xiuhan + slight!suchen
Half-Veela Luhan is dazzling to almost everyone, except for Minseok. This is the first time Luhan actually has to not let his Veela powers do the work for him and with the help of his mischievous friends he will do just that.
-originally written for cosmicworlds and posted here
-note: the ending is (very) slightly revised from the earlier posting because it felt too rushed
"Are you looking over at the Ravenclaw table again?" Baekhyun's knee prods Luhan in the back and he sits up immediately, pretending that he hasn't just been scanning the dinning hall for a certain Quidditch Captain.
"No, not at all." He turns his attention back to the food laid out on the tables before them, grabbing the bowl of potatoes and scooping some of them onto his plate. But soon enough his eyes are wandering once again and the next potatoes end up in his lap when he turns back to sneak another glance in the direction of the Ravenclaws.
Shaking his head, Baekhyun puts both hands on his shoulders, turning him back to the table. "Of course you'd end up liking the one boy in school who doesn't think you're perfect." He wrinkles his nose, eyeing his friend in disbelief. "It's like you want to be single for your whole time here."
"I didn't say I liked him," Luhan protests weakly, biting his lip. He's half-Veela. He doesn't get crushes. Other people get crushes on him.
It has nothing to do with the way his stomach drops when Minseok walks by him without a smile in the hallways and nothing to do with the way his ears burn whenever he hears Minseok laughing. It's not like he cares that he seems to be the only one the other boy doesn't smile at.
It's nothing to do with any of that at all.
Luhan is the type of person who would have flowers drawn around him if this were a shoujo manga. If he were a Power Ranger, he'd be the Red Ranger. He's basically everyone's classic popular boy protagonist. He causes a tidal wave of crushes just from a mere glance and makes people faint of heart with just a wink. It's his first year at Hogwarts after transferring from Beaubaxtons and already everyone at school wants to be friends with him.
Everyone except Minseok it seems.
Baekhyun still won't let Luhan forget the way that they first met; Luhan brightly saying, I've decided that you can be my friend! and Minseok staring at him like he'd grown an extra head.
(And okay, maybe it was a bit strange that Luhan practically grabbed him on the stairs in an attempt to get his attention, but it didn't seem to bother anyone else.)
The second time Luhan and Minseok met was on Baekhyun's advice of Why don't you at least try inviting the guy to have lunch with you because I don't think even you could fuck that up.
"Deep breaths," reminded Sehun, rubbing Luhan's back. Sehun tried to give him a shoulder massage, but all it did was make Luhan wince because the other was putting too much strength into it.
( "I wish I was friends with Luhan so I could touch his back," whispered a student in the background. )
"All right, I think I'm good." Luhan pulled away and Baekhyun gave him a thumbs up.
( "Imagine being able to give Luhan a thumbs up and have him smile at you." Excited squealing. )
And, with Luhan's heartbeat thumping audibly in his chest, he approached the small group of friends sitting at the end of the Ravenclaw table.
A hush fell over the table as Luhan approached, and they turned to him expectantly. He didn't know the name of all five boys, but they seemed to know his name. A small boy with heart-shaped lips turned to a tall boy in green Slytherin robes and mumbled, "What is Luhan doing here?"
Nervous, Luhan looked straight at Minseok and clenched his hands in front of him. The Quidditch player was looking up at him curiously, leaning forward slightly as if he were trying to encourage Luhan to speak. Taking a deep breath, Luhan tried to think of what he'd normally say in this situation and ended up blurting out the first thing that came to mind.
"Come, I'll let you have lunch with me."
If there was ever a moment where the soundtrack of Luhan's life would skip and a loud record scratch would play in the background, this was it.
Minseok's eyebrows furrowed and he looked a bit offended. He turned to face Luhan more fully, straightening up in his seat. "You'll let me?"
Every since he was a child people have been fighting for Luhan's attention. On the first day he showed up in preschool, two of the girls had an arm wrestling match to decide who would sit next to him during snack time. When he decided that he liked playing in the sandbox, all the kids decided that they also wanted to play in the sandbox. One day he mentioned that his favourite colour was blue, and from that day on all of the drawings were done in blue crayon.
From the time he was born, his every look and comment was treated as a precious gift. So why didn't Minseok think the same?
"Yes?" Luhan offered timidly. Did he say something wrong?
Minseok frowned, not even flinching when a taller guy with dark circles under his eyes tugged on his robes and whispered, "But it's Luhan."
"You might think that you're above everyone else. But I don't. Thanks for the offer, but I think I'm going to have my lunch right here with my friends."
And with that he turned back to the table in front of him, picking up a conversation about newly released broom models and completely ignoring the way his friends glanced back at the half-Veela standing in a stupor several feet away.
( "So, it seems like that didn't go too well... " Baekhyun offered when Luhan returned to where his friends were waiting. And Sehun ruffled his hair consolingly. )
Baekhyun waits through a week of sulking. He endures Luhan tripping over his feet every time he walks by the Ravenclaw table and hanging back in the hallway every time he spots Minseok in the corridors. He doesn't even say anything when Luhan starts trying to get better at flying in hopes of making the house Quidditch team and ends up with two tissues stuck up his nostrils to stop his nose bleed.
