Chapter 1 : Hugo and Keira
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It is also a truth universally acknowledged in the Potter and Weasley family that Hugo Weasley, a single man himself in possession of a good fortune and good looks, will never find a girlfriend.
However, quite little is known to the world outside of the Potter and Weasley family regarding the feelings and personal preferences of this one fine man by the name of Hugo Weasley.
The truth accepted universally in regards to a single man is, unfortunately for Hugo, so instilled to the minds of the Wizarding world.
Girls of various ages would throw themselves upon Hugo Weasley, mothers would advise their daughters to marry ‘a Hugo’, and fathers would point to Hugo as a role model for their sons.
The popularity of Hugo Weasley was never stung by the sharp reports of several tabloid magazines that acclaimed and produced shocking photographs of the young man partying.
The good favor of Hugo Weasley was also never stung by the wild stories of several women whose business in life was to be associated with a celebrity and their solace being gossip.
Nothing, it seemed to Hugo and his family, could put a stopper to this outrageous increase of interest. Even Hugo’s last two hopes, his cousins Louis and Albus had abandoned him.
Louis and Albus, two young men previously of similar stature to Hugo, had been the ones on whom he relied on to draw attention away from himself. Now, even they were all but taken.
Only a blind and deaf person would be able to miss the blatant signs that Louis and Albus were well on the route to being engaged in a steady relationship.
Hugo Weasley had never felt quite so frustrated before in his life. Even the days when he slaved away to prepare himself for the NEWT exam paled significantly to his situation now.
Everywhere he turned, everywhere he went, all that could occupy his mind was how he was the Wizarding Bachelor that every single girl wanted.
Hugo was also quite positive that, had men with different preferences been given the chance to voice their opinion, he would be the object of their affections as well.
His mother would shake her head sadly; it seemed to Hugo that her business in life outside of the Ministry was to see him happily settled. She never had to worry about Rose, oh perfect Rose.
Rose, Hugo’s older sister, was the epitome of ‘a Hugo’ to the mothers of the Wizarding society. To those fathers, Rose was Hugo, the young woman that all fathers dreamed to have for a daughter-in-law.
The enormous difference between perfect Rose and Hugo was their relationship status. Rose hadn’t been single since her Hogwarts’ days.
It surprised Hugo that she had yet a ring on her fourth finger, for it seemed that for her and Scorpius, the only progression in their relationship was to be happier together than the yesterday.
His father would only laugh at his mother’s worries; it seemed to Hugo that he believed in Hugo and his abilities to find himself a nice girl when the time was right.
It didn’t occur to either of them, or to the rest of their large extended family, that the feelings and personal preferences of Hugo Weasley weren’t focused on finding the right girl.
They also weren’t focused on finding the right boy, had that been his preference.
Hugo Weasley had one business in life, and that was to become the eternal bachelor.
His own Uncle Charlie was his role model in life. Constantly living the free and single life and never having to worry about pleasing a woman or living up to a family’s demand.
It was unclear to Hugo why that truth was so hard to become universally acknowledged.
He prided himself on having the perfect life, a job as the most popular radio host on WWN, a loving family that he would be hard pressed to find anywhere else, and a Gringotts account full of gold.
Nothing in his life could go wrong.
There were the occasional scandal among either his family or among the press that ruffled Hugo’s feathers, of course, and his frustration that everyone wanted him to settle down was completely unprecedented.
But his life was going so splendidly that adding a new woman to that perfect equation would upset the balance of everything.
Hugo Weasley prided himself on having the perfect life; he didn’t pride himself on being perfect.
He had a temper, a trait passed down through the Weasleys; he had a stubborn side, a side that made his mother as successful in the Ministry as she was; he had a tendency to eye several women the wrong way, a tendency that every woman, who had been on a date with him, hated.
Hugo Weasley was not perfect, but that didn’t matter.
If Hugo was able to remove the occasional bad press, lectures from his Nana Weasley about becoming exactly like his Uncle Charlie, and the unwanted attention from everyone to settle down, then Hugo would find himself in paradise.
Everything else was so fantastic that Hugo, in his eyes, would be a fool if he wasn’t proud.
