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Lindsey Burge, sat on the Hogwarts Express, solemnly looking out of the window. She watched the surrounding lush green countryside blur by the fog-covered window.
It was odd being able to see what lay beyond the thin piece of glass and yet not quit being able to make it out. In the same eerily odd way it matched Lindsey’s mood.
She wasn’t quit sure what was wrong with her. Something was just off, leaving her feeling very distant. She tried to pull out of it. She should feel happy. She was on her way back to Hogwarts to start her sixth year. She was surrounded by her best friends and her amazing boyfriend.
As if on cue Hugo shifted his free left arm and reached around Lindsey to trace a smiley face in the droplets that covered the glass window. Lindsey turned to look up and smile into his handsome face. She couldn’t help but feel better, Hugo’s grin was contagious.
"Come on Lins the rest of your summer couldn’t have been that bad." It was Hugo’s cousin Lily who sat on the seat across from them with her best friend Maddie. The three had been animatedly talking about quidditch why Lindsey had been in her trance. Maddie was a seventh year and she was also the Gryffindor quidditch captian .
"Oh it wasn’t. Thank you for coming and rescuing me for that week though." Lindsey winked at Lily.
"So does that mean that your step-da never found out then?" Maddie laughed. Lily and her mother Ginny had gone to get Lindsey so that she could spend at least part of her summer vacation with Hugo.
"Pshhh. NO but it’s not as if he tried to hard either. Mr. Connor." Lindsey mimicked her step-fathers surname. "Would much rather believe that everything is as it should be."
"Well not everyone can have parents like Hugo and Lily. My mum would never let a bloke stay at our house for a whole week."
"Honestly it’s not like they were ever alone. Even if Aunt ‘Mione wasn’t their constant shadow I can bet that Rose never was to far away."
"I just love it when my whole family takes an interest in my love life."
"Shut up Hugo, I just might have a boyfriend if it wasn’t for you."
"I wish that I had a bigger family. I get jealous when you two bicker." Maddie laughed.
"Oi you might as well be family you were at my cousins house nearly everyday. I seem to remember that you wee there for Christmas last year too. I seem to remember having quidditch drills on my vacation." Hugo laughed at the death look that Maddie was giving him. "Not that I didn’t like it. Or wouldn’t have done them anyway. Serious."
"You should thank me. I keep your boyfriend in shape. He is really lazy you know." Maddie pointed her finger at Lindsey who was laughing at them.
No one noticed when the smiley face sketched into the condensation on the window started to run. Eventually all that remained was vibrant clear spot that revealed the passing lush green countryside.
Lindsey was three years old the first time that it happened. Her mother hadn’t seemed upset about it at all, actually Bess Connor had delighted in her daughters new game.
The first time was an accident. Three year old Lindsey had been in her mothers bedroom sitting on the bench in front of the large oak dresser. Lindsey sat trying to diligently color in the dress of a princess so that it would match the pretty one that Bess had colored on the opposite page. It was proving to be much harder for Lindsey, then Bess had made it look earlier.
As she sat concentrating on keeping her crayon inside the flowing lines her nose began to itch. Lindsey tried to ignore it and focus on her picture. But the harder she concentrated the worse the itch became.
"Auuchoo........ooo!!" Little Lindsey nearly lost her balance on the bench, she had managed to grab on to the dresser just in time. As she pulled herself up she caught a glimpse of herself in her mothers mirror.
At first Lindsey had been stunned, and then she began to giggle. Bess must have heard because she opened the door to the adjoining bathroom, and stepped out, while running a brush through her wet hair.
Lindsey stood on the bench her little hands spread out on top of the dresser bracing her. She was jumping up and down on the bench while looking at her reflection.
"Look mummy. ‘OOK at my hair. It matches her dress." Lindsey picked up her forgotten crayon off of the dresser and jumped off of the bench.
Her little arms were wrapped around Bess’s legs when the older woman’s ashen face finally gave way to an enormous smile.
"Linds how did you do that? How did you make your hair turn purple?" Bess laughed while stroking her daughters "usually" dark brown curls which were now a shade of bright purple.
The two spent the rest of the morning in front of the large dresser mirror laughing, as Lindsey tried to turn her hair to match all of the colors in the box of crayons.
