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.”
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