A/N: I would just like to thank everyone
who reviewed, I had no idea that many people would be interested in what
happened to these two…it’s nice to know y’all care. And much props to my beta, Jo Wickaninnish, she puts up with so much from me – my punctuation
is atrocious, and yet she soldiers on with a smile. Also much thanks goes to all the canon
characters who have been enjoying Valentines Day over at the Forums…and Sirius
Black, who enjoys a good poet as much as I do.
Four weeks to the day of their departure from
Hogwarts’ Seamus received a letter from Lavender. A dove-grey colored owl came flying in
through the open window of his bedroom one mist-filled morning. Rubbing his eyes, he heard the wings
descending and coming through his window with a “whoosh”. The golden eyes of the owl stared at him, as
it politely lifted his leg to remove the letter. Quickly tossing back the covers he found a
stray piece of toast that he’d been snacking on last evening. Removing the letter, he handed the toast to
the bird. As soon as the letter was
removed, the bird flew out exactly the way she came.
Ripping it open, he was eager for word from her. His mother had kept news from the outside
world at a minimum, still burying her head in the sand. There had been so many fights as to whether
he was going to be allowed to attend Hogwarts this year…terrible, terrible
fights. Sighing, he banished the thoughts
from his head and read.
Hi. I hope you are doing well and things are going
alright with your Mum. That’s right,
isn’t it? Things have been right
horrible around here. I don’t mean to open this letter with bad news, but it
just seems to be going from bad to worse.
Is your Mum going to let you go back to Hogwarts? My parents and I keep going around and around
about it. It’s quite exasperating to
tell you the truth. I haven’t been able to get out to Diagon Alley, but I hear
things are quite unlike last year. Store
fronts are closed, and Madam Malkin’s is even closed and so is Ollivander’s. Where are the first years going to get their
sorry to be so unpleasant. I’m trying to
think of good things to say to you. Maybe you could write me and tell me how
you are doing and then we could go from there. I hope to hear back from you.
It took him a few moments to read it and then read it
again and again. He knew about
Ollivander’s closing or rather his quick retreat during several Death Eater
raids. Their way of life was quickly
becoming extinct. The golden hued days
of their youth were quickly falling behind them also. Falling back onto the bed, he sighed. He
would wait until that afternoon to write her back, he needed time to collect
his thoughts. Grabbing some clean
clothes, he made his way to the loo and then down to breakfast.
Sitting in the waning light of day, he thought of what to
say to Lavender. He knew that she was
probably still in a bit of a bad way over the whole Ron business. Just the thought of Ron created a burning
sensation in his chest. Weasley could
be such an idiot, he thought, and not just where girls were concerned. Brushing the quill across his nose, he dipped
the nib in the inkwell and started.
Hi. Things are fine here. Well except for Mam making sure I don’t hear
anything of the outside world. Thanks
for the letter. If you hear anything
that you think I should know, well, let me know. That woman is worse than the MLES I tell
ya. Afraid her little boys’ ears are
going to be burnt off if they hear the word Death Eater or talk of
You-Know-Who. And if you don’t know me
well enough by now, you’ll know I’m rolling my eyes when thinking of her trying
to keep me from all of this.
yeah, we’ve been fighting aplenty. It’s
awful, really. I just want to finish out
school and then go fight. What’s so
wrong with that? I’m not sure my letter is going to be any happier than yours
was. Aren’t we quite the pair?
spent the bulk of my day doing chores for Mam, and listening to her and Da
“discussing” my return to Hogwarts and whispering about the goings on, as if
I’m some sort of ignorant first year.
sorry you and your folks are having a bit of a bad time, too. Although it seems to be going around, doesn’t
me back, Lavender. You’re all I have of
the outside world, and as my Mam and Da know you, they think we’re sweethearts
or something, so they actually let me see the letters you are writing me. I hope that doesn’t bother you too much, me
lying to them, I mean.
She read over the last paragraph again and again – trying
to keep the burning in her cheeks to a minimum and her thoughts of killing him
to a definite minimum. Of all the … male
things to do.
tossed the parchment on to her dressing table.
As she brushed her hair, she counted each stroke until her temper
started to abate. She figured by the
time she had passed one hundred strokes, she should be sufficiently calmed to
form a response to him. Replacing her brush, she performed a quick
face cleaning spell. Looking at the
fresh faced young woman in the mirror she tried to remember the last time she’d
gone out in public without some form of make up on. Ever since her mother had taught her spells
to help enhance her outward appearance, she’d never been without some sort of
artifice on her face. Studying the
creamy colored skin, she ran her finger over her cheeks and her forehead. Her clear blue eyes were unlined and ordinary
looking, in her mind.
parents raised voices interrupted her thoughts.
