“What is it like to be in love?”

“Free. It feels free, like there’s nothing that can stop me, nothing can hold me down.
It feels as if I can do anything because of love and I’m free of the fear of failure because,
even if I can’t do everything, at least at the end of the day,
there’s still me and him. When all else fails, love won’t.”

Reign on Me series

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

[RT1C1] A New Lesson

rate: PG13
words: 6804
(Chapter 1 of Y1 of the Requiem at Twilight series)

Chapter One: A New Lesson 


It was weird coming back. After years of being away, he was back. Well, he couldn't necessarily say that, now could he? The last he walked on Korean soil he had been a small boy, his mother's fingers wrapped securely around his hand as she tugged him and his sister along into the airport. Busy sounds had been around him but he had been too young to understand anything. All he had been told was that they were going to a new home. And, it had been home.

He and his sister had grown up in a small town with loving parents and friendly neighbours. He had been tutored at home with his sister until she had turned eleven and went off to an academy for magic and then he followed when his eleventh birthday came around. He had grown up accustomed to hiding his magical abilities while around muggles and knew he would find it odd when adjusting to life in Korea. 

Korea. He could barely believe he was actually in Korea. He knew he had surprised his family when he revealed his wish to go to school there rather than one of the many wizards' colleges in the country they lived; Canada. But, he had to leave, had to learn to live outside of the protective world of his parents and out from under the shadow of his sister's life. He had to find himself.

"We'll be stopping soon. These are the school's main gates," the driver stated.

His dark eyes blinked, startled out of his reverie. When he had stepped out of the airport a driver had been waiting for him, his name written in Hangul and English on a placard that read 'Cho Kyuhyun'. He glanced out of his window just as the tall, stone columns of the main gates fell behind them. They drove down a long, stone driveway, the sound of shifting rocks beneath the cars' tires. Kyuhyun leaned forward to get a glimpse through the windshield of the school that would become his home for the next ten months. 

Before them rose what appeared to be a four-story traditional home, a hanok, its structure made of wood and rock, the curved, tiled roofs skirting above each tier. It was wide, running from one end of the property to the other, the sides blocked off by the large, stone wall which seemed to encase the campus completely. 

"That's the school?" Kyuhyun asked, unable to help the dismay and disbelief in his tone,

"Yes, Cho-sshi," the driver replied,

"It doesn't look big," Kyuhyun stated bluntly, 

"It doesn't, does it?" The driver replied happily.

Kyuhyun had the distinct urge to hit the man. Eventually, the car turned to park alongside the front stone steps which led up to the large, wooden porch which ran the entire length of the school's facade. Kyuhyun opened the door and slowly ran his eyes up the building. Close-up it did look bigger, however, compared to his high school in Canada, it seemed so... small. Certainly not what he was expecting of a university.

He heard the engine starting which had him looking over his shoulder. The car was already driving away. Beside him were his suitcases and dufflebag. 

"Well... I guess he didn’t want a tip," Kyuhyun murmured as took out the long stick he had hidden in his sleeve, protectively strapped against his forearm. 

His wand was 10 inches long and made of monterillo, its surface blackened and smooth. He waved it over his suitcases, causing them to shrink and shrink until they were no bigger than baseballs. Opening up his duffle bag, they floated inside and he closed the zipper before hoisting his bag up, slinging the straps over one shoulder. 

"You must be Cho-sshi." 

Kyuhyun's gaze flew before him just as his fingers gripped his wand. The front door of the school, made of wood and hanji, had been slid open and out stepped an old man. He was of an incredible height, hunched over a wooden cane, his long, thin body encased in voluminous robes, his overcoat, or dopo, a deep indigo and atop his head, a horsehair hat, which Kyuhyun knew to be called a gat. He had worn a hanbok before, however, he hadn't seen a dopo or gat that weren't in pictures. This old man, combined with the large hanok behind him, suddenly made Kyuhyun feel as if he had stepped back into the 17th century. 

"You seem a bit startled," the old man said with a slight chuckle, his eyes seeming to close as he smiled down at Kyuhyun as he beckoned him up the stone steps to the porch,

"Well, this isn't exactly what I picture in a school - a university, no less - when I decided to come here," Kyuhyun admitted as he slipped his wand back into his sleeve and followed the old man through the door. 

"Ah, but when is magic ever exactly as it appears to be?" The old man questioned as he seemed to hunch over even more just to go through the doorway. 

"I suppose," Kyuhyun murmured as the door slid into place all on its own. He looked to his left and his right, the corridor seemingly endless, the walls a pristine white and the floors a shiny, dark wood. "So... are you going to tell me who you are?"

