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The Ugly Duckling by jess94

Format: Novel
Chapters: 1
Word Count: 2,207
Status: WIP

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Strong Language, Mild Violence, Substance Use or Abuse, Sensitive Topic/Issue/Theme

Genres: Drama, Romance, Angst
Characters: Ron, Hermione, Albus, James (II), Lily (II), Hugo, Rose
Pairings: Other Pairing

First Published: 06/28/2013
Last Chapter: 07/02/2013
Last Updated: 07/02/2013

 “Hugo, just remember something about ugly ducklings, one day they turn into beautiful swans”


Chapter 1: The Ugly Duckling
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 Chapter One

The rain battered against the windows of the St. Claire Mental Health Clinic in Greater Manchester. I’d been here for about three weeks or maybe it was a month I couldn’t remember anymore. The past year seemed like one very big long confusing blur of nothing but feeling empty, useless and ugly. I looked around the small bedroom I’d been put in for my recovery process. They’d told me I could decorate however I wanted too but so far the walls had all remained blank, all my possessions yet to be unpacked probably my own subliminal way of telling myself that I would not be here for very long. Every day I told myself that my parents had made a terrible mistake and they would come back, take me away and I could live happily back with them and my sister. My heart told me that. I could still dream and hope there’d been a mistake

But my brain was telling me a different story. I knew I was ill and I knew that I needed help; I knew that I’d be in this place for a while. Doesn’t mean that I want to be stuck here though. I can beat this on my own and I do not need their help. The people in this place are nice enough and it seems like they care but I know that deep down I’m just another patient and one they’ll all forget when I eventually leave. If I ever leave that is. I’ve been here for three weeks and though I’ve been visited plenty of times by my parents they gave me no indication of when I’d be able to come home. I want to go home so badly.

“Come on Hugo, just take one bite, the potatoes are gorgeous” Dave tells me once again as he sits opposite from me willing to eat some food. Dave’s a kind man. I can see that from the way he is around everyone and it is clear he cares but I don’t respect him. Why should I? He doesn’t know me. Ever since I’ve come here I haven’t been eating. Mum and Dad seemed to think that I would. But I haven’t. I won’t. To try and help they make Dave sit down with me every meal time and watch me until I eat something. It’s like Chinese Water Torture

“Come on mate, just one bite” he wills me again. My hands shaking violently I place a single carrot on my fork and try to lift it towards my mouth. But I cannot do it, and then my anger rises once again. Dave stands back in shock as I summon the strength to launch the plate of food at the wall. I know that this must all be very frustrating for Dave and his methods but it’s not half as frustrating and exhausting it is for me. Once my anger has gone away Dave approaches me and casts a fatherly arm around my shoulder before leading me into the relax room sitting me down on a sofa. The relax room is nothing special, and very muggle, containing a pool table, a computer and a television. I sigh and put my head in my hands as Dave leaves the room to talk to a colleague

“Hey babes” comes Hilary Simpson’s voice from the other side of the room. I looked up; I hadn’t noticed Hilary was in here before. Hilary was my best friend on the ward, she reminded me a lot of my big sister Rose and she looked after me in a way that none of the professionals could. “What’s wrong Hugo? What Happened?”

“Dave tried to make me eat” I murmured. This seemed to be enough explanation for Hilary as she rubbed my shoulders sympathetically. Sometimes I thought about telling her the truth of what I was, a wizard, but then I thought they’d only keep me in here for longer thinking I was imagining it all or something.

Hilary and I talk for a while. I really like Hilary. She’s so kind and bright and sunny, it was very surprising to me when I learned she was here being treated for depression. She’s been here for almost six months now, everytime she gets close to being allowed home again she freaks out and does something to make sure that she stays a bit longer. Hilary, unlike me, likes it here and is terrified of what will happen to her if she leaves this place. I on the other hand can’t wait to go

“You know what babes, you’ve never told me how you got here” she says about half an hour later as she lays down on my lap “I mean, I know you’ve got anorexia, but you’ve never told me how it got this bad”

“It’s a really long story” I said hoping that this would deter her questions

“And we’re going nowhere quickly” she said looking up at my face with her warm smile “Go on Hu, tell me, I promise I won’t judge you”

“Alright” I sighed “But if I tell you this, you can’t tell anyone else. I mean you really can’t because I’m going to have to break some serious rules if I tell you the full story. You’re gonna think I’m crazy as well but trust me all of what I’m about to tell you is the truth”

Hilary nods. She looks confused. Her confusion only grows when I explain to her that I, Hugo Weasley, am part of one of the most powerful wizard families in Britain today. As I retell her the story of how my Uncle Harry defeated Voldermort, or as I termed him for Hilary’s benefit ‘the wizard Hitler’, and made my family famous her confusion to my relief turns to intrigue and fascination

“So wait, let me get this straight” she says “You’re telling me that there’s a whole other secret world that none of us – what are we? Muggles? – yeah, us muggles know nothing about”

I nod with a smile very pleased that she believes me

“And you go to a big boarding school in Scotland with all the other young witches and wizards to learn magic?” she asks again. I nod. Her eyebrows rise and she lets put an awe filled laugh. “That’s amazing Hugo, so can you do magic”

“Yeah, I used to be able to do it quite well” I say “But ever since, ever since my problems, I haven’t been able to do it properly”

“That sucks” she says.

