Chapter 1: A Bad Day
Months. Maybe years. No, it was months. For months this had been happening. And Seamus had no idea how to fix himself. He had no one he could talk to, no one he could trust. His mum would kick him out, maybe worse. His friends would hate him. And he would never, ever tell Dean. He would be the most repulsed. Dean could never know about Seamus being gay. No, sick. He was sick. He couldn't be gay, because his mum would kick him out or worse. His friends would hate him. And Dean would be repulsed.
Seamus’s mind swam with these thoughts as he half-walked, half-ran out through the main courtyard and down the path to the lake. He was alone on the path, most students in classes or studying for midterms inside.
His mind swam and his mouth began to repeat it. I'm not gay. Mum would kick me out or worse. They would all hate me. Dean would be repulsed. No one can know. I'm sick. I just have to find a cure. A cure. That was what he needed. Something to fix him so things would return to normal. Normal enough, what with the drama about Harry and Voldemort and Umbridge.
Seamus finally crouched down on a dock in the lake. He dropped his books haphazardly next to him. And he stared at the water. He couldn't see anything through the murkiness. But it was a focal point. He knew he needed to calm down. He had been screaming in his head all through transfiguration and hadn't heard a single thing McGonagall said. After class, he had run ahead of Dean and the others in order to escape to the lake.
Calm down. He told himself, as bile began rising in his throat. He was seeing Dean in his head again. Every time he thought about the dark skinned boy he made himself throw up. His body had learned. It was all he could do at the moment, with no real cure.
Seamus moved off the dock and over to a nearby tree to hurl up his lunch. His heaving turned into hyperventilating. All he could hear was the hoarse gasps and head pounding. Time passed slowly, and he felt numb as he sank to his knees in front of the tree.
He sat there, crying, for a long time. He was probably missing a class. His friends would be wondering where he was and he was going to have to come up with an excuse, like he had been all year. Dean had questioned him before and usually Seamus got him to leave by snapping at him.
Things had been tense between the two boys. They had been fighting a lot. About Harry. About whose textbook was whose, and the correct number of newt tails to put in a potion for boils. About why Seamus had been so closed up lately. About everything, at everything. Seamus knew he was being mean, pushing Dean away. And that was exactly what he thought he wanted to do. If he kept him at a distance, maybe his thoughts would go away. If Dean was gone, maybe his feelings would fade and Seamus would feel like Seamus again. Pushing Dean away was all he could do with no real cure.
He was finally calmed down enough to stand Up and wipe off his face with the sleeve of his robe. Seamus found his books lying on the dock, picked them up and started up the hill. He was fine. It was over.
Later, after the other Gryffindors returned to the tower and Dean and Neville found him asleep on the couch. After Dean had gotten one of his blankets and tucked it around him, taking the parchment out of his hands and stacking his books neatly next to him. After Neville worriedly asked if he was okay and Dean couldn't reply. After this, Seamus was woken up by the crowd heading out to dinner.
He pulled off the blanket and took it up the stairs, fighting through the crowd and into his dorm. He was slightly embarrassed at falling asleep on the couch like a child. He wondered who had brought his blanket down. Harry and Ron were still inside and nodded to him as he came in.
“Dean’s already in the great hall, save us a seat, will you?” Ron said, unaware that the mention of Dean made Seamus tighten up.
“Right, see you there then,” the Irish boy replied.
He traipsed down to the great hall and sat down next to Dean. Keeping up appearances and all that.
“Evening Shay,” Dean paused to add some chicken to his plate, “So, where were you after transfiguration?”
“I just went for a walk.” “Another one? A walk that involved missing potions?” Dean questioned, watching as Seamus filed his own plate with mashed potatoes.
Seamus shrugged, “Whats with all the questions, Dean?” He countered, attempting to take the offence.
Dean let out a frustrated sigh, “I'm worried about you, okay? You haven't been yourself lately and I'm trying to check up on you. It's what friends do. If their friends actually respond with anything other than vague one sentence answers.”
“Well, I'm fine. And friends don't constantly pester friends. You don't need to worry or interrogate me.”
Dean glared at him, “Fine! I'm done. I'll see you later, then,” Dean stood up from the table and stormed out. Well he stormed out as much as Dean Thomas could, it was more like he walked away with a small scowl on his face. It was cute, Seamus thought before stopping his train of thought in its tracks.
Seamus ate the rest of his dinner in silence, with his own scowl. Stupid Dean with his stupid niceties and caring. He was probably trying to make Seamus feel this way. Dean probably planned it to torture him.