"You mean I haven't already?" The old man asked in surprise. He chuckled again, "Well, that does seem rude of me, doesn't it?"

"It does," Kyuhyun muttered under his breath, contemplating whether or not he should take out his wand again.

"I am the headmaster of this university," the old man said as he led Kyuhyun down a corridor directly across from the front doors.

"Headmaster Yongwang?" Kyuhyun inquired,

"That is how I am called," Headmaster Yongwang replied cheerfully, leading him at a slow pace down the corridor.

Kyuhyun saw movement on either side of him and realized that the portraits hanging on the wall were all regarding him with surprise and suspicion, men and women dressed in the old style. Eventually, he found himself slightly nodding to them in acknowledgement, wanting to dispel their peculiar expressions from their painted faces.

"Don't mind them," Headmaster Yongwang said, "They're just excited for anything new that walks down their hall."

"Of course," Kyuhyun replied absent-mindedly, wondering how the old man had known what was happening behind his back. He noticed some portraits whispering to one another and, slowly, as he thought it over, a missing piece slid into place in his mind; "Headmaster, why is it you are the one to greet me? Surely I am not the only new student this year."

"I think, Cho-sshi, you know exactly why I am the one to first meet you at this school," the headmaster said simply, stopping in his progress.

Kyuhyun stopped immediately so as not to run into the headmaster, scared to topple over such a tall man. "I... Yes... I do," he admitted,

"Indeed!" The headmaster said brightly, "You're our first foreign transfer since Asadal University opened centuries ago."

Kyuhyun blinked. He ran a hand through his black hair, "Yes... yes... that reason."

"Indeed," the headmaster repeated as he continued on down the corridor; "Cho-sshi, because of your circumstances, I believe it's better for you to dorm with an older student rather than a student from your own year. That way, you'll have some guidance and help, especially with transitioning to how magic and non-magic live here in Korea and, indeed, in all of Asia."

"You refer to the Integration System, sir?" Kyuhyun inquired, 

"So, you know all about it?" The headmaster inquired,

"I've read about it and my parents have told me about it," Kyuhyun answered, steadily growing tired of speaking to the old man's back; "They've told me how magic is more accepted here since traditional beliefs in folklore are more deeply rooted than other parts of the world. Also, because of this, muggles and non-muggles have been integrating for over a century now."

"Yes, so you understand that magic is a less-guarded secret here," the headmaster stated, "Granted, it doesn't mean witches and wizards just use their magic without thought, but, if the need arises, there's no need to first question if muggles are about. It does help when magical creatures go loose - less explanations needed and whatnot."

The headmaster stopped and Kyuhyun realized they had reached the end of the corridor. The door before them slid open and the headmaster stepped out, Kyuhyun following. 

His heart stopped.

They had stepped onto a wooden, back porch. Like the front porch, it seemed to stretch the entire length of the building. What was hidden behind the building, however, was nothing Kyuhyun had ever expected. The courtyard was rectangular in shape, the length of a football field. On both sides of the courtyard were two, tall buildings each, similiar to the front of the school in appearance and structure. Across the courtyard from the front of the school was another building, spanning the same length. 

People were everywhere, walking here and there, pulling their luggage with them. Light bent and shifted in some places, indicating that ghosts were about. The chatter in the courtyard was not too loud, but it was full of greetings and reunions. 

This was a school.

"This building holds the offices, library and infirmary," the headmaster pulled him back from his wonderment; "The buildings to east and west are where the classrooms are. The east is known as the Haesik Campus and the west is Dalsoon Campus. And, across the courtyard are the dormitories and cafeteria. All the years are housed together, but one year per floor. As I've mentioned before, your dorm will not be with the other first years. I believe your dorm listing was given to you in your acceptance papers?"

"Indeed, Headmaster, third floor," Kyuhyun confirmed,

"Good, good," the headmaster said happily, "Well, then, Cho-sshi, off you go."

"Um... yes, sir," Kyuhyun nodded his head in deference to the headmaster before moving towards the stone steps that descended from the back porch to the stone courtyard. 

"Ah, and one more thing, Cho-sshi," the headmaster called.

Kyuhyun paused, turning slightly to look at the old man, "Yes?"

"Welcome to Asadal University."


Kyuhyun murmured a soft, "Alohomora" and the wood-and-hanji door slid open to dormitory 317 on the third floor of the residence. 

"317?" He muttered sarcastically, "That bodes well for my future with these people."

He had applied for an apartment-style dormitory, however, when arriving at the school, his dreams of such a living space died as fast as a vampire in the sun. Upon entering dormitory 317, his dreams formed quickly once again. The dorm contrasted the old-age appearance of the rest of the campus and residence building. The common room had a few couches and a small kitchenette. To the right and left were doors leading to the bedrooms; the floor sharing two large bathrooms.

