exobubz (exobubz) wrote,
exobubz
exobubz

Technical Faults (1/2)

Title: Technical Faults
Pairings: Chanyeol / Baekhyun
Rating: pg13
Word count: 11,805
Warning: Romance, slight!angst, attempted comedy, Slight Broken!Chanbaek
Summary: Blood purity made all the difference, Baekhyun picked a path, and Chanyeol was a little too late.
Author's notes: I only meant to make it slight angst, but I think I went 5/10 overboard when it was only supposed to be 2/10 angst, and I don’t know if I feel like I used the prompt correctly or satisfyingly enough, so I’m sorry if I disappointed you with this ;; I feel like I should’ve done pure light hearted comedy, bc now I don’t know why I went this route. I blame “Title” by Meghan Trainor, honestly lol. Anyways! Couldn’t resist chaser!Yeol. I hope it’s not too poop.

Written for chocolaytemilk for hp_exolliarmus





The contrast between the first day of school as first years versus the first day of school as second years was apparent. As it was every year, a grand banquet was held in the great dining hall, which gave an opportunity to those who starved themselves for the event to finally jump right on to the chance to stuff their faces. And as every year, Baekhyun smiled and laughed in amusement at those few despite holding little appetite for himself.

In his seven years at the school, the traditional banquet usually went off without a hitch—with exception to the usual jests. Turning his head from Headmaster Yunho and his yearly speech, Baekhyun’s eyes caught the floating loaves of bread just inches away from his face. Naturally, he reacted, jerking his head back to avoid the stationary floating food, but after a second, he realized the loaves were never really going to hit him. Those around him laughed, and he, in pressure, chuckled as well as he grabbed the bread from the air and looked about, wondering who had done the spell; however, no one claimed credit. After a while, Baekhyun’s smile wavered when no one met his eyes or answered his question, and just as he was about to question them again, he felt a slight hit of air hitting his right cheek and flicking his hair slightly upwards.

It was then that he knew it wasn’t from any one of his housemates. Focusing his eyes on the table near the Gryffindor’s, Baekhyun fixed his misplaced hair strands as he threw an annoyed look at his ex-boyfriend, the favorite of all Slytherin Quidditch chasers, Park Chanyeol.





Much to Baekhyun’s annoyance, he was pulled aside on his way up to the house dorms, which was surprising to him since no one seemed to care how the tall, Slytherin male seemed to burst through the flood of students only to take the brunette by the arm and pull him into an isolated hall way. Baekhyun half expected his friends to notice that he was suddenly missing from their group, but when they failed to notice his lack of presence, Baekhyun made a face before reluctantly following Chanyeol in silence.

There were a lot of things going through his mind. One of those things was that they weren’t even supposed to be in that hall. Frankly, it was dark beside the fact that it was only lit by a few lamps. Baekhyun was also slightly paranoid by the paintings they passed in grouchy annoyance that the figures might speak rumors and cause trouble for later on.

Chanyeol, in his stupid little adventure, took one right turn and a left before he stopped and placed Baekhyun against the old walls. They stared at one another for a second with their faces only dimly lit by a distant light. Unsatisfied with the luminosity of the area, Chanyeol sighed, pulling out his wand, whispering, “Lumos.”

Tired and irked from being dragged without a choice into a dirty, cold, and unlit space, Baekhyun bit his lips and frowned displeasingly. “What’s so secretive that we have to talk in this place?”

“We needed to talk about us,” Chanyeol replied, glancing to the left of him where they had come from. “I think there was some sort of misunderstanding with us over the summer.”

“You think there was a misunderstanding?” Baekhyun incredulously said, drawing his brows inward.

The Slytherin made the awful mistake of rolling his eyes. “Obviously,” he replied with a sarcastic undertone before speaking normally once again. “You wouldn’t answer your phone, you stopped replying to my text messages—Hell, I even called your house and sent you an owl, but all of those things were ignored. Did you move and change all of your contact information?”

Baekhyun stared back at him. “No,” he said slowly, crossing his arms. “I didn’t.”