That was the situation Hugo Weasley was in when he met her.
“Keira, can you look me in the eye and tell me honestly that you think nothing of him?” asked her friend to her one day upon which the young lady found herself and her friend situated comfortably together at the Leaky Cauldron.
Keira was a woman who valued her ability to judge a person’s character. Never in all her life had she ever met a man more disagreeable than Hugo Frederick Weasley.
They had become acquaintance at a wedding; the wedding of which her friend’s boss participated in as a bridesmaid.
Having become thrown together in the confusion of the dance floor, Keira found it necessary to familiarize herself with the man that is Hugo Weasley.
And what a man he was! Keira found himself to be remarkably vain, full of misconceptions of his own charisma, overly proud of the little that he had earned himself, and entirely disagreeable.
The disgust Hugo Weasley gave was incomparable to any others.
His deep, at times gut-wrenching, and melting voice paired with his stunning good looks was not enough to patch up the gaping hole in his personality, the hole that should be filled with manners and perhaps a bit of natural charm.
Keira peered at her friend seriously, meeting her eyes with that of her friends.
Feeling wholesomely justified, she said, “Jessica, please. Hugo Weasley is the most despicable man I’ve ever met. He is rude, inconsiderate, proud, and disgusting. Not even his good looks and his soothing voice can make up for that.”
“I found him to be very nice,” Jessica said pointedly, as if trying to relate a point to Keira without putting it into words. “He’s really accomplished at his age and his life is almost perfect. I see no reason why I should dislike him.”
“You find everyone to be nice, Jessica. You think that Arielle King is nice,” Keira scoffed, slightly condescendingly.
Keira loved Jessica as a sister, to be sure. Jessica was someone so dear to Keira that had she participated in the Second Task of the last Triwizard Tournament, Jessica would be the ‘thing she missed the most’.
Jessica, however, was a true Hufflepuff.
Being a Ravenclaw, Keira found it hard to accept Jessica’s easygoingness when it came to judging those who were nice and those who didn’t deserve a second glance.
Arielle King was Jessica’s boss and Hugo Weasley’s equal in Keira’s mind.
Arielle was not openly rude, nor was she lacking in manners as Keira found Hugo to be.
Instead, she was so shockingly condescending to everyone around her, and so entirely catty and hateful that Keira could not stand to be around Arielle.
Similarly to Hugo, not even her position as the Deputy Editor of Dulce Vida, the biggest (and most respected) women’s fashion, health, and beauty magazine, and her good looks could make up for or explain how on Earth a woman related to Scorpius Malfoy could be so disagreeable.
Scorpius Malfoy, to Keira, was the definition of what it was to be agreeable and amiable. He had great manners, incredible sincerity, and one of the most easy-going natures Keira has ever seen.
Scorpius’s match could only be Rose Weasley, a woman that Keira could also not believe was related to Hugo Weasley.
It seemed such an odd coincidence for two of the Wizarding world’s finest people to be related to two of the Wizarding world’s worst people.
Had it not been for Keira’s great judge of character, Keira would surely have thought perhaps one of them was misunderstood.
This situation hardly seemed possible, yet it was.
Keira trusted Jessica above anything, yet this was something that Keira found necessary to correct Jessica on as she tried to protest.
“Jess, really. You admit it to me this time,” Keira said abruptly, cutting off her friend with a serious look. “Tell me honestly that you like Arielle King.”
Annoyed with her friend’s attitude and upset that she was disregarded, Jessica sniffed unhappily.
Nevertheless, she looked into her friend’s eye and said in the firmest tone she could muster, “I, honest to Merlin, like Arielle King and Hugo Weasley.”
Keira had to give up. Nothing, it seemed to Keira, could put a stopper in Jessica’s overly kind assessments of people’s personalities.
That was the situation Keira was in after she had met him.
“Hugo, please just do me this one favor!” his cousin pleaded with him as the two of them sat together in the living room of his flat.
Hugo was a man who prided himself on his ability to brush away setbacks easily. Never in his life had he ever found himself incapable of moving past an incident till Keira Cristine Giordano.
That woman was an enigma to Hugo, and Hugo didn’t like mysteries. He hated not being ‘in the loop’, so to say, and Keira Giordano was certainly an enigma.
