suhyun is eleven, and she's so nervous that her entire body is quaking. she stands in line amongst a mass of equally shaken first years, waiting to be sorted into her house. she doesn't really understand the point of the houses, not yet, but she's from a wizarding family. she knows that it's important, and where she gets sorted will no doubt determine her social circle for the rest of her school career. not to mention, she's from a long, long line of gryffindors. that added a lot of pressure, and the heat of her big brother's eyes boring into her from that red and gold table was most certainly not helping to calm her nerves. most frustratingly, the girl next to her looks strikingly okay. she's just standing still, a finger curling a strand of wild black hair around and around, expression stoic. how can she be so calm? maybe she doesn't have an entire family history on her shoulders, dating back further than family trees can map. or maybe she's a mudblood. that'd probably explain it. poor soul likely has no clue what's going on.
the girl-who-seems-strikingly-okay walks slowly towards the stool. suhyun is getting really nervous now, because if they're on lee, she's probably next. it's not as common a surname in britain as it is in south korea, after all. although, it is kinda neat that there's another lee besides chanhyuk and herself. maybe they could start, like, a club. the lee club. they could go on excursions to the-
"ravenclaw!" okay-girl (or hayi, suhyun supposes. but that's not as dynamic.) essentially wanders off to the appropriate table, with an inappropriate level of calm. suhyun isn't calm, she can taste her heart. it doesn't taste nice. like nervous sweat and the threat of shifting from baby-of-the-family to disappointment in one sitting.
the hat is barely placed upon her head when it yells, "ravenclaw!"
she would later deny any allegations of shouting in protest. or, for that matter, crying.
suhyun is twelve, and she's trying her best to enjoy the roar of the common room fire as she and hayi, who had become somewhat of a companion, gather around a small coffee table attempting to do their christmas homework. both had decided to stay at school for the holiday. suhyun, because things were awkward at home now, with everyone pretending not to care about her breaking a family tradition. hayi, because her family simply don't celebrate. normally, suhyun would love to curl up at the fire in an empty common room, but she's dreadfully stuck. transfiguration made absolutely no sense to her. what was even the point, really? why bother turning things into other things? it seemed an awful lot like playing god to her. and playing god never ended well for anybody. not even the original god. if it were up to her, she'd have saved all her homework until the last day of break like an ordinary person, but hayi had insisted that they stay on top of it.
"hayi, can you help me?" she pouts, leaning her head on her friends shoulder. hayi stiffens at the contact, but she looks over. glassy, doll-like eyes scan the textbook suhyun is attempting to read, and thick eyebrows furrow in a way that she thinks is very cute. it reminds her of a puppy.
"didn't we do this last year?" she asks.
"yes!" suhyun says, indignantly. she straightens up, only to slump over herself. "yes! we did! that's how hopeless i am, mcgonagall's got me on last years course again."
hayi grimaces, shifting her own book (she's reading for pleasure, which suhyun thinks is disgusting. it's some story about eldritch abominations, too. where's the romance in that!) from her lap and replacing it with the transfiguration homework.
"you're not hopeless. you just aren't motivated enough. you do very well in potions."
"that's because potions isn't gobbledygook!"
hayi giggles. "isn't what?"
"gobbledygook. it's a real word, hayi, it's in the dictionary." suhyun rolls her eyes, but not in a mean way. it's too over-acted to pack any kind of punch. "aren't you supposed to be smart?"
"are you sure you want my help?" hayi makes to return the book. "because it sounds like you've got it covered, you and your fancy fictitious words."
"as if you didn't just make the word 'fictitious' up!"
"it's a word."
"no, the word is 'fictional'. i'm not stupid, okay-girl. i'm a ravenclaw for a reason!"
suhyun is thirteen, and she's having a nice little catch up with her brother in hogsmeade. he's in his sixth year now, and normally tried to avoid being seen with her at all costs. it was a nice surprise to be invited out with him on her first trip to the village. they sit in the three broomsticks, near a window. although it's nicest in the winter, suhyun has to appreciate the little town during the spring, too. she got so lost in said appreciation that she had only kind of registered chanhyuk's words.
