Chapter 10 : Birthday Disaster
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I was just standing in the center of the kitchen, sobbing with everything I had in my body. I wasn’t even trying to hold anything back. I just let it all out. Dom and Lily weren’t quite sure what to do. Ginny stopped messing with dinner. She came over and wrapped her arms around me, pulling me in close.
“Oh sweetie, shhh.” Ginny whispered, brushed my hair with her fingers.
It was a calming gesture that she did. My sobs became slightly muffled as I buried my face in her shoulder.
“This looks so old.” Lily said, pulling the cardboard box closer to her. “It’s such a thoughtful gift.”
I cried a little harder into Ginny’s shoulder. Lily was right, it was a thoughtful gift. That’s what made it hurt even more. He wasn’t even here anymore to enjoy the happiness he brought to those around him. Even in the afterlife, Al was still delivering joy to his friends and family.
I heard the kitchen door swing up and I lifted my head slightly to see who it was. I brushed some of the falling tears away but more came to replace them.
“Um…what’s going on?” James asked.
Nobody said anything to him. Dom just handed him the note that came with the book. I turned my head to the side, still leaning on Ginny while being able to watch James. My sobs started to calm down some. I watched James as his eyes quickly scanned over the note. Placing it down on the table, he looked up at me. He made brief eye contact before he walked over to me.
He didn’t storm out.
He held out his arms, offering his embrace to me. I pulled myself off of Ginny and into James’s arms, nuzzling my face into his chest. He planted a gentle kiss on my temple. It felt good that he was being nice today. It showed that we were taking a step in the right direction.
“Hey.” James whispered. “It’ll be all right. Think of it as like a nice little surprise.”
“I feel awful.” I cried. “Al was such a thoughtful person. He still is. And now he’s gone and I feel so guilty.”
“It’ll be okay Belle.” He said.
I looked up at him.
He pulled me close, squeezing my body tightly.
“Now, go wipe those tears away and get ready.” James instructed. “We have an early birthday dinner to get to.”
I looked up at him, again, with a puzzled look on my face. I looked over at Dom. She had a big smile on her face, as if she was pleased with herself.
“I thought you said you wanted space?” I said, confused. “I didn’t think you’d do anything for my birthday.”
“No matter how mad I am at you, I can’t miss your birthday. Besides, I think I’m ready to talk about things.” James said.
He pulled away from me and ushered me into my bathroom to clean up.
James took me to this cute little café for dinner. He actually had reservations for some upscale restaurant but I made him cancel them. He already spent way too much money on my broom. My dinner didn’t need to be expensive too. The café we went to was nice. It was small and cozy, giving off that warm family friendly vibe.
“I’ll have a burger.” I said to our server. “Well-done and no onion please. And… just a garden salad and chips.”
“Okay.” The server said, turning to James. “And for you?”
“I’ll have the same but I’ll take onions on mine.” James said, placing on menus at the end of the table.
“Okay, I’ll get that right in for you.” She said.
“Thank you.” James said with a smile.
I looked over at my boyfriend and smirked.
“If you think I’m going to kiss you after you eat onions, you’re wrong.” I laughed.
James pretended to pout, crossing his arms across his chest like a little child.
“Aww, how am I supposed to give you your birthday kiss then?” He whined.
“Should’ve thought about that before.” I giggled.
I lightly touched up my makeup, trying to hide the fact that I’ve been bawling my eyes out. I checked my reflection in the mirror. I felt presentable enough. I left the bathroom and made my way back down to the kitchen. James was waiting for me. He changed him outfit, wearing a nice polo shirt and a pair of tan khakis.
“Ready?” He asked.
I looked over at Dom and Lily. Dom just rolled her eyes before pushing James and I towards each other.
“Bloody hell, you two have been dating for almost two years.” Dom said. “This is a good step in light of recent events.”
She was right, this was the biggest step we’ve taken ever since the accident. James held out his hand but I quickly stepped back away from him. Everyone looked at me, puzzled.
“I…” I stuttered. “There’s somewhere we need to go first.”
James nodded and held his hand out for me to take. I leaned in and whispered the location to him.
I was six years old the first time my parents took me side along while apparating. The sensation was the strangest thing I’ve ever felt. It made my stomach feel funny. It was also one of the few memories I had of my parents enjoying the fact that they had a child.
They have taken me to France for the evening. For a six-year-old, Paris was like a magical fairy tale land. Lights twinkled from buildings, the Eiffel Tower shining brightly, and the liveliness of the people. My parents took me to some upscale fancy restaurant. Was it appropriate for young children? Probably not. They made me try snail. I wouldn’t suggest it to anyone.
We landed on a hillside. James took a step forward to help regain his balance. He slowly spun around which he checked out our surroundings.
“Godric’s Hollow.” He said. “What are we doing here?”
“I wanted to say thank you.” I simply responded, making my way over to the graveyard.
James didn’t say anything, he just followed. We made our way past his grandparents’ graves and over to Al’s. I sat on the ground next to the headstone. James stayed back a few paces.
“Hey Al.” I whispered.
I could already feel the tears wanting to come up.
“I wanted to say thank you for the book. It’s amazing. I’m still in shock that you even found it.”
