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of libraries and healing potions

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Taehyung is a proud Hufflepuff.

Of course he's a proud Hufflepuff - he grew up with his grandma in a little farm - he's thankful for even being here, knows not everyone can; he is proud for many things, like his ability to make friends so easily and his passion for anything art-related. Taehyung is proud of his accomplishments, of his friends and his house.

Hogwarts is amazing and Taehyung has known this since he got his letter - Headmistress Minerva McGonagall has a very neat handwriting -, but some days he catches himself being in awe of the moving stairs, the ghosts, the talking portraits. Everything is too cool, and he is still amazed even after years here; Hogwarts is amazing and Taehyung could never understand how the other students keep going through their days just accepting the little quirks embed into the castle.

There are some other things though that Taehyung still cannot understand, like when Jimin got sorted into Slytherin on their first year here - he got that one as time passed -, or how Quidditch is very dangerous and that is probably the main reason people like it so much. Sometimes he doesn’t understand Arithmancy or a specific lesson in Potions, but with some help he can get there.

Taehyung isn’t dumb, therefore he could see during first year how many people from his house – and the other houses too – reacted badly when they found out Jimin and him were friends. Not everyone voiced their opinions – some just ignored them or talked behind their back and even gave them the cold shoulder –, but the ones who did were never supportive. Well, that was until two years later when they met Jeon Jungkook, a very shy and talented boy, who had big brown eyes and didn’t talk much in the beginning, but wouldn’t shut up once he got comfortable. Taehyung loves him to death, and Jimin probably does too, based on this look he gets every time Jungkook is around – something about the elder's eyes going very soft.

He isn’t dumb; therefore he sees the looks everyone gives him when he – a muggle-born Hufflepuff – hangs out with a pureblood Slytherin and a Ravenclaw prodigy. He doesn’t care; it doesn’t bother him or his friends, so everything is cool. He didn’t learn about wars and the hatred behind them just to go around spreading more hate, thank you very much.

Taehyung isn’t dumb; he’s very smart, very observant, but the problem is that he isn’t the only one. “I’ve seen the way you look at hyung, Tae.” Jimin says one day during breakfast. “I gotta warn you though, Yoongi-hyung doesn’t like it when people stare at him.”

“I wasn’t staring.” He tries to defend himself but knows it doesn’t work when Jimin snorts at him and raises a brow. “Ok, I kinda was. But I swear I’m just looking.” And when asked at what exactly, Taehyung has half a truth. “He’s just intriguing.”

And that’s basically it, except that’s not all of it. Taehyung does think he is intriguing, with the way he seems very closed off when alone, but opens up with his Ravenclaw friend – Kim Namjoon, if Taehyung remembers correctly. He thinks Min Yoongi is very intriguing, with the reputation he has of sleeping through most of his classes, but always getting top grades.

But mostly, Taehyung just thinks he’s very pretty.

Min Yoongi is a pale little guy, with mint hair and very bad posture. He has beautiful triangular cat-like eyes, veiny hands with long fingers – maybe he plays the piano? – and pink, pouty lips. He has a deep and very soothing voice, his whole body shakes when he laughs and he has a gummy smile. Taehyung is enamored.

Taehyung is enamored, and for the first time in his life he doesn’t want to do anything about it; he’s happy, honestly, with admiring from afar. He’s content just watching the way Yoongi is a very quiet person in general, but blooms when accompanied by Namjoon or Seokjin – his other best friend, apparently.

Taehyung is content, until he isn’t anymore.

 

*

 

It starts with little things, like him going to class – one shared with Gryffindors – and hearing some hushed whispers about Yoongi. It immediately picks up his interest and makes a few warning bells ring in his head – Min Yoongi is a quiet student, doesn’t hang around big groups of people, doesn’t start fights, therefore he’s never a subject for gossip; Taehyung is curious, but not enough to join in gossip.

Not joining in ends up being useless anyway, once he meets Jungkook for lunch in the Great Hall. “Did you hear what happened?” The younger asks Taehyung but doesn’t wait for an answer. “About Jiminie and some other Slytherins?”

Taehyung is very confused, but hearing Jimin’s name brings concern into the table. “What about them? Is Jiminie ok?” And at this, Jungkook furrows his brows before answering. “Yeah, he’s good. Some Gryffindors were picking on a first-year from Hufflepuff, and when Jimin stepped up to help, they started getting angry.”

“Cowards!” Taehyung was gaping. “A first-year, no less!” Jungkook uses a finger to close his jaw. “Yeah but that’s not all of it. Guess who showed up to help Jiminie? Min fucking Yoongi.”

The older is surprised, but not exactly shocked. “Ok, that makes sense, actually.” And after Jungkook’s confused face, he continues. “Jiminie and him are from the same house, you should protect one of yours. Also, people were whispering about hyung during classes.”

“They’re from the same house, alright, but that doesn’t make Yoongi-hyung Jimin’s hero you know?” Jungkook says, crossing his arms. “He could leave it alone, let someone else take care of it. Probably McGonagall.”

“He could, but he didn’t.” Taehyung shrugs. “And I think that’s really cool of him, Jiminie could have gotten hurt, I’m glad he helped.”

Jungkook’s eyes go comically wide. “I am too! Very glad he’s ok, I was just saying!” And then he lets out a huff. “You’re making me embarrass myself.”

“Oh no, Jungkookie. That’s all you.” Taehyung laughs. “Anyways, is that why Minnie isn’t here? Where even is he?”

“He’s still with the first year, calming him down or something.” Jungkook explains, shrugging. “I went looking for him as soon as I heard what happened, but he said he wanted some time alone with the kid.”

“Do you think he’s giving his motivational speech?” Taehyung smirks.

“Most likely, yes.” Jungkook smiles. “Leave him alone, he’s very good at comforting people. Especially the little ones.”

Taehyung lets out a loud laugh. “Oh, you would know, right? I still remember on your first year when you got really homesick and stuck to Minnie’s side like glue.” Jungkook’s cheeks and ears go very red, but he doesn’t say anything, so Taehyung keeps going. “You asked him to talk to you in dialect to see if it helped, so cute Jungkookie.”

“Please stop before I leave.” He hides his face in his hands. “I don’t like talking about that.”

Taehyung smiles, petting the younger’s head. “Ok, I’ll stop.” Then there’s another body sitting beside him. “Oh well, hello there Jiminie.”

Jimin gives him a very bright smile, and reaches over the table to pet Jungkook’s head as well. “Hi, you two. Have you eaten yet?”

Jungkook raises his head, still looking very red, but answers anyway. “No, Tae was being a bad friend and I was sharing the newest gossip with him.”

Jimin slumps in his seat “It’s not even worth that though, I was helping a first year and hyung gave me some backup. That’s all.” He rolls his eyes. “People here are too dramatic.

Taehyung laughs ironically, says “Like you aren’t” and gets smacked for it.

He’s fine, joking around with his friends, until Yoongi comes into his view. He’s sporting a nasty bruise in one eye and Taehyung thinks they got his lip too, but can’t be too sure from this distance. “You got in a fight?!” He turns to Jimin, whisper yelling.

Jimin looks very confused for a couple seconds, murmuring a “no?” before his eyes go very wide and his mouth open in a perfect ‘o’. “Oh my god, Yoongi-hyung fought the Gryffindor dude.” He combs a hand through his hair. “Oh my god.”

