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Chapter 9 : Ready
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Lysander walked slowly across the grass, keeping his eyes down. He stopped in front of the small headstone and stared at the name, his face void of emotion. He needed to come here, he hoped it would help.
He still had nightmares of that night...
Harry put a hand on his shoulder and he gently placed Hugo to the floor. "Let the Healers do their job."
He waited until a Healer placed a hand over his own, before moving it away from the wound and Harry pulled him up and back. They stood in silence as they watched them help Hugo, ignoring Ron's rambling.
"We've got his pulse back," one said.
They controlled the bleeding and levitated him with their wand, Apparating to St Mungo's. Ron and Harry followed, his arm wrapped tightly around Lysander's shoulder, and he whispered encouraging words to keep him calm.
Harry walked with him until a Healer stopped them. "You need to stay here. I'm sorry."
"No," Lysander shouted. "I have to stay with him."
"I'm sorry," she repeated. "I will keep you updated on his condition."
"You should wash your hands, Ly," Harry said when she was gone. He looked down to see his hands covered in blood; Hugo's blood. He nodded once. They both turned to Ron, who sat with his head pressed to the wall. His hands covered his face. "I'll let everyone know. I'll tell Hermione first."
Ron turned to his friend with red-rimmed eyes. "Thank you."
Harry placed a hand on his shoulder and nodded, then led Lysander to the restroom before going to the Floo room.
Lysander washed his hands in the burning water until they were red and sore, but clean. He washed his own blood from the side of his head and dried himself with the paper towels and stared at his reflection in the mirror. His eyes were still red, but the blood on his face was gone. He was worried and afraid and seeing those emotions on his face brought every memory of the day back to the surface. The reminder caused him to break down again.
He remained in the restroom until no more tears fell. After washing his face again and he thought he looked more presentable, though he knew people would understand his distress, he walked back to Ron. He stood opposite the man, leaning stiffly against the wall. "Harry?" he asked quietly.
Ron rubbed his temple with his hands and Lysander could see he was still trying to hold back tears. After spending so long alone, he had forgotten that he wasn't the only one who loved Hugo; Lysander maybe his boyfriend but Ron was his father, just like Harry was his uncle. "He's still calling family. Hermione and Rose are on their way. He's just telling my parents; I'm sure they'll make sure everyone else knows. You know what they're like." Ron attempted a smile, but failed. Lysander didn't even try.
"What did he say?" Ron asked suddenly. "Before he passed out, he whispered something to you; what did he say?"
Lysander squeezed his eyes shut, feeling another tear fall. "It's alright," Ron said quickly. "You don't need to tell me. It's just," he took a deep breath. "I've never seen him act with anybody the way he does with you. It was strange to see. He looked so," his voice trembled slightly and Lysander wondered if it was because of his use of the past tense. "In love."
"He does," Lysander confirmed. "We're together and we love each other." He wiped the tear away. "He said 'never forget me, that way I'll always be there'. Sentimental git, he said it like he was going to die, but he's not," Lysander whisperered, determinedly. "He'll be fine."
Ron's smile was small but more genuine than last time. "I love your optimism, never lose that... No matter what happens."
They sat in silence for a few minutes, Lysander not knowing how to respond. "I'm proud of you, you know, so proud. The way you handled protecting Hugo, how you handled yourself in that basement; you are an amazing Auror and you made the right career choice. Everyone will see that now."
"I always saw what Harry saw," Ron replied. "But my doubt started after your training when you started to doubt yourself. You can't afford to do that in this job. I started to get scared that you'd doubt yourself so much, you'd get hurt. We wouldn't know what to do if you were hurt or worse, me and Harry or anyone. You're family."
"It's nice to hear you say that."
Harry came then. "Is that a smile I see, Lysander?" He stood next to him and wrapped an arm around his shoulder, holding him close.
By the time Hermione and Rose had come, they had gone into the family waiting room. Ron explained what happened as best he could, including Hugo's revelation in the office and what he had said in the interview room. They were shocked, the Aurors knew they would be, but they took the news well and were more concerned with his current state; something they didn't know yet. A Healer had told them they were trying to stop the internal bleeding and that it could be a while.
The only thing Ron missed out was what Hugo whispered in Lysander's ear. "I'm thankful you told me, but that was for you only; they don't need to know," he had said to Lysander when he asked.
By the time the whole family had come, Ron felt like he had told the story a hundred times and each time only seemed to get harder.
Rose sat down next to Lysander in the corner while her parents and Harry talked to everyone else. "So, you and my brother, eh?" Lysander turned slightly. "I feel like saying 'it took you both long enough'" she continued. "But then I remember the seven year age difference."
