To Catch a Snitch
Kyo tries to pay no mind to the energy that's buzzing around the school that morning.
It's nearly an impossible task to accomplish, but he's gotten loads of practice when it comes to ignoring things he doesn't want to deal with at the moment.
It's how he deals with his family most of the year.
The only problem is, the topic which is floating through the stone walls of Hogwarts this particular morning happens to revolve around the one person he just can't seem to ignore, so he finds himself slipping a bit.
"I'm so excited for the final match. Gryffindor versus Ravenclaw! It's going to be crazy. I wonder who will win," a third year girl whispers in hushed tones to her friend. Kyo's ears perk up immediately at the conversation, and he finds himself slowing down against his will to catch her friend's reply.
"Definitely Ravenclaw," her friend tells her. Kyo has to stop himself from making an audible sound of disgust. "I mean - have you seen Yuki on a broom. He's unbeatable."
It's only the fact that he can't serve another detention and play in the Quidditch finals that makes Kyo pick up his pace and hurry towards the dungeons where he's got Potions this morning. He can't afford to get into another argument. Especially not with some third year girls that he's most likely to make cry.
Everyone is routing for Ravenclaw, it seems.
Or, more specifically, his cousin Yuki.
Kyo grinds his teeth at the thought of his cousin.
He's got the whole school in his corner, it seems, but Kyo is determined that Gryffindor is going to win the cup this year. It's the first chance they've had at bringing the Quidditch Cup home in years, and as captain, he can't let his team down.
He's just got to manage to keep his head on straight from now until the match.
Which is easier said than done when he enters the potions classroom, and spots the pretty Hufflepuff that he's partnered with sitting at their spot in the back.
When they had been placed into pairs at the beginning of the year, and his partner had been Tohru Honda, Kyo hadn't thought much about it at the time. They've been friends since they were kids. If he has a best friend, he would probably consider it to be Tohru. He's never told her this, of course, because he's certain she would have crafted some sort of friendship bracelet and he'd never be able to take it off.
They've been partnered together loads of times, but this year it's like something has changed.
She never seems to annoy him like everyone else, so he considered himself lucky when they were paired as permanent potion partners. He just didn't consider why she never really annoyed him until he had to sit beside her every class this year. Now, other than Quidditch, she seems to be all he can think about.
He instantly feels his cheeks heat up when she notices him immediately - she always does - and waves as if she hasn't seen him in months. He rolls his eyes at her, but that just causes her to bounce in excitement. He's starting to think that's why he does it now.
"Kyo!" she calls, beaming at him. "I got our stuff all set up for the day."
"So, same as every morning then," he says, dropping his bag down with a soft enough thump that he's beginning to wonder if he even remembered his books for the day. "You don't have to do this, you know."
She blinks at him. "Do what?"
"This. Getting here early every morning and setting up for us every morning," he grumbles. He rubs the back of his neck sheepishly. "Acting all excited to see me like you didn't just see me yesterday."
"But I am excited to see Kyo!" she protests, grabbing onto his arm as if she's trying to make him understand. "I enjoy being your partner."
"Okay, okay," he says, though he doesn't shake her off. He's pathetic, enjoying this small of a touch from her. "I get it. Calm down."
Her fingers curl into the sleeve of his shirt once before she smiles at him and let's go, satisfied. He almost wishes that she wouldn't. He has to physically restrain himself from telling her she can leave her hand on the crook of his elbow. He'll do all the brewing of today's potion if she does.
Merlin, when did he get to be so pathetic?
"Are you excited about being in the finals for the house cup?" Torhu asks him with genuine curiosity. The way she asks every question, it seems. Sometimes he wonders why she's not in Ravenclaw, what with her honest desire to know things.
But maybe it's just people she's curious about, which would be such a Hufflepuff trait to have.
"Yeah. 'Course I am! I just hope this will be the year we finally take home the cup. It's our last year, you know."
"I'm sure you will," she says with such a fierceness in her tone that it takes him by surprise. He blinks at her. "You have such a strong team this year, Kyo, and you're the best Seeker Hogwarts has seen in ages. I'm certain Gryffindor will win this year."
"Yeah, well, keep that faith in me until game day. I could use someone in my corner. Everyone thinks Ravenclaw is going to win."
"I would be happy to be in your corner. I've even bought red and gold ribbons for the match."
Kyo's eyes flicker to the current yellow ribbons resting in her hair. He pictures her decked out in Gryffindor colors with his number painted on her cheeks before he can stop himself.
Before she can notice his blush spreading to the tips of his ears, he reaches out to rap his knuckles gently on the crown on her head.
"You goof," he says fondly. He looks away. She's always been so bright, but now it's hard to look at her. "What are we brewing today, anyway?"
"Oh! Just a simple Pepperup Potion today. I'm assuming the hospital wing is getting low so that's probably why we're doing it, but I enjoy this one -"
Tohru rambles on about her love for potion brewing, and Kyo takes the time to admire her as she does so.
He thinks it's strange, how easily he's able to relax around her. Stranger still the way she seems to enjoy his company.