Jungkook lets out some swear words. “Jiminie, please explain?”

For all that it’s worth, Jimin looks just as shocked as them.

“Hyung appeared while the Gryffindor dude and I were arguing, and he said to take the Hufflepuff kid away and accompany him to his common room, which I did, but I had to leave him with the Gryffindor guy for that. I thought he would just swear at him and report back to the Head Boy or something! I didn’t think they would get into a physical fight!” Jimin looks around for Yoongi, wincing when he spots the bruises. “Damn.”

Jungkook looks around at the Gryffindor table, then back at Yoongi. “I think the other dude got the worst of it.” He gives an impressed hum. “Can’t find him at his table, but hyung’s hands are all bruised.”

And they really are, when Taehyung looks for it. His knuckles are reddish-purple, and if he focuses hard enough, he can spot some small stains in the elder’s sleeves with what Tae suspects is the other guy’s blood.

“That’s kinda hot.” Taehyung let’s slip, and turns around with wide eyes. “I mean, that’s concerning, he could get in trouble.” And when Jimin and Jungkook smirk at him, he can only sigh.

“I didn’t know you had a crush on hyung, Tae.” Jungkook starts. “Maybe we could get Jiminie to set you guys up.” Taehyung knows he’s only joking, but he can never be too sure when Jimin is involved.

“I’m good, don’t worry.” He dismisses his friends and starts getting up from the table. “Anyways, I have to go or I might be late for my class. See you guys later.” And with a last wave, he turns and heads for Potions.

 

*

 

It starts with little things, but eventually they escalate.

Taehyung is walking through a hall one day, when he listens to some students talking very loudly. He’s far enough that he can’t really understand what it is about, can only understand that someone must be very angry at something. When he gets closer and turns the corner, the scene in front of him is not exactly what he was expecting, and not in a good way.

The angry someone is actually that same boy from Gryffindor that Jimin had argued with, and the something he is angry at – now actually a someone – is Min Yoongi. Taehyung is not exactly surprised.

“I’m not repeating myself, stay out of my way and I won’t bother you back.” The guy says to Yoongi, his two other friends smirking behind him. “And let me tell you something, as a friend. It’s best if you stay away.”

Yoongi raises a brow, face stoic. “Are you threatening me?” Taehyung is shocked when a humorless laugh leaves his hyung’s lips. “Come on, Smiths. You can do better than that.”

The Gryffindor guy – Smiths, apparently – has a very ugly scowl on, and when Taehyung sees the guy’s hand reach for his wand, he doesn’t even think before taking the last few steps and standing between the Gryffindors and Yoongi.

Everyone stops, including Smiths, who gives Taehyung a very confused face. “What the hell are you doing?” He asks, like he can’t see exactly what is going on.

“I’m stopping you from doing something very dumb.” Taehyung has the most serious expression he’s ever had in his life, and maybe Smiths notices it, because he takes two steps back. “Go away before I report you to the Headmistress.” Then he remembers Yoongi’s ironic smile, and tries his best to mimic it. “We wouldn’t want your parents to know about this, would we?”

Smiths’ scowl hardens, but he leaves with a huff. Taehyung turns around to find Yoongi with his wand in hand, but otherwise he looks fine. “Are you ok?” He still asks, can never be too sure.

And it shouldn’t be cute how Yoongi opens his mouth and closes it several times, like he’s trying to figure out what to say, before he finally manages a breathy “the fuck?”. A laugh leaves the younger’s mouth without his consent.

“I could ask you the same. What were you doing? Three against you?” Taehyung cocks his head to the side. “Doesn’t seem very smart nor fair to me.”

Yoongi crosses his arms and raises one brow, looking like someone personally offended him. “And why is that?”

Taehyung can’t help the small smirk. “Because there are only three of them.” And at Yoongi’s shocked face, he too crosses his arms. “It’s news to no one how good you are at Charms and DADA, Yoongi-ssi.”

Yoongi still looks confused, but he manages a reply, his voice low. “Didn’t know I had a rep, much less a name to keep.”

“I wouldn’t call it a reputation, per see.” Taehyung moves his weight to the other feet. “But people know not to mess with you.” And after a pause, he continues. “Well, most people.”

“Then why are you here?” Yoongi now looks curious, his confusion wiped out and replaced with wonder - maybe a little bit on edge, like he fears Taehyung might try him too.

“I’m not a fan of clichés, but I have to take the chance and say I’m not most people, Yoongi-ssi.” Taehyung takes a few steps back, noticing the elder’s stiff posture. “I see someone in possible distress, I help.”

“A good heart, I see.” Yoongi smirks slightly. “I must say I’m not surprised.” Then he bends a little to get his bag from the floor. “I have to work on my Herbology homework and I’ve heard you’re very good at the subject. Would you be so kind as to help your hyung?”

And honestly, how could Taehyung say no, when Yoongi looks at him with a small but very soft smile, eyes pleading “Only if you teach me how to conjure a corporeal Patronus.”

“Of course you would ask something back.” Yoongi laughs, making his whole body shake, and Taehyung is once again reminded of how enamored he is. “By the way, how did you know about his parents?”

Taehyung scrunches his nose, shrugging. “I said the first thing I could think of. Didn’t think it would work, to be honest.”

Yoongi smiles, but something on his eyes make them sharp and attentive. “Good heart and a smart mind. What a killer combination, really.” And they head, side by side, to the library.

 

*

 

And things keep escalating.

Yoongi every once in a while will appear with a bruise or a small part of his cloak scorched, and even thought Taehyung says he should tell someone or at least ask for his friend’s help, the elder never listens.

Today is no different, Taehyung quickly notices once Yoongi comes into view, sitting down on their usual table in the library. “I’m starting to think you kind of like the fights.” He lets out lowly.

Yoongi’s reaction is slow, but it shapes his face into an angry scowl. “I do not enjoy fighting nor do I enjoy when people make me late. Smiths is doing both of those things, which pisses me off, that’s why I can’t be bothered to give a damn about it.”

“Well, you surely must give a damn about the bruises you’ve been collecting.” Taehyung crosses his arms “We meet here three times a week and eat together fairly often; you can’t possibly think I haven’t noticed.”

“I know you noticed, you’d have to be a really distracted person not to, but the thing is that I don’t care, Taehyung.” He sighs “Let him have his fifteen minutes of anger, as long as it’s not with the kids.”

And Taehyung finally understands. “You’re letting him come for you so he won’t come for the first-years.” Which is not as surprising at it should be, but Tae guesses he’s grown to Yoongi’s quiet and collected personality. “Hyung, that doesn’t make sense. You’re older and smarter than him, you could easily tell someone and they would believe you without question. There’s no reason not to.”

Yoongi sighs again. “I don’t wanna talk about this anymore. Can we just start with homework already?” And they do, if that’s what his hyung wants, but Taehyung won’t let this go so easily.

On the following morning he stops Smiths in the hallway, already five minutes late to his next class. The other boy looks very confused and not very happy to have been held back. “What do you want, Kim?”

Taehyung wants Smiths to grow up, but he can’t start with that. “Let’s make a deal.”

Smiths has a smirk growing on his face, Taehyung doesn’t understand how someone can be so cold. “Now I’m interested, keep going.”