Seamus left the great hall and returned to the Gryffindor tower, when he entered the dorm it already was occupied by the four other boys. They were huddled on Ron’s bed, and stopped talking when Seamus came in, turning to face him. Seamus narrows his eyes, seeing the frightened look on Neville and the guilt in Dean's face.
He needn't say anything to them and instead gathered up his pajamas and toiletries. He left the room without saying a word. Seamus felt his fists tensing up and his head pinching on his way down to the bathrooms. He ground his teeth down.
He was alone in the bathroom and managed to brush his teeth and get out of his robes before he lost his self control. Flying against the wall, he smashed his fish into the hard stone. And again, and again, until his knuckles were bleeding on both hands. He started kicking it and let out a scream of frustration.
He continued on like this until he felt someone grab him from behind, pulling his body against theirs and forcing him to stop his writhing fit. He struggled, still screaming for a few moments before he calmed down.
He recognized Dean’s voice, shushing him, repeating that it was okay, he was fine, behind him. Dean turned him around and hugged him, rubbing his hands up and down his back.
“You're okay, Shay, you're okay. I've got you.”
Seamus relaxed into his friends hold and eventually brought up his arms to cling to Dean. He sniffed, sucking in a long breath, letting it out slowly. Just like his mum would tell him to do when he did this at home. He knew he was going to leave a wet patch on Dean’s shirt.
“That's right, breathe in and out. In and out.” Dean's voice was calm and soothing, said against his ear. They stayed like that for a while, until Dean lead him to one of the benches and sat him down.
Seamus let Dean move him like a doll, trusting his friend to be gentle. Before Seamus knew it he was dressed completely in his pajamas and Dean was running his hands through his hair. Dean had been talking this whole time; I'm going to pull the shirt over your arms now. I'm putting your slippers on your feet now, Shay. Seamus could barely hear him. He had stopped actively crying for the moment and was instead focusing on his breathing and listening to the woosh of air in his head.
Dean moved to stand up and Seamus grabbed his wrist, pleading for him not to leave with his eyes.
“It's okay, I'm getting a rag for your hands. I'll be right back.”
Seamus let go regretfully, and watched as Dean got out a rag from a cabinet and put it under the water in the sink. He came back over, a soft expression on his face. Dean picked up Seamus’ hand and carefully, slowly, wiped off the blood. He went around the wounds on his knuckle, patting them hesitantly.
“This okay?” He asked, looking up to search his friends face.
Seamus nodded. It stung, but it wasn’t anything to go see Madame Pomfrey over. Dean finished with the other hand and got up again to put the rag on the sink. He gathered up Seamus and his things and tucked the bundle safely under the bench, “Let's go on a walk. Fresh air should help.”
He pulled Seamus up and guided him out the door, checking for anyone else in the hall, they went out the archway and into one of the side courtyards. Dean sat down on the ground beneath a tree and Seamus next to him.
They sat like that for a while. Dean was unsure where to begin, and Seamus was still nonverbal. He had done this before, panicking and screaming. Dean had learned over their years of friendship how to help. How to calm him down. Honestly, it scared Dean that his friend could get so deep in his own head. With experience, Dean learned how to coax him back, how to make him comfortable. When to speak gently and when to stay silent.
It came as a surprise to Dean when Seamus spoke first, “I'm sorry,” his voice cracked out.
“I am too.”
“You didn't do anything. Thus was all me. All this year. I'm sorry,” he repeated, looking up at the tree's branches. At the showing roots on the ground. Anything but Dean's face. He couldn't look at him bow. He might do something wrong. Something he desperately wanted to do.
“If I ask what's been going on with you, will you answer honestly?” Dean said. He was looking at Seamus, watching him fidget and glance.
Seamus purse his lips as he blew out a breath, “I don't know. I'm scared, Dean. I'm broken.”
Dean wrapped his arm around Seamus’ shoulders and pulled him closer, “Don't be. You're safe. You are not broken.”
Seamus finally looked at him, his eyes wide and wet, watching from Dean's lap. “My mum is gonna kick me out or worse.”
“What?” Dean exclaimed, louder than he meant. He forced his voice down, “Shay what do you mean?”
“Our friends will hate me.” Seamus paused to swallow, “You'll be repulsed by me.”
Dean grabbed his face, “Seamus. I promise you I will never hate you. Ever.”
This only caused the smaller boy to cry harder, his chest shaking. “What is it? What wrong. I want to help you! Shay!”
