1. He was sick so often as a child that his family didn't think he'd even go to Hogwarts.
His grandparents suggested that it was because his father had been a Muggle. They said that sometimes the blood just didn't mix, and for a while, it certainly didn't seem to have done all that well. Seamus was born at only thirty-one weeks, weighing barely three and a half pounds, and for a while, they didn't even think he'd make it. As a child, he seemed to catch absolutely everything that came along, to the point where he was pulled out of Primary School in his first year. He was homeschooled after that, but although everyone else thought of him as a fragile wisp of a boy, Seamus never seemed to grasp the concept himself. The Healers at St. Mungos and the Doctors at Casualty in Belfast City Hospital all knew him by sight, whether it was for double walking pneumonia or extricating part of a fence from his leg. They said he had to have six months without coming down with anything to be accepted at Hogwarts. He made it with a week to spare, and he didn't catch anything else until Dragon Pox in his final year. His mother was the only one not surprised. She knew exactly what kind of raw stubbornness her boy was capable of.
2. He has a dreadful sweet tooth
His first sign of magic was levitating biscuits down from the top of the cupboard. He would have climbed for them, but they'd installed locks. They didn't realize they had a wizard yet. Although that wound up having some repurcussions he never quite forgave himself for, it didn't abate his love of sweets in the slightest. He could blow through an entire term's allowance in under fifteen minutes at Honeydukes. Dean realized this the first time they went to Hogsmeade, and ever after that, he took an allotted amount of money and went in for both of them while Seamus waited at the Three Broomsticks. Really, it was much better that way. Not to mention that when he was hyped up on that much sugar, not a soul in Gryffindor Tower could understand a word that raced out of his mouth.
3. He learned to use a gun when he was 13
He was worried about his mother. They didn't live in a bad area, but in the mid-90's, there weren't really any good areas in Belfast, and he'd been having nightmares all year while he was at Hogwarts. Sure, maybe a lot of it was just that everyone was scared because of the whole Chamber of Secrets bit - and he hadn't felt all that safe as a Half-Blood, even - but he didn't like the idea of her having nothing but a wand she couldn't use in public to protect herself. He got a gun through a friend's older brother, sixty quid, no questions asked. It was his whole year's savings, and it was a tiny thing, but he learned how to use it with a speed that seemed to rather frighten the older teen. When he tried to give it to his mother and teach her, she flat refused and beat him harder than he'd ever thought her capable of. Sixth year, he found it in her handbag. That's when he knew things were bad.
4. He was raised Catholic, but abandoned his faith when he was 10.
His mother did his best to keep her promise to raise him in his father's religion, even though Patrick left when she told him what she was. She'd converted for him, and she tried to show Seamus all the beauty of the rituals, the centering, soothing peace of the prayers, the grandeur of the ceremonies. When he was young, he could see it all, and he relished it as a connection to the man he only vaguely remembered. As he became older, however, and more aware of the world around him, he couldn't believe in a Church that allowed so many to kill and be killed in its name. He never really decided how he felt about God.
5. He was almost sorted into Slytherin
The Hat debated over him for over a minute. He's told a lot of people a lot of versions of why, but the truth is, it came very close to putting him in Slytherin. He was ruthless, he was capable of utterly dehumanizing those he hated, he was passionate, hot-tempered, single-minded, ambitious, with a lot of raw magical talent and no respect whatsoever for any form of authority except his mother. However, he lacked the one quality that a true Slytherin needed: selfishness. Seamus would give his life to spare someone else a moment's pain without hesitation, and when the Hat saw that, it announced him as a Gryffindor with ringing confidence that completely belied all the previous muttering.
6. His temper has a flip side.
Although the hair-trigger temper is one of the first things most people notice about him, Seamus knows that it's only the brightest point on an entire spectrum laid wide and easy out before the world. He doesn't just rage easily, he also laughs, loves, dreams, and worst of all hurts easily. His heart isn't just on his sleeve, his Nana described it as being held out in his open hands, and he's often thought he's incapable of feeling anything at all lightly. Sometimes, when he's giddy with delight over a cake warm from the oven or somewhere past heaven because his team won a game, it's fantastic. But when the plight of someone in the newspaper hits him like family, he would do anything to armor his soul. When he was older, he found out that alcohol blunted it a little, but that made so many more problems of its own that he knew it was something he would just have to live with it. Other people find it endearing. He considers it his curse.
