For how much I expected it, I was still totally shocked when the Head Girl badge came tumbling out of my school letter and into my hand. It was like a medal to me and I handled it with care as I showed my mum. Everyone was so proud of me that my mum made a cake and my dad made my favorite meal and called my sister back home. She came with Vernon reluctantly.
I wanted to tell Hazel Stag about this pleasant surprise, but I knew how much that would give me away. All he would have to do is think and then HEY! It’s who else but goody two-shoes Lily Evans. I tried to contact James, too, but he hadn’t responded to all any of my letters I had written since he had returned home. So, I decided to leave him alone.
We went for my school books that Saturday. I was shopping in the book store when I saw Sirius, Remus Lupin, and Peter Pettigrew standing outside with James’s little sister. I exited the shop and headed towards them. I noted that Sirius had more bags then even Remus. They did not hear me come up and I caught the end of their conversation.
“–hasn’t stopped writing to her. I also saw this drawing of his. It was amazing. He has as much talent on a Quidditch—LILY!” Sirius shouted spotting me. I smiled.
“ Hello to you, too. Where’s James?” I asked.
“ He hasn’t been doing well at all,” Sirius said a worried look appearing in his dark eyes, “ He barely speaks or does anything. When his Hogwarts letter came he couldn’t even open it,”
“ Oh dear,” I said sadly, “ A depression I suppose?”
“ Who knows? I keep trying to tell him that he needs help, but he won’t listen to me. He just keeps saying I don’t understand,” Sirius said.
“ Yeah, he hasn’t written to me or Peter since before the accident,” Remus spoke up looking worried as well, “ And when I flooed to his house for a week, he didn’t call us by our nicknames once,”
“ He says he’s just growing up, but I don’t think he knows what the point of living is anymore. He doesn’t like you anymore or anything he used to do. He can barely stand for an hour and he’s always tired,” Peter agreed nodding, yet I noted how he did not look as worried as everyone else. I frowned and turned back to Sirius and Remus.
“ Maybe in Hogwarts things will be better. I mean, he’s captain of the Quidditch team and they’ll be work to do and teachers to help him,” I said shrugging.
“ Let’s hope the teachers do,” Remus said seriously, “ And that he won’t give up Quidditch or slack on his Head Boy duties,”
“ James is Head Boy?!” I yelled shocked that Dumbledore would even consider it.
“ Yup. Usually a Marauder would flinch at the word and then smirk because he has power over everyone, but I don’t think James even realized that he’s Head Boy yet,” Sirius explained. I frowned. James changed so much in such a short time and this depression or whatever it is that he’s fallen into has taken over most of his life. I had begun to worry about him.
“ Lily, come and hurry. We have to leave in an hour,” My mum called from the door way of the book store. I nodded at her and turned back to my friends.
“ Who is it James won’t stop writing to then?” I asked as I thought back to what the Marauders were saying before. I figured they were talking about James.
“ Um, someone. We don’t know who since he doesn’t really talk anymore,” Remus stuttered, “ We just saw girlish handwriting,”
“ LILY!” My mum called again.
“ And your buying all of James’s supplies, I suppose,” I said to Sirius now talking faster. Sirius nodded.
“ We tried to get him to come but he said something about a head ache and needing to lay down,” Sirius shrugged, “ We weren’t going to push him, but now I think we should have,”
“ LILY ROSE EVANS!” My mum yelled. I winced at the use of my whole
“ I have to go then. Tell James to get out a little,” I waved and went back into the store.
When my shopping was done I returned home with my mother. A letter from Hazel Stag awaited me in my room. I put my books down on my desk carefully and laid my new robes and potion ingredients on my bed. Then I took the letter from the owl and he flew off cheerfully. I opened the letter wondering how Hazel Stag had written his emotions down for me this time.
The days to return to school have gotten closer. Usually I feel excited when started a new year. My blood rushes through my veins ready for new adventures and conflicts. Now, I don’t care. It’s my last year and I know that I will not ever be able to enjoy it as I have my previous years at Hogwarts.
My friends are worried about me. I can tell just by the way they act around me. How they talk in low voices and tell me that they can help me. But they don’t understand. At least you have an idea of how I am feeling. My friends just watch me and observe. My best mate says I’ve fallen into a depression, but I’m not sure if I am or not. All I feel is emptiness. I can pinch myself and feel nothing, I’ll look in the mirror and see someone else, and I cannot think. I drew a new picture for the first time in months on Tuesday. It was amazing, actually. I would send it, but it is of me, and I need you to have no idea who I am.
I was thinking the other day. You became my escape over the summer and even one of my best friends, but now I think you are something more. I don’t know who you are but I have an attraction to you, a connection through your words on paper. You may not know what I’m going through, but you know how to make me feel better. I actually smile at your letters, even if I don’t laugh.
Amusing isn’t it. How you have the nickname of “Trapped”, yet here I am now and I feel like I am the one trapped. Not like you, though. I love those who I have left in my life. No conflict with my friends or sister. I am trapped inside myself. My emotions and my mind are keeping me from moving on. To forget this summer and enjoy myself. How do you overcome a strong emotion such as pain? How can you free yourself from your own mind?