Now he has to play safe, but if he manages to keep the guy fairly out of the actual loop he’s planning, then he might fix things. “Here’s how this will work; you keep away from Min Yoongi and anyone who isn’t your size, and I’ll keep my mouth shut about all your shit instead of going to the Headmistress. How’s that deal for you?”

Smiths isn’t smirking anymore, but it looks like he’s considering. “You’re too worried about someone who isn’t from your house.”

“But he is from my house.” Taehyung is confused since the kid is a Hufflepuff.

“I’m not talking about the kid.” Smiths raises a brow but extends a hand. “Ok, it’s a deal. But if you open your mouth, the deal’s over and I’m coming twice as hard on both of you.”

“Pleasure doing business with you.” Taehyung shakes his hand, and turns around to leave, a bad feeling deep in his gut.

 

“Ok, let me see if I got this right.” Jimin says during dinner “You, a whole Hufflepuff, basically threatened Smiths into not going after Yoongi-hyung anymore?”

“He’s also leaving everyone else alone.” Taehyung adds. “Besides, I didn’t threaten him. I just gave him a very good reason not to do anything dumb.”

“So you threatened him.” Jungkook deadpans. “I mean, I’m not exactly surprised since he kind of deserved to be put in line. The only thing surprising actually is that you were the one doing it, and not someone else. Like Jimin.” He continues “We all know that out of everyone, he would be the first on the list to do it, no doubt.”

Jimin left eyebrow goes up, his lips in a line. “There’s an insult somewhere in there, I just can’t be bothered to unpack it.” And then he turns to Taehyung. “I think that was very brave of you, but you should still be careful. I don’t trust Smiths or any of his shadows, so keep an eye on him and his friends please.”

“Don’t worry, Jiminie.” Taehyung says, smiling. “I’ve got it under control.”

And he did have it under control.

Weeks had gone by, and Taehyung could see the Hufflepuff kid looking more relaxed while walking through the castle. He could also see how Yoongi’s bruises eventually started healing, no new bruise appearing.

Yoongi was suspicious - of course he was - but Taehyung didn’t give him a reason to think he was the motive the fights had stopped, so he never found out; they were fast on their way to becoming good friends and Tae didn’t want to mess that up.

They were finally past the phase of asking to hang out – Taehyung was responsible for that one after sitting down unannounced beside Yoongi during dinner -, now just popping out nowhere and going with it until they had to part after dinner to head to their respective common rooms.

Things stopped escalating, and Taehyung thought that was the end of it.

 

*

 

Taehyung had everything under control - including his growing crush on his hyung - but eventually something’s gotta give.

Taehyung’s Herbology class had ended almost an hour ago, but since the weather was so nice, he decided to stay outside and sit by the lake. He didn’t know exactly how much time had passed since he had sat down, but he wasn’t expecting to be pushed into a wall while going back inside.

Smiths was in front of him looking very angry, but the push had knocked the breath out of Taehyung’s lungs, and he couldn’t listen to anything for a while besides his own wheezing. He eventually started gaining his hearing back and finally heard what Smiths was saying.

“Did you really think I was stupid enough not to find a loophole out of our deal, Taehyung?” The boy smirks “I’m not dumb and I won’t be treated like such. You’re gonna pay for underestimating me.”

“The deal was that I wouldn’t tell the Headmistress about your fights and you wouldn’t mess with someone wh-“

“Who’s not my size, yeah, I remember” Smiths laughs lowly and gets closer to Taehyung. “But you see, Kim, we’re actually pretty close on that, huh? That means I can end you and the deal is still up.”

Taehyung can’t believe he was so dumb as to not notice. He really should have thought of a better way of phrasing the deal, but now it was too late, and well, what exactly could he do.

“I don’t like to be treated like I’m dumb, Taehyung. So I’m gonna teach you a lesson, and you better not forget it.”

“Do you really think hitting me will help your case in any way?” Tae argues “It will only give me one more reason to rat you out, except now I will have proof. Bruises aren’t exactly easy to get rid of, Smiths.”

“But that’s where you’re wrong.” The Gryffindor smiles, eyes cold. “Bruises are easy to cover; it’s surprising that your muggle-born ass doesn’t know this. No, the bruises are easy” He laughs” It’s the pain that is hard to bear.” His smile got bigger, smirk almost taking up all his face. “Maybe I should make it easier for you, I know a silencing charm that works wonders on people who like to talk more than they should.”

“Smiths, come on. You don’t have to do this” Taehyung raises his hands, trying to put distance between him and the other guy. “Just don’t fight anymore, let’s be reasonable.”

“You’re right, Badger.” Smiths launches himself at Tae, holding him against the wall by the neck. “I don’t have to do this, but I will anyway.”

“This will eventually come back to bite you in the ass.” Taehyung says, his throat hurting a bit. “It will bite you and you’ll think back to hitting people and laying your filthy hands on anyone and wish you hadn’t been so stupid. You’re gonna regret this.”

“Maybe” Smiths gives a relaxed shrug, but his face transforms, his grin becoming devilish. “But you’re gonna regret it first.”

It is safe to say that Smiths was right on both the pain and the regret. Taehyung was too out of it to really understand what was going on, but when he woke up in an empty classroom with not missing any limbs, but feeling like he was ran over by a train, he just knew the Gryffindor had something to do with it.

There were no bruises to be seen, but Tae could feel his whole body aching and his head hurt so bad he just wanted to close his eyes and stay where he was. He couldn’t – judging by the view from the windows, it was night already, and he would have to go back to his common room or else he would get in deep trouble for wandering through the castle.

He was slowly, but surely moving towards his common room, people giving him side looks. His ribs were on fire thus moving around was quite the task, but he was almost there, if he could put up with the pain for a little while he would eventually be in bed and nothing else would matter.

“Are you ok?” Someone said, after gasping. “Are you hurt? What happened?”

Taehyung was well bent on ignoring the person and just heading straight to bed. He had made it past the whole common room and was almost by the door to his room, but the small and child-like voice made him turn around. And what a surprise was it, when Tae recognized the boy as Jimin’s protégé.

“You’re Kim Taehyung, right?” He said, stepping up in Tae’s direction. “Jimin’s friend”

“Yeah, that’s me” Tae says quietly, mostly because of the pain. “You’re his..-“

“He said I’m his new son.” The boy shrugs, small shoulders dropping fast, expression confused. “Whatever that meant”

“He’s a weird one, don’t mind him.”

“Yeah, uhm.” The boy looks at where Taehyung was holding his ribs and leaning heavily on the wall. “You’re hurt, aren’t you?” And at his silence, the boy continues “Can I help? I can help.”

He laughs a bit and pushes himself off the wall. “There’s not much to do, there are no bruises to take care of.” He pauses. “Well, not visible ones, and unless you can help with that…”

The boy’s mouth opens on a perfect ‘o’. “I can help! I know how to help! Please let me help.”

“Only if you stop saying ‘help’ so much.” Taehyung laughs.

“I’ll stop, sorry!” He pats himself, probably looking for his wand. “I know exactly what you have to do, please sit down.” His cheeks are very round when he smiles, but Taehyung can’t help but internally coo at the kid. “Was it a spell that hid the bruises?”

“I guess.”

