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More Than Meets the Eyes by onestop_hpfan18

Format: Novella
Chapters: 11
Word Count: 37,707
Status: COMPLETED

Rating: 15+
Warnings: Contains profanity, Scenes of a sexual nature

Genres: Drama, Fluff, Romance
Characters: James (II), OC
Pairings: James/OC

First Published: 02/10/2008
Last Chapter: 06/03/2008
Last Updated: 06/27/2008

Summary:
ll 10,450+ reads, thanks guys! ll COMPLETED! ll

Banner made by slytherinprincess!

James Sirius Potter was having trouble finding a girl that wasn't only talking to him because of his famous father. All of them were the same. Until a new girl transfers to Hogwarts.  How will he will he win her over?


Chapter 1: Summertime
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Disclaimer:  I do not own Harry Potter.  I only own the plot and Marisol Mendez's persona, though the name belongs to Hermione G (Kara101).  Everything else belongs to the lovely J.K. Rowling.
Author's Note:  Well, here's the first chapter of my James II/OC fanfic.  This was written in response to Hermione G's 'Summary Challenge.'  I hope you like this first chapter.



More Than Meets the Eyes 


Beautiful chapter image made by chiQs_09 at eHPf!

Chapter 1: Summertime

James Sirius Potter made his way down to the kitchen for breakfast. His mother had been screaming up the stairs and banging on his bedroom door trying to get him to wake up for an hour. He had finally given up hope of getting any more sleep as he made his way into the kitchen where his parents, brother, and sister were eating their breakfasts.

James sat down at the table and poured a bowl of cereal.  The post came about five minutes after he started to eat, and he wouldn't have noticed except for the fact that a barn owl perched itself in front of him with a thick envelope tied to its leg.  He thought it must be his O.W.L.s results.  He took the letter from the owl and it flew off.

As he started to open it, he was keenly aware of both his parents watching him. He looked up and saw that his assessment was correct. His parents were anxiously watching and waiting for him to open up his results. He shook his head at them before he went back to opening the envelope. When he had unfolded the parchment within, he saw that it was his results. He had done quite well, if he did say so himself.

Ordinary Wizarding Level Results 

Pass Grades                                Fail Grades


Outstanding (O)                           Poor (P)

Exceeds Expectations (E)           Dreadful (D)

Acceptable (A)                              Troll (T)

James Sirius Potter has achieved:

Astronomy………………………………. A

Charms…………………………………….. O

Transfiguration………………………… O

Arithmancy……………………………….. E

Herbology………………………………….. E

Defense Against the Dark Arts…… O

History of Magic……………………….. A

Care of Magical Creatures……….. E

Potions…………………………………….. E 


“I did better than I thought I did,” he told his parents as he handed them his results.

Harry and Ginny Potter looked over their eldest son’s O.W.L.s results and then smiled back up at him.

“What would you say if we agreed to buy you the new Lightning XXX broomstick that you’ve been wanting all summer?” His father smiled at his son’s happy face.

“I’d say ‘how soon can you buy it?’.”

“I’ll stop on my way home from work.”

Both of James’ younger siblings were sending him envious looks because they too had wanted the new Lightning XXX. James finished up his breakfast and then he spent the day in a restless state, waiting for his dad to bring home his new racing broomstick.

James wasn’t the patient type. Quite the opposite.  He couldn’t sit still and had to be out doing something active. He looked exactly like his father, except his eyes were brown like his mother’s eyes. He was also popular. All the girls wanted to date him and all the guys wanted to be him. Though sometimes he felt that his friends were only his friends because his dad was famous and that made him famous, too.

His past girlfriends had been shallow, conceited, ego-centric, and he was pretty positive that they had only dated him because of his famous father. He had found himself thinking about whether or not there was someone at Hogwarts for him.  He just hadn’t met her yet, or maybe he would have to wait until after he graduated from Hogwarts to find that special someone that was meant for him.

Either way, James did not want to wait. He hated to wait.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

In Spain a sixteen-year-old witch, Marisol Mendez, was in her room. It was late afternoon on Saturday and she had been reading for most of the day. The book that she was reading was Romeo and Juliet. It was one of her favourites.

Marisol had her wavy, chestnut brown hair pulled up into a ponytail and she was wearing a pair of denim shorts, a blue t-shirt, and her small feet were bare.

She had got her test results a few days ago and had done quite well on them. She had even managed to get a 5 in Potions! Quite the shocker, as she was not at all good in Potions and managed to blow up quite a few potions in her years at Madame Rosina’s Magical Academy for Young Witches and Wizards.  The grading system in Spain was a bit different than at Hogwarts; 1 - Dreadful, 2 - Poor, 3 - Weak, 4 - Acceptable, 5 - Exceeds Expectation, and 6 - Outstanding.  The only difference was that they used numbers for each of the levels of accomplishment.  Oh, and the fail grades were slightly different as there wasn't a Troll as the professors in Spain thought that was a bit harsh on the students.

“Marisol!”

Marisol looked up from her book to her partially closed door after she heard her name being called. She stood and walked out of her room and down the stairs to find that both of her parents were standing at the bottom waiting for her. She looked from her mother to her father before asking,

“What’s going on?”

“We have to talk about some things,” her mother told her as she motioned for her to follow them into the sitting room.

Marisol followed them and sat down on the couch while they both sat in two of the four armchairs that surrounded the couch. She looked back at her parents and could tell by the expressions they were wearing that it was not good news that they had to tell her.

“Marisol, honey,” her mother spoke to her in her Spanish accent. “Your father and I are getting a divorce.”

“What?” She asked as she looked from her mother to her father. “What do you mean you’re getting a divorce? I thought you two were in love.”

“We were,” her mother said in a soothing tone as she reached over to her daughter to try to comfort her. “But feelings don’t always stay the same.”

Marisol pulled back from her mother and crossed her arms in front of her. How could her parents get a divorce? Did they know what this could do to her? And who was she going to live with? She must have spoken the last question without meaning to because her parents both looked at each other before her father spoke for the first time,

“You and I will be moving to England,” he said in his British accent. “You’ll transfer from the Academy to Hogwarts, where I went to school.” He added the last bit with a smile like he was happy that she would be attending the school that he had went to.

Marisol opened and closed her mouth a few times like a fish out of water before finding her voice again. “But I like the Academy.”

“I know you do,” her dad said, “but you’ll like Hogwarts just as much, if not more.”

“No, I won’t.”

“Sweetie,” her mother said, “it’ll all work out, you’ll see. You’ll make new friends and then it won’t be so bad.”

“But I don’t want to be the new kid,” said Marisol as tears leaked from the corners of her eyes. “I want to stay here. Why can’t I stay with you, mama?”

“Because your father and I have both decided that this will be better for you.”

Marisol stood from where she sat on the couch and before she stormed up the stairs to her room she exclaimed in Spanish, “I won’t go! And you can’t make me!” 

That night, Marisol stayed locked up in her room and refused to come down for dinner. She regretted it now that she sat at her desk writing a letter to her best friend. She pushed her hunger aside as she put her quill to the piece of parchment in front of her.

Dear Maria,

            You’ll never guess what my parents just told me earlier. It’s by far the worst news ever imaginable. Even worse than that time you walked in the boys’ lavatory by mistake and there were guys in there using it.

            My parents are getting a divorce. I thought they were so in love with each other. All my life they have showed nothing but lovey-dovey affection for one another. How can their feelings all of a sudden change for one another? And this isn’t even the worst of it.

            The worst is that my parents are forcing me to move to England with my dad and transfer schools. But I’m not going. I refuse to go. They can’t make me go, there has to be a law against forcing your child to go somewhere that they don’t want to.

            Ugh, this is so unfair! And to top it all off, I’m starving because I have been locked up in my room since they told me. I’m starting to regret this method of teaching them a lesson by forcing me to move. Please help me, I don’t want to move!

Your best friend,
Marisol 


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Marisol sat in her new room. Her parents had succeeded in uprooting her from her native country to a whole new country. She already missed it and more importantly her best friend. Her parents had let her visit Maria for a couple of days before she was to move so that the two could say good bye and promise to write as often as they could.

Her father had bought a house in a small wizarding village just outside of Ottery St. Catchpole. Bill Mendez tried to make his daughter more comfortable. He often suggested for her to go out for a walk around the small village to meet new people, because he knew how much Marisol liked meeting people. It hurt him that his baby girl was so unhappy about these change of events because that had been the last thing that he had wanted to do.

Marisol was sitting on her bed with an Arithmancy textbook in her lap. It was her favourite subject. She often bought extra books on the subject, more than she needed, just so she could learn more. She flipped the page just as there was knock on her door. “Come in,” she said, knowing that it was her dad coming to ask if she wanted to go for a walk around their new neighbourhood again.

Her dad opened her door and walked over to where she sat on her unmade bed and took a seat at the foot before asking,

“Are you settling in okay?”

Marisol shrugged her shoulders as she looked up from her book to where her father now sat. “It’s different.”

“Yes, that it is,” her father replied, “but you’ll get used to it. Would you like to take a walk with me?”

“Sure,” she nodded as she stood up after placing a bookmark in her book. She knew that her father wouldn’t give up until she agreed to go for a walk to take in their new surroundings. She went downstairs and out the front door with her dad. Father and daughter walked around the village and talked. Her dad told her all about Hogwarts and she listened intently.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Over the course of the summer, James had been practicing new moves on his new broomstick for when he went back to school. He was a Chaser on the Gryffindor Quidditch team. He had been on the team since his second year. And he was also expecting to be made the Quidditch Captain as their Captain had just graduated this last year.

James was currently sitting on the couch in the living room of Potter Manor with a quill in his hand and parchment in front of him on the coffee table. He was sketching up new Quidditch moves. He would bewitch the parchment so that he could test how the move looked and to get an idea of how it would look in the air, but he had to do this when his mum wasn’t looking. His mum would yell at him for using magic outside of school while he was still underage; he wouldn’t be seventeen until February of next year. But James wasn’t really bothered by getting yelled at by his mother, he was used to it. 

Things were oddly quiet in the huge Potter residence in Godric’s Hollow as James sat in the living room planning plays. He didn’t notice how quiet though because he was too immersed in what he was doing to care about anything that could be going on around him. Though, his mum was suspicious of the silence.

Ginny Potter would peep in on her eldest son to make sure he wasn’t doing anything he wasn’t supposed to be doing. Then she would also look out the kitchen window at where Albus and Lily were playing one-on-one Quidditch in the garden. She couldn’t help but think this would be the calm before the storm. Her children were notoriously well-known for causing trouble and being loud.

Meanwhile, back in the living room James was yanking at his hair as he worked on a rather difficult move. He kept scrunching up the papers in which he had scratched out several possible altercations to the move in question. He finally just gathered up the sheets of parchment and took them up to his room before going outside with his Lightning XXX. When things got complicated he would fly to ease his mind. It always worked and this time was no different.

James accelerated from zero to eighty within seconds, his bangs blowing off his forehead as he did so. He ignored Albus’ and Lily’s yells for him to join them in a game of Quidditch. James just wanted to fly and feel the breeze blowing through his untidy black hair as the sun shone down on him. He didn’t feel like beating Albus and Lily at the moment. Though, he normally loved showing his younger siblings that he was a much better Quidditch player then they were.

James flew higher up and over the trees. His sister and brother were no longer in his sight as he continued to fly over the tree tops. He continued flying aimlessly around for hours losing track of time. When he glanced down at his watch, he realized that he had five minutes to get back to the house before his mother would get on to him about being late for dinner. He turned around and accelerated the Lightning XXX as he flew back in the direction of Potter Manor.

When James arrived back at the house, both of his parents were standing on the back porch. As James touched down he noticed that his mother had her hands on her hips and a stern expression on her face. James knew that look, it told him that he was about to get a telling off for being late and for not telling her where he was going. He was oddly reminded of Grandmum Weasley as his mother continued to look at him in a disapproving way when he approached them. His father stood in the firm way he did before he was going to give one of his lectures to any one of his children when they did something that they weren’t supposed to do.

“And where on Earth have you been, James Sirius?” Ginny started her rant when her son approached her and her husband. “I was growing worried when you didn’t come in with your brother and sister. Both said you had flown off over the woods. What were you thinking?!

“You know you aren’t allowed near those woods,” carried on Ginny in her scolding tone.

“I’m sorry, Mum,” said James. “I didn’t think before I flew off.”

“Obviously,” muttered Ginny with an eye roll before she turned to her husband. “What do you think his punishment should be?”

Harry didn’t even blink before he simply said, “No flying for a week.”

“One Week!”

“I can make it two weeks if you want,” said Harry. “Now go inside and wash up for dinner.”

James glowered at his parents before he went inside through the kitchen door and washed his hands in the sink. He sat down next to Albus and across from Lily. His parents came in.  His father sat at the head of the table and his mother sat in between his father and Lily. The family then started to eat once everyone was seated.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Over the course of a week James grew restless. He was just itching to get on his broomstick. That was pure torture on him. But it also gave him some room to think.

Something that he had been avoided thinking about ever since he had come home from school was his girl friend that he felt nothing for. He didn’t even know why he was going out with her. Maybe it was image or something along those lines. All he knew was that he had to end it between the two of them. He couldn’t go on pretending that he liked her when she was shallow and probably only going out with him because his father was famous.

James didn’t much fancy dumping her in writing so he figured it could wait until he saw her on September first. He had received letters from her since summer had started, but hadn’t responded to any of them. Maybe she would break up with him and then he wouldn’t have to. He hated himself when he had to break things off with girls. His best mate and cousin, Fred Weasley said it was because he was too nice for his own good. That was probably true.

James took after his father when it came to girls. Though he was a lot more outgoing with girls than his father had been, he was just as considerate. This wasn’t one of the things that most of the girls at Hogwarts looked for.

Most of the girls at Hogwarts liked guys that played Quidditch (check), was handsome in looks (check), a good kisser (check…not that he was over confident of himself), was funny (check), and was rich/famous in some way (check for both…his dad was famous for saving the wizarding world from Voldemort back in 1998). As one could see, he had a lot going for him.

Needless to say, James was not looking forward to when the end of the summer approached and he would have to face his girlfriend. He just hoped she didn’t cry or make a scene when he broke up with her.

Soon letters would be here and then they would all be boarding the Hogwarts Express for another school year.


This year is going to be different, James thought. I can feel it. 


Author's Note: 
Thanks to my new beta, slytherinprincess, for beta-ing this chapter by making it easier to read.  I'll post chapter 2 later today.

Chapter 2: Diagon Alley
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Disclaimer:  I do not own Harry Potter.  J.K. Rowling does.  I only own the plot and Marisol Mendez, though I didn't come up with her name.  Hermione G over in the forums came up with it and she also gave me the summary to run from.
Author's Note:  Thanks to Dragonballgt88, Kara101(Hermione G in the forums), sasha-is-the-best, and Louisa for reviewing the first chapter.  Now, here's the second chapter.



Chapter 2
Diagon Alley 

Hogwarts letters were sent out a couple weeks before term started. James was shopping for the school things that he would need this year with the rest of his family.  They had to stop in Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions because he and Albus had grown over the summer. 

James entered the small store with his mum and siblings. He followed his mother over to the rack that held the black school robes. His mind wandered as his mother was prattling on with Lily about a boy in her year as she looked through the rack of wizards’ robes. He glanced at Albus to see that he too looked bored. 

At that moment the bell over the door tinkled as a girl around his age walked in with her father. He was momentarily transfixed in the girl’s beauty. The girl had wavy chestnut brown hair with a few streaks of gold shimmering in the sunlight that was shining in through the front window of the shop; light brown eyes, tan complexion; a slim figure; and there was something about her that had him interested in her. 

James shook his head and regained his composure before he found his feet were carrying him over to where she stood. He stopped in front of her and introduced himself, 

“Hey, I’m James Potter.” He held out his hand and she took it with her slightly smaller hand, it was soft and warm. “I don’t think I’ve seen you around. Are you new here?” 

The girl nodded her head, at the same time her long wavy brown hair bounced a bit. “My name is Marisol Mendez, I just moved here from Spain with my dad.” Her voice was soft and sweet, like honey with her Spanish accent. 

James let go of her hand, a little reluctantly and asked, “Are you going to Hogwarts?” 

“Yes.” 

“Then I guess we’ll be seeing more of each other,” replied James. “I’m starting my sixth year at Hogwarts this year.” 

“I’m a sixth year as well,” replied Marisol before her father had called her over to a rack of witches’ robes. “Well, I have to go.” 

James watched her walk away until he heard his name called. 

“James, get over here so that you can get fitted for these robes,” his mother said in her loud, motherly voice. 

He turned his head to see his mother over by the fitting area before turning back to where the girl, Marisol, stood next to her father. She was looking straight at him with a smile on her face. James suddenly felt his cheeks warm considerably and turned around to walk over to where his mother was standing. 

“You had to yell at me from across the store?” He asked his mother as he stepped onto the stool. His mother didn’t respond, instead she just threw a pair of robes over his head. He rolled his eyes. 

That actually got her attention. “James Sirius Potter, don’t you roll your eyes at me,” she scolded. Behind her, Albus and Lily were snickering silently behind their hands.  They loved watching their big brother get into trouble. 

He just sighed as a middle-aged witch that worked in the store came over to where they stood and started sizing up the robes that he had on. He was just barely managing to stay awake as he stood on the stool. After he had his robes, it was Albus’ turn. 

When they finished up in the robe shop the four went to meet up with Harry. Harry had gone off to Florish and Blotts to get all of their school books so that that would be out of the way when they were finished in the robe shop. They met up at the ice cream parlor. 

James got his usual ice cream cone with triple scoops of double fudge chocolate. He wolfed it down and his parents laughed at that. 

“You’d think that we don’t feed him,” laughed Ginny. “The way he eats all the time.”
Harry laughed at his son. “I’m surprised you didn’t get a brain freeze with how fast you ate that.” 

The family of five were walking down the cobbled street again as they went into stores to get other supplies for school. The last stop the family would make would be Weasleys’ Wizarding Wheezes. It was the best part of the end of summer school shopping trip for the Potter family. Actually, it was the best part for any one apart of the Potter-Weasley clan. 

James mocked a brain freeze by grabbing his head and moaning. That only made his parents and siblings laugh at him. 

They finished up the shopping and stopped at his Uncle George’s joke shop. 

James had only been in the store for a minute before his cousin, Fred, came ambling downstairs from the vast upstairs living quarters above the shop. 

“Hey James,” greeted Fred. “I heard that you made Quidditch Captain, congrats!” 

James grinned. “Of course I made Captain. Did you seriously think McGonagall was going to make you Captain?” 

Fred mocked looking offended as he put his hand to his chest making James laugh. 

The two continued to joke as Albus and Lily looked around the store with Roxanne, Fred’s little sister, following closely behind Lily. Harry and Ginny were talking with George and his wife, Angelina, at the front of the store. 

The Potters left the joke shop and went back home. Everyone was quiet in the car on the ride back to Potter Manor. This was due to the fact that everyone was exhausted from walking from shop to shop. Even Lily appeared to be tired from all the shopping and she loved to shop. 

When Harry pulled into the drive of Potter Manor and parked, James got out and went up to his room. He fell backwards onto his bed and closed his eyes. Within seconds he was fast asleep. 

~*~*~*~*~

Marisol was packing her trunk the day before she would board the Hogwarts Express. She was feeling extremely nervous. 

What if no one liked her? 

What if she didn’t make any friends? 

What if? 

Those were just a couple things that were going through her head as she folded her new school robes neatly before placing them in her school trunk. She knew she shouldn’t be worried. Her dad had told her that most of the students that went to Hogwarts were friendly and easy to get along with. At least they were when he was at Hogwarts. 

Marisol also couldn’t help but think about the boy that she had met in the robe shop. He’d said his name was James Potter. He had messy black hair, warm brown eyes that had seemed to be filled with questions, and was tall with a lean build. Her guess was that he played Quidditch, her favorite sport. 

She wondered if there were any openings on the teams at Hogwarts. She had been the best Chaser at Madam Rosina’s. She hadn’t had much time to fly since moving here and hoped she’d get the chance to fly at Hogwarts. 

She heard her door open the rest of the way as she was packing her new school books and turned to see her father standing in the door way to her room. 

“Hey, you excited about tomorrow?” He asked her with a smile on his face. 

Marisol shrugged her small shoulders as she responded. “I’m more nervous than anything.” 

“You have nothing to worry about,” he told her. “You’ll do fine.” 

“Yeah, I guess you’re right.” 

Her father turned and left the room after telling her that dinner was ready.
Marisol turned back to her trunk. She just had to add a few more things until she was finished packing. She set the last of her things in the trunk before closing it and going downstairs. All the while still thinking of what Hogwarts was like. Was it truly as magnificent as her father had told her? And again, would she make friends? 

After dinner, she sat up in her room a while before going to bed. While she was up she decided she would write a letter to Maria. She was feeling quite homesick and knew that it would get worse when she was at Hogwarts, but hopefully she would make more friends to keep her mind off of what she was missing. 

Dear Maria, 

            I’ll be boarding the train to Hogwarts tomorrow morning. It feels strange to be going to another school that isn’t Madam Rosina’s. 

            How’re you and everyone else doing? I miss you guys so much. Tell everyone hi for me. 

            Oh, I didn’t tell you about the guy I met in the robe shop in Diagon Alley, did I? His name is James Potter and he seemed nice. He was also very good looking, not that looks are all that important because personality matters the most. See, I did learn something from you! 

