Chapter 50 : Rock Bottom (Lily's Chapter)
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Lily’s point of view
I had expected Hugo to go back to his old self pretty much straight away but that unfortunately did not seem to be the case. Oliver and I went to sit with him a lot over the next week or so expecting him to be his usual jokey self but he wasn’t; he was shy, quiet and was downright depressed and he only seemed to be getting worse as the week went on. I was seriously worried. Hugo was like a younger brother to me; though I spent more time with Dominique and Rose it was Hugo who was my favourite cousin. I suppose that’s what comes with being born closest to one another; we’d always been paired together ever since we were little and we’d kind of bonded because of it. Not to mention the fact that our mothers were best friends so we spent a lot of time around eachother and we both were the youngest out of our siblings so found solace in playing with someone our own age
I love my brothers but they’d never truly been there for me in the way that Hugo had. James outright refused to acknowledge that I had pretty much done with puberty and was into boys whilst Al always got extremely clammy and nervous around me whenever I tried to bring the subject up with him. They never understood me and I had been in situations with a lot of relationship trouble and I wanted someone, a guy who wasn’t my dad or brothers to talk to, it used to be Oliver but things had changed between us so Hugo stepped in. I remember the first time it happened; in September of sixth year when I’d just begun seeing Malfoy. A decision I regretted in that instant and to this day still can’t fathom why I even considered him. I was trying to make Oliver jealous but it didn’t quite work and Malfoy was a royal jerk to me.
I was sat crying alone in the Gryffindor common room. It was either the last week of September or the first week of October and I had just come back from the Slytherin common room where Scorp and I had been getting intimate. He’d come on a bit too strong, nothing dodgy or anything he’s not that bad, but it freaked me out and I had legged it from the common room in tears. I wanted Oliver. All I could think of was Oliver and how I wanted him to hold me and look after and kiss me. I had just realized I was in love with him and I needed him. But when I got back to the common room it was empty, it was a Hogsmeade weekend and all the first and second years were outside as it was still abnormally nice weather outside. So I curled up alone on the sofa and just began to cry. I was crying because I’d pushed the boy I loved away and I was crying because I had chosen to date someone who had no respect for me and my family. He only wanted me for my body, that much was clear and I knew I couldn’t tell anybody. Al and the rest of the boys would freak out and attack him and the girls would be furious with me for even considering Malfoy. I was trapped and I certainly couldn’t tell my mum, dad or any of my aunts or uncles. I definitely couldn’t tell Oliver what I was doing. It was just me. Or so I thought
Ten minutes later Hugo walked in, chuckling to himself about something or other in his way; he noticed me crying on the sofa and immediately walked over. I sat up. He gave me one of his “Hugo looks” which told me whatever it was would be OK with him and also told me that I didn’t have to tell him and that I could just cry on him for a while if I wanted. I did. For about half an hour, it actually got kind of awkward and embarrassing
“What’s up” he asked
“If I tell you something, you have to promise not to speak a word to anybody” I told him
“Not even Oliver” asked Hugo “I always tell Oliver everything”
“Especially not him” I insisted. Hugo nodded and I told him. I told him everything. I told him how I was in love with Oliver, how I’d probably been in love with him all along but had only just realized, I told him about how badly I’d treated Oliver whilst I’d known he fancied me, I told him about me and Malfoy and what had happened between us that morning. I expected him to go ballistic and throw something or do something violent to Malfoy. But he didn’t. He said “Right” nodded and continued to hug me. We then chatted for a few hours like old friends, we laughed over memories together and he told me that he really fancied Rebecca and wanted to date her but he felt she was out of his league. I told him to go for it; having been in the same dorm as Rebecca for the best part of six years I knew about her fancying Hugo since the second she had first seen him on the Hogwarts express. I told him he was good enough for Rebecca, I actually told him he was too good for her, that he was too good for any girl but he didn’t believe me. That’s when I first noticed there was more to my cousin than met the eye.
That’s when I should have been there for him and helped him, it was clear to me that Hugo was suffering at that moment but I did nothing to help him. Instead I focused on myself and my stupid relationship drama’s and I continued to mess things up for Oliver and Abi. I had felt bad about that until we all found out what a manipulative and spiteful cow Abigail Clayton really was underneath her nice girl act; I had suspected something wasn’t right with her all along and it wasn’t just because she was dating the guy I was in love with. In time, I finished with Malfoy and concentrated on Oliver. I don’t think Hugo was all that pleased with our behaviour in the whole thing but he recognized we were in love and let us be happy and didn’t cause any problems for us. Then came the announcement
I couldn’t believe it when I found out Rose was pregnant. Rose of all people! The girl who seemed to regard me as a slut for years, OK maybe slut is a bit excessive but she did certainly think I was looser than I should have been. I spoke to Hugo a lot after she announced her pregnancy and I tried to defend him when Uncle Ron tried to blame the whole thing on him; he said that Hugo should’ve kept his eye on Rose more and made sure she wasn’t hanging around with inappropriate lads. That was the first time in my life, well over the age of two that I’d actually seen Hugo get emotional and cry. It was disturbing, very disturbing. Here was Hugo, a boy who lived life to the full and didn’t take things seriously breaking down and sobbing in front of me; when he looked at me it was if his eyes were begging me for help. But then, Oliver and I had our row and I was soon distracted. For such stupid reasons as well and the distractions kept on coming when Hailey and Abi told everybody about Oliver and Jack’s father.