I told my best mate just the other day that I am lost. I am lost in the world with no where to go and no one to lead me. I write this letter and see my path just a little clearer. As soon as my owl is gone, I topple over with exhaustion from the task of writing a letter. Each move I make gets harder and harder. I am getting thinner and thinner from the lack of food I eat and my vision blurs even when it shouldn’t. The whole world is a blur to me and I don’t know how to clear the way.
Maybe school will help me. Teachers will try to distract me, homework will be more important, and I have special duties to attend to. Who knows what this year is going to bring. Who knows who is ready for what.
I refused Sirius’s proposal to go to Diagon Ally with a lie that I had a head ache. I had wanted to go. It would be the last time I would be shopping for school until my own kids, if I had any, were ready to go to Hogwarts. Yet, here I was, in my room laying flat on my bed feeling guilty for turning down Sirius.
The truth was, I had no energy to shower or get dressed. I barely had the energy to go downstairs, which I did do for the first time today. When I headed back up my room, I had to pause in the middle of the stairs to catch my breath. I felt ashamed that I couldn’t even climb the stairs any more. How was I supposed to get around Hogwarts? I wondered if I could still fly. That took more energy then climbing stairs and I hadn’t done it all summer. I sat up and took my Nimbus 900. It felt heavy in my hands.
I went out to the area of my backyard where Sirius and I usually played Quidditch, safe from Muggle eyes. I mounted my broom, but I could not kick off the ground as fast as I used to and being so up high reminded me of the first time I rode a broom. My father had taught me when I was seven, despite mum’s orders. She had gone out to Diagon Ally and my dad grabbed his broom and we came out here. We spent early afternoon kicking off a few feet from the ground and then going down then late afternoon was spent navigating the broom. I smiled as I remembered how much trouble my dad and I had gotten into when mum returned. I found her yelling so funny I started causing mischief everywhere I went. The beginning of my marauder.
No longer able to stay in the air, and I sank to the ground. I unmounted my broom and allowed myself to fall to the ground where I laid on my back allowing tears to fall from the corner of my eye and down the sides of my temples and into my hair. Everything I did reminded me of them. I closed my eyes and flashes of that terrible day flashed through my mind. Nonetheless, I did not open them. I could not. And soon, I had fallen into a peaceful sleep.
“ James! James, come on!” Sirius was yelling as he shook me. I slowly opened my eyes and saw that Remus, Sirius, and Sarah looked over me. Sirius looked the most worried, Remus looked the most concerned, and Sarah looked the most frightened. I frowned as I saw that I would worry to if I came home to a confused teenager laying in the middle of the lawn with a broom laying next to him.
“ Are you okay?” Remus asked, “ You didn’t fall did you?”
“ Are you crazy? You could have killed yourself. You are in no shape to fly a broomstick without anyone watching!” Sirius snapped running a nervous hand through his hair.
“ I’m fine,” I muttered sitting up, “ I didn’t fall. I landed and then sat on the ground. And I’m not crazy, Sirius, I just thought that if I am a captain of a Quidditch team, I need to be sure I can actually fly,”
“ At least you got out, finally,” Sarah whispered.
“ Yeah,” Remus agreed, “ How long did you fly?”
“ Less then a minute,” I replied and both Sirius and Remus looked disappointed.
“ What happened then?” Sirius asked.
“ I remembered when I first learned to fly and then I just couldn’t stay in the air so, I just allowed myself to land and then I had no energy to get up,” I explained, “ But now I do and I want to go back to my room. Trapped would want to hear about this,”
“ No more Trapped, James,” Sirius said shaking his head, “ Your going to go up to your room and shower and get dressed and then you are going to come downstairs and eat dinner with us,”
“ And stare at my parents’ empty seats? I think not,” I snapped angrily. The intensity of my statement much have made my point clear because Sirius recoiled at me tone and then looked shocked. After a minute he nodded and looking very worried and depressed himself, allowed me to go back to my room.
This time when I was half way up the stairs I didn’t stop. I walked down the second floor hall and I was half way up the third floor staircase. My sides pained me and my heart was beating hard. I was ashamed on how hard I had to push myself. At the top of the stairs I paused, but not on my own accord. My legs wouldn’t move. My vision blurred and things started to spin. I felt myself falling backwards and then everything went black.
Dear Hazel Stag,
I must say that I think that your friends are right. I was reading all your previous letters and each one has more and more emotions spread through the words. You seem to not be healing as well as you should from whatever it is that had happened to you. It brings tears to my eyes to think of how you are feeling. I would hate it, and probably try to end my own life.
Please, for the sake of your sanity, get help.
I went to Diagon Alley today and got my school things. It was strange to think it would be the last time I would need new books. It was fun though. I got some books for light reading and already started some of them. The spells in them are great and I’ve been working on them for a while now.
Amazing how fast this summer went, isn’t it? Terrible things passed this summer, and I was harmed by none of it. Voldemort is tearing families apart and ruining the world. You would think that he would see that by now. Most of the wizarding world is frightened of his name even. Why though? Everything has an end one way or another. Whether they die out or are defeated. There are ways to defeat him now.