He glanced to one door, two names carved on the top plank of the door. The other door held just one name. Tentatively, he approached and, the moment his fingers reached out, his name in Hangul began being carved into the top of the door. The door slid open and he was startled, his hand hovering in mid-air. 

Staring back at him was a young man with a face filled with soft lines that shouldn't have belonged to a man, a shock of black hair that grew from only half his head - the other half shaved close to his skull - and the most peculiar eyes Kyuhyun had ever seen and he found himself silently describing them as fox-like. The other man slowly tilted his head and quirked a brow in silent askance. Kyuhyun suddenly realized his hand was still hovering and, now that the door was open, his fingers were just a few inches away from the other man.

He dropped his hand immediately.

"You must be my new roommate," the other man said, straightening his head, smiling and offering a hand to shake,

Kyuhyun stared at the hand, "I suppose I am," he replied before looking pointedly at the other man.

The other man stepped aside immediately to allow him entry, "Ah, the name is Lee Sungmin," he introduced, his expression unchanged even as his hand had been pointedly ignored.

Kyuhyun stepped into the room, once again startled at how modern it was beyond the old-fashioned door. The room was big enough for two beds, two desks and two dressers. He glanced to one side where it was obviously already lived-in. He turned to the other bed and dropped his duffle bag onto the single-sized mattress. He opened the zipper and withdrew his minimized suitcases, placing them on the bed before withdrawing his wand and returning them to their original sizes.

"So, I'm not saying I know everyone at AU, although it is a small school, I can, with complete confidence say I have never seen you in any of my classes in the past two years I have been at AU," Sungmin stated.

Kyuhyun was silent for a moment as he opened up both of his suitcases. Then, as he stood, peering down at his packed belongings, hands resting on his hips, he admitted, "Because this is my first year being at Asadal University."

"Ah, a transfer. This is the first time I've ever heard of one," Sungmin mused, "Well, it'll be a nice change to have a new face during classes."

Kyuhyun began orchestrating his clothes into his dresser. Then, he clarified, "This is my first year being at any university." 

Kyuhyun glanced over his shoulder at his roommate in time to see him blink with surprise.

"A first year? But why would they room a first year on the third year floor?" Sungmin asked when, slowly, realization seeped into his expression, "You know how to use your magic."

It was Kyuhyun's turn to stare and blink.

"Of course, I do," Kyuhyun said, slowly raising his arms to cross them over his chest, "Why wouldn't I?"

"No, no, it's not a slam against you," Sungmin insisted as he leaned a shoulder against the doorframe, "But... you're not from here, are you?"

"I already told you that this is my first year," Kyuhyun drawled,

"Not, here-here... here-Korea... here-Asia," Sungmin explained. 

Kyuhyun remained silent, returning his attention to his clothes. 

"In Korea, Asia really, it's rare that people know how to use magic before the age of eighteen because that's the age they can enter university. Even then, people aren't allowed to use their magic until their eighteenth birthday," Sungmin explained, "So, when people finally come to AU or any magic academy in Asia, they know next to nothing about their magic, let alone how to use it."

The last of Kyuhyun's clothes floated into his dresser and he closed the drawers he had used before turning back towards his roommate, slipping his wand into his sleeve again. His gaze locked with the other's, "If magic is more accepted here, then, why are the laws so much stricter?"

"After the Second Wizarding War in Europe back in '98, the Asian ministries came together and decided to put more strict laws on magic use," Sungmin explained, "They wanted to put less reliance on magic and focus on technology and science. They didn't want another incidence of a power-hungry witch or wizard trying to dominate the world."

"Interesting," Kyuhyun murmured as he returned to his suitcases, down-sized them again before storing them in one of his dresser drawers.

"No, what's interesting is that the North Korean Ministry was one of the biggest supporters of the decision. They were the first to implement the law," Sungmin mused,

Kyuhyun remained silent as he turned his attention to his duffle bag.

"Oh, I forgot! I should introduce you to our dorm mates," Sungmin stated, "Well, they're not here right now... probably out on the pitch, but you'll meet them tonight for sure, their names are -"

"Sorry, not interested," Kyuhyun said as he began to personally place some belongings on top of his dresser. "I appreciate the offer and I can even understand the sentiment of the gesture, but I'm just not interested."

"Well, I'm sure you must be tired if you're transferring from out-of-country," Sungmin said, "Another time, perhaps -"

"No... I'm not interested. Not just now or tomorrow. Ever," Kyuhyun stated as he adjusted a picture frame ever so slightly.

