« Come on. »
The words stay between Wheein’s close teeth, she is flying a good hundred of meters above the ground, she pushes her broom to go higher in the cloudy sky; her blue and silver Quidditch uniform is slamming against her body, and she feels her fingers getting colder.
The Ravenclaw keeps on pushing higher, at some point, she doesn’t even feel her fingers, only the cold air burning and lungs. Her lips are turning blue, and she feels the cold biting every inch of her exposed skin; the uniform of Quidditch is meant to keep the students warm, but Wheein is pushing the limits.
She looks down, the Quidditch pitch looks so small from here. Wheein orients her broom perpendicular to the ground and starts her fall, the goal is to gain speed, to feel it. Ever since her exploit at the Quidditch match, she has been trying to recreate this incredible speed but she doesn’t seem to be able to.
Wheein pushes the broom to go even faster; with a potion, she managed to reinforce her broom, she believes it is now impossible to break. She pushes again, her hair, trapped in a braid, is acting wild behind her, and her uniform is tortured by her experiences. When she is only a few meters above the ground, she straightens her broom with force, her muscles burn from the action, and she finishes with a tour of the pitch.
Wheein is freezing when she enters the changing room, she puts her broom in her locker and quickly strips out of her uniform, she hums when the warm water hits her skin. It takes almost half an hour before Wheein emerges from under the water, showered, clean, and more importantly warm.
Wheein quickly makes her way to the Great Hall, she catches a quick breakfast before taking the staircase to her first class. She follows every class while taking notes and listening to the instructions each teacher gives her. After lunch, she has one last class before she can do her homework. Hogwarts students rarely have more than one class in the afternoon so they can dedicate this time to their homework or other activities.
Wheein makes her way to the library, she stays up to dinner time, her eyes burn her from the amount of reading she did. She lost herself in a book and now her homework isn’t done. She still gives herself a ten-minute break after dropping off her books and parchments in her room. In the Ravenclaw common room, she stretches; her back, her muscles, and her head hurt. She doesn’t have a spell or a potion for that right now.
Wheein makes her way to the dinner in the Great Hall, she sits with her friends, and they laugh, talk and eat happily. Wheein believes this is the best moment of her day when she gets to spend quality time with them. Once the dinner is over, she takes a walk outside, she breathes a little before coming back to the Ravenclaw tower and finishing the last bit of her homework in the common room. She often stays until late at night there.
« Done. »
It is around 01:00 AM when Wheein falls on her bed.
« Wow. This guy is wonderful. »
Yongsun is sitting in the Great Hall with Hyejin, it is late in the afternoon and most students have left to do something else than their homework. The two girls have been talking for the past hour, eventually, Layon, Hyejin’s pet snake, came up in the conversation, and Yongsun asked Hyejin to meet the little guy and here they are.
Layon is in Yongsun’s hands, the girl is very absorbed by the pet; she isn’t familiar with snakes, which explains her fascination for Layon. Hyejin explains to her how to handle it, she can’t help but tell the Gryffindor about her first meeting with the blue and green snake.
Hyejin’s mom has been visiting an old friend of hers who has a real passion for reptiles; Hyejin has been forced to join her mom this day. As she was walking around the place, her eyes got caught by the beautiful trimeresurus insularis; it was also this day she realized she could speak Parseltongue. Gracefully, her mom’s old friend gave Layon to Hyejin, he said it would have been criminal of him not to acknowledge their bond.
Hyejin has spent the last two years with Layon by her side, he is more like a friend than a pet. Sometimes, she gets weird stares because she speaks Parseltongue to Layon, but the girl never shies away from her ability.
Hyejin finds it adorable the way Yongsun opens her big eyes to every new fact she gives her about the snake, Yongsun is delicate with the pet and shows genuine interest. Layon ends up sliding off Yongsun’s hands, he is small but fast and soon finds his favorite spot on Hyejin’s shoulder with a part of his body hiding under her long hair.
« He is so pretty. »
Hyejin smiles, she doesn’t pay enough attention to Yongsun’s next movement. The girl stretches a hand to touch the snake once again, Layon bites her. Yongsun doesn’t even make a noise, she quickly takes back her hand, Hyejin feels a wave of worries arising as a tear slides off Yongsun’s cheek.
« Oh no. Are you okay? Yongsun, I am so sorry. Are you okay? »
Hyejin looks around her worried, she keeps biting her lips, anxiety rising as Yongsun isn’t responding, she holds her hand in front of her. The bite is clear on her white skin, two red dots on top of her hand, and a few red pearls of blood are rolling down, Hyejin tries to clean it up with a tissue, and Yongsun lets out a couple of tears.
« Am I going to die? »
« What! »
« I am going to die? »
Hyejin wants to laugh. Yongsun’s voice is worried, she has wet puppy eyes and keeps on holding her injured hand in front of her. Hyejin explains her Layon’s bites aren’t venomous enough to kill a human. Yongsun looks at the snake with fear, Hyejin repeats that Layon’s bites are harmless.
