To be honest, up until the last year in Hogwarts, Park Jimin didn't really care much about who Jeon Jungkook was. He heard the rumors, the talks, saw the frightened or curious looks of his classmates when the Slytherin passed by, but he himself never really had an interest in any of that. He never thought his and the ill-rumored Slytherin's paths would cross more than a brush of one cloak against the other in a crowded hallway.
Well, he was wrong.
"Do you think Slughorn will mind if I go a little off topic this time?" Taehyung murmured sleepily, head leaned on a stack of potion making books, right next to his pitiful, ink-stained potion paper. He'd been working on it for days, and it still wasn't nearing the end.
"I really struggle with these last four inches."
"Depends," Jimin sighed, sweeping his blonde fringe out of his eyes. "How far off topic are you planning to go?"
"Within reasonable limits, of course," Taehyung pursed his lips, eyes full of boredom. "How about we take a walk? I can't squeeze anything else out of my brain at this point, it's like a dry sponge. I need a break."
Jimin eyed his neatly written paper for Charms, weighing the possibility of finishing it tomorrow right before class. Lines and lines of neatly written text that took him around five hours didn't scream at him to keep working. "Fine," he dropped the quill and stretched his arms out. "Let's finish here for tonight."
"I love you," Taehyung exclaimed, jumping up and quickly stuffing his things into his backpack. "It's fucking September and we're already crammed with homework - 7th year is really hell, just like hyung said. We should go to the backyard and breathe in fresh air before they lock us up in the castle for the upcoming two semesters."
Jimin giggled. "I mean, it's the final year, Tae. It makes sense to make us work our hardest."
Instantly displeased, Taehyung narrowed his eyes at him, backpack already settled on one shoulder. "Stop talking like a nerd and pack your shit, Park Jimin."
Jimin shrugged him off, still smiling, as he gathered his books and quills and ranged them accordingly to size. Taehyung watched him with scrutinizing eyes, frowning as he finished up packing neatly, and tightened his cloak around his narrow shoulders. Jimin ignored him.
"Don't forget your wand. Wingardium leviosa," the blond pointed his at Taehyung's, making it fly and land neatly in his best friend's hand. "I swear Tae, one if these days you will lose it."
Taehyung hummed something noncommittally.
With backpacks on their shoulders and wands in hands, the two of them slipped out of the library unnoticed, and proceeded to shuffle down the stairs with the other students, heading towards the backyard. They always preferred the side closer to the Forbidden Forest. It had an air of secrecy and calmness surrounding it, which Jimin preferred when resting after a long day of studying.
They walked out the main door and down the stairs, padding leisurely past the yard. Jimin breathed in the fresh air, feeling the scent of pine trees and lake water fill his lungs.
"I think I need to start dating people again," Taehyung muttered as he stepped over a fallen branch. "Get myself back in the game."
Surprised by the sudden change in topic, Jimin threw a glance at him. "Why so?"
Taehyung kicked a little rock under his feet and shrugged his shoulders. "Dunno. Would probably help me relax a bit. All I've been doing is stressing out over stuff."
"Anyone particular in mind?" Jimin asked, eyeing the tall oak as a potential sit-down place.
Taehyung pursed his lips, playing with his wand. "Not anyone in particular. But I haven't been looking. One clear thing is that it will not be a Slytherin."
Jimin laughed. "Come on, Tae, the Slytherin -Gryffindor rivalry is so old. How can you cross off a whole bunch of people just because of their House? What if your one true love awaits you there?"
"I'm sorry, but I highly doubt that my one true love can be someone 'cunning, fame-chasing and sly'", Taehyung scowled. "I prefer Ravenclaws, sexy and smart, just the way I like 'em. Not to mention that Kim Seokjin guy, the one that takes potions with us, is quite handsome. Cute smile."
"No one in particular my ass, he's already got a guy picked," Jimin scoffed. "Tae, do you even--"
Jimin was about to scold Taehyung about the shallowness of liking someone just because of their looks and discrediting others because of their House, but a sound of loud laughter cut him off. Surprised, both best friends turned to see where it was coming from. Three boys came stumbling out of the Forbidden Forest, their blue ties shinning in the light of the setting sun. The third boy's tie, however, stood out in its velvety green.
Ravenclaws and a Slytherin together?