“Then what—”

“I thought you’d get the hint,” the brunette interrupted, irritation present in his voice as he side glanced the way out of the hall. “What goes through your mind when the person you’re ‘dating’ stops talking to you or receiving any of your mail?”

The Slytherin’s reaction was delayed, but he gave an expression as though Baekhyun had just said the most absurd thing in the world. “Are you mad at me?”

“No, Chanyeol. I’ve gone past that.”

“So—”

“We’re done and you should’ve known that by now,” Baekhyun sighed, letting his hands fall to his side. “Anyways, I have to go. They’re probably wondering where the hell I went off to thanks to youu—”

Just as Baekhyun was about to side step his ex-boyfriend, Chanyeol came out of his frozen state and reached out to hold him back by the arm. “What the hell? I never got the notice that we broke up. I was under the impression that you were upset over something, but you never sent anything back to me.”

Baekhyun cocked his head. “I sent you an owl, but I’ll take the guess that you never got it.”

“If you sent it, honey, I would’ve gotten it.”

“Well, I did, so it must’ve gotten lost on your part.” Pulling his arm free from Chanyeol’s grasp, Baekhyun let out a breath, aware that intense eyes were watching him. “But really, all I wrote was that it wasn’t working out and that we should accept it. Hopefully, I said, we could continue on with our last year without—”

“Are you kidding me? That’s what you wrote?” Chanyeol scoffed disbelievingly, placing his hands on his waist. “Ever heard of breaking up in person?”

“You were busy—”

“No, I was not!”

Clenching his hands, Baekhyun let out an exasperated breath. “I called your house! Your damn elf kept telling me you were busy. If you weren’t busy, you were ‘entertaining’ someone! I went over there once and the little thing told me you were out!”

“So you caught me at inconvenient times and sent me a vague letter that never got to me,” Chanyeol recapped, “and this is all supposed to be how we’ve officially broken up?”

“Y—”

“That’s bull crap! You didn’t even tell me what I did wrong!” Chanyeol appeared upset, but Baekhyun tried to not let that get to him. “You can’t just half-assly try and get in touch with me, then send me an owl with crap written all over it without telling me why!”

Slumping his shoulders, Baekhyun felt cornered with that statement. True, he never truly stated his reason for wanting to separate, but he figured that the vaguer, the better. Chanyeol had a different idea apparently, but he was asking for more than Baekhyun was willing to open up to at the moment.

Putting a hand to his forehead, Baekhyun’s lips thinned. “I just… wasn’t comfortable, okay? Not with you, at least.” It was a bit of an exaggeration, but he needed an excuse to give. “It wasn’t working out for me.”

Taken aback, Chanyeol felt an aching in his chest. Was he hurt? It felt like it. In truth, he didn’t feel the same way Baekhyun did. In fact, he was in an absolute loop as to what it was that was ailing their relationship. It hadn’t occurred to him that anything was wrong at all.

They started dating in the spring—after a very long chase on Chanyeol’s part—and ever since then, up until Baekhyun’s random change of mind midway through summer, they’d been great. More than great, in Chanyeol’s opinion. Baekhyun even met his parents and friends, which, from Chanyeol’s point of view, went off without a hitch. So for him, it was hard to wrap his head around the words that came out of Baekhyun’s mouth about the latter feeling uncomfortable—and with him of all the things!

“You’re being evasive,” Chanyeol finally said. “That’s not a good enough reason. There’s more to it, isn’t there?”

“I don’t know. Maybe.” Baekhyun didn’t feel like talking about it anymore. If Chanyeol pushed him any further, he would’ve felt even shallower than he already did at the moment. Without waiting for a response, he began walking out the way Chanyeol had taken him from. When he reached the main hall with the moving stairs, he waited for a few minutes for Chanyeol to emerge behind him, perhaps up for another round of arguing, which Baekhyun wasn’t entirely against because it excited him the way Chanyeol took such an interest to him, but nothing came but disappointment when his ex failed to appear. Let down, Baekhyun shook off his hopes and began walking to the Gryffindor dormitory to join the rest of his house.





