Jisung is having a bad day. A really bad day. It started with him waking up late, and as a result not getting to eat any breakfast, then having a surprise quiz in transfiguration, which he swears on his favorite pair of sneakers he failed, and now this.
Boggarts. Fucking Boggarts. Of course, that has to be the next unit they study in defense against the dark arts. He’s been dreading this unit all year, the idea of having to share his biggest fear with the rest of his classmates terrifies him.
Looking around the classroom, he sees a number of reactions, most being dread, while some look happy, which is fair considering he’s in a classroom full of Slytherins wanting more than anything more dirt on each other. He attempts to look back to their professor but someone else catches his eye.
Zhong Chenle, a fifth year like himself, though the former is a Hufflepuff, unlike Jisungs' Slytherin self. Chenle and he have quite the relationship if you can even call it that. Stemming from an accident in their first year (In his first year he unknowingly got into the wrong crowd, his ‘friends’ played a prank on Huang Renjun, a then second-year Ravenclaw, which ended with all of Renjun's muggle books, some of which seemed important and special to him, considering the fact that he almost cried, being destroyed. Chenle, who is in the same friend group as Renjun, cornered him and told him he better get some better friends, or else.) Looking back at it know it was an empty threat, but that didn’t stop Jisung from dropping his old friend group, and Chenle from glaring at him any chance he got.
Though Jisung doubts he’d ever actually confront him in a fight, word around the Slytherin common room says that Chenle is actually quite scared of most Slytherins because of all the stories he heard growing up. He rolls his eyes remembering that Slytherins might not be nice but that’s because every other house puts the expectation of them and treats them like garbage. It makes sense to him though, Chenle believing the stereotype of Slytherins being scary and mean, considering Chenle himself is the human embodiment of every Hufflepuff stereotype ever.
Snapping out of his thoughts, Jisung realizes that class is over and starts to pack up. He takes one last look at Chenle and is surprised to find him already looking at him. Jisung gets a funny feeling in his stomach, he smiles (it’s more like a grimace) and turns away to leave.
A week into the new unit Jisung discovers he’s screwed. It’s not like he doesn’t know what his boggart is going to be, it’s the whole turning it into something that isn’t scary that has him stumped.
You wouldn’t be struggling if you weren’t afraid of the least scary thing on this earth, Jisung’s brain supplies. He scowls at the thought, it’s not his fault he’s scared of it. The only thing he can think to do is ask Professor Seo if he can practice on his own one night.
Jisung’s confident he’ll say yes, he’s a good enough student, doesn’t cause too much trouble (he’s heard all the stories of the type of things Lee Donghyuck and Na Jaemin get up to together. A match made in heaven for pranks, and a match made in hell for all the professors at Hogwarts.), and Professor Seo is known for being lenient.
Sighing, he starts to draft out what he’s going to say, so as to not mess up and embarrass himself in front of his professor. Class begins as boring as usual, because before they actually meet the boggart they have to learn every single detail about it.
Jisung listens to his professor drone on about different spells they could use to turn their fears into something funny and he stops to think.
How the hell am I going to do this?
Thursday comes, and with the ok from his professor, Jisung shows up to the empty classroom Professor Seo set up for him, and decides that he’s not leaving until he comes up with a solution to his problem.
He tiptoes over to the box with the boggart is in, really wishing he was anywhere but here. As he’s reaching to open it, the box shakes and Jisung launches himself backward, almost falling over in the process.
You can do this Jisung, it’s not that hard, just open the box.
Jisung spends a good five minutes contemplating whether it’s really worth it, he can afford to fail a class when the door bursts open. He whirls his head to face whoever just barged into the room and can’t believe who he sees.
“Hi,” none other than Chenle stands there, slightly out of breath, and looks at him with wide eyes. “Sorry, I didn’t think anybody would be in here.”
He stares at him with his mouth open before a loud shout shakes him out of whatever trance he was in. Chenle’s eyes go wide with fear and he turns to slam the door shut. At this point Jisungs annoyed, this was his private practice session, not Chenle's.
“What are you do—,” Chenle cuts him off with a hand on his mouth.
