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Behind the Mask by onestop_hpfan18
Chapter 2 : Eventful Holiday
 
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Disclaimer:  I do not own Harry Potter.  The only thing I own is the plot and any original characters that you do not recoginize from the books.


Chapter 2
Eventful Holiday

The night of Marisol’s homecoming was a welcoming one as she was greeted by both her grandparents when her mother, Maria, and she arrived at the house, and together they shared a meal of spicy enchiladas and butterbeer. Afterwards, Marisol went upstairs to her room with Maria, where the two stayed up late talking.

“So, tell me about James?” Maria asked Marisol as they took their usual seats on the plush purple rug on the cherry hardwood floor.

“He’s been my novio for a month,” Marisol answered with as much of a straight face, to hide the smile that was threatening to break behind her façade, as she could muster. “What else is there to tell?”

“Well,” Maria stressed, “You could start with by how exactly you two first started going out.”

Marisol rolled her eyes in a joking manner at her best friend. “Well, it was after the first Quidditch match, which was Gryffindor versus Hufflepuff, with us winning,” Marisol went on to explain. “A Bludger had hit my arm and it was starting to swell so James offered to walk me up to the Hospital Wing. And somewhere along the way we started to talk about us and then we kissed and his little sister caught us before we pulled apart.”

Maria giggled.

“Oh, you think that’s funny, do you?” Marisol asked her friend as she reached up toward the left to grab a pillow from off of her bed and hit her friend with it. That caused Maria to grab a pillow herself and hit Marisol back, before the two knew it they were in an all-out pillow fight like old times. They were just missing a few people that Marisol wouldn’t see until the next night when they went out.

After a while, the two girls had collapsed onto Marisol’s bed in exhaustion.

“So, you and Charles are together now?” Marisol questioned Maria several seconds later. “I thought he was too oblivious of the chemistry between you two to do something.”

“Well, we started to get closer at the beginning of the school year and before I knew it he asked me out.” Maria was staring at the ceiling with her long, layered black hair spread out on the pillow beneath her head. On her face, she wore a slight smile as she teased, “It only took you to move away for him to see how much he wanted to be with me.”

Marisol rolled her eyes as a blush rose to her cheeks, “He always liked you; he was just too dense to see it at first.”

“And you are still in complete denial of the fact that Charles was completely smitten for you when we were first years.”

“He did not like me like that,” Marisol argued. “We played on the same futbol team before we started at the Academy.”

The two continued to talk until they eventually fell asleep. Nina, Marisol’s mother, had come up to check on them and found the two of them passed out on Marisol’s full-size bed. Nina smiled as she turned the light off and shut the door before going to her room to get to sleep.

^_^

James woke up to the sound of a car pulling into the driveway. He had left his window open so that his owl could go out hunting the previous night and he wouldn’t have to get out of bed to let him in. He peeked out from beneath his covers toward the window on the opposite side of the room to see that it was his Uncle Ron’s old, beat up blue car; the paint chipping in more than one spot.

He tried to think why they would be coming over here, but then he remembered that it was Christmas Eve and the whole Potter/Weasley family always spent Christmas Eve at the Potters and Christmas day at the Burrow. It was tradition and you don’t mess with tradition in the Potter/Weasley family.

He rolled over on his other side and pulled his deep red comforter over his head, attempting to go back to sleep. He had no such luck as several minutes later there was a loud knock on his door followed by his mother’s annoyingly loud voice.

“James Sirius, get out of bed,” Ginny yelled through the door after knocking several times without a response. “Don’t make me come in there!”

James groaned, but it wasn’t loud enough for Ginny to hear and she entered James’ bedroom. Ginny walked over to where her eldest son was laying on his bed and yanked the covers back before pointing her wand at him and saying, “Aguamenti!” 

James yelped as he quickly jumped out of bed with more energy than he had had minutes before his mum had entered his bedroom. “I’m up!” He exclaimed, causing his mum to grin as she left his room.

Once James had showered and changed into a pair of Muggle jeans, a long-sleeve, red, button-up shirt, sweater, and socks and shoes he went downstairs to the kitchen where everyone would be. He entered to find that the table that usually sat five people had been enlarged to seat nine, and that he had been correct in thinking that they would all be in the kitchen eating breakfast.

“’Morning, James,” his father addressed him from where he sat at the table with a copy of the Daily Prophet in front of him, as was usual for him in the morning when he ate his breakfast. “Did you have a nice sleep?”