The saying “boys will always be boys” was relatively true in the way when Baekhyun stepped into his dorm as he did every year since he was 11 and he was met by miniature firecracker explosions near his feet when he entered. He jumped, loudly screaming in surprise as a burst of laughter from his dorm mates. After catching his composure, he kicked aside tricks and jabbed the guy next to him which happened to be Jongdae.

“I told you guys this one right here would react the best!” Jongdae howled, throwing his arm around Baekhyun and pulling him towards the rest of the boys in the room where they all jostled the brunette, messing with his hair and playfully jabbing his arm. “Should’ve seen your face, Byun Baekhyun. You reminded me of one of those small little first years, you know? Making yourself an easy target and all.”

Baekhyun snorted as he pulled away from all the horseplay and sat on the only bed left open for his taking, the same usual place every year. “Grow up!” he teasingly scolded as the others made faces at him, and Sehun, who was sitting with his legs dangling from his upper bunk, threw a candy wrapper at him.

“You make it too easy,” he said, waving the lollipop in his hand around. “Jongin wanted to play that prank on Kyungsoo, but then Kyungsoo nominated you and Jongdae seconded the notion, so it had to be you.”

“You couldn’t have said anything to nominate someone else?” Baekhyun said, picking up the thrown wrapper off the floor and obliterating it with a simple, muttered spell.

“We all wanted to see it,” Sehun shrugged, nodding in Jongdae’s direction. “The mastermind over there brainwashed us into thinking that it’d be pretty great.”

“And great it was,” Jongin added, cleaning up the pieces of their prank. “By the way, why’d you take half a century to get here?”

Moving to his own bed and lying down with his hands behind his head, Jongdae yawned. “Yeah, we almost went to sleep just waiting for you. What held you up? Were you having a serious talk with Yunho or something? Are you the Head Boy this year and forgot to tell your dear friends that you’re moving out? Because, then, shame, Baekhyun—”

Shaking his head, Baekhyun scoffed. “No. I just got held up by a few things.”

“Important things?”

“Juvenile things.”





Baekhyun saw that Chanyeol was often in a bitter mood since their encounter, but no matter how many blank and angry looks he received from afar, Baekhyun was spared any more confrontation. Chanyeol, as it was made obvious, had no desire to talk to him. At least, not at the moment.

Word had spread that they had broken up. Even Jongdae pieced it all together without confirmation from his dorm mate, and when that happened, he realized what those “juvenile” things were that kept Baekhyun delayed in returning to the dormitory on the night of the annual feast. The news, overall, had mixed reactions to it.

The ones who thought they were cute together were disappointed; the ones who hated Baekhyun for snagging the Slytherin offensive player off the field in the game of love were silently joyous; and those who were indifferent shrugged, muttering about how relationships between a Slytherin and a Gryffindor never worked out anyhow.

The brunette wasn’t ignorant to the whispering, but he shoved it out. He figured that he was being an ass about it, but it was because no one else understood the situation. Not even Chanyeol, but Baekhyun refused to admit that part. To him, it was just better off how it was.





Quidditch season was beginning and, as every year, try outs preluded the games. First years were eager to test their skills, but the older ones, especially the seventh year students who were dedicated to the game, were confident that they’d place on the team.

The day was booked for the Gryffindors’ use, but when they reached the field, they saw that it was already in use. Sighing, Junmyeon walked over to the Slytherin captain, Yong Guk, and managed to split the field, avoiding conflict between the opposing houses.

Baekhyun caught Chanyeol look over his way, but didn’t have the chance to do anything else as the latter took off on his broom and flew to the sky for his trials. Although he was confident, he felt the need to keep his head in the game if he wanted to be placed that year. Without another thought, he slowly rose off the ground, fixing his gloves and pad along the way until he reached his position.

There were others before him, so Baekhyun took to moving aside for a while, watching the newer players show off their skill. However, after a time, Baekhyun’s attention drifted to the other side of the field where Chanyeol was up. Not to his surprise, the offensive player played aggressively despite the fact that it was only a try out. Nonetheless, Chanyeol shoved those who neared him and scored the quaffle through the middle ring with ease despite the defense.

Of course, it was no wonder why he was considered the best out of all the offensive players. That was undeniable, even to Baekhyun.