(Which just gets him lots of compliments about being hardworking and Minseok doesn't even seem to notice.)
He ignores Luhan's whining and pitiful looks. He even ignores all of Luhan's grumbles about why that boy is the only one who doesn't seemed charmed by him. But when Luhan starts cooking up a best friends forever potion ( Luhan's own modified love potion), Baekhyun puts his foot down.
"Stop with that."
Luhan bites back a whine as Baekhyun tosses the pink glitter into the sink and washes it down the drain. He tries to grab the rest of the ingredients but Baekhyun is too quick; the powered moonstone and rose thorns meeting a similar fate.
"I'm not sure what you were planning to do with all of that--" He gives Luhan a pointed look that silences his protests. "But, I think you want to be friends with him, not kill him."
"I just want him to like me like everyone else does! Besides, I wasn't going to kill--"
Baekhyun points to the glitter clogging up the drain and looks back at Luhan, raising an eyebrow. A sparkly pink bubble pops in the sink.
"Fine." Even Luhan has to admit that glitter was a bit too much. "So what do you think I should do?"
"You're going to learn how to do this the way ordinary people do." Baekhyun grins and looks a little bit too happy about the overall situation. "You're going to win him over him without magic and Kim Minseok is going to be charmed by you if it's the last thing I do!"
For some reason it sounds more like a threat than a promise and Luhan can hear the Psycho soundtrack starting up in his head.
According to Baekhyun, the first step is reconnaissance.
"You've got to know your enemy better than he knows you!" He says brightly one day as they're sitting in the common room. Luhan is curled up in the armchair trying not to fall asleep while reading Magical Drafts and Potions and he blinks wearily when Baekhyun stands up and starts pacing back and forth in front of the fireplace.
"But he's not really my ene--" Luhan starts to say.
"Luhan, you're breaking my concentration! Now, who would have insider information about Minseok?" He taps his finger against his lip, thinking.
Luhan flips his book back open and continues reading about Wiggentree, deciding to ignore whatever insane idea his friend was going to carry out.
"Oh, I know!" Without waiting for Luhan's response, Baekhyun runs off to find the person he thought of.
( Later Baekhyun comes back a bit downcast and mumbling that some people have weird requests and Luhan turns to the next chapter, starting to read about the Cure for Boils. )
The improvised second step of the plan is: Hey, he likes Quidditch and you suck at it so why don't you go and watch a practice?
Luhan hears from Sehun (who heard from Tao who heard from Minseok) that there's going to be a Ravenclaw practice on Sunday and he shows up bright and early. The sun is just spilling over the pitch when he gets there, and Luhan pulls the scarf closer around his neck. The early morning air is chill, especially because Luhan was too excited to wait for his hair to dry after he took a shower.
He's not sure where's a good place to wait so he takes his place under the hoops, humming a Veela folksong under his breath as he moves his feet from side to side. He doesn't know what time the practice is supposed to start; it could be minutes or hours from now. But fortunately he doesn't have to wait for long for someone else to show up, a box landing near him with a loud thump.
Jolting up in surprise, he looks up to see Minseok opening the chest of Quidditch equipment and checking that each of the balls are in place. The bludgers are straining against the leather straps, and Minseok nods in satisfaction. It's only then that he acknowledges the boy sitting nearby.
"It's you again." Minseok doesn't sound angry, just a bit surprised. "We're going to be using the field for practice later, so you might want to leave before then. Sometimes the equipment gets a bit out of hand." He pats the bludger wiggling inside of the box.
Luhan's still marveling over the fact that Minseok doesn't seem to hate him today and he blushes, trying to come up with an explanation for being there that doesn't involve trying to win over Minseok's heart and free will.
"Um, actually can I stay and watch? I'd like to learn more about Quidditch"
Minseok hums, appearing to think it over. "It's okay with me as long as you're careful." He sits down on the grass next to Luhan and Luhan might be having an internal freak out because He's sitting nEXT TO ME.
It seems like Minseok doesn't mind the silence but Luhan is used to filling the space with words and he fidgets, trying to think of something to say so Minseok won't think he's boring or something.
"So, how did you start playing Quidditch?"
Minseok looks a bit surprised by the sudden question, but he still answers. "Me? Well, I guess it was mostly because of my dad. He used to go flying with me on the weekends. He'd be a chaser and I was the keeper." He smiles fondly at the memory. "He played as a chaser back when he was in Hogwarts. In Gryffindor, actually."
Luhan's about to ask why he thought he ended up in Ravenclaw when his father was in Gryffindor, when someone flops over Minseok's shoulders.
"Hey, we decided to come and watch your practice." The lump turns and Luhan can see a head above the robes now. The face grins and there are two dimples at the corners of his smile. He blinks when he sees Luhan and holds out a hand. "Hi, I'm Yixing. Hufflepuff's Keeper."
"Charmed." Luhan shakes it, half smiling. "I'm Luhan"
Yixing smiles, pulling his hand back and sitting up. "Pretty. Are you the half-Veela who everyone's been--"
And then black robes block Luhan's vision. "Lay, you shouldn't just ask people things like that."
He can hear Minseok and Yixing getting to their feet so he does too, and now that he's standing he realizes that the boy in front of him is the same boy he saw sitting at Minseok's lunch table that day.
