A/N: This is for the Hogwarts Games 2012, category Men's Football round 2 with the pairing Seamus/Gabrielle. Also for the Pairing Diversity Boot Camp with the prompt "serendipity", and for the Character Diversity Boot Camp with the prompt "acquaintances".
It was on Ron and Hermione's wedding day that Seamus first saw Gabrielle Delacour. He had no memory of seeing her during the Triwizard Tournament in his fourth year, but then again, Gabrielle had only been a kid then. Gabrielle however, did remember.
"You are a friend of 'Arry, non?" she said as she handed him a Butterbeer.
He nodded, gladly accepting the Butterbeer she offered.
She outstretched a hand. "Gabrielle Delacour."
Her voice had a melodious timbre and it took him a few seconds to respond. "Seamus Finnigan."
He found himself staring at her silvery blond curls and she sighed irritated.
"It is always ze same wiz ze men."
She turned on her heels and that evening, he didn't get another change to talk to her. Not that he didn't try but she just appeared to avoid him.
"Nice, Seamus, well done," he muttered to himself.
A year and a half later, he met her again. This time it was Harry and Ginny's wedding party and he remembered to not act too dumbstruck this time. Besides, he had just broken up with his girlfriend, so he was not the least bit interested in dating someone for a while.
"Butterbeer?" he said with a meek smile. "I think I owe ye one."
She smiled back. "I zink you do."
He found that talking to her a lot easier this time. She was surprisingly witty and two hours later, they were still talking. It appeared they had quite a lot in common. Both sometimes felt overshadowed by their older siblings and both worked in a hospital: Seamus worked in the department of Magical Accidents and Gabrielle was studying to become a Healer.
Somewhere along the line, they kissed. A bittersweet kiss that tasted of Butterbeer and apple pie. But at the end of the evening, each went their own way.
Serendipity had them meet a third time. Gabrielle had transferred to St Mungo's for an internship and Seamus ran into her in the staff room. He didn't exactly know what they were – Friends? Acquaintances? Potential lovers? – and it was a bit awkward at first. He didn't know her well enough to call her a friend. He knew too much of her – and she of him – to call her an acquaintance. He would like for them to become lovers, but he didn't dare put his hopes up. But her smile turned his knees to jelly. And it wasn't because she was part Veela. It was because she seemed to really see him, look behind the boyish grin and the jokes. Before he knew it, he was asking her out, and to his surprise, she accepted.
"Where'd ye wanna go?"
"I'll let you surprise me."
He thought long and hard about it. He could of course take her out to dinner, or go someplace girls seemed to find romantic. But Seamus wasn't such a romantic at hearts and two of his relationships had ended because of that. He decided to do something bold. He wanted to show Gabrielle the real Seamus, show her a bit of himself.
And so they ended up going to a Quidditch match. Gabrielle laughed out loud when she noticed where they were going.
"Well, I 'ave to say I 'ad not expected zis. Who's playing?"
"The Kenmare Kestrels of course, they are my favourite Quidditch team," he said proudly. "They're Irish and they are absolutely fabulous. It's a play-off for the European League, I was really lucky to get tickets."
They sat down and Gabrielle grinned. "You did zat on purpose, non?"
Seamus looked at her quizzically and Gabrielle pointed at the flamboyant pink on the opposing side of the stadium. He looked a little closer and could hit himself. Of all the teams they could have played, it just had to be the Quiberon Quafflepunchers, hadn't it?
"Let me guess, they're your favourite team?"
Gabrielle nodded and Seamus groaned. "Great, just my luck," he murmured.
"I know they'll beat the Kestrels," Gabrielle said.
"No way! The Kestrels are way better!" Seamus sputtered.
"Wanna bet?" she teased.
"Of course," he replied. "But you're gonna lose."
"What are the stakes?"
He was silent for a moment. "The winner gets a kiss from the loser."
Gabrielle erupted in laughter once more. "Deal."
The match was good and for a long time, it was far from certain which team was going to win. The Quafflepunchers scored, then the Kestrels scored twice, then the Quafflepunchers again… At one moment, when the score was four hundred to four hundred ten, Seamus glanced aside. Gabrielle was engulfed in the game, a red flush of excitement on her cheeks. She looked so radiant, so beautiful, that he just couldn't help himself. He bent towards her and captured her chin and turned her to him. Surprised, she looked back, but then his lips were on hers and she kissed him back. They pulled each other in closer and forgot all around them. They didn't notice that Aidan Lynch caught the Snitch and thus ended the match favourably for the Kestrels. They didn't notice the victory dance the Leprechauns, the Kestrels mascots, did. They didn't notice how everyone around them jumped up and cheered. The only thing they did notice, was how good it felt to just hold each other and kiss.