yoongi pulled back the sleeves of his robe to scrawl something down on paper, revealing those slender, alabaster wrists.

What is it about you ? Jimin thought silently, unable to snap himself out of his stare.

Why can’t I stop thinking about you?

 

-

 

“... we will be making a tincture of persuasion today. Find a partner and open your books up to page 493 and follow the instructions closely. The potion can be very temperamental so you’ll need to follow the directions to a T. And don’t forget! I will be coming around at the end of the class to grade you on your efforts, so go on, get going,” the Professor said, heaving a long-suffering sigh and sinking down onto her stool as the students began to turn toward each other with hushed whispers.

Jungkook turned toward Jimin, only to find that his friend was already standing up, grabbing his textbook and slinging his bag over his shoulder.

“What - wait - where are you going?” Jungkook hissed, only to be met with a bashful looking smile.

“Nudding against you, but I wanna work wid someone else today. You know, learn someding new,” Jimin said, laughing wheezily with his congested nose.

“What? Wait well then who am I supposed to work with then?”

“You’ll be fine! I dink Irene wands to work with you.”

“Irene…?”

Jungkook turned slowly to the left, jerking back when he realized that their fellow Gryffindor housemate was much closer than anticipated. She waved at him, beckoning him closer with a crooked finger.

Damn you, Jimin! He thought, gulping when Irene reached out to pull his stool closer.

 

-

 

“Hey,” said someone.

Yoongi barely looked up from his textbook to see who that someone was, only flicking his eyes upward enough to see that there indeed was someone standing in front of his table.

What.” Yoongi said, in a voice dripping with venom.

“Uh, well, I wud wondering if you needed a pardner - I don’d hab one and it didn’ look like you do eeder.”

Yoongi frowned at the thick voice, finally setting down his quill to take a look at the poor, unfortunate soul that was about to suffer his wrath.

But then he stared instead.

“.........what the hell happened to your nose?” He asked incredulously.

The goofy smile on Park Jimin’s face only grew exponentially as he took Yoongi’s shocked response as an invitation. The Gryffindor eagerly set his textbook down on the counter, rounding the table and to plop down in the empty stool next to Yoongi. Jimin pulled himself closer with a noisy, metallic squeal that made Yoongi wince.

“I’m Park Jimin.”

“... I know.

“And you’re Min Yoongi?”

“... yes.”

“Well, nice to meed you, pardner!”

Yoongi took a moment to gather himself, rubbing an exhausted hand over his face.

“Let me make this crystal clear -” he began, as emphatically as possible, “I do not need a partner. I have the highest marks in the class and the Professor knows that -”

“- yeah, bud I jusd -”

“Merlin’s beard. Enough, already.”

Holding a hand out to shut the other boy up, Yoongi dug into his pocket for his wand, pointing it at Jimin’s nose and muttering something underneath his breath.

And although Jimin’s still-healing nose still twinged with pain, he suddenly found himself free of congestion. He took in a deep breath, looking absolutely elated when he was able to do it without having to open his mouth.

“Wow, that was amazing, where on earth did you learn how to do that?” He said, with such painful high-pitched sincerity that it made Yoongi shift in his seat. Although he tried his best to suppress his emotions, Yoongi’s heart still soared at the praise.

“Nevermind how I did it. We’re here to learn how to brew Potions, right?” Yoongi said, quickly changing the subject as he tucked his wand back up his sleeve. He pulled his textbook in front of him, staring down at it as if hoping that the words on the page would somehow save him from this strange nightmare.

But then Jimin was crowding into his personal space, looking down at the pages of Yoongi’s textbooks and unintentionally leaving Yoongi in a stunned silence.

“Right, well, I suppose you’re right. Well what should we do first then, Mr. Highest Marks in the Class?”

Yoongi clapped his mouth shut, stubbornly folding his arms firmly across his chest. A part of him still had a hard time believing that the Gryffindor was willing to work with him, let alone wanting to. He felt half tempted to turn around to see if anyone else was flabbergasted with Jimin as he was.

This is insane. Is he insane?!

Jimin looked up at him, smiling a gummy smile that made his eyes crinkle in a way that was weird and distracting. Yoongi immediately turned his head to face the wall, leaning away as far as he could from the other boy’s body heat.

