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!
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.
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 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 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.
“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!
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