The fires soft glow played over Lindsey’s delicate features. Her chocolate eyes softly gleamed out from under her dark lashes. It contrasted perfectly with her purple highlighted hair.
Hugo sat absently twirling one of Lindsey’s purple locks between his fingers while he contemplated the next line of the essay that he was working on.
Lindsey and Hugo were sitting together on a settee in the student commons. Lily sat in a large maroon club chair beside them. The three could generally be found in the commons because Lindsey was a Hufflepuff and therefore unable to join Hugo and Lily in the Gryffindor common room.
Hugo and Lily nearly always inseparable. Lily liked to joke that she hardly ever had a boyfriend because of Hugo. Lindsey unlike Hugo’s ex-girlfriend didn’t mind. The girls soon became friends and in the end it only benefitted Hugo and Lindsey’s relationship. Lily had a knack for doing things like breaking Lindsey out for the summer and then dropping her off at Hugo’s house, while Lily and her friend Maddie then went to spend a week in Romania.
"This is rubbish" Maddie had just came and perched herself on the arm of Lily’s chair.
"Is that the list for tryouts?" Hugo’s deep voice resonated through Lindsey’s body.
"Hmmm some list. We are never going to find a decant seeker."
"Hey wait. Is that the fourth year who tried out last year?" Lily asked as she peered up at Maddie’s list.
"You mean that little black boy who tried out." Hugo chuckled. "The one who tried out just to impress you."
"He was really quick then, and I think that he still practices almost everyday."
"You would know."
"That’s enough Hugo. And you had better finish that essay. I don’t want you missing any practices this year because your in detention."
The smirk vanished from Hugo’s face and he immediately went back to work on his essay. He knew better then to try Maddie when she was stressed out. Just because she was his friend didn’t mean that she would let him get by with missing practices.
"So when are you holding tryouts anyway?" Asked Lindsey.
"Next weekend." Maddie looked suspiciously at Lindsey. "Your not thinking about trying out for Hufflepuff are you?"
"Oh no I have far to many classes for that."
"What she means to say is that she would much rather be able to ‘enjoy’ watching Hugo play." Lily laughed as Hugo flexed his arm and Lindsey reached over to squeeze it, her cheeks slightly flushed.
"Well, that’s good because you’re a mean beater. And unfortunately I am out two this year. Unless I manage to find a really good chaser and then I suppose that I will just have to suck it up and be a beater myself." Maddie droned on and on her voice getting higher the more she worried.
"Ok Maddie, let’s go and see if we can find Darren Alden." Lily interrupted Lindsey’s laughter, as she stood up and grabbed Maddie’s arm.
"Ohh Lily must like him too. She even knows his last name." Hugo called out to Lily’s retreating back. He started to laugh even harder when he saw Maddie check the list to see if there was in fact a Darren Alden on it.
"Finally." Hugo sighed as he rolled up his completed essay. "Three bloody feet of parchment for charms. It’s outrageous. I don’t see how you manage ancient runes on top of all this." Hugo shook his head.
"Well it’s easy, I just spend the time on that, that you spend on Quidditch." Lindsey grinned as she laid her head on Hugo’s shoulder.
"Well met." Hugo replied as he snaked an arm around Lindsey’s waist. "It’s a family tradition though. My cousins would never let me live it down if I didn’t play. Or my dad. He’d be really disappointed." Hugo broke off noticing how quite Lins had become. How quite she had been ever since they had returned to school for that matter. He felt like a git rambling about his dad when she was getting along so poorly with Mr. Connor. He didn’t think that her relationship with the man had always been like it was now.
"Alright Lily and Maddie are both gone. So are you gonna tell me what’s wrong now?" Hugo asked as he squeezed her waist. "Something happened after you went home this summer. You’ll feel better if you tell me."
"It’s nothing really. I’ve just been thinking to much." Lindsey shrugged and gave a sad attempt at a smile.
"Lins you don’t do this. Something’s wrong."
"I just found out something that I shouldn’t have. It’s my own fault. I was somewhere that I shouldn’t have been. Now I just have to get over it." Her voice was slowly rising while she spoke, despite her continued facade of indifference.
In the end Hugo didn’t know what to do. He didn’t want to push her to hard. But at same time he knew that if she would just tell him what it was, she would feel better.
