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A/N: This story has got to be my favourite story I have ever written. As soon as I was given the characters, I haven't stopped writing. I've been waiting days to post this. LOL.
Challenge: Romance Me Dangerously.
Credit to Strings for the name of the gang, La Oscurità.
Enjoy and please review to let me know what you think. :)
Lysander Scamander swore repeatedly as he threw the covers from himself and jumped out of bed. He stood in the middle of his room, directly between his wardrobe and the open door that revealed his bathroom and, inside, the inviting shower. He could just imagine the water trickling down his body, washing everything away, and, hearing his still ringing alarm, hated that he had to skip the shower to get to work. Throwing on the first things he could find, not caring whether or not they matched - he was his mother's son - Lysander ran hastily into the bathroom and rushed brushing his teeth, purposely facing away from the shower. He felt its taunts, calling to him like a Siren call. Lysander shook his head as he sprayed some deodorant on, knowing that was crazy, and left the bathroom, going to the fireplace to floo to the Ministry.
He sincerely hoped he had shouted clear enough that he would end up at his actual destination - this time. He did not need another thing to go wrong today. Lysander stumbled out of the fireplace and breathed a sigh of relief as he looked around the atrium. Not able to take in the room's beauty - again - Lysander broke into a run to the elevator, past the statues, apologizing as he pushed through the crowds. He squeezed himself into the small spot at the front and stretched to reach the button to take him to his desired floor. Thankfully, someone closer understood which button he was trying to press and did it for him.
"Thank you," he smiled gratefully to her, but she just ignored him. He endured the bumps and jabs to his sides as people left the elevator, knowing it was what he deserved for being late, until it was his turn to leave. Lysander sprinted the last few yards till he reached the conference room, where the other Aurors were having their weekly briefing meeting.
Lysander took a deep breath and entered as quietly as he could. He let go of the breath when he noticed the Head Auror's back was turned and tip toed to his seat, the other Aurors ignoring him, used to it.
"You're late again, Lysander."
He cursed silently, knowing he shouldn't have believed that Harry Potter wouldn't notice. "I am so sorry. I know it's becoming a bit of a habit, but I am really trying. I'm earlier than last time."
Harry turned around. "Are you prepared for work this time?"
"Absolutely," Lysander nodded enthusiatically.
"Really?" Harry asked, skeptical. Lysander nodded again. "Where's your wand?"
"Right here," Lysander patted his body, checking every pocket, then looked up with a horrible realization, "by my alarm clock." He grimaced and sighed, "I knew I forgot something; I thought it was my keys..." He shut his eyes, a pained look across his face, "...which are by my front door. I'm so sorry."
Harry sighed and Lysander refused to open his eyes, not wanting to see his disappointed look. Harry was a family friend, as well as his Godfather, and had been supportive of him when he had said he wanted to become an Auror. He was good to him when stuff like this happened. No one else had the faith in Lysander that Harry had; he didn't want all of Harry's support to be for nothing. "Sit down, Lysander, you can retrieve them later." He braved opening in his eyes and was relieved to see his Godfather's expression was stern but not disappointed. He smiled a little. "After we've had a chat." His smile faltered.
The meeting was almost over, so Lysander didn't have to wait long. When the last senior Auror finished his review of his most recent case, Harry dismissed them. Lysander watched as they left, not wanting to look at his Godfather until he had to. He scrunched his face in confusion when Ron gave him a weird look, then shook his head at Harry. Lysander didn't know what Harry did, but Ron rolling his eyes told him Harry disagreed.
Harry shut the door after Ron, sat on the table and patted the side once. Lysander understood and stood up to sit on the table next to him instead. "What's going on, Ly?"
"Nothing, honest, I'm just tired," he said quickly. "I'm late, so I work late to make up for it, only to be late the next day because I didn't get much sleep. So, I forget a couple of things. Not that I need my wand anyway," he added quietly. "I only do paperwork and I know sorting by magic is quicker, but I prefer to do it by hand, because you're less likely to mess up and misplace files."
"You're rambling," Harry interrupted. "And your shirt is buttoned up wrong."
Lysander looked down and groaned, "Oh, man." He undid his shirt, buttoning it up properly. "Maybe we were wrong, Harry. Maybe I should listen to what everyone is saying, I shouldn't be an Auror."
"No one is saying that."
"Yes, they are," Lysander whispered. "They think I don't hear them, but I do."
Harry stood up and moved in front of Lysander, he put his hands on his Godson's shoulders and forced him to look up. "Do not listen to anyone else but yourself, do you understand me? Listen to your heart, to your instincts. You wanted to be an Auror because you listened to your heart and you made the right choice. You passed your training, beating the rest of the team, including your partner. You didn't get in here because of me."
Lysander winced; it was one of only many rumors he had heard. "You were here early everyday, you left late and you gave your training everything you could and it worked; you passed. You deserve to be here, you deserve to be an Auror. We just need to get the old Lysander back and we can. You're tired, that's all."
Harry held Lysander's face in his hands, looking him in the eyes, until he spoke. "Okay." Harry smiled and sat down next to him again. "Give me something to prove it," Lysander spoke after a few minutes of silence. "I want to prove that everything you just said is true, that I deserve to be here, and I can do that if you give me an actual case, something to do instead of paperwork."
Harry turned and hesitated for a second before picking up a file. "You know about a gang called La Oscurita?"
"Yes," Lysander nodded. "It's Latin for 'The Dark'. They carve the shape of a cat's eye on their victims' left cheek and they have it tattooed onto the back of their right shoulders, like they're saying they're watching us. It's a big case; it's yours and Ron's."
Harry held up the file. "Last week, we found a witness. But we're really sure, almost positive actually, that the killer knows who the witness is, too; he almost died yesterday. We just managed to keep it quiet. He's going into protective custody and I want you to look after him."
"Babysitting? But -"
"Not buts," Harry stopped him. "I'm not giving you this case because I'm your Godfather and I think this will keep you safe and I'm definitely not because I don't think you can handle anything bigger. You are getting this case because you only passed your training two months ago and every young Auror starts this way. My first case was making sure Draco Malfoy didn't get into any more trouble."
Lysander laughed a little. "How did that go?"
"Terrible," Harry replied honestly. "For the first week. Once I realized I had to do it and he understood I wasn't going anywhere, it got easier. We didn't become best friends by the end of the two years, but we still meet up when we can for a beer and we talk about our families and friends and work."
Lysander processed the information Harry gave him; he had always wondered how they became friends. He scoffed. "Do you really think that will happen between me and this witness?"
"It will take less than a week to become his friend, but you won't be in protective custody for two years."
Lysander looked confused for a second, but overlooked it. "Okay, I can do it. Who's the witness?"
Harry hesitated again. "This is where it becomes kind of... Tricky."
Lysander got what he was saying. "This is the reason Ron was looking at me weird. This is why he doesn't want me to take this case; he doesn't trust me."
"He wants to trust you and part of him does," Harry tried to explain. "He doesn't want anyone to do this but him, but he can't. It's hard for him to be in this situation."
"The witness is his son, Hugo."
"Oh, now I understand," Lysander answered. "Wait, H-Hugo?"
"After Hugo was almost killed yesterday, Ron's just worried," Harry said. "It's not you." Lysander watched Harry closely; he knew he wanted to say something else. "I'm going to tell you something. Ron doesn't want me to, but I think you have to know everything. You need to know what I'm letting you into."
Harry nodded once, "There's something going on with Hugo, something he won't tell anyone, something to do with his job. He says it's just confidential, but it feels like something more than that." He turned to face Lysander properly. "Maybe you can figure that out while you protect him."
"Can I ask why?" Lysander asked. "We can't talk about open cases, maybe it is just confidential."
"When anyone tries to talk about his job, he closes up completely. It's like he's scared," Harry told him.
Lysander slid off the table quietly and opened the door, before turning to face Harry again. "I'll do my best to find out what's going on with him while I protect him. Thanks for giving me this opportunity, Harry. I won't let you down."
With a nod of the head, Harry handed Lysander the file and he left the conference room and went to his office. He placed the file onto his desk and picked up the key he used to lock his office door when he forgot his wand. A tap on the glass made Lysander jump and he turned.
"Mum! What are you doing here?"
Luna walked in and closed the door. She walked across and hugged Lysander. "Ron called and told me you forgot your wand and your keys, I thought I would bring them for you," she answered when she let go and then removed the items from her pocket to hand to him.
Lysander took them and smiled gratefully, "Thank you."
"I also hear you have a case," Luna said. Lysander smiled a little; being able to actually do something, even if it was babysitting, was something he had always wanted. Then he frowned, knowing he couldn't talk about an open investigation. "Don't worry, Harry told me about it, so your father and I wouldn't worry. We won't tell anyone."
"When did he tell you?"
"Yesterday. Harry has thought about giving you this case since they found out Hugo was the witness, but, because Ron disagreed, left it until yesterday when it couldn't be ignored." Luna smiled softly, "He's so proud of you and so are your dad and I."
"I haven't done anything for any of you to be proud of yet," Lysander sighed.
"Your determination to ignore what people say and be an Auror is only part of what makes us proud of you," Luna said. She turned her head to the side, as if studying him. "Do you know why I chose Harry as your Godfather and Neville as Lorcan's, instead of you both having the same?"
Lysander shook his head and shrugged. "You wanted to be different. No offense, Mum, but it's not uncommon."
Luna laughed, Lysander joining in after a couple of seconds. "From the moment you were born, I knew you would go on to do great things. I knew you would be kind and brave and good, you would be filled with determination, even when others didn't believe in you. I knew you'd have compassion and loyalty, you would do anything to help a person, whether friend or foe, and you wouldn't ask for anything in return. Just like Harry."
Lysander looked at her curiously. "You saw all that just by looking at me?"
"Mother's intuition," Luna said, as if it explained everything.
"Really? For a minute there, I thought it was because some magical creature went into your head and told you," Lysander joked.
He expected his mother to laugh, but she looked thoughtful. "Wispies only come out during a full moon, you weren't born on a full moon." Luna checked her watch and spoke again before he could answer. "I should go, hopefully I'll see you soon. Good luck."
Lysander only waved as she left, too surprised by what she had said to speak. He put his wand into his cloak and started to read the file.
The sky had darkened, revealing how late it had become, when a knock on the door made Lysander look up and he hastily finished the piece of sandwich in his mouth before calling for them to come in.
Harry opened the door and stepped inside. "Time for you to go. Hugo is packed and ready. He'll be staying at yours tonight and tomorrow morning, I will be there to take the two of you to the safe house." He checked his watch. "You need to be up by six am and ready by six twenty. I will be there then with the port key that will take you at exactly half past six. I'll give you more information tomorrow." Harry checked his watch again. "Hugo will be here any minute -"
"I am not an idiot. I can get from the elevator to an office without causing trouble!"
"Now," Harry finished.
"So, you're the one ordered to protect me." They turned to the door to see Hugo leaning against the frame.
"Hugo, you know Lysander Scamander," Harry stated, pointing to his Godson. Lysander held up a hand and gave a small wave.
Hugo nodded, "Yeah, I remember you. Last time we actually met, you ran away." Lysander covered his head in his hands, embarrassed the man still remembered. He didn't see Hugo grin.
"He'll be -"
"Babysitting me," Hugo interrupted. Lysander snickered, removing his hands, remembering what he had said this morning. He took note of the differences between himself and the man in front of him. Hugo was casual; his arms were folded over his white t-shirt and he could see the outline of his abs; he worked out regularly. He was wearing dark, tight-fitting jeans and, when his shirt raised as he scratched the back of his head, the elastic band of his underwear could be seen. He finished his outfit with a black jacket and sneakers and around his neck was a silver chain. It was a vast contrast to his formal suit and Ministry required cloak.
He didn't notice Harry look at him weird or Hugo smirk. "Like what you see?"
Lysander's cheeks turned red and he looked away quickly. "Sorry."
"Don't apologize," Hugo laughed. "I welcome it after a week of being yelled at. It's nice to know someone likes me."
Lysander stuttered, not able to talk properly with Harry watching him, seemingly amused. "I was just -" He pointed to his neck. "Nice necklace."
"Oh," Hugo said, looking down. He pulled the necklace out from underneath his t-shirt and lifted it up slightly, so Lysander could see the 'H' dangling at the bottom. "Thanks. I got it in Miami."
Ron coughed and clapped his hands together. "Okay, you've got plenty of time to... Bond. It's time to go."
Lysander grabbed his cloak, still embarrassed, and followed Ron and Hugo out, Harry walking behind them. They walked in silence to the atrium and stopped at the first fireplace. "I'll see you tomorrow morning. Six o'clock, Ly, don't forget."
Lysander told him he wouldn't, stepped into the fire and shouted his address. He was alone only for a few seconds before Hugo walked into his living room, bag in hand. "Nice place."
"Erm, thanks. There's only one room. I'll show you where it is and I'll sleep on the couch."
Lysander looked confused. "No?"
"No," Hugo repeated. "I'm invading your life because my uncle wants you to keep me safe, the least I can do is sleep on the couch and let you keep your bed."
"You're sure?" Hugo nodded and dropped his bag to the floor. "Okay. I'll get you some pillows and a blanket. I'll be back in a minute."
Lysander walked into the closet and pulled out what he needed. He walked back in after a couple of minutes and Hugo was sat back on the couch waiting for him. Lysander stopped when he noticed that he had removed his shirt and his jeans button was undone with his zip pulled down. Blushing, Lysander quickly dropped the blanket and pillow down next to him. "Here you go, I'll see you in the morning. Good night."
"Night," Hugo answered, grinning.
Lysander left before he could embarrass himself further. He didn't know what was worse; that Hugo with no shirt on had caused him to blush, or that Hugo knew why he was blushing.
A/N: Chapter two. I don't know when I'll be able to update again after this chapter. I'm staying at my dad's for three weeks this summer and, unless my stepmum lets me use her laptop, I won't have a computer. :(
Until next time, I hope you enjoy this chapter! :)
Lysander barely slept, though whether it was because of the task he had been given or that he was still embarrassed about what happened last night, he wasn't sure. He was awake before the alarm for the first time in two months and quickly switched it off before it could make too much noise, not knowing whether or not Hugo was still sleeping. He knew Hugo had been told to be up by six, too, but Lysander didn't want to wake him himself.
Unlike yesterday, Lysander took his time to get ready, starting with his shower. He shut his eyes as the water ran down his body and pushed his hair back with his hands, clearing his head. When he was certain he had spent as much time as he could with time to get dressed before Harry came, Lysander turned off the water and stepped out, drying himself with his towel before wrapping it around his waist.
He walked across the small bathroom to the sink and wiped his hand over the mirror so he could see his reflection. He winced as he realized how much his hard work had taken its toll; his eyes were dull and lifeless with bags underneath due to lack of sleep. Making a mental note to use a glamour when he was back in his room, he stepped back to see the rest of his body. He was fit, the job required it, but he certainly wasn't as defined as Hugo. Lysander wondered briefly what Hugo did to look the way he did. Not that he cared about that. He ran a hand through his hair and groaned; it was dark, like his father's, and lay flat. He never did anything with it, not having time. He thought about what it would look like if he styled it like Hugo did and pulled his hair up, imagining it was spiked, before dropping it down again. He was being ridiculous, comparing himself to Hugo. They were just different people. They did different things, Hugo had the time to work on his appearance, and that was okay. Lysander chose to be an Auror, instead of a Naturalist like his parents or a Dragon-Tamer like his twin brother, Lorcan. He accepted the long hours and hard work four years ago when he started Auror training.
