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You Stole My Cauldron

Chapter Text

“You ostentatious Gryffindor prick!” Wei Ying grumbled under his breath as Jin Zixuan handed Jiang Yanli flowers. Wei Ying and Jiang Wanyin held their sister in their hearts as a precious gift to the world, in which Jin Zixuan was not worth her time or patience. “Look at him, wooing her even after he broke her heart in second year. He doesn’t deserve her.”

“Hmph.” Wanyin agreed, fingers clenched in a fist. The boy, now a sixth year, had taken to fighting with his fists rather than his wand. Dueling was forbidden in the corridors, but nothing was technically stopping him from decking people in the face.

“I think it’s rather sweet. Flowers.” Nie Huaisang said. This boy was Wanyin’s roommate, both sorted into Slytherin. To the worry of their elder Gryffindor siblings. Wei Ying, on the other hand, had been a hat stall for ten minutes. Yanli and Wanyin had held their breaths as their brother had simply kicked his feet lazily, his chin in his palm as he waited on the sorting hat. Finally, the boy seemed to make up a decision with the hat, as it called an unexpected “Hufflepuff!”

Today, though, as the three were buzy glaring at Jin Zixuan, they didn’t realize the appearance of a red envelope in front of Wei Ying. It tore itself open as the three exchanged fearful looks.

“Wei Wuxian!” Madam Yu’s voice shrieked, and the great hall stilled. “How dare you! You bring dishonor and shame upon the Jiang family with every move you make! Was it not enough to be sorted into a lesser house? Was it not enough to earn so many detentions? Was it not enough to overwrite every thing that made the Jiang clan proud? And now-“

Wei Ying laughed, cheerfully grabbed the howler as he stood and waved at Jiang Yanli before leaving the great hall with a shouted, “My apologies!”

While the boy didn’t particuarly care what the school thought of him, he knew that his brother did. And, so as to alleviate some of the awkwardness that would follow with Madam Yu’s next paragraphs of screams, Wei Ying had no choice but to leave breakfast early.

“And now you get a letter sent home that you roped our son into your schemes! How dare you?! The slytherin house and Jiang clan have shown you nothing but kindness all of these years. And you step all over Wanyin’s achievements with your own. A selfish brat is what you are! Constantly looking for the attention you crave! Well, after today, you are effectively cut off! I do not want to hear another word about you. Not from the school, not from Yanli, and especially not from my A-Cheng! You will stay clear from them completely, Wei Wuxian! I hope you are happy!”

Wei Ying simply stared at the space where the howler had torn itself to shreds, his face blank as he took in the moment before he smiled sadly. With a shrug, he pulled himself together, turning away only to lock eyes with possibly the one person he did not want to see him cry. Lan Wanji. Lan Zhan. God, Wei Ying really did have the worst luck.

“Ah!” He said, stretching his smile and leaning back slightly. “I didn’t notice you there! Madam Yu really ripped into me this time, huh? Oh well, I guess it is my fault. But I couldn’t resist the look on Professor Wen’s face when i melted his cauldron, you know?”

“Wei Ying.” The ravenclaw said, and the boy paused for a moment before plastering the smile on his face again.

“Yes, Lan Zhan?”

“You’re crying.” Lan Wanji murmured, suddenly much closer than Wei Ying had previously thought. His thumb wiped away the dampness on Wei Ying’s cheeks. The hufflepuff laughed but it felt hollow in his chest.

“Am I?” He pulled back slightly, rubbing his eyes aggresivly with the heels of his palms. “I’m sorry, Lan Zhan. I didn’t mean to cry in front of you.”

“Wei Ying.” Lan Zhan said, but froze as Jiang Wanyin dashed around the corner. The ravenclaw straightened, stepping back as the Slytherin latched onto Wei Ying’s shoulders.

“Yanli asked Zixuan to be her boyfriend! Why are you crying?” Wanyin said, before rounding on Lan Wanji. “What did you do to my brother?!”

“Ah!” Wei Ying said, pulling Wanyin away from the ravenclaw. “Nothing, Lan Zhan was comforting me, actually. Don’t worry, A-Cheng.”

Wanyin wrinkled his nose, still glaring, but proceeded to pull Wei Ying away. The smaller boy tugged lightly at the ends of his own long hair before spinning around, walking backwards.

“Lan Zhan!” Wei Ying said, his eyes lighter now even without the grin plastered across his face. “Thank you!”

“Mn.” Lan Zhan said, tilting his head slightly as he raised his fingers in a slight wave.

 

“What’d Mom say to you?” Wanyin asked once they were out of earshot. 

“The usual.” Wei Ying said, shrugging as his brother stared at him. “Really. I’m a disappointment. Don’t get into trouble. Etc. Etc.”

The small lie slipped from his lips easily, but Wei Ying’s mind was already thinking of excuses for the future. Why he wouldn’t send his own letter home with Yanli. Easy enough, the letter wasn’t finished. Why he’d stay at Hogwarts over the winter break. Wen Ning and Qing usually stayed over the break, so Wei Ying could convince his siblings he wanted to keep them company. Maybe. All he knew was that he wanted to shelter them from this as long as he could. Hopefully, Yanli would graduate and summer would roll around without them knowing anything of Wei Ying’s disownment.

The only ruffle in his plan was Lan Zhan. Beautiful, gorgeous Lan Zhan who had heard everything. Lan Zhan who might tell someone.

 

 

“Lan Zhan!” Wei Ying practically breathed as he ran up to the other boy. The ravenclaw had had potions this period, and that was on the other side of the castle from Wei Ying’s class. So, he had run as fast as he could to intercept. “Oh, good! I caught you!”

“Mn.” Lan Zhan said, motionless as he waited for Wei Ying to catch his breath.

“I just- I needed to ask you a favor.” Wei Ying said, standing up straight and beginning to walk towards the ravenclaw’s next class. “What you heard this morning, I’d like it if others didn’t know. Especially Yanli and A-Cheng.”

“Why?” Lan Zhan said, his voice was soft and he was looking at Wei Ying with his utmost attention. Wei Ying felt a little faint under his gaze.

“It’ll bother them. Make them worry.” Wei Ying said, as if everything he said was obvious. “I won’t be the reason for their upset. And I definatly won’t be the one to cause problems between them and Madam Yu.”

“They should know.”

“Yes, I’ll tell them. But not now. They year’s just begun. I can wait until the summer, and I can have something figured out by then! Maybe I’ll become the castle’s new janitor, Lan Zhan.” Wei Ying laughed at that, but his eyes focused on the ground with fear. “Who knows. I have all the options in the world.”

“Mn.” Lan Zhan hummed, stopping just outside his classroom’s door. His ears were tinged pink as he stared into Wei Ying’s eyes. “For you.”

“Thank you!” Wei Ying said, feeling the urge to jump on the ravenclaw with a hug. But he mentally scolded himself as the bell rang. “Well, I should get down to the forest. I have class, too.”

Lan Zhan’s eyes widened slightly. They were at the door to Divination, the farthest point from the entrance facing the forest. Wei Ying was going to be very, very late. “Ridiculous.”

Wei Ying laughed, already running down the hallway. He almost tripped over a statue of armour before spinning around with a huge grin on his face and booking it down the hallway before Lan Zhan could tell him that running was forbidden.

 

It went on like this, Wei Ying would appear in between classes they didn’t share. Walking and chatting the ravenclaw’s ear off before running off to his own impossibly far away class.

“Do you need someone to talk to him?” Wen Qing asked him once, after Wei Ying had run from the dungeons.

“Mn.” Lan Zhan hummed, and his classmate simply raised an eyebrow before rolling her eyes.

But now, Wei Ying walked by his side almost quiet as he fiddled with his quill. The sixth years all shared on class for Defense Against the Dark Arts, so Wei Ying had run to grab the ravenclaw before they resumed their usual pace.

“Wei Ying.” Lan Zhan said, and the boy jumped before looking up with a soft laugh.

“Ah, sorry Lan Zhan. I was thinking too hard.”

Lan Zhan stayed silent, watching as Wei Ying glanced around nervously for his siblings.

“I was looking into housing at Hogsmede.” The boy explained, biting his bottom lip in a way that made Lan Zhan avert his eyes. “But without getting a job, I don’t think I’d be able to afford anything. So I was thinking of asking Xingchen for a job at the tavern over the summer. Just enough to let me have somewhere to sleep, you know? I’d be okay with as much or as little as they’d give me.”

Lan Zhan stopped walking, and Wei Ying almost tripped over himself and his sleeve was grabbed.

“Wei Ying, tell your siblings.” Lan Zhan said, and Wei Ying imagined worry held in the ravenclaw’s golden eyes.

“It’s not even past Christmas, Lan Zhan! I can’t ruin a family holiday like that!” The boy laughed, poking the taller boy’s cheek. “But I know. I’ll tell them when they need to know.”

“No, now.”

“No way, Lan Zhan!”

“Yes.”

“No!”

“You two sound like an old married couple.” Nie Huaisang said, standing behind them with a cheeky grin as Wei Ying slowly turned red.

“Shut up, you little snake!” Wei Ying hissed, grabbing the smaller boy and dragging him into the classroom while whispering threats as Huaisang merely laughed.

“Settle down!” A voice commanded, and the students all fell silent as Professor Lan entered the classroom. “Today, we are starting to learn about counters to the unforgivable curses.”

Wei Ying completely zoned out, doodling on his paper a small bunny before the slam of a book on his desk made him jump.

“Nice of you to join us, Young Master Wei.” Professor Lan said, and Wei Ying let a grin overtake his face.

“Thank you, Professor!” He said cheekily.

“Well, since you’re here, why don’t you share with the class what you’ve been day dreaming about.” Professor Lan said, stepping back to the front of the classroom.

Wei Ying let out an internal groan, and looked at the board before an idea popped into his head. “I don’t think you’ll like it, Professor. You know how everyone hates it when I think.”

The class tittered with giggles, Huaisang still seated next to him hid his smile behind his sleeve.

Professor Lan merely raised an eyebrow, and Wei Ying gave a shrug before standing.

“I was thinking about the distinction between the dark arts and regular arts. Who made the distinctions and why they were there.” Wei Ying said, and the classroom fell silent. “I mean what constitutes a dark art status? The spell? Or the people that use the spells? Or is it more of a cruelty and morality thing, which is really more determinable by who holds the political power of the moment-“

“Wei Wuxian!” Professor Lan growled, and Wei Ying put his hands up defensivly.

“You asked!”

“The dark arts are not some trick for you to learn and study. They are dangerous and must be contained.”

“But what really constitutes it being called a dark art?” Wei Ying asked, and Professor Lan threw a chalkboard eraser at his head. “No, seriously! It’s magic either way! What if there was a way to use the energy of the dark arts for good?”

“Detention, Young Master Wei!” Professor Lan shouted, pointing towards the door. “Out! To the headmaster at once!”

Wei Ying looked down at Nie Huaisang, who merely shrugged and passed him his bag.

“I don’t have the password.” Wei Ying said, but quickly ran from the classroom as another eraser flew at him.