"Lins whenever your ready, you know that I’ll listen. Weasley’s have big shoulders." Hugo smiled as he stood up and took Lindsey’s hand. "Come on. No more pouting."
"Your not going to give up are you."
"I stopped talking about it. You’re the one who just brought it back up." Hugo grinned and kissed Lindsey on the cheek when she made a face at him. "What kind of a boyfriend would I be if I did?"
"Fine I guess that I’ll just have to show you then." Lindsey said as she started to pull Hugo towards the door. "It’s in my dorm."
They had forgotten that she was coming home today. She had been gone for a week, and they couldn’t even manage to be home when she came back. Typical.
Lindsey sat down on the dresser bench in her parents bedroom. At first she had thought that maybe her mother was just taking a nape. After all it was Sunday afternoon, and her parents had most likely spent the past two days at some sort of party affiliated with her dads work.
Now she sat dejectedly starring into her mothers dresser mirror, trying not to care that they weren’t home. As she sat waiting Lindsey began to transforming the different features of her face. She tried long noses, short noses, thicker eyelashes, different colored eyes. Anything to help keep her mind occupied.
Eventually she got bored and on a whim she transformed back into just plain Lindsey Burge. Lindsey couldn’t remember the last time that she had seen her own plain face in a mirror. Curly brown hair, brown eyes topped by unruly eyebrows on a pale oval face studded with a plain button nose.
She sat studying her plain face in the mirror. Her head absently propped on her hand as her elbow rested on the antique oak dresser. Lindsey smiled to herself and opened the top drawer on her mothers dresser, the one that held her make-up. Lindsey didn’t own any make-up of her own. Honestly she had no need for it, she could change her complexion at will.
She withdrew a long red tube of lipstick and removed the cap. After blotting her now red lips on a Kleenex she glanced back at the mirror and blew a kiss at her reflection. Shaking her head Lindsey began to rummage through the too full drawer for some mascara.
The picture was there in the very back underneath the black crusty bottle of mascara. The glossy finish had became faded, the corners were bent and torn, and the whole thing looked as if it had been rolled up and re-flattened several times. But Lindsey didn’t notice the condition at least not at first. Her eyes were riveted to those of the man in the picture. He had deep brown, almond shaped eyes. The perfect mirror of her own. Suddenly the eyes in the picture blinked at her; and Lindsey screamed.
She was used to magical photos. After all she had lived almost solidly at Hogwarts for nearly the past five years. It was the shock of finding one in her mothers possession that she hadn’t expected. Bess had never shied away from the magical aspect of her life, but neither had she encouraged it. The unspoken rule between them had always been to not speak of magic in front of Dale Connor.
Lindsey was finally able to tare her gaze away from that of the man in the photo. She had no idea how long she had sat there starring at him. Probably to long, she had the entire picture memorized. Everything from his crisply pressed blue officers uniform to the colors of the changing leaves on the tree behind him. But he had finally gotten bored with her and now he appeared to be sleeping.
Just bloody wonderful, she couldn’t even get a man in a picture to pay attention to her. Three parents and not one interested enough to so much as give her the time of day.
In that moment Lindsey had never wished so much that she had loving parents like her boyfriend. Being at the Weasley’s house for that one lovely week had changed her whole perspective on family.
Sure Hugo parents bickered a lot. Well almost constantly. But it was the way that they went about it. No one in the house ever took it seriously, and when they added Lindsey into the banter she felt at home. Part of the family.
She would have sat there looking at his smooth face for hours more if she hadn’t been distracted by the sound of tires crunching on the gravel in the front drive. Lindsey hurriedly stuffed the photo back into it’s drawer and threw the tube of mascara back on top, before slamming the drawer shut. She made it to the bedroom window just in time to see the shiny black BMW disappear into the garage.
A/N: I am very sorry that my chapters are so short. I promise that I am trying to make them longer, it's just not working out to well.
Hugo sat silently look at the photo. He had no idea what to say, this was not at all what he had expected. At the most he had assumed that Lindsey had gotten into another row with Dale. These always seemed to upset her the most, but normally she quickly brushed them off.
Hugo briefly closed his eyes before turning on the narrow bench to face her. They were sitting outside in the courtyard. It was a beautiful fall day, only a couple of weeks after classes had resumed.