"-do you call her okay-girl anyway?" he asks.
she takes a sip of her butterbeer and looks at him for a second. "because." she shrugs. "i dunno. she's totally chill about everything. you could be like, 'hayi, you're failing all of your classes and your parents are dead and there's a meteor heading towards the earth', and she'd just be like, 'okay, cool. how can i improve my grades?"
"it's still a dumbass nickname." chanhyuk smirks. his glasses are loose, old, and they shift with the movement of his face.
"you're a dumbass nickname." suhyun retorts. not her best work. but the show must go on. "besides, i think it's cute. she's like a superhero. with the power to be eternally indifferent."
chanhyuk smiles at her. he opens his mouth to speak, but a bell jingles, signalling the entrance of a new customer. in come song minho and kim hanbin, and chanhyuk seems to shuffle a bit uncomfortably. suhyun feels a bit sad, to see that. it always makes her a bit sad, when her family forget to act like they don't wish she was different.
"finish your drink." he tells her, eyeing the pair. "we'd better go soon."
"okay." she mutters, bringing the glass to her lips. but before she takes a sip, she says; "wouldn't want your friends to see you with a ravenclaw, right?" she regrets it. but it's out there now.
he begins to stutter, trying to cover his tracks. "- just that with the house cup and the quidditch match tomo-"
suhyun goes back to staring out the window. her brother is an idiot.
suhyun is fourteen, and so is hayi, and they're sitting by the lake. suhyun is a little bit chilly, and the autumn breeze is really going to town on her hair. it's a free period, and they've just come from divination, which hayi is exceptional at. they're huddled together, at odds against the cold. hayi is watching the lake intently, and suhyun knows she's trying to spot the giant squid. hayi had started dying her hair over the summer. the colour of honey in the sun. suhyun hadn't recognised her at first, she'd been so used to the inky black. but it suits her a lot. it makes her look more feline. she's growing up quicker than suhyun is, too. she's still pretty short, but she's getting curves and with them, the attention of boys. suhyun admits, albeit only to herself, that she is jealous. but not in the way one may assume. she's not jealous of hayi for getting attention, nor for the increase in chest size. honestly, she doesn't give a fuck about boys. or boobs. she just gets some kind of overwhelming urge to protect the girl. it was odd, really. hayi was really good at spells, she could certainly hold her own if she needed to. and normally she was perfectly flippant and, overall, just very hayi-ish with the way she would deal with the painfully opaque flirting techniques of the average fourteen year old boy. but sometimes she would blush, or tuck a strand of hair behind her ear as she giggled to the floor. it made suhyun's blood boil. she supposes she's just too used to it only being the two of them. possessiveness is the ugliest trait, and she wants hayi to be happy. so she decides to just enjoy little moments like this, where it's just them, before they're taken away from her.
she turns her head a bit, and she has a thousand soppy words to tell her best friend, but hayi's looking at the pond still, and the hope in her eyes burns so bright that she decides it'd be best to not say anything at all. sometimes that's just how it is.
suhyun is fifteen, and all of a sudden she’s being forced to decide what to do with her life, and she’s not ready and she’s freaking the fuck out. hayi has just returned to the common room after her career counselling meeting, and she seems, once more, very much okay.
“i think i’d like to teach divination.” she says simply, and then flops down on the floor, fishing her homework and crystal ball from her bag. suhyun blinks. it makes sense, really. hayi had found out she possessed the inner eye a while ago. she’d made her first prophecy at the start of the year, in the middle of the night. she shot straight up in her bed, eyes glossed over, and started talking in a deep voice. apparently. regrettably, suhyun had to be told about it by the rest of their dorm mates, as she slept right through it. that’s just the type of friend she was. hayi has the inner eye, and it would certainly seem like a bit of a waste were she not to put it to use, but suhyun feels all a bit discouraged that hayi can make a choice so easily, and yet suhyun still has absolutely no idea.
“what the fuck.” slips out. “i mean, no, i mean, that’s great, and you should. but what the fuck.”
