Song To Say Goodbye

"now I'm breaking down your door,
to try and save your swollen face...
it's a song to say goodbye"

Seamus Finnegan doesn't expect the happiest moment of his life to come when he's beaten and bruised and bloody, sipping Blood-Replenshing Potion through a straw. It probably has something to do with when his nurse's lips come crashing down onto his own, and before he knows it, he's kissing like he's never kissed before, not even when under the influence of Firewhisky and a few choice plants nicked from the Herbology lab-

But she's Lavender Brown, she's beautiful and brave and fucked-up all at once, she's a hurricane in bed and a tornado on the battlefield, she's a goddess that by some sheer lucky chance ended up in his arms tonight, she's a multitude of contradictions wrapped up in one gorgeous mess, and he couldn't predict what a tomorrow with her would be like even if he'd dared to.

She runs a hand down his back, he trickles a finger through her hair. She licks the inside of his mouth. He reaches out to pull her closer, but the small movement is too much strain for his muscles, and he screams out loud, collapsing limply in his armchair. Pain throbs through his body, and for a second, he wonders how he could ever have felt that measure of happiness, let alone only two seconds ago.

"You idiot. You fucking idiot." And like that, the moment is gone, and Lavender, in all her red-faced and bronzed-haired glory, pushes him down, cheeks flaming, gathering up ointments and potions and phials, forcing them one by one into his mouth. I remember, Seamus thinks, this is why I can feel alive. "I'm sick of this. From tomorrow, you are going to stop mouthing off to Carrow every other second. You're going to stop calling Alecto an inbred little cow who's shagged half the sheep in the midlands, and I don't care how true that is."

Seamus's temperature is rising, and with it, his delirium. He struggles against Lavender, eyes rolling and mumbling to himself. "I wanna fuck someone up. I'll make 'im burn, I'll drink her blood, I'll eat 'er ashes... I'll see the world burn."

Lavender forces him down. She doesn't share Seamus's sheer brute strength, but several years of Muggle athletics has given her a certain edge, and in a weakened condition like this, he's no match for her. He winces again, and Lavender's frown melts away. "Why?" she asks, in as soft a voice as ever he's heard her use. "Why do you do it?"

"Edge of death, baby. Edge of death is closer to being alive than I've bin in my whole life..." Seamus trails off. He touches the blood dripping from her mouth. "I love it. I love the taste of blood on your lips."

"If you don't stop mouthing off to Carrow, you won't even be alive to taste the blood on my lips." Lavender snaps. Seamus's head lolls off the armchair - it looks horrible, like a dead body - and Lavender adjusts the cushions on the chair.

"Sweetheart, ya don't get it. Ya to..."

"Because I'm too safe? Sweetheart, I could tell you stories that make your limbs drop off. Not that you need any help in that department." Lavender glances at the soaking bandage inexpertly wrapped around his hand. She's no nurse - a medic at the edge of the battlefield is simply incompatible with her Gryffindor nature, it just is - but she'd walk to hell and back to make Seamus safe again. Sometimes, that scares her even more than Seamus's infatuation with death. "I might not be fucking stupid, but safe? Don't insult me."

Seamus makes a little gurgle in his throat, and Lavender interprets that as an apology. Seamus smiles, and his hand stretches helplessly, looking for Lavender's fingers to comfort his. Lavender watches, then coils his fingers around hers, feeling burns and scratches all over them.

Then she kisses him on his forehead. Seamus's eyelids flicker open. He's grown too weak to talk, but Lavender reads his eyes like she always has. (He's so fucking easy to read he is, wearing his heart on his sleeve and never realizing that even the littlest first year can see through his facade of bluster and bravado.)

"Us, Seamus. We aren't healthy."

His eyes widen, and he looks ready to sob struggle and plead, but Lavender puts a finger to her lips and kisses his forehead again. (She's always been the only one to calm him down, only one to reach him.) "I'll find Neville. He'll take you up to bed."

He watches her go, feeling tears prick in his eyes. He doesn't bother trying to wipe them away. He and Neville have seen the other cry to often for it too matter. So he just cries, and watches the only girl to get under his skin walk out of his life.

She's Lavender. She's just as dangerous as death, but threatens a part of him that death doesn't know how to touch. Death never set his soul on fire the way Lavender does, and that scares him so much he'd take another dose of Cruciatus so he'd have somewhere else to focus the pain.

Seamus has a death wish, he'll admit to that much. And tomorrow, Seamus Finnegan will continue chasing his death wish, because he isn't Gryffindor enough to let Lavender touch his soul. He contents himself with the poor second best, because no-one can be Gryffindor enough to let Lavender Brown touch their soul.

It's not that they're too different. It's that they're too similar, and two fires together only makes one bigger fire, one bigger, angrier, more destructive fire, and normally Seamus loves a good fire, but this one is ugly and unfamiliar - even Seamus isn't going to dance with a fire like this one.