Chapter 14 : Revelations
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Not that Riley would have noticed where Teddy was standing at all; he just wanted to rant at the moment. That was a good thing in Teddy's eyes; it meant that he had little to say back. He didn't have to speak unless required to.
"And I cannot believe we have to do this now," Riley continued yelling. "We have cases to look at, an annoying little wolf to find. No offense."
"None taken," Teddy assured, holding up his hands in case what he said happened to offend Riley.
"And we have entire packs to stop. As well as the vampires." Riley threw his hands into his hair and pulled; when he let go, his hair was stuck up at odd angles. Teddy thought it was best not to mention it. "I can't handle this, Ted. The world is so messed up, I think I may actually hurt someone."
Teddy did step back then. "I'm sorry, mate, but even I know not to mess with an angry vampire. And my wolf genes get pretty damn aggressive, especially when I'm angry."
Riley groaned into his hands. "I hate werewolves. I hate most werewolves," he quickly corrected, glancing at his friend. "It's December, Ted. It's close to fucking Christmas and we're still no closer to this. More people have disappeared and less of them are turning up dead, which can only mean that they're successfully being turned. And we're still looking for Timothy. Maybe we should -"
"No," Ted said forcefully, a small amount of anger finally making itself known. But it wasn't directed at Riley, it was for the man he was about to suggest they see. "We're not going to see him. Besides he'd want this if he were out in the world, he won't help us find the pack."
"Yeah, I know," Riley muttered. They stopped outside of the classroom they were speaking in and turned to face each other. "Good to go?"
"Hugo and Lily are in this class, Lily doesn't know about Hugo and he doesn't know that I told you, so don't give any of that away," Ted reminded him quietly. "You stick to vampires, I'll stick to werewolves. We say what we need to do and the day will fly by; we'll be out of here and doing our real jobs before we know it. Oh, and you might want to fix your hair," he finally mentioned.
Ted nervously knocked on the classroom door as a signal to the professor that they were here, while Riley flattened his hair, took a deep breath and pushed the door open. He wasn't normally so nervous about public speaking, he'd done so numerous times before, but a family member had never sat in front of him and pretended he wasn't hiding a secret before.
They stepped inside, curious eyes simultaneously turning their way, and the professor nodded at them, ready for them to take over the class.
"This is Ted Lupin and Riley Spence from Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures," she said. "Like I said before, they'll be talking to you about their specialities, a requirement from the higher powers after what's been happening recently. They're all yours."
Ted thanked her, Riley nodded but said nothing, and they relucantly turned to face the class. He immediately spotted Hugo in the third row, Skander by his side, and neither were watching him. In fact he was sure Hugo was avoiding eye contact all together. He looked on edge, cagey. He found Lily next, at the desk right in front. She smiled and waved encouragingly, while her friend Cam stared at them both like a lovestruck schoolgirl with a crush. What stuck him the most was that her crush, though definitely for both of them, was more directed at Riley, especially since Riley was definitely not a people person. He was also gay, though Ted was sure only him and the man's 'family' knew that.
"Hello, everyone," he finally said to the class. "I'm Ted, this is my friend and colleague Riley, and we're hear to talk about vampires and werewolves. After the recent attacks, both the Ministry and the school governors have agreed that while you're perfectly safe here, it would be better for you to know more about them and prepare yourself for anything that may happen. So, tell me, what do you know about either species?"
The class was silent for so long that Teddy thought back to his years Hogwarts, reminding himself of the little he'd been taught about them. He knew that not much was known, it wasn't information they liked the public to know; Riley was the sole reason he knew so much about vampires now and his own work was his reason for knowing about the werewolves, though they were taught slightly more about them. Teddy was about to dismiss the question and start from the beginning when a hand hesitantly rose from near the back of the class.
"Yes, er -"
"Brian," the quiet voice answered. "Well, werewolves only turn once a month, whereas vampires are constant. Wolves tend to belong to packs, with some lone wolves. Vampires are known to have a mix; they have covens, but there are just as many, if not more, vampires who live alone. And there is a lot of discrimination about them; they'd be less likely to get jobs and stuff if people were to know what they were."
"Yes. Thank you, Brian," Ted said, smiling reassuringly, hoping it would help with the boy's nervousness. "Let's talk about discrimination. It's brought on by fear, which is caused by stereotypes. People think one thing or they hear something and that brings a lot of negativity to them as a whole, when really it's the minority. There are many werewolves and vampires who live normal lives, some even have homes and jobs. They're not all monsters."
"But some are," a voice called out.
"They're killing people right now," another said.