Which was how he found himself sat outside the eagle statue of the headmaster’s office. Lan Xichen had found him, but neglected to say anything as the younger boy appeared to be on his best behavior. So, the Head Boy merely shook his head and walked away.

 

“Headmaster.” Wei Ying said, bowing slightly to Jin Guangshan who waved him to a seat.

“And what have you done now?” The man said, a frown etched onto his features.

“I got in trouble for thinking.” Wei Ying said, which was an almost complete truth.

“Would it have anything to do with this letter I recieved from Madam Yu?” The headmaster asked as a letter lifted itself off of his desk. “I hear you have been disowned, and that we are no longer to contact the Jiangs with concerns over you.”

“Ah.” Wei Ying laughed nervously. “Only partially. But I couldn’t admit that in front of the class, Headmaster. I still have some face!”

The headmaster nodded. “Then I assume you know that you must carry out these detentions from Professor Lan before getting your behavior under control. Without the Jiang clan to back you, the board may elect to expell you.”

Wei Ying paled. He hadn’t thought of that. He didn’t think anyone really, truly hated him that much. “Of course, Headmaster. My apologies.”

The headmaster sighed, before turning his head away. “You are free to go, Young Master Wei.”

 

The hallway near the Hufflepuff dorm was empty aside from Wei Ying’s huddled form on the ground. He leaned his head against his knees and sighed deeply. A hand pressed against his head, and the hufflepuff jumped, looking up quickly only to find Lan Zhan’s eyes watching him carefully.

“Oh! Lan Zhan.” Wei Ying said, plastering a smile on his face. But he couldn’t hold it for long, and dropped his head back down as he took another deep breath. “I’m sorry you keep seeing me like this.”

There was the sound of shuffling, and Wei Ying glanced to see the other boy sitting next to him. On the ground. On the filthy ground.

“Lan Zhan! Your robes are going to get dirty!” Wei Ying gaped, attempting to stand so he could haul the ravenclaw to his feet.

A hand grabbed the back of his robes, successfully keeping him seated.

Wei Ying.” Lan Zhan said, his voice almost exasperated.

The hufflepuff froze, so many emotions he could even begin to discern rising into his throat. His nose felt warm, and tears stinged at his eyes. Wei Ying turned his head away, because here he was ruining the friendship he had so carefully built between him and Lan Zhan.

A hand grasped at his chin softly, and turned his head to look at Lan Zhan once again. The ravenclaw’s face visibly relaxing into concern as a stray tear fell from Wei Ying’s eyelashes.

“I’m sorry.” The hufflepuff breathed, the ending of the word choked on a sob.

Warm arms encircled the boy, pulling him tight and safe in Lan Zhan’s arms. If he wasn’t so devastated, Wei Ying could faint at the mere idea. His bones felt hollow, as if every bit of warm and hope had left his body as soon as the red pieces of that howler had fallen to the ground.

“No.” Lan Zhan murmured, his lips pressed against Wei Ying’s hair. “I’m sorry.”

Wei Ying sniffled, and looked up at Lan Zhan in confusion before he heard footsteps coming closer. “Wh-Who?”

Wei Ying struggled to pull away, but Lan Zhan held him tight as the Jiang siblings came around the corner, led by a worried Wen Ning.

“Traitor.” Wei Ying whispered, locking eyes with Lan Zhan as the ravenclaw’s mask slowly slid back into place. “I told you-“

“A-xian?!” Yanli said, rushing forward to press her hands to his cheeks as he smiled and wiped his tears away. “What’s wrong?”

“Ah, nothing!” Wei Ying laughed, choosing to ignore how the action made an echo inside the hollowness of his body. “I stubbed my toe. Didn’t you hear me scream?”

“Wei Ying.” Lan Zhan said, having already stood. “Truth.”

Something in the ravenclaw’s gaze made him feel that he’d tell his siblings if he failed to.

“I-“ Wei Ying said, fear tingling his scalp. “I’m sorry. I didn’t want to tell you. I didn’t- It’s my fault. I’m sorry.”

The panic set into Wanyin and Yanli’s face as they knelt down with their brother, who seemed intent on pulling away from them.

“Brother-“ Yanli said softly, which only caused Wei Ying to let out a hysterical laugh.

“No. Not anymore.” Wei Ying said, and suddenly Lan Zhan was crouched next to him, his hand on his back. Grounding him to the moment. “I- The howler. Madam Yu-“

Wanyin looked at his sister, whose eyebrows were knit together.

“I’m cut off.” Wei Ying gasped. “Completely. I’m not supposed to even been seen in public with you anymore.”

The siblings froze. The understanding setting into their shoulders, before Wanyin punched his brother’s shoulder.

“Why the fuck would you keep that from us?!” He shouted, and Wei Ying didn’t even attempt to block the send punch to his arm. “What the fuck, Wei Ying?”

“I couldn’t ruin anything else.” Wei Ying mumbled, his eyes locked on the stone floor.

Yanli stopped her youngest brother from another hit before she wrapped her arms around Wei Ying tightly. “Oh, A-xian. Nothing will stop you from being our brother.”

The boy shook his head, denial and fear spreading completely through him. He needed air. He needed. No, he wanted to stop this. All he could see was the worry and grief on his sibling’s faces. The one thing he had tried to avoid. He pushed up, leaving them all stunned as he ran off down the hallway. He bumped into Wen Qing in the hall, but quickly mumbled an apology before continuing to run.

Wei Ying found himself at the headmaster’s office, heaving as he stood in front of the desk.

“Expell me.”

Chapter Text

“Professor Wen?” The headmaster asked. The teachers had all gathered in the small office, either standing or sitting across from where Wei Ying sat.

“Expulsion.” The potions teacher voted, barely letting the glee in his voice be covered.

“Professor Lan?”

The defense teacher stared at Wei Ying for a moment, who simply stared at the ground completely still. “I cannot vote for expulsion with a clear conscious. Wei Wuxian may be a troublemaker and a jokester, but he is hardworking and exceptionally bright. It would be a waste of his talents to expell him per his own request.”

Wei Ying blinked, barely raising his eyes to watch as Professor Lan shook his head.

“I vote against expulsion. If he really wanted to leave, none of us could stop him.”

The headmaster nodded, before turning to watch as Wei Ying simply continued to stare at the ground. His body was uncharistericly still, with his long hair falling out of its usual ponytail around his face. The man sighed. “On the subject of Wei Wuxian’s expulsion from Hogwart. The votes are as follows. Ten for, two against. Therefore-“

The door to the office burst open, a pile of students tumbling in as the professors stared in shock. Jiang Yanli was the first to stand up, pointing a finger at the headmaster.

“A-Xian hasn’t done anything to be expelled!” She said, her brows furrowed. “How would the ministry react if they learned you were expelling kids with no cause?”

“Yanli, please.” Wei Ying said, stepping in front of her and helping Nie Huaisang stand. “Go back to your dorm.”

Yanli puffed her cheeks, before shaking her head. “If they’re going to expell you, I’m not leaving this room. They have no right!”

“As the headmaster, he has every right.” Wei Ying said, raising an eyebrow.

Yanli simply stepped around the boy, who stared in shock at Lan Zhan who had stood behind her. Jin Zixuan stood awkwardly to the side, watching Yanli. And poor Wen Ning was still collapsed on the floor. Huaisang pat his shoulder before leaning in to whisper. “She’s been on a warpath since Xichen heard the teachers were called for an expulsion hearing.”

Jiang Cheng was nowhere to be seen.

“What are the charges against A-Xian?” Jiang Yanli asked, only to be met with silence. Her face was completely calm, but her voice held anger that could only rival her mother’s. “Well?”

“The charges against him are non-existant.” The headmaster said. “Mister Wei has asked for his own expullsion hearing.”

Yanli spun on her brother, rage in her eyes. “You did what?!”

“Yanli-“

“Don’t. You. Dare.” She snapped, turning her head to glare at the professors. “You think that just because he doesn’t have the financial support of my parents that you can just have this all swept under the rug. It’s terrible. Just because you don’t like a student for being mischevious, does not give you the right to call for expullsion without plausible reason. You may think that because he’s not from a prominent family that this will be easy. That it’s simply a matter of doing or not doing. But, if you do expell my brother on this baseless request, I will be contacting the Ministry to look into every. single. one. of you.”

Yanli didn’t even give the teachers a chance to reply, latching onto Wei Ying’s arm and pulling him from the room, the group of students following her silently.

 

“Yanli-“ Wei Ying began, causing the girl to stop abruptly. “I-“

“No.” She said, standing up as straight as she could to look her brother in the eye. “You listen to me, Wei Wuxian. And you listen well. You are my brother, just as A-Cheng is. I do not care if Mom won’t let you in the house. I don’t care how much you think this is your fault. I don’t care how badly I get in trouble for being your brother. You are not shutting me or A-Cheng out. I won’t stand by and let you sacrifice yourself for everyone else’s happiness all the time.”

The girl paused, glancing behind her brother’s shoulder as footsteps raced towards them. Wei Ying turned to see Jiang Cheng stop just before the two of them.

“Dad said she’s pretty set on this, but he said give it a week and check again.” He said, bending over slightly with his hands on his knees. “But I don’t think she’ll be over it until the summer.”

Wei Ying blinked slowly, before tears pricked at his eyes. “You fire messaged Uncle?”

“Of course. Someone had to.” Wanyin said, raising an eyebrow at the Hufflepuff. “What else would I be doing?”

Wei Ying shook his head, instead choosing to hug his brother, who looked mortified to do so in public.

“Hey! Stop that!” The slytherin said, pulling away.

Wei Ying laughed, keeping one arm around his shoulder but letting go. “Aw! And to think we’d made some progress here.”

“Fuck off!” Wanyin said, and Wei Ying stuck his tongue out.

Yanli smiled, turning her head to see Zixuan lead Wen Ning and Huaisang away from the scene. Lan Zhan stood for a moment, as Wei Ying poked fun at his brother, before something almost happy passed through his eyes. He turned, walking away as Yanli smiled to herself.

 

“Lan Zhan!” Wei Ying said, a week later as he cornered the Ravenclaw outside of the potions room. “Are you ignoring me?”

“No.” The other replied, though the tips of his ears turned pink.

“I thought you didn’t lie.” Wei Ying grinned cheekily. “But, if it’s over the telling-my-siblings-when-i-said-not-to thing, don’t worry about it. You were right, as per usual.”

“Mn.”

“It’s still a little weird that only Professor Lan had something nice to say about me, besides from my head of house.” The boy rambled as they walked. “I always thought he hated me. At least, that’s the impression he gave off.”

Lan Zhan took a right towards the great hall, and Wei Ying paused before jogging to follow.

“Ah, Lan Zhan. You have divination next.” The boy said, pulling on the sleeves of the ravenclaw’s robes lightly.

“Mn.”

“Your classroom’s the other way.” He laughed. “I thought you had the castle memorized by now.”

“Greenhouses.” Lan Zhan said, and Wei Ying stopped walking.

“Yeah, but you’re gonna be late to class.”

“Mn.”

