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Life and What Happens When

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There are hands ghosting down chests, light and dark touching while hidden away so that only moonlight knows about this. Each body arches towards the other, into the touch, until they're so close that they can't even see hands between them but they can feel.

"So then Padma leaned over and…," Parvati spoke loudly in the pub and Dean couldn't help rolling his eyes at her. He loved her, he really did, but sometimes he wanted to gag her and lock her away in a closet just to get a quiet moment.

His hand came up and rubbed at his temples, trying to ease the headache building behind them. This had been a horrible idea but the possible opportunities, the tight quarters, the small brushes; they had seemed to make all of this worth it. And they did, oh they did, but he was still wracked with guilt and it was killing him to lie to everyone, even himself.

A light touch on his leg had him looking up. At Parvati's concerned look, he shook his head and dropped his hands. The hand on his thigh touched his and then their fingers entwined, squeezed, and then released. That brief warmth left him feeling even more bereft when it disappeared.

They were going to burn in hell for what they were doing. They were. There was no escaping the punishment. If they didn't get caught, if they didn't have to pay the piper here on Earth, then whatever was on the other side of death would surely punish them for what they were doing. His headache built as the tension tightened the muscles at the nape of his neck.

He just wanted to go home and lock himself in a closet.

Mouth sucks lip in, trapping it between teeth and biting down. Sometimes hard. Sometimes soft. Each time it happens, it feels like the first time.

"You about done in there?" Lavender called out as she knocked on the door to the bathroom. Seamus turned and glared at the door before sighing.

"Yeah, give me a minute, just need to towel off," Seamus yelled back.

He heard her footsteps wander away. When he was sure she wouldn't insist on coming in, he turned back towards the mirror to admire the bruise on his chest, just above and to the right of his nipple. It was a thing of beauty - that splash of dark purple on his pale, freckled skin. Watching as his hand drifted up his side, across his stomach and then over his nipple until it could caress the bruise. Seamus remembered the way the teeth clamped down, the sight of the hair covering the actions of that deviously sinful mouth, and he regretted that it would have to be spelled away just like the bruises that had come before.

The bruises on his hips would also be missed. Four little dots peppered the pale skin, barely noticeable but… but they might be noticed and that wasn't a risk he could take. Thus, he grabbed his wand and, with a flick of his wrist, the bruises disappeared, lost to everyone except his memory.

Wrapping a towel around his hips, he stepped out of the bathroom as Lavender hurried down the hall and started to pass through the door at the same time he exited. He pressed an absent-minded kiss on her forehead and then went to get dressed. Work was going to be absolutely, ridiculously busy so he might as well get to it.

As they look at each other, as hands reach up to cup cheeks, and just before lips meet, a wedding ring glints in the moonlight.

Parvati sat on the bed and hugged herself, rocking like a child as she bit her lip. This wasn't happening. This couldn't be happening, not to her. Things like this were supposed to happen to people like Pansy. Or Millicent Bulstrode.

She could ignore it. She could. Things would go on just as they had and it would be all right. Her parents wouldn't ever have to know. It'd be a sound plan if she was the type to sit back and let things happen to her, but she wasn't.

Her hands tightened until they felt like a rock pressing into her stomach as she shifted, moved so that her knees pulled up to her chest. Her head dropped to her knees and she cried - giant, wracking sobs as she started to mourn for what never really had ever been.

So stupid, a small voice in the back of her head hissed at her. So very stupid indeed. Parvati had seen the signs, she wasn't blind, but she'd thought they were something else, that they meant a closeness that she hadn't had a clue about. She knew that sort existed but she hadn't ever thought…

The Floo flared to life and so she wiped the tears off her face. It wouldn't do to let on that she knew. When she walked out of the bedroom, she saw Dean brushing soot off his suit and she smiled. "You're home early."

"Meeting got cancelled and I couldn't take another minute there so I thought I'd come home and spend time with my darling wife." He grinned and then held her around the waist, looking down at her with a flirtatious look she hadn't seen since they were married three years previous.

Her heart raced as he bent down and kissed her. She leaned up into that kiss and pointedly ignored that little voice that demanded, what other lips has he kissed lately?

"Fu-u-u-u-u-ck," one moans as a nipple is pinched. A rakish grin splits a face as the gesture repeats. These touches are almost overwhelming in the need that's behind them.

Lavender giggled as Seamus encircled her within his arms, his chest pressed hard against her back. This was, by far, the best birthday she'd ever had. He'd tried to surprise her with a party that she'd known about for weeks. Still, it had been easy to fake surprise as she walked into the Leaky Cauldron and all of her friends and loved ones shouted out, 'Happy Birthday!' It was fantastic to see everyone again. Ginny had just started to show, her belly growing with her and Harry's first child. She looked radiant and Lavender ignored the small frisson of jealousy.

Of course, Lavender was in the center of the party. Where else would she be at her own party? There wasn't a better spot than here, being held by her husband. As he nuzzled her neck, she reached out a hand and admired the new ring that adorned her finger. The diamond twinkled in the light and she thought it just about perfect. It wasn't too big nor was it too small.

"Did you pick this out yourself?" She asked as his chin rested on her shoulder.