Her dissatisfaction with him was not well hidden; several times that night while they were forced to be in each other’s company Hugo had found filthy looks and snide comments thrown at him.
He didn’t understand how her charms and good looks could be lost on her, though the pleasance of not having to inform yet another desperate woman that he simply was not interested was something Hugo would have to thank Keira for.
However, despite Keira’s obvious dislike towards Hugo himself, Hugo couldn’t help but feel slightly attracted towards this woman.
She obviously had no ill-wills towards expressing her true feelings, and her personality seemed like it was full of character and depth.
Lucy had approached Hugo on his doorstep, begging him to interview her on his radio show.
It was yet another enigma to Hugo how she could accept the offer to appear on his show when it had been clear to Hugo and all those unfortunate enough to have spotted their interactions that she simply could not stand his presence.
She found him disagreeable to be sure.
“I don’t see why you are begging me to interview her,” Hugo finally asked his cousin with a aggrieved sigh.
There rested no doubt in Hugo’s mind that Keira Giordano would yet keep him up for many nights after the show, for she was an enigma that he just couldn’t solve.
“We work together at the Ministry; she recently helped me out in a tight situation and this is my way of thanking her. There’s much publicity for anyone that appears on your show and if she appears, then she would be likely to get the promotion that she deserves,” Lucy said simply with an encouraging smile.
Having grown up with Lucy, Hugo knew the type of person Lucy was. Hugo knew Lucy inside and out, and she with him. At Hogwarts, it had been Lucy, Lily, and Hugo, and that was the way it had always been. Hugo would gladly do Lucy a favor.
Any favor but this.
It was one of Hugo’s rare faults for him to regard his personal choice first in a noteworthy matter. Several times his mother had told him off because he hadn’t thought to put his keen mind to thinking any further than himself.
In any other case, Hugo would refuse without a second though; he would refuse because Hugo found disagreeable the idea that a mere woman could frustrate his mind so much because of the confusion she brought to him.
Lucy, however, made all the difference.
Hugo didn’t like to reject favors to his family, as his family were part of his pride. They were part of the perfect equation of Hugo’s life, and upsetting his family meant upsetting his perfect equation.
The fierce battle raged in his mind as Lucy sat with wide and hopeful eyes, staring at her cousin. She knew of the battle that was going through Hugo’s mind but she had faith in her cousin’s true character.
“Alright! Alright, I’ll bloody do it,” Hugo finally grumbled with a scowl. “I’ll bloody interview this Keira Giordano.”
That was the situation Hugo was in before he saw, for the second time, her.
“We are joined by Miss Keira Giordano of the Department of International Magical Cooperation. Miss Giordano, I’m glad that you could join me tonight,” said he to her that one fated night at which the yet-to-be couple were situated at a recording room of WWN Headquarters.
Keira plastered a pleasant smile alight her face as she said to the microphone, “Hello Mr. Weasley, I’m glad that I could be here tonight. It’s such an honor to be here.”
Though the voice coming from the brown haired woman sounded pleasant, warm, and kind, Hugo Weasley was not fooled by the voice, nor by the smile. He was smart enough to read the dissatisfaction behind her eyes.
The entire featuring of her on his radio show was insignificant, to say the least.
Casual bantering with a carefully written script by Hugo himself and the directors, precision-timed laughter by both sides to ensure the light and easy going atmosphere, and the not-so-genuine invitation and the equally genuine acceptance for yet another session wasn’t anything noteworthy in Hugo’s books.
The entire night would have become simply a small blip on Hugo’s radar, had it not been for her snide reaction, the one that Hugo had been waiting for yet never came till now.
“Thank you for coming,” Hugo had said simply out of courtesy, as it would be remarkably rude of a radio show host to not thank his guests for their time.
Being off air and alone with the exception of a few assistants who were tending to the messy parchment alight the desks, Keira snorted softly to herself after a curt nod to him.
Hugo’s hands froze on the parchment he had been consulting, hardly daring to believe that he had just witnessed that dreadful reaction.
