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Saviour by SiriuslyCrack

Format: One-shot
Chapters: 1
Word Count: 4,986
Status: COMPLETED

Rating: 12+
Warnings: Mild Language, Mild Violence

Genres: Drama, Angst
Characters: Harry, Ron, Hermione, Lily (II), Hugo
Pairings:

First Published: 02/18/2011
Last Chapter: 02/18/2011
Last Updated: 02/20/2011

Summary:
Totally perfect banner by ladycobra@TDA.


Some secrets in life are better left unsaid. Or there are serious consequences. Hugo and Lily learn this the hard way.


Chapter 1: Saviour
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Wonderful chapter image by ladycobra@TDA.


I have been staring at the blank pages of my notebook for over thirty minutes. They seem to be taunting me, mocking me; but my resolve is firm. I rack my brain for inspiration, for those elusive words that may help me form a coherent sentence. But it seems so futile. I have no inspiration at all.

I try to recall some of the bedtime stories my Mum used to tell me when I was kid. There were those three brave musketeers who were always an inspiration to me, the ever restless Sinbad the Sailor whose adventures at sea excited me, the ugly duckling who grows up to be a beautiful swan, the long-nosed Pinocchio who wanted to be a real boy, the Shepherd who cried wolf – I grew up listening to all these stories. As a kid, they inspired me and made me happy, and I promised myself that one day I would create a story of such magic and adventure that children everywhere would dream of living such a fairytale.

I used to pen short stories about talking animals and dolls that came to life, about monsters under my bed and magical lands where only little kids lived. Mum was the only one who would read them. Dad found them boring and most of my friends would rather play with toy broomsticks than read fairytales.

“Such a talented man you are, Hugo,” my Mum would say, after finishing one of my stories. My heart would swell with pride whenever she called me a man. “One day, you’re going to be a really famous writer and people are going to love your stories.”

“Really?”

“Really.”

“Will Dad love them too?”

Mum would smile and hug me tight. “Of course, dear. You just wait and see…”

Years passed. I was just as inspired and determined to prove myself as ever. Education helped me a lot. In my fourth year, a new subject was introduced at Hogwarts – Literature. It was, we were informed, a replacement for Divination, the interest and popularity of which was slowly fading out. I, personally, believe that McGonagall just couldn’t tolerate it anymore, especially after Trelawney went completely barmy.

That was the best phase of my life. I penned down stories after stories, never forgetting to owl them to my Mum, who would religiously read them and reply with words of praise and critique. She was a constant source of inspiration to me, aside from my cousin Lily, who is the coolest person ever…probably even cooler than her brother James.

Lily was passionate and exhibited just as wild an imagination as I did. More often than not, we would find ourselves in a secluded corner of the school courtyard, exchanging stories, funny memories and, sometimes, even the dreams that we had. I would note down everything she would say, even if it was nonsense. I could always try to make sense out of it later. The point was to collect all the plots I could…and to put together a brilliant story.

Lily was the one who introduced me to Beedle the Bard and Magic of Feathery Fey. Since my Mum was a muggleborn, she was more inclined towards muggle fairytales, rather than wizarding ones. She did recite to me The Tale of Three Brothers once though…

“Maybe you should write a story about Mermaids,” Lily said one day, flipping through my journal for ideas. “You know, about how they survive underwater and how they live without legs and apple pie and pumpkin juice…you get the point, don’t you?”

I shook my head. “Can’t. There’s already a muggle fairytale called The Little Mermaid. It’s just too good; I don’t think I can beat that.”

“How would you know?”

“I just do. Besides, that’s not the point, Lily!” I tried to make her understand that I wanted to come up with something original. Something no writer had ever thought of.

“Well, that’s hard,” stated Lily, biting her lip in thought. A moment later, her face perked up again. I had a feeling that I was not going to like what she was going to say. And I was partially right.

