Hey! Long time, no see? I don't think that's in the right context but you get what I mean. I know... I've been slack. And I would probably write an essay about how I've been so busy with other things but I had a big night last night and drank too much and now I'm feeling very tired and not in the mood for long apologies. So my excuse is... I was being lazy. But I make it up to you! Please enjoy! xx


Chapter Five

Dean arrived at work feeling extremely confused. Nothing made sense. All he knew was that he was in a very deep hole and was finding it difficult to climb out. With a frustrated groan, he threw open the door to his office, slammed it shut and slumped in the chair at his desk.

"Brilliant," Dean muttered as he noticed the enormous pile of work on his desk – clipping from newspapers about upcoming Quidditch matches, invitations to post-game parties, a request from his boss to inquire into the suspension of Derrick Collins of the Ballycastle Bats and of course, loads of letters to the editor. Dean rubbed his eyes slowly, massaging his temples as he took a deep breath. The universe was against him today.

As he began to open his morning copy of the Daily Prophet, his door opened and Seamus Finnigan entered his office with a bemused, slightly shocked expression on his face.

"Morning," said Dean without looking up from the Prophet.

"Morning," replied Seamus vaguely and he flopped into the chair opposite Dean. At this point, Dean put his newspaper down and looked over at his best mate – who looked as though he had been recently hit over the head with a bludger. Or had just seen a Veela. Dean secretly hoped it was the latter.

"What's got your head in the clouds?" chuckled Dean as he whacked Seamus over the head with his newspaper.

"Parvati... she... we..."

Dean made a face. "No. Seriously. I love you and all but I really don't want to go into details of what you and Parvati did last night."

Seamus shook his head and laughed. "No. I wasn't meaning that. Although we did – anyway, we're engaged!"

It took Dean a while to fully comprehend what his friend was saying. "Wait – engaged?"

"Yeah. I proposed to her last night and she... she said yes!"

Seamus' face lit up and Dean smiled at seeing his best friend looking so happy.

"Good on you, mate," he said, reaching over and slapping Seamus on the back affectionately. "I'll be the best man, right?"

"Of course," grinned Seamus. "Merlin. I can't believe we're engaged. I never thought she'd say yes, you know?"

"How come?"

"Well, we're both really young and I never thought that she was really into me. I always thought I was just another boyfriend to her."

Dean shook his head in amazement. "Mate, you can be so daft sometimes. She's absolutely smitten about you."

"Yeah..." Seamus trailed off dreamily.

"So when's the wedding?"

"I don't know," said Seamus with a shrug. "We've only just got engaged. I haven't even told me mam yet. Let alone thought about a wedding."

"Fair enough."

Seamus nodded and leaned back casually in his chair. Seeing him looking so at ease and happy made Dean feel jealous. Why was his life such a complete mess? Why was Seamus – of all people – one of the first of his friends to settle down, when all Dean had was a bunch of one-night stands, a long lost son, and seriously confused feelings for Katie. He sighed miserably.

"What's wrong with you?" demanded Seamus when he noticed his friend's demeanour.

"Nothing."

Seamus rolled his eyes. "Come off it, mate. You've been gloomy ever since I came in here. What's wrong?"

"I told you, nothing!" Dean insisted.

"Is it Parvati? Do you not like her?"

"No, of course not! It's nothing like that. It's just, well, you're life is going so darn perfectly whereas mine's a complete mess. I mean, I just found out I have a kid!"

Silence endured throughout the room, hanging limply on the end of Dean's words. Seamus' mouth dropped and his eyes bulged out of his head. He seemed to gape for a moment but no words came out.

"A – a kid?" he cried, flabbergasted.

"Yep," Dean nodded.

"Who's is it? I mean – no offense mate, but you could do a whole lot better than that Clarissa. Or Natalie. Or Carly. Or - "

"Okay, you've made your point!" Dean grumbled. "You'll never guess whose it is. It's Katie's."

"Katie? As in, Katie Bell?"

Dean gave a small inclination of his head. If it hadn't been such a shock, Seamus would've burst out laughing. Being Dean's best friend, he knew about Dean's crush on Katie since he was in fourth year. In fact, he was the only one of Dean's friends who knew about Katie and it had stayed that way for years. But now, hearing that Dean had slept with Katie and had had his child, Seamus couldn't help but feel a little bewildered.

"How the bloody hell did that happen?"

"I don't even know," he admitted sheepishly. "One minute we were having a drink at the Leaky Cauldron and the next we were going at it like rabbits." His eyes closed briefly as he recalled that night with Katie. No matter what happened from now on, that night would forever be the best night of his life.

"When did this happen?"

"'Bout two years ago."

"And you never told me?" cried Seamus angrily. "I'm your best mate!"

"I know," consoled Dean. "I'm sorry. But I was kind of embarrassed because she left straight after. I woke up in the morning and she was gone."

It was then that Seamus reached over and patted Dean's shoulder. "Ouch. That's got to hurt."

Dean sighed wearily and proceeded to tell Seamus about what had unfolded the night before. How Katie had arrived randomly on his doorstep with his child and how she was now staying at his house.

"Bloody hell," Seamus muttered once Dean had finished. "You know what you need? You need a night out. Tonight, we're going out to the pub."

Dean smirked. Nights out with Seamus were always night's to remember. If you could remember, that was.

xXx

Once it hit five o'clock that evening, Dean eagerly packed up his work and met Seamus outside the building. He was waiting there, looking a little nervous, with his hands in his pockets.

"What's up?"