James grumbled under his breath, “Yeah, until Mum came in.”

“Sorry, James,” his mother chirped into the conversation. “We didn’t catch that.”

“Never mind,” James said as he poured himself a bowl of cereal after sitting in the chair between Albus and Hugo.

“How’s your girlfriend, James?” Rose asked from across the table with a smile playing on her lips. That comment got the attention from the adults, namely Harry and Ginny, that she had wanted and their eyes went to James.

“She’s good,” James said, trying to avoid everyone’s eyes. For some reason he didn’t want people knowing everything that happened between Marisol and him. Maybe he was growing up after all. Or maybe it had something to do with the fact that Marisol had started to rub off on him about keeping what they did in their relationship between themselves. Though, he might as well voice that she may be coming over on New Year’s Eve night now to save himself a bunch of questions.

“Actually, she might be coming over for the New Year’s Eve party. I invited her yesterday when I wrote to her,” James said before taking a bite of his cereal.

His mother looked happy that she would be able to get to know Marisol more after only meeting her briefly on the platform a week ago. His father smiled before returning his attention back to his paper.

That was what James liked most about his father; he didn’t pry into James’ personal life unless it was necessary. His father gave James his space and for that, James was thankful that he had at least one parent who wasn’t constantly trying to find out what he was up to 24/7.

The remainder of the evening was rather eventful. There was a chess board set up and everyone took turns playing the winners. Which, Hugo won more than any of them, with Ron winning a couple and Albus winning once, each boasting in the loser’s face by rubbing it in.

Ron, Hermione, Rose, and Hugo ended up staying the night over so that they could all go over to the Burrow the following morning together, as per usual. There was more than enough room in the Potter Manor for them.

^_^

Christmas Eve at the Summers’ was eventful to say the least. There was always something going on, whether it would be singing carols, decorating the Christmas tree, or in the case of the kids, rough-housing.

In a corner far off from his parents and two brothers, was a seventeen-year-old boy with short, messy golden hair, blue-green eyes, and a lean build by the name of Holden Summers. He was already dosing off even though it was only eight o’ clock in the evening. The reason for his falling asleep was that his two younger brothers had worn him down.

As Holden sat in the red, cushy chair, he thought of how he couldn’t wait to go over to James’ to spend the last week at his place. Another thing to look forward to was the New Year’s Eve party as there would be others that they went to school with attending. The only bad thing about the party was that he wouldn’t have a girlfriend to celebrate the New Year with when the clock struck midnight. Though, that didn’t necessarily mean anything as Holden would still have a few girls that would be happy to kiss him at midnight. And he wouldn’t be who he was if he turned the girls down.

“Holden,” the voice of thirteen-year-old Nathan Summers floated from across the room. “You want to play a game of Exploding Snap with us?”

Holden shook his head, causing a groan to come from both his brothers.

“Puh-lease…,” drowned out the nine-year-old Keegan Summers. “You aren’t as fun as you used to be.”

Holden rolled his eyes at that. “I spent the whole day playing with you two today.”

“That hardly counts if you don’t play with us in the evening as well,” Keegan said pointedly.

“Just one game,” Nathan ploughed on further in the attempt to goad their older brother into playing the card game with them.

“Fine,” Holden groaned as he went to sit down on the floor where his brothers were sitting.

Holden ended up playing several games until his parents shooed them upstairs to go to bed so that they would be well rested for the next day when company would be coming over. Holden climbed the stairs up toward his bedroom and got ready for bed. It took him no time to get to sleep as he was exhausted after a day in which his younger brothers were constantly keeping him busy with all of their hyper energy.

The following morning Holden awoke to the rays of sunlight that glittered on and through his window; the red drapes were pushed wide open like they usually were. There was paper littering the top of a desk, a candlestick and wand on the night stand that stood to the left of his bed, clothes strewn across the hardwood floor and the red mat next to his bed, and other necessities that he needed.

Holden threw the covers aside as he sat up and swung his feet out of bed so that he was in a sitting position. He rubbed the sleep from out of the corner of his eyes before standing up and walking over toward his wardrobe to grab a pair of jeans, sweater, and socks. When he was changed and had slipped on some sneakers, Holden went downstairs to find that his aunts and uncles were already in the living room with their two kids, while his parents were in the kitchen fixing breakfast.

He walked into the kitchen in time to witness his parents standing next to the pantry kissing. And you better believe that Holden turned right around grimacing at the sight of catching his parents going at it so early in the morning.

