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“Holy harpies!”   Yeri exclaimed after reading one of the mini headlines from the Daily Prophet over breakfast. It was a Friday morning and they were a bit relaxed on that day as classes only start at noon. But the girl sitting by Seulgi doesn’t seem as relax as she was.   “What’s up?” Seulgi dipped her toast into a warm bowl of mushroom soup.   Yeri’s eyes were going left to right, left to right in an amazing speed; never had Seulgi witnessed such scene after 6 years of being friends with the girl.   “Falmouth Falcons lost to Puddlemere United on yesterday’s game!”  Yeri spoke, looking bewildered.   “Aren’t you a big fan of Puddlemere United? Why do you sound upset?”   “This!” Yeri shove the paper right at her face.   The headline title was ‘PUDDLEMERE UNITED WON – BUT WITH A CAUSE’ and down below were a moving picture of the team’s chaser getting blagged by the opponent team before a bludger hit the end of the broom and snapped it, making the chaser fall off from his broom. And that chaser was her uncle.   “That looks bad…” Seulgi muttered under her breath, watching the repeating accident on the paper. “The Falcons are always playing dirty, aren’t they?”   Another boy, Sehun, sitting near them – also with nose buried in the paper, “Do you know what their motto is? ‘Let us win, but if we cannot win, let us break a few heads’.”   “Isn’t that too long for a motto…”   “But the message was sent!” Yeri took back the paper and folded it shut. “I wonder how injured your uncle is Seulgi. It doesn’t state so in the paper, just said he was admitted to St Mungo’s.”   “Hmm…” Seulgi looked up at the late arrival of an owl, flying towards their table. “I think we’re about to know it now.”   One of their family’s owl – not Mong – had the letter perched on its beak and Seulgi took it and the owl fly away. It was written by her mother, judging by the writing. Dear Seulgi, I’m sure you’ve heard the news of your uncle Minhyuk. If you haven’t then you should know that your dear uncle has fallen off from his broomstick over a match yesterday. He fractured some bones on his cheeks as well as his shoulder. Most of our family members are visiting today and you’ve granted permission by the Headmaster to visit him any day on this weekend. Go to Professor Albus and he’ll give you the Portkey. PS: Bring a friend or two along would you dear. I don’t like the sound of you travelling alone though your father said you would be fine in doing so still.   Seulgi folded the letter and slipped it inside of her robes, oblivious to Yeri waiting for her to say something. “So?”   “What?”   “Your uncle?”   “Oh, he’s at St Mungo’s.”   “I know but how injured is he?” Yeri rolled her eyes, sounding thoroughly annoyed.   “A fractured cheek and shoulder. Mother wants me to visit her this weekend,” Seulgi scooped the remaining soup. “She told me to bring friends along. You up for it?”   “…” Yeri looked away, looking completely crestfallen. “I have detention the whole week remember? There’s no way Professor Lee is going to let me off the hook.”   “True.” Seulgi nodded, and her eyes stared over the Gryffindor’s table. Irene and Joy were talking so animatedly over God-knows-what. “Hey…Joy’s mom….she’s a healer, right?”   “Uh-huh.” Yeri dejectedly answered, before her eyes bulged wide. “You’re bringing her?!”                                                                          ***   Seulgi focused at the two girls who was walking to her direction. Her eyes turned narrow as the girls neared; Joy, her usual smug on her face wearing an oversized loden cape on top of her attire while Irene wearing a dark brown trench coat over a pair of – “What are those?” Seulgi directed her eyes to the indigo blue pants Irene was wearing. “What?” Irene followed her gaze and looked downwards. “This? This is jeans, of course.” “Jeans?” Joy wheezed. “I forgot. You’re totally unaware of how Muggles dress aren’t you? You’re dating one and you should know by now that Muggles wear these ‘jeans’ every single day.” “It looks…uncomfortable.” Seulgi glanced away, noticing how those jeans hugged the curves of Irene’s leg, although the back of her jeans were covered with the trench coat, she could already imagined how it goes. “It’s comfortable.” Irene refuted, “Sometimes I forgot how sheltered you are on the lifestyles of Muggles.” Joy snickered, before adding, “You do know St Mungo’s is in the middle of a Muggle city. Judging by your robes, you’re definitely going to stand out among them.” “Not like you’re doing a better job with that cape.” Seulgi inserted, “That’s pretty obvious too.” “At least I’m not wearing robes!” Seulgi was about to retort back when Irene placed a hand on her shoulder, preventing her from countering the attack and Joy stuck out her tongue, looking pleased. Seulgi made a mental note not to invite Joy anywhere with her again. “Let’s just head over to Professor Albus. You said the Portkey would be ready by 11?” Irene stood in the middle, looping her arm on both her and Joy as they walked towards the Potions Master’s office. “Uh-huh.”     “You’re telling us that this cauldron is the Portkey?” Professor Albus brought them through the spiralling staircase downstairs towards a small room where he kept cupboards of grim looking antidotes and potion. In the middle was a large wooden table and a worn looking cauldron sat on it. “I’ve casted some spells and pre-arrange your trip to St Mungo’s at this Portkey. The place you’re landing at is going to be just a few walks away.” “I hope we don’t land at some shady places…” Joy mumbled, her expression looking dark all of a sudden. “One time, my dad and I took a Portkey to St Mungo’s to visit my mom and guess where we landed? “Where?” “ In the middle of a freaking muggle concert where everyone was headbanging and screaming…It was a nightmare.” “Did all of them saw you?” Irene asked, sounding surprised. “Nah…just a few lads. They were too drunk but still a Ministry official had to place a Memory Charm on them.” “I’ve…never travelled by Portkey before.” Irene admitted. She was a bit nervous though she had heard some said travelling with Portkey is twice better than the Floo Network. “It’s a bit uncomfortable for first timers, but you’ll be fine.” Seulgi spoke, recalling her first time using a Portkey not far from her manor to transport her and the family to their Aunt’s house. It was a nauseous experience. “Ah…it’s time!” Professor Albus nodded at the rattling cauldron, signalling for them to touch it. “Your Portkey back here will be a canned purple soda and if you don’t make it back – well you better make it back.” “Stay by my side.” She told Irene who was looking anxious as time goes by, “Only release the Portkey when I said so.” “Yeah yeah let’s hurry and touch it now…” Joy whined before the three of them reached for the Portkey at the same time. It happened immediately; Seulgi felt as though a hook had grabbed her by the navel. Her feet left the ground; and she could feel Irene and Joy on either side of her with Irene high pitched screaming, their shoulders banging to one another, speeding forwards in a howl of wind and swirling colours. “We should let go now!” Joy managed to yell. “LET GO?!” Irene shouted back. “YES!” “Let go of it now!” Seulgi cried before releasing her grip of the cauldron. Her feet quickly got in control and she managed to walk on air, slowly about to reach the ground but then Irene came crashing into her and the both of them slammed into the ground, with the latter on top of her. The Portkey hit the ground near her head with a clank. “Now is definitely not the time for you two to display affections to one another.” Seulgi looked up to see Joy just landed her feet steadily to the ground, looking self-satisfied though very windswept with her hair sticking at odd places. “I don’t think I enjoy Portkey that much…” Irene managed to spoke, disentangling herself off from Seulgi before mumbling an apology to her. Seulgi got to her feet and looked around at the narrow alley that they just landed at. There was only one large dumpster nearby and ahead of them were bustles of people – Muggles – walking away to their destinations, completely unaware that three witches just did a touch-down. “C’mon,” Seulgi stretched out her hand for Irene to hold, earning an eye roll from Joy before they walk out from the alley. All sorts of Muggles in different clothings pace about, minding no business at them. Seulgi spotted more people wearing the same pants as Irene was – even men wore it! She doesn’t understand. Those pants, or jeans – whatever it is called, looked so constricted at certain parts. Seulgi wondered how men especially, felt comfortable with it. “You’re staring.” “Yeah, I’m just thinking how I’ll feel better wearing something that doesn’t look that restrained.” Seulgi stared down at another person who walked past by, sporting a tight black jean. Irene snorted, “It’s not as constricted as it looks – well depends on the size of the jeans you chose – but my point is, jeans are easy to maintain and easy to match with any clothes. Some are quite comfortable and fashionable too.” Seulgi grunted, looking doubtful at the girl clinging on her arm. She took a glance at Irene’s own jeans. “You do look good though in it…” Irene gave her a shy smile and they see Joy pointing at a dilapidated looking store. They now stood in front of what seemed like a clothing store under renovation. There was a mannequin standing tall in one of the shop windows while the rest of the store looked empty. “We’re here!” Joy announced, a little bit too loud. Seulgi has only visited St Mungo’s once and it was a couple of years back but everything still seemed the same – the entrance at least. She moved forward towards the window and tap it a few times. A few seconds after that, the mannequin lips moved. “What is the purpose of this entry?” “I’m here to visit and uncle of mine…err…Kang Minhyuk, the Quidditch player.” Seulgi reasoned, unsure if her reasoning was enough. The mannequin remained quiet for a few moments before muttering, in her cool, stoic tone. “Enter.” Joy shrugged and walked through the window first, followed by an awed looking Irene and then herself. The moment she stepped through the other side, she was met with lime green robes hurrying about here and there – some with patients, some holding out their wands, carrying patients on stretchers. “It looks…like a hospital.” Irene her feet, looking around at everything. “It is a hospital.” Joy stated in her as-a-matter-of-fact tone, “except that it’s the hospitals for the Wizarding World. By the way, which floor is your uncle staying at Seulgi?” “My mother didn’t state it in the letter, so…” Her eyes trained over the receptionist, standing over a counter all alone. “Let’s ask the Welcome Witch. She’ll know where…” “Pfft…Welcome Witch…” Joy muttered under her breath. The witch was a squat little woman with short, blonde hair and blue eyes. There was a huge signboard of ‘Our Welcome Witch will be happy to assist you’ just beside her yet the aura that the witch was emitting was far from happy. “How may I assist you?” The Witch looked at all three of them, voice lacking of interest. “I’m here to visit my uncle. His name is Kang Minhyuk.” Seulgi answered, “May I know which floor he’s staying at?” The Witch stared at her a few seconds before replying in her monotonous tone. “Ground Floor; Artefact Accidents, Cauldron Explos
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