Chapter 3 : Don't Tell Harry
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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.
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