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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.”



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. 


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.


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.


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!)

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