"Course I did, you didn't think I had any taste, did you?" She giggled again and reached up with the other hand to hold on to his hands. "Ok, so maybe Dean helped me."

"I knew it. Can't go anywhere without the two of you being together."

"You know I love him," he said and she heard his breath quicken against her ear.

"I'm amazed all four of us aren't all living together in a giant flat somewhere." She turned and pressed her lips to his cheek. "Can you just imagine? It'd be like Hogwarts all over again!"

"We'd need a place with at least six loos what with all the girl stuff you and Parvati have," he teased before turning and brushing his lips across hers.

"Probably about ten bedrooms or so, as well, especially once we have kids," she teased back and then froze as his face hardened for a moment. Every time she brought up having children, he'd close down and things would get so tense and awkward. "I'm only teasing, you know that."

"Right, I do." He gave her a squeeze and then pulled away. "Be right back."

"All right," she said and watched as he walked towards the loo at the back of the Leaky Cauldron.

When he didn't reappear in ten, then fifteen, then twenty minutes, she worried that something was wrong so she excused herself and went to the men's loo.

"Leave her," one gasps out as hand grasps cock. One gasps it but each is thinking it, wanting to say it. Neither knows which one gave voice to the command; both assume it was the other.

Seamus speared his hands into Dean's hair, wresting control of the kiss from him. With frantic, needy mewls, he thrust his tongue into Dean's mouth, trying to absorb that taste into his skin, imprint it into his soul. His hands were sweaty but he couldn't help it, couldn't keep them steady, let alone dry, when the need swept over him.

It had come on so quickly. One minute he'd been rubbing a damn towel over the back of his neck to relieve the tension that Lavender's insistence on children brought on, and the next, he'd been pushed up against the sink with Dean's hard body pressed up against his, trapping him while his neck was licked, sucked, bitten. This wasn't the appropriate place for this but just like with his hands, he couldn't stop it now.

Instead, all he could do was respond, just like he always did whether he was the initiator or not. He didn't know when the change of dynamic happened between them, all he knew was that he needed this with Dean just like he needed breath. The rasp of a zipper gave almost enough warning before cold air brushed across his cock and Seamus cried out.

"Does she make you happy?" The question hangs out there in the air and he immediately regrets asking it as tension spreads where only contentment had been. He can't let it alone, though, so he continues, " Do you really feel alive without me?"

Parvati looked around the room and couldn't find Lavender. It wasn't like her to disappear from her own party. After making her excuses, Parvati wandered through the crowd at the Leaky Cauldron, trying to find her. The bartender mentioned that he thought he'd seen her heading back towards the loo, so Parvati headed in that direction.

The sound of sobbing drew her through a cracked doorway. Lavender was bent in half, hugging herself as she sobbed. The pain on her face made Parvati's heart hurt just looking at her. After a moment, as their gazes met, Parvati realised exactly what had happened.

It had to have shown on her face because Lavender whispered, "You knew, didn't you?"

"I suspected," she answered. "Didn't know for sure."

"They're in there right now, like we don't exist at all." Lavender clenched a hand over the other, knuckles turning an alarming shade of white.

Parvati hurried over and grabbed the entwined hands, pulling them apart. Before she could think, Lavender wove their fingers together, holding on so tightly that Parvati was sure that her hands would break under the strain. The ring that Lavender had shown off just a few minutes earlier dug into her skin, pinching it between bone and ring.

"How could this happen?"

"I don't know," Parvati answered. It wasn't the answer either wanted but it was the only one available.

He bites down on the pillow under his face to keep from crying out so loud that they'd wake everyone else in the place. Their movements are hurried because these moments are so short and the fear that they won't have another always taints what they have. There's no time for softness, not in these stolen times. Softness can wait.

The flat was empty when Dean emerged from the Floo. It wasn't that there wasn't any furniture. It was the empty feeling that swept over him. His heartbeat picked up as he walked towards the bedroom while calling out, "Parvati?"

There was no answer and his heart beat faster. The bedroom seemed normal, there was his coat tossed across the chair in the corner and his shoes peeked out from under the bedspread. The pictures – Parvati and him on their wedding day, Seamus and Lavender on theirs, family and friends – were all there, arranged across the top of the dresser. He still couldn't shake the feeling that Parvati wasn't just not here, she'd left him.

He went into the bathroom and saw her make-up and all those other girly things arranged on the countertop. After walking to the kitchen, he saw everything was there but this was odd. At the very least, she would've left a note if she'd made plans. He hadn't got any owls from her during the day or anything.

A solitary dinner was followed by some quiet time spent reading. The silence bothered him; he was far too used to Parvati's incessant nattering and Seamus's storytelling. The silence pressed in on him, the oppressive weight bearing down until he couldn't sit, he couldn't pace, he couldn't focus on the telly nor could he focus on the wireless. He couldn't do a thing while it beat at him.

Giving up, he went back to the bedroom. When he pulled the duvet back, he found the note.

Dear Dean,

I couldn't do this in person and I'm sorry for that. I don't think I'm capable of saying this to your face.

I know. I know.

Forgive me if I don't wish you the best.