Groaning, he brushed his teeth quickly and left the bathroom. Once in his room, Lysander removed the towel and went straight to his draw for clean underwear. He stopped briefly when he thought he heard something, but when he turned around no one was there. The bathroom door shut and he knew then that Hugo was awake.
He was in his wardrobe, hidden from view, when he heard Hugo leave the bathroom. He dressed slowly and, when he was sure he couldn't do anything else in his room, he walked out and into the living room. As his entered, so did Hugo, who came out of the kitchen. "Morning."
"Morning," Hugo replied, taking a sip from Lysander's plain black mug. "I hope you don't mind, I kind of raided your kitchen."
"Not at all," Lysander assured, moving to the chair. "There's nothing in there."
Hugo chuckled as he walked past to sit on the couch. "Yeah, I realized. All you have is coffee," he said, holding up the mug.
"That's for when my brother, Lorcan, comes to visit and there's so much of it because he rarely visits," Lysander explained and pulled a face. "I hate coffee."
"You're a tea-drinker?" he nodded. "Me too, really. But coffee will do." His stomach rumbled loudly. "I hope there's food at this safe house."
Lysander laughed, forgetting the nervousness he felt before. "They're not gonna leave us without food."
"You never know," Hugo replied, though he laughed, too. "You Aurors always seem so busy; you're bound to forget something one day." Lysander resisted the urge to roll his eyes and inform the other man that it was just him. "So, Ly, as Uncle Harry calls you, boys or girls?"
Lysander felt his cheeks go red, last night coming back in his mind. He squirmed, refused to look Hugo in the eye and coughed awkwardly, before whispering meekly, "What?"
Hugo rolled his eyes. "Do you like boys or girls?"
"I know what you meant, why are you asking? Was it not obvious after last night?"
Hugo ran a hand through his hair, brushing it out of the way, as he chuckled. Lysander chose to watch that instead of the man's face. It was darker than the rest of the Weasleys' famous red hair, his mother's genes had won with Hugo, giving him a dark shade of brunet, though, thankfully, his hair was straight. "I thought so, at first, but it could easily have been because it's been a while since you've had someone stay. If I were a girl, you'd still be nervous. So, I thought I'd ask."
Lysander cleared his throat, still slightly embarrassed. "Boys," he finally answered. "You?"
"I like to play on both sides," he said, winking. Lysander narrowed his eyes and turned his head slightly. "Both, I'm bisexual," he clarified, thinking he misunderstood.
"I got what you meant," Lysander murmured.
"Then what's with the face?"
The young Auror turned back to face him properly and stood up. "Harry's coming."
Hugo stood up too, confused. "Huh?" The fireplace roared into life and Harry stepped out. "How did you know that?"
Hugo rolled his eyes and glared, about to say something when Harry stepped in, explaining. "He put a charm on the fireplace which tells him when someone is coming. Since I'm the only one coming, he knew it was me."
"Oh," he said. He turned to Lysander, "Why couldn't you have just said that?"
He turned to him, confused, "I did; magic."
Harry watched the two of them, looking both amused and worried. "I can tell you two are going to have fun."
Lysander narrowed his eyes at his godfather, "Was that meant to be sarcasm?"
"I'm honestly not sure," Harry said, shrugging. "How was your night, Hugo?"
He checked his watch; five minutes. "Got everything?" Harry pulled out a blue pen while the boys put on their jackets and picked up their bags. When they were standing in front of him, he held out the pen for them to hold on to. As soon as Harry's watch said half past, the pen glowed and Lysander's apartment disappeared.
They let go of the pen as soon as they touched the floor. Lysander looked out of the window to see a beach. He could feel a light breeze and smell the ocean air. Looking up, he noticed the open window. Then he felt someone's hair in his face and noticed that Hugo had followed him and was leaning against him to look out of the window. His arm was draped over his right shoulder, Hugo's cheek touching his own. Lysander turned his head to the left, Hugo still holding onto him. "Where are we?"
"Spain," Harry answered. "I’m not telling you where abouts; safety reasons. I got this place for Ginny and I for when we wanted to get away from everything and it was perfect for a safe house; if I can hide here, you can hide here."
Harry walked over to the window. "This house and everything you can see is yours. You can't go past that wall; that's where the Fidelius Charm ends. You can use the beach, there's a pool in the garden, the charm doesn't go past the gate," he pointed behind him. "The kitchen is fully stocked, there's emergency money in the safe and there's a village about five minutes away if you turn left out of the gate."
"We can go out?" Hugo asked.
"Lysander can go out," Harry corrected. "When necessary. Unfortunately you can't use magic to make food. I don't know how long you'll be here and the food you have won't last forever."
"Will that be safe?"
"This is your first assignment. You've never been out in the field before, no one knows you," Harry explained. "Plus, no one knows about this place, so no one will even think of coming here to look for Hugo. Even if they do, they won't think to look for you. So, yes, it's safe for you to go out and get supplies. But stay on your guard anyway, alright?"
Lysander nodded and Harry took out another pen, black this time. “Magic can't be used here, so it's the Muggle way for you, too. Only I can get in with a port key, so don't expect anyone else. I'll check in from time to time." The pen glowed. "I'll see you both soon."
Both men shouted good bye as Harry left and Hugo looked out the window again. "Wow, all of this to ourselves. Protective custody might not be so bad after all." He turned back to Lysander, "I should be at the wrong place at the wrong time more often."
The Auror opened his mouth to comment when he started to yawn. "You're tired," Hugo stated. "Get some sleep and I'll make breakfast. Do you like scrambled egg?"
Lysander smiled as Hugo took off his jacket and walked into the kitchen. "Yeah."
"It'll be ready for when you wake up," Hugo promised. "Sleep."
Taking his bag, Lysander went to leave the room to pick a bedroom and get some sleep. "Oh, Ly! Not that I mind, but you might want to shut your door next time you're getting changed." Lysander stopped and turned, blushing. So he did hear something. Hugo was standing by the kitchen door, grinning. "One more thing," he said, as he stepped into the kitchen. "Wow."
Lysander couldn't help but smile at the compliment.
As soon as he finished his breakfast, Hugo washed his plate and wondered around the safe house, getting used to where everything was. Everything was white and blue; that was the first thing he noticed. The walls, the tiled floor, the kitchen counter, the furniture. It was calm and serene, just what Hugo needed. He glanced out into the garden to inspect the pool; it was bigger than the garden at his family home. The actual garden was huge. Apart from the pool and a few deck chairs, it was empty. No swings, no toys, no Quidditch supplies. It was definitely just where Harry and Ginny came to relax and not for kids. Did they never bring his cousins or did they buy this house when they were older? He was tempted to take a swim, but his desire to see the rest of the house won. There was plenty of time, he reasoned.
Stepping back inside, Hugo walked back into the living room and picked up his bag. He climbed the stairs and walked down the hall to find a room. He stopped when he heard a snore and looked into the first bedroom on his left. Lysander was fast asleep on top of the bed, clothes and shoes still on. He had left his door open again (he was obviously used to living alone). He let out another loud snore and Hugo smiled and closed the door, before moving on the find his own room. He took the one next door and threw his bag on the bed. Then he went downstairs and out to the beach.
Hugo needed to think. He didn't know what he was going to do now that magic was impossible to use here. He understood why he couldn't, but it hindered his routine. A routine he needed to maintain if he was going to stay with Lysander. He had something else that would work; he just hoped there was enough. Hugo sighed and rubbed his right shoulder.
The sound of the sea crashing against the shore woke Lysander. He rolled onto his back and stretched, groaning, and looked at the clock; it was nine o'clock, he had been asleep for just over two hours. Next to the clock were two pictures; one of Harry and Ginny on their wedding day and one of James, Albus and Lily all in their Hogwarts uniforms on Lily's first day. He hadn't noticed when he entered the room, he had just wanted to sleep, but this room was Harry and Ginny's bedroom. He stood up and walked to the window to see out to the beach, wondering if he should switch rooms; it felt strange to be in his godfather's room, wrong even. This was where Harry came to be alone; it felt like an invasion of privacy. Movement in the corner of his eye snapped Lysander from his thoughts and he could see Hugo by the water.
He jogged down the stairs, to the door, and, taking off his shoes and socks and rolling up his jeans, Lysander stepped out onto the beach and walked along the water to where Hugo was. He stopped just behind him and watched as he did movements with his hands.
Hugo turned in his movements and stopped when he saw Lysander standing in front of him. He dropped his hands. "Hi. You're awake."
Lysander nodded. "Hi."
"There's food for you in the oven," he said pointing to the house, suddenly shy.
"I'll get it later," Lysander shrugged. "What were you doing?"
Hugo scratched the back of his neck. "It's called Tai Chi. I learnt while in China for a couple of months. There are different forms, but I meditate. It calms me."
Lysander wondered what Hugo did that he would need calming, but ignored it for now. "It looks cool."
Hugo grinned now, back to his old self. "Thanks. My sister thought I was strange for liking it."
"Well, your sister's strange for marrying Malfoy, so I think you're okay."
Hugo laughed, Lysander joining in after a second. "Funny, you and I are going to get on great. You wanna try?"
"I'd love to." Hugo held out his hand for Lysander to take and pulled him lightly forward so Hugo was standing behind him. He wrapped his hands over Lysander's and stood close so his lips were near his ear.
Hugo breathed out slowly, his breath tickling Lysander's ear, and he tried to suppress as shiver.
"Cold?" Hugo whispered. Lysander could only shake his head. Time seemed to pass slowly as Hugo showed Lysander some basic meditation, whispering instructions into his ear. When Hugo finished, he moved his hands up to Lysander's shoulders, then down to his hips. "You're a fast learner. Do you feel calmer?"
"Yeah," he muttered, slightly awed that it actually worked. "Thanks," he said, turning around, Hugo's hands still around his waist. "I'd like to learn more."
Hugo smiled, "If you want, we're not going anywhere. But not now," he moved his hands to his sides. "I've no doubt you're hungry." As if on cue, Lysander's stomach rumbled. Laughing, Hugo turned him around and they walked back to the house. "So, you've just finished your Auror training?"
"Two months ago," Lysander answered.
"So, that makes you twenty two?" he asked. Lysander nodded. "You're practically a baby. Yet here you are."
"I'm not that young!" he protested. "Whatever you think I'm too young for, I assure you, you're wrong!"
"Not too young for what?" Hugo turned and winked.
"Lots of things," the younger man stammered. "I was just speaking in general, you know?"
Chuckling, Hugo shook his head. "I wasn't implying you were too young."
Misunderstanding, Lysander turned to him. "You're not old. You're only thirty."
Hugo turned to face him properly, so he was walking backwards, looking outraged. "First of all, I'm twenty nine, thank you very much. Secondly, I was not implying I was old." He poked the boy in the chest. "What the hell do you think I'm too old for?" He was smirking now, Lysander didn't like it.
"Nothing! I was just saying!" Lysander sighed. "What did you mean?"
Hugo relaxed but kept his finger on his chest. "I meant that you're young, you can do anything you want, and instead you're here, babysitting a twenty nine year old." He stressed his age. "Does that not bother you?"
Lysander thought for a second, before shaking his head. "Not really. I've wanted to be an Auror since I was a kid, I want to help people. If staying with you keeps you safe, then I'm helping."
Hugo cocked his head to the left, as if thinking, then nodded once. "Okay."
It was silent the rest of the way, they didn't talk until they reached the kitchen and Hugo turned on the oven to heat Lysander's breakfast. "You're not like your parents."
It wasn't a question and Hugo turned around, but he didn't look confused. "What do you mean?"
Lysander looked pensive, "Your mum rationalizes everything; she points out all the things that could go wrong. Your dad jumps to conclusions at everything, at least it feels like everything, maybe it's just everything I do. I don't think he trusts me." He pulled a face, remembering something. "I remember when I was nine; it was Harry's birthday party and I said I wanted to be an Auror for the first time. My parents were supportive, Harry and Ginny were supportive. But your mum told my mum that they should sit me down and have a serious chat about what it would be like and the percentage of people who actually pass. Your dad didn't think I would have what it takes. I'm not like Lorcan." Hugo coughed and Lysander looked up quickly, snapping out of his memory. "You're not like that. Even Rose has some of those traits."
"Well, I'm not like Rose," Hugo smiled sympathetically. "While my parents spent their time saving the world, one criminal and house elf at a time, and my sister spent her time with Albus, James and Malfoy, I was sent to Uncle George." He took out Lysander's plate, placed it down in front of him and sat down beside him. "According to my mother, Uncle George was the only one who could work and look after me, since he owned his own shop. George and Angie were the parents I looked up to; who I talked to when I needed to. Fred and Roxy were the siblings I played with. Don't get me wrong, I love my family, we're just not the same." He turned to face Lysander, grinning, "At least I gained a sense of humor." He pointed to the plate, "Eat. I'll be in the living room." Hugo took his hand and squeezed it tightly, then left.
Lysander wondered if Hugo felt a spark too.
A/N: Chapter three. A few of the warning are used here; particularly scenes of a sexual nature and contains slash (which are connected. LOL.) Also, my love of cartoons comes out in this. Danger Mouse does not belong to me.
On with the story. :)
"First word that comes to your head. Danger."
"Mouse," Hugo said instantly.
Lysander looked at the older boy weirdly. They were sitting cross-legged on the floor of the living room, a selection of Chinese food around them. "What?"
"You've never heard of Danger Mouse?" Hugo asked. Lysander shook his head slowly. Hugo's eyes widened, "That just won't do! Danger Mouse is a classic TV show from the 1980's, I found it in a Muggle DVD shop when I was eight and Uncle George bought it for me; best decision I ever made. And when this is over, I'm gonna strap you down and make you watch it."
"You don't need to strap me down, I'll watch it willingly. All you have to do is ask," Lysander replied, rolling his eyes.
Hugo leaned forward, so Lysander could feel his breath on his face, and whispered, "But where's the fun in that?" He reached forward slowly and pulled back with a spring roll in his hand, winking. "Fire."
Hugo nodded his head appreciatively. "Ogden's finest. Good choice. Do we have any here?"
Lysander grinned and picked up the bottle by his side. "Found it in the back of the cupboard." He handed it to Hugo, who poured some into his empty water glass. Lysander pulled a face as Hugo drank some. "I don't see how you can drink that. I can't unless I'm already drunk, something I actually know from experience."
"Mine and Lorcan's twenty first birthday party," he said, groaning. "I don't remember much of it."
Hugo laughed. "Don't worry; I don't really remember my twenty first either." He carried on with the game. "Power."
"It's my turn!"
Hugo shrugged. "You took too long. Power."
"That's a good one."
Lysander chewed on a piece of pork while he studied Hugo's face; he was smiling, but it wasn't his usual cocky grin, he seemed genuinely impressed. Lysander shrugged, embarrassed. "Ravenclaw."
"Yeah, I know," Hugo said. "Your mum told Harry, who told us. It's too bad I finished my Seventh year the year you started."
"Might not be," Lysander muttered.
"Why?" Hugo asked, having heard him.
He shook his head. "Never mind, it doesn't matter. My turn. Brave."
Hugo ignored Lysander's last statement. "Lysander," he said, chuckling.
"I'm not brave," he sighed.
The older boy shook his head, "You can spend more than a day in my company; yes, you're brave." They both laughed along at the joke, but Lysander still wondered why he would have said it in the first place. He wanted to ask, but Hugo changed the subject. "Why does Harry call you Ly?"
"Ly is in Lysander," he said, grinning, though confused.
Hugo stared at him for longer than necessary, not releasing eye contact. It was starting to make him uncomfortable. "It just doesn't seem to suit you. I know it's your name," he said before Lysander could tell him. "It’s just not something I would call you. It sounds weird."
