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The Reason I Breathe by alicia and anne
Chapter 2 : Empty shell
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 3

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Albus opened his eyes groggily, the room spinning as he blinked the sleep out of his eyes. He felt sick and his head was pounding. He knew that if he tried to move more than his head, that he would regret it instantly.

“What?” Albus groaned, his eyes closing again; he had no energy to stay conscious.

“Albus you need to get up,” came a gentle voice from beside him, he could tell through his grogginess that it was Lily.

Albus opened his eyes again and tried to focus on Lily’s face which was next to his; she had lain down next to him and was staring at him. All he could see was a pale yellow, he must be in Lily’s bedroom, not that he had any idea how he got there.

“Why am I in your room?” Albus asked, feeling bile beginning to rise in his throat, he tried not to focus on that as he took a few slow deep breaths.

“You passed out here last night; we all came home to find you. I had to sleep on the sofa last night, I would have stayed in your room but - you’ve kind of destroyed it,”

Albus remembered bits and pieces of losing his temper and completely trashing everything in his room.

“What made you destroy your room like that?” Lily asked him.

“You really don’t want to know,” Albus warned her as he felt his stomach aching, he hated this feeling.

“It was her wasn’t it? Her being there is the reason that you drank so much? Lily asked him, Albus sensed her getting off of the bed, and the movement made him feel sicker.

He thought back to yesterday, and why he had drunk so much, his memories of the night before a bit hazy.

Then he remembered.

She was there, her arms around Fred.

Albus moved up quickly as he felt the bile rise again and managed to move out of the way of Lily’s bed as he threw up, into a bucket that Lily had held up as soon as he had moved.

“Thanks Lils,” He groaned as he attempted to sit straight and clutch onto the bucket at the same time, he felt sweat cover him as he felt heat radiating through him.

“James brought it up here last night when we found you; he thought you might need it.”

Albus could only nod as he willed himself not to think of her or throw up; he didn’t seem to be winning at all.

“Mum and dad aren’t happy with you,”

“They never are,” Albus said, he was breathing deeply again as he closed his eyes.

“Don’t say that Al,” Lily scolded him; “they love you.”

Albus opened his eyes and looked at her, “No one loves me Lils.” He snapped at her.

“I love you,” she told him softly, ignoring that he had spoken to her like that.

“You have to.” Albus stated before standing up slowly and clutching the bucket closer to him.

“I think you should tell them about her, then they’ll understand and...”

“No,” Albus said angrily shaking his head as he stood with his back to her, “and you’re not going to either.” He began to move slowly, not trusting himself not to be sick again.

“Albus –“ Lily began, but Albus had already walked out of her room and towards the bathroom.


Albus woke up a few hours later, this time in his own bedroom. He looked around blearily taking in the mess that he had created in his rage.

“You’re finally awake,”

Albus looked over at the door of his bedroom and saw James leaning against the frame, his arms were folded and he was looking around the room in horror.

“What did you do?”

Albus sat up and was thankful that he wasn’t feeling as sick as before. He looked over at his brother and noticed that he had a condescending look on his face; he knew that Albus was going to get into trouble for this and James’s smug face made Albus want to punch him.

“Are you going to explain what happened yesterday?” James asked him an eyebrow raised at his brother, a stern look now crossing his face.

Albus rolled his eyes, James loved to try and play the role of protective big brother but he failed time and time again at it, he should have really given up by now. “I don’t need to explain a damn thing to you,” Albus told him in annoyance.

James resisted the urge to roll his own eyes, choosing instead to walk over to sit on the bed next to his brother. He reached a hand out to place on Albus’s shoulders, but Albus was quick to move out of the way. James noticed this with a frown. He knew that his brother had never been a very touchy feely kind of person but he would never flinch away from someone like that, especially his own family.

“Why did you react like that when Fred brought his girlfriend over to meet the family?” James asked Albus, who had stood up and was walking over to the other side of his room, seeming to be trying to find a way to salvage the items in his room. He avoided looking over at his brother, as he pushed his dark hair out of his eyes and surveyed the damage that he had caused, Albus knew that he was going to have to explain a lot to his parents and he didn’t look forward to it one bit.

“Albus?” James asked him, Albus had ignored James’s question as though he hadn’t spoken to him.

“Albus?” James repeated, the anger evident in the tone of his voice.

“Does it matter? Why do you care?” Albus snapped, a dark look crossing his face.

“I care about you,”

Albus gave a scoff, trying to ignore the pain that was going through him at James’s mention of Fred having a girlfriend.

“What has Fred done to upset you so much?” James asked, standing up and walking over to his brother, being careful not to get too close to him. He could see that Albus had his fists clenched next to him, as though he were deliberating whether or not to begin destroying things again.

“I don’t want to talk about it,” Albus told him through clenched teeth, “Now can you please leave.”

James gave a sigh, “Dad wanted me to tell you to come downstairs, I’m not even going to bother warning you about what will be waiting for you downstairs if you’re going to continue acting like a prick.”

