Chapter 4 : Revelations and Suspicions.
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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.
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