"Twenty two years Harry's been calling me Ly and no one has told me it sounds weird. Have you always thought that?" he asked. Though they had always known each other, they had never really talked; Lysander had always been with Albus, whereas Hugo hung out with Fred.
Lysander smiled at his honesty. "Then what would you rather call me?"
They laughed for five minutes over the different names Hugo came up with to call him, ranging from 'Liar' to 'Sandy', all of which Lysander hated. But it was fun to laugh. He had assumed that, given the situation, this mission would be depressing and quiet. He didn't know Hugo could be so much fun, that he could make any bad situation better. He hadn't laughed so much in a long time. They both reached for the last roll, their hands touching. Lysander blushed and moved away quickly, but Hugo just smiled and cut it in half, handing one to him. "How about Xander?"
"No one has ever called me that," he mused.
"Of course they haven't; they're not me."
"Xander," he whispered. "I like it."
Hugo washed his half of his roll down with the last of his glass of fire whiskey, and then held up the glass in a salute. "Xander it is."
They quickly stacked the plates and cutlery and walked into the kitchen. "Who's gonna do the washing up?"
"We can't use magic here," Hugo reminded him.
"That doesn't help with deciding who's doing the washing up."
Hugo rolled his eyes, "its code for you can do it tomorrow. We can’t use magic here, so I’m not doing it."
"Why me?" Lysander complained, as they put the plates into the sink.
"Because I'm the oldest, which means I said so," he mocked. He took hold of Lysander's hand and pulled him into the living room, onto the couch. Hugo threw his arms over the top of the couch, Lysander sat beside him, his head resting on top of Hugo's arm, and he sighed. "It's been a nice first day in protective custody. I didn't think it would be, but it was."
Lysander chuckled softly; his eyes closed, and yawned. "Must be the company," he whispered sleepily.
"Definitely the company," Hugo agreed quietly. He watched Lysander's head roll to the side, ending up on his shoulder, and smiled as he started to snore softly. "Come on, Kid," he murmured, lifting him up. "Time for bed."
"Not a kid," he heard Lysander mutter. But he opened his eyes and let Hugo lead him upstairs. "If you've thought of a nickname for me, we should think of one for you. It's only fair," he said as Hugo opened his bedroom door.
"Sleep on it," he answered. "Need help getting changed?"
"No," he shook his head, too tired to be embarrassed at what Hugo had said. "I'll just sleep in my underwear. I can take my clothes off by myself," he said before Hugo could suggest anything.
"Spoil sport," he pouted, and then smirked, joking, while Lysander took off his top. The boy pointed out the door. "Fine, I get it. Good night."
"Night," he said just as Hugo was shutting the door. “Hey!” he called, making Hugo turn back. “Do you always flirt this much? I need to know what I’m getting myself into.”
Hugo grinned and Lysander just knew he was thinking of all the things he could reply to that comment, but instead he nodded. “Every minute of every day, you better get used to it.”
The Spanish sun shone brightly through the window and hit Lysander in the face. It was that which woke him up. He squinted and kept his eyes shut, moving onto his side. Instead of his hand hitting the quilt cover, he hit a warm, soft body. He poked him hard to make sure it wasn't a weird dream and the body groaned in pain. "What are you doing in here?"
He opened his eyes to see Hugo lying on his stomach beside him, his chin cupped in his left hand, wearing only a pair of swim shorts, and staring at him. "Do you know how hard it is to wake you up?"
"Yes, it's why I'm generally late for work," he said, sitting up. "What do you want?"
Hugo sat up so he was on his knees, "I'm going to the pool for a swim, do you want to come?"
Lysander stared at him, not knowing whether or not to be happy or pissed at the invitation; happy because it was something Hugo had done alone for the month they'd been here, pissed because he was woken up. "You woke me up just to ask if I wanted to go for a swim?"
"No," he replied, looking at him like it should be obvious. "I tried to wake you up just to ask if you wanted to go for a swim. Well, honestly, I came up to see if you were awake, then I would ask if you wanted to go for a swim."
He pulled the bedcovers off of himself and jumped out of bed. "Why would you assume I was awake?"
"It's one in the afternoon."
Lysander stopped outside of his en suite door, "Really?" Hugo nodded. "Wow. Yeah I'll go for a swim with you, just give me a few minutes."
Hugo agreed and left the room to let him change.
Fifteen minutes later, Lysander made his way downstairs and out into the garden. He stopped at the door to watch Hugo dive in and swim to the other side of the pool, the deep end. He did this most days, in the morning and at night, Lysander noticed. He walked as quickly as possible to reach the deep end of the pool before Hugo and dived in, clutching his legs to his chest like a cannonball, just left of the other man so not to hit him. Hugo came up from under the water first, and pulled Lysander up. "What the Hell, Xander? Are you trying to kill me?"
Lysander looked down, noticing that Hugo's hands were still wrapped around his waist. Hugo saw this but kept his hands where they were, raising an eye-brow instead. "You're fine," Lysander said at last, smirking. "Trust me; I know what I'm doing. I am a professional." Hugo let out a laugh as he pushed himself back into shallower waters. He pulled Lysander along with him, moving his hands to grip him properly. His actions pulled Lysander closer to his chest, but neither man seemed to notice. "Do you realize we've been here for about a month now?"
Hugo looked in thought, and then smiled. "It's amazing how time flies when you're having fun. Who knew we could have so much of it in a house we can't leave? It's not even the type of fun I used to have." He noticed Lysander's smile fade a little and carried on, "But I like it."
"You never talk about what you did while you were away," he spoke after a few minutes.
Hugo shrugged awkwardly, "Not much; a bit of this, a bit of that. Boring really."
Lysander wanted to push for more information, hoping it would help with finding out about his job and what he was afraid of, but he could see Hugo wouldn't say anymore about it and knew it was wiser to drop the subject. At least for now.
"So," Hugo spoke as if nothing about his job had been said. "Since Harry was kind enough to bring my DVD collection that I so wisely hid so the people looking for me wouldn't trash them with the rest of my apartment, I believe you owe me a Danger Mouse marathon."
Lysander smirked. "Are you going to ask?"
"Why spoil my fun?" Hugo mock sighed. "Will you watch Danger Mouse with me tonight?"
Lysander pretended to think about it until Hugo became impatient and poked him in the chest. "Yes."
"It's a date," Hugo grinned.
"A date," he repeated, whispering. Lysander touched the floor at the shallow end of the pool and leaned up, their lips almost touching. Then he stopped and stayed where he was, afraid to make the final move, afraid he would be rejected.
Hugo closed the gap. He touched his lips gently, his arms wrapped tighter around Lysander's waist, closing every space between them. He moved one hand up to cover the younger man's face as Lysander wrapped his own arms around Hugo's shoulders. Lysander parted his lips to allow entrance and Hugo took full advantage of it. His tongue battled for dominance with Lysander's and won, showing the young Auror's inexperience. But neither cared.
It seemed like forever before they pulled apart, slowly, only doing so because of their need for oxygen. The space between them was small, their foreheads touching. Lysander kept his eyes closed, taking in what had just happened. Then Hugo moved away.
He opened his eyes and saw the shocked expression on the man's face. "What is it?"
"I shouldn't have done that," he whispered, moving further back until his back hit the steps.
"It's not safe."
Lysander smiled a little, awkward, embarrassed and confused. "We're in a safe house; we're about as safe as you can get."
It's not safe with me," he whispered, looking scared. He climbed the steps and disappeared into the house before anyone could say any more.
Dinner that night was quiet and awkward. Neither spoke to the other; Lysander because he was still embarrassed and confused, Hugo because something had scared him. Every moment Lysander tried to say something, Hugo found an excuse to leave.
Lysander waited by the kitchen counter while Hugo washed the dishes, determined to find out what was going on. Hugo was taking his time, though whether it was on purpose, he wasn't sure. It seemed the most logical conclusion that Hugo was stalling. But he couldn't put it off forever and he rinsed the water from the sink and dried his hands. Lysander grabbed his arm before he even had time to think, let alone move.
"Please don't ignore me," he pleaded, whispering. "I couldn't bear that."
"I won't ignore you," Hugo replied. "We both have to live here, ignoring you would be kind of hard, actually bordering on impossible."
"Well, you've been doing a pretty good job of it all afternoon," he snapped. "What is the matter? What did I do?"
"Nothing! It's me."
Lysander shook his head. "What is it about you that is forcing you not to even look at me? Is it your job? Your past? What?"
Hugo groaned and ran his free hand through his hair. "It's complicated. I wish I could tell you, but I can't. It's dangerous being with me. I wish it weren't, but it is."
"Is this about you being a witness? I already know what's at stake. I don't care about that. We're safe here, you know we are," he told him quietly. "It's just us here, no outside world, no danger, just us. I'm not an Auror and you are not a witness. I'm Xander and you're Hugo. That's it. I know you feel something for me, you’re better than me at hiding it, but I can tell, because I feel it for you."
He could see Hugo start to relax and let out a sigh of relief. He chose now to ask: "Do you want me or not?"
Hugo looked up, looked him in the eye and ran his hand over Lysander's cheek. "Yes."
"Then there's no one here but us," he said. "There's no danger. You don't have to tell me why you're so scared, what danger you think is stopping us from seeing where we could go, as long as you do give us that chance."
"We don't have a chance," Hugo started, causing Lysander to groan and attempt to move away, but Hugo stopped him, keeping him still between him and the fridge. "Unless we keep it quiet."
Lysander looked up confused, "Who are we going to tell? We're all alone here."
"Don't tell Harry," Hugo begged. "He'd tell Dad, they would tell Mum and Ginny. Then the whole family would know, then the world. The people looking for me will know you're with me and will start looking for you, too. I can't allow that, I can't. I won't let you die for me."
"They can't find us," Lysander tried to protest.
"Say they did, then we both die. Don't tell Harry."
He knew there was something Hugo wasn't telling him, the true reason he didn't want anyone knowing, he could see it in the man's eyes, but he did as Hugo wanted. "I won't tell Harry."
Hugo took Lysander's promise as permission and pinned him to the fridge, attacking the man's lips with his own. The kiss was rougher than in the pool, hungrier, needed. Like lungs needed air. And when air was needed, Hugo started to kiss along his jaw, causing a trail down Lysander's neck. As his head went lower, Lysander's arms were raised higher, till Hugo had them pinned above his head. Lysander tilted his head back, his eyes shut tight, embracing the feel of Hugo's experienced tongue against his skin. Then he moved his arms apart, forcing Hugo to let go, and pushed him away slowly with one hand, taking Hugo's hand in another.
Hugo stopped him when he realized what was happening. "Are you sure?"
Lysander didn't need to say anything; the look in his eyes and smile on his face where enough for Hugo to nod his head.
Lysander led Hugo upstairs.
A/N: Here is chapter four, guys. Please review to let me know what you think. :)
This time, it wasn't the sun that woke Lysander; it was the tickling sensation of Hugo's breath on his neck and fingers drawing circles up and down his back. He opened his eyes slowly and sighed contently.
"I know you snore and I'm okay with that, but, considering your lying on my chest, I hope you don't drool."
Lysander brought his hand to his mouth quickly, checking, and he could feel Hugo's chest move up and down as he laughed. He put his hand into a fist and hit him in the stomach gently. "Prat. I hate you." He pushed himself off the man's chest and lay beside him, and put his left arm over his head.
"No, you don't," Hugo stated. "And that wasn't your cue to move." He rolled over so his head was now lying just below Lysander's shoulder and his arm was wrapped around his waist. He hooked his ankle around the other man's, keeping them both in place. They lay there for a few moments, enjoying the comfortable silence. Until Hugo ruined it. "You never told me you were a virgin; that was an unexpected surprise."
Lysander was glad Hugo couldn't see his face grow darker and stuttered, embarrassed. "Why would I?"
He felt Hugo shrug and continue to draw circles, "Just would have been good to know what I was getting myself into."
"You make it sound like not having sex is dangerous."
Hugo rolled his eyes, "Only an Auror would think that."
Lysander turned his head, as if to look directly at Hugo, though he couldn't see his face. "How do you look at it? I don't know what you do."
He tried to sound casual, but he could hear the curiosity and hint of sadness at not knowing something about a man he had known his whole life in his own voice. And so could Hugo. He lifted his head and raised his left arm to cup his chin in his hand, and watched Lysander, never breaking eye contact, to find any sign of curiosity other than in his voice. But his face remained passive.
He's a good Auror, he thought, seeing what Harry could see. He smiled and Lysander narrowed his eyes a little; he was confused. "You want to know what I do."
They both knew it wasn't a question, but Lysander nodded and answered anyway. "It would be nice to know something about you besides your love of old Muggle cartoons and music."
That sad tone had come out again and Hugo only wanted to take it away, suddenly feeling guilty about not telling him more about him, though he didn't know why. He removed his hand from his chin and ran it through the boy's hair, then laced his fingers through the hand Lysander kept over his head. "I'm a Dealer."
Lysander's instincts as an Auror caused his body to tense. "A what?"
Knowing why he was so defensive, having seen it with his father, Hugo grinned. "Calm down, it's not illegal. If it was, I wouldn't tell you." Lysander immediately relaxed at his words, believing him, though he didn't like his joke. "It's like an art dealer, only I look for jewels and antiques as well. Well, anything a client wants. Some are rich families looking for heirlooms or something to make their house look nicer. Others are shop owners who are looking for things to make money from. I deal with both wizards and Muggles. They'd contact me, tell me what they want, they'd give me money to pay for it, I'd find it, bring it back and they'd pay me for my work. It's a nice job and I get to travel."
"I don't understand," Lysander murmured to himself.
He had a feeling he knew why Lysander still looked confused, but chose to play along. For now. "What's not to get? People pay me for finding things they want."
"But -" He stopped. He had been about to tell him about Harry. "It doesn't matter."
He was surprised by Hugo's next words. "But Harry said I was scared of my job because I wouldn't talk about it." Lysander's eyes widened. "It's alright, I had a feeling he would ask you to get me to talk about it. He and Dad are always talking about me and my job. Some clients don't want to be mentioned and I have to respect that. I can't talk about everything. It's -"
"Confidential," Lysander finished. He understood that. He couldn't understand why his tone changed when he talked of clients being kept quiet and how he stressed the word 'can't'. The Unbreakable Vow was the first thing he thought of. But it didn't make sense; he wasn't working for anyone right now. Was he?
"Before you had to hide, were you working for someone? Are you still meant to be working for them?" He asked slowly.
He felt Hugo tense but pretended not to notice. "No," he said and Lysander knew he was being lied to.
The moment became awkward and tense and Lysander decided to change the topic to a lighter subject, something that would allow Hugo to open up and calm down. He couldn't pry into his life anymore; it was obvious something scared him, but he knew that Hugo would never talk about it. He had learnt that much in the month they had been here. It's got to be an Unbreakable Vow.
"How did you know you liked guys?" he asked, sitting up.
It worked. Hugo started to laugh and relax. "Such a personal question so early in the relationship."
"Yeah," Hugo said slowly, nodding. "That is still what you kids call it now-a-days, right? I can't be that old!"
Lysander couldn't keep away the smile that was forming. "It is, I just didn't think that was what we were at."
Hugo shrugged, "it seemed nicer than 'two guys who have sex.'" He moved onto his back, sitting up next to him, grinning. "I was sixteen," he started, answering the question. "I was going out with this girl in Ravenclaw. We were in her common room when her brother came in. Long story short, I went out with him a couple of weeks later."
Lysander looked sympathetic. "That must have been tough on her for you to leave her for her brother." Hugo squeezed his eyes shut and bit his lower lip, guilt written all over his face. "You didn't?!"