What is worse is that I was still lying to Hugo and Oliver as well, because a few weeks before Rose had told Dom and me who the father of her baby was. I was shocked. Dom was shocked (and nothing shocks her). We couldn’t believe how stupid Rose had been. How stupid they both had been. How was I meant to tell my cousin, my brother and my boyfriend that the guy who got Rose pregnant was one of their best friends?
Then, the next thing I knew Hugo was on deaths door in the hospital wing. Rebecca was beside herself as were Oliver and Rose and I supported them, it was ironic in a way that the only person I wanted to talk to about Hugo’s collapse was Hugo himself. I wanted answers, I wanted to know why it happened but he wouldn’t open up
“Lily?” asked Hugo waking up. It was a sunny Saturday afternoon in late March and I had told Oliver to go and have some fun with everyone else in the lake. I didn’t much fancy it and due to my ginger hair and pale complexion I often sunburnt easily as well “Where is everyone?”
“They’re outside babe” I said taking Hugo’s hand and squeezing it. He smiled at me, I was pleased to see a hint of the old cheeky Hugo “How are you feeling? Do you wanna talk?”
“Yeah, yeah, I’d like to talk” said Hugo with a grin “How’s Quidditch? Are Gryffindor doing well?”
“We’re playing Ravenclaw in the final in a few weeks” I replied with a grin “Albus has somehow roped Oliver into playing keeper”
Hugo chuckled. I nearly cried from happiness at the sound of it
“That’ll be funny” said Hugo still chuckling; his voice was still weak though “Have to get out of here in time for that”
“I’m sure you will be” I replied giving his hand another squeeze “A place like this is no place for you; you need to be outside causing some trouble in the lake. Pretending to be the giant squid or something”
“That is so third year” said Hugo with another chuckle
We sat in silence for a few minutes
“What happened Hugo” I finally asked. He sighed. “Please tell me, you can trust me and you kept my secret and I promise I will keep yours if you tell me yours”
He looked down at his feet like a little boy in trouble with his dad. It was almost as if he was ashamed of whatever it was.
“Get Oliver” he murmured “If I’m going to tell anyone, I want him to be here as well”. I immediately left Hugo and ran outside to the lake to find Oliver. I probably shouldn’t have ran so much as everyone immediately assumed something horrible had happened to Hugo when I arrived. After explaining that Hugo wanted to speak to Oliver I dragged my boyfriend forcefully back to the hospital wing. As we walked hand in hand I looked to Oliver and appreciated what a good boyfriend I had nabbed for myself
A. He was totally hot. Like crazy gorgeous, though he was another one who could do with a self confidence boost
B. He was the kindest guy in the world and I knew he would do anything for me or anyone else he loved
C. He loved me. He loved me for me, not who I was perceived to be or because of who my family were. That was a big thing for all us Wotter cousins
We arrived back at Hugo’s hospital bed. I took Hugo’s hand again as Oliver put his arm behind me and encouraged Hugo to begin talking
“The reason” he said, he was clearly struggling to word things properly but it was clear he genuinely eager to get whatever it was off his chest “The reason that I fainted… it’s because I haven’t been eating properly”
I was flawed
“Erm, there was an article a few months ago in Witch Weekly that ranked all the Potter boys on their looks, talent, intelligence and all round rateability” he continued with tears forming in his eyes. I had to blink back tears from my own as did Oliver “It sounds so stupid because it’s just a stupid gossip magazine but…but what they said about me was really cruel and downright nasty”
“What did they say” I asked. I’d never be caught dead reading Witch Weekly. It was a horrible magazine now, run by a woman named Romilda Vane it seemed to get kicks out of insulting and humiliating anyone it could
“They pretty much said I was ugly, weedy, weak and that I looked like I could be Voldermort’s little brother” said Hugo, he wasn’t even trying to hide his tears now “They said all these things about how amazingly gorgeous all of the other lads were and then they said that about me; it just made me feel like shit. It wasn’t that the article was as bad as some of the ones I’ve seen before, but it was kinda the straw that broke the camels back”
“So, what did you do” Oliver asked
“I began these insane workout routines” said Hugo “I got up every morning and ran a full course around the Quidditch grounds, back through the forbidden forest, back up through the castle and then by the Herbology greenhouses. It took me three hours and I always did it before breakfast, I just wanted to look like James or Freddie. At first, I planned to eat afterwards but I always either felt too sick afterwards or forgot too so I didn’t and then before I knew it I was skipping meals, and if I did eat I became paranoid about it”
Hugo went onto tell us that he’d been suffering from an eating disorder for six months. I felt sick. How had we not noticed that things were that bad for him? Anytime he ate something, he just threw it back up and he’d gone unnoticed all this time. I’d never felt as guilty or ashamed of myself in all my life
Hugo needed help. He needed professional help, he needed to get better and although it took us some persuading we eventually managed to make Hugo see it that way himself and a few days later he was taken from Hogwarts to St. Mungo’s to recover. We were told it wasn’t our fault but I couldn’t help but blame myself. He’d been there for me, why I hadn’t I been there for him?
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