I looked down at the ground, blinking away some of my tears.
“James is taking me out to dinner. We’ve been going through a rough spot ever since the accident but I think it’s starting to get a little better.”
I blinked a few more tears away.
“I really miss you Al.”
The first time I met James was on the Hogwarts Express. We were at that ripe young age of eleven. I ran into him on the train…literally. He found it to be hilarious. He was already a hotshot at Hogwarts and we didn’t even make it to the castle. Students were star struck by the idea that they were going to school with the Harry Potter’s eldest child. I wasn’t impressed. My parents were socialites. Celebrities and children of celebrities didn’t faze me.
“Look.” I said, rolling my eyes. “Sorry I ran into you but could you please move?”
James look taken aback.
“Do you know who I am?” He asked.
“James Sirius Potter.” I responded with sass. “Age eleven. First year student at Hogwarts. Son of Harry James Potter and Ginevra Molly Potter nee Weasley. You have two younger siblings. Albus Severus Potter who is ten and Lily Luna Potter who is eight. Now will you please move?”
James and his little posse just started at me in shock. I shoved my way past them.
That was my first encounter with James Potter.
“We can go.” I whispered, walking away from Al’s grave.
“See you later bro.” James said as we turned to leave.
We walked down the hill to where we first started. This time, James pulled out his wand. He held out his elbow for me to grab onto. I linked my arm around his and felt the familiar tug of apparition.
* * * * * * *
We landed in a dark alley way. As I followed James out into the street, I immediately knew where I was. The giant landmark was a dead giveaway.
“You brought me to Paris?” I asked.
“Yeah.” James shrugged. “Come on, I have reservations for us.”
I followed James through the streets of Paris. We made our way through the crowd to a decent restaurant. It wasn’t high class or fancy but it also wasn’t a tiny little café. It was more of an in-between, fancy enough for reservations but not too fancy.
“James Potter.” James said to the host.
The host gathered up our menus and lead us back to our table. He seated up and told us our waitress would be with us shortly. I picked up my menu, glancing over my options.
“Don’t try the snail.” I said.
James wasn’t looking at his menu but instead was looking at me. I set my menu down and looked back at him.
“Are you ready to talk?’ I asked.
“Every time I look at you now, I see Al.” He started. “I know it was an accident. I know I shouldn’t be angry at you…but I am.”
“Belle…I think we should take a break.”
I stared at him, taken aback by his comment.
“You want to break up?” I managed to whisper.
“No, Belle, I just…”
“Save your breath.” I interrupted. “I’m going home.”
“Belle, you can’t apparate yet.”
“I’ll call the Knight Bus.” I responded, storming out the restaurant.
I was twelve when my parents decided that didn’t want to be parents anymore. I would spend holiday breaks at the castle and summer breaks with family members and friends. Rarely did I see my parents anymore. They would always miss my birthday, always just sending a card with some lame excuse. Attached with the lame excuse was always a souvenir for wherever they were and a bag full of gold.
I refused to leave my room. No one was going to get me out of that room. Ginny tried, Harry tried, Lily tried, even Dom tried but I refused to move. I stayed in the safety of my room, packing whatever belonging of mine that weren’t coming to school. Usually, I would just leave them here because I would spend the holidays with the Potters. Now since I’m of legal age, I’ll be staying at my parents’ house. I cried the whole time. Everything was so bittersweet. When I first started dating James, he became my world. I never imagined the day we would break up.
I waved my wand at the last piece of luggage I had and watched it disappear. I took a look around the room. It was just as empty as it was the first time I stayed with the Potters. It was no longer my room, but just another guest room. Slowly and quietly, I opened the bedroom door and began to head downstairs. I was going to spend the last night before school in the comfort of my own home.
Since I haven’t passed my apparition test yet, I had to floo home. My goal was to make it to the family room without being noticed.
“Um…Hello Harry.” I said nervously.
“Going somewhere?” He asked.
“Yeah, I…um… I’m going home.” I stuttered.
“Hmm. Any reason why?”
“I, um…I miss my own bed?” I tried.
“Of course.” Harry said. “Anything going on with my son? You weren’t gone for your birthday dinner for long.”
Should I lie? Should I just tell the truth?
“We didn’t make it to dinner.” I answered honestly. “I think James and I broke up.”
“I see.” Harry mused. “Those were his exact words?”
“Well, he said we should take a break.” I said.
“Belle, a word of wisdom before you leave. My son, he can be an idiot.” Harry said. “But, he has been the best I’ve ever seen him since he started dating you. His judgement is clouded by the recent events.”
“Harry, with all due respect.” I started. “I love James, I really do. I feel terrible for everything I put him through. But I don’t know how long I can wait for him to stop being angry at me.”
Harry nodded as I stepped into the fireplace. I gave him a sad smile and threw the floo powder at my feet.
Tomorrow we would be back at Hogwarts. Who knows what the hell is going to happen there.
Author’s note- So, this is the longest chapter so far. They’re finally going to be going back to school! Hopefully, I set up the drama in the direction I wanted. So James and Belle were going in the direction we wanted and BOOM James suggests a break.
Tell me what you think in a review loves.
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