"I didn't know how to tell her," he defended. "I didn't go out with either of them for very long. I hated what I was doing, so I left them both after a week."
"Did you tell them why?"
"I couldn't even tell her I wanted to date her brother!" He exclaimed. "How was I to tell them why I was dumping them?"
"You were in Gryffindor, right?" Lysander asked.
"No reason," he said quickly. But Hugo knew what he meant, earning the dark haired boy a dig in the ribs.
"Bloody Ravenclaw," he muttered. "When did you know?"
"When did I know what?"
"That you liked guys," he sighed, rolling his eyes. "That is the current topic of discussion."
It was the second time since they had woken up that Lysander had blushed, Hugo noted. He opened and closed his mouth repeatedly, not knowing what to say, before choosing to keep it shut and shake his head. "Come on, Xander. That's not fair. I told you about me, and I really didn't want to. You have to tell me your story."
Lysander shook his head again, "I can't, I'm sorry. It's too embarrassing."
"Baby, after last night, nothing we do or say to each other can be embarrassing."
"Baby?" he asked.
"I thought I'd give it a try," he shrugged. "Too much?" Lysander copied him, earning another dig. "Tell me." He continued to repeat those two words, occasionally poking him gently in the side, until the younger boy relented.
"I started to wonder when I was fourteen; my friends were talking about girls in our year or the years above and how good looking they were, but I never felt anything for them. I knew for sure when -" He stopped, not wanting to say any more, but Hugo nodded his head and prompted him to continue. "Remember my fifteenth birthday party?"
"Yeah," Hugo said. "You and Lorcan had an indoor pool party. You got special permission from the head teacher for you and your friends to leave school for the weekend. Everyone was there, myself included."
Lysander could feel his cheeks grow redder, but, if Hugo noticed, he didn't say anything. "Yeah and I was talking to Harry and you came over and you asked how I was and I said I was fine but I kept stuttering until I ran away and I overheard you telling Harry that I must just be shy but Harry was confused and told you that I've never been shy."
"Yes, I remember. I'm pretty sure I referred to it in your office. Why do you keep saying 'and'?" He was confused by the man's rambling. "What's that got to do with when you knew you liked guys?" As soon as he said that, he eyes widened in understanding. "Oh, I get it now. Today's a good day for me."
"I take your virginity, then I find out I'm the reason you're gay. It's good to know," he said, laughing.
"Why are you laughing? I shouldn't had told you," he moaned and pulled back the covers to get up.
Hugo wrapped an arm around his waist, stopping him, and held him to his chest. "I'm not laughing at you, I swear, calm down, please. I'm laughing because of the situation. You had a crush on me when I was the age you are now."
"Actually you were twenty one; my birthday's a couple of months before yours," Lysander interrupted quietly.
"Either way," he continued. "Here we are, seven years later. Not everyone can say they're with their secret teenage crush. It's a good, wow kind of laughter."
Lysander complied as Hugo pulled him back into bed and he lay with his head on his chest, looking up at the ceiling. "Who said you were a secret?"
"Wasn't I?" Hugo murmured. "We may not have spoken all the time, but we've known each other since you were born. I even went with Rose a couple of times when she babysat. Would you have been able to tell people you had a crush on me without getting embarrassed?"
"All the girls knew Teddy their whole lives and weren't afraid to tell each other they had a crush on him," Lysander reasoned.
"Molly was devastated when he started going out with Vic," Hugo remembered. "But neither of us are girls; it's a little different."
"I told Lorcan," he admitted. "That's it. He was very supportive, though he joked about it a little. His first words were 'good. You and him can get Rose to go out with me.' Obviously I didn't."
"Lorcan never had a chance with Rose," Hugo said after a moment of silence. "She always said you and him were extended family, she thought of you as cousins."
"What about you?" he asked, smirking slightly. "What do you think of me as?"
"I'll show you," he murmured huskily, leaning down to capture his lips.
The next time Lysander woke up, it was midday and he was alone, except for a note on his pillow.
You're adorable when you snore. Do you know that? Breakfast is in the oven. Hugo.
He must on the beach, he thought, it being the only reason he would tell Lysander food was in the oven and not just wait for him to come down. He got ready and dressed quickly, only wearing a pair of swim shorts. Lysander stopped at the window opposite his bedroom when he saw a figure walking towards the house. He thought to retrieve his wand then wanted to laugh; it was useless in a place he couldn't perform magic. But looking closer, he knew he didn't need it; it was Hugo.
He carried on down the stairs, trying to hide his confusion before Hugo could notice and ask him questions. Hugo had been out in the front, but not in the pool; he looked completely dry and was wearing a t-shirt over his swim shorts, as well as a pair of sneakers. He had also been walking away from the gate that Lysander used to get to town, where the Fidelius charm wasn't hiding them. Hugo knew he wasn't to go past that gate, on the Auror Department's orders.
There's an explanation, there must be. Stop making something out of nothing.
He entered the kitchen as Hugo came in. "Hey, you're up. Did you get my note?"
He nodded once. "Yes. What were you doing outside?"
Hugo turned to face the pool for a second, before looking back. "It's a nice day; I thought I'd sit outside."
Does he not know I've been trained to recognize hesitation and lying? He pointed behind him. "You can do that on the beach. Why were you by the gate?"
Hugo scoffed, angry at Lysander's tone. "Are you interrogating me?"
"I just asked a question." He sounded so casual that Hugo couldn't figure out his problem.
"I was sitting by the pool and I thought I heard something," he argued. "Given the situation I'm in, that's kind of bad, so I checked it out. Obviously, I was just hearing things. I didn't realize being cautious was a crime."
"Why didn't you wake me?"
"Because I'm not a child," Hugo yelled. "I'm a big boy, I've been taking care of myself for six years; I can go to a gate." Lysander turned around and leaned against the counter. "I don't like being treated like a criminal."
"And I don't like being lied to," Lysander muttered.
Lysander turned to face him, running a hand through his hair. "Nothing. It's just that you're here for a reason. I don't want you to get hurt, not after everything we've done to keep you safe."
Hugo's anger slowly faded, "Are you saying that because you're actually worried about me or because I'm your first assignment and you don't want to screw it up?"
Lysander could hear the faint humor in his voice and played along. "Definitely the second one. Trust me, you're not that special." But the small smile was hard to hide.
Hugo returned it softly and walked over to him, cupping the man's face in his hands and resting his forehead on Lysander's. "I know what you've done for me; Harry gave up this place, you gave up the life you had, however little," he joked. "I'm not going to risk ruining what you've done by leaving the house. I'm grateful that you like me enough to worry, but please don't go on full Auror mode just because I go outside. This is our first fight since we've been here and I already hate them."
"I promise," Lysander whispered and Hugo kissed him gently.
"So, breakfast?" he asked.
Lysander shook his head. "No, I'm not hungry."
"Then I'm going to the beach if you wanna come," he took the boy's hand. "I need some more air." Lysander nodded and led them out of the kitchen. They were halfway across the living room when Hugo stopped suddenly and Lysander felt him shiver.
"Are you okay?" he asked. "You do that quite a bit, you know? Shiver unexpectedly."
"I'm fine," Hugo answered, reaching up to scratch his shoulder. "I just need to use the bathroom first. You go, I'll join you outside in a minute." He smiled reassuringly at Lysander and watched as he walked outside, before running upstairs.
Once in the bathroom, he removed his shirt and stared at his reflection. What am I going to do?
"Do you believe that everything happens for a reason?"
Lysander turned his head to Hugo, who kept his gaze to the sky, feeling the sand now on his face. "You mean like fate?"
"Yeah," he replied. "Do you believe in it?"
Lysander thought about his answer carefully before answering, wondering why Hugo was asking this to begin with. "I believe that your future can't be decided for you; you have choices and it's up to you what you decide to do in the end. Why do you ask?"
"I was just wondering. I'll take your answer as a no, then?" Hugo finally looked at him and raised an eye brow. However, his action could hardly be seen because of his sunglasses.
Lysander shrugged. "Just because I don't, doesn't mean others can't. I would never stop a person from believing what they want to believe. Do you believe in fate?"
Hugo didn't know what to believe. Everything that had happened in his life before seemed to be going from bad to worse. Now, he didn't know what was going to happen. He was confused and nervous, scared of how his life would end up, wondering how long what he had now would last. If this was fate, he was still waiting for the finale. "I'm not sure."
Lysander took his hand and raised it to his lips, kissing Hugo's middle finger. "Does it matter? It's just us here. No Aurors, no bad guys, no real world, and definitely no fate. It's just us and that's all that matters. Nothing's going to change that."
Hugo smiled, but it didn't reach his eyes. Deep down he knew something would. He just didn't know when.
A/N: Finally got chapter five rewritten. :)
The weeks flew by. Or so it seemed to Lysander. They found things to do, anything to keep them occupied in an isolated house. But Hugo was starting to become bored and agitated, Lysander knew, because so was he. They spent the majority of their days talking; asking questions about their lives, everything Hugo had done while he was away, everything Lysander had done while he was gone. Every topic came up but Hugo's job, or rather the person he had currently worked for before going into protective custody. Lysander thought of every possible way to try to get Hugo to slip up and say something, anything, which would take away his worry about what the man may have gotten himself into. But Hugo never did. It was like he knew what Lysander was trying to do and side-stepped his every move. The subject was never talked of for long, they talked of something else as soon as someone sensed an argument; neither wanted another fight. Not while they had to live together.
So, even though he knew for sure that Harry and Ron had been right, that Hugo was keeping something from him, and that that was the reason he couldn't tell Harry about them (though he understood not wanting La Oscurità to find him, keeping their relationship a secret just so people wouldn't know yet was not an excuse, in his opinion), Lysander dropped the subject.
Hugo sighed and leaned back against the chair, dropping the book he had been reading to the floor and taking Lysander away from his thoughts. "I'm so bored. Are you not bored?"
"I'm extremely bored," he replied, sitting up from his position on the couch. "But we have no choice, Hugo; we're stuck here until Harry says otherwise."
Hugo groaned at the mention of his uncle's name. "I wish he'd give us more information than 'we're getting closer' when he came to see us. Getting closer to what? Are they getting closer to a location of theirs? Are they getting closer to their leader? Are they getting closer to driving me insane? What are they getting closer to?"
Lysander listened to every word Hugo said, taking note of how much louder he became with each word. "I don't know," he said slowly, waiting nervously for his reaction.
But he just sighed again. "Kid, you're not helping." Lysander glared, giving his best 'I told you not to call me that' look. "Sorry."
Lysander stood up. "I'm hungry, are you?"
"No food," Hugo muttered. "You'll have to go into town."
"Already? But I only went -"
"Three weeks ago," Hugo interrupted. "Food has a habit of disappearing. It's called eating it."
"Are you going to be sarcastic for the rest of this...stay?" Hugo nodded. "I'll be back soon. Calm down while I'm gone. Okay?"
Hugo stood up and wrapped an arm around his waist and bent down to kiss him. "I'll try, but I can't make any promises. I'm gonna get a shower. If I'm not in here when you get back, I'll either be in the bathroom or the bedroom."
They both nodded in a sort of 'okay' salute and walked away to where they needed to go. "Hey," Lysander called, forcing Hugo to walk back into the living room. "Did you know we've been here about three months now?"
"Do you realize we've been a couple for two months today?"
Hugo grinned widely and moved away from the door. "Well, then, this day won't be so boring, after all. Hurry up back."
It was the first time Hugo had smiled that day.
It took fifteen minutes for Lysander to get there and back. He placed the bags of food onto the kitchen counter and entered the living room to see Hugo sitting on the couch, his head tipped back with his eyes shut, wearing only a towel around his waist. Water was dripping down his chin and from his hair, showing he hadn't bothered to dry himself properly.
Lysander cleared his throat loudly, causing him to jump. "You couldn't even dress nicely for me," he mock sighed.
Hugo raised an eye brow in response. “You're wearing shorts and flip flops. I would hardly call that dressing up."
"I'm gonna put the food away, I'll be back in a minute."
He could feel eyes watching him and it was all he could do not to turn around and call him on it. Lysander hated being stared at, it made him uncomfortable and he was always afraid he would slip up and do something wrong. And Hugo knew it.
As soon as he was done, he walked back into the living room and sat next to Hugo. "So, two months, huh?" Hugo contemplated. "It's the longest relationship I've ever been in."
Lysander chuckled. "Me too. Never really had the time."
"Me neither. But now, we have nothing but time." He turned Lysander's head to the side and cupped his chin, making him look up, and kissed him gently. He removed his hand from his face, placing them at Lysander's hips while the other man wrapped his arms around Hugo's shoulders. They stayed that way until Hugo could no longer take it. He stood up, letting his towel fall to the floor, and grabbed his lover's hand, leading him upstairs.
When they reached the bed, Hugo pushed Lysander down gently and hovered over him, leaning down to capture the boy's lips with his own once more.
Hands where everywhere as Lysander tried to get as close to him as possible, while Hugo pulled off his shorts. He kissed his way down the young Auror's stomach and groaned when Lysander ran his hands through Hugo's hair.
Hugo's body shook slightly and he breathed deeply in and out to calm himself. Lysander unhooked his legs from around Hugo's waist and moved his hair from his face.
"Yeah," was all Hugo could say before he was kissing the man again. Lysander's laugh stopped abruptly and he wrapped his arms around his neck.
They both froze when someone cleared their throat, and then turned to the door.
"Oh, shit," Hugo cursed, moving to sit next to Lysander, who had sat up quickly.
Harry moved his arms from across his chest and pointed down the stairs. "I'll be in the living room."
They watched him leave before turning to each other. "Who do you think should go talk to him?" Hugo asked.
"That would be me," he whispered and grabbed a pair of shorts, pulling them on, and followed his Godfather. Harry was waiting for him in the middle of the room. "Let me explain."
Harry held up a hand. "I don't care what you and Hugo get up to while you're here; you're both adults, no one can stop you. And why would we? I didn't expect it happen, but I would never stop it. I just need to ask one question: why my room?"
"Honestly?" Harry nodded. "It's the first room you come to when you go up the stairs. I didn't know it was your room until after I slept in it and by then I couldn't be bothered moving. Sorry."
"That's my bed," he muttered, more to himself than to Lysander. "And my nephew was in it... With my godson."
"You're back!" Lysander exclaimed suddenly, changing the subject. "You were only here a few days ago. What's up?"
Harry shook his head, mentally clearing it. "We have a lead, a possible location and we're checking it out today. You may not need to be here much longer. And I hope you know that, when this is over, you're not coming back."
"Are you sure?" They turned to see Hugo standing by the door; he had obviously been listening.
"You're absolutely never coming back here," Harry said adamantly.
Hugo narrowed his eyes, shaking his head. "No, Uncle Harry, I meant the location. Are you sure it's theirs?"
"You seem almost disappointed, Hugo. Don't you want to leave?" Harry asked, skeptically. "Though, honestly, no. But it's the best lead we have, and we'll never know until we get there. We're, well I am quite positive it's theirs, I just hope they don't find out we're coming before we get there."
"Us too," Lysander spoke up. "Aren't we, Hugo?" All he did was nod. Both Harry and Lysander gave him an odd look, before turning to each other, as if one of them knew the answer. But neither could understand why Hugo didn't look happy or pleased about the lead; he looked rather ill.
"So, you two," Harry stated after a long moment of awkward silence. "How long?"
Lysander turned to Hugo, not knowing what to say; he had promised not to tell. Hugo nodded, as if saying it were okay, but spoke himself. "Two months today."
