Tucking his legs further under him, Yejun carefully leaned further forward without really registering his movements eyes wide and eager as he listened to the large ghost speak, vision only flickering as they moved to follow the exuberant translucent hand gestures of the ghost’s arms as he spoke. When the ghost had first pounced, descending over and through him so suddenly he almost choked in shock at the incredibly strong plummet in temperature, Yejun had panicked, convinced he was going to be killed or attacked the one time he’d gathered up the courage to leave his room by himself.
However, he had barely tried to scream, only to have the ghost to cover his mouth and freeze his voice once more, when the ghost had started to almost vibrate and it had taken Yejun’s fear-fogged mind a few moments to realise that the spirit was laughing, laughing so hard his voice was echoing and booming around the common room and vibrating through his tiny frame.
And now, after so long listening to the ghost regale Yejun with tales of his life, many many years ago, and of the many centuries he’d spent haunting the halls of Hogwarts and the interesting students and events he’d witnessed through the walls hidden from view, Yejun felt his head was spinning with the amount he was hearing. There was so much to the school he was fascinated by, yet had always been too scared to suggest doing to Youngsaeng, not necessarily of the elder male’s reaction, but of what he’d encounter going round the school which he was so desperate to remember. Yet as each new tale from the incredibly flamboyant and friendly ghost who seemed to know Yejun already, know what had happened to him and was especially surprised at how easily the young Hufflepuff had started talking to him, made Yejun want to go exploring, to go wandering out in the fresh air, or strangely, curl up in one of the many alcoves he’d seen lined up around the corridors and watch the world go by.
Wriggling in his seat, Yejun giggled happily as the Fat Friar told him about a disaster many years ago that had led the different houses being turned into their mascot animals and ending up running riot around the school, Yejun’s feet tapping rapidly against the chair he was sat in as he giggled, head full of amusing images of lions, eagles, badgers and snakes overruling the corridors. It had been so long since he’d laughed so much, Youngsaeng had often made him smile and chuckle in his own special way, yet this felt so different, so refreshing and as much as it made his head hurt, Yejun didn’t want to stop, especially as his laughter slowly started to infect the spirit until they were both rolling happily in their seats laughing loudly and uncontrollably.
Leather shoes, now slightly scuffed and marked simply from wear tapped lightly against the weathered stone steps of the dungeon as Youngsaeng made his way towards the common room. By now, he would have been sent a new, pristine pair to don before classes had his life been the same as just a few months previous, but this time they were all he had. Before. Somwhow, the heir found that his life had been now inexplicably separated into two categories; his life before, and his life after. After what? After Yejun, he supposed with a fond shake of the head as he came to a rather abrupt stop and teetered with his toes on the edge of the next step.
Something was unusual, that was certain. A floating sort of rumble accompanied by a lighter and more youthful tone filtered up through the staircase and settled somewhere deep inside Youngsaeng’s chest. Could it be what he thought he was hearing? The very concept of laughter was one that he himself had rarely experienced, the prim and proper manners by which he was raised snuffing it out from his childhood like a candle that ran out of air. But here it was, long subdued laughter childlike that bounced off the drab rocks around them and filling his ears.
And it was beautiful. Enrapturing and innocent, and dripping with something that one might equate with joy. Awestruck and mouth slightly agape, he allowed himself to slide down against the railing so that the cool stone pressed between his shoulder blades as he listened. Not once in his time with the younger male had he heard such a noise being emitted from the Hufflepuff’s mouth. It took his thought process away, rendered him speechless, and spread down to his own core until a soft smile danced on the edges of his usually stoic lips.
“I know you can’t,” she replied softly, her eyes meeting his as she spoke. This was a side of Dasom that was rarely seen by others, but this was Youngsaeng for god’s sake. “I was just saying that if you ever need a drinking buddy, I’m just an apparition away,” she joked, shrugging. The moment they had for themselves was over, and there was nothing else to be done. He was a friend, more than a friend from the past, but that was all in the past. They both had things to be done now.
“Don’t we all,” she murmured, more to herself than to the Slytherin, her thoughts going to her friend who was a year behind that she would be leaving behind, and she could feel her heart squeeze. Showing a brave face was easy for her though, and Dasom shrugged. “The offer stands.” Pasting a smile onto her face, she nodded, raising a hand with index and middle finger out, she saluted him, an inside joke of theirs from way back. “Nice seeing you, Saengie.”
"I’ll keep that in mind," he replied softly as she explained her intentions behind her words. It wasn’t as if he’d seriously thought that she was asking him to follow her or that he was considering it for that matter. It was more that as he met her gaze, he couldn’t refrain from being reminded of everything he used to be. Everything that had been stripped from his being, taken away and replace with values that weren’t his own. Even if he tried to convince himself otherwise, he could never look at her and not think of all he’d lost.
As she raised her hand in a long overdue salute, a smile danced on his lips. It wasn’t a fake smile like the one’s he’d worn for so long. This one was real- genuine. “Next time we meet I’ll have found myself again,” he promised quietly. He had no idea if they would ever have a moment like this again, a third chance to stand in front of each other and reminisce while silently searching for some sign of growth within each other. “Until then,” He lifted his own hand, fingers settling above his eyebrows, “live well Dasom.”