acatwhowrites: (L.Joe♡salute)
A Cat Who Writes ([personal profile] acatwhowrites) wrote2015-09-13 01:43 pm

Cattus Redit

title: Cattus Redit
players: Park Chanyeol, Kim Jongdae/Chen
word count: 2,545
rating: G
summary: Chanyeol finds a cat and a magic stick and wants nothing to do with either.
a/n: Written for hp-exolliarmus. I honestly claimed this prompt because Jongdae was a cat. I'm weak. I re/wrote it enough times to finally just go with the most simple.

When Chanyeol heard laughter in an overgrown alley, he didn't think anything of it. It was relatively bright, considering it was an alleyway between a cafe and pharmacy with apartments built on top, and he ambled by thinking how badly he wanted to get home and shower. After a day of walking around for the part-time job he'd promised to take on while his parents were away for the summer months, his back was hot and sweaty under his thin cotton T-shirt and backpack that felt heavier by the second.

Every hair on his body stood up and marched under his clothes at the shrill screech as his sneaker flattened over a crack in the cement sidewalk. Even the pigeons were spooked, knocking into one another in a flurry of feathers in their haste to get away.

Chanyeol was ready to book it home. He's a pacifist and not considerably brave at all, but the soft meow he heard once the terrified pigeon coos left sounded too scared and confused for him to leave it behind.

He backtracked and crouched behind a metal table and chairs. Taking a deep breath, he peered around the corner and saw a small group of people, wearing dark hoods despite the heat, shoving one another and bobbing a little as they walked away, towards the dead end of the alley.

Against his better judgment, he crept as gracefully as he could--nearly falling onto his face once and possibly busting his nose against the brick wall--into the alley. He paused behind a line of dumpsters and wondered what he was doing. Crime in broad daylight was unheard of in the area, and foot traffic on the sidewalk was pretty heavy as businessmen and women walked home, so any criminal would have to be really ballsy or really dumb.

He heard a short series of faint pops, kind of like the bang snaps he played with as a kid, followed by a drawn-out yowl that made his hiding body hair jump off his skin.

Caution be damned, he stood and rounded the dumpsters to confront them; he was not going to let anyone torture an innocent animal.

No one stood in the alley.

"Hello?" He took off his snapback and ran a hand through his sweaty bangs.

A soft meow replied. Chanyeol found the cat it belonged to in a scrubby patch of weeds. At first, he thought its fur had been torn off, but its middle rose and fell, and its legs laid motionless and strangely flat.

"Oh God. Ohhhhhh my God." Its legs all appeared broken, lying at odd angles to its body. He pushed his glasses up his nose and tried to smile. "You're okay. You're just fine." The cat lifted its head, dirty and smudged with black above its green eyes, and Chanyeol almost laughed. It looked like the group he saw drew eyebrows onto the cat.

As well as breaking its legs.

The grin dropped from his lips, and Chanyeol tentatively reached a hand to the cat, speaking soothingly. He loved animals, but his allergies prevented him from being around them much. In his limited experience, cats in particular intuitively knew his allergy and made it their personal mission to make him miserable with their physical expressions of affection.

The cat readily sniffed his hand and dragged its cheek along his fingers in one motion just to plant its chin squarely on his fingertips, purring immediately.

"Alright. Good. This-This is good. Um..." He looked over his shoulder and at the dead end. "I'll take you home and get you help, okay? Just bear with me." The cat continued to purr as he awkwardly gathered it into his hands. He whimpered as it fell limp. "It's like you have no bones, man. That's just nasty. But no worries," he continued to soothe, "I'll get you fixed."

The cat snorted and writhed as much as it could until Chanyeol nearly dropped it. He drew it close to his shoulder--where it seemed much more content to purr into his ear--stood up, and hurried out of the alley and back onto the sidewalk.

Once home, he kicked off his shoes and carefully leaned over the sofa, cradling the cat's head and butt like when he carried his cousin's baby, and set it on the middle cushion. Its eyes opened, but its purrs didn't stop, which Chanyeol hoped meant it wasn't in pain.

He dropped his backpack onto the floor and dug into his back pocket for his cell phone. "Mom, Mom, Mom..." He rolled his eyes. "What's my mom going to do in freakin' Brussels or whatever?" He waved a hand at the cat, who watched him with amusement, and scrolled hurriedly through his phone. "I don't know any vets anymore. What about Jongin? Dogs are kind of like cats, right?"

