A/N: Welcome, welcome! This is my first attempt at any type of Seamus fanfiction, so I hope I did him justice! I was just thinking about him one night and I realized how much I adored this character! And ever since this plot bunny has taken hold of my overworked little mind. Alright, enough talking! Enjoy!
Disclaimer: Nope. Not mine.
What's In A House?
He didn't think she belonged in the Gryffindor House. But, of course, he wasn't the only one. She was a loner. Never had any friends except for a casual conversation in the hallway or a short, private tutoring session with the occasional first year. Although, it seemed as if she wasn't interested enough to have these conversations, rather than being too scared to engage in them. She had been to maybe one of the Quidditch matches in all her seven years, and even then had left halfway through. Seamus simply didn't have any clue why the Sorting Hat could ever put a girl like Daelah Philips in Gryffindor House.
She'd never shown an ounce of courage or fearlessness, or anything remotely resembling Gryffindor qualities. She seemed indifferent. Cold and calculating. A rule-follower and a legalist. A smart and devoted student. The perfect Pureblood. Better suited for Slytherin or Ravenclaw.
In her fifth year she hadn't joined Dumbledore's Army, even after an invitation from everyone in her year. The same goes for her sixth year. Even as the school was in ruins while the Carrows walked the hallways, Daelah, now in her seventh year, had still done nothing.
Of course, they were all hiding now. Dumbledore's Army, that is. They had set up headquarters in the Room of Requirement, hoping against hope that Harry Potter might return or someone on the outside may save them from the tyranny of the current Hogwarts. Yet, Daelah slept in her comfortable bed in the Gryffindor dormitories and attended all of the Carrows' "defense" classes, not even the whisper of hope being uttered from her lips.
Worst of all, Seamus had no idea why he was thinking about Daelah in the first place. He certainly had better things to worry about than why she was in the Gryffindor House.
Sighing, and brushing sandy-blonde bangs from his eyes, Seamus listened to the chatter of he fellow Hogwarts' classmates as everyone settled down to sleep in their hammocks.
Seamus simply stared at the mirrored-ceiling above him, which, in turn, meant Seamus was really staring at himself. He thought endlessly, his mind drifting on and on in circles, loops, twirls, and vortexes of memories and dreams and forgotten hopes. He wondered how Dean was doing. He hoped his best friend was having better luck 'out there' than he would be having at Hogwarts. Dean was tough, Seamus thought to himself, he'd make it.
His mind drifted to Daelah once more. Why? He had no clue. The girl was insignificant. Another face in the crowd. But he couldn't help but think, could there be more?
Getting lost in thought was never a good thing before bed. It meant he would spend the night awake and would look all owl-eyed in the morning. If his mum were there, she'd tell him to hold his breath and count to ten. Then she'd quietly, but sweetly, whisper in his ear, "There, now you'll be too busy concentrating on what you're doing to think. Go to sleep, Seamus." But even with his mother's trick, Seamus couldn't seem to fall asleep.
The next morning, Seamus awoke, or rather, stayed awake (he never did get to sleep the night before) to the sound of students leaving the Room of Requirement. He decided to attend his classes today, just to see how the school was fairing with Snape as the Headmaster. And the simple fact remained that while the Carrows could teach him little, he still had much to learn from his other professors.
Of course, the seventeen-year-old wizard would refuse to go to Defense Against the Dark Arts. Taught by the Carrows, a more apt name would be "Learning To Use the Dark Arts." Just last week, Seamus had heard from one of the younger Ravenclaws that the Carrows were teaching their classes to use Fiendfyre, a spell which he had become familiar with after having such an affinity for explosive spells. What was next? Would they make everyone practice the Unforgivable Curses on first years?
Mr. Finnegan was dressed and ready in no time and headed off to his first class: Transfiguration. It would be good to see McGonagall's stern face again. She was always reassuring, while biding her time and acting obedient until she would have her golden opportunity to rebel. That was the Gryffindor in her, he supposed.
Exiting the safety of the headquarters, Seamus made his way to McGonagall's classroom, careful not to attract any attention from the Slytherins or anyone who happened to be 'pro-Carrow.'