“Please be quiet. I might or might not jinxed all the sleeves off of every single shirt Jeno owns on a dare,” he says breathlessly, taking his hand off Jisungs' mouth. Before Jisung can open his mouth to say anything, the boggart decides to make its presence known. “Wait, what are you doing in here?” Chenle walks over to the box and begins to examine it. “Is there a boggart in here?”
Jisung wants nothing more than for him to leave so he can get on with things, but he realizes this is the first time Chenle and he has properly talked since first year and decides that he probably should be nicer considering what happened last time, “Maybe.”
“Well why haven’t you let it out yet?” Chenle looks at him with a mischievous smile on his face,”What, are you scared?”
Jisung snorts, deciding to play it cool, “No, you just barged in here before I was able to start,” he says, running a hand through his hair.
His answer makes Chenle cringe, he looks at the floor and starts rubbing the back of his neck, “Yeah...Sorry about that,” he perks up and turns back towards the box, “How about I help you out as an apology?”
The question hangs in the air as Jisungs' stomach drops. He realizes that no matter what, Chenle was going to find out his biggest fear, but he’d much rather have it happen in class than one on one, he figures it’d be easier to hide his embarrassment then. Jisung thinks about talking his way out of it but then Chenle speaks up again.
“Oh, are you too afraid to open it? I didn’t peg you as the scaredy-cat type Jisung,” he says smirking and tilting his head. He’s right, Jisungs' brain supplies. Shut up, he thinks in response. Jisung may not be the stereotypical Slytherin, but he’s not one to back down from something, especially with the way Chenle's looking at him right now.
“Shut up, move and I’ll open it,” he pulls his wand out of his pocket, mentally preparing himself for what’s about to happen. Chenle puts his hands up in defeat and moves to stand behind Jisung. He whispers the spell to unlock the box and the boggart flies out. Jisung holds his breath as they both wait for it to turn into his biggest fear.
“Is that…” Chenle begins to say and then bursts into laughter, falling to the floor. He looks up at the boggart again and starts practically screaming with laughter.
“Shut up you dick it's not that funny,” Jisung huffs turning away from the, in his opinion, horrifying creature. He huffs and crosses his arms, pouting. “Just help me get rid of it and this can all be over.”
Calming down, Chenle turns to Jisung with tears in his eyes. “Jisung,” he says giggling, trying to not look at the boggart, “Let me get this straight, you’re afraid of butterflies?” he barely gets the sentence out before dissolving into more laughter.
Jisung turns around and looks at the gigantic butterfly in front of them, he closes his eyes and takes a shaky breath. Realizing he can’t look at it any longer he turns back to Chenle and nods his head yes. Yes he’s deathly afraid of butterflies, and he wants nothing more than to run from this room, but he doesn’t want Chenle to think he’s a wimp. The look on Chenles face turns from amusement to thoughtful, the slightly shorter boy looks him up and down and nods his head.
“Okay, how about you turn it into a caterpillar?” he suggests actually trying to be helpful.
Jisung nods his head, turning to the boggart, and raises his wand.
“So why butterflies?”
Jisung looks up from his breakfast to see Chenle standing in front of him with his hands on his hips. “What?” he says around all the food in his mouth. Chenle scrunches up his face in disgust.
“The boggart remember? Why are you afraid of butterflies? They’re practically harmless,” Chenle states, stealing one of Jisungs' sausages and sitting down across from him. Jisung makes a face and Chenle looks back at him with a smug grin and opens his mouth once he’s done swallowing, a petty thing to do if you ask Jisung.
Looking around him he notices that Chenle and he are getting weird stares from the other Slytherins. Jisung feels odd at this, he’s usually not one to get much attention, but a Hufflepuff at their table is a sure fire way to get people to stare.
He doesn’t know why though, useless house rivalries are supposed to be a thing of the past. Why is a Slytherin having breakfast with a Hufflepuff a case for staring? Jisung doesn’t know.
Chenle looks at him expectantly and he grimaces. It’s not really an interesting story, just a bad memory, plus class starts soon.
“I’ll tell you later,” he says quietly, almost hoping the other boy doesn’t hear him.