Ted nudged Riley in the ribs, hoping he'll step up and say something that would help. He wasn't meant to just sit and watch. Getting the message, Riley moved away from the desk and turned his attention to the kid who'd spoken; a girl on the first row.
"Yes," he said simply, nodding. "There are vampires and werewolves out there right now who have probably hurt someone. There's probably a human who's hurt another right now, too. Every species has monsters. But not every vampire or wolf is hurting someone, just like not every human is. Unfortunately, we can't stop every monster, but we can prepare you for them.
"Vampires," he continued, moving bak to the teacher's desk. "Still have human bodies; they're not made of rock, they're not invincible. If you cut them, they'll bleed. Granted, they'll heal very quickly, but they'll still bleed first. If you can hurt a vampire, stun them, you might just be able to get away."
"Riley," Ted warned quietly.
"What? The boss said teach them, not lie," he countered. "If you're lucky enough to have a wooden stake handy and you're strong enough to stake the heart, go you. But you're not, so if you're unlucky enough to meet a vampire who'll kill you, run away and pray."
"Why a wooden stake?" the same girl in the front row asked.
"Because wood is a part of nature, vampires are not," Skander Dolohov replied before Riley could.
"That's true -" Ted whispered the name in his ear. "Dolohov. Really? I met a Dolohov once while in Russia. He was really mean to me, so I broke his nose."
"Good for you," Skander replied dryly.
Teddy nudged Riley in the ribs again. "What did I say about staying on the subject? We're here to work."
"What about the werewolves?" Both men turned, staring straight at Hugo, who was finally looking at them. He seemed determined to know what they had to say; his eyes were fierce, but full of fear and he occasionally glanced around, as though afraid someone would guess what he was. "If you come across a werewolf, what do you do?"
It was obvious to them both why he was asking; it had been too late for Hugo, he hadn't seen the animal that bit him, let alone been able to do anything about it. But Ted knew he wished there had been, that if he'd been just that little bit faster, it wouldn't have happened to him. Every time he looked into the boy's eyes, he saw it. Only this time it was different; Hugo's wish that he wasn't a werewolf was still there, but it was... less somehow, like the wish was a light that had dimmed.
"Hope they have wolfsbane," Ted said softly, not able to lie, not even to him. "And run like hell. Werewolves during the full moon are ruled by their animal instincts; they hunt and they feed and sometimes they turn someone. They're not like vampires, they can't help it."
"Unless they have wolfsbane in their system," Hugo finished for him. "Unless they want to turn someone."
"Sometimes," was all he said.
Hugo said nothing for the rest of the lesson and was gone by the time the bell rang. Ted finally understood why and berated himself for taking so long to get it, but he wasn't a full werewolf; he didn't feel the effects as strongly as Hugo would.
The next moon was in a week.
The sky was clear, the stars were bright and the air was warm. It was the end of March, spring, and English weather was unpredictable, so Dimitri found himself surprised that it was a warm night. He hadn't been in the UK since Theo had been brought to them, just after the second Wizarding war, and had been itching to be outside, even though Zack had said no. People were looking for them, wanting them to help with the plans to get one of the Weasley kids. Hugo, his name was. He remembered because it was an old fashioned name and had made a joke about the kid hating it.
Dimitri had waited till Zack and Theo had fallen asleep, then snuck out. He'd been quiet, careful, and he knew that as long as he was back before dawn, they'd never know.
He didn't know where he was going, he had just wanted to walk. So he was. He ended up in the city, close to the bars and pubs; he could hear them all, the laughter and the shouting, but he wasn't yet close enough to see them. He was on the other side, by the backs of the clubs, and the streets where relatively empty.
Except for one.
He was all alone, balancing on the kirb like he was on a tightrope, and he was grinning like an idiot. He was the strangest human Dimitri had ever seen. His laughter brought the boy's movements to a halt.
"Are you laughing at me?"
Despite the accusation, the boy was still smiling. Stepping closer, Dimitri allowed himself to look at the boy; he was taller, but not by much, his hair was a light brown and curly. Dimitri was drawn to his eyes, though; they were a deep blue. They seemed to consume him with a single look. His breath almost caught in his throat.
The boy continued to smile, oblivious to his staring.
"Yeah, I am," he said, ignoring the physical reaction he had. "What are you doing?"
"Celebrating my birthday," he answered.
"Happy birthday." The boy thanked him and moved backwards like he was going to leave, but then stopped.
"What's you're name?" the boy asked.
"Zack," he answered after a pause, using his father's name.
The boy noticed the pause, though, and he smiled knowingly. The smile reached his eyes, making them seem brighter. "Really?"