"Are you in Ravenclaw too?" The question is a bit redundant since the boy is wearing a scarf in Ravenclaw's colours but Luhan asks it anyway, hoping that he'll introduce himself.
"Yeah, but I'm not on the Quidditch Team like these two." He looks over at Luhan, as if he just remembered that he hasn't said his name yet. "And it's Kyungsoo."
"Kyungsoo doesn't like sports much." Yixing cuts in with a grin. The members of the Quidditch Team are starting to arrive and Minseok moves away to get the players started on warm-ups. "But he's really good at Transfigurations and Charms--"
"You just think I'm good because you keep on forgetting what wand movements to use." Kyungsoo retorts, a smile twitching at the corners of his lips. Then he catches a wave from Minseok and he adds, "Oh, it looks like they're getting ready to play, let's go sit in the stands."
Luhan is ushered into some nearby seats, Kyungsoo and Yixing sitting next to him. Although it seems like they're mostly unaffected by the fact that he's part Veela, sometimes Kyungsoo falls silent with a blush overtaking his face and Luhan catches Yixing staring at him on more than one occasion.
They're mostly silent as they watch the players stretching and Minseok teaches the players the new formations they're going to use that day. Luhan doesn't know much about Quidditch so Yixing's commentary about the players and their positions is really helpful.
"That's Hyeri. She's the seeker." He says, pointing out a girl with a short blonde bob. She's balancing the broom along her shoulders while snapping her bubble gum, a set of goggles sitting high on her head. "It's her job to catch the snatch."
Kyungsoo cuts in. "Snitch, Lay. It's called the snitch."
"Right, the snotch." Then he points out two guys talking to each other. One of them has an arm slung across the other's shoulders and he's using his free hand to illustrate a story with either lots of eating or boob grabbing in it. "Taehyung and Namjoon. One's a chaser and the other's a beater."
Next is a girl with a braid streaked with green. "That's Sooyoung. She's also a chaser. And the last two are Onew and--" He points to the last two guys standing next to her but just then Minseok calls all of then in and they take off on their brooms. They start running through the different maneuvers that Minseok taught them that day; each of them trying to score while Minseok defends the hoop.
"We were surprised that you came by the lunch table that day." Kyungsoo finally says. "I'm not sure why Minseok seems so resistant to being friends with you. He's normally so easy going."
"Yeah," Yixing turns and adds cheerfully. "Minseok's a real keeper."
Kyungsoo snorts. "Do you even know what you're saying?"
Yixing's head tilts in confusion. "That he's a good keeper?"
But Luhan's not really listening anymore. He's sure he's bright red from the way his cheeks are burning. He's thinking about Minseok's expression from the other day when he tried to ask him to have lunch and…. And he's starting to get that weird queasy feeling in his stomach that he gets when he thinks about how embarrassed he feels in front of Minseok.
He really doesn't want to think about this right now. Trying to cover his embarrassment, he leans forward against the railing, cheering at the top of his lungs. He doesn't remember the other players' names so the cheers come out as a wordless yells of encouragement with Minseok's name meshed in there.
A Veela's power is a strange thing. Sometimes it lurks in the background, gnawing on a person's mind, and other times it overwhelms its target, coaxing them into idiotic displays of love. And now that the whole team has noticed him, there's no stopping it.
Immediately everyone falls out of formation.
Taehyung breaks away from the group, doing a complicated flip in the air as he dives towards the hoop to make a goal. Hyeri and Sooyoung seem to have lost all interest in the exercises at all, screaming out towards the spectator's booths and waving wildly at the three boys watching. Namjoon hits a bludger towards one of the other players and Onew tries to take over Minseok's position of keeper.
All the players are yelling and screaming and in the middle of all of it is Minseok looking frustrated and confused.
After the formation breaks apart it takes awhile for Minseok to get them back in order, dragging each of them down to the pitch and making everyone run laps as punishment. The players jog around the wide oval of the field and Luhan can still hear some whispers of his name coming across the field. It's only once the whispers die down to murmurs that Yixing thinks it's safe for them to leave the wooden spectator box, and the three of them make their way over to where Minseok is strapping the bludgers back into place.
"I don't think we're going to get much more practice in today." Minseok comments with a hollow laugh when they reach him.
"I'm sorry." Luhan bites his lip, trying to hide his face in his Gryffindor scarf. "I didn't realize that would happen..."
By some kind of silent agreement, Yixing and Kyungsoo walk away a few steps away from the pair, loudly discussing what chocolate frog cards they were still missing. Apparently Yixing really needs a Havelock Sweeting and Kyungsoo could use a Blodwyn Bludd.
Minseok flips the top of the equipment chest closed and leans against it. "Luhan." Sighing, he reaches up scratch the back of his neck. "Can I be honest?"
Luhan nods slowly. He doesn't think there's ever a time that phrase is followed by anything you actually want to hear, but it's not like he has much of a choice.
"I don't think you're a bad guy… But I think it would be better if you didn't come anymore." Looking up, Minseok offers up an apologetic smile. "I'm sorry. But I can't afford to waste practice time."
And Luhan smiles, because he's been brought up to be charming, not truthful.