            Anyway, by the time you get this letter I’ll be at Hogwarts. I’ll write again with all the information on classes, new friends, and on more boys after I’ve been at Hogwarts for a few days. 

Your friend,
Marisol 


Marisol sent the letter off with her father’s owl; her own owl was locked in her cage finishing her fresh catch of the night. It made her stomach turn over when she saw the frog dangling with its leg in her owl’s beak. She tossed a pillow case over the cage to hide the site. 

After sending the letter off, she got ready for bed and fell fast asleep. She would need a good night’s sleep for the next day.



Author's Note:  Hey again.  I just wanted to thank anyone who took the time out of their schedules to read this chapter.  Let me know what you thought.  Oh, and thanks to my beta, slytherinprincess, for improving this chapter for me.

Let me know what you thought by dropping a review for me in that little grey box at the bottom.  Thanks!


Chapter 3: Off to Hogwarts
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Disclaimer:  I only own the title, plot, and any OCs that you do not recognize.  Kara101 gave me the summary to run off of and she came up with the name Marisol Mendez.  Anything that you recognize belongs to J.K. Rowling.
Author's Note:  Hey!  Well, he's chapter 3.  It's longer than the second chapter.  It's about the same length as the first chapter.  Hope you like it!



Chapter 3
Off to Hogwarts

James stood off to the side of where his whole family stood. His girl friend, Kelsey stood before him, starting to look impatient. He was struggling inside with how he should break up with her. Should he just come out with it or ease into the subject? His thoughts were interrupted and decided when Kelsey spoke, 

“What’s the matter?” She pushed a strand of her stick-straight blond hair behind one of her ears as she tapped her high-heeled clad foot on the cemented ground beneath their feet. 

“I think we should break up,” the words tumbled out of his mouth without much more thought. 

“You think?!” Kelsey said heatedly, causing people all around them to look over at the pair. “I thought you said I was different than the other girls you dated. Were you lying?!” 

“No, of course I wasn’t,” he said, trying to draw less attention to them by nonverbally telling Kelsey with his eyes to lower her voice. This didn’t work. He figured that she either didn’t get what he was trying to get across to her or just chose to ignore it. Either way, she continued on with her ranting. 

“You can’t dump me!” She screamed this bit in his face before adding, “Because I am dumping you!” And with that she stomped off away from him with tears forming in her blue eyes. 

James ran a hand through his untidy black hair as his cousin approached him. “I’m guessing she didn’t take the break up well.” He just glared at his cousin as if saying, you think? 

“Well, look at the bright side, mate,” said Fred. “You’re single and free to get with any girls you want to.” 

“But I didn’t want this break up to cause so much attention,” said James. “Now the whole school is bound to know before we arrive at Hogwarts.” 

“Look at it this way, no one thought you two would last longer than a week and you lasted all summer," Fred told him as they made their way toward the steam engine that stood in front of them, billowing out grey smoke into the clear air.

“That’s only because I didn’t much fancy breaking things off in a letter,” he grumbled. 

Fred just shrugged his shoulders before the two of them returned over to their large family to say good-bye; they wouldn’t see them again until Christmas. After saying good-bye, they boarded the train. James was in slightly higher spirits as the two of them raced to the back to get to their usual compartment before someone else got to it before them. 

~*~*~*~*~

Marisol had already bid good-bye to her dad and was now looking for a compartment. The compartments seemed to be filling up fast as all of the students boarded the train before it started on its journey north. 

She passed a compartment just as a girl with long, light blond hair and bright blue eyes with fair skin opened the door. She was tall and skinny and could easily pass off as a model. She saw Marisol and asked her if she was new. 

“I just moved to Britain with my dad over the summer from Spain,” she explained in her Spanish accent. “I’m a sixth year. My name is Marisol Mendez.” 

“I’m Dominique Weasley,” the blond girl introduced herself. “I’m in my sixth year, Gryffindor house. 

“Would you like to sit with my friends and me?” 

“Sure,” she said. 

Marisol started to enter their compartment, but before she could do so two boys running down the hall of the train bumped into her. She noticed that one had short dark auburn hair and the other had untidy jet-black hair that seemed rather familiar as she went tumbling down. She landed on her back, looking up at the ceiling above her. 

“James! Fred!” Screamed Dominique, “Why are you two such prats?!” She leaned over Marisol so that she was in her vision before saying in a concerned tone, 

“Are you alright?” She held her hand for Marisol to take so that she could help her stand. 

Marisol nodded and took hold of her hand to be helped up. 

“Aw, you know you love us, Dom,” said the one with dark auburn hair and caramel-colored skin as he swung his arm around Dominique. 

Dominique shrugged out of his hold and scowled at him. “You could have seriously hurt her.” 

Marisol looked to the other boy to see that he had been watching her. She instantly recognized him from the robe shop in Diagon Alley. She wondered if he recognized her as well, seeing as he had been watching her. Marisol now noted that he had pulled his attention off of her and to Dominique. 

“We didn’t mean to, honest Dom,” said James in a solemn voice. “We were just trying to get to our compartment before it was taken by some small first years. Have you seen how small they are this year?” 

Fred laughed, “Yeah, seriously, they’re like miniscule little midgets.” 

Dominique rolled her eyes at the two boys before her. She turned her attention back to Marisol. “These two idiots are my cousins, James Potter and Fred Weasley.” 

“Hey,” she said to the two boys, one of which she had already met. 

“Now let’s get in the compartment before they drive me crazy.” 

Marisol made her way into the compartment behind Dominique but before the door was slid shut she could just make out one of the boys saying something that sounded a lot like, 

“Too late, you’re already crazy, Dom.” 

Dominique sat down in a huff and then introduced her friends to Marisol and vice versa. “This is Marisol Mendez, she’s new. And these are my friends Bianca Calliger and Sally Finnigan.” 

Bianca Calliger had long, stick-straight brown hair and blue-green eyes. She was stick-skinny with no meat on her bones and had fair skin. She could easily pass as a model as well. She nodded at Marisol and smiled. She must have been much friendlier than she looked, which was intimidating to say the least. 

Sally Finnigan had long, stick-straight sandy blond hair and blue eyes. She was the same stick-skinny as Bianca and Dominique. Though unlike the others, she had freckles sprinkled across her small nose and fair skin. And she appeared to be easier going than Dominique and Bianca. 

Marisol was rather unsure of herself. She didn’t think she would be able to fit in with this group of girls. Also, it appeared that straight hair was the in thing at Hogwarts and her hair was nowhere near straight. Her naturally wavy brown locks didn’t look so good straight as it would frizz up instantly no matter how many charms she would try on it. She had given up trying to straighten her hair when she was in her second year at Madam Rosina’s. 

She sat down next to the window after putting her trunk up in the luggage rack with the others just as she felt the train start to move. 

“So, what house do you think you’ll be in?” Asked Sally from across where she sat.  “We’re all in Gryffindor.” 

“Well, I don’t know much about Hogwarts,” she replied. “I only know that it was the school my dad attended.” 

“What about your mum?” 

“My mom is a Muggle,” she said. 

“Oh,” the three girls said at the same time and then Bianca asked, “Do you know the houses at Hogwarts or did your dad not tell you about them?” 

“He didn’t really say anything about the houses,” replied Marisol. “He just told me that he was in Gryffindor.” 

“Then you might be in Gryffindor,” said Sally. “All of our parents were in Gryffindor; well, except for Bianca’s as she is Muggleborn.” 

“But you could be in a different house,” pointed out Dominique. “There are four houses in total; Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, and Slytherin.” 

The girls told her about Hogwarts and about all the cliques. Marisol got the impression that Hogwarts was made up of mostly cliques and that if you didn’t belong to one of these cliques then you were at the bottom of the social ladder. Not that this really bothered Marisol. She could care less about what people thought about her if she didn’t know who they were to start with. 

Halfway through the ride, the girls changed into their school robes. Shortly after this their compartment was bombarded by three boys. Two of whom were Fred and  James and the other Marisol didn’t know. 

“Hello ladies,” said Fred. “How’s it going?” He swung his arm over Bianca’s shoulders as he sat down beside her. 

“Get lost,” said Bianca as she removed Fred’s arm. “Dom, reign some control over your cousins.” 

“No can do,” replied Dominique as she sent a glare at each of her cousins and the other boy. “These three are completely out of my control.” 

“Aw, why would you even want to control us to begin with?” James asked Dominique as he sat down, coincidentally next to Marisol. “This is our friend Holden Summers, by the way,” he added to Marisol. 

Holden Summers had sat down next to James. He had short sun-streaked blond hair and blue-green eyes. He seemed to be a little subdued compared to Fred and James, but then again people have a way of surprising you by being completely different then what you pegged them to be. 

“Don’t let Holden’s quiet demeanor fool you,” said Dominique, shortly after James had introduced him to her. “He’s just as loud and annoying as James and Fred are.” 

“Always have to bring us down, don’t you Dom?” James asked as his eyes twinkled with humor or maybe it was mischief, or both. 

“So, have any run-ins with Kelsey after your well publicized break up?” asked Dominique with a slight smile on her thin, pretty face as she surveyed James for any trace of remorse. Of course she found no such remorse. Boys were so insensitive. 

“Hey, you’re supposed to side with me as I am your cousin,” said James in defense for himself. “And you know how I hate to draw attention to myself.” 

“Oh yeah,” Dominique replied before continuing, “you just hate it when you get attention for winning a Quidditch game, being made Quidditch Captain, being praised for all the O.W.L.s you received over the summer, and the list goes on.” 

“It’s not my fault everyone makes a big deal out of my life,” James defended himself and then he turned to Marisol. “I bet Marisol will vouch for me when I say that attention just automatically falls on some people without them wanting it in the first place.” 

At first Marisol was speechless. She didn’t know anyone yet to be able to judge and this led to her response to James’ question. “I agree that some people get attention even when they aren’t trying to, but I don’t know you well enough to say whether or not you are one of these people.” 

“Ha!” Dominique exclaimed in triumphant in James' face. 

The remainder of the train ride went by fast for Marisol. She stepped out of the train and on to the platform of the Hogsmeade Station. She followed Dominique, Bianca, and Sally to one of the many carriages that appeared to be pulling themselves up to the grand castle that was Hogwarts. 

When the carriage stopped in front of the oak front doors of the castle, she got out and walked up the steps into the entrance hall. She heard her name being called and turned to look for who was calling her. 

A woman with medium length blond hair, blue eyes and a warm personality approached her. “I’m Madam Hannah Longbottom. I’m going to take you to my office where you will be sorted before the sorting ceremony for the first years.” 

Marisol followed Madam Longbottom. Dominique and the other two wished her luck before going into the Great Hall. 

Marisol was directed to sit in the chair opposite a desk when Madam Longbottom led her into an office. She then told her that she would set a hat on her head and that the hat would choose which house that she would fit best in. 

Once the hat was on her head she heard a voice start to talk to her in her ear. She guessed it was the hat, though it startled her at first. 

“Ah, a transfer student,” the hat started. “You seem to be worried about not making any friends here, though I should say you have nothing to worry about as you are a very caring, easy going, and fun loving girl who can get along with just about anyone. 

“You also are extremely bright,”
the hat seemed to be talking more to itself than to her.  “You would do great in either Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff. Where do you think I should put you?” 

Marisol was caught off guard at the hat asking her where she wanted to go. She still didn’t know enough about the houses to know which would well suit her even though her new friends had told her about each of the houses. She thought, wherever you put me will be fine with me. 

“If you say so, then it better be
… HUFFLEPUFF!” 

Marisol felt the hat being lifted from her head and looked at Madam Longbottom as she said, 

“Congratulations, I’m the Head of Hufflepuff House.” Her smile was wide as she said,  “Let’s go to the Great Hall, they’ll need this for when the first years arrive.” 

She followed Madam Longbottom back down to the entrance hall and into the Great  Hall. She could see Dominique, James, and the others at a table she assumed was the Gryffindor table as there appeared to be four tables with House banners over each. Madam Longbottom pointed her in the direction of the table next to the Gryffindor table with yellow and black banners over it with a Badger on the front. 

She sat down next to a few students that looked to be around her age. They smiled at her and she to them. “I’m Marisol Mendez. I transferred here from a school in Spain.” 

The girl that sat directly across from her was the first to introduce herself. “I’m Jasmine Baylor, but everyone calls me Jazzy.” Jasmine had dark skin, dark brown eyes, black hair (in braids) that was a few inches past her shoulders, and was average build. “What year are you?” 

“Sixth, you?” 

“Same.” 

The next one that introduced their self was a girl with long black hair that fell in natural curls to the middle of her back, fair skin, and eyes that were purple. “I’m Evelyn York and I too have a nickname. It’s Evie, my parents have been calling me that since I was in diapers and it just stuck when everyone else started calling me that.” 

“Nice you meet you guys,” Marisol said before the whole hall was silenced as the small, timid looking first years entered. 

The sorting ceremony seemed to go on for quite some time. The first was sorted into Gryffindor, which caused the Gryffindor table to clap and cheer at getting the first student. Though, the cheers from their table were at their loudest when a small girl with red hair by the name of Lucy Weasley was sorted into their house. 

Jazzy whispered in her ear in explanation of this. “Most of Gryffindor house is comprised of the Potter-Weasley clan because there are so many of them.”
Marisol nodded in understanding as she looked over at the Gryffindor table. She made eye contact with James and blushed. This motion was not missed by Jazzy or Evelyn. They both just shook their heads with smiles on their faces. 

“What?” 

“Oh, nothing,” said Jazzy with a knowing smirk on her face. 

“Shhh, my brother’s up now,” said Evelyn and they turned back up to the front where a scared, scrawny boy with knobby knees and spiky dirty blond hair had sat down on a stool. The hat took a couple minutes before placing him in Hufflepuff. 

Marisol clapped along with the rest of the table as the boy made his way over to the table and sat down next to Evelyn. 

“This is my kid brother, Keegan,” said Evelyn as she ruffled the boy’s hair and he stuck his tongue out at her. 

“Hey, squirt,” Jazzy said in a joking manner, “are you still pulling pranks on your big sister?” 

“Maybe,” he replied with a sheepish look on his small face, but still had a mischievous glint in his navy blue eyes. 

The three girls laughed. 

Shortly after, Professor McGonagall got to her feet to announce a few things for the new term. She went over Quidditch try-outs, rules that needed to be followed – she looked over at the Gryffindor table pointedly at this, banned items –cough- Weasleys’ Wizarding Wheezes products. And she added that everyone would receive their schedules tomorrow morning at breakfast. When she had sat down, food had appeared on all of the house tables. 

~*~*~*~*~

James made his way up to the Gryffindor tower with his fellow housemates. He continued to think about his four-poster bed the whole way up. 

When he reached his dorm with Fred and Holden closely following behind him, he changed into his pajamas and fell back onto his bed. He was asleep within minutes. 

The last thing he remembered thinking was of how the new girl had drawn him in so fast. He didn’t even know her all that well and already he wanted to find out everything about her. His last thought on the subject was that he would find out more about her. 

~*~*~*~*~

Marisol was led down to the basements where the Hufflepuff common room was located. She was unusually sleepy. She had had a long day with all the excitement of transferring to a new school. 

Evelyn gave the portrait of a man dressed in old-fashioned fancy clothes the password (Badgers are the best) and the three girls entered through the hole behind him. 

The common room was yellow and black with banners on the walls, a black sofa in front of the fire place, yellow armchairs around the sofa and fire place, small wood round tables around the room, a book case, and two doors; one led down to the boys’ dorms and the other led down to the girls’ dorms. 

Marisol found her trunk at the end of the bed that stood closest to the window. She dug around for her comfiest pair of pajamas and changed. Before getting into bed she put her wavy brown locks up in a sloppy bun. 

It was just Marisol, Jazzy, and Evelyn in the compartment before she closed her eyes as the other girls hadn’t entered the dorm yet. The three girls went straight to bed after saying good night to the other. 





Author's Note:  Hey again!  I hope you liked it.  I'd like to thank my beta slytherinprincess for taking the time to go over all of my mistakes to make this chapter run through smoothly.  I'd also like to think the number of you who have reviewed my first two chapters.

And now, if you could just let me know what you thought of this chapter by leaving a review for me in that grey box at the bottom.  It would be greatly appreciated.  Chapter 4 is almost done and then I'll just have to send it to my beta to be edited.  Thanks for reading.


Chapter 4: First Day
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Disclaimer:  I do not own Harry Potter, JKR does.  I only own the plot and any OCs you do not recognize.  Oh, and Kara101 came up with the name Marisol Mendez, I just made up everything else about her.
Author's Note:  Here's chapter 4.  I hope you enjoy it.



Chapter 4
First Day

Marisol woke to the sound of banging. She sat up in her bed as she rubbed the sleep from her brown eyes and looked around her for the source of the noise. She found it when her eyes landed on the bathroom door where Evelyn was banging on it and pleading with whoever was in it.

“Come on, Tessa!” Evelyn banged harder on the door, even going as far as to give the bottom of the door a good kick. Though this ended in her grabbing her foot and rubbing it while hopping on the other. “Shit,” she mumbled while nursing her toes.

Marisol looked around the dorm more thoroughly now that her eyes had adjusted to the stream of sunlight coming in through the window. She could see Jazzy pulling herself out of bed and grumbling as she fished around in her trunk for one of her school uniforms. And there were two other girls getting ready; one was doing her make-up in front of the full length mirror that was next to the window and the other was getting her school bag together.

She stood and went to the end of her bed where her trunk sat. She opened it up and dug one of the new school uniforms out of her trunk, which now had the Hufflepuff emblem on the front. Marisol pulled the skirt, white button-up blouse, sweater vest, socks and shoes, and Hogwarts robes on before she walked over to the still closed bathroom door.

“It’ll be a while,” said Evelyn in an annoyed tone. “Tessa’s in there and she always takes at least an hour, sometimes more to get ready in the morning.”

“Then why doesn’t she let us in there so that we can brush our teeth and hair?” She asked. At her former school, she and her dorm mates had shared the bathroom in the morning and worked out a shower schedule. She normally took her showers in the evening before getting into bed so that she could sleep in a little bit longer, but occasionally she would take a shower in the morning if she was finding it hard to stay awake and needed a jolt.

“Tessa doesn’t like anyone to see her before she gets her make-up and hair done,” explained Evelyn in an agitated voice. “She gets up before all of us so that she can get into the bathroom before anyone else. Though, she doesn’t have to work as hard as she does to look good.”

“Ah,” Marisol said.

At that moment, the door to the bathroom opened and out walked a girl in her school uniform, her face all done up with make-up, and her bright blond hair fell a few inches past her shoulders and was stick-straight. The girl walked past Marisol and Evelyn, making her way over to the other two girls that were now waiting for her by the door.

Marisol stepped into the bathroom behind Evelyn and the two of them did their hair and make-up. Marisol barely wore make-up. She just brushed on some powder very lightly, lined her eyes with black liner very lightly, brushed her long brown lashes with brown mascara, and put some light pink gloss on her lips.

After getting her make-up finished, she fixed her wavy brown hair using her wand. She was finished getting ready in about fifteen minutes and so was Evelyn. Jazzy had joined them in the bathroom and finished getting ready, too. The three of them went up to the common room and out the portrait hole.

Marisol walked up from the basements to the entrance hall with the other two and when they entered the great hall it was to see Madam Longbottom already making her way over to their table to pass out schedules. She went over to the table and sat down with her two new friends.

They had just started to eat their breakfasts when Madam Longbottom approached them. Madam Longbottom talked to them about which classes they would be able to keep and which classes they would either have to or would want to drop. When the girls had their schedules and breakfast, they left the great hall to head to their first class which was double Charms.

On the way to class, Marisol thought of how she was bound to get lost the first time she wandered off by herself. Hogwarts was a big school. It was a lot bigger than the Academy. And the Academy was big itself. She was going to have to pay attention to each route she took so that she wouldn’t have to worry about getting lost, though she knew she probably would anyway.

The whole way to class Jazzy talked non-stop and Evelyn tried, and failed, to shut Jazzy up.

“Oh, I almost forgot,” chirped Jazzy. Yes, she was that cheerful about their first class of the new term. “There’s a party in the Room of Requirement tonight. Every house is invited. And it’s being thrown by James, Fred, and Holden.”

“Those three throw the best back-to-school parties,” said Evelyn in response to Jazzy’s statement. “I am definitely in.”

“Are you in, too?” Jazzy asked Marisol.

“Yeah, sure,” she replied. “It should be fun.”

Marisol couldn’t help but think that this was her chance to get to know James more. She had just met him and already she felt the pull of attraction that she had for him. It was like a strong ocean current that was pulling at her.

When they made it to the Charms classroom, Marisol followed the other two in and took a seat at a table in the second row. Evelyn sat next to her, while Jazzy sat next to a boy with golden brown hair, brown eyes, and handsome features.

“This is Kyle Macmillian,” Jazzy told her and then turned to Kyle to introduce her. “And this is Marisol Mendez; she just transferred here from Spain.”

“Nice to meet you,” said Kyle as he held his hand out for her to shake.

Marisol shook it and smiled. “It’s nice to meet you, too.”

At that moment, three rambunctious teenage boys came barreling into the classroom. They were choking on their laughter and gasping for breath as they sat down.

These boys were James Potter, Fred Weasley, and Holden Summers.