7. He never considered what he wanted to be when he grew up.
Sometimes he would flit through ideas, fantasies, really. They weren't real plans, and they tended to just be whatever the coolest person who had his attention at the moment was doing. He glanced over the pamphlets that came in their O.W.L. year, but though there were some occupations he struck on sight - nothing, nothing behind a desk or involving the word Diplomacy would ever suit him - he mostly just used them to make paper owls and interesting colored sparks. At that time, he'd seen no point when he still had his whole life ahead of him to choose. By seventh year, he saw no point, because his life was as good as over.
8. He knows perfectly well that 90 of his success with women is pure charm.
He comes off as a knockout, has been described as "stunning" more than once, but he finds it funny to know perfectly well that he's at best, an average-looking bloke. As a matter of fact, he's quite short, a little on the scrawny side, with way too many freckles, a high hairline, too-square jaw, and eyes that although a lovely blue, are a bit too deep-set. But he's got a smile that will take your breath away from two counties over, and whatever that indefinable thing is that makes charisma, he has enough of it for at least ten men at least three times his size. And it's only enhanced because he knows it makes him irresistable.
9. He made friends with Dean over football.
He loved sports in general, but the only one he could really play well was football. If the sun was up and there wasn't a donny down, you couldn't make it ten feet down his street without finding a cluster of boys and a ball, even if the goals were usually ill-defined and even more loosely kept. Few enough of the other students knew football at all, much less the street version of it, but Dean had actually brought a football to Hogwarts, and Seamus had decided he'd get the use of it at first sight. They nearly lost it over the side of Platform 9 3/4, but by the time it was confiscated (thankfully with the promise to return it once they were at school) they were already friends on the verge of coming to blows over the issue of Beckham: Football God or Prancing Fairy?
10. He's an excellent dancer.
His Nana taught him to dance, and the girl who lived next door wanted to be professional, so they practiced together during the long hours when he was supposed to be recovering from something. He'd never thought he'd have reason to use any of it at Hogwarts, but in the week or so preceding the Yule Ball, he made a small fortune off the other boys teaching them the basics of a waltz and a foxtrot, how to dip a girl and a bit of flash here and there. He didn't share the good stuff, he was too savvy for that, and sure enough, after the event itself was over, his popularity with the witches had increased dramatically.
11. He could never get the hang of Transfiguration.
He didn't mean to cheat his way into N.E.W.T.s. He'd simply never put any particular thought into exactly how much he was getting from Ron, and exactly how much Ron was getting from Hermione. O.W.L. level Transfiguration practicles hadn't been the greatest, but it was enough to get him by when he got every written answer spot-on perfect. N.E.W.T.s were another matter entirely. N.E.W.T.s with Hermione gone were just a travesty. He knew he should have been dropped from the class within the first week, but with the Carrows and Snape in charge, McGonagall wasn't about to fail a D.A. officer from her own house. He was grateful for her little defiance, though, as it saved his pride, if not his homework.
12. He summons his Patronus off his only real memory of his whole family together.
It was Easter Sunday. He was four, barely, and everyone was so proud of the way he'd sat without doing anything bad during the whole Mass. Nana had a basket of the really good special candy that had to be secret from Da, but everyone got to share the Cadburys, and even in his fancy clothes, he was allowed to get down on his knees and go in the dirt and Mama and Da and all the Auntie and Uncs cheered when he found the last one. Da stripped him down and got the hose before he went back in the house, and Nana said he'd get his death, but Da had smiled and ruffed his hair, and the look on his face never faded no matter how many years passed. "Not my boy! Tougher than that, aren't ya? You're mine, and a Finnigan don't go down easy."
13. He always envied Neville.
Oh, he didn't want his life, not at all, and he thought that if he ever had to live with Augusta Longbottom, it could only end in homicide, the direction thereof being questionable. But Neville had a faith that went deeper than any church or God, that simply believed that the world and mankind in it were essentially good, and that all the awful people and all the horrible things were abbarations that good people could eventually stop. He could see the strength that gave, and feel the hollow futility that came with living with the equally deep knowledge that fate was a random bitch, that there was no rhyme or reason to anything, and that the one who came out on top was the luckiest bastard with the biggest balls and the sharpest teeth. Still, why they were different that way didn't matter, because they were, and if he'd been able to believe envying it would change anything, it wouldn't have been there to change.
