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Chapter 12: Chapter 12 - Belinda
Banner by HIPritchard @ TDA, a first glimpse at Ben and the beautiful Isabelle. :)
I was quite surprised I wasn’t swamped in bags as I usually was when I travelled. It irritated my mother to no end when every summer I backed bags and bags of things that I might possibly need in one of the holiday destinations we took to.
This time, because I had left some clothes in France, and because Monkey really didn’t require much for our little holiday, I was leaving England with a small duffle bag and wistful thoughts of really how I would much rather spend my holiday with Albus, Rose and Scorpius.
I wrung Monkey’s lead around my wrist and shovelled him into my arms. He was getting fat because of lack of exercise; something I would actually have time to take care of on holiday.
It wasn’t that I neglected Monkey, not a chance; he was probably the most spoilt Crup in the history of forever, but when I was trying to juggle a job with odd working hours, and the few friends I had made who also made plans for my every spare second of the day it was becoming increasingly more difficult to fit exercising with him in.
I sent one last sweeping glance around the room; windows were closed – not that anyone would try getting up to them when I was a good several floors off the ground – I rattled the door handle to make sure it was properly locked and did a silent protection charm, just out of paranoia. And when I was sure everything was in order I edged myself into the large fireplace and dropped a handful of gritty sand into the glowing embers that tickled the soles of my feet.
‘La Maison de Clair,’ I said firmly, tucking my elbows in before being engulfed in a whirl of green flames and soot.
Stepping out the other end was like stepping into a very white room just after you’ve woken up in the morning. Light poured in the windows, with the curtains thrown open wide and the sun angled in just the right way so it bounced off the mirror in all directions. I blinked quickly, trying to dust away the darkness from my eyes, while Monkey wriggled out of my arms and dropped down onto the floor.
My parent’s house had not changed at all since I’d left it. It was almost as though I was stepping back into the moment I’d left, only that the room was empty of other people, unlike my parting when my mother, father and Isabelle had been there to see me off.
The slender, cream sofa’s were still positioned centring around a short, wooden coffee table that was decked with a small vase of pink roses. There was a small selection of photographs on the mantel piece; mostly of Ben and I, and my mother and father occasionally. The wall on the left had a window that opened up into the garden, a view over the small pond tucked away in the corner next to the hedge that hid the rest of the city that was growing behind it.
The wall opposite me was broken by an arch fitted with a glass door. I could see straight through into the hallway, where a small table held flowers and paintings hung on the wall. It all felt very spotless and unlived in, something I’d never really liked about this house.
Monkey’s scratching on the glass door was what triggered me out of my day dream, I scooted forward, leaving my bag on the floor and open up his way, calling as I went, ‘Hel- Salut,’ I caught myself off the English, ‘Maman? Papa?’ There was silence that greeted my ears. It didn’t really bothered me, living in a small flat it was normal.
I set off in search of my family, ducking briefly into the study, and the second living room, and the conservatory with no luck.
The last downstairs room to try was the kitchen. It was furthest down the hall, slick, quite small, and definitely not empty. It didn’t take two seconds to recognise the body of my older brother, his dark hair dropping around his ears and over his face. His back towards me, hunched over. He was not alone, in his arms was his latest girl, (there were many of those, a new one every week when I was growing up). His hands cupped her face and their lips were firmly attached, not really the greeting I wanted. I couldn’t tell who it was either, if it was some girl I recognised or just another stranger he’d picked up off the streets, I didn’t care, this was my brother and whoever this girl was she was stealing his time from me.
I leant against the doorway and coughed. Loudly. That broke them apart, but once it was done I really wished it hadn’t been, because both heads turned to me and I recognised the girl almost as quickly as I’d recognised my own sibling.
‘Isabelle?’ I asked, aghast and stunned.
It was like a punch in the gut. My brother kissing my best friend? It was shocking. Terrible. A Betrayal of trust after all the promises she’d made. It was disgusting – she was nearly seven years younger than him, after all.
