Judas struggled to move through a crowd of new students, with three heavy suitcases in his hand. He got lost from his two older brothers right after they got on Hogwarts Express (the fact was, his brothers ran into some classmates and simply left their poor little brother behind), and had to look for them in each compartment, one by one. After a fourth try with no success, he closed the door with an awkward smile and decided that he’d just give up and stay in the next compartment whatever.
He opened the door with a polite knock, and found only a dark haired boy was sitting quietly in it. He wore a simple yet apparently pricey robe, and a cute mushroom cut with black hair fine as floss silk. There were a pack of sweets, chocolates and pastries on the chair next to him, which drew Judas’ eyes immediately. The boy started and looked up, staring at Judas with startled doe eyes.
“Ahem, hey, I was looking for my brothers…” Judas tried to explain, waving his hand in the air, yet fumbling with the cumbersome suitcases. The boy nodded with a soft chuckle (Judas couldn’t help but notice he had two sweet dimples when he smiled), and asked him if he would like to sit together. Judas felt relieved, and he knew then and there that he liked the boy as he stepped into the compartment more than happily.
“Hello, I’m Judas Iscariot.”
“Hello Judas, I’m Jesus. Would you like a Chocolate Frog?”
“Slytherin!” He’d barely felt the Sorting Hat on his head, before it called out his house cheerfully.
Judas took off the hat and gave a little grin. He was not surprised at all, for the result was predictable with his bloodline and ties to the house since his great-grandfather. He wandered towards the dining table of Slytherin, and nodded to his future buddies wearing green ties and whooping. His brothers were sitting there and greeting him with approving smiles. They patted him on his back and introduced him to the others while rambling on about their family’s glorious history and how their parents would be proud of them. Judas rolled his eyes unobtrusively. He’d heard these talks for at least hundreds of times in the past year, after he got admission from Hogwarts. Everyone, from his parents, brothers, other family members to those portraits of his ancestors hung on the walls in their living room, had been telling him that he must be sorted in Slytherin (“or at least Ravenclaw,” said with a snort from one of his distant aunts that he had no idea who she was), or he would be a shame to the whole family. Now he felt relieved. He found the Beef Wellington right in front him quite mouth-watering, and decided to just have a big dinner and leave everything else to tomorrow.
After a few more students Judas saw his new friend walked over to the front of the hall. He sat on the chair that Judas had sat on a couple of minutes ago, with his back straight and eyes tightly closed. Judas could almost see his curly lashes trembling slightly. From their chat on the train, Judas came to know that almost all of Jesus’ family graduated from Gryffindor, both of his parents being Head Boy and Head Girl back then, and currently working in the Ministry of Magic. One of his uncles was a war hero, who died in the War against the dark wizards ten years ago.
His family, like Judas’, may have expected him to be sorted into the House that they’ve been tied to for generations. Although the two houses never got along well, Judas hoped his new friend would be sorted in Gryffindor, just as he might have wished. However—
Judas blinked, and abruptly felt sorry for Jesus. The dark haired boy, to his surprise, seemed to be genuinely happy about it, as he took off the hat carefully and joined the cheerful Hufflepuff table.
“Why did all these happen?” When Judas was running across the Forbidden Forest with Jesus, he couldn’t help but pose this question to himself for the one-hundredth time.
If he’d not run into Jesus who was apparently planning something while hiding from his friends, if he’d not followed the Hufflepuff boy covertly out of worries and curiosity, or if he’d just simply gave up before the other boy stepped into the dark forest ─ now he should have had a whole cup of hot chocolate and cuddled in his small bed in the cozy Slytherin dormitory, instead of running desperately in this damp natural labyrinth with those venomous monsters chasing after them. He glanced back to make sure Jesus didn’t get lost, or worse, caught by those giant venomous spiders. He’d advised Jesus not to enter the forest, while the latter insisted he just wanted to “visit the unicorn whom he’d taken care of” (“Only Merlin knows how many times he’d broken the rule!” Judas rolled his eyes, again, for the one-hundredth time). Despite all of these, he just couldn’t leave Jesus to himself.
He could hear the spiders crawling, probably just inches away from behind, and the sound almost drove him crazy. The acromantulas, who had lived in their colony for long enough, apparently refused to let go of the big meal easily. Judas tried to recall every spell he’d learned that might help, but his mind just went blank as he could hardly catch his breath from running. Luckily, he found a giant tree stump a few yards away, with a hole on it, stinking of rotten leaves and rains. The next second he pushed Jesus into the hole and jumped in as well. They held their breath, feeling the soft leaves beneath their cold shoes. Judas pulled Jesus in his arms, and suddenly had this weird feeling that there was just the two of them, clinging to each other and struggling in this small world.
