30 May 1996

"Hello, ladies," Seamus said, squeezing into the narrow space left on the sofa between Alicia Spinnet and Angelina Johnson. He winked at Katie Bell, who was sitting on the ground beside Dean, and she rolled her eyes, taking a sip of her butterbeer.

"Ah, Seamus," Angelina said, shaking her head and smiling. "What would a Gryffindor victory be without you hitting on us?"

"Be damn depressing," said Seamus helpfully, sipping his butterbeer. "You wouldn't have a single thing to look forward to."

"Yeah, just imagine, life without Seamus Finnigan," Dean said, staring wistfully into space. "Ah, can't have everything, I suppose." Seamus and the girls laughed, even as Seamus aimed a kick at Dean.

"Pretty good game, though, wasn't it?" Dean asked Angelina. "I thought it went well."

"Of course it did," Angelina said, with a toss of her head and a laugh. "We won, didn't we?"

"I'm going to get another butterbeer," Katie said, starting to get up.

"I'll get it," Seamus said quickly, leaping to his feet. Katie smiled, bemused. "Come on, Dean, let's get these ladies some refreshments."

"Get them yourself," Dean said indignantly, whacking Seamus's leg.

"Come on, you git," Seamus said, pulling Dean to his feet. Dean followed him to the table full of cakes, tarts, and butterbeer, courtesy of Ginny Weasley's covert trip to the kitchens. As he and Seamus began to pile two plates with snacks, someone beside Dean accidentally knocked his elbow.

"Oh, sorry—oh! Hi, Dean," said Ginny Weasley brightly, smiling at him. She was still in her Quidditch robes, and was positively beaming. She seemed to radiate her happiness through her flaming red hair, which was tied in a knot on the top of her head.

"Hey, Ginny," Dean nodded, staring at her. "Er—how's it going?"

"Great! The match was brilliant, wasn't it? Ron was great!" Ginny's face was alight with excitement.

"Totally," Dean agreed. "You were really excellent, too, that was a really cool catch."

"'Scuse," muttered Seamus, pushing past them and making a beeline for the Chasers. Dean squeezed aside.

"Thanks," Ginny said, stepping backward so that they were no longer blocking the table. She gave a little sigh, grinning and taking a sip of her butterbeer. "Have you ever thought about playing Quidditch?" she asked. "You're pretty strong, you seem like you'd do all right."

Dean shrugged, looking down at his feet. "I dunno. I'm not really good at sports, you know? But flying's cool."

Ginny nodded earnestly, undeterred. "If you like flying, then all you need to do is practice. And some of the positions, like Keeping, they're pretty good."

"Right," Dean said, grinning and staring at Ginny. There seemed to be a small war going on inside him—she's Ron's sister—but she's really beautiful—do you really want to have this conversation with Ron?

"Dean?" Ginny asked, when they had both been silent for a few minutes.

"Huh? Oh—sorry," he laughed awkwardly. "Just, er, spacing out."

Ginny smiled up at him, tucking a stray hair behind her ear. "Well, nice to chat, Dean," she said. "I'm going to go see if I can find Hermione and talk her into letting me borrow her old Charms notes. If she's in a good enough mood, she might let me," she added, laughing.

"Right," Dean said. Ginny turned and started to walk away. "Hey, Ginny?" he called suddenly. Ginny looked back. "Do you—I mean…do you maybe want to…er…I dunno…go to Hogsmeade—er—together—with me—next weekend?"

Ginny stared back at him, smiling a little confusedly. "Oh…uh…sure," she said, nodding. "I'd love to."

Dean felt his neck and face grow hot, and grinned back at her. "Cool. I'll—uh, well, we'll talk later, yeah?"

Ginny nodded. "Later!" she agreed, smiling widely.

Dean turned away, walking over to where Seamus was still sitting with the Chasers, who were laughing at some story he had just told. He was feeling a little befuddled, very surprised, and extremely happy. Ginny Weasley wants to go out with me, he thought. He took a sip of his butterbeer, glancing around. Not bad, Dean.

My second entry of two for Berrie Salamander's "House Party Challenge." I figured "A Flash of Moonlight was a rather sad party, so this one should be happy! :) Hope you like!