“Your uncle’s gonna kill me if you’re late walking me to class.” Wei Ying said, biting his lip as he turned back towards the divination classroom.

“You’ve been late all year.” Lan Zhan said. “I can be late once.”

Wei Ying smiled, his cheek burning as he ducked his head down. “Okay. Then lead on, Lan Zhan!”

 

“Well?” Wei Ying asked, shoving himself into the space between Yanli and Zixuan at the Gryffindor table as Wanyin sat across from them.

“She’s not happy.” Yanli said. “We’re ruining Christmas in her eyes, but she’ll get over it.”

Wei Ying frowned, opening his mouth to speak only for Yanli to shove a bagel between his teeth.

“Whatever you’re about to say, stop. We already told you, we’re not backing down on this. I’m an adult, and A-Cheng’s got a hidden backbone when Mom’s not here.” Yanli shrugged, looking back down at her letter. “But, Dad got a promotion to head of department. So that’s good news.”

Wei Ying chewed gloomily, letting part of the bagel stick out of his mouth. Wanyin grinned suddenly, looking just above the hufflepuff shoulder and waved.

“Hi, Lan Wanji!” The boy said, and Wei Ying shoved the rest of the bagel in his mouth, smoothing his bed head slightly as he spun in his seat. Lan Zhan was not to be seen.

Wanyin laughed, a loud and happy sound as Wei Ying threw a spoon at him. “That’s not funny!”

“It’s actually rather hilarious.” Wanyin said, and Wei Ying stuck his tongue out at his brother.

“Are your brothers like this, Zixuan?” The hufflepuff asked, turning to the boy as he grabbed a banana. “Complete ass-“

“Good morning, Lan Xichen.” Zixuan interupted, covering Wei Ying’s mouth as the Head Boy passed with a smile.

“Morning.” The ravenclaw said, inclining his head at Yanli before continuing towards his own table.

Wei Ying licked the gryffindor’s hand, who pulled away with a shout of disgust.

“Oh, so you can share spit with my sister, but if I rightfully lick your hand, I’m the one in the wrong?” Wei Ying said, shaking his head as Zixuan glared at him. “For shame. A complete shame.”

“You’re such a gremlin, Wuxian.” The boy said, wrinkling his nose.

“That’s an insult to gremlins.” Wanyin said.

 

“Lan Zhan!” Wei Ying smiled, standing from where he leaned against the doorway to the divination classroom. “How was class?”

“Mn.”

“Well, we got let out early because Zixuan almost burned one of the mandrakes.” Wei Ying said, beginning to ramble as the two walked towards their next class. “So, I thought I’d meet you at your classroom rather than the hall. It’s a little weird being out and about with only the ghosts for company. But I’m not complaining, they’re nice company. I mean, most of them are. The Yiling Patriarch kinda gives me a weird vibe, but he’s harmless.”Especially Baoshan Sanren. Have you met her yet? She normally hangs around the Ravenclaw tower, and she can be mean, but she’s very helpful. And smart. I’ve talked to her about-“

Wei Ying faltered as the two stepped into the Defense classroom, where all of the desks had been pushed to the side. The class stood nervously in the middle of the room, shifting from foot to foot. Professor Lan couldn’t possibly want them to do practicals on the forbidden curses. Could he?

 

“You can’t block unforgivable curses.” Professor Lan said, his arms crossed as he stared at the students. “Sure, you can try to break free of an imperious curse. But it’s impractical and takes too much energy. Instead, stop the attack. Don’t block with magic.”

“Are you telling us to punch people?” Wanyin asked, raising an eyebrow.

“No, unless you’re close enough.” The professor conceded. “But we’ll be working on using your terrain to block starting today. You can’t stop a killing curse with just your wand, but a large slab of stone between you and your opponent should do the trick.”

“Wicked.” Nie Huaisang said, as everyone watched in awe as Professor Lan lifted a chunk of the stone floor with a flick of his wand.

 

Wei Ying pulled at Lan Zhan’s sleeve, pressing a finger to his lips before leading the other boy towards Ravenclaw tower. The two had an overlapping study hall, and while Lan Zhan had planned to go to the library, Wei Ying had decided differently.

“Wei Ying?” Lan Zhan said, his eyebrows slightly knit together, but following the smaller boy nonetheless.

“Shh! You’ll scare her off!” Wei Ying whispered, pressing his finger to Lan Zhan’s lips before quickly pulling his hand away. He ducked his head as his cheeks warmed. “I thought you’d want to meet Baoshan.”

Lan Zhan’s face relaxed and he nodded before Wei Ying turned to lead the way, one hand still clutching the ravenclaw’s robes.

The castle was colder here, with scarcer painting lining the walls that shuffled around. It wasn’t physically darker, but Lan Zhan frowned at the intense emotions practically radiating through the corridor.

“I know it’s a little intimidating here.” Wei Ying said, leaning in slightly towards Lan Zhan as they walked. “But I think she does it just to keep people out.”

“Mn.”

A ghost was facing the window as they turned the corner, her long robes a pale white that stood out against the grey of the stone walls. Her hair was intricatly half done up, with a hairpiece holding the bun. She was beautiful, but sad.

“They seem to be having fun.” She said, and her voice was strong, almost harsh.

“A lot of the younger kids aren’t used to having so many study halls.” Wei Ying said, stopping them a few feet away from the ghost. “Baoshan-“

“This is the boy you talk of?” She asked, and Wei Ying blushed deeply. She turned to face them, and Lan Zhan blanched slightly as he took in the deep gash across her throat that seemed eternally covered in blood. “I hear you’re the smartest of your class, Lan Wanji.”

Lan Zhan shook his head. “Wei Ying is the smartest of our year.”

The hufflepuff made a noise of protest, but was ignored as the ghost of Baoshan Sanren laughed.

“You two are cute.” She said, and the hallway seemed to become more spacious as she tried to muffle her giggles with the long sleeve of her robes

“He’s lying!” Wei Ying said, but Lan Zhan simply stared at him with no intention to take back his words. “Lan Zhan has gotten the top marks every year, and he’s probably gonna be Head Boy next year!”

“Grades does not equal intelligence.” The ghost said, glancing down to see that Wei Ying still clutched to the ravenclaw’s robes. “Though, I think you’re both still rather lacking in the logic department.”

The two stared at her before she shook her head. “Don’t you have midterms to study for?”

Chapter Text

Lan Qiren was not an unkind man, but he was rather strict and focused. And he loved his nephews with every fiber of his being. And so, as students took their midterm exams, he watched closely as Lan Wanji and Wei Wuxian met outside the classroom afterwards.

His youngest nephew was never one for obvious expressions, but he was in love. His eyes watched Wei Wuxian with what could only be described as softness, his lips almost pulled into a small smile.

Lan Qiren suddenly felt tired.

 

“Lan Zhan, how do you think you did?” Wei Ying asked as the two boys walked down an almost empty hallway.

“Mn.”

“I’m sure you passed with flying colours.” Wei Ying grinned, bouncing on the balls of his feet. “The hypothetical took me a little to mull over, but the multiple choice wasn’t terrible. I mean, even if the werewolf was intent on killing me, I couldn’t just attack them full on. They don’t have any control over themselves on those nights, so I finally decided that if I were of age, I’d just apparate away.”

Lan Zhan stared at him, eyes slightly wide.

“What?” Wei Ying asked, blinking a few times as he looked up at Lan Zhan.

The ravenclaw shook his head slightly, his ears turning pink.

“I’d say you’re almost impressed with my answer, Lan Zhan.” Wei Ying grinned, tugging slightly on Lan Zhan’s ear.

“Always.”

“What?”

“I’m always impressed with you.”

 

Wei Ying laid in a starfish position on the floor of the Hufflepuff commonroom, completely still. Wen Ning sat on the couch a few feet away, eating a chocolate frog contently as the older boy grumbled into the carpet.

“Is this about Lan Wanji?” Wen Ning asked, and Wei Ying bolted up.

“No!”

“It kinda seems like it is.”

“It’s just-“ Wei Ying faltered. “He’s so perfect, and he’ll say these stupid, stupid things that make my heart race. ‘I’m always impressed by you.’ What the fuck does that mean? Can’t he let me pine in peace?!”

“Is it really pining if both of you are in love?” Wen Ning asked, tilting his head. 

“Shut up!” Wei Ying groaned, throwing a pillow at the younger boy. “He doesn’t love me. I’d be disappointed for him, liking someone like me.”

Wen Ning stared at him blankly before standing to leave the commonroom. “You’re an idiot, Wei Wuxian.”

 

“Am I stupid, shijie?” Wei Ying asked the next morning, picking apart a bagel and letting it fall to his plate.

“Of course not, A-Xian.” The seventh year smiled, passing Zixuan a box of cereal as he sat down.

“Wen Ning called me an idiot last night.”

“Was he wrong?” Zixuan asked, before scrunching his nose as Yanli kicked him under the table. “What?”

“Why do you think he called you an idiot?” Yanli said, turning her attention back to her brother.

“I don’t know.” Wei Ying said. “We were talking about how I’m hopelessly pining over-“

“Morning, Lan Wanji.” Yanli said, shoving a bite of Wei Ying’s bagel into the Hufflepuff’s mouth.

“Mn.” The Ravenclaw replied before turning to leave towards his own table as Wei Ying blushed a deep scarlet.

“Thanks, Yanli.” Wei Ying mumbled around the bagel in his mouth as Zixuan raised an eyebrow at him.

“Let me guess, you think Wanji only sees you as a friend.” The Gryffindor boy said, calmly taking a bite of his cereal as Wei Ying stuck his tongue out. “That’s why you’re an idiot, Wuxian.”

“A-Zi!” Yanli hissed, throwing an orange at her boyfriend as Wei Ying dropped his head loudly onto the table, causing a dozing Jiang Cheng to sit upright in surprise.

“What’s wrong with Wei Ying?” The Slytherin asked, poking at his brother’s head.

 

“Did you hear?” Nie Huaisang whispered to Wuxian and Wanyin as they sat for lunch at the Slytherin table.

“Obviously not if you’re just telling us.” Wanyin scoffed, though there was no real heat behind his words.

“Apparently other schools are coming to visit, as a sort of foreign exchange program. Everyone’s meeting at Hogwarts after Christmas vacation.” The small boy said, conjuring a fan from his sleeve and hiding a devilish smile. “I hear the boys from Durmstrang are especially handsome.”

 

“I hate him.” Wanyin said, throwing an angry punch at his brother’s face as they sparred in the Room of Requirement, an almost daily occurrence.

“No, you love Huaisang.” Wei Ying grinned cheekily, easily dodging the sloppy swing of his brother’s fist.

The fight continued like this, with taunts and hard hits between the brothers as Jiang Yanli sat off to the side, a small novel in her lap. They had taken to meeting like this two years ago, once a week. In a world filled with magic-using cowards, the brothers had decided they would be the best at both forms of fighting.

Wanyin took a step back, and Wei Ying’s smile faltered for a moment before a look of realization overtook the older boy. “Oh, are you just realizing this, A-Cheng?”

