#1: Orange Blossoms
Tags: Hogwarts AU
Inspired by: ...The Haagan Dazs Orange Blossom (Limited Edition) flavour I ate at 2am.
She is confused, to say the least.
The mixture bubbles in the gold cauldron and she makes another tentative swirl of the liquid, transfixed by the pale pinkish sheen of the potion and the spiral tower of steam curling above the mixture.
That can’t be right, can it?
She’s never liked oranges that much, but the cauldron’s emitting a light, citrusy scent with a rich undernote of bergamot rounded out by the fullness of vanilla. She struggles to place the source of this scent but draws a blank. Did she brew the potion wrongly or something?
But beside her, Seo Juhyun laughs. Why did they ever decide to pair the two together, Joohyun would never know. Doesn’t it only serve to confuse the professors, especially since she’s heard the professors refer to them as the “two Korean girls with the same names”. Maybe it’s easier to grade their pair-work this way.
“Do you smell books? Parchment? Ink?”
“That’ll be telling, no? But yes, I suppose so. New parchment, an array of fruits… What are you smelling?”
Joohyun hums. “Did we somehow get the potion wrong?”
Seohyun raises her right eyebrow. “Hardly. Look, the professor’s coming over.”
Joohyun jerks as the professor’s booming voice suddenly rings next to her, jumping even after Seohyun’s warning.
“Marvellous, you’ve outdone yourselves again! Look, class, they’ve managed to produce a perfect batch of Amortentia. This is wonderful, wonderful indeed. What a lovely sheen of mother-of-pearl… good, good. At the rate you two are going, I’ll only be able to give you Os! Good work ladies.”
Another student mutters something, annoyed, and their professor turns, sharply, and rebukes him with, “Just because you can’t read the instructions doesn’t mean that they cheated, Mr Inkwell!” He turns back to them, his smile visible even under the mound of beard. “Carry on, Miss Seo and Miss Bae.”
“Thanks, professor.” Seohyun smiles up at him, effecting all her grace, and turns to Joohyun with a brighter smile. “See, we got it right. Now… tell me. What’s got you all up in a twist?”
Who smells like oranges?
She sniffs it again. There is no mistaking it. It smells very distinctively like oranges. Joohyun doesn’t even own anything to do with citrus. So she can’t even chalk it down to her smelling something that comforts her. She expected lavender. Cinnamon. Something homely. Something that reminded her of being at home amidst the laundry. But no…
“Hey, earth to Bae Irene!”
“Oh. Sorry. Got lost in my thoughts.”
Seohyun doesn’t quite snort, but her nostrils flare a little in demonstration of her wry amusement. “Care to share? You looked really…”
“I don’t know who it smells like. Or why I’m smelling it.”
“Hmm.” Seohyun cocks her head. “I don’t exactly go around sniffing people for fun. “So who could it be? Byulyi? Suho?”
“Ew. No. Besides, Yongsun will kill me if I smelled Byulyi.”
“So… what did you smell?”
“I… it smells like oranges. I don’t know anyone who smells like oranges.”
A fight with Chanyeol takes her outside, her fists still shaking in anger. How could he have said such things? The nerve of him! She lets out a huff of air. And he didn’t even apologise even after Jared was obviously uncomfortable with the whole situation and…
She sighs. It’s not as if Chanyeol’s going to take back anything he’s said about it, and it’s not as if it’s her duty to speak up against Chanyeol.
It’s getting tiring, however, having to defend themselves against everyone else. The Second Wizarding War might be done and dusted but there are just some lines that are always bound to exist. Gryffindor. Slytherin. Questions of loyalty. Of colour. And the few of them are so obviously Asian, their skin marking them out in an obvious way.
If someone like – Oh, I don’t know – the Cattermole siblings said the same thing, it wouldn’t be up to her to say anything anyway. Merlin. This is getting exhausting—
She doesn’t exactly notice where she’s walking, and she walks right into a broomstick. Well, more like she trips over a stray broomstick and her face is about to fly straight to the ground before she gasps as a set of hands grab her shoulders to halt her fall.
“Joohyun-unnie?” She hears Seulgi’s concerned voice. “Are you okay?”