Jimin narrowed his eyes at the group, focusing on the lone Slytherin. His mop of black hair was a mess, a few leaves tangled in the messy strands - the only one messy out of the group. He was leaning forward, head turned down, so Jimin couldn't make out his face. The Ravenclaw closest to him had his arm on his shoulder, but not in a friendly way - with a gasp, Jimin realized that he was gripping the boy's cloak on the back of his neck, as if he was picking up a stray cat.
"What are you doing?" the Gryffindor asked loudly, his grip on his wand tightening.
The Ravenclaws stopped laughing, looking at Jimin curiously.
"Park Jimin?" One of them recognized.
Jimin's eyes followed the Slytherin boy, who finally looked up from the ground. Their eyes met, chocolate brown and emerald green, and Jimin flinched. There, in front of him, eyes dazed and barely standing on his feet, was the infamous Slytherin Jeon Jungkook.
The Slytherin was barely holding up, his green eyes barely visible in his half-lidded stare. There was a red blotch on his left cheekbone, and a fresh bruise near his eyebrow. There was a bit of dried blood at the corner of his lips, and from the way he swayed and his eyes couldn't focus, it wasn't hard to tell that some sort of spell had been casted on him, most probably a strong confundo. He looked like he couldn't hold himself together at all.
Jimin felt rage burn through his veins. Two against one? Against one wizard who was under the influence of a confundo and beaten up while unable to defend himself?
"What the fuck have you done?" he accused, taking quick steps towards the boys. "You forced him to go to the Forbidden Forest with you? Are you insane?"
"Jimin," Taehyung caught up to him, grabbing his sleeve. "Calm down. It's Tom and Louis, we're friends."
"No, we fucking are not," Jimin spat, brushing off Taehyung's hand and stomping towards the group. "I'm not friends with any assholes who would gang up on one guy and drag him to the Forbidden Forest to do god knows what. Let him go, assholes!"
"What the hell Park, are you friends with this freak Jeon here?" Tom drawled out, stupid grin on his face. "You're friends with the only dark wizard in school? The Death Eater's son?"
Jimin ignored him, pointing his wand at Louis, who still had his arm on the Slytherin's neck. "I told you to let him go."
He could see Louis eyeing his wand and measuring their strength in his head. Jimin knew that he's a better at spells than any of them, and Taehyung was really talented at magic duels. They had the upper hand, but it was clear that that bastard Louis didn't want to give up just like that.
Seeing Jimin point his wand at his friend, the grin on Tom's face faded away. "Come on, Louis," he said, lifting his chin up and nudging his friend. "We've gotten our point across with Jeon anyway. Let's leave."
Louis frowned. "I haven't had nearly enough fun with this asshole yet."
"Namjoon will skin us alive if you do anything to Park-"
"You won't have to wait for Namjoon, I will fuck you up on the spot," Taehyung jumped in, all fired up as soon the words 'attack' and 'Jimin' appeared next to each other. "You think you can touch a hair on Jimin's head? Think again."
Louis eyed the two of them, threw a glance at his friends, and seemed to understand that they were outnumbered. With Tom doubtful, and two wizards like Jimin and Taehyung in front of them, they really didn't have the upper hand anymore. Second later, the brown-haired boy scoffed and pushed Jeon towards the Gryffindors.
"Have him if you want him," he hissed, turning around and striding away towards the castle. Tom followed right after, throwing a dirty look past his shoulder.
Jimin rushed forward to help. The Slytherin had stumbled forward from the push, his legs clearly not holding up his weight. But Jeon was not only way taller, but built way bigger as well, muscles lining his arms and chest. He fell onto Jimin like a sack of solid rocks, making the smaller boy stumble backwards, hitting his back painfully on the tree behind him. Jimin winced, hands still gripping on the Slytherin's cloak.
Only seconds later he realized the position they were in. Their chests were pressed together, noses touching, faces just inches away from each other's.
Jungkook seemed unaware of the proximity, nor the awkwardness of the situation of being pressed up against someone he didn't even know. His green eyes were still clouded by the spell as they met Jimin's. He looked into the blond boy's eyes, dazed, seemingly not realizing that his nose was brushing against Jimin's cheekbone, at that his hands were lining the smaller boy's waist. He looked in Jimin's eyes like he got lost in them, like they were the one thing grounding him in the confusion that had swallowed him whole. His eyelashes fluttered as he closed his eyes, and when he opened them again, his lips moved.
"Pretty," Jimin heard him murmur, and his heart skipped a beat. He looked into those rich green eyes, green as the leaves above his head and deep as the green in forest at night.
Stuck in a daze, Jimin wondered if Jungkook could enchant someone just with a look of those eyes.
