I Remember Like It Was Yesterday
~liquid-time

Written for Twin Exchange monthly challenge: July
Prompt: Cheese
Pairing: Seamus/Hermione
Quote: "What...what is that?"
Theme: Harry Potter, Born July 31, 1980


It was early July and rather chilly. Seamus was curled up on the sofa in his flat reading The Wonderful World of Wand Making (a Christmas present from his dad who found wands the most fascinating thing ever) with a blue fire crackling under the hearth. He never had figured out how to make magic fire orange. A knock came from the door prompting an eye-roll from Seamus who was thinking that Dean had locked himself out again; but a quick glance at the clock told him that it was too early for Dean to be back.

He cracked open the door and peered out, surprised to find Hermione on the doorstep, looking up at him. She had a lightweight cloak adorned over her robe and a modest smile on her lips. Seamus smiled back and opened the door wider, leaning a shoulder against the frame.

"Hermione, I haven't seen you in awhile. How have you been and what can I do for you?"

"I've been great, thanks. I was wondering if Dean is home? There's some stuff that just came in at work and I'm afraid the floo lines are down, else I would have called before showing up."

"I hope it's not an emergency," Seamus chuckled, "because he's not in right now. He'll be back in about a half hour," he moved to the side and raised his eyebrows, "you can come in and wait for him if you want."

"Yes, thank you."

She stepped inside and looked around, as if unsure of what to do. Seamus walked away towards the kitchen and gestured to the left of her. "You can hang your cloak up in there if you like."

After Hermione shed her outer layer, placing it in the closet by the entrance, she followed Seamus into the kitchen, leaning on a counter watching as he flipped through the cupboards.

"Can I get you anything?" Seamus asked even though he had already pulled out two cups. "Coffee, tea? Cheese?" he added as an afterthought.

"Some tea would be nice."

"Good because I already have some on the stove," he gave her a wink and filled the two cups with the brown liquid, setting them on saucers and placing the drinks between them. "Cream, sugar or lemon?"

"I'm fine, but thanks for offering."

He laughed. "You have to stop saying thank you so much Hermione, that was the third time since you've arrived," he poured some cream into his cup, glad, he noticed, that he had made her blush, "someone will think you're soft, and you can't have a tough ministry chick like you be ruined by a false rumor."

This prompted Hermione to laugh and ignore that fact that he had called her a 'ministry chick'. "I doubt that the Department of Magical Development will have much of an issue upon discovering a softie in their ranks," Hermione leaned in closer. "Besides," she said in a half-way whisper, "I think that quota is filled already by Dean."

Seamus laughed again, taking a sip of tea. "So what's the problem this time?"

Hermione sighed. "We've been testing a new paperwork filing system in the Ministry. It's been in effect for about a month now, and has actually been working really well but," she paused to take a drink, "Harry's birthday got entered as July 31, 1890 and it's caused a horrible jam and now information on anyone is being held up," Hermione shook her head, "it's not that serious but," she glanced at the clock, "the sooner it's resolved..."

"Relax," Seamus said nonchalantly, "I'm sure the Ministry can last a couple hours without you or the paperwork that is so unjustly being held."

She smiled up at him. "Of course."

A silence settled over them. It wasn't uncomfortable just, tense. Hermione busied herself with her teacup. Seamus took the time to look her over. He hadn't realized how much he'd missed her. Since graduating from Hogwarts, the only connection that remained between them was Dean, who worked alongside her at the Ministry.

He remembered her as she was at Hogwarts. She was an item of his fascination. Before Ron even looked her over twice, he had asked her to the Yule Ball. Unfortunately Viktor had asked first. Seamus remembered seeing her at the reception, in turquoise robes as she danced with him, an international quidditch star, spinning and twirling, enchanting the girl he had longed for, for four years. She had been nice with her rejection, hadn't told anyone. The only person who knew besides them was Dean, because really, what isn't there that best friends don't know?

"I think I will take that cheese."

Seamus startled. He looked up at her, not realizing that he had drifted off into his own thoughts.

"What?" he asked stupidly.

