Stupid fortunes. What a load of crap, whatever his meant.
What Dean did know was that he was never drinking again. He didn’t care if it was a famous holiday or someone’s birthday. He was going to stick with butterbeer and pumpkin juice from now on. At least then, he wouldn’t go off doing stupid things, like snogging his best mate.
Thinking about Seamus made his stomach churn unpleasantly.
Dean knew he shouldn’t have slammed Seamus up against the wall and shoved his tongue in his mouth. He could vaguely recall Seamus laughing at some silly joke; the way his eyes lit up as he put an arm around Dean’s shoulders and pulled him close. How could Dean resist the chance? It was one he wasn’t sure he’d ever have again. At the time, it had felt right. The kiss certainly hadn’t been perfect, with their teeth clacking, warm breath that smelled like whisky and a lot of spit. There was no denying, though, that it had made his heart race when Dean realised exactly what it felt like to snog Seamus Finnigan. It had made him wonder why he had never felt like this with Ginny or even Daphne Greengrass.
Then, a hand had pushed Dean away, and it was over. A good amount of students had witnesses the snog, but all Dean could think about was the expression on Seamus’ face. Seamus had looked like he’d seen a ghost. He'd gone white, his wide hazel eyes staring at Dean with horror.
“Shay…” Dean had started, trying to reach out for his friend.
But Seamus had shaken his head and backed away. “Can’t be…this is mad…” he kept muttering to himself. “What are you playing at?”
And before Dean could even offer an explanation, Seamus had turned and run out of the room. Almost everyone had gone quiet and looked expectantly at Dean, waiting for his next move. This was the moment when he’d realised that things hadn’t exactly been normal ever since the final battle. Dean and Seamus had each other again, but something had changed between them. They were no longer that boys that were glued to the side. Now, Seamus was spending more of his time with Justin, and Dean was still trying to find his place at Hogwarts once more. Their trust in each other had been growing weak, and they didn't even know it until it had finally shattered.
As drunk as he had been, Dean knew he had fucked up…big time. Not to mention, he’d made a fool of himself in public. He hadn’t thought he could feel worse until he saw Justin Finch-Fletchley leave the room seconds later to go after Seamus.
Everything had gone downhill from there. All Dean could remember were the hushed whispers around him, and the hands on his shoulders that had steered him through corridors, stairs and finally to his bed.
After a dose of Hangover Potion and lots of water this morning, he had expected to at least put last night behind him. But, unfortunately, Dean learned the hard way that he had become one of the hottest topics for gossip at breakfast. He’d immediately walked out of the Great Hall, resorting to the kitchens for food instead. He forced himself to go to classes, doing his best ignore the murmurs, and that was how he found himself in Transfiguration. Not that he was exactly paying attention, but he was trying—
The gentle tap on his arm made Dean push his thoughts aside. He turned and was surprised to see Harry raising an eyebrow at him. Dean frowned, but Harry pushed a piece of parchment towards him. Suddenly, it all made sense.
There was no time to talk until McGonagall finally ended class early. She’d been so disappointed with everyone’s Animagi transformations that she assigned them a 2-foot essay on top of their studying. It certainly hadn’t helped that a majority of the students were slightly dazed from being hung over.
Dean packed up and waited for Harry before they left the room together. He may have been distracted by his woes, but Dean certainly didn’t miss the fact that Ron and Hermione were hanging back. They were whispering to each other quickly and glancing at Harry.
“Something happen between you, Ron and Hermione?” asked Dean once they were walking along the corridor.
“I told them I’d meet up with them at lunch,” replied Harry, shrugging casually. “No big deal.”
“You can go with them if you want,” Dean told him. “We can talk later.”
“Really, it’s fine,” insisted Harry. “And I’d rather leave them alone, if you know what I mean.”
Dean made a face and nodded. “Right. Best not to see them sucking each other’s faces off.”
Harry snorted. “Exactly.”
They fell into an awkward silence as they took a detour and made their way down a few staircases. It wasn’t until they passed a statue of Gregory the Smarmy that Dean decided to speak again.
“Go on. Tell me I’m an idiot,” he sighed.
“Why?” asked Harry curiously. “I don’t think you are.”
