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Seamus crashed backwards into a table of half-finished drinks to a cheer from the guys surrounding him. Wiping his dripping fringe from his eyes he gave his hand a lick and grinned up at his drinking companions. He had no idea what someone had spiked the butter beers with but he hadn’t had this much fun since the Weasley twins proclaimed St Patrick’s day to be their favourite holiday of the year.

It had only taken four hours for McGonagall to ban the Gryffindor house from ever celebrating that holiday again.

“Mate, I thought the Irish could hold their drink!”

“Ay shove off Andy!”

Seamus grabbed the offered arm and stumbled up, managing to catch his balance before repeating the incident.

“Hey watch your mouth! You’re talking to an elite member of the victorious team remember.”

He swung an arm over his friend’s shoulder, “Yeah, remind me exactly how yer tactic of dropping the bat three times helped us win?”

“Oh leave it would you,” Andy shoved the arm away but the smile didn’t leave his face, “For all you know that was a top secret complex play.”

Seamus swayed forward into the beater’s space, “Well then you play badly amazingly mate.”

He huffed and rustled the shorter lad’s hair, his face scrunching up on discovering how sticky it had already become from all the drinks.

Seamus laughed and quickly jumped away as his friend tried to use his shirt as a towel. Pinching a drink someone just placed down he winked and raised it to Andy, who rolled his eyes and waved him off, turning back to continue replaying the match with his other team mates.

Winning the Quidditch House Cup – what a high!

It would have been even better if he’d been one of the people to help win it but he was doing well at pushing down the remaining shards of jealousy with those thoughts. Flying had always been a passion of his and like loads of wizards there had always been that dream of playing for his house; the crowds cheering his name, his mam beaming as he scored a goal, people looking to him to take them to victory.

He’d been so close…

Dean caught his eye from across the room and threw up a hand to beckon him over.

The image of him flying on the pitch faded and he shook his head, letting his grin widened as he headed towards his best friend. Dean had deserved the position; he’d out-flown him at the try-outs and fair was fair. It may have taken him a day or two to accept this, and an extra day to actually go and mutter an apology for his foul mood but he was mostly fine with it now.

Besides, with Dean’s newly dumped status the pick-me up of winning a Quidditch Cup would do him good.

“Watch it!” He lifted his drink just as the girl in question rushed past him.

Seamus turned to glare at her retreating form sprinting through the common room. She shouted something and the people ahead looked up and parted for her, revealing the team’s detention-grounded seeker climbing out of the portrait. Harry’s expression lit up as he took in the celebrations then his gaze fixed on the red-head flying towards him.

The Irish lad watched as Ginny stretched out her arms and as Harry stepped forward to meet her.

He was about to turn away, not needing to see more Quidditch players hug and congratulate each other on how amazing they were; but then it happened.

Harry caught Ginny as she leapt at him.

A hand wound into her hair.

Her arms locked around his neck.

And they were kissing.

A tidal wave of silence spread across the room; those first seeing it hitting their friends’ arms who in turn tugged on the sleeves of those nearby until everybody was staring at the Boy-Who-Lived shamelessly kiss his replacement seeker.

As they broke apart a couple of wolf-whistles broke the tension and prompted some scattered giggles.

Seamus blinked as the crowd began to return to life; he could see Ginny duck her head at the calls but not what emotions were crossing her face.

From where he standing it was Harry he had a clear view of; red cheeks and a smile that could fend off a dementor it seemed nothing would be bringing his room-mate down anytime soon.

But then Harry’s gaze briefly flicked to something just past Ginny’s head and for just a second his smile wavered, only for him to redirect and the expression solidify once more.

Seamus automatically turned to follow where Harry had been looking.

Dean. A broken glass clutched in his hand. Dark eyes fixed on the pair.

Fixed on his friend and ex-girlfriend.

The ex-girlfriend who had only broken up with him earlier that very day.

