Error in Judgement

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ABC Challenge Prompt: Error for kendas

Originally Posted: Jan 4, 2007

Whoever said you can’t go home again obviously hadn’t met the Finnigans. It didn’t matter that he hadn’t been home in months because, as soon as Seamus entered The Barking Dog, he felt like it had just been yesterday. His uncle Silas had closed the pub for the party, but it was so crowded that anyone passing by would assume it was open. There were aunts, uncles, and cousins that he hadn’t seen since his Gram’s sixty-eighth birthday party last spring. He spotted his ma and da by the bar talking to his aunt Tilly and tightened his grip on Hermione’s hand.

“Yeh can still back out if yeh want,” he offered. He looked down at her, still surprised that she’d not only agreed to this scheme but had actually suggested it when he’d been whining about his parents and their matchmaking.

“Do you want me to?” she asked curiously, thankfully not objecting to his death grip on her hand.

“’ve got to admit that I don’t like lying to me parents,” he admitted, “but i’s their fault, really, for always asking meh when I’m going to get meself a girl.”

“You’re twenty-five, single, and they love you,” she said. “I think the matchmaking and parental concern is pretty common, actually, because I’ve been hearing the veiled comments since I turned twenty-three. As I’ve grown older and remained single, the remarks have just become more noticeable.” She smiled. “If you’d rather forget this, I can either leave or just introduce myself as your friend.”

“Don’t want yeh to leave,” he said honestly. “’sides, it’s not really lying since ‘m not going to tell them anything specific. If they see us together and assume it’s more than just friends, that’s not me fault.”

“That’s horrible logic, Seamus.” She looked at the crowd and bit her bottom lip in that nervous way of hers that always meant she was thinking too much. “Maybe this isn’t a good idea. We could chalk it up to an error in judgment.”

“Yeh never have bad ideas,” he pointed out, nudging her shoulder with his and grinning. “If it doesn’t work, we’ll still have fun. It’s a Finnigan party, after all, and yeh’ve not lived properly until yeh’ve been to one of those. Really, it’s me duty as your friend to make sure yeh experience one of our parties.”

“Oh, well, I would hate to feel like my life was a waste because I’d not attended one,” she said with a slight smile that drew his attention to her mouth.

For a second, he forgot how to breathe as he stared at her plump lower lip, noticing the chapped skin and the glistening wetness from where she’d just bit it. A loud bark of laughter snapped him out of his daze and drew his attention back inside the main pub, where Silas was dancing and trying not to spill his pint. He cleared his throat and avoided looking at her lips when he said, “We should go in now.”

“So if anyone asks, we’re just friends or did we want to be deliberately evasive so they’d draw their own conclusions?” She was looking at him curiously, and he suddenly understood how a puzzle must feel when she was focused on solving it. “I know the original plan was for me to play the part of your, uh, your girlfriend, but you mentioned not wanting to lie to your family, so I wasn’t sure what you had in mind.”

When he stared at her, his mind going places it certainly should not be going, her cheeks flushed and she looked away for a moment, almost shyly. Of course, Seamus knew he was imagining things, because Hermione Granger was just not a shy sort of girl and certainly wasn‘t thinking the same sorts of thoughts he was to cause such a pretty flush to her cheeks.

She must have taken his silence for disagreement because she shifted and ran her fingers through that wild hair he could so easily imagine spread out on his pillowcase. “Or did you want for me to, uh, hold your hand and, um, did you want to be obvious like that?” she asked, her gaze dropping to his lips before she met his eyes in a way that made him think maybe he’d been mistaken about the lip-stare. Oi! This unrequited lust stuff was total bollocks.

“I don’t have anything in mind,” he said quickly, hoping that she’d not learned how to read minds like Harry because he didn’t want to explain why he was thinking about kissing her. He was pretty sure that friends didn’t kiss friends in that way, especially with the touching and nakedness. He smiled sheepishly and answered her question. “I think they’d realize it was a lie if we’re too obvious, so maybe we should just keep it subtle and see how things go. Though, course, if yeh wanna hold meh hand, yeh can.” He wiggled his eyebrows at her playfully.

“You wish.” She blushed again and this time he knew he wasn‘t just seeing things. “That makes sense, especially since you really just want to prevent them from matchmaking and being meddlesome,” she said matter-of-factly. She licked her lips, and he didn’t really pay attention to what else she said. “My being here, even as just a friend, should hopefully avert any such attempts.”

Why did he have to notice her lips? If he hadn’t, he’d have been able to make it through the night without dwelling on the frustrating attraction that he’d felt for her since he was fifteen and realized she had great tits. Normally, he didn’t think about it much because it wasn’t like there weren’t many people he found physically appealing, and he wasn’t going to risk the friendship they’d developed since the war.

Sure, he’d wank to fantasies about her occasionally, but, otherwise, it was a relatively easily controlled lust. Right now, though, looking at her in that pretty blue dress with that smile and her hair falling around her face, he could feel himself losing control. Plus, there was the blushing and odd looks she kept giving him, as if she somehow knew he wanted more and wasn’t sure how she felt about that.

She’d jokingly called this ‘date’ an error in judgment, but he suddenly realized that it wasn’t that at all. It was a chance for him to convince her that maybe they should stop pretending and make it real. Flirting wasn’t likely to work with her, it never had in the past since she always rolled her eyes and thought he was playing, but he could try just being himself and being honest about how he felt. The thought of being vulnerable and possibly rejected had kept him from saying anything for years, so maybe it was time to just take a chance.

He took her hand and squeezed it lightly, winking at her as he bumped her hip with his. “Time to meet meh parents, love,” he said, grinning as he led her inside.