“You could always toughen it up a bit. Make it brutal. Maybe the little mermaid was blind or…or bloodthirsty….a war between man and mer-people…or a doomed romance between a man and a mermaid…or…”

Lily kept spouting out idea after idea but at one point, my eyes glazed over and I blanked her out. Something had just clicked inside my brain. I knew what I wanted to write about!

I grabbed Lily by the shoulders, pulled her up and exclaimed in apparent excitement, “You are a genius, Lily. An absolute genius!”

“I am?”

I dragged her to the Library and we spent the rest of the year surrounded by dusty old tombs that no one wanted to read anymore. I sincerely attended all our History of Magic and Muggle Studies classes, jotting down everything the Professors uttered. My sister Rose thought I was finally taking OWLS seriously. Little did she know that this was all a part of my master plan.



“…and they lived happily ever after.”

I closed the book and looked up at her sleeping form. She lay still, her face towards the heavens, her fiery hair fanned out on the white pillow, the glow still hadn’t left her face, even after everything she had been through. She was still as beautiful as ever.

But she was as good as dead to the world.



It wasn’t a good hiding place. Lily had found me again. And this time, she was pissed.

“What is your problem?” She shrieked, loud enough for the whole of Hogwarts to hear.

I sighed, not really knowing how to answer her question. “Lily, please. I was just…”

“Just what?” She yelled. Her entire face was red and I was pretty sure I noticed smoke coming out of her ears. I had never seen her that angry before. “Just wanted to get away from the people? Just wanted some time to think? Just wanted to commit suicide because now you have got a taste of the real world?”

“Lily,” I said, reaching out to her. But she slapped my hand away and I backed away slightly. I wasn’t scared of her, no. But I had to calm her down or there would be consequences – Lily suffered from high blood pressure. “Just listen to me …”

“No, you listen!” She snapped, cutting me off again. “I have no idea what you’ve been up to lately. Do you have any idea how that makes me feel? We are supposed to be best friends dammit!”

“We are…”

“Then why have you been dodging me?”

“I haven’t been dodging you,” I mumbled. It was partly true. I wasn’t dodging her; I was avoiding everyone in general. Guilt settled in when I saw the hurt in Lily’s eyes.

“Yes, you have. Don’t lie to me, Hugo!” Tears finally escaped her eyes and she fell to the ground, sobbing. I knelt down beside her and pulled her into my arms. She spoke between uncontrollable sobs. “This is all my fault.”

I couldn’t bring myself to speak; my throat had choked up again. So I just shook my head vigorously, desperately wanting her to understand that it was not her fault. It was never her fault.

“I know what this is about, Hugo,” she finally said, fisting my shirt in her frail fingers. “This has got to stop!”

I looked down at her then, studied her wet face, her bloodshot yet determined eyes, and somehow I just knew what she was thinking.

I am going to save you, Hugo.



“You’re still here.”

My tired eyes fluttered open at Albus’s deep drawling voice. I turned around and greeted him with a weary smile. He silently closed the door and then pulled up a chair beside me. There was a time when both the Potter brothers used to intimidate me. They were doing something important with their life while I was stuck in the same place, without any hope for progress. I was jealous of them to the point of being afraid of them…

Albus spoke, breaking my chain of thought. “Read her a story?”

I nodded.

“She liked it?”

I turned to look at her. She lay there, still and unmoving, mocking me, dragging me further into depression…

“I don’t think so.”



She had taken to following me around everywhere, not leaving me alone for even a fraction of a second. She believed I would try to go to the Library again, to research for my book, not, for once, considering the fact that I might have learnt my lesson.

History of Magic and Muggle Studies didn’t interest me anymore. But then, nor did Literature. I had stopped reading the Daily Prophet and paid little attention to what went on in the outside world.

Everyone could see it. I had changed.

But so had Lily.

There were times when I found her sitting quietly near the fireplace, staring into the fire, lost in her own world. Sometimes, she would come up to me at the most unexpected moments, wriggle herself into my arms and fall asleep. She was beginning to worry me.