“I don’t care James, just bloody leave.”

James shook his head at Albus before leaving the room, “you really need to sort out your attitude Albus. It’s getting a tad fucking annoying.”


Albus had never hated the idea of going back to Hogwarts so much in his life.

The castle that had once been his life was now just an empty shell to him, serving to only isolate him inside and forcing him to face everything that he had been trying to stop from suffocating him over the holidays.

It was strange to think that a little over two weeks ago everything had been different, he had been happy because he had had her with him.

He let out a groan as he began to make the walk downstairs, hoping that something was going to happen to stop him going back to school, so he wouldn’t have to deal with everything and could run away and hide from everyone. But he knew that there was nothing that would ever stop that happening.

Albus stopped in his tracks as he noticed that Fred was sitting on a stool at the kitchen counter, laughing at something that Albus’s dad had said. They both turned to look at Albus as he entered the room, all laughter gone from their faces. Harry gave his son a disappointed look; Albus didn’t know what Fred was doing as he couldn’t stand the thought of looking at him. He knew that if he did he would hurt him, he didn’t care if his father was there he would cause Fred as much pain as he had made Albus feel.

“Get him out of my house,” Albus growled, his hands were clenched by his sides and he was shaking slightly, but he still refused to look in Fred’s direction.

“Albus enough, this is my house and Fred is more than welcome here,” Harry snapped, Fred didn’t say anything to Albus, but he attempted to walk over to him.

“Fine, then I’ll leave.” Albus growled storming from the room, Fred didn’t follow him. Albus knew that Fred must have been scared of facing Albus alone, knew that Albus was going to hurt him.

“Albus come back here!” Harry called after his son, Albus heard his father’s footsteps chasing after him, but Albus had already opened the front door and left the house. Albus apparated away as soon as he was able to he didn’t care where he ended up, he just knew that he didn’t want to be at home if Fred was there.

He steadied himself as he arrived in an alleyway; he shivered as he looked around quickly to see if anyone was watching him, wishing that he had thought to put a jacket on before he walked out of the house. It was winter after all. He wrapped his arms around himself after putting his wand into his trouser pockets and walked out of the alleyway and into the open street. He realised after a few moments that he had apparated right near The Leaky Cauldron pub; he walked quickly over to the building, eager to feel the warmth that it would bring him.

As he entered the pub, he walked straight over to the fireplace and warmed himself by the roaring fire. No one greeted him as he entered, either not caring that he was there, or noticing the look on his face and choosing to stay away from him. He was glad, he didn’t want to talk to anyone, he just wanted to be alone, he was always going to be alone so he might as well get used to it.

He fished a hand into his pocket once it had warmed up, and found five Galleons and two sickles. It wasn’t much but it was enough to get him on the verge of drunk. He wasn’t going back to that house sober, especially if Fred was still there.

He walked over to the bar and ordered himself a drink from the barmaid behind the counter, who just so happened to be a friend of the family.

“It’s a bit early isn’t it Albus?” Hannah Longbottom said with a frown on her face as she grabbed a glass from behind the counter and began pouring out Albus’s drink. Albus was glad that Hannah was there, even though he hadn’t long turned eighteen and was in his last year at Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry, he had left his ID at home. Hannah knew he was of age so didn’t ask him for it. She handed him the drink a disapproving look on her face as she took the money from Albus, she noticed that he was pale and didn’t look like he had enough sleep.

“You should be at home getting ready to go back to school tomorrow,” she told him sternly, “not out drinking.”

“Thanks for the concern,” Albus stated, taking the drink and his change, and walking over to the table nearest to the fireplace. Hannah gave a shake of her head at the boy as she watched his retreating form.

Albus sat down and took a large gulp of his drink, before putting the drink down on the table and slouching in the chair, his hand over his face as he closed his eyes and basked in the warmth of the fire. He still felt quite sick from his hangover this morning, but he was trying his best to ignore it, hoping that ‘hair of the dog’ would work and he’ll feel better soon.

He let out a groan as he thought about going back to school tomorrow, wishing more than anything that he could just stay at home. There was nothing at that place anymore for him, he had no girlfriend, he had no friends anymore, they had all left him to side with her and Fred. He had lost everything and no one seemed to care at all.

He sat up straighter and grabbed the drink again, knowing that tomorrow was only going to be the start of his downward spiral and there was nothing he could do to stop it. She would be there, flaunting her new relationship and not caring how it would tear him apart, not caring that she had taken everything from him and had shattered his heart so much he wasn’t sure he’d ever feel whole again.

He blinked the tears away from his eyes as he downed the rest of the liquid and put his hands in his head as he gave a sniff, he hated feeling this weak but he couldn’t bring himself out of the slump she had caused, the only thing he could do was numb every feeling he had. He stood up and made his way over to the bar and the disapproving look of Hannah Longbottom as he ordered another drink and dug out his money from his pocket.

He didn’t know how long he could get away with numbing the pain.


A/N: I hope that you've enjoyed this chapter, poor little Albus :-(

Let me know what you thought :D

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