“Then I know which one it is and I know how to undo it.” The kid smiles, but Taehyung suddenly turns very serious. The kid notices. “Is something wron-“

“How do you know a spell to cover bruises?” He asks, concerned. “Has anyone been giving you trouble?”

“Oh!” The boy startles. “No! No, it’s not like that. I swear it isn’t.” He flushes. “Uhm, I used to get many bruises from playing Quidditch with my friends back home, and mom didn’t really like it, so dad would cover them for me so she wouldn’t get too worried.” He smiles lightly “They were mostly scratches, so it wasn’t a big deal to him and she never found out, so yeah…”

“That’s not very nice of you, to hide that from her.” Taehyung smiles, teasing the younger.

“I swear they weren’t bad!” The boy defends himself. “She would just complain and wouldn’t let me play for the rest of the week, it wasn’t a big deal! Dad would use the spell to hide his tattoos! His boss didn’t like them very much.”

“It’s ok, kid.” Taehyung laughs “I’m just kidding.”

“You’re a mean one.” The boy says, and eventually gapes when Taehyung completes it with “Mr. Grinch”

“You’re muggle-born!” The kid’s eyes are wide, reminds Taehyung of Jungkook. “I’m also muggle-born, I mean, only half, but this is so cool. You’re so cool.”

“If you can help me with my ribs, you’re probably way cooler than me.”

“Oh, right! Sorry.” The kid sits in front of Taehyung and starts writing down of a piece of parchment. “Jimin said you were good friends, he told me one day I would find friends just as good as his.”

“He’s a sap, always bragging about Kook and I.” He pauses “Do you have many friends?”

The kid blushes, but answers eventually. “Not really, but I’m really good friends with Felix from Gryffindor. That’s why Maxwel was mad at me the day I met Jimin.” He pauses his writing, but continues talking. “He didn’t like that I was friends with someone that wasn’t from my own house but his. I just think that’s stupid of him.”

“And it really is.” Taehyung pats the kid’s head. “Jimin, Jungkook and I are all from different houses and we work well together. We’re very good friends and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

“Yeah, Felix is really cool too.” The kid smiles and gives the parchment to Tae “He shares his sweets with me when he comes back from holidays.”

“That’s really sweet of him.” Taehyung smiles, “But now is really late and it’s past your bedtime. You should go to bed before I tell on you.”

The kid gapes, “You wouldn’t! I just helped you!” He finished with a pout.

“Ok, I wouldn’t. But still, you need to go to bed so you’ll be well rested tomorrow. “He quickly scans the paper and there are mostly instructions on it, a small drawing in the corner.

“You’re just like Jimin, he too went all dad-mode on me.” The kid sighs “I guess that’s the price I pay for meeting cool people. Rest in pieces, Tyler, if you ever get to meet Krum.” He mutters to himself, before turning to his room.

“Thank you, by the way.” Taehyung says before the kid opens the door “It was really nice of you to help, I appreciate it a lot.”

“Oh” Tyler blushes deeply “Uhm, you’re welcome I guess, even though I didn’t do much besides write.”

“Either way, thank you.” Taehyung smiles. “You’re a good kid, don’t let others tell you otherwise, alright?”

Tyler nods and goes inside his room, waving one last time before he closes the door. 

 

*

 

In the end, Taehyung shouldn’t be surprised that the spell only lifts the cover but does nothing to actually help heal the bruises, which is really not much different from muggle makeup. Still, he has to find a way to heal them before anyone notices - Jimin is a touchy person and he often wrestles Jungkook playfully, flinching from their touch would raise question he doesn’t want to answer.

He could easily go to Madam Pomfrey, but he would have to cross too many corridors and come across too many people, and she would ask too many questions, it would be too risky. He has two options; hiding in his room for the next couple days – a very bad idea since his friends would come looking for him anyway -, or going around the castle with his hood up, and considering he uses a freaking cloak and would like a grim reaper, that too wouldn’t be very smart.

Taehyung really cannot think of anything else do to except handle this with his head held high, but that would cause so much shit that he doesn’t really want to consider it. Yoongi would ask way too many things, Jimin would get extremely worried and Jungkook would look very scared, all of it for nothing. The bruises don’t bother him; they hurt, but they don’t bother him. He should have seen it coming anyway.

In the end, he doesn’t get to make a choice. There’s someone knocking on his door, and considering he’s kinda late for breakfast, it could be either Jungkook or Jimin; he never stood a chance.

It ends up being Tyler, which Taehyung is both confused and relieved about. The kid is smiling shyly, but the sheet marks on the left side of his face give him a soft look, like a little puppy. “Morning. Sorry for bothering you, but I was thinking.” He says, not going through the door like Taehyung expected him to as soon as he opened the door.

“You’re not bothering, Tyler.” Taehyung smiles “What exactly were you thinking about?” He sits down, holding his breath when his ribs ache a bit, but pats the space beside him, Tyler plopping down happily.

“So, you were covering the bruises.” The kid starts “That means you don’t want people to find about them.”

Taehyung smiles. “Very observant of you, kid. But why were you thinking about that?”

Tyler shrugs “I used to hide bruises from mom so she wouldn’t find out about Quidditich, right?” And at Tae’s nod, he continues “It would only make sense that you wouldn’t want people to find about it. I haven’t been around for long, but I guess Jimin might be a little on the protective side.” He says sheepish and Taehyung laughs.

“Yeah, he is very much that.” Then he sighs “It’s just an issue I don’t want him to worry about. Yoongi too would be insufferable.”

“I get that, that’s why I came to check on you.” Tyler says “I’m not good at healing anything to be honest, but maybe I could help you in another way?” He stops, and then his eyes get very wide “I could get you something from Madam Pomfrey! No one would know since I don’t look sick or hurt, and your friends won’t find out!”

“That’s really nice of you, Tyler. But I can’t have you do that.” Taehyung smiles shaking his head, kids these days were too much. “I’m just gonna go and get this over with.”

“Are you sure?” Tyler asks, cocking his head. “It’s no problem, I like helping.”

“I’ve noticed” Taehyung laughs again, the kid smiling sheepishly “But it could get you in trouble, so that’s a no-no.” He gets up, motioning for Tyler to follow him. “Let’s go, you can help me by being my knight in shining armor in case Jimin gets too crazy.”

“You’re using me to calm him down?” Tyler looks betrayed. “That’s cheap!”

“Not only that, but you’re also coming with me to see Yoongi-hyung.” He smiles.

“No, that I am not.” Tyler shakes his head, stepping away from Taehyung. “Min Yoongi is a very scary person and I will not, in any way, cross his path.” He raises his hands in front of him, like in surrender.

“You’re almost his height, Ty.”

“And yet he could annihilate me.” Tyler shakes his head one last time. “Sorry, but when it comes to angry Slytherins, you’re on your own.”

Taehyung has to laugh. “He helped you and Jimin against Smiths and you’re that scared of him? Of your hero?”

Tyler raises a brow. “We both know Min Yoongi would be an anti-hero for sure, so that’s a nasty reach there.”

“Either way, Ty.” Taehyung shrugs, crossing his arms. “People are more than looks. Don’t judge a book by its cover and all that.”

“I don’t.” Tyler shakes his head once more. “I swear I don’t, but Min Yoongi has a powerful and very scary vibe going for him. I’m not gonna be the fool to test his rep.”