The brunette came out of his thoughts when he heard Junmyeon call his name. Slowly detaching himself from all previous thoughts on the game and Chanyeol, Baekhyun moved to the center of the three rings and focused on the quaffle rocketing toward him.







He was rusty. The aching in his arm was enough to prove that, but Baekhyun figured that it had been a long summer of doing nothing anyhow. Groaning, he leaned back and sank in the large, heated tub. It was really a blessing that the school had such a thing on the fifth floor of the hospital tower corridor that was rarely used, especially at that time of the night. He made a reminder to himself to be extra quiet when getting out and returning back to the dormitory or else someone would catch him, which would lead to some sort of juvenile punishment that Baekhyun had no care for to do. It was the Prefect’s bathroom, after all, therefore, he had no permission to use the space anyhow.

His eyes were closed, but they snapped open when he heard the sound of footsteps behind him. Before he could turn and react, another individual was joining him in the water. Baekhyun blinked a few times before looking away when the male dropped his towel.

“Ahhh... God, the water feels so good.”

Baekhyun scoffed as he submerged his body even more underneath the water. He moved over a few spaces to give distance between them. “Couldn’t you have found a different place to go, Chanyeol?”

The dark haired male hummed in response, finding no shame in bearing himself naked for a moment before covering himself in the cloak of the water.

“I’m the one who got you to start using this place, wasn’t I?” Chanyeol shrugged, cupping water into his hands and splashing his face. Then he dragged his hands through his hair, damping it. “Maybe show a little courtesy?”

Baekhyun eased. It was true that it had been Chanyeol who introduced him to begin the habit of bathing in the tub when no one was around to use it in the night. His shoulders slanted as he relaxed, unaware of the way Chanyeol was peeking under his lashes to catch a glimpse of him.

Falling back to acting as seemingly casual as possible, Baekhyun sighed. “Well, fine, I guess,” he resigned. “Anyways, did you make the team this year?”

Chanyeol gave him a look. The question was too obvious that it surely didn’t even need an answer… but Chanyeol gave it anyhow.

“Yes,” the Slytherin responded, wetting his face again until his bangs stuck together and dripped of water. “Not like I was going to let some younger year take my place.”

“I suppose.” Baekhyun kept neutral. “It’d be a shame to your team if you didn’t make it.”

Chanyeol shrugged, leaving the conversation discontinued. Baekhyun wanted to get out, but figured that it’d be awkward to do so. Besides, hadn’t it been him who wanted to continue on with no traction between them? Biting his pride down, Baekhyun submerged his head in the water completely and came back up with the decision to stay.

“Are you hurt?”

The question came out of nowhere and Baekhyun was taken off guard for a slight second. “Hm?”

“I saw you get hit during your trials,” Chanyeol explained, though he made sure to keep his eyes away for the most part. “You didn’t say anything to Junmyeon after.”

Drawing his brows together, Baekhyun contemplated on what to say. True, he had been hit, though it was merely just a brush, but a slight hit on the shoulder nonetheless in his effort to stop one of the quaffles. No one had noticed, not even Junmyeon, but he couldn’t blame them. It was such a miniscule event that not even the team’s seeker saw the mistake. Chanyeol’s remark had him in silent awe.

Laughing it off, Baekhyun shook his head as he wiped his face with his hands. “It’s alright. It’s not broken or anything. I’m expecting it to be a little sore tomorrow, but I’ll be fine after a few days.”

A pause stalled their conversation again as Baekhyun felt the vibe that Chanyeol had nothing else to say on the matter. Taking in a deep breath, he decided to take the bull by its horns. “So, how’re you?”

Glancing over to the brunette sitting just an arm’s length away, Chanyeol frowned. His gaze almost made Baekhyun want to break out in sweats. “Alright,” the giant answered curtly. Just before Baekhyun could drag on to a more boring and generic question meant to fill in the blanks to their silence, Chanyeol turned his body toward him. “It’s been two weeks.”

Knowing what the Slytherin was referring to, Baekhyun nodded. “And?”

“And I don’t like this,” Chanyeol put as a matter-of-factly. Gesturing back and forth between him and the brunette, his jaw locked. “What the hell is this?”