But it's always been that way.
Practice seems to be extremely out of sorts this week, unfortunately for Kyo.
His whole team has appeared to revert back to first year tendencies when it comes to handling their brooms. He isn't certain if it's their nerves getting the better of them, or if it's the pure rage radiating off of their captain that's making them all but fall off their broom handles.
Either way, he ends practice that day feeling not so confident in their ability to win the upcoming match. Even though he wants to spout off a bunch of profanities at them on their way out of the locker room, he spots Tohru waiting for him in the stands and decides against it.
His silence it's likely more frightening to them anyway.
He feels himself gravitating towards her before he can even comprehend that's what he's doing. A few of his teammates bid him farewell or simply look at him with wide, slightly terrified eyes as they scurry away, but Kyo's eyes remain on Tohru as he crosses the pitch.
"Hey!" she calls, running to him from the stands. He watches as she nearly trips, catching herself at the last possible second. His hand is outstretched before he can realize that he's not even close enough to catch her if she did need saving.
"Remind me again why you don't play Quidditch," he teases.
And, god, when did teasing her become one of his favorite things to do?
"Besides the fact that I can't get a broom off the ground to save my life," she says, grinning and taking it all in stride, "I'm probably the clumsiest person you'll ever meet."
"That you are," Kyo agrees. "What are you doing out here anyway? Ugh, don't tell me you saw the disaster of a practice we just had."
"It wasn't that bad, honestly! Everyone has off days." Tohru says, trying to ease his grumblings. "I came to see if you wanted to have lunch in the kitchens, actually. Momiji and Hatsuharu said if I asked you, you'd say yes, and well...they wanted to see you."
Kyo groans, throwing his head back. "But I don't want to eat lunch with them. I purposefully avoid trying to eat lunch with them as much as possible."
"But they're your cousins!"
"Please, Kyo," she pleads. "I want to eat lunch with you too, and we've already missed half our lunch period. It's important to eat. Especially if you're trying to keep healthy before the Quidditch - "
"Fine," Kyo concedes. When did it become so hard to say no to her, he wonders. "Fine, I'll go. But I'm going to make it very clear to them that I don't like them using you to rope me into doing things."
Tohru claps her hands excitedly. "Great! I promise, this will be the last thing I 'rope' you into doing."
"Yeah, yeah," Kyo grunts, adjusting his back and walking ahead. Tohru falls into step next to him and his eyes flicker to her. "I'm sure."
It isn't, unfortunately. There's a Hogsmeade visit coming up on the weekend, and by the end of lunch with the three Hufflepuffs, Kyo gets dragged along into going with them.
Friday's free period finds Kyo in the library, attempting to find a book on nonverbal spells for an essay.
He's good with nonverbal spells, but he knows his own logic isn't what his professors are looking for, even though he's certain he could break it down into more understandable terms than the massive book he's just picked up off the shelf.
He slams the book down at the table, sitting himself down with a grunt when he notices a shadow appearing over him.
When he looks up, it's to find Yuki staring back down at him.
Kyo glares up at him. "What do you want?"
"To deliver a note from Shigure," Yuki says simply. Though his tone suggests he's willing to shut down a fight if presented with one. "It's addressed to the both of us, asking if we'd like to meet for lunch at Hogsmeade this weekend."
"I'll pass," Kyo says, shooing Yuki and the letter away like a pesky fly. He opens the book and tries to ignore his cousin. "I've already got plans with someone else at Hogsmeade."
Yuki looks genuinely surprised at this development.
"Tohru, if you must know," Kyo says, trying to sound bored. He suspects he's failing. "And Momiji and Hatsuharu. They sort of begged me to go." He shrugged. "I didn't have anything better to do."
"Miss Honda?" Yuki repeats. "Is it - are you going on a date?"
Kyo looks up at this, his eyes narrowing. "So what if I was?"
"She's just - she's too…"
Yuki doesn't have to finish the sentence for Kyo to know where he was going.
Tohru Honda is too kind for Kyo.
She's too pretty and nice, and Kyo is too brash and has a reputation for getting into fights.
Tohru isn't the type of person Yuki expects to be caught up with someone like Kyo, and Kyo isn't sure if it's the possessive side of him, - which is silly, he knows, because Tohru isn't his - but he values whatever it is that he has with Tohru, so he meets Yuki's stare with the sharp challenge of his own.
"She's what?" Kyo dares Yuki to say it. "Go on. Finish the sentence."
Yuki seems to think better of it. Yuki carefully picks his fights, unlike Kyo who seems to pick them all.
"Just...be careful with her," Yuki says instead. It sounds like a warning. "I care about Miss Honda. We do patrols together, you know. She's my friend too."
Kyo snorts. "Perfect little prefects."
"I don't want to see her get hurt. She's a good person."
"I'm not gonna hurt her!" Kyo protests a bit too loudly. Pince shushes him from somewhere in the library.
"I'm not saying you will. I'm just telling you to be careful is all."
"We're just going to lunch is all. It's not even - it's not like that."
