Chapter 1 : Chapter 1 - Belinda
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The beginning of any story is the most important. Much more so than the middle or the end; it’s when the reader either becomes hooked and desperate to find out what happened, or realises how terrible it is and decides to stop reading.
Though, thinking about it... when is the beginning? In a person’s lives there are so many beginnings; when you’re born, when you start school, when you start high school, when you leave school, your first new job... the list goes on. Really, it’s hard to know which beginning to choose from...
Except for me, I know my beginning! My beginning was that day, all those many years ago, that moment when I left France, thinking I would never look back.
‘Belle, ma chérie ce sera trop mauvais sans toi !’ (1) my best friend, Isabelle, wrapped her long, willowy arms around me, burying her head in my shoulder, ‘je vais tu me manqué.’ (2) I felt sobs wrack through her little body as she cried about how terrible it would be and how much I would be missed.
In truth I think she was more worried about my leaving for Britain than my parents even were. They were just happy I would be closer to my roots, where the Waterstone’s had originated.
‘In English, mon petit chou.’ I reminded her, kissing her cheek, ‘I’ll miss you too Izzy.’
My accent had long since lost its British touch that I’d had when I first came to France at the age of seven. I sounded like a Beauxbatons girl through and through. I was a Beauxbatons girl. I’d attended the magical secondary school for seven years, and in truth I knew I would much prefer it to Hogwarts, where I could alternatively have been sent. I adored its beautiful landscapes, and gorgeous buildings that just radiated magic. As well as that... British boys were Twats!
‘Are you sure you want to do this ma Cherie?’ my mother asked for the fifth time just today, cupping my face in her hands.
‘Yes Maman, it’s the right choice.’ I nodded, brushing away a loan tear.
I wasn’t sad to leave Paris; it had been my home for so long but I was ready for a change, and Britain seemed like a good choice.
‘Ou est ton papa?’ (3) Isabelle asked, wiping away her tears. She was probably dreading my daddy dearest’s return home, the moment he did I would be leaving.
‘English, Isabelle,’ I reminded her again gently. We’d always been encouraged to speak English in school, though almost all our lessons were in French.
‘Forget the English,’ Izzy pouted, ‘c’est merde!’ She swore loudly in French. Izzy had been my best friend since I’d arrived. She had dark, straight hair that she kept under a black beret and dark, chocolate coloured eyes.
Quite the contrary to my bouncy blonde curls than never did what I wanted it to, and my brilliant blue eyes that were really the only feature that I liked about myself.
‘Belle, mon petit chou-fleur,’ I heard the deep voice of my father echoing through the apartment, using an old pet name meaning “little cauliflower”... yes, we French people are cool!
Isabelle promptly burst into tears all over again so I proceeded to wrap my arms around her again and embrace her sobbing body. Even my mother looked thoroughly depressed. ‘I’ll visit soon Isabelle; next weekend even.’ I promised, dropping a kiss on top of her head. ‘Goodbye maman.’ I hugged her too, before picking up the last of the boxes I was to take to my new apartment in England.
Having the decent amount of money that we did, I could live in a comfortable, two bedroom flat with a living room/kitchen/dining room and a bathroom, and an amazing view over Muggle London.
I had to admit I couldn’t wait.
‘Are you ready to go my darling,’ Daddy entered the living room wearing a sad smile. My father was a podgy man with dark hair that was cut neat, unlike my mother who was stick skinny and blonde; a true French beauty. It really was unfair.
‘Oui,’ I replied with a hesitant smile, receiving one more kiss on the cheek from Maman and yet another hug from Isabelle. Then I wrapped my arms around Monkey, my pet crup (a jack russel dog with a forked tail for the Muggles who didn’t know.) and held him squirming under my arms.
‘I’ll see you soon mon petit chou-fleur,’ Daddy hugged me tight and lead me over to the other side of the room where an old shoe was sitting, ‘watch out for those English boys.’
The portkey began to glow so I placed a finger on it and turned to receive a final wave of greetings. The last sight I saw before the room melted away was Isabelle collapsing onto a sofa in tears and my mother rushing to embrace her.
There was a pang of jealousy in my stomach before a new scene began to form. Bright colours twisting until my feet slammed into the hard wooden floor and I shuddered to a halt.
Monkey twisted out of my arms quickly and trotted off to go smell his new surroundings... and probably pee on my new furniture while I lay on the floor for several more seconds.
The apartment looked quite different from the empty place I’d first viewed. I’d used all my money from every summer job I’d ever had, as well as the savings from the work I’d had in the year after I’d finished high school, to buy furniture that was good enough quality and had life to it; mismatched sofas with clean and colourful throws over them were stationed around a huge window that opened up with an amazing view. My eyes settled on the slowly spinning London eye, even in the dusky summer, and even in the dusky summer evening I could see Londoners scurrying about their daily business below.
