Dean and Seamus emerged cautiously from the Prefect's bathroom, looking soggy and satisfied. One certain that no one had seen them, they broke into a run.
"Bloody…typical…" Seamus panted, pulling Dean along by the hand, "We would have…Potions…next!"
"Damn, we're going to be late anyway." Dean suddenly stopped running, and Seamus almost stumbled before turning around to face him.
"Why did you—" he started to ask, but Dean shushed him, dragging him into a nearby alcove.
"C'mere. We'll wait until class has started. I have a plan. Meanwhile, maybe you should dry off a little more thoroughly."
Both boys performed drying spells on each other, and neatened their hurriedly donned clothing.
"I hope you're not going to 'take advantage of your status'" Seamus commented, mocking McGonagall's voice.
"Oh, I wouldn't dream of it. It's just fortunate that Peeves poured pumpkin juice down one of the staircases, and I needed your help in clearing it up. Which, of course, it was my duty as Prefect to do." Dean's expression was the epitome of innocence.
"Dean, you can be scary at times. You really are much more cunning than any honest Gryffindor should be."
"Hey, that bath was worth a lot of rule-breaking and power abuse."
They smiled broadly at each other at the memory. Dean stuck his head out of the alcove.
"All clear," he said, giving Seamus a quick kiss before they hurried to the dungeons. Professor Snape was sceptical of their story, but he couldn't do anything to disprove it, and Dean was a prefect, after all.
"Five points each from Gryffindor for coming late to class," he said silkily, "And you'll have to work fast to catch up with everyone else."
Seamus and Dean let out sighs of relief as they walked to the cauldron they shared. Their punishment would have been much worse without Dean's subterfuge.
After their last class of the day had ended, Seamus and Dean returned to Gryffindor Tower. They went up to their dormitory, where Dean immediately began rummaging in his trunk for writing supplies. Seamus, on the other hand, picked up his winter cloak, and his red and gold striped scarf, hat, and mittens.
"Where are you going?" Dean asked.
"Outside, to play in the snow, of course. Aren't you coming?"
"I didn't know you were going until just now, silly."
"Look out the window."
Dean did so, finding, as Seamus knew he would, that the thick layer of unsullied snow covering the Hogwarts grounds was too tempting to resist. Soon they walked side by side out of the main door, into a transformed world. A little snow was still falling, but the sun had broken through the clouds on the western horizon, and its late-afternoon light tinged the snow pink.
"Look, it's poufy snow!" Seamus exclaimed.
"You're so unromantic, Seamus."
"Sorry. Is this romantic enough for you?" Seamus pulled Dean into his arms, and they kissed for a long time. When they finally separated, Dean grinned wickedly, bending over to scoop up a handful of snow.
"All right, Finnegan. You have five seconds to run. One!" He laughed as Seamus realised what was going on, and sped away.
"Twothreefourfive!" Dean scored a hit on his boyfriend's back. Seamus spun around, scooping up his own snowball as he did so.
"I'll get you for that!" He shouted. A lively snowball fight ensued, which ended with Seamus pushing Dean into a snowdrift, sitting on him, and kissing him and shoving snow down his back simultaneously. It was getting dark, and even colder than before, so they went inside, returning to their dormitory in order to change before dinner.
"I'm sopping wet, you git," Dean complained.
"You started it. Anyway, you need help getting those wet clothes off?"
Harry Potter entered the room a few minutes later, in search of Ron's stash of Chocolate Frogs. He found Seamus and Dean half-naked on their bed, snogging.
"Hey, sorry to disturb you," he said, "but Hermione and Ginny just went to get a pot of hot chocolate from the kitchens, so if you want some you should come down to the Common Room." He quickly located the candy, and took it downstairs. Dean and Seamus got dressed in dry clothes, and followed him. They sat together in one large armchair by the fire, drinking hot chocolate and talking to their friends. It had been an eventful, but highly enjoyable day.