"Earlier, you mentioned cheese? I said, I think I'll have some now."

"Oh," he was surprised she had even remembered. He had meant it as an offhand comment, "coming right up."

Hermione watched him as he got out the cheese and started slicing it. She rolled her eyes and shut them, bringing herself back to the moment when he had told her he fancied her. They were sixteen and she had been doing homework outside by the lake on a late June evening, near the end of the year.

"You know I meant it when I had asked you out," she whispered.

Seamus stopped cutting the cheese and turned to face her. He wasn't sure he had heard her right because it was only just audible, but he could have sworn that she repeated the line he had told her five years ago.

"Excuse me?"

Hermione threw her head back, squeezing her eyes shut picturing the moment that she had let slip away. He had looked almost angelic framed in the light that reflected off of the water's surface. He had been blushing and he had been smiling a smile very similar to the one she received when Seamus opened the door for her today.

Opening her eyes she looked at him, he still wore one of bewilderment.

"I remember it like it was yesterday," she said, "by the lake."

"Hermione," Seamus warned. This was territory he didn't want to venture into. He had loved her so completely when they were in school. He had found her, and still did find her, intoxicating.

It had been the end of the year and all of Gryffindor knew about Ron's feelings for Hermione, and likewise, Hermione's for Ron. Even if they wouldn't admit it, to themselves or each other, it was obviously there. Only Seamus didn't understand how she could still feel that way about someone who had treated her so badly, had spoke so foully of her, and has spent half the year deliberately making her feel rotten and insignificant.

So he had made up his mind to tell her what he felt when she was near. About how every time she looked at him his legs seized up, and he found it hard to speak; that when he was gazing in to space in History of Magic, she was the one that filled his mind. She could make him go crazy. He told her this just so that she knew there was a better option for her than Weasley.

But of course she was so devoted to her friends, to him, that it didn't really make a difference. He had left that encounter, a partial fool, and a tad more bitter. It was a memory that he didn't need reminding of, and he didn't know if he could stand her bringing it up again.

"You had been so nice."

"Hermione drop it," he turned away from her, "I'm serious, I don't want to talk about it."

"Why not?" she asked.

She had walked up behind him, and rested her hands on his shoulders.

"Because I don't need reminding of it, and because," he paused. She had ran her hands down his arms, entwined hers around his waist. It made him shudder, "because," he continued, shaking her off, "I don't want to be your fall-back."

"What?"

"Did it not work out with him Hermione? Did he leave you? Did it hurt?"

She looked at him puzzled, not knowing what he was talking about.

"Why are you so suddenly interested in me? Did Ron finally leave you?"

"No!"

He scoffed. "Really then? Tell me, why did you come to my house today?"

"To find Dean!"

"Oh yeah," Seamus took a step back, rolling his eyes, "and just decided to try and seduce me in the process."

"I didn't try to 'seduce' you Seamus, and believe it or not, the world doesn't revolve around you."

Hermione glared daggers at him, and he returned the sentiments. The clock above the counter told him that they had only killed ten minutes and that there was still twenty left until Dean came back. Awkward.

"I was never with Ron," she said coolly, still glaring at him.

"But you said-"

"I know what I said," she snapped, "that was five years ago, what else could I have said? It was right before the war, Harry, Ron and I were running off to fight Voldemort and at that time I," she faltered for a moment, "I did have feelings for Ron."

It was like she had let something big off her chest. She looked at Seamus, searching for the effect her words had on him, but his expression hadn't changed, he only nodded at her, a sign to continue.

"You don't know what it was like. Being cooped up with someone for months really makes you look at who they are as a person. I love Ron, just as I love Harry. They're the best friends I'll ever have, and they would die for me, I would die for them but when the nights were long and when we had no leads and there was nothing to talk about, nothing to fill our minds, mine kept drifting off to you."

Seamus softened, not daring to believe his ears. She pressed on afraid that if she stopped now, she would never be able to continue again.