Dimitri went to say yes, then paused again. He couldn't bring himself to lie to the boy, yet he didn't want to tell him the truth either. "No. What's yours?"
There was no pause from the boy, no hesitation in his voice, but the knowing smile was still there and Dimitri had a feeling he knew how the boy had known he lied. "Really?"
Matthew winked and stepped back again, continuing to walk. "No."
Dimitri followed him.
Dimitri's eyes snapped open, his hands in his hair, and he breathed heavily in and out, waiting for his dream to leave his mind. He'd had it a few times since being with Hugo, he just couldn't get rid of it.
He hadn't known then; he'd changed his name, his face. It had been a good glamor charm, enough for even Dimitri to not have known. But he should have; Hugo hadn't changed his eyes, they were still the same deep blue he got lost in the first time.
"Are you alright?"
Dimitri jumped, not noticing that his bedroom was open and Theo was leaning against it until he'd spoken. He fell back down into bed and nodded slowly, finally feeling the dream disappear. "I'm fine. What time is it?"
"Almost four am," Theo replied quietly. "You're helping Hugo today, aren't you?"
Dimitri nodded again, not able to forget that the full moon had come back around. The dreams were always more intense, more vivid, the nights before he was due to see the person who starred in them.
"Be careful, D," his brother whispered.
"I always am," he promised.
Theo shook his head. "I don't mean with him during the full moon; he takes the potion and I know you make sure that you're safe. I mean with the people who want him. Who knows what they'll do to you when they realize that you're with him. To be with him, to-to love him, that'll just make things worse. I can't stop you, but please be careful."
"I don't love him," Dimitri said quickly, knowing it was at least partly dishonest. He didn't know what he was feeling. "I can't love him."
"Just think about what I said," Theo begged, leaving him to his thoughts.
Dimitri stared out of the window and waited for the sun to rise, knowing it would still be dark for a few more hours. He ignored every thought that led back to Hugo until the sky finally began to lighten and he knew he had to get up. He showered and dressed quickly, then picked up the fresh vail of wolfsbane potion Zack had given to him the night before. Beside it was a letter from Hugo, telling him about the first lesson he'd had with Ted and Riley; they were being taught about vampires and werewolves and they'd barely covered the basics. Once every week or so they'd go in for the day and teach the students what they were like and how to escape one, because the students had quickly learned that despite what their hedmaster had said, defending yourself against predators who could see in the dark and pick up your scent was rather pointless.
Hugo had tried to sound nonchalant and uncaring, but Dimitri knew he was scared of someone finding out about him. Given what he'd been told about their headmaster and his views, Dimitri didn't blame him. But he didn't tell Hugo that.
He hid the letter in his drawer, just in case Sophia came snooping, stopped in the kitchen for a blood bag and left. He didn't want to be late for his train into Scotland. He liked taking the train; the long journey calmed him, helped him to gather his thoughts and not show what he was thinking by the time he got to Hugo.
It also stopped him from wanting to kill his meddlesome friend, but he wouldn't tell Hugo about that either.
Hugo and his friend had met with Dimitri just inside of the forbidden forest as the full moon was about to rise. He had enough time to down the potion and strip off his clothes before he turned. Dolohov had explained that the essays they needed to finish for the next day was the reason why they were late; they wouldn't have had time to finish them in the morning.
The explanation had been about to lead into some of the kid's annoying questions, but he'd thankfully been cut short by Dimitri when his hand had grasped Dolohov's shirt to stop him from walking right into Hugo's wolf form.
He was bigger than your average wolf, larger in height and in width, but just as beautiful. His fur was the same dark, shaggy brown as his hair, looking just as thick and, Dimitri hoped, was just as soft as it had been the night he'd saved Hugo. His long legs were tensed, his back in the air, as he stared down at the two boys. From the corner of his eyes, Dimitri saw his sharp claws retract. He knew that even with the wolfsbane in its system, he should be afraid of the wolf, he should pull Dolohov with him and back away slowly, hoping his less-than-human scent would be enough to drive the animal away and not want to kill him like most wolves wanted to do, but he couldn't be. Not when it was Hugo's eyes staring back at him, bright and clear and with the tiniest hint of recognition.
Dimitri wasn't afraid of Hugo.
The wolf started to back away slowly, able to choose not to bite or kill them, then the howl of another wolf called to him and he turned and ran, howling in reply.
From his side, Dolohov let out a relieved breath and relaxed. Dimitri let go of his shirt.
"Are you sure it's safe to be out here?" he asked. Despite letting go of his fear of Hugo killing them, he was still highly aware that at least one other wolf had found its way into the forest, besides all of the other creatures, both dark and light, who resided within the trees. "Will we be okay?"