"They’re everywhere Hugo. Scattered in various places all over the house. Most are tucked under bites of rubbish, so that they look inconspicious."
"Did you try and talk to your mum about it?"
Lindsey shook her head and looked down at her lap. "Not the pictures but I did ask her about him.......a bit." Lindsey looked back up, but still wouldn’t meet Hugo’s brilliant blue eyes. "All that she would say is that he was a pilot in the RAF." Lindsey noticed the blank look on his face. "Oh umm that’s the muggle Royal Air Force, you know."
"Oh aye. So he flew and umm areoplane thingy." Hugo waved his hand around in the air as he gave Lindsey a sheepish lopsided smile.
She couldn’t help but laugh, his entire fun loving personality was contagious.
At the slight change in her mood Hugo’s smile stabilized it’s self across his face, and he reached out to take her hand.
Once he had his fingers intertwined with hers he became serious again and looked at the picture in his other hand.
The focus of the photo was a man in about his mid twenties. He had slanted eyes and a short nose set over a curvy smile. But at first glance no one would have paid any attention to his facial features. Their attention would have been distracted by his short spiky vibrant blue hair.
Hugo looked from the blue haired man in the photo to the purple haired girl next to him.
"I have never heard of a metamorphmugus who wasn’t a wizard. So why was a wizard in the muggle military?"
"All mum knew." Lindsey paused and took a deep breath, she sat silently for a moment with her head leaned back against the bench looking at the fading sky. "Or at least all she would say was that he worked for the Ministry of Magic." After Lindsey finished explaining she withdrew her hand from Hugo’s warm grasp and once again disappeared into herself.
The great hall was abuzz with activity tonight. No one seemed in the least bit interested in eating dinner, even though tonight steak and kidney pie was being served.
Quiddditch tryouts had officially started this evening. The Ravenclaw team had been picked. Never given to procrastination they had held their tryouts first. Gryffindor was first thing in the morning, followed by Slytherin in the evening and Hufflepuff following up on Sunday.
The Ravenclaw picks were the talk of the school. Bets were being collected and odds calculated for tomorrows top picks.
As far as most of the school was concerned the position of the Gryffindor seeker was as good as made, a sure bet. Darren Alden sat at a table between Lily and Maddie. They had their heads bent closely together looking at a crumpled piece of parchment. Their untouched plates were pushed forward on the table, forgotten.
"Seriously, you lot have gone mental. You are no closer now to picking the rest of the team now then you were at the beginning of the week." Hugo informed the three of them as he and Lindsey took the bench across from them.
"Really Maddie the answers aren’t on that bit of parchment. They are on the pitch in the morning." Lindsey laughed at the three faces scowling across the table from her.
"Aye, the bloody early hour that you decided to hld tryouts should weed out a few of them." Hugo said without looking up from the plate that he was overfilling.
"There were a few sign ups for keeper this year."
"Oh I bet that Joey would do really well. He signed up for beater but I bet they he would much rather play keeper."
"Aww but Joey and Amy would make a really good pair of beaters." Lily said as she tapped her finger at the names on the list, and gave Hugo an evil look for provoking Maddie.
"Don’t worry I’ll be there." Hugo responded to the barb between mouth fulls of pie. Which caused Lindsey to nudge him in the ribs with her elbow.
"That’s good because Joey is quick and has a mean back hand. It would be a shame to waste his agility just sitting by the goals."
"What’s that supposed to mean Alden, your not even on the team yet." Hugo’s remark caused Maddie to slam down her glass of pumpkin juice and glare at him.
"I can’t wait by dinnertime tomorrow this will all be over. Then no one will be under any pressure and everyone can go back to being HAPPY." Lindsey chimed in her voice raising when she said happy.
"Thank Merlin for small favors, and it should last almost until our first practice."
"Oh no." Maddie’s face quickly changed from the glare that was usually directed at Hugo to a look of terror. "I haven’t scheduled the pitch for our first practice yet." She said as she jumped up from the table nearly knocking Alden off the bench. She nearly made it to the hall doors before she rushed back and grabbed the crumpled tattered parchment out of Alden’s hands. He sat looking after her with an amused look on his face before finally brushing a stray dred lock back over his shoulder and turning to Lily.
"She isn’t always like this...is she?"
