Seamus Wrap Up Post Who: Seamus Finnigan What: Life is startin' t'look up. When: Looking back on the final battle from about six years after the end of the war. Where: Kenmare, Diagon Alley, and elsewhere. Rating: PG
With the exceptions of his relationship with Parvati and his friendships with Neville and Lavender, Seamus’ experiences for most of seventh year had already been rough at best and they only got worse after the fight he and Neville had with Malfoy, Crabbe, Goyle and a pair of younger Slytherins in mid-April. Seamus had been weakened by repeated punishments doled out by the Carrows in detentions, and the fight with the Slytherins left him in fairly bad shape. When the time came, not long after, for the DA and other similarly-minded students to start moving into the Room of Requirement for good, he actually was relieved. He wasn’t anywhere near ready to give up their cause, but he knew that if he stood a chance at being useful in the bigger fight they all sensed was about to arrive, he’d need some time to rest and recuperate without worrying about being ambushed by Malfoy or Travers or some other Slytherin who had it in for him – or, worse still, receiving more punishment from the Carrows.
The time in the Room of Requirement leading up to what eventually became the Final Battle was actually relatively peaceful and comfortable – with the exception of having to eat Aberforth’s horrible cooking. The students who took refuge there were able to heal, practice their dueling, and finally feel just a bit of safety and, remarkably, even hope. Nev continued to lead them all, brilliantly tapping into the potential of the Room, and Seamus was quietly proud to see his friend doing so well. Before seventh year, Seamus would never have thought that he and Neville would have gotten to be as close as they had, but he’s glad of it – it was one of the few good things to come out of that horrible year.
One of the other good things was Parvati, and he’d been exceptionally glad when she and Lav had showed up in the Room a day after he’d gone there himself, herding a gaggle of younger Gryffindors with them. He’d swept her up into a hug, snogging her soundly and not releasing her for a good long while. After that day, students poured into the Room, and by the end of that week, all of Gryffindor Tower and most of Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw had been completely drawn into the Room. They didn’t know how long they’d have to be there, but everyone seemed prepared to do whatever it would take. When the Final Battle arrived after about two weeks, they were as ready as they could be.
But when he found himself in the thick of the fighting, Seamus realized that he wasn’t nearly ready enough. Their side was managing alright, he supposed, but he was seeing far too many of his friends, and wizards and witches he looked up to, in dangerous – no, terrifying - situations. He did his best to keep his wits about him, but it was a struggle when he saw classmates getting hexed, or barely avoiding being clobbered by flying debris.
He remembers the night in flashes – careening into Ernie and Luna somewhere on the lawns only to spot that Harry, Ron, and Hermione were about to be besieged by Dementors. Running towards them, neck and neck with Ernie, Luna only steps behind, casting their Patronuses as quickly as possible. Repelling the Dementors only to be sent running themselves by a giant that had come out of nowhere. Dueling back to back with Neville for a short moment, then later teaming up with Michael Corner against a pair of Death Eaters who were trying to ambush Professor Flitwick.
And then…after they all heard Voldemort’s pronouncement and waited to see what would happen, the absolute worst thing did. Harry. Harry was somehow dead in Hagrid’s arms and Voldemort was winning and Seamus was…he was numb. He heard a ringing in his ears as his heart pounded harder and harder and his shoulder throbbed where a hex had caught him. They were going to lose and he couldn’t believe it. This wasn’t supposed to be how it ended.
And then, just as suddenly, it wasn’t the end. Harry’s body disappeared and then Neville was burning alive in front of them, but then Neville was slicing the head off of Voldemort’s horrific snake and chaos broke loose. Seamus remembers pushing Hannah Abbott ahead of him into the Great Hall as the crowd moved into the castle, the fighting renewed. He felt the heat and heard the zing of an unknown hex as it zoomed over their heads, barely missing them. The rest of the night blurs together in his memory, until the moment when Harry ended it all. After that, he knows that he clapped Harry on the shoulder and thanked him, hugged Neville, and immediately went in search of Parvati.
Thankfully he found her fairly quickly and, as they were both feeling a bit overcome by the crowd and the chaos of the Great Hall, he led her outside where they sat on the crumbling steps of the school and simply held each other until they both stopped shaking. It was then that Seamus was horrified to realize that he hadn’t seen Lavender anywhere – thankfully, when he mentioned it, Parvati told him that she’d made sure Lavender had gotten to the hospital wing, tearfully relating Fenrir Greyback’s attack on their friend. They decided to visit her together, and Seamus’ heart clenched at the sight of his vibrant friend, looking so small against the white bed linens as Madam Pomfrey bustled around her. Bandages covered most of one side of her face and Seamus swallowed an awful lump in his throat – he was incredibly worried for Lavender.
He hated leaving Lavender behind in the hospital wing, but he felt like he was on the verge of collapse himself, so he and Parvati struggled back up to Gryffindor Tower. The last thing he remembers is falling asleep on the couch in front of the common room fireplace, her head on his shoulder.
In the months that followed the battle, life slowly regained a somewhat normal shape for Seamus. He went back home to Kenmare shortly after the battle and quickly fell into a routine of helping his family around the farm, seeