« We can say that spring is here, now. »
The Slytherins reunited in the common room and all laughed at the joke. As always, on the 21st of March, Yongsun takes her first spring swim in the Great Lake. She jumps in the dark freezing water first thing in the morning with nothing but a two-piece swimsuit on.
Slytherins’ common room is partially situated under the Great Lake. That portion of its ceiling is made of glass that allows students to look up and see its greatness right before their eyes. On this day of the year, Slytherins all gather together to see if the Gryffindor performs her usual spring tradition and this year was no different from the others.
Yongsun immersed herself deep into the depth of the lake’s water. She took some time to greet the students in the room below her before pushing against the ceiling of their common room and getting back to the surface. It is still early, the air is cold, and the sun is taking its sweet time to rise but a few rays of sunlight already illuminate the world.
Despite the coldness of the water, Yongsun continues to swim, she the water while she does laps around the lake in crawl. It has been a while since she last swam so it takes her a few minutes to get her sensations back. As her strong arms push the water behind her, seaweeds graze her stomach and fishes swim among her.
Hogwarts legend says a giant squid is living in the Great Lake although Yongsun has never seen it. Sometimes she gets attacked by Grindylow, a small green water demon, who tries to bite her. Quite often, the colony of Merpeople of the Great Lake would have her back, taming the Grindylow away. Those siren-like creatures never let Yongsun approach them, but they keep an eye on the girl every time she decided to swim in the Great Lake.
Yongsun dives into the water once again with her eyes wide open. It is hard to see much but the young girl still makes her way around the seaweed and the creatures that come across her field of view. Something is terrifying about being alone in the middle of the body of water and yet Yongsun loves it. Here, she feels wonderful.
It might as well be Yongsun’s lucky day, she notices a purple tentacle coming her way, it wraps itself around Yongsun’s hand and shakes it. She chuckles, bubbles of oxygen leaving . Despite having lived at Hogwarts for six years, this is her first time seeing the giant squid. The creature is such a rare sight that she was even rumored to be dead for years.
Her tentacle slowly wraps itself around Yongsun’s arm and pulls it gently, the wizard lets herself be dragged into Great Lake, finding the situation to be funny. Eventually, she has to come up for air, the tentacle lets go of her and once the wizard dives back and searches for the squid, the creature is nowhere to be found.
Yongsun swims back to the bank of the Great Lake and climbs out of it. She realizes she doesn’t even have a towel to dry herself with but the sun in the sky has already risen higher and its warm rays warm her up. She walks back to the castle, only wearing her scarlet swimsuit, the water dripping from her body leaves a trail behind the Gryffindor, making it easy for people to track her path.
Yongsun decides to take a shower in the Quidditch changing room, she is confident it will be easy to find a uniform or something to wear there too. As the brunette walks down one corridor she hears students coming her way and, since she doesn’t know if a Prefect is with them or not, she decides to go around the castle and to the Quidditch pitch instead.
« You scared me! Wheeinie! »
Yongsun grabs the edges of Wheein’s work robe, pulls them, and turns around, taking the Ravenclaw along with her, as the younger girl’s body as a shield to hide her from a group of students that are walking by. She even circles Wheein’s waist under the work robe, but Wheein lets out a whimper of surprise at the sudden contact with her cold wet skin.
Yongsun doesn’t want to let go, she watches the group, they don’t seem to have noticed them. Wheein holds her forearm, she dislikes having her shirt wet and sticking to her skin.
« Unnie… »
« Sorry, I forgot to take a change of clothes with me. »
Yongsun pouts but it doesn’t work on Wheein since it’s morning and she has been feeling a bit moody these days. The sixth-year explains that she only needs Wheein’s help to get to the gold and red team’s changing room near the Quidditch pitch. She can’t possibly walk around the school like this, Mrs. Vera told her perfect her behavior or no more Quidditch.
« Come on, Wheeinie. Don’t you want to play against me? »
Wheein groans, it is a valid argument, she wants to play against Yongsun at their next Quidditch game. The Ravenclaw takes Yongsun’s hand in hers, they walk down the corridors, Wheein knows how to walk around the school discretely.
The Herbology store has a door that leads to the training grounds. They walk in. Although Wheein tries hard to have her eyes focus mostly on the back of Yongsun’s head while the girl walks in ahead of her, her scarlet bikini, still wet from her morning dive, makes it hard for the Ravenclaw to look at anything else. While she has no complaints about her physique, Wheein finds Yongsun’s body attractive. The older girl’s muscles are more well defined from all the weight training she puts herself through and she is even leaner than her due to all the cardio she does.
