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When The Moon Rises

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“It’s a little bit up from here.” Namjoon said, leading the way on the path up from where they parked the car.

“There’s no light pollution so far from the city.” Namjoon said, the smile he threw at Jungkook over his shoulder more radiant than the sunset that lit the path before them.

“They’ll be out soon.” Namjoon said, as they reached the top of the hill.

There was very little at their destination, just a wooden, temple-like structure meant to provide cover for the rain. Jungkook didn’t mind. He followed Namjoon as he walked past it, the roof unneeded with the night’s clear sky. They had been lucky with the weather, if luck existed. Maybe Namjoon had just sensed it was a good night to enjoy the moonlight unobstructed. Maybe he had asked Taehyung, or Yoongi, or Jimin. Jungkook didn’t always understand the way their magic worked, the way Namjoon’s mind worked, but he would follow him anywhere.

They sat just beyond the little pavilion, the last rays of sunshine still warming his face. If he had been here with Hoseok instead, he was sure his hyung would be humming happily, skin glowing as he drank in the last of the sun’s warmth. Namjoon was not aligned with the sun the way Hoseok was, and instead he sat patiently peering at the sky, probably feeling the nearing presence of the moon long before she became fully visible. In many ways, Jungkook thought, his hyungs were like the celestial bodies they were bound to. Hoseok bright and loud, sometimes almost painful to be around, but bringing life wherever he went. Namjoon, cool and soft, thoughtful and at times distant, but caring and watchful over each of his coven members. Yoongi, who shone like the stars, comforting and gentle in their quiet offer of guidance. His hyungs were so much more than that too, had so many more sides incomparable with sun or moon or anything else on the planet, and perhaps that was what drew him to them the most. Namjoon’s clumsiness, Hoseok’s seriousness when he had a task to complete. They were as multifaceted as the shimmering stones Namjoon kept in his room, the ones you could stare at forever and still find new colours in.

“Do you feel it too?” Namjoon asked, and Jungkook looked over to find Namjoon watching him.

“Feel what?” He asked, because he was feeling many things. A warmth in his heart as he thought about this coven, the group that had taken him in and cared for him and helped him learn, no matter how long he took. The chill starting to settle in as the sun disappeared, no longer touching them on the high peak of the mountain. Namjoon’s knee resting against his thigh.

“The pull of the moon. The twinkling of stars.” Namjoon said, looking back up at the sky. “She’s almost here.”

She, of course, was the moon, the only lady that could capture Namjoon’s heart. He spoke of her with a soft fondness, but always with utmost respect, like she was his favourite grandmother. She might as well be. Namjoon, Hoseok, most of his other hyungs… They were pulled to an identifiable form of magic, a source that called to them, gave them strength. Something they could feel as closely as the coven members they were bound to, both in their birth coven and the one they had entered now, together.

Jungkook had no such thing.

The coven had taken a chance on him, taking him in. Untethered witches were a thing of myth, a cautionary tale told to little witchlings who don’t appreciate the source they are bound to. Jungkook had not been born in a coven, but to non-magical parents, and his magic had stayed under wraps until he hit puberty. He’d been shipped off to Seoul to get help, placed in a tiny dormitory of experimental witches all trying to prove to the world that their magic was valid, helpful. That it could be useful to mankind even if it wasn’t always immediately apparent how.

Namjoon wasn’t entirely conventional either, and that was why Jungkook met him there. Most of their members’ magic is experimental in some way, even if they are tethered. The moon didn’t have many children, but Namjoon’s white-grey hair matched the shine of that round orb in the sky almost perfectly, and there had never been any denying where the older witch’s allegiance lies. Just like with Yoongi’s pale skin and Hoseok’s golden glow, the celestial bodies like to leave little hints so their chosen ones can find them, even if some take longer than others.

Jungkook’s hyungs are special, each in their own way. Even the three that didn’t have a connection to the natural light in the world were special in their own way. Seokjin was the closest thing to another untethered witch Jungkook knew, even if his relation to magic was strange more due to his heritage than some kind of weird fuck up among the powers that be. Seokjin was descended from such a strange mix of witches and magical beings that his magic was as much inherent as it was tethered to something, even if the eldest insists that whatever he was bound to was so awesome it was indescribable. It’s not like the moon or the stars or the sun, Jungkook supposed, something easy to see and feel a pull to. More likely it was closer to Taehyung, who was bound to the winds and spend years feeling wild and untameable before he found peace. Of all their members, Jimin was considered the most conventional, simply bound to the feeling of home. If he had been any better at cooking, he would have been considered a conventional kitchen witch. But Jimin’s powers lay more in his empathy and understanding of people, and so he left the potion making to Seokjin’s undeniable talent.

