Lily Potter the Second Sectioned…
Wizarding world in shock as heroes’ daughter is dragged to psych ward.
The headline took up most of the page, and the other half was filled with a looping image of a door swinging open, and Lily Potter, dressed in sweats and a baggy, dirty tank top with bloody bandages around her wrists, being dragged out of the house, kicking and screaming, and, as soon as they were passed the anti-apparition wards, disappearing in the hands of two beefy wizards, dressed in plan white scrubs.
Soon after they disappeared, Ginny Potter came to the door, a hand placed delicately over her mouth and tears streaking down her cheeks. Harry soon joined her, placing an arm around her shoulders and taking her back inside, closing the door behind them. If you looked carefully, you could see the two other Potter children watching from the second floor windows, pale faced and stoic. The image then looped again, and again, and again. And for the life of me, I couldn’t stop watching. My face, my parent’s faces, my brothers peering out of their windows; white and gaunt like ghosts, the lot of them… all because of me.
It wasn’t the first time I’d cut, but it was the first time I’d tried to end it all in that way, and much to my inconvenience it was the first time I’d been caught. I’d taken refuge in the unused bathroom on the third floor of the house. No one went up there unless they were working on the soon-to-be second guest room and en suite. A pretty pastel number this time, powder blue walls and a cream carpet. Lovely, if you liked that kind of thing. The kind of thing that screamed ‘we’re a normal, loving, run of the mill family with no skeletons in our closets’.
They decided they’d have a bathroom just for said guest, to minimize the awkwardness of sharing a bathroom with your host. It’s easier to take a shit if you’re not forced to look at Harry Potter’s monogrammed flannel, you know? The thought of bathing in the presence of the Heroes Wife’s hand soap is too overwhelming.
So I took the trek up to the third floor, and locked myself in the bathroom, turning the taps as I settled myself on the closed toilet seat. I’m not of age yet, so my wand was of no use to me when it came to barricading myself in or maximizing the damage. Fortunately, you don’t need one to slit your own wrists. No, Daddy’s muggle razor blades are of much more use to a depressed teenager than a stick of magic wood could ever be. God bless Grandma Lily for being a muggle born. Without her none of this would’ve been possible.
Ironic as it was, I sent up a quick prayer to her as I settled myself in the pristine tub filled with warm water. I’d prepped myself well and good for this final endeavor of mine. I’d spent the week being nice to everyone, making sure they were happy and had a good time doing whatever.
I’d procured myself a lovely, straight, fresh razor blade and had made sure that this wouldn’t take any longer than it had to. That it would be quick and easy and I wouldn’t linger. I’d contemplated playing some relaxing music, but realized that would draw unnecessary and unwanted attention to the supposedly ‘unused bathroom’. It might also lift my spirits, which is a major inconvenience when one wants to kill themselves...
So as I sat there, feeling my body relax, I cast my mind back over my life and steeled myself for what was to come by reminding myself why exactly I was here, in this tub, poised and ready to end it all.
I thought of my family. My hero of a father who, even after defeating Voldemort, went on to become the best head auror the wizarding world had ever seen. How he doted on James and Al, encouraged them to be the best they could be, played Quidditch with them whenever he could and always took them out to see the professional matches, or took them to work with him to see how the big boys played.
How he never spent any time with me, and always looked over me when I joined in the Quidditch games, or took interest in the cases he was working. How no matter how hard I tried, I could never compete with James and Al in his eyes. Ever. Even Cousin Rose took a higher rank with him, purely because she reminded him of Aunt Hermione when she was in school and made him feel young again. And Roxy, because she’s so much like Uncle Fred was… It hurt. Him never seeing me. Not even when Hogwarts sent letters back saying I was failing classes or had been caught out after hours again. Even when I was in trouble, he never came running. Never showed an ounce of emotion. Was never a dad to me, only ever a father.
I thought of my Quidditch Pro of a mother, who had seemed to barely age a day from those pictures of the Wizarding War and the books and the chocolate frog cards. Who all the girls thought was beautiful, and all the boys thought a MILF. Who would always be everything I wasn’t, or couldn’t be. How all the papers thought I should be her, thought I should be as lithe as her, as spunky as her, as much a duplicate of her as I could be, and ripped into me when I wasn’t. Pointed out how I’d never be a Quidditch pro like her, even if I trained for the next 10 years straight. Said how I would never be as beautiful, or as skinny, or as important, or as big a success as her… Seemed determined to ruin my self-esteem. And sure she apologized for it, held me and told me that I didn’t need to be anyone but myself. And then went out to formal dinners on the arm of my father, looking like some goddess from mythology. Laughed and smiled and fucking twinkled for the cameras. And never told them to leave me alone. To let me be. Never reminded them that I was a child, impressionable and fragile.