What a woman she is! Hugo found himself to be rudely surprised that a mere ‘thank you’ could garner such negative reactions so she had to resolve to snorting at him.
“Excuse me if I’m wrong, but I never knew that it was now a crime to say thank you,” Hugo informed her stiffly, feeling utterly disrespected.
Keira looked up from her own mess of parchment and raised an incredulous eyebrow at the proud man in front of her.
How entirely typical of a response from him, Keira believed.
Keira hadn’t even acquired the knowledge till a few mere moments ago that Hugo Weasley knew what ‘thank you’ was.
A thank you from a man such as himself was the equivalent to the Muggle Mr. Scrooge donating a single Muggle pence out of his own pockets.
And to have him reprimand her on what is common courtesy! There was never a bigger and more ironic joke in Keira’s eyes than this.
“No, of course not; I just hadn’t been under the impression that you knew what ‘thank you’ was. You’re usually so rude,” Keira commented with an eye roll.
Gathering her belongings in her hands safely, Keira began her arduous journey past Hugo to the door, only to be stopped, of course.
Keira shot her eyes upwards towards the man and was startled with the ugly expression on Hugo Weasley’s face.
“Once again, please correct me if I’m wrong, but your entire comment seemed far ruder than whatever seemingly atrocious behavior I had been acting under,” Hugo said stiffly, his voice laced with irritation and anger.
Hugo Weasley was not a man that liked to be told he was inferior in any way.
Being told that he was rude and that he was entirely incapable of saying a simple ‘thank you’ was not only an insult to Hugo himself but an insult to his dear parents as well, for they were the ones laden with the job of teaching him manners.
The cryptic, tossing-around-at-night feelings had all but evaporated at that moment. Hugo didn’t understand what was wrong with this woman; he does her a favor and all she had to say were rude comments.
Of course Hugo had expected this less than amiable behavior but the forcibly polite manners had been a pleasant surprise; that, of course, was how it always should be.
Yet Keira Giordano, who seemed to Hugo initially to be a strong woman full of character, even if she was unreadable, had defied all of Hugo’s expectations.
She was still a strong woman, to be sure; no woman capable of being rude to a man who had done her an incredible favor could be considered weak.
Keira’s true personality and her worth to Hugo as a person, however, significantly diminished with the implication of her words.
She obviously found him to be rude, disrespectful, overly proud, and too pompous.
Though Hugo could understandably see where perhaps a tenth of her character judgment derided from, Hugo couldn’t fathom how Keira could possibly be so prejudiced against him.
Still being in shock that Hugo Weasley was reprimanding her on manners, Keira gaped gormlessly, staying silent for just a moment longer, enough for Hugo to insert his next statement into the dangerous conversation.
“You obviously do not hold me in a positive light, and while I do not find that I need to prove myself to you, I should have you know that you are painfully mistaken,” Hugo continued on, his emotions barely in control. His voice was quivering, not from potential tears, but from anger.
Keira retained mastery of her vocal skills and immediately retorted back with a scoff, “Painfully mistaken that you really are rude, arrogant, disagreeable, and overly proud of the little that you have earned yourself?”
Hugo’s jaw tightened even more stiffly as he clenched his fists into a tight ball. He had never been disgraced with an abuse of being called disagreeable.
Furthermore, Hugo wasn’t sure where on Earth this woman derived her conclusions that he was overly proud of the little he earned himself.
Choosing to focus on the far more arguable derogatory comment, Hugo shot back with a flash of his eye, “Pray tell, Ms. Giordano. How am I, as you say, ‘overly proud of the little I have earned myself’?”
Keira’s own lips formed into a tiny smirk; Hugo Weasley was as predictable as ever. His first counterattack, of course, had to be the comment about his achievements, the comment that challenged his worth.
“You think you’re basically perfect. You have this delusion in your mind that everyone should be kissing the ground you walk on because you’re some popular radio show host, you’ve got every girl falling for you, and because your parents are Ron and Hermione Weasley. In your mind, you’re under the impression that you are the Wizarding God,” Keira replied, feeling triumphantly as she watched his face grow redder with each passing word.
Hugo had never met a woman more irksome and unfathomably impossible as Keira Giordano.