Marisol watched as the three boys made their way to the back of the class before sitting down at tables. She caught James’ eyes and immediately felt her face warm. She turned back to the front just as the teacher, Professor Flitwick, walked in.

“Mr. Potter, Mr. Weasley, and Mr. Summers,” he started in a squeaky voice, “please settle down or I will be forced to give you detention.”

The three boys stopped laughing, but were still holding smiles on their faces as if they were sure to burst into laughter again. What had they done to cause them to be in such hysterics?

Marisol tried to pay attention to the lecture, but her mind was still back with James. She wanted to get to know him. She was almost positive that if she asked anyone, they would tell her about the James Potter that was perceived instead of the real James Potter. She would have find out more about him from James himself.

Throughout the whole class time she was finding it increasingly hard to sit still and listen to Professor Flitwick. Especially when she could feel a pair of eyes on the back of her head. She knew it had to be James because each time that she looked back James turned away from her, his cheeks reddening.

When the bell finally rang she stood up and made her way out the door with Jazzy and Evelyn. Not even a minute after she had exited the classroom but she heard a voice calling out to her,

“Marisol!” It was a deep voice and when she turned around it was to find James heading in her direction. She slowed down to a stop and he stopped in front of her. “I’m throwing a party tonight in the Room of Requirement and I was hoping that you’d come.”

“Oh, yeah,” she replied in a conversational tone like he should already know that she was planning on going with her new friends to the party. “I wouldn’t dream of missing it.”

Or you, she thought to herself.

“Good,” he said through the smile that had stretched across his face. "I’ll be looking for you.”

Once he had walked off Marisol turned to see the expressions on her friends’ faces. They were looking at her with shock. She rolled her eyes. “What?”

“You’ve only been here a day and already you have the undivided attention of James Sirius Potter,” said Evelyn. “And just a heads up, I’d be careful if I were you.”

“Why’s that?” she asked.

“Because James has a rap for breaking girls’ hearts,” she went on, “just look at Kelsey. He just broke up with her on platform nine and three quarters.”

“I can take care of myself.”

Jazzy let out a sigh before saying, “We can see that, which is why we’re letting you know ahead of time before you jump into anything.”

“We’re just trying to be good friends,” replied Evelyn.

“Thanks,” she said with a smile. “I appreciate your friendships. I never thought I’d make friends this fast, but thanks to you guys I have two great friends in only a day of being here.”

The three smile at one another and then Evelyn’s stomach grumbled in hunger.

“And once again Evie’s stomach ruins a nice moment,” announced Jazzy with a laugh. “Let’s go to lunch before she collapses because her stomach has decided to eat itself.”

Marisol laughed as they made their way down to the entrance hall and Evelyn just rolled her eyes with a smile on her face.

~*~*~*~

James walked to his next class after lunch by himself as Fred and Holden both had a free period. He had Arithmancy now. He honestly didn’t know why he had told Professor Longbottom this morning that we would be continuing with the N.E.W.T. class. He must be losing it.

He didn’t need it. He had already decided that he would play Quidditch for a professional league after he graduated from Hogwarts. He wanted to follow in both his mother’s and Uncle Ron’s shoes. His mother had been Chaser on the Holyhead Harpies. And his Uncle Ron had been Keeper on the Chudley Cannons.

When he made it to the classroom, there were a few students mulling around in front of the closed door. He walked over to the door more and then he saw her. Marisol was standing by the door next to Kyle Macmillian. They looked like they were talking about something that was making Marisol laugh; her light brown eyes sparkled from her laughter and her wavy brown hair with its golden streaks sparkling and bouncing around her shoulders. He approached them and asked,

“Hey, what’s up, Kyle?”

“Not much, you?” Kyle asked as the two guys shook hands in a polite manner that said they were acquaintances, but not close enough to be friends.

“Oh, you know,” he started. “Just been discussing party plans for tonight with Holden and Fred.”

“Oh, yeah,” replied Kyle. “What do you guys have planned?”

“Now that, you’ll just have to wait and see for yourself.”

James looked from Kyle to Marisol after saying this and smiled. “You’re still coming, right?”

Marisol smiled. “Of course.”

Her smile nearly knocked the wind out of James. He recovered as the door opened and Madam Longbottom walked out of the room.

“Good afternoon, students, I trust that you’re first day back is going wonderfully, no?”

The students nodded in reply as they entered the class.

James was going to sit next to Marisol but before he could take the chair next to hers Kyle sat down. He silently cursed himself for being so slow and took a seat next to a fellow Gryffindor, Dustin Hollander.

Then he sighed as he saw his ex-girl friend walk in with a few of her Ravenclaw friends.

He looked down at the desk, trying to avoid looking at her. He could still feel her evil stares. Dustin was no help in this, either, he kept giving James updates on all of Kelsey’s deadly glares.

After a few minutes of this, James felt a new pair of eyes on him and he looked up to find himself looking into the light brown eyes of Marisol. She was looking at him with a questioning expression as to why he was looking so glum.


He glanced over in Kelsey’s direction, where she was till sending him death glares, and then back to Marisol’s warm, comforting eyes. He saw that her expression had changed from questioning to understanding as the whole situation dawned on her. Then she turned back around to continue taking notes.

James tried his best to focus on Madam Longbottom as he attempted to take notes. It was like he could barely hear what she was saying and his notes could hardly be passed as notes but rather a feeble attempt. When the bell rang, James was more than happy to get out of the classroom and as far away from Kelsey as he could.

He was happy that she was a Ravenclaw and therefore wouldn’t be able to get to him inside the Gryffindor common room. He told the fat lady the password and entered through the portrait hole with Dustin following closely behind him. The two separated when James headed over to the table in the corner where Holden and Fred sat.

“What’s going on guys?” He asked as he took a seat across from where Holden sat; next to Fred.

“Good,” replied Fred. “Just been making a list of everything we need to get from the kitchens before the party starts.”

“I can make the trip down there after dinner to get the supplies,” answered James at the unasked question written on both of their faces. He winked at the two of them conspiratorially.

“So, what’s up with you and the new girl?” Fred boldly asked his cousin. “You seem to really be crushing on her.”

“Nothing, yet,” he replied with a smile.

“Are you going to make your move tonight?” Holden asked him.

“Maybe,” he said. “Or maybe I’ll just play it out, let her get to know me before I ask her out.”

“That’s not like you, you usually act on impulse.”

“I know, but she makes me want to stop and think before acting.”

“Oh no!” exclaimed Fred. “James is actually using that brain of his to think before he acts. Better be careful, mate, I hear too much thinking can add too much strain to your brain.”

“Ha ha,” he replied in sarcasm to his cousin. “I happen to use my brain quite a lot actually.”

“Uh huh, sure,” said Fred. “We know you do.”

James just rolled his eyes at his two friends’ behaviors.

The three of them headed to Defense Against the Dark Arts five minutes later. James was happy to see that Kelsey wasn’t in this class with him. Though he was even happier when Marisol walked in with Evelyn York and Jasmine Baylor. He smiled at her before taking his seat next to Fred at the back of the class.

The moment Professor Zabini entered the classroom there was silence. He was not a teacher you wanted to cross. Unless you were a Slytherin then you could get away with anything, possibly even murder. Professor Zabini was the Head of Slytherin House, which explained his favoritism for the Slytherins.

James, Fred, and Holden were his least favourite students. He seemed to enjoy giving them detentions and taking points away from them. Sometimes for something as trivial as breathing too loudly. And that was not just an example; he gave James a detention because he claimed he was breathing far too loudly during a test for others to concentrate. That actually caused a dispute between the Head of Gryffindor House, Professor Longbottom, and Professor Zabini.

The class seemed to drag on for James and his friends as they anxiously waited for the bell to ring. When the bell finally did ring, everyone that wasn’t a Slytherin dashed out of the room as if they were suffocating. James went to dinner and then dismissed himself to go up to his dorm to get the Invisibility Cloak his father had finally decided to pass down to him last Christmas. When he had it, he made his way down to the kitchens to get what they would need for the party.



Author's Note:  I'd like to thank my beta slytherin princess for beta-ing this chapter for me.  Also, I'd like to thank all of you guys who have reviewed the first three chapters.  I really appreciated all the feedback you gave me.

Chapter 5 should be done soon.  I'm about halfway through it and then I'll send it off to my beta.  Thanks for reading and if you have any kind of feedback for me than I'd love to hear it.  Thanks again.

Chapter 5: Hope and Luck
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Disclaimer:  I do not own Harry Potter, JKR does.  I also got the idea for what their first Potions lesson of term from HBP. I only own any OCs you do not recognize and the plot.  Kara101 gave me the summary and came up with the name Marisol Mendez, I just ran off of it from there.
Author's Note:  Hey there!  Well, here's chapter 5.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did writing it.



Chapter 5
Hope and Luck

James stood in front of a portrait of a fruit bowl. He reached out and tickled the pear; it giggled and turned into a knob. He grasped, turned, and pulled the portrait open. He was greeted by a small house-elf.

“Mr. James is back for food again, sirs?” She asked in her high-pitched squeaky voice.

“Yes, Kitty,” replied James. “Here’s the list of everything I need.” He handed her the list and she bustled off to get everything on the list as quickly as she could.

While he was waiting, James was thinking of Marisol and about whether or not she would enjoy the party. He mentally made a promise to himself that he would make sure she had a great time at her first Hogwarts party.

Five minutes later, James maneuvred his way to the Room of Requirement to drop off all the food and bottles of both Butterbeer and Firewhiskey. He was glad he thought to bring his Invisibility Cloak and avoid any unwanted attention about the armload of food and drinks he carried.

He approached the stretch of blank wall opposite of the tapestry of dancing trolls and walked past it three times thinking the same thing.

We need a place for the back-to-school party. 

A door appeared and James entered through it to put the things on a table set off to the side before exiting the room. He went back up to Gryffindor tower to get ready for the party. He decided to wear a pair of Muggle jeans and a button-up, dark-blue long-sleeve shirt. He rolled the sleeves up to his elbows and left it un-tucked.

He checked his messy hair in the mirror over the bathroom sink; ruffled it a bit more so that it was even messier. Satisfied with his appearance, he finished up by brushing and flossing his teeth.

“James, let’s get down there before people start showing up,” said Fred. He threw a balled up sock at James’ head in an attempt to get him to hurry up.

“I’m coming,” James said.

He followed Fred out of their dorm, down through the common room, and out the portrait hole. The two of them arrived at the Room of Requirement to find it elaborately decorated with banners of all four houses and Holden setting up the refreshment table. Red and gold; green and silver; yellow and black; and blue and bronze streamers were strung around the room and draped over the plants that stood in the corners of the room. Near the walls were small round tables, each covered in a tablecloth of one of the four house colours, with four chairs seated around each of them.

“Wow!” James exclaimed. “You did an even better job with the decorations than you have before, Holden.”

“Thanks, that means a lot coming from you.” He rolled his eyes at James, causing both James and Fred to laugh.

Students started showing up ten minutes later and kept coming until ten-thirty. James and his friends were being their normal crazy selves all night; they were jumping around and setting off wet-start fireworks in the centre of the room where everyone was dancing. He was having fun, but he hadn’t been able to find Marisol anywhere and wondered if it was just too crowded to find anyone if you didn’t already know where they were.

It was a quarter until eleven when he finally found her. She was standing with York and Baylor. He walked over to where she stood and bent down so that he could say something in her ear,

“Hey there, enjoying the party?” He smiled when she turned around, startled at first before she saw that it was him.

“Hey,” she smiled. “Great party you have here.”

Marisol was wearing a flowy, white halter sundress with yellow sunflowers scattered on it. Her wavy brown hair fell loosely to the middle of her back, the top half was pulled back with a small clip. Her brown eyes sparkled as she smiled at James.

“Yeah, it’s okay,” he replied with a shrug and smile.

Someone cleared their throat, causing James to look in the direction it had come from. Evelyn and Jazzy were standing to the right of Marisol. “Hello ladies, having a good time?”

“Yes,” replied Evelyn. “That was quite the show with the fireworks a little bit ago.”

“Yeah, well, we try to keep the party going and give everyone something to talk about the next day.”

Jazzy nodded her head. “You guys certainly do an excellent job of that.”

James shrugged his broad shoulders before turning back to Marisol. He saw the smile on her face and smiled back at her; his smile reached all the way up to his warm brown eyes. He forgot about everything around him as his eyes held hers.

Then at that moment, the music changed from a fast song to a slow one. He held out his hand and did a little bow. “May I have this dance?”

“Yes, you may,” she answered through the smile that was planted firmly on her small, tan face. She looked back towards her friends, who were trying to act like the James Potter hadn’t come over to them and stole Marisol away. He led her out into the centre of the dance floor.

James put his hand in hers and wrapped his other around her lower back. Together they danced and he twirled her around. It was like everyone around them had vanished as they swayed, spun, and twirled about.

Marisol could feel butterflies dancing around in her tummy as he spun and twirled her around. How could he have this much of an effect on her? Marisol’s thoughts were penetrated by the sound of James’ voice,

“What’s on your mind?”

“Just thinking, is all.”

“About?” He let his playful smile slide across his handsome face, earning a small giggle from Marisol in response.

“Only of how much I’m enjoying Hogwarts so far,” she said the first thing that popped into her head.

“Uh huh, sure.”

He never took his eyes from hers while they danced and he felt like the song ended all too soon.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Marisol was walking back to the Hufflepuff common room with James. She had found out that James was the son of the famous Harry Potter. When she had first met him, the name ‘Potter’ hadn’t really clicked in her brain. Sure, she had learned about Harry Potter in History of Magic at the Academy, but that was about it. Harry Potter was famous all over the European continent, but in Britain, everyone knew everything about him and his family.

Marisol looked up when James started to ask her something.

“What caused your move from Spain to London?” asked James.

“My parents got a divorce over the summer,” she answered quietly. “My dad is from London and he went to Hogwarts. He said that it would be beneficial for when I graduated and started applying for jobs. My mum is a Muggle, she stayed in Spain. She’s a pottery artist and very serious about what she does.” The topic was still painful to Marisol, and it was evident by her face as she looked away from James.

“Oh, I’m sorry to hear that. Well, now that I’ve pried into your personal life, feel free to ask anything you want about mine, ” James smiled at her as they turned a corner, “but there isn’t anything all that special about me other than my father. Everyone knows how he saved the Wizarding World from the most feared dark wizard with the help of his two best friends.”

“I’m sure there’s more to you than that.”

James shrugged. “Maybe there is, but people don’t generally take the time to get to know me. They decide they like me simply because my father is famous,” He paused before continuing. “My only true friends are my cousins and Holden. Sometimes, I feel like all my other ‘friends’ just like me because… well… because I’m my father’s son.”

“My cousins and Holden treat me like a normal person,” he went on. “Everyone else is afraid to be honest or rude to me. They’re all scared they’ll offend Harry Potter’s son.”

He ran a hand through his hair as he stopped walking and turned to face Marisol. She had stopped walking also and was looking at him with, was that sympathy, or was it understanding?

“Well, I hope I’ll be counted as one of your real friends,” Marisol said with hope in her voice and a warm smile.

“Or maybe more?” James raised his eyebrows suggestively and smiled widely at her.

Marisol laughed at him and replied with a coy smile, “Maybe.”

James reached down and took her small hand in his.

When Marisol looked up at this gesture, she felt both a happy nervousness and a little confusion. She was surprised that she had already captured the eyes of the most popular boy in the school, let alone any guy at all. Even so, she couldn’t help but be suspicious that it was a cruel joke or game.

“What’s wrong?” James asked when he noticed her odd expression.

“Nothing,” replied Marisol. “I just didn’t expect to fit in here at Hogwarts so quickly.”

It was James’ turn to smile. “Well, you’re not exactly hard to like.”

Marisol giggled a little at his statement.

“I have my moments.”

“I find that hard to believe,” replied James. “But I still have a lot to learn about you.”

Marisol nodded.

The two continued to walk to the Hufflepuff common room. When they reached it, both said good night and parted. James turned to head back up the stairs to Gryffindor tower and Marisol turned to give the password to get into the common room.

Marisol walked through the common room and then down to the sixth years girls’ dormitory. The other girls were already asleep as she showered and got ready for bed. She decided to talk to Evelyn and Jazzy the next day.

~*~*~*~*~*~

Marisol made her way up to the common room after breakfast with Evelyn. They both had a free period, unlike Jazzy who had Ancient Runes, before Potions.

When they arrived in the common room, they snagged two of the comfy yellow armchairs by the fire place. The only other students in the common room were three sixth year boys and a small group of seventh years.

“So, tell me what happened! James walked you back last night?”

“Yes.”

“Did you kiss?”

“No!” Marisol replied. “I barely know him!”

Evelyn grinned at her knowingly, “You like him, don’t you?”

“No, I dunno.”

“You don’t know? It’s a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question, Mari. Do you like him or not?”

Marisol paused for a moment before she replied with a smile, “Yes, I think so.”

“Then tell him,” egged Evelyn. “I’ve seen the way he looks at you, and I think it’s safe to say he likes you too.”

“Really?” Marisol asked. She sounded slightly doubtfully; after all, she hadn’t had that many boyfriends in the past.

“Yes, and trust me,” Evelyn said, “I know these things. I may not have gone out with a ton of boys, but I’m a keen observer of these kinds of things.”

Marisol nodded. “I dunno, I think I need to work on it.”

“What is that supposed to mean?”

“It means that I’ve never had to tell a guy I like them,” replied Marisol. “At my other school guys approached me, so I didn’t get all that much experience with approaching them.”

“Ah,” Evelyn had. “Jazzy and I can help you with it. It’s really not as hard as you’d think.”

“Okay, but just so you know,” replied Marisol, “I think I’m going to need a lot of work to get the courage to talk to James, he’s the best looking guy I’ve ever liked.”

~*~*~*~*~*~

James walked into Potions with Fred and Holden and saw Marisol sitting next to Evelyn and Jazzy. When their eyes met, she smiled and waved at him. He smiled and waved back at her before following his friends to the back of the class.

Shortly after he was seated at the back, Professor Slughorn waddled into the room, using his wooden cane, and called for the class to settle down. Professor Slughorn drew the students’ attention to the three bubbling caldrons at the front.

“Can any of you tell me what this potion is called?” Professor Slughorn asked, indicating the potion with a pearlescent sheen and spirals of steam rising from it with the hand that wasn’t leaning on the walking stick.

To James it smelled like the fresh wood of a broomstick and the smells that he had grown used to when he went to the Burrow for Christmas; delicious foods being cooked, pine from the Christmas tree, and gingerbread.

The third was something that James found hard to place. It smelled like coconut.

James was pulled out of his thoughts by Professor Slughorn’s voice calling on Marisol.

Marisol put her hand down as she answered, “It’s the love potion, Amortentia.”

“Correct!” exclaimed Professor Slughorn in his usual jovial way. “That’s five points for Hufflepuff, Miss Mendez.

“Now, can anyone tell me how Amortentia affects a person?”

A few hands rose, but Professor Slughorn called on Dominique Weasley. “The person will smell three things they love. For instance, I can smell freshly cut flowers from my mother’s garden, new fallen snow, and something else I can’t quite put my finger on.”

“Five points to Gryffindor!” exclaimed Professor Slughorn. “Now, who can tell me what this potion is?”

James recognized the dark, mucky liquid that Professor Slughorn was indicating. It was Polyjuice potion. He raised his hand with a few others.

“Mr. Potter, can you tell me?” Professor Slughorn called on him.

James put his hand down before answering the question. “That’s Polyjuice potion, it transforms the drinker into anyone they are wishing to impersonate. The last ingredient added is the hairs of whomever you want to transform into.”

“Excellent job, James,” said Professor Slughorn. “Another five points for Gryffindor.”

“And now who can tell me what this one is?” The potion he indicated was a rich golden colour and small drops of the gold draught were jumping around like dolphins.

No one raised their hands for a minute and then one hand went up.

The hand belonged to Marisol. When Professor Slughorn nodded for her to answer the question, she said, “Felix Felicis.”

“And can you tell me what it does to the drinker, Miss Mendez?”

“It allows the drinker luck in whatever they desire to accomplish,” answered Marisol, “it’s very difficult to brew as it takes a few months to put together properly.”

“Well, done, ten points for Hufflepuff.”

Professor Slughorn turned back to the rest of the class as he took out a small glass phial with the golden potion sparkling in it. A cork stopper plugged the opening. He held it up for the whole class to see as he said,

“For today’s lesson, you will be making the Draught of Living Death,” he went on. “The student closest to the end result will win this small bottle of Felix Felicis. It’s worth one full day of luck.

“Now, you must remember that Felix Felicis is a banned substance and is not to be taken on days that you have tests, a sports or academic tournament; such as Quidditch or Wizard’s Chess matches. It is only to be taken on an average day. Now, you can start.”

All the students raced to the supply closet to get what they needed. It took Marisol a little longer than the rest of the class to get her ingredients for the potion because she didn’t know the exact placement of everything in the small, cramped closet. But, she found the lot and was soon sitting on her stool at the table with Jazzy, Evelyn, and another girl that was in Ravenclaw. Marisol knew she wouldn’t succeed in this little competition as she was rubbish at Potions.

Marisol turned around to see that James looked like he knew exactly what he was doing and figured he must be an excellent Potions student. She turned back around in her seat and continued chopping and squishing up ingredients and adding them to her potion.

James was busily working on his Potion. Though he had inherited some skills in Potions from his grandmother (Lily Potter), he was still only considered somewhat average.

On his left, Fred was swearing as he wasn’t that adept with Potions. It had surprised James to hear that Fred had received an E in his Potions O.W.L. over the summer. On his other side sat Holden and he was fairing pretty decently. Holden seemed to always have to do well in lessons and on tests; no matter how much hard work and determination it took.

It was ten minutes before class ended when Professor Slughorn called for all of them to stop, though a couple of the Slytherins continued to add ingredients to their Potions when he wasn’t looking.

Professor Slughorn walked around the room. He released Marisol’s, Jazzy’s, and Evelyn’s as a nice attempt before passing back over them.

James tapped his foot against the side of his stool impatiently as he waited for Professor Slughorn to get to the back of the classroom. Professor Slughorn approached their table last.

He beamed at James’ potion, blanched on Fred’s, and on Holden’s he exclaimed, “And our winner is Holden Summers.” He handed over the small phial to Holden. “There you are, my boy."

“Before the bell rings, I need everyone to put a portion of their potion in a flask and place it on my desk with their names on it.”

There was scraping as everyone did just that and then cleaned up. When the bell rang, everyone exited the classroom.

“I still can’t believe I won this,” said Holden.

“I don’t see why you find it so hard to believe that you’re one of the best students, perhaps the best, in our year,” Fred said. “Just like I know that I stink at Potions, mine smelled like raw eggs.”

James and Holden laughed. They both knew Fred always got bored in Potions and added his own ingredients to try to make it more interesting. Though, it never quite worked out that way.

“What are you going to use it for?” James asked; he didn’t even know how he would use it if he had won it. He would probably have wanted to have a normal day where he was just another face in the crowd and didn’t stand out so much.

Holden scrunched up his face. “I dunno.”

“Come on,” urged Fred. “There must be something you want to happen, more than anything.”

“I haven’t thought about it,” Holden told them. “I like how my life turned out.”

The three boys continued with their discussion as they made their way to the Great Hall for lunch.

James had barely sat down at the Gryffindor table before he was bombarded with questions about when Quidditch try-outs would take place. He told them that he was holding the try-outs at noon on the Quidditch Pitch this Saturday.

When he was finally left alone he grabbed a chicken salad sandwich from one of the platters and took a big bite. He hadn’t had much of a chance to eat breakfast that morning because he had overslept. He had a free period after lunch and then Herbology.



Author's Note:  So, I like how this chapter came out.  I hope you guys feel the same.  I'd also like to give a huge thanks to my beta Whitney or as she's known in the forums, slytherinprincess, for helping smooth out the rough draft.

Also, I was inspired by Carrie Underwood's song Twisted while writing this.  I was listening to her Carnival Ride album when I was writing this and when Twisted came on and I just got hit by inspiration for this chapter.  If you haven't heard it, it's a song about emotions, feelings, and love.

If you liked this chapter then I'd really appreciate a review telling me what your favorite part/quote was.  If you didn't, then tell me why you didn't like it.  I like constructive criticism and thrive off of it.  Thanks for taking the time to read the chapter.

Chapter 6: A Little Help from Felix
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Disclaimer:  I do not own Harry Potter, JKR does.  I only own the plot and any OCs that you do not recognize.  Kara101 provided me with the summary and came up with the name Marisol Mendez.  I just ran from what she gave me.
Author's Note:  Okay, so I know that you probably want to read this chapter so I'll let you get to it.  Enjoy!



Chapter 6
A Little Help from Felix

Marisol was walking to dinner after her last lesson on Friday with Evelyn and Jazzy. The girls had been chatting about class and Marisol was only listening to them absentmindedly.

“Oh! I just remembered our house Quidditch try-outs are tonight. I was thinking… we should go down and check it out,” Evelyn said, trying to sound innocent.

At that, Marisol became interested in the conversation again and directed her full attention at her two friends.

Jazzy rolled her eyes at Evelyn. “You only want to watch our seeker.”

“That’s not true!” Evelyn exclaimed, though her cheeks turned a light shade of pink. “I happen to like Quidditch, thank you very much!”

“Sure you do,” Jazzy mumbled under her breath.

Marisol sighed; she still didn’t know half the people Evelyn and Jazzy spoke about.

“What spots are open?” she asked curiously.

Evelyn answered her question, “One Chaser and both Beater positions.”

“Is it too late to sign-up?”

“Of course not,” replied Evelyn, “You basically just show up to try out. The sign-up sheet is really to show the Captain about how many people will be there.”

“Are you going to try-out?” Jazzy asked Marisol.

“I want to, I played Chaser at the Academy,” she said. “I was just thinking it might help me feel more at home if I tried to do something I enjoy, something I used to do all the time.”

“You know, James is Captain of the Gryffindor team. He plays Chaser,” Jazzy said as she raised her eyebrows and grinned devilishly at Marisol.

“I thought he looked like he did,” Marisol said quietly to herself, not meaning for the other two to hear her.

Evelyn grinned. “Checking him out, are you?”

Marisol’s eyes widened and she blushed. “No, I didn’t mean…”

Evelyn laughed at her. “I know you didn’t mean it that way, but he does have a nice body, doesn’t he?” she added with a grin.

“Oh, err…” Marisol mumbled, blushing slightly again and at a loss for words.

Jazzy and Evelyn both laughed as they entered through the Great Hall and took their seats at the Hufflepuff table. The food was already set out on the tables and not many students were in the Great Hall as most had already ate when dinner started at six o’ clock. It was quarter ‘til seven now.

Marisol ate her Sheppard’s pie as quickly as she could so that she would have time to get her broomstick before the Quidditch trials started at seven.

“Whoa, slow down there,” cautioned Jazzy, “we don’t want you to choke.”

Marisol swallowed the mouthful of mashed potatoes and vegetables that she had been chewing before responding. “I don’t want to be late.”

“Don’t worry about being late,” Evelyn told her. “Kyle won’t care, as long as you’re good. Are you?”

“Yes, I mean, I think...I dunno.”

“You’re too modest.”

Marisol shrugged her shoulders. “Maybe I am.”

~*~*~*~*~*~

The wind whipped at Marisol’s hair, trying and failing to free it from the messy bun it was in as she flew on her Thunderbolt 270. She had the red ball that was most commonly known as the Quaffle tucked safely under her right arm as she made her way to the goal hoops. As she got within fifteen feet, she threw the leather ball at the middle hoop. It went in and she could hear Evelyn and Jazzy cheering from where they sat in the stands watching.

A smile appeared on her face as she turned and flew back to the other end of the pitch. Everything she’d been stressing over left her mind. Marisol hadn’t realized how much she had thought about her parents’ divorce until she had pushed off from the ground twenty minutes ago. It felt good to not think for a while and just let her worries fly out of her head as she soared across the field.

The sky was a navy blue and the first few stars of the night shone down onto the grounds brightly. The moon was almost full and it bathed the students’ faces in silvery light. The lights from the castle hit the grounds beneath it.

Marisol could hear the crickets start to chirp in a slow rhythmic tune as she caught the Quaffle and passed it on to another girl that was trying out.

After five more minutes of flying, Kyle Macmillian called for everyone to land so that he could announce who had made the team.

“I’ve decided that our third Chaser will be Marisol Mendez, sorry Nikki,” he added sympathetically to a small girl with dark red hair that was held up in a loose ponytail; she looked to be thirteen. “Maybe next year.”

“And our beaters will be Austin Trager and Katelyn Boleyn.”

Marisol felt a surge of happiness at making the team, though it evaporated when she looked at the girl that Kyle had called Nikki; she looked torn. Marisol went over to her.

“You did a great job, I’m sorry for taking the spot that probably would have been yours if I hadn’t transferred here.”

“It’s okay,” Nikki said. “Someone else might have come along if you hadn’t.”

“You don’t know that.”

She shrugged. “I’m glad you got it, you’re good.”

“I really am sorry,” Marisol apologized again; her eyes were beginning to moisten.

“It’s ok, really” Nikki gave her a comforting smile before walking away as Evelyn and Jazzy approached.

The girls ran up to Marisol and gave her an excited hug.

“You were amazing!” exclaimed Jazzy. “We definitely have a chance at finally beating Gryffindor with you on the team!”

“Why didn’t you tell us that you were that good?” Evelyn asked.

Marisol smiled and shrugged her small shoulders.

“I have to agree with, Jazzy,” Kyle said as he walked over to the three girls, “With you on the team, we’re sure to beat Gryffindor, but no pressure.”

“Normally, when someone says no pressure,” Marisol retorted smartly, “it adds pressure.”

The others laugh and Marisol joined in after a minute of pretending to look offended.

Around them, other Hufflepuffs were heading back up towards the castle to escape the mosquitoes that had started to bite. Marisol and the others followed behind them as they continued to talk about Quidditch. They walked into the Hufflepuff commons at a quarter after eight. They all sat down around the fire and talked about Quidditch for a couple of hours before going to bed.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Marisol woke up early the following morning. She needed to write a letter to Maria since she hadn’t yet. She had promised to write after the first day, but instead she had forgotten. She felt like a terrible friend.

She sat in a chair in the Hufflepuff common room with her quill, ink, and parchment on the table in front of her.

Dear Maria,

            I’m so sorry I didn’t write as soon as I said I would. I’ve been preoccupied not only with thoughts of my parents’ divorce, but also with my feelings for this guy I’ve met who is a sixth year too. Though, he’s in a different house than I am in.

            Oh, there are four houses here. Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, and Slytherin; you’re sorted into whichever house that would suit you best by a ‘talking’ hat. No, I’m not lying; it actually talks to you while deciding where to sort you. I’m in Hufflepuff, which I’m told is where the loyal, generous, and hardworking get placed.

            Anyway, the guy I met is in Gryffindor and he’s a part of this huge family that has either been in Gryffindor or is currently in Gryffindor. His name is James. He’s so nice and I feel I can tell him about anything; not that I can’t tell you things, but it’s different with him. He also happens to be the most popular guy here and I can’t help but feel wary of the attention he’s been giving me; me being the new girl and therefore vulnerable to tricks.

            I also have made two new friends, Jazzy and Evelyn. They have nothing on you, Carmen, and Alexia, though. I miss you guys so much! How’re things going at the Academy?

            Oh, and did you know that Hogwarts only has 7 years of education instead of the 8 years at the Academy? They move pretty fast in lessons, also. I’m surprised I was able to keep up with the pace.

            Now onto the juicy gossip that I know you have been waiting for. At the end of the first day of lessons there was a party, thrown by James and his friends, for all of the four houses. It was much crazier than the parties at the Academy; you have to admit they are pretty mild. Well, anyway, there were fireworks, music, Firewhiskey and Butterbeer, and a lot of chaos in general caused by James and his mates.

            I danced with James for a few songs and after the party he walked me back to the Hufflepuff common room. We talked the whole way back about ourselves and our families. He told me things that I’m pretty sure no one else knows about him after I told him about my parents getting a divorce over the summer because he asked me what caused my transfer.

            Maria, what do I do? I’ve never felt the way I feel right now. Every time I come into contact with James I can feel the butterflies come alive in my stomach and I don’t know what to do. You’re better with guys than I am, help me out with this. Please. I can really use your famous advice at a time like this.

Your bestest friend forever,
Marisol 



Marisol rolled the parchment up and sealed it just as she heard someone coming up from the boys’ stairs. She turned around to see Kyle open the door and walk into the common room. “Hey.”

Kyle looked over in her direction as he said through a yawn, “’Morning. I thought I was the only one that ever got up this early on a Saturday.”

“I had to write a letter to a friend back in Spain,” Marisol told him. “Say, you wouldn’t mind showing me how to get up to the Owlery so I can send this off with my owl, would you?”

“Nah, I wouldn’t mind.”

Kyle waited while Marisol stuffed her ink, quill and extra parchment in her bag and put it back in her dorm before coming back out carrying just the letter. He then led her out of the common room and up the stairs into the entrance hall.

Marisol made sure to take notice of any small detail to remember how to get up to the Owlery next time. She walked beside Kyle as he led her up the grand marble staircase in the entrance hall and looked at all the portraits along the walls. The portraits held men with ruffles around their necks, women in puffy dresses, knights, etc.

“Are you liking Hogwarts so far?” cut in Kyle’s voice, causing her to pull her attention away from the many portraits, tapestries, and suits of armour.

“It’s different than the Academy,” Marisol answered, “there we have to complete eight years, as opposed to seven here; though, we take O.W.L.s in fifth like you do, but we don’t take N.E.W.T.s until the eighth year.”

“Oh, that is different.”

“Yeah, it is,” Marisol said with a small smile. “But it’s nothing I can’t get used to, hopefully.”

They were climbing a spiralling staircase now, which led them into a circular room with glassless windows and owls standing on perches. She instantly found her owl and walked over to her. “I have a letter for you to deliver,” she said and her owl opened her soulful brown eyes as she stuck out her leg.

Marisol was aware that Kyle was watching her as she tied the letter to her owl’s leg. Once her owl had taken off from her perch out into the sky and disappeared she turned around to face him.

“Thanks for showing me the way up here.”

“It’s no problem.”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

James was in the locker rooms after the Quidditch trials. He couldn’t believe all of the people that had come out. It was also pointless that so many were there because he ended up keeping all the same players plus one new Chaser to make up for Scott Wood graduating last term.

James was standing in a shower stall as cold water ran down his body. He was completely spent as some of the applicants had yelled at him when he called out who was on the team this season. One of the things that had been yelled that seemed to be really sticking itself inside of his mind was that he had chosen only his family or close friends for the team. Hopefully, he could prove them wrong by winning the first game of the season against Slytherin.

After his shower, James threw on his uniform and Hogwarts robes over his head. He sat down on the bench to put on his socks, shoes and tied the laces before heading back up to the castle. He felt that he had just had a full Quidditch try-out for no reason, but Professor Longbottom had told him that he had to put other students into consideration and give them a chance to show their skills.

James entered the entrance hall and walked the short distance into the open entry way of the Great Hall. He walked over to the Gryffindor table where he found Fred and Holden at the far end. James sat down across from them before grabbing a sandwich.

“Try-outs were nice today,” Fred said in a falsely cheery voice.

James rolled his eyes. “Please, don’t remind me.”

“I won’t.”

“I will,” replied Holden. “It was insane! There were never that many people at the try-outs before and more than a few looked like they were going to fall off their broomsticks.”

James glared at Holden.

“It’s because ickle Jamesie is so popular,” cooed Fred in a sing-song voice.

James turned his glare to Fred.

“What?!” Fred exclaimed. “It’s true, though most of it probably has to do with your dad saving the Wizarding World from You-Know-Who.”

“Yeah, I know,” said James. “Sometimes I wish someone else’s dad had defeated Voldemort.”

“You know you love all the attention,” Fred said.

“No, I don’t.”

“What are you complaining about now, James?” a voice on his left asked.

James turned to see his sister, Lily, sitting down beside him. “I don’t complain,” he grumbled as he set his unfinished sandwich on his plate.

“Do too.”

“Do not.”

“Doooo tooooooo!” Lily sang in his ear, causing him to wipe the inside out with his index finger from her loud voice. This only made Lily giggle at James.

He rolled his eyes and turned his head away from his sister; towards the entrance of the Great Hall. He saw Marisol enter with Baylor and York. He waved when he saw her look over at him and she waved back at him shyly before following her fellow Hufflepuffs over to their table.

“Uh oh, we’re in trouble,” Fred announced before James turned back to his friends and sister. “James is falling for a girl.”

James glared at his cousin.

“Oooh, I can’t wait to tell mum and dad!” exclaimed Lily. “I need to ask her a few questions and tell her some things she should know about our Jamesie.”

“Can I be with you when you talk with her?” Fred asked. “I have so much stuff that I’ve been saving to use against him.”

“Yeah, let me in on the interrogation, too,” Holden said.

“You guys are unbelievable.”

James shook his head as he intertwined his fingers in his messy black hair. Why did his family always try to embarrass him? He loved them and all, but sometimes they took it too far. Damn those Potters and Weasleys for always having to know each others’ business.

At that moment Louis, Rose, Hugo, Albus, Molly, Lucy, Roxy, and Dominique and her friends sat down with them.

“What’s going on?” Hugo asked as he sat down across from Lily; the ever clueless one of the family.

“James likes the new girl,” Lily informed all of the newcomers.

“Well, that’s nothing new,” Dominique said. “It was obvious that he was interested in her on the train.”

“And my family proves to me yet again why I don’t ever like sharing information about my personal life with them!”

“Oh, don’t be sour, James,” Molly said, “You know you love us.”

“Not at this moment,” James mumbled before he stood and left the Great Hall. He didn’t feel like hearing all the different ways his family would embarrass him in front of Marisol. He didn’t even look over at the Hufflepuff table, where Marisol had watched him stand and leave the Great Hall.

James ended up walking back out to the Quidditch Pitch. He sat in the stands and stared at one end where the giant golden hoops rose from the ground. He was trying to think of the best way to ask Marisol to the first Hogsmeade visit.

James could hear the soft melodies of birds chirping; the wind blew softly, causing the leaves in the trees and bushes to make a rustling sound. He heard Hagrid humming to himself as he made his way up from his hut to the castle for lunch; and in the distance he also heard the odd sounds coming from the creatures that lived in the forest. The sun was at its highest point of the day as it shined bright down on him, making his eyes squint as he scanned over the whole grounds from where he sat. He could just make out a few students down by the edge of the lake, enjoying one of the last warm days of summer before fall. The students were laughing and splashing their bare feet in the lake while the giant squid surfaced and splashed water with his fins; leaving the students in a drenched state.

James let out a chuckle to himself before going back to staring at the goal posts.

~*~*~*~*~*~

Over the next few days, James still hadn’t asked Marisol to the Hogsmeade trip that would fall on Halloween. He just couldn’t find the right words and he was oddly intimidated by her. This was new for him as he had never had this problem with a girl before. He didn’t get nervous with girls when he asked them out; he just did it without thinking. Why was Marisol different?

He had talked to Fred about it. But his cousin couldn’t tell him the reason why and so he dropped it. He would have gone to Holden about his problem but he seemed to be busy with schoolwork and prefect duties. That left James to figure it out on his own.

James decided he would ask Marisol after double Transfiguration on Thursday, which happened to be two days before Halloween. He knew he was cutting it rather close, but he figured he still had a good chance of getting a ‘yes’ out of her.

~*~*~*~*~

Holden Summers, best friend of James and Fred, found himself thinking about the new girl more and more as the Hogsmeade weekend approached. He had expected James to have asked Marisol by now, but he hadn’t. It wasn’t like James to not go after something or in this case, someone he wanted.

Does he even like her anymore? Holden thought as he tossed around in his bed with the crimson curtains drawn around it. Maybe he’s moved on? Should I ask her out myself? These thoughts swirled around in his head while he lay on his back. He stared up at the canopy of the four-poster. What if I ask her out and then find out that James had been planning on asking her? Will I lose my best friend? This is insane! I should just ask her! He really can’t be mad at me since he never asked her. 

Holden roughly ran his fingers through his already tangled, golden-streaked blond hair. This is crazy. How am I supposed to know what James is planning on doing when he hasn’t said anything about it to me? Maybe I should ask him… No, I don’t want him to start thinking about it if he wasn’t planning to ask her in the first place. Besides, it’s my own fault that I don’t know what he’s planning on doing. I’ve been too busy with Prefect duties, homework, and Quidditch practice to talk about girls with James. Surely, he would have told me or mentioned if he liked her and was going to ask her… Maybe I should just go for it and whatever happens will happen. 


At that moment, a big smile crossed his face as he remembered the small potion bottle at the bottom of his trunk; he had completely forgotten about it. Perhaps if I have some in the morning before breakfast, I’ll have the courage to ask her out. It might also make her say yes; it’s supposed to help me to succeed in whatever I attempt. 

With that last thought, Holden closed his eyes and smiled to himself before falling into a slumber. He was awoken only a few hours later by the others in the dormitory. He pulled himself out of bed and dragged himself to the bathroom for a cold shower to wake up.

Holden was the last one in the dorm because he had told Fred and James to go on to breakfast without him. The two of them had been complaining that he was getting ready too slow.

He opened his trunk and rummaged in it for a few minutes. He finally found the small bottle at the bottom, underneath one of his older textbooks. He took a quick swig from it to last the day and corked it before he tossed it back into his trunk. Holden grabbed his bag that held the books he would need for the day. He then left the dorm and headed down through the common room and halls before making it to the Great Hall. He found James and Fred sitting at the end of the Gryffindor table and joined them.

Holden didn’t say anything about taking some of the lucky potion as he sat down across from the two of them. Instead, he joined in their conversation about how Quidditch practice had been as of late.

~*~*~*~*~

Over breakfast on Thursday morning, Marisol was discussing Hogsmeade with Jazzy and Evelyn. None of the three girls had acquired dates and therefore had decided that they’d go into the village together. The girls had no problem with this plan, though Marisol was somewhat sad that James hadn’t asked her. She was so sure that he would have, too. She guessed she was wrong in hoping he actually liked her.

Marisol couldn’t help but think that she had been another fling to James Sirius Potter, another heart to break, just another girl.

“Mari, are you okay?” Jazzy asked her in a concerned voice. Marisol’s eyes had started to tear up and she had a very sad look upon her face. She hadn’t realized that she had allowed her feelings to slip out while she was thinking of him.

“I’m fine,” Marisol lied.

“No, you’re not.”

“Are you upset that James didn’t ask you into the village?” Evelyn asked in her gentle, caring voice that Marisol had come accustomed to over the weeks at Hogwarts. Marisol had learned that Evelyn was the kind of girl always looking out for others as though she were their mother. With this thought, a whole new wave of emotions came over Marisol; she missed her mother dreadfully.

The Academy had allowed its students to spend weekends at home with their families. Marisol had gone home every weekend, if not every then every other. She wasn’t used to being away from her mum for such a long period of time. Marisol even missed her dad; her clueless, but caring dad.

Marisol felt a hand on her shoulder and turned to see Evelyn looking at her with sympathy in her violet eyes, her mess of dark curls knotted on top of her head this morning. Though, it would most likely be down later.

“I’m just feeling a little homesick.”

“Well, that’s understandable,” Jazzy said like it was the most obvious thing in the world. Her dark braids falling over her shoulders.

Evelyn shot her a glare. “Honestly, Jazzy, show a little sympathy.”

“It’s okay,” Marisol replied. “I am being a baby. What kind of sixteen-year-old do you know that cries over her parents?”

“Yes, but it’s perfectly understandable if you’re homesick since you are from a different country to begin with.”

“Yeah, I suppose,” Marisol mumbled.

The girls finished their breakfasts, though Marisol mainly just pushed at the food on her plate until it was time for the first class. This was not missed by either of her friends but neither felt it necessary to try to push Marisol to do something she didn’t want to do. They would force her to eat at lunchtime if she was still in too glum of a mood to eat.

Marisol went through the motions of all of her morning classes. She was still thinking of all her friends back home, her mum, dad, and of why James hadn’t asked her to Hogsmeade. Though, the latter was far from important compared to the rest.

She was about to enter the Great Hall for lunch when she heard someone call her name. Marisol turned around on her heel to see that Holden had been the one to call to her. She stopped and waited as he approached her. When he was standing in front of her he asked,

“Will you go to Hogsmeade with me?”



Author's Note:  Okay, so, a huge thanks to my beta Whitney or as she is known in the forums, slytherinprincess, for doing a great job beta-ing this chapter.  

I hope you enjoyed this chapter and apologize for the long wait as I was really sick last month with that sore throat bug that was going around.  But I'm back and I'll try to have the next chapter done and up faster that this one took.  Let me know what you thought of this chapter, what I can improve on, and what you liked about it through review, please.  Thanks for reading!

Chapter 7: Still Friends?
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Disclaimer:  J.K. Rowling owns Harry Potter.  I only own the plot and any OCs that you do not recognize.  Also, Hermione G in the forums (also known as Kara101 on the archive) gave me the summary to roll from for her summary challenge.  She also came up with the name Marisol Mendez.



Chapter 7
Still Friends?

Marisol stood there speechless for a moment before stepping to the side of the Great Hall doors, so that she wasn’t in anyone’s way.

Holden stood before her and he started to fidget as he waited for her response. The same thought running through his head the whole time. What if the Felix doesn’t work? That one little sentence kept running over and over again through his thoughts and it was messing with him. Holden looked up as Marisol spoke.

“Did you just ask me out?”

“Uh, yeah, I did,” Holden said sheepishly. “What’d you say?” He pasted a smile on his face to try to lighten the mood. He was good at that, always able to put a smile on someone else’s face in serious situations.

Marisol smiled, but only slightly, before responding ever so softly that Holden had to lean in to hear her answer. “Sure, I’ll go with you.” She sounded unsure at the same time she said it, though. As if she had wanted someone else to ask her.

“You like someone else, don’t you?” Holden asked her. He didn’t really need her to tell him who, though. He already knew. James Potter, his best friend and the guy that all the girls at Hogwarts had crushes on. Holden wasn’t jealous of James because he had his own fan club, but he found it hard to get the attention of girls that he had liked in the past because they were apart of James’ groupies.

Without realizing what he was saying Holden asked, “It's James, isn’t it? You like James.” It was more of a statement because he didn’t really need her to confirm it to know the truth. But that didn’t stop her from answering it.

“It’s that obvious, is it?” Marisol asked in a small voice as she looked down at the marble of the flooring where they stood side-by-side in the entrance hall.

“No,” Holden said, a little too fast, “Not at all.”

Marisol gave him a look. It was a look that said that she knew he was lying to her.

Holden let out a breath before he spoke. “I’ve seen the way you two look at each other. Which is why I’m surprised he hadn’t asked you himself yet.”

Marisol let a sigh escape her lips as she continued to look at the floor before she looked up and her brown eyes met Holden’s blue green ones.

“I’m really sorry,” she said to him.

“You shouldn’t be.” Holden told her. It wasn’t like he wasn’t expecting it; he had just been kidding himself. He wondered if James had been drawn to her for the same things that he had. And that was Marisol’s warm personality, generosity to others, and how cute she always appeared. His thoughts were interrupted as Marisol spoke.

“I’ll still go with you.”

“Huh?” he asked. Holden had completely forgotten why he had been talking with her in the first place.

“To Hogsmeade, silly,” Marisol giggled a little, which made her eyes sparkle with warmth he noticed.

“Oh, are you sure?” Holden asked her, slightly hesitant before offering an alternative for her. “You could ask James. He doesn’t have a date yet either.”

“Really?”

“Yep.”

Marisol bit her lower lip. “I’m not good at asking guys out. I get too nervous.”

Holden had a sudden thought. What if he could help Marisol get James to ask her out faster next time by taking her to Hogsmeade this time? Of course, there was a down side to this plan:

James won’t talk to me again if he still likes Marisol. 

But that was a chance Holden was willing to take if it helped James step up to the plate and tell Marisol how he felt about her. Even if in the process of helping out James and Marisol, Holden would be getting hurt.

Holden was brought out of his thoughts as Marisol asked, “Are you alright?”

“Yeah, perfect.”

Holden didn’t wait for her to respond before going into his plan. “I can help you get James to ask you out by taking you to Hogsmeade with me.”

“You’d do that for me?” Marisol asked him with puzzlement in her voice as she looked torn between wanting James to ask her out and not wanting to use Holden to get a date.

“Of course,” Holden stated simply. When you liked someone, you put their feelings before your own. And that was exactly what he was doing, putting Marisol’s feelings before his own.

“I can’t do that to you.”

“Don’t worry about me, I’ll be fine.”

Marisol eyed him closely. He appeared okay on the surface, but she had learned that looks could easily be deceiving. Finally she responded. “Fine, I’ll do it. I’ll go out with you.”

“Great!” Holden exclaimed like he was happy to be doing this, when he really felt like screaming his lungs out. “Let’s shake on it.” He held his hand out for her to grasp and the two shook hands, both wearing smiles on their faces, though only Holden’s was forced. The two of them parted when they entered the Great Hall and headed off in different directions; Marisol to the Hufflepuff table and Holden to the Gryffindor table.

Holden found James and Fred already seated toward the centre of the table and sat down opposite them. He didn’t tell them about asking Marisol out and how she had said ‘yes’. They would find out soon enough. If not, well, Saturday was a day and half away. Holden grabbed a sandwich off of one of the platters and took a bite, while at the same time he joined in the conversation that James and Fred were having about Quidditch.

~*~*~*~*~

James was finding it incredibly hard to pay attention to a word that Professor Cartwright was saying throughout Transfiguration. His mind kept trailing off toward the girl with wavy brown hair sitting in the second row of desks. He was going to ask her out after this class and he was growing exceedingly antsy at the anticipation that he felt.

What if she says ‘no’?

She won’t turn down the James Sirius Potter.

She might. 

Nah.

What if someone asked her out and she said ‘yes’ already?

She wouldn’t say yes to someone else.

She could, though. 

This was only a glimpse of the slightly unusual dialog that was unfolding in the mind of James Sirius Potter. He kept trying to shake his head to clear it. He really should have been paying attention to what was being said by the professor. If they had a quiz next class, he would probably fail it, even if he was at the top of his class in Transfiguration.

James looked down at what he had written as notes. They couldn’t even be passed off as notes. There were only one or two sentences on the parchment that went along with what Professor Cartwright had been saying. The rest of the sheet was blank.

When the bell finally rang, James hurried out of the classroom after Marisol. James ignored the calls of both Fred and Holden telling him to wait up and asking where the fire was. He saw her start to round a bend in the hallway with Baylor and York; he picked his speed up before calling out her name to get her attention.

“Marisol!”

He saw her turn around and spot him then turn back to her friends to tell them something before turning back to face him as he approached. James stopped in front of her and smiled. Marisol returned the smile, but James could see that she was a little confused as to why he had just, literally, chased after her.

James decided to just ask her out instead of backing into the topic of Hogsmeade. “Would you go with me to Hogsmeade on Saturday?”

The smile that had been on Marisol’s face dropped. Why did he have to ask her after Holden? How was she supposed to tell him that she was going with his best friend? Should I tell him? Marisol quickly decided that she should just tell James half of the truth and if he asked her who she was going with than she’d tell him about Holden. She really didn’t want to be the one to split the bridge that was their friendship.

“I’m kind of…uh…am already going with someone.” Marisol watched as the smile on James’ face turned into a frown and his brows furrowed in a disappointed expression. “I’m so sorry.”

“Why should you be sorry?” James asked her. “I should have asked you sooner.” He pasted a smile on his face, but unlike his friend Holden’s had been, it was obvious it was somewhat forced.

“Yeah, but I still feel bad.”

“Don’t worry about it,” he told her. “I’ll see you later.”

James turned to walk away, but then he turned back around to find Marisol still standing there as he asked her what he had to know. “Who are you going with?”

Marisol took in a breath and then released it before answering James’ question, “Holden.”

“You don’t mean my best friend Holden Summers, do you?” James asked her in a somewhat strained tone.

Marisol nodded and that’s all James needed as confirmation before he walked off.

~*~*~*~*~

Marisol headed down to the Hufflepuff common room, where both Jazzy and Evie were at. She felt herself grow angry as she passed the portraits, suits of armour, and other students in the halls. Why were guys always so defensive when it came to a girl that they liked? It wasn’t as though they had asked the girl out yet, either. All that mattered was that they sent a message out to all the other guys to stay away from the girl that they liked.

It made her so angry that she had picked up the defensive vibe from James. Even though a small part of her, very minuscule, had always wanted a guy to get defensive over her. But she had never wanted a dispute to be caused between two guys because of her. Let alone two best friends. That’s just the icing on the cake, Marisol thought sarcastically.

Marisol told the portrait the password before walking into the common room. She spotted Jazzy and Evie sitting by the fire and she walked over before falling back into an armchair.

“So, what did James want?” Jazzy asked Marisol innocently.

“He asked me to go to Hogsmeade with him.”

“He did?” Evelyn asked.

“But you already told Holden that you’d go with him,” Jazzy pointed out. “You didn’t say ‘yes’ did you?”

“Of course she didn’t,” Evelyn rolled her eyes at Jazzy before looking back at Marisol. “You didn’t, did you?”

“No, I didn’t,” Marisol said, a touch of sadness mingled with anger in her voice.

“Did you tell him that you were going with Holden?” Jazzy asked in an anxious tone.

Marisol didn’t say anything at first. That should have been answer enough for her two friends, but she said it in the end anyway. Well, somewhat anyway. “He asked who I was going with…” her voice trailed off.

“You didn’t,” Evelyn said disbelievingly.

“She did,” Jazzy said when Marisol wouldn’t respond.

“Why would you tell him that his best friend had asked you and you had said ‘yes’?”

“I didn’t want to lie to him.”

The conversation dwindled down after a few more minutes. The three friends started on their Herbology essay, but Marisol’s mind was still lost on how frustrating guys could be.

~*~*~*~*~

James walked blindly through the hallways. He didn’t pay any attention to where he was going because he was too angry at Holden for asking Marisol out. Holden knew that James liked Marisol and had been planning on asking her out. It was obvious.

He climbed staircases and took shortcuts as he headed to a destination that was unknown to him. It didn’t even register that he was climbing the spiral staircase that led up to one of the towers. The tallest tower, actually.

But it soon clicked into place in his mind that he was on the roof of the Astronomy tower. He sat down on the stone bench that stood in the centre; it was warm from the sun shining down on it all day. He continued to think of how he wished he could have asked Marisol out without stressing over her response so much. Even though James was angry at Holden for asking her, he was angrier at himself.

James thought about what it was that drew him to Marisol. The first thoughts that came to his mind were the way when she smiled and her eyes lit up, her warm personality, and the way she always put others’ feelings before her own. But most of all, James liked the fact that he could talk to Marisol about anything that was on his mind.

James looked out over the grounds from where he sat. Above him, the sky was filled with an infinite amount of shades in pinks, yellows, and oranges. The clouds in the sky were illuminated by the sun as it had started to set behind the glorious mountains in the distance. James studied how the mountains moved up toward the sky with jagged sides and then pummelled back down on the opposite side. Below the tower he could see the lake; the sky reflecting on the glassy surface.

He let out a sigh as he stood up and stretched. He really didn’t like sitting still. He stared out at the grounds one last time before he walked over to the door that would lead him back into the castle.

James descended staircases and walked through halls in the direction of the Gryffindor common room. There were other students milling about the halls and, occasionally, he would have to stop and acknowledge them as they would say ‘hey’ and ask ‘what he was up to?’. When he finally made it to the common room, he found Fred and Holden were at one of the tables in a corner working on an essay.

“Hey Fred,” James said. He completely ignored Holden and that wasn’t missed by his cousin and friend. “How are you doing?”

Fred looked from James to Holden, who were both avoiding each other’s eyes. “Okay, does someone mind filling me in with the reason why you two are completely ignoring each other?”

“What do you mean?” James asked innocently with a slight smile on his face. “I don’t see anyone here other than you and me, Fred.”

“James,” Fred scolded, “Drop the act and start explaining.”

“I don’t have to explain anything to anyone,” James replied. “Not even to an ex-best friend.”

That was what did it. Holden snapped. “James, I’m sorry for asking Marisol out, but it’s not like you jumped at the chance yourself.”

Fred stared at Holden with his jaw opened slightly. “You did what?” He was completely speechless.

“I asked Marisol out today and she said ‘yes’.”

“And he didn’t have the guts to tell me himself,” James added on, “I had to find out when I asked Marisol out after Transfiguration.”

Holden glared at James. “Ask her out sooner and you won’t have to worry about someone else getting to her first.”

“I shouldn’t have to worry about my best friend stealing the girl I like behind my back,” James replied, his voice raised a decibel with each word he spoke. The other students that were in the common room had noticed the dispute between James and Holden and watched as the best friends argued.

“Are you implying that we aren’t friends anymore?” Holden asked him, his voice just as angry and loud as James’.

“Maybe I am.”

“Fine,” Holden replied. “If you want our friendship to fall apart because of a girl, then by all means, we won’t be friends anymore.”

“Sounds like a brilliant plan to me!” James exclaimed.

“Done!”

The whole common room watched as James stormed up to his dorm and Holden sat down where he had been sitting before. James burst into the 6th year boys’ dorm and slammed the door for good measure. If Holden knew what was good for him he would stay down in the common room until James cooled off. He lay back on his bed after he pulled the drapes around him. He stared up at the crimson canopy until he eventually fell asleep.

The following morning when James woke up it was to find that everyone but Holden had left for breakfast. He glared at Holden before he stood up and pulled on his uniform and school robes. The two friends silently got ready and headed down to breakfast separately. Things did not appear to be in their favour as they still were not talking to one another.

Stubborn Gryffindors.


Author's Note:  A big thanks goes out to my beta slytherinprincess over in the forums for doing a great job beta-ing this chapter!  I hope you all enjoyed it.  Let me know what you thought of it.  And my Meet-the-Author page has been somewhat updated, it's pretty lonely.  ~hint, hint~ (The squiggle lives on! lol!)

Chapter 8: Discovering the Truth
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Disclaimer:  J.K. Rowling owns Harry Potter.  All I own is the plot and any OCs that you do not recognize.  The summary was made by Hermione G (Kara101) from the forums for her Summary Challenge.  She also came up with the name Marisol Mendez and I ran with it from there.



Chapter 8
Discovering the Truth

James ignored Holden, who had started to try and make amends with him after the morning classes. He was not in the mood to be in Holden’s presence. James even spent his free period in the library; he hardly ever spent time in there. Usually during his free periods, he would spend his time joking around with Holden. But that wasn’t an option today.

Fred had been trying to get the two to talk to one another since breakfast, though he’d given up after the first class. He had become tired of trying to talk some sense into the two hard-headed gits.

By lunchtime, the whole school had heard from the Gryffindors about James and Holden’s dispute the previous night. James could feel eyes on him as he walked into the Great Hall and sat down across from Fred; Holden was nowhere to be seen. That was, until James looked over to the Hufflepuff table and saw him sitting with Marisol, who was laughing at something Holden had whispered in her ear. James turned back around and glowered as he chopped up his steak and kidney pie, which was torn to shreds in no time.

“Blimey, James,” Fred interrupted as James continued his attack on his lunch. “What did the house-elves do to you for you to take your anger out on their wonderful cooking?” There was amusement in his voice and that only made James glare at his cousin menacingly at that claim.

James went back to his attack, even though there wasn’t much left to shred.

Fred shook his head with a sigh before going back to his own lunch.

The remainder of the day went by too slowly for James. He just wanted to get out onto the Quidditch Pitch for practice. Though, James didn’t much care to practice with Holden, he’d just have to deal with it.

Finally, after a quick dinner at quarter ‘til six, James headed down to the Quidditch Pitch with Fred, Albus, and Hugo. The rest of the team must have already gone down to the Pitch. The sun was just starting to set behind the mountains in the distance and the sky was cloudless.

Albus looked hesitant to bring something up, but eventually he asked his question. “What exactly happened between you and Holden?”

“He asked Marisol out,” James replied as the three of them were nearing the stadium and had started climbing the stairs that led to the Gryffindor changing rooms.

“Yes, but is that it?” Albus questioned his brother. “You two have been mates for an awfully long time to let the bridge collapse between you over a girl.”

“Albus has a point,” Fred said. “Holden’s been our best mate since we met him on the train ride our first year.”

James didn’t say anything in response; he couldn’t because he had entered the boys’ changing rooms with the other two. He changed into his Quidditch robes and mumbled that he’d be on the Pitch waiting for the rest as he grabbed his broomstick from his locker.

James walked out onto the field and headed over to the supply shed to get the Quidditch chest with all the balls in it. He dragged it onto the field, still holding his broomstick underneath his arm, and stopped in the centre before setting it down and looking to see if anyone had emerged from the changing rooms yet. He saw Hugo, Albus, Dominique, and the newest member of the team, a Second year named Melinda Reynolds. The last two to step onto the field were Fred and Holden.

James waited in the centre of the Pitch with his broomstick balanced on his shoulder. When his team-mates approached he started to talk. “We have one week until our first match against Hufflepuff. Even though we beat them easily each year, we can’t underestimate them in any way.

“Especially since Macmillian was made their Quidditch Captain over the summer. He will be working them hard; he wants this win almost as bad as we always want to win against Slytherin.” James looked around at his team after saying this.

“Don’t worry, James,” Dominique retorted, “We’ve been working hard since school started and also over the summer. There is no way Hufflepuff is going to beat us.”

“You don’t know that for sure,” James snapped back. He was in no mood for his team-mates’ cockiness.

“We’ll do fine,” Holden spoke from where he stood beside Fred. “Don’t worry so much.”

James clenched his jaw before he blew the whistle around his neck for practice to start. As the team rose into the air, he kicked open the chest, releasing three of the four balls. There was no reason to let both Bludgers loose since it was just practice. He then mounted his broom and kicked off from the grassy field beneath his feet.

The wind blew his jet-black hair off of his forehead as he flew towards the goal hoops, where Hugo was already flying around the centre hoop. He could see Albus out of the corner of his eye as he searched for the small, golden ball with wings. James saw the Quaffle soaring in an arc toward him from where Melinda had aimed it. James caught it with ease and flew five feet before starting at the right hoop and then changing directions at the last minute to throw it in the left hoop. Hugo just barely managed to turn and stop the Quaffle from going in.

James watched as Hugo threw the Quaffle toward Holden, who passed to James and he caught it. He flew a few feet before passing the Quaffle on to Melinda. 

Melinda was small and speedy with shoulder length blond hair and blue eyes. She also had amazing reflexes when it came to dodging the Bludgers. However, during their last practice she had taken a Bludger to the head, but she had refused to go to the Hospital Wing and insisted to continue practicing with the rest of the team. She was one tough nut to crack.

Melinda threw the ball back to James, who saw that Holden was open to pass to but he ignored him and passed back to Melinda. Melinda attempted a goal and the red, leather ball made it through the right hoop. She punched the air and Hugo scrunched up his face as he went to fetch the Quaffle.

“What was that about, James?” Holden asked heatedly. “I was wide open and you know it.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” James snapped back.

Holden rolled his eyes. “Don’t let our squabble interfere with your judgment on the field. You know you should have passed the Quaffle to me as I was closer to the hoops. Melinda had to fly forward before throwing the Quaffle in.”

“Are you calling me a bad Captain, Summers?” James said angrily.

“No, I’m only saying that you need to save all the anger you have toward me for when we return to the ground, Potter.” Holden glared back at James. He didn’t have the patience for James’ surly attitude anymore today.

The rest of the team had gathered around the two in the short moment that they had started their argument. Fred flew between the two to act as a referee because the two boys looked like they were close to drawing their wands on one another.

“Enough!” Fred shouted between them. “This whole thing has gone far enough.”

James and Holden glared at one another; neither showed any signs of backing down.
“Don’t make me use my bat to beat some sense into your thick skulls,” Fred warned. “I won’t hesitate to do it.” Fred raised his Beater’s bat for extra measure, but that didn’t do anything to deflate the tension between the two friends.

Then, as quick as the argument had started it was over. The boys flew off in opposite directions and ignored one another for the remainder of the practice. Both only passed to Melinda and she would throw to either of the two boys. It was a bad practice for the Chasers of the Gryffindor Quidditch team.

By the end of practice, the team was fed up with two of its team-mates, never mind the fact that one happened to be their Captain. After practice, the team had changed back and the two girls were sitting in the boys’ changing room for the usual after practice pep talk. They had decided to force James and Holden to talk to one another civilly and forget their fight.

James stood in front of Holden with the rest of their teammates encircled around them. He was not going to be the first one to budge under the tension in the locker room. He hadn’t even started all of this. Holden had started it when he asked Marisol out. Holden would have to be the one to mend the bridge of trust and loyalty that he had broken between them.

On the other side, Holden had his arms crossed in front of him resolutely. He hated that he had lost his best mate. Admittedly, though bitterly, he did not under any circumstances want to be forced to make amends with James like the team was making him do.

Holden knew that the team expected him to be the one to start the conversation that would fix their friendship. But what if he didn’t want to be the first? What if he wanted James to be the first to apologize for overreacting about him asking Marisol to Hogsmeade? Life just wasn’t fair, Holden thought resentfully.

“You two are going to have to talk eventually,” Fred’s voice cut through the tension that hung in the air, so thick that you’d probably have to cut through it with a knife just to get out. “That’s it then … you two are just going to let a girl come between you?” Both boys could hear the disappointment in his voice and it made them both visually flinch.

“I’ll knock some sense into them,” Melinda spoke up as she walked forward. When she reached James and Holden, she gave them both a good smack on the head. For a twelve-year-old, she was pretty strong.

Both boys cried out as they reached up to where Melinda had smacked them on the back of their heads.

“Melinda! Violence never solves anything,” Dominique told the younger girl as she pulled Melinda back from the two boys at the same time; more for their safety than hers, though.

“Well, someone needed to do it and since no one else was, I decided that I would do it,” Melinda sulked as she crossed her arms in front of her.

“At least shake hands or show some sign of truce,” Fred said, ignoring Melinda pouting, Hugo scratching his nose, Albus bending down to tie his shoe lace, and Dominique glowering at the two boys. Fred watched as the two friends didn’t make a single move towards one another. “Neither of you are leaving until there’s a truce made,” he threatened.

Holden shifted his weight from one foot to the other before he took a small step towards James. Oddly enough, James also took a step closer instead of stepping back. Then, very slowly, the two friends reached out and shook hands. The rest of the team breathed out sighs of relief.

~*~*~*~*~

James was walking back to the Gryffindor tower by himself when he ran into Baylor and York. Marisol wasn’t with them. He greeted them as he approached the two Hufflepuffs. “Hey, how’s it going?”

Evelyn was the first to respond. “Hey James, we’re doing good, you?”

“Can’t complain,” James shrugged. “I mean, my best mate stabs me in the back by asking out the girl that I was planning on asking out. Can’t get any better than that, right?”

“You mean you really do like Marisol?” Jazzy questioned him.

“Of course I do.”

“Then why didn’t you ask her out?”

“Because I was afraid she’d say no,” James admitted truthfully. Then he thought of a brilliant idea. That idea just happened to be to take one of Marisol’s friends to Hogsmeade. James thought of who he would prefer to spend the day with between the two and decided on Evelyn. Jasmine got on his nerves at times because she was so hyper and bouncy most of the time.

“Would you like to go to the village with me?” James directed the question toward Evelyn. James noted the look of surprise and shock on her face and then saw her shake her head ‘no’.

“Why?” He asked her.

“Because Marisol likes you, even though she’s going with Holden to Hogsmeade,” Evelyn told him, “I won’t do that to a friend. But you can hang with Jazzy and I, if you want that is.”

“Yeah, that sounds alright,” James said before he said ‘bye’ and headed back in the direction he was headed in before.

~*~*~*~*~

Later that evening, Marisol was sitting at a table in the common room doing homework with Evelyn and Jazzy. But her mind was far from the essay for Herbology that she was writing. She kept thinking of her date with Holden and how she could have been going with James instead. The other two must have noticed her silence as she heard Evelyn ask her a question, cutting through her thoughts.

“What’s up?” Her violet eyes searched over Marisol’s face for any sign of emotion, no doubt preparing to smooth out her worries.

Marisol sighed. “It’s just … I don’t know,” she started to try to explain what she was thinking. “I guess I’m starting to second-guess myself for agreeing to go out with Holden.”

“Why?” Jazzy looked up from her essay as she asked that one word question that reminded Marisol of a small child she used to baby-sit back in Spain.

“Because if I hadn’t had said ‘yes’ when he asked me, then I could have accepted James’ invitation,” Marisol said, but she still looked hesitant to say something else and the other two noticed this.

“What’s up?” Jazzy asked.

“Well, I’m only going out with … um … Holden to make James … uh … jealous,” Marisol confessed to her friends. “It was Holden’s idea.”

“Wow, this is just getting to be way out of hand,” Evelyn replied after the short pause that had followed Marisol’s confession. “We have to work all this out after Hogsmeade.”

“I don’t think it’ll be that easy.”

“Of course it won’t,” Evelyn said. “But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t anything to do to whack the senses back into you two.”

Marisol glared at Evelyn. “My senses are perfectly intact, thank you very much.”

“Anyway,” Jazzy said, drawing attention to herself, “James has a date to Hogsmeade.”

“He does?” Marisol spoke softly as her brow furrowed slightly.

“Yep.”

When Jazzy didn’t say anything else on the subject, Marisol turned to Evelyn. Evelyn was oddly quiet. This could only mean one thing and it took Marisol a moment to be able to voice her suspicions. “Are either one of you his date?”

It was Evelyn who answered her question. “He asked me, but I told him that I’d only go with him if Jazzy went too. So, we’re his dates.”

Marisol didn’t say anything. She couldn’t. She had thought that James liked her but then he hadn’t asked her out before Holden. Now, he was taking both of her friends to Hogsmeade. This sucked. It really sucked.

“I think I’ll go to bed now,” Marisol told her two friends as she made to stand up. She just wanted to be alone so that she could throw this information off.

Evelyn tried to call her back, but Jazzy motioned to let her go and that they would talk to her the next day. It just happened to be Saturday. The day that they would all be going into Hogsmeade for a Halloween treat. Something told Evelyn that things were going to get interesting.

~*~*~*~*~

Holden met Marisol after breakfast in the entrance hall of the castle the following morning. The two walked across the grounds to the gates in silence. Neither could think of anything to talk about and both were thinking about the same thing. James.

Holden was thinking about how he had lost his best mate. Also, how he and James would go into Hogsmeade together with the dates as a sort of double date, but not this time. Will things ever go back to normal? That was the question that evaded Holden as he led Marisol into Honeydukes.

“You want anything?” Holden offered as he examined a chocolate covered frog hopping in a cage made of chocolate as well.

Marisol replied so softly that he had to lean in just to hear her, “No.”

That was enough for Holden to bring up the subject of James. “Look, I think after this we shouldn’t go out as anything more than friends because James really does like you. I can’t do this to my friend anymore, regardless of the intentions.”

“You’re right,” Marisol replied. “You’re more of a friend to me anyway.”

Holden put on a smile as the two walked out of Honeydukes and went into Weasleys’ Wizards’ Wheezes. Both were talking and laughing in no time.

~*~*~*~*~

James sat in the Three Broomsticks in between Jazzy and Evelyn when the bell above the door chimed. He looked over to it and saw Holden and Marisol enter and choose a table by the window before Holden went up to the bar to order their drinks.

“You wish that was you, don’t you?” Jazzy’s voice cut through the silence that had fallen over their table.

James turned to look at her before answering, “Yeah.” He ran his fingers through his hair in thought.

“You should know something,” Jazzy started before Evelyn threw her a look across the table. The look was one that told Jazzy to keep her mouth shut. But Jazzy was never one to keep her mouth shut, especially when gossip was involved. “Holden is only taking Marisol out to get you to come to your senses faster next time you want to ask her.”

James sat there silently, letting the information sink in. How could this be true? Holden would have told him before he got mad. How didn’t he see this before?

“Holden did that,” James said. It was hard to tell whether he was talking to himself or to the girls. Also, it was hard to tell if he was happy or upset because his face was expressionless as he said this.

Before either of the girls could respond though, James had stood and rushed out of the Three Broomsticks. He made it to the wrought-iron gate in front of the castle and broke into a run. James ran past the Quidditch stadium without a second glance at the Slytherin team, which was practicing, and made it to the steps leading into the castle in no time. He sprinted up them and burst through the entrance hall, he then made his way down to the basement kitchens. He was going to wait for Holden and Marisol. He hadn’t wanted to confront them about what he had found out from Baylor with all those witnesses.

When James approached the entrance of the Hufflepuff common room, he went to stand off to the side in a corner; the corner worked to his advantage as it was mostly in the shadows. He leaned up against the wall and crossed his arms, waiting for them to show. He knew that Holden would end up walking her to her common room before the feast tonight. This all had to work out.

He hoped.

~*~*~*~*~

Marisol had had a great time with Holden. The two had laughed and talked throughout their date. They were now heading back up to the castle. Both noticed the Slytherin team on the Pitch. This started the next conversation about Quidditch.

“You guys are so going down,” Marisol smiled. “Kyle has us running drills during every practice. We’re going to be ready for you guys next Saturday.”

“Oh, really?” Holden said with a touch of amusement in his voice.

“Yes, really.”

“I don’t think so,” Holden replied. “Gryffindors always beat Hufflepuffs.”

“That is so stereotypical.”

“Maybe, but it’s a proven fact.”

Before they knew it, they were entering the castle and making their way down to the Hufflepuff commons. Their conversation suddenly made an about turn from Quidditch to James.

“I don’t know if I like him as much as I did before,” Marisol confessed as they got closer to the commons. “He just seems so much different than he was that first night at the party.”

“Ah, well, James is just not used to being so nervous around a girl,” Holden said. He felt like he had to stand up for the way James had been acting lately. He didn’t know why, it was just the way he felt. “And I can tell that you make him nervous. At first I didn’t notice because I didn’t think about it, but over the last couple days I have noticed. He really does like you, Marisol.”

“Well, there’s no reason for him to be nervous,” Marisol replied rather hotly. She was tired of all these excuses for why James hadn’t asked her out yet. It was as if the whole school was rooting for James to get what he wants, when he wants it. She crossed her arms as they approached the Hufflepuff entrance.

At that moment, James stepped out of the shadows of the corner he had been standing in. A silence filled the empty corridor as Holden and Marisol noticed him.

“James?” Holden was the first to break the silence. “What are you doing here?” 



Author's Note: 
DUN DUN DUN!  Okay, I'll stop now.  I hope you all enjoyed this chapter.  A huge thanks goes to my beta, slytherinprincess in the forums for making this chapter readable and presentable.

Now, on to another note.  If any one of you have any suggestions for a title that fits better than this one then I would really appreciate them.  This chapter title is not the permanent title of this chapter, it's just to fill in the space where a chapter title is supposed to go.  So, again, any suggestions are welcome and will be taken into consideration.  Thanks for taking the time to read my story!

Chapter 9: Confrontations
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Disclaimer:  I do not own Harry Potter, JKR does.  I'm only having fun with the wonderful magical world that she created.  I also didn't come up with the summary as Hermione G in the forums did and I ran from it from there.  She also came up with the name Marisol Mendez.  I only own Holden, Evelyn, Jazzy, Marisol's personality, and any other OC that you do not recognize.  I also own the plot.  =)



Chapter 9
Confrontations 


James didn’t say anything at first. He just stood there, looking from Holden to Marisol and back again. He had no idea how he was going to bring up what Baylor had told him. Running a hand through his messy hair, he let out a sigh before he spoke.

“Well, I kind of know this wasn’t a real date…,” James trailed the sentence as he said it.

Silence followed this statement. The anxiety was just as bad as the silence. You could taste the bitter-sweetness of the tension that hung thick in the atmosphere surrounding the three students. The corridor in which they stood was empty for the most part. That was no doubt a good thing as it meant that they wouldn’t have to deal with the prying eyes of others.

After about a couple minutes of the continued silence, Holden coughed as if to break the ice. He could feel his stomach doing flips on the inside from the uncomfortable silence that had draped itself around them. He hated silence, and more importantly, he hated awkward silences that stretched on for long periods of time.

Holden shuffled from his right foot to his left foot before drawing up straighter. When he finished with his restless moving he asked, “How’d you find out?”

“Certainly not from you,” James threw out in an angry voice at his best mate. Though, regardless of his tone, he didn’t raise his voice. “Baylor just told me.”

“What?” Marisol spoke for the first time. She was shocked that Jasmine would do something like that. She actually didn’t want to believe that Jasmine had spilled the beans to James.

Both boys turned their heads to look at Marisol; James turning to the right and Holden toward the left. They waited for her to say something more. Finally, she regained her composure enough to form a sentence or at least something that consisted of more than one word, but it was a start.

“She wouldn’t do that.”

Holden sighed. “Obviously she just did.” He looked over at James, who had regret on his face over something that had happened during the whole fiasco they had been in.

Before Holden could ask him what was up though, James spoke to him.

“Why didn’t you tell me?” His voice sounded dry and tight, like there was something stuck in his esophagus.

That was enough for Holden to see that James was indeed regretting their falling out a couple days ago and was hurt that he hadn’t told him the truth about his date with Marisol. Holden couldn’t come up with anything to say to his best mate that could even begin to eliminate what he did. You don’t go out with the girl your best mate likes… You just don’t. He shook his head slightly before looking back at James.

“I’m sorry, mate,” Holden found himself saying the words without much thinking about it. “I actually should have asked you who you were planning on asking to Hogsmeade before asking Marisol and then setting up this whole scheme. Just so you know, it was my idea to begin with this … the plan, I mean.”

James looked like he was contemplating on whether he could trust that Holden’s words were sincere. After about a minute, he said, “It’s alright.” He waved his hand as though to brush the whole incident aside before the two friends shook hands.

While the two friends now had smiles of forgiveness on their faces, Marisol was left looking at the two of them with a confused expression. How could boys all of a sudden forget about the fight that they had been in? It’s almost pointless that they even get into fights since they forgive and forget about the fight in the end. Boys are weird. 

Then James looked over at Marisol after Holden whispered something in his ear and walked off. He ran a hand through his unruly hair as his brown eyes found her light brown ones. He found it rather hard to find something to say to her.

“I’m sorry,” Marisol said without thinking. “I never should have said ‘yes’ to Holden when it was you that I wanted to go with.” She had said all this in a rush as though she needed to get it out before she felt sorry for herself for feeling sorry for making James jealous. If there was one thing about Marisol, it was that she hated to apologize because it made her feel awkward and ashamed of herself. She hated to feel that way. But she felt those two feelings wash over her as she shuffled from one foot to the other, waiting for James to say something.

After several minutes of silence, Marisol couldn’t take it anymore. “Say something,” she said softly.

“I don’t know what to say,” James told her honestly. His voice still sounded choked, like there was something stuck in it. “If you like me, like you say you do, then why didn’t you just ask me yourself when I didn’t. It would have made things less confusing for me as I tried to think how I could ask you.”

Marisol couldn’t think of anything to say to defend her. She could have asked him, but she had been scared of rejection. That’s why she never asked guys out. She was afraid of getting rejected because she wasn’t what the guy wanted. She just heaved in a breath of air and let it out with a frustrated sigh.

“What do you want, Marisol?” James asked in frustration that matched Marisol’s perfectly after a short pause. His features looked slightly annoyed now. It made him look, if possible, even more good looking. Not that that’s what was important; because it wasn’t. He repeated his question in a much softer and tired voice. “What do you want?”

Those words rang in Marisol’s head as she stood before James in front of the portrait of the Knight that led into the Hufflepuff commons. She could hear footsteps in the distance signifying that the other students had arrived back from the village. With the footsteps, she could also hear muffled laughter and voices carried up from the foot of the marble staircase that was just around the corridor from where they stood.

Then Marisol felt James steer her in the direction of an unused, empty classroom as the footsteps and laughter grew louder. Marisol looked around the classroom as James shut the door and used ‘Muffliato’ on it so that their voices wouldn’t be heard. There was a map of the world hung on one wall, a worn down teacher’s desk, and desks that looked like they dated back to the 1700s. After taking in these surroundings, Marisol turned back to where James was half leaning against, half sitting on one of the old desks. His arms were crossed in front as he cleared his throat for her to answer his question.

Marisol raked her brain to try to remember what his question had been. Oh, yeah. She remembered suddenly as his voice echoed in her head again. What do you want, Marisol? What did she want? Not even she knew anymore. She had wanted James to ask her out, but did she still want him to ask her? She shook her head slightly as she silently cursed James for asking her such a question.

When Marisol’s eyes met James’, she noticed the question still lingering in his golden brown eyes, or maybe it was a trick of the light. Either way, she soon found herself answering the question, though she couldn’t believe the words that came out of her mouth as she spoke them. “I don’t know,” she spoke softly as she tried to hide her emotions.

James groaned and ran a hand through his black, unruly hair. He was growing annoyed by the second. He should walk out of this classroom, which seemed to be closing in on them the longer they stayed in it, and not look back. But he couldn’t do that because he still liked Marisol, a lot. With this thought came another frustrated sigh. Why were girls so complicated? James had thought that Marisol was different, but he had been wrong in thinking that.

He stood there, still facing Marisol, for a few more minutes before turning on his heel. His hand was on the doorknob before he heard Marisol call him back, drawing him in yet again, by saying,

“I really do like you, James.” James could hear the hurt mingled with frustration in her voice as she said this. That was what made James turn around. He couldn’t live with himself if he made her cry. Call him Mr. Nice Guy. He was too nice for his own good and sometimes he hated that about himself, but not now.

“Can we just start over again?” Marisol asked him. “From scratch, like none of this ever happened?”

James looked at her briefly, no emotions showing on his face, before he responded to her question. “But it did, Marisol. You went out with my best friend to make me jealous and now you’re asking me to forget all about that. I can’t do that, I’m sorry.”

“I see,” she responded softly, a tear escaping from one of her watery, brown eyes. The tear ran down the smooth, tanned surface of her cheek. The sight of her crying made James feel guilty for making her cry, he could feel the guilt twist itself around on the inside of his stomach. He couldn’t take it. He had to have her in his arms.

“Don’t cry,” James said as he closed the distance between them and wrapped her up into his arms. He felt her stiffen before she relaxed into his arms. He stepped back to look into her eyes after a few minutes as he said, “I actually didn’t plan on this kind of confrontation when Baylor told me about you and Holden.”

“Then, how did you plan it?” Marisol asked as she held his gaze, looking straight into his golden brown eyes. She was now hiding her emotions. The only thing that betrayed her feelings of the situation were the tear tracks on her cheeks.

James sighed as he ran a hand through his messy, jet-black hair for the umpteenth time. How had he planned to confront them? Oh, yeah, he had wanted to talk about it all in a rational sense. Of course, but that hadn’t worked out quite well. He had let his emotions get in the way. He shook his head slightly to clear it before he focused on Marisol standing in front of him.

“I was planning on waiting on you, yes,” started James, “but I was going to talk it all out in an understanding way.”

Marisol didn’t say anything right away. She appeared to be deep in thought. And then, after a short while, she asked, “Why didn’t you think I would say ‘yes’ to going to Hogsmeade with you?”

“Because you scare me,” James admitted. “I’ve never really liked a girl other than just a little crush. But with you, I find myself crushing a whole lot.” James blushed and as he did, he noticed that Marisol also had a rosy tinge to her cheeks.

“I’m sorry for getting angry at you for not asking me and going out with Holden to make you jealous,” Marisol said after a short pause. “It wasn’t the right thing to do. Are we still friends?”

“Yeah,” James said as the two shook hands.

Before James let go of Marisol’s hand, he pulled her into a hug. Things were fixed between them. He smiled as he pulled away and they both exited the classroom together before going off in separate directions. 

~*~*~*~*~

Over the next couple of days, things seemed to be more than okay between James, Holden, and Marisol. While Holden and Marisol acted like friends, James and Marisol were becoming closer as they got to know each other more. Everything was as it was supposed to be, it seemed.

James was currently walking down to the kitchens to get something to eat after Quidditch practice, which had been a lot better than Friday evening’s practice. His stomach was grumbling about its need for food since he had burned all of his dinner at practice.

As James turned a corridor and was passing a broom cupboard that stood partially open a hand reached out, catching him completely off guard, and grabbed his upper arm and dragged him into said broom cupboard. He heard the door close with a snap and tried to make out the features of the person who had grabbed him. It didn’t take him long to notice the same smelling perfume that his ex-girlfriend, Kelsey, wore; Chanel.

“What in the –” James started in a bewildered tone that matched his confused expression before his sentence was cut off by Kelsey throwing herself into his arms. This caught him off guard as his back hit the wall with a dull thud. He felt Kelsey press her sleek lips on his own as she ran her fingers through his hair. He gently pushed her back away from him before he asked in an angry tone, confusion completely wiped off of his face. “What do you think you’re doing?!”