“I-“ The Slytherin said, his voice soft. “I don’t love Huaisang. My chest just feels tight whenever he’s near, and his smile kinda makes my day. And I want to punch anyone that looks at him wrong, even if they’re just admiring his latest fan.”

Yanli giggled softly behind her sleeve as Wanyin practically threw himself on the floor.

“Oh Merlin, I really am in love.”

 

“Lan Zhan!” Wei Ying grinned, his smile too wide as the cut on his lip pulled apart again. The two stood in a deserted corridor as Wei Ying stumbled his way back to his dorms, his knuckles swollen and bruised from when he and Wanyin’s fighting got a little too serious.

The Ravenclaw’s eyes widened, and he rushed over, placing a hand on Wei Ying cheek to stare down at him. “You’re hurt.”

“Just a friendly fight.” Wei Ying laughed. “You should see A-Cheng.”

“Mn.” Lan Zhan hummed, pulling a small white cloth out of his school bag and dabbing it against the cut on Wei Ying’s lips. “Wei Ying should be more careful.”

A flush spread across the Hufflepuff’s cheeks as he swallowed thickly, placing his hand over the one on his cheek. “I’m fine, Lan Zhan.”

The Ravenclaw froze slightly before furrowing his eyebrows, wiping the last of the blood away from Wei Ying’s face but unwilling to move away. “I know.”

Chapter Text

Christmas at Hogwarts was a rather joyous time, if you were going home. Nie Huaisang hadn’t stopped talking about how excited he was to see his mothers and father. Even Wen Ning seemed in high spirits as the vacation loomed before them all.

“You’re really staying?” Wen Ning asked, a small smile on his face as he practically bounced in shoes.

“Of course! How could I ever leave you and Wen Qing here all alone?” Wei Ying laughed, wrapping an arm around his friend’s shoulder as they walked to the Great Hall. After this lunch, all of the returning students would be bundled and packed onto the train home.

Of course, Wei Wuxian was not going home for the holidays. But, maybe that was for the better just seeing the happiness pour out from Wen Ning. The Jiang siblings had also opted to stay at school, calling it solidarity for their brother. But all three knew the reality of going home for this Christmas. Madam Yu was on a warpath this year, and the three children did not want to be caught in whatever was happening between their parents. And, as always, the Lan brothers would stay for the vacation as well. Having their only guardian on staff meant the boys spent more time at the castle than most, including every extended vacation home. This all only made Wei Wuxian more excited for the break, as he quickly left Wen Ning’s side to go bother Lan Wanji at the Ravenclaw table.

“What do you want for Christmas, Lan Zhan?” Wei Ying asked, sitting next to the boy.

There was a pause as Lan Wanji’s ears tinted red before he turned soft golden eyes towards the Hufflepuff. “I don’t need anything.”

“But-“ Wei Ying said, blinking slowly. “It’s not about what you need. What do you want?”

Lan Zhan’s lips pulled down slightly, and he turned his head to stare at his uneaten lunch. Wei Ying swallowed, grabbing an apple and turning it in his hands.

“You do... get presents at Christmas, right Lan Zhan?” Wei Ying asked, his voice small and unsure.

The Ravenclaw shook his head. “Brother and I normally spend the day reading.”

Wei Ying frowned, his brow furrowing. “Is it okay if I get you a present?”

Lan Zhan froze, internally screaming as a light pink dusted his cheeks. Wei Ying began to backpedal, his words shakey as he thought of a plausible excuse. Lan Zhan used Wei Ying’s hands to push the apple into his mouth, stifling any more words.

“I would... enjoy Wei Ying’s present.” Lan Zhan said, his voice barely more than a whisper. The two boys stared at each other for a moment longer, both varying shades of pink.

“Are you two done with your moment? I’m gonna be sick.” A voice said across from them, and both boys jumped apart to see Wen Qing holding a rather large cup of coffee with a frown.

“Ah, Wen Qing.” Wei Ying laughed nervously, swallowing the bite of apple.

“Aren’t you supposed to be annoying A-Ning?” The girl asked, rolling her eyes as Wei Ying began to pout.

“You’re so cruel to me. And here I was planning to spend the holidays here with you!” Wei Ying said, crossing his arms and taking another bite of his apple.

Outside, snow began to swirl from the coulds in large puffy flakes.

 

Nie Huaisang was many things, and a pushover was one of them. Well, normally he was. And right now, standing in an abandoned hallway with Wanyin, he wanted so desperately to be brave.

“Can I-“ Wanyin began before frowning. “I mean, do you mind- No, that’s not-“

Huaisang smiled a little to himself as Wanyin bit his lip in annoyance, attempting to sort through the words trying to spill from his lips.

“I don’t- I just-“ The taller boy let out a frustrated groan, before his eyes settled on Huaisang softening as he took a deep breath. “Just.... stop me, if you want to.”

Huaisang furrowed his eyebrows, tilting his head with a questioning look just before oh. Oh. Wanyin lips pressed softly against Huaisang’s, and the smaller boy felt like his knees were going to give out.

“I-I’m sorry.” Wanyin breathed out, pulling away as his face turned red.

Huaisang smiled, big and toothy, grabbing at Wanyin’s robes and pulling him back. “A-Cheng, it’s rude to kiss someone and immediatly try to leave.”

Wanyin swallowed, but nodded, his eyes focused on the smaller Slytherin’s lips again.

“Kiss me again?”

 

Jiang Yanli was using every bone in her body to not laugh. She wasn’t being cruel, or even unkind, but the look of concentration on Wei Ying’s face as he attempted - and attempt was the only plausible word - to knit was entirely too adorable.

“Shijie,” Wei Ying said, looking up from his needles. “Do you think Lan Zhan will like it?”

The scarf he had somehow mangled together was entirely hideous. Every row was uneven from a lack of consistent tension, and there were a few chunks where Wei Ying had somehow knotted the yarn. But, it was almost charming, in a homemade way. The dusty gold and deep blue yarn would compliment Lan Zhan’s eyes, if you could ever catch him dead wearing the scarf.

“I think he’ll love anything given by you.” Yanli smiled, her own purple scarf looking pristine and perfect as she knit quietly.

“And you’re sure the house elves will let you use the kitchen?” Wei Ying said, doubt creeping into his voice.

“I already asked.” Yanli laughed softly, reaching out to pat her brother’s cheek. “You don’t have to worry so much.”

 

Christmas itself was cozy for Wei Ying, bundled in a blanket his sister had made as he and Jiang Cheng sipped cocoa in the Hufflepuff commonroom. Wen Ning and Qing were playing Exploding Snaps on the floor, with Yanli reading in the comfiest arm chair. There was wrapping paper scrunched into every corner of the room, and everyone was bundled into the handknit items Yanli had generously given them. There were still presents under the tree though, as two students were currently missing from the celebration. A knock on the wall jolted Wei Ying from his content, as butterflied began fighting to the death in his stomach.

“Come in!” Wanyin shouted, and the door swung open to reveal the Lan brothers.

Xichen was dressed in casual muggle clothes, a pair of jeans and a sweater. But Lan Zhan’s outfit took Wei Ying’s breath away. He wore sweatpants and a slightly too short sweater that revealed an inch of his hip. Wei Wuxian looked down at his mug quickly, as his brother laughed silently at him.

“I hope we aren’t too late.” Xichen smiled, sitting in the armchair next to Yanli.

“Of course not. We only opened the presents from me because it was cold.” Yanli said, as Wen Ning began tossing presents to their intended recipients. “We wanted to wait for you two.”

“More like A-Ying did.” Wanyin mumbled under his breath as he caught a small present. Wei Ying wrinkled his nose, but didn’t retaliate on that comment.

“I made you both blankets and fudge.” Yanli smiled, turning to the table next to her to pass them both mugs of hot chocolate. “I wasn’t sure how cold it gets in Ravenclaw tower, but if my commonroom’s any similar I know you’ll need them.”

“Thank you, you really didn’t have to.” Xichen said, pulling a large white and blue blanket from a bag.

“Of course, but I wanted to.” Yanli shrugged. “That’s the point of the gift giving. I don’t have to smother my brothers in sweaters and spicy fudge and scarves, but it makes me happy to.”

Xichen nodded, and the group continued to unwrap presents with the soft lull of conversation.

Wei Ying noticed that Lan Zhan was still standing, and quickly moved. Grabbing the Ravenclaw’s arm, he practically shoved him onto the couch where he had been sitting before settling himself onto the arm of the couch just next to him. Jiang Cheng rolled his eyes.

“Shijie made you regular fudge.” Wei Ying said, leaning down slightly to point at the tin in Lan Zhan’s hands. “I know you only pretend to like spicy food, so I made sure yours wasn’t hot.”

Lan Zhan barely had time to react before wei Ying was leaning against his shoulder as he pointed at a small, messily wrapped present next to his foot.

“That’s my present to you.” Wei Ying said, and Lan Zhan supressed the urge to shiver from how close the other was. “But that’s nothing compared to the blanket A-li made you! I think she charms them to make them warm and cozy, but she won’t admit to it.”

The presents continued to come in waves, until Lan Zhan felt his head splitting from the sheer ammount of gifts. Only then, did he realize that Wei Ying had been leaning against him the whole time, and was currently halfway asleep with his head on Wanji’s shoulder. He felt his ears burn, and looked up to realize that the Wen siblings had left to their own commonrooms for a nap, along with his brother. And that Jiang Cheng was conpletely passed out on the floor as Yanli continued to read her book. The rest of the couch was empty, and Lan Zhan watched Yanli for a moment before quietly lifting Wei Ying from his slouched position on the couch’s arm, instead laying him down on the couch. Wei Ying mummbled softly in his sleep, clutching onto the sleeve of Lan Zhan’s sweater and curling into his side with a stifled yawn. The tips of Wanji’s ears felt hot, and he dared a glance at Yanli only to find her still focused on her book.

Wei Ying shuffled slightly, so that his head was once again on Wanji’s shoulder. “Did you have a good Christmas, Lan Zhan?”

“Mn.”

Chapter Text

Lan Zhan’s heart was going to explode. Or, at the very least, he was going to pass out. Wei Ying’s unopened present sat on his bed, tormenting the Ravenclaw as he stared at it. He wanted to open it, and yet was terrified on what it could be. Not that he assumed the worst, he knew Wei Ying would never gift him something malicious. But, the suspense of not knowing was killing Wanji.

The wrapping paper was haphazardly taped together, and Wangji was sure there were multiple layers to it to covers holes and gaps. He smiled softly, picking up the gift before raising it slightly to his ear and shaking it. Nothing. His brow furrowed slightly as he placed it back on the bed before him, thinking and thinking and thinking.

“Why don’t you just open it?” Lan Xichen asked, poking his head through the door as his brother glared at him. “Stop torturing yourself, Wangji.”

 

Wei Wuxian was completely frozen for once, though no jinx was placed on him. The students of Hogwarts had gathered outside to greet the guests of different schools. Beaubaxtons and Ilvermorny were the first scheduled to arrive, but Wei Ying’s attention was focused on the Ravenclaw section of students nearby.