"Two months," Harry repeated slowly. "And I never knew. I'm just wondering what was so bad that you couldn't tell me you were together." Harry watched Lysander look down to the ground, suddenly ashamed. "You didn't have to tell me; your relationship is none of my business. It just would have been nice to know, you are my family, after all. If you can't tell me, who can you tell? We tell each other everything, Ly."
"Don't do that," Hugo scolded. "Don't treat him like he's a child who lied about who ate the last cookie." They both remembered when Albus had lied for James, but Lysander was confused; he hadn't been born yet. "I asked Xander to keep quiet." Harry raised an eye brow at the nickname, but remained quiet. "He did it for me. You have no reason or right to be disappointed in him for not telling you something. Xander telling you everything is a privilege, not a right. He doesn't have to, he wants to."
"I'm not disappointed, I've never been disappointed. In either of you," he added, pointing to Hugo. "It just would have been good to know what I was walking into. A heads up would have been nice. But why didn't you want to tell me? I'm happy for you two." He smiled, "A relationship is a good thing. It is a good thing, right?" He gave Hugo a warning look.
"I'm not ashamed, if that's what you think," he bit back. "If we told you, you'd tell Ginny and Mum and Dad, and then the whole family would know, then the world. You know what Fleur and Dom are like." He ran a hand through his hair, uncomfortable under his uncle's confused gaze. It didn't help that he was only wearing a pair of boxer shorts. "If the people looking for me found out, they'd realize that for us to be in a new relationship, he'd have to be with me. They'd start looking for Xander too, and I can't handle that. I don't care how safe we are here; I don't even like that you got him involved, I don't want them involving him, too."
"I'm right here, you know," Lysander shouted. "You don't need to talk about me like I'm not. And I'm not a child, I'm an Auror; don't treat me like I need protecting."
"Sorry," Hugo apologized genuinely. "But you’re my Auror; I worry."
Harry watched, proud and slightly amused by their exchange. "Wow. I didn't expect that."
"Expect what?" Hugo asked.
"You'll figure it out soon enough, if you haven't already," Harry grinned. "I understand where you're coming from, Hugo. Don't worry I'll keep your... Secret. I won't tell anybody."
Lysander knew Harry didn't mean it as it sounded; it was a secret. But he hated the sound of it, being someone's secret. He wrapped his arms around his chest, as if to protect himself, suddenly feeling dirty.
Harry took out an object from his pocket; it was wrapped tightly in his hand, so it couldn't be seen. "I'll be back tomorrow morning with news of what happened," he told them, back in Auror mode, and added, "whether good news or bad. Until then, try to control yourselves."
Harry disappeared and Hugo slid to the floor against the wall. "I can't believe this could almost be over."
Lysander turned around and took in his expression. "You seem genuinely disappointed. You do want to go home, right? Are you -" he faltered, but cleared his throat, needing to ask. "Is it about us? Are we nothing outside of here?"
"No!" Hugo exclaimed, looking up, shocked. "Don't you ever think that, not for a second! It's just," he shut his eyes tightly and rubbed them, before opening them again. "What if they're not there? We're still stuck here. What if they are? Others will still be out there."
Lysander chuckled softly as he moved closer and sat across from him, placing a hand on his chin to make him look up. "Yes, if they are not there, we'll have to stay. But we've been here for three months already, I know there's not much to do, but we'll be fine. If they are there, we leave and live life as normal. Yes, there will be others, but we can't let them stop us." He wrapped his arms around Hugo's neck, holding him close. "Why don't we get dressed, I'll make dinner and we can forget about what Harry said for tonight. Don't let them stop us."
He felt Hugo nod against his shoulder, but couldn't hear the one thought circulating in his mind: it's not them stopping us I'm worried about.
Hugo jogged lightly down the stairs, missing the last step, and followed the smell of food into the kitchen. He watched Lysander fix the timer on the oven and waited until he had stepped back before moving behind him. "If I had known you could cook, this stay would have gone a lot different."
Lysander jumped slightly and swatted him on the arm. "I lived alone for three years, you should have known I can cook."
Hugo scoffed, remembering Lysander's flat. "Your cupboards were empty and I distinctly remember a bin bag filled with microwave meals and take out. Forgive me for not making the correct assumption."
Lysander took in his sarcastic tone and smirking face and nodded, "You're forgiven." He took his hand and led him into the living room, sitting him on the couch and moving to sit on his left. "I got you something."
"That's not fair," he sighed. "I can't go out, I can't get you anything. Why are you buying me things? Are we there yet?"
Lysander laughed softly and put a hand into his pocket, using his other hand to pull out Hugo's necklace from inside his t-shirt. "It's fine, I just saw it and had to get it."
"You seem interested in my necklace," he murmured. "Did you get me my necklace?"
Lysander let the 'H' lie flat on his hand and pulled out a silver chain, lying it over his palm so an 'L' was beside it. He looked up. "You and I are going to be fine. We'll get through this, no matter what happens between us. You don't have to wear it, just keep it as a reminder." He dropped the chain slowly, allowing Hugo to catch it in his hand.
"Thank you," he whispered. "I've never been with someone who cared so much. It feels nice." Hugo placed the necklace onto his knee and reached up to take his off, swapping them. Then he wrapped his hands around Lysander's neck. When he moved, he felt something cold on his chest and looked to see Hugo's necklace. "Look after it for me."
He closed the gap between then quickly, covering Lysander's mouth with his own. Lysander's hands were on his shoulders as the kiss deepened and fell lower. Then Hugo's body shivered and he moved back quickly. Lysander kept a hand on his shoulder, keeping him in place. "Are you alright?"
"I'm fine, I just need to use the bathroom."
"Hugo!" He stood up when the other man did, pulling his top down a little, revealing his shoulder.
"Lysander, no, please." Hugo turned around quickly. But it was too late. Lysander just stood there, unmoving and quiet. His eyes were glazed over, he was just staring ahead.
"Xander," he whispered, pleading with him.
"I didn't know you had a tattoo." It was so low, Hugo barely heard him. Suddenly angry, Lysander picked up the first thing he could find, a book, and threw it across the room, missing Hugo by mere inches. "You never told me you had that tattoo!"
"How could I?"
"You lied to me!"
"I didn't lie," Hugo defended. "I just... Didn't tell you everything."
Lysander looked at him in disgust, like he had been slapped in the face. "Is that supposed to make me feel better?"
"No," he shook his head. "Of course not."
Hugo stepped forward and reached out a hand but Lysander moved backwards quickly. “Don’t touch me!” He leaned back against the wall. “I can’t believe this. I fell in love with someone I’m supposed to protect people against.”
“I’m not like that!”
“You’re La Oscurità!” He controlled his breathing, calming down slightly. “You’re not a witness.”
Hugo shook his head slowly. “They wanted me to get an artefact. I was inside when I heard yelling. When I came out, the guard was dead. The Aurors came and the guy I was with just got away, I stayed behind. They didn’t get what they wanted. They thought I was going to tell them everything, that’s why they want me dead. I was with law enforcement, I was compromised.”
"How did you hide it?"
Hugo cleared his throat, trying to stop from faltering. "I have a cream-like potion. I usually use a glamour charm, but you can't use magic here. That's why I shiver; it feels cold when the cream wears off."
"I remember that being used during the war." More tears fell as Hugo understood the comparision to Death Eaters. Lysander wiped away the tears sliding down his own face. “You’re going to tell Harry or I will. I won’t be staying here after tonight.”
Hugo grabbed his arm before he could get upstairs. “Don’t. Please, let me explain.”
Lysander pulled his arm away. “Why should I?”
“Because I love you, too,” he whispered. “And I can’t let you go without at least explaining.”
Lysander moved forward a little. He didn’t look angry and Hugo hoped he would let him explain. “Good bye.”
Hugo’s heart broke.
The wind picked up, making Hugo shiver, but he had been sat there for so long that he couldn't move even if he wanted to. The cold, sea air hit him like knives, but he stayed still, his legs tucked into his chest, his arms wrapped around him. Two hours ago, Lysander said good bye. He didn’t know he was no longer alone until a coat was wrapped around his shoulders.
“Put that on before you freeze,” he demanded as he sat down next to Hugo, his own coat zipped up to keep him warm.
“The tide is too strong; if you got in, would you get back out?" Lysander narrowed his eyes, afraid to ask what Hugo was insinuating. "I didn’t want this,” he said, not looking away from the ocean. “I didn’t know who he was at the time; I was desperate for a job and he offered. I took it without thinking. By the time I got to the location, I knew I was in trouble. By the time I was inside, I knew where I was, who they were and that I wasn’t getting out alive.”
Lysander knew he didn’t mean leaving their location.
“I was too ashamed to go home,” he continued. “I left because they treated me like a child, because I didn’t have a job or my own place at twenty three, they said I should be more independent like my sister; I couldn’t see the look their faces when they saw how much trouble I was in. I only ended up in more trouble. It would have been easier if I had gone home. Now I’ve ruined everything.”
He finally turned to see Lysander; he was looking down, holding Hugo’s necklace.
“I thought you would have taken that off by now, thrown it away,” he murmured.
Lysander didn’t look up. “I did take it off, but then I looked at it and I remembered what I said before.” He looked up and took hold of Hugo’s new necklace. “I do love you, I can’t change that, no matter how angry I am, or how much I hate this, and I meant what I said; we’re going to be fine and we will get through this. I’m not going to leave you, I’ll help you. I promise. Just promise me you don’t want this.”
“I never wanted this.”
Lysander took his hand tentatively and squeezed gently. “That’s all I needed to know.”
A/N: Yay for chapter six. Thank you everyone who's been reviewing this story. Chapter five is being edited, you should go back and read that. :)
Lysander woke to see Hugo's side of the bed was empty and, for a terrifying second, wondered if Hugo had done something stupid after all. He breathed a sigh of relief when he heard a bang in the bathroom, then became worried again, jumping out of bed and running to see what had happened. He found Hugo, his hair slightly wet; he'd just gotten out of the shower, and his hands gripping the sink, looking down. "What happened?"
Hugo jumped and looked up quickly. "Nothing. I came in here to hide the tattoo, but the cream's all gone," he said, picking up the tub and throwing it again, this time into the bin and not at the mirror. He stared at his reflection. "I don't know what to do."
He watched Lysander's reflection move closer to him and grip his shoulder gently. Hugo tried to move away, but he refused to let go, and tentatively moved his hand down until it was touching the mark. "We'll figure it out," he whispered. Unable to touch it any longer, he moved his hands away and wrapped his arms around the man's waist, leaning his chin on his shoulder. "I promise."
He pressed his lips to Hugo's neck and kissed his way down, causing Hugo to close his eyes and moan. Taking a deep breath, he told him reluctantly, "Harry will be here soon."
Sighing, Lysander moved back slowly. "We should get dressed. If you don't want Harry to know, you should wear something dark, so it won't be seen through."
Hugo turned back to the mirror and watched Lysander leave. "Yes, boss."
Doing as Lysander had said, Hugo came down the stairs in a dark, silk shirt and jeans just as Harry came in. "Smart shirt and sneakers, Hugo? You're the only one in our family who can make it work."
He ignored his uncle's sarcastic tone, "I know." He dropped down onto the chair and was about to put his feet on the coffee table, then he saw Harry's eyes narrow and opted to stretch his legs on the floor instead. "Good news or bad?"
Harry sat down on the couch next to Lysander, taking note of the fact that they were sitting on opposite sides of the room. "Did something happen between you two last night?"
They shared eye contact for a few seconds before Lysander turned to Harry. "No, it's just still a little awkward after you caught us," he lied.
"Not to mention, you told us to behave ourselves," Hugo added.
"It's bad news," Harry said, not fully convinced. "It was the right place, but they knew and left before we could get there. There are Aurors there now, trying to find where they could be; either they left in a hurry or they left what they didn't care we would find."
"I'm going to guess the second one," Hugo answered.
"Anyway," Harry continued, ignoring his nephew. "I still don't think you have to be here much longer. We know London is their primary location, there are not many places they can go to, we just have to find that place."
"How do you know London's their primary?" Lysander asked.
"Easy," Hugo told him instead. "The most attacks are here. Their 'members' are like sheep and their boss is the shepherd; they don't do anything without his say so first and he will only give an order in person, so he can see that they get the job done. They're all over the world but most of their hits are in England; your guy's English. Most likely from London since he knows the area, knows where to go, can get away quickly." They both stared at him, mentally saying different things; Lysander wondered why he would tell Harry that, Harry wondered how he knew. "I did my homework. Did you really think I was going to come into all this knowing nothing?"
"Of course you did," Harry muttered. "That's all I came to tell you," he said, standing up. He still didn't believe what Lysander had said and the look he gave them as he took a small action figure from his pocket proved it. "I'll see you both soon. Ly, look after him, make sure he doesn't get into any trouble. Hugo... Treat him right. He deserves that." He was gone before they could make sense of what he said.
"What the hell were you playing at?" Lysander demanded. "No one should know what you know, not if you're outside of La Oscurità. He's gonna think something."
"Relax, Xander," he answered seriously. "Most of that is what I found out before I joined. It's common sense. All you have to do is stop and think for a minute and the answers reveal themselves because they were always there in the first place. He suspects me of being a secret know-it-all with a love of figuring things out before everyone else like my mother... Which is actually true."
"I just don't think you should treat this like a game," Lysander glared.
Hugo scoffed. "A game is all I can think of this as. It's one big game of Hide and Seek here; it's what I'm good at. Fred could never find me, no one could, and no one will as long as it's all game." He stood up and walked away. "If you don't like that, you know what to do."
Hugo had stopped before Lysander had called out and turned around quickly. "I'm so sorry; I don't know why I said that. I shouldn't have, especially not after I ruined last night."
Lysander ran his hands through his hair. "Things were bad last night, but the only thing you actually ruined was dinner. It'll be okay."
"I just need to get out of this house, before I turn into my father," Hugo complained. He leant back against the wall. "He was always like this after he'd done something at work that required him to stay home. The longest was six months and by the end of it I was wishing for school just to get away. I can't be like that!"
"You can't go out," Lysander told him in a tone that they both understood meant the end of the conversation. "I'll make breakfast."
"Why did you look a little relieved when Harry said it was bad news? Why did you look ill last night when he said there could be good news?"
Hugo looked up to see Lysander sitting by the pool side and swam to the edge. He crossed his arms over the side and rested his chin on top. "Because if he finds them, they'll tell him about me. It's only a matter of time before he finds out anyway," he added.
Hugo shrugged. "They only left what they wanted the Aurors to find. What are the odds of them finding things about me there?"
Hugo used his hands to push himself under the water, raising his head on the other side of the pool. He lay on top of the water, his arms spread out like a cross. His breathing was slow, his chest raising and falling was barely noticeable, and his eyes were shut, as if he were sleeping. But he was distressed not relaxed. Lysander watched all of this, saying nothing.
He uncrossed his legs, fixing his black swim shorts so there were no creases, and lowered himself into the pool slowly, so not to catch his back on the side again. He swam over to Hugo's side and gently pressed his hand onto his stomach so he knew Lysander wanted him to stand up.
He did so and let Lysander brush his hair back. "You can always tell them first."
"Can't," he replied. "I can't leave the house. I can't send a letter. I can't make a call. I can't imagine what they'll say or do if they found out and that's what stops me. Will they still want to help me when they find out I'm La Oscurità?"
"Of course they will, you're their family," Lysander exclaimed. "And they'll understand when you explain everything. And you're not one by choice, they forced you."
"Is that the only reason you're still here?" he asked. "Because it wasn't a choice?"
Lysander spoke a little hesitantly. "Yes."