Sungmin stared at the younger man's back as he fixed to his exact liking the picture of a young woman. His tone had been curt. Indeed, even though his words had initially been polite, the first year had still been rude. He battled largely against the urge to teach the younger man a lesson. In truth, he had a very large inclination to use his broomstick as a means of beating the other man. He managed to restrain himself. Barely.

With his back to him, Sungmin was given the liberty to take in every detail of this new roommate of his. His hair was short but thick and wavy. He was ever so slightly taller than Sungmin, his long legs encased in loose-fitted jeans and his sweater, while not fitted, revealed a lean torso and strong shoulders. However, in such a tall package was insolence. Unfortunately, the first year wasn't unhandsome and he had a feeling many witches would be soon swooning in his presence. The thought disgusted Sungmin.

"So, do you play Quidditch?" Sungmin inquired, shoving his fists into his pockets,

"I'd rather spend my time doing something productive," Kyuhyun answered as he finally turned to face Sungmin, leaning back against the dresser, its top edge hitting him just below his shoulder blades. 

Sungmin's fox-like eyes narrowed, "I happen to be the captain of the Quidditch team."

"Your point being?" Kyuhyun replied, a single brow rising in question and defiance.

 Sungmin bit down until his jaw hurt, refusing to say the cutting remarks burning his tongue. "Never mind," he replied as he turned and stepped into the common room. 

Kyuhyun watched him leave, taking in the fact that his roommate wore black robes styled similiar to the traditional jungchimak of Korea. They fitted loose and were slit up the sides and once in the back, the sleeves wide. The main difference between the true jungchimak and the robes, however, was the hood. Kyuhyun had seen the other students wearing the same robes and realized that the robes of each country would naturally differ as the people and culture did. 

He noticed that the uniform that Sungmin wore beneath his black robes was the same in style to the one he had back home. Sungmin wore black slacks and a black, knitted, pull-over vest and a crisp, white, button-up shirt underneath. Around his neck had been a loosened black tie. 

He was handsome when quite put-together, Kyuhyun grudgingly admited to himself, but his hair put an edge to his appearance. Kyuhyun couldn't help but remember the way the other man's eyes had narrowed so fiercely. The effect had been a hardening of the soft lines of his face. Kyuhyun softly shook his head, dispelling his peculiar thoughts. 

A tapping sound caught Kyuhyun's attention. He glanced towards the only window in the room which was found between the two beds. He walked over and opened the window,

"I knew you would find me," Kyuhyun stated as he reached out his hand,

"Find you? You didn't even leave the room," Sungmin called out before appearing in the doorway.

"I wasn't talking to you," Kyuhyun replied, 

"Clearly not. Instead, you were talking to a crow," Sungmin said with a hint of amusement,

Kyuhyun ignored his mocking, "He's not just any crow, he's my pet."

"A pet crow," Sungmin said slowly, "Well, you are a peculiar one, aren't you?"

"I wouldn't mock him if I were you. Sam can be quite protective when he wants to be," Kyuhyun glanced at the black bird that climbed onto his arm from the window sill. It hopped along until it perched on his shoulder,

"Why didn't you bring him in a cage?" Sungmin questioned, eyeing the bird as it stared back with black, beady eyes,

"Cage a crow?" Kyuhyun chuckled softly, "Sam wouldn't have appreciated that at all."

Sungmin was silent, startled to see such a soft expression on the younger man's face. His face had transformed completely with his gentle smile and quiet laugh. In that moment, Sungmin felt he looked very young, indeed, and felt he would quite like to be the friend of that smiling boy. A shame the first year seemed more prone to snide remarks and insolent expressions.

"Well, I'm sure Yeowoo and... Sam, was it?... will get along famously," Sungmin said and, when Kyuhyun looked at him in question, added, "My owl."

"That's a peculiar name for an owl," Kyuhyun raised a brow,

"And a crow is a peculiar pet," Sungmin countered,

"It seems we're at a draw then," Kyuhyun said,

"So it seems," Sungmin replied, "You, know... you never did say what your name is."

"I know," Kyuhyun said simply as he raised his hand to his shoulder, Sam jumping onto his hand and he moved his hand to his bed. "It's Cho Kyuhyun," he revealed as Sam perched atop of the bedpost.

"Well, Cho Kyuhyun, would you like to have a tour of the campus?" Sungmin inquired, suddenly enjoying the banter with his new roommate. "Seeing as you're new and all -"

"No," Kyuhyun said immediately as he turned back to the window to close it against the chilly air.

"It would help for when classes begin tomorrow -"

"No," Kyuhyun repeated, turning to look at Sungmin directly.

Sungmin realized then that the irritating roommate had returned and the amusing, friendlier roommate had disappeared into his depths. He stared at the younger man for a moment before swallowing his words, turning and leaving. 