Like a date, he can't seem to say even though the words were ready to come out of his mouth just seconds ago. He knows enough about himself to know that Tohru would never go for someone like him though so he stops himself. She's far...too much for someone like Kyo.
He can't see a possibility of a future with her where he doesn't dim her light in some way.
Not that he's been thinking of a future with her, mind you.
"Just be careful with her," Yuki repeats. Kyo is starting to hate the words. "I know you've been friends since second year, but...just treat her carefully. That's all I'm asking."
Hogsmeade is as beautiful as ever, but Kyo finds it harder to enjoy as Tohru looks over at him with a concerned expression for the fifth time.
"What's wrong?" she finally asks, her hands twisting together nervously. "You've been quiet since we got here."
"I'm always quiet."
"Not like this. This is - something is bothering you, Kyo. I can tell. You know you can always tell me."
"It's nothing, honestly. Just a mixture of a long night, and the match coming up," he says, his smile settling into a sort of fondness that it only does around Tohru. He nods to their company who are literally skipping in front of them. "They're certainly having fun, aren't they?"
Tohru takes the distraction, eyes bright as she looks on at Momiji and Hatsuharu. They've got bags full of Honeydukes treats, and Momiji turns to wave happily at the pair of them.
"You guys are taking forever," Momiji calls, standing on his tiptoes. Several people turn at once in surprise. For someone so small, his voice carries. "You slow pokes!"
"Not all of us want to rush through everything like a rabid rabbit, ya damn Puff," Kyo calls back.
Tohru laughs, and Kyo swears it's like his ears perk at the sound. "You know our mascot is the badger, Kyo."
"Yeah, well, might as well be a rabbit. I mean, look at the lot of you." He gestures to the space between Tohru and his cousins. "Bunnies."
"I'll take that as a compliment."
Kyo knows that she does, because she takes nearly everything he says as a compliment. He's starting to wonder if anything he really says phases her.
As much as he grumbles about her blind optimism, it's one of the qualities he likes most about her. She can see something good in anyone or anything.
Kyo is about to make some other sort of snide comment that Tohru will take with grace, when he spots a tall figure outside of The Three Broomsticks, peering down the road and flagging them down.
It's like a record scratch inside his head.
Everything comes to a screeching halt, and he grabs onto Tohru's muggle sweater to stop her.
"Crap," he says, starting to tug her in the opposite direction. "Crap, crap, crap!"
"What's wrong, Kyo?" Tohru asks, struggling to keep up with him.
Kyo grabs her by the hand instead to try to help steady her, only realizing what he's done after they both freeze, blushing down at their intertwined hands.
"I, um, fucking hell," Kyo curses, partly because he feels like an idiot. Partly because Shigure has now caught up with them.
"Kyo! Didn't you see me calling for you?" Shigure scolds him before turning his attention on Tohru. His eyes light up when he takes the girl in, and a smile blossoms on his face when his eyes drift to their still clasped hands. "Hello. And who do we have here?"
"Oh!" Tohru cries, dropping her hand from Kyo's and extending it towards Shigure. She's blushing a furious shade of red, which only serves to amuse Shigure even more. "I'm Tohru. Tohru Honda. It's a pleasure to meet you."
"Please! The pleasure is all mine," Shigure says, placing a kiss on her hand rather than simply shaking it because he is a dog. "I'm Shigure Soma. Kyo's older cousin."
Tohru's whole being seems to radiate at his words. "Another cousin! I knew he came from a large family, but I've only met Yuki, Momiji, and Hatsuharu!"
Shigure grins. "He talks about us, does he?"
"Not willingly," grumbles Kyo, reminding them that he's still there. "And nothing good!"
"I'd expect nothing less," Shigure says, smiling fondly down at him. Is no one phased by him anymore?
"What are you doing here anyway?" Kyo asks.
"I came to have lunch with you, Yuki, and the others," Shigure explains.
Kyo snorts. "Yeah? And I told Yuki that I was busy, and couldn't make it."
Shigure beams, attempting to boop Kyo on the nose only to get his hand swatted away. "That's exactly what dear Yuki told me! But when he mentioned it was a girl keeping you busy… Well, I just had to see for myself."
Tohru squeaks and Kyo can tell she's caught between embarrassment over Shigure's likely assumption that she and Kyo are on a date, and the fact that Kyo is ditching his family for their - absolutely not a - date.
"Kyo!" she squeals. "You didn't tell me you had been invited to lunch by your family! I wouldn't have minded letting you go or going with you!"
"I didn't want to go, and there's no way in hell I'm letting you go around them either -"
"What a splendid idea!" Shigure says, effectively cutting Kyo off. "Why don't you join us, dear? I would be honored if you would."
Kyo realizes a bit too late that this had been Shigure's plan all along. The whole reason he tracked them down had been to get Kyo to agree to lunch, and he's using Tohru to guilt him into it.
Well, it isn't going to work.
Kyo isn't going to let his dog of a cousin get away with this.
