Chapter 15 : An Eventful Christmas
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"I promise," Dimitri whispered, the footsteps were getting louder, and he was gone faster than Hugo could blink.
He checked his watch before he started walking, realizing with a groan that it was breakfast and there was no way he could sneak into his dorm. He prayed that no one would ask him about his whereabouts and, thankfully, no one did; he still didn't know how Skander managed it every month, only being told by his friend that it was taken care of, but Hugo reminded himself to make it up to Skander at some point. Even after five full moons, the thought of not having everything prepared scared him more than he liked to admit, but knowing that his condition was still a secret somehow made things just that little bit easier, as though some of the weight was lifted.
He dodged past people in the common room and jogged up the stairs into the gratefully empty dorm room, where he quickly showered, changed and hoped Skander had saved breakfast for him. The bed seemed to call to him, inviting him to lie down and sleep through the rest of the day, but Hugo knew he couldn't; there was still two more days of lessons before they left for Christmas and after disappearing all night, Lily would get suspicious if she found him sleeping. He forced down the lump in his throat, telling him that he needed to tell his cousin - his family - what he was, ignored the siren call to sleep and left.
Skander was waiting for him by the stairs, toast in hand, which told him that breakfast in the hall was over and people were on their way to their first lesson, or the library or common room if they had a free period. Hugo took the breakfast eagerly and wolfed it down, ignoring his friend's muttered 'animal' and the thought of 'wolfing' anything. They didn't speak while he ate, though Hugo could tell that there was something on his mind, and he prompted for Skander to speak the moment they were sat down in Transfiguration.
"You were gone a while," Skander said softly, so people around them couldn't hear. Then he added, "Dimitri mentioned something about wanting to talk to you. Did he?"
Chuckling humorlessly, Hugo quickly understood Dimitri's sudden want to tell him the truth in the woods, when things had been as normal as things could be between them that night. "I know that you know about him, what did you threaten him with?"
"I just told him that he was a hypocrite and it would hurt you more if you found out later. It was kind of obvious that he liked you, I figured it would work," he whispered back. "I found out last night, I made him tell me. He wants to kill me, you know?"
"Most people want to kill you," Hugo countered. "We talked, he told me everything."
"And he's out of our lives now?" Skander asked hopefully.
"More like he's my - is boyfriend the right word? Lets go with boyfriend."
Hugo rubbed his ear, trying to stop the ringing that came with Skander's abnormally loud reaction. His senses where still in overdrive and he suspected it sounded louder to him than it actually had been; he did not appreciate it. The whole class turned around, staring at them with confused faces.
"Is there anything else you'd like to add, Dolohov?" Professor Burns asked him, oddly amused despite the interruption. Skander shook his head. "Speechless, eh? Let's see if you can keep that going for the rest of the lesson."
Eventually, everyone turned around and went back to listening to Burns talk about transfiguring larger, more complex objects. Hugo tried to speak to Skander about his reaction, but his friend just held up a hand and shook his hand again.
That went well.
The two days passed quickly with a smaller amount of homework than they had thought there would be; Lily's favorite was Burns' homework on human transfiguration and the theory of Animagi, ready to studied when they returned to school, even though it was looked at in more detail and was more exciting in seventh year. Hugo was not as thrilled about it as she was.
Back at home, things became awkward. In Hugo's eyes anyway. His secret started to beat him down until he almost slipped up and blurted it out twice when someone asked him how he was. They asked him about his nightmares, which were practically non-existent except for the occasional night, much to his, and everyone else's, relief. He would surely have told if they were still bad and he just wasn't ready to see their pity for what he was and their anger for not being told sooner, for being lied to about that night he was missing. He also knew that he'd have to tell them about what he was told, which would mean telling them about Dimitri, who didn't want to be made known.
How do you tell your family that you've been picked by werewolves and vampires for God knows what and the wolves got there first? That each species is looking for you?
That I'm one of the victims in this massacre they're creating?
That was what scared him the most. Not knowing why this was happening.