“I’m not following, Chanyeol…”

“See, I’ve been trying to figure out why you were so ‘uncomfortable’ with me—as you put it—that you, one, called it off and, two, won’t even tell me why.” Rising from the water, Chanyeol revealed more than Baekhyun wanted to see as the latter wadded through the water to approach him.

Looking off to the side, Baekhyun tried to keep a straight face. However, the effort was put in vain when Chanyeol took a hand and gently forced him to look up and meet his eyes. It was a blessing to a certain degree. It gave Baekhyun an excuse to keep his eyes from wandering down south on Chanyeol’s toned body.

“It just… It just wasn’t working out. I told you,” Baekhyun said evenly.

“I don’t believe you.” The words came out softly and Baekhyun felt his pulse rise. “Tell me what I did wrong, Baekhyun.”

“I can’t just—You didn’t. I—”

“Whatever it is, I’m sorry. You know I’m a brute sometimes. Things slip past my mind, so if I did anything to hurt you then I’m—”

Baekhyun frowned. “Chanyeol, this isn’t how it works. That’s not what you did wrong, and you can’t just give me a generic apology hoping that it’ll cover anything. You’re shooting apologies in the dark hoping that it’ll—”

“So, I did do something.” It sounded like the man got the confirmation he needed. “And you won’t tell me, will you?”

“You must think I’m being unfair by not telling you.”

Chanyeol brushed the tip of his thumb just below Baekhyun’s bottom lip with his eyes drawn on the soft mouth. “It really is unfair when you know how much I love you,” he said in a quiet voice. “A little reason telling me why all of a sudden this became a one sided relationship would be nice.”

At that remark, Baekhyun pulled back from Chanyeol’s gentle hold. Suddenly, he began to feel the same irrational aggravation that led him to pull away from their relationship that summer. The event that brought him to that decision came flooding back in vivid images and he became entangled in reliving the humiliating moment when Chanyeol had invited him as a guest at his manor and yet he—

“Well?”

Baekhyun’s body tensed and he pulled out of his previous decision to stay. Touching Chanyeol by the shoulders, he shoved him away. An interlude of silence, saturated in tension, followed and Baekhyun began to crave solitude. Rising from the water, he quickly turned his back to cover himself from view and made the hasty reach for his towel, wrapping himself as fast as he could.

As he picked up his belongings, it wasn’t in his ignorance to dismiss the eyes watching him and the questions that were left unanswered. He hadn’t planned to say anything, opting to leave in silence, but with his clothes gripped in one arm, Baekhyun pursed his lips as he gave Chanyeol an expression that attempted to appear blank and uncaring, but failed as the emotions flashed through his glassy eyes.

“Who knows? Maybe our relationship was just stupid to begin with...”







Every student had an animal of their choosing, and though many chose owls, Baekhyun had decided long ago to bring along a cat. His parents had been persistent about the owl, but Baekhyun—then a first year—thought it was too impractical seeing as how the school had owls for student use anyhow. Eventually, Baekhyun got his way, receiving a white tabby as a gift, which he later named Lady.

Usually, Lady had a calm and tranquil demeanor, but one animal always bothered her, and that was Chanyeol’s snow white, brown speckled owl Charlie.

Whenever Baekhyun took to taking walks with Lady in the yards, Charlie, in his time to kill boredom, would spot them during a leisurely flight, swooping down as if to claw the cat. The two frequently engaged in fights, and it was frustrating on Baekhyun’s part.

Once, Charlie grasped the cat one afternoon, lifting her off the ground as she screeched and thrashed in the owl’s hold. Baekhyun had to jinx the owl and face Chanyeol’s anger. It was the first time he’d met the owl’s owner, and though he had a good mind to knock the man out for his aggressive bird, Baekhyun merely apologized for hurting the owl to an extent despite how he knew it was absolutely necessary.

A few weeks after that encounter, the owl recovered and Baekhyun thought it’d be the last he’d ever see of the stupid animal’s owner, but it wasn’t. Obviously.