Seamus had gotten up and was walking away when Dean managed to catch his wrist, “Stop it!” He yelled, shaking the other’s hand off of his, “Look, I'm handling things. I'm sorry for worrying you okay? But I'm fine. I just slipped up today.”
Dean tried to reply but his mouth felt dry. He couldn't tell if he was sad or angry or hurt. Seamus marched off, back into the castle, and Dean just watched.
Seamus broke into a run once he was inside the castle and landed in the nearest bathroom. He retched into a toilet for what felt like hours, leaving him dry heaving. He sat there all night. I can't fix this. I said too much. He was lying. He was being kind. He held you like you want and you spit at him. Seamus berated himself further until he passed out on the cold floor.
It is later in the year, after Christmas break. Things have come to a head with Umbridge and Dumbledore’s Army is almost at its peak. Seamus has joined, come around to the good side, as Ron remarked on his first day. This day, however, was eventless. Seamus and Dean were perched on chairs in the library, reading up on herbology for a test. It was calm, and it was quiet. Seamus couldn’t stop himself from smiling over at Dean, who was doodling a masterpiece on the side of his notes. Stop. You can't think about him.
He and Dean had been talking less and less up to the holiday break, instead they sat in awkward silence or straight forward words about their studies. Don't look at him or you'll think it. It wasn't until they heard about Dumbledore’s Army that Dean and Seamus held a real conversation, and that had ended in another argument. You’re being so stubborn! Harry is our friend! The words echoed in his mind again. Harry was his friend.
Apologising to Harry was Dean’s idea. Dean was right, of course, but talking about feelings was always hard. Feelings and Dean weren't allowed in the same sentence. Seamus succeeded in mending his and Harry’s relationship easily. With Dean, it was harder. (Friendship is all you can want from him.)
Joining Dumbledore's Army was the best thing he could have done. Dean was ecstatic that Seamus finally changed his mind. (The way his face light up haunts your dreams.) In truth, he was never so sure his mother was right. He knew Harry. Lived with him more than his mum.
Dean was right, and he rowed with mum over that fact on his first night back for Christmas. It was loud and Seamus had to admit it was scary. He was scary, and his mum’s threats were terrifying. He owled Dean that night asking if he could stay the rest of the holiday with him. Of course Dean said yes, come right over. He's too kind from you, what if he wants something.
Seamus made a pit stop at a muggle bar in town, downing a bottle of something he hoped was strong and then used the floo network to get to Dean’s house.
Dean’s family was oblivious to the wizarding world. At first, Seamus didn’t know how Dean could stand it. Not being able to tell his parents about the dangers, the fear he was facing. And after another day, the Thomas’ grew on him. They were oblivious, but they were kind and welcoming. Warm. Just like Dean. Stop, you can't think that.
Seamus was staying in Dean’s room, sharing the bed. Nothing like that, they'd been sleeping together since they were eleven. It was the second night he spent, curled against Dean’s sleeping figure, that Seamus decided once and for all his mother was wrong. He felt the rise and fall of Dean’s chest and pulled closer to the steady rhythm.
Once the school were back from the holidays, Seamus felt like his frustrations at the beginning of the year were worlds away. He mentioned this to Dean and his friend hugged him tight. Don't let me go. Seamus had traded his attacks in for training with the Army. He traded his thoughts of Dean for the Ravenclaw he blew last week. Not that good at giving back. Or for that Hufflepuff he let ride him until she dropped. Or the Slytherin boy he had an ‘arrangement’ with. You show me yours i'll show you mine. It was better for him that throwing up. McGonagall had stopped pestering him once he gained back weight. House mothers were better than real mothers.
There was time to make up for with Dean. Seamus looked back up from his potions notes in the library to watch the other boy again. He was now focusing entirely on his margin masterpiece. Seamus couldn’t tell what it was. He could see the frown lines in Dean’s forehead, his tongue peeking out from his lips. Seamus started. Fuck. You can't think like this.
He jumped out of his seat when the clocks began to chime, “I’ve gotta go to the loo,” He said, moving out of his seat and leaving his books in a pile on the desk. He heard Dean mumbled an okay behind him as he left the library.
Seamus moved quickly through the clumps of students until he was in an abandoned hall on the seventh floor. He turned the corner and breathed a sigh of relief as he saw the Slytherin boy he usually did lounging on a bench.
He all but slammed his lips against the boys, without any words, just touch. He let himself stop thinking. Stop pining. Stop anything but pull off his clothes and let the Slytherin lead. To lose his feelings, his frustrations and feel good.