Behind me was an antique wooden table with four chairs drawn around it and a long counter separated off a fully supplied Kitchen. There was a sliding door leading off to my bedroom, which I knew had a huge double bed decorated in blue covers and a grand wardrobe. And another room which would serve as a study... and really just a place to store all the thousands of books I’d collected. Another wooden door opened up to a bathroom.
I’d spent the past six months getting this place ready to live in. Painting the badly plastered walls and cleaning up the old floors and windows. I stared out the window with pleasure; it felt so great to finally be here. A free person. Living on my own. I was thrilled.
I heard Monkey growl from the other room and followed the sound to investigate, finding him staring, teeth bared at his reflection in the floor length mirror. I laughed and plucked him off the floor, snuggling my face into his warm fur.
My eyes caught sight of the notice board behind me, already decorated with photographs of me and my family and my friends from France. I followed through the open door into the study to get a closer look at it and stroked a particular picture of me as a child with a dark haired boy. I didn’t recognise, let alone remember who he was but the photograph always fascinated me.
On the desk was a bunch of letters confirming my job at the Leaky Cauldron... apparently it was a popular inn in London, but I’d never been to it. I didn’t plan on working there my entire life; just enough to get on my feet and work out what I really wanted to do.
‘Come on Monkey,’ I crooned, heading back into the kitchen, putting the crup down on the floor, ‘let’s make some dinner.’ His little feet padded along the floor behind me.
I woke up the next morning as light spilled through the gap in the blue curtains and the sound of Monkey attempting to kill one of my socks at the end of my bed.
I rolled over and groaned, just imagining my brother, Ben, laughing at me, “wake up sleepy head, kids don’t need to sleep.”
Ben had left home three years ago, but I met up with him every few weeks to catch up, he to this day mocked my need to sleep for so long.
‘Monkey shut it!’ I groaned, kicking my legs in distaste. Monkey looked at me reproachfully and I noticed what he’d been eating.
‘Oh Merde, Monkey!’ I screeched, grabbing the slip of paper out of his mouth and wiping away the crup-spit.
We are sorry to write and say that you will have to be starting work at our Inn, the Leaky Cauldron-
And the rest I couldn’t read... I hate having pets.
‘Monkey you bastard,’ I growled, pushing him off the bed, and then grabbing him and pulling him in for a hug because he looked so neglected. I sat back crossed legged in my baggy Weird Sisters top and stared into the little guy’s eyes. ‘Look, now I need to go and find out when the hell I’m supposed to start work, you know your food doesn’t just appear, I have to buy it! With money!’
Monkey stopped listening (if he even had been in the first place) at the mention of food, when he began wagging his little forked tail enthusiastically.
I sighed and dragged myself out of bed, thankful that it was summer and I could walk around in just my shirt. I wandered through to the kitchen where, fortunately, my cupboard was stocked with Crup food and boxes of cereal (along with toast that was pretty much all I ate – call me unhealthy but one can never have too much toast.)
I poured water into a bowl and set it next to Monkey’s lovingly prepared meal... yes I only had to open a packet and pour a decent amount out, but it was lovingly poured... and then put two pieces of bread in a toaster. Those were the most amazing muggle inventions... ever!
After breakfast I had a nice cold shower and dressed in a summer dress that I’d bought in a shop when I’d first come to buy this apartment, in a shop called “Victoire’s”. I could only imagine the designer was none other than Victoire Weasley; the most popular French/English designer I knew of.
‘Monkey, I have to go out,’ I told him firmly, glancing at my clock on the wall; ten past ten.
Monkey didn’t acknowledge me, and I felt a little bad about leaving him, but I’d take him for a run later today and he had already curled up on the sofa and was chewing another item of my clothing; I dared not think what.
A little nervous about my first exposure on my own to Muggle London... and London itself, I opened the front door and slipped out, closing it behind me with a gentle snap, and silently locking it with my wand which I stored in the secret pocket in the side of my flowery dress.
I pulled my hair into a bun atop my head and approached the stairs.
‘Good luck Belle,’ I whispered. Then set off on my way.
Bonjour, readers and writers of Fanfiction, Happy New Year to all of you, hope 2013 is amazing for you! Now, as it is a new year, I’m introducing a new story and new characters. Especially Albus who I’ve never worked much with before and a new OC, Belinda.
This is the first chapter and from now they’re going to be alternating between Al and Belle’s point of view. So what did you think of the beginning? Did you like it? Not like it? Please let me know and thanks again for reading.
Lastly none of this belongs to me, JK Rowling was the creator of Harry Potter and everything that goes with it!
Thanks, ~ Char
1; Belle, my darling, it's going to be so horrible without you.
2; I'm going to miss you
Mon Petit Chou - My little cabbage
3; Where is your dad?
C'est Merde - It's Shit (please excuse the bad language, there is a warning for it.)
Petit Chou-Fleur - My Little Cauliflower