She had, as Hugo believed, taken the true facts and twisted them into a warped version of the truth that favored no other than herself.
Nothing that she said could have been farther from the truth, and Hugo was determined to set her right, once and for all.
With a firm and commanding tone, Hugo informed her, “Actually, contrary to what you might believe, I detest girls throwing themselves at me, I do not want to get a girlfriend or settle in a relationship simply because I don’t believe in adding another woman to my already perfect life. And before you can interrupt me and call me yet another rude name, I’ll have you know that my life is perfect to me because I have a job I love to do, I have a great family that would be even more splendid if all of our last names weren’t either Weasley or Potter, and I sure as fuck don’t think that I am a God in any sense. I believe my life is perfect, but I am not perfect.”
“Right, because just saying that you wish your family wasn’t famous just completely convinces me that you don’t bask in the glory of it all,” Keira scoffed condescendingly.
Hugo’s temper was now at a all-time high with her rudely thrown words. Using the last ounce of his self-control and reminding himself that Keira was still a woman and they were in public, Hugo made his counter attack.
“If you think that any of us likes the fame, then you’re mental. I want to go into a store and have the manager offer to give me a discount because he or she has listened to my radio show and enjoy listening. I don’t want to be able to go anywhere in a Wizarding community and be recognized on the streets only because my parents did something spectacular more than 30 years ago,” Hugo ranted angrily.
It seemed, to Hugo unconsciously, that all of the years of build-up in tension was being released at that moment. All of his frustrations, however few, were being released.
It hadn’t seemed to matter that Keira’s original accusations were not even the ones that he was so venomously arguing for at the moment as he continued his angrily spiel.
“You don’t understand the difficulty of living with the pressure of having to live up to your parents. You don’t grow up with your face plastered on newspapers, and you don’t have the media constantly drawing up comparison charts between you and your parents. You don’t have your achievements questioned; you won’t be under the constant debate of whether you’ve earned your own personal radio show out of brilliance or out of your last name. So before you think that I, or any of my cousins, like our parents glory, you should reconsider. I had thought you were a woman of strong character with an admirable personality, but it looked like I had been gravely mistaken,” Hugo finished nastily.
He shot her one final nasty glare, conveying all of his derogatory and negative comments about her, as he swiftly turned and exited the room, leaving behind such a thick air of tension that Keira could hardly move.
Thus, she stood there, however long she was not even aware as her mind processed through what he had just argued.
The more Keira thought through his words in her mind, the more Keira felt insanely uncomfortable with what she had accused him of.
Had she not seen how Hugo had brushed off those girls annoyingly after that charming smile and the carelessly given compliment he gave everyone?
Had she not seen how Hugo had scowled heavily at the reporters who had been crowding and eagerly anticipating an opportunity at a spontaneous photo op?
Had she not seen how Hugo had brightly laughed, danced, and enjoyed himself with his family the night of the wedding?
Had she not seen how Hugo had really seemed to enjoy his job, and had she not witnessed how entirely competent and brilliant he was at conducting a radio show?
Had she not seen, if she truly admitted it to herself, how Hugo probably did indeed believe he had the perfect life?
Had she not just heard with her own ears how Hugo did not believe that he was perfect, but rather his life?
Feeling utterly humiliated and completely ashamed of herself, Keira collapsed into the seat she had occupied earlier, her head swimming with thoughts.
Though she may not have suffered from what she thought Hugo Weasley to be suffering from, pride that is, she was suffering from an affliction as terrible as the one she had accused Hugo Weasley against.
She had been an advocator of prejudice.
That was the situation in which Keira had been in before she knew she had to apologize to him.
Keira could have summoned all of the courage in the entire world, and none of it would be enough to make her knock on Hugo Weasley’s door.
She was anxious enough for the entire embarrassing incident to be over, already wishing with her entire heart that she wouldn’t be tortured any longer.
Yet as Keira stood in front of Hugo Weasley’s flat, realizing why the Sorting Hat did not see her fit to be a Gryffindor, she felt uneasy.
Uneasy with the prospect of apologizing to Hugo Weasley of all people, and completely uneasy with apologizing when the said man had, in fact, held her in high regards.