This must be some kind of joke, he tried to tell himself, trying to ignore the other boy as best he could. Surely, this was just some ruse to see how Yoongi would react.

But it’s just for one class, right? I just need to make it through this period.

Yoongi grit his teeth, stiffly unfolding his arms as he reached out to grab his cauldron.

It can’t be that bad, can it?

 

-

 

It was worse.

“Now you just need to grind this into a powder.”

“Okay, so how long do I need to grind it for?”

“...until it’s a powder.”

“Right. Powder. Got it.”

“Don’t forget to add two sprigs of fluxweed when you’re almost done.”

“Wait, how did you know we only need two sprigs?”

“...because it says so in the recipe, you idiot.”

“Oh, right. Right. Got it. Wait, but -”

“- just grind the damn thing already!!

“Language, Mr. Min! Five points from Slytherin!”

“...sorry, Professor.”

Embarrassed by his own outburst, Yoongi grumbled, turning back to watch the cauldron that he’d been stirring almost religiously. The repetitive motion was the only thing that kept him sane as he watched the Gryffindor blunder his way through making the potion. At this point, Yoongi was convinced that Jimin would somehow find a way to chop off a finger or hurt himself some other way if Yoongi wasn’t watching closely over him.

But if there was at least one good thing to be said about the Gryffindor, it was that he took instructions well - even if they had to be explained several times in nauseating amounts of detail.

“How’s that look?” Jimin asked after a minute, nudging his bowl over for Yoongi to take a look. Yoongi peered over, scrutinizing the powder for a moment before nodding.

“Much better. Good job,” he mumbled, before his mind caught up with his mouth. By the time he’d realized what he’d said, it was too late to take the praise back. He scowled something fierce, turning back to the cauldron with hunched up shoulders and a red face.

He could practically feel Jimin’s stare on him, and when he finally glanced over, unable to take the uncomfortable silence any longer, he turned in time to see Jimin’s shocked expression practically melting into that thousand kilowatt smile of his. Yoongi had to squint his eyes to not be blinded by it.

He focused back on stirring the pot, trying not to think about how good that interaction had felt. It had been so normal. As if the two of them were friends rather than strangers.

While Jimin hummed softly to himself, adding in two sprigs of fluxweed to the bowl, Yoongi stood next to him quietly hiding his own contentment. He played the smile back in his mind again, and almost smiled.

And although it killed him to admit it - it had felt nice, honestly.

 

-

 

They did surprisingly well for two strangers who barely knew each other.

Through no small miracle, the professor could find no fault with their tincture, and they both received full marks for their combined effort.

When she’d finally finished making her rounds, the professor returned to the front of the classroom, offering just a few choice words about ‘ maintaining the integrity of one’s potions ’ before releasing them all to their next classes.

Yoongi packed his bags slowly, biding his time as the combined Gryffindor-Slytherin class filed out and the Ravenclaw-Hufflepuff class slowly filtered in. For whatever reason, Jimin hadn’t budged, lingering beside Yoongi as if there was something he wanted to say. Yoongi wasn’t exactly sure what to make of it, purposefully keeping his head down to avoid making eye contact and starting a conversation he couldn’t maintain.

Thankfully, Jimin didn’t trouble him for long. When one of his Gryffindor housemates called out toward him, Jimin frowned, taking one last long look at Yoongi before slinging his pack over his shoulder and reluctantly turning to follow his friend out the door.

Yoongi stood back up as soon as the coast was clear. His gaze followed Jimin’s back as he walked away, lingering at the door frame long after the other boy had already passed out of his view. Staring without quite knowing why, he stood there for a moment before something more interesting finally caught his eye.

He glanced over as a particular Ravenclaw student made her way toward him, precariously balancing several meticulously jarred ingredients in her arms. He waited for the right moment, idly fiddling with his inkpot until she drew close enough. Then he stepped into the aisle, deliberately running into her.

Just as planned, she fell with a high-pitched yelp, sending all of her ingredients tumbling and spilling out against the floor. Everyone looked over, including the Professor who briefly narrowed her eyes and frowned at the two of them before being drawn into a conversation by another student.

“Watch it, you jerk!” Sixth year ravenclaw student Dasom shouted. She looked as if she were about to throw a fit as she picked herself up off the ground in a huff. “That was the only jar of honeywater I had, and we’re making invigoration draughts today! If I get a poor mark for not having the right ingredients, I’m going to tell the Professor it was all your fault!”

