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Behind the Mask by onestop_hpfan18
Chapter 14 : Late Night Meetings
 
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Disclaimer:  I do not own Harry Potter; all hail J.K. Rowling for creating the Harry Potter Universe!  All I own is the plot and any original characters that you do not recognize.



Chapter 14
Late Night Meetings




The weekend came and went, and before Holden knew it, it was Monday. Holden basically went through the motions of the day until he found himself walking down to the Pitch for Quidditch practice with the rest of the team. The Slytherin-Ravenclaw match was this Saturday, and if Ravenclaw won then that meant Gryffindor will be able to match up against them for the Cup in the last match. Though, if Slytherin won, then Hufflepuff would be the opposing team for the Quidditch Cup. It was because of the possible chance that Ravenclaw wins this weekend that James had started scheduling practices again so that they could work on some old and new moves.

It was because of Quidditch practice, Prefect duties, and essays that Holden was finding it hard to manage his time over the course of the week. The only time he was seeing Lauren was during the classes that they shared together, and the same went for when he was seeing Alyssa, too. Though, Holden had not spoken to Alyssa in almost a week before he was confronted by her while he was patrolling the fifth floor on Wednesday night.

“Holden,” Alyssa greeted. “Fancy meeting you here this late, how’ve you been?”

“Busy, but alright,” Holden said as he ran a hand through his messy golden hair, causing it to spike up.

“Too busy to talk?” Alyssa asked with a questioning twinkle in her blue eyes, so unlike Lauren’s warm brown eyes.

Holden shrugged. “I haven’t even had time to spare for my girlfriend.” He emphasized ‘girlfriend’ in a way that told Alyssa plainly that Lauren came before Alyssa. “I have Prefect duties and essays to write, not to mention James started scheduling Quidditch practices in the case that Ravenclaw beats Slytherin on Saturday.”

“Ravenclaw is so going down,” Alyssa stated in a matter-of-fact tone. “My cousin will make sure of that.”

“Who’s your cousin?”

“Scorpius Malfoy,” Alyssa said.

Holden rolled his eyes, “Whatever. There is no way Slytherin is going to win against Ravenclaw on Saturday. Have you seen the Ravenclaw team practicing lately?” Holden added the last sentence with an edge in his voice before he carried on. “Their game has improved vastly since last school year.”

“So, I never liked Quidditch anyway,” Alyssa said with a wave of her hand.

“Why do you do that?” Holden asked.

“Do what?”

“You know,” Holden said, “push everything aside as though it isn’t worth caring about. You must care about something?”

Alyssa crossed her arms in front of her. “I do not do that,” she said with a defiant expression upon her face, prepared for an argument.

“Yeah, you do,” Holden pushed. “And you know you do, too. Do you not want people to actually see below the surface of who you really are, or is it something else that you’re trying to hide from others getting to know the real you?”

“You don’t know me,” Alyssa weakly exclaimed.

“You’re right about that.”

Alyssa glared at Holden, who glared right back. Blue eyes pierced blue-green, and vice versa. The staring match lasted several long minutes before Holden broke it when he turned and started to walk away from the icy blue-eyed Slytherin blonde. Alyssa stood and watched Holden’s retreating back before she finally went after him,

“Holden, wait!” Alyssa called out, which caused Holden to spin around and bring a finger to his lips to ‘shh’ her, as it was after all late and she should have been back in her common room by now. She dropped her voice down to a whisper before she said another word. “Look, I’m sorry that I’m being so short with you, it’s just that my patience is pretty much shot at the moment.”

“Your patience is shot?!” Holden said in a whisper that may as well have be a shout for all the fury and frustration that was in it. “What about mine?! I’m the one who has spent a lot of the second half of the school year looking for you while you hid.” There was a spark that intensified from Holden’s anger in his eyes that startled Alyssa for a fraction of a minute before she was thinking of how good-looking he looked when upset.

“Yeah, I’m sorry about that,” Alyssa muttered, and she began to twirl a blond curl around her finger absent-mindedly.

“Yeah, so you said,” Holden said. “But I’m getting the impression that everything you say is empty words without meaning; especially your apologies.”

Holden’s words cut deep into Alyssa, but she refused to let him see that he had hit a nerve. After all, it was what she was good at, hiding her emotions from everyone else. Instead, Alyssa turned on her heel and walked away, ignoring Holden as he attempted to call her back.

*~*

The week passed by without any further late night rendezvous with Alyssa for Holden in a blur of classes, practices, and Prefect patrolling duties. Before Holden knew it, it was Saturday and he was on his way down to the Pitch to watch the Slytherin-Ravenclaw Quidditch match with Lauren and his friends. He held Lauren’s hand all the way down from the castle and climbing up into the stands.

“Ravenclaw better win,” James said as he sat down beside Marisol, their fingers intertwined together. Then, he spoke across to Lauren, “how’s your house team looking?”

Lauren shrugged. “I don’t pay that much attention to Quidditch.”

“Oh, you’re a lot of help,” James grumbled, causing Marisol to rub her thumb over his knuckles in a consoling way,

“Relax, James,” she said. “I’m sure Ravenclaw will beat Slytherin. No one wants Slytherin to make it all the way to the Quidditch Cup.”

“Yeah, whatever,” James said absentmindedly as his eyes started to scan the Pitch below for any sign of Coach Krum or the players of either teams. But no such luck as there was any sign of anyone on the mound in the middle of the Pitch at that moment.