When Christmas holidays came, I desperately wanted to stay behind at Hogwarts, but Lily would have none of it. She thought I needed a change of atmosphere and decided that Grimmauld Place was a far better option than the Burrow, which was always busy and chaotic. So we packed our bags and headed for the Potters’ home.

Lily had been right. The change in surroundings did help me a little. Although I still couldn’t face Uncle Harry without being reminded of all those things my Mum had revealed to me light years ago. Nevertheless, it was all fine and dandy until…

Lily had yet again fallen asleep on my shoulder while I read out loud her all-time favourite story, Sleeping Beauty. I was in the process of carrying out my nightly routine of picking her up and placing her on the bed when I heard voices downstairs. Thinking it was just Uncle Harry back from work, I quickly tip-toed out of Lily’s room and headed downstairs to my room on the first floor, not wanting to be reprimanded for being up so late.

Thus, it came as a surprise when I heard my Mum’s soft voice drifting up the stairs. What was she doing there at such an ungodly hour? Did she want to see me? Intrigued, I crept down the stairs towards the kitchen where the voices were coming from.

“…see Hugo. He’s probably sound asleep right now.”

I stopped short at the mention of my name and stood quite still outside the kitchen door.

“Tea, Hermione?”

I assumed Mum must have nodded because familiar sounds of kettle being put on stove and cups zooming out of the drawers could be heard.

Mum was speaking. “Harry not back yet?”

“No.” After a moment’s pause, “It’s getting bad, isn’t it, Hermione? The attacks are all over the newspapers!”

“It’s going to get worse, Ginny. It’s like Voldemort’s era all over again.” I was certain I heard a tremor in her voice when she said that. “I don’t know what triggered the attacks but something is definitely brewing underground…and it scares the hell out of me.”

“Yeah, me too. I fear more for Harry though. He always seems to be targeted.”

“It’s his destiny.” There was a momentary pause before Mum spoke again. “I don’t think you should play in the World Cup this year, Ginny. There might be a repeat of last time…”

“I can’t just refuse to play like that. I’ve signed a contract.”

There was another long silence as they both sipped their tea. But my head was buzzing with questions. What were Mum and Aunt Ginny talking about? What about these attacks? Why didn’t I know any of this?!

Lily’s recent behaviour was slowly making sense to me…

“How’s Hugo doing, Ginny?”

“Not good. He doesn’t talk to Harry anymore, has no interest in Quidditch, avoids Albus like the plague…Lily is the only one he listens to. I don’t know what’s wrong with him. I’m sorry, Hermione.”

I heard my Mum sigh. “It’s all my fault,” she said miserably, and I hated myself for being the way I am.

“What do you mean?”

“I told him, Ginny. I told him everything!”

There was silence, then a loud gasp, followed by the sound of breaking china.

“You didn’t!”

“I’m sorry.”

“Hermione, you promised! There’s a reason we decided never to tell our kids what really happened. How could you do that?”

“I wasn’t going to, I swear.” Her voice trembled and she sniffed. “He kept asking questions…said he was writing a story on War. He has read all the books that mention our names, Ginny! Hugo’s smart. He was bound to find plot holes in them…nobody ever knew about the horcruxes aside from the four of us.”

I chanced a peek into the kitchen. Mum was wiping her eyes and Aunt Ginny was pacing. I couldn’t take it anymore. All of sudden, I felt extremely angry. I wanted to walk in there and give them a piece of my mind. I wasn’t a kid anymore. They didn’t need to worry about me. I could handle myself just fine!

I closed my eyes and took deep breaths to calm myself, ignoring the conversation going on in the kitchen. I couldn’t bear to hear any more of it. When I opened my eyes again, I almost had a minor heart attack. Uncle Harry was standing right in front of me, piercing me with his calculating stare.

All my anger seemed to melt away, replaced by pure fear. My body went numb as we looked at each other and I could feel beads of sweat forming on my forehead. Why? Why couldn’t I talk to him? He was a war hero, a survivor, just like my parents. He was the good guy. Then why did my entire being always go numb in his presence? What was wrong with me?