“Showing you what you’re missing,” Kelsey replied in an unabashed way that James had to blink a few times and rub out the inside of his ears before he comprehended what she had said.

“You can’t be serious.”

“Oh, but I am,” Kelsey said in a seductive way, her voice thick with emotion and hormones. “You know you miss our make-out sessions just as much as I do, if not more.”

“Negative,” James corrected her in a wary voice as he continued to make sure Kelsey kept her distance from him. “I don’t like you, I never did. It was just a fling, that’s all.”

~*~*~*~*~

Marisol was heading back to the Hufflepuff common room from finishing up her homework in the library. As she walked, her small feet made a light shuffling sound across the marbled stone floor in the deserted hallway. She turned around a corridor and came up to a broom closet on the right. It sounded like there were students in there as she could hear muffled voices.

She wasn’t going to think much of it as it was most likely a couple making out. Things never changed when it came to teenage hormones.

But then, as she was passing she thought she heard James’ voice from inside. Marisol paused for a second as if she were trying to decide on what to do before she reached out with her hand to grasp the door knob and turn it, about to open it when the door burst open.

~*~*~*~*~

James pushed Kelsey back off of him as she flung her arms around his neck for the umpteenth time. “Kelsey, would you just let me go?” He asked her as he tried to step around her again only to find her block his way.

“But James –” Kelsey pouted.

James intercepted, “No. We don’t have anything in common.” He stepped around her and opened the door to tumble out only to find that the hallway was not empty like it had been only a few minutes before. Marisol was standing a few feet in front of where he stood, almost as if she had been about to open the door before he had pushed it open and came barrelling out of it. And before he could say anything to her, Kelsey walked out of the cupboard behind him and planted a very wet kiss on his lips. James heard footsteps walk away quickly, and angrily, before he had managed to push Kelsey off of himself again.

“What is your problem?!” James exclaimed in outrage. “I just told you that I didn’t like you, that I never liked you.” James left her standing there as he took off after Marisol. “Marisol, wait up!”

Of course Marisol only quickened her pace after glancing back at James briefly. This only made James pick up his pace to a jog.

When he caught up to her, James intercepted her by planting his feet in front of her. He looked into her eyes to see that they were glistening with unshed tears before she broke the contact to look out a window across the hall from where they stood. “Marisol, this isn’t what it looks like.”

“Really, James,” Marisol said in a voice that was unlike her usual soft-spoken one, it sounded hard and clipped even though she wasn’t yelling, “because it looked like you two were in a broom closet together and I’m not even going to say what it sounded like, you already know that.”

James looked to his side where Kelsey stood with her hands on her hips and a disgusted look on her face as she rolled her eyes at Marisol before he turned back to face Marisol. “I swear I didn’t do anything with Kelsey. She pulled me in that cupboard and she kissed me. I ended it shortly after.”

“That kiss didn’t look like nothing,” Marisol shot back at him before she made her way around him so that she could walk away. But he side-stepped her so that he was still standing in front of her, blocking her from walking away from him. “James, get out of the way. Please.” She spoke in a tired voice now, each letter dragging its way out of her mouth.

“No,” James replied simply. “Not until you answer a question I have for you.”

“And what question is that, James?”

“Would you be my girlfriend?” James could hear Kelsey start to tap her foot angrily from where she stood behind him, but he didn’t turn around. He only had eyes for Marisol at this moment in time.

“James,” she started in a voice that suggested that she was tired of the amount of drama that the two seemed to be attracting over the last few days. “We can barely make it as friends, how do you think it’s going to be if we start going out?”

James drew in a breath and then blew it out before he responded. “I don’t care how our friendship as been so far. I like you Marisol, not Kelsey or anyone else for that matter. Please, give me a chance and I’ll show you that it’ll be different, better.”

Marisol looked as though she were unsure to believe him. She knew that he liked her, but how did she know he still didn’t have feelings for Kelsey after what she saw. She shook her head before she said, “I’ll see you later.” And with that, she walked off toward the Hufflepuff common room.

James watched her walk off before turning on his heel to come face to face with Kelsey. That girl will never learn, he thought. He gave her a murderous glare before walking off in a stormy fashion. He heard her calling after him, but he didn’t look over his shoulder at her. He didn’t like her before, but now, now he couldn’t stand to look at her. He made his way out onto the grounds to the Quidditch Pitch to try to clear his head.

~*~*~*~*~

Marisol entered the common room, still in slight confusion over the whole James and Kelsey situation. She didn’t know whether she could take James’ word over what her eyes had witnessed between the two exes.

She threw herself backwards into a plush, yellow armchair near the crackling fire. She looked around and saw Evelyn perched at the end of the sofa with a book in her lap. She didn’t want to interrupt her reading, but she needed someone to talk to about this and Jazzy wasn’t in the common room at the moment.

She went to clear her throat, but before she could, Evelyn looked up at her in a questioning way with a brow raised. She found herself slightly perturbed as she hadn’t made any noise yet, but that was Evelyn for you. Evelyn always knew when someone was in need of advice or just wanted someone to listen to them.

“What’s up?” Evelyn asked with concern as she put her book to the side of where she sat and pulled her feet up underneath her at the same time.

Marisol thought about how she should put what she saw into words. It hurt to think about it, just as it had when she had seen it. The hurt must have shown on her face as Evelyn asked,

“It’s not James, is it?”

Marisol swallowed and nodded. “I saw him with Kelsey just now.”

“What was he doing with her?” Evelyn asked as her brow furrowed in thought.

“I’m not sure what to believe, but they had tumbled out of a broom cupboard and then kissed.”

“Did you confront them?”

Marisol shook her head and replied in a soft voice, “No.” Then, before Evelyn could say anything, she went on, “But James chased me down because he saw me and he insisted that Kelsey had been the one to drag him into the closet and kissed him.”

“Do you believe him?”

“No…,” Marisol dragged the two-letter word on before switching her answer. “Maybe, I dunno. Should I?” She had asked that last question with hopelessness on her face and in her voice.

Evelyn appeared to fall into deep thought. Marisol turned her head toward the fire in the grate while her friend remained silent in concentration. The flames engulfed the logs that lay in the pit of the grate and danced around and allowed the smoke to swirl up the chimney. Finally, after several minutes of silence, Marisol turned back to look at Evelyn as she spoke.

“You should listen to him, Mari,” Evelyn told her. “He really does like you. If he is telling you the truth, then he deserves you to believe him.”

“But what if he’s not?” Marisol couldn’t help asking with a frown as she thought of what her friend had told her.

“Then he’d break your trust in him and he’ll have to work twice as hard to gain it back,” Evelyn explained expertly. “But it’s more possible that he’s telling you the truth than lying to you.”

“How do you know that?” Marisol asked her friend doubtfully.

“Because he chased after you to tell you that it was all Kelsey as soon as he could as opposed to waiting until the next time he saw you.”

“What does that have to do with anything?”

“It has everything to do with it,” Evelyn went on, “Don’t you see? If he had waited to tell you all that he told you, then it would have seemed untrue because he would have had more time to concoct a story as to why he was in a broom closet with Kelsey, his ex-girlfriend.”

Marisol thought about that. It somehow made sense when Evelyn put it that way. She nodded before she said anything. “I suppose you’re right. I’ll talk to James tomorrow.”

Evelyn smiled and went back to her book as Marisol opened up the book on Transfiguration that she had borrowed from the library. She immediately found herself immersed in it as she read on. I’m such a book nerd, Marisol thought as she read.

~*~*~*~*~

At the sound of the door to the dorm opening, Holden turned from where he sat on his bed writing an essay by the glow of the tip of his wand, it was getting dark outside. When he saw that it was James he reached over to his nightstand to place his essay on it and quietly asked, “Where have you been?”

James only said one word into the darkness as he silently walked over to his trunk to pull out his pajamas. The other four boys in the dorm being fast asleep around them, but that didn’t stop the two boys from having a near-silent dialogue with one another. “Pitch.”

“I thought you went down to the kitchens to get something to eat,” Holden whispered to his best mate.

“I did, but before I got there Kelsey pulled me into a broom closet,” James whispered back as he silently rummaged through his trunk before finally pulling out his pajamas and changing.

“What did she want?” Holden whispered with interest in his voice, but also a touch of anger toward the girl.

James fumed silently as he got into bed. “She wants to get back together and she couldn’t keep her hands off of me, or lips.” He had stressed the last two words as he said them.

“And…?” Holden questioned further. He was curious what had ensued between the two that had James so angry.

“And I pushed her back and stumbled out of the cramped closet,” James whispered. But it was clear from his voice that that wasn’t all that had happened. Holden knew there was more and he waited for James to continue. “Marisol was in the hallway when I, along with Kelsey following behind me, came out of the cupboard.”

“What’d she do?”

“She started to walk away and I went after her,” James told him. “I tried to tell her what had happened, but she didn’t seem to want to believe me.” James sounded hurt as he said the last part of the sentence.

“Do you want me to talk to her?” Holden asked James. He had become fast friends with Marisol since their date over the past few days. If he told her what had happened between James and his ex-girlfriend then she might believe him. That was, if she wanted to. In which Holden was almost positive she would because she liked James a lot.

“Could you?” James asked as he had noticed how close the friendship had got between his best mate and Marisol after Saturday.

“Of course,” Holden replied. “What are friends for if not for bailing each other out of sticky situations?”

Both boys laughed at that before turning over and falling asleep. The last thought on James mind before he drifted off to sleep was that if he and Marisol didn’t make up by Saturday then the Quidditch match was bound to be interesting between the two. He let out a groan in his sleep at the thought before rolling over onto his side and going to sleep.



Author's Note:  So, what did you think of this chapter?  Was it well worth the wait that it took me to get it finished, beta'd, and posted?  At first I actually wasn't sure about this chapter until I didn't look at it after a few days when I sent it off to my beta and then when I read back through it with the edits she made I saw it in a whole different light.  It's funny how you can change your opinion of a chapter that you wrote if you don't look at it for a few days.

Oh, and I tried the PoV in a PoV in this chapter as well.  I hope I pulled it off well, let me know if I didn't and need to work on it because I most definitely will.

Yeah, so, this was my longest chapter yet at 4600+ words.  I didn't really expect it to come out this long, either.  Anyhoo, I'd really appreciate it if you could leave a review in telling me what you thought of this chapter and my Meet the Author page is pretty lonely.  -hint, hint-

Thanks to slytherinprincess over in the forums for beta-ing this chapter to make it readable for all of you readers.

Chapter 10: Stubborn
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Disclaimer:  I do not own Harry Potter, JKR does.  The only thing I own is the plot and any original characters that you do not recognize.  Also, Hermione G from the forums came up with the summary for her Summary Challenge in the forums and the name Marisol Mendez.  I just took the story from there and created the personality of Marisol.


Chapter 10
Stubborn

The following morning in Herbology, Marisol found herself paired up with Holden. Usually she was paired with Evelyn and Jazzy was paired with Kyle, but Professor Longbottom decided to switch it up today. He had done this so that everyone was working with a student in a different House to form outer House unity.

Marisol could feel a certain messy, raven haired boy’s eyes on her as she worked with Holden on the day’s project, which was dull. They had to read the chapter on Snargaluff stumps and taken notes for the next class, when they would get to the hands-on part.

Occasionally, Marisol found herself looking back at where James sat next to Kyle Macmillian. Every time she did that, she would notice his head snapping back down to his notes and he ruffled up his hair at the same time. She smiled as he did that while she thought how adorable he looked when he was flustered.

“He really does like you, you know,” Holden said, breaking into her train of thoughts. “Kelsey means nothing to him.”

“Then why was he with her?” Marisol rounded on him. “Why did he kiss her? Can you answer those questions for me?” She crossed her arms in front of her as she blew a lock of wavy brown hair from her face.

Holden ran his fingers through his messy golden hair before he responded to her rant. “You shouldn’t be angry at James for something that Kelsey did. It isn’t fair to him, or to you.” He added the last bit with a note of knowing in his voice that rang in Marisol’s ears as she absentmindedly turned a page of her textbook that sat on the table in front of her.

“How am I not being fair to myself?” Marisol couldn’t help but ask that question regardless. She knew that she still liked James, but she was still allowed to be mad at him, wasn’t she?

“Mr. Summers, Miss Mendez,” Professor Longbottom’s voice carried over from across the room to where the two of them sat. “Would you care to share with the class what’s more important than taking notes on Snargaluffs? I can assure you that you will need to know a lot of what is written in your book for next week’s in-class group assignment.”

“Not really, Professor,” Holden was the first one who spoke as Marisol quickly picked her quill up and continued to write, the quill scratching against the parchment.

“Then get back to work,” Professor Longbottom said in a somewhat stern, but light tone before turning back to the pair of students he had been talking to moments before.

When Marisol was sure that Professor Longbottom wasn’t paying them any attention, she asked Holden the same question, intending to get an answer out of him as to why she was being unfair with herself.

“Because you like James just as much as he likes you,” Holden replied simply. “And to be honest, I think you’re afraid of getting hurt.”

“What?” Marisol responded in an exasperated tone. “I’m not afraid of getting hurt, that’s crazy.”

“Is it?” Holden questioned sardonically. “I think it’s a perfectly respectable reason as to why you’re this upset about him and Kelsey.” He looked at her with an expression that clearly said that the truth was obvious.

Marisol didn’t say anything for the rest of the class time. She walked up to the castle with Evelyn, Jazzy, and Kyle while Holden walked with James and Fred; he had given her a knowing grin before he had walked over to his friends. That had made her even angrier and it only made her want to whip their butts on the Quidditch field even more on Saturday.

With that thought in mind, Marisol made her way toward Muggle Studies with Kyle as Jazzy and Evelyn headed down to the common room. Marisol was completely lost in her thoughts of James the whole way toward the classroom and occasionally would look out the window at the sun streaming in. It was such a nice day out, she hoped it would be just as nice for the game on Saturday.

“What are you thinking about so deeply?” Kyle’s voice intruded into her thought process, making it the second time someone had interrupted her thoughts that day. Marisol shrugged, but that only made Kyle give her a look that said that he didn’t buy into her ‘it’s-nothing-act’.

“What has you in such a slump?” Kyle asked as they came within several feet of the classroom. Their classmates were standing around the door, waiting for Professor Knowlton to let them in.

Marisol stopped by the window and turned to face him before she responded to Kyle’s question. “It’s nothing, really.”

“It couldn’t be because of James, could it?” Kyle asked as he raised a brow while looking at her inquisitively. “If it is, then I think you should talk to him about whatever it is before the game this weekend. I do not want to lose against Gryffindor again this year.”

“Why is it that guys get all competitive over Quidditch?” Marisol snapped at him. “Quidditch is meant to be fun, not to get all worked up over who wins.”

“It’s only the best sport known to wizard kind!” Kyle exclaimed. “Duh!”

Marisol rolled her eyes.

At that moment, the door to the classroom opened and Professor Knowlton stepped out and told the students that class would be starting soon. The students filed into the classroom and took their seats.

~*~*~*~*~

The next couple of days flew by before James’ eyes and before he knew it, it was Friday. He was sitting in the Great Hall eating lunch with Holden, Fred, Dominique and her friends, while looking over at the Hufflepuff table where Marisol had just sat down. Marisol still wasn’t talking to him and James was starting to get annoyed.

“James, are you with us?” Dominique’s voice drifted toward his ears and he turned his head back around to face his friends. They all rolled their eyes at him as they went back to their conversation on Quidditch.

“Did you guys hear about the bet that Madam Longbottom and Professor Longbottom made?” Fred asked the others before going on after they had all shook their heads. “The losing House has to bow down to the winning House the whole day on Monday, every time they pass a member of the House that won the match.”

“Which means that the Hufflepuffs will have to show all of us Gryffindors some respect and bow to us,” James said with a comical expression on his face as he tried to forget about Marisol for the time being. It wasn’t hard, but then again he had actually only shoved her to a different part of his brain that he wasn’t using.

“Definitely,” chorused both Fred and Holden as they high-fived one another, grinning from ear-to-ear.

The day continued to move on in a fast pace. The students walked to and from their afternoon classrooms with a certain jest that might have indicated that they couldn’t wait for the Gryffindor/Hufflepuff match the next day.

James found it increasingly difficult to sit still in his classes. His mind kept wandering toward Quidditch and Marisol at separate intervals throughout the remainder of the day. How was he going to get her to talk to him? How was he going to keep her from his mind long enough in tomorrow’s match to be on his best form?

Instead of going to dinner, James climbed the numerous staircases that led him to the top of the Astronomy tower. He breathed in the crisp, cool air that hung in the surrounding atmosphere before he looked out across the grounds below the castle.

The leaves that were still attached to the surrounding trees were in various shades of yellow, orange, maroon, and brown. Scattered beneath and around the trees were leaves that had already fallen from their respective trees. And the surface of the lake was calm with a glazed look to it as though it would soon be frozen solid in no time; leaves floated on the glassy surface.

James thought of Marisol as he scanned over the grounds. He needed to talk to her before the match. He could go down to dinner and hope that she was there so that he could ask to talk to her. Holden had told him that Marisol still liked him, but that she was afraid of getting hurt if they ever became a couple. James had to prove to Marisol that he wouldn’t hurt her, ever.

Without giving it much thought, James went back down to the entrance hall at a fast pace; as he passed portraits and ghosts on the way, they yelled at him to slow down and that there was no need to rush. James ignored them.

James slowed down and came to a stop just outside the great hall doors, which stood open to reveal to him that most of the school was there at the moment. He gulped down a few breaths of the surrounding air until they were evened out before entering the dining hall.

James walked over toward where Marisol sat with Evelyn and Jasmine. He saw her look up at him with a look of surprise on her face when he was standing next to her. “We need to talk.”

Marisol looked up at him from where she sat for several seconds before standing and following him back into the entrance hall, where he turned around to face her.

“What did you need to talk about?” Marisol asked in a voice of indifference. “I thought we had covered it all on Tuesday.”

“No,” James said in a crisped tone, “we didn’t.”

Marisol crossed her arms in front of her chest without saying anything.

James ran a hand through his messy raven hair before he went on. “Marisol, I’m re –”

At that moment, the last person that James wanted to see came walking down the grand marble staircase. The person stopped at the sight of James and Marisol and was none other than Kelsey, James’ ex-girlfriend.

James groaned and ran a hand down his face and toward the back of his neck, the gesture showed just how aggravated he was.

“Hey Jamie,” Kelsey gushed, “Have you been thinking about us?”

“Kelsey, I’m kind of in the middle of something right now,” James started in a tired voice before he added, “and there is never again going to be an ‘us’.”

“But Jamie,” Kelsey pouted.

James rolled his eyes; he couldn’t stand when anyone but his family called him ‘Jamie’. He especially hated it when Kelsey called him that. It made him hate the nickname even more.

Marisol could see that James was getting tired of Kelsey and that was why she said the first thing that she could think of. “Get lost, Kelsey.” Her tone was hard and stubborn; her face was set in a defiant expression.

Kelsey backed down, surprisingly, but not without stomping her feet and crossing her arms as she walked off into the great hall.

“You are now my hero,” James said in awe. “I’ve been trying to shake her off all week with no luck.”

Marisol shrugged and asked, “You were saying?”

“Oh, right,” James voiced again, “I was saying that I was sorry for what happened between Kelsey and me. I should have done something else to get her to back off.”

Marisol didn’t say anything, she couldn’t. How would she know if he really meant what he said? How did she know that he was right for her? Was he–?

“I like you, Marisol,” James cut into her thoughts, “give me a chance to show you that I won’t hurt you. Will you be my girlfriend?”

James waited for her response, but when it came it wasn’t the one he had anticipated.

“I’ll have to think about it,” Marisol softly spoke. “I’ll get back to you with the answer tomorrow.”

“Before the game?” James asked with hope in his voice.

Marisol shrugged.

“Whenever it is,” James said, “I’ll be waiting.”

~*~*~*~*~

Marisol walked down to breakfast the next morning before the game with Evelyn and Jazzy. She had told them both about the conversation that she had had with James the previous night.

“Are you going to accept James’ offer to be his girlfriend?” Evelyn asked as the two entered the great hall and sat down at the Hufflepuff table.

Marisol was about to answer Evelyn’s question when her owl landed in front of her with a scroll of parchment tied to her leg. She untied and unraveled it before she started to read what it said to herself as her two friends watched.

Dear Marisol,

            I miss you, too. I’m sorry if my letters have been brief and sparse, but I’ve been busy. Charles finally came around and asked me to be his girlfriend. It’s about time. I was starting to think he was completely loco and couldn’t see any of the signs I was sending his way.

            Anyway, about your whole James dilemma, it’s just like you to doubt what your heart is saying. That’s why your relationships always ended badly, but I’m not trying to bring you down.

            Mari, you need to not think about it. Just jump in feet first and see where it goes from there. If you like James, then go for it. I’m saying this as your best friend; we’re practically sisters, and I think you should give him a chance. What have your new friends been telling you to do? If they said they same thing I did then that’s more reason for you to go out with the guy.

            Now, I expect to hear that you are going out with this James the next time you write. Everyone sends their graces and miss you as well.

Good luck,
Maria 


Marisol rolled her eyes, Maria would always be the same no matter what and that was what she loved about her friend. She finished her breakfast while she talked to her two friends before leaving the great hall with the rest of the Hufflepuff Quidditch team.