“I’m going to hold you to that,” Chenle replies, grabbing Jisung’s last sausage off his plate. “See you around Sungie.”
Jisung watches Chenle walk back to his table, the nickname causes him to freeze, and a feeling of something he can’t quite put his finger on washes over him. But seeing everyone start to leave for their first class of the day he decides to not dwell on it too much.
He doesn’t know when it started to be honest, Jisung joining Chenles’ friend group. At first, it was just them partnering up for potions class. Then he was introduced to the infamous Donghyuck and Jaemin, two sixth years, Hufflepuff and Slytherin respectively. Jisung was just glad to meet someone as tall as him.
After a few mentions of the rest of their friend group during their “hangouts” , he’s introduced to Mark, a seventh-year Gryffindor, Jeno, a sixth year Hufflepuff, and re-introduced to Renjun, a sixth year Ravenclaw. That was awkward, he thinks while remembering how that lunch went.
Lunches at the Hufflepuff table become the norm, and next thing he knows he’s spending every meal time with the other six boys. Jisung thinks he quite enjoys having a friend group to belong too, laughing along with the rest of the boys instead of being lost in his own head during breaks.
Laughter breaks out amongst the group of boys, Donghyuck and Jaemin having told them the story of the time they set off fireworks in the prefect bathroom, and only got out of trouble because Donghyuck tried flirting with Lee Taeyong, head boy of Slytherin house. Jisung looks up to see Chenle looking at him already, and feels a wave of deja-vu rush over him. Chenle smiles at him and his breath catches in his throat. Jisung smiles back before looking back at the floor.
“So Jisung, how did you and our dear Chenle meet?”
Maybe making friends was a bad idea after all.
Late in the afternoon, after lunch when most kids prefer to be outside with their friends, is Jisungs favorite time to study. He enjoys the quiet of the library, the occasional noise of books returning to their shelves, but it seems he’s taken everything for granted the past five years he’s been at Hogwarts.
The library has always been his favorite place, almost an escape from busy Hogwarts life. It’s a place where he can sit for hours working on homework or reading a book. Jisung has also taken up writing his own this past year, as a way to unwind and let his thoughts out.
“I’m bored.” Chenles' voice tears through the silence of the library. In reality, he’s not even being loud, his voice a whisper, but it still seems too loud to Jisung. He didn’t know that when he somehow became Chenle’s friend it meant he signed up to 24/7 distractions.
It’s not like you mind it or anything.
“Then go annoy Mark or something,” Jisung closes his book while raising his head to look at the intrusion in the form of a teenage boy. Chenle is looking at him with his cheek resting on his fist while pouting.
It’s almost as if a choir starts singing and he swears he can see a halo on top of Chenle’s head.
Jisung’s breath catches in his throat and his stomach drops. At that moment Jisung has an interesting revelation.
Chenle is really pretty.
Thinking back, Jisung realizes that he’s been feeling weird around Chenle throughout the entirety of their friendship, though he always chalked it up to him not really knowing how to act around him, but ever since that day in the library Jisung’s been thinking about him and only him.
His thoughts have been a constant loop of ChenleChenleChenle for the last week straight. Every time he spends time with the older he notices more and more about Chenle. From the way his eyes gradually go smaller the bigger his smile gets, to the adorable dimple on his cheek.
I’d really like to pinch them, Jisung thinks, feeling the blush rush onto his face, imagine the look on his face, he’d giggle and scrunch his nose, he shakes his head at the thought, trying to cool down his face so as to not look weird.
“What’s going on in that head of yours Jisung?”
Jaemin plops down next to him on one of the couches of the Slytherin common room. Friendship with Chenle has brought more than just a funny feeling in his stomach, it’s also brought even more distractions, this time in the form of Jaemin.
“Nothing,” he shrugs his shoulders and looks away, he’s not ready to voice his thoughts out loud. The other Slytherin boy doesn’t seem convinced though, and if there’s anything Jaemin is good at, it’s prying.
The older boy pouts, “C’mon you can talk to me, I’ve been told I give amazing advice.”