"Doesn't mean anything," he answered automatically. Then he looked confused. "What do you mean?"
Rose chucked. "It was so obvious you had a crush on him; you blushed when he spoke to you and your head turned every time his name was mentioned. Then the Christmas party a couple of years ago - the first time he came home; he couldn't believe you looked so good, his words not mine. He hadn't seen you in five years. His eyes were on you the entire night. Didn't he tell you?"
Lysander shook his head. "It never came up," he replied honestly.
"Well, now you know," Rose smiled. "The kids would be adorable if they could have both your genes. If only, right," she laughed.
It was the second time Lysander smiled. "I'm only twenty two and we've only been together for about two months," he reminded her. "Please don't freak me out." His smile fell and he looked as though he was reminiscing. "I can't believe it's only been two months, it feels like so much longer."
"That's because you've gone through so much," Rose whispered, and squeezed his hand gently for comfort.
Lysander felt as though he couldn't take anymore reminders and changed the subject before he broke down again. "How's Ellie?"
Rose smiled at the mention of her and Scorpius' four year old daughter. "She's great, she's getting so big and she's started to act just like Scor, which I'm not sure is a good thing, she's such a Daddy's girl. She misses you," Rose continued. "Her favorite uncle. Wow, you are dating Hugo. You actually are her uncle now." She turned to face him properly, grinning, "Cool. She'll love that."
That was the first time Lysander laughed.
Rose came back after calling Scorpius to check in on Ellie and tapped her dad on the shoulder. "Any news?"
Ron shook his head slowly. "None."
Rose looked at her watch; it was late and dark outside. It had been almost three hours since Hugo had been taken away by the Healers and the last piece of news about her little brother had been over an hour ago. A Healer had told him he was stable and Healers were doing everything they could.
But it wasn't enough; they needed to know, Rose and her perents. Something bad must be going wrong if it was taking so long to heal a stab wound.
Rose shook her head, mentally clearing it, and refused to think such things. Her brother was strong, he would be fine. She turned, hearing a commotion and stared in shock at who came their way.
"Where's my brother?!"
"Lorcan? Charlie?" Harry asked, seeing the older Weasley close behind the older twin. "I thought you were getting back tomorrow?"
"So did I," Charlie said. "But then he goes crazy, saying something's wrong and he needed to see Lysander, we needed to go home now. Next thing I knew he's yelling at the boss and I have to save his job. I still don't know how he managed it."
"I go to my brother's flat to see my dad packing things and he tells me everyone's at St Mungo's. Now tell me where Lysander is."
Rose pointed to the door to her right and Lorcan pushed past. Lysander banged his hand against the machine. "Come on! Can't anything go right?"
"Hey, little brother," Lorcan called.
Lysander turned quickly. "Lorcan! What are you doing here?"
"I came to see you." He moved across the room and took his brother in a hug. Then he led him to the couch. "I'll get your drink," he said when Lysander tried to protest. He went to the machine and made the hot chocolate how Lysander liked it and handed it to him. He knelt in front of him. "How are you, Sane?"
"I honestly don't know," he whispered. "Why are you here?"
"I knew you needed me."
Lysander scoffed. "Please don't talk about how you're psychic."
"I am!" Lorcan protested. "I knew you were gonna come out as gay. I knew Hugo was going to see sense and date you. I always know when you need me."
"Those were just coincidences," he said. "You also told me you were going to marry a celebrity."
Lorcan laughed. "For your information, I'm dating an actress."
"Is she famous?" Lysander took a sip of hot chocolate.
Lorcan shrugged. "She is in Romania. You have to admit, I am scary good." Lorcan took note of his brother's appearance and, running a finger over his still bruised eye, sighed. "You're tired. You need to sleep."
Lysander shook his head. "No, not until I know about Hugo."
Lorcan took the plastic cup from him and placed it on the table. "Everyone else feels the same, but they haven't been what you've been through, I can tell and I don't have a freaking clue what's gone on." Lorcan pushed Lysander down onto the couch gently and he didn't have it in him to protest. "I promise I will wake you the moment I hear something."
"Really?" Lysander whispered, yawning, finally letting sleep take it's toll.
"Really, you stubborn Auror." Lorcan ran his hand through his hair until he fell asleep, knowing that was what their mum did to calm him down; it was the only thing that worked. Then he stood up and turned around, acknowledging everyone else's presence. "Now would someone like to tell me what the bloody hell went on with my brother today?"
Harry walked quietly across the room, careful not to wake anyone, and sat down next to Lorcan, who was sat on the chair next to Lysander. "He's dead, right? The bastard who did this," Lorcan whispered, still watching his brother. "He's dead?"
