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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!

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