The Right One

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Commissioned by:: nyruserra for the Quidditch Pitch's Demelza House fundraiser. I hope you enjoy this, hon!

Originally Posted: Sep 30, 2006

“I don’t suppose you’re hiring, are you?”

Seamus looked up and leered playfully. “I dunno. Will yeh wear a little skirt and tight blouse?”

“Pig,” Hermione muttered, rolling her eyes when he grinned at her.

“Man,” he corrected. He held up a finger when she started to speak and shook it at her. “Uh uh. None of that.”

“I didn’t say anything,” she defended even as her lips curved into a mischievous smile.

“Didn’t ‘ave to,” he said. “I know yeh well enough to know that you planned to.”

“Fine,” she said. She put her notebook on the bar and sighed, making a face when she saw her latest notes. “That question about the job was serious, though.”

“So was the uniform requirement.” He grinned as his gaze swept over her again in a decidedly non playful way. Before she had a chance to really process that look, he turned away and picked up another glass. When he faced her again, he smiled and she forgot about the casual flirting that she was no longer sure was just casual. “You’re too good to work in a pub like this. ‘sides, yeh already have a job.”

“I’m going to quit,” she announced firmly. “My editor obviously hates me, so it’s illogical to remain there.”

“Working as a barmaid is more logical?”

“It would be better than this current assignment,” she muttered, glaring at the notebook once again.

Seamus put a glass of pumpkin juice in front of her and glanced at her notes. “Aren’t yeh nearly done? ‘ve seen you in here with a dozen different blokes in the last month, at least.”

“It’s only been six, though that’s more than enough. It’s a ridiculous waste of my time and not at all the type of journalism that I want to do,” she said. “If I wanted to work on features like this, I’d have taken a job at Witch Weekly.” She shuddered to emphasize how disgusting that idea was to her.

“Aye, but didn’t yeh tell meh that this one means he’s gonna let you work on that creatures one that’s got yer knickers in a twist?”

“You know, Seamus, you’re really failing right now when it comes to supporting my dissatisfaction with my job,” she told him. “You’re not supposed to remind me of the reason why I’m doing this dreadful fluff piece in the first place. That’s just wrong.”

“Anyone ever tell yeh that you’re cute when yeh whine?”

“I don’t whine and I’m not ‘cute’.”

“Beg to differ there on both points, but yeh never listen to meh.”

“I don’t listen when you’re deliberately trying to make me blush,” she muttered before she took a sip of her pumpkin juice. She smiled when she tasted the hint of cinnamon that he’d added, pleased that she didn’t even have to ask for it now.

Seamus grinned back before he reached over and wiped his thumb across her chin. She blinked at him, trying to figure out why the gentle touch of his finger against her skin had left a trail of heat and why her mouth was suddenly dry. Oh, this wasn’t good.

He dropped his hand and cleared his throat. “Ink,” he explained as he went back to wiping the glasses. “So, uh, how many more of these blokes do yeh have to date?”

“I don’t know,” she murmured. “I guess however many it takes for me to actually get some idea what to write for this stupid article. So far, all I have are random notes and nothing that strikes me as a possible focus. I mean, it’s supposed to be about the dating life of singles, which is infuriating enough because it seems to support the idea that a person can’t be happy single.”

“I think you’re not looking at it the right way,” he said. “You can be happy and single without dating, sure, but a lot of people like being social, even if it’s casual. Doesn’t change whether they’re happy being alone, just means they like going out and having a spot of fun with someone else.”

“You don’t date and seem happy enough,” she pointed out. When she realized how that sounded, she added, “That is, I never hear about you dating or see you with anyone.”

Seamus smiled crookedly. “You’ve been watching meh?” he asked before he shrugged. “’ve got friends that I see when I’ve got time, which isn’t as much as I’d like. The pub takes up most meh life, but I’d balance it better if I had a chance of dating the girl of my dreams.”

He sounded so serious that Hermione just looked at him. There was a girl of his dreams who wouldn’t date him? Who was it and why wouldn’t she? Hermione wasn’t into all that relationship nonsense, herself, but even she could acknowledge that Seamus was quite a catch. At twenty-seven, he owned a successful pub on Diagon Alley that was profitable enough to make him financially secure. Not to mention the fact that he was attractive, friendly, and bright enough to carry on a conversation without sounding like a brainless git.