Lan Wanji stood next to his brother and uncle, all three of them wearing thick winter robes. But wrapped tightly around Wangji’s neck was a hideous attrocity of a scarf.

“Is that the scarf you made Lan Zhan?” Wen Ning said softly, watching Wei Ying’s cheeks slowly turn red.

As if sensing their stares, Lan Wangji turned to look at them, only for his face to soften slightly before he turned away once again, his ears pink. On the other side of him, a small first year Slytherin - Wei Ying recognized her as Xiao Xingchen’s little sister - covered her laughter with a cough as she looked between the Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff.

 

It was sliggtly tense as the students waited, a few groups huddling and shivering as they all stood with their houses. There was the soft lull of chatter, but A-Qing was the first to interupt everyone.

“Look!” The small Syltherin shouted, pointing up at the sky, where a large carriage had broken through the crowds.

The students broke any sense of formation they had, rushing against each other to get a better view. Wei Ying pushed slightly until he was just beside Lan Wangji, and bumped their arms together softly. The two boys look at each other, a smile on Wei Ying’s lip as he leaned in.

“So, you like it?”

“Mn.”

 

“I love you, but that scarf’s ugly.” Wen Qing said later that day, sitting across from Lan Zhan as Beaubaxton students filled into the Ravenclaw table around them.

“Not ugly.” Lan Zhan said, scooting to the side as Xichen sat next to him with a pleasant smile.

“Just because it has sentimental value because Wei Wuxian made it for you, doesn’t stop it from being ugly.” Wen Qing paused as a french girl with cute button features sat next to her.

“I’m sorry, do you mind?” The french student asked quietly, and Wen Qing simply stared for a moment before shaking her head.

“Not at all.” Xichen said.

 

“I hear we’re going to have a big dance during the Spring.” Nie Huaisang said, filing his nails as he sat across from Wei Wuxian in the library.

“A dance?”

“Oh, and everyone’s going to go feral over finding dates.” Huaisang shrugged. “Personally, I think Lan Zhan will be asked by many to go.”

Wei Ying frowned, and glanced up to see Huaisang smiling. “Shut up.”

“Why don’t you... ask him yourself?” Huaisang said.

“A dance hasn’t even been announced.” Wei Ying mummbled, but his cheeks turned pink all the same.

“Think on it, then. Which is worse? Rejection or seeing him go with someone else because you didn’t ask?”

 

“In order to furthur peace and co-operation between schools, we will be putting on a dance during the Spring.” Headmaster Jin said, and the greathall burst into chaos.

Wei Wuxian, sat next to Wen Ning, dropped his head onto the table heavily with a bang.

 

“Ah, Lan Zhan!” Wei Ying smiled nervously, having successfully avoided the boy for exactly one hour.

“Are you sick?” Lan Zhan asked, and Wei Ying creased his brow before shaking his head. “You did not show up between last period.”

“O-oh.” Wei Ying blinked, feeling the heat of his blush spreading across his face.

“Are you okay?”

“Yeah, just... nervous.” Wei Ying said, rubbing his nose as he glanced at the ground. “I... really want to ask- someone to the dance, but I’m afraid they’ll say no.”

“Mn.”

“Are you going to the dance with someone, Lan Zhan?” Wei Ying asked, and immediatly wanted to kick himself out of the nearest window.

There was a pause as Lan Zhan seemed to think about it. “I plan to ask someone as well.”

Any hope in Wei Wuxian’s chest flickered out, but he smiled all the same. “Ah! And who could resist one of the beautiful Twin Jades of Ravenclaw?”

 

“I’m stupid and dumb and in love and gay.” Wei Ying groaned, face down in the Room of Requirement as Yanli practised her charms.

“And why do you think that?” Yanli asked, one spell of hers ripping apart a large mannequin on the other side of the room.

“I asked Lan Zhan if he was taking someone to the dance and he said yes. And it’s not me. And now I’m sad, because I want it to be me, shijie!” Wei Ying said, puffing his cheeks before sighing. “I really like him, you know?”

“I know, A-Xian.” Yanli said, and Wei Ying bit his lip before nodding.

“Would you hex Lan Zhan’s date for me, shijie?”

“No.”

Chapter Text

Lan Zhan found Wen Qing in the library, her face tomatoe red as the Beaubaxton’s girl from the night before sat next to her and Jiang Yanli.

“Lan Wangji?” The Ravenclaw girl asked, looking almost relieved to see him.

“Mn. It can wait.” Lan Zhan said, watching as Jiang Yanli pretended to focus on her book.

“No, no. I was just leaving, we can walk and talk.” Wen Qing said, rushing to grab her bag before dragging Lan Zhan out of the library. “You know I can’t function near pretty girls, Lan Wangji.”

“Mn.”

 

“Did you hear?” Meng Yao said, sliding onto the bench next to Lan Xichen.

“Hear?” Wen Qing raised an unimpressed eyebrow.

“Wei Wuxian has turned down 23 dates for the ball.”

“Twenty-three?” Wen Qing glanced at Lan Wangji. “I’m suprised that many people like him.”

Lan Wangji tightened his grip on his chopsticks, but his expression was completely calm as his brother mused with a thoughtful expression, “I wonder who got Wei Wuxian to fall in love so completely.”

 

“Lan Zhan!” Wei Ying grinned, rushing towards him once their shared class ended. “I’ve been wondering, have you asked your crush to the ball, yet?”

Lan Wangji thought for a moment, remembering how his brother had said Wei Ying was in love. Who was he to ask, when he knew his friend’s heart belonged to another?

“Mn.” Lan Zhan said, failing to see the way Wei Ying’s smiled dropped for a moment.

“What did they say?” Wei Ying asked, pushing his face back into a smile, though it felt tight to him.

“They said no.”

 

“I was thinking we should all go get our robes together.” Jiang Yanli said a few weeks later.

“I’m not going to the ball.” Wei Ying said, shrugging as Jiang Cheng looked at him. “I’d rather spend the night with a bottle of firewhiskey.”

“Did that prick Lan Wangji do something?” Jiang Cheng fumed, twisting in his seat to look for said Ravenclaw.

“No, no. I had a change of heart, that’s all.” Wei Ying laughed, but it sounded hollow to his siblings.

“A change of heart.” Jiang Yanli echoed softly, her brows knit together slightly.

“Don’t worry, shijie! I’ll still help you choose the prettiest robes!” Wei Ying said. “Hey, Jiang Cheng, can I copy your Divination homework?”

 

On the other side of the castle, A-Qing was absolutely up to no good. The Slytherin first year had focused onto three easy targets for mischief, and her year end goal was to annoy the holiest the of the three into violence. After all, Lan Shizhui was the perfect picture of the Lans. His friends, Lan Jingyi and Jin Ling were as far from perfect as one could be. But the three had found the small Slytherin girl worming her way into their friend group.

“I can’t believe there’s an age limit on the ball!” Lan Jingyi said, dramatically laying across a bench.

“As if anyone would go with you!” Jin Ling scoffed, only to fall backwards as Lan Jingyi pushed him.

A-Qing sat next to Lan Shizhui, who smiled at her.

“Xiao Qing! Which one of us would you go to the ball with?” Lan Jingyi said, twisting to look at the rather unimpressed Slytherin girl.

“Ouyang Zizhen, probably.” A-Qing shrugged, and the three looked at her in suprise.

“Really?” Lan Shizhui said, blinking away any suprise from his face.

“Yeah, you three are annoying.”

 

Hogsmede was more chaotic than usual, the week before the ball making the students rowdy and joyous.

“Xingchen, how did you ask Song Lan out?” Wei Wuxian asked, halfway through his second butterbeer. Jiang Yanli and Wanyin were across the street at the candy store, letting their brother mope around pitifully.

“What?” The barkeep said, his eyebrows raising just above the cloth that covered his eyes.

“Don’t tell me Song Lan asked you.” Wei Ying said, dropping his head onto the bar with a loud groan.

“He- I-“ Xiao Xingchen stuttered, his face slowly turning red. “We aren’t-“

“You aren’t what?” Wei Ying perked up, his eyes wide. “Xiao Qing said you two were, like, really really close. Open a bar together and kiss in your free time, close.”

“She- She what?” Xiao Xingchen blinked, his blush spreading down his neck. “I thought-“

“You thought?” Song Lan asked, raising an eyebrow at how Xiao Xingchen jumped as he walked behind the counter.

“Xiao Qing’s telling everyone at school that you two are dating.” Wei Ying said, grabbing a small pretzel from a nearby bowl.

“You told A-Qing?” Song Lan asked, turning his head toward Xiao Xingchen.

“I didn’t! That’s the thing!” Xiao Xingchen practically gasped. “Did you?”

“No.”

“Well, it’s not like you two were being exactly covert about it.” Wei Ying said, not even flinching as Song Lan glared at him. “What? You two literally bought a business together. You live together.”

“Friends can do that!” Xiao Xingchen said, raising an eyebrow.

“Sure, but Xiao Qing also saw you two kissing near the shrieking shack.” Wei Ying said, before turning his attention fully to Song Lan. “Now, how did it happen? Was it you or Xiao Xingchen? How do you even confess to the love of your life when you think they hate you?!”

“It was Xingchen.” Song Lan said, letting his glare soften. “And, sometimes you have to take a risk even if you’re afraid of ruining everything.”

“Says the guy who didn’t!” Wei Ying scoffed, only for Xiao Xingchen to slowly slide his butterbeer away.

“He’s right.” The barkeep said, and Wei Ying let his head drop onto the bar with a solid thud.

 

“What do you think, A-Xian?” Jiang Yanli said, twirling around as her long purple robes fluttered.

“You look perfect, shijie!” Wei Ying grinned, watching as the girl attempted to smooth down non-existant fly away hairs. “Immaculate as always.”

“Immaculate?” Jiang Wanyin scoffed. “When did you pick up a dictionary?”

Wei Ying simply stuck his tongue out, leaning back as his brother reached out to smack his head. Jiang Yanli laughed, a soft pleasant sound, before turning to Wei Ying with soft concern.

“You’ll be alright?”

“Of course, I can entertain myself for a few hours. Might wander the halls, wreck havoc.” Wei Ying said, shrugging his shoulder non-commitantly before pointing at Jiang Wanyin. “Your fancy robes are creased.”

“Shut up, Wei Wuxian.” His brother snapped, but he checked over himself once again before glaring at Wei Ying.

“What? Wouldn’t want you going to the ball with Nie Huaisang and creased robes.”

“Wei Wuxian!”

 

“Shijie!” Wei Wuxian, stopping the two of them just before the great hall. “Have fun tonight, okay? For XianXian?”

“Why won’t you come, then? I’ll save you a dance.” Jiang Yanli smiled, grabbing Wei Wuxian’s sleeve.

“Ah, I’m not dressed nice enough to dance with you, shijie.” Wei Ying patted his sister’s head carefully before stepping back. “Besides, you have to juggle that peacock all night. I’d much rather-“

“Cause trouble, I know.” Jiang Yanli pulled away, patting her brother’s cheek once before turning to walk into the great hall, pausing in the doorway as a silent invitation once more.