“Gosh, at least put a sign up before you do that,” Holden said in an aspirated, but comical voice as he walked out and back toward the living room.

“Parents still kissing, I take it?” Holden’s Uncle Michael asked him as he threw himself back into the sofa next to where his aunt and uncle sat watching their kids play a game of Gob stones.

“Please don’t tell me that they’ve been like that all morning?” Holden sighed. “I’m their kid; I don’t want to know about my parents kissing and all that other stuff.”

His aunt and uncle chuckled at that before his Aunt Jeanne replied to his statement, “How do you think you got here?”

Holden threw her a look before standing up. “It’s too early for this; I’m going to wake Keegan and Nate.”

“Merry Christmas, Holden,” he heard his uncle say as he reached the stairs in the hallway and taking them two at a time, all the while shaking his head in an attempt to get the image of his parents kissing up against the pantry door out of it.

Holden knocked on both of the doors to his brothers’ bedrooms while he said, “Wake up, it’s Christmas!” That got both of them to scramble out of bed by the sounds coming from both rooms. The doors were thrown open and his brothers dashed down the stairs in a frenzy of Christmas euphoria.

^_^

Marisol spent Christmas Eve with her mother. Her grandmother also came over like she normally did and the three cooked all day for the rest of the family and friends that would come over the next day.

“Tell me, Marisol, who is this boy that you mama told me that you are going out with?” Her grandmother, Rosette Nunez, asked her in Spanish while she was kneading dough against the wooden countertop.

Marisol pointedly glared at her mother before turning toward her grandmother. “His name’s James and he’s a great guy. I really like him.” 

“You’re blushing,”
her grandmother states, “He must be special if he’s got you blushing when you aren’t even anywhere near him.”

Marisol blushed more as she took out the cookie cutters from the drawer in an attempt to hide her flaming cheeks.

“She hasn’t told me much about him, either,” Nina told her mother. “She’s written to Maria about him, but I think we’re more embarrassing to Mari, I don’t know why.” 

“Please, momma,”
Marisol rolled her eyes at how silly her mother was being. “Don’t try to make me feel bad about not filling you in with everything that goes on in my life. It’s not going to work.” 

They continued to cook well into the early evening and went to bed right after dinner. Marisol’s grandmother stayed in the guest bedroom across the hall from Marisol’s room. Marisol didn’t fall asleep immediately due to the fact that she was thinking about James.

She had received a letter delivered by his owl that morning at breakfast asking if she would like to come to the New Year’s party that was hosted by his parents. She hadn’t responded back, but now she found herself walking over to her desk and taking the seat in front of it. She picked up a quill and started to write.

James,

Of course I’ll come to the party.

For the first time in my entire life, I’d rather be somewhere other than in Spain. And that somewhere is with you. I’ve thought about you quite a bit since I’ve been here and I’ll be back in a couple of days.

Missing you loads,
Marisol 


Marisol sent the letter off with her owl before she climbed back into bed and dozed off to sleep. When she woke the following morning, it was to her mother knocking on her door and saying something that sounded like all of their family was already arriving.  She groggily wiped her eyes as she sat up in bed before she stood up and made her way across the room toward the bathroom to take a shower so that she could wake up. When she finished in the bathroom, she made her way back into her bedroom toward her wardrobe.

Marisol chose a pair of jeans and light sweater in the color of red, along with socks and shoes. The last thing she did was wave her wand over her damp, long, wavy brown locks in front of a mirror so that it was dry and frizz-free. She smiled at her reflection before turning around and heading out into the hallway and down the stairs.

The moment Marisol reached the bottom something small had latched onto her knees. Marisol looked down into the small face of her five-year-old cousin, Nicole.

“I missed you, Marisol!” Nicole exclaimed in a high-pitched child’s voice.

“I missed you too, Nikki,” Marisol told the small girl as she reached down and easily picked her up. “Now tell me what all has been going on here while I’ve been gone.” 

Nicole immediately went into story-telling mode as she recalled her siblings or cousins getting into trouble. She finished by telling Marisol that she had started futbol (soccer) and she scored four goals in total.

“Well, aren’t you a little star,” Marisol said while she tickled Nicole. The two were sitting on the couch in the family room, and the commotion around them rose in decibels as the opposing team scored on the television; a local futbol game was on.

