This is my first Harry Potter fic… and my first slash fic too, so please be nice (although flames are accepted). Also, please review and exetera… don't leave me hanging here!

Disclaimer: the gift of harry potter in no way belongs to me, nor ever will. Go and nag JK Rowling for more books…

Seamus Finnegan glanced at the golden clock adorning the dormitory wall; the seventh time in the past five minutes he had done so, the seventh time he had felt the tendrils of worry curl across his forehead about his best mate. Dean. He had been gone for an hour longer than he was supposed to; ever since Dumbledore's death this had been… normal. Seamus had almost come to expect it. The feeling of missing. But it still didn't stop him from worrying… nothing could ever stop him from thinking about Dean, one way or another.

Seamus supposed it was because he had loved him since he was in fourth year and they had danced at the yule ball as a joke, a laugh, a salvation.

And suddenly, he couldn't take it anymore… the waiting. Waiting for his six-year long friend to come back to him, waiting for his two-year long crush to come back to him. Waiting, waiting, waiting when he could be spending the last golden time with those chocolate brown eyes melting into him, when he could be laughing with his best mate, soul friend; soulmate. He grew tired of the game of hiding away from the hider. So, Seamus decided to seek him, and he knew exactly where to find Dean... where to find a gem he thought, where to find treasure.

Seamus supposed the treasure this time would be where one in Hogwarts might go if they wanted to be who they were as an artist, a dork, a treasure.

The little beach by the lake had long remained a secret between them. It was about ten metres long around a tiny sheltered area of the lake, the water ebbing gently at a swath of gnarled tree roots and grey pebbles that had somehow managed to maintain a thousand different shades, all of them drawn to perfection on creamy white paper by creased hands and an ancient pencil set from a mysterious muggle shop called 'WH Smiths' (Seamus never understood why Dean went to all these stores; they all sounded really boring or really dodgy. What the hell was 'Iceland'. Sounded like a drug emporium). When Seamus had run there, he slowed his pace when he heard muffled sobs and the scratching of a pencil on sketchbook paper.

"Dean?" he said in his familiar Irish accent

"Shay" Dean said in the choked, quiet voice Seamus had never heard apart from once when he his sister, Shona, had nearly died in a road accident.

At least a road accident wasn't, thought Seamus wryly, slimy, white and bald with a distinctly horrible… well, everything.

"You… well, what's wrong mate?" he asked almost nervously.

"everything, nothing… a whole bunch of stuff I guess. Life just sucks I suppose." Dean had just swiped angrily across the paper of his sketch book, a finishing touch to a beautiful drawing that everyone but Dean would view to be a phenomenal. And would never, ever, ever see. The only one who saw those pictures was Seamus and Dean himself… not that either of them could complain about that.

"Aye" Seamus nodded, fingering a stone and chucking it into the lakes distinctly murky water. "life seems to just be biting us all in the arse now. Maybe it's just a phase."

This coaxed a hint of a smile from the drawing boy's lips. "true that. I don't think it's just a phase though… nothing is ever a phase here." True enough, thought Dean, although he had wished it was in fourth year. Being gay wasn't something which he could do… and wanting his best friend was just plain wrong. Which was what he had tried to tell himself until some point last year when he had felt the violent need to do everything, everything, everything to get his attention. He'd even started to comb his hair in the mornings.

The two boys sat in silence for a while, content to be with each other, content to just live in another golden moment in time. If it weren't for those damned dark secrets that always, as Seamus put it, seemed to be just biting them in the arse.

"Shay?" Dean said hesitantly

"Mm?"

"You know that…" he paused painfully "that I'm gonna have to run away. For a bit."

"I knew that the moment when Dumbledore conked it, I knew you would have to go. I just.. wanted to be selfish for a while. To… be with you without facing it" Seamus tried not to let the tell-tale tears fall onto the bald stones.

Dean sighed. It was… time, he guessed, to tell Seamus about how he felt. Hiding from the inside couldn't happen when you were also hiding from the outside. "Shay, I guess I need to tell you something else, but just don't run away or anything, promise?"

Seamus put his hand on the smooth chocolate skinned palm of his friend, and although his head was screaming 'idiot, idiot, idiot', he didn't move it away. He could never… "I'll never run away from you Dean. No matter what."

"well... I'm… I… oh eff it! Shay, I'm really, really, deeply in love with you. I have been for a bit know, and I know that you probably don't feel the same but I just wanted you to know, well before I go into some sort of hiding, and say goodbye" he looked down and felt the blush spread across his cheeks, bracing himself for Seamus's reaction.

Seamus's reaction was to go into shock for eight, nine, ten seconds.

And then lift Dean's face to meant his own, and kiss it in the intense, burning way that vented out all the desire he had ever felt for this moment, in the way that could make anyone watching either go 'Ewww' or 'aww'. Simple letter changes were sometimes all one needed to express something.

This wasn't one of those moments.

After they had finally pulled away from each other, the silence was blistering for a bit. Blistering as both, blinked in the stunned emotions that had triggered.

Blistering silence was also intensely awkward.

"eh, Dean mate." Seamus finally said, never liking being silence for too long "I guess you can take that as a bit of… confirmation that well, I sort of love yeh too. And I don't think it's a phase. Nothing is with me… and this isn't goodbye. Just… see yeh later"

Dean looked up with his eyes, chocolate, melting, burning eyes that glowed with tell-tale tears. "You mean it? You… want me too?"

Seamus grinned and let sparks fly into his own sky, laughing, piercing eyes that glowed with love. "definitely… I think since fourth year, since that dance at the bloody yule ball"

Dean's answering grin was nothing but raw emotion. "what if I need more confirmation Finnegan?"

"I'd be more than happy to indulge in that, Thomas" Seamus replied, and knew that this time, he couldn't wait. No more waiting for his golden moment in time.

But first he needed to change rocks.