When she was about to question him further, her curiosity fully piqued, he fluttered his long eyelashes and put his hand on his heart, sighing dramatically in a way that had her uncertain now if he’d been telling the truth or just joking. She decided to go with the most logical choice, which was that he’d been teasing. “I’m happy and quite content with my life regardless of the fact that I’m single. I don’t subscribe to the belief that you have to be in a relationship to be happy.”

“But you could be just as happy if yeh did date,” he said. “Seems one-sided to say that you’re happy being single like dating would make yeh unhappy, just as it’s wrong to believe that you’ve gotta be dating or you’re miserable. I think you make your own happiness regardless of relationship status. Dating, single, whatever, you’re happy if you enjoy life.”

“If I was dating any of the men that I’ve had to meet for this feature, I can say with definite certainty that I’d be more miserable than I am now being single,” she said. She considered his words and made a few notes on her parchment. Maybe he had a slight point at her looking at this the wrong way, though she wanted to analyze it a bit more in depth before deciding one way or another.

“Hermione, yeh didn’t choose any of them,” he pointed out. “If you decided to go out with someone because yeh wanted to, not because it was an assignment, yeh might be shocked to find yourself actually having fun. Being involved with someone doesn’t betray your belief that you can be single and happy, yeh know?”

“I’ve been on dates, Seamus, and I wouldn’t particularly call any of them a lot of fun.” She tried to remember the last one she’d been on, but it had been years ago and not at all memorable. She preferred to spend time with her friends and in groups when she had the urge to be social. Most of the time, though, she came to Seamus’ pub for dinner and would spend the evening chatting with him off and on or she’d have a night at home with a good book.

“They obviously weren’t the right bloke then,” Seamus said simply. He tucked the cloth in his back pocket and put the tray of clean glasses back on the shelf.

“Well, regardless of right or wrong, this assignment is horrid and I’m tired of having to pretend to be interested in what these men are talking about,” she said. “Any article about them will not only bore the readers but confirm that the dating game is better off not being played.”

“What ‘ave I told yeh about that negative attitude, Hermione?” he asked as he looked at her and caught her eyes. “Yeh just need to find the right sort of bloke to date and the article will be as great as all the others you write. Yeh never know, he could be right in front of you.”

“I’m not negative, I’m just realistic,” she pointed out before she sighed. “What I need to do is write some ridiculous fluff about ‘dating is fun’, so I can turn this piece in and start working on the discrimination article.”

Seamus looked like he was about say something, but he shook his head and glanced down at the bottles instead, muttering to himself too quietly for her to hear. Then he held up a bottle and said, “Your man today drank nearly an entire bottle of Ogden’s.”

“He wasn’t my bloke, and I’m not surprised considering he slurred half his words.” She took another drink of her juice and watched Seamus’ hair fall across his eyes as he looked down. He needed a haircut, but she didn’t mention it because she rather liked his hair being just a little too long. He also hadn’t shaved today, which gave him a scruffy sort of look that seemed suitable for a pub owner. She decided to ignore the fact that she found him quite desirable when he was somewhat unkempt. She put a stop to those thoughts easily, having a lot of practice at doing so over the last couple of years, and focused back on the article. She frowned as a possibility occurred to her. “What if I’m the problem?”

“What?” He looked up and arched a brow. “What sort of problem?”

“This dating thing,” she explained. “What if it’s not the men who are boring, but me? Perhaps I’m so reluctant and obviously displeased with even having to go on these dates that I’ve somehow sabotaged them without realizing? Or, actually, the others I’ve been on were never very good, so maybe I’m just jinxed when it comes to dating.”

“Maybe you were hit by a bad dating curse during the war,” he suggested seriously, but the teasing smile ruined the tone of his words.

“This isn’t funny,” she said. “I can’t believe I never considered that it wasn’t them, but it was me.”

“Hermione, there’s no such thing as being bad at dating,” he said patiently. “Your only problem is being too good for the blokes you date.”

“Hmph,” she murmured, wondering if he meant the latter as a compliment or not. “I should still do some research, just in case. If I could prove that I’m somehow naturally bad at this, Miller will have to reassign this article due to reasons beyond my control.”

“Now you sound like Harry and Ron trying to get out of doing a Potions experiment,” he said, laughing outright. “I’m disappointed in you, Miss Granger.”

She stuck her tongue out at him before she reluctantly stood up. “On that note, I suppose I’d better go home and try to organize my notes so I can see where I stand with this bloody thing,” she said. “Thanks for listening to me rant.”