Marisol changed into her yellow and black Quidditch robes in the girls’ changing room feeling particularly nervous. Which would be fine under any other circumstances, but this would be the first Quidditch match she played in at Hogwarts.

When Marisol and the other two girls that were on the team were finished getting changed for the game, they all headed over to the boys’ changing rooms to see if it was safe to enter for the before-match pep talk that Kyle was going to go over. The girls knocked on the closed door and waited until they heard the sound of scurried footsteps and a quick shout of “Come in!” met their ears as they all raised their eye brows at the weirdness of the situation.

“You two can go first,” Annabelle Longbottom said as she poked both the girls standing next to her. Annabelle was a Chaser like Marisol and quite popular amongst her fellow seventh years. She had her mother’s warm heart and friendliness, and then she had her father’s loyalty, courage, and stubbornness. Her face was set in a determined expression as she crossed her arms to show that she would not be the first to enter the boys’ changing rooms.

“Oh, no,” Renee Spencer shook her head. “Last year before the first match I was naïve enough to enter first and ended up getting squirted with water in the face as Nathan had used the Aguamenti charm on the first girl to enter. Who knows what they’d pull this year.”

Marisol tried to hold her laughter, but couldn’t as a giggle escaped from her lips. “They doused you with water?”

“Not they,” Renee started heatedly, “Nathan did. He’s so immature; sometimes I wish I was an only child!” The other two laughed at Renee as she crossed her arms and huffed.

Renee was the Keeper on the team and little sister to Nathan Spencer, who was the Seeker. She was soft-spoken outside of the Hufflepuff Quidditch team and tended to spend more time in the library. She was a fourth year and Annabelle often took her under her wing and watched out for her like a big sister watched out for a little sister.

“I’ll go in,” Marisol said as she put her hand on the knob and turned it. Before either of the two girls that stood behind her could say anything she pushed the door open and walked in. Nothing happened … at first … until Annabelle and Renee walked in cautiously after her. The boys were nowhere to be seen at first glance, until they walked further into the stinky, messy locker room – boys seriously need to learn how to clean up after themselves – and then the three girls were bombarded by four boys.

The boys tossed about half a dozen small, colorful Nerf balls at them before bursting out laughing and taking their seats on the bench in the centre of the room. The girls were not amused, to say the least, but they sat down on the bench before their Captain – who had a wide smile spread across his handsome features from the laughter that he had just contained only a few seconds before.

“Alright team, settle down,” Kyle MacMillian said in a half forceful, half joking tone before clearing his throat and sobered up with a serious face. “We’ve worked hard these past couple of months and I’d like to see you all go out there, and prove to those Gryffindors that we can beat them once and for all!” The room filled with a chorus of “Yeah”’s, when it died down he spoke again. “Let’s go kick ourselves some Gryffindor arse!”

~*~*~*~*~

James walked out onto the pitch with his team closely behind him and his broom rested over his shoulder. He was ready to kick some Hufflepuff arse, even if the girl he liked happened to be on the Hufflepuff Quidditch team and he wanted her to forgive him for the whole Kelsey fiasco.

When both teams met in the centre of the field, Coach Krum approached the teams and told the Captains to shake hands.

James stepped forward at the same time that Kyle did to shake hands. Both of the Captains had each other’s hands in vice-like grips, though neither complained as they let go. Both the Gryffindor and Hufflepuff teams mounted and kicked off from the ground at the sound of the whistle.

James heard the sound of one of his cousins, Louis Weasley’s voice as he began to commentary the match between the Lions and Badgers. He could also see Marisol as she flew upward with the rest of the players and groaned at the prospect of beating Hufflepuff yet again because she was on the team, but that didn’t matter at the moment.

“Both teams kick upward on their brooms,” Louis started, “On the Hufflepuff team, Captain Kyle MacMillian, Annabelle Longbottom, Marisol Mendez, Blake Hartley, Tyler Bennington, Renee Spencer, and their seeker Nathan Spencer!”

“And flying on the Gryffindor team are Captain James Potter II, Holden Summers, Melinda Reynolds, Fred Weasley II, Dominique Weasley, Hugo Weasley, and their seeker Albus Potter!” Louis finished the introductions just before the balls were thrown into the air and the game begun. “And it’s Potter with the Quaffle, who passes to Summers, who passes back to Potter. Potter flies forward and tosses to Reynolds, who aims the Quaffle at the centre hoop. Will it make it, ladies and gents?”

The crowd, mainly Hufflepuffs and Gryffindors, were on their feet as they watched the red ball soar in a perfect arc toward the goal…

“And it’s in! The score is 10-nil to Gryffindor!” Louis exclaimed into the megaphone with a bit too much Gryffindor pride for someone who was supposed to be an unbiased commentator. “Spencer tosses the Quaffle to Mendez, who easily catches it and takes it toward the centre before passing to Longbottom.”

“Longbottom catches and whizzes past Potter as he makes an attempt to intercept; nice try, mate.” Louis continued after a short pause for effect. “She passes to Macmillian, who passes to Mendez and in turn, passes back to Macmillian, who makes it in. That’s 10-10!”

The game went along the same lines as that, with the occasional Bludger being sent toward a player. Dominique and Fred were quite the duo when it came to hitting bludgers at the other team. They had hit Nathan, who had been about to catch the snitch; and they had hit Kyle, causing the leather ball that he had firmly under his arm to drop into the arms of James as he was flying underneath him at that moment.

It had been going on for 40 minutes when Louis could be heard as he said, “And what’s this? It appears that both seekers have seen the snitch!”

Indeed, Albus and Nathan were both neck-and-neck as they raced around pitch in pursuit of the glint of gold zooming in front of them.

“Mendez scores!” Louis exclaimed from out of the blue as everyone in the audience had their eyes on the two seekers at the time. “That’s 60-110 to Hufflepuff with Gryffindor still in the lead!”

Moments after the Quaffle soared through the left hoop, a Bludger hit Marisol in the arm with enough force to cause her to momentarily lose control of her broom for several seconds. She steadied it again, just as the Hufflepuffs in the stands broke into thunderous applause.

“Spencer catches the snitch!” Louis shouted above all the cheers and chants in a rather disheartened voice. “Hufflepuff wins with the score at 210-110!”

Both teams flew down to the ground. The Hufflepuffs surrounded their team as the Gryffindor team headed toward the changing rooms in a rather gloomy state.

“I can’t believe they beat us!” exclaimed Fred as the boys entered their changing room and he kicked his locker for extra measure to relieve the anger at not winning, but it only made his big toe hurt.

“They beat us fair and square,” James interjected before his cousin or any of the other guys could say another word. He didn’t want to hear about them complaining about not winning when he was thinking of how his stomach had dropped when Marisol was hit with that Bludger. If she hadn’t gained control back over her broom…well, James didn’t want to think about that.

When the boys were changed, the girls entered and together they all walked back up toward the castle. The Pitch was already empty, meaning that the Hufflepuffs had probably already headed back up to the castle to have an after party in their common room for their win over Gryffindor. But at a second glance of the Quidditch Pitch, James could make out someone sitting in the centre of the field on the grass with their broomstick lying beside them. He knew who that was and without a second thought he walked back toward the field.



Author's Note:  So, what'd you think of this chapter?  I'd love to hear your opinions and if you noticed any mistakes then I'd also greatly appreciate it if you pointed them out to me.  I only sent this chapter to my beta once before I posted it instead of the usual two times.  Though, I actually did send her the final draft, I just decided that you guys had waited long enough for an update and decided to post it.  I'll edit any more changes she makes to the chapter.  Let me know what you thought of this chapter, please.

Also, this story is almost complete, yay!  But I am a little sad as I get to the ending.  It'll have either one or two more chapters, depending on how the last scenes of the story flows.

Thanks to slytherinprincess over in the forums for beta'd this chapter for me!


Chapter 11: Let's Get Together
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Disclaimer:  Sadly, this is my last disclaimer for this story :( .  Anyhoo, I still don't own Harry Potter, duh, it all belongs to J.K. Rowling.  Also, the summary isn't my doing as Hermione G in the forums gave it to me for her Summary Challenge in the Story Challenges thread in the forums.  She also came up with the name Marisol Mendez, but I came up with her personality and characterization.  Any OC characters that you don't recognize from the HP world are of my creation!



Chapter 11
Let’s Get Together

Marisol was sitting in the centre of the Quidditch field, still in her Quidditch attire. She hadn’t wanted to go back up to the castle with all the other Hufflepuffs, hoping to catch James when he came out of the Gryffindor changing rooms.

She had only been sitting there for several minutes when she saw what could unmistakably be the Gryffindor team start to trek up toward the castle. Her eyes found a certain messy raven haired boy as he turned and started over toward where she sat.
Marisol went to push herself up, but she instantly regretted it as a sharp pain stung her upper right arm. She silently cursed while she covered the purplish bruise that had already begun to form on her arm in reflex. She had not anticipated getting hurt in the match that was for sure.

Soon a shadow loomed over where she sat in the grass, with the sun set high into the sky. She looked up to see James, his brown eyes instantly connected with her own.

“Hey,” James said. “How’s your arm?”

Marisol shrugged, but winced when the gesture caused another pain to shoot through her arm.

“Let me see,” James replied to her wince.

She showed her arm to him.

“You should definitely get that looked at by Madam Henley,” James replied after close examination. “I can walk you down to the Hospital Wing if you want.”

“Okay,” Marisol said as she made another attempt to stand up. She was able to stand up without much of the stinging sensation from her bruise, and several seconds later she was walking up toward the castle with James beside her.

“So,” James started as the two of them trudged up toward the majestic castle. “Have you thought about your answer?”

Marisol didn’t say anything at first. The truth was, she had thought about them, a lot. She wanted to say ‘yes’ to James, but a part of her – very small – was insecure and afraid of getting hurt. She knew she shouldn’t be though, but she just couldn’t help it. James brought out all of her insecurities and she still wasn’t sure if that was a good thing or not.

Although, Marisol had decided that she’d go with Maria’s advice about jumping in with both feet in front before second guessing anything.

“I have,” Marisol replied as they both entered the entrance hall and started up the marble staircase toward the Hospital Wing.

“And…,” James questioned when she didn’t say anything else.

Marisol took a deep breath before she gave James her answer.

“Yes,” she stopped at the top of the stairs and turned to face him with a smile starting to spread across her face.

James smiled and took her hands in his before leaning forward to do the one thing he had wanted to do since that first night back at Hogwarts. The moment his lips touched hers he felt her let out a tiny noise somewhere in the back of her throat before she started to kiss him back. The corners of his lips twitched upward as he pulled her closer toward him.

“Third time’s a charm,” he mumbled against her lips, referring to the fact that it took him three times to ask her to be his girlfriend before she said ‘yes’.

Marisol could only smile as she stood wrapped in James’ arms. It was as if the whole world that surrounded them had dissolved while they embraced and at the risk of sounding cliché, she felt like she was standing on cloud nine with James. But like every other great moment that had happened in her life before, this one had to come to an end sooner or later.

“Oooh, Jamie and Marisol sitting in a tree,” sang a voice from a few feet away, “K-I-S-S-I-N-G…-”

James spun around on the spot as the two pulled out of their embrace to look at who had spotted them. It was his little sister… Darn, now the whole school would know before tomorrow. “Lily, why are you such a pest?”

The red-headed, fiery third-year before them only smirked. “I can’t wait to tell everyone… Wait ‘til mum and dad hear.”

James started after his little sister but felt a hand on his arm, stopping him. He turned back around to find that Marisol had been the one to stop him as he heard Lily’s footsteps running off toward the Gryffindor Tower on the seventh floor. “You do know that the whole school will know about us by tomorrow morning at breakfast? Lily may be a third-year, but she has the biggest mouth known to wizard kind.”

“It doesn’t matter,” Marisol smiled. “Let her go. Everyone would have found out anyway.”

James smiled before he remembered where they were headed. “We have to get you to the Hospital Wing.”

“Huh,” Marisol responded dumbfounded at first before her bruised upper-arm gave a sharp sting, causing her to take in a sharp breath. She had momentarily forgotten about her arm in the haze of her and James’ first kiss as a couple.

“Come on,” James grinned in his playful way that made her think of a child on Christmas day. “Let’s go.”

Marisol let him lead her toward the Hospital Wing, their hands interlocked.

When they entered the empty infirmary, it was to find Madam Henley putting down new sheets on one of the beds. She looked up at the sound of the doors opening and asked, “What seems to be the matter?”

Madam Henley was a plump witch with dark blond hair in her mid-thirties. Where Madam Pomfrey had been stern and overbearing, she was more motherly with a big heart. She had been in Hufflepuff when she’d been a student at Hogwarts.

“Marisol got hit in the arm by a Bludger,” James told Madam Henley.

Madam Henley motioned for Marisol to sit down on a bed and pulled up the sleeve of her Quidditch robes so that she could examine the bruise that had started to swell since moments before.

“Tut, tut,” Madam Henley muttered as she turned to pull out a container of cream for healing bruises.

The moment that the cream was spread onto Marisol’s arm she felt a cooling sensation where the bruise was. She let a sigh escape her lips before looking up toward James to see him smiling.

“What are you smirking at, Potter?” She asked him in a playful way with a smile on her own face.

Madam Henley looked briefly toward James and then back to Marisol before saying, “The bruise should be gone by tomorrow morning. “Just make sure you get enough rest tonight.”

“Yes, ma’am,” Marisol replied before she and James exited the Hospital Wing. The moment the door shut behind them, their hands immediately found the other and James walked her back to her common room.

Marisol could hear music and loud chatter through the thick, stone wall when they had reached the Hufflepuff common room. She turned to James to tell him that she’d see him later only to find their lips meeting again. She breathed in his scent as she closed her eyes; he had that smell of a fresh fall day mingled with a smidge of sweaty-guy from playing Quidditch, the smell made her melt into his arms.

Though, like every great moment, it had to end as the two parted, slightly breathless.

Marisol smiled as she said in a bittersweet voice, “See you later,” before turning on her heel and telling the knight – who had been watching them – the password and ducking into the loud common room.

James watched her climb in through the portrait hole before heading back up to his own common room. He knew that he was headed toward an interrogation as Lily would have already told all of their relatives, perhaps even sent letters off to more of their relatives. He groaned at that.

Why does my family have to know everything that happens in my life; or everyone else’s for that matter, James thought to himself.

When James entered the Gryffindor common room the first person to say something was his cousin, and partner in crime, Fred Weasley II. “So, we just heard some very interesting news.”

James pretended to act like he had no clue what Fred was talking about. “Really, what’d you hear?”

“You know,” Fred replied in answer with a grin that was spreading across his face.

At that moment, his best friend decided to interject his two cents into the conversation that was getting nowhere. “Quit joking around with him, James,” Holden said with a smile on his face. “We know about you and Marisol kissing. So, are you two a couple now?”

James shrugged his shoulders as he slumped into an armchair, trying to stop the grin that was fighting to break free from his control. “I still have no clue what you two are talking about,” James said with as much of a straight face as he could.

“Have I ever told you how bad a liar you are when it comes to girls, James?” Holden mused, “Because you are terrible, I can see right through the façade that you use to try to hide the truth from us.”

James took to staring into the fireplace as Fred said impatiently, “Come on, James, tell us already! Are you going out with Marisol now?”

“Maybe,” James grinned.

“That means ‘yes’!” Holden exclaimed with a grin on his face as he and Fred high-fived over James’ head.

James couldn’t keep his face straight anymore and a grin split across his lips.

~*~*~*~*~

The next day as Marisol entered the Great Hall it was to everyone’s eyes training on her as she walked over to the Hufflepuff table with Evelyn and Jazzy. Both of her friends had confused looks on their faces as Marisol hadn’t been able to tell them about James and her the previous night. That was because Jazzy had been making out with Nick Price, a seventh year, and Evelyn had been under the influence of Firewhiskey and was flirting with Kyle; that had to be the first time she had seen Evelyn lose complete control of herself, it was kind of funny.

Marisol had instead wrote a letter to Maria and sent it off with her owl last night. She glanced over at the Gryffindor table as she sat down and saw James over there, laughing with his friends. When she caught his eyes, his smile grew larger as he stood and walked over toward her. She suddenly felt giddy all over as she sat there and waited for him to cover the distance that was between the two of them.

When he sat down next to her, he whispered into her ear. “Hey, Mari, how was your night?”

His breath lingered in her ear as she turned to face him. She smiled before she said, “Good, and yours?”

“Oh, you know,” James said with a slight hint of sarcasm, “Siblings, cousins, and best friends trying to get as much out of me as they could about us because Lily had spread it throughout the whole Gryffindor Tower by the time I got there.”

Marisol giggled and shook her head.

“You think that’s funny do you?” James questioned as he made a motion toward her stomach and was soon tickling her. That only caused Marisol to laugh harder and brought attention to them.

“Are you two going out now?” Evelyn asked the pair. Jazzy wore the same question on her face as well as she studied the couple before her.

Marisol could feel James’ eyes on her as she looked toward her friends’ questioning gazes. “Yeah, we are.”

“When did this happen?” Jazzy asked in her happiness of finally seeing the two together.

“Yesterday after the game,” Marisol muttered. She had never liked to be the centre of attention with everyone’s eyes on her.

“I was walking her to the Hospital Wing so that Madam Henley could take a look at her arm,” James carried on further, “We got to talking and she finally agreed to go out with me.”

At that moment, Marisol’s owl landed in front of her with a letter clutched in its beak. She took the letter and unsealed it with her wand before she started to read what it read.

Dear Marisol,

            I’m muy extasiado for you! You’ll have to tell me all about him the next time you come back to visita. You’ll be coming here for Navidad to spend it with your mama, right? Anyway, I send you my wishes to the both of you to be happy in your relacion.

Best of luck!
Maria 


Marisol finished reading the letter and put it into her pocket. She turned to face James, who had a look of curiousness on his face. “It was from my best friend, Maria, from Spain,” she supplied.

The day carried on lazily as James and Marisol spent it cuddled outside under the beech tree by the lake. The weather was crisp and a bit on the nippy side, but neither seemed to care. After a couple hours outside, the two went back inside to hang out with the others.

~*~*~*~*~

Platform Nine and Three Quarters

Marisol exited the train behind James as they walked toward where his family stood. It was Christmas break and she was going back to Spain to spend it with her mother. She would miss James, but they would see each other again on the train back to Hogwarts for the next semester. She’d get through the break with only writing back and forth between James.

She noticed her father waving at her and she waved back before turning back around as James came to a stop in front of a guy with turquoise coloured hair.

“Hey, Teddy, I didn’t know you were coming today,” James greeted the turquoise haired guy with a brotherly handshake/hug sort of thing that guys do. “How’s it going?”

“Good,” Teddy replied. “I had free time and decided I’d like to see my favourite god-brother.” He glanced over at Marisol before he turned back to James with a raised eyebrow.

James caught his slip immediately. “Oh, this is Marisol, my girlfriend.”

“I thought you were going out with that one twit?” Teddy asked as he scratched his head.

Both of the guys were oblivious to the fact that James’ parents were listening in from around where Albus and Lily stood, though Marisol wasn’t as she could see them out of the corner of her eye. “I dumped her at the start of term before we arrived back at Hogwarts.”

“Oh, good, she was really annoying.”

James raised a brow, “Why is everyone always against who I date?” Even though he agreed with Teddy’s statement wholeheartedly, he still found it slightly infuriating.

“James, honey, how are you doing?” Ginny Potter chose that moment to walk up to her son and pull him into a tight embrace.

“Mum,” James mumbled in an annoyed voice and pulled back.

Ginny looked rather affronted, but calmed when she felt her husband’s hand on her shoulder. “How’s it going, son?”

“Good, dad,” James said, relieved for the way his father could get his mother to back off of his case and quit smothering him all of the time.

Both of his parents looked from James to Marisol and back again until James got the hint after a few minutes. “This is Marisol; Marisol these are my parents, Harry and Ginny Potter.”

“Nice to meet you, Mr. and Mrs. Potter,” Marisol greeted before she turned to James. “I should go; my dad is probably getting annoyed from having to wait to pull me into his arms like I’m a little girl.” She made a face before hugging James briefly and turned away to walk over to where her father stood.

After her father hugged and kissed her forehead, she turned back around to see James walking away with his family. When he turned his head and caught her eye, they both shared a smile and a silent promise to write to each other over the Christmas holidays. 

Completed!



Author's Note:  Whoa, this is the last author's note I'll write for this story.  I think I'm gonna cry, but I won't.  Yet.  

Firstly, I'd like to thank all of you who have stayed with me from the beginning 'til the end and also to those of you who are just now finding my story.  I couldn't have completed this story without all of the amazing feedback and constructive criticism that you all gave me.  For that, I thank you tremendously!  You guys rock!

Next, there will be a sequel.  I haven't started it yet, but hopefully I'll get more planning done tonight and be able to start on it this weekend.  Though, it'll be a while until it's up as I'm going to wait to post it until I have the first several chapters written.  But if you guys want to know what else happens after this then you can read the sequel when I start to post it (and review?).

Now, I'd love to hear what you guys think about this final chapter.  And also, I'll still love to get reviews even if this story is completed now from new readers.  Reviews help me grow as a writer and I know that I have a lot of growing room left to do when it comes to sharpening my writing skills.

* Thanks to my marvelous beta, slytherinprincess over in the forums for sticking by me from the starting blocks of this story!  Without her editing, well, let's just say my chapters would have been awful.  Heheh.  ;)


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