“Go home, Hugo. You need rest.”

I shook my head and refused to budge from my place at Lily’s bedside. “You go, James. I’m staying.”

James sighed and placed a hand on my shoulder. “It’s not your fault, you know that, right?”

I didn’t answer. Instead I said, “I am going to write a story for her.”



Our fight was long overdue since the day I had witnessed that conversation between Mum and Aunt Ginny. Uncle Harry had known immediately that I had been eavesdropping but he hadn’t said a word about it to anyone, not even to me, and for that, I was eternally grateful. It’s like that night never happened.

Except that it did. And it left me an angry mess. Angry with Mum, angry with Lily and, most of all, angry with myself. And all that anger exploded out of me one day, right before NEWTS started.

“Since when did you start having secrets, Lily? Since when did you start hiding things from me?” I shouted furiously, not caring if anybody heard us.

She was not one to back down. “Oh yeah? I could ask you the same thing!”

I ignored her retort and raged on. “You couldn’t tell me about the rising Death Eater activity in London?”

“It’s not my fault you don’t read the Prophet anymore.”

“That’s not the bloody point, Lily! You are supposed to tell me this kind of stuff. Do you know how I found out about this?”

“Yes, you told me. Again, it’s not my fault.”

“Well, whose bloody fault is it then?” I roared; ready to tear my hair out. “I felt incredibly stupid not knowing that our parents and siblings could very well be in danger and all you were worried about was me sneaking into the Library to read up on Wizarding War History? I don’t think I can ever trust you again, Lily.”

Looking back, I think I crossed the line, because Lily did something she had never done before. She stepped forward and slapped me. Hard.

I was shocked, speechless. I had a feeling that if I moved, she would probably hit me again. But it was the fury in her eyes that scared me. Despite the situation and the irritation I felt for her, I reminded myself that I couldn’t allow her to get angry, or else her blood pressure would rise.

As she glared at me, a single tear rolled down her cheek, but when she spoke, her voice was steady. “My father is an Auror, one of my brothers is a Hit-wizard, the other is a trained Obliviator, my Mum is going to play ball at the Quidditch World Cup…all of them are right in the middle of the vortex. Yet it’s you I’m worried about. Why? Because you’re an idiot! My family can take care of themselves, they don’t need me. But you do. And I need you! I promised myself that I would save you. I intend to keep that promise, if you just let me.”

She turned to leave, but stopped to deliver one last blow. “Do you know how I found out about your secret?” She asked softly and I could only stare at her, feeling worse by the second. “I stole your journal. The very journal that contains every silly idea that we’ve ever had, every possible title to a story we were never able to write and every little thing that only the two of us know. The very journal that you deliberately hid once you came back from Christmas holidays last year!”

That was the time when Mum had spilled the beans to me about what had really happened during the war against Voldemort.

“I don’t care that Mum and Dad never told me, they had their reasons. But it just hurts me to know that you didn’t tell me either; I had to find out the wrong way! Now tell me, Hugo, if you were me, would you trust you?”


She stopped speaking to me after that. She still sat beside me in all the classes, watched me when she thought I wasn’t looking, studied with me for the upcoming NEWTS, but I wasn’t the shoulder she could cry on any more. She rarely said a word to me. Those were the worse days of my life. I had always been so dependent on Lily, so used to hearing her voice every day, that the sudden silence was deafening. It pressed down upon me, making me feel guilty for everything I had said to her and how I had acted.

Many a times, I had tried reaching out to her, tried to apologize but those moments never lasted long. She would either turn away from me and ignore me outright or she would look at me with such doleful eyes that my words would die down in my throat and I would be left feeling guilty all over again.