“Any time. Yeh always know where to find me,” he told her. He picked up her notebook and held it across the bar for her.

She took it from him and bit her bottom lip lightly when his thumb brushed across the back of her hand. He pulled his hand back and fidgeted with a bottle nervously, which made her wonder if he felt it, too. She put the notebook in her bag and walked to the fireplace. When she casually glanced over her shoulder, she blushed when she saw that Seamus was watching her. Before she could start over-thinking things, she tossed in Floo powder, stepped through, and went home.


Six hours later, Hermione tossed her notes on the bed and groaned. It was nearly two in the morning, and she was no closer to having an angle for this article than she’d been earlier. If anything, she was more discouraged than before because her notes were proving to be useful at all.

Her disinterest in her dates was obvious after reading through the pieces of parchment. There was very little information from any of them, in fact. Instead, she had random doodles, sketches, and observations of others in the pub. It didn’t take a genius to notice that a great many of her comments had to do with a certain Irishman who had somehow gotten under her skin over the last couple of years. Even when she told herself that they were just friends and merely indulged herself with fantasies, many of which centered around being pushed up on the bar and made to beg while he smiled, she couldn’t stop her thoughts from drifting towards him more and more recently.

Logically, she knew that it was the fact that she had been spending more time at his pub lately that had him so present in her thoughts. It was conveniently located between work and her flat, an excuse she used to drop in for dinner when she didn’t feel like going home or just felt like seeing Seamus. With this current assignment, she’d felt better meeting her ‘dates’ somewhere safe, since she wasn’t exactly sure about any of the men she had to meet for the article. If it also meant that she could discreetly ogle Seamus instead of paying attention to her ‘date’, that was just an added bonus.

However, her plan had backfired because now she thought about Seamus far too often, and the fantasies that usually appeased such thoughts were no longer working to ease the tension. It had also transcended being just a physical attraction some time over the last few months when their unlikely friendship had developed. It was difficult to keep things platonic when she dreamed about shagging him, but she couldn’t stop being his friend just because she desired him.

Fortunately, she was good at keeping her emotions separate from her daily life, so he had no idea how she felt. It sometimes required a bit more focus on not letting herself slip, but it was worth it to maintain the balance between friendship and unreciprocated desire. After reading her notes tonight, she was glad that no one had taken a look at them or her secret would be known.

She lay back on her bed and glared at the ceiling overhead, blaming it for this horrible assignment, her lack of direction regarding it, and the foolishness of being twenty-eight and having a crush on a former classmate. After she got the tantrum out of her system, she rolled over and picked up the notebook and pen. She stared at the blank page and tried to focus. At the top of the page, she wrote ‘The Right One’, since she did at least have an idea for a title to her feature. Unfortunately, the page below the title remained blank.

It would be best to make a list, she decided, because lists tended to make everything better. Or, if not better, at least more organized. She jotted down the names of each of her ‘dates’ so far, leaving space beneath each for any notes she wanted to add. Then she tried to narrow down the points that she felt should be made in this article. Her viewpoint on the subject was not shared by her editor, unfortunately, so she had to figure out how to give him what he wanted without compromising herself.

There wasn’t anything wrong with dating. She’d probably date more if she found anyone that she was attracted to that actually kept her interest through an entire conversation. It wasn’t as if she’d not been asked out on dates, either. She’d turned down several over the years because she’d known instinctively that she wasn’t a good match for them. Why waste time doing something you knew wouldn’t end well?

She felt like a hypocrite to write an article about how life was better with someone else in it considering she was content and happy being single, but she also didn’t feel that being in a relationship, should one come along, would necessarily be a bad thing. She really wished that she’d not received this assignment because Hermione plus dating or other typical girly features just didn’t work.

Despite Seamus’ belief, she seriously wondered if she just wasn’t meant for dating. After all, her only serious relationship had been with Ron years ago, and they’d never actually dated. They’d just drifted from friends to lovers, possibly sooner than they should have due to the war and Horcrux hunting, and it had been wonderful while it lasted. It was only after their amicable split that she realized most relationships didn’t happen that way and required dating and games and all sorts of things that she wasn’t good at, which probably helped her decision to not bother.

Seamus had seemed confident that she was wrong about it being her, but what did he know? It was easy to say that the right bloke could be standing right in front of her when he didn’t really date and hadn’t had a serious relationship according to gossip, which she didn’t listen to, of course. She sighed and ran her hand over her face. He could stand there and claim that it was just not dating the right guy but who determined right or wrong and who said she wasn’t the wrong girl in the first place?