Christmas Eve was as uneventful as ever; Hugo stayed home and watched television, avoiding the news, while Rose was out and his parents worked. They made sure to come home for dinner, though, and cooked a proper family meal. They made small talk about their day while they eat, glancing at Hugo every now and again; he'd been so hungry when he'd smelt the raw meat, but somehow it wasn't the same after it had been cooked. Which still freaked him out a little. Even so, he'd eaten and engaged in conversation, until Ron brought the topic to the cases.
"They're planning something, I tell you," he said, his mouth full. "They have to be; they wouldn't just start turning people. They haven't before."
Hugo shut up, his appetite dwindling more and more as his father spoke until he was just pushing his half eaten meal around his plate, his mind on his father's words and wondering what any of it had to do with him.
"Ron, this is not an appropriate topic for dinner," Hermione finally scolded, shutting him up completely. "Hugo, honey, are you alright?"
"Yes," he replied, smiling insincerely. "I'm just tired, that's all. I'm going to go to bed."
"Good night, darling."
Hugo threw his left overs into the bin, kissed his mother's cheek and climbed the stairs with heavy footsteps. He locked the door to his room, wishing that he could use the old spell he'd found once in the Ministry to block the Trace and put wards up, keeping anyone from entering his room with magic, but his parents had no idea he knew that spell, or that it even existed - it was one of many things the Ministry tried to bury at the bottom of the Archives - so he couldn't draw attention to it by using it now. He pulled off his clothes, crawled across his bed in just his underwear and lay on top of the covers, staring at the ceiling.
Things had been a little easier back at school when it had just been him and Skander, when schoolwork and the prospect of exams had mostly occupied his mind and he could forget what he was until the night of the full moon, when he could pretend that Dimitri was just a guy he'd met during the summer and liked him enough to come visit.
Hugo stayed where he was, moving occasionally to stay comfortable, and listened as his family eventually went to bed. He started to drift off around midnight, his mind finally catching up with the rest of his tired body, when he heard a soft pounding against his window. Groaning, Hugo climbed off of his bed, hoping that he could get rid of whatever it was that was disrupting his long awaited sleep. He opened the window, then he couldn't help but smile when he saw Dimitri in his garden.
"I don't know how I feel about being the damsel looking out the window, Romeo," he laughed quietly. "Why are you here?"
"It's daytime for most vampires," he shrugged. "I was walking, thought I'd wish you a merry Christmas. Invite me in." Nodding, Hugo stepped back, with the intention of going to the door. "No. From there, just invite me in."
"You're invited in," Hugo said, puzzled, and moved to the door again.
"Hey." He spun around quickly, Dimitri's voice sounding so much closer than before, and jumped when he saw the boy standing by his window. In his room. "The story about vampires needing to be invited in is one of the only one's that's actually true," he explained.
"How did you get in here?"
Dimitri pointed outside of the window. "You have a drain pipe by your window; I climbed. We're fast. We're not super human fast, but good enough. Aren't you cold?"
He looked down, shaking his head when he remembered he was in his underwear around a guy he was just now starting to be with romantically, even though he'd probably seen Hugo naked more than his family had when he was a baby thanks to the full moons.
"Nope." Hugo crossed the room hesitantly, holding Dimitri by his jacket. "I didn't expect to see you here. But I'm glad."
"Good. I thought we could finish what we started. If you want to," he added. And Hugo knew that he was telling the truth.
Hugo responded with a kiss, softer than any they'd had a couple of days ago. This one held promise, told them both that they wanted to same thing, that it was okay and that, like Dimitri, Hugo wasn't inexperienced. It shocked Dimitri more that he wasn't shocked about Hugo.
Hands roamed and soon the jacket fell to the floor, as did the t-shirt, the jeans and the shoes. Dimitri pushed Hugo backwards onto the bed, until he was on top, and Hugo stiffened ever so slightly when Dimitri's lips moved to his neck. He left a mark, Hugo knew, but breathed again when he didn't bite, instead moving down to his abdomen, then back to his lips.
"Don't worry about that," he whispered, a silent promise that he could control himself.
Hugo relaxed properly, sitting up to catch his lips with his own before being pushed back down. His hands went into Dimitri's hair and they celebrated Christmas.