"Not really."

Chanyeol dropped his phone to the floor. It bounced once at his feet; the screen cracked.

A boy sat where the cat had laid, pulling himself upright with a hand clenched in the leather sofa back. He grinned at Chanyeol, not unkind yet managing a tone of underlying condescension. "Fundamentally, they're similar. Carnivorous, domesticated mammals. On average, cats live longer. They're the first documented domesticated animal, in Egypt, where they were worshiped. They've not forgotten it, ether, and they are their own species, Felis; a dog is a subspecies. As pets, cats outnumber dogs, although that changes depending on your focus. Dogs were even psychic, once, but it's been bred out of them."

Chanyeol nodded dumbly. "I did not know that."

The boy smiled, eyebrows drawn together like a bascule bridge.

"What, uh...What," he waved at the stranger, "happened?"

"Take a wild guess."




"Exactly." The boy looked at his lap, grimaced, and met Chanyeol's wide eyes. "I need your help."

"No kidding. Oh God!" He retched and turned away as the boy pinched his own knee and drew his leg up like limp spaghetti with a critical frown. "Don't do that! That is nasty. What the hell?"

"Jelly-leg curse. I can fix it easily enough, but I need you to do something for me."

"I never said I'd help."

"Yes, you did. Now, where you found me, there's lots of weeds..."

"You were a cat; I was helping a cat," Chanyeol muttered in dazed amazement.

"Are you always so whiny?" Chanyeol whined that he wasn't whiny and crossed his arms. "Just go back there, and find my wand. It's dark brown and kind of looks like a music conductor's baton."

"Yeah, sure, whatever. You owe me a phone." Chanyeol frowned at his busted phone and set it on the coffee table. "What if those hooded guys are there?"

"They're not. They went home."

"You sure?"


"Fantastic. Thanks." Chanyeol shoved his feet into his sneakers. "I'll go get your stick."

"Please and thank you!" The door shut off the strange boy's chirped reply.

There was no good reason to help the stranger, and Chanyeol belatedly realized as he sifted through the weeds in the early evening light that he didn't even know the guy's name.

He had a bit of an attitude, appeared to be about Chanyeol's age, rather handsome, and his eyebrows matched the cat's perfectly. There was no reason to help him, but there was no reason not to, either, he supposed. Cat was there and then gone. Maybe he could use his arms while the cat couldn't because the jelly legs thing only affected legs, which were all a cat had, so a human interpreted the curse or whatever differently.

"Because something about this has to be logical, right?" he muttered to himself. He stepped over some blossoming thistle and flinched when his foot arched over something long and hard.

Sure enough, the dark wood wand looked similar to the stick his high school choir teacher used. It wasn't heavy in his hand, although he had a feeling like he shouldn't be holding it, so he slipped it into his pocket and headed home.

"I found your stick," Chanyeol greeted. The late afternoon air had cooled since finding the cat-human-boy-person, but the ground still held enough heat to keep him almost uncomfortably warm.

The television ran a commercial for some beauty product Chanyeol recognized from his sister's armory of makeup and lotions. He didn't remember turning it on or inviting the stranger to make himself so comfortable in his home.

He hadn't taken long, he thought, to walk to the alley and home again, but the cat was back, snoozing on the sofa with its limp legs dangling off the cushion and a corner of a pillow beneath its whiskered cheek.

"Hey." Chanyeol took the wand from his pocket and poked the cat. An eye opened. "Wake up, or I'll break your magic stick."

Chanyeol missed it the first time, but watching the cat morph and shift to a fully-grown human drop-kicked his heart up his throat and stomach to his ankles.

A smooth-skinned hand touched his, gently taking the wood--that looked scorched in the incandescent living room light--from him. "Thank you." The boy didn't look as ridiculous as Chanyeol expected with a fancy stick in his hand; it looked like an extension of him. Completely natural. He sat up straight, legs piled on the floor, and spoke as he rotated his wrist, as if drawing a symbol in the air.

Chanyeol watched completely transfixed as the boneless legs straightened and bent in proper angles until the boy settled his hands on the sofa on either side of his thighs and lifted his legs straight out, kicked them a little, and nodded with a smile.

"What was that?"

"What was what?"

"What you said. Was it English? What did you do? Your legs are normal. I've never seen that before."