Her room was the same as always, though a little darker and duller. The Carrows made her shut her windows, as if to stamp out any resemblance of hope. As he looked to her desk, Seamus could even imagine her cat form peering into the crowd, ready to leap off the walnut table top in the blink of an eye. He remembered his very first day of class; she transfigured herself mid-leap so effortlessly back into a human that Seamus couldn't help but stare. I will able to do that someday, his eleven-year-old self had thought.
He took a seat in his usual desk in the middle of the room. The seat next to him would usually be occupied by Dean, but this year… he imagined different faces all twirling past him as the days went on. But none were Dean, and class could never be the same without his best friend there.
"Excuse me," a voice called from behind him. "You're in my seat." The voice was strong and stern. But he couldn't remember where he had heard it before, or to whom exactly it belonged. So, naturally, he had to find out.
She was short, shorter than even him, with dark brown hair. Her eyes were as brown as her hair, but somehow darker, as if she'd been to Hell and back and all the horrors of the time presented themselves in her eyes. She had an angular face with high cheekbones and arching eyebrows, which screamed arrogance and dominance. Yes, he remembered whose voice it was now. Daelah Philips. And he wondered again why she was a Gryffindor.
"Why don't you just pick another one, mate? I've been sitting here since first year." He turned back around, intending that to be the end of the conversation. He was not in the mood to deal with her. Daelah could find another seat in the back. She'd probably be more comfortable there anyway. Less likely to actually converse with anyone.
"You see, I would, I really would, except this is my seat now. And trust me, kid, you don't want to know what would happen if I'm not sitting in it when class starts." She paused when he still looked confused. "Haven't been to class in a week, have you? The Carrows have assigned seats for every student in every class. They stop in and check that all desks are filled with the proper students. I would have thought someone in Dumbledore's Army," she said the name with an obvious distaste, "could have told you that." She had a point there. He really should have known that. Why didn't he know that?
Wait, he vaguely recalled a meeting about the middle of last week. He hadn't really been paying attention, thinking about his family and Dean. The whole talk was rather hazy and muddled. Maybe that was when they had notified everyone of the Carrows' new policy?
"Keeping a headcount now, huh? Guess they'll know who's in Dumbledore's Army."
Daelah snorted. "As if they didn't already. No, they're just making a legitimate excuse to punish you for being a member. You'd better hope they don't stop in today."
"I think I'll take my chances, lass." Seamus picked up his school bag from the ground and casually draped it over his shoulder, while standing up. "Would you mind pointing me to my new seat?" Seamus asked, a little of his jadedness peeping through. The witch simply sat down and stared Seamus right in his blue eyes. She pointed to a desk three rows up and two columns to the left. He nodded curtly and left. That was it… conversation over.
The Carrows didn't make any unannounced visits to any of Seamus' classes that day. Of course, he didn't bother attending Defense Against the Dark Arts; he had learned enough 'defense' in Dumbledore's Army from Harry Potter himself. All of his professors seemed glad to see him, but they hid their expressions quite skillfully. But these days, he was sure disappearances were quite common, whether the students reappeared was a whole other matter entirely.
The seventeen-year-old was heading back to the Room of Requirement (as soon as he received the 'okay' from one of the look-outs via the coins), but something made him stop and turn around. Maybe he just needed to reminisce or maybe he thought it would clear his mind. Whatever the reason, he entered the Gryffindor Common Room.
As far as he could see, there was no one around to welcome him home. That didn't really surprise him given the current state of the school… and the fact that most Gryffindors had made permanent residence inside the Room of Requirement. He hadn't been in the Common Room since a week after school had started. The normally cheerful and calming Gryffindor Common Room was in disarray. All the portraits were gone, the reds and golds had been removed, and a large Dark Mark had been scorched on the wall. The Carrows doing, no doubt.
He made his way over to the couch, taking a seat on the dusty furniture. A small fire was just barely holding on in front of him. He knew as well as any Gryffindor that the fire would only burn if those in the room were courageous. What did the meager flames say about him?
"The magic must be broken." A voice chimed in from behind him. "I've stood before it a thousand times and the fire still won't go out." Seamus turned, though he remembered the voice quite well from earlier that day.
"Daelah." She came and sat down next to her Housemate.
"Not feeling very brave today, are we, kid?" She mocked him. Still, he could hear the palpable curiosity in the sentence.