Immediately Seamus’ awareness snapped back; he could feel his hands shaking, his chest was tight with sharp breaths and the lines around his face had tightened.

Harry-freakin-Potter.

What kind of git makes moves on a girl right in front of the guy she just broke up with? In a room full of everyone they know! When the guy’s a friend he’s shared the same room with for six years!

Seamus liked Harry as much as the rest of them but these kinds of moments boiled his blood.

Nobody cared that he lived in his own little oblivious world; only paying attention or caring about things that directly affect him or his little group of close friends. Poor Harry’s got a lot on his plate, he’s got more important things to worry about, he’s got a Dark Lord he’s destined to defeat. The Chosen One doesn’t have time to think about the impact his actions have on other people. How some people almost got dragged away from their school and friends because he was ranting to papers. Or how a castle of kids had to go through a year of blood quill punishments because he just had to antagonise the ministry over not believing what sounded like pretty crazy stories.

Or how it may feel to see the girl you had really liked apparently forget you exist as soon as Harry Potter shows some interest.

The Chosen One was now sharing a look with his best friend, who was offering a small shrug and partial smile – oh that was just…

Seamus slammed his drink down on a table and marched through the crowds.

That Weasley git had ranted and threatened Dean to no end about Ginny but apparently there was no such danger of bad intentions from Potter.

He had no idea what he was planning to do when he reached Potter but the thumping in his chest and bite of fingernails in his clenched fist suggested it was probably going to be something violent.

Dean was the most decent guy in the whole castle.

Potter had no right to make him feel inferior. No right to make him feel like a person who can just be cast to the side as if merely a needless character in his more important journey.

He pushed past the last couple of people; they were still both their laughing with each other, swept up in their own little joyous moment.

Harry turned his head and spotted the Irish lad striding towards him; he didn’t seem to think anything of it as his grin remained and he began to raise a hand in greeting.

Seamus’ arm mirrored the movement; his fist still curled tight and blood rushing to his head at his friend’s irritating obliviousness.

Then Potter’s irksome face disappeared and was replaced by a much more welcomed one.

“Don’t.”

Dean had a tight grip on his arm, locking it just below a height which would draw curious gazes with sharp senses for potential fights.

Seamus pushed against the hold and opened his mouth.

“Can we just leave?” The taller boy’s whispered plea cut off whatever righteous-anger driven protest was forming.

The burning sensation was still running through Seamus’ veins but he pushed through the haze enough to take note of his friend’s hunched shoulders and how his eyes kept flicking around before quickly retreating back to the floor.

He forced his muscles to loosen and gently wrapped his fingers around Dean’s wrist when he released his hold.

“Yeah – course mate.”

Seamus pulled him back through the students, all who had quickly returned to their own entertainment now that the surprise show had finished.

They made it to the stairs to the boy’s dormitories and the Irish lad fell back and waved to let his friend go first. He took the time to turn back once more to see Harry now being joined by the rest of the Quidditch team, who were patting him on the back and ruffling his hair as his arm remained fixed around Ginny’s waist.

Entering their room Seamus shut the door and waved his wand over the lock, “Colloportus.”

“Thought it should be me making sure you’re locked in here,” Dean was hunched over on the edge of his bed, turned away from the entrance, “We don’t need Harry Potter getting beaten up in his own common room.”

“That guy is a prick mate! He deserves a good smack – and ain’t like anyone else out there is gonna do it!”

“Because kissing an unattached girl you like always provokes a call to arms.”

Seamus huffed and collapsed onto the bed behind his friend who gave no reaction, “Yeah that’s the reason I was ready to sock him one.”

“You heading back out to take on half the male population then?” In another conversation the joke would have earnt a smirk.

“Don’t do that.”

Dean shrugged and pulled lightly at his sleeve; this drew his friend’s attention.

“Yer hand!” Seamus tugged away the shirt to reveal the bloodied gash spouting small shards of glass, “Goodness sake why didn’t yer say something yer idi’t!”

