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Chapter 11 : Feelings
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The sound of his phone buzzed loudly on his desk and he turned away from the sky. He briefly wondered if Hugo had contacted him again, reminding him that he wanted answers when they saw each other next, but opening the message, he saw that it was only Sophia wanting to know if he needed anything picking up while she was out getting more supplies. He typed back a quick reply, only saying no, and tried to ignore the prickling feelings of disappointment that stirred from inside him. Then he remembered that Hugo was still in school and Muggle devices couldn't be used there anyway; the boy had had to send an owl to deliver his first message.
Finishing the last of the blood, Dimitri placed the cup onto the desk, along with his phone, and went back to the window ledge. Watching the moon change, waiting for the full moon to finally come, seemed to be the only thing he could do to reassure himself that it wasn't coming too quickly. He'd never felt an almost consuming need to keep another safe before, probably because he'd never seen a person being bitten or watched them turn before. Not even Theodore; he had already been transitioning when Zack had brought him to their home all those years ago. But he'd been there when Hugo had been bitten by that now dead wolf and again during the change; he was responsible for the boy, he had to help. That was all.
Dimitri didn't know and he hated not knowing something. In his four hundred and eighteen years of experience, half known facts had led to loose ends and loose ends had led to unsolved problems and a lot of mess. Problems and mess he'd rather not think about and would do anything to avoid. Going back to Hugo meant thinking about why he was and made him want to know why wolves were after him. The complete opposite of doing anything to avoid it. And he'd promised not to get involved.
Would it really be classed as involvement if all he did was dig a little for information?
"I could ask Tim," he voiced his thoughts out loud. Then he shook his head, no. The last time he'd seen Timothy had been three years ago, when he'd last been in London, and they had parted on bad terms. "Speaking to Tim would not be wise. A last resort, maybe."
Dimitri leaned his head back against the wall and groaned loudly. The phrases 'voicing your thoughts' and 'speaking aloud' are definitely just nicer ways of saying 'you're talking to yourself'.
He couldn't remember if he had ever spoken to himself before, not in all of his years in the world. He added it to his list of things to blame Weasley for. Then he frowned because he couldn't remember if he'd told Hugo about the things he was being blamed for the last time he'd seen him and he was sure he'd end up not telling him the next time.
"That boy is messing with my head," he muttered. He'd only really known him for two months and everything was already changing around him, while he sat around feeling powerless to stop it.
Dimitri turned his head to his bedroom door; another, from across the hall, had been opened. Theo's, it had to be. Zack wasn't home. He wondered if his friend was going to come inside, started to hope for a distraction from his thoughts, but he walked past and down the stairs instead. Dimitri was surrounded in silence once again.
In over four hundred years, he'd never felt more alone.
"Found out any more?"
Riley lifted his head from the file Zack had sent him and looked across to his couch, to where the man was lying. His eyes were open and his face was passive, he was staring at the ceiling as though lost in his own thoughts, and for a moment Riley wondered if he had even spoken at all or if it had been his own imagination.
"Well?" he asked impatiently.
Riley rolled his eyes. So he had spoken. "Nothing I don't already know. I can't find any new information, not about these attacks and what's going on, it's so frustrating." He snapped the file shut and dropped it on the coffee table in front of him, then ran his hands over his face and up through his hair. "What about you?"
Zack shook his head slowly. "It's like they have all gone underground." He groaned. "I hate the Undergrounders. We could talk to Nate."
"I already did, a couple of days ago," Riley answered him. "He said he'll find out what he can and get back to me. We can find Timothy?"
"No," Zack snapped. He finally turned to face Riley, his jaw set and his eyes fierce; there would be no discussing this, he was saying. "That wolf brings nothing but trouble."
"But he could have information, you know who his father is."
"His father is a lowlife piece of scum, rotting in Azkaban prison, how is that going to help us in the real world?"