« It hurts. »
Hyejin has never seen the sixth-year Gryffindor act in such a childish way. Yongsun doesn’t listen to her, she is crying, and slow tears keep on rolling down her cheeks. Hyejin doesn’t know what to do, eventually, she sends a Slytherin call for Byulyi.
It works. Yongsun stops crying after seeing Byulyi’s numerous bites on her hands and even some on her arms, most of them have faded away but Yongsun sees the small scars left by the two fangs. Layon used to be bittier with people who weren’t Hyejin; Byulyi has been his favorite victim in the past. Hyejin feels relieved when Yongsun stops holding her injured hand in front of her like a broken limb.
« What are you doing for Christmas this year? »
November has ended, and December is well started; Wheein isn’t a big fan of this period of the year. Both of her parents have important positions at the Ministry of Magic, she knows that going back home during the winter holidays will be lonely anyway. Most of the time, she stays at Hogwarts, it is nice and warm, and she likes the way it feels. She thinks there are so many things to do.
« Wanna come with me? My parents want to invite you. »
Wheein and Yongsun are in the seventh-floor bathroom, Wheein is sitting on one of the sinks, her feet dangling in the air, and Yongsun is leaning on a wall. Her short hair is sweaty and she is only wearing her white shirt despite the cold winter. Wheein and her have been reviewing some spells, at the end of each session Wheein likes to bombard the Gryffindor with her wand, forcing the girl to use what she just learned.
Yongsun always finds herself out of breath at the end, while Wheein is barely breathing louder than usual. The Ravenclaw has a way with magic that Yongsun can’t even start to understand; only Byulyi can rival Wheein’s skill.
« It can’t be worse than my family. »
Yongsun chuckles, that is a weird way of saying “yes”, Wheein smiles at her. The Gryffindor has already invited Wheein to her place in the past, it happened during the summer after her third year at Hogwarts. This year wasn’t like the others, Yongsun had almost died if it hadn't been for Wheein.
Mr. Humso, their DADA teacher had organized a dueling tournament, Yongsun wasn’t participating, but like most students, she watched every duel. The tournament took place in the Great Hall and lasted two weeks. Mr. Humso had selected a bunch of students from each house and each grade, he first had wanted to organize it by the house but ultimately decided for it to be individual.
There were around seventy participants, each day, after the mandatory classes, students would duel; the first days, it was quick and the best students quickly got spotted by the teachers and the spectators. During the second week, there were only two to three duels a day. On the last day, students didn’t even have class as the excitement for the final was impossible to contain.
Instead, Mr. Humso organized the two semi-finals in the morning and the big finale in the afternoon after lunch. Wheein was a second year at this time, but her potential as a wizard was exceptional, making her one of the semi-finalists. George, a fifth-year Hufflepuff, had fought well too. River, a sixth-year Slytherin, had almost cruelly made its way to the semi-final, imposing fear and respect among the other students. Byulyi, at this time a third year, through intense training with Mr. Humso and her natural abilities had managed herself this far too.
The first semi-final opposed Byulyi and George, it only took Byulyi a skillful technique of her wand and an ingenious spell to win over the Hufflepuff. The whole crowd of students cheered for her at this moment. Byulyi was already adored by everyone as a Seeker but she was now recognized for her abilities as a wizard.
In the second semi-final, Wheein affronted River. The Slytherin boy was taller and larger than her, but the Ravenclaw wasn’t impressed, she had fought well the whole two weeks and River knew she wouldn’t be an easy opponent despite her small and thin figure. For the first minute, nothing happened, the two kept quiet, waiting for the other to make the first move. Wheein took a deep breath, River saw it and cast a spell before she could.
River’s spell wasn’t meant for Wheein, but for the ceiling, more precisely, the candles above them. The magic spell, keeping them floating above the students’ heads, broke; Wheein saw how the fall was going to hit a girl right on the top of her head. The candles were bigger and heavier than most people thought, Wheein pointed her wand toward the falling candles and threw a spell, changing them into flowers’ petals; at the same time, River threw another spell right toward Wheein.
Wheein was propelled to the other side of the Great Hall, River won the duel. Wheein had to be transferred to the infirmary, she wasn’t able to move for a while. Byulyi won the duel against River, animated by the bitter feeling of seeing Wheein passed out in the infirmary. At this time, Byulyi and Wheein already held a little rivalry on the Quidditch pitch, and the unfair way River had won aroused her want for victory.
Ever since no other dueling tournament took place at Hogwarts. Yongsun still remembers seeing the huge candles falling right on her and the sudden petals touching her face. She had fallen so grateful to Wheein the whole year, that she visited the girl every day at the infirmary until she felt better. Eventually, she linked bound with Wheein; the beginning of a friendship between them.
At the mention of the incident, Yongsun’s parents formally invited Wheein during the summer, thanking the girl so many times for her quick reaction. Wheein wasn’t a big fan of the attention, but she liked her time with the Kim nonetheless.
