Chapter 2 : I love you?
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“Easy for you to say.” I scoffed. “You grew up with the great Harry Potter as your dad. If he hates me, everyone will hate me.”
“You know, you’re cute when you worry.” James said, a smirk forming on his face.
I slapped him playfully on his arm. He remained unaffected. That boy was so built from Quidditch that I could punch him full force and he probably wouldn’t flinch.
“I’m having a crisis over here and you think it’s cute.” I cried out.
“Belle, I promise they will love you.” James said with a reassuring tone.
“And if they don’t?” I asked.
“I’ll still love you.”
“They couldn’t stop me if they tried.” James whispered.
He gently placed his lips on mine, pulling me close to him. I closed off any fears I had and let myself sink into his hold.
I stared at the door my boyfriend just stormed out of. I didn’t know what to do. Frantically, I turned back to Harry and Ginny. Ginny was sobbing in her husband’s shoulder. Lily looked down at the floor, I could see the tears running down her face. Harry held his wife close, burying his face in her fiery red hair. I looked at the image in front of me.
I could feel my heart racing. I did this. I caused this mess. I caused the devastation the would forever destroy this family. Bloody hell.
I turned my attention back to the ER doors. Part of me was hoping James would come back through and comfort me. I knew that wasn’t going to happen. I looked over my shoulder, taking one last look at Harry and Ginny.
Then I ran.
I ran out those doors and down the sidewalk. I didn’t care to where. I just went.
“Mum, Dad, I’d like you to meet Isabelle Stein.” James said, introducing me proudly. “My girlfriend.”
I waved weakly at Mr. and Mrs. Potter. Oh Merlin, I was so nervous. They’re going to think I’m some bloody idiot who doesn’t know how to talk.
“It’s a please to meet you darling.” Ginny said with a smile.
She came over and pulled me into a motherly hug. Bloody hell, my own mother doesn’t even do this. Ginny Potter was hugging me. She didn’t hit me with one of her famous Bat-Bogey hexes so that was a major bonus.
“You too Mrs. Potter.” I responded. “James had said nothing but praises about you”
“Oh?” Ginny laughed, raising her eyebrow at her son. “Just wait until he starts failing his classes. Then we’ll see how many praises he has to say about me.”
“Actually Mum, Belle is one of the top students in our year.” James boasted. “She’s been helping me.”
I smiled gratefully at my boyfriend. He was so proud of me and that made me so happy. I support him, he supports me.
I slowed down, my breaths quick and shallow. I looked back to look at the hospital. From here, only the top stories were visible. I rounded the corner of the block, ducking into an abandoned alley way. I pulled my wand out and gave it a flick.
I was spinning.
I landed in the kitchen. The room was dark, everything still in place as it was a month ago. I walked out to the hallway.
“Mum?” I called out. “Dad?”
No answer. I wasn’t expecting one. They were still out traveling the world. Part of me was hoping that they missed their daughter enough to come home and see her. That part of me was wrong. I headed up the staircase, my hand trailing along the banister. I walked down the hall to my bedroom. The door was slightly cracked open. I pushed it open. I found a young man sitting on the edge of my bed.
“This will be your room.” James said, setting my trunk at the foot of the bed.
He wrapped his arms around me, pulling me close. He looked down at me, a mischievous grin forming.
“However, my room is right down the hall. Feel free to sneak in whenever you please.”
“Oh, I’m sure your parents will be thrilled to find their fifteen-year-old son in bed with his girlfriend.” I said, my voice oozing with sarcasm.
“We’ll keep your clothes on.” James replied. “They’ll never know your secrets.”
“Knock it off James.” I giggled.
“I know you find me irresistible.” James said, leaning closer to me. “That I just take your breath away.”
He wasn’t wrong. He was irresistible. He did take my breath away. Not just because he was a Potter, but because he was an amazing person. He cared so deeply about his friends and family. He was a sweet and loving man but also knew how to have a good time.
“Stop inflating your ego.” I laughed, pretending like he was wrong.
I squirmed in his arms, trying to escape his clutch. He just held onto my tighter.
“Isabelle Stein, I am completely in love with you.”
The man didn’t move, he just stayed in his position. I walked over to my bed.
“James.” I whispered.
He didn’t react.
“James, I’m so…”
“I told you to be careful.” He interrupted. “I hate those stupid death machines. I didn’t want you or Al going in it. But no, Dad insisted we have it and Mum let you drive it.”
I stayed put. I wanted to walk over and pull James into my arms but I didn’t. I just stayed where I was.
“I was so worried, from the moment you pulled out of the driveway. I would’ve been devastated if anything happened to you Belle.”
James paused in his speech. I didn’t say anything. I didn’t know what to say.
“Instead, you let my brother get hurt.”
“James, she ran the stop sign.” I whispered. “There was nothing I could’ve done.”
“I told you to be careful!” He roared. “You weren’t.”
His words stung like a slap across the face.
I lounged in the float, gently moving with the movement of the water. James swam over to me, grabbing the side of my pool float.
“Dunk me and I’ll end your life.” I hissed, looking over at my boyfriend.
He had this stupid grin, that one he would get before he would do something that would get him in trouble.
“James Sirius Potter, I swear.”
He gripped the float tightly and gave it a sharp tug. I flipped over and went over. James went down, wrapping his arm around my waist and pulling me up. When we broke surface, he pulled me close and planted a sloppy kiss on my lips.
“James!” I cried out, hitting him on the chest with a closed fist.
“You love me.” He said with a stupid smile.
I did. He could torment me all he wanted and I would still fall into a puddle at his feet.
“I’m sorry.” I cried.
“Sorry isn’t going to bring Al back.”
His words felt like another slap to the face.
“What are you doing here?” I asked.
For the first time during our whole conversation, James turned to look at me.
“I needed to be alone. I figured no one would look for me here.”
I didn’t say anything. I diverted my eye contact away from him, staring at a book that was on my desk.
“Why are you here?” He asked.
“This is my house.” I stated.
“You’re staying with us while your parents are traveling.” James replied.
I looked down at the floor.
“I figured you guys wouldn’t want me around.”
I slowly looked up, afraid to see what James would say.
“I don’t.” James replied.
My heart dropped. It was as if he took it and threw it at a wall.
“I can’t just let you stay here though. Mum promised your parents she would take care of you.”
James stood up and walked over to the door. His arm brushed gently against mine. Sparks shot up my body.
“I’ll see you at home.” He muttered.
I listened to his footsteps as he went down the stairs. I then heard the familiar crack of him apparating. I spun around, looking at the now empty doorway.
“I love you.”
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