"It's okay. Don't worry about it."
What was that Muggle saying that his father liked to quote? Ah, yes... Three strikes and you're out.
"You know, if you think about it, it's kind of false advertising that you're part Veela." Sehun says the next day when they're studying in the Great Hall. He's picking through a box of Bertie Bott's Every Flavour beans and chucking the ones he doesn't want at Baekhyun's head. "You're really not that charming."
"I'm charming!" Luhan supposes it would be too much for him to hope that his friends would be understanding of the emotional turmoil and depression that Kim Minseok has flung him into. All he wants is to go back to the Gryffindor Tower and curl up in bed. But no, Baekhyun had to ask to copy his Potions homework and Sehun had to tag along.
"Yeah, so charming." Sehun snorts unattractively, flicking a bean at Baekhyun. "And I suppose that's why you made Minseok angry every time you tried to talk to him?"
If Sehun is going to play dirty then Luhan is going to, too.
"And who was the one who ran up and started clinging to my robes after you got sorted into Slytherin, crying because we weren't in the same house?" Luhan asks with a snort. Sehun might act all high and mighty, but Luhan hasn't forgotten all of his cute moments. Which, because their families have been friends for a long time, there are a lot of.
"That was..." Sehun's cheeks flush slightly.
Baekhyun looks up from the parchment he's writing, the end of his quill leaving a splotchy mark on the paper that he'll probably complain about later. "That was you showing the entire student body that you have a disgustingly massive crush."
Blushing, Sehun tosses a dirty socks flavoured jellybean at Baekhyun and it bounces off the table, several inches away from where Baekhyun's sitting with his tongue stuck out.
Baekhyun teases Sehun about his bad aim for a good five minutes, dodging more of the sugary missiles, before he remembers what they were talking about.
"But really, Luhan. You shouldn't beat yourself up over it. Maybe Minseok just doesn't have a soul." Baekhyun offers. His eyes narrow slightly, like he's actually thinking about it. "It's always the small cute ones that turn out to be cold and soulless. Like Kyung--"
"Are you talking about Minseok-hyung?" Jongin, a first year Gryffindor, taps the end of a quill against his lips. "Minseok-hyung was really nice to me. He helped me out with Herbology a lot."
Baekhyun whips around to face the younger. "He did what now?"
"He tutored me in Herbology." Jongin's cheeks redden slightly at the sudden attention, but he smiles and continues, "He was really good at explaining the uses of Puffapods and even when I dropped one he didn't get angry. He didn't even look startled when it started flowering and growing over his foot, he just grabbed his wand and used a charm to--"
"And this was Kim Minseok?" Baekhyun looks at him suspiciously. "Are we talking about the same Kim Minseok? Short, auburn hair, wide eyes and a bit catlike? Plays Quidditch?"
"I know who I'm talking about." Jongin rolls his eyes. "It's not like the school has an army of students called Minseok wandering around."
Baekhyun mumbles something about how first years are getting arrogant and Jongin frowns slightly, retorting that he's just trying to help.
"But you're both missing the point."
They fall quiet and look over at Sehun, who has abandoned the box of candy to the table in front of him, a smug smile spreading across his face. It's clear he enjoys that they're all hanging on his words and he pauses for dramatic effect to savour the moment. And just when Baekhyun looks like he's about to yell at Sehun to spit it out! he continues speaking.
"The point is that Jongin spent time alone with Minseok because he needed help with Herbology. And Luhan wants to spend time alone with Minseok." Then he fall silent and waits for them to connect the dots.
Finally recognition dawns in Baekhyun's face and he grins, "You're a genius, Oh Sehun."
It's around this time that Luhan manages to pull himself out of the awestruck haze of how Minseok is a Quidditch Captain and yet still manages to tutor his underclassmen. He looks around at the others looking at him and he quickly figures out what they're planning on having him do.
"No way. There's no way you're going to get me to play stupid to get someone's attention."
"But Luhan," Baekhyun's voice is soft and cajoling. "Just think about it. Hours of time alone with Mr. Quidditch and you can sit together talking about plants and potions and-- Oh! Did he just lean in to tell you the properties of Mandrake root? Maybe his shoulder will brush against yours as he helps you with a Lumos Solum-- "
Sehun snickers in the background, "More like an Engorgement Charm."
Baekhyun ignores the interruption. "And you'll have lots of time to show Minseok how charming you are and why he should be dazzled by you!"
Luhan swallows uneasily, trying to remind himself why this is an awful idea. "No... way...."
"Your grades seemed to have dropped quite a bit recently." Professor Lee frowns as she looks over Luhan's recent parchments. "You've been making a lot of simple mistakes that I wouldn't expect to see from you, Luhan." She points to a particular line on the scroll. "Fluxweed is an important component of the grow a pair and stop being a pussy potion." Raising an eyebrow, she looks at Luhan over the top of her half-moon glasses. "I assume you were trying to refer to a Draught of Courage. But in either case you're wrong because Fluxweed is used in the Polyjuice Potion."
Luhan is going to kill Sehun later. Why did he ever let the younger write his homework?
His face reddens and he manages to stutter out. "Yes, of course."