The day went on and around three o’ clock Marisol’s friends came over to exchange presents. They had all gone outside in the backyard, sitting on the grassy surface of the ground not really caring if they ended up with grass stains on their jeans. The weather was slightly chilly with the sun shining out from behind a cloud that was partially blocking it from view.

Marisol opened her presents to find a charm bracelet, a light blue sundress with a flowy skirt and white polka dots on it, and a necklace with a floating heart charm on it. She looked up at her three friends; Carman with her straight black hair, bangs in her eyes, and her feet curled up underneath her as she set all of her presents in front of her and looked up; Alexia with her curly blond hair and laid back personality as she waited for the rest to finish unwrapping their presents; and Maria taking her usual slow time to unwrap the presents to make the others wait on her.

When they were all finished unwrapping their presents, they thanked one another before they all started to ask Marisol how different Hogwarts was from the Academy. Marisol told them about the differences that she had come across during the first semester and then she eventually brought up James. Maria had heard a lot about James already on the first night Marisol had arrived, but Carmen and Alexia had only heard that she was going out with a boy named James so they naturally wanted to know more about him.

It wasn’t long before they were called in for the feast. They jumped up from where they sat on the grassy lawn and made their way into the house toward the dining room where everyone else was at.

The feast was eventful with laughing, teasing, and remembering of past Christmases.

A couple days later, Marisol found herself boarding a plane back to London. Her mother had tears in her eyes as she said good-bye to Marisol. Marisol was trying to hold back her own tears that had started to surface the moment that she saw her mother starting to cry. When it was time to board, she waved to her mother and boarded the plane.

^_^

James went over to the Burrow with the rest of his family on Christmas morning and they stayed there all day. There was a Quidditch match that took place in the garden between the kids and adults, with the kids winning and the adults claiming that they had cheated.

Now the entire family sat around a table that was set up outside due to the fact that there were too many of them to fit in the kitchen. And that was why they had to sit outside with snow beneath their feet and clouds above their heads in the sky; it looked like it was about to snow again.

James was sitting next to Fred and the two of them were discussing what pranks they would do when they returned to Hogwarts. They were in a bit of a disagreement over a prank that Fred wanted to do, but James felt it was too juvenile.

“That’s something we would have done in our first year,” James said. “It’s got to be something that’s better than anything we have ever come up with.”

“I think putting invisible glue on the benches at the Slytherin table is a great idea,” Fred grumbled, “it’s not stupid at all.”

“You know,” James replied in an ironic voice, “For someone whose dad is a master prankster, you sure do stink at coming up with pranks.”

“Hey! Who came up with charming all of the knights to block the entrance into the Slytherin Common room so that they couldn’t get in, huh?”

“That was an okay prank, hardly something to brag about.”

Across the table from them, Albus had overheard that they were planning a prank and decided to intervene. “You two can’t afford to get into anymore trouble, let alone the fact that both of you have racked up too many detentions to keep track of. I don’t think it would be wise for you guys to pull a prank the moment we get back to school as McGonagall will more than likely flip her top.”

“Relax, Prefect Albus,” James rolled his eyes, “we won’t get into any more trouble than a detention and that’s nothing. And as for McGonagall flipping her top, well, she enjoys our pranks. Have you seen that small smirk she has on her face after she gets through scolding us?”

The evening went on with the unwrapping of presents in the den of the Burrow. After that Teddy got down on his knee in front of Victoire while everyone was watching and proposed to her. Victoire ended up crying with happiness, tears sparkling in her blue eyes as she accepted his offer. The whole family erupted in applause at that moment and rushed to hug the newly engaged couple.

When the Potters arrived home later that night, James mumbled something incoherent before disappearing up the stairs and into his bedroom. He barely made out his mum yelling up the stairs that he had better set his alarm for the next morning so that he’d be awake when Holden arrived in the late morning.

His bedroom was still as disorganized as it was in the morning when he’d woke up as he dressed into a pair of flannel pajamas and crawled beneath the covers in his cozy, unmade bed. He had only started to drift off when there was the sound of tapping on his window.

James stood and opened up the window when he realized the tapping was by an owl perched on his windowsill. The owl soared into his bedroom and perched itself next to where his own owl was perched on top of the perch he’d handmade for his owl, nothing special. He walked over and took the note from its leg to see that it was Marisol’s writing and read that she had accepted his offer to come to the New Year’s Eve party that would be a Masquerade.