The winter sun shone in through the still open window and did nothing to keep the cold out. Then, in what seemed like a few seconds, the arms that had been wrapped around his waist were gone, the window shut and the arms came back.
"No super human speed, eh?"
Dimitri's chuckle was low and sleepy, making it sound huskier than he'd probably intended, not that Hugo cared. "Speed and strength is a given, like for werewolves, so we're faster than your average human. But it's not lightening speed, I swear. It just makes us -"
"Good predators," Hugo finished for him when he stopped. "It's okay to say it. We are."
"You're saying 'we' now, like you're excepting it," Dimitri pointed out. "That's good."
"I can't change what I am. This is me now, I can survive it. It's why they did it that scares me. I don't know why."
"I'll find out, I promise." He held Hugo tight, his lips on his neck but not moving. They just lay there as the sun rose. "I'll have to leave soon, but I don't want to," he groaned. "Theo will make me wear a Christmas cracker hat."
"I put mine over my eyes and zone out, sometimes I nap. They leave me alone then," Hugo admitted with a smile.
"They won't ignore me, there's only five of us," he answered reluctantly. "We only celebrate it because Theo loves Christmas. He's like a little boy. And if he finds out I'm gone, he'll kill me."
He pulled himself up, grabbing his underwear from the floor and slipping them on. Hugo turned onto his back and watched, his finger tracing Dimitri's back until he was stopped. "That tickles," he warned.
"I want to know about you," Hugo said, sitting up as well. "About you, your family, vampires in general. I want to know."
"I'll tell you, I promise," he grinned. He made a lot since last night. "The next time I see, I'll answer any and all questions you may have."
He leaned in, intending for the kiss to be quick, like sealing a deal between them, but Hugo's hand went to his cheek and somehow they ended back down in the bed. Hugo almost growled when there was a knock on the door.
"Hugo, are you up yet?" Rose called from the other side of the door.
Hugo put his finger against Dimitri's lips. "Yeah."
"Well, come here then," she answered in an annoyed monotone voice, as though she'd been telling him for ages. She continued to knock while Hugo and Dimitri climbed off the bed and dressed as silently as they could. Dimitri considered it a slight improvement when he moved to the door, wearing pajama pants rather than his underwear like last night. Hugo pushed Dimitri behind the door before he opened it. "Finally. Do you want cereal or a cooked breakfast?"
"That's it? I could have answered that when I got downstairs," he glared at his sister.
Rose shrugged, squeezing her eyes shut as she yawned. "Dad said to ask because if you want the former, you can come down whenever as long as you're ready by two. If you want the latter, you have to come down now because he's making it now."
"I'll be down in a minute," he said, slamming the door in her face.
Dimitri kept a hand up, wanting Hugo to be quiet, until he was sure that his sister was gone. "She's so annoying. Is she a crazy person?"
"They're all crazy," he replied with an assured nod. Sometimes he was sure he was adopted. "I wish you didn't have to go."
"I know. Me, too. But I'll see you soon, I -"
"You promise," Hugo finished with a small smile. "I know." He stole one last kiss before letting him go to the window. "Be careful going down, the kitchen is there."
"I will. Merry Christmas," he said, then he disappeared.
Hugo sighed; suddenly everything came back, all the negatives he'd been able to push away, and it felt like it was going to be a crappy Christmas.
Christmas turned out to be not so bad; he'd forgotten that what he'd told Dimitri was true and that his family was indeed crazy, at least sometimes. They kept his mind occupied with their never-ending questions and antics and Lily's stories about the students of Hogwarts now that they were the last in their family, until the Scamander twins and Neville's youngest started in a couple of years. Their little party, though nothing like their New Year parties when everyone was invited, lasted into the night and with his uncle Charlie sneaking him a drink every now and again, Hugo was content to lie on the couch and watch the ceiling, half-drunk.
He wasn't alone for very long and was drunk enough to make them leave until he saw who it was.
"Hey, Louis. Can I ask you a question?" he started, feeling brave enough with alcohol in his system.