"Yeah," Harry replied softly. "He cast a spell at the ceiling and Hugo didn't let him go when the ceiling fell. Hugo got up, he didn't."
"Good." Lorcan grazed a hand over Lysander's eye. "Or I'd have killed him myself."
"You're lucky Ly's asleep, otherwise he'd be having a go at you, saying he's a big boy and he can look after himself," Harry chuckled.
Lorcan laughed a little. "Is he still doing that? I'd have thought he'd be used to it by now." Their laughter died down and Lorcan changed the subject. "Hugo's good to Sane, Right?"
"I'd have to say yes," Harry said. "Hugo's a good guy. But they've been in protective custody for three months so you'll have to ask your brother."
The door opened softly and Ron, who was closet, jerked awake abruptly. They all looked to the Healer. Lorcan place a hand on Lysander's shoulder and shook him awake. "How's Hugo?" Ron asked.
"He's fine," she answered, smiling. "We removed the rest of the glass and could stop the bleeding. He's awake but was given a lot of sleeping potion, so he's a little out of it."
"Can we see him?" Ron asked her.
"He only wants to see one person right now," the Healer told him. "A Xander."
"That's me," Lysander stood up and walked to the door. "Take me to him."
The Healer nodded once and led him out the door and across the hall. She stopped outside and let him go in alone. Lysander opened the door slowly and locked eyes with Hugo.
"Hey, Xander," he whispered.
Lysander shut the door and ran to his side, taking his hand and kissing it. "You're okay. I was so scared."
Using his free hand, Hugo placed it against Lysander's face and pulled him down to his body, wrapping his arms around him in a hug. He felt Lysander's tears fall down his neck. "I'm fine. I told you everything would be alright."
He lifted Lysander up and he sat on the bed, Hugo sitting up slightly. Lysander told him how everyone had come to the hospital, including his brother, and they all knew about his involvement with La Oscurità. "They took it well, I think it was because they were more concerned with you being stabbed with glass, though. Now you're okay, I think you're in trouble; your mum's lectures are enough to scare me."
Hugo nodded softly, not laughing at Lysander's attempt at joking. "I think we may have to put that holiday on hold."
"What do you mean?"
"You know as well as I do that I could likely go to jail for being involved with La Oscurità," Hugo whispered. "They got what they wanted because I found it and stole it; I'm a thief, Lysander."
Lysander shook his head, "We'll get you a good lawyer and combined with your account of what happened, with your testimony, and with me, Harry and Ron telling them what you did to help today, you'll get community service and you'll have to pay for what they made you steal, unless you can get it back."
"You can't be sure of that," Hugo told him.
"I'll make sure it happens," Lysander promised. "I don't care what anyone says."
"I can't go to America with a criminal record," he reminded him.
"You're talking Muggle laws," Lysander said. "But you can't have a criminal record if I get you aquited."
"You sound so sure of yourself."
Hugo laughed. "Have I told you I love you yet?" He shook his head. "I do, I love you. So much."
"I love you too."
Hugo pulled Lysander towards him and kissed him softly.
They turned to see Rose and the rest of their family standing by the door. Lysander looked away quickly before they could see his face go red.
"Aww?" Lorcan pulled a face. "Eww is more like it. Your brother has got his hands all over my poor, innocent baby brother." He turned to Hugo. "You and me need to have a little chat."
"I think your brother is trying to threaten me," Hugo whispered, disbelief on his face.
"Ignore him," Lysander murmured back. "He's gonna get a slap if he keeps calling me 'baby brother' when we're twins."
"I was born five minutes before you, it means I'm older and you're the baby," Lorcan smirked.
Hugo ignored them and took Lysander's hand. They knew they'd figure out what would happen to Hugo later, but right now everything was good. "We're going to be fine."
Lysander looked up from the headstone when he heard someone come his way. Hugo stood by his side and took his hand. "I thought I'd find you here."
"I needed to know if it would help, but I'm not sure coming here has done anything," Lysander whispered. "How was jail?"
"Horrible," he said, not wanting to think about it; Lysander and his family had not been able to keep him out of Azkaban, but had gotten the sentence reduced and his record sealed. "I'm glad my three months is up. I thought you'd be there, but I understand. I missed you."
Lysander squeezed his hand, "I missed you, too. We're gonna be fine now. We have our life."
Hugo turned to the headstone. "It won't be over. More are still out there and they're not happy with us. They'll come soon enough."
Lysander glanced from Hugo to the stone.
He looked up at the sky, feeling a raindrop fall. The weather grew colder and signs of winter started to reveal itself. Lysander welcomed December with determination set on his features. "We'll be ready."
A/N: Look out for the sequel, Worthy of You, coming soon. :D
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