Hugo sat silently look at the photo. He had no idea what to say, this was not at all what he had expected. At the most he had assumed that Lindsey had gotten into another row with Dale. These always seemed to upset her the most, but normally she quickly brushed them off.
Hugo briefly closed his eyes before turning on the narrow bench to face her. They were sitting outside in the courtyard. It was a beautiful fall day, only a couple of weeks after classes had resumed.
"They’re everywhere Hugo. Scattered in various places all over the house. Most are tucked under bites of rubbish, so that they look inconspicious."
"Did you try and talk to your mum about it?"
Lindsey shook her head and looked down at her lap. "Not the pictures but I did ask her about him.......a bit." Lindsey looked back up, but still wouldn’t meet Hugo’s brilliant blue eyes. "All that she would say is that he was a pilot in the RAF." Lindsey noticed the blank look on his face. "Oh umm that’s the muggle Royal Air Force, you know."
"Oh aye. So he flew and umm areoplane thingy." Hugo waved his hand around in the air as he gave Lindsey a sheepish lopsided smile.
She couldn’t help but laugh, his entire fun loving personality was contagious.
At the slight change in her mood Hugo’s smile stabilized it’s self across his face, and he reached out to take her hand.
Once he had his fingers intertwined with hers he became serious again and looked at the picture in his other hand.
The focus of the photo was a man in about his mid twenties. He had slanted eyes and a short nose set over a curvy smile. But at first glance no one would have paid any attention to his facial features. Their attention would have been distracted by his short spiky vibrant blue hair.
Hugo looked from the blue haired man in the photo to the purple haired girl next to him.
"I have never heard of a metamorphmugus who wasn’t a wizard. So why was a wizard in the muggle military?"
"All mum knew." Lindsey paused and took a deep breath, she sat silently for a moment with her head leaned back against the bench looking at the fading sky. "Or at least all she would say was that he worked for the Ministry of Magic." After Lindsey finished explaining she withdrew her hand from Hugo’s warm grasp and once again disappeared into herself.
The great hall was abuzz with activity tonight. No one seemed in the least bit interested in eating dinner, even though tonight steak and kidney pie was being served.
Quiddditch tryouts had officially started this evening. The Ravenclaw team had been picked. Never given to procrastination they had held their tryouts first. Gryffindor was first thing in the morning, followed by Slytherin in the evening and Hufflepuff following up on Sunday.
The Ravenclaw picks were the talk of the school. Bets were being collected and odds calculated for tomorrows top picks.
As far as most of the school was concerned the position of the Gryffindor seeker was as good as made, a sure bet. Darren Alden sat at a table between Lily and Maddie. They had their heads bent closely together looking at a crumpled piece of parchment. Their untouched plates were pushed forward on the table, forgotten.
"Seriously, you lot have gone mental. You are no closer now to picking the rest of the team now then you were at the beginning of the week." Hugo informed the three of them as he and Lindsey took the bench across from them.
"Really Maddie the answers aren’t on that bit of parchment. They are on the pitch in the morning." Lindsey laughed at the three faces scowling across the table from her.
"Aye, the bloody early hour that you decided to hld tryouts should weed out a few of them." Hugo said without looking up from the plate that he was overfilling.
"There were a few sign ups for keeper this year."
"Oh I bet that Joey would do really well. He signed up for beater but I bet they he would much rather play keeper."
"Aww but Joey and Amy would make a really good pair of beaters." Lily said as she tapped her finger at the names on the list, and gave Hugo an evil look for provoking Maddie.
"Don’t worry I’ll be there." Hugo responded to the barb between mouth fulls of pie. Which caused Lindsey to nudge him in the ribs with her elbow.
"That’s good because Joey is quick and has a mean back hand. It would be a shame to waste his agility just sitting by the goals."
"What’s that supposed to mean Alden, your not even on the team yet." Hugo’s remark caused Maddie to slam down her glass of pumpkin juice and glare at him.
"I can’t wait by dinnertime tomorrow this will all be over. Then no one will be under any pressure and everyone can go back to being HAPPY." Lindsey chimed in her voice raising when she said happy.
"Thank Merlin for small favors, and it should last almost until our first practice."
"Oh no." Maddie’s face quickly changed from the glare that was usually directed at Hugo to a look of terror. "I haven’t scheduled the pitch for our first practice yet." She said as she jumped up from the table nearly knocking Alden off the bench. She nearly made it to the hall doors before she rushed back and grabbed the crumpled tattered parchment out of Alden’s hands. He sat looking after her with an amused look on his face before finally brushing a stray dred lock back over his shoulder and turning to Lily.
