For the Hunger Games: Fanfic Style Competition- Round 2. Prompts used were Seamus/Dean (duh), oak, Potions, fist, word count (1210).
There is one page left.
You frantically leaf through your sketchbook just to make sure, cursing as you feel the paper slice at your thumb. The telltale rip of thin fibers coming out of the binding causes your diaphragm to freeze for one horrifying moment. And your breath swells in your lungs as you look down at your hands that are now covered in charcoal and dirt and a little blood.
You could kick yourself for being so upset because you knew this moment would come. After all, there are only so many pages in a sketchbook, only so many pencil strokes before you run out of room. And there are too many seconds, minutes, hours to fill as you watch and you wait. And a Snatcher wouldn't listen for the scratching sound of pencil on paper would they?
You've flipped through your sketchbook for what seems like a thousand times searching for an empty space, a corner, a margin along the edge that perhaps you had saved for later. Because you have to believe that there will be a later. You sit and press your back against the rough bark of an oak tree, close enough to the fire but far enough away from the goblin who still glares suspiciously in your direction. You can practically taste the hopelessness on the air, but even now, you have to believe there will be a later. And so, you make one last effort and desperately search for an empty space to fill.
There is one page left.
In a dilemma such as this, an artist should choose his course of action carefully. And you know it's a bit silly to be concerned about something as seemingly trivial as running out of paper to sketch on. You're on the run for Merlin's sake. You should be content that at least there is a campfire to keep you warm. Supplies are limited as it is. But looking down at that last blank piece of paper, there is a sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach that resembles despair.
Because drawing is what you do to keep yourself from tumbling over the edge of insanity, to keep your mind occupied, to let your memories of home and of him consume you and then find release in the form of art. It is your only escape from the reality that you have left home far behind. That you have left him to an uncertain fate.
That you are on your own.
You consider your options, and grab a stick off the ground and attempt to dig it into the dirt. It is primitive. Desperate. But it could work, you think. You're not insane, and this could work, and when was the last time you ate?
The temperature has dropped, and the dirt is dry and unyielding. The wood splinters against the frozen ground, leaving not a single scratch against the surface, so you toss the useless thing into the fire, and cross your arms. And you stare at that last page, that last page you've saved for him.
You are already drawing in your mind, and you grin as you remember him telling you once that he figured you might actually think in sketches. You'd brushed the idea off as nonsense then, but you know now that he was right.
So many possibilities swim in your head, so many moments the two of you have shared. And so many moments that you didn't.
You lean your head back against the tree and close your eyes. The first thought you have is of the dorm room at Hogwarts and what you would give to be back there if only to sleep in an actual bed for a night. But as you fixate on the scene, the details stand out bold against the inside of your eyelids. You can see the mischievous glint in Seamus' eye as he mocks the West Ham football poster above your bed. His mouth is open slightly, laughing at your enthusiasm over trying to explain the game. Talk of red cards and yellow cards and handballs go over his head, but he listens anyway.
To the right of your poster you can see the dent he made in the wall in the shape of his fist the night he fought with Harry. And you recall the disapproving look on Madam Pomfrey's face after you practically dragged him to the hospital wing to have her clean him up because he refused to go on his own. He always was a stubborn arsehole.
You consider how you would go about capturing the laugh lines around his eyes when the scene shifts. Now, there is a Potions book open on his pillow while the two of you lie on his bed side by side arguing over how to make an essay on Strengthening Solution eighteen inches of parchment long. The argument had led to abandoning the essay altogether in pursuit of other more interesting activities. Like snogging. And neither of you had cared enough to actually read the chapter in the book, so later he ended up foolhardily taking your advice in class which resulted in a small explosion. Typical Seamus. You miss the look on his face appearing through the cloud of smoke, grinning sheepishly at you before Snape had come bearing down on you both in a billow of black robes and sarcasm.
And really, that's your problem isn't it? You are a hole in the wall or a Potions accident waiting to happen. Because you feel too much. It's why you create, it's why you draw. You feel too much, and you can't keep it bottled up. There is not a doubt in your mind that, sooner or later, you will explode, and it kills you to know that when the smoke clears, he won't be there. There will be no sheepish grin, no teasing, no kiss to ease the pain. Just a sketchbook full of a boy who you pray to a God you don't believe in is doing all right. Who is probably doing better than you, anyway.
And in spite of all of this, there are still empty spaces inside of you that only he can fill, and no amount of paper will ever compensate, so you resign yourself to your fate and turn to that last page. It is that last page that you have reserved for him and only him. Memory will have to serve you well, but you're not worried about that.
Suddenly, the oak tree and the campfire are gone for a moment. And once again you are in your dorm, watching him sleep because that was when you always liked to draw him best. His fists were never clenched and his lips were always slightly upturned. One foot always stuck out from underneath the covers.
You press the pencil against the paper harder now, confident because this is the Seamus you want to remember. This is the Seamus you want to come home to when all of this is over, sleeping peacefully because there is nothing to fear anymore.
Tonight, you will try to sleep peacefully too with this image pressed against your chest.
There are no pages left.