“Calm down, James,” Holden rolled his eyes. “Just sit back and enjoy the day that we get off to watch Quidditch instead of studying in the stuffy library. And we have another Apparition lesson later this afternoon.”

“I don’t care about Apparition,” James said. “I never much liked the sensation of it when I was taken along for the ride, so who’s to say it’s different on your own.”

“Who cares about whether it’s comfortable or not,” Fred replied to James’s statement. “We’ll still be able to Apparate after these lessons and if we pass the test if we wanted to.”

“Heh. That still doesn’t change my mind about not liking it.”

At that moment, Holden and everyone else’s attention was drawn down to the field where Coach Krum was standing with both teams; one in blue and bronze, while the other was wearing green and silver. Holden watched as the Captains, Davies and Malfoy, shook hands before the Coach Krum announced the players to mount their brooms and blew his whistle for them to take flight. The players flew airbourne while the commentator, Louis Weasley announced the players of each team.

“On the Slytherin team we have Captain and Seeker Scorpius Malfoy; the Chasers, Brian Tooterledge, Ryan Van, and Xavier Knott; the Beaters, Lyle Goyle and Carl Elis; and Keeper
Michael Zabini!

“And on the Ravenclaw team we have Captain and Chaser Christian Davies, and the other two Chasers David Fields and Micah Thomas; Beaters Riley Taylor and Caleb Edgecomb; Keeper Chelsea Newton; and Seeker Zach Xang!”

“And it is Van from Slytherin with the Quaffle,” Louis commentates. “He passes to Knott, who passes back to Van. Van aims at the centre hoop, but it’s blocked by Newton. Way to go, Chelsea!” Louis clears his throat, “I mean, go Ravenclaw!”

Holden laughed with James and Fred at Louis’s obvious crush on Chelsea Newton.

“He’s such a nerd,” Fred said through his laugh. “If he had any of the Weasley charm he’d tell Newton how he felt instead of making a fool out of himself by crushing on her from afar in a more than obvious way.”

“He’s quieter when it comes to girls than us,” James said. “He’ll come around eventually.”

“Yeah, sure he will,” Fred laughed.

The guys turned their attention back to the game, missing the eye rolls that they got from the girls. Holden watched as Davies caught the Quaffle and scored the first goal of the match for Ravenclaw, and he cheered with James and Fred. “Slytherin is so going down,” he yelled to be heard over all the cheers and jeers.

It was not long before Ravenclaw was leading after scoring seven goals, and Slytherin had only two goals, before Xang had spotted the Golden Snitch. The crowd watched as Xang zoomed after the Snitch with his arm outstretched—Malfoy right on his tail—and then the fluttering walnut-sized ball was clutched tight in his fist as he flew around the stadium. The Slytherin team, scowling, exited the Pitch in sore spirits at losing to Ravenclaw.

“Yes! We’re playing for the Cup!” James punched the air with his fist in a jubilant fashion and slapped both Fred and Holden high-fives.

The group of friends walked back up toward the castle for lunch and then their first Apparation lesson, which was super dull in Holden’s own opinion. When the lesson was finally over, Holden was able to spend some time with Lauren before he had to finish up writing his Ancient Runes essay; it was about ancient curses and hexes used in medieval times. Holden’s hand was interlocked with Lauren’s as the two of them walked out onto the grounds and down toward the Black Lake.

“How’s everything going?” Lauren asked.

“Crazy,” Holden said through a sigh. “I barely have time to sleep with everything that’s heaping onto my plate.”

Lauren smiled at him, her warm brown eyes temporarily lifting all of the weight from his shoulders. It was because of this that Holden suddenly felt like he should be honest with her by telling her he went to meet the Masquerade Girl last week. He took a deep breath before he plowed on into dangerous territory.

“So, you remember those notes that I received from Masquerade Girl?”

“Yeah,” Lauren said, slightly hesitant about where the topic was heading.

“Well, I ended up going to meet her at midnight last week,” Holden said. “It’s Alyson Goldstein; she’s the one that I talked to that night.”

“Oh,” Lauren said. “And?”

“Nothing happened,” Holden said. “I just wanted to know who she was, but she’s been trying to talk to me all week and I just wanted to be honest with you.”

“Oh, okay,” Lauren replied. “Thanks for telling me the truth. Why are you telling me the truth?”

“Because I don’t want to feel like I’m lying to you,” Holden responded logically.

“Oh, thanks then,” Lauren said, still not quite sure what else there was for her to say.

“I still really like you,” Holden assured her. “Not to mention that I don’t like Alyssa at all; she’s self-centered and rude.”

Lauren smiled sweetly, it showed her innocence.

The couple continued to walk around the lake as though Holden had not just confessed about meeting Alyssa last week. Even though Lauren felt her stomach flip-flop as she let a few insecurities bubble inside of her. Lauren knew that Holden was being sincere when he said that he had no feelings for Alyssa, but on the other hand she could not help but worry that his emotions would change with time. After all, they were teenagers and more than likely would not end up together in the long run, but that did not stop her from hoping that they would still be together years after Hogwarts. Maybe she was just being a sentimental girl, but she really felt comfortable around Holden and that they could share anything.

Why do relationships always have to be so complicated?



Author's Note:  Okay, so I know that I haven't updated in a month, but I'd still really appreciate any feedback on can receive on this chapter.  Also, I respond back to all my reviews, too.  Anyway, thanks for reading and I hope you will take the time to leave a review letting me know what you think of the story so far now.

This chapter is unbeta'd.



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