Baekhyun was always on guard when it came to his cat. Even when he dated Chanyeol, he was always careful that the owl never saw Lady for fear that the bloody creature would attack the feline once again (or vice versa).

Lady comforted him during the nights of turbulent emotions, especially when Baekhyun arrived to the decision to break things off. The night he arrived back home after being rejected from Chanyeol’s manor by the house elf, it was Lady who kept him company as if to say, “Screw that boy. He has a mean pet, anyways.”

Needless to say that Lady was as close to Baekhyun’s heart as Chanyeol once was, so when the Gryffindor began to notice that his cat hadn’t made an appearance in the dormitory for three consecutive days, which was more out of the norm than anything else, he began to panic.





School was a priority, but Baekhyun couldn’t get his cat out of his mind. It shoved out all other issues concerning Chanyeol, their break up, Quidditch, and work. He tried to go on about as if nothing was wrong even when Jongdae commented on Lady’s absence, but it was inevitable the way it’d somehow affect his mood.

Baekhyun was already in a foul mood despite how cheery he tried to seem. It didn’t help him that the very girl he spent all summer loathing had transferred over at Hogwarts.

Beauxbatons Academy of Magic. If the pretentious reputation of the school didn’t rub him the wrong way enough, it was the devil that came out of it that really blew his grid.





Mermaid tears.

Baekhyun stared at the small, palm-sized vial as Jongdae worked beside him, busying away at his own cauldron. Having put all the other ingredients in his pot, the only thing missing were three precious mermaid tears in order to complete the Temporalis Amnesia sample.

The liquid in the glass vial glistened despite the lack of sunlight within the Potions classroom, but beyond their glistening sparkle, Baekhyun felt sadness. They were tears after all, mermaid or not. Sighing, he took the tiny cork from the tip and slowly tipped the vial until three drops fell perfectly into his cauldron.

Previously, the liquid in his cauldron was clear as the purest of water, but the minute the tears submerged, the liquid became slightly clouded, murky, and opaque. An invisible gas emitted from the product, causing Baekhyun’s eyes to sting slightly, but not enough to cripple him to tears.

He stepped back for a minute, closing his eyes and rubbing them as if to rid of the stinging feeling. Jongdae turned his head back and laughed at the latter’s misery. “Don’t cry, now. That’s embarrassing.”

“I’m not,” Baekhyun scoffed, stepping back to his station. “Who knew mermaid tears hurt…”

Jongdae shrugged. “They’re supposed to hurt. Like, always. Don’t you read anything?”

“I must’ve skipped that part, then.”

They heard some sniffing from behind and both turned their attention to a Hufflepuff whose eyes were red and puffy with tears. Snickering, Jongdae shook his head as he returned back to his own task. “Poor Jackson.”

“He put too much…” Baekhyun muttered under his breath as he stared at the pit of his cauldron. “What do mermaid tears have anything to do with memory anyways?”

“Did you read the chapter before you came to class today, Byun?”

“I did,” the latter replied, lazily stirring his pot. “It must’ve been in the footnotes.”

Rolling his eyes, Jongdae sprinkled the chopped roots for the remedy in his cauldron and took hold of his stirring stick, poking the brunette on the side. “Think about it. The drink’s called Temporalis Amnesia, and if it’s not clear enough for you already, it’s for temporary memory loss. Now, this?” He held up his own vial of tears. “Mermaid tears are one of the more precious things in our world. Haven’t you ever read that muggle book about the little mermaid?”

“I really doubt its purpose relates to that story,” Baekhyun commented.

“Not really,” Jongdae admitted, shrugging his shoulders as he settled the vial down, “but the point’s still there. Mermaids rarely cry, as you know, which makes you wonder how the school can afford to let us waste these for potions practice, but here we are.”

“They must cry on demand, then.”

Jongdae shook his head. “When mermaids experience heartbreak, they come to the surface, but like I said, it’s very rare. For all you know, your tears might be the tears resulting from heartbreak and mine could’ve been the product of death or loss. How they actually got these tears, I have no idea. It’s probably top secret, something the Ministry likes to keep under lock and key.”

Leaning down on his cauldron, Baekhyun frowned, fighting against the stinging in his eyes, almost becoming immune to the pain. “So, how does that pertain to this potion?”