Hugo cocked his head to the side, confused. "You hesitated. Would you have stayed if I had wanted this?"
There was no hesitation this time. "I want to say no, there's a very good chance that I would left if you had joined willingly. But,"
Lysander looked down, not knowing how to say what he wanted to. A tint of pink covered his cheeks and he breathed in and out deeply before continuing. "But I've always liked you; you're smart and funny and you always know what to do and say. When I was younger, I wanted to be you, be like you. When I got older, I wanted to be with you. There would be a chance, albeit small because Auror training likes to kick in, that I would have been so happy at the thought of finally being with you, I would be blind to everything else and not care that you joined willingly."
It took a while for Hugo to say anything, but eventually, he chuckled and hugged Lysander. "Thank God it's only small and I joined forcibly, I would never put you through that. I love how honest you can be, I learn more and more about your crush on me everyday."
"It's not funny," Lysander said through gritted teeth, but he kept his arms wrapped around the man's neck. They stayed like that for a while, wrapped in each other's arms in the water. It was quiet and calm, no hint of there being an outside world. It was like only they existed, that none of yesterday happened and this was just a holiday. Maybe Hugo was right; it was better to pretend.
Lysander pulled away reluctantly, forcing Hugo to remove his head from the boy's shoulder, and swam back to the side, pulling himself out to sit, his legs stayed in the water. Hugo followed and copied.
"Didn't you ever have a crush on someone when you were a kid?"
"Yes," Hugo answered. "As every teenager does, I'm sure."
"Then why does me talking about my crush on you make you laugh so much?" he asked, raising his hands in defeat.
Hugo laughed, "Because it's me. Everyone had crushes on James and Albus and Teddy. No one had a crush on me. I was the baby, the friend."
Lysander scoffed. "You'd be surprised." Hugo turned, eye brows raised and disbelief on his face. Lysander nodded, grinning. "I wasn't the only one. I remember in fifth year, I came out and girls would talk to me about their crushes and this one girl, Amy, came up to me and said 'so, what's Hugo like in person?'" Hugo started laughing again. "I wanted to slap her or tell her you were gay and, therefore, unavailable or both." He couldn't stop laughing. "But instead I shrugged my shoulders and told her I didn't know, I hadn't seen you in a while. Which was true; I hadn't seen you since my birthday in January and it was October then."
"I was in LA during the summer," he said when he was calm. "Holiday."
"I've never been on holiday," Lysander murmured.
Hugo, who had been about to stand up to get a drink, sat back down quickly, groaning in pain as he hit the tiled floor. "You've never been on holiday?" Lysander shook his head slowly, not bothered. "How've you never been on holiday? Didn't your parents ever take you? Didn't Harry ever ask? He's been on loads of holidays."
The boy scoffed, "I'm his godson, not his actual son; he's no reason to ask. But he did, if you must know. We didn't go. My parents chose to do their work during school times if they could, so we could spend the holidays together; summer was family time and they spent all their time travelling that Lorcan and I were okay spending our summers at home, especially Lorcan. If they had to go away during the summer and it wasn't far, he went with them. He loved learning about animals, now he works with dragons." he shook his head of his memory. "Anyway, I would stay with my grandfather or Harry. We were gonna go away once, when I was eight."
"It was the trip to Disney World, do you remember?" he asked. "Everyone was going, the whole family, including us."
"Yeah, I remember," Hugo answered. "You dad and brother came but not you or your mum. Why didn't you come with us?"
"I got sick and it was contagious, mum was the only who already had it so she stayed with me." He looked up. Hugo seemed sad about it and was confused as to why he wasn't. "It's alright. I wish I could have gone; it would have been nice to go to America, but I don't hate that I've never been away. I'll go one day, I just haven't been yet."
Hugo looked pensive. Contemplating, Lysander assumed. They stayed quiet while he did so, until Hugo broke into a grin and took his hand, pulling him up as he did so. "What are you doing?"
"I'm thirsty," he replied. He dragged him into the kitchen and only let go at the counter. Lysander leant against it watched him retrieve two bottles of water from the fridge. "We're going to do it. When this is all over and we're out of here, you and I are going to go on holiday." He leaned across from Lysander. "We'll start at Disney World, so you can have the childhood holiday you missed, then we'll go wherever you want."
"Really? You'd do that for me?"
"No," he corrected. "I'll do that with you. I think it'll be good to go away, a real holiday with no threats or danger. We'll need that after everything. What do you think?"
Lysander took a sip of water and grinned. "I think I love you."
Hugo shrugged, pretending to feel embarrassed. "I think I love me too." He registered too late to be able to stop anything and Lysander whacked his bottle up, covering him in water. He looked down at himself, drenched. "I deserved that. Sorry."
Lysander knew he wasn't sincere, he could tell by his tone, and he didn't like the smirk on his face. "You're gonna throw me in the pool, aren't you?"
"When you least expect it," he said and walked back outside. It was a while before Lysander followed. Hugo was right; it was good to pretend.
Hugo dropped his head onto the table, his arms over the top, and let out a frustrated sigh, but Lysander just ignored him. It had been like this for over an hour now and, though he felt the same way, he knew the risks and was not prepared to take them, no matter what his boyfriend said. He continued to read his book, ignoring the occasional remarks the other man made. Childish.
Hugo used his hands to push himself off his knees and stood up, walked around the coffee table and sat next to Lysander, who continued to ignore him. He took the book from his hands and threw it across the room so it hit the chair.
Lysander sat up, annoyed. "I was reading that."
"Now you're going to listen to me." He took the man's hands in his own and stared until Lysander became uncomfortable and looked at him. "I understand the risks; I've followed the rules for over three months now; one night will not kill us."
"It very well might," he argued.
"Not unless someone has told them where we are."
"They're everywhere, you said so yourself," he felt the need to point out. He opened his mouth to say more, but all rational thought went out the window when Hugo started kissing his neck lightly. "That's cheating," he whispered.
Hugo used his left hand to cup Lysander's face and keep it in place, while his right hand moved to his waist. "I want us to go out and have one night of fun, like a normal couple. Is that so wrong?" he murmured into his ear, his voice low.
"It's dangerous," he said between breaths. "Being together is dangerous. That's why you wanted it kept quiet, remember?"
Hugo's tongue grazed the shell of his ear and he felt him shudder. "I remember." He kissed along his jaw slowly, teasing, and he barely heard him tell him to stop. "Stop what?" He muttered something incoherent. "I can't hear you."
"Stop what you're doing. It's making it extremely hard to say no to you."
"I know." He kissed his lips gently and gradually become more rough. He pushed him down onto the couch, so he was lying on top of him and moved his lips back to Lysander's ear. "Let's go out."
The response was barely audible, but he just heard it. "Yes."
Hugo moved to kiss him again and Lysander lifted his head up, eager. Then Hugo pulled back and jumped up. "I'll go get changed."
Lysander sat up quickly, disbelief on his face, and angry that he'd knowingly been played. "I hate you."
A/N: This is chapter seven. Almost finished with this story, I think :(
Lysander stood in the kitchen to wait for Hugo and used the fridge as a mirror. His white shirt and black pants were ironed and perfect, he was wearing proper shoes, not sneakers like he knew Hugo would be, and he had styled his hair for the first time, so it wasn't just flat or a mess. But that was not why he needed a mirror.
He used his hands to change his features to smiles, but every time he let go, all he saw was a frown. He couldn't be happy about having a night out with his boyfriend when all he felt was worry. How could they go out? What if they were caught? What if Harry found out? Why had he agreed to this?
Because Hugo was a manipulative bastard, that's why.
He dropped his hands one last time, giving up, just as Hugo came in. Lysander couldn't deny Hugo looked good all in black, including his sneakers, but he couldn't even muster a fake smile.
"I'm not sure about this," he said.
Hugo came over and wrapped his arms around his waist so they were both staring into the make-shift mirror. "We deserve this, Xander, you know we do. It'll be fine, I promise."
"You don't know that."
Hugo groaned at Lysander's pessimistic view and dropped his head onto his shoulder for a second before looking back up. "No, I don't. But I won't let it stop me."
He watched Hugo move away and turned slowly. "Did you really just use my own words against me?"
"Yep." He threw Lysander his jacket, which he caught with ease, and pulled on his own. "Come on. Does this place have keys?"
"No one can see it," he reminded. Hugo pulled him out the door and across the pool to the gate. "This is a bad idea. I hate this idea. I hate you. I hate me for my total lack of self-control when you kiss me."
Hugo opened the gate and looked out to make sure no one was around, not that he thought anyone would be. "I consider it one of my many talents."
"I know all about your 'talents', Hugo." Laughing, Hugo pulled him out, shut the gate and dragged him to a nearby alley. "How did you know this was here?"
"Talent." Lysander glared and Hugo explained before he could jump to conclusions. "I did not sneak out that day, you can see it from my bedroom window, my old bedroom window anyway." He pulled out his wand and glamoured his hair so it was darker, almost black and his eyes turned from blue to brown. "What do you think?"
"You look like Hugo with dyed hair and contacts," he answered. "I can still tell it's you."
"Of course you do, you know me," he replied, rolling his eyes.
"So do they." Hugo groaned and muttered that there was no pleasing some people, but fixed his glamour anyway; his hair was a little shorter, his freckles were gone and his nose was a little more pointed. "Subtle. I can still tell, but only when close up."
Hugo nodded. "Good. You're lucky they don't know you."
They talked about casual things on their way to town and while on the bus into the city; mainly about the holiday Hugo promised when this was over.
When the bus stopped, Lysander thanked the driver and Hugo took his hand. "Spanish?"
"Si," he smiled at their locked hands, thinking how nice it was to be together in public. "Do you?"
He laughed as Hugo pulled him forward and answered in Spanish, "Of course I do." They walked around the city, past the restaurants and small pubs, until they came to a club. The music was deafeningly loud and could be heard from outside, mixing with other clubs, and people could be heard and seen drinking and partying on the dance floor, having fun. Hugo held up his arms. "Civilisation. I've missed you."
"Come on, before it all becomes too much and you start to cry." They made their way into the packed club and Lysander found a booth. He gave Hugo some of the money from the house and he went off to buy drinks, coming back fifteen minutes later with two bottles of lager and a few shots.
"Bar was packed," he explained. He pushed a shot in front of Lysander and they held them up in salute. "To you and me and what could possibly be a dysfunctional relationship. But no way are we gonna let it stop us."
"Whatever you say," Lysander murmured and they down their shot and picked up the bottles. They watched and talked while they drank, shouting at times to make sure they were heard, even though they were sitting next to each other, and Lysander couldn't miss the huge grin Hugo had on his face the whole time. "This is your kind of place, isn't it?"
"Definitely," he shouted back. He leaned in so their backs were pressed against the couch and moved over so their shoulders were touching and he could talk in his ear without needing to shout. "Me and my friends would go out nearly every weekend. We'd drink and dance and have fun, they would make bets on who would pick a girl up first, or guy if Lily came, don't tell Harry. But me, I love the atmosphere; it just pulls you in and you wanna have fun and drink like everyone else. You can let go, just go wild. It's fun."
"I wouldn't really know," he answered. "The only time I went out was for my twenty-first and that was only because Lorcan made me. I spent so much time and energy in training that I didn't have much time to do anything else."
Hugo handed him another shot and they held it up. "Well, now you do." As soon as they downed the shot, Hugo took his hand. "Dance with me."
Lysander didn't have time to answer, Hugo pulled him up and took him to the dance floor. A man pushed past Hugo, knocking them both to the side slightly. "Sorry," Lysander apologized to the people they were pushed into as Hugo called out for him to watch where he was going. The man turned slightly and they both looked confused at the strange look he gave them. "That was rude."
"Yeah." Shaking it off, Hugo carried on walking to the middle of the dance floor. "Don't let it spoil our night," he yelled in his ear. "It's time for you to have fun."
They pushed their way clumsily through the gate, Hugo's glamour charm disappearing as they entered, giggling. He shut the gate quickly and Lysander pushed him into the house, backwards till he fell onto the couch. He walked away and stopped at Harry's CD player, running a finger over the names until he found one he liked, and put it on. He read through the songs, skipping the tracks until he found the one he had been looking for.
Hugo, who had been watching amusedly, looked up when it played through the speakers around the house. "Nice choice. Does it mean something to you?"
Lysander shook his head, walking back. "I've never heard it before, but it sounded good so I put it on." He unbuttoned the first few buttons of his shirt and pulled it off, letting it go on the floor, and stopped in front of the couch.
Hugo sat up slowly and ran a finger over the other man's torso, before hooking his hand around the hem of his pants and pulling him down gently, so Lysander was straddling him.
"Great taste," he murmured.
"In music or men?" Lysander chuckled.
"I guess we'll see." Hugo kissed him hungrily, never wanting to stop, and Lysander undid his shirt and pulled it off. Hands and lips were everywhere; along Lysander's jaw, down his neck, his chest. Their movements were too limited on the couch and they stopped only so Hugo could push his lover to the floor. He crawled on top of him and, as the song finished and a new one began, their actions continued once more.
Lysander stretched his arms across the floor and groaned loudly, his back aching slightly. He looked down and noticed only his shirt covered him and turned to the right to confirm that he had indeed woken alone. He shook his head, sat up to pull on his pants and walked into the kitchen to put the kettle on.
He silently fixed himself a drink, listening out for Hugo. As he raised his cup to his lips, he heard a thud come from upstairs and grinned; he knew exactly were the man was. Lysander climbed the stairs quietly and entered the bathroom, leaning against the door frame. "You alright there, man."
Hugo turned to see his smirk. "Now is not the time, kid." He ran his hands through his hair then covered them over his eyes, leaning his elbows on the toilet seat. "I should really stop drinking," he muttered, then corrected himself a little, "as much."
Lysander chuckled. "What's the matter? Body can't take it?"
He expected Hugo to retort, but he just shook his head. "No, it can't."
"What happened to mister 'I'm only twenty nine'?"
Hugo moved from the toilet to lean against the bathtub and raised a hand. "One, please stop shouting, my head can't take it. Two, I'm pretty sure we were talking about sex that time. Three, please stop shouting, my head really can't take it."
Lysander raised his cup, taking a drink, then copied the man, answering his questions in the same order. "I'm not shouting. Yes, we were. How long did it take you to figure that out? I'm not shouting."
Hugo looked confused for a second, but shook his head gently, blaming it on his hangover, and only answered the question. "It took me a couple of seconds after you said it, it just never really made sense until I found out about the crush you had on me." He took in Lysander's casual appearance, his relaxed look, not showing any signs of a hangover. "You drank just as much, if not more, than me. How can you look so... Normal?"
Lysander winked, "I'm twenty two, dude."
He sighed, reminiscing. "I remember when I was twenty two; I could drink myself under the table and after a couple of hours sleep, I'd wake up still buzzed. It made work fun." Then it hit him. "You're not hungover because you're still drunk."
"Maybe," he shrugged. "Just a little. Enough to smile at your misfortune. What time's it?" he checked his watch. "Seven fifteen. It'll probably hit me around noon. Are you okay now?"
Hugo nodded softly. "Yeah, I think so. I'm just gonna sit here a little while longer. I've been wrong before; it wasn't pretty."
Lysander took in his appearance, moved over to sit next to him and took his hand in his own. "How did you connect us and sex together from that conversation?"
"You insisted you weren't too young and I weren't too old, it doesn't take a genius. James could figure it out." He looked at him like it was obvious.
Lysander rolled his eyes, though embarrassed; he'd thought he'd hidden his crush well. Not that it mattered now; they were together. "Awesome."