“Thank you for believing me” I say taking her hand “I’ve always wanted to tell you, but we’re not meant to tell muggles unless it’s special circumstance. I’ll get in a whole heap of trouble for this”

“There’s just one thing that doesn’t add up” Hilary says with a puzzled look on her face, I gulp “What does any of that have to do with your eating disorder?”

I sigh, pull myself closer to her as the rain continues to batter against the window. Taking her hand I take a deep breath before telling her everything

One Year Earlier


Well, well, well there they all are once again. The Potter-Weasley families were out in full force last night as they all descended on the Ministers annual summer ball. They’re all there from left to right on the photo – Molly, Arthur, Bill, Fleur, Charlie, Victorie, Teddy, Dominique, Louis, Percy, Audrey, Molly, Lucy, George, Angelina, Roxanne, Fred, Ginny, Harry, James, Albus, Lily, Ron, Hermione, Rose and Hugo. Aren’t they all just so unbelievably deadly handsome and beautiful? That’s a family of good genes if ever we saw one, it’s just a shame about the ugly duckling on the far right

Hugo Weasley.

The odd one out in the third generation Wotters. Hugo’s the first out of his male cousins not to have made the Gryffindor Quidditch team at Hogwarts, some of the girl have made it on before him as well, nor does he share the unreal good looks of James, Albus, Louis or Fred. Not only does Hugo lack talent in Quidditch, rumours are strife that he isn’t all that cop when it comes to his academia either. He’s allegedly been struggling in Potions and Defence against the Dark arts all year as well as failing most of his end of year exams

Hailey Cross, a female Hogwarts student in Hugo’s year, said this: “Hugo’s a terrible student. He’s either never there or when he is he’s not focusing, he never hands his homework on time and he’s always doing stupid things. Most of the teachers have given up on him to be totally honest and it’s common knowledge that he’s going to have to stay back another year after his 7th if he has any hope of passing any exams – which he probably doesn’t in all honesty. He’s very lazy”

When asked if there were any ladies in Mr. Weasley’s life, Hailey told us “God no, nobody fancies him at school. Not to my knowledge anyway, anyone who does might be too embarrassed to say. He doesn’t help himself though – the boys he hangs around with are all totally gorgeous and Hugo just looks like a cabbage next to them. At least he’s not fat like he used to be”

Yes, remember last year when we brought you the tragic but rather funny pictures of a chubby Hugo on holiday last year? Well the chubby boy is no more and Hugo now sports a rather thin and small frame, it doesn’t do wonders for him in all honesty, and it’s made us very annoyed in all honesty – we had tons of good nicknames for him….”

“This is awful” Hilary says as I show her the article. I’d formed an unhealthy obsession with gathering any negative articles about myself “I mean, the papers in this country can be mean, but this is just vile. You’re not even ugly”

“Thanks” I say forming a sad smile “Kind of hard to believe when people like this attack you for it week in week out. I don’t know why they chose me, but all I’ve known is that ever since the age of ten they’ve been out to get me”

“Don’t listen to them cuz” said Louis as he chucked the article on a fire “Witch Weekly are a horrible, evil magazine. They freakin outed me. They’re just mean bitchy girls with sad lives who never grew up so take it on people they’re jealous of”

I smiled. I wished that I could believe Louis. But I knew that Witch Weekly were telling the truth, I was the ugly duckling, the odd one out who’d come to nothing. I hated myself. Louis was the only one who’d seen the article. No one else’s family got it and Dom and Victorie never read junk about their own family.

Until then, I’d always been able to deal with it. Laugh or shrug it off. But I couldn’t any longer, they’d finally broken me. Convinced me that I was an ugly, untalented, unneeded and unwanted waste of space who was dragging the whole family down with him. Embarrassing them all the time with his lack of anything good

That was when it started. I had to change. I had to fit in with the rest of my family. I needed to be special too. I needed to prove to everyone that I was worthy of the attention I got, and in order to that I needed to look like James or Albus. I needed to look like a movie star. Or a male model. Or even just a Quidditch player with a good body. I’d made my mind up, I was going to get into shape. I just took it too far

“Baby, please don’t cry” Hilary says wiping the tears that had begun trickling down my face away “Hugo, honey, it’s all right”

“I really wanna tell you” I say “But tomorrow. I’m too tired now, I’ll tell you the rest of it tomorrow. I promise I will”

Hilary nods as I go to leave the room

“Hugo, just remember something about ugly ducklings” she says “One day they turn into beautiful swans”


Hey, thank you for reading! One of the better received storylines of my previous story, Escaping the Friend Zone, was an arc involving Hugo Weasley suffering from an eating disorder as a result of the pressures that come with fame at a young age. Think of this as a kind of sister story to Escaping, it’s not necessary to have read that before you read this but obviously I’m not going to say no to more views and reviews for that story

So, I decided to start this little story to explore Hugo’s pain and struggle in a bit more detail as it really interested me. I’ve also had a friend suffer from an eating disorder in the past, he was a guy and their struggles with eating disorders often go ignored and unheard of so I really think this is something that needs telling.

Hope you all enjoyed it and please, please, please leave a review