I thought of my brothers. James, the talented seeker, tipped off for the next Under 21s team for the World Cup, and the player all the regional teams were going to squabble over when he did leave school. The one with the rugged good looks and enough charm to de-robe McGonagall if needs be. The one who always called me Squirt, who mocked me, who teased me, who ratted me out to mum and dad if I put one toe out of line. The one who always picked out my faults, whenever and wherever. Who made a fool out of me in front of my parents, his friends, Al's friends and mine. Who never once apologized, and always did the same time and time again... Who never seemed to realize that it hurt far more when it was him saying these things than it was when friends or wankers from school did. Who never seemed to get that as a brother he should be protecting me, not tearing me down relentlessly and never even sticking about to see what happened to the pieces. Who seemed to forget that when I was 7, I told my teachers I wanted to be just like him. Who wouldn’t even care if I told him that it was the opposite now and I despised nearly everything about him. That sometimes I wanted him dead.
Albus. The brains of the Potter branch. The one who the school, and the rest of the world had pinned their academic hopes and dreams on. The one who took it all in his stride without breaking a sweat. The one who never directly mocked me, or belittled me, but never stopped James. Never stood up for me. And always made me feel that little bit smaller, even if he never meant it. How casually the hardest of equations rolled off his tongue. How he seemed to absorb knowledge like a sponge. How he’d always be brainier that me and James and mum and dad put together. I envied his logical approach to life, how emotions never seemed to get in the way of his day-to-day activities. He wasn’t robotic, so to speak. Just so collected. So together that it made my crumbling mind feel that much more intense… made me feel that little bit more crazy. And I know he didn’t mean to. I know that out of all of them, he probably cared the most. But he still didn’t help me. He still let me hurt.
I thought of my cousins. How all of them were good at something. Rose, like Al, had the brains. Hugo was a musical maestro. Fred was born to run the joke shop. Roxy was a Quidditch pro. Victoire was set to be the best healer of her time. Dom was a born model and fashionista. Louis was a natural cook. Teddy a budding auror, and tipped for the top. And all of them, every single one of them, were beautiful, inside and out… And then there was me. Plain old good for nothing Lily, born to be a failure…
I thought of school, and how they adored every one of them. All of them excelled at a subject, and they catered to it because, hell, these were the spawn of the Golden Trio and Co, and to disappoint them is to commit a mortal sin. So they all got everything they wanted in what they were good at. Extra work in classes they excelled at, extra Quidditch gear, access to the prefect bathroom.
Yeah, they’d of given it to me too, except I don’t excel at anything in school. I’m good at Quidditch, sure. But I’m nowhere near as good as Roxy and James. I’m good in certain classes, but it’s almost guaranteed that one of my brothers or cousins is better. I like to read, but not as much as Al or Rose. I’m bested by all of them at home and at school, and everyone knows it and does nothing to help me or make me feel better.
I thought of my friends, and how they’d noticed and even pointed it out, but done nothing for me. I thought of all the boys I’d liked and the lack of action I’d taken. I thought about my lack of love life, on top of my lack of brains and looks and general social graces. I thought about how my 16 years had amounted to nothing more than a room full of crap I’ve never actually needed, and the barely there scuff I’d left on the world.
And I was ready. I sat up a little. I took the razor blade in my left hand, the metal cool against my skin. I took a deep breath, and pressed it against the flesh of my wrist. Blood bloomed against my skin, red and bright and far too joyful looking for the occasion. I pushed, gritting my teeth slightly, and slashed down along the vein, quickly and efficiently. I almost laughed. Of course I’d excel in the art of self-harm. I switched hands, and did the same to my other arm, letting the blade fall from my grip when I was done. When the bath water was as red as my wrists. When my hands were weak and everything was paling. I heard it clatter on the ground, and realized that someone was going to have to clean that up, too, as well as scrub the tub when I was done…
I rested my head back and concentrated on the warm water and the floating feeling that was coming over my body… And then it was ruined by a knock on the door, and some words about dinner. I thought we’d already had dinner. Fuck. I went to sit up, but I was too dizzy, too lightheaded already. I tried to say ‘go away’, but all that came out was incoherent mumbling.