Hermione sat up suddenly and frowned. She replayed that conversation in her mind and bit her lip when she realized that he’d said that when she’d been looking right at him. He couldn’t possibly have been hinting that he was the right guy standing in front of her, could he? Seamus flirted with just about everyone who had a pulse, after all, so she’d taken to dismissing his flirting as obvious attempts to fluster her or just friendly teasing. She turned to a clean piece of paper in her notebook and started to make a list of things that had happened between them that could mean Seamus was interested in her. She liked to make lists because it helped her think and, right now, she was confused and very uncertain.

By the time she was finished jotting down various things running through her mind, she was still not entirely sure what was going on between her and Seamus. The list hadn’t done anything except make things even more complicated. If Seamus was interested in her, why wouldn’t he just ask her out? He certainly wasn’t bashful or shy about that sort of thing. It was pointless to try to logically figure this out because she didn’t have all the facts. Besides, she’d learned long ago that emotions were rarely logical.

There was no way that she could just forget about this right now. Her mind was far too active and she hated not having answers to questions that puzzled her. She wanted to know if Seamus had meant himself when he’d mentioned the standing right in front of her idea, and she wanted to know why, if he was attracted to her and interested in her in a not strictly platonic way, he hadn’t just come out and told her. He knew she was horrid at flirting and playing subtle games about such things.

It was obvious that she wouldn’t be able to sleep until she knew what was happening. There was really only one thing to do in this case. Hermione got out of bed and picked up her latest list so she’d have support for her theory. Without bothering to change out of her comfortable pajamas, she walked to the fireplace and tossed in powder. She had to find out if she was just imagining things or it wasn’t just wishful thinking. It would be embarrassing to have this conversation, of course, especially if she was wrong about his attraction to her, but Seamus was the only one who could give her any answers so it had to be done.


Contrary to constant teasing, Seamus didn’t actually live at his pub. He actually had a flat in the building just down the street from Hermione, in an older residential Wizarding area just off Diagon Alley. It was a quiet neighborhood, lacking a lot of the modern amenities that newer developments possessed, but they both agreed that it was a comfortable community to be part of.

When Hermione stepped out of the Floo, she was surprised to find the sitting room dark and the flat quiet. It was then that she realized he must be asleep. Just because she kept irregular sleeping hours didn’t mean everyone did. She hadn’t even considered that he wouldn’t be awake at two in the morning, though she was usually in bed around this time most nights. Well, if she’d needed a sign that this was the wrong idea, she had one.

She turned back to the Floo, intending to go back home without Seamus ever realizing she’d been there. By the morning, she’d probably have decided she was wrong and not even mention anything to him about her suspicions anyway. Before she could find his Floo powder, though, she heard footsteps and the room filled with light.

“Hermione? ‘s that you? Is something wrong?” Seamus’ voice was husky with sleep, but she could hear the concern, which made her feel worse for disturbing him due to crazy ideas she got in the middle of the night.

“I’m sorry for waking you, Seamus. It’s nothing,” she said, her grip tightening around her list before she turned to face him. Her words faded when she caught sight of him standing in the doorway, and she forgot what she was saying in the first place.

He’d obviously been asleep because it looked like he’d probably pulled on his blue jeans when he’d heard the Floo. They were unfastened and hanging low on his hips, and he wasn’t wearing a shirt. Of course, if that was the case, that meant he slept naked, which caused her mind to go to Very Bad Places. It didn’t help that he was standing there with his shaggy, sandy brown hair sticking up in several directions and his bare chest more developed than she realized and his hip bones looking far too edible in a way that let her know exactly why Ginny claimed them as a fetish and there was a light scattering of hair on his chest and belly that she’d never noticed before and---

“Are yeh okay?” he asked before he yawned and stretched, which caused the jeans to slide even lower. “It’s,” he glanced at the clock, “bloody hell, it’s fifteen after two and you say nothing’s wrong?”

“I didn’t realize it was so late,” she stammered. Her face was probably as red as Ron’s hair, and she couldn’t stop herself from ogling Seamus when he was right there and half naked. God, she needed to leave right now before she started drooling because she certainly wasn’t in any position to come up with a logical reason why she was staring at him like he was dessert, should he happen to notice. “I’ll just talk to you tomorrow.”