“What rep?” Taehyung snorts, reminded of his argument when meeting Yoongi as compared to how his hyung really is. “He’s a cheese-ball, trust me.”

“Let’s just go before Jimin comes looking for both of us.” Tyler smiles, mirth in his eyes. “Now, that would cause a scene.”

“Don’t even say it. Once when Jungkook and I were preparing his surprise birthday, he almost flipped the castle upside down looking for us” He tells, opening the door for Tyler and him, both of them leaving for the Great Hall.

 

*

 

Saying Jimin almost had a fit was putting it lightly. Thank the heavens that Tyler was there to appease the beast; he was a really good knight, pointing his fork at Jimin, warning him about hurting Taehyung more. After that, Taehyung was able to sit down, Jimin and Tyler accompanying, the three of them waiting for Jungkook.

Breakfast was uneventful after Jungkook joined them – the boy giving Taehyung an incredulous look like he couldn’t believe what was going on, only seating down when Tae hit him with a book -; the explaining was cut short in Taehyung’ part, him coming up with some excuse, and even after neither of them believed he still didn’t explain further.

Half the problem was dealt with by his third class of the day, but the other half was waiting for him in the library, sitting in a fairly secluded table. Taehyung would hear so much about this, he was already preparing himself for the scolding.

Min Yoongi was sitting down, a book opened in front of him, looking very lost in whatever he was reading about. Taehyung thanked the heavens once again for the few more seconds of peace, managing to walk through a good portion of the library without Yoongi noticing him. But, like he could feel Tae getting closer, he raised his head and zeroed on the younger.

His eyes scanned Taehyung’s face, going then to his neck and throat then coming back to his face. Yoongi hadn’t seen the bruises under his shirt, but Taehyung felt like he didn’t need to, like he knew already. The younger was stuck to his place for a few beats, Yoongi still staring at him; he decided to sit down anyway.

Min Yoongi was very rarely mad, even then, never at Taehyung. But fuck, if his poker face wasn’t a dead giveaway. “What are we working on toda-“

“Don’t fucking try.” Yoongi stopped him, his face free of any emotion. “Don’t pretend like there isn’t an elephant in the room.”

“Hyung, it looks worse than it-“

“Shut up.” Yoongi looked mad now, his brows furrowing. He leaned in, his jaw clenching tightly before he talked again. “Tell me what happened, right now.”

“I either shut up or talk about it, hyung.” Taehyung tried to break the ice.

“Taehyung.” Yoongi cut him, his glare unwavering “Talk. Now.

“It’s nothing, hyung. I was playing Quidditich with a few friends and I fell off the broom, that’s all.” He shrugged, leaning back into his chair. “We got a little bit rough, but there’s nothing to worry about.”

“Yeah, someone must have been pretty rough with you.” Yoongi snorted, humorlessly. “Someone must have been very rough as to leave that fucking bruise on your throat. Taehyung, do you think I’m stupid?” He crossed his arms, jaw clenching once again. “It looks like someone tried to strangle you, and you want me to think it was during a playful match of fucking Quidditch?”

Taehyung was left speechless, he knew he couldn’t lie to Yoongi, but didn’t expect his hyung to be so direct about the issue.

“Then tell me, Taehyung. What friends were you playing with? I should have a talk with them about proper technique.” Yoongi raised a brow, his head cocked to the left.

“Ah, there really is no need for that, hyung.” Taehyung laughed nervously.

“Of course there is, Taehyung-ah.” Yoongi smiled sweetly. “If they don’t know how to play properly, someone has to warn them about hurting other people.”

“Hyung, it really was nothing-“

“Cut the fucking bullshit, Taehyung.” Yoongi said, forcefully closing his book. “Tell me right now what really happened, before I go out there and find out myself.”

Taehyung knew that Yoongi really would do as he was saying, but he couldn’t tell him if that meant keeping him away from Smiths. “Sorry hyung, but I can’t. I wish I could, I really do. But this time you’re gonna have to believe me when I say I’ve got it under control.”

Yoongi leaned in again, his voice cold. “You really expect me to believe you’ve got this shit under control? You want me to look you in the eyes, which are bruised to hell and back, and believe your word? You want me to face you like it’s nothing when there’s hand marks on your fucking throat?” He leaned away, eyes now cold too. “You might as well ask me to jump into the Great Lake and kiss the Giant Squid.”

“I’m not asking for much, hyu-“

“Not asking for much!” Yoongi gets up, pushing his chair back. “You’re asking me to pretend you’re not beat black and blue, Taehyung! Like you don’t have bruises all over!”

“Why are you getting so worked up about this?” Taehyung asks, his temper raising.

“How do you expect me not to?” Yoongi is talking loudly now, and if their table wasn’t that secluded, there would be some complaints for sure.

“There’s no reason to be so mad about it.” Taehyung shrugs, crossing his arms

“Of course there is, Taehyung!” Yoongi huffs. “You’re hurt! Someone beat the shit out of you.”

“And what about it?!” Taehyung gets up too. “Leave it alone! I said I have it under control!”

“This looks far from having control.” Yoongi is scowling and Taehyung has had it, honestly.

“It’s not your problem anyway!” He sits back down, frustrated. “You have nothing to do with this, I didn’t ask for help.” At this, Yoongi goes weirdly quiet. Taehyung refuses to look up, knows Yoongi will be staring at him. It’s when the older gathers his stuff that Tae looks up. “Where are you going?”

“I’m leaving.” Yoongi explain, getting his books and putting another one away. “I’m not staying and pretending everything is fine. Come find me when you wanna talk like a fucking adult.”

“Are you implying I’m acting like a child?” Taehyung asks, strangely hurt.

“Yes.” Yoongi turns to him. “That is exactly what I’m saying. You are acting like a petulant child and I’m not staying here to deal with that. Get your shit figured before you come to me.” The older looks away, “If you wanna pretend you weren’t fucking jumped, fine, but do it on your own.” And then he’s leaving.

 

*

 

Tae knew Yoongi would still be mad at him for the next few days; he knew, and yet he hoped his hyung would eventually let it go.

Yoongi didn’t. He did the exact opposite and held the grudge for more than a week – Tae was counting.

He was starting to get tired; they often passed by each other, but Yoongi made sure that Taehyung saw him turning away or pretending he couldn’t see the younger. It was tiring and it was annoying, but more than that, it hurt.

It hurt because Taehyung was only trying to protect his hyung, trying to help him out, but Yoongi wouldn’t let it go and try to see his side; it hurt because Taehyung cared so much about the older boy that he couldn’t phantom the idea of his hyung getting hurt.

It hurt more because Taehyung was protecting him but couldn’t tell him.

“All I’m saying, Tae” Jimin said during lunch one day “Is that hyung is far more affected than he lets on.”

“Why would he be affected?” Taehyung asks, hearing Jimin and Jungkook snort. “I just don’t get why he got so worked up about something that doesn’t concern him.”

“Except that it does.” Jungkook offers.

“As far as he knows, it doesn’t.” Taehyung answers back.

“No, Tae.” The younger offers “It does concern him, just not because he’s the main subject.”

Taehyung is confused. Why would Yoongi care if it’s doesn’t involve him? Why would he talk back at Tae if he didn’t even understand the whole situation?

“Tae, listen.” Jimin starts, voice low. “It’s not because of him. It’s because of you.”