"I promised Parvati that I would be home this evening. She was going to make a special dinner to celebrate our engagement and our parents are coming over."

"Oh," said Dean, trying not to display his disappointment. This was what annoyed him about all his friends being in relationships. They always felt guilty if they ever went out somewhere with their significant other, or always had plans – special dinners, romantic getaways. Dean felt so lonely as a bachelor.

"Look mate, I'm sorry. I completely forgot about it until just then. Maybe some other time, eh?"

"Sure," said Dean, giving Seamus a punch in the shoulder. "Go have fun with Mr and Mrs Patil!"

"It's not them I'm worried about," chuckled Seamus. "It's my mother."

As he watched Seamus' retreating figure, Dean swore and kicked at some loose stones on the pavement. He felt alone and betrayed. Going home was not an option – he could think of nothing worse than spending the night with Katie. He was just not in the mood to feel confused. All he wanted was to get drunk and not think about Katie, or Seamus or even Josh. And the best place to do that was the Leaky Cauldron.

Dean often found himself outside the Cauldron many nights a week, but tonight was the first time he had needed a reason to get drunk. He sank down in front of the bar and immediately ordered two of his favourite Firewhiskey and Raspberry drinks and downed them in a matter of seconds. He felt the Firewhiskey set in almost instantly and it encouraged him to order another. After about five drinks, Dean was feeling considerably better and actually began to enjoy himself. He spotted a woman over by the door, her voluptuous body scantily clothed in a tight red dress. She licked her lips seductively and sauntered over to him, tracing a finger lightly up his arm.

"Hi," she purred, pressing her over-developed chest against him. The Firewhiskey inside him moaned at her touch and craved more.

"Hi," he replied and captured her in a sloppy, passionate kiss. She pulled back and grinned, reaching around to squeeze his bum.

"Take me back to yours," she insisted and Dean willingly obliged.

They made their way unsteadily up the stairs to Dean's apartment. As soon as he opened the door, he froze. Standing in the hallway with Josh on her hip, was Katie.

"Oh," giggled the woman. "I didn't know you had company."

Katie scowled and immediately put Josh back in his room. Dean, sensing an explosion was approaching, turned to the girl on his arm and whispered in her ear, "You better go."

She giggled hysterically and let go of him, stumbling clumsily down the stairs. Dean shut the door and prepared for the explosion as Katie returned, looking furious.

"What exactly do you think you are doing, Dean Thomas?" she screeched, storming up to him with her hands on her hips. Dean held his hands up in surrender. "How dare you bring that here!"
"It's my house," bellowed Dean. "I can bring whoever I want here."

Katie crossed her arms and glared up at him, her dark eyes swimming with furious tears. "Not so long as Josh is here. I don't want that kind of influence in his life!"

"So what? You're just going to take him away. He's my son too, you know!"

"Well then, if you want to be a part of his life, you have to stop all this drinking and womanizing. I'm not having it!"

Dean was silent for a minute. His brain was too full of Firewhiskey to think straight. His eyes began to roll back into his head and he stumbled forward, but was saved by Katie's arms.

"Merlin, Dean," she groaned as she lead him over to the couch and laid him down. "How much did you drink?"

Once Dean was safely on the couch, she went and wet a cloth and brought back a bucket.

"Here," she said as she thrust the bucket underneath his chin. As if on demand, Dean hurled, making Katie cringe. She rubbed his back gently and rested his head on her lap as she wiped his brow with the damp cloth.

"That's it," she whispered softly. "Better out than in."

He hurled again, coughing and spluttering over the bucket. Katie felt a little sorry for him. Maybe alcohol and sex were his only way of dealing with stress. If that was the case... No, Katie thought firmly. No way.

She continued to wipe his forehead gently. "Look at us," she said wearily. "We're a complete mess. Why can't life just be simple?"

Dean pulled away from the bucket and smirked at her. "Then what would be the fun in that?"

At that, Katie laughed and Dean was aware again, just how beautiful she was.

He reached up and stroked her cheek softly. "I really messed up, didn't I?"

"It takes two to tango," countered Katie.

"Yeah, but we never should have tangoed in the first place. We rushed into a dance we didn't know. We should have practiced, had lessons, and learnt how to dance together."

"How poetic," Katie smiled, and wiped his mouth free from bile. "No wonder I slept with you that night, with you spouting all that beautiful poetry. It would make any girl's heart flutter."

"Do you regret it?" Dean asked. He was being completely serious, his face void of any sarcasm or humour. Katie looked away, her eyes trailed off to the bedroom where Josh was currently sleeping. Did she regret it? If she had never slept with Dean, Josh wouldn't have entered her life. And right now, that little boy was the only thing she had. He meant the world to her.

"No," she replied after some time, "I don't regret it. Not at all."

Their eyes met and Katie felt that familiar, fluttery sensation in her stomach again. Seeing him look so innocent and sad made her want to kiss him and remove that heartbreaking expression from his face. She leant down closer to him, feeling his breath on her lips. Just as she was about to make contact, Dean shifted away from her.

"What?"

Dean was looking at her as though she had been about to hit him. He shook his head violently.

"No," he protested. "I've already messed up enough."

Katie sighed and handed him the cloth, before retreating into the bedroom.

"Goodnight then," she said sadly as she shut the door.

Dean closed his eyes and swore under his breath, before curling up on the couch and falling asleep.


Usually I have something to say here, but I just have a headache :P I'm feeling very much like how Dean will feel when he wakes up! haha Please read and review! xx