"Because his father had a pack and that pack are crazy enough that they could be the one's behind this, but they dropped off the map when their leader went to jail. Timothy may be our way only of finding them," Riley countered, trying to remain patient so the stubborn man would acknowledge the truth in his words. But this was his investigation, and things would go his way, he wanted Zack to know that, too. He had no right to tell him no. "It's our best shot right now."
They stared each other down, both determined for things to go their own way. "Fine, do what you must," Zack muttered finally. "But don't expect to have my help, I refuse to talk to him."
"When have I ever expected anything from you?" Riley asked lightly, causing Zack's lips to curve upwards slightly. It was as close to a smile as he was going to get. He changed the subject as casually as he could, watching Zack carefully for a reaction. "Teddy will be here soon. We're going to order take out and go through everything we've got."
Just as he thought, Zack removed himself from the couch. "That is my cue to leave. I'm not staying," he cut Riley off when he opened his mouth to try to persuade his friend to stay and help. "I don't like him either."
"You don't even know him," Riley muttered.
"I have to get back anyway," Zack said gently, his mask slipping, if only a little. But it still showed that he cared. "The full moon is coming soon and Dimitri is acting strange."
"You've made Hugo the wolfsbane potion, Dimitri doesn't need to worry about being bitten this time."
"I don't think it's that," Zack murmured, shaking his head a little. "I can't put my finger on what it could be and he's obviously not ready to talk to me about it, so I'm not going to pry. But I should go see how he is."
"I understand," Riley replied. "I'll see you soon."
They shook hands once and said their good byes, Riley listened to the front door shut and went back to the file while waiting for Teddy to come over. He frowned, thinking of his other friend. Dimitri wasn't the only one keeping something from another. Teddy had been doing the same lately, though it never interfered with work and Riley was sure it had nothing to do with their cases. He got the feeling it was more personal for Ted and, like Zack, he'd promised himself he wouldn't pry.
It didn't take long for Teddy to come, ten minutes after Zack at most, and he let himself in. "Hey, Riley." He sat in the floor across from Riley, who joined the man. Teddy slid a box in front of them. "This is everything I've been able to find in relation to werewolves and some that didn't exactly match and made me wonder if it were vampires instead. Dude, get the menus and the phone, I'm ready to work."
Riley grabbed the menus and the phone from the little table by his chair, sliding them over to the middle by the box. He watched as Teddy looked through each one, though they both knew he'd get Chinese food like he always did, and grew concerned when he noticed that his eyes were a little red. "Ted, are you alright?"
"I'm fine," he said, too quickly for Riley to even want to pretend to believe him.
"You know you can talk to me," Riley continued.
Teddy looked up and they locked eyes, he managed a weak smile and nodded. "I know and I appreciate it, I really do. I'm fine, I just want to get this done."
Riley was sure Teddy was talking about something else.
Hugging his arms and rubbing his hands up and down, Hugo stood in the cold wind. He was unsuccessful in his attempts to warm himself while he waited for Skander to arrive. His friend had left him almost two hours ago and went to Slytherin, while he completed his prefect duties. He'd been able to get to the meeting spot in the grounds straight after, had to wait while his friend did what he said he had to. Skander had told him he was going to make sure no one, specifically Lily, would come looking for either of them or notice their absence while they were gone, particularly Hugo. If one or two people were to notice, that would be okay, they were sure. But if those one or two became more, if they recognized exactly when Hugo and Skander were leaving, they'd start to figure it out.
No one could know and it could never get back to Digby.
The wind grew fierce, freezing him completely, and he couldn't help the violent shivers that seemed to overcome him. Damn weather.
"Cold?" Hugo turned and nodded to Skander. His friend pressed his palm to the base of Hugo's back and led him forwards, leading him to the old Whomping Willow tree. His family had told them all about how it had been the place Remus had used while he was in school, about the spell they used to immobilize the tree and how it led to the Shrieking Shack. It seemed the perfect place to meet Dimitri and change.
"What took you so long?" he finally managed to say, being able to actually move had started to help in warming him up, if only a little. At least it wasn't raining.