“Seriously, Harry? I was this close to biting Justin’s head off,” replied Dean, rubbing a hand over his face. “And then he chose to run after Seamus…”
“Well, it’s not like Seamus and Justin are…well—”
“Don’t be thick. They certainly are!”
“I meant they’re not dating. You know, holding hands and stuff.”
“Seamus generally likes to get a good fuck.”
Harry stopped and stared at him, clearly surprised. “How do you know?”
Dean bit his lip nervously. “It’s something he always makes sure to tell me every time he’s drunk. Last night was no different.”
“Oh. That’s interesting…”
“It could always mean that he doesn’t want just a fuck when it comes to you,” suggested Harry uncertainly. He frowned. “I mean, if he does fancy you, and he’s willing to go for any other bloke—”
“I doubt it,” muttered Dean, dismissing the idea resignedly. “You were there. Seamus pretty much took off as soon as he realised what we did. That told me everything I needed to know. I can’t blame him either. We’re not as close now—with everything that had happened. Last year did a lot of damage.”
“You can’t say that he doesn’t care about you, though.”
“Maybe…or maybe not. I couldn’t tell you.”
“But you’ve been mates for years! What made you consider that you…er—”
“That I might like him? Or blokes, for that matter?” finished Dean honestly.
“I reckon that’s a way of putting it,” answered Harry, his face turning pink. “I mean, hypothetically, if you've only dated girls...”
“It doesn't necessarily mean anything. Sure, women are nice in many ways. I'd like to think that almost everyone has at least one person that's a constant in their lives. And when that constant isn't there...well, it makes you fight harder to get them back. And knowing that Seamus was at Hogwarts while I was on the run—you can imagine.”
“Yeah, I can. You almost want that constant to be with you all the time, just so you can make sure everything that's happening is real. That person ends up being the one you keep thinking about the most, whether you like it or not. I know what that's like.”
“If you're talking about Ginny—”
“Not Ginny. We'd broken things off at the end of sixth year.”
“That would explain why she went back to Corner—”
“And why she's currently thinking about going after Neville.”
“But if that's true—wait a minute. Harry, are you telling me that you—” began Dean with understanding, but he abruptly stopped when he heard footsteps rounding the corner. He turned around and swore.
Coming towards their direction was a very bruised and worn-out Neville. It looked like he’d just come out of a battle, as if he’d fought the Carrows and the Death Eaters all over again. Neville was sporting a black eye, and he had quite a few scratches on his left cheek. His hair was sticking up, the ends slightly singed and covered in Merlin knows what. Dean couldn’t help but shudder.
Harry looked just as shocked as Dean felt, but he waved Neville over. “Neville, what happened?”
“You wouldn’t believe it,” replied Neville, a small grin on his face. “Corner started a fight with me.”
Dean exhaled with relief. This news wasn’t a surprise, as he knew that Neville fancied Ginny. Corner had been acting more possessive of her this time around, and he must have found out about Neville somehow. “Honestly, I would have thought he would have at least tried to talk to you if he had something to say.”
“You’d think so. Apparently, he’s quite straight to the point. He said a few things I didn’t like and threw a hex at me when I tried to walk away. So I snapped.”
“And I assume you decked him? Given that you got a few blows yourself.”
“Um, something like that,” continued Neville. “It might have gotten a bit out of hand. Happened right after Transfiguration, and McGonagall had to break us up. She was furious with me, but I have to say, it was definitely worth it to see his face. I reckon that’s the last time he underestimates me.”
“Nice,” commented Dean, intrigued. This was the first interesting thing he heard today, which was a nice distraction from his misery. “Corner's always been a wuss, anyway.”
“That’s pretty impressive,” agreed Harry. “But why do you have bogies stuck in your hair?”
Neville flushed deeply. “I blame Ginny for that.”
Looks like Dean's out of the closet now. How will he get his best mate back, and will Seamus forgive him? And how can Harry help (given that he knows how certain people can be rather stubborn)? Find out more! I'll be writing up more back-posted entries until I can catch up with the summer hols! So hang in there!
Need to catch up? Start out with the first post! Don't forget to watch the community here for more updates!