The days before that fateful day of which Keira had been determined to apologize had been laden with an abundance of conflicting thoughts.
Keira couldn’t shake from her the feeling that Hugo Weasley had implied with his last parting statement that he had found her to be of worthy company and a variously accomplished woman.
Knowing now that Hugo Weasley was not one to throw out such genuine compliments that related a knowledge of her true character and personality, Keira would be foolish to overlook the possibility that perhaps Hugo might have been interested in being acquainted.
Surely now, she couldn’t ever hope to be graced with the honor of retaining Hugo’s interest, which had significantly added on to Keira’s complete lack of confidence.
Keira raised a shaky hand, her eyes serious and her body shaking, as the knuckles of her fist met contact with the hard door of Hugo’s flat.
If there had been any hopes that Keira might have been able to collect herself before the door had been answered, then they evaporated quickly as the door swung open the next moment.
Once again for the second time in less than a week, Keira found herself in shock by Hugo Weasley as her surprised-laden eyes met the calm and slightly amused ocean blue eyes of Hugo.
“I watched you stand there for a full ten minutes,” Hugo answered her unasked question easily as he casually leaned on the doorframe.
Once upon a time that statement would have been a cause for embarrassment for Keira; now, however, with plenty of experiences with true embarrassment and shame, that was the least of her worries.
“I came here to apologize for my misconstrued accusations,” Keira said firmly, trying desperately hard to hope that Hugo couldn’t hear the loud pounding of her heart.
It was unclear to Keira why her heart had chosen that moment when her eyes met Hugo’s to start acting out of control and like her little niece on a sugar high.
A moment’s heavy silence fell between the pair as a smile slowly slipped off Hugo’s face, forming into an unreadable expression that sent Keira into a flurry of panic.
Her mind was full of different possibilities; surely he had known that was why she was waiting outside his door for ten minutes. He wasn’t that unintelligent so as a simple two plus two could fail him.
It must, however, had been fate’s design for the smile to slip off.
When Keira’s head soon cleared after a sharp and rhetorical reprimand to herself that panicking would get her nowhere did Keira realize a shocking truth.
Far from wanting to amend for her atrocious behavior and far from only wanting to be rid of a shameful experience, the apology Keira had come to make was of an entirely different matter.
Being a Ravenclaw, Keira was smart and intelligent in not only matters of the world and books, but also matters of the heart.
She understood herself well enough to know, as they often say, her heart’s desires.
She understood herself well enough to know that her heart’s desire was to be once again held as an object of interest to Hugo Weasley.
“Apology accepted,” Hugo suddenly interrupted her deep and personal revelation.
Keira’s eyes snapped up in surprise; there was something about Hugo and shocking her every other moment.
“What- what do you mean?” Keira’s eyebrows furrowed. Had the roles been reversed, Keira would not have accepted the apology without a lot more groveling and confessions of personal wrongdoings. “You accept my apology? Just like that?”
The edges of Hugo’s lips curved up into a smirk, a smirk so reminiscent of the first smirk that had brought the conclusion that Hugo Weasley was an remarkably vain man full of misconceptions in Keira’s mind.
This time around, however, as Keira stared at the man she once couldn’t stand, none of the initial disagreeable thoughts formed in her mind.
All she could think about was that it was certainly nothing selfish if she were to admit her feelings at that moment.
Hugo let out a tinkling laugh and said, “Yes, I accept your apology. Will you now come have dinner with me as a date?”
It was most certainly nothing selfish, as Keira knew at that moment. With a man like Hugo Weasley who was full of mysteries and surprises, it would do her and him a huge favor to admit that there was something about Hugo Weasley that unknowingly drew Keira in.
That was the situation Keira and Hugo were in right before they fell in love.
A/N: HELLO! I'm so bad, uploading so many one-shots but I had to get this one out there.
It IS for a challenge after all, and not only that, but because this was so much harder for me to write than most, as it is out of my usual writing style. One-shots usually take me one or two sittings to write but this took me three to four!
But please let me know your thoughts in a review below!
[The next chapter for ARCL will be put into the queue right after this.]
***: The first line and title are from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, in which I do not own at all!
Thanks so much! Love,