« Remember when we learned to fly there? »
Wheein nods, as every Hogwarts student, she learned how to fly on her broom during her first year. Well, Wheein already knew how to do it. It’s not to say that she is more gifted than other students, but her dad used to be a professional Quidditch player before taking his position at the Ministry of Magic and he did give her more than one lesson on Quidditch. Mr. Zelombric and Mrs. Juny thought she had it in her blood, as it’s expected of a Jung family member.
Wheein, on the other hand, knows it’s just because of the training she received from her dad. He always made sure Wheein had fun while he was teaching her Quidditch, or anything else for the matter because he would be heartbroken if he turned out to be the reason his daughter disliked playing the game in the future. Wheein thinks Quidditch is cool, she wants to play it until her final year because there are certain emotions she only gets to release while she’s on the pitch.
« Yonghee had told me how already during the summer, haha. That’s how I got into the Quidditch team during my first year. »
« I was in the Quidditch team when I was a first-year too. »
Yongsun smiles, she already knows that, but she enjoys annoying her friend because she likes how she looks when she gets annoyed. It is funny how the Ravenclaw doesn’t like to show off, but she gets upset when Yongsun diminishes her achievements.
« Come on, I know that Wheeinie. »
They arrive in the small building which separates the training grounds from the Quidditch pitch. Wheein walks in first, she checks there is no one around before signaling Yongsun to follow her. Yongsun is quick to take Wheein’s hand in hers again, she likes the physical touch, Wheein has smaller hands than she, and she finds them adorable.
Yongsun naturally intertwines their fingers with a satisfied smile on her lips. She adores it when the two of them are all by themselves because Wheein is such a comforting person for her. She notices, in the corner of her eye, that her friend still hasn’t stopped being on to look out for a teacher to ensure she doesn’t get caught only wearing her glorious two-piece swimsuit.
« I saw the Giant Squid today. »
« Hum… »
« Why aren’t you surprised? Did you know it was still here? »
« Yes. »
« That’s impossible. No one has seen it in years! Not even during the time Yonghee studied here! »
« Stop screaming or you will get us caught and, for your information, the Squid likes to tan its tentacles under the sun during the first days of summer. »
Yongsun follows Wheein inside the building, she opens the secret doors, and they arrive at the Quidditch pitch. The changing room they are looking for is located at the far end of it. This early in the morning there is never anyone around. They walk the last few meters left until they reach their destination in silence because Yongsun still can’t believe Wheein never told her about the Giant Squid when she knows about her regular swims in the Great Lake. Yongsun isn’t scared of the beast, but she would have just appreciated a little warning.
« It was blurry at first, something foreign, but at the same time, I knew about it. Do you know? »
« You can’t possibly be any vaguer right now, unnie. »
« I think… Hyejin was here too. She wasn’t wearing her uniform, she had this… Oh, it keeps on slipping away from my mind, but I know she wasn’t in her uniform for sure. »
« Here in the book, it says dreaming of a close relative means you want them to feed you strawberries… Ouch! »
Wheein laughs, she takes a few steps away from the menacing Slytherin, hands above her head, she tries to avoid getting another blow. Byulyi tells her to be serious as she is trying to decipher her last dreams; Wheein doesn’t believe much in Dream Interpretation, but Byulyi got hooked because of their Divination teacher, Mr. Reass, and despite Wheein’s best effort, she adores it.
The training grounds offer them the perfect place to fight and laugh while studying a subject they are both taking this year. The two friends eventually take a sit on the grass; Wheein is careful not to be too close to Byulyi’s so easy to trigger hands.
« Okay, what else was in that dream of yours? »
« Now that I think about it, I feel like there was a snake. »
« In true Slytherin fashion… Well, can you be more precise about the snake? There are like thirty pages on snakes in dreams and I don’t see myself diving deep on the topic. »
Wheein adores reading, it is a fact. But she absolutely can’t find a single ounce of interest in this subject. Divination is terrible torture for her, she thinks magic should be something certain and not free to interpret according to one’s current state of mind. When she throws a spell, she expects it to be in one specific way, not for it to change depending on the season.
On the contrary, Byulyi understands the flux of the world around her and adores this subject. Her creative mind feels free to explore even further, follow the energy around, understand it, and use it in her favor.