“It’s nothing, I’ll sort it later.”

“It’s not… yer stupid – ugh accio first aid kit!”

A small white box flew out of the far wardrobe and into Seamus’ hand; he shuffled further onto the bed and nudged the taller boy till he swung himself so he was sitting crossed-legged facing him.

With most of the dorms occupants highly prone to accidents and three of them having been raised with muggle influence they’d decided a first aid kit was a wise decision.

He picked up the set of tweezers and held out his palm; the other boy made no other comment and simply laid his cut hand on top.

Dean had once admitted he preferred doing things the muggle way when he was upset because it reminded him of his family.

“Why couldn’t yer have had a plastic cup to crush to death,” Seamus held back a gag as the skin lifted slightly as he started with the largest piece.

His friend didn’t winch, “Sorry, next time I’ll try to switch cups before my ex kisses someone.”

The shard of glass conceded; blood oozing from the gash it left. Seamus muttered a curse and dabbed it with a piece of cotton wool. Most of the cuts were only small and fortunately only a few still had pieces of glass in them. Not that it made a difference to Dean; his head remained turned to the window, impartial to the lines of blood drying on his hand.

Dean had always been the quieter one; probably a needed trait to balance the loud madness of a hot-headed Irish friend. But then perhaps quiet wasn’t quite the right word. Reflective. That suited better. Whilst Seamus would let fierce opinions swirl in his head and guide him to quick action, Dean would observe a situation and then reflect on what he made of it before considering a reaction.

He knew that’s what was happening now. His friend was taking this time to decide how he felt about what he’d seen and how he wanted to respond.

Dabbing the last of the dried blood Seamus set aside the kit and picked up his wand; muggle means may be useful enough but magic wasn’t going to leave a scar.

Dean tilted his head towards his friend, “Just bandage it.”

Seamus raised an eyebrow, “Yer sure about that?”

“Yeah.”

He stroked his thumb over the thick scar marking the centre of his friend’s palm, “That’s going to leave a nasty scratch if yer just let it heal on its own.”

“Then I’ll remember.”

“Remember what?”

Dean finally met his gaze, “That love’s painful.”

“That loves…” Seamus frowned and shuffled forward, his grip gently tightening around the other boy’s hand, “Getting a bit dramatic there aren’t yer? I mean – yer saying you’re in love with Ginny?”

“No, no – it’s just,” He shrugged, “She was my first serious girlfriend, it wasn’t like we were just holding hands now and then or having a quick kiss sometimes. We talked. She would tell me stuff about her family and worries about all this death eater madness – one time she even mentioned things that still affect her from that whole deal when she was in first year. And I told her things too. A couple of things that I’ve only ever told you.”

Dean’s hand adjusted to slot underneath his friend’s grip.

“And when she broke up with me it hurt but in a normal way; because I knew that in a bit I’d be able to look back on my first experience with a relationship and think that it was pretty good. We cared about each other, things changed and it came to its end. But we’d had that time of wanting to be us. But seeing her kiss Harry like that…”

Their fingers had slipped together, Seamus’ thumb stroking along the line of broken skin.

“I know I shouldn’t be surprised; everyone knows she had a thing for him since she was little but that she was so happy to be with him when we’d broken up just this morning… Just makes it feel like we never actually had anything. That she never actually cared that much about me. I was just being an idiot and reading into things too much.”

Dean sighed, running his free hand through his hair and sliding it across his face. His gaze had dropped, following the movement of the other boy’s finger.

Seamus simply stared at his friend; eyes wide and lips partly open.

There was a dull ache in his chest.

“Screw her.”

The corner of his mouth quirked up, “Think it’s been established I’m not in that position anymore.”

Seamus huffed and sharply tugged their joined hands to him, “No listen to me – don’t yer dare let this one insensitive girl get to you. Okay so maybe she didn’t care about yer as strongly as you thought but trust me she did care.”

