|The Pureblooded Game
Author: vifetoile89 PM
Every war needs an anthem. But in his seventh year, Seamus Finnigan takes issue with the not-so-original song being sung by the blood purists on campus. One-shot. Complete.Rated: Fiction K - English - Humor - Seamus F. - Words: 910 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 2 - Follows: 1 - Published: 11-13-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7549352
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The Pureblooded Game
Note: the original song, "The Patriot Game," is written by Dominic Behan. I first learned of it in the exquisitely bloody comedy The Lieutenant of Inishmore, by Martin McDonaugh.
Seamus Finnigan was five years old the first time he'd heard the song "The Patriot Game." His dad had taken him to a concert of The Dubliners, and had sat his little boy on his shoulders to better hear the strums of guitar and the low, sad pipes, and the song, of course. That song, "The Patriot Game," passed Seamus' understanding but it haunted him. He ran around the house singing nonsense verses that somehow always ended in "of the Patriot Game." His father had laughed and, when Seamus was a little older, used the song as a chance to teach his boy something about his Muggle heritage, and the history of Ireland, and the anger boiling in the eyes of the protesters on the streets. "The Patriot Game" was one of the few songs Seamus knew by heart.
So it was naturally a bit of a surprise to hear it being such out in the courtyard at Hogwarts.
It was his seventh year (a long way away from the streets of his childhood), and life had been turned upside-down. Seamus had had to bite down all of his Muggleness – slang, knowledge, his father – and it tore him, amid the cruelties around him. And then he was crossing the courtyard when his classes were done, and the words floated out to him… sung by a gang of Slytherins, clustered in the corner. Seamus froze, and listened. The singers didn't get the words right, though:
"This country of mine has for long been half free.
The cities are under Muggle tyranny,
And still Harry Potter is greatly to blame,
For shirking his part in the Pureblooded game."
"Wait just a minute!" Seamus called out to them. He stuck his hands in his pockets and walked over, a cheeky grin growing on his face. "Where did you all hear that? Or did you make it all up yerselves?"
"Was on the radio," answered Kenton Bole, who'd been singing baritone. "Approved anthem by the Ministry itself."
"Oh? I ain't heard they had license to approve music nowadays. You lot remember Umbridge, yeah? What taste in music do you think she had?"
That remark won him a smile, but Bole crossed his arms. "You got a problem with 'The Pureblooded Game,' Finnigan?"
"Oh, none – a beautiful melody, to be sure – but don't ye realize it was written by Muggles?"
Bole stood up and shoved Seamus back, scowling. Johannes Salieri, a sixth-year who was passionate about music, had to be held back from jumping on Seamus bodily. "How dare you say that, ye fecking half-blood?" Bole demanded. The entire courtyard went quiet.
Seamus, instead of answering, sang the first three verses, the original, and kept his eyes turned up at the sky to keep from laughing at their faces.
"I tell ye," he finished, "this were written in the 1950's by a stupid – Irish – Muggle – and if you all don't like that I suggest you find yourselves a new anthem."
Seamus paid dearly for that song – a bad beating and two weeks of being target practice for any hexes the Slytherins felt like throwing – but it was worth it.
Seamus hadn't wanted to return to Hogwarts after Christmas – he wanted to stay at home, to defend his family and join the fierce wizarding Irish resistance. The school was hell, and his mixed family was at a high level of risk. He would have stayed, too, except for two factors: Dumbledore's Army was counting on him, and his father had said no.
It was odd that Patrick Finnigan had been able to calm his son's hot blood when no one else could. But the man had taken his son out for a walk, the last day of December, and told him, "Yer place is at Hogwarts, m'boy. Ye can't turn yer back on yer schoolmates there, so as long as ye can hold out – despite being half-Muggle and all…" he cuffed his son's arm, "Ye keep on… y'hear?"
Patrick and his son walked on a league farther, while Seamus let his father's words sink in. Then, when they turned homeward, Patrick resumed with, "And when that Harry Potter stops shirkin' his part –" there was one part of the song that Seamus' family agreed was quite true – "Ye can be right there with him to lead the charge. Y'hear?"
"Yeah," Seamus agreed. He said nothing else on the way home, but listened to his father humming "The Minstrel Boy." That was a song Seamus didn't know by heart, but he knew the sad little story of it well enough. That story, and the weary look in his father's eye, told clearer than words that Patrick wanted his little boy to be safe as bad as anything, but – like a true Gryffindor – Patrick knew that there were things far more important than mere safety.
So Seamus, with fear in his heart but courage in his eye, hugged his parents good-bye, and returned to Hogwarts for his final springtime there, singing,
"I read of our heroes and wanted the same
To play up my part in the Patriot Game."