They sat in the bathroom together for over an hour before Hugo deemed himself well enough to leave and they went down the stairs. Once in the kitchen, they had made small-talk about the night before over the little breakfast they managed to eat; Hugo because he wasn't hungry, Lysander because his hangover was starting to kick in and he was afraid he couldn't hold anything down.
By noon, though Lysander wasn't sick, his headache was starting to kill him. "Melodramatic much," Hugo said.
"Hypocrite." He got up from the floor slowly and walked into the kitchen, he looked through every cupboard and drawer, taking care when closing so not to make a noise, and leant against the frame. "Of all the things in this house, there are no painkillers," he muttered. "I'll have to go out and get some... I really don't want to."
Hugo smiled, "You can always lie here and just wait for your headache to go away."
Lysander thought about it for a second. "I'll be back in a minute."
He picked up a t-shirt, pulling it on, and walked out of the door. He just heard Hugo call out, "That's what I thought."
Hugo opened the floor length windows in his and Lysander's bedroom, Harry's bedroom, he reminded himself, and stepped out on the balcony to lean against the metal fence that stood between him and the ground below. He closed his eyes, letting the fresh air wash over him, thinking about what was going to happen when this was over.
Would he be pardoned? Would he have to go to Azkaban? Would his dad and uncle help him? Would they be disappointed?
Hugo didn't think he could handle Azkaban, the thought alone terrified him. He knew right then he would do whatever it took to keep that from happening; he didn't want to lose Lysander because of this. Again.
"I'll testify against them if necessary," he said to himself. "It won't make much difference to my situation; they want me dead anyway."
He looked around the room once. Would Xander and I live together after this? He shuddered at the thought of living in Lysander's apartment; it was too small and not his style. His own place wouldn't do either. We'll find somewhere.
He grinned imagining it; the positive thoughts outweighing the negatives. He turned his head to the left, towards the town, and spotted Lysander walking back. Then he looked further and froze; a car was following him.
Three men got out and Hugo recognized right away who they were; La Oscurità.
Hugo ran out of the room, to the kitchen and out the gate, but it was too late. He watched Lysander struggle against their restraints and they knocked him out as they got him into the van. "No!"
They shut the doors and drove away, but not before one man looked up and smirked at Hugo.
He stopped running, knowing he couldn't catch them, and stared in their direction, even after they had disappeared.
He knew where they were going. He knew where he had to go. He knew what he had to do and he knew he had to do it now. No more waiting, no more hiding. Game over.
It's all my fault.
A/N: In case you were wondering, the song Lysander chose is Everything I Do by Bryan Adams. The lyrics are just amazing and fit their relationship perfectly. :)
A/N: Finally chapter 8. It took me so long because I'm no good with action scenes. LOL. Also, half the chapter (coincidently the fight scene) got deleted on me. One more chapter after this.
The Law Enforcement department was quieter than usual; most Aurors were out in the field or had the day off. The one's who were still at the Ministry were going through everything La Oscurità left behind; files, pictures, plans. Ron Weasley was one of those Aurors. Since Hugo had become involved three months ago, it had become the only part of the investigation he could take part in. The Ministry were still apprehensive about Ron being a part of the case, but allowed it; there was nothing he could really compromise.
Harry opened the door to the conference room they were using for the case and stood behind Ron. "How's it going?"
"Slowly," he sighed. "The files are all hits they took out, magical objects they wanted; I'm not sure we can use it. The pictures match the names of the victims, I assume the ones that don't are would-be victims."
Ron held up a picture he had found; a picture of Hugo. "He's not dead."
"Mr Potter," a voice called. Harry looked up and followed the voice to a young Auror. "I found this." He held up a file, thicker than others, with no name on top, and handed it to Harry. Harry looked to him, confused, expecting an explanation, but the Auror just stared at the file, a look on his face Harry couldn't quite decipher.
Harry turned the file in his hand and went to open it when shouting and banging was heard from outside. An assistant ran in. "Sir, he won't listen."
"Who?" Ron asked.
Harry and Ron shared a quick look, "Hugo?" Ron got up from his chair and they ran out of the room to see Hugo being restrained by two Aurors. "Let him go," Ron said. "Hugo, what are you doing here?"
Hugo stammered and gasped, tears falling freely, and it was a few moments before he could say anything. When he did, only three words came out: "They took him."
"What?" Harry murmured. "Who took him?" He glared at his nephew, more out of fear than anger. "Where's Lysander?"
"Here in London," he whispered slowly. "They took him - La Oscurità."
There was a collection of gasps from the department at the fact that an Auror, one of their own, had been kidnapped, but Harry, Ron and Hugo paid no attention. The two senior Aurors started asking questions randomly, talking over each other, until Harry held up a hand and spoke calmly. "How did this happen? They should not have known where you were."
"They took him on his way back from town; he needed to go out," Hugo said, not telling them why just yet. He knew it was going to come up. Everything was going to be told now; the whole truth.
"How did they know where you were?" Harry repeated.
Hugo breathed in and out over and over for a few minutes, terrified at what was coming, before speaking. "We went out."
Ron moved forward, hoping he had heard wrong, Hugo could tell. "Come again?"
"We went out," he repeated. "We needed a night out."
"You knew it was dangerous, you both knew." Ron walked away to calm himself, angry at his son for breaking the one rule they had to keep them both safe, scared for Lysander and what he must be going through. He connected the dots. "One of them saw you."
Hugo nodded slowly. "I knew I recognized him when I saw him last night, I just couldn't think where."
"He's the one you saw that night," Harry said, thinking back to why Hugo was in this mess; he was a witness. He was surprised when the man said no. "How many times have you come across La Oscurità, Hugo?" he asked suspiciously.
"Does it really matter?" Hugo exclaimed. "Xander is in trouble and it's my fault."
Ron leaned closer to Harry. "Xander?"
"I'll explain later," he muttered. "If we want to help Lysander, if we want to get him back alive," Hugo winced at the severity of which his uncle said the word 'alive'. "You need to tell us everything. I am sick of your half-truths and your out right lies and you not telling us the whole story. I want the truth, Hugo; what is going on?"
Hugo dropped his gaze to the file still in Harry's hand. "Have you read that yet?"
"No," Harry answered, confused. "How can you know what it's about?"
"It's thicker than the others, isn't it?" Harry only replied with a nod. "You would never believe me if I told you, so read that file after I show you." He let go of a breath and turned around slowly, then he reached up to touch his shoulder and pulled his top down. He stood there for what seemed like forever, but in reality, could only have been five minutes at most, and when he realized no one was moving, he turned back around to face them. Hugo wished he could have the looks on his family's faces removed from his memory. "Are you still proud of me, Uncle Harry?" Harry said nothing. "Don't be. Just help Xander. I won't let him die because of me. I can't lose him."
For over two hours they sat in an interview room and with each hour that past, Hugo's anger grew. He told them everything; how desperate he had become, how he joined without thinking, what they made him do. He told them that Lysander had found out the other day, his reaction, and Harry knew why they had sat on opposite ends of the room that day. Ron had started pacing to calm down.
"You should have come to us," he yelled.
"I couldn't, not after what you said to me," Hugo screamed back. "Your words were the reason I left in the first place."
Harry pushed Ron into the corner gently, saying he wasn't helping. Hugo watched them have a hushed conversation and then Harry sat opposite him. "I understand why you did what you did, though you could have come to me. You know I wouldn't tell your dad any of your business until you were ready." He gave Hugo a look and he knew he meant his and Lysander's relationship, something he had kept out of the conversation. "I don't know what's going to happen. You may have made bad choices for good reasons, but that doesn't mean the law is on your side; you still work for La Oscurità."
Hugo scoffed half-heartedly. "I'm not an idiot, Harry. I didn't think the truth would save me, that I'd tell you and everything would suddenly be alright. I knew you'd know eventually, that I'd have to tell you everything and jail would be a definite possibility from the very beginning. I'm a realist, remember." He ran a hand through his hair. "I wanted to tell you as soon as it happened, but he wouldn't let me go home. He didn't want you knowing where they were, he said if I told I should hope I get to say good bye first. He would have had you killed, my whole family. I couldn't risk that, I wasn't brave enough."
"Like I said; bad choices, good reasons." Harry stood up and led Ron out the door. "Do you have any idea where they could have taken Lysander?"
Hugo shook his head. "I'm not sure. I thought I did, but it was too obvious."
Harry nodded once. "We'll find him. I promise."
Once outside, Ron stopped Harry. "Are you sure this will work?"
Harry turned to the interview room, imagining how Hugo would be reacting now that he was alone. "I know it will."
Inside, Hugo was panicking. He had no idea what was happening to Lysander right now. Every second they wasted was a second closer to... No, he wouldn't think that. He couldn't.
He sat back and thought; there were only so many places he could be. At first, Hugo had thought they would have taken to him to the basement of their nightclub, Hunt, in the centre of London; it was their primary location. But they would have known Hugo would know that. It was the most likely place the Aurors would go, so they would obviously find somewhere else. Wouldn't they?
"Hiding in plain sight," Hugo whispered to himself, thinking out loud. "They'd go there, knowing I'd have told the Aurors it was the most likely place for them to go, therefore ruling it out so Lysander couldn't be found. They are there."
Hugo jumped up and left the interview room; if he wanted to find Lysander in time, he had to go now. He walked to the elevator and left the Ministry. The whole time, he had been so focused on finding Lysander; he didn't notice how odd it was that no one had stopped him.
Skin to skin contact as a hand hit his face and a heavy splash of water jerked Lysander awake. He coughed violently and tried to drop his arms. When he realised he couldn't, he looked up to see them bound to the wall, above his head. He pulled at the restraints and the bounds around his wrists glowed blue. Lysander sighed, realising what they were, and looked ahead.
Lysander narrowed his eyes at the stranger in front of him. "Who are you?"
He laughed lightly. "I'm sorry, Lysander, I've spent so much time getting to know you," he lifted up a file with his name on, "that I feel like I've known you forever. I forget you don't know me. My name's Will."
Lysander raised an eye-brow lazily, trying to ignore the numb sensation starting to grow in his arms. "Sorry, doesn't mean a thing to me."
Will gave him a smirk that didn't reach his eyes; he was more annoyed than amused. "You may know me as the leader of La Oscurità."
Lysander could tell he didn't expect him to laugh. "No shit, Sherlock. Why should I care who you are?"
He watched Will turn his back on him, drop the file onto a table and pull out his wand. "I can just tell you've spent time with Hugo," he murmured. He raised his wand and Lysander tipped his head back and gritted his teeth to keep from screaming as pain covered his body. "How can you be so calm in your situation?"
"You don't scare me," Lysander whispered. "I'm not afraid."
Will stared at him, disbelief on his face. "You're going to die knowing you failed. Your mission was to protect Hugo. You're not doing a very good job tied up here, are you?"
Lysander gave him a small smile. "Do you see him here?" His smile grew wider. "My assignment was to keep Hugo safe. I'm not afraid because if I die, I die knowing I did my job; Hugo is safe."
"I think I know what he sees in you," Will muttered, but it wasn't appreciatively. "Why he would choose you I'll never know."
"You don't know anything about Hugo," Lysander said.
Will laughed, his first genuine laugh since Lysander had woken up. "Oh, I know Hugo very well."
It didn't take long for Lysander to grasp the man's meaning and he glared. "You're lying." Will's silence and the smug look on his face confirmed Lysander's fears and he wanted to scream. "You bastard."
It took him longer than he would have liked to calm down, but he did so. Then he shrugged. "Doesn't matter. He chose me in the end. It'll always be me. How does it feel to know I win?"
He couldn't stop the scream that came as he was hit with the Cruciatus Curse again. He shook violently and breathed deeply in and out as the pain subsided. "Face it, Will," he whispered. "You'll never have Hugo. Even if you kill me, he'll always be mine. You might as well just get it over with; he's not coming."
Lysander let a tear fall as Will raised his wand, thinking of his life; his family and friends, Lorcan and Hugo, but refused to shut his eyes.
Will lowered his wand, grinning, and Lysander shook his head. "No," he whispered. "Please, no."
"You were saying?" He turned to Hugo, who had his wand raised in a defensive position, "Hugo, so glad you could join us. We've been waiting for you."
He nodded to Lysander, but Hugo kept his eyes on Will. "You okay there, Xander?"
Lysander didn't answer. "You're an idiot," he said instead.
"Yes, I am." Hugo lower his wand a fraction. "Let him go, Will. I'm here now; you caught me. No more hiding. Just let him go."
Will tapped a finger on his chin and pretended to think. "No. You got him involved. Now you can both die. But I see why you always liked him." He watched Hugo's eyes widen, then noted Lysander's confusion. "Didn't you tell him?" Will walked across to the young Auror and stood behind him to whisper in his ear. "Did you never ask why he refused to speak to you that Christmas two years ago?"
Lysander shook his head slowly. He kept his eyes on Hugo, who kept looking down. "He wanted you," Will said. "But he was afraid of how you would react."
"You promised no more Ligamancy," Hugo sneered.
Hugo turned to face Lysander for the first time and had to bite his tongue to keep from gasping at his appearance; his left eye was slightly swollen and bruised a deep purple and the side of his face was covered in dry blood from the head wound, where they'd hit him to get him in the van. Lysander realized why he didn't want to look. "I would have told you if you had asked. Christmas never came up, not once."
"I don't care, Hugo," Lysander told him. "It was two years ago. It's not where we are now."
"How touching," Will sneered, glaring. He pointed his wand to Hugo's chest. "I always knew you'd come alone." He glanced Lysander. "At least you won't die alone."
Hugo chuckled and lowered his wand to his side. "I didn't come alone." Aurors swarmed in then, Harry and Ron in front. "It didn't take me long to figure out I was being followed. I learned from the best."
"You're welcome," Will said, ready to fight.
"I was talking about my dad."
Hugo didn't know who fired the first curse, but he didn't waste time finding out; he moved out of the way and ran to Lysander. He grabbed the man's wrists and pointed his wand at the restraints. "You have to admit, magical bounds are better than Muggle cuffs; Aurors can't get out of them." The restraints came loose and Hugo wrapped his arms around Lysander to keep him steady. "You should have known I would come."
"I hoped you wouldn't," Lysander groaned in pain as he stood to his full height. "You knew I wanted you safe, you should have realized you staying would be what I'd want."
Hugo glanced at the fight in front of them; they were too preoccupied with each other to notice the two reasons they were in the basement in the first place. Only a number of La Oscurità had come; they were outnumbered by the Aurors and they all knew it. Some had been stunned and taken away, others could be seen disappearing, running away.
"We save our own skin first," Hugo remembered Will telling him.
He turned back to Lysander, removing a wand from his pocket; Lysander's wand. "I did, but I couldn't leave you. Besides, I think you need this. You left it in the bedroom when you went out."
Lysander took his wand and smiled softly. "Thank you." Suddenly Hugo was pulled back and a curse hit the wall instead. Lysander retaliated, hitting the target in the chest.
"Now I see the Auror in you," Hugo muttered, awed. Lysander just grinned and they joined the fight.
With two more, the Aurors were able to gather the remaining members of La Oscurità and only Will was left in the middle of the room, Hugo just to his left, while Harry, Ron and Lysander were by the entrance they came through.
"So this is how La Oscurità ends," Harry called to him. "The only reason you lasted so long was because you were smart, because combat really isn't your thing. I had high expectations, I thought you'd be good, that it would take more than this to bring you in."
"I'm not done yet, Potter."
It was too late to stop him; he pointed his wand at the ceiling and everything began to shake. The walls began to crumble, glass smashed and parts of the ceiling fell to the floor. The remaining Aurors fled the room, but Lysander watched in horror as Hugo grabbed Will, stopping him from leaving. They stood trapped in the middle of the room. Lysander could see Hugo mouthing something to him, but he couldn't hear the words. He watched Will move to the side and Hugo stagger a little.