One week and we will be on the train to Hogwarts. I makes me curious as to what I am going to become after school. I would like to become an Auror, a Healer, or an Unspeakable in the Department of Mysteries. I am not sure which though. What do you want to become?
My parents are proud and had a big celebration for me already. My sister and her husband came. How I despise that man. They put a damper on the celebration. You know what they gave me as a gift? A paper clip. Um, yeah, I know! So, I transfigured the paper clip into a lily since it is indeed my favorite flower, even if it is my name. Then again, I didn’t transfigure it to good. It’s my worst subject, transfiguration.
Seems that I must be going, yes, I know very soon. A short letter compared to some of my previous ones. I suppose I will be hearing from you.
P.S. I know what you mean by the whole attraction thing. In truth, I have it for you, too. Not that we will ever know who each other is, right? Secret best friends forever!❤
I smiled at my first year books. It seemed so long ago I got my first letter. The shock I received. I hadn’t believed that it was real. I thought it was a joke that some idiots at school were trying to pull on me. Now, here I stood, packing for the last time, almost complete with all my school training. I smiled to myself.
It was the night before I boarded the train for my final year at Hogwarts. I had not heard from Hazel Stag since my last letter, nor did I hear from Sirius or Remus who had been writing frequently. It troubled me and I did everything I could to distract myself from Hazel Stag and what has been taking him so long to reply. What if he DID take his own life from the depression he had fallen into.
There was a knock downstairs and I wondered if it were Jake and Courtney. I had said my goodbyes to them hours before, so I didn’t know why they would want to see me again. Unless Jake wanted to talk to me again, I had just broken up with him that morning. Now that they had been given permission to write, our goodbyes weren’t as hard as they had been in the past, but I didn’t expect any letters from Jake. He took it hard. My father called up to me, telling me that there was someone to see me. He sounded surprised, if not suspicious.
I went downstairs and paused at the top of the stairs looking into the main hall. Sirius and Remus stood there each with a mix of emotions across their faces. Remus looked more worried, while Sirius had this sad, frightened look in his eye. I came down stairs looking at them suspiciously.
“ Remus, Sirius, how are you?” I asked feeling worry etch into my voice.
“ We are fine,” Remus said, “ And you?”
“ A little confused, I must admit. What are you doing here?”
“ We need your help now,” Sirius explained, “ James isn’t doing to good. He worked himself to hard about a week ago and feel down the stairs. I was hoping it would knock some sense into him, but this depression he fell into has gotten worse,”
“ Fell?” I asked, Sirius had lost me as soon as he said that. My attraction for James had grown over the summer, and it was stronger then the one I had for Hazel Stag, “ Is he okay?”
“ No!” Sirius snapped angrily. Remus glared at him and then looked back at me and explained.
“ Nothing St. Mungo’s couldn’t fix quickly. We brought him home and he had this huge breakdown. He started rambling on how his parent’s death was his fault and how he ruined the Potters. Then he started on how he’s losing everything he ever loved. He couldn’t fly anymore, he can’t seem to think straight and he’s terrified something is going to happen to the ones he’s close too,” Remus paused for a moment, looking at Sirius who looked depressed himself. Then he continued, “ He doesn’t fell anything anymore for anything. We discovered that he was really into drawing”–I looked up, my neck cracking–“And he hasn’t drawn anything since that day. The only part of his mind that isn’t clouded, is the part he holds on to, and that’s what is keeping him from losing his sanity,”
“ What part is that?” I asked, though I felt like I had already known the answer.
“ Trapped,” Sirius muttered, “ Trapped is the only thing that is keeping him sane,”
“ Me?” I asked, “ James is Hazel Stag?” I began to remember all the letters I received that gave me all these obvious hints. My notebook really did explain a lot about myself, and now even James. And the handwriting!! I can’t believe I didn’t see it before. Was I really so blinded?
“ Yeah. We thought it was best you know before school starts, because he will be the only depressed kid with school duties and a finger puppet and you would have probably guessed anyway,” Remus explained.
“ You said you need my help?” I said, trying to distract myself from the shock and growing feelings for James.
“ Yes. It’s very simple,” Sirius said, “Keep writing to James as you would not knowing who he is. We think being able to share his pain with someone who he doesn’t know is helping him. If it goes on long enough, he may realize that he needs to come out of his shell and come back to us,”
“ I can’t!” I shrieked, “ I told him that I liked him weeks ago!! I probably won’t even be able to look at him anymore!”
“ Lily, you have to!” Sirius snapped back. Again, Remus glared at Sirius and then spoke to me more calmly.
“ James is....obsessed? Yes, obsessed with Trapped. He is always talking about the letters he gets. It’s pretty much all we can get him to talk about. He may say he doesn’t like you, as Lily, anymore, but I think he’s falling in love with you, as Trapped. If we can get him to keep showing some kind of emotions for you in your letters we might be able to help,” he said. Then Remus and Sirius looked at me hopefully. I hesitated.
“ Fine, I’ll help you,” I agreed, “ But I think we should try pulling him away from Trapped and into reality at the same time,”
“ Again, we’ll need your help with it,”
“ And I will help,”
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