« It was in a box! Or in water? Snake and water? Either a box or in water. Yeah… I think. »
« Snake in a box… Feeling locked up in your dungeon? Ouch! Stop hitting me! »
« Give me the book. »
« Here, here! It says…
As creatures that slither along the ground, a snake may represent your subconscious. A snake swimming in the water can be reflective of emotions that you are suppressing. If you dream of a snake inside a box, it implies you are refusing to acknowledge some part of your subconscious. The dream snake may be alerting you or carrying some sort of hidden message.
God. You are in trouble. »
« Thank you for not summering that up properly at all. »
Wheein closes the book, handing it to Byulyi instead.
« What about you? What did you dream of recently? »
« Aren’t we going to talk about the snake dream you have? »
Byulyi puts the book aside, and she gives a long look at Wheein, her deep dark eyes finding Wheein’s concerned ones. Byulyi doesn’t believe there is much to say on the matter, it is pretty clear; that she is refusing to admit something. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what it is.
« You think it is Yongsun, right? I can see it in your eyes. »
« It could be your studies too… Quidditch? »
Wheein tries to hide the elephant in the room, but Byulyi believes she has no reason for hiding the obvious, especially when it comes to Wheein. Their relationship has grown a lot this year, Byulyi sees how it is more than just having fun and getting caught by Mrs. Vera - since that is the kind of fun that only brings you punishment.
Now, they have a solid bond and Byulyi trusts Wheein with her feelings, the Ravenclaw’s help has been extremely precious to her. She wishes Wheein would have enough trust in her to one day also open up to her about the unique world in her head. Byulyi is well aware it is a slow process, but she is willing to put in all the effort necessary because Wheein is her friend.
« Kim Yongsun. I thought about her. I think each of us sees her in a very different way. You have known her for a longer period, and you have been closer to her than I have. I believe… my feelings for her are more than a simple crush.
I can’t say that I love her. I don’t know her enough for me to be able to feel such a thing. In a way, I can’t say I don’t have feelings for her anymore; it is interesting how those don’t go away that easily. »
« So… You still have feelings for her? »
« I believe I do. You see, it was difficult to decipher everything. I was in pain from finding out she was interested in someone else. But it was more than that. I was angry and even jealous of Hyejin. That was the hardest thing to admit to myself. »
Wheein only nods, encouraging Byulyi to continue. She doesn’t believe her personal opinion is needed.
« Hyejin is everything for me. She has always been there, and I always felt like I should protect and love her. Anger, hostility, and displeasure at the thought of Hyejin with Yongsun. Yeah… It was difficult for a while, and I am thankful you allowed me to rest my head on your shoulder when I needed it. »
I am not a crier. That is the lie Wheein tells herself as tears fall down her cheeks. Byulyi chuckles, heavy from all her emotions too, but still, she tries to keep the mood light. She pushes Wheein into the grass, just to hear her friend whine and laugh.
« Anyway. This part has been dealt with. »
Byulyi claps her hands together, it doesn’t stop the growing feeling in , but it makes her focus.
« I think… I know. I know I have feelings for Yongsun. I also know nothing can happen between us, at least not right now… »
« You would? You would try something with her if… »
« I think it depends on many things, but if I judge it to be okay, I believe I would. »
Wheein nods. She is already aware of everything Byulyi is telling her because she pays attention to her friend, and she has been worried ever since she found her crying at the Three Broomsticks. She doesn’t wish for anything other than for Byulyi to be happy.
« I think, at least for now… I want myself to be able to manage to have these feelings while still maintaining some kind of friendship with her. »
« You mean you want to be friends with Yongsun and wait around for your opportunity? »
« No! That is exactly the opposite of what I’m thinking! You see… Yongsun… She is someone I genuinely like as a person, feelings aside. »
« … So, you think you could be only friends with her if friendship was the only relationship, she would be interested in having with you? »
« I believe so. »
« Unnie… I don’t want you to push it. How could you ever control your feelings for someone? »
« I don’t want to control my feelings. I want… I want to know her, I want to be her friend. I don’t think it is so tragic if it stays the case forever. I am only sixteen and I don’t think this will be the last time I have feelings for someone. »
« Yongsun is just one of the many who will make your heart race. Is that what you are telling me? »
« Wheein, why don’t you trust me a little? I thought about it for a long time, and I don’t think I can continue to avoid her like the plague for the remainder of my school years at Hogwarts. »
«… I trust you. I just want to be sure. »
« Don’t worry, I will be okay. »
Wheein nods, and she wants to believe in the happy smile Byulyi gives her. The one where her eyes look like a crescent moon and her nose scrunches in such a way, that she almost looks half her age. This is Wheein’s favorite, and she hasn’t seen it in a long time.