“What?”

Jimin sighs. “He’s worried about you, Taehyung. One moment you’re both friends who talk basically every day and meet up to study in the library and everything’s great; in the next, you’re acting all skittish, keeping things from him and not letting him help you. He’s worried.”

“Because he cares.” Jungkook adds.

“So what, if he cares?!” Taehyung shrugs, his robes fall off his left shoulder. “I’ve got it under control, I told him.”

“You told him you got things under control while looking like a Bludger hit you several times.” Jungkook says, his right brow raised. “I don’t blame him for not believing.”

“Jungkook, I swear to-“

“The point is” Jimin interrupts. “He cares a whole lot, and not knowing what actually prompted the fight in the first place is messing with him.”

“What do you mean?” Taehyung’s head tilts sideways, forehead wrinkled in confusion.

“Jimin means he looks like shit.” Jungkook provides.

“Shut up, he doesn’t look like shit.” The older slaps his shoulder. “He doesn’t look so bad, just very tired.”

“He’s older than us, has classes that are more difficult; more responsibilities.” Tae retorts.

“I know that.” Jimin throws back “But he’s been looking like that for as long as your fight has been going on.” Then he shrugs, continuing. “I’m not saying that’s the actual reason, but I don’t believe in coincidences.”

“So you’re saying what? That Yoongi hasn’t been sleeping because we fought?” Tae tries, and it sounds even more stupid when said aloud. “That’s reaching and you know it, Jimin-ah.”

“It’s not reaching if you have compelling arguments, hyung.” Jungkook defends. “They’re in the same house and Jimin is very observant.”

“You’re both trying to talk me into apologizing to him but it’s not going to work.” Tae gets up, turning around to head out. “We both overreacted but he was the one who left without properly talking first. I’m not apologizing for being insistent.”

“Stubborn.” Jungkook coughs.

“Now if you’ll excuse me,” Taehyung says, fixing his robes and patting them down, tidying it. “I have a class to get to.”

 

*

 

As it turns out, not apologizing does work, if only to make Yoongi ignore him longer. He hoped it would make the elder realize his mistake and apologize first, but Taehyung knows that was hoping on a silver lining.

In the end, they do end up meeting again – just not on ideal circumstances.

Taehyung is hastily leaving his Herbology class – late for his next one because he was discussing something with the professor – when he bumps into Min Yoongi. Hard.

By the time he actually recognizes his hyung, the older boy is getting up with groan. His hand comes up to rub at his waist, but other than that, he looks fine; he also looks pissed.

“Oh” Taehyung let’s out softly. “Sorry, I didn’t see you.”

“Yeah, I noticed.” Yoongi murmurs. “You shouldn’t run, you could get hurt.”

“I’m just in a hurry.” He explains, then stops short. “What are you doing here, hyung? You don’t have classes for the next hour.”

Yoongi’s head tilts, eyebrow furrowed. “Can’t believe you know my timetable by heart.” Then he looks down, shaking his head. “I’m not here for a class, anyway. Tyler asked for help brewing a potion and I’m here to get some ingredients.”

Taehyung’s eyes squinted. “You’re not going to steal any plants, are you?”

It’s enough to make Yoongi’s ears bright red and to make him a spluttering mess. “It’s not stealing; of course not. I’m not stealing anything.”

“Sure, hyung.” Taehyung nodded. “Just make sure you don’t get caught.” And with that he left, only hearing Yoongi murmur about kids and respect.

 

*

 

And as it also turns out, the potion was for him.

“Taehyung, please give it a chance!” Tyler asked for the tenth time, pout still in place. “I swear it’s nothing bad. I asked for help just to make sure I wouldn’t do it wrong.”

“Tyler, I’m not going to take a potion just because you asked me to.” He said, trying to focus on the book on his lap.

“I swear it’s nothing bad!” The younger whined. “Grandma is really good with potions and I asked her for something that would help healing your bruises. It’s just healing, I promise.”

Taehyung stopped.

“Yoongi helped you, wasn’t it?”

“Yes.” He answered meekly.

“Does he know what kind of potion it is?”

“Yes.”

“Does he know it’s for me?”

Tyler goes silent.

“Tyler?”

“He asked me about it, but he made me promise not to tell you he knew.” Tyler blushes deeply. “He’s really scary, Tae, so don’t tell him I told you.”

Taehyung can feel his heart melting, the corners of his mouth quirking up. “I can’t believe you finally talked to him, only to ask for help brewing a potion for me.”

“He’s actually really nice.”

“I know.”

“But he’s still really intimidating.”

“Yeah, right.” Taehyung snorts. “Why did you even bother, though?”

“I already said you’re really cool.” Tyler whined again, bottom lip sticking out. “I just wanted to help for real, since I couldn’t really with the hiding charm.”

“You didn’t have to, you know?” He sighs, discarding his book. “You didn’t have to go out of your way and take the risk of getting in big trouble just to help me.”

“I know.” The kid answered, eyes going big. “I wanted to anyway.”

“Wh-“

“I wanted to, Taehyung.” He frowns. “Jimin and Yoongi tried helping me and it was really cool.” A pause. “But then Yoongi made Maxwell angry, and then you tried helping Yoongi and then you got hurt and just-“

“Hey.” He calls the younger. “It’s ok, breathe for me. Can you do that?”

“Sorry.” Tyler sniffs. “It’s just unfair that you got hurt because of me.”

“Tyler, no.” He whispers, going for a hug. “It’s not your fault.”

“But it i-“

“No.” Taehyung says, resting his chin on Tyler’s head. “It’s no one’s fault but Smiths’. He decided that being violent was better than being the bigger person, it’s his fault and no one else’s.”

There’s a heavy silence that follows, until-

“How do you know it was Smiths who beat me?”

Tyler is quiet for a bit. “After we talked to Jimin about what happened to you, I saw him in the hallways and his knuckles were bruised. I just thought for a bit and then it all connected and made sense.” He explains shyly.

“You’re really smart.”

“And he’s an a-hole.”

“Yeah, he is.” Taehyung smiles.

“He also looks like a Troll.”

Taehyung can’t help but laugh. This kid really reminds him of Jungkook; he should make them spend more time together.

“Will you at least take the potion then?” Tyler’s voice is muffled by Tae’s robes. “It’ll make you feel better, which then will make me feel better.”

“Ok.” He breathes. “Ok, but if my hair falls off or I grow a third arm, you’re not hearing the end of it.”

The kid giggles. “Ok, fair enough.”

 

*

 

Taehyung doesn’t lose his hair and he also doesn’t grow a third arm.

After taking the potion and feeling slightly tingly inside, he goes to bed. When he wakes up, it’s still surprising to see his bruises fully healed. He owes one to Tyler; maybe Yoongi too, he’s still deciding.

Time passes both fast but also incredibly slow; Taehyung goes to classes, does his homework, hopes daily that he won’t see Smiths in the hallways. It doesn’t always go as planned, and he ends up limping back to his common room, but the spell works wonders – most of the time, at least. Sometimes it just straight up doesn’t work, but Taehyung has a theory it might be something related to how often he uses it and how perhaps his wand might know it. Or maybe it’s just him doing something wrong, who knows.

But time does pass, inevitably.

