Chapter 1 : Everybody Hurts
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When you're sure you've had enough of this life, well hang on.
My lips began to tremble, as I listened to Professor Snape criticize me yet again for a mishap I had with one of the potions we were assigned. It wasn’t my fault that my cauldron exploded. I tried to follow the directions carefully. He just gets me so nervous, that I sometimes tend to forget that one little ingredient. Why does that one little ingredient always have to be the one thing that ends up making my cauldron explode?
I could feel my eyes start to water, but I swore never to cry in front of him. He would never get me to shed a tear for him. After all these years, after all the cauldrons I have gone through in his class, I have never once allowed him to see how his words have affected me. I usually save that for the night, when I cast a silencing spell around my bed and cry hard into my pillow.
Don't let yourself go, because everybody cries and everybody hurts sometimes.
After class was dismissed, and I was handed another detention for not paying attention to my assignment, I quickly packed up my belongings and hurried out of the classroom. I hated when I showed up late to class. There was always someone who would call me out on it and make some sort of joke, as I moved to my seat.
I suddenly tripped on the moving staircase, dropping my bag to the ground, and scattering all of my belongings on the floor. I hated that I was such a clumsy mess. I turned toward the sound of snickering and held my tongue, as I watched Malfoy and the rest of his gang step over my items, never even asking if I needed help. Malfoy, of course, had to kick one of my books down the corridor, causing a few pages to tear out.
Sometimes everything is wrong. Now it's time to sing along.
After I finally had everything in order, I frantically ran to my next class, already aware that I was late. When I finally stepped inside the classroom, Professor Flitwick just turned toward me and sighed. It’s sad when all my professors ignore me now, believing this is who I am, and just accept it, instead of trying to help me. I bowed my head in embarrassment, as I walked toward the empty seat next to Seamus, but not before hearing Malfoy make a snide remark about my tardiness and hearing a few students chuckle.
When your day is night alone, (hold on, hold on)
Class was almost over and things were starting to look up for me; however, I should know better than to get too excited. I still can’t believe I made Seamus’ hair turn blue, not able to reverse whatever it was I had done. And there was Professor Flitwick, ignoring yet another one of my catastrophes, as he simply told Seamus to go to the infirmary, continuing on with his lesson like nothing even happened.
If you feel like letting go, (hold on)
Thankfully, Charms was my last class for the day, and I couldn’t wait to get back to my room. At least in there, I am less likely to cause any trouble. Why does my life have to be this way? Why do I feel like I am under some horrible curse and will never be free from it?
When you think you've had too much of this life, well hang on.
I decided to skip dinner tonight. I just didn’t want to face any more problems that could be waiting for me there. I lay back on my bed, staring up at the ceiling. I was alone, since everyone was sitting in the Great Hall right about now. I sat and wondered if anyone even knew I was missing. Probably not. They were probably just happy to not have the walking disaster interrupt their lives for the moment.
I turned over on my stomach and began to weep in my pillow. I really hated my life and wished there was something I could do. I even wondered if there was somebody else who felt the same way I did at times. Or was I truly the only one who felt this way?
Everybody hurts. Take comfort in your friends.
Everybody hurts. Don't throw your hand. Oh, no. Don't throw your hand.
I heard the door to my bedroom open, and saw Harry, Ron, Seamus and Dean enter. I quickly wiped my tears away on my pillow, hoping they didn’t notice. I’m not even sure if they have ever known about these routine episodes I would have. Perhaps they did, but didn’t want to confront me with it, not wanting to get involved in my misery. I definitely didn’t want to cause any sadness in their lives, if I could avoid it.
If you feel like you're alone, no, no, no, you are not alone.
Noticing that the boys were not going to be leaving any time soon, I decided to leave, needing to get away for a few minutes. I just needed some time alone. I needed to be able to clear my head, before I would have to do this all over again, tomorrow. I truly did hate my cursed life.
If you're on your own in this life, the days and nights are long,
When you think you've had too much of this life to hang on.
Ignoring the curfew, I stepped outside of the castle, noticing a storm forming off in the distance. I took a deep breath, smelling the arrival of rain getting closer. I moved further away from the castle, wanting to distance myself from everyone inside. I never believed I belonged with them. They all had something to live for. What exactly did I have?
I stood in front of the Black Lake, staring at nothing in particular. Memories began to flood my mind, causing the tears to start again. The biggest one of them all was the memory of my parents. I hate what that woman did to them; I hate that they may never know who I am ever again. As much as I wait for them to recognize me, I know it is all just a dream. The Healers have pretty much ruled out the possibility. It’s just another added stress to my dreadful life.
Well, everybody hurts sometimes,
Everybody cries. And everybody hurts sometimes.
As I continued to stare out onto the lake, I began to wonder if anyone would truly miss me if I were gone. It’s scary to think this way, yet here I am. Just the idea of it frightens me, but for some reason, I cannot let it go. Knowing me, I would probably mess it up somehow, anyway.
I took a big gulp, hearing the storm closely approaching now. It’s not like I’ve never thought about it before. I mean I have always questioned my existence in this world. Would people even know I’m gone? Would they even care? And why am I the only one who feels this way?
And everybody hurts sometimes. So, hold on, hold on.
Suddenly, the sky opened up and the rain poured down. I never moved, allowing the rain to drench me. My body shivered from the cold, but I didn’t care. So what if I got sick. It’s not like anyone would care. And it’s not like anyone would come visit me, if I did. Sure, people would visit at first, but then they would just go on with their lives, forgetting me once again. Trust me, it’s happened before.