Gripping the handle of the brush tightly, she breathed in deeply. This wasn’t the first time this summer that
she heard the yelling between them, and, at the rate of the war’s escalation, it
wouldn’t be the last. Trying to banish
worry from her mind, she took the letter from Seamus and strode over to her
writing desk and set out the proper accoutrements to write back to him.
doing well, I think, just getting ready for bed.
I’m quite sure your parents know we’re not sweethearts, but if you want them to
think that, that’s up to you, it doesn’t bother me one way or the other.
fighting with parents is horrid. The
news of the outside world isn’t anything wonderful. What little I do know is that things are
getting bad. My father is being called
out all hours of the day and night to identify bodies left behind from
attacks. Dad’s job has always been a bit
morbid, being an undertaker, but it just seems even more so now. I’ve overheard him and Mum talking about
quitting, saying that he is burying more and more of their friends and it’s
just getting to be too much for him. And
between you and me, I think it’s horrible.
I know the losses we’ve had of people that are our age…and well, it’s
hard. I can’t imagine losing anyone in
Gryffindor. They’re our friends and
housemates and people that we love, I just can’t imagine, especially
Parvati. I don’t know what I’m going to
do without her next year. She’s written and told me that her parents won’t risk
she and Padma, it’s just not worth it for them. Their Mum plans on schooling them at home for
the time being.
listen to me going on and on. I’m just
scared and more than a bit worried that I won’t get to go back to school and I
have no idea why it’s so important that I go back. I mean, will the war be over by the time
we’re done with school? I know that the papers say that Harry is the key to the
end of You-Know-Who…but will it be done?
I guess I can’t even think past the end of our seventh year.
sorry for being so down again. I’m
thinking good thoughts for you and your family, Seamus. Please write me back as soon as you get
this. Parvati isn’t allowed to even owl
anyone at this point…I think she and her family are going into hiding.
Seamus came in from the garden dripping and sweaty from
the hard labor being doled out by his Mam.
Scanning the kitchen, he found a pitcher of lemonade and made quick work
of finding a glass and downing two glasses in quick succession.
“Yes, Mam? I got
the weeding all done, for now at least.
The corn’s looking good.”
Watching his Mam walk into the kitchen he noted lines on
her face that weren’t there a few short months ago, along with dark circles
under her eyes.
“Well, that’s a grand thing. We’ll have some nice ears to eat at the end
of summer then. You’ve a letter from
your friend, Lavender. A nice girl, she
Snorting, he saw the purple stationary on the table, and
his heart quickened. “And how would you
be knowin’ she’s a nice girl, Mam?
You’ve only met a handful of times.”
Turning from her work at the counter, she looked at her
son. Underneath the grime from toiling
in the garden, she saw what Lavender quite likely saw in him. Sandy hair, carelessly finger-combed, bright green eyes and
a smattering of freckles across his nose, he’d grown a foot over the last few
months, and it would be hell trying to keep him clothed. A pang in her heart reminded her that it
would be hell trying to keep him alive during these times.
“I know what I know,” she said.
Turning back to her work, she kneaded the bread by
hand. She felt her son’s chin come to
rest on her shoulder.
“Mam, you know I love you and Da, right?”
“That we do, Seamus.”
Wiping her hands on her apron, she turned to look him in the face.
“I just want to finish out school, Mam. I can’t let You-Know-Who take that away from
me, too. I’ve always sided with you and
Da on things, Mam…but this time I can’t.
I’ve got to finish this out. You
and Da always taught me it was important to finish things you start and if I’m
wantin’ a job after Hogwarts I need to finish and sit my exams.”
Feeling her heart start to quicken at her son’s
declaration, she thought, He’s becoming a man before my eyes. Every other time when it was discussed, there
was always a great bit of shouting on Seamus’ part, and now he was coming to
her, like a man.
“Seamus, you are our only child, and I think that I’ve
probably kept you too close over the years because of it. I’ve tried to shelter and coddle ya too much,
but it’s only because you are my son, my only child. When you have children you’ll understand what
it is like to watch your child grow up and go off and leave you. I just want you to have that chance is all. I want you to be
able to marry some bonnie girl who you are in love with and live a life. I just want you to get through this alive,
Tears spilling over her cheeks, she turned back to her
bread making. She couldn’t stand this
subject any more than when they’d first discussed it.
“Mam, I will get that chance, you’ve just got to believe
it, too. I will get through Hogwarts and
graduate. You’ve just got to give me the
Sighing, she dropped the dough into a bowl and covered it
with a dishtowel to wait for it to rise.
“I’ll speak to your father about it. Don’t think he’ll be much happier than I am
about this, but you’ve my blessing to return to Hogwarts.”
Feeling arms circle her middle, she sighed. “I love you, Mam.” As soon as he released her, she turned to
watch Seamus walk from the room with the letter in his hand.
“Don’t think I won’t have a devil of a time talking your
father into this.”
He poked his head back around the corner. “Mam, now I’ve heard you workin’ Da when you
want something. Just use your wiles or
whatever it is you women have in your arsenal.”