Kyuhyun softly followed him, seeing the tail ends of Sungmin's robes as he left the dorm completely. Kyuhyun slid the bedroom door close, wanting privacy when his other dorm mates returned.


"Welcome, welcome students," the man at the front of the room bade the students into the room the next morning. 

Of average height and lean build, his hair was short, stick-straight and dark chocolate in colour. He wore robes of wine-red and, as he walked at the front of the room, the tails of his robes revealed pristine-white slacks beneath. From his white collar, Kyuhyun could only assume he was dressed completely in white beneath his robes. Beside him on a wooden stand was perched a large bird with plumage the colours of fire.

Kyuhyun gently tugged at his tie as he moved to a seat. Upon entering through the sliding doors, the room gave-way to a small-sized lecture hall built of rock and wood. The desks were placed in tiered rows and the single staircase dissected the room as it led to the bottom where the man was, a black board spanning the length of the wall behind him. It was more modern that Kyuhyun thought considering the architecture of the rest of the school, however, like his dorm, he was pleasantly surprised. 

"But, it's a far-cry from being modern," Kyuhyun murmured as he sat in a middle tier right beside the wall. 

The room filled up with students. Kyuhyun did a quick count of 35 people before the door slid shut on its own. The moment the wood and hanji snapped into place, the man stopped pacing and faced them all. His dark, almond-shaped eyes swept over them.

"Now, now, I know what you're all thinking," he said, his voice soft yet loud, "You all dreaded the moment you saw History of Magic as your first class of the day. Unfortunately for you all, I happen to find History of Magic fascinating and you'll have to suffer through my droning for an hour each morning until January." 

The man smiled and just left of his lips dimpled. Kyuhyun was sure he did not imagine the sighing of witches in the classroom.

"I, boys and girls, am your History of Magic professor - Park Jungsu," he introduced, "You may call me Park Seonsaeng-nim. If you call me Park-sshi, I am liable to retaliate because I am not your friend, I am not your peer. And don't bother calling me 'sir' because, as much as I wish it so, I have not been knighted by any monarch. However, I am still awaiting a reply from the Queen of England."

Students chuckled.

"Well, let us start the history of magic from the beginning," Park Seonsaeng-nim stated. 

Students groaned and protested.

He raised a hand to silence them, "Now, now, you're all thinking the worst. I meant from the beginning of all of you. What do you all know about the history of magic? What do know at all about magic?"

A small handful of students raised their hands, but the rest were silent. Kyuhyun felt no urge to raise his hand and, so, sat observing like a statue.

"Magic has been in practice for hundreds of years," one student stated,

"Yes!" Park Seonsaeng-nim agreed, "Magic use dates far, far back and even farther than what the history books record."

"It's considered an integral part of our past, even the past of muggles," another student said,

"That it does!" The professor agreed, his hands gesturing as he spoke to further emphasize his words; "Centuries ago, whenever muggles came in contact with witches, wizards and other things from the magical world, they recorded it. How these recordings were translated later on were as myths and other folklore. Muggles took it as an uneducated people explaining things of their world that they didn't understand without science and technology.

"However, the people who wrote these myths, these legends, knew what they were writing about. They were not uneducated and, as history shows, actually knew more about the world than those who were interpreting these stories," the professor explained.

As he spoke, behind him, a piece of chalk wrote out key words and phrases on the blackboard. "Muggle sightings" was written and, then an arrow pointing to "stories". Another arrow went from there to "folklore". The inch-long chalk hovered in the air, awaiting for the professor to continue.

He glanced at the students, "No notes?" He shrugged, "Very well. I can only do so much to assure you pass your exams."

Immediately, the students scrambled for brushes and parchment. Kyuhyun didn't even glance at his bag as he leaned an elbow on the wooden desktop and propped his chin in his hand. The students around him quickly began taking notes, the black ink they used had been magically enhanced to dry quickly for easier note-taking.

"Now, there's not many of you who know about magic's history or, magic at all and I do not blame you," the professor said, "Indeed, it's understandable, especially since the Integration System was put into place over a century ago. The Integration System led to magical and muggles to mix together. Magical schools were seen as only further segregating witches and wizards from muggles. After the system began in the early 1900's, by 1931 all junior academies were closed, favouring the muggle schools as a place for children and teenagers to learn."

"1931" and "junior magical academies close" were written on a section of the board. Students scrambled madly to write their notes, their hangul painted sloppily in an effort to keep up with the magical chalk.

"After the Second World War, universities and colleges began to close down, the effort put more into rebuilding communities, uniting magical and muggle," Park Seonsaeng-nim recalled, "By 1983, most universities and colleges were closed."