It was late in the year and things with Umbridge had been stressful. Dean had thrown himself into the Army. He was friends with Harry again, friends with Dean. They were coming back after dinner, the five boys in a chattering crowd. Dean had been fighting all of supper, still was. Seamus prodded him when they were getting dressed in the dorm,
“What’s with the figiting? You’re so distracted I must be rubbing off on you. Got something on your mind?” Seamus asked, smiling over at the taller boy.
Dean paused mid way through pulling his shirt off, “I'vegotadatewithGinnyWeasley.”
“You've got to wake finny weasel?”
Dean stuck his tongue out at him and finished getting dressed, “I've. Got. A. Date,” Dean glanced at Ron and lowered his voice, “With Ginny Weasley!”
Seamus looked at Ron, who was having his own whispered conversation with Harry, “Ginny?! Nice, mate. How'd that happen?”
Dean went on to whisper the details of his hook up with the youngest Weasley to him while sprawled out on Seamus’ bed. They were tangled together, and stayed that way late into the night. Dean fell asleep first as he always did. It left Seamus time to swim around in his head. Dean and Ginny. Dean and Ginny meant no more Dean and Seamus. It meant that Dean was with someone else. Seamus thought about Dean snogging someone and scrunched his nose. Dean couldn’t do that, not if it wasn't him. Dean had only kissed one person before. Seamus, on a dare in third year. And Seamus would like it to stay that way.
Seamus didn’t sleep that night. And there were many sleepless nights after that. He began a silent competition with Dean in his head. Who could show up to the dorm latest and looking the most disheveled. Dean always had a blush on his cheeks and an untied tie. He looked adorable and perfect in a messy way.
Seamus came back to the dorms with backwards shirts and purple marks on his collarbone. With messy hair and a grimace.
“How was your date with Ginny?” Seamus asked one day after Dean returned from an outing to Hogsmead.
“We got in a fight,” Dean replied flatly, “Kinda ruined the day. She didn't talk to me on the way back.”
Seamus comforted him, said that girls were just difficult, mate. He told Dean he would always have his dear old best friend Seamus. Dean laughed and soon he was on his feet again.
Seamus shoved the glee at Dean's misfortune with Ginny down. Dean liked her, and not Seamus. He couldn't know. Dean would be repulsed. And saying things like, you'll always have me mate, would seem to others what Seamus meant deep down.
Next chapter will be sixth year.
Summer before sixth year. This is where my own kind of head cannon comes in with Seamus' parents.
The summer before sixth year, Dean came to stay for a week. It started off well. They spent most of their time the first three days walking around the Finnigan land. They recalled their misadventures of third year at the pond, Seamus shoving Dean into the water and getting pulled in himself. They rolled down the hill remembering Christmas break fourth year, losing control of the toboggan and tumbling down on top of each other.
They laid outside and talked all night, watching the stars. Dean spoke of Ginny, always blushing when Seamus teased. They gossiped about other students and argued about who was going to be the tri wizard champion.
They fell asleep outside on the grass, stomach to stomach as Seamus had tackled Dean and never gotten back up.
Seamus’ mother found them like that, “Seamus Liam Finnegan! Get up! What is this? Are you one of those homosexuals? And you bring your heathen lover here to my home!”
The boys had only been groggily stirring before the interruption. At the woman's shouts Seamus automatically shot up and stood in fear, Dean still on his elbows staring in dismay.
“No mam its not what you think! We weren't doing anything! I'm-” Seamus faltered, “He's not that way.”
Seamus’ mother crossed herself, “This is the last straw. I can't even look at you. My own son!”
“Mam you've got it wrong!” Seamus pleaded, he stepped towards her but she retreated to the doorway.
“No I see perfectly well. This isn’t the first time I’ve suspected. But I still had hope, Seamus. You- You are no longer welcome in my home. Leave. Now,” The woman took another look and slammed the door.
Seamus watched the door. He knew Dean was getting up behind him, moving toward him. He couldn't feel Dean’s arms or how his chest was heaving. His cheeks were wet. Not welcome. Leave now. Leave now. Not welcome.
“Shay. Shay look at me. Seamus,” Dean grabbed his face and waited until the redhead’s eyes were looking back at him.
Dean swallowed. He wasn't entirely sure what had happened himself, “My place then? I, uh, my mom would love to see you. And my sisters haven't stopped talking about you since last spring. Come on.”