“Oh yeah – how’d you figure that?”

“Cause it would be impossible for anyone to get to know yer even a little and not care for yer.”

Dean’s gaze snapped up.

Silence fell across the room once more but now there was a weight to it.

Seamus hadn’t said anything particularly different from comments they’d made to each other in the past.

Yet the confusion etched in his feature’s at his own words implied this time he’d admitted something in which he wasn’t actually sure what he meant by it.

He glanced down to their hands, which were still entwined although now Dean’s lay on top, then looked back up.

“I just mean,” His voice cracked slightly and he coughed, “If someone doesn’t realise how lucky they are to have yer, then they don’t deserve yer.”

Dean tilted his head, his eyes searching his friend’s face.

Seamus didn’t look away.

A soft smile painted itself across the taller boy’s features.

“Thanks Shay.”

“Anytime.”

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

They’d won.

Reading the history books one always imagines a cheering roar at the famous battles’ victories. Allies hugging, patting each other on the back, sharing hearty laughs over tales of their fights.

Reality didn’t make it into those books.

Dean and Seamus were sat on a bench at the edge of the Great Hall.

Already it was hard to picture four rows of tables filled with children chatting and teasing one another. The eager fingers grabbing at food, weaving past books and ink pots spread between plates. Friendly shouts between houses poking at outcomes for upcoming Quidditch matches. Children simply being children.

Now, the memories of those tables were marked by rows of bodies.

They’d help lay a lot of them there. Searching through the rubble and among the fallen enemy they had carried them and set them down among their peers. It wasn’t much but it at least made it feel like they were honouring their sacrifice.

For those who had survived, it was hard enough to learn a loved one was gone. To have to find a limp ragdoll half-crushed under an ogre would only leave cruel nightmares; it seemed better to allow them to instead find a sleeping figure lying peacefully under a blanket.

They were the lucky ones; they had no bodies to cry next to.

That relief manifested a guilt which had seen them creating these rows for the past five hours.

Fortunately, the number of dead was finite; so now they sat faded into the background to let the survivors grieve.

Seamus blinked; breaking up the image of the Creevey’s clinging to their son. He shouldn’t have put down the kid for his obsession with Harry.

“We’ll get through this.”

He turned his head to Dean’s voice; who was looking to the mirror image of the Weasley’s.

“How do yer figure that?”

Dean tracked his gaze back to his friend, a softness settling across his dirtied and bloodied face, “Because we’ve still got each other.”

A faint familiarity tapped at the Irish lad’s memory as he kept the attention of those dark eyes he’d known since he was eleven.

The past year, not knowing whether Dean was alive, if he’d been captured, if he was injured – it had been the worst year of his life. His best friend had always been his constant. No matter what they were going through, whether it had been struggling to write an essay or training as part of a secret dark arts defence group he could turn to his side and Dean would be there right next to him. He never quite understood why this intelligent, funny, charming, popular guy had stuck with him through all the years when he could have chosen any friends. He was just some short-tempered Irish kid who blew things up way too often; but whenever he did blow up a cauldron Dean was always there laughing with soot spattered across his face – and he was always there the next time as well.

That train ride at the beginning of the year, clouded by the knowledge that Deatheaters were going to be running the school had been bearable when Seamus was sitting in a carriage waiting for his best friend to arrive and take a place next to him.

Then Ginny had walked in with pity drowning her features and passed on the Orders knowledge that Dean had fled and was on the run in an unknown location.

His chest had felt like it’d been hit by a stunner.

When he had seen Dean walk out of Aberforth’s tunnel he could have cried with relief – but then there was a battle and screaming and shooting and dying…

And now…

Seamus blinked; he looked down to his friend’s hands which were resting on his lap. They were blistered, covered in dust and grime with flakes of blood smeared into the skin but there was still a familiar scar cut across the centre of one palm.