“Easy. Mermaids are tough, but when they cry, they cry to rid themselves of the pain, and what we’re making is Temporalis Amnesia.”

“And?”

“The purpose of the drink is to temporarily forget about your pain, to shed it and to rid of it for a time. It doesn’t go away, of course. Just as how mermaids will cry about their pain, it doesn’t just eliminate it entirely, but it makes it easier to move on. Same with this. You allow a moment for yourself to forget so that in the next, it’ll be easier to cope. Simple as that, really. Now, are you done with yours because you should call over Professor Changmin before that thing goes bad. It is temporary after all.”







At the first chance that he got, Baekhyun ran his way to the owlry on the school’s west tower. He swore to everything that if he found Lady dead in Charlie’s nest, he was executing the bird if he didn’t feel merciful enough to settle for the cruciatus curse.

By the time he ran up the tower, his legs were burning as well as his lungs. He wasted no time in arriving at the place. Desperation had already engulfed him. When he stepped foot into the owlry, he was greeted by a handful of round eyes watching him with the turning of all their heads. All the owls look almost identical, but Charlie had a distinct look about it. That or Baekhyun became accustomed to the bird’s appearance through all the unpleasant encounters.

He turned a corner, heading to Charlie’s nest, but found neither the bird nor his cat. Instead, he found Chanyeol who turned his head at the sound of footsteps from behind. They stood in silence until Baekhyun spoke.

“Where’s Charlie?”

Raising his brows, Chanyeol tilted his head in curiosity. “What do want with my bird?”

“Lady’s gone,” Baekhyun said, cutting straight to the point.

“What does that have to do with my bird, though?”

Baekhyun had no patience of Chanyeol’s questions. Reasonable as they may be, he needed to find his cat and his inquiries were hindering the search. “Your bird. Did you send him out?”

Crossing his arms, Chanyeol was slightly amused by the brunette’s assumption that his bird might’ve been the culprit to his little Gryffindor’s problem. “I just sent a letter back home. He’ll be back in a week, but I don’t think it’s very efficient to interrogate an animal.”

“Oh, I’m not going to interrogate the damn thing. I’m going to kill it if I find Lady dead somewhere.” Baekhyun didn’t mean to sound so harsh, but he couldn’t help it. He was upset.

Rid of the playful demeanor he had moments before, Chanyeol’s face contorted to something angrier. He looked pissed off and Baekhyun felt his own irritation backing down, but he kept still.

“I would not let you kill my bird, Baekhyun.”

“I didn’t ask for permission,” Baekhyun threw. “Anyways, if he’s not here, then I’m going to go back to the castle—”

“Chanyeol?”

Freezing in place, the Gryffindor felt his sanity crack. God, how he hated that voice. Turning around, he faced what Chanyeol was looking at, but without any pleasure.

“Minah.”

The name slipped past Chanyeol’s lips and Baekhyun needed to get out of there.

“I’ll leave you two alone.”

Pivoting around, Baekhyun gave Minah a tight smile as he tried to walk past her. But when he attempted to, in a friendly gesture, the girl touched him by the hand and stopped him. “Chanyeol’s friend, right? I remember you!”

Baekhyun tensed, but he nodded. “Yes, though I wasn’t—”

“At the Park’s manor!”

Again, Baekhyun confirmed. “In mid-July.”

“Oh, well you look good!” She smiled, but geared her attention back to Chanyeol. “Anyways, I was looking for you! My father…”

Tuning out, the brunette moved his hand away. “I have to meet Jongdae and Soo at the library, so I’ll get going.” It was a lie, but no one was listening to him anymore as Minah went about talking about her father and the Ministry. Rolling his eyes once he was out of their view, Baekhyun went on to search other places where his cat might’ve been nesting.







The first practice of the season was in fair weather. It was on a weekend morn, and the Gryffindor players were greeted by cheery faces as they walked into the great hall for breakfast wearing their gear.

Out on the field, the quaffle felt so familiar in the young chaser’s hand. It felt homely to Baekhyun who had been playing the sport since the day he stepped foot on the castle. Heavy, yes, but just the right weight.