"Really, Luhan." Lee Sunkyu clucks her tongue, dropping the parchment to her desk. "This is Second Year stuff. To have a Fifth year mixing up the use of Fluxweed is..."
"Deplorable?" Luhan offers timidly.
"Precisely." She leans forward on the desk with a sigh. A Venomous Tentacula sways next to them and she casts a quick Stupefy to keep it from interrupting, turning back as if nothing had happened. Her gaze bores into Luhan questioningly. "Well then. Do you have any excuses to make?"
"I think I'm pretty much a lost cause." Luhan says slowly, trying very hard not to use any Veela charm (as if he could actually control it). His voice comes out in a robotic drone. "I think I might need a tutor."
"Very well." She looks disappointed but not angry. Sighing, she leans back in her chair. "I'll have Junmyeon help you review then."
Wait. That's not right.
Luhan licks his lips, hoping he heard wrong. "Not Minseok?"
Sunkyu muffles a laugh behind her hand, shuffling through the stack of papers covering her desk. "You think Minseok would have time to tutor someone so close to a Quidditch match?" The question is rhetorical but she pauses anyway, giving Luhan time to stew in the horrifying realization that he wrecked his grades and earned himself a tutor for nothing. "No, Junmyeon will get you up to date with your studies. I realize that he's a year below you, but he's very dependable and from your recent coursework it seems like a revision of the basics would do you good."
It seems like the only thing to say in this situation is...
"Basilisk bollocks." Baekhyun laughs in pure disbelief. "So you're stuck with tutoring from Junmyeon? That's gold."
Luhan pushes around the boiled sprouts on his plate looking miserable. "Yeah, every weekend until my grades go up." He stabs at the vegetable. "I can't believe I let you guys talk me into this."
Baekhyun shrugs, "Junmyeon's a Prefect and one of those abide by the rules types. I'm sure you'll be able to charm him with no problem." He waves away Luhan's worries, turning his attention to the roast meat and potatoes in front of him. But then he grins. "Wait, who did you say was going to be tutoring you?"
"I have an idea."
Luhan groans, chucking his fork onto his plate and pressing his face into the table.
"No more... plans..."
It's okay if Kim Minseok doesn't want to spend time with him or be his friend. He can live with the emptiness in his chest and the twinges of jealously. It's not like he likes him anyway--
"At least talk to him before you decide!"
Luhan turns his head, eyebrows furrowed in confusion.
"You're failing Herbology?" Jongdae snorts, raising an eyebrow. "Let me guess-- Sehun's idea?" He looks over at the younger, wiggling his fingers in an obnoxious wave and Sehun's face gets even more pinched.
"Why are you here?" Sehun grumbles, sinking down in his seat.
"I'm here because Baekhyun said that he needed some insider knowledge of Ravenclaw. " He grins, the corner of his mouth curling up in a feline-like smile. "And everyone knows that I know everything."
It's then that Baekhyun chimes in with a smug voice, "And he has a huge crush on Junmyeon so--"
Sehun sits up, looking like he's heard something interesting and Jongdae squawks, waving his hands. "No! I just said that I'm lacking information on Junmyeon and that I'd be willing to do an information exchange. Information about Minseok in exchange for information about Junmyeon."
Blinking in surprise, Luhan asks, "What do you want to know about Junmyeon?"
"Straight to the point, I see." Grinning, Jongdae pulls out a small roll of parchment from his robe. "I thought it would be easiest if I just wrote all of them down." He unfurls it for them to see and the end of the scroll rolls off the edge of the table and across the floor. The list of questions covers lots of random things such as shoe size and favourite ice cream flavour and it seems like Baekhyun was right about him having a crush.
Luhan stares at the parchment. Trying to get answers to all of these questions is going to take him forever. How many tutoring sessions is he going to have to go to? "I have to ask him all of these?"
Jongdae smiles smugly. "You have to if you want my help."
Although Minseok had said that Luhan couldn't come to practices anymore, there was no reason that he couldn't visit the Quidditch field at other times. It's partly out of curiosity and partly out of hope that Luhan makes his way to the oval playing grounds. At first he's excited to find the field empty, but then he realizes that it means that he won't be able to see Minseok either.
Sighing, he cuts across the grass, looking up at the big hoops. They seem so high up from where he is on the ground and he walks forward slowly, raising his hand to block from the sun from his eyes. The wind keeps blowing his hair into his face and between the wind and the sun he can barely see anything.
And suddenly his foot catches on something and he finds himself face down in the dirt.
"Back on the Quidditch field again, huh?" Minseok grins as he sits up, watching Luhan roll over to face the sky. "We'll make a seeker of you yet." His eyebrows furrow slightly and he holds out a hand to help the other up. "Sorry about tripping you."
Taking the hand, Luhan lets Minseok help pull him into a sitting position. He tries to wipe the dirt off of his face with the end of his sleeve, smiling slightly. "It's all right. I should have paid more attention to where I was going."
They fall into silence and Luhan remembers the last time they sat on the field together and how anxious he felt. And this time the same sense of shyness is choking his words and he looks down at his hands, curling his fingers into the folds of his sweater.
"So... what's it like being half Veela?" Minseok asks suddenly, turning to Luhan with a curious look. "Do you get a lot of love confessions?"