« Now. Your turn. What did you dream of recently? »
« You won’t drop it, will you? Ah… Let me think… »
Wheein lays on the grass, she wants her mind to let go of the heavy conversation they just had, but instead, it keeps on replaying it. She closes her eyes, focusing on her memories, what does she dream of at night?
« Kimchi. »
« Kimchi? But you don’t like kimchi. »
« And… a kettle. It boils on a grill. And there is kimchi on a plate next to me. I am sitting in front of the kettle, with kimchi. »
« I prefer my snake dreams. »
« Just tell me what it means so we can put an end to it. »
« Kettle… A boiling kettle symbolizes great and laborious work ahead. »
« Tell me something I don’t know. »
« Kimchi… This one is interesting.
To see or eat kimchi in your dream represents an emotional barrier. You are wanting to prevent yourself from getting hurt in a relationship.
I can only agree with the book. »
« You should be banned from reading this book. Nothing on there is true. »
« Dream Interpretation is a serious topic. »
« Miss Moon, if you may. »
Byulyi advances to the front of the classroom, Mr. Humso, the DADA teacher gives her a knowing smile as she turns around to face the class made up of Slytherins she has known ever since she was nine and of Gryffindors who started school in the same year she did.
They have been studying Dementors, their appearance, their nature and behavior, their abilities, and the infamous Dementor’s kiss, and the final moment of this lesson is dedicated to the Patronus Charm. Byulyi has never tried to cast it before, but Mr. Humso has explained in extreme detail how it works. It is simple, the Patronus is a positive force, a projection of the very things that the Dementor feeds upon, hope, happiness, and the desire to survive, but it cannot feel despair, as real humans can, so the Dementors can’t hurt it.
Byulyi holds her wand firmly in her hand, she has complete trust in her abilities as a wizard, the spell is difficult to release on the first try. She knows she has to concentrate more than usual, as expected with any new spell.
Byulyi raises her wand in front of her, she can read the magic around her, the one coming from herself along with the others coming from the students and even her teacher. A gold thread springs from her wand, it is powerful and dazzling, and unlike most wizards, Byulyi’s magic is always golden. Her mind is focused on the dear memory of her and Hyejin both discovering their powers at the same time.
Their hands touched once while playing and they got propelled a few meters away from each other, it amused them greatly and they kept doing it until their parents noticed. Byulyi adores this memory, for her, it is a strong link to Hyejin; it affirms their relationship.
Her lips only whisper the formula, the thread grows until a huge golden bear appears from her wand. It stands on its back paws and opens its mouth to the students watching it. Byulyi chuckles at the spell created by her magic, she pulls on the thread, and pushes it toward the roof; the bear starts to float, changes size, and is now running around Byulyi.
The Patronus is dazzling, and the light coming is hard to look at, but it is also so impressive to see; this charm is one of the most complicated and difficult to master. Yet with just a twist of her wand, a golden bear is now running around Byulyi.
Mr. Humso claps his hands, excited to see the result provided by his best student. It took him weeks to manage to make a corporeal Patronus emerge from his wand. He can only bow to such skill.
« Now, now, all of you try it. You all have the keys to success. »
Byulyi sighs, she turns around to see the bear running, and, with just a movement of her head, the bear fades away. Her eyes focus on the students in front of her, everyone is trying a new charm. Byulyi feels the different flux of magic around, although it’s personal to each wizard, she is only able to tell them apart if she focuses on it.
Her eyes naturally seem to find Yongsun’s who are already looking at hers. She isn’t trying to make a Patronus, which doesn’t surprise Byulyi, the girl does as she pleases most of the time and manages to get away with it every time. Byulyi walks towards the tables located at the back of the class over to the one she’s sitting on top of.
« You don’t want to try? »
« I know this spell already. How did you manage to make a corporeal Patronus on your first try? »
« Ah… I don’t know. »
« You are a horrible teacher. How do you get to teach first years? »
« Usually, the spells are easier to explain. Who taught you this spell? »
Yongsun smiles, happy to hide the secret from the Slytherin, but Byulyi quickly puts two and two together.
« Show me then. What does your Patronus look like? »
« Why do you care so much? »
« I think it is interesting. »
Yongsun jumps off the table, she gets her wand out of her work robe and points it in front of her. Her brown eyes are tremendously serious and focused on the matter at hand, she runs a hand through her messy hair before saying the spell firmly.
