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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!

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. 


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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