‘Belinda, ma Cherie,’ my mother’s voice cut through the stunned silence, ‘you’re here,’ she took my hands and kissed my cheeks, ‘I see you have been introduced to our new Golden Couple?’ There was no worry in her voice, no shock, just fondness, it disgusted me.
‘I have,’ I said bluntly, turning away from their guilty faces to see my maman. She looked just as perfect as she did when I’d left, not a gray hair on her head, symbolising her completely un-stressful life as a mother and housewife.
She was skinny as ever and her eyes sparkled with happiness. I sometimes wished she wasn’t so hard to understand. I collapsed into her open arms, ‘I missed you so much maman.’
‘Oh, ma Cherie, we missed you more, it was as though the house was asleep all the time,’ her blue eyes watered and she dabbed the tears away, ‘and oh Monkey, how I’ve missed him, he was just scampering around the garden a moment ago.’
‘Darling,’ my father’s voice joined ours, ‘I hope you have not been boring our daughter with talk about that silly dog, and Ben if you cannot keep your hands to yourself, would you and your girlfriend please remove yourself from the room.’ He spoke in a cheerful manner, as always, his suit tight around his bulging stomach as though he’d just returned from work, and his moustache curved up at each end. He was a typical fat and rich stereotypical business man. No offence to my dearest papa, or other fat business men, of course.
‘Daddy,’ I squealed, jumping into his open arms in greeting. Having both my parents around me was a somewhat comforting thought. They hugged me and fussed over me as they had when I was a child. I was almost happy, until I glanced over and watched my brother and best friend disappear out of the room with not a word of greeting in my direction.
* * *
My bedroom had changed the most in the entire house out of everything; the shelves lined with books were no longer higgledy piggledy, but neatly arranged. My wardrobe doors were shut and all the posters of bands like Magic Patrol, The Obliviators, The All Wizarding Rejects... and such, had been removed. The bed had been stripped of my HolyHead Harpies duvet, which had been replaced by unfamiliar linen, but somehow everything seemed the way I’d wanted it to be. The essence of my childhood bedroom was still there.
The door creaked behind me. In my teen years it made sneaking out with the few boyfriends I had, near impossible, but I’d actually quite liked it because it meant surprise was never upon me. I didn’t stop unpacking, which was what I was in my room to do in the first place. I kept up placing my little tubes and tubs of makeup on the side, ignoring my company. There was only two people it could be, after all, and neither I particularly wanted to talk to.
‘Belinda,’ the soft, gentle voice of Isabelle rang out, clear as a bell.
I paused in what I was doing but didn’t look back, ‘where’s Ben?’ I asked, dropping back and sitting on my heels.
‘He went to buy croissants for you,’ she wheedled, ‘he figured you’d be hungry.’
‘That’s nice of him,’ I replied softly. Always the thoughtful one, I snorted mentally. Silly Ben.
‘Belle, are you angry at me?’ Isabelle whispered, I heard the faint squeak of the bed as she dropped onto it.
‘Izzy,’ I whispered, ‘you didn’t write to me all term, and then I come home and find you snogging my brother, who is six years older than you... I’m not angry, I just have no idea what to say.’
‘So it bugs you that he’s old?’ she asked, I’d turned to face her, she was folding her hands in the lap and I was sitting cross legged on the floor like a child waiting for their punishment for doing something naughty.
‘No Izzy,’ I sighed, ‘it bugs me that you didn’t take the time out to contact me-’
‘You didn’t visit,’ she pouted childishly, ‘you promised you would.’
‘And what stopped you coming? I was only a floo distance away!’
‘I was busy, I had work and all the photo shoots and magazine interviews, and fittings and-’
‘Snogging Ben?’ I put in weakly.
‘Well there was that too, but we only hooked up recently, like two weeks ago.’ She tried to save herself, but was really only digging a deeper grave.
‘We’re best friends and you had time for him but not me, you could have picked up a quill just to write hi!’ I said.
