Chapter 9 : Presents from a dead man
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It’s been three weeks since Al’s funeral. After tomorrow, we would be heading back to school for a brand-new year. Our last first day of school. Since the funeral, I haven’t spoken a word to James. Not that it surprised me. He asked for space, so I was giving it to him.
“Well, technically we never broke up so my boyfriend can kiss me whenever he wants.” I said, shrugging my shoulders.
“Yeah, well, not many boyfriends give their girlfriend the cold shoulder after accusing her of being the reason his brother died.” Dom tossed back.
I felt my body stiffen a little. Since the funeral, I’ve been slowly dragging myself out of the dark hole I was in. Every day, I would remind myself that it was an accident and Al’s death was not my fault.
“Oh shit, I should not have said that.” Dom quickly said. “Belle, I’m so sorry.”
“It’s okay. I’ve been getting better with the whole situation.” I told her.
“Hmm, really?” Dom asked. “So, then you want mind going to Diagon Alley with me to get ice cream?”
“I don’t know if that’s a good idea Dom.”
I’ve been avoiding going into the wizarding world ever since the accident. Al was a Potter. News about a Potter could spread faster than a wildfire. I just wasn’t ready for that yet.
“Come on Belle.” Dom pleaded. “I really want some ice cream and I still need to get you a birthday present.”
Ah yes, my seventeenth birthday. I was definitely the baby of my year. I made the cutoff by one day, the thirty-first of August. With my parents being gone and the accident, I didn’t really give my birthday much of a second thought. I just assumed I would brush it under the rug and pretend that it was just the day before school.
“I wish I could take you out tomorrow to go to a club but I figured that would be a bad idea to do right before school.” Dom rambled. “We’ll celebrate today instead and get drunk another time.”
“Oh guys, no!”
My cries were ignored. Al and Lily leaped on my bed, their bodies crashing down on top of me. It was way too early for this. Lily and Al rolled off me and sat on either side of me. They both held their presents out in front of my face.
“Guys, you didn’t have to get me anything.” I said.
“But we wanted to.” Lily responded. “Plus, we wanted to give you ours before James gave you his. We knew that we couldn’t top his so we wanted some glory for at least a little bit.”
I laughed. I could only imagine what James could’ve possibly gotten me. I took the box from Lily first, carefully unwrapping the paper. It was a new quill set. It had new ink, new fancy quills, and the nice expensive parchment. I love it.
“Thanks Lils.” I said, leaning over to give her a hug.
I tore into Al’s present next. He got me a whole new cleaning set, which I desperately needed. I’ve been putting off cleaning my broom for so long. James was getting so annoyed with me that I think he’s been cleaning it for me when I’m not around.
“Thanks Al.” I said, giving him a hug too. “Your presents were great. I actually needed everything you gave me.”
“We figured.” Lily laughed. “When in doubt, go practical.”
Here I was, walking down the main street in Diagon Alley. I felt uncomfortable from the attention of people. The thing about dating a Potter is that you instantly become famous too. Since James and I have been dating for almost two years, I was a topic of interest for the gossip columns. People knew the name Isabelle Stein, James Potter’s girlfriend. Plus, walking around with Dom, a part of the second most famous family in the wizarding world, didn’t help the attention either. We walked past a news stand to make our way to the ice cream parlor.
Harry Potter’s son dies tragically in a muggle car accident
Of course it was going to be on the front page of the papers. It still didn’t change the fact that my heart plummeted down to my stomach. Dom reached over and grabbed my hand.
“Come on.” She whispered. “Half the information in there is probably wrong.”
I glanced back at the news stand as Dom drags me over to the ice cream parlor. She was right. Half the information in the paper was probably wrong. They got one thing right though. Al did die tragically in a car accident.
I placed Lily and Al’s gifts on my desk as I got dressed for the day. I put on a cute teal blue dress that had a sheer patterned cardigan. I paired it with some plain black wedges before pulling half my hair up in a little top knot. I took a quick glance in the mirror before bouncing down to the kitchen.
“Good morning birthday girl!”
“Good morning James.” I said with a big smile, planting a kiss on his cheek.
“You look beautiful.” He said. “Mum made your favorite. Chocolate chip pancakes and bacon.”
“No, she didn’t!” I squealed. “Your whole family has been so nice to me. You let me stay last minute while my parents went to America. Al and Lily got me thoughtful gifts and your mum made my favorite breakfast.”
“It gets better. Your present from me is over in the corner.” James said.
I turned around to see a tall box sitting in the corner. I darted over, quickly tearing the paper and ribbons off. I pulled the lid off to find a brand-new broomstick. I snatched it up and glanced down at the handle.
I looked up at my boyfriend. He just leaned back in his chair, grinning like a total idiot. He was clearly proud of himself.
“James, this is the Firebolt 3.0.” I gasped. “This just came out like last month.”
“I only want the best for my favorite girl.”
“This must’ve cost a fortune.” I said, suddenly feeling guilty.
New brooms were not cheap. I knew that James had more than enough money to buy it but I felt bad that he dropped all the money on me. He could’ve bought himself a new broom or something.
“The cost isn’t important.” James said offhand. “I’ll take a kiss as a thank you though.”
I smirked and sat down in my boyfriend’s lap. I wrapped my arms around his neck and placed my forehead on his.
“Thank you so much baby.” I whispered before planting a kiss on his lips.
Dom dragged me all around Diagon Alley. She settled on buying me some sweets and a new dress as birthday present. After much whining and complaining, I was able to convince her to take me back to the Potters’. We apparated into the kitchen. Lily sat at the kitchen table while Ginny was making supper.
“You’re back.” Lily said with a smile. “Belle, this arrived in the mail for you.”
She pushed the box that was sitting on the table over to me. I looked at it a bit confused.
“Weird, I didn’t order anything online.” I said, tearing the tape off the box.
I opened the flaps of the box. My hands flew up to my mouth as I let out a huge gasp. Quickly, I pulled the item out of the box. I cradled it as if it was a new born child.
“What is it?” Dom asked.
“It’s a first edition copy of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.” I whispered. “It’s a rare book.”
“There’s a note.” Lily said, pulling a piece of paper out of the box.
She handed it to me and I gently sat my book back in the box to read the note.
Happy Birthday Belle!
I know how much you love reading classic books. I also know how much you love Jane Austen. In this package is a first edition copy of Pride and Prejudice. I hope you enjoy it. Can’t wait to spend your seventeenth birthday with you!
Oh my god. I clutched the letter to my chest as I started to cry. This book was so rare. I know for a fact that it cost almost four hundred pounds. I couldn’t believe Al bought this for me, spent that much money on me.
“Belle? Who’s it from?” Dom asked, worry lining her entire face.
“Al.” I sobbed.
It was a present from a dead man.
Author’s note- Alright, so not exactly the chapter I wanted but it’s going to lead to the events I want. So I hope you enjoy this chapter. I do not own Pride and Prejudice. That story belongs to Jane Austen. Leave a review about what you think. I’ll be alternating between updating on Uprising and this story so be on the lookout for that.
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