A/N – This isn't a direct follow-up to Alright After All, since I included Lavender in the end-of-battle celebrations in that one, and fanon has since then pretty much dictated that she got way too mauled to be celebrating anything. However, it is my favourite type of Seamus and Dean story, that is to say, one-shot, non-slashy, and somewhat humourous. So enjoy! Also I own nothing except the plot.
Dean was sprawled on the grass down by the lake, eyes closed. Seamus sat next to him, comfortably close but not touching, arms wrapped around his knees. They were silent in a companionable way; Dean was half-asleep and Seamus, damaged face turned up into the warm June sunshine, was content to let his mind wander.
It had been two days since the battle, and neither of them was prepared to go home just yet. Magical transportation was still temporarily shut down, and communication was hit and miss. Seamus had received a letter from his mother telling him to wait there until she sent further word, and he guessed that she had just come out of hiding. Dean had been assured by the Order that his family was safe and sound, but he couldn't face them yet, or the questions they would surely ask. So for now the two of them remained at Hogwarts, helping to clean up the debris and assess what could be replaced and what was gone forever.
"Shay," Dean said presently, his words slightly slurred with drowsiness.
"Yeah," replied Seamus, without turning his head or opening his eyes.
"Remember that time we Side-Along Apparated with your mum and you forgot to Apparate your nostrils?"
Seamus snickered. "You kept telling me I splinched myself and I didn't believe you."
"Yeah, you thought you caught a sudden head cold," Dean recalled, "because you couldn't breathe out your nose."
"And then you said we'd better go back and find them so I could get them reattached – "
"Only we didn't know what nostrils look like when they're not attached."
There was a moment of quiet mirth while they both relived the memory.
"I still blame my mum for that!" Seamus said at last, shaking his head.
"I know you do," replied Dean with a grin, lacing his fingers together and tucking his hands behind his head.
"Damn women Apparators."
"Actually, statistically women are better than men," Dean remarked.
"All I can say is, I've never splinched my nostrils while Apparating on my own," Seamus retorted.
"There was the one time you didn't manage to Apparate with your trousers, though."
"There's some debate as to whether I was wearing any when I left," Seamus protested.
"That just makes it even better," said Dean, thoroughly amused.
They lapsed into silence again, but this time it was briefer.
"What made you think of that?" Seamus asked his friend, looking over at him.
Dean opened one eye and squinted at him. "If I don't look at you for awhile, I forget that your face looks like you fought a bare-knuckle brawl with a shovel. And then... I dunno. Your nose is crooked now. It reminds me of the nostril story."
Seamus reached up and gingerly rubbed the bridge of his nose. It was healing, but not well. Breathing was hard at night, when he was lying down. And the Carrows had made damn sure that the damage they did was extremely difficult to repair magically.
He did not say that. Instead: "I think it looks rakish."
That startled a laugh out of Dean. "You think it looks what?" He asked, turning his head to look at Seamus and cupping one hand over his eyes so that he would not have to squint.
"Rakish," Seamus repeated impatiently. "Jaunty. Dashing."
"I know what 'rakish' means," Dean said. "I just think it's hilarious that you do. You haven't opened a book other than a textbook in like, eight years."
"Lavender told me it looked rakish," Seamus admitted.
"Is she going to be alright, by the way?" Dean asked.
Seamus shrugged, his expression unreadable. "She won't die. Too soon to tell about anything else."
"But she told you your nose looked rakish," Dean said.
"Yeah," said Seamus, smiling a little. "She's got a good heart, that Lavender Brown."
"She's a right catch, actually," Dean remarked, looking at Seamus closely as he spoke.
"Nice try, Thomas," Seamus said. "Lavender and I are strictly friends."
"Friends with less than honourable intentions?" Dean tried.
"Don't make it like that," said Seamus. "We just went through a lot together, is all. The last few months have been rough. Everybody's marked forever. Just, me and her have got some of our marks on the outside."
Dean sat up, matching Seamus' position; arms wrapped around his knees, head tilted against the sun. "What happened to your face, Seamus?"
Seamus tried to remember the last time Dean had called him anything but Shay or Finnigan and found he couldn`t. He took a deep breath. "They blamed her for something the Resistance did. It could have been anyone out of half a dozen of us but Alecto had it out for pretty witches. Probably jealous. And when Alecto decided to pin whatever it was on Lavender, Amycus told Alecto to let him punish her. And he was just – leering."
Dean suppressed the urge to say Rakishly leering? and patiently waited for the rest.
"I said it was me who did it because I knew they'd beat me into a bloody pulp but I could take that. It's not like I've never been hit before. And I thought that if it were Lavender being punished, they'd do – worse. They way Amycus was looking at her, I just knew."
Dean remembered hearing from the others that they had been sure that Seamus was a dead man when they hadn't heard from him all throughout that night. It had been Neville who had reassured them: They would never get away with killing a student.
"Reckon that makes you a hero," Dean said thoughtfully.
Seamus laughed, but the sound had an edge. "No, it doesn't. Harry's a hero. I just did what anyone would do."
Dean would have expected, even a year ago, that Seamus would have loved to have a story like this to tell to the witches at his local pub. Now he understood that something about his friend was fundamentally different.
"Hero or not, protecting someone else was a good thing to do," Dean commented. "Even if it got you a rakish nose."
"Oh, no, that just got me a cracked eye socket and four missing teeth," Seamus said. "I earned the rakish nose by telling Alecto she was a right ugly hag who became a Death Eater so she'd have an excuse to hide that travesty of a face behind a mask."
Dean almost choked, half in amusement and half in astonishment. "Finnigan, why?"
"She called me a stone broke half-blood mick bastard. It had to be done," Seamus responded with a shrug. He looked serious, but there was a smirk in his voice.
"You're an idiot," Dean told him, grinning widely.
"I knew how far to push it without getting myself killed," Seamus reassured him. "For instance, I could have told Amycus that his mum's a lousy lay with bingo wings to boot."
"Oh, but your sense of self-preservation finally surfaced?" inquired Dean, shaking with mirth.
"Nah, I said it, but by then there was too much blood in my mouth and it just sounded like I was trying to gargle catnip."
Seamus thought Dean was going to asphyxiate from laughing so hard. Getting a hold of himself after a minute or two, Dean shook his head. "Wish I'd been there."
"Wish I hadn't been," said Seamus, but he was grinning.
"Life on the run was no better," Dean assured him.
"You've been a bit spare on the details when it comes to that," Seamus remarked. "What did happen to your wand?"
So Dean told the story of the past year while Seamus listened, and interjected, and laughed, and became outraged at the appropriate moments.
As afternoons went, it wasn't a bad one.