"One or two?" Luhan laughs, shrugging. He's too relieved that Minseok spoke first to remember to be nervous, reaching up to push his bangs out his face. "But I don't know what to say because I've always been like this. So it's not like I have anything to compare it to."
Minseok hums, leaning back on his hands. "Since you were a kid?" A breeze blows his hair up and he pats down the chestnut strands lazily. "Doesn't it get annoying having everyone fawn over you?"
It's something that Luhan gets asked a lot and he already has an answer ready.
"You might see it as everyone showing off and causing a commotion, but I'm kind of glad that everyone seems to only see my best sides." He licks his wind-chapped lips. "And I get to see everyone's best sides because people are always trying to impress me. Isn't that somewhat of an honour?"
Minseok is quiet, thinking. "But if everyone only sees your best sides, then does anyone get to know you completely?" The words are innocent, but they're said with a certain weight that makes Luhan's breath catch.
And this is something Luhan has never thought about before. He doesn't have an answer for this one. Frowning slightly, he starts to think about his friends and he wonders how well they really know him. How much does his Veela charm affect Baekhyun and Sehun? I mean sure Baekhyun can't resist Luhan's puppy eyes and Sehun is clingier than a bloodthirsty leech, but that doesn't have to do with the fact that he's half-Veela, right?
There's shouts of "Oh captain, my captain!" from across the field and when Luhan looks over he can see Taehyung (or was it Namjoon?) approaching.
Luhan stiffens, remembering his earlier promise to Minseok. "Do you have practice with the team today?"
Humming, Minseok checks his watch. "Yeah, in about ten minutes." The atmosphere around them is still a bit lazy and he moves slowly, the sound of the wind in the background blurring his words.
"I should get going then." Although he's sad that his time with Minseok has been cut short, he's a bit grateful that he doesn't have to think about how to answer Minseok's question. Luhan gets to his feet, turning back to give Minseok a small smile. "Thanks for talking with me today."
And Minseok smiles, waving as Luhan disappears through the spectator towers and makes his way back to the castle.
It seems that Veela powers affect different people in different ways. For instance, while most people tend to admire Luhan and fawn over him, Junmyeon becomes incredibly passionate about getting Luhan to understand the basics of Herbology. He makes Luhan examine Gillyweed under a magnifying glass and then tries to get him to count the teeth of a Fanged Geranium that keeps trying to bite his finger.
The only break Luhan gets during the whole two hour session is when he passes Junmyeon the fifty question survey that Jongdae gave him, citing something about needing to get people to fill out information about themselves because he's studying Muggle methods of Information Gathering.
It's a huge load of boggart shit but Luhan can't be bothered to try to get the answers from Junmyeon through any sneakier methods, and Junmyeon looks more than happy to tell Luhan about himself.
By the time that Luhan's leaving the classroom, he's so worn out that he barely even realizes that there's someone else in the hallway.
"How was tutoring?" Minseok is leaning against the opposite wall with a slight smile playing over his lips. "It sounded a bit brutal."
Luhan flushes, wondering why he's there. "You knew about the tutoring?"
"I could hear from the hallway. " Grinning, Minseok pushes off the wall and walks over to stand next to him. "Also, I kind of heard from Jongdae. He said I had to give you this."
He tosses over a Remembrall, and Luhan just barely catches it. As soon as he touches the glass red smoke bursts up inside of it. Confused, he turns the small glass sphere around within his hands.
"Guess you've forgotten something." Minseok comments when he sees the red colour of the orb. Then he clears his throat, awkwardly rubbing the back of his neck. "Actually there was something I wanted to tell you."
Luhan looks over expectantly. And it's not like his eyes catch on the line of Minseok's arm of that he's thinking to himself that playing Quidditch gives you some really nice muscles...
Okay, so maybe he is thinking that and his breathing is getting a little tight, but come on, he's half-human too.
"Yeah?" The word comes out a bit breathy and Luhan licks his lips.
Minseok lets his hand fall to his side and the corner of his smile quirks upward, his eyebrows apologetic. "I think I was a little too harsh before."
Luhan blinks. "How so?"
Sighing, Minseok continues. "To be honest... I think I was trying to avoid interacting with you because you draw so much attention. I've always tried get through my time at Hogwarts without any... complications?" He stretches out his words like he's trying to pick them carefully. "I don't really like to stand out so I usually try to avoid talking to people who do."
"Aren't you a Quidditch Captain?" Luhan laughs, turning the Remembrall in his hands. "I think you stand out already."
Minseok looks genuinely surprised at the suggestion, like he didn't realize that the position would make him popular. "I guess that's true. It's just... you always seem to be in the middle of everything. With your friends being noisy and people getting taken in by your Veela charm..." He shakes his head, chuckling. He's probably remembering the fiasco at the Quidditch practice all those weeks ago and Luhan's cheeks heat up again. "I'm sorry; I won't try to avoid it anymore."
His smile is shy and hesitant and Luhan nods dumbly, biting his lip.
"Great." Minseok's smile grows. "I was thinking maybe we could have lunch together. Is that okay?"
Of course that's okay. It's more than okay.
Baekhyun crows when he hears the news, saying that Luhan has finally managed to charm the ice prince of Hogwarts and Sehun gives him a high five with an appreciatory, Nice.