"Oh that sounds wonderful! I'd love to meet more of Kyo's family!" Tohru coos. She grabs onto Kyo's bicep and he immediately feels any resolve melt away under her touch. "Kyo, please can we have lunch with your family? It would mean so much to me!"
Fucking Merlin, he's going to lunch with his family.
"Fine," he groans, throwing his head back. Tohru jumps a little with excitement, shaking him in the process since she still hasn't let go of his bicep. "But I'm going to complain the whole time."
"Wonderful!" Shigure exclaims.
He's already walking back towards The Three Broomsticks and Tohru follows, still holding onto Kyo's arm as if she's afraid he'll flee if she lets go.
He probably would too, if he didn't want to leave Tohru solely in his family's clutches.
Kyo blanches when he walks through the door of the pub and sees more than just Yuki sitting at a table and waiting for them.
Momiji and Hatsuharu have already found their way inside, apparently being roped into lunch just before Kyo and Tohru, a couple of Butterbeers clutched in their hands. Haru raises his glass in recognition when he spots them.
They're not the problem, however.
The problem is the wizard in the fuchsia colored robes sitting across from Yuki.
"Gure!" he cries dramatically. Kyo is not equipped to deal with this today. "You found them! Oh, I was beginning to get worried! I don't have the right attire for a search party!"
"What's Ayame doing here?" Kyo hisses to Shigure as he and Tohru are pushed along to their table.
"Aya? He came to see his brother of course."
"Is he Yuki's brother?" Tohru asks with more excitement than Kyo can muster about anything. "He looks just like him!"
"He is indeed," Shigure says. "I imagine Yuki hasn't mentioned much about him."
For good reason, Kyo thinks to himself with a snort. Besides the fact that Ayame is extremely flamboyant and outspoken (things which Yuki most definitely is not), Ayame has a terrible knack for embarrassing anyone within a ten foot radius of him that have any sort of moral compass.
Kyo can already tell Yuki is tense by the time he's shoved into a chair next to him, and while normally he would enjoy seeing Yuki in such a way, Kyo knows he's likely to follow suit within the next five minutes.
"Didn't mention your brother was almost going to be at lunch," Kyo accuses in a whisper.
"Didn't know he was going to be," Yuki says, taking a sip from his drink. "That bit of information was left out of Shigure's letter, apparently."
Kyo makes a show of grabbing a Butterbeer that's slid to him easily when Shigure returns with drinks for the rest of them. He doesn't give Tohru a chance to attempt to catch her own, knowing it would likely result in broken glass everywhere. He passes her his and catches the next one.
He tries desperately not to blush at her grateful smile.
He fails miserably.
"Stop it," he hisses at her.
She blinks at him. "Stop what?"
"You're too bright," he says. "It's hard to take in."
"I'm...too bright?" Tohru repeats. She has no idea what he's talking about, apparently. "I'm sorry. I'll try to stop, I guess?"
"Don't listen to him, Miss Honda. Your brightness is lovely. Kyo is just an idiot," Yuki says, stretching around Kyo to flash Tohru with one of his winning smiles. It's the kind that makes his fan club melt at school. With Tohru, she simply meets it with a genuine one of her own.
She views him as a person, and Kyo instantly knows now why Yuki is so fond of her. It's the same thing he likes about her. Her ability to see people for who they are, and who they can be, rather than whatever everyone else has pegged them as.
"So this is the beautiful Miss Honda my brother has been gushing about," Ayame says, sliding into a seat across from Tohru. He takes her hand like she's a fair maiden he's been trying to capture. She probably is, in his mind. "I've been dying to meet you, my dear. Ayame Soma, at your service."
If Tohru is taken back by Ayame's forward behavior, she doesn't show it. Instead, like most things, she takes it in stride.
"Call me Tohru, please," she tells him. "I'm so happy to meet you. I didn't even know Yuki had a brother."
"There's never any need to bring him up," Yuki sighs. "Unless I'm trying to figure out how to deal with my Boggart, and I need to find a way to make him look ridiculous."
"Isn't that how he already looks?" Kyo adds.
This is, perhaps, the one thing they find themselves teaming up against. Ayame and their shared annoyance of him.
Kyo resists the urge to stretch his fist out for Yuki to bump.
"I'm ten years older than Yuki," Ayame says, ignoring them. "And we come from different houses, you see. I was a Slytherin at Hogwarts, unlike my dear Raveclaw of a brother here."
"You still are a snake," Kyo mutters into his drink.
"That's so fascinating!" Tohru says. "Normally families tend to be sorted into the same houses, but the Soma's are scattered through all four."
"Yes, we're all quite different," Ayame agrees, smiling. "And what house are you in, dear?"
"Hufflepuff!" Tohru says proudly. "Same as Momiji and Hatsuharu."
"Ah," Ayame sighs. "All the prettiest girls are in Hufflepuff, so of course that's where you'd be. Don't you agree, Kyo?"
"I, uh -" Kyo sputters, looking over at Tohru. He's certain their faces are an identical shade of red.
"Of course Miss Honda is beautiful," Yuki says. "But that's not solely her worth. She's also kind hearted and loyal."