The acromantulas searched around frantically, their cloudy eyes like will-o'-wisp in darkness. After twenty minutes (felt like twenty years), they seemed to give up and left. The young wizards, still panicking, crawled out of the tree hole with leaves and spider webs on their heads. They looked at each other for a moment, and then Jesus smiled apologetically. “Sorry for getting you in the trouble,” he offered a hand to Judas. “And…thank you.” Judas stared at him for a few seconds, but took his hand eventually with a mumble, “Well…I really hope there won’t be a next time.”
“Fuck!” Judas curled up in the corner of an abandoned house, like a wounded animal. From the sharp pain in his left arm, he actually was severely wounded. “The damned dwarf─” He closed his eyes tiredly, remembering Annas’ cursed mocking face and Caiaphas’ signature smirk. Old friends, now enemies. However he had no time mourning the lost friendship, as he had to find a shelter before they get him. More important thing was, he needed to do something with the wound, at least stop it from bleeding, or he would have to see Merlin himself even without the help from those dark wizards.
He was racking his brain so hard that he missed the soft click of door opening. Until a pair of boots caught his eye, he snapped and looked up─
…to find it was Jesus standing there. He exhaled with relief, yet his heart was soon filled with another kind of anxiety. He gazed at the dark haired man with nostalgic admiration. It’s been nearly two years since their last meet. Back then they were still in school, gathering in the headmaster’s room. Their silver-haired professor (Judas’ heart ached when thinking of him) looked at them with those soul-piercing eyes, and announced that it was an extremely risky task, which required the person to spy on the core members of dark wizards, and send out those information. “One thing I would be frank with you is, though I’ll try my best to protect you, if anything goes wrong, what would be waiting for you is…death.” The old man looked around, eyes lingering on each face. Judas could see Peter grabbing Mary’s hand nervously, Simon hesitatingly ducked his head, and Mary, the brave Gryffindor girl, squeezed Peter’s hand encouragingly while Judas saw her biting her lips. He then looked at Jesus. The dark-haired young man (his hair grew longer and curly now, only made him more beautiful in Judas’ eyes) looked pale, but Judas recognized the same firm look that he had once seen in the eyes of that young Hufflepuff boy in the Forest. Jesus, with his wand in his left hand, took a step forward.
“I’ll do it.” Judas blurted out. All eyes in the room were now fixing on him, which made him feel uneasy as he ran a hand through his frizzy blond hair and gulped, a touch awkwardly. “I was close to…them, so I guess I would play a perfect role.” Hopefully, he added the unspoken word only to himself.
He tried to play cool as the silver-haired man scrutinized him for a moment with those dark blue eyes. “Alright,” Their headmaster let out a sigh in the end, “Judas come with me. Everyone else, you shall return to your dormitories.”
Judas followed the man. Eyes with respect or gratitude still lingered on him, but he paid no attention to them. He walked past Jesus without looking at the Hufflepuff boy, as if he didn’t see the latter’s even paler face.
“You should not be here!” Present-day Judas hissed with frustration before he tried to calm himself. Did Jesus have a single idea why he took this task?!
Jesus knelt beside him as if he didn’t hear his words. He took off his red scarf (Judas was never a fan of red, but he couldn’t deny that the color suited Jesus perfectly) and started to clean his wound gently. He whispered a song-like incantation, and Judas felt the wound stopped bleeding. Jesus helped him sit up slowly against the wall, and looked at him with something unreadable in his eyes.
“W,what─?” Judas got nervous.
Jesus broke into a smile. “I just want to say, thank you.” He leaned in, and placed a quick peck on Judas’ cheek which was covered in dust. “For everything you’ve done for me. Now it’s my turn.”
What? Judas blinked, like he was casted Petrificus Totalus. He felt dizzy, as if he’d been sent back to the very summer when he tried that self-made love potion which unfortunately failed. However, the soft touch that lingering on his cheek reminded him that it was not some hallucinations from blood loss.
The next second he realized what Jesus meant. There were footsteps approaching, heavy and rapid-moving, which spoke louder of their intention than any word. Jesus reacted quickly, moving him to the back of a broken shelf. Before he got up, he checked again Judas’ wound carefully to make sure it was healing.
He then walked out of the hideout, with wand in his hand, and stood between Judas and the door.