Throwing her dishtowel at his retreating figure, she
Climbing the stairs to his room, he felt as if a weight
had been lifted off his shoulders, at least for the time being. Dropping onto his bed, he opened Lavender’s
letter. Recognizing the flowery writing,
he smiled and then caught the scent that emanated off the pages. A bit of vanilla and, holding the page up to
his nose, he recognized lemon. Stuffing
his pillow into a more comfortable lump, he began to read.
heart raced at her consent to say that they were sweethearts, albeit grudgingly
on her part. And when he reached the
part about her father and then about Parvati, his heart bled for her just a
bit. He wished, foolishly, that he could
take away part of that hurt. He wished
he could be there to give her a hug and maybe a bit of a laugh and to kiss
her. What? Where had that come from? Rubbing his hand across his face, he tried to
reign his thoughts back in. But the
morning’s hard work and the sun had taken its toll and he thought maybe a small
nap would help before he wrote back to her. Laying the letter next to his pillow, he
closed his eyes to sleep…and began to dream.
recognized the sound of the falls that weren’t too far from his own home. A small waterfall trickled into a pool not
too far below. Standing on the edge of
the pool and watched the rainbow that the falls created, feeling the heat of
the summer sun beat down on his back, he stripped off his shirt. Kneeling in front of the pool, he cupped his
hands in the water and splashed it onto his face repeatedly.
felt her before he saw her. A shadow
darkened the sun that shone on him, causing him to shiver a bit. It was a shiver of anticipation, of something
up, there she was. Her hair was in a
loose knot, a halo of blonde. Standing,
he pulled his shirt back on.
“Lavender? What are ya doin’ here? Here in Ireland?”
a hand on his shoulder, she rose and pecked him on the nose. “Silly man, where else would I be? Now look, I’ve made a ring of flowers to go
in my hair.” She showed him the sprigs
of heather and daisies woven together.
Taking it from her hands, he laid it gently atop her head. Running his hands along her cheeks, down to
her neck…he had to be dreaming because there was no way that she would be doin’
this with him in the real world. She
gave a soft mmmm as he needed the muscles in her neck. He leaned in to whisper in her ear.
am I dreamin’?”
no.” Her voice was terribly breathy and coming in short gasps. “But we need to
get back to your house; your mum will be expecting us for lunch. We’ve been gone for hours now, she’ll start
a few more minutes?” He brushed his lips
across her jaw, trailing a path of soft kisses to her lips. It was such an odd feeling, as if he’d done
this a million times when in reality he’d only done it once…after the Yule
Ball. He nipped at her bottom lip,
feeling the cool texture of his lips against hers, completely in contrast to
the world around them. She responded in
kind with an un-Lavender-like fervor. His hands cruised down her back, knotting a
fist in the back of her shirt. Tearing
his lips away from hers, he laid his forehead upon hers trying to get his
breathing back to normal. He thought
wholly of a varied list of unpleasant things such as Lockhart, Hagrid naked,
dead Blast-Ended-Skrewts…no wait that was a happy
thought, he smiled.
his eyes, he found her staring at him with those clear blue eyes. Her face was unadorned by any artifice, no
make up…it was a different Lavender, but a better one. She looked so young and vibrant.
love you, Seamus.” He felt tightness in
his chest, but a sense of rightness in her words.
I love you,” he answered her declaration.
He took her around the waist and swung her around till she was laughing
and he was smiling into the sun. Dizzy,
he deposited them on the soft earth around the pond. Leaning on his elbows over her, he didn’t
think life could get much better than this.
And then he leaned down to cover her mouth with his.
awake from her afternoon nap, she jumped at the sound of her name. Wow, she thought, pressing a hand to her
stomach and then touching her lips reverently, that felt very very real. And so completely unlike anything she’d experienced
with Ron. With Ron it was all kissing
and very little talking, it had bothered her a bit that he wouldn’t talk to her
about things. Somehow, she had just
assumed he would eventually start talking to her about important things…but had
never gotten that far before they broke up.
But that dream of Seamus…there was a rightness in it.
quick and heavy footsteps on the stairs, she got out of bed and was
straightening up her appearance when her mother appeared in her doorway.
I’ll be right down; I just need to repair the damage that nap did.”
“Lavender.” At the sound of her mother’s anguished voice,
she turned quickly and knew. Her life
would never be the same.
In Ireland, Seamus awoke the next morning and found an owl awaiting
him with a short note from Lavender.
Thinking it was odd; he fed the owl some toast and quickly opened the
don’t have the words but read the front page of the Prophet.
the paper out on his desk, his heart dropped into his stomach. In the listings of the previous day’s deaths,
Jamison Brown, aged 45, of London
was killed. Grabbing the paper he
stormed down the stairs yelling for his mother.
His only thoughts were of Lavender…she would need him.