"Thank you, Yuki," Tohru says, looking honestly touched.
Kyo glances down at his Butterbeer, feeling like a fool. Why can't he say things like that to Tohru? What about her makes him a bumbling, stuttering idiot when Yuki is so smooth?
He does think Tohru is beautiful.
He also thinks she's everything good and worthwhile in this cruel, bitter world.
But he can't say that to her.
He hardly wants to even think about it. Not with so much else going on. If he starts thinking about Tohru, he can't seem to stop.
"So," Shigure says, shaking Kyo from his thoughts. "It's pretty exciting that you boys will be facing off for the Quidditch Cup, don't you think?"
That's something he should be thinking about. That's something that should be consuming his every waking moment.
Beating Yuki at something has been his dream since he was a kid, and he feels himself starting to become distracted from it.
"It's the first year Gryffindor has been in the finals in such a long time," Momiji says.
"It's because of Kyo," Hatsuharu adds. Kyo blinks at him in surprise. It's not often his family compliments him outright. "He's the best Seeker they've had in awhile, and he works his team hard."
"It's sure to be a tough match," Ayame says. "Ravenclaw has taken the cup home the past five years now. Much to my brother's credit, of course."
Yuki blushes. "It's not all me. We have a pretty good line up."
"Don't be so modest," Tohru tells him, smiling. "You're a great captain too, Yuki."
"Thank you, Miss Honda," Yuki says, though it's cast down into his drink.
"Will you guys be attending the game?" Tohru asks Shigure and Ayame.
"Wouldn't miss it for the world," Ayame says as Shigure nods. "Not my darling brother's last game!"
"It's going to be one to remember," Shigure adds. "That's for certain."
"Maybe we will see each other again then!" Tohru exclaims, clapping her hands together.
Shigure smiles, and it reaches his eyes with little effort. "And who are you routing for, dear?"
"I'm pulling for Gryffindor," Tohru says, giving Yuki a sheepish smile which he returns with a kind one. "Sorry, Yuki."
Kyo feels his heart soar.
Herbology is, perhaps, Kyo's worst subject.
Coincidentally, it's Yuki's best subject and also the only subject he shares with his cousin.
"Put on your protective gloves and insert the gum shield," Yuki orders him, already putting on his protective goggles.
Kyo looks down at the gnarled Snargaluff stump, his nose curled. "How'd we get paired together again?"
"We're family," Yuki sighs. "Apparently that means we are the best of friends."
Kyo snorts. That's likely.
He does as he's told though, because he can't afford to let his grade slip in this class anymore than it already is, and he knows Yuki won't trick him into any harm. Not while his own grade is at stake, at least.
"This is disgusting," Kyo groans, looking at the mass of tentacle like vines and branches. "Who would ever have this in a garden?"
"They're useful for several medicines," Yuki explains, "but they're a bit nasty, so be careful. Wouldn't want to mess up your catching hand right before the big match, would we?"
Kyo snaps his own goggles on just in time to look up and catch his cousin's smirk. He meets it with a challenging glare.
"Noted," he says, simply.
"So," Yuki starts, not jumping in the slightest when the plant seems to come to life. The vines thrash through the air, nearly wrapping itself around Kyo in the process. "Tohru Honda, huh?"
"What's that supposed to mean?" Kyo asks, beating the vine back and grabbing hold of them.
"You like her," Yuki states. He takes his chance while Kyo's fighting the plant to stick his arm down into the hole, fishing around for a bit before pulling out a grapefruit sized pod.
Kyo looks down at the plant which now appears to be just dead wood, and back up at Yuki in surprise.
"I didn't think you did. Not at first. Not in that way, at least. You two...you're so different. I'm sure you know that."
"I don't - I can't...It's none of your business. She's practically my best friend."
"It's okay, you know," Yuki says, offering him the kindest smile Kyo has ever gotten from him. "I see the way you look at her. I was worried at first, but I know you see how special she is. I can see it in the way you pay attention to everything she does. Like she's the sun."
Kyo can't seem to find the words to deny it, because there aren't any.
"We shouldn't be talking about this," he says instead. "We should be talking about how I'm going to beat you in the finals this weekend."
Their eyes meet for a long time, and it's as if something passes between them. Yuki knows what Kyo cannot say. What he's refusing to say for some reason.
And he smiles at his cousin.
"There are more important things," Yuki tells him after a moment, still smiling, "than a Quidditch match."
The night before the match finds Kyo wandering around the castle grounds.
He knows he's breaking curfew, but he finds he doesn't care much. His nights to wander aimlessly around are soon coming to an end, he knows. In just a short while, he will be graduating from Hogwarts.
Winning the Quidditch cup is just one step closer to that.
The moon dances and shimmers across the silhouette of the lake, but the brevity of Kyo's time to enjoy such a sight almost seems to dampen it more.
He slouches down in the grass, propping his back against a tree, and sighing.
Practice seems to have gone better today, against all odds. His team appears to have gotten over their first time in the house cup finals jitters. Everything ran as smoothly as any captain could hope.