« My parents said Yonghee will be here too. »
Yongsun sees how Wheein immediately lights up at the mention of the woman. Yonghee is Yongsun's older sister, for some reason, Wheein adores the woman, it is reciprocal; Yonghee always sends Wheein a letter for her birthday and at the end of each year to congratulate her on her hard work.
« You can tell your parents I am happy to join them for Christmas. »
« Hyejinnie? »
Yongsun walks inside the greenhouse, it feels way hotter than outside where the winter wind blows. The Gryffindor is searching for Hyejin, some Slytherin told Yongsun she could find her here. She walks further inside, making her way between the different parts of the greenhouse.
She is in the Second Greenhouse, where highly dangerous plants are stocked, Yongsun pulls out her wand, ready to cast a spell on any of the living plants willing to attack her. As she walks further inside the building, she hears a voice, from the tone the person is upset.
« I swear, you bouncing bulbs are gonna regret ever meeting me! »
Yongsun sees an angry Hyejin, who is trying to push a bouncing bulb inside a bag, she believes the girl isn’t using the good technique at all. The last thing to do when dealing with a bouncing bulb is to threaten them. Hyejin is battling, one hand is holding the bulb, the other is keeping a bag open; the bouncing bulb is trying very hard to escape from Hyejin’s hold.
Yongsun watches, Hyejin ends up losing her hold on the bouncing bulb which attacks her, it jumps on the poor girl and hits her on the shoulder. Yongsun’s ears wonder how Hyejin know so many swear words, they are so diverse. Hyejin tries to run after the bouncing bulb which jumps again and hits Hyejin on the head; she falls to the ground, just in front of Yongsun’s feet. Yongsun is quick to squat down when she sees the bouncing bulb jumping in her direction.
The purple plant known under the name bouncing bulb is well known for its aggressiveness when feeling threatened. Yongsun prefers to let the bulb be for a while, so it calms down; it is easier to handle this way.
« An impressive performance. »
Hyejin sighs, Yongsun helps her sit down, she tells the girl to wait for the bouncing bulb to calm down for now. Hyejin tries to put her hair back in place, and Yongsun helps her clean up her uniform from the dirt. She is so close to Hyejin who suddenly feels a blush forming on her cheeks.
« What are you doing here? »
« I was looking for you. It seems like you need some help. »
« … Mr. Greysom charged me to pick some bouncing bulb for his Pompion potion. But those...plants are so stubborn. »
Yongsun chuckles, Hyejin is just using the wrong technique. They stay on the floor a moment, Yongsun keeps on mysteriously smiling at Hyejin and the girl can only take so much before turning bright red. After a few minutes, Yongsun whispers to her to stand up slowly.
She leads Hyejin toward the stubborn bouncing bulb, and with a confident and firm hand, she catches it. The bouncing bulb doesn’t have the time to react, Yongsun lovingly puts it in the bag and closes it. She gently pats the bag, the bouncing bulb doesn’t even move. Hyejin is impressed, and Yongsun brightly smiles at her.
« Here you go. »
Hyejin accepts the bag, now her mission is done. Yongsun and her walk toward the exit of the greenhouse, Yongsun’s hand keep on brushing against Hyejin’s and the girl is sure Yongsun is doing it on purpose.
« Why were you looking for me? »
« Ah. After the incident with Layon, you have been ignoring me. »
Yongsun pouts, and Hyejin nods at Yongsun’s words. Indeed, she has been actively avoiding the Gryffindor; she felt guilty about the whole thing, and she didn’t know how to feel about Yongsun’s behavior. Instead of bothering her mind with the matter, Hyejin has been ignoring it as a whole.
« I don’t blame Layon. I am okay. Look. My hand is good. »
Hyejin takes a look, the two fangs left a tiny scar on Yongsun’s hand, she nods to herself. Yongsun grabs her arm and turns Hyejin around, forcing the girl to face her. Hyejin keeps on looking everywhere but at Yongsun, but the Gryffindor gently holds her chin, she can’t help but face the girl.
Hyejin dives into the warm brown eyes, they are so inviting, and they look at her in such a way, that it makes her heart beat faster. Yongsun pushes a lock of hair out of Hyejin’s face, grazing her cheek from the tips of her fingers. Hyejin faints a little when Yongsun moves closer and she is sure the girl is doing it on purpose.
She forces herself to not close her eyes, she hates herself for thinking Yongsun is going to kiss her. The Gryffindor has this smirk on her lips, Hyejin wants to know the reason behind it, she hears herself breathing louder than usual, Yongsun’s perfume is all around her and It is even harder to focus.
« I lied. I wasn’t looking for you just because of the incident. »
Hyejin makes it a real effort to concentrate on the words Yongsun is saying. She feels her breath against her lips, she needs to get out of the greenhouse, or she will faint. But Yongsun’s hands against her cheek leave her motionless.
« I wanted to do that. »
Yongsun kisses her and Hyejin faints.