Seamus once again let Dean lead him. They walked to town and Dean called his dad on a muggle payphone. Seamus didn't remember what had happened after that.
The next thing he did remember was sitting at Dean’s dining room table. There was a weight on his shoulders, a blanket. Dean and his parents were in front of him, talking in hushed voices and glancing every so often.
Seamus’ mind drifted to earlier that day and he repeated the words he had kept with him for years now. I'm not gay. Mam would kick me out or worse. My friends will hate me and Dean will be repulsed. He chuckled to himself, they needed a revision. He had been kicked out. I'm still not gay. Mom kicked me out. She is wrong. My friends would hate me. Dean. Seamus looked at the boy in question. Dean stood next to him now.
“Shay, it's been a long day. Let's go to bed and we, uh. We'll talk in the morning,” Seamus let Dean pull him up by his hands. They went to the back of the flat and entered the mess that was Dean's room
There were canvases and art supplies everywhere. The walls were coated in pictures, most were drawings but one wall held photographs. Seamus looked the over, new ones had sprung up since he last visited. One in particular of he and Dean with Ginny and Neville during their time in the DA.
Dean handed Seamus a stack of clothing and told him to get dressed. They both turned around transformed; Dean into his matching Gryffindor pajamas, and Seamus into Dean's sweatpants and T-shirt. The extra clothes were much too big.
“Well either I've gotten taller, or you've shrunk,” Dean laughed.
“Oi! This is your fault, stop growing. You're too tall of course I look small, you're a giant!”
Dean continued laughing, “Can't be a giant, my father was only a wizard.”
Seamus grabbed a pillow and hit Dean with it. He retaliated and soon Dean was straddling Seamus trying to smother him with a pillow.
“You've gotta say uncle;! Then I'll stop.”
“What kind of muggle nonsense is that?”
“Fine, I'll just keep going!” Dean grinned and tried to pin the flailing Seamus’ arms above his head. He got him, leaving their heads unusually close
“Err…. Uncle.” Seamus said, wriggling out from under Dean. That was close. Too close. You have to do better than this at hiding. He's already suspected.
Seamus slept on the floor that night. He laid awake and watched the day go by in his head again and again. He had messed up.
He thought about the boys he fooled around with at Hogwarts. They didn't mean anything to Seamus.
There were still three weeks left before school started. Dean’s parents asked Seamus if he wanted to stay, but he wouldn't. Staying away from Dean was the best thing he could do right now.
He left the Thomas’ after a hearty breakfast, a chat with Dean’s enthusiastic sisters, and a bagged lunch. Seamus walks around aimlessly for a while. He told Dean that he would go to his dad’s home in North Ireland. He would get there eventually.
Seamus crept in to an alley and found the hidden portkey to Diagon Alley. Once he was there, Seamus took his time. He treated himself to ice cream, bought new, expensive quills and parchment. He spent more money than he should on a new robe for the school year. His mother would he livid. Good, Seamus smirked, vengeful was easier than hurt or scared.
When he was hungry Seamus considered buying lunch at a restaurant, but then he remembered the bagged lunch from Mrs. Thomas. There was a peanut butter and jelly sandwich along with a note with her phone numbers and a loopy ‘ You're always welcome’ scribbled next to it. Seamus bit his lip. Why did she have to do that.
Instead of being sappy, Seamus threw up. He made it to a back road in Knockturn Alley. It was here that he eventually sat down. None if the witches and wizards passing by paid him mind. One flipped him a coin. Seamus barely noticed. It was here he slept that night, fitfully, and curled around his bags.
The next day Seamus got up, brushed himself off, and left the dark corner to go to his father's.
His parents had split years ago. Seamus used to spend equal time with both his mom and his dad, but he was not a muggle. Living with his dad after going to Hogwarts was difficult for both of them. He still visited, mostly during school breaks, but not as often.
His dad’s flat was in a muggle complex in the city. It was a one bed, one bath, one cheap and broken stove sort of place. Seamus walked up the three flights of stairs and to the door. He knocked. Tap. Tap. Tap.
A large redhead man opens the door and looked down, “Seamus?! My boy! It's good to see you “
Seamus tried his best to smile and exchange greetings. He stepped inside, the flat the same as ever. There was still a knot in the warped floor. And the same ragged couch.
Seamus’ father was a good man, he loved Seamus and always provided from him. They were close when Seamus was young. Despite their current distance, a father can see his son is hurt.
“Seamus, what’s bothering you?” He asked in Gaelic.