"She isn’t always like this...is she?"
"No, she is just really stressed out right now. She wants the cup so bad and without Tim this year." Lily broke off as Hugo nearly choked on a bite of pie because he was laughing.
"Sorry." Hugo said after taking a drink. "Maddie will be a great leader....in a couple of weeks."
Hugo and Lily started the long trek back up to Gryffindor Tower from the basement after leaving Lindsey a little earlier that evening than usual in preparation for the early morning tryouts. Alden had suddenly disappeared and Hugo had a sinking suspension that Lily had planned it. The limber little black boy had almost become like his cousins shadow during the course of the week.
"So Lins seems in a much better mood." Lily said rather chirpy while giving Hugo a sideways glance.
"Ugh. So you finally got her to talk about it. I knew that she would feel better after she talked to you, about whatever it was." Lily paused giving Hugo a chance to explain. But the silence dragged on.
"Well damn it Hugo what was wrong? I’ve tried to talk to her, but she just pretends like everything is ok. And then she starts starring off into space again like she’s lost it." Lily had stopped and was leaning against the railing on the staircase, which thankfully was not moving.
"Lily, I can’t. I mean I don’t know all of it." Hugo kept looking around refusing to meet his cousins brown eyes. "It’s. She’s not better. I don’t know."
Lily looked steadily at him. Forcing Hugo to finally meet her gaze. "Hugo what do you mean?"
"I gave her a Draught of Peace." Hugo almost shouted it in his anxiety. "Oh Merlin. But she doesn’t know."
"You what. Hugo why? Oh no you didn’t make it yourself? Not after that mess you made last year in potions. If you had messed up with the Hellebore it could have killed her." Lily stood in a towering rage with her wand pointed at her cousin.
"No. Me. Nnno. Me mum. I owled her right after I got Lins to talk." Hugo lifted up his hands and let them drop back to his sides silently asking Lily to understand. "She was a right wreck, I didn’t know what else to do. I finally got her up to the owlery and we stayed there almost all night."
Lily closed her eyes and lowered her wand. She turned her back on her cousin and started back up the stairs. "You had better bloody start from the beginning."
Hugo rummaged through his robe pockets and pulled out a creased copy of Mr. Burge’s photo. Lily stopped again to look at the photo. Her eyes the size of galleons.
"Lins said that there are pictures like that ll over the house. She just can’t believe that she never noticed them before. It’s like her mum is still in love with him."
Lily gasped and if it was possible Hugo would have sworn that her eyes got even bigger. He could see his own torn face reflected back at him in their brown depths.
"Hugo his hair just turned blue!" Lily screamed.
"My dear you are in a school full of magic. Surely there is no need to scream over someone changing the color of their hair. You should be more courteous some of us are trying to sleep." The brisk voice came from a painting behind them. "Go on then leave me be, off you go."
Lily turned to glare at the little plump lady in her frame. "Do I seem simple to you? I am very much aware that I am in a school of magic and that wizards can very easily change the color of their hair. I however have not ever seen on of you do it." Lily pointed her finger at the lady in question.
"Well dear pardon me. I however am not a metamorphmagus, nor do I believe that any of the other painted subjects are either." The rotund women said raising her little nose into the air a fraction. "It is also impolite to point."
Lily turned on her heel and stalked away. Hugo was close behind after shaking his head at the outspoken lady in the painting.
The duo had nearly reached the Gryffindor common room before Lily spoke again. "So that’s were she got her magic ability from. I suppose that I always knew, I just never really thought much about it."
"Moonstone." Hugo said the password to the fat lady as they reached the common room. Causing Lily to turn her almost permanent at this point glare on him. Moonstone was the other main ingredient in the Draught of Peace potion, a wry fact that had not escaped his cousins attention.
"So any idea how Bess met a wizard in the first place?" Lily asked as she sat in a large club chair next to the fire.
"Oi he was in the RAF. The Royal Air Force." He hastened yo explain. "But he actually worked for the Ministry of Magic." Hugo lamely finished while shaking his head. "None of it really makes sense Lil."
"Wait you mean the ministry put him in the muggle military?" Lily jumped up from her chair. "Hugo, Alden’s dad was in the RAF... thingy." Lily waved her hand in the air. "Come on we have to go talk to him. I bet he knows more about it. His dad may have even been on assignment with Burge."