Byulyi is impressed, one thing is sure, Yongsun has technique; Wheein is a better teacher than she will ever be. Byulyi sees Yongsun’s magic coming from her body to her wand, Yongsun is a powerful wizard who lacks self-confidence, and training. Her magic is blue like most wizards’ but Byulyi has already seen the thread of her wand turn a violent red at times.
Yongsun grits her teeth, she says the spell once again, more determined this time, and a form finally gets out of her wand. It slowly shapes into an animal as Yongsun infuses more magic in her spell until a blue elephant bumps into Byulyi. It is funny how its paw is pulling on a rather purple, almost red color, but its overall color is blue.
« An elephant… »
Byulyi is more than impressed and so are the other students in the class. Yongsun has never been known for her skills as a wizard but rather for her Quidditch performances, it is no wonder it piques everyone's interest when she manages to perfect one of the most difficult charms on her first try.
Byulyi notices how the bottom part of the elephant is slowly turning red. Her Patronus is two colors, which rarely happens.
Mr. Humso congratulates Yongsun on her performance, she lets her elephant walk around her. Byulyi can’t help but cast her own Patronus and the golden bear meets the red and blue elephant. It is impressive as both of their Patronus are huge animals. Byulyi can make hers grow smaller, but she refuses to lose and keeps the bear the same size as Yongsun’s elephant.
« A wizard's Patronus says a lot about them. »
It is too bad because Byulyi doesn’t know much about animals. She only knows Yongsun’s armory has an elephant, and it shouldn’t be so much of a surprise for her Patronus to be one too.
The elephant symbolizes family, it wants to protect the weak and the younger members of the family. The elephant is also a symbol of power and strength, mixed with balance and wisdom, two things Yongsun is currently lacking, but the elephant is also an animal who enjoys working as a team to reach common goals. This animal is ready to put its life on the line to help someone it considers its family.
Byulyi watches as the elephant becomes entirely red, a violent one, before disappearing into thin air. She can still feel Yongsun’s magic around her, even if the girl doesn’t try to produce another Patronus.
« Wonderful, wonderful Miss Lewis. »
Mr. Humso walks away from the two girls, he has seen another one of his students managing to create a vague form with their wand.
« Have you seen the paper? »
Hyejin shakes her head, she continues to draft her paper for her History of Magic class; Wheein has completely forgotten to give her any of her notes and she had to open one of the old books from the Hogwarts library. The task is difficult enough to put her in a bad mood. She hates this subject.
« I think you would like to see that. It is your girlfriend. »
« What? Another picture of us holding hands? How original. »
Hyejin finally drops her plume, she takes the paper from her friend’s hand and spreads it open, right on the middle page a dozen pictures are showing her girlfriend in a two-piece swimsuit running around the school. Hyejin’s eyes don’t even have the time to admire her girlfriend's beautiful silhouette because the main attraction is a cliché picture of Yongsun leaning against a wall with someone else all over her.
The suggestive captions are the last drop for Hyejin.
The quiet library hears Hyejin’s anger. The girl is boiling up, she grits her teeth, cleans out her desk, and gathers her things before leaving her friends in disbelief. She clenches the dumb school paper in her hands and walks out.
Hyejin is difficult to anger; Byulyi can’t even recall dealing with an angry Hyejin in the past, maybe once when she took one of Hyejin's toys, but they were children and Hyejin didn’t handle the concept of sharing very well back then.
The Journal Club is situated on the fourth floor in one of the disused classrooms, the members of the club helped to develop the room so they could work, discuss, and rest. Students are all hard at work making sure that the next edition is ready on time when they hear someone storm in.
Hyejin throws the paper on the main table, she locks eyes with George, a seventh-year student from Hufflepuff she knows quite well. He is at the head of the school journal and is the one charged to approve or not the articles; he is quite serious about his responsibilities and Hyejin can’t believe he let such a thing get published.
« What is that! »
This is not the quiet and discrete Hyejin everyone knows her to be. George looks at the paper and naturally opens it to the center page, where the many pictures of Yongsun are featured. He frowns when he reads the captions of the photographs. He would have never let such an article get published; Yongsun is a good friend of his and he is very much against all the scoops students enjoy reading.
His journal is serious, he interviews, photographs, researches and gets involved in every single one of the articles. His ultimate goal, since he is reaching the end of his Hogwarts education, is to pass his passion on to the other members so that the Journal Club live for a long time, even after he is gone.