"No, she is just really stressed out right now. She wants the cup so bad and without Tim this year." Lily broke off as Hugo nearly choked on a bite of pie because he was laughing.
"Sorry." Hugo said after taking a drink. "Maddie will be a great leader....in a couple of weeks."
Hugo and Lily started the long trek back up to Gryffindor Tower from the basement after leaving Lindsey a little earlier that evening than usual in preparation for the early morning tryouts. Alden had suddenly disappeared and Hugo had a sinking suspension that Lily had planned it. The limber little black boy had almost become like his cousins shadow during the course of the week.
"So Lins seems in a much better mood." Lily said rather chirpy while giving Hugo a sideways glance.
"Ugh. So you finally got her to talk about it. I knew that she would feel better after she talked to you, about whatever it was." Lily paused giving Hugo a chance to explain. But the silence dragged on.
"Well damn it Hugo what was wrong? I’ve tried to talk to her, but she just pretends like everything is ok. And then she starts starring off into space again like she’s lost it." Lily had stopped and was leaning against the railing on the staircase, which thankfully was not moving.
"Lily, I can’t. I mean I don’t know all of it." Hugo kept looking around refusing to meet his cousins brown eyes. "It’s. She’s not better. I don’t know."
Lily looked steadily at him. Forcing Hugo to finally meet her gaze. "Hugo what do you mean?"
"I gave her a Draught of Peace." Hugo almost shouted it in his anxiety. "Oh Merlin. But she doesn’t know."
"You what. Hugo why? Oh no you didn’t make it yourself? Not after that mess you made last year in potions. If you had messed up with the Hellebore it could have killed her." Lily stood in a towering rage with her wand pointed at her cousin.
"No. Me. Nnno. Me mum. I owled her right after I got Lins to talk." Hugo lifted up his hands and let them drop back to his sides silently asking Lily to understand. "She was a right wreck, I didn’t know what else to do. I finally got her up to the owlery and we stayed there almost all night."
Lily closed her eyes and lowered her wand. She turned her back on her cousin and started back up the stairs. "You had better bloody start from the beginning."
Hugo rummaged through his robe pockets and pulled out a creased copy of Mr. Burge’s photo. Lily stopped again to look at the photo. Her eyes the size of galleons.
"Lins said that there are pictures like that ll over the house. She just can’t believe that she never noticed them before. It’s like her mum is still in love with him."
Lily gasped and if it was possible Hugo would have sworn that her eyes got even bigger. He could see his own torn face reflected back at him in their brown depths.
"Hugo his hair just turned blue!" Lily screamed.
"My dear you are in a school full of magic. Surely there is no need to scream over someone changing the color of their hair. You should be more courteous some of us are trying to sleep." The brisk voice came from a painting behind them. "Go on then leave me be, off you go."
Lily turned to glare at the little plump lady in her frame. "Do I seem simple to you? I am very much aware that I am in a school of magic and that wizards can very easily change the color of their hair. I however have not ever seen on of you do it." Lily pointed her finger at the lady in question.
"Well dear pardon me. I however am not a metamorphmagus, nor do I believe that any of the other painted subjects are either." The rotund women said raising her little nose into the air a fraction. "It is also impolite to point."
Lily turned on her heel and stalked away. Hugo was close behind after shaking his head at the outspoken lady in the painting.
The duo had nearly reached the Gryffindor common room before Lily spoke again. "So that’s were she got her magic ability from. I suppose that I always knew, I just never really thought much about it."
"Moonstone." Hugo said the password to the fat lady as they reached the common room. Causing Lily to turn her almost permanent at this point glare on him. Moonstone was the other main ingredient in the Draught of Peace potion, a wry fact that had not escaped his cousins attention.
"So any idea how Bess met a wizard in the first place?" Lily asked as she sat in a large club chair next to the fire.
"Oi he was in the RAF. The Royal Air Force." He hastened yo explain. "But he actually worked for the Ministry of Magic." Hugo lamely finished while shaking his head. "None of it really makes sense Lil."
"Wait you mean the ministry put him in the muggle military?" Lily jumped up from her chair. "Hugo, Alden’s dad was in the RAF... thingy." Lily waved her hand in the air. "Come on we have to go talk to him. I bet he knows more about it. His dad may have even been on assignment with Burge."