The only thing left to do now is to play.
There's nothing else left to prepare for.
A snapping of a twig shakes Kyo from his thoughts, and his hand immediately wraps around his wand in his pocket. It wouldn't do to be caught after hours and dueling before his last Quidditch match of his school career, but he looks across the distance only to find Tohru.
He sighs, releasing his wand.
"Careful, or the giant squid will get you," he calls out to her.
"Oh, he's really not so bad," she says, jogging a bit to catch up to where Kyo is sitting. "He's helped me more than once when I've fallen in."
"Why does that not surprise me?"
She smiles when she reaches him, dropping down into the grass beside Kyo. "Thought I might find you here."
Kyo smiles fondly, attempting to cover it with his hand. He and Tohru have been coming to this spot on nights they couldn't sleep since they were in third year. Granted, the first time they snuck out when they were kids, he had dared her to do it. She had cried so hard over breaking the school rules that she vomited, and he had immediately felt guilty.
"Didn't think I'd find you here though," he says. "What do you have to keep you up at night right now?"
"You," she tells him simply, bumping his shoulder with her own.
He looks at her incredulously. "Me?"
"I know Kyo. You wouldn't be able to sleep tonight because the Quidditch finals are tomorrow. Therefore, I also cannot sleep tonight either."
"You don't have to stay up just because I am, dummy."
"I don't mind keeping you company," Tohru says. "Besides, how many more nights like this do we have to sit by the lake at Hogwarts?"
Kyo is stunned into silence both by her shared feeling of the ticking of time, and the fact that he hadn't considered the fact that his time with Tohru is also coming to an end.
She's always been a constant. Something he has to look forward to everyday.
But soon she'll be…
Well, he's not so sure.
"What are you doing after Hogwarts?" he asks when his curiosity gets the better of him.
"I don't know. I thought about looking into what it would take to make potions for the ministry or for St. Mungos, but I might end up staying at home for a bit to take care of my grandfather. He's not doing too well right now."
Kyo can see Tohru as a professional potion brewer. She's got the skill set for it, and she enjoys it above all else. She's told him more than once that it reminds her of cooking, and she enjoys cooking.
Kyo has never had Tohru's cooking.
He always foolishly assumed one day he would.
"He's a muggle, right?"
"Yes! Both my parents were muggles. Mom was shocked when we first found out about all of this. She always thought I was special, but there were so many unexplainable things that happened in my childhood that made sense after I got my letter. Do you know I once set my mom's house plants on fire?"
Kyo laughs as he remembers the story. It always takes him by surprise. He never imagined baby Tohru as an arsonist, but according to her mother, she had been.
He had only met Kyoko a handful of times, always at the train station, but she gushed over him. She adored the odd friendship her daughter had struck up with the hotheaded Kyo. She made twelve year old Kyo promise to take care of Tohru during Hogwarts, and he had taken his duty seriously. When she died a few years later, he took it to heart even more.
"I wish she were here to see me graduate," Tohru says quietly but Kyo still hears her.
"Yeah, me too," he says honestly. "She'd be proud of you, you know. Even with how much you space out on a daily basis."
Tohru smiles at him and it's almost a sad gesture, the way it doesn't quite reach her eyes. There's a lot of fear and uncertainty in what awaits them outside of Hogwarts. He knows she wishes her mother were there to help guide her after.
"Promise me you'll at least write to me when we leave here, Kyo. At least once a week."
Kyo blinks down at her. "Dummy. I'm not going to have to write to you every week, because you're still going to see me every day."
"I can't imagine not seeing Kyo everyday," she says, resting her head on his shoulder.
"I can't imagine not seeing you either," he tells her, laying his cheek on the top of her head.
They stay like that for a while, neither willing to burst the bubble they've created.
Kyo enters the Great Hall the morning of the house cup only to find it is a sea divided between red and gold and blue and bronze.
The Gryffindor table bursts into cheers once they see him, drowning out the few boos Kyo could garner from the Slytherin table, but his eyes are drawn to the Hufflepuff approaching him.
Tohru is decked out in Gryffindor attire, but the thing that makes Kyo's eyes blow wide is the fact that she has his number painted on her cheeks. It takes every ounce of strength he possesses not to reach out and cup her face when she reaches him.
"It's the big day!" she says, launching herself at him. It's not unusual. They've hugged before, but he finds himself clinging a bit tighter today and not letting go of her waist fully when she pulls back.
"Wish me luck," he says, feeling a bit dumbstruck.
"Good luck," she says.
And then she does something she's never done before.
Standing on the tips of her toes, Tohru places a kiss to his cheek. It's short and over sooner than he would like, and he just knows he's well and truly fucked.
He loves her, and it's taken him years to be able to admit it to himself.
"Look for me in the stands!" Tohru calls, heading back to her table. "I'll be cheering you on, Kyo!"
A voice behind him sighs dramatically, and Kyo whirls to find Yuki standing there.
"No one ever kisses me for luck," Yuki says.