« Hyejin, you know I would never do such a thing. Yongsun is my friend. »
« Then why is it in your dumb journal? Why are there pictures of my girlfriend half- in the journal! »
« Hyejin, calm down. Please, have a sit. »
« No! I am not having a freaking sit! I want answers and I want it to stop! »
George signals the other students in the room to leave them alone. He pulls a chair out for Hyejin to sit on, but the girl pushes him away. She is angry, the dry kind of anger because she is on her last straw. While she seems composed, she is raging inside, her movements are harsh, and she only speaks loudly. Because the situation transforms Hyejin’s quiet and tame nature.
This is too much.
« Hyejin, I think someone added this page later on. Look, it is loosely done, but enough to hold on to the paper. I’m telling you, this isn’t us, this isn’t me. I would never do such a thing to Yongsun or you. »
« Then who is it? »
« I don’t know. »
« Stop bullting me. You know and you are telling me who it is now, or I am coming back with my snake. »
George isn’t scared of the Slytherin, nor of any of her threats, because he knows her, she is kind, and she has a pure heart. She is only Hyejin, the girl who made Yongsun walks out of her usual path, the one who looks at you with only tenderness, the one with her uniform always slightly off because she doesn’t like when it is put on properly. Considerate Hyejin.
« Hyejin… »
« Tell me. »
« Fine, but don’t do anything irrational. It is Emily. She is the one who takes most of the pictures around the castle. »
Hyejin pushes the chair away from her and walks out of the room but not without taking the disgusting journal along with her. She walks down the stairs, her anger only grows bigger when they won’t move fast enough; she climbs back toward Ravenclaw tower this time. She resolves the riddle without even thinking about it, and the students waiting with her to enter the common room are quite impressed.
« Where is Emily? »
« She went to get something in her room… I… I will get her for you. »
Hyejin’s eyes don’t leave the stairs leading to dormitories. She almost jumps at Emily’s throat when she sees the girl appearing, but a well-known Ravenclaw gets to her before she can throw herself at the girl.
« Let go of me! »
« You calm down first! »
Dana pulls her away from Emily, she holds Hyejin by the arm with surprising strength. The Slytherin tries to get lost, but Dana won’t let go. She is taller and stronger than Hyejin, even if the latter is currently angry, Dana is still the strongest.
« I have to talk to Emily. Let go of me! Now! »
« Emily, can you come here? My friend Hyejin right here has something to tell you. »
« I am not your friend. »
Dana rolls her eyes, she pulls Hyejin toward a corner of the common room; with just a movement of the hand, she indicates to the other Ravenclaws to mind their own business. They obey but still keep their ears open waiting to hear what’s to come.
« Hyejin, here is Emily. She is a good friend of mine. So, I would like it if you addressed her kindly. »
Hyejin gives up on having Dana let go of her arm, but still, she throws the journal to Emily’s face. The girl, a fifth-year Ravenclaw just like Dana and Wheein, is well known for taking pictures around the castle of everything from the Quidditch match to the various events happening at Hogwarts; the Journal Club also calls her to take portraits of the students they interview; she is, by far, a better photographer than George.
« I guess you are angry about the pictures. »
Emily doesn’t give away any emotions about how she felt regarding the way Hyejin addressed her and threw the journal at her. She turns it around for Dana to see it too. Hyejin wants to punch the photographer in the face so bad, but she is on Ravenclaw grounds and Dana could easily avenge her friend afterward.
« I took them, but I didn’t put them in here. That’s amateur work, look it is all baggy. And the quality of the pictures… I don’t know what they did but they ruined them. »
« Why did you even take those pictures in the first place? »
« … I don’t know if you are new around here, but Yongsun always does that. She goes out for a swim every first day of spring in the Great Lake. I just wanted some pictures of her… for obvious reasons. It is not my fault she suddenly started to kiss Jung. »
« WHAT! »
It is both Dana and Hyejin who scream. The two exchange a long look; Dana takes the paper from Emily, and she analyzes the other student who walks with Yongsun. The pictures are of the worst quality and the only reason everyone knows it is Yongsun in the swimsuit is that there is one with a big zoom on her face.
« I wasn’t planning to publish them. Surely I would have deleted them in the future. »
The other pictures are of Yongsun walking on the training grounds but taken from the back with another student at her side, it is obvious it is a girl from her silhouette and height. The picture which is the most scandalous in Hyejin’s eyes is the one where Yongsun has the said girl all over her. But it is only an interpretation of the picture, it is impossible to see what they are truly doing.