"Of course you haven't. You're a Muggle." The boy leaned forward and waved the wand over Chanyeol's phone, saying something different and somehow fixing the cracked screen. "The spell is Latin. The curse those guys used basically liquefied my bones. I just had to rebuild them."

Chanyeol pointed at his phone in open-mouthed wonder. "But that's ridiculous. You can't liquefy bones. That-that-that makes no sense." He felt a tight band around his head and tension settling across his shoulder.

"You Muggles always want sense and logic," he sighed and sat back. "This is magic, my disadvantaged friend."


"Magic." The boy crossed his legs on the sofa, showing both poor manners and a pleasure at being able to do it. "I'm Jongdae, by the way. Kim Jongdae. Thank you for helping me."

Chanyeol whispered his introduction, still trying to understand.

"If you think so hard, your head will explode," Jongdae teased. He hid a laugh when Chanyeol covered his head with his hands. "Just calm down. You're not raised with it, so you're not going to understand it so fast. Relax."

Chanyeol's laughed, high and borderline hysterical. "I should obviously not stay up so late, if this isn't real."

"It's real." Jongdae sounded entirely self-assured, confident, and not at all concerned about sitting in a stranger's living room. "Oh, hey! Could we order take-out?"


"I found out I really like Chinese take-out. We don't really have it at home."

"You paying?" Jongdae produced a handful of gold coins from his pocket. "Guess not..." He picked up his cell phone and swiped across the screen, but it didn't light up. "I thought you fixed this."

"Just the screen," Jongdae replied. "I can't really do anything with electronics. They don't mix well with magic, and I'm not entirely sure how it works. I could try, but it might blow up."

Chanyeol grabbed a phone and menu from the kitchen and called in an order that his wallet would feel the effects of. He didn't realize how hungry he was until he saw the photos in the folded menu, when he had to wipe his mouth on his shoulder before even attempting to answer the short greeting on the other end of the phone.

Jongdae watched with amusement, glancing around the room every once in a while as if committing everything to memory. Once he was finished on the phone, Jongdae asked Chanyeol about the photos on the walls. "Your family?"

"Yeah. My mom used to scrapbook when my sister and I were younger, but since working more with my dad, she hasn't had as much time. She still takes a lot of photos, though," he laughed.

They chat while waiting for the food, and the tension slowly left Chanyeol. Jongdae's actually pretty funny and naturally friendly, charismatic. He's normal. If not for the boneless legs and shape-shifting cat deal, he would laugh if Jongdae showed his wand and talked about magic.

He saw it for himself, though, and became a true believer.

Jongdae wiped the corners of his mouth with the heel of his palm when he finished eating. "I have one more favour to ask."

Chopsticks paused midway to Chanyeol's mouth.

"Don't look so scared. This isn't dangerous or weird. I'd like to stay with you for a while."


"I'm doing an experiment. More like a research paper, I guess, about Muggle culture. I'd stay at a hotel," he quickly explained, "but I didn't have time to exchange my money for Muggle money. I'm assuming no one around here takes gold or coins."

Chanyeol had never asked.

"I'm a great house guest, I promise. Please?" The wizard smiled, charming, innocent, and hopeful, and Chanyeol shrugged. Why not? He was kind of lonely by himself, house-sitting while his parents did a food tour of Europe.

"As long as I don't wake up naked and sacrificed to the moon or something, sure." Jongdae almost looked offended and rolled his eyes as Chanyeol gathered their empty food containers and walked towards the kitchen. "I'll pull out some towels and blankets for you."

"Thank you, Chanyeol." Jongdae muttered something else, but Chanyeol couldn't hear it. Lights flashed behind his eyelids, pure white and blinding. His head pounded again, drumming his eyeballs.

"Ah, man!" He tore off his glasses and rubbed his eyes. "Jongdae, did you see that?" The food containers tumbled into the trash, and he shuffled back to the living room, blinking at the starbursts of colour and squinting through the afterimages of shapes.

On the sofa, Jongdae meowed and stretched, uncaring of the human's complaints.

"Thanks for the concern." Chanyeol groaned and rubbed his eyes more, but it seemed to make the afterimages worse. "That was weird... I must be more tired than I thought. I'm going to bed." He tapped his thigh, and the cat hopped to the floor to follow him, tail high and chattering every time Chanyeol moaned and complained.

The human pitched face-first onto his bed and promptly fell asleep.

The cat sat on the windowsill, looked over its shoulder, and squeezed through the open window.