Transparent, that’s what Jisungs’ always been when it comes to his feelings, and the internal struggle he’s having shows on his face. Jaemin’s smile falls of his face, noticing the change in the younger boy’s demeanor.
The atmosphere changes from playful to serious. Jisung swallows, he doesn’t like it.
“If you don’t want to talk to me that’s okay, but it’s not good to keep things bottled up,” Jaemin says softly, shifting to look Jisung in the eyes. “Maybe talking to Chenle might help?”
If he didn’t already want to leave, Jaemin’s last question sure was the icing on the cake. As if sensing Jisung’s discomfort at the mention of the Hufflepuff, he reaches to grab a hold of the youngers shoulder. “Is it about Chenle?”
Jisung nods, too afraid to look the other in the eye. “I can’t really explain it,” he swallows nervously, “that’s what I’ve been trying to figure out.”
“Maybe I can help, what happened?”
It’s now or never, Jisung decides, deep down he knows why he feels as if he can’t breathe around the older boy, but he’s hoping Jaemin will tell him he’s wrong.
He opens his mouth but the words don’t come out. Huffing he runs his hand through his hair. As much as he wishes he didn’t have these feelings, he doesn’t want to be a coward. After a couple seconds and an encouraging hand on his thigh he finally gets the words he’s been refusing to admit to himself out.
“I think I have a crush on Chenle.”
2 am. Jisung can’t sleep. It’s been a couple days since Jaemin and he talked, and since then he has found it difficult to fall asleep, opting to think rather than sleep.
Are you going to confess to him?
The question keeps repeating in his mind, his throat going dry and his mind racing with thoughts of what could happen, what could go wrong. He realizes that he doesn’t want to lose Chenle, that he has come to value their friendship over the last month or so they’ve been talking.
Turning to lay on his back, staring at the ceiling, Jisung imagines a scenario of what would happen. Him spilling all of his thoughts about Chenle to him, telling him how much he enjoys spending time with him, even if he acts like he hates it. He starts thinking about what he’d say.
There are so many things he wants to do with the other, like finally finish the potions essay he’s been working on for two weeks, and finally start stealing his food in retaliation for Chenle always stealing his off of his plate.
I’d like to hold his hand, take him on dates, and kiss his cheek. Hands fly up to his face to cover it, groaning. I want to tell him he’s adorable when he get that smug look on his face every time he successfully steals some of my food, and watch him blush while attempting to hide his face. I want to hold him and never let go, play with his hair as we cuddle, leaning in to kiss—
No, Jisung sits up. He won’t let himself think of that, then any chance of him getting over his dumb crush would fly off the top of the Gryffindor tower. He has to stop feeling this way, because he knows how confessing would end. Laying back down, he has another epiphany.
In that moment, Jisung thinks that confessing to Chenle is scarier than a swarm of butterflies.
Jisung walks into his Defense Against the Dark Arts class to find all the desks gone and a box that looks suspiciously familiar.
“The moment you’ve all been waiting for,” Professor Seo exclaims, “Time to face your biggest fears!”
He takes a shaky breath, closing his eyes mentally preparing himself for what’s about to happen. He feels someone come up behind him and tenses, his nose hit with the scent of baby powder and cotton candy, Chenle.
Instead of saying encouraging words, the Hufflepuff slips his hand into Jisung’s, squeezing it briefly before letting go. A blush makes its way onto his face, thinking about how soft Chenle’s hands felt. He’s ripped out of his thoughts of holding the elders hand as they walk to Hogsmeade together when their professor speaks up again.
Professor Seo steps in front of the box, giving each student a quick look up and down. “Who would like to go first?” Everyone takes a nervous step backwards, including both Chenle and Jisung. “Nobody? Don’t make me choose.”
Silence envelopes the classroom before a Slytherin boy offers to go first, his boggart being a werewolf, how boring, and then a Hufflepuff girl who ends up being afraid of some sort of muggle fairy tale monster.