14. He can't swim.
It's not that he's afraid of the water, quite the contrary, he loves it. But there wasn't anywhere to learn in his neighborhood, the thought of the kinds of germs that lived in a public pool gave his mother spasms, and while he is not afraid of the water, a ninety-foot cephalopod does give him pause. At least enough that he never went out over his head. On purpose. For very long. And as he pointed out to Dean on a few occasions, while he can't swim, he's excellent at not-drowning. It's just not particularly graceful, nor does it get him anywhere except Not Down.
15. He loves to cook.
He liked to sit in the kitchen with his mother in the evenings, watching her make dinner and listening to the wireless, watching the telly, or just talking about things, things that other boys didn't seem to be able to talk to their mothers about, but there were never secrets between them. He'd tell her about the grand big thing they'd found by the river that looked like a rotted dead bogey, and she'd listen, and she'd tell him about needing to change grocers because they'd raised their prices now that the tourist coaches were coming through closer, and he'd listen. And along the way, he was never good at sitting still, so he'd learned to chop and measure, to get the feel for the heat of a pan and how to whisk an egg lighter than the down of an angel's wings, and by the time he was old enough to use magic himself, he neither wanted nor needed to. Even as an adult more than capable of ordering take-away or casting a spell, he still prefers to get out the knives and talk, whether or not anyone's there to listen. Somehow it feels like his mother always is.
16. He speaks fluent Gaelic from his grandfather.
Granda never really forgave the whole marrying-a-Muggle thing, but he never held that against Seamus, maybe because the boy had been named after him in an appeasement gesture. He insisted that Seamus know his whole heritage, wizard as well as Muggle, and he taught his grandson all that he could get away with under his daughter's sharp eye about the old spells and ways, the magical creatures and the legends of the Fae and Tir Na Nog, Bran the Blessed and Cuchulainn. He also insisted on teaching Seamus Gaelic, and although the best parts were still useless at home, at Hogwarts he discovered that there weren't nearly so many people who knew any, and he could get away with saying the most filthy things with near-complete safety. When his Grandda died, he felt like he'd lost an anchor to something that mattered in a way he was too young to explain, but when he learned he'd inherited the wand that had been his father's, making him now the fourth generation to wield it, the connection was there again the moment his hands closed on the beautifully carved alder.
17. He didn't grieve when he found out his father was dead.
Just before Christmas break of his sixth year, Professor McGonagall called him out of the common room to talk to him in private. The look in her eyes was so sympathetic that he almost burst into tears, certain his mother was dead. He'd held it together just enough to hear that there'd been a Death Eater attack in Carrickfergus, that almost twenty Muggles were killed, and that after one of them had been identified as Patrick Michael Finnigan, his mother had confirmed that it had been his father. The Professor had seen his face, and she'd put her hand on his arm to guide him gently to a chair and conjure him a cup of tea as he'd begun to weep, but it had nothing to do with his father, not at all. It was just the scare, that horrible split-second when he'd thought it was his mother, a childhood friend, his Nana, a cousin or other loved one from. That it was just his father, a man who existed in the face in the mirror and the face in the photographs but in so very little else...the tears were pure relief.
18. He wrote a fan letter to Mad-Eye Moody.
He didn't sign it, it took him an entire year to get up the courage to send it, but he should have known anyway that the old Auror would have ways of knowing who was behind something as elementary as an anonymous letter. He'd been absolutely stunned to receive a note in return, and even moreso that it was a rebuke. Moody said he was no one to look up to, that constant vigilance was a necessity, but that you couldn't shelter others from the rain without it soaking you to the bones, and that you could never fight a thing without knowing it, and that knowing it meant becoming it in part. It took nearly ten years for him to understand the letter. By that time, he wished he never had.
19. He had no idea Dean was gay.
For six years, they were inseperable. Nine months at a time, they lived together, and every holiday, they switched off whose house they visited. He knew that Dean hadn't been all that thrilled with dating Ginny, that the snogging hadn't been all he imagined it would be, and in hindsight, he realized that his friend never talked all that much about witches, but it still came as a complete shock when he confessed not only that he was gay, but that he'd been in love with Seamus for at least two years. He knew he'd reacted badly, but one thing that Seamus learned over and over throughout his life but never seemed to be able to stop was that words, once said, could never really be taken back. Especially when they were words in response to an "if I die tonight" confession.
20. He only has one real regret.
He wishes he hadn't called Dean a fucking queer. He wishes he hadn't said that it wrecked everything. He wishes he hadn't said they weren't friends any more. But what he truly regrets is that all the apologies, all the pleas, all the promises that he didn't really mean it, that he'd be willing to try, even the desperate, fervent kiss fell on ears that couldn't hear him and lips that could no longer feel.