He reached out and gently stroked a finger along the line, a faint smile appearing as Dean’s hand moved to claim the rest of his.

He raised his head again; Dean hadn’t altered his gaze.

It felt natural for Seamus to lean forward and gently press his lips to his friends.

He felt Dean smile.

A soft touch grazed his cheek and he leant into it.

He lightly pulled back but his eyes stayed closed and his forehead stayed rested against the other boys.

They stayed like that; Seamus breathed to the light stroke of fingers on the nape of his neck, matching his caress of the scar on Dean’s hand.  

“We’re going to be okay.”

“Yeah Shay – we are.”

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

 

Dean grimaced and discarded a pile of plates into the sink; he was still petty that nobody had agreed to use paper plates. We can clean them with magic Dean – yet here he was with sticky hands because it had then been deemed unwise to have china plates flying around the room.

Rinsing off the remains of a mixture of cheese sauce and chocolate cake he sighed and collapsed into the nearest chair.

The kitchen had momentarily become a deserted haven and he would enjoy it while it lasted.

“Given up already?”

His head whipped up, but the sight of the familiar red hair loosened the muscles which had already tensed at the thought of being pulled back in.

“Why did we think having kids was a good idea?”

Ginny laughed, gliding forward to place a kiss on the top of his head whilst waving her wand over the sink.

She hopped onto the counter across from him, wiping away some flecks of water as the dishes began to wash themselves, “Well I had got bored of just Harry for conversation – don’t know why you decided to take the plunge.”

“I think it just felt like the latest trend,” Dean shrugged, “All the rest of you were doing it, didn’t want to feel left out.”

“Well Neville’s still standing strong.”

“Nah he’ll get there in the end – although to be fair he’ll have enough on his plate when we eventually pawn off our lot onto him.”

Ginny tucked a strand of hair behind her ear, “I don’t even want to think about that – I can’t believe James will be going next year already. I’m not sure what’ll I do when he’s no longer around.”

Dean stood up and leant next to his friend, slipping his hand over hers and giving it a light squeeze, “Guess we never really thought what it must have been like for our parents when we were at school.”

“Probably explains why mum had so many kids.”

“Gin-“ They both turned to Harry’s voice as he stumbled through the door, his hair drowning in purple glitter, “Hey, you alright love?”

A soft smile graced her features at her husband’s concern, “I was just thinking about James going to Hogwarts next year.”

Harry huffed and shook his unkempt locks which released a cloud of glitter, “Personally I think I’m looking forward to it – did you know he was planning to switch out my shaving cream with that feather growth potion?”

“I won’t admit anything,” Ginny smirked.

She adjusted her grip on Dean’s hand to give it a squeeze of gratitude, but then frowned and turned it over, “Hey what have you done here?”

Dean glanced at the familiar jagged scar sliced through his palm, “Oh it’s nothing.”

Ginny pursed her lips and picked up her wand, “Shall I heal it for you?”

“No,” He pulled out of her grip, “It’s just an old injury.”

Harry walked over and noted which hand his wife was looking at, “Oh yeah Dean’s had that scar for ages, since we were in school I’m pretty sure.”

Ginny raised an eyebrow at her friend, “Why have you kept an old scar?”

“You know,” Dean scratched the back of his head, “Just has a memory.”

“Ooh there’s a story!”

“I – no I didn’t say that.”

“Sorry mate,” Harry clapped him on the shoulder, “You’ve intrigued her now.”

“Exactly! Come on; tell us what’s so special about this scar.”

Dean shook his head and looked to the ceiling with a faint smile, “Alright – well then, if I’m being truthful,” He crossed his arms, catching the red head’s eye with a smug glint, “You’re actually the reason for this scar Ginny.”

“What?” She tilted her head, glancing to her husband who had perked up with interest.