Jisung finds himself zoning out, his thoughts going back to Chenle. How soft his hair is when he lays his head in Jisung’s lap when they’re supposed to be working on homework, allowing him to play with the strands falling across his thighs. His laugh, he thinks about how obnoxious he found it at first, but soon came to love hearing it from across the Great Hall during the rare breakfast they don’t spend together. He thinks about Chenle’s lips, how soft and plump they look, how he tends to bite his bottom lip when attempting to concentrate on his potions essay, and begins to wonder what it’d be like to kiss them.
Jisung blinks, face burning, this is not the time to think about this, he scolds himself. He makes the mistake of looking up and is faced with his professor already staring at him.
“Jisung! Why don’t you go next?”
Stepping forward, he lets out a breathe he didn’t know he was holding. Looking for Chenle almost unconsciously, and sees him giving a thumbs up. He can do this.
He pulls out his wand, nodding his head at Professor Seo to let the Boggart out, and braces himself. The creature bursts out of the box and everyone hold their breath waiting for it to change. Jisung closes his eyes, already knowing what’s going to appear, but opens them when he hears a gasp.
Not the gigantic butterfly he was expecting, but his best friend. He looks at his professor confused until Boggart-Chenle speaks.
“Did you really think I’d ever like you?,” he snears. “You’re more pathetic than I thought.”
Jisungs heart drops into his stomach, completely frozen in place, Boggart-Chenle looks him up and down and scoffs.
“That’s just sad, even for you.”
A loud crash catches the attention of everyone in the room, looking away from the former focus of the room, Jisung finds himself staring straight into the real Chenle’s eyes.
“I-I’m sorry,” he scrambles for his bag, fear and something else in his eyes. “I can’t do this.”
He watches as Chenle runs from the room, still in a state of shock. Jisung can’t believe this is happening. Confessing was something he never wanted to do, but he guesses the universe had other plans.
This day turned out worse than I ever imagined.
The next few days are, to put it frankly, complete and utter shit.
Everytime Jisung sees Chenle in the Great Hall he avoids his eye, whenever they’re walking down the same hallway the Hufflepuff does everything in his power to leave, even if it means being late for class.
In short, Chenle is avoiding him.
Not talking to Chenle means not talking to the rest of his (Chenle’s) friend group, so he has to suffer in silence every meal time. It’s weird, he thinks, not having anyone to talk to never bothered him before. It seems Chenle has affected him in more ways than he thought.
Sadness floods over him, and he realizes that the boggart was right, he is pathetic.
He hears laughter and his head turns to the Hufflepuff table. Seeing his old group hang out without him, clearly doing okay without him, leaves a funny taste in his mouth.
Jisung’s never felt more alone in his life.
After three days Renjun and Jaemin corner him in the Slytherin common room, which he has taken up as his new hangout spot, the library reminded him too much of Chenle.
“I don’t know what happened between you and Chenle,” Renjun breathes out, annoyed. “but you need to fix it right now.”
Jisung’s a bit confused, he was sure even if Chenle didn’t tell them what happened, the incident would’ve made it to them by now, if there’s anything Hogwarts students love it’s drama.
“Uh,” he looks at Jaemin, trying to get him to understand without him having to tell the tale of his rejection.
Thankfully, the other Slytherin is pretty smart.
“You confessed?” Jaemin eyes widen, looking over at Renjun. “Then why are you two avoiding each other instead of sucking face?”
Jisung scrunches his face at that, there could’ve been a better way to word that, he thinks. “Because, surprise surprise, Chenle doesn’t like me back.” he says bitterly.
Laughter breaks out between the two sixth years, leaving Jisung confused. They could’ve been a bit nicer, but then again, he remembers, they’re not really his friends.
“Chenle—,” Renjun wheezes. “Has the biggest fucking crush on you.”
“It’s bigger than Donghyuckie’s ego.” Jaemin provides, wiping the tears from his eyes.
“Trust me kid, I’m the one that’s had to deal with all his soft ranting in Mandarin,” Renjun rolls his eyes. “he talks about how much he loves your nose way too much.”
“W–Wait a second,” he sits down putting his head in his hands. Jisung’s thoughts are going crazy, he can’t believe what’s happening right now. “Then why did he run away? And how are you so sure he likes me, he could just really like my nose.”