Dana suddenly gasps, she sees, the bracelet around the girl’s wrist in the picture where she takes off her work robe to give to Yongsun.
« That’s the bracelet I got Wheein for her birthday last year. It is her. »
Hyejin tries to look at the picture attentively too, but all she sees is her anger flaming up again. She doesn’t want to cry from betrayal, she wants to be angry and confront everyone, and she doesn’t want to let go. Dana is too lost in thought, she doesn’t see Wheein entering the common room. Hyejin jumps at her.
« Hyej… Yah! What are you doing! »
Hyejin slaps Wheein. The common room is deadly silent, all the eyes turn to face their direction. Wheein isn’t even mad, she is really confused, why did Hyejin slap her? Why does Hyejin look so angry?
« You! I thought we were friends! I should have known! Ever since I told you about Yongsun and me, you have been weird about it! You! You! »
Hyejin pushes Wheein, she tries to hit the girl, but it is too difficult. Wheein is someone she trusted, how could she do that to her?
It takes hours for her to figure everything out. Wheein is secluded in her room, and she refuses to talk to anyone. She has locked the door from the inside and even her two roommates can’t enter. Hyejin is still in the Ravenclaw common room, she is sitting in front of one of the many big windows, watching as the sun slowly sets behind the horizon.
Wheein briefly explained the incident; she only helped Yongsun get to the Quidditch changing room so she wouldn’t get caught. After her explanation, she left Hyejin and the common room. The young Slytherin had had time to calm down, to think about everything that happened and the reason behind the way she acted. That wasn’t like her.
Guilt swallows Hyejin, she doesn’t know why she is staying in Ravenclaw’s common room. Strangely, none of the students made her feel unwelcome; Dana did a good job at threatening everyone into being either nice or ignoring Hyejin while she is there.
Dinner will be served shortly but Hyejin decides to skip it because doesn’t feel like confronting Hogwarts.
« Have you seen Wheein? »
« No. She refuses to open the door to her room, even to me. Some teachers tried to force the door with a spell, but Wheein has it locked well. »
It has been three days since the accident already. After that day, Hyejin’s relationship with everyone took a blow. Byulyi was the first one to find her in their room, she was rolled under the covers with Layon snuggled in her arms. On that day, Hyejin refused to talk, even to Byulyi, about what had happened because she felt terrible about her actions.
Byulyi didn’t let her off the hook that easily, so Hyejin was forced to at least say the bare minimum about the whole situation. Byulyi wasn’t mad at her like Hyejin feared, she was just extremely disappointed, not even about Hyejin’s fury, but over Hyejin not even have tried to get an explanation from Wheein, who is supposed to be her friend.
With Yongsun it had been different.
Hyejin was truly anxious to confront the girl. When she found Yongsun, the girl didn’t let anything show, and it paralyzed Hyejin because she was so used to her usual honesty, to her emotions showing on her face. Hyejin was met with a Yongsun wearing mask, she had a poker face on, and Hyejin hated it.
Yongsun asked why. Hyejin didn’t understand the meaning of her question. Somehow, she found herself speechless in front of her girlfriend. It was simply a situation she couldn't handle, and Yongsun didn’t ask anything else. She just left.
« Have you seen Yongsun? »
« … No. I don’t know what I should do. »
Byulyi only has to open her arms for Hyejin to rush into them. On the very same armchair of their common room, Hyejin finds herself seeking comfort in the only person who will never shut her door at her. Byulyi knows when to push her and when to leave her alone, Byulyi adores her more than anyone, and Byulyi knows her like the back of her hand.
« Yongsun will come around. I think it is difficult for her, she likes you, but this is Wheein you unleashed your anger. An innocent Wheein. »
« I know. I am sorry. »
« I know, I know, but the people you have to apologize to are Yongsun and Wheein when she decides to leave her room, not me. »
« I am sorry. »
« Hyejin. »
Wheein is holding Hyejin’s silver and green tie in between her fingers because once again the Slytherin hasn’t bothered to tie it properly and it slipped from around her neck. Hyejin shyly takes it back from Wheein, she doesn’t know how to face Wheein anymore. The two just shared a class, Hyejin had spent the entire time looking at Wheein from the back of the classroom. The Ravenclaw has finally come back to class.
« Can we talk? »
Wheein smiles, her dimple growing on her cheek. Hyejin follows her, somewhere in between the classrooms, a bit away from the passing students.
« Wheein, I am so sorry about the other day. I… »
« I know. Byulyi caught me right when I exited Ravenclaw’s common room. »
Hyejin nods, she tries to maintain eye contact with Wheein but the guilt inside her stomach makes the task difficult to achieve.