"Yeah, well," Kyo says, blushing furiously. "I ain't starting."
Yuki smiles at him, extending his hand. "How about a handshake then?"
Kyo eyes his cousin's outstretched hand, knowing what sort of effort it took for him to extend the gesture. He supposes he can be man enough to meet him halfway.
"Yeah," he says, gripping Yuki's hand tightly and pumping it up and down twice before quickly letting go. He doesn't quite meet Yuki's eyes. "Good luck."
Yuki brushes past him, and Kyo leaves the Great Hall, suddenly not in the mood for breakfast. His nerves, which were about the game when he woke up, are now buzzing around his Hufflepuff as he rushes towards the pitch.
It isn't fair, the fact that he's just now realizing how much he adores her. What's he supposed to do with it all now? It feels so incredibly big.
He tries to catch his breath and settle his thoughts when he reaches the changing room, but it's no use.
He loves Tohru.
He probably has for a long time.
And now it's up to him to either act on it, or...not.
Not having much time to harp on it, Kyo exits to the stadium. He's immediately met with deafening cheers, and finds that the stands are as divided in color as the Great Hall had been.
"Conditions are perfect for flying today, Cap," Uotani says when he reaches her. She takes in his appearance and her eyes go wide. "What's the matter with you? You aren't sick, are you?"
"I'm in love with Tohru," he tells her because his brain isn't working and because Tohru is close to Uotani so he knows his Chaser won't judge him.
Uotani's head tilts slightly. "Oh yeah? Well, good for you. Bit of a weird time to figure that out, but that's your style, isn't it?"
Kyo blinks a few times before glaring at her. "What's that supposed to mean?"
"You guys have been in love since you were twelve," Uotani counters. "You once beat up your own cousin for making a crude remark about her. It was only a matter of time."
"He deserved it," Kyo mutters.
"'Course he did. So," Uotani says, fixing him with a stare. "What are you going to do about it?"
Kyo is about to open his mouth, (to say what, even he doesn't know) when the whistle is blown and he sees Madam Hooch staring back at him, waiting.
It's game time.
"Gotta go," he grumbles, trotting over to where the balls are ready to be released.
"Alright. Captains, shake hands," Hooch says, looking between Yuki and Kyo. The gesture isn't nearly as friendly as it was just moments ago. Instead, both boys attempt to crush each other's hands, and Kyo knows Yuki isn't going to go easy on him just because he's an idiot in love.
"Have fun," Yuki says. "It is our last match, after all."
Kyo smirks. "My idea of fun is kicking your ass."
"Mount your brooms," Hooch cuts them off, and Kyo is certain he sees her roll her eyes. "On the whistle...three...two...one…"
The whistle blows, and Kyo pushes off from the ground.
He makes a couple laps around the pitch, searching for the Snitch, and pretending not to notice when his eyes drift towards the Hufflepuff stands of their own accord.
He wonders when this happened, the fact that he's just as trained to track down Tohru as he is the fluttering wings of a Snitch.
"And they're off! I don't think it's any surprise to anyone who has been following the season that these two teams are in the finals," a voice carries throughout the stadium, and Kyo nearly brings his broom to a screeching halt.
Since when did they allow Momiji to play commentator?
A scattering of applause meets Momiji's words from across the stands. Kyo takes a chance to look across the pitch to the podium where Momiji is standing with a magical megaphone. His cousin immediately spots him and begins waving like mad.
"Oh! Hello, Kyo!" Momiji's voice booms all around him. "They let me do your last match! Isn't this great!"
"This isn't how you commentate!" Kyo shouts back but he knows it's no use.
Momiji continues on. "Oh look! Here comes Ravenclaw's first attempt at a goal -"
Kyo's head swiveled towards where his Keeper is, guarding their goalposts.
"- and it's a miss! Oh well! Can't win them all! Maybe next time!"
Kyo tugs at his hair, caught between frustration at Momiji's certain flare for commentating a match and the fact that things actually seem to be going well for Gryffindor.
He continues his search for the Snitch, attempting to do his part for a win for his team. Half of the game goes by, and Gryffindor is leading by sixty points. Kyo tries not to feel comfortable in their lead, knowing that it can easily get away from them at any time.
Kyo zooms past one of his Beaters, hearing the telltale thunk of a Bludger that had met its target.
"Oh my!" Momiji says, and Kyo can tell through his voice that he's cringing. "That looks like it hurts, doesn't it?"
The hair on the back of Kyo's neck prickles, letting him on to the fact that he senses something, but when he looks around it's not the Snitch his body is reacting to. It's Tohru.
He didn't realize that he had stopped right in front of the Hufflepuff stands, and he's close enough to Tohru to see his number still on her cheeks.
She's shouting at him, beating at the wood of the stands as she does. "Kyo! What are you doing?"
"I think I'm in love with you!" he shouts back, and judging by her wide-blown eyes, she hears him.
"Wha - what?"
"Oh, what's this?" Momijis voice cuts through them, and Kyo flies closer to Tohru. "It appears that Kyo is talking to Tohru. Kyo! What do you think you're doing?"