"He needs this. Wolves aren't meant to be locked away, so we'll let him run," Dimitri answered, still looking in the direction Hugo had run in. The wolf was long gone, though; Dimitri couldn't see or hear him. He eventually turned to Dolohov and gestured to the forest's opening, "As long as we remain along the edge of the forest, we should be okay."
Dimitri shrugged. "I'm not a mind reader or a Seer, I can't predict what the animals here might do. Just don't let them smell your fear."
Dolohov denied being scared and Dimitri didn't push it because he didn't want to argue, but he knew the kid was lying; he himself could smell it and it was strong. He was desirable prey if he were to run, to give in to the chase. It made the predator in him want to hunt, to feed, but the rest of him stood his ground. He wasn't like that anymore.
"Are you alright?" Dolohov asked hesitantly, taking a step back. "Your eyes -"
Dimitri squeezed his eyes shut and nodded, rubbing his palms over them. "Yeah, I'm fine. I've just been a bit unwell. I need to walk it off."
He left before Dolohov had a chance to say anything else, leaving him alone in the trees. He didn't go far, though; he was still close enough to catch his scent, to listen to his heart slow and his breathing calm. When he went back, he found the boy leaning against a tree, sleeping mostly peacefully. Dimitri stayed a few feet away and sat until his watched buzzed, signaling that it was five am, and his back ached. He turned to see Dolohov move onto his back - he'd fallen to the floor a few hours ago - and stood, moving to wake him and tell him that he was getting Hugo's clothes.
Dolohov opened his eyes after a few hard shakes and guessed. "It's almost time?"
"Almost," he nodded. "I'll be back in a minute."
He didn't get very far when he heard Dolohov's footsteps behind him, following him. He tried to ignore it until the boy spoke.
"What are you?"
Dimitri froze in his tracks; Dolohov's tone was accusing and curious, knowing but also confused. He was afraid, of both knowing the truth and of Dimitri, but it was overridden by a desire to find out.
"Did Hugo tell you what I can do?" he continued, stepping forward. "I feel things. I can feel the world around me; I know when something bad is about to happen, I even know when it's going to fucking rain. I also know people; I can feel their emotions, their thoughts, and if I dig a little, I can get right inside their heads. I know exactly what they're thinking. But not with you, it works on everyone but you. I can't get inside your head and I feel cold when I'm around you, because you are cold. You're not human, Dimitri. What are you?"
"You know, it's rude to try and get into people's head at all, let alone without their permission," Dimitri said softly, turning around to face him. "If I were you and I was trying to invade someone else's personal lives, I'd be worried about them killing me afterwards."
"Hugo is my best friend; I won't let you hurt him."
"You'd think I'd hurt him?" Dimitri scoffed. "I've never given either of you a reason to think that I'd hurt him. In fact, the only person I want to hurt is you."
Dolohov chuckled nervously, though trying to sound confident. "Yeah, well, I'm banking on the fact that he'd hate you for it. And you don't want him to hate you. What are you?"
Dimitri's responding laugh was far from confident as well, but it was harsh. "You really want to know?" He moved before Dolohov could answer, pinning him to a tree. He knew his eyes were glowing a deep red and he showed Dolohov his fangs. "Satisfied?"
"You're a vampire?" he whispered fearfully, not able to move even if Dimitri wasn't holding onto him. "You're one of them."
The accusation brought Dimitri's want to threaten him to a halt. He blinked until he was sure his eyes were their normal green again and when he open his mouth, his fangs were hidden. Then he let Dolohov go.
"I'm not one of them," he whispered, memories of what he once was filling his head and making him feel like he was drowning. "I don't want that. I want to help Hugo, not hurt him. You can't feel my emotions and thoughts because of what I am not who I am. I'm not a monster."
"Maybe so. Maybe you are safe and you won't hurt Hugo physically, but you will do emotionally. You're a hypocrite," Dolohov told him, being as brutally honest as Hugo had told him the boy could be. "He feels so guilty because you're telling him to tell his family about him and he's not, but you're lying about what you are to him. He likes you, he has feeling for you, and finding out what you are will crush him. But you'll do it before you leave, or I will."
"All this just to get rid of me?" Dimitri asked, not having enough fight left in him to sound mocking. "Isn't that Hugo's choice?"
"It's his choice what he does with the information," Dolohov answered unhappily, probably praying that Hugo would choose to get rid of him. "I just think that he deserves to know that the person who is keeping him safe from vampires is a vampire."
Heavy footsteps sounded from inside the forest and a loud crunch made them aware that it was close. Hugo was close.