"And, Asadal University, Seonsaeng-nim?" One of the students from the front questioned.

"Laws were put into place to not allow children to use magic until they entered school. This was to further help integrate them with the muggles," Park Seonsaeng-nim reminded, "To help them be... more normal around their muggle peers. Of course, the definition of 'normal' is up to debate if you ask me." 

He paced towards the bird perched at the front of the classroom. He reached up and stroked it affectionately, "This meant that people knew next to nothing of their magic until they came of age, especially since junior academies were no longer in existence. By the time they were of age, most thought 'why bother' and, so, the last of the need for magical schools dissipated." 

He slowly turned his head to look at the students, "Asadal is the only university left… it is the only school left in both Koreas.”

"Now!" He said cheerily, "Now that we've gone over your basic knowledge of magic, we truly go back to the beginning! The first written account is stated to be from over three millennia ago!"

The class groaned in despair. 

Kyuhyun finally took out his brush and ink stone.

He had had seven years of History of Magic classes, but, as he had learned earlier from Sungmin, things were vastly different in Asia.


"...And, that, class, concludes the first 100 years of magic in Korea!" Park Seonsaeng-nim exclaimed happily, signalling for the students to stop; "At this rate, I'm quite sure we'll reach the A.D. years by the end of the month. That’s when things get even more interesting! Class dismissed!"

The students muttered resentments as they noisily began to pack away their belongings. Kyuhyun, however, was slower. As those around him busied themselves with packing - quickly, so as to leave the lecture hall sooner - Kyuhyun slipped out his wand from his sleeve. He slowly, methodologically cleaned away the ink from his brushes before storing them and his ink stone back into his bag. 

"Cho Kyuhyun, I presume," 

Kyuhyun paused for a moment before straightening and looking at the professor who stood at the front of the room. The professor stared directly back at him. He walked a few steps forward to the bottom-most set of desks. He sat on the edge of the desk, still angled towards Kyuhyun.

"It seems I continue to be singled out," Kyuhyun said, "First Headmaster Yongwang and, now, you, Park Seonsaeng-nim."

"Well, you are quite a novelty amongst the staff, Cho-sshi," Park Seonsaeng-nim stated, "It's difficult enough getting local witches and wizards to attend Asadal University. To have someone request to come here... well, it's a wonder all on its own."

"I am Korean, after all," Kyuhyun stated,

"And, yet, you are the first foreign student we have ever had," Park Seonsaeng-nim said, “And, you’re the first year who’s showed some magical ability since entering this room.”

“I knew things would be different here, especially since my parents told me about the Integration System. However, I never thought it’d be this different,” Kyuhyun admitted as he closed his bag and slung an arm through the strap, “To live with magic and not use it… it seems so… restrictive.”

“To some, I’m sure it is. However, if people have grown up as such and are taught as such, then they do not feel such a loss, do they?” The professor suggested, “But I agree with you. Indeed, the fact that they cannot use their magic, when it suddenly is arouse – such as through strong emotions – it causes more of a scare than usual.”

“Is it true that the laws were more heavily enforced after the Second Wizarding War in Europe?” Kyuhyun inquired as he leaned back against the desk that was behind him,

The professor nodded, “Europe wasn’t the only one affected by the war, but they were the ones most affected. With Asia, since muggles and magical are more interlaced, such a war was even more frightening since the worlds are very much united. The Asian Ministries came together to plan a solution before a problem arose.”

“The focus was taken from magical use and training and put into technology and science,” Kyuhyun recalled from what his roommate had told him the previous day,

“Indeed. Just before this century, all universities and colleges closed down, except for Asadal,” Park Seonsaeng-nim stated. He paused before adding, “Having a student that can use their magic upon entering Asadal is both refreshing and comforting. I can only hope a day will come when Asia will return to magic.”

“Seonsaeng-nim, can I ask a favour?” Kyuhyun inquired, 

The professor raised a brow, “If I can grant it.”

“Can you not let the other students know that I’m a transfer and that I can use magic?” Kyuhyun asked, 

Park Seonsaeng-nim regarded him for a pregnant pause. Finally, he nodded, “Of course.”

“I appreciate it,” Kyuhyun said sincerely, “I don’t want to become a spectacle of any kind and I very much value my privacy.”

“Park Seonsaeng-nim?” 

The professor and Kyuhyun looked up towards the door. A young witch stood in the doorway, tentatively entering and walking down the steps until she was on the same level as Kyuhyun. Small in frame and stature, her appearance was slightly unkempt with her hair pulled back messily into a bun, her button-up shirt sticking out from beneath her knitted vest and one sock pulled to her knee, the other scrunched around the ankle. Her robes, the same black as his own, were thrown over an arm as if she had been too rushed to put it on. From her appearance, Kyuhyun was almost positive she had been in a rush.