Harry grabbed his arm and pulled him back, a piece of ceiling just missing him. The ceiling fell down and both Hugo and Will disappeared, a thick cloud of dust filling the air.
Lysander coughed and covered his mouth to keep from breathing it in. "Hugo!" he screamed when the dust cleared.
He moved forward but Harry stopped him. "It's too dangerous." As if to prove a point, more of the ceiling fell.
"Hugo!" he called again.
His hopes lifted when he saw movement come from the debris. "I'm here!"
Hugo stood up slowly and wiped dust from his face and hair, his hand covering his side. Lysander gave him a smile as he made his way to them, but it dropped when he saw red dripping from between the man's fingers. "Hugo, what happened?"
Hugo looked down and pulled his hand away, bringing a shard of glass with it. He dropped to his knees as Lysander caught him. He barely saw another Auror come in. "He's dead," he called. They knew he was talking about Will.
"I never saw it coming," Hugo murmured. "I'll be fine. I'm going to be fine, baby." He raised a hand to caress Lysander's cheek. "Everything's going to be alright."
Lysander grasped his shirt tighter and let a tear fall as Hugo stuttered the words. "I thought you stopped calling me that," he whispered.
Hugo shook his head lightly. "Still testing it."
He let go of his wound. "No," Lysander demanded, covering it with his own hand. "We have to keep pressure on it."
They barely noticed Harry demand what was taking Healers so long.
"It'll be alright," Hugo murmured. "I promise." Lysander shook his head. Hugo whispered into his ear and more tears fell. He pulled back with difficulty. "I love you."
"I love you too." Lysander wrapped his free arm around Hugo's neck and held him close. He felt Hugo's head fall onto his shoulder and nothing could stop him.
A/N: Ah, the final chapter of Worth the Risk. I don't know when the sequel will be out, probably after November (doing NaNo, scary), but look out for it. :)
Lysander walked slowly across the grass, keeping his eyes down. He stopped in front of the small headstone and stared at the name, his face void of emotion. He needed to come here, he hoped it would help.
He still had nightmares of that night...
Harry put a hand on his shoulder and he gently placed Hugo to the floor. "Let the Healers do their job."
He waited until a Healer placed a hand over his own, before moving it away from the wound and Harry pulled him up and back. They stood in silence as they watched them help Hugo, ignoring Ron's rambling.
"We've got his pulse back," one said.
They controlled the bleeding and levitated him with their wand, Apparating to St Mungo's. Ron and Harry followed, his arm wrapped tightly around Lysander's shoulder, and he whispered encouraging words to keep him calm.
Harry walked with him until a Healer stopped them. "You need to stay here. I'm sorry."
"No," Lysander shouted. "I have to stay with him."
"I'm sorry," she repeated. "I will keep you updated on his condition."
"You should wash your hands, Ly," Harry said when she was gone. He looked down to see his hands covered in blood; Hugo's blood. He nodded once. They both turned to Ron, who sat with his head pressed to the wall. His hands covered his face. "I'll let everyone know. I'll tell Hermione first."
Ron turned to his friend with red-rimmed eyes. "Thank you."
Harry placed a hand on his shoulder and nodded, then led Lysander to the restroom before going to the Floo room.
Lysander washed his hands in the burning water until they were red and sore, but clean. He washed his own blood from the side of his head and dried himself with the paper towels and stared at his reflection in the mirror. His eyes were still red, but the blood on his face was gone. He was worried and afraid and seeing those emotions on his face brought every memory of the day back to the surface. The reminder caused him to break down again.
He remained in the restroom until no more tears fell. After washing his face again and he thought he looked more presentable, though he knew people would understand his distress, he walked back to Ron. He stood opposite the man, leaning stiffly against the wall. "Harry?" he asked quietly.
Ron rubbed his temple with his hands and Lysander could see he was still trying to hold back tears. After spending so long alone, he had forgotten that he wasn't the only one who loved Hugo; Lysander maybe his boyfriend but Ron was his father, just like Harry was his uncle. "He's still calling family. Hermione and Rose are on their way. He's just telling my parents; I'm sure they'll make sure everyone else knows. You know what they're like." Ron attempted a smile, but failed. Lysander didn't even try.
"What did he say?" Ron asked suddenly. "Before he passed out, he whispered something to you; what did he say?"
Lysander squeezed his eyes shut, feeling another tear fall. "It's alright," Ron said quickly. "You don't need to tell me. It's just," he took a deep breath. "I've never seen him act with anybody the way he does with you. It was strange to see. He looked so," his voice trembled slightly and Lysander wondered if it was because of his use of the past tense. "In love."
"He does," Lysander confirmed. "We're together and we love each other." He wiped the tear away. "He said 'never forget me, that way I'll always be there'. Sentimental git, he said it like he was going to die, but he's not," Lysander whisperered, determinedly. "He'll be fine."
Ron's smile was small but more genuine than last time. "I love your optimism, never lose that... No matter what happens."
They sat in silence for a few minutes, Lysander not knowing how to respond. "I'm proud of you, you know, so proud. The way you handled protecting Hugo, how you handled yourself in that basement; you are an amazing Auror and you made the right career choice. Everyone will see that now."
"I always saw what Harry saw," Ron replied. "But my doubt started after your training when you started to doubt yourself. You can't afford to do that in this job. I started to get scared that you'd doubt yourself so much, you'd get hurt. We wouldn't know what to do if you were hurt or worse, me and Harry or anyone. You're family."
"It's nice to hear you say that."
Harry came then. "Is that a smile I see, Lysander?" He stood next to him and wrapped an arm around his shoulder, holding him close.
By the time Hermione and Rose had come, they had gone into the family waiting room. Ron explained what happened as best he could, including Hugo's revelation in the office and what he had said in the interview room. They were shocked, the Aurors knew they would be, but they took the news well and were more concerned with his current state; something they didn't know yet. A Healer had told them they were trying to stop the internal bleeding and that it could be a while.
The only thing Ron missed out was what Hugo whispered in Lysander's ear. "I'm thankful you told me, but that was for you only; they don't need to know," he had said to Lysander when he asked.
By the time the whole family had come, Ron felt like he had told the story a hundred times and each time only seemed to get harder.
Rose sat down next to Lysander in the corner while her parents and Harry talked to everyone else. "So, you and my brother, eh?" Lysander turned slightly. "I feel like saying 'it took you both long enough'" she continued. "But then I remember the seven year age difference."
"Doesn't mean anything," he answered automatically. Then he looked confused. "What do you mean?"
Rose chucked. "It was so obvious you had a crush on him; you blushed when he spoke to you and your head turned every time his name was mentioned. Then the Christmas party a couple of years ago - the first time he came home; he couldn't believe you looked so good, his words not mine. He hadn't seen you in five years. His eyes were on you the entire night. Didn't he tell you?"
Lysander shook his head. "It never came up," he replied honestly.
"Well, now you know," Rose smiled. "The kids would be adorable if they could have both your genes. If only, right," she laughed.
It was the second time Lysander smiled. "I'm only twenty two and we've only been together for about two months," he reminded her. "Please don't freak me out." His smile fell and he looked as though he was reminiscing. "I can't believe it's only been two months, it feels like so much longer."
"That's because you've gone through so much," Rose whispered, and squeezed his hand gently for comfort.
Lysander felt as though he couldn't take anymore reminders and changed the subject before he broke down again. "How's Ellie?"
Rose smiled at the mention of her and Scorpius' four year old daughter. "She's great, she's getting so big and she's started to act just like Scor, which I'm not sure is a good thing, she's such a Daddy's girl. She misses you," Rose continued. "Her favorite uncle. Wow, you are dating Hugo. You actually are her uncle now." She turned to face him properly, grinning, "Cool. She'll love that."
That was the first time Lysander laughed.
Rose came back after calling Scorpius to check in on Ellie and tapped her dad on the shoulder. "Any news?"
Ron shook his head slowly. "None."
Rose looked at her watch; it was late and dark outside. It had been almost three hours since Hugo had been taken away by the Healers and the last piece of news about her little brother had been over an hour ago. A Healer had told him he was stable and Healers were doing everything they could.
But it wasn't enough; they needed to know, Rose and her perents. Something bad must be going wrong if it was taking so long to heal a stab wound.
Rose shook her head, mentally clearing it, and refused to think such things. Her brother was strong, he would be fine. She turned, hearing a commotion and stared in shock at who came their way.
"Where's my brother?!"
"Lorcan? Charlie?" Harry asked, seeing the older Weasley close behind the older twin. "I thought you were getting back tomorrow?"
"So did I," Charlie said. "But then he goes crazy, saying something's wrong and he needed to see Lysander, we needed to go home now. Next thing I knew he's yelling at the boss and I have to save his job. I still don't know how he managed it."
"I go to my brother's flat to see my dad packing things and he tells me everyone's at St Mungo's. Now tell me where Lysander is."
Rose pointed to the door to her right and Lorcan pushed past. Lysander banged his hand against the machine. "Come on! Can't anything go right?"
"Hey, little brother," Lorcan called.
Lysander turned quickly. "Lorcan! What are you doing here?"
"I came to see you." He moved across the room and took his brother in a hug. Then he led him to the couch. "I'll get your drink," he said when Lysander tried to protest. He went to the machine and made the hot chocolate how Lysander liked it and handed it to him. He knelt in front of him. "How are you, Sane?"
"I honestly don't know," he whispered. "Why are you here?"
"I knew you needed me."
Lysander scoffed. "Please don't talk about how you're psychic."
"I am!" Lorcan protested. "I knew you were gonna come out as gay. I knew Hugo was going to see sense and date you. I always know when you need me."
"Those were just coincidences," he said. "You also told me you were going to marry a celebrity."
Lorcan laughed. "For your information, I'm dating an actress."
"Is she famous?" Lysander took a sip of hot chocolate.
Lorcan shrugged. "She is in Romania. You have to admit, I am scary good." Lorcan took note of his brother's appearance and, running a finger over his still bruised eye, sighed. "You're tired. You need to sleep."
Lysander shook his head. "No, not until I know about Hugo."
Lorcan took the plastic cup from him and placed it on the table. "Everyone else feels the same, but they haven't been what you've been through, I can tell and I don't have a freaking clue what's gone on." Lorcan pushed Lysander down onto the couch gently and he didn't have it in him to protest. "I promise I will wake you the moment I hear something."
"Really?" Lysander whispered, yawning, finally letting sleep take it's toll.
"Really, you stubborn Auror." Lorcan ran his hand through his hair until he fell asleep, knowing that was what their mum did to calm him down; it was the only thing that worked. Then he stood up and turned around, acknowledging everyone else's presence. "Now would someone like to tell me what the bloody hell went on with my brother today?"
Harry walked quietly across the room, careful not to wake anyone, and sat down next to Lorcan, who was sat on the chair next to Lysander. "He's dead, right? The bastard who did this," Lorcan whispered, still watching his brother. "He's dead?"
"Yeah," Harry replied softly. "He cast a spell at the ceiling and Hugo didn't let him go when the ceiling fell. Hugo got up, he didn't."
"Good." Lorcan grazed a hand over Lysander's eye. "Or I'd have killed him myself."
"You're lucky Ly's asleep, otherwise he'd be having a go at you, saying he's a big boy and he can look after himself," Harry chuckled.
Lorcan laughed a little. "Is he still doing that? I'd have thought he'd be used to it by now." Their laughter died down and Lorcan changed the subject. "Hugo's good to Sane, Right?"
"I'd have to say yes," Harry said. "Hugo's a good guy. But they've been in protective custody for three months so you'll have to ask your brother."
The door opened softly and Ron, who was closet, jerked awake abruptly. They all looked to the Healer. Lorcan place a hand on Lysander's shoulder and shook him awake. "How's Hugo?" Ron asked.
"He's fine," she answered, smiling. "We removed the rest of the glass and could stop the bleeding. He's awake but was given a lot of sleeping potion, so he's a little out of it."
"Can we see him?" Ron asked her.
"He only wants to see one person right now," the Healer told him. "A Xander."
"That's me," Lysander stood up and walked to the door. "Take me to him."
The Healer nodded once and led him out the door and across the hall. She stopped outside and let him go in alone. Lysander opened the door slowly and locked eyes with Hugo.
"Hey, Xander," he whispered.
Lysander shut the door and ran to his side, taking his hand and kissing it. "You're okay. I was so scared."
Using his free hand, Hugo placed it against Lysander's face and pulled him down to his body, wrapping his arms around him in a hug. He felt Lysander's tears fall down his neck. "I'm fine. I told you everything would be alright."
He lifted Lysander up and he sat on the bed, Hugo sitting up slightly. Lysander told him how everyone had come to the hospital, including his brother, and they all knew about his involvement with La Oscurità. "They took it well, I think it was because they were more concerned with you being stabbed with glass, though. Now you're okay, I think you're in trouble; your mum's lectures are enough to scare me."
Hugo nodded softly, not laughing at Lysander's attempt at joking. "I think we may have to put that holiday on hold."
"What do you mean?"
"You know as well as I do that I could likely go to jail for being involved with La Oscurità," Hugo whispered. "They got what they wanted because I found it and stole it; I'm a thief, Lysander."
Lysander shook his head, "We'll get you a good lawyer and combined with your account of what happened, with your testimony, and with me, Harry and Ron telling them what you did to help today, you'll get community service and you'll have to pay for what they made you steal, unless you can get it back."
"You can't be sure of that," Hugo told him.
"I'll make sure it happens," Lysander promised. "I don't care what anyone says."
"I can't go to America with a criminal record," he reminded him.
"You're talking Muggle laws," Lysander said. "But you can't have a criminal record if I get you aquited."
"You sound so sure of yourself."
Hugo laughed. "Have I told you I love you yet?" He shook his head. "I do, I love you. So much."
"I love you too."
Hugo pulled Lysander towards him and kissed him softly.
They turned to see Rose and the rest of their family standing by the door. Lysander looked away quickly before they could see his face go red.
"Aww?" Lorcan pulled a face. "Eww is more like it. Your brother has got his hands all over my poor, innocent baby brother." He turned to Hugo. "You and me need to have a little chat."
"I think your brother is trying to threaten me," Hugo whispered, disbelief on his face.
"Ignore him," Lysander murmured back. "He's gonna get a slap if he keeps calling me 'baby brother' when we're twins."
"I was born five minutes before you, it means I'm older and you're the baby," Lorcan smirked.
Hugo ignored them and took Lysander's hand. They knew they'd figure out what would happen to Hugo later, but right now everything was good. "We're going to be fine."
Lysander looked up from the headstone when he heard someone come his way. Hugo stood by his side and took his hand. "I thought I'd find you here."
"I needed to know if it would help, but I'm not sure coming here has done anything," Lysander whispered. "How was jail?"
"Horrible," he said, not wanting to think about it; Lysander and his family had not been able to keep him out of Azkaban, but had gotten the sentence reduced and his record sealed. "I'm glad my three months is up. I thought you'd be there, but I understand. I missed you."
Lysander squeezed his hand, "I missed you, too. We're gonna be fine now. We have our life."
Hugo turned to the headstone. "It won't be over. More are still out there and they're not happy with us. They'll come soon enough."
Lysander glanced from Hugo to the stone.
He looked up at the sky, feeling a raindrop fall. The weather grew colder and signs of winter started to reveal itself. Lysander welcomed December with determination set on his features. "We'll be ready."
A/N: Look out for the sequel, Worthy of You, coming soon. :D