And then, as sudden as he'd gotten closer, Jungkook was pulled away. Jimin breathed in a shaky breath, feeling like he was holding his breathing still the whole time they were pressed up against each other.
Taehyung had pulled the Slytherin further from his friend, sitting him down on the grass with a strict look in his eyes. He pointed his wand at him and murmured a faint finite incantatem, keeping his distance away from the black haired boy. His whole body was tense, stance ready for a fight.
Jungkook let out a cough as soon as Taehyung's spell worked, crouching on the ground and holding onto his side. The dazed look in his eyes was replaced by a grimace of pain, velvety green eyes now dark as moss at night. Jimin knealed on the ground next to him, leaning in to look at his face.
"Are you okay?" he asked quietly. "Where did they hurt you?"
Jungkook's eyes snapped open, locking onto Jimin. He instantly leaned backwards, falling onto his back and keeping his balance with his scraped up hands digging into the ground. He looked at Jimin with the despair of a wounded animal, threatful, but aware that he was outnumbered.
"It's okay," Jimin encouraged him. "They left, you're safe n--"
"I'm not a charity case to you," he hissed, green eyes flaming up with emotion. "Fucking Gryffindor."
Taehyung scowled, reaching out for Jimin's arm to pull the blond up from the ground.
"Look at you bark, right after we helped you," he leaned down to brush dust off Jimin's cloak. "Come on, Jimin, let's go. Slytherin can crawl his way to his common room."
"No, Tae, he's hurt," Jimin muttered, avoiding looking at the Slytherin. Hearing Jungkook adress him with so much disgust and anger in his eyes made his heart clench a little.
"Let's at least bring him back to the castle, and then he can go figure himself out," he said louder, lips pulled into a tight line in effort to show that he doesn't care about what Jungkook said. Even though inside it really stung.
"Will you walk, or should I levitate you?" Taehyung asked Jungkook mockingly, his eyes narrowed.
"I'll walk," the green-eyed boy answered, pulling himself up from the ground. Jimin saw his face scrunch up in pain, legs shaking under the weight. Unable to just watch from the side, he reached out and took the taller boy's elbow in his hand.
Jungkook's eyes snapped at him, lips parted, all ready to curse him out again, but Jimin was faster.
"I'll just help you get to the castle," he glared at the Slytherin. "The least you could do to thank us for helping you back there is to shut up and walk, okay?"
It seemed like the Slytherin wanted to retort something to him, but with annoyed Taehyung looming threatfully over Jimin's back, wand still pointed in his direction, seemed to help change Jungkook's mind. He limped forward, allowing Jimin's hand stay on his arm, even relying on it a little bit to keep his balance. Taehyung let out an indignant scoff and turned around, murmuring lumos under his breath to light up his wand and leading them out of the shadowy forest side, towards the castle.
By the time they reached the entrance, the sky had turned dark, only an edge of pink and orange still visible above the Forbidden Forest. It was getting a bit chilly too, Jimin's shoulders shivering involuntarily from time to time from the touch of cold wind. Autumn had finally chased away summery, warm September evenings, he thought.
Struggling to pull Jeon up the stairs to the main entrance of the castle, Jimin allowed himself to steal a glance at the Slytherin's face. His skin was pale, almost pearly white, but together with his raven hair and deep green eyes it formed a beautiful contrast. Even with the fresh bruises and smudges of dirt along his sharp jawline, the Slytherin was still gorgeous, almost unfairly so. Jimin looked away.
He didn't want to think that way, but Jungkook was almost ethereally beautiful, like the good prince out of Muggle fairy tales, the ones that his mom read to him before bed when he was little. But Taehyung had always repeated to Jimin that Jungkook hides so much evil inside, how evil is his entire family, but now, looking at him from so close, Jimin found it hard to believe someone this purely beautiful could be that. He never saw Jungkook do anything to hurt someone. What if it all was just rumors and misunderstandings?
"Hey," he murmured, glancing at the taller again.
Jungkook turned his neck, tired eyes meeting Jimin's. "What?"
Jimin hesitated for a second. What if he curses him out again?
"I just wanted to say sorry," he forced out the words, avoiding the Slytherin's eyes. "For those guys ganging up on you."
Having said that, he turned back towards the stairs, feeling heat pooling on his cheeks. After a few seconds of awkward silence, he stole a quick glimpse at Jungkook. The Slytherin was still watching him, expression unreadable.
"That's not on you," he said slowly, voice low, sending shivers down Jimin's spine.