“I’m sorry to interrupt,” she said, glancing at Kyuhyun, “But I’ve only just arrived now at Asadal and I wanted to explain my absence from the first class of the semester and I wanted to do it before the next class began and I didn’t want to wait until tomorrow to explain myself and – ”

The professor held up a hand to silence her. Kyuhyun personally thought it was to allow the witch a chance to breathe between sentences, but, at the rate she spoke, it seemed like one sentence instead.

“Kim Taeyeon-sshi, correct?” Park Seonsaeng-nim asked, 

The witch nodded, adjusting her bag’s strap on her shoulder.

“I didn’t expect you to be here today, so it’s fine,” the professor replied, “I appreciate you coming to explain your absence. Now, both of you can go to your next class and I’ll see you in the morning, bright and early!”

Taeyeon turned to leave, when she paused. She stopped and looked towards the bird at the front of the classroom. It spread its wide wings before flying towards her. She didn’t flinch as it came close, perching on the desk nearest to her. It bent its head forward to her.

“Teukie seems to like you,” Park Seonsaeng-nim said,

Taeyeon reached out and petted its scarlet head, “Teukie… Teukie is a phoenix, right?”

“Indeed, and close to his burning day,” the professor answered, “It’ll be nice to have a small bird.”

“He’s very friendly,” Taeyeon smiled as the phoenix came closer, rubbing its head against her arm when she stopped petting.

“Which amazes me more,” the professor smiled, “Teukie is actually a very temperamental bird.”

“I hate to break up the moment, as warm and fuzzy as it is, but I have a class to get to,” Kyuhyun drawled,

Taeyeon turned her head, surprised to find him right beside her. She stepped aside so he could leave his row. 

“Cho-sshi,” the professor called out before Kyuhyun could leave, “We’ll talk again, hmm?”

Kyuhyun glanced at the professor, nodded curtly and left.

“Kim-sshi,” the professor said,

“Yes?” She looked at him, absently petting the phoenix still,

“Don’t you also have a class?” The professor prompted happily,

With a quiet shriek, she turned and sprinted up the stairs, calling a goodbye as she left. 

Taeyeon was in such a hurry that, the moment she turned out of the door, she came colliding into another person. She cried an apology just as she felt herself falling to the ground, unable to gain her balance quick enough. A hand wrapped around her arm to stop her from falling and steady her. Once her feet were planted firmly, she found herself standing with the wizard again.

“I thought you left,” Taeyeon said, 

“I did and then I realized I had no idea where my next class is,” Kyuhyun muttered, glancing left and right.

“What is it? Maybe we’re heading in the same place,” Taeyeon asked,

Kyuhyun regarded her for a moment, dropping his hand from her arm when he was sure she was steady, “Potions…” He answered tentatively,

“Me too!” She cried happily, “Come! I know exactly where to go!”

She turned left and Kyuhyun hesitatntly followed.

“If you only just arrived, how do you already know where to go?” Kyuhyun asked, wanting to assure himself that she really did know where was the potions classroom. 

“The headmaster told me before I went to talk to Park Seonsaeng-nim,” Taeyeon explained as she turned into a stairwell and began walking up the wooden staircases. 

“And you’re sure you remember correctly?” Kyuhyun prompted,

“Yes,” she replied,

“So… the headmaster met you at the front entrance, too?” Kyuhyun asked as they climbed the stairs, 

“Yes, he said he wanted to ensure I was properly welcomed to the school, especially because of my late entry,” she paused, two steps above Kyuhyun. She turned and was eye-level with him, “You said ‘too’. Did you get early acceptance, also?”

“How can you have both late entry and early acceptance?” Kyuhyun questioned, eyes narrowing. He was beginning to think trusting his destination with the witch was not the best idea.

“I have late entry because I was only accepted to Asadal this morning,” Taeyeon explained, “I have early acceptance because I received permission to use magic. I’m only 17 so I’m not supposed to be using magic, but the Minister of Magic granted me permission just yesterday.”

“I see,” Kyuhyun mused,

“Yes,” she paused and, then, added, “By the way, I’m Kim Taeyeon.”

“So you said,” Kyuhyun replied,

She crossed her arms, juggling her robes as she did so, “This is when you introduce yourself.”

“Just because you did doesn’t mean I have to,” Kyuhyun stated,

“It’s the polite thing to do,” She argued,

“That’s not a very good argument,” Kyuhyun said,

Taeyeon narrowed her eyes, “I’m not leading you to class until you introduce yourself.”

Kyuhyun sighed heavily. No, following the witch had been one of his worst ideas.