"I managed to forget, once everything was over. I moved on and hardly thought of you," Seamus didn't know if this was supposed to be making him feel better, "but Dean joined the department, and you two are roommates and he would talk about you sometimes and…" she trailed off, avoiding his gaze, "I thought I could just come here today and grab Dean. I wouldn't even have to see you and if I did have to, it would only be for a few moments and it wouldn't matter but…" Hermione was having a hard time finishing thoughts. Seamus had stepped closer to her, but she pretended that she hadn't noticed.

She wrung her hands, desperately searching for something to say. The smell of him was clouding her thoughts and was he leaning forward?

Before she could string another thought together, his lips had pressed against hers, his hand tilting her chin up. She seized the moment to communicate everything that couldn't be said. Her hands entwined in his short hair, his had left her chin and snaked around her waist.

Stumbling backward awkwardly, Seamus led them into the living area, practically collapsing on the sofa, lips still engaged in a heated battle. Hermione knotted her fists in his shirt and pulled him closer, drowning him in ecstasy. She loved the feeling of him pressing against her from above, and eventually reached to undo the buttons of his robe. Only after the fifth button, there was a strange thumping sound that made her sit up, startled.

"Did you hear that?" she asked.

"Hear what? No," he responded between kisses and nips to her neck. Trailing along her collar, he nudged the fabric of her robe so that it draped off center and off her shoulder. Hermione gave a soft moan and was brought back into Seamus's seductive semblance.

A few more muffled bangs, which seemed to be coming from the other side of the door, occurred before Hermione was able to wrench her thoughts back into order.

She still stumbled over her words, finding it hard to focus when his mouth had ducked lower, kissing the top of her breast and continuing in a downwards mannerism. "What…what was that?" she managed to say before there was a particularly loud BANG and a muffled voice from behind the door.

"Seamus, let me in, I can't find my keys."

It was Dean.

"Shouldn't you let him in?" Hermione asked.

"No." Seamus said, now kissing her cleavage. "He'll go away."

But judging by the now constant knocking, Hermione found it in herself to doubt him.

"Won't he just Alohamora himself in?" she pressed.

"Can't, it's magic'd so that only our keys can open it."

"Seamus!" Dean's voice shouted in, "let me in! I'm Serious!"

Seamus tried to peel more of Hermione's robes off, but she batted his hands away.

"No, really, go answer the door."

He scrunched his face, looking at her before getting up hesitantly and opening the door.

"Took you long enough," Dean grumbled as he stepped in, eyes landing on Hermione who had up-righted herself on the sofa, and was in the process of pulling her robe back up and straightening it out.

"Oh…um, hullo Hermione."

Hermione half winced, half smiled back up at him. "Err, I just stopped by to tell you: we're needed at the ministry. Filling system has gone bonkers."

"I see."

A silence fell over them, and this time it was uncomfortable. Although on the inside Dean was dying of laughter, he remained cool and placid, attempting to be at least a bit mature.

"So I suppose we better be going…" Hermione said.

"Oh right, yeah. Um," Dean turned to Seamus, "I suppose I'll be seeing you later tonight then."

"Yeah. How was the game, by the way?" He asked, remembering the reason Dean had gone down to the muggle pub.

"Spain won," he replied, grinning, "we're on our way to the finals," then turning to Hermione he said, "we can head there by floo powder, there's a bowl of it on the mantel."

"Nope, floo lines are down. Won't be back up until tomorrow at the earliest. We'll just step outside and apparate," she turned to Seamus, smiling, a dusting of pink on her cheeks, "well thank you for the company."

"Of course. Have a good afternoon, both of you."

Nodding, Dean and Hermione stepped out. Seamus could hear the pop of their dissapparation and he headed back into the kitchen to retrieve his tea, anxious to get back to reading. Once he entered, he noticed the sliced cheese lying on the cutting board, untouched.

Transfiguring one of the slices into a plate, he carefully arranged the rest of them in a delicate platter, placing saran wrap over the top. He walked into his room and secured the plate to his owl with a letter attached. Smiling, as he watched her beautiful wings spread out in the sunlight, he crossed his fingers, hoping the reply would be favorable.

Hermione,
How's about supper tomorrow evening? I know a lovely place outside of Swishsville if you're interested. My treat.
-Seamus


The End