Jungkook looked up to the moon, breathing in the cool air of the night. It was peaceful, and reminded him of all the nights he had spend on the roof of their first dorm, watching Namjoon and Yoongi experiment with moonstones. He had been far too young to stay up so late, but they had been too endeared by his curiosity and too estranged from normal bedtimes to tell him no.

Seokjin had put his foot down, by the time he moved in, but that was another story. It was probably because the elder drove him to school every day, back then.

Namjoon looked more peaceful now, too, less worried and stressed. Jungkook supposed it was easier on him, leading the seven of them, now that they were an established and respected coven. Their magic shop had a good reputation, powered by Jimin’s friendly smile and Yoongi’s calming energy and backed up by Seokjin’s creative use of potions. Their experiments had turned into actual magic that could be used and passed to other covens, allowing them to make connections and get access to new resources. They had each grown into themselves, finding what they were best at and what made them happy. Even Jungkook barely had any accidents these days, his magic settled in a way it had never been before. With every new tattoo that appeared on his arm, he felt more in control, and the scary uncertainty that the start of his puberty in Busan had brought felt so far away.

The members had taken him in, tethered or not. When the offer came for them to move into their own coven house, barely a month after Jimin came, Jungkook had thought they would leave him behind in that tiny dorm for the weird and experimental. He’d been so scared to go back to his parents’ house, so scared of hurting them. As it grew, his magic could lash out unexpectedly, make plates float and things burst, ice melt and water freeze. He hadn’t known that’s what it was, not when it first appeared, but he’d spend a few months haunting the streets of Busan anyway. Outside, in the least populated areas of the city, the chances of people getting hurt were lower. At night, the beach had been empty and reassuring, even if it was cold. He’d tried his best not to cry, when Namjoon broke the news to them, smiling wider than he had in months. Jungkook had been happy he at least got to see his hyung’s dimples one more time. Hoseok had found him that night, crying in his single bed, thinking it was almost symbolic how all the others shared bunks when he was in a corner on his own.

They’d given him his own room in the new house, too, but he hadn’t minded that as much. At least he was there, with Seokjin’s loud voice waking him up in the morning, with Hoseok’s cuddling and kisses and Jimin’s clingy hugs, with Taehyung’s unpredictable wit and Yoongi’s gummy smile.

It had been Namjoon’s reassurances, Hoseok’s warmth, and Yoongi’s guidance, making him feel at home in that tiny dorm in Seoul. It had been Seokjin’s fussing and bad jokes, Taehyung’s mischief and laughter, Jimin’s fierce insistence that he come to the new house, too. They’d taken Jungkook with them even if he had little but his presence to offer, his magic still volatile and only useful at the weirdest moments. His magic was supposed to scare them in its strange, unbound form, but all they did was encourage him and praise him for his multitude of talents, for every new form of magic he tried (and often succeeded) to copy from them. They called him golden, let him shine.

Jungkook felt like he could glow brighter than any sun, star or moon in the heavens when he was with them.

-*-

Later, much later, Jungkook was laying in bed as the world outside slowly woke up. Namjoon was next to him, curled close, the blackout curtains of his and Taehyung's room making sure the light outside didn’t bother them. They’d been up nearly all night, arriving back home just before 5 am, doing their best to be quiet as they stumbled up the stairs. Jimin had to be up early to open the shop, and they didn’t want to bother any of the other members either. Unwilling to part, they’d put on some pyjamas and stumbled into bed, curling close together under the sheets.

“It’s strange, sometimes. To think you don’t feel this.” Namjoon said quietly, pulling Jungkook out of his own sleepy thoughts. “I can’t imagine what it would be like, living without this pull.”

“What does it feel like?” Jungkook asked, voice a sleepy mumble. He’d asked before, asked all of them in his quest to find what bound him. He’d still been tiny back then, though, and each of them had still been learning. Maybe the answer would be different now that they were a coven, now that they had settled together, their magic bound to its source as much as to each other.

“Even when the sun is out and I can’t see her, I can feel her around me, making her turn around the world. It feels like coming home. It feels like hope after a long time without any kind of perspective, any kind of positive thought. It feels like the sun shining after a heavy bout of rain, or coming home after a long trip.” Namjoon said softly, slowly, as if he was thinking over each word a few times before it passed his lips. “It feels like looking out into the world, and knowing you’re not alone in it. Like I know the moon will always be by my side to give me strength, until all the hard times pass.”

Jungkook hummed sleepily, nuzzling a little closer. He let his thoughts wander as he basked in the warmth of Namjoon’s body against his, the tiny kiss he felt Namjoon press to his hair.

“That’s how I feel about you.” He mumbled, and fell asleep.