He quickly scribbled a response to send back with her owl saying that he couldn’t wait to see her. When her owl flew out of the window, James got back into bed and fell instantly asleep with thoughts of Marisol and how he’d be able to see her in a few days.

^_^

The morning after Christmas, Holden found himself eating breakfast after he had finished packing up his things since he wouldn’t be home until summer. He was wearing a pair of Muggle jeans, a green t-shirt, and sneakers, his golden hair slightly messier than it usually was since he hadn’t done anything to it but roll out of bed.

When Holden was finished with his breakfast, he went into the living room and flooed to the Potters. He wondered if James was up yet, or if he’d have to wake him up. No doubt Holden would have to wake James up as his friend always tended to sleep in too late for his own good.

Holden braced himself when he was spit out of the Potters fireplace and he set his trunk down as he went upstairs toward James’ room. He knocked a couple of times and then entered when no response came from it.

Sure enough, there was James fast asleep in his bed.

Holden walked over to James’ bed and bent down to where his mouth was right next to James’ ear before he yelled, “Wake up!”

James woke up immediately by jumping up and out of bed so fast that you would have never believed he had been asleep moments before. “What?” He asked groggily as he rubbed his face and realized who was standing in front of him once he started to wake up. “That was not cool, Holden.”

Holden laughed. He couldn’t help it, it was just priceless. He loved waking his friend up as it always was amusing what James would do. Sometimes, James would swing his arms around, attempting to swat whomever had tried to wake him up or ignore them.

“It’s not funny,” James said, “we didn’t get home until late last night.”

Holden stopped laughing, but there was still a grin planted on his face. “Like that’s an excuse as you always sleep late and we always have to wake you up at Hogwarts by either screaming in your ear or splashing water on you.”

“Yeah, yeah, whatever,” James grumbled before changing the subject. “How was your Christmas?”

“Alright, I guess,” Holden replied. “A bit boring, but it was all good. How was yours?”

“Pretty much the same as every Christmas,” James reciprocated. “Playing Quidditch, enjoying a feast made by my Grandmum, and unwrapping presents. Oh, and Teddy proposed to Victoire and she said yes. It was a very happy Christmas for romance.”

“I bet you can’t wait to see Marisol,” Holden said conversationally.

“You’re right about that and I’ll be able to see her before we go back to Hogwarts since she’s coming to the party.”

“Awesome,” Holden said, even though what he was really feeling was left out. He would be spending his time at the party pretty much on his own since Fred had said that he would be with Tessa the whole night since she’d be at the party as well. He hated the fact that his friends had girlfriends and he only could manage to get dates instead of an actual girlfriend.

James seemed to pick up on Holden’s disappointment as he said, “I’m sure you could get someone to be your date with no trouble at all.”

“But that’s the thing, I don’t want to just go with anyone,” Holden replied.

“Well, who do you want to go with then?”

“I don’t know.”

James sighed. “You better figure it out before it’s too late and then you won’t have a date.”

“Yeah, I suppose.”

The two spent the day inside playing Exploding Snap with Albus and Lily since it was too cold to go outside and fly, and it had snowed more the whole day. They played in teams, him and James against Albus and Lily with him and James winning, of course.

Holden tried not to think of the fact that he would more than likely end up dateless for the party. He always was and why would this year be any different? He had no idea what would await him on the eve of New Year’s Day.


Author's Note:  Hey.  I hope you enjoyed this chapter.  I know that not much has happened yet, but that's because I'm just setting up the story so far, next chapter will be more interesting as that's when "stuff" starts to happen.  And since I'm nice and already have a lot of Chapter 3 completed I'll give you a little sneak preview of it.

Preview of Chapter 3:

Holden stood up from where he had been sitting and walked toward the hallway and to the back door to step outside for a bit of fresh air. The last thing that Holden expected was to see someone standing in the garden wearing a long, silky dark blue dress with a matching shawl, heels, and long blond hair done in soft curls down her back. Holden had to stop to regain himself as he had been slightly thrown off by first glance of the girl as he approached her. 

Holden cleared his throat, making his entrance known to the girl as she jumped slightly and turned to the side to face him. There was a look of surprise on her face for a moment before a cold breeze blew against her bare shoulders and caused her to shiver, it had reminded her of the below zero temperature. 

----

Dun Dun Dun!  Tune in next update to see what happens between Holden and the girl.  And I'd love to hear what you thought of this chapter even if it was dull because nothing big happened.  Thanks for reading!

***This chapter was beta'd by my fantastic beta slytherinprincess***


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