Wei Ying shook his head, and Jiang Yanli disappeared into the crowds of eager students.

 

The astronomy tower was frigid, and Wei Ying watched soft clouds of his breath disappear as he watched the stars. An open bottle of firewhiskey, already almost gone, sat next to him, as he twisted a strand of his long hair around his finger.

“Ah, Lan Zhan, what am I going to do?” Wei Ying mumbled, the soft pull of inebriation closing his eyes.

“Wei Ying.”

He sat upright, almost knocking over the bottle as he spun to see Lan Wangji a few feet away, an extra coat in his hands. The floor felt rough under Wei Ying’s palms, as he stared with wide eyes, his cheeks heating dramatically. “Lan Zhan, what are you doing here?”

“You’re cold.” The Ravenclaw said, sitting down next to him and wrapping the spare coat around his shoulders.

“You should be at the ball, Lan Zhan.” Wei Ying blinked, but curled into the coat slightly.

“So should you.” Lan Wangji said, his eyes latching onto the near empty bottle of alcohol.

“Would you like some?” Wei Ying said, tapping the neck of the bottle before shaking his head. “Ah, I forgot you don’t drink. Don’t worry, I can finish the bottle myself.”

Lan Zhan lifted the bottle, wrinkling his nose slightly as the smell hit him, before taking a small sip.

“Lan Zhan?” Wei Ying asked, watching as the other student placed the bottle down calmly. “Did you- Lan Zhan!”

The Ravenclaw had slumped down, his eyes closed and panic clawed at Wei Ying’s stomach until he heard a soft snore from the boy.

“Did you fall asleep, Lan Zhan? Who knew you’d immediatly skip drunk, and fall asleep.” Wei Ying giggled, dropping his head onto the Ravenclaw’s shoulder. “Silly, silly Lan Zhan.”

“Only around Wei Ying.” A soft voice said, and the hufflepuff flinched away to see Lan Zhan watching him with heavy lidded eyes.

“Only around me? I’m honored.” Wei Ying laughed, reaching out to poke his cheek.

Lan Zhan caught the hand, pulling Wei Ying’s palm to his cheek as he closed his eyes. “Mn.”

“Lan Zhan?”

“Wei Ying.”

“You’re rather talkative tonight.”

“For Wei Ying.”

Wei Wuxian blinked, his jumbled mind attempting to piece together Lan Wangji’s words. “For me?”

“Mn.”

Wei Ying lifted his free hand to rub at the tip of his nose as he thought, a small habit from his childhood. Lan Zhan grabbed that hand as well, only to lace their fingers together.

“Ah, Lan Zhan, if you keep holding my hand, I’ll have to kiss you.” Wei Ying laughed, letting his eyes close, only to be startled as Lan Zhan squeezed his hand instead. “Lan Zhan?”

The Ravenclaw was frowning at their interlocked hands as Wei Wuxian attempted to pull aeay. His gold eyes seemed soft, as the moonlight pooled around the two and their breath mingled in the air. Wei Ying dropped his face down a little, to see the other’s face better, only to suck in a breath as Lan Zhan simply stared back, his face so completely open. The tension and stress normally clouding Lan Zhan’s face had disappeared, ans Wei Ying wished the love he saw was more than a trick of the light.

“Lan Zhan,” Wei Ying whispered, but paused, unsure of what to say. The two simply froze, and then were melting together, their lips softly pressing together as soft flakes of snow began to fall around the two. Wei Ying let his shoulders drop and softly traced Lan Zhan’s cheekbone with his thumb, before abruptly jerking away. “La- I-“

Wei Ying scrambled backwards, biting his lip and quickly finding his footing. Total panic setting into his throat, he felt his eyes burn as Lan Zhan - beautiful, perfect Lan Zhan - stared up at him in confusion.

Wei Wuxian swallowed. “It’s cold, Lan Zhan. I can’t let you get a cold. I’m sorry. Come one, I’ll take you back to your commonroom.”

 

Wen Ning was sitting in the commonroom as Wei Ying slouched his way in, shivering from everything but the cold.

“Are you okay?” The younger Hufflepuff asked, looking up from his book in concern.

“Just need to sleep off a hangover, don’t worry, Wen Ning.” Wei Ying said, his bones hollow.

Wei Wuxian did not sleep.

Chapter Text

“You look terrible.” Jiang Cheng said, sitting across from Wei Wuxian the next morning. The Hufflepuff had deep bags under his eyes, and his tie was - for once - properly adjusted. His clothes looked like they had been ironed, too. “How much did you drink?”

“I kissed Lan Zhan.” Wei Ying said, to which Jiang Wanyin began to grin.

“On Merlin?” Huaisang said, appearing at Jiang Cheng’s side and kissing his cheek.

“I’m so stupid. I- We were drunk and now I’ve ruined everything and-“

“We?!” Huaisang dropped his arm from around Jiang Wanyin.

“Yeah?”

“You were both drunk?”

“Both?” Jiang Yanli raised an eyebrow as she joined the three, grabbing an apple.

“Ah, Wei Wuxian kissed-“ Huaisang said, only for the end of his sentence to be muffled by Jiang Cheng’s hand as Lan Xichen passed by.

Wei Ying let his forehead rest against the table, “I- I’m feeling too much all at once, shijie.”

“I see.” Jiang Yanli smiled, rubbing her brother’s shoulder. “Why don’t you talk to Lan Wangji?”

“I can’t do that! What is he remembers? What if he hates me?!” Wei Ying said, attempting to push his face furthur into the table.

“I don’t think Lan Wangji is capable of hating you.” Nie Huaisang said, picking apart a bagel as he leaned heavily against Jiang Cheng. “I’d bet money he wanted to kiss you back.”

Wei Wuxian groaned in despair as Jiang Yanli laughed, the table collectivly rolling their eyes at their friend.

“If he really did drink, maybe you should bring him breakfast. You don’t know how well he’s handling a hangover.”

 

Lan Zhan had not shown up to breakfast, and if Wei Ying wasn’t worried out of his mind for the lightweight, the two would have avoided each other for weeks. But, instead, Wei Wuxian grabbed some tea and a croissant from the table and took it to the Ravenclaw dorms.

“What gets bigger the more you take out?” The knocker asked, and Wei Ying puffed his cheeks.

“I’m not going to do anything but give Lan Zhan this stuff. I promise.”

“Then answer the riddle.”

“I don’t know!” Wei Ying said, looking both ways down the empty corridor. “What gets bigger the more you take out of it?”

“What do you want?” Wen Qing asked, opening the commonroom door to leave.

“I brought breakfast to Lan Zhan. I was worried he’d oversleep with his hangover-“ Wei Ying said, lifting the plate slightly as Wen Qing frowned.

“He’s awake and he’s fine.”

“Oh. Well... can you at least give the tea to him? You don’t have to say I brought it, but it should help with the headache.” Wei Ying said, his eyes dropping to the floor. “Please?”

 

“Wei Wuxian was loitering outside our door.” Wen Qing said, shoving a tea cup into Lan Wangji’s hands as she munched on a croissant. “Wanted to give you breakfast, because apparently your hangover’s terrible.”

Lan Zhan stared at the tea before looking up slowly, his golden eyes tired. “Did he...”

“Say that he’s in love with you or mention the kiss?” Wen Qing said, her face completely deadpan. “No one brings that up in a regular conversation, Lan Wangji.”

 

“Ah, Lan Zhan, how are you feeling?” Wei Ying smiled, his voice considerably softer as the two saw each other in the library.

“Mn.”

“Mn isn’t a feeling.” Wei Ying playfully pouted, but quickly schooled his face. “But really, are you okay? Your head doesn’t hurt too much, does it?”

“I am fine.” Lan Zhan said, blinking forcefully as he looked away from Wei Ying’s eyes.

“Okay...” Wei Ying said, nodding as he dropped his eyes to the floor. “I’m sorry, by the way.”

Lan Wangji froze, though it was barely perceptable.

“I shouldn’t have made you drink with me last night. And-“ Wei Ying cut himself off, his cheeks turning pink.

“And?” Lan Zhan echoed.

“And, next time, please don’t feel pressured to drink with me. I don’t want something to happen to you, Lan Zhan.” Wei Ying said, mentally slamming his head against a wall as he looked up at the Ravenclaw.

“I’m sorry I made you worry.” Lan Zhan said, his ears burning, and his fingers twitched slightly with the urge to reach out and hold Wei Ying’s face. “But I did not want you to feel alone.”

“I’m never alone when you’re here, Lan Zhan.” Wei Ying said, visibly startling as he gaped at his own words. “I- I mean-“

“Mn.” Lan Zhan smiled, only slightly lifting the corners of his lips as Wei Ying slowly turned red.

Chapter Text

“What did you do?” Lan Zhan said, seeing Wei Ying laying on the grass near the lake.

“What?” Wei Wuxian grinned, biting his lip to keep from laughing as Lan Zhan slightly raised an eyebrow. “Me? When have I ever done anything interesting? Surely you aren’t refering to the rather nasty prank on Professor Wen! I would never, Lan Zhan. In fact, I have been here, minding my business, since the end of last period.”

Lan Wangji sat on the ground next to Wei Ying, who paused before turning onto his side, propping his head up with his hands. The Ravenclaw seemed confused, his golden eyes searching Wei Wuxian’s face.

“Ah, you didn’t mean the prank I absolutely had nothing to do with.” Wei Ying swallowed, dropping his eyes to the ground. “What did you mean, Lan Zhan?”

“After.” The Ravenclaw said, swallowing thickly as he looked away, his eyes unfocused at some part of the lake. “Did you go back to the Astronomy Tower, after you dropped me off in my dorm?”

“Oh.” Wei Wuxian blinks, glancing up at Lan Wangji before biting his lip. “No, I actually went to bed myself. I had a lot to think about, you know?”

Lan Zhan nodded, barely stopping himself from pressing a kiss to the Hufflepuff’s forehead, before turning away slightly. “You have class in the greenhouses.”

“Mm...” Wei Ying began to slowly stand, offering a hand to Lan Zhan. “But you have class, too. Let me be late today, eh, Lan Zhan?”

 

Lan Zhan slid down the wall of the Ravenclaw Commonroom, uncaring of his appearance as he dropped his head onto his knees. Wen Qing and Lan Xichen stared at him for a moment, before they both quietly returned to their books, Lan Xichen curled up under the blanket Jiang Yanli had knitted for him.

“Brother,” Lan Wangji began, only to pause with his mouth still slightly open as he looked over towards the couch his brother sat on. “I believe I’m terribly and irrevocably in love with Wei Wuxian.”

 

“Invite! Him! To! Hogsmede!” Nie Huaisang said, hitting Wei Wuxian with a pillow between every word. Jiang Cheng sat on the sofa a few feet away, watching with a small smile as his brother complained on the Slytherin commonroom’s floor.

“I can’t just- Stop it, Huaisang! I can’t just invite him on a date!” Wei Wuxian said, snatching the pillow from his friend’s hands and hugging it tightly.