"Tell him," Dolohov whispered. "I'll go get his clothes, then I'll go back to school. He tells me everything, so if I don't hear the words 'Dimitri is a vampire' the next time I see him, I'll do it myself."
Dolohov left him alone, returning only to give him Hugo's clothes liked he'd said, and Dimitri sat against the tree, trying to decide what to do, while the wolf sat across from him and stared at him, curiosity mixing with hunger. Dimitri wondered briefly if Hugo could understand him completely while a wolf, but decided not to chance telling him anything until he was back in human form. That wouldn't be fair to Hugo, plus it was the coward's way out.
It felt like forever before the moon was blocked by the rising sun and Hugo began to change right in front of him. Soon enough he was sat cross-legged and naked; Dimitri threw him his clothes and he dressed quickly.
"What's wrong?" Hugo asked as soon he was decent. "You've looked conflicted and scared ever since I got here."
"I have to tell you something," he said quietly, standing up and taking a cautious step forward. He decided that even though he hated Skander Dolohov more than he originally did, the kid had a point - he was a hypocrite and he was a liar. He was already keeping so much, his dream reminded him of that, he couldn't lie about this anymore. "But you have to promise me that you'll let me finish, no interruptions."
"Okay," Hugo said softly, confused. "I promise."
"I've been keeping something from you, something about myself, but I was afraid that you wouldn't want me near you if you knew, that you'll compare me to them," Dimitri started. He saw Hugo open his mouth, then snap it closed again; he'd promised. He let his eyes glow and his fangs show again, but he only let it last for a couple of seconds. He hid them the moment Hugo moved away from him. "I'm a vampire, Hugo."
"No!" Hugo cried, anger and hurt clear on his face. "You're not supposed to be. This isn't happening. No!"
"I'm not like the vampires after you, I swear," Dimitri pleaded with him. He leaned forward to touch Hugo's arm, but he moved away again. "I don't want to hurt you, I'm not after you and I'm not on their side. I promise you that you're safe."
"What? I don't care about them!" he yelled. Hugo tried to let himself calm, only for his anger to turn to sadness when everything he'd thought about came crashing down. "You don't age, you don't - how can I be with someone who can't get older? How I can grow up and watch you stay the same?"
The change in topic had Dimitri snapping his mouth shut. Hugo was supposed to be angry over what he was, scared even, but not upset about not being with him. This wasn't meant to happen.
"You're confusing me," he whispered.
"It's so hard for you to think that I could like you?"
"Why aren't you afraid?" Dimitri asked.
"I'm a werewolf, you're not the only scary thing in this world," Hugo said, exasperated. "We're not all bad."
The use of the word 'we' when he referred to their species' brought an involuntary smile to his face, though it was so small that Hugo barely noticed it; he'd included himself as one of his kind, rather than referring to werewolves as 'them' or 'they' - he was starting to accept it.
"No, we're not," he agreed. "Hugo -"
"No," he snapped. "I have to go."
Hugo took off, running away from the forest and Dimitri, and by the time Dimitri registered that he needed to follow, to talk to him, he was already half way to the school. But Dimitri was fast and he soon caught up, calling his name as he ran. He barely noticed that he'd entered the school, didn't take in the magic that surrounded him; he just followed Hugo, running through corridors and climbing stairs until he was close enough to grab the boy's arm.
"Hugo, please," he said breathlessly.
"Leave me alone, Dimitri," Hugo said quietly. "I can't do this -"
Dimitri kissed him, holding him up against the wall. It wasn't at all like the kiss Hugo gave him after his first full moon, it was heated and aggressive and made them both cling to the other, wanting more.
It was like the first time.
Dimitri pulled away reluctantly, just enough to rest his forehead on Hugo's, and let him catch his breath before he spoke. "Why are you thinking about the future? Why are you thinking about being older? You've got bigger things to think about. Why don't you think about how you're going to survive long enough to have a future while you're at it?"
"Thank you for that," Hugo growled. "Because I really want to think about people coming after me."
"My point is that you should live in the now, think about now," Dimitri said softly. "I don't know what will happen in the future, but we want each other now."
"But you don't -"
"Age," he finished. "I know. But we're the same age now, why aren't you getting this?"
"Even when you're trying to be nice, you're a little mean," Hugo told him. "Do you know that?"
"I do now."
He kissed Hugo again, softly this time, and then allowed Hugo to pull him closer. He'd never welcomed a hug more.
A/N: The part about vampires not being made of rock is not an insult to Twilight, it's just my personal opinion of vampires.
I hope you enjoy this chapter, please let me know what you think. :)
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