NEWTS came and went. We were graduates now. After Hogwarts, it was even harder to live without Lily. She was my best friend, I had no other friends who would help me choose a home, help me furnish it, surprise me with a beer after a bad day at work… yes, I had let go of my dream of becoming a famous writer and gotten a job at Flourish and Blotts in Diagon Alley.

I just had no inspiration anymore. My imagination started and ended with Lily, and the day she left me, so did my inspiration.

In the midst of all this, the attacks on muggles and muggleborns had intensified and there were many incidences of witches and wizards being caught in the crossfire. The atmosphere was tense and rumour mills were running wild. Some went so far as to say that a new Dark Lord was rising to power.

Dad, Mum and Uncle Harry had teamed up again to fight these attacks. Dad and Uncle George were in charge of supplying the Ministry with their latest products – Decoy Detonators, Bubble Shields (they are an advanced version of Shield Hats), Self-stunning Gloves and the like. While Mum had broken all her promises of being an Unspeakable and I believe she told Dad and Uncle Harry everything she knew. It probably had something to do with a new top-secret research the Unspeakables were carrying out in the Department of Mysteries. I was not trusted, so I was never cool enough to know.

I lived a dull, empty life. Work was only interesting when I had some spare time to read a book or two. Days seemed long and nights were devoid of sleep. Every night, my brain would go into overdrive and insist on recalling everything that had happened in the past. Lily’s words kept playing again and again in my head, so did Mum’s. Hugo’s a very sensitive person. I shouldn’t have said anything!

Sunday was the only day of the week I looked forward to, because Sunday meant Weasley Special Sunday Dinner, which meant all the Weasleys and Potters had to be present at the Burrow that day, which further meant that Lily would be there. And my sole purpose to survive each week was the chance to see her at the end of it. Even though we never communicated, much to our parents’ distress, I was content just watching her from afar. As long as she was happy, I was okay with how our relationship had turned out. I had long since accepted that I had hurt her and there was a chance she would never talk to me ever again, unless I did something either very heroic or very stupid. However as the days turned into weeks, I was beginning to think that I would never get a chance to redeem myself.

Oh, how wrong I was…



“…he literally lives here, Mr. Weasley! It’s affecting his physical and mental health. I can’t possibly allow that anymore.”

“Well, if you just find a way to heal our Lily –”

“Ronald, don’t! We’ll talk to him, Healer. Thank you.”

The door opened and in walked my parents, both trying to look as cheerful as possible. But their smiles just couldn’t reach their eyes anymore.

“Come to take me away?” I asked casually.

They shot each other a brief, worried glance. Then, Mum took the initiative.

“Healer Smith says you can visit any time you want, but you need rest too, don’t you, dear?”

“That’s not what she said.”

It was Dad who tried this time. “That’s not the point, son. You can’t stay with Lily all the time!”

“Watch me.”

“Hugo –”

“I’m not going mental, alright?” I exploded. Healer Smith was wrong. In fact, I was very happy just sitting there, waiting for Lily to open her eyes.

“Of course, you aren’t, dear, but…”

“Don’t you get it, Mum? I want to be the first person she sees when she wakes up! I’m sorry, but I’m staying.” When they didn’t budge, I added, “Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a story to write.”



It was a particularly hot Thursday afternoon, and I was situated on my usual chair at the cash counter, reading a book on the Founders of Hogwarts, when I happened to chance a glance out the window. To my utmost surprise, I saw Lily stepping out of Eyelops Owl Emporium. My heart skipped a beat at the sight of her. There she was, standing just a few feet away, dressed simply in a grey sweatshirt and jeans… without a second thought, I jumped up and dashed outside.

But before I could call out to her, the entire street fell in the shadow of an unusual dark cloud. I looked up, puzzled. What the hell? A few others, including Lily, had stopped in their tracks as well. Something was definitely not right.

The air turned cold and the hair on the back of my neck stood on end. I reached inside my cloak for my wand but it wasn’t there! In my rush to see Lily, I had forgotten my wand on the counter. I turned to go back in when, all of a sudden, there were dozens of whooshing sounds and streaks of thick, dense smoke descended on us from all sides. One of them zoomed straight in my direction and smashed through the windows of Flourish and Blotts.