"Is anyone? My mum and dad had all but gone mad before I left for school this year. My best friend is out in the wilderness somewhere, probably fighting off Snatchers single-handedly merely because he's a Muggleborn. And to top it off, no one's heard from Harry Potter or any of the Golden Trio since before the start of school. There doesn't seem to be much hope, Daelah. And without hope, what good is courage?"
Daelah had always known Seamus Finnegan to be foolish and idiotic. He was joyful and kind when he wanted to be, but a stubborn-headed sort the rest of the time. He would sit for hours trying to turn water into rum, only pausing for a moment when the spell exploded on him. But none of what he once was seemed to be there now, as he sat with his head lowered and the fire dimming. Seamus Finnegan, not brave, maybe he was the one who didn't belong in the Gryffindor House.
And strangely, it almost made her…happy? to see him in pain. She sighed and shook the terrifying thought from her mind.
"What brings you to the Gryffindor Common Room anyway, kid? Don't you know the Carrows will be looking for your sort here?" Daelah tucked a strand of brown hair behind her ear as she waited for his reply. He simply shrugged.
"I don't know. I just came. Maybe to remember. Maybe to forget. Does that really matter? Anyway, the Carrows haven't caught me yet, so only little escapade to the ole Common Room couldn't hurt." The witch scoffed. "What?" His blue eyes searched hers, daring her to speak against him. But she knew the threat was as dim as the firelight.
"I don't' understand you." She paused, glancing at Seamus. He only gestured for her to continue. Daelah's mouth was open, as if about to speak, but she shut it and shook her head. "Nevermind."
Seamus then shook his head at her inability to confront him. The fire grew a little brighter. That sat in silence for a few moments, letting their minds drift like the dancing flames before them.
"Well," Daelah said reluctantly, "I should probably go. Curfew is in a half an hour and I do not want to be caught out of bed afterwards. You should probably go too." The sandy-blonde teenager nodded curtly as Daelah stood up from the couch. "See you around." She gave a half-grin before turning to leave.
On a whim, Seamus stood and called to her. "Hey Daelah?" Despite her rather 'cowardly' nature, Seamus did find himself liking the odd girl.
"Hmmm?" was her reply.
"Would you like to join Dumbledore's Army? You could come with me now to the Room of Requirement."
She looked to the ground, not in shame, but to hide her facial expression. She pitied him, really. Pitied all of them.
"No, kid. I at least have the courage to say no. Besides, someone's got to stick around and take care of the first years too young or too scared to join your Army." And with a slight smile, which never quite reached her eyes, she left.
Later that night, Seamus lay in his hammock, thinking. Of course, most of what he was thinking revolved around Daelah and her parting words to him. What did she mean "at least I have the courage not to join Dumbledore's Army?"
He knew courage as standing up for what you believe in. He knew courage as actions of bravery. He knew courage as doing the right thing even when it was difficult.
Seamus lost himself in the oblivion of his mind, just like the night before. He could faintly hear other students retreating to their hammocks for the night, some already snoring, and some doing exactly what Seamus was… thinking.
What was her definition of courage? As far as he could tell, Daelah followed the rules religiously. She never spoke out in class, never was out of uniform, never put even a toe out of line. She never defended her friends, never got into any arguments over her opinions, and never skipped a class. She seemed to be the opposite of a Gryffindor. And yet, she must have some courage or the Sorting Hat wouldn't have put her in Gryffindor.
"No, kid. I at least have the courage to say no."
"I at least have the courage to say no."
"The courage to say no."
And just like that, he understood.
Sometimes, it was a whole lot easier to break the rules than to follow them. When everyone has their shirts un-tucked and their ties loosened, it would be much easier to un-tuck your own shirt and loosen your own tie. But Daelah had the courage not to. When everyone got into arguments about their beliefs, it would be so much easier to argue with them rather than to hold your tongue. And Daelah had the courage to hold her tongue. And finally, it would be so much easier to escape with Dumbledore's Army and to never be seen by the Carrows again than to continuously follow their rules and be tortured and spied upon in every class and every moment of the day. But Daelah had the courage to say no.
Maybe Daelah did belong in the Gryffindor House. Maybe she was the most courageous of them all.
A/N: So? How was it? Good, I hope. I apologize if Seamus seemed a little OOC. Like I said before, this is my first attempt at any Seamus fanfiction so I really don't have a handle on his character yet. Also, I wanted to make him a little darker and more jaded because of the Carrows and Snape. Well, I hope you enjoyed!