‘You know I’m shit at keeping contact with people,’ my thoughts flickered back to Scorpius and what he’d said last night, that he’d known Isabelle. Did she remember him? ‘I’m even making an effort to speak English for you.’
It wasn’t something I’d noticed because funnily enough everyone spoke English in England, but it was touching all the same I supposed.
‘Look,’ I said quietly, ‘we’ll be fine if you promise this holiday we’ll do stuff together, no creepiness with you and Ben?’
‘Whatever,’ she flicker her hair over her shoulder and grinned, ‘we have so much to catch up on, so did your mother tell you that Mariano is single again, he’s so good looking, and so rich,’ she sighed, ‘if I wasn’t with Ben he would definitely be the guy I’d be with, and Guilliume, you missed the drama between him and Juliette, it was so time consuming-ly interesting-’
And so this was the way the conversation spanned out, a moment of weakness of my behalf and she assumed herself forgiven. Ben would certainly have to be too, he was buying me food. But beside both of them I couldn’t help wishing a little bit that I was back in England and not having to put up with tedious French gossip and the likes.
* * *
Dinner was a more important affair in France than I had been considering it the past few months. There was never a day that went by in my family without some sort of dinner party or get together with other rich, pure blood families that my parents hoped I would someday marry into.
To celebrate my return home, Mr and Mrs Delfuse (Isabelle’s parentls) were invited for dinner, along with the richest and most good looking, high class Wizarding family in Paris, the Calisse’s, including Mariano Calisse. There was no one I found more interesting than Mariano; we had been friends since we were young and we’d never had any romantic feelings towards one another, probably because he was gay but had yet to tell his parents (and most people), and dining with his family was only slightly more interesting than dining alone, so to entertain ourselves we got along swimmingly.
‘I heard you’re single again,’ I asked Mariano, winking in his direction and trying to swallow a grimace over Isabelle and Ben who were making out in a corner.
‘Oui,’ he nodded, downing a sip of his drink, ‘the girl I was with was more feminine than my type.’ We shared a knowing look, ‘Et toi?’
‘What do you mean,’ I asked, carefully examining a tray of snacks.
‘Any boyfriends I’ll need to murder if they break your heart?’ he nodded, he’d always been like this, violently over protective of me and he’d never really had much time for Isabelle.
‘No, but punching my brother right now sounds good,’ from the way he was around Isabelle I might’ve had a hard time keeping down my food.
‘You love him too much,’ Mariano laughed, rolling his eyes. There was a moment of silence in the conversation and he spoke again, ‘you miss England don’t you?’
‘How can you tell?’ I blushed, but was disturbed by one of the house elves that were scampering around.
‘A Letter for you miss Belle,’ the elf held the thick parchment in his hand and waited for me to take it, before bowing and scurrying off. My eyes skimmed over the scratchy, blotchy writing and I smiled silently to myself, tucking the parchment away.
‘Yes Mariano,’ I beamed, ‘I miss England very much at the moment.’
Bonjour (That means hello!), so (don’t hate me, don’t hate me, don’t hate me, don’t hate me!) I am so very sorry that it has taken me soooo long to put up this chapter. I probably could have done with a few more days editing but seen as you guys have been waiting so patiently it seemed a little unfair. I’ve just been so busy at the moment; I’m sure you know what that’s like.
ANYWAYS, here it is, chapter 12, did you enjoy it? What do you think of Mariano (we will be seeing a bit more of him in the next few chappies) and Izzy and Ben? Such a shock for poor Belle! And maybe most importantly, who do we think the letter is from? (I’ll give you a clue, it isn’t Rose!)
La Maison De Clair – the house with light
Salut – Hi
Oui – Yes
Et Toi – and you?
Magic Patrol is a spin off of Snow Patrol, All Wizarding Rejects is a spin off of All American Rejects, of which neither I own (The Obliviators I just randomly came up with and it sounded good!)
Also I in no way own any of Harry Potter, and anything else you might recognise isn’t mine either. Hope you guys enjoyed.