Yoongi sneered, lifting his chin up and curling his upper lip at her.

“Don’t blame me for your own clumsiness,” he bit back, watching as her mouth gaped open like a fish. “It’s not my fault you couldn’t keep your own balance.”

“You - clumsy! … I, I never -”

Yoongi efficiently swept the rest of his things into his bag, drawing it quickly closed and slinging it over his shoulder. He brushed his shoulder roughly against a still steaming Dasom, walking past her only to stop and turn around a second later, as if he’d just thought of something.

“If you really don’t have any more honeywater, you might want to borrow some goosegrass and some horklump juice, then. It’ll work well enough as a substitute.”

Dasom glared at him.

“And where the hell am I supposed to get that?”

Yoongi glanced over at another table where a group of sixth year Hufflepuffs were settling down.

“Looks like that student over there might have some. What, don’t tell me you don’t have eyes either?”

“Why… you …!” Dasom said, face turning red as she stamped her foot childishly. Flinging her stuff onto the nearest counter, she glared at him one last time before turning her nose up walking away with a harumph!

Yoongi stayed just long enough to watch her step in front of one particular Hufflepuff student who looked up from his textbook with a slow, wide-eyed awe, turning red when he realized just who was standing before him.

Satisfied, Yoongi whirled around, sauntering out the door humming a tune under his breath.

 

-

 

The second letter had the same beautiful, curly handwriting.

 

//You look so relaxed when you’re reading a book. I wish I could see it up close. I bet your smile looks lovely.//

 

Yoongi balled the note up almost immediately, tossing it aside as he dug the palms of his hands into his eyes and threw his head back in a silent scream of frustration.

Dropping his hands to his side, he quickly reached out, grabbing his cup and tossing back his morning tea with all the grace of a practiced alcoholic.

Not this shit again, he thought to himself, sinking into his seat as he once again tried (and failed) to reason it out in his mind.

It’s a prank, he thought once again. It’s got to be a prank, right?!

But why me, of all people?

...was it because he was an easy target? He was a loner with barely any friends, after all.

Yoongi looked around him, sobering up when he noticed that once again, there were at least two empty seats between him and the nearest student. Daniel was busy at early morning Quidditch practice, and without him there, it became painfully obvious that nobody wanted to be close to him. Not even his own housemates.

For whatever reason, Yoongi found himself looking toward the Gryffindor table. It was hard not to notice them. They were always the loudest, always crowding around, brushing shoulder against shoulder, throwing their heads back in laughter.

His gaze slowly swept down the table until it reached the end, where a group of boys were bunched together like grapes. He stared for a moment - heart empty and eyes glazed - trying not to feel like there was something he was missing out on. But then he glanced over, and found Park Jimin in the crowd.

The other boy was staring right back at him.

Yoongi blinked, turning around to see if there was something behind him that the other boy was looking at. There wasn’t. He turned back to face Jimin, hesitantly pointing a finger at himself as if to say ‘...me?’

Jimin’s eyes crinkled, and a small, lopsided smile grew on his face. And then he waved.

Yoongi wasn’t sure what he felt. He wasn’t sure what to do either - whether it would be better if he waved back, or if it would serve him better to just ignore the other boy completely.

Perhaps a part of him wanted to, but then it was violently stamped down by the part of him that asked the question: just why was Jimin treating him this way?

First it was Potions class, and now this.

Maybe he wants to be your friend, his heart tried to supply, only for his brain to reason against it.

No - it’s because he feels sorry for me.

Yoongi’s eyes hardened.

Was that it? Was he just a charity case to a students with bleeding hearts? Something pitiable that needed saving?

Yoongi broke the gaze and stood abruptly, packing his things quickly into his bag. There was no sense in thinking about things that would only end up frustrating him, and if there was anything Yoongi knew about other students his age, it was that no one had ever seen him as anything other than a nuisance.

And just because one Gryffindor had been more civil to him than the rest didn’t make that fact any less truthful.

Before he left, he gave one last glare at the crumpled note on the table. He wanted to walk away from all of it - he even started to - but before he got too far, against his better judgment, he turned back almost immediately and picked the note back up, tucking it deep into his robes.