"I had to go to that lesser place," he shivered, Hugo had to wonder if it was due to the cold or that he had to talk to other Gryffindors in public. He always meant it for his little sister, too, but Hugo couldn't imagine him needing to talk to her for this. "All you need to know is that you are good for the night; no one will look for you tonight."
"People aren't going to suspect anything, what we're doing?" Hugo asked hesitantly.
"Maybe they'll think we're secretly together," Skander joked, nudging him to the side. He laughed when Hugo rolled his eyes; no one would ever believe that of Skander Dolohov, the thought would never cross their minds. "You're right," Skander nodded, as though reading his thoughts. "They'll think I've won you over to the dark side and we're planning world domination. Can we?"
"Maybe," Hugo smirked. "After I've turned wolf and we've figured out what they want."
They stopped, far enough away from the tree for it to not hit them, and Skander pointed his wand. The tree froze in front of them and Hugo took one last look at the setting sun as they went inside. Dimitri would be here any minute. The two friends fell silent as they walked. Hugo was dreading what was to come; he had no memory of that night, but the change had been almost unbearable. He didn't think he could go through that again. Skander, while concerned for Hugo's change, had a bad feeling about the guy they were about to meet. Despite the one who'd followed him, Timothy, telling him this Dimitri was helping and his friend's assurance that he was okay, Skander couldn't shake this feeling deep in the pit of his stomach that told him there was something about Dimitri.
He would trust his feelings before his own family.
But what that something was, Skander couldn't make sense of it. It made him hesitant to continue, not knowing something, but he knew he had to if he wanted to know. So, when Hugo pushed open the door that led to the room they'd been told about in the stories, he followed.
There in front of them, leaning against the wall by an old mattress, was a boy. He was no older than them, seventeen at most, with short dark hair and piercing green eyes. He looked completely out of place in the old shack, in his designer denims and leather jacket, and he was watching the two boys with narrowed eyes.
Skander's feeling grew, but Hugo smiled brightly. "Dimitri."
Dimitri didn't return the greeting. "You brought someone," he said finally, moving that little bit closer to them.
"This is my best friend, Skander. He's okay," Hugo reassured.
"Well, at least you finally told someone," the new boy scolded, but he was no longer glaring. He looked calm, relaxed around Hugo. They were comfortable around each other. Skander had been told he'd been with Hugo for the first change, but now he knew that they'd met long before then. The month before, at least. How?
"Dimitri was the one who found me the night I was bitten," Hugo explained, as though he'd read Skander's thoughts this time. "He looked after me when I passed out, practically saved my life."
"You've been the bane of my existence ever since," Dimitri smirked lightly. He turned to the other. "And you are?"
"Skander Dolohov." Neither offered a hand in greeting. "And he didn't tell me." Dimitri turned back to Hugo. His eyes were narrowed again, but more out of confusion than anger. Skander continued speaking. "I was followed. A guy told me about Hugo and that you were helping, he told me I had to keep Hugo safe when you couldn't. We thought you'd might know him."
"I know a lot of guys, kid. I know guys who know guys and the list goes on," Dimitri shrugged. "Does this one in particular have a name?"
"Timothy," Hugo said softly, his hand moving to his stomach. The sun had almost set, he guessed.
Dimitri's eyes widened. "I'm going to kill him," he growled.
"So you do know him?" Hugo asked.
"I do." Both boys in front of him opened his mouth, to ask more questions, he presumed. He cut them off when he finally noticed Hugo's grasp on his own body and pulled out the wolfsbane potion. "Drink. I will tell you in the morning. I assume this is what you were talking about in your letter."
Hugo nodded, tipping his head back and downing the potion. It left a strange taste in his mouth, but he decided it wasn't as bad as others he'd had to endure in the past. For a moment he wondered if it was working, nothing seemed to be happening. But then he felt the familiar sensations that came with his body changing and just hoped it would work. "Don't think you're getting out of explaining things to us," he said, placing his favorite jacket in Dimitri's hands like last time. "We're not leaving tomorrow until we know."