I sat down on the wet grass, leaning back on my elbows, as the rain pelted me. I could see the dark sky light up, every few seconds, knowing the storm was getting worse, but I just remained seated. It’s not like I would get hit by lightning, anyway. I mean I wasn’t that lucky.
Hold on, hold on.
I suddenly felt a hand touch my shoulder, causing me to jump in fright. I quickly looked up, shocked by who I saw.
“What are you doing out here?” he yelled, needing to speak over the rain that was pouring down.
I rolled my shoulder, removing his pale hand away from me. “Just leave me alone,” I whispered, knowing he more than likely didn’t hear me.
“Are you trying to kill yourself, Longbottom?” he shouted.
My heart stopped, as his words flew through my mind. Merlin, was I? Had it really come to that? I pursed my lips, as I stared out onto the Black Lake, hearing thunder clap in the distance.
“Longbottom?” he shouted again, a slight concern evidenced in his voice.
I finally shrugged, feeling the raindrops suddenly mix with my tears. I thought I was stronger than this. I thought I would never have to show my tears to anyone, especially to someone like him. I bowed my head, wiping the tears away as best I could, but they never stopped falling.
I waited for his malicious comment, but after a few more minutes, I soon realized it wasn’t coming. It was way too quiet now, except for the rain showering down on me, that I figured he must have left. I don’t blame him, either. Who would want to be around a pathetic, crying mess like me, anyway?
Hold on, hold on.
I started crying even harder now, realizing how truly alone I was. Nobody would ever understand me. I would always be alone in this world. I had no one. Thunder sounded again, much louder this time, causing me to jump in fright and turn to my side. But what I found there startled me even more.
He had never left. He was actually sitting beside me, with his own head buried in his hands. I reached out and placed my hand gently on his arm. With a start, he jerked his head up and stared over at me, with tear-filled eyes.
I saw him shiver, but knew it had nothing to do with the cold rain beating down on us. He wiped his eyes and shook his head, a bit frightened. “Don’t tell anyone,” he softly pleaded.
“Are you okay?” I asked, forgetting my own problems for the moment.
He stared out onto the Black Lake, as my question lingered in the air. He then took a deep breath, returning his attention to me. “Were you really thinking about killing yourself?” he whispered, still loud enough for me to hear.
I pursed my lips, before slowly nodding. He looked strangely comforted by my answer. He chewed on his bottom lip, as if contemplating what to say next. I patiently waited for him to continue.
“I thought I was the only one,” he finally said, turning away from me to hide the newly fresh tears forming in his eyes.
“Wait, were you about to…?” I then stopped, scared to voice it.
“Almost,” he confessed, before another clap of thunder sounded.
“But why? You have everything going for you. You’re popular, rich, smart,” I started rambling off, still baffled by his statement.
“Lonely, sad, constrained,” he finished for me. “My life is a total mess. Why do you think I do the things I do?” He then sighed, glancing away from me. “I hate it,” he suddenly confessed. “I hate acting this way. I hate having to put on a show, just so I can please people. I just want to escape from it all.”
“And you think killing yourself is the answer?” I asked.
Thunder boomed, causing us both to jump. He then looked over at me, with fresh tears in his eyes. “I don’t want to die,” he softly cried.
I bowed my head. I guess I really wasn’t alone in this, after all. I mean even the most popular boy had problems. “I don’t want to die, either,” I finally admitted.
Hold on, hold on.
He wiped the remaining tears from his eyes, before standing up and extending his hand out to me. I slowly reached for his hand, allowing him to help me stand. We stared at each other for a few more seconds, shaking from both the rain and our troubled thoughts.
“I guess we’re not alone in this,” I finally said.
He nodded, “We all hurt differently, Longbottom.”
“Neville,” I softly replied.
“You can call me Neville, when we’re alone,” I explained.
“I guess we’ve earned that right, haven’t we?” he smirked, causing me to chuckle. “I mean we’ve seen each other at our weakest points now.”
I nodded, looking around, knowing it was time for us to go, before we truly did get sick. “We should go,” I finally said.
He nodded, before we both turned toward the castle, and started walking back. We walked in silence, only hearing the rain soak the ground and the thunder rumbling in the distance. The storm seemed to be finally moving away from us.
Once we reached the front doors, he turned toward me and sighed. “Thanks for listening, Neville. I really needed it. And remember, whenever you need someone to talk to, I’ll be there,” he stated. “Anytime, anywhere. Okay?”
I nodded, aware of where this was heading. “I’ll be there, too,” I replied.
“You understand this has to be this way, right?”
“I understand,” I half-smiled.
“Will you be able to ignore me?” he worriedly questioned.
“I’ll try,” I truthfully admitted.
“And I’ll try to lighten up as much as I can, but just remember that I don’t mean it,” he finished, before turning and walking away from me. He then stopped and turned back around, allowing a rare smile to appear on his face. “You can also call me Draco, when we’re alone,” he added.
“I’ll do that,” I whispered, watching him disappear around the corner. I took in a deep breath, realizing what just happened tonight. I couldn’t believe how close I was. I was truly at my end, yet it all changed in an instant. I wasn’t alone anymore.
(Everybody hurts. You are not alone.)
I let out the breath I was holding, before turning around and heading in the opposite direction Malfoy walked. I truly wasn't alone anymore.
A/N: Again, the lyrics are from the song "Everybody Hurts" by R.E.M.