“You kissed!” Huaisang said, his eyes wide.

“He was drunk! I was drunk! We were drunk on the Astronomy tower, and he probably didn’t mean it!” Wei Ying huffed, turning to his brother. “It’s not like you two were exactly the perfect example of communication before dating!”

“Except that I actually had the balls to tell Huaisang how I feel.” Jiang Cheng said, a grin slowly sliding up his face.

“Kissing me in the hallway is not a confession.” Huaisang said, and Jiang Cheng turned red as Wei Wuxian began to howl with laughter.

 

“Wei Ying.” Lan Zhan said, sitting across from the other as Wei Wuxian sat studying in the library.

“Hm?” Wei Ying hummed, but didn’t look up from his book, absentmindedly acknowledging Lan Zhan’s presence.

“You’ve been in here for four hours.” Lan Zhan said, his voice soft as he slowly placed his hand over the book, obscuring the words.

“I’m sure the professors will be glad I’m not wreaking havoc in the halls, then.” Wei Ying smiled, and only the bags under his eyes gave away the weariness he felt in his bones. He tugged at his already loose tie, and lifted Lan Wangji’s hand from the page as he continued to read, failing to let go once he could see the words.

Lan Zhan blinked, staring where Wei Wuxian held his hand over the table, using his free one to turn the page. The Ravenclaw let his shoulders drop, squeezing Wei Ying’s hand and pulling his hand and the book away.

“It’s the weekend.” Lan Zhan said, and Wei Wuxian raised an eyebrow.

“An acurate observation.” Wei Ying said, reaching for the book, which Lan Zhan hid behind his back.

“What are you researching?”

“I’m looking into reanimation for my Defense paper.” Wei Ying said, completely honest as Lan Wangji nodded.

“And what is the theory you’re working on?”

“That reanimation can be harnessed, so as to not destroy the necromancer himself.” Wei Ying shrugged. “But all of the books say otherwise.”

“Maybe the books are right.” Lan Zhan said, though he didn’t sound as if he weren’t right.

“Maybe they’re wrong, Lan Zhan.” Wei Wuxian grinned, and Lan Zhan felt his heart painfully contract as he nodded.

“You still need a break.”

“I’m fine. I can grab a snack once the library closes.” Wei Ying said, leaning back in his seat and nudging Lan Zhan’s foot with his own. “Can I have my book back?”

Lan Zhan’s eyes glinted with mischief for a moment before he shook his head, and Wei Ying blinked before laughing.

“Why not? Are you trying to make me fail?”

“Never.” Lan Zhan said earnestly. “I’m making you rest.”

“Then this conversation was my break. Very refreshing.”

“Wei Ying,” Lan Zhan said, standing and offering an open hand to the Hufflepuff. “Come to Hogsmede with me.”

Chapter Text

It was an unusually warm day for winter, but Lan Zhan insisted that Wei Ying still bundle up as they left the castle, the mangled scarf wrapped around the Ravenclaw’s neck. Wei Ying stuck his tongue out slightly, but allowed Lan Wangji to adjust his scarf carefully.

“It’s warm out, Lan Zhan. We don’t need scarves, can I please not-“

“It’ll get cold later.” Lan Zhan said, stepping back slightly as he dropped his hand.

“Mm...” Wei Ying rubbed at his nose as he thought, only to grin as he held a hand out. “I’ll only wear it if you’ll hold my hand.”

“Mn.” Lan Zhan grabbed his hand, carefully lacing their fingers together as his ears turned red.

Wei Ying’s brain short circuited, and he gaped his mouth open a few times before blinking slowly at the ravenclaw. “Oh.”

Lan Zhan smiled, softly, and began to lead the Hufflepuff towards Hogsmede.

“Ah, Lan Zhan. You really don’t have to, I know how much being seen with me can damage your reputation. I didn’t-“ Wei Ying said, pulling lightly on their linked hands, only for Lan Zhan to turn to him with a frown.

The other’s eyes stared at their hands, golden eyes clouded with confusion. “Do you not want to hold hands?”

“No! I mean, I do!” Wei Ying rushed, stepping forward. “I just- I mean- Well, I’m not exactly Prefect, Lan Zhan. If others see you with me, it can tarnish your reputation. And I don’t want anyone to think less of you because of me.”

“I don’t care.” Lan Zhan said, blinking up at Wei Ying’s eyes. “What others think.”

Wei Wuxian bit his lip, and nodded. “You’re going to have to warn me when you say such things. I might have to kiss you and steal you all for myself if you keep it up.”

Lan Zhan smiled.

 

Nie Huaisang was the poster boy for Gossip, and he wasn’t very ashamed of that fact. But, curled into Jiang Cheng’s arms as they sipped butterbeer, the Slytherin found that he couldn’t care less what everyone else was doing.

“Mm, Wanyin, you’ve got a mustache.” Huaisang smiled, reaching up to wipe it away as the other blushed. “You’re adorable.”

“Shut up.” Jiang Cheng muttered, though there was no heat behind his words.

“Make me, A-Cheng.” Huaisang laughed, but fell silent as Jiang Cheng pressed a soft kiss to his forehead. “Now that’s just playing dirty!”

 

“Have you ever been inside the Shrieking Shack, Lan Zhan?” Wei Wuxian grinned, pulling the Ravenclaw towards the house’s entrance.

Lan Zhan shook his head no, and planted his feet in the ground to stop them from actually entering.

“It’s not actually haunted, you know. I went in once in fourth year, just an old building.” Wei Ying laughed, but allowed Lan Zhan to lead him away. “I think there must have been something there once. There’s torn curtains and broken furniture, but it’s silent now.”

The Hufflepuff turned to stand in front of Lan Zhan, stopping the two from their continued walk. He blinked, and then rubbed at his nose.

“Well, what’s the plan?”

“Plan?”

“For the day. You wanted to drag me out here, so what are we going to do?” Wei Ying asked, leaning in slightly.

“I wanted you to rest.” Lan Zhan corrected.

“Sure, but what are we doing?”

“Walking.”

“You don’t have a plan, do you?”

“I don’t have a plan.”

 

“I have a plan!” Lan Jingyi exclaimed, dropping rather messily at the library table.

“A plan?” A-Qing raised an eyebrow.

“Yup!”

“...And what is this plan?”

“Oh!” Lan Jingyi leaned in, wrapping an arm around Ouyang Zizhen. “Here’s how we sneak into Hogsmede.”

 

“What do you think?” Wei Ying asked, leaning against Lan Zhan’s side as they looked over a small book.

“This does not seem like resting.” Lan Zhan looked over at Wei Ying, carefully pushing the necromancy book back onto the shelf.

“But Lan Zhan!” Wei Ying whined, reaching for the book once again. “Head full, many thoughts.”

The Ravenclaw caught the other’s hand, now carefully linking fingers on both sides and frowning. “Wei Ying.”

“Lan Zhan, please?” Wei Wuxian pouted, only to sigh and lean forward, dropping his head onto the other’s shoulder. “Just the one book. Please? Pretty please?”

“No book.” Lan Zhan said.

Wei Ying smiled, looking up at Lan Zhan with wide eyes. “How about the book in exchange for one kiss?”

Lan Zhan shook his head, his ears bright pink. “The book will cost five.”

“Now you’re just messing with me.” Wei Ying pouted. “Two.”

“Four.”

“Three, my final offer!” Wei Ying exclaimed.

“Mn.” Lan Zhan smiled, pressing his lips against Wei Ying’s cheek softly. “Next time.”

Chapter Text

“You know how the Forbidden Forest runs somewhat between Hogwarts and Hogsmede?” Lan Jingyi grinned, and his friends all stared at him with worried expressions. “So, we go through it!”

“That’s a terrible plan.” A-Qing said, watching Lan Jingyi’s shoulder fall. “First off, we could get caught going into the forest. Second, we could die in the forest.”

“It’s forbidden for a reason.” Ouyang Zizhen nodded, dropping his head onto Lan Jingyi’s shoulder.

“What reason?” Jin Ling asked, and Jingyi high fived him quickly.

“Centaurs own most of the land.” Lan Shizhui said, shaking his head. “And that doesn’t include the countless other animals and creatures that inhabit the forest.”

“If centaurs are considered intelligent beings, then why should we fear them? Can’t we just talk it out, Shizhui?” Lan Jingyi grinned, wide and toothy.

 

“Wei Ying?” Lan Zhan asked as the Hufflepuff slowly blinked back to awareness.

“hm?”

“Are you okay?” The ravenclaw said, pressing the back of his hand against Wei Ying’s forehead.

Wei Wuxian bit his lip, his cheek brightening with a blush as he nodded. Lan Zhan softly trailed his hand down to cup at Wei Ying’s cheek, his soft golden eyes searching the Hufflepuff’s.

“Do you need to go to the hospital wing?” Lan Zhan asked, his voice quiet.

“I’m fine, Lan Zhan. But you have to warn me, before you do such a thing!” Wei Ying leaned into the hand slightly. “You’ll give me a heart attack!”

“Mn.”

“Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan.” Wei Ying said, his voice muffled as he turned his face into the Ravenclaw’s palm.

The two stood for a moment as the dust began to settle on the books once more. Wei Ying yawned, his eyelids heavy. Lan Zhan began to draw away, but the Hufflepuff free hand reached up, pressing the former’s hand against his cheek with a pout. “Can we stay like this? For a moment longer?”

 

“I’m fully against this.” A-Qing whispered to Lan Shizhui, her hand clutching the back of Ouyang Zizhen’s robes.

“Then go back.” Lan Jingyi hissed, only to stumble over a tree root.

Ouyang Zizhen laughed, and stuck his tongue out at Jin Ling as he passed by. The small group burst into giggles as the shadows of the Forbidden Forest surrounded them.

 

Wei Wuxian shivered, leaning closer to Lan Zhan as they slowly walked back towards the castle. Their hands were still linked together, and Lan Zhan softly rubbed his thumb against Wei Ying’s hand before letting go. Wei Ying stuck out his lower lip, only to slowly fall into giggles as a fat snowflake landed on Lan Zhan’s nose. The Ravenclaw adjusted Wei Ying’s scarf, wrapping it a little closer to keep in heat. He reached up, running his fingers through Wei Ying’s hair in hopes of melting the snowflakes accumulating. Wei Ying stepped closer, leaning in slightly as their breaths puffed into clouds between them.

“Excuse me.” A voice said, and the two boys jumped apart. A large centaur with long black hair stood before them. She wore a simple white top over her body, and the bottom half was dotted in white and black fur. “I found a group of students wandering the forest. Would you please accompany them back to the castle?”

Fidgeting nervously behind the centaur stood a group of five younger students, two of which looked guiltily at Lan Zhan.

“Of course. Thank you for bringing them to us.” Lan Wangji said, bowing slightly to the centaur who nodded in turn.

The group of students watched as the centaur disappeared into the forest before Wei Ying rounded on the kids.

“What were you doing?” The Hufflepuff asked, and A-Qing flinched. “I’m not mad, I’m curious. I don’t have the power to expell you or give you detention.”