"Is that why you brought your friend? Does he have to make sure I don't sneak out before you wake?" Dimitri joked, nodding his head in Skander's direction.
"I wasn't going to leave Hugo alone. In case you didn't come," Skander added deliberately to check for a reaction.
"Oh, ye of little faith in others," was all he said.
"Could you two stop what may very well turn into childish bickering and turn around," Hugo interrupted loudly. "I didn't get the chance to bring clean clothes and I would rather like these, so I have to make sure they're not torn apart."
Finding himself laughing for the first time that day, Skander did as he was told, making his way to the door they came through. They'd decided at lunch that if Dimitri had brought the wolfsbane they would stand outside and wait for his change. If Dimitri hadn't brought it or hadn't come he had to leave the shack. Despite his feeling, he was secretly thankful that Dimitri had done both. He heard hushed whispers between them, but ignored it; he was probably just telling his new friend what they had decided. Soon enough Dimitri followed and they stepped out.
"It'll be okay, Hugo," Dimitri promised him and Hugo nodded as though he believed him. He shut the door as Hugo cried out in pain.
It was nearing dawn, Dimitri could tell. He pulled himself up to lean properly against the wall close to the door and glanced around the room. Hugo, still in wolf form, was fast asleep on the old mattress, his clothes now in a pile on the floor beside him. The potion had been successful, just as Zack had assured him, and both he and the boy's friend had been able to sit inside with him.
The friend was sleeping up right, blocking the door. It had been so awkward between the two, without Hugo to talk to, and Dimitri had given up quickly, ignoring what he was sure had been Hugo shaking his head. The friend hadn't seemed to want to talk anyway; he seemed to want to stare, like he was trying to figure him out. He was suspicious and weary, and while Dimitri didn't hold that against him, he wished for him for stop. They couldn't know what he was, couldn't have them getting the wrong idea about him. If they found out he was a vampire, he feared they'd automatically think he was a part of the group attacking the humans. If they knew about that.
It was safer if they didn't know.
Dolohov shifted in his sleep and turned his head, blinking. His eyes opened for a second, then closed again. "What time is it?" he muttered.
"About six thirty," Dimitri answered quietly. "Hugo will be changing back soon."
Dolohov rubbed his eyes with his fingers, removing any traces of sleep. "I can't believe you actually stayed."
"I stayed last time, I stayed this time and I'll stay every time that comes until Hugo asks me not to," Dimitri stated. "Besides, he was very insistent on you both talking to me. I wouldn't want to piss off a hormonal teenage werewolf."
"You like Hugo," Dolohov murmured, more to himself.
"He's alright," he said anyway. "Once you get past his annoyingly persistent need for answers. He actually went looking for me."
"Not that I needed to," came a sleepy voice from the mattress. Neither had noticed Hugo change back while they'd been talking. He grabbed his underwear and pants, pulling them on quickly, and dropped back down onto the makeshift bed, his eyes closed once more. "It took me a while to remember, I couldn't place where I knew the scent. It's yours; you were by my grandparents house that morning, after I'd been bitten."
"Well, you were kind of freaking out that morning, I had to make sure you'd gotten home okay," Dimitri replied. "And I was referring to what happened after that."
"Wel, that's true, because I needed your help. And I believe you," Hugo said. "But I bet you also wanted to know if I would keep my word and not tell them about you."
"You didn't," Dimitri muttered, almost reluctantly.
The boy smirked, enjoying how much Dimitri hated to admit that truth, and sat up slowly. He finished getting dressed and moved to sit cross-legged in front of the other two. He was exhausted, wanted nothiing more than to craw l into bed and sleep till dinner. But that would have to wait a little longer. "Who is Timothy?"
With a deep breath and a silent prayer that what he was about to do was right, Dimitri started. "His name is Timothy Dalton and he is just like you; a werewolf."
A/N: New chapter. I actually finished this a while ago and I'm almost done with chapter 12, so I thought I'd post now. I don't know how many times I'll be able to post this month, I'm already slacking with NaNo. :P
Please let me know what you think, :)
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