“Nah, ‘m awake now,” he said, reaching up to run his hand through his hair before he rubbed the back of his neck. He looked at her then, and she could practically feel his gaze move over her, which didn’t help her focus on the current problem. He grinned when his eyes met hers. “Nice pajamas.”

She glanced down and blushed even more when she realized that she was wearing the pajamas that Luna had given her for Christmas last year. They were comfortable, but not exactly flattering in terms of seductive wear unless one considered cute little ducks that swam all over the watery blue material arousing. If they did, well, that was just more disturbing than she felt like considering at this time of night. She raised her head and tilted her chin up before she said, “I like ducks.”

“I’m developing a new appreciation for them myself.” Seamus entered the room and walked towards her. “Now, are yeh gonna tell meh what you’re doing here at this hour or do I have to tickle it out of you?”

“You wouldn’t dare,” she said confidently, though she took a step back just in case. This Seamus wasn’t someone she knew well enough to practically finish his sentences. This Seamus slept naked and had edible hip bones and was unpredictable.

“Wouldn’t I?” he asked with a deceptively innocent smile that was dangerous.

Maybe she’d fallen asleep amidst the notes on her bed and this was her mind’s way of repaying her for the torturous assignment. Because, really, half-naked Seamus was definitely worth dealing with her editor and those boring dates. She took another step back and her heel scraped against his fireplace, dropping her list and cursing under her breath. Well, there went any hope that this was just a dream, which meant she was standing in front of a man she was attracted to wearing swimming ducky pajamas and she didn’t even want to think about how awful her hair must look.

“Did yeh hurt yourself?” Seamus frowned and knelt down to look at her foot. If she thought half-naked Seamus was detrimental to her health, kneeling half-naked Seamus was enough to make her knees weak and her heart race. God, when she did become such a man with thoughts of sex all the time? Seamus ran his finger over her heel, and she shivered when his hand slid across the bottom of her foot for reasons that had nothing to do with being ticklish. He looked up at her and his eyes widened slightly before he murmured, “Looks okay.”

She blinked down at him and planned to tell him she was going now, but noticed her crinkled up list lying there. Instead of saying her good-byes and leaving with her dignity intact, she was horrified to hear herself ask, “Do you fancy me?”

Seamus dropped her foot and stood up quickly. “What?” He stepped back and looked everywhere but at her. “Why’d yeh ask meh something like that?”

“I just, well, it occurred to me tonight that you might,” she said honestly.

“That’s why you’re here, isn’t it?” He shook his head and started to pace before he looked at her. “Did yeh know that you have this power that makes meh feel like I’m fifteen again?”

“I do?” She wasn’t exactly sure what he meant about feeling fifteen again because, as she recalled, fifteen was an awkward and strange age that she didn’t particularly want to revisit.

“Yeah, yeh do.”

“Uh, sorry?”

“’s not your fault.”

“It’s not?”

“Yeh really have no idea, do yeh?”

“No idea about what? I mean, I have a lot of ideas, actually, but I don’t know what you’re specifically talking about so I can’t really answer that question.”

“Why’re yeh here, Hermione?”

“I told you already. I came to the conclusion tonight that there was a chance you might like me and I wanted to know if I was right.”

“’Course I like you.”

“As a friend? Or as something more?”

“What’s it matter? Why did it make yeh come here in the middle of the night still in your pajamas to find out?”

“Seamus, stop answering questions with questions. It’s very annoying.”

“Pot, kettle, and all that.”

Hermione frowned at him. “When you told me earlier that the right guy could be standing right in front of me, did you mean to insinuate that you were the right guy for me or were you merely teasing me again?”

“Why does my answer to that matter so much to yeh?” he asked, arching a brow and studying her closely.

“You’re impossible,” she growled. Fortunately, she caught herself before she stamped her foot and had a proper tantrum, since such behavior was very immature regardless of how infuriating Seamus could be sometimes.

“So you’ve said before,” he said with a grin. “Now tell meh why it matters.”

“It just does,” she said stubbornly. “I asked my question first.”

“Do yeh always get childish and narky at this time of night?”

“I shouldn’t have come here tonight,” she decided. She was frustrated and confused, which was not a good combination, and he was right because she was acting horribly. She had definitely managed to embarrass herself despite her intentions. “We can just forget about it, okay?”

“No, we can’t,” he told her. “I’m awake now and it’s your fault so ‘ve a right to know why yeh got your knickers in a twist over this.”

“Don’t,” she said softly. She was humiliated enough without confirming that she had wanted it to be true. “Just let me go home and we can pretend that this was just a bad dream.”