“Yep,” He gave Harry a pointed look, “Younger me wasn’t too happy when his recent ex-girlfriend and roommate made out in front of him – and unfortunately he was holding a glass at the time.”

It was a satisfying sight to see the Chosen One squirm.

“Ah – yeah,” Harry offered a sheepish smile, “Sorry about that.”

Dean smirked, “You should just be thankful I still had it in me to intercept Seamus – he was gunning for a swing at you right after it happened.”

Ginny’s reaction had a bit more emotion.

“Oh my goodness!” She clutched both his arms, “Dean I never thought about that – oh wow that was such a jerk move on my part. Sweetie, I’m so sorry!”

Dean chuckled at the genuine shame on his friend’s face, “Ginny its fine. We were all young; no harm no foul.”

“Apart from this scar on your hand.”

He shrugged, “Yeah, apart from that.”

Ginny looped her arm through his, “Okay – so no offence, but I’m hoping you’re not saying you’ve kept the scar to remember when I kissed Harry in front of you.”

“Well, technically at first it kind of was,” He rolled his eyes at the judging expression, “Okay look I was a moping teenager, and I was hardly the most dramatic one in that room – you knew Harry through the Cho era.”

Harry raised his hands, “Hey I’m not the one we’re making fun of right now.”

“Yeah I’ve got plenty of time for that,” Ginny poked her tongue out at her husband’s sarcastic laugh, “Come on – what was your mopey teenager logic?”

Dean closed his eyes, and then muttered with a long sigh, “I was going to keep it… to remember that love was painful.”

He shook his friend off him as she burst into laughter and moved to lean against the opposite counter, “Yeah, yeah – laugh it up at the poor boy whose heart you stamped on.”

“Sorry…” She tried to stifle the grin behind her hand, “It’s just – that’s like angst poet level of drama.”

Harry’s features mirrored his wife’s and he opened his mouth but quickly shut it again when he received a sharp look from the taller man; a silent you still kissed my ex the afternoon we broke up.

Ginny drew in a deep breath, “Okay – I’m good.”

“Can I tell you the redeeming reason now then?”

Her eyes lit up again, “Yes! Tell us.”

Harry slipped next to his wife and wrapped an arm around her waist; Dean smiled as she leant into the touch.

“Right,” He instinctively rubbed the scar as he thought back to that night, “So Seamus and I were in the dorm; he was angry and I was quiet. Got angrier when he noticed my bleeding hand so he got the first aid kit – remember that old thing we used to keep in the room – and cleaned it up for me. I think he remembered I liked to do things the muggle way when I was upset.”

Ginny gave a small hum of delight.

“Then of course he was trying to cheer me up – and it wasn’t that he said anything nicer or more heartfelt than we’d said to each other before over the years. It was just… he said this one thing and it felt different. It sounds stupid but there was suddenly this new weight between us – and there was a look on his face that said he felt like he’d just said something that was more significant this time.”

He crossed his arms and shrugged.

“That’s the moment I always name for us. The one where it felt like something shifted which opened up for where we ended up. It wasn’t anything big and nothing changed after, we just went back downstairs and got drunk. But if you asked – that was when the door opened to the chance for us to become more than just best friends.”

Ginny placed a hand over her heart, her voice soft with awe, “The scars the beginning of your love story.”

Harry chuckled and pulled her further to him, “Now who’s being the dramatic one.”

Dean winked at his friend. He wasn’t known for being a big sharer but it had actually felt quite nice to finally tell Ginny how she’d unknowingly had a part in leading him to the best two things in his life.

“Daddy, daddy!”

Dean turned and beamed at the little five year old swaying excitedly in the doorway; the beads he’d painstakingly weaved into her braids clicking against each other and the flower patterns on her purple dress stretching out as she pulled on the fabric.

“Daidí said you not allowed in the kitchen anymore!”

“Oh did he now?” He ran over and swept his daughter up, swinging her onto his back as she squirmed with a shriek of giggles, “Well my little sunray – looks like we’d better go give your Daidí attention.”