Hugo tipped his head back, so that he was looking at his cousin upside down and sideways. Louis had just celebrated his twenty-first birthday and, unlike Hugo, had had his condition his whole life. He'd contemplated asking Ted, but Ted would know why he was asking and try to get him to talk about other things, like telling his family about him. And Bill would just ask questions. But not Louis; his cousin liked his secrets, too. He wouldn't care why Hugo would want to know, or if he did, he wouldn't ask about it.
"You've got the werewolf gene, right? And the full moon was a few days ago."
"Yeah, so?" Louis asked with a raised eye-brow. That was as far as his curiosity would get, Hugo knew.
"I know that you don't turn, you just have the traits, but your body still reacts similarly, like all the pent up aggression and tension and... sexual drive that coms when you're older. How do you manage that?"
Louis laughed out loud, long and hard until he really couldn't anymore, then had some of his beer before answering, "I always had the next day off, so when I was a kid I'd stay up all night and find things to do, then I'd sleep the next day. From the age of sixteen, I'd get drunk and have sex, then I'd sleep the next day."
Hugo rolled his eyes; he already knew that about his cousin. People were always going on about it, telling him not to be so reckless and stupid. Hugo didn't need to know what Louis did during the full moon because he couldn't do those things, considering he turned.
"No, in the couple of days after it, when it lingers."
"Hugo, why do you think you always saw me with someone after the moon?" he smirked. "I just have to wait it out."
"Oh," he muttered, trying not to show his disappointment, wishing he were able to wait out the lingering effects with Dimitri. "Thanks."
"Why are you asking me this?" Louis asked, finally curious enough.
"No reason really. Ted and Riley are coming into school and teaching us about them; it was just interesting," he said, sitting up slowly. In the time that had passed since he'd last seen Charlie, the half-drunk feeling was starting to leave him, his senses were getting stronger and he knew that scent. A scent seemingly stuck to Louis.
The scent of a vampire.
Everyone had a distinct scent, one that allowed Hugo to pinpoint each person rather easily, but as a species, there was something that everyone had. He could tell apart human from animal, pin point another werewolf and smell a vampire. Because the scent which he found on Louis was one which also belonged to Dimitri, but didn't at the same time, which meant it was a different vampire.
Hearing about this had almost terrified him until he was told that part-werewolves, like Bill, Ted and Louis, weren't strong enough when it wasn't a full moon; if Hugo wore just the right amount of cologne, no one would know.
He barely heard Louis scoff. "Are they really? Now they make Defense interesting. Why are you staring at me like that?"
"No reason," he answered slowly, wishing he could ask why he had a vampire's scent all over him.
Louis definitely had his secrets.
The wolves celebrated Christmas more than the vampires did, but Erik watched as everyone in their odd family tried to join in the festivities. They'd had Christmas dinner and opened presents, now people sat around and laughed in the old ballroom, drinking eggnog and beer. Someone even found an old CD player and had put on Christmas songs. He was sad to see it ruined, but he knew it would be - he'd heard them long before they ran into the room.
Alyssa, one of his vampire allies, stopped in front of him, tears streaming down her face and being help up by Max, a werewolf who was also his best friend. Their family was one of many that showed their species' could coexist peacefully. Now someone had ruined that peace.
"He's gone. Erik, they took him," she sobbed. Someone turned off the music and everyone stared at the three in the middle. "You have to help him, Erik. You have to get him back."
Erik held her by the arms, starting right into her eyes. "Who, Ally? Who's gone? Who did it?"
But he knew, before she even spoke he knew.
"Nicholas' people took Damian," she whispered.
He let her go and paced the space around him, ignoring people's gasps and whispers, their demands about what to do. Everyone except Max. "What are we going to do?"
"Nothing," he replied, digging out his mobile phone. "We can't go there. But I know someone who can." He found the number quickly and, after a long hesitant pause, hit dial. "Elijah. I need your help."
A/N: Woo, new chapter. What did you think of Hugo and Dimitri? Louis and his secrets?†And, yay, for new characters. I hope y'all will like Elijah. :)
Romeo is a reference to Romeo and Juliet, which, of course, belongs to William Shakespeare.
Please let me know what you think, :)
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