“We wanted to go to Hogsmede.” Ouyang Zizhen said softly, scuffing at the ground with his shoe.

“Hogsmede? That’s all?” Wei Ying blinked. “And you chose the most dangerous way to get there?”

“We’re not old enough to go, yet.” Lan Shizhui said.

“Hmm... and you didn’t think to just.. try the front door?” Wei Ying raised an eyebrow as the underclassmen all looked at Lan Jingyi. “If you leave with a large group, they normally don’t notice.”

“W-well, we didn’t think-“ Lan Jingyi stammered as Jin Ling slowly turned to him.

“You-“ Jin Ling snarled, throwing himself to grab at Jingyi as the Ravenclaw boy screetched and hid behind A-Qing.

“Hey, hey, hey!” Wei Ying laughed, catching the back of Jin Ling’s robes. “Calm down! We’re not gonna rat you out, but we are going to take you back to castle grounds. Right, Lan Zhan?”

“Mn.”

“You won’t snitch on us?” A-Qing squinted at the two. “Even after we interrupted-“

“Thank you so much, Senior Wei! Senior Lan!” Lan Shizhui said, covering A-Qing’s mouth with his hand.

Chapter Text

MianMian was confused, sitting across from a rather grumpy looking Slytherin and a Hufflepuff that was... possibly dead? The exchange student was unsure, taking in the sight of Wei Wuxian asleep with his face half in a bowl of cereal as Jiang Cheng ate a bagel with unbelievable aggression. Wei Ying coughed suddenly, startling awake with a piece of cereal stuck to his chin. MianMian looked away.

 

“I can’t believe we got caught anyways.” Jin Ling complained, wrinkling his nose as he pressed manure into a pot. “Stupid detention.”

“We wouldn’t have if someone didn’t get scared and confess immediatly!” A-Qing said, glaring at Lan Jingyi, who blushed.

“Well, I think this is fun.” Lan Shizhui said, smiling at Ouyang Zizhen who did not look as enthusiastic. “Sure we could be doing something else, but at least we’re allowed to talk.”

“I would prefer if we didn’t.” Lan Jingyi murmured as A-Qing continued to glare at him.

 

“Lan Zhan.” Wei Wuxian said, sliding into the seat next to the Ravenclaw just before the start of their shared Defense class. “Did you decide on a topic for your paper?”

“Mn.” Lan Zhan said, carefully titling his notes parchment with the date.

“Have you started it, yet?” Wei Ying asked, leaning his chin on top of his fist.

The Ravenclaw shook his head, watching as Lan Qiren began to place textbooks onto their desks for the upcoming lesson.

“Great!” The Hufflepuff grinned. “We both have free periods until dinner today, do you wanna come to the Library with me?”

 

Nie Huaisang was asleep, his face slightly hidden behind his long sleeve as he leaned against Jiang Wanyin. Their professor had yet to notice, and the two Slytherin boys were content for the moment. Jiang Cheng had taken to using a self writing quill during their lessons, knowing Nie Huaisang would latch onto his arm at the first opportunity.

“Wei Wuxian!” Professor Lan said, abruptly stopping the lesson. “If you cannot pay attention, then why did you come to class?”

“What?” The Hufflepuff boy blinked, looking up from his paper in confusion.

“Everyone else in this class is watching with their full attention, and yet you doodle on your parchment.” The professor said, and Jiang Cheng gently nudged Huaisang awake, who blinked drowsily.

“Yes, Wangji?” Professor Lan said, as the Ravenclaw rose his hand.

“Wei Wuxian is taking notes, Professor Lan.” The Ravenclaw said, his voice calm though the tips of his ears blushed a pink. “There is not a single drawing on his paper.”

 

“Lan Zhan.” Wei Ying said, stopping the Ravenclaw in the hallway. “Thank you.”

Lan Wangji simply smiled at him, linking their fingers together and starting to walk down the hall. “Snacks before Library.”

Chapter Text

Bichen, a small house elf, pressed a plate of warm cookies into Wei Wuxian’s hands.

“For Master Lan’s.... friend!” The small creature said, looking up at the Ravenclaw with expectancy.

“Thank you?” Wei Ying said, furrowing his eyebrows as Bichen quickly disappeared behind a counter. “Do all of the kitchen elves know you?”

“Mn.” Lan Zhan nodded, graciously stepping aside as one tried to run between his legs with a hot pot. “Bichen runs the kitchen. The one with the pot is Chenqing, she’s new.”

“She’s adorable.” Wei Ying giggled as the tiny house elf scrunched her nose as she dropped the pan onto the stovetop.

 

Food and snacks were not permitted inside of the Library, but Lan Zhan grabbed onto Wei Ying’s hand and pulled him inside all the same.

“Lan Zhan!” Wei Ying whispered, pretending to scold him as they weaved in between aisles. “What would the librarian say?”

“Madam Jin is at her desk.” Lan Zhan said, coming to a stop and leaning against one of the bookshelves. “If we’re quiet, she won’t know.”

“I’m starting to think you eat in here a lot, Lan Wangji.” The Hufflepuff smiled, holding out a cookie for the other boy. “Who would think one of the Twin Jades of Ravenclaw would be such a rule breaker?”

“You were the one who said it’s not a rule broken unless you’re caught.” Lan Zhan mummbled around the cookie, his eyes scanning the spines on the books near him. “Necromancy should be here-“

“Lan Zhan.” Wei Ying said, and the Ravenclaw blinked away from the book, turning his head to the other. “You have- You have chocolate on your face.”

The boy quickly wiped at his lip with his thumb, but Wei Ying shook his head.

“You missed it.” The Hufflepuff carefully placed the cookies onto an open part of the shelf, reaching up to wipe away the stain just below Lan Zhan’s lip. “There.”

“Wei Ying.” Lan Zhan said, swallowing harshly and catching the other boy’s hand before he could pull away. “I-“

“You?”

The Ravenclaw blushed, his cheeks darkening as he loosened his grip on Wei Ying’s wrist.

Oh. ” Wei Ying blinked, before quickly glancing both ways in the aisle. The boy chewed on his lip as he thought for a moment before looking back at Lan Zhan. “Are you sure?”

“Mn.” Lan Wangji nodded, his tongue feeling too heavy to speak.

“I really won’t be able to leave you alone now.” Wei Ying laughed quietly, twisting his hand just enough to slip his fingers in between Lan Zhan’s.

“Don’t.” Lan Wangji said, entirely too quickly. “Leave me alone, I mean.”

“Ah, Lan Zhan!” Wei Ying smiled. “You’re no good for my heart when you say things like that.”

The Ravenclaw relaxed his shoulder, leaning fully against the bookshelf as Wei Ying rubbed his nose in thought.

“You know, I never imagined my first kiss would be-“ The boy blinked in suprise. “Well.”

“Second kiss.” Lan Zhan agreed, and the Hufflepuff reeled back slightly. The Ravenclaw gently pushed a lock of hair away from the other’s face.

“Mn.” Wei Ying hummed. “I guess you’re right. But-“

“Wei Ying.”

“What?”

Lan Zhan leaned in, pressing their lips together softly as the other boy smiled stupidly against his mouth. The Hufflepuff wrapped his arms around Lan Wangji’s neck, leaning away to poke his finger at the other’s red ear.

“Are you trying to shut me up?”

“Of course not.” Lan Zhan said.

“I think you are.” Wei Ying said, turning his head away slightly before laughing. “I also think it’s working.”

Lan Zhan smiled, letting his hands pull Wei Ying closer by the waist before a sharp “ahem” startled them apart.

“Mr. Lan, Mr. Wei, I hope that I do not have to remind you both that the Library is for studying. And that food is strictly forbidden.” Madam Jin said, her glasses lowered slightly as she raised an eyebrow at them from the end of the row.

“Of course not, Madam!” Wei Ying smiled. “Lan Zhan was just helping me find a book to check out.”

The librarian pressed her lips together slightly as she squinted at them before shaking her head and walking off.

Wei Wuxian burst into quiet giggles.

Chapter Text

Wen Ning found Wei Wuxian in the Hufflepuff common room, curled into Lan Wangji’s lap as the two silently read. Wen Ning squinted slightly before shaking his head, effectively deciding that whatever was going on was none of his business. Instead, the boy carried himself to his bed, choosing to take a nap.

 

MianMian reached across the library table, pressing her hand against Wen Qing’s book.

“You look tired.” The exchange student whispered, though she let the other girl move her hand. “Wen Qing, you need a break.”

“I’m almost done.”

MianMian moved her seat, so that she sat next to the Ravenclaw, using her hands to turn the girl’s face towards her. Wen Qing raised an eyebrow, but sighed contently as MianMian kissed her softly.

“At least come get dinner.” MianMian said, tucking a strand of Wen Qing’s hair back.

 

Jiang Cheng made a face as Jin Zixuan sat across from him, but merely bit his tongue in favour of turning his attention to Huaisang. The Gryffindor glanced at Jiang Yanli, who shared a smile with him before Wei Wuxian collapsed into one of the seats.

“So, I heard from a little birdy that you and Lan Wangji got caught making out in the library.” Huaisang said, pressing a piece of food into Jiang Cheng’s mouth with a smile.

Wei Wuxian had the sense to blush as his sister turned to him.

“A-Xian!” Jiang Yanli gasped. “You’re dating Lan Wangji, finally?”

“Shijie!” Wei Ying whined, pulling on her robes as she turned to look for the other boy in the hall. “We- We aren’t-“

“You aren’t?” Jin Zixuan said, raising an eyebrow.

“I forgot to make anything... official.” Wei Ying frowned. “And now I’m too afraid to ask.”

“Ah, A-Xian, I think you already know the answer.” Jiang Yanli said, a fond smile on her face. “If the kissing hasn’t clued you in, Lan Wangji took you on a date in Hogsmede.”

“A date?” Wei Ying blinked slowly, inhaling sharply as he stood from the table and began to run out of the Great Hall. “A date. Oh my-“

 

“Lan Zhan!” Wei Ying called, rushing down the hall as he saw the Ravenclaw. “Lan Zhan!”

The other boy stopped, turning away from his conversation with his older brother to catch Wei Wuxian in his arms. The Hufflepuff was panting slightly, his hair having fallen from the red ribbon that normally held it up.

“Wei Ying?” Lan Zhan said, his voice quiet as he brushed back the boy’s hair from his face.

“I had to tell you!” Wei Ying said, latching onto the other boy’s face, his face split into a smile. “I love you! I like you! I whatever you! Please, dear Merlin, go on another date with me?”

Lan Zhan’s eyes widened slightly, before he relaxed, golden eyes soft and molten with affection. The Ravenclaw leaned forwards, pressing his lips to Wei Ying’s forehead. “We already planned to go to Hogsmede this weekend.”

“Well, yes. But I wanted to make it- this, official.” Wei Ying laughed, his cheeks dimpling near his eyes.

“Mn.” Lan Zhan smiled, only a quirk to the corners of his lips, but breathtaking all the same. “Then it’s a date, Wei Ying.”