“Hugo, look out!” I heard someone yell.

I had just managed to sprint out of the way in time. In the blink of an eye, the whole book store was destroyed. “No,” I gasped.

What followed was utter chaos. People screamed and pushed each other out of the way to escape the Death Eaters. Florean Fortescue’s and Eyelops were destroyed in the same way. Jets of green light whizzed past us in random directions. The Death Eater who had bombed my shop walked out of the ruins looking smug. I bet he hadn’t expected someone to pounce on him and kick him right where it hurts the most. I tore off his mask and gave him a well-aimed punch. In fact, I hit him a couple more times, until he collapsed on the ground, unconscious. I had to go back in. I had to get my wand.

“Stupefy!”

I turned to see another Death Eater lying stunned at my feet. Apparently, he had been about to attack me from behind. I looked up to see Lily running towards me. She grabbed my arm and started pulling me in the opposite direction. “Hugo, come on!”

“My wand. Lily, my wand!”

Another jet of green light zoomed past us, missing me by inches.

“Hugo, please!” She screamed over the din. “We have to get out of… Stupefy!”

I clutched her hand tightly and ran, but I felt useless without my wand. Lily kept shooting curses behind her shoulder, while I was busy dodging the killing curse. Somehow, I seemed to be the sole target of these curses now. Maybe I shouldn’t have punched that Death Eater…

“Going somewhere, Tiger?”

We screeched to a halt. One of them was standing right before us, pointing his wand in our direction and blocking our way to the Leaky Cauldron.

“Feeling very brave, are you? Trying to impress the lady…”

“She’s my sister!” I shouted angrily, pulling Lily behind me.

“Too bad. What a pretty little thing she is.”

He was trying to provoke me. I knew it. Well, I wasn’t going to back down either.

“Couldn’t say the same for your boyfriend back there. I’m afraid he got what he deserved,” I retorted right back into his face.

Because of the mask he wore, I couldn’t see his face but I could literally feel the anger emanating off him. I had struck a chord. Just then, the air was filled with several pop-ing sounds and my grip on Lily relaxed. The Aurors had arrived. We were going to be okay…

“Lily! Hugo!”

Momentarily distracted, I did not notice the Death Eater make a sudden movement. By the time I realized what had happened, it was too late. A jet of bright yellow light shot straight towards me as if in slow motion. I felt Lily’s forceful hands on my shoulder, pushing me out of the way…

I fell to the ground and watched in alarm as the yellow flame struck Lily right between her eyes. The force of the curse knocked her backwards and she uttered a soft, painful “Oh!” before collapsing on her back.

“NOOOOO!”

I scrambled over to her motionless body, saying her name over and over again. “Lily! Please don’t be dead. Please. Come on, wake up!” I barely registered the Aurors bind the Death Eater who had hit Lily or Uncle Harry kneel down beside us and check Lily’s pulse. Fear burned my insides like fire. It would be my fault if Lily died. I couldn’t let her die…I couldn’t…

“She’s alive!”

All my fault…all my fault…

“Hugo, let her go. She’s still alive! We need to get her to St. Mungo’s.”

Two strong hands on my shoulders pulled me away from Lily. “No!” I cried. “I’m going with her!”



It’s been six months since that horrible Thursday afternoon and Lily still hasn’t come out of her coma. And here I am, still staring at my blank notebook, hoping that maybe, just maybe, I will get the inspiration to write her a fairytale, at the end of which the Princess wakes up from her long slumber and forgives her best friend for all the mistakes he has ever made.

Ten years ago, the day when Albus and Rose left for Hogwarts, Lily became my best friend. She taught me a lot of things, the most important lesson being that of patience and loyalty. She was the only one who understood me, she stood by my side when I needed her most; and even though I let her down repeatedly, she kept her promise.

She saved me.

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