"I love you," he says again, reaching her at the stands. He doesn't have to yell anymore. "I think I've loved you for a long time, and never realized it until now."
"Kyo - I -"
"And I know it's sudden! And the timing is shit. I mean, I'm in the middle of my last match of my school career, so it literally couldn't be any worse."
"I just - I have to tell you, Tohru," he reaches to grab her hand with one of his own, the one still on the handle of his broom grips it tighter to steady him. "I don't want to leave here without telling you. I don't want to leave here without you."
"Kyo. Kyo, I…" Tohru trails off, her eyes widening as she points to something behind him. "Kyo! The Snitch!"
When Kyo turns, it's to find the fluttering of little wings just a stretch away from him. He could reach out now and easily take it, but he turns back to Tohru.
"I love Kyo!" she tells him, jumping up and down with each word. She's grinning brightly, her eyes prickling with tears. "I love Kyo so much, it can't be beat!"
He grins, grabbing her by the back of the neck and crashing their lips together as if stands full of people aren't watching them.
"Kyo!" Momijis voice cries out though it sounds farther away than before. "Now is not the time to be kissing Tohru!"
He pulls away, still grinning.
"Go!" Tohru tells him, a bit breathless. "Win the game!"
It's the last little push he needs to send his broom accelerating towards the Snitch which had dove downwards at the last possible second. His hand outstretching, Kyo knows that he can either catch the Snitch or pull up in time to not crash into the ground. There isn't enough time to do both.
And so, with his fingers fighting around the tiny ball, the last thing he is aware of is the whooping cheers of the Gryffindor section before everything goes dark.
The Gryffindor common room is, apparently, alive with the roar of celebration from members of several houses.
Kyo wouldn't know. He is currently holled up in the hospital wing, nursing a broken wrist that needs to heal overnight; and though Gryffindor hasn't won the Quidditch cup in several years, there is no other place Kyo would rather be at the moment than laying on the hospital bed with a clingy Tohru wrapped around him.
"I can't believe you were so stupid," she cries, sobbing into his shirt. "You could have waited to tell me you loved me after the game, and then you wouldn't have injured yourself!"
"Nah I couldn't have," Kyo says, smiling fondly into the crown of her head. "I had to tell you then."
They're in a bit of an awkward position. Kyo can't hold her the way he wants to with his right arm bandaged up as it is, so he settles for nuzzling her wherever he can reach while she's curled up in his lap.
"Kyo shouldn't be so rash!" she tells him, leaning back to look him in the eye as she does so. She doesn't release her arms from around his neck. "I would have still loved you after the game. I've loved you since I was a kid! I could have waited a bit longer! You could have cost Gryffindor the cup."
"There are more important things," Kyo says, repeating the words the Yuki spoke not too long ago, "than a Quidditch match."
He understands them now, those words.
Better than he did just a day ago.
Tohru swipes at her eyes, her cheeks flushing at his words. "I love you so much, Kyo, but please, don't ever do that again."
"I won't," he promises, reaching up with his good hand to tuck some hair behind her ear. "It was the last game of my school career, after all."
"We're going to have to stick together after Hogwarts. So I can make sure you're not doing anything stupid enough to get yourself hurt. It's the only solution."
"And so I can make sure you're not doing anything too clumsy to get yourself hurt."
Tohru beams at him. "We'll stick together and look out for each other."
"Like we've always done," he says, sitting up straighter and cupping her face. His thumb brushes over his now tear streaked number on her cheek. "Now, if you don't mind, I think I'd like to finish what we started earlier."
Tohru blushes, biting her lower lip. "Do you think it's really okay for me to stay?"
"It helps to have connections," Kyo whispers, leaning in so his breath tickles her lips.
"Kyo," a tired voice calls. Kyo turns to see his cousin Hatori standing there against the doorframe, a bottle of dreamless sleep potion in his hand. "I didn't agree to let your girlfriend stay just so you could make out with her."
"Then why did you let her stay?" Kyo growls, throwing himself back down against the bed frame.
Tohru giggles, reaching out to stroke his hair and Kyo instantly feels himself deflate. "Don't worry, Hatori. I promise, no making out while Kyo is in the hospital wing."
"Good girl," he tells her, smiling down at Tohru fondly. His whole fucking family is in love with her, and Kyo doesn't feel like sharing. "Here," Hatori says, handing the sleep potion to Kyo. "Take this now and get some rest. I'll check you back over in the morning."
"I hate this stuff," Kyo grumbles when Hatori disappears back into his office. He looks at Tohru, feeling a bit pitiful. "I was hoping to talk more."
"We can talk in the morning," she says. "I won't leave your side, I promise. We have plenty of time to talk. The rest of our lives, if we want."
"Fine," he agrees, downing the potion in one big gulp before grimacing.
Kyo's eyes are already drooping when Tohru places a kiss to his lips and forces him to lay back as she does so.
The last thing he's aware of is Tohru's hand stroking his hair and his heart fluttering like the wings of a Snitch before he drifts off into sleep.