« I thought about what you told me. That I was acting weird ever since you told me about Yongsun and you. I honestly never felt like I was. Maybe I just didn’t notice it. »
« Wheein, I was just angry, and I said… I just wanted to find someone to blame. I was not thinking straight. »
« I know. Byulyi told me. Don’t worry Hyejin, I am not mad at you. On the other hand, … I heard Yongsun doesn’t feel the same way. »
Hyejin wishes things would be easier with Yongsun; she hasn’t heard of the girl for days now. She has barely seen her around the castle. Her mind is constantly torn between wanting to talk everything out with her and avoiding the situation altogether until it goes away.
Byulyi has been kind enough to help her when it came to Wheein, but she has strongly refused to do anything concerning Yongsun. It is your relationship, not mine. Hyejin hates that she is right. Even her sisters have been telling her the best thing to do is to have a conversation with Yongsun and talk it all out, even if it ends up leading to the end of their relationship; Hyejin has to confront the girl.
« I haven’t seen her. »
« She must be really mad. »
« Great… »
Wheein gives her a sympathetic smile, she feels sorry for her friend.
« Wheein. I am sorry for what I said and for hitting you. You are my friend, and I shouldn’t have acted like that. »
« It is okay now. I am sorry too. I wasn’t supportive of your relationship at first, maybe this is why all of it happened? Anyway, we are good, okay? »
Wheein isn’t a big hugger, but she knows Hyejin enjoys them, so she timidly takes Hyejin in her arms. The Slytherin immediately hugs her back strongly.
« What are you doing here? »
« I wanted to talk to you, and you have been avoiding me. »
Yongsun only nods, she doesn’t turn around, and continues to get rid of her trousers, she folds them quickly and puts her white pants on, the ones from her Quidditch uniform. Hyejin looks down, she is searching for her next words. How to put an end to this situation?
« I want to apologize. I know I was wrong to assume things just from a picture. »
« You didn’t just assume things. You turned the school upside down until you went too far and took it all out on Wheein. »
« I. Know. That. I apologized to Wheein already. »
« Why didn’t you just come and find me? No. I have a better question. Why did you assume the worst out of these pictures? »
« I… I don’t know. »
Yongsun has changed her top too. She only has to lace up her shoes and properly tuck her pants inside. Hyejin is lacking words that express what she wants to say, she feels paralyzed when faced with this side of Yongsun. It is so cold, nothing like the girl she has been dating.
« You see, before we started to date, you worried about my reputation and it was a legitimate worry; I used to have flings with people and they never lasted long, but when I asked you to date me, I was serious. I was serious about wanting a relationship with you, and I did nothing but be honest and do my best to ease your worries. Every single time, Hyejin. »
Yongsun finishes lacing up her shoes. She stands up and walks in front of Hyejin, and the girl is staring into her sincere yet so intense eyes. There is no cold mask on Yongsun’s face anymore, only disappointment and pain can be seen. Hyejin feels herself starting to tear up.
« All this effort I put in for you and yet you never truly saw it. The reason I am so disappointed in you is that you never really gave me a chance. I am and always have been honest with you and everyone else. »
Hyejin is heavily crying. Tears of guilt. Yongsun wipes them away, caressing Hyejin’s cheek one last time. She then steps back to get her broom. Hyejin watches her, she wants to say she’s sorry, she wants Yongsun to know she doesn’t think of her that way, she wants to fix things with her. This can’t be the end.
« I can’t be with someone who doesn’t trust me. I hope you understand that, Hyejin. »
Hello. It is Friday and I am back! Hehe.
First of all, a big thank you to @byulyisupremacy for beta reading this chapter and making some parts make more sense. Thank you!
Second, well I am aware I can't please everyone while writing the story; BUT I do have a strong affection for Yongsun's character. I know maybe... she can come off as insensitive by instance, and maybe a bit self-centered, but you can't reproach her for not considering Byulyi's feelings when she isn't even aware of those. Plus, all the characters are teenagers, do you know people more self-centered than teenagers? Anyway, I just wanted to make that clear.
Overall, this chapter might be my favorite so far. I think we see everyone's true personality pretty well. Also, unlike the last chapter, it pushes the story forwards. He!
Well on this note, thank you to all of you following, giving feedback, and upvoting the story. Thank you thank you, this is so nice and I am still having a blast writing it! I wish you all a good day! Stay safe and enjoy your week! See you!