After a few minutes with no reply, the person on the other side of the door, James, started pounding and yelling my name. I managed to stand and get out the tub somehow, but as soon as I had, my legs gave way. I could feel tears running down my cheeks, not from regret, but from the fact that my moment had been ruined. My perfect exit had been rudely interrupted but my fucking idiot of a brother. I then noticed how much red had spilled over the bathroom tiles. It contrasted horribly with the sterile white of Wickes finest. Then the door burst open, and it was quiet for the first time in what felt like forever.
And then all hell broke loose. A terrified scream erupted from my brother. A genuine, raw scream, and I was being wrapped in towels and cradled against a chest with muttered, mumbling, fumbled spells being cast on my wrists. I was brought me back from the brink of my stupor, and when I realized that I wasn’t dead, that I’d had bandages put on my wrists and the blood flow stemmed, I screamed. I turned on my brother and I hit, I scratched, I swore and I fought his grip. I cried, I pleaded, I begged for him to go, to leave and shut the door and pretend it was a joke. To put me back in the tub and let, me, go...
It was after I’d whispered that final, hoarse plea that I realized they were all in the doorway. My parents were there, staring at the scene, my mother clinging to my father and sobbing silently. Albus, with his mussed hair and wide, owlish eyes. All pale. All tired looking. All shocked. All looking so scared. Then my father grabbed his wand and cleared up the blood, drained the bath. Vanished all evidence that I’d tried to take my own life. He came over to James and me and took me from him, and tried to vanish the cuts…
And I hit him. I scratched his face, clawed my way out of his arms, and curled up in the corner, as far away from them all as I could. I ripped off the bandages, near crying over the now healing gashes on my arms. I looked around wildly, trying to find the blade, but it’d been vanished with the rest of the scene. So I did the next best thing I could think of, I started scratching with my nails. I scrabbled and stabbed and gouged, but none of it worked. They were healing to quickly. I started sobbing then, screaming at them, asking them why they had to ruin it. Why they’d had to interfere. I told them I hated them, and that they shouldn’t care if I was gone because they hated me too.
Beads of blood were now appearing on my arms again, and I laughed at my small victory. My mother was suddenly crouching in front of me, clutching my arms with shaking but firm hands.
“We’ve fire called Mungo’s.” I heard her say, but I didn’t look at her. I was too focused on the small cuts that littered my wrists again. “They’re going to come and take you to the hospital. They’re going to try and make you better.”
And then she was gone, retreating to the other side of the bathroom again, back into the arms of the war hero that couldn’t save his own daughter from herself. From the family he’d made and become a part of. Then it was Albus sat cross-legged in front of me instead.
“I’m here to say goodbye.” He said, and I just nodded, not really absorbing what that meant at the time. “And I’m sorry. For… for not helping you when I should’ve. I’m so, so sorry Lily. I… I wish I could understand.” I almost snorted. Not understanding this must be killing him. “I won’t come see you in Mungo’s, I doubt they’d let us in, but I don’t think you’d want us to visit you there. So goodbye, sis. I love you. No matter how it looks, I do.” A light kiss on the forehead and he was gone, soon replaced by James.
“I… I don’t know what to say, Lils.” His voice was thick, and hoarse from the scream that escaped him when he found me. “I’m sorry for letting you down. I’m sorry for… for everything. I love you though, Lily, and I guess you never saw it but I do. I’ll miss you, so much. And I hope you get better. I need you to get better.” Another kiss and he was gone.
My father never said goodbye. He never said that he loved me before I was dragged away by the men in white scrubs. It hit me then as they entered the bathroom just what ‘fire calling Mungo’s’ meant. It meant they were sectioning me. Taking me away from them, my friends and all the rest of it. Away from the pills, the rope, the razor blades, the bleach… Into a safety bubble filled with therapeutic exercises and other people like me. Some worse, some not as bad, but still like me. Still crazy.
I fought it, of course. I wanted to die. Not be taken to a hospital where a speccy bloke or women would sit and hum and nod and pretend to understand what was going on inside my head. I screamed and kicked and bit and clawed at their arms. I yelled at my parents for doing this to me. I told them they could’ve stopped this. They could’ve prevented all of this if only once they’d paid attention.
The last thing they heard from me that day was a screamed ‘I fucking hate you!’ before I was silenced by the pop of apparition.
And now here I’m sat, in a private room on the Mungo’s psych ward, dressed in jeans and t-shirt reading about Lily Potters terrible demise. My terrible demise. And it’s only just begun.
I'm beta-ing(?) this fic. Just going over chapters and changing bits I think need it. When they're all done a new chapter will probably be in the queue. I love you guys, and i'm so sorry it's taken me so long to get back to this. My brain's been pretty hectic and uncooperative for a stupidly long time.