Seulgi helps Irene steady herself. She can see the hesitation on Seulgi’s face as she reaches forward to help Irene rearrange her hair. To adjust her robes. Seulgi’s fingers shake slightly. Joohyun doesn’t stop her.
“Yeah.” She lets out a breath and visibly deflates. “I’m just… annoyed I guess. Thanks for catching me.”
Seulgi’s brows furrow. “Wanna talk about it?”
“No.” She realises she must’ve said it too curtly because Seulgi’s face falls, and she hurriedly adds, “Thanks for the offer though. And really, I’m glad to not have wound up with a face full of mud.”
“Yeah. Would’ve been pretty bad.” Seulgi’s arm reaches to scratch her head. She’s so awkward about it that Joohyun wants to laugh and pinch her cheeks. “It’s rained recently you know.”
“Your Chaser reflexes are here to save the day!” She lets her smile soften. “What are you doing out here so late?”
“Just taking stock of the field. We’re going to be playing the first game of the season next week. Are you going to be coming?”
“You guys are playing Gryffindor, right?”
Seulgi’s eyes light up, surprised that she even knows the match fixes. “Yeah. My team’s been training a lot but well, the rain’s pretty bad and there’s only so many Impervius and warming charms that we can cast on us you know. Bloody hell it’s so bloody cold out there. And so yeah I wanted to come take stock of the field and I don’t know, get familiar with each corner of it and like maybe fly better or at least figure out how much time and velocity and what not it takes to fly from one end of the field to the other? Something like that! And oh, I really do want to beat the Gryffindors this year, knock them off their perch! They really do need to be taken down a peg or two!”
Seulgi’s face suddenly reddens. “Am I talking too much? Merlin, I’m rambling, aren’t I?” She scratches the back of her head again. “I’m so sorry!”
“Don’t be. I like listening to you talk.” Joohyun wants to bite back the words after she says it because what did she just say? But Seulgi doesn’t seem to mind at all. In fact, Joohyun thinks her blush deepens.
“Say, do you want to fly?”
“I… Merlin help me, Seulgi!
She doesn’t know why she agreed to it. She hates flying. She does not fly.
“Relax, Joohyun-unnie, don’t you trust me!”
She can hear the pout in Seulgi’s voice even though she can’t see her face. “Have faith in me. Come on. I’m going to fly quickly—”
Before Seulgi finishes her sentence, she angles her broom just so and leans forward and Joohyun shrieks as they tear through the air.
She clings onto Seulgi.
For dear life.
Merlin help her.
It helps that her brain somehow thinks that wrapping her arms around Seulgi’s waist is going to keep her safe. It doesn’t help that her heart is beating so fast that Joohyun’s more worried that her heart’s just going to stop right there and then and she’d die before she dies by falling to the ground or something.
She presses into Seulgi. Takes a deep breath. She smells nice. Even if she’s mostly just sweaty and all she can smell right now is the clean smell of grass, soil, and wood, there’s something else, something vaguely fruity, that makes her insides squeeze a little, she thinks.
More breaths. Breathe, Joohyun.
Seulgi’s scent fills her nostrils. The ground below them gets smaller and smaller. It’s altogether more sensible for her to just squeeze her eyes shut and cling onto Seulgi more tightly.
A small voice in her tells her that she doesn’t need to hold onto her so tightly, but honestly, who’s judging?
Seulgi’s hand is warm she tugs on Joohyun’s own hand.
“It’s not so bad, wasn’t it?”
Seulgi’s eyes are shining. Her grin is wide.
Joohyun shakes her head. No, it’s not that bad.
“I’ll come watch your match next week, if you’d like.”
Seulgi’s eyes grow wide. “Would you, really? It’s okay if you have to study for your N.E.W.T.s and all that though! I mean yes well er it's not going to be for another year and you’re probably already going to beat the rest of your class, except maybe for Seohyun, but that’s to be expected—”
She can’t help from grinning. “Really. I don’t mind.”
Seulgi’s smile stretches even more, if that’s possible.
“Thank you, unnie!”
Without warning, she throws her arms around Joohyun’s shoulders. She wants to jump at the contact. But she doesn’t. A million different things do jump inside of her though.
Something lodges in her throat and all she can think of is how Seulgi doesn’t usually hug people, and yet, has hugged her.