"Hey Seamus" Dean greeted as he let himself fall onto the couch in the Griffindor common room, exhausted and sweaty.
Seamus looked up from his book. "Hey, where've you been?"
"Again? I seriously can't understand whats so cool about running after a single ball, just to kick it away again..."
Dean sighed, "Oh come on, you just have to give it a chance, and a bit of physical exercise wouldn't exactly harm you." He poked at Seamus' soft belly, grinning, "I mean, I have no idea where all the food, your stuffing yourself with, goes."
"I'm a growing boy." Seamus shrugged with a grin of his own. "I have to eat a lot, if I ever want to catch up with your long, lanky legs."
"Only in your dreams, Shorty."
"Shorty? You're calling me Shorty? I assure you, I'm quite long enough where it counts!"
"I really don't want to know about that, Shay." Dean shook his head, still grinning. "But while we're on the subject, what use would it be to you, when you don't even have a date to the Yule-Ball?"
"Who says, that I don't have a date?" Seamus asked mischievously.
That startled Dean a bit and he looked at Seamus with big, surprised eyes. "You really have a date? Who? Since when?"
"Oh, I'm going with the lovely Miss Brown. Haven't I told you?"
"Lavender? When have you asked her? Why didn't you tell me?"
"It happened just before, when you were out, running after a ball."
"And you didn't even tell me before? You never even gave a hint that you liked her! And now you asked her to be your date and only tell me afterwards? I thought I'm your best friend."
Seamus rolled his eyes at the wounded look Dean gave him. "You are my best friend. And it's not like I'm in love with her or anything. In fact, the whole thing took me by surprise. She just walked up to me and asked me if would go to the ball with her."
"Wait. She asked you?"
"What can I say? I'm just irresistible!" Seamus beamed.
Dean couldn't hold in his laughter any longer: "She probably lost some bet."
"Ha-ha Dean. Very funny. What about you? Do you have a date?"
The laughter stopped. "Shit! The ball is in one and a half weeks! I thought we would just go as friends and now I have to look for a date, too." At his groan and panicked expression it was Seamus' turn to start laughing.
A few days later, on Friday evening, Seamus was playing exploding snap with Colin when Dean dramatically flopped down onto the couch next to him with a long suffering sigh before he buried his face in Seamus' shoulders.
"What's the matter Dean?" Colin asked at the same time as Seamus shoved him off and reprimanded him: "Stop this Dean. I have to concentrate or Creevey's gonna beat me again."
"You're gonna loose anyway. You're crap at exploding snap, Shay."
"Hey! I can beat you anytime!"
When Dean just sighed and didn't snark back Seamus perked up. "Really Dean. What's the matter?"
"Do you know how hard it is to find a date for the Yule-Ball? I asked like every girl in our age and all of them said no. I'm coming to the point where I don't care anymore what the girl looks like or if I can stand her at all."
"Really? Who all turned you down?" Seamus chuckled.
Dean groaned, "That's not funny Shay."
"Come on Deano, tell us. Perhaps we can help you." Seamus coaxed.
"It can't possibly have been as bad as Ron asking whats-her-name? The Bauxbatons champion?" Colin chimed in.
"Okay. But don't make fun of me."
Dean waited until they nodded - or at least Colin nodded, Seamus just rolled his eyes at him - before he began: "Okay, first I asked Mandy Brocklehurst, who said she was just going with her friends. Next was Hannah Abbot and Susan Bones who are going with Finch-Fletchley and Hopkins. The Hufflepuffs are apparently only dating among themselves. Alicia, Katie and Jordan are going as friends. Angelina is going with Fred, but yesterday I heard someone saying, that Jordan is taking bets on how long it will be, until she figures she's actually with George."
"I give them 20 minutes until she figures it out." Colin interrupted.
"Less. She's gonna know from the start." Seamus mused, "But that's not the point. Go on Dean."
"So I came across a Bauxbatons girl without her herd. Turns out they are vicious enough even alone, also she's going with someone from Durmstrang… - she could at least have been a bit friendlier about it." Dean sighed and Seamus patted his back. "Lisa Turpin is in the same group of friends as Brocklehurst. As is Sue Lee and Morag McDonnal"
"McDougal" Seamus corrected
"Whatever. Then, just before, I asked Parvati but apparently she and her sister are going with Harry and Ron because they asked half an hour earlier. Even Ron has a date and I'm gonna have to go alone!"
Seamus slung his arm around his distressed friend, "Could be worse. You've only asked 5 or 6 girls there're a lot more in Hogwarts than that."
"What about Hermione?", Colin asked, "When Ron and Harry are going with the Patil-twins she could be free?"
"She's going with someone, but wouldn't tell anybody who." Seamus dismissed. "But what about Marietta Edgecomb?"
"Then I could just as well ask a Snake."
"She's not that bad."
"Have you considered the third years?"
"You have to be in fourth year to attend, Colin."
"No, third years are allowed, when an older student takes them. Ginny is going with Neville."
"I don't want to go with a third year. No offense Colin. Ginny is the only one in your year I would consider and she's taken. God, both Neville and Ron have dates.” he whined melodramatically. “Am I the only one who doesn't?"
Dean got up: "I'm gonna go draw some sad pictures."
"No worries! I'm sure I can get you a date. You're a catch! And if not, you're coming along with me and Lav." Seamus called after him as he shuffled towards the stairs.
Two days later Seamus waited excitedly for his friend to come back from playing football and waylaid him as soon as he sat foot into the common room:
"Dean, my man! I told you not to worry. I got a date for you!"
"What? Who?" Dean stuttered
"What do you think about Megan Jones?"
"I asked Hannah if she knew about a girl who still needed a date and she told me that Megan was free to go. So I asked her on your behalf"
"I thought she was going with Ernie? Or if not with him, then she'd surely have somebody else already. I mean she's nice, friendly, good-looking... How does she not have a date?"
"Apparently she waited for Ernie to ask her out and even shot two or tree others down, but he never asked her. And yesterday she asked him and he shot her down!"
"What! Does he already go with somebody else?"
"No. He's going alone."
"Is he crazy? Megan Jones asks him and he'd rather go alone?"
"He told her - and I quote what Megan told me: 'His heart belongs to someone else, but since it's impossible to go together he'd rather go alone.'"
"Perhaps she's already going with somebody else? Who is it?"
"Don't know. You're the one who's playing football with him all the time. But Dean, she also said she want's you to ask her yourself and she's 'not going to wait for any dumb boy again.' So you should hurry."
At that Dean quickly turned towards the portrait then spun back around, smiling, to give Seamus a hug. "You're the best Shay." he told him, than strode off towards the portrait still smiling.
"She's in the Library!" Seamus called after him, then climbed the stairs to their dorm, smiling like a loon himself.
"Hey Shay. What's got you smiling so much?" Neville asked, looking up from some obscure book on waterplants.
"I'm the best!" he answered, beaming.
Neville arched his eyebrows but decided not to ask any further.