Ginny’s laughter joined in, “Good idea – can’t have that man unattended for too long, I don’t think the neighbourhoods quite recovered from the last impromptu firework incident at the last birthday.”

“It went boom!”

Dean reached up and ruffled his daughter’s hair, “Wasn’t meant to go quite as boom as it did though Minnie.”

“Daidí said it was!”

“He always says that,” Dean chuckled, “Remember the secret I told you – if there’s soot on his face then he didn’t mean to make the boom so big.”

“Secret – I remember.”

“Good! Now come on sunray, let’s go get you back to Lorcan and Lysander; you’ve been away for at least two minutes – they’ve probably already started a scouting party.”

He gave his friends a small salute and spun around; prepared to get claimed by the madness of the rest of the house once more.

 

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Réitlín Minevra Finnigan-Thomas.

Seamus hadn’t been too fussed on choosing an Irish name - the same couldn’t be said for Dean.

He’d dived straight into the Gaelic baby names; looking at their meanings, origins, and getting Seamus to pronounce them verbally each time. When he didn’t know how to say some of the weirder ones his partner had even rung his mam for help.

Réitlín was a pretty cute name though.

It had started to feel a bit less so when they’d had to keep explaining to their friends it was pronounced Rayt-leen not Rit-lin.

In wider circles they just ended up calling her Ray unless the person was interested enough to ask if that was short for anything.

Of course nobody needed explanation about the middle name – plus they’d needed to claim it before anyone had any more kids and bagged the rest of the homage list.

Sunray they began to call her when as a tiny new born she would only ever fall asleep when the sun was shining down on her cot.

Minnie came about when she was three and fell in love with McGonagall’s animagi; she pulled such a tantrum whenever the professor turned back into a human that she became their home cat for an entire day.

One of the best days of Seamus’ life.

“You’re supposed to be watching the film.”

Seamus tilted his head to the whisper and matched the level, “We’ve seen this film at the least fifty times – as a thirty-three year old man me dreams should not consistently involve a talking snowman and an ice princess.”

“Well don’t blame me when Minnie spots you looking at anything but the screen.”

He looked over to where their daughter sat engulfed in a giant feather cushion; she was hunched forward with wide eyes glued to the castle sprouting out of a mountain. Curled up on her left was a messy mop of blonde hair in a mini neon orange suit; therefore on her right was the same blonde hair paired with a bright green dress. All born the same year the little trio were rarely seen apart.

Seamus admired Luna; because even after five years of her boys being in their house every other day he could still barely tell Lorcan and Lysander apart. It also didn’t help that they constantly switched outfit choices. Luna eventually began sending him a small note each morning informing him if it was Lorcan or Lysander that was in a dress or trousers mood that day. The times they would arrive wearing the same thing he didn’t even try – just called them both sweetie all day.

Dean the smug jerk never had such a problem.

“If yer think she’s going to look away from this film long enough to notice what I’m doing yer really don’t know our daughter.”

Dean smirked, “What I really don’t know is how wizard families get by without televisions to distract the kids – my mum swore on evening cartoons hour so she could run off and nap.”

“Most just send them out to go de-gnome the garden.”

Réitlín’s birthday parties were famously boisterous occasions. Honestly, Seamus stood by the opinion that it was more to do with Potter’s kids thinking any house that wasn’t their own was a free playground. James in particular thrived at being the oldest in a rare gathering where his whole family were not in attendance; and he would immediately rope the others into his schemes. 

Even when Teddy came along it only made things worse; now fifteen Seamus hoped he might think himself too cool to run around with the hyper little kids but no such luck.

Fortunately, Rose took a lot after her mother and Minnie was in awe with the girl two years her senior ever since a spark of accidental magic had turned her butterfly hair clip into a real butterfly. Seamus used this to his advantage a fair amount, suggesting Rose asks Minnie if she wanted to see her latest book when his daughter was getting a bit too Potter hyped.