But for some reason the victory seems a bit hollow. He's been trying to make Minseok like him for so long, trying to prove that he didn't need his Veela charm to talk to people, but it still feels like something is missing. And when he and Baekhyun are settled in the common room later and he asks, So how did you get him to like you? Luhan feels guilty and he's not sure why.
The next day he has the Remembrall in his pocket, and he's looking around for Jongdae when Jongdae finds him.
"So, did you get the survey done?" He holds out his hands eagerly and Luhan passes him the scroll. With an excited smile Jongdae unrolls the piece of parchment, humming to himself as he looks through the answers.
"Good... good..." He takes a few moments to check that everything has been filled in before tucking it into his sleeve. "Well, it was good doing business with you. Now if you'll excuse me--"
Luhan catches at his shoulder. "Wait, I thought you said you were going to give me information about Minseok." He frowns slightly. "An information exchange, wasn't that what you said?"
Jongdae laughs, the sound airy. "But I already gave you information. In fact, Minseok told you himself, didn't he?" He tries to turn away again, but Luhan stops him.
"You already knew what he was going to say?"
Jongdae shrugs. "He seemed like he wanted to talk to you, I gave him a chance to. It's that simple."
He's not entirely satisfied with the answer, but Jongdae seems like he enjoys being cryptic. Sighing, Luhan digs into his pocket and pulls out the Remembrall, holding it out. "I think this is yours."
Jongdae's smile grows, and the look in his eyes is more teasing than Luhan is comfortable with. "Nope, it's yours. And by the look of things, it seems like you've forgotten something." He gently pulls his robe from Luhan's fingers. "Now, if you'll excuse me. I have to go and put the data you gave me to good use." He holds up the scroll and shakes it meaningfully before disappearing down the hallway.
Luhan looks down at the red smoke filling the glass orb.
But what has he forgotten?
As he lies on his bed that evening, he tosses the Remembrall up and down. The glass orb stubbornly refuses to change from its scarlet colour and Luhan still has no idea what he might have forgotten. Was it something he left somewhere recently? He backtracks his steps during the last few days, trying to think about where he went and what he might have left behind. Tutoring? No. The Great Hall? Not likely.
Then his thoughts catch on that day on the Quidditch pitch with Minseok and suddenly he's wondering if maybe the thing he forgot wasn't something physical but something intangible. Maybe it's something he forgot to say to Minseok. And that's when he realizes that he never answered Minseok's question.
He still remembers what Minseok said, the innocent question clear in his mind: But if everyone only sees your best sides, then does anyone get to know you completely?
And as he's turning over the question in his mind, he realizes that Yes. Minseok can. He liked that Minseok didn't fawn over him like all the others did. He liked that Minseok actually saw all of his flaws without rose tinted glasses. And maybe he actually started to wish that he was normal and that he didn't have any powers to charm people at all.
It was never about trying to win against Minseok at all. He didn't care about the fact that his Veela charm didn't work, he cared about Minseok.
High on the sudden revelation, Luhan looks back down at the Remembrall and it's still red. The smoke inside of the sphere curls mockingly and Luhan bites back a hiss. Angrily he buries it under his pillow, waking up Jongin when he screams, "Tell me what I've forgotten, you piece of dragon dung!!"
Lunch the next day goes well. Minseok brings along a few of his friends and having the extra people around only seem to make Baekhyun and Sehun even louder. Baekhyun momentarily forgets that annoying Luhan is his favourite thing in the world and he turns his attention to Kyungsoo instead, joining up with Chanyeol to tease the Ravenclaw about his height.
"We're pretty much the same height." Kyungsoo growls as he pulls Baekhyun into a headlock. "Chanyeol, should I show you the wrestling moves I learned now?"
Everyone whoops in encouragement (except for Yixing, who doesn't even seem to notice the commotion at all) and Kyungsoo twists one of Baekhyun's arms behind his back, explaining why he likes to refer to this move as the Devil's Snare.
Remembering what Minseok said about not wanting to stand out, Luhan is worried at first that he'll be upset by all the fuss, but when he steals a glance he sees that the other's watching in amusement; a quiet smile tugging at his lips as he cheers on his friends.
( But no one looks more excited by the display than the three youngest; Tao and Sehun arguing about who will win the impromptu wrestling match while Jongin joins in, playing devil's advocate to each side. )
Days later and they're all studying the Great Hall together. The only difference is that Minseok is sitting next to him, walking him through the Herbology homework for the day. Their legs are pressed against each other's and when Minseok turns to whisper a property of Chinese Chomping Cabbages that Luhan overlooked, he can feel Minseok's breath against his hair.
Now that he knows he likes Minseok it's hard to keep himself from reading into each of the other's words and touches. An innocent Want to come study with me? makes Luhan ecstatic and every time Minseok teasingly tries to help him learn how to fly, the warm hand on his back makes him giddy.
( Which usually just ends up in Luhan falling off his broom and Minseok rolling his eyes in exasperation. )
If he was conscious of Minseok before, now he's even more so. Every brush of Minseok's hand against his makes his face turn bright red and he feels like his nerves are exploding every time that Minseok smiles at him. It doesn't help that ever since he told Baekhyun that he has a crush on Minseok, his friend has been looking at them knowingly and trying to "help".
