Chapter 1 : Babysitting Hugo
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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.