Chapter 5 : Hope and Luck
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Author's Note: Hey there! Well, here's chapter 5. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did writing it.
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.”
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?”
“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.
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