("Minseok, can you explain the Orchideous Jinx to Luhan? I think he needs to review some more." Baekhyun asks as he tries to push them closer together. Cue an exaggerated wink and Luhan looking like he wishes the ceiling will cave in.)
Between trying to help out with Luhan's crush and his earlier attempts to get Minseok to realize that Luhan is charming, Luhan's had enough of Baekhyun's help over the past month to last a lifetime.
Luhan doesn't think his face can get any redder, and the more uncomfortable Luhan is, the more amused Baekhyun looks. So when Baekhyun asks Luhan if he can copy his Potions essay, Luhan all but chucks his bag at him.
Still smiling, Baekhyun digs into the bag. But instead of pulling out the piece of parchment with Luhan's Potions essay he holds up the Remembrall that Jongdae gave him. After failing to figure out what he'd forgotten, the orb stayed at the bottom of his bag; an unpleasant reminder that there's something left unfinished every time he's looking for a quill or a stray piece of parchment. Because even after all this time, the glass orb is still frustratingly red.
"What's this?" Baekhyun turns the sphere around in his hand, watching the red smoke curl. Then he looks up in recognition, eyes brightening. "Hey, isn't this a Remembrall?"
Luhan glances over, humming. "That? Yeah, it was from Jongdae." Seeing the red smoke inside reminds him of all the time he spent trying to retrace his steps and he groans in frustration, reaching to take it out of Luhan's hands. The glass is warm to the touch and he smiles wryly as he considers chucking the bloody thing out the window. "But I still can't figure out what I've forgotten."
Baekhyun's face lights up and Luhan knows that he's going to hate whatever it is that he has to say.
It's scary sometimes how predictable Baekhyun's behaviour is.
"Maybe you forgot to kiss," he suggests with a sleazy grin, looking between the two as he leans forward on the table.
If before Luhan wanted the ceiling to collapse, then this time he's hoping for a dancing banshee to tarantella into the Great Hall and provide enough distraction for Luhan to sneak out of Minseok's life forever.
"That's--!" Luhan stares at him in shock and he's trying to think of a reasonable explanation that doesn't involve revealing the fact that he has a massive crush on the boy sitting next to him. Cheeks heating up, he starts to stutter out something about how Baekhyun is crazy and it's just because he missed out on drinking his Pumpkin Juice this morning that he's coming up with all these ridiculous ideas.
But then all of his stuttered excuses are cut short by a hand on his cheek and a pair of lips pressing to his.
He opens his eyes, staring at Minseok in shock. Did that really just happen? Or did Baekhyun slip him under a Daydream Charm while he wasn't paying attention?
Cheeks flaring, he bursts out, "Don't do that!"
Minseok blinks at him, his eyebrows furrowing in confusion. He lets his hand fall to his side and Luhan misses the warmth immediately. "Why not?"
Luhan supposes this is a good time as any to end any sort of social life and friendship as he knows it. Nervously, he mumbles. "Because I kind of have a disgustingly massive crush on you."
He can't even bear to look at Minseok's face anymore, so he settles for staring at the edge of the heavy wooden table, Minseok's face just barely in his peripheral vision. If Luhan squints a bit then everything looks fuzzy and maybe he can pretend that he didn't just say that.
He counts slowly in his head, ready to bolt for the Gryffindor tower.
But instead of the world crumbling apart, Minseok just smiles that crooked grin which shows his gums."That's good. Because I do too."
Having someone tell you that they like you despite all of your flaws might just be one of the best feelings ever. Luhan's brain is telling him to just savour the moment, but his curiosity gets the better of him, and of course his mouth has to go and ruin it. "W-what? Why?"
He blinks, hoping that his face isn't as red as the scarf wrapped around his neck.
"I just do." By this point Minseok looks kind of embarrassed and he laughs, running a hand through his hair, then leaning his elbow on the table as he looks back at the half-Veela boy sitting next to him. "Do I need a reason?"
By his time Baekhyun decides that enough time has gone without him talking for his input to be necessary and he snorts softly, fixing Luhan with an amused stare. "Don't tell me you seriously haven't noticed that Minseok talks about you more than Quidditch and takes the time to tutor you in Herbology even though your grades are back to normal?" His grin widens. "I mean I know it's Sehun, but it shouldn't take longer than a few weeks for you to recover from the damage he caused in just a few assignments."
Sehun looks up from his potions book and narrows his eyes. "What do you mean by you know it's me?"
When Luhan peeks over at Minseok he looks just as overwhelmed as Luhan feels. Minseok's shoulder bumps against Luhan's and he mouths, Wanna sneak out to the Quidditch field? Then he leans closer and whispers, "I can help you with your flying more?"
And Luhan nods, smiling and completely ignoring Sehun's counter-argument about that time Baekhyun mistook a centaur for a unicorn during Care of Magical Creatures.
( The Remembrall -finally clear once again - falls onto the ground and rolls underneath a nearby table, forgotten by everyone. )
a/n: Thanks again to bab, gruhan, and ren for holding my hand through the tough parts. thANK YOU ALL OF YOU. ;o;