“pardon?” hayi tilts her head a bit, hands in suspended animation about her crystal ball. “how did you just chose that so quickly! i still have no clue!”
“oh.” hayi purses her lips. “i don’t know. i've been thinking about it for a while now. it’s what i’m best at, and what i’ve always been best at. maybe you should do something with potions, you’re great at that.”
“yeah, but what even is there to do?” suhyun whines. “what are the career paths in potions? i don’t know anything!”
“that’s exactly what you’re going to find out at your meeting. relax. it’ll be fine.” hayi gets up to sit closer to suhyun, putting her hand on her knee. “you’ve got this.”
“easy for you to say, okay-girl.”
hayi giggles. “you’ve not called me that in ages."
suhyun is sixteen, and her face is flushed red as the glass bottle of firewhiskey dangles precociously from her finger tips. she sits on the floor of an abandoned classroom in the corner of the castle, hayi perched upon the table behind her. they're not alone. they're with friends. hayi is sipping from her bottle. her face is calm as ever, and she does not seem drunk at all. suhyun is jealous. kim jiwon, a seventh year slytherin, is currently telling a story about being caught with a girl in a bathroom stall by moaning myrtle. the boys are struggling to stay quiet when they laugh. hayi is smiling in amusement, but there's that resigned look in her eyes she gets whenever boys act like boys.
suhyun is too far gone to pay attention to his words, she's just sitting on the floor. and she's smiling. she had grown so accustomed to only having one friend that she'd tricked herself into thinking she didn't want anymore, but she'd opened up to a lot more people recently. it was different, and kind of odd. but she really liked it.
"i swear to fuck, she just like, popped up from the toilet behind us, and seulgi started, like, screaming-"
"a girl screaming while messing about with you? bet that's a first." gong minji, a gryffindor girl in the year above smirked. everyone laughs, but it wasn't really mean-spirited. suhyun feels really happy. it just sucks that jiwon and minji and some of her other new friends would be leaving after this year, and that she didn't have so many cool friends before her second last one.
suhyun is seventeen, and she's trying her absolute hardest not to bawl her eyes out as the train approaches king's cross. it feels totally surreal. as soon as she gets off the hogwarts express, she will have to admit to herself that she will never be boarding it again. she isn't ready for that, not yet.
"will you miss this?" she asks hayi, who's began packing away the book she had been reading.
"no, i don't suppose i will." she says. calm as ever. there's a sting of disappointment that pierces through suhyun's stomach. that wasn't the answer she had expected. "i'll be back soon enough."
suhyun cottons on. "no, not hogwarts." hayi planned to be a teacher, and it was looking like those plans would soon be realised, especially taking her newt results into consideration. "i mean, like. this. all of it. being a student and doing student things."
hayi sighed. "i think so."
the train finally slows to a stop, and then that’s that. they’re home, and hogwarts is finished. suhyun manages one shaky breath before the finality of it all hits her and it’s so anti-climactic that she bursts into tears. she’s going to miss hayi a lot. sure, they’ll both be working at the ministry until hayi was qualified to teach, but it won't be the same. she knows that, starting from right this second, their friendship will never be what is had been for all these years, and they may completely drift apart, and even if they manage to stay in touch forever, they just won’t be best friends in the same way. they have separate paths, now. separate journeys to embark on. suhyun isn't ready. fuck, she really isn't ready to let go. she envelops hayi in a hug before she has time to get up. hayi hugs back, ferociously. they most ferocious she's ever been. the pair sob for a good five minutes before the trolley lady passes and tells them they better get off the train before it leaves with them on it. (the idea to just let it does enter suhyun's head, and it is enticing.) when they step off the train, suhyun sees her parents and chanhyuk almost immediately. hayi's parents are in the opposite direction. the pair hug once more. as suhyun is about to go join her family, hayi grabs her hand. giving it a tight squeeze, she says, "stay in touch, okay? i'll miss you. oh god, i'll miss you so much." hayi looks very upset and flustered, and not okay at all. suhyun is so shocked that it takes her a couple of seconds to respond, and her eyes well up with hot tears again, but she nods.
"i'll miss you too, okay-girl."