Playing a mock match, Baekhyun dominated in taking steals when the second team crept too close to the three rings. There was nothing more relieving than the wind rushing against his direction and setting himself free with every swift turn, curve, and pull of his broom.

Rarely was Baekhyun ever aggressive, opting to steer clear of other players and passing the quaffle off as much as possible to avoid confrontation. However, with everything that had gone downhill in such a short amount of time, his thrusts showed more aggression. His teammates hadn’t picked up on his darkened mood, but thought that it was probably for the best.

When his feet landed back on the grassy earth at the end of the vigorous first practice of the year, Baekhyun felt like collapsing as he gave his praise to his other mates when all he wanted was to fall his way into the Prefect’s bathroom.

As the team gradually fell from their high, Kyungsoo, the Team Two’s keeper, walked over to the solemn brunette and touched him by the shoulder. “I’m not usually the one to care, but are you alright?”

“Yes, why?” Baekhyun’s lungs were burning and his arms ached again. He had pushed himself too hard. “Is something wrong?”

“I don’t know. Is there?”

Kyungsoo’s eyes pierced through him, but Baekhyun kept his guard up. “No. Nothing at all.”







The opening game happened in November, sunny with a chilly breeze to accompany its presence. Played between Slytherin and Hufflepuff, there was already an air of arrogance as students filed into the stands into their designated areas.

Baekhyun followed the crowd, carefully walking by each student as he made his way to the stairs up to the seats for Gryffindor. As he moved, Slytherins briskly passed him with no apologies made. It was irksome, but he held his tongue thinking that fighting in such a crowded space would do nothing but result in arms and legs broken (though not his, for sure).

Behind him, Kyungsoo followed, side glancing the students that had no decency or sense of space despite the fact that the entire place was already as small as it was. “Do you think we’ll be able to find the rest of them once we’re up on the stands?”

Turning his head back, Baekhyun gave him a shrug. “I don’t know. If not, it won’t matter.”

“I just want a good view of the match,” Kyungsoo muttered as they climbed up the steps. “I want to see how their team is this year. Last year was brutal. They won the house cup, too.”

“I don’t doubt that they’ll be brutal again this year with Yong Guk as the captain…” The sunlight of the late morning hit his eyes and Baekhyun threw a hand in front of his face. Spotting an area open, he reached back and pulled Kyungsoo along with him.

Right in front, near the edge, Kyungsoo peered down and focused his attention on the players who seemed nothing like humans at all. From his view, they were like ants. “The Slytherins are coming out.”

Following Kyungsoo’s gaze, Baekhyun saw as players dressed in their green uniform came from under, walking on the field with brooms at hand. After a quick talk, the players were haste in their move to take to the sky, and Baekhyun watched as a familiar chaser took to formation with the rest.

“Hufflepuff has Luhan as captain this year, and he’s a chaser. Quick, too. Then there’s Yixing as a chaser, too…” Kyungsoo paused, looking at the Hufflepuff’s team. “I think they have a chance.”

Baekhyun kept silent, thinking otherwise. In theory, Hufflepuff did have a chance. Their beaters weren’t the best, but their chasers were fast and efficient, but Slytherin always had a bad reputation for savagery. Their chasers were quick, but their beaters were always full of rage, always knocking players of the opposing team’s players with the bludgers so hard, they had to be sent to the infirmary with broken bones and blackened flesh.

Keeping an eye on Chanyeol, Baekhyun let out a sigh. “Good luck to them, I suppose.”

Kyungsoo turned his eyes to the side to give the brunette a curious expression. “Who’re you going to root for?”

Even when he was dating the tall Slytherin, Baekhyun never really cheered or even willed for the house to win. Supporting Chanyeol was one thing, but wishing for the team to win was another, and Baekhyun wasn’t all too fond of the team despite how amicable the players really were off the field.

“I’ll cheer for the Hufflepuffs,” he answered back, eyes still on Chanyeol, who lead the other chasers for their round around the crowd.


[PART TWO]
Tags: chanbaek, exchange, exolliarmus, technical faults, twoshot
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