However the traditional birthday film night never failed to calm them all down once all the games and cake were over.

They were the only ones who had a home-theatre sized screen - and for the most part a television at all, so the kids viewed it as a special treat.

Minnie and the twins were used to it but they were more obsessed with the actual films over the device so it still worked out.

“You’ll never guess what I chatted to Harry and Ginny about earlier.”

“Oh yeah?”

Seamus raised an eyebrow as a set of fingers slipped between his; he reflexively stroked his thumb against the familiar line on the palm, “Nah – yer finally told them what happened?”

Dean glanced at him out of the corner of his eye.

He shook his head with a chuckle, “I’da loved to seen Harry’s face.”

“To be honest there wasn’t much to see – Ginny felt pretty bad about it bless her.”

“So she should.”

“Shay…” Dean threw him his judgment face.

He pecked him on the lips, “Yer know I jest.”

To further his point he shuffled closer into Dean’s side, resting their joined hands on his lap.

They were the designated adults this year; the rest were all on the patio outside enjoying glasses of wine and a peaceful catch-up without the kids around.

Not that it made much difference to Neville and Hannah – but he knew Ginny, Harry, Ron and Hermione had the evening circled in their calendars and would always try to come up with a lame excuse as to how it wasn’t their turn when it did come about.

Luna and Rolf were just always down for the patio; the house took a week to clear up after the one time the couple were on film duty.

“She thinks I’ve kept the scar because it’s, and I quote ‘the beginning of our love story’.”

Seamus buried his head into Dean’s shoulder, stifling a laugh, “Goodness sake.”

“Yep I didn’t get the chance to clarify we’re not characters from a trashy romance novel.”

“Excuse me?”

“The fact you enjoy them doesn’t take away from the fact their trashy – that’s their whole purpose.”

“If yer at least read past the first chapter –“

“I wouldn’t have the pleasure of your passionate re-telling.”

He waited a beat.

“I do tell a pretty great story.”

Dean smiled into his partner’s hair, “Lucky for me.”

Seamus suddenly leant forward and caught Albus’ eye; in his hand there was a small pouch clasped above his sleeping brother’s head. The eight year old tried to pull the puppy-dog routine but he only got an unimpressed stare and shoved the object back into his pocket, turning back to the film with a pout.

Potters.

He fell back under Dean’s arm, giving their joined hands a light squeeze.

“Yer know – I don’t think I have actually ever asked.”

The taller man glanced down, “Asked what?”

“This,” He tapped the scar, “I mean yeah there’s how it happened but yer made me realise, I never did think about why yer still kept it all this time. I know it can’t just be for a memory.”

“Oh,” Dean shrugged, “Well I’m afraid it’s not anything particularly profound if that’s what you’re hoping for.”

“Do you know me?”

He chuckled and lifted their hands, placing a gentle kiss on the scatter of freckles. His free hand which was draped around Seamus’ shoulder stroked lightly down his cheek, encouraging the man to tilt his head to look up and meet his gaze.

Seamus would never tire of the soft tenderness resting in those dark eyes.

“The simple reason,” Dean smiled, slipping two fingers under his partner’s chin, “Is I like that you can’t hold that hand without stoking the scar – it feels nice, and it’s cute.”

Seamus bit back a grin, “I thought you didn’t like trashy romance.”

“Love – we’re not trashy, but we’re definitely romantic.”

His fingers spread and pulled the Irish man to him; meeting his lips with a gentle sigh.

It was sweet, domestic and filled with a known love.

Seamus was reminded of their first kiss and smiled thinking that back then it had felt the same as it did now, after fifteen years.

“Daddy, Daidí stop! You missing the princess!”

They burst into giggles and broke apart, their foreheads resting against each other.

“We did okay Dean.”

“Shay – we did amazing.”