“'d never ‘ave pegged yeh for the squeamish type,” he said. “Just tell me, Hermione. We both know that ‘m not gonna give up that easily.”

She couldn’t look away from his intense gaze, even when she realized that they were standing too close and that she should move away. She licked her lips and whispered, “I just wanted to know if you felt the same.”

“The same?” He closed his eyes briefly and she heard him counting before he looked at her again. He reached up and brushed his thumb against the corner of her mouth as he lowered his head. “Ink,” he murmured against her lips.

“Seamus,” she sighed before she pressed her mouth against his. It was awkward with dry lips and noses bumping but then he kissed her back and nothing else really mattered. His hand drifted down her back to rest above her bum, and he pulled her closer to him as the kiss deepened. She opened her mouth to him when she felt his tongue trace her lips and moaned when his tongue curled around hers.

While they kissed, her hands weren’t idle. She gently touched his chest, tracing his collarbone with her fingertips. She whimpered softly when she felt his hand move beneath her pajama top, his warm fingers brushing along her ribs before reaching the bare curve of her breast. She could feel his hardness against her thigh, which was confirmation that he was attracted to her. One kiss drifted into another and another, and she reached up to grip his hair while she shyly moved her other hand lower.

Before she could reach her destination, he wrapped his fingers around her wrist and stopped her. He released her breast and pulled back from the kiss, panting and flushed as he stared down at her. “If you can’t tell, that’s me saying yes, I feel the same,” he murmured. His lips curved into a half-smile and he moved his thumb over her palm as he tried to collect himself.

“Why did you stop?” she asked. She was glad that he felt the same and knew they needed to talk about things, but, right now, he was obviously aroused and she was, too. She didn’t exactly understand why he’d pulled back.

“’m trying to be a gentleman,” he said. “’s not as easy as I hoped. ‘specially when all I wanna do is take yeh to me bed and see what’s underneath those cute pajamas.”

She frowned as she tried to figure out his reasoning. “I don’t understand,” she finally admitted.

He laughed softly and kissed her jaw, rubbing his unshaven cheek against hers. “’m not gonna do something yeh might regret tomorrow,” he told her. “Been hearing you say for ages that you’re not one for relationships or dating, yeh know? If I have meh way, though, that’s what we’ll be doing, along with the rest, so yeh need to make sure you want it all cause that’s what yeh get with meh.”

“Do you really think I’d have come here in the middle of the night if I just wanted a shag?”

“Nah, but it’s also late and yeh ‘ave a lot to think about,” he said simply. He kissed her again, slow and thorough, leaving her panting when he pulled back. He grinned and brushed her hair away from her sweaty cheek. “Will yeh go out with meh tomorrow night? A proper date, and we can talk about this ‘cause I’m sure you’ll have a list by then.”

Hermione wanted to deny that she’d have made a list by tomorrow night, but the one she’d made before coming here was lying on the floor at her feet. She also wasn’t an impulsive person by nature and everything tonight had happened so quickly, despite it taking months to get them to this point. She had to admit that there was a chance she’d feel awkward in the morning if they did consummate things they were physically ready for before she was mentally prepared. Instead of bothering her that he knew her so well, she was able to relax at the knowledge that he still wanted her despite knowing her so well.

“I wouldn’t regret it,” she told him honestly, “but I can wait if you can. I’d love to go out with you tomorrow, Seamus.”

“Great.” He smiled and kissed her again, sucking her bottom lip before he groaned. “You’d better go. If yeh stay, ‘m gonna forget my good intentions. Don’t tempt meh, yeah?”

“Okay,” she said reluctantly. She knew it was for the best but, really, good intentions were made to be broken sometimes, right? She caressed his chest and kissed him once more before she picked up her list and turned to face the fireplace. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Before she could toss in Floo powder, his arms went around her and he turned her around, kissing her thoroughly and not letting her go until she was breathless and her lips were swollen. He stepped back and she saw the evidence of his arousal quite clearly pressed against the faded denim of his jeans. “Now you can go,” he murmured.

Since she knew their resolve was weakening more with each kiss, she hurriedly threw in Floo powder and stepped through. When she got back to her flat, she wadded up her list and pitched it into the rubbish bin on her way to her bedroom. She sat down and picked up her notepad, flipping back to the page with her notes for the article. Beneath the words ‘The Right One’, she smiled as she wrote, ‘he could be standing right in front of you’.