Tyler has taken to spending time with him when they both can, which is great, considering both Jimin and Jungkook basically co-adopted him; they get along like siblings and it’s scary when they all team up to make Taehyung feel bad about zoning out during his studies. Tyler also helps Taehyung change the subject fairly well when it comes to his bruises and the Yoongi issue – Jimin thinks Taehyung is being obtuse on purpose, while Jungkook is just really tired of seeing him mope around the castle.

Still on the Yoongi topic, the older hasn’t talked to him ever since their sudden meeting outside the greenhouse. It’s as amusing – because he never thought the older would be so stubborn - as it is infuriating, and Taehyung can feel himself getting closer to a snapping point.

In the end it doesn’t matter anyway – it all happens whether he was ready or not.

It starts with him leaving the library after studying for a few hours – and secretly hoping Yoongi would show up – and bumping into a furious Smiths.

 “Did you think it was funny?” He asks, pushing Taehyung into the wall. “I broke your face, and now you want revenge?”

Taehyung has never been so confused, so he doesn’t really say anything. It seems to make Smiths go even angrier.

“Answer me, you scum.” He pushes Taehyung harder, making him hit his head. “You went and told McGonagall and now she wants to talk to me.”

“I didn’t tell shit.” He murmurs, head throbbing with any word he tries to say.

“Yes, you did.” Maxwell spits out, livid. “She’s gonna expel me, won’t she?”

“Probably” Taehyung smirks. “I told you this was gonna come back to bite your ass.”

Smiths pauses for a moment, and in the next he’s dragging Taehyung inside a classroom.

“I’m gonna end you.” He laughs darkly. “I beat the shit out of you, and it didn’t work to shut your lousy mouth, so I’m break you instead.”

“This is literally for nothing. I didn’t tell anyone anything.” Taehyung claws at Smiths hands where they’re holding him hostage. “Why would I tell If you would hit me again?”

Smiths throws him on the ground after closing the door behind them. “I don’t care.” He turns, murmuring something at the door. “Someone told her and you’re gonna pay for it.”

“They’ll come to find you if you don’t go to her office immediately.” Taehyung tries to get up and receives a punch in the stomach. “It will be worse for you if they see you hitting me.”

“Never liked here much.” The Gryffindor shrugs, eyes cold. “Everyone knows Durmstrang is better, and since I’m leaving...”

Taehyung doesn’t think minutes have ever gone by so slowly, not even while studying for classes he doesn’t care about; hits have also never hurt more, not even when he played Quidditch for the first time and got hit in the head, resulting in a concussion.

The last thing he sees before passing out is Smiths falling to the ground - like something hit him from behind at full force – and then nothing else.

 

*

 

When he wakes up, nothing makes much sense except for the pain all over his body; it’s very scary, considering it hurts to move any of his limbs. Opening his eyes is even worse, with all the light in the room and the smell of healing potion so strong it makes them sting.

He eventually does open them, only to notice the raging headache he has; nice.

“Taehyung?” he hears from his right side. “Hey, it’s ok, you’re in the infirmary.”

Noticing he’s holding the hand of the owner of the voice, he turns. Jimin has bloodshot eyes, but he otherwise, looks fine.

“How are you feeling? You took some potion earlier, but maybe it’s time for another dose.”

He smiles – the corner of his mouth hurts, and he guesses it might be split -, but tries to sit up. “I’m ok, maybe in a bit.” He pauses. “Can you tell me what happened?”

Jimin nods, helping him get comfortable, but reaching again for his hand. “I don’t know much, only that they found you inside a classroom with Maxwell, but you were already out I think.”

Taehyung frowns – that hurts too, what the hell -, “who are ‘they’?” he asks.

“Oh” Jimin frowns back. “McGonagall, the head boy – Hoseok I think, and hyung. At least that’s who was outside when I got here.” A pause. “Maybe Tyler too, since he was the one that got me, but I’m not sure if he actually saw you or not.”

“Hyung as in Yoongi-hyung?” Taehyung asks, confused.

“Yeah.”

“Why?”

Jimin raises a brow. “What do you mean ‘why’?”

“Why was he there? He had a Potions class.”

Jimin gapes at him. “My god, you’re both disgusting. How do you know his timetable?”

“I know yours and Jungkook’s too.”

“That’s actually quite impressive.”

“Thanks.” He smiles. “Why was hyung there?”

“I don’t know, Tae. You’re gonna have to ask him about it.” Jimin lets his hand go, getting up and stretching. “But I heard that apparently he was the one that found you.”

Taehyung is so confused.

“I mean, not literally. I’m pretty sure McGonagall was the one that got you, but I think he was the one that knew where to find you?” Jimin moves to the door. “That’s what he told me, at least. I’m gonna go get Jungkook, he has class now but wanted to know when you woke up.”

“How long was I out?”

“Like, a day and a half.” Jimin goes to close the door. “Hyung is outside, by the way. Be right back, bye.” He rushes the last words and closes the door behind him with more force than necessary in his haste.

Yoongi comes into the room silently, and Taehyung instantly knows he’s in for a ride.

Taehyung stays quiet, though. Waits for his hyung to come closer to his bed before even attempting to start a conversation; the closer Yoongi gets, the more nervous Taehyung gets – he doesn’t know what to expect, not really, when the older is not portraying much, face slack.

Well, his face doesn’t show much, but Tae is fairly certain the curve of his mouth has never shown so much discontent; the line of his shoulders never so taut, fingernails bitten to hell and back, hair all over the place. Yoongi isn’t one for big reactions all the time – he sometimes does get his burst of energy -, but his body always screams whatever he is feeling, and Taehyung does not like what it is saying to him.

Yoongi stops by the foot of his bed, eyes roaming through him; he doesn’t look surprised, appears to only be analyzing. He doesn’t say anything for a while, appears even to zone out for a bit, and Taehyung waits for him to come back to himself, doesn’t say a word.

“I can’t believe you.” Is the first thing Yoongi lets out, voice low and scratchy, like maybe he hasn’t talked in a while; like maybe he talked way too much. “I really cannot believe you.”

Taehyung stays quiet. This isn’t a moment to interrupt, specially because Yoongi looks like he has a lot to say.

“You’re such a dumbass, Taehyung. If you weren’t already fucked up, I would beat your ass myself.” Yoongi sighs, breath leaving him all at once. “What were you thinking?"

And this is his cue. “I need you to be more specific.”

Yoongi’s frowns deepens. “Did you really think lying was the best choice? Specially when everyone tried to hard to help you?”

“I didn’t lie.”

“Omission is just as bad!” Yoongi’s hand go to his hair, messing it up even more.

“What did you want me to do? Sit by and watch everything go to shit?” Taehyung frowns.

“I wanted you to trust me.” The older says, so low Tae almost misses it. “I wanted you to trust me like I thought you did.”

Taehyung feels like ice has been shot through his gut.

“You could have talked to me about it, I could have helped you, Tae.” Yoongi now just looks sad, and it hurts.

“I couldn’t ask for your help because then you’d be involved all over again.”

“You could have asked anyone else, then.”

“They could have gotten hurt, hyung.”

“You got hurt anyway!” Yoongi arms go out, exasperated. “What was the point if you got hurt either way.”

Taehyung goes quiet, knows he should come clean, but is too scared to. Yoongi must know he’s still hiding something, because he comes around the bed, sitting be the younger’s hip, face stern.