“I’m waiting,” she said impatiently,

“Cho Kyuhyun,” he muttered reluctantly,

“Nice to meet you,” she held out her hand. When he stared at it and then her, she scowled, “This is when you shake my hand.”

“Irritating witch,” Kyuhyun murmured as he shook her hand.

“Good. Now, we’re friends,” she grinned as she turned and continued up the stairs,

Kyuhyun rolled his eyes, “Dear Merlin.”

“Who?” She glanced over her shoulder,

“He was… never mind,” he said, “Lead the way.”

“Now, since I’ve told you a little about myself, it’s your turn to tell me about yourself,” Taeyeon said cheerily as they stepped onto the second floor.

Kyuhyun remained silent the remainder of the way to their potions class. 

Later that night, Kyuhyun sat at his desk. The noise from his dorm mates seeped through the door’s thin hanji and he quickly cast a sound-proofing spell. Doused in silence, he returned to his work. Although his textbooks lay open before him, the paper and quill he used were not for studying. In class, he used the calligraphy brushes and ink stone like all the other students, however, he was not writing in Korean. 

The sound of his quill was soft, forming the roman letters and English words as he condensed his thoughts into the simplest of sentences, concealing identities and ideas. He made everything nondescript, untraceable to either sender or receiver. 

I arrived yesterday. 

Things are very different here. 

I question my choices but cannot return yet.

I want to know if you were right in telling me to not come here.

Take care, my dear friend.

And I will try to do the same.

He laid his quill down on the desk, “Nox,” he whispered as he walked away, the flame in his lamp extinguished. He walked to the window, opening it wide. He whistled into the cold wind and after a few minutes, he heard the flapping of wings as a small, black shadow crossed the sky towards him. 

Sam landed on the sill and hopped closer, bending his head for attention. Kyuhyun stroked its little black head as he held out the letter for his beloved crow. 

“You know where to go, Sam,” he said softly with one last affectionate pet. 

The crow hopped in place to turn around before it launched into the air, its wings spreading wide. Kyuhyun closed the window quickly, cancelling the sound-proofing spell just in time to hear quieted voices and approaching footsteps. Kyuhyun slipped into his bed, pulled the covers over him and turned to face the wall. As he heard the soft sound of the door sliding open, he made his breathing even, shallow, pretending as if he had already fallen asleep.

“Hey Kyuhyun, I know what you said, but the others…” Sungmin’s voice trailed off, “… wanted to meet you.” 

He heard the barest of sighs from his roommate before hearing the door sliding close.

“Sorry guys, seems our maknae is already asleep,” Sungmin’s muffled words came through the door.

Kyuhyun felt his body relax, settling more comfortably on his bed. He really didn’t want to acquaint himself with his dorm mates or even his roommate. He liked his solitude and preferred his own company. Reflecting upon his first day of classes, he sighed. Regardless of his feelings, he had already made his first friend at Asadal University.

(Chapter 2: Flying High)


A/N: (These will be added to the summary page's glossary of terms)

Headmaster Yongwang 
"Yongwang" was considered the benevolent Dragon King of the seas

"The buildings to east and west are where the classrooms are. The east is known as the Haesik Campus and the west is Dalsoon Campus."
In Korean mythology, Haesik was the sun and older brother to the moon, Dalsoon. The sun rises in the east, and, so, that is why the east campus is Haesik Campus.

"Welcome to Asadal University"
Asadal was the capital of Gojoseon which is an ancient Korean kingdom.

"Well, I'm sure Yeowoo and... Sam, was it?... will get along famously," Sungmin said and, when Kyuhyun looked at him in question, added, "My owl."

"That's a peculiar name for an owl," Kyuhyun raised a brow.
Yeowoo means "Fox" in Korean

"After the Second Wizarding War in Europe back in '98, the Asian ministries came together and decided to put more strict laws on magic use," Sungmin explained.
This is a reference to the final battle in the Harry Potter series.

Fun with numbers.
(Room) #317 = Living together. (1 has the meaning of "surety" or "definite", so I omitted this from the my rough definition)
#37 (students) = Living together
#38 (students + teacher) = Living in prosperity/wealth (I used this as having a wealth of knowledge)


lil_aqua_chic said...


That is all.

caleyelaine said...

Yay!!! I am so excited!! I love all of your stories and cannot wait to read more of this one!!

Anonymous said...

Yay! You updated! ^_^
It's so exciting already! I can't wait for the next chapter! Hwaiting Authornim! :D

Anonymous said...

Wow this is really good ^^ I can't wait to read the rest of it!

Anonymous said...

Hmm, this is really interesting. I wonder what the pairings will be though (I want to keep reading lol but...).