Sighing, the two move to sit next to Jisung. “He’s probably scared kiddo.” Jaemin says while rubbing circles into his back.
“And to answer your other question,” Renjun smiles at Jaemin. “I did the same thing when I was pining after Jaemin.”
Jisung sits up confused, there’s so much happening right now he can’t keep up.
Jaemin smiles back at him over Jisung, making him feel awkward and like he’s intruding on something he really shouldn’t. “Aw babe, you had a crush on me?”
The smile drops off of Renjun’s face. “Jaemin we’ve been dating for two years.” he says annoyed.
“I know but still,” he trails off putting his hand on Renjun’s arm. “That’s so cute.”
Hurriedly, Jisung stands up before they start kissing or something worse. “Do either of you know where Chenle is?”
Renjun manages to tear his eyes away from Jaemin after several painful seconds. “He’s in one of the greenhouses.”
“Good luck.” Jaemin winks, he definitely needs to get out of this weird love fest now.
He power walks away from the apparent couple, he stops once he’s almost to the greenhouses to take a few deep breaths. Jisung doesn’t really need to confess, Boggart-Chenle already did most of the job anyways, so he decides to tell the older boy how he feels, in his own words.
Walking into the greenhouse he finds Chenle staring at a single blue butterfly, almost identical to his old boggart. Jisung pauses taking a couple seconds to take a good look at the other boy. He hasn’t changed much in the three days they’ve been away from each other, not that he expected him to, the sunlight is coming through the floor length windows all around them and shining onto the Hufflepuffs face.
Chenle is really, really pretty.
“Hi.” he says awkwardly shifting from one foot to the other. Chenle looks up at him and Jisung can’t help the wave of emotions that hits him. He’s never felt this way for someone before, so much. It scares him, he’s not going to lie, but much like any situation with the older boy, it also excites him and brings him peace at the same time.
That nickname, he supposes, was the catalyst for his feelings. Standing in front of Chenle he realizes what the feeling all those weeks ago was. Not quite love, but something on the way to it.
Reaching out his finger, the butterfly flies towards him and lands on it. Looking at the insect, he begins. “When I was younger my parents took me to a zoo and they had this butterfly exhibit,” he breathes out. “I was maybe seven or eight but I was so excited to see them.”
Licking his lips he turns away to look at Chenle. Locking eyes with him, he continues. “I thought they were beautiful.”
Chenle sucks in a breathe.
“Long story short they surrounded me and I wasn’t able to see,” he lets out a breathy laugh. “ever since them I haven’t been able to look at one without my skin crawling.”
The butterfly flies off and leaves the two boys staring at each other.
It’s now or never.
“And then you came along, barging into my solo practice all out of breathe. My life changed, I finally had some friends, and I had you.”
Chenle looks at him confused.
“Zhong Chenle, a boy I thought hated me, had became my friend. I couldn’t believe it honestly, you’re way to good of a person. Which is why I thought the feeling in my stomach I got whenever I was around you was just me not knowing how to handle having friends.”
He walks closer to Chenle and squats down in front of him.
“But then one day you were bugging me in the library and I remember looking up from my book at thinking, he’s so pretty.”
Jisung tucks a stray strand of hair behind his ear.
“Pretty, but looking at you now I realize,” he sucks in a breathe. “You’re the most beautiful person I’ve ever seen in my life.”
Chenle swallows, “Jisung….” he trails off, looking away. “I’m sorry for running off during class, there was just so much happening I couldn’t handle it, so I ran.”
They finally lock eyes again and Jisung notices something has changed, the atmosphere changing from awkward to warm.
“I like you too.”
Something akin to the firework feeling you get the first time you kiss someone in the movies explodes in him. Those words he never expected to hear, but that made them all the more special to him. Jisung thinks that maybe, things will be okay, and that he’ll be able to do all the things he’s been daydreaming about with Chenle.
The Hufflepuff smiles at him and he can’t help but smile back, everything about Chenle makes him happy, and he can’t help but feel safe around him.
Maybe this isn’t love, maybe things will go wrong sooner or later, but all the two boys care about right now is each other.