I want adventure in the great wide somewhere
Belle has always longed for something more. She has been a voracious reader since early childhood, and particularly after her mother’s death and Belle’s subsequent dive into any fictional world she could reach in order to escape the pain, she has been fascinated by tales of distant places and interesting people and all kinds of adventure. She hasn’t yet acted on these desires, because she hasn’t found anyone who would travel and explore these things with her, but her idea of the perfect relationship would involve touring the world with someone and taking in every kind of magic and every foreign place they could manage.
She has an excellent memory and has dedicated herself for years to memorizing where books are located in her family’s shop. When a customer asks where something is, she can tell them over 90% of the time.
Though she comes from a pureblood family, neither side of it bears muggles or muggleborns any ill will. Her parents encouraged her to learn about the muggle world as well as the wizarding one; her father’s job as a technomage requires him to do so, and her mother introduced her to books from both worlds as a child. The shop stocks books by both magical and muggle authors.
She often reads up on Ministry affairs and hears a lot about what’s happening there from her father. Both of them are fond of the idea of the integration, as they believe everyone can benefit from the cumulative knowledge of people from all over Europe coming together under its united Ministry.
Belle was both thrilled by the idea of the schools integrating and severely disappointed that it happened after her graduation, as that meant she couldn’t take advantage of it.
When Belle was very young and her family still lived in France, they owned horses, and she greatly misses them. She hopes to live somewhere with enough land to allow her to have more someday. In the meantime, she has an Abyssinian cat named Philippa, named after her old horse Philippe.
Belle loves dresses and can rarely be seen in anything but one of them or a skirt.
She has a passion for Shakespeare and is known to quote him at odd times, like when she says “Once more unto the breach” when walking out into bad weather.
While Belle is opinionated and far from reserved when discussing things she’s passionate about, she is incredibly shy about her feelings. She had a crush on a girl in school for about a year and was terrified to act on it, and this hasn’t improved since her graduation from Hogwarts. Since losing her mother, she’s been afraid of losing someone else she cares about, and if she doesn’t let herself fall in love, she feels she can protect herself from loss.
Both a little scared, neither one prepared
Isabelle, called “Belle” by those close to her, is her parents’ only child, born on 25 December, 1997. She was born in France, where both of her parents grew up, each of them attending Beauxbatons. Belle’s mother, Colette, was an author and taught her daughter to read by the age of four so that they could bond over the books Colette loved. When their family relocated to London when Belle was five, she trained herself to read longer words on signs at St. Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries during the family’s frequent trips, and when she read the words “Dragon Pox” on her mother’s medical chart, she knew what they said, just not what they meant.
Belle adored both of her parents. Her father Maurice was a technomage who loved to experiment and invent, and together with his wife, he fostered a love of learning in their young daughter. Belle helped her father in his workshop and read to her mother, who left her bedroom increasingly less as she grew frailer by the week. She didn’t completely understand what was happening yet, but she knew something was very wrong—her mother had always been bright and happy and full of life, and now she could barely walk across the house.
The final time Colette was admitted to St. Mungo’s, Belle believed it was going to last a few days at the most; the check-ups and healer visits had become more frequent and sometimes required her mother staying briefly, but she always came home. Belle’s paternal grandparents came to stay with her and her father, and she had gone home with them on the night her mother passed. Maurice returned home in tears and pulled Belle close, and he explained that Collette wouldn’t be coming home again.
Belle was seven at the time of her mother’s death, and the loss crushed her. She buried herself in the small library Colette had left behind, and she read all of the books her mother had written, determined to keep her close, if only through the worlds she had built. She also clung to her father. She sat up many nights in his workshop, listening to him talk about his developments and inventions until the soothing sound of his voice and the comfort of his presence lulled her to sleep and he carried her to her room.
Maurice has worked in the Department of Technomagic since the family’s move to London. When Belle went off to Hogwarts—sorted into Ravenclaw, to no one’s surprise—Maurice wanted a way to keep his daughter and his wife close, which led him to open and manage a bookshop in Diagon Alley on the side with the help of his parents. During holidays, Belle worked in the shop, memorizing the locations of books with ease and delighting in helping customers who loved reading as much as she did.
At school, she excelled. She received Outstandings on her O.W.L.s and N.E.W.T.s, and the Hogwarts library was like a second home to her. Her social life, however, was not as successful. In her third year, she developed a crush on a Slytherin Prefect girl she often saw in the library, but Belle was too nervous to approach the girl. She found herself attracted to both women and men, but she never managed to date in school because she was too shy to act on her feelings.
After graduation, Belle went to work officially as a shopkeeper-in-training at Rose Books, her father’s store. She made friends with the other employees and some of the customers, and she has been trying for the last three years to become more outgoing, as she’s known for a long while that the store would be passed to her. This has recently come to pass, as Maurice wanted to spend more time on his work at the Ministry and believed Belle was ready to take on the full-time position of shopkeeper.
• Name: As Belle is French both in this form and in canon, her first, middle, and last names are French, as well. Everyone who knows her calls her Belle, though here, it’s short for Isabelle. Christine is also the lead female role in The Phantom of the Opera, whom Emmy Rossum played in the 2004 film adaptation. Desrosiers is a French surname meaning “of the rose bushes.” In canon, roses play an important part in Belle’s story. The rose given to the Beast was enchanted to lose petals until he fell in love with someone and earned her love in return. Belle’s love broke the curse placed on him as the last petal fell.
• Birthday: Belle and the Beast are shown outside playing in the snow in both Disney films, and the animated sequel centers around Christmas. Making her birthday on Christmas is both a nod to this and to A Christmas Carol, in which Ebenezer Scrooge’s long-lost love is named Belle.
• Personality: To say Belle loves books would be a gross understatement, both in canon and here. She is considered odd in canon as the only reader around, and here as well, books are a defining feature of her life and her personality. She has been a reader since early childhood and now runs the bookstore opened by her father.
• Family: Maurice is her father’s name both in canon and here. Her mother’s name, Colette, was taken from the name of Belle’s mother in ABC’s series Once Upon a Time. Belle’s mother is absent from her life in the present in several recent versions of her canon; she is unmentioned in the animated Disney film, was killed by an ogre in Once Upon a Time, and died after falling ill with the plague in the live-action 2017 film. On Bomb, Belle’s mother’s story is the closest to the 2017 version, as she fell terminally ill with Dragon Pox and died during Belle’s childhood. In canon, Maurice is an inventor, and here, he works as a technomage, blending magic and muggle technology. He has taught Belle some of his craft, like in the 2017 film, where Belle is an inventor in her own right.
• Patronus: In canon, Belle and her father have a horse named Philippe. This version of Belle had horses as a child and misses dearly them since her family’s move to the city.
• Pet: Philippe was one of her family’s horses here, as well, and Belle has a cat named Philippa after him.
• Desires: In the animated film, Belle sings about wanting more out of life than what her small village can offer. This Belle also wants to explore the world and live a grander life, and she hopes someday to find a partner to do this with her.