“What are you not telling me, Tae?”

He gulps.

“Don’t be mad.”

Yoongi blinks.

“I won’t.”

He inhales.

“I made a deal with Smiths, but he found a loophole.”

Yoongi frowns, confused. “What do you mean?”

Taehyung looks down, not brave enough to see his hyung’s face when the truth’s out.

“I made a deal, if he stopped going for you and the kids, I wouldn’t tell anyone about all the shit he’s been pulling.” He sighs. “Turns out that “find someone you size” wasn’t smart enough to confuse him, and he noticed it.”

“Is that why you were all bruised back then in the library?” Yoongi asks. “And the other times I saw you hurt?”

“Yeah.” Taehyung laughs, humorless. “I really couldn’t do much after he found the hole in our deal. I either took it or he would go for Tyler again, or you.”

Yoongi is quiet, back less taut than before, but mouth still doing the downwards thing.

“I’m sorry for not telling you before, hyung. I really was only trying to help.”

His hyung looks at him, eyes going softer around the edges.

“And why are you hurt again? Because honestly, not to scare you Taehyung, but you don’t look so good.”

Tae winces. “How bad is it?”

“Honestly?” Yoongi winces too. “It’s not so bad right now, but when we found you…”

He pauses, eyes going unfocused.

“Taehyung, I’m not kidding when I say that if he had more time with you, he could have probably done something really bad.”

“You think he could have killed me?”

“I’m not naïve enough to tell you there wasn’t a very big possibility.” His eyes come back to Tae. “He looked livid. McGonagall had to use the Petrificus spell before he got up from where I…” Yoongi scratches him neck “Well, uhm. From where I stunned him.”

“That was you, then.” Tae smiles. “Nice.”

The corners of Yoongi’s mouth curl up. “Yeah, well. It got me in a bit of trouble with the headmistress, but at least it got him off you.”

Taehyung reaches for the older’s hand. “Thank you for that.”

Yoongi looks first at their hands, pausing before looking at Taehyung head on. He looks torn, about what, Tae had no idea – until he starts talking.

“I went to look for you.” Yoongi murmurs, voice low. “In the library.”

He squeezes Tae’s hand lightly, breathing deeply before continuing. “I wanted to try and talk to you. Apologize for overreacting and aiming my anger at you.”

“But then I saw you weren’t on your usual sit, and a first-year saw me there and told me you had just left.”

Yoongi pauses for long enough that Taehyung starts to get anxious.

“I saw Smiths pushing you into the wall and I wasn’t fast enough before he took you into the classroom.” His hyung looks angry, Taehyung knows it’s not aimed at him though. “I don’t know what he did to the door, but I couldn’t get it opened even with a spell, so I got Hoseok to help, and we bumped McGonagall on the way, so we decided to bring her along.”

Yoongi turns at him, hand squeezing Taehyung’s again. “I’m really sorry for everything, Tae. For screaming at you, for being too proud to apologize before, and specially for not being fast enough before Smiths got you.”

Taehyung brings both their hands to his chest, over his heart.

“I’m sorry too, hyung. For everything.”

The older smiles, the hand that isn’t holding Tae’s comes up to his forehead, putting some of his hair to the side, before Yoongi leans in and drops a kiss there. “It’s ok, we’re ok now.”

“I’m still bedridden though, so technically I’m not ok yet.”

Yoongi squeezes his hand again, stronger now, and face going expressionless. “Too soon, Taehyung.”

“Sorry.” He giggles.

Yoongi smiles at him but doesn’t say anything. He reaches again for Tae’s face, this time only holding him; his smile widens slightly.

“I really can’t believe you did all this just to protect me and some kids.” The older says, thumb caressing Taehyung’s cheek, mindful of the fading bruise around his eye. “Tyler couldn’t stop fretting outside, I thought he would make a hole on the ground.”

Taehyung smiles, can’t help but lean into Yoongi’s hand. “He’s a good kid.”

“He is.” Yoongi nods. “I’m glad he found you.”

“He helped me many times, so if anything, I’m glad I found him.”

Yoongi goes dead serious right before whispering. “I’m glad I found you.” And really, who’s to blame if Taehyung’s heart stops for a few beats.

“Hyung.”

“I’m really glad I found you, Taehyung.” Yoongi continues, despite the interruption. “You taught me a lot, you know? You’re so sweet and caring, everyone who has met you loves you. You’re so good, Tae.”

He breathes in, whisper again. “Why are you so good, Tae? I can’t get over it.”

Maybe Taehyung can also be brave.

“How can you say that when you’ve gone out of your way to help people? To get them out of trouble?” Tae whispers back, the moment too precious for anything louder than that. “You put your hand on fire for those first-years before anyone else did anything. How can you look at me and tell me I’m so good? Why do you make it sound like you’re not?”

He hears more than sees the staggered breath Yoongi lets in then out.

“How can you say that, hyung, when you’re so good to me?”

“Don’t say that.” Yoongi’s voice breaks, eyes closing. “You don’t mean that.”

“Of course I mean it” He feels the hand on his cheek going into his hair, gripping but not hurting. “Hyung, of course it mean it.”

He reaches for Yoongi’s robes, need to make sure the older understand how serious he’s being. Eyes opening, Yoongi has never looked so vulnerable; Taehyung is the old beat to hell and back, but right now he feels like Yoongi might be the one about to crumble to pieces, about to breakdown.

“Hyung-“

And Yoongi leans in to kiss him.

 

*

 

Taehyung is a proud Hufflepuff, and a very smart one. He’s been through some bad stuff in the last few years, and still came out on top.

After healing enough for him to be let out of the infirmary and back to his classes, his friends all rope him into going together to Hogsmeade. He still has some bruises here and there, but he can finally walk without help, so he agrees, if only to get sweets and butterbeer for free – Jimin swore he would pay for both.

Smiths was expelled from the school, but also Taehyung has a meeting in the Ministry in a few days about him pressing charges for assault – in which Smiths was caught red-handed – so who’s to really say what will happen? Taehyung is just glad McGonagall will be there as a witness; he doesn’t know what would have happened if it came to his word against Maxwell’s.

In the meantime, he has some classes to catch up to, some Herbology lessons to help Tyler with, a few hyungs he would like to get to know better, and maybe even a specific hand he would like to hold through all of it.

There’s still some thing Taehyung cannot understand, like why people just accept that some ghosts can be seen – like the ones that live in the castle – and others, maybe not; how Jimin is so observant that he guesses before anyone else that Felix does like Tyler back, afterall; how Jung Hoseok blends so well and so easily into their group that it looks like he was always there.

But most of all, he cannot understand how after each day that passes, he seems to only want to learn more, despite all the difficulties. He wants to learn all the secrets behind the castle’s walls, wants to understand how exactly the house-sorting works – if it takes into consideration what you already are or what you’re to become in the future -, wants to see is this stunned plant in the greenhouse will grown eventually with a little more care.

He also wants to learn all the ways he can make Yoongi smile, all the shades of pink he can make his hyung go, and wants to catalogue all the different laughs and kisses until he has all of them memorized, heart so full and chest expanding each day with all the love he can’t contain inside himself.

There are worse ways to go about being a Hufflepuff, Taehyung thinks, but there’s also his way; and in his opinion, it is the best one of them all.