"I never thought-- forget it," Jimin shook his head, suddenly really hot under his robe from all the embarrassment. "I felt like someone had to apologize, 'cause you never hurt any of them, but they wouldn't, so I-- nevermind."
He felt so stupid under Jungkook's scrutinizing gaze, but deep inside he knew that if he hadn't said sorry, he would have felt bad after. Therefore he lifted his chin high and turned to meet Jungkook's eyes with determination, only to find them crinkled at the corners, and a small smile on the Slytherin's lips.
"You're something else," Jungkook said slowly, green eyes glued to Jimin's.
Jimin felt all hair on his body stand up and he stared back, wide-eyed and confused. The Slytherin definitely was smirking at him right now, and Jimin didn't have a clue why. He couldn't help but take a step back, his hold on the taller loosening a bit.
Jungkook used the chance to slip his arm out completely from Jimin's grip, and take a step back himself.
"You go ahead," he said, looking at the smaller Gryffindor only. "My common room is in the dungeons, I'll find it by myself."
Taehyung seemed pleased with his choice, coming closer and putting his arm around Jimin.
"You heard the Slytherin, Jimin," he said, pulling him along towards the main stairs. "Let's go."
Jimin allowed himself to be pulled away, his eyes still watching Jungkook. The Slytherin watched him back, and right before they got too far, Jimin could've sworn he saw him wink at him. Seconds later Jungkook was gone, disappearing like a gust of wind, and Jimin almost thought he'd imagined the whole thing. Maybe he had.
"What an insufferable prick," Taehyung grumbled under his nose as they entered Gryffindors' common room. The light from the fire was dimmed, and only a couple of their fellow housemates were there, sat on the floor and playing Wizard's chess. Jimin smiled at a couple of people he knew, before Taehyung pulled him along towards the stairs, leading him towards the dorm in excuse of being too tired for chitchat.
Later, dressed in his sleeping clothes and snuggled under the covers, Jimin's thoughts came back to the green-eyed Slytherin. The way he smiled at Jimin before they separated. Maybe he wasn't that bad after all?
Most people in Hogwarts judged Slytherins without even trying to see if what they were saying was true or not. Followed by the shadow of their House, the Slytherins didn't have many friends outside of their own house. Mostly because the Gryffindors and Ravenclaws wouldn't even spare them a chance, and the Hufflepuffs were kind of in between, less angry, but still reluctant to approach them. And Slytherins were too proud to ask for friendship from people who didn't want it.
Right before he feel asleep, Jimin promised himself that if he wanted one, he would give Jeon Jungkook a chance. No matter what the others said.
- - - - - - -
Then a third year, Taehyung was sat at the Great hall, fingers wrapped around his breakfast croissant and a cup of coffee in his other hand. The boy next to him, Josh, was quite cute and Taehyung almost forgave Jimin for not coming down for breakfast that morning, because he could enjoy good food and company of his somewhat-crush.
He remembered Josh's smile, his laughter, the sweetness of coffee on his tongue, and then all of a sudden there was a loud bang. The windows of the Great Hall shook from the force of the explosion, candles on the tables falling over and ceasing to burn. For a moment, the loud sound still lingered around, booming around and making plates shake, and the next moment it was all dead silent.
Taehyung turned around slowly, eyes widened with fear. His heart was hammering in his chest, mind filled of images of Death Eaters barging inside Hogwarts, with fire spilling from their wands. Destroying, burning, killing. Just like they had in his home when he was little.
There weren't any as he turned. The Hall seemed fine, still the way it was before the explosion, apart from one boy who was stood up by the Slytherin table, and the huge hole in between the tables of Slytherin and Ravenclaw. Taehyung could see the boy's eyes, burning in cold green, all the way from where he was. He was pale as ghost and his black hair were sticking to his forehead like dark, angry vines.
"He exploded that with his mind," Josh whispered next to him.
"Don't you know him?" another boy murmured. "It's Jeon Jungkook."
"I heard he's insane. Can't control his magic."
"His parents were Death Eaters, remember that?"
"Why would they allow him to study at Hogwarts? He's a threat to everyone!"
Taehyung watched the boy breathe unevenly, eyes looking through the murmuring crowd. They were wide, almost panicked. Seconds later, he turned on his heel and ran, ran till he reached the door and vanished behind the corner, away from the murmuring crowd and still falling dust.
Taehyung never forgot the cold, green flame of his eyes. They reminded him too much of the flash of Avada Kedavra.