Hugo groaned and rolled over to his side, slamming the off button on the alarm clock forcefully, then he hid under his blankets until Lily came to pull him out of bed. He wouldn't sleep, though; she'd want him to hurry up and get ready so they can have breakfast before going to Hogsmeade. She wouldn't want him being late to meet Teddy, not knowing just how much he was dreading it. His only comfort was in the fact that Skander had insisted on coming with him; he wouldn't be alone when he saw the disappointment in his friend's eyes.
With that in mind, Hugo lay in wait for his cousin, mentally playing out different scenarios in his head and planning what he was going to say to defend his reasons for not telling anyone about his curse, despite his many tries. Too emotionally drained, the thoughts of his deceit no longer brought tears to his eyes, not even a little, it just left him tired and filled him with dread, but he didn't let himself fall back asleep. At least this way he wouldn't be in too much trouble with Lily if he was awake when she came in; he woke up at decent hour, giving enough time to get dressed and ready for breakfast before leaving. She hated it when he was half asleep, it always took him twice as long.
The dorm door opened and he straightened up, but stayed under his covers. "Get up, Hu," Lily called, pulling back the bed sheets. Hugo turned his head to her, acknowledging the much too happy look on her face. "Skander and Cam are waiting down stairs."
Hugo groaned. "What did you do this time?"
"I hugged him," she sang, grinning smugly. "He looked terrified."
Shaking his head in amusement, Hugo sat up and kicked the blanket off his legs, then swung them to his left to the floor. "When he finally retaliates, don't make me choose between you. I'll be down in a bit, you can go," he said before Lily could say anything about him choosing between her and Skander. Her rolling her eyes proved to him she thought it'd be her anyway.
So Lily said nothing, but continued to smirk and left the room. Hugo bit back his words; telling Lily he'd easily choose Skander first would only get him another eye roll and a 'we'll see' from her. It'd also be a lie; he'd lock them in a room and make them come to a truce before he chose one over the other. They were both stuck with him, it was a fact they had to get used to. And with Skander knowing what he was and Lily being family, he hoped they'd both keep him, too. So far only one was certain.
He was washed and dressed in record time, compared to the many other times he'd had to be ready for his cousin, and met with the others for breakfast, hoping he'd be able to hold it down. He found Skander sitting in the corner, grimacing, while Lily was talking to Cam, the girl holding onto his cousin's every word. As soon as Skander noticed Hugo at the bottom of the stairs, he stood up, his eyes pleading to be saved. "Can we go now?"
"If I didn't know you so well, Sky, I'd swear you're about to cry."
"It might just happen," he whispered so no one else could hear him admit to such a weakness. He had a reputation to uphold after all. Skander placed his hand on the base of Hugo's back, pushing him forward and out of the common room. "Leaving now. The quicker we get this over with, the better."
Hugo heard Lily and Cam follow not far behind them and copied Skander, lowing his voice. "Thank you for wanting to come with me. It means a lot."
"Of course I'd come with you," he scoffed, though the look in his eyes told Hugo he was serious about every word. "I'm not leaving you alone. I tried that, this happened."
"You make it sound like I do stupid things all the time," Hugo hissed. "I was only walking home."
"During a full moon, when the wolves are planning who knows what," Skander shivered. Hugo's eyes widened. Was Dimitri not the only person to know something was happening? Did Skander know Hugo was involved for a reason not even he knew? He didn't think his friend knew of his involvement; he'd had have been told. After their talk in the library, they had sworn to let the other know anything and everything they could figure out about Hugo's curse and the other wolves. The only reason Hugo hadn't spoken of what he knew was because of his previous promise to Dimitri; he couldn't break it after what the boy done for him during his first full moon. But would Skander break it so soon?
No. He trusted his friend with his life.
"Something is coming," Skander continued quietly. "It's in the air, don't you feel it?"
Hugo shook his head, unable to hold back the small amount of fear that started to restrict his chest. But it was safe at Hogwarts, he knew. It has to be. "No," he whispered.
"Stay away from the wolves, Hugo," Skander told him suddenly, urgent. "No matter what happens."
"I have no intention of going anywhere near them," he promised, just as they got to the doors to the Great Hall. Lily and Cam caught up quickly and the boys' conversation was over until they met with Teddy.
As much Hugo also dreaded that, he know couldn't wait to see the man. He needed answers about the wolves, to know what the hell people around him were getting scared of, and if Dimitri wasn't going to tell him, then maybe Teddy had an idea.
He is in charge of the werewolf division, after all. He has to know something.
If not, he'd go to Harry. Finally feeling as though he had a real plan, Hugo forced himself to eat and hoped he could get through the day without properly freaking out.
He was way overdue.
Lily and Cam's animated talk of what to do during their day in the village was enough to fill the silence that fell between their two friends the closer they got to The Three Broomsticks. Hugo was deep in thought, Skander could tell, and he knew it was best to remain quiet with the boy. He looked determined, perfecting something. A plan, maybe? For what, Skander was unsure, but he knew he'd be told soon enough. Until then, they'd get through this talk. Hopefully then Hugo would be able to concentrate properly.
As though he knew, Hugo looked up, his determined face turned weary. They said good bye to the girls, Lily asking one more time why Skander was staying and she wasn't. She was put off easily enough when Skander said they'd only be talking about Teddy's job and the attacks. Neither were Lily's favorite topics of discussion, and after one more good bye, she left, Cam following.
The moment the girls were gone, their eyes locked and they nodded simultaneously, Skander pushing the pub door open as far as it would go. Teddy was in the corner, his hand wrapped around an almost full glass of butterbeer. He looked up moments after the door opened and frowned, beckoning them both over with his finger.
"Why is your friend here?" he asked.
Hugo waited until they were both sat down before answering. "Because he knows," he said.
"You told your friend before your family?" Teddy raised and eye-brow. "Lily will have your ass."
"He didn't tell me," Skander answered before Hugo could; Hugo would defend himself until his temper got the better of him and it wouldn't end well for them if they got into an argument now. "I'd heard about what happened to him the night he hadn't come home. I tried to get in touch, especially the last full moon. I eventually got a hold of Lily and she told me he was at yours, a home which just so happens to have a suitable place nearby for a werewolf to turn. So I confronted him." Hugo hid his surprise over Skander not telling Teddy the whole story, about Timothy and that he'd been told to keep him safe or about Dimitri, but said nothing, nodding when Ted turned to him. "I can and I will help."
"Okay," Ted murmured, his eyes still on Hugo. "But you still need to tell your family."
"I tried to, so many times," Hugo said. He sounded as though he was pleading his case, and maybe he was in a way. "I got so scared and I couldn't do it. Teddy, how do you tell your family that you're cursed?"
"Being a werewolf is not a curse," Teddy growled and Hugo apologized quickly, knowing his friend's anger was due to defending his own father. Once Teddy calmed and a few moments of silence had passed, he continued. "It can be unfortunate, but it's about what you do with what you've got. Werewolves can still live relatively normal lives. Granted, there are people who still look down on them, but sadly it's not just werewolves. Vampires, for example. And some people, too."
Ex Death Eaters, he meant. They knew that.
"You can't keep it a secret forever. You promised, Hugo," he reminded him softly. "I can't lie for you."
"Why would you need to lie?" Hugo asked. "Do they suspect anything?" Teddy shook his head. "Then you're not lying, you're just not telling them something you know. They won't ask and when I know what to say, I can tell them myself. I don't want you to tell them anything, ever. I want to do it, but I'll do it in my own time. I need my time."
It was a while before anyone spoke, the silence seemed to stretch and cling to them. But finally Teddy nodded. "I'll give you that. It's your life, your choice. It'll just be easier if they knew. Now what does he want to talk to me about?"
Teddy gestured to Skander, who narrowed his eyes. "We both want to ask about the attacks. What are the wolves doing?" he asked quickly.
"We're not allowed to talk about ongoing investigations," Teddy answered.
"You're not an Auror."
Teddy shrugged at Hugo. "I'm still a Ministry employee with a job that can demand discretion, and right now Riley and I have a very important job."
Both boys narrowed their eyes. "Riley works for the vampire division," Hugo stated suspiciously.
"I need his help," was all Teddy would say.
Hugo continued to look suspicious, turning to Skander. Teddy was head of his division, knew more about werewolves than anyone; he didn't need help. Maybe he'd brainstorm with his friend, as Hugo and Skander did often, but actual help? He'd only need that kind of help from the head of the vampire division for one reason... "Those attacks aren't just from the wolves, are they?"
"I can't confirm that," Ted answered, but he didn't need to, not directly. He'd already said enough.
First werewolf attacks, now vampires. What was going on? More importantly, if the werewolves wanted Hugo, who were the vampires after? Could they want him, too? He hadn't seen any. Had he? Not one had come after him like the werewolf had. And they had turned him; what could the vampires do whether they wanted him or not?
"Are you okay?" Ted asked, concerned.
"I'm fine," he answered slowly. "It's just that thinking about werewolf and vampire attacks is a lot to process."
"Thoughts you process in silence," Teddy demanded. "No one knows. No one can know. Do you understand?" They both nodded, promising to keep it between them. And Dimitri, he added in his head. He'd told Hugo about him being involved with the werewolves' plan, he should know about the vampires. Hugo owed him that, if he wanted to know. "Good. I'm glad we had this talk, though it didn't go exactly to plan. I have to go. You know nothing, remember."
Hugo and Skander finished their drinks and followed Teddy out of the pub, turning to head back to the carriages and get to school. They'd go to their section of the library, where they wouldn't be interrupted, and they would talk about what they'd found out. They'd start with whatever Hugo had been planning on the way there, Skander would make sure.
"Vampires and werewolves?" he muttered inside the carriage, unable to really believe it. "Why?"
"Something is coming, you said it yourself."
"What are you thinking about?"
Hugo sat back. That small amount of fear he'd felt this morning was nothing compared to now, but he refused to show it. "I need to talk to Dimitri," he said at last. "I think he knows more than he's said. And I want to know what."
"What is it? What do you see, Bella?"
Isabella's eyes snapped open and she stared into her brother's, an identical, almost mesmerizing, violet shade watching another. "They know the vampires are attacking as well," she told him.
"Is that good or bad?" he asked urgently.
"So far, so good," she replied, grinning. "They'll know there are two species to stop if the time comes for war. I just hope there aren't two species to stop if the vampires find out we've already turned Hugo and take it badly. It'll end in bloodshed if they retaliate now. We're not ready."
"Then we keep the vampires from knowing. That, dear sister, is my job. Don't worry," he added reassuringly when she tried to ask how.
"I hope you know what you're doing, Tim." She growled in frustration. "I wish I could find them. I'd be able to look for their plans now if I could find them, instead of Seeing glimpses every so often. It's so annoying."
"We'll find them," Timothy promised. He put his finger to his lips when they heard movement and voices and he glanced out of the window. He gave her a thumbs up as soon as the two members of the wolf pack were gone. "We have allies who can help; Zack and Dimitri, Riley, Nate. Seth if he'll talk to me."
"Seth hates you, most of the vampires you mentioned do," she pointed out. "And not yet. We have time as long as Hugo is safe in school. I want to know about this boy first."
"Hugo?" Isabella shook her head, which only caused Timothy's frown to deepen. "Dolohov?"
Isabella looked up at her brother's make-shift room in the warehouse, as though the ceiling would provide the answers she needed. "There is something about that kid and I will find out what it is."
Even though abandoned, the old hotel they'd found in the outskirts of London was better than the wolves Yorkshire warehouse, and Erik was able to sit in the luxury of the old suite while he contemplated his plans. The wolves were closer to the boy, yes, but they were closer to the fight. It would end here. And until they were ready, they would wait. Hidden from the Seer, from the wolf pack, and from the Ministry, where even Riley would not look, Erik and his coven would wait.
He supposed he should thank the wolves really, they'd done half the job when they'd turned him. Soon they'd take him and finish what was needed to be done. For now he could stay in school, thinking himself to be safe, having no idea what was truly happening, while Erik did what was needed to be done here. Hugo Weasley wasn't ready to be taken, a war wasn't ready to start.
A sharp knock on his door interrupted his thoughts. He called them in. "You wanted to see me, Erik?"
He stood up and greeted his friend warmly. "Max, yes. The update on the Ministry?"
"They know that the attacks are more than just the wolves now. Riley figured it out and told Potter," he answered quickly.
"About time," he muttered. "And the wolves?"
"Still sitting around, wondering why we're not moving while they wait for their moment to take the boy," Max smirked. "They know nothing."
"Good. And the others?"
Max's humor disappeared quickly, frowning instead. "They are getting restless. I fear they'll send newborns out just for something to do, never mind in retaliation to the wolves or building numbers. What do we do about them?"
Erik shook his head, despite his wish to change his mind and take some sort of action. He sat stiffly on the end of his bed. "There's nothing we can do without them being suspicious of our plans. We have to stay away for now and wait for the boy."
Max nodded, turned as though to leave, but came back just as fast. He still hesitated once he opened his mouth, though. Erik waited patiently for him to speak. "Are you sure this is a good idea, using the kid? I mean, he is just a kid."
"We have to, he's the only chance we've got," Erik said quietly, his mind made up. "Same as always," he dismissed him. "Max! Next time, don't hesitate, just speak."
Nodding once, Max left the room, making sure the door was shut behind him. Erik fell backwards onto his bed and closed his eyes. Part of him wished he could leave the boy out of this, find another way. But it was too late now and they needed him. They all needed him. It was only a matter of time before one of the groups got to him.
But which group?
Erik pulled himself across the bed and picked up the pictures Max had taken of Hugo in Diagon Alley with another. Dimitri. He'd do for now, he'd help the boy until it was time. Hugo trusted him and he felt something for Hugo, whether the young vampire knew it or not. There was a bond there. That bond could prove useful, help them even.
If his plan were to work.
A/N: FINALLY! I finished this chapter and I really hope updates become more regular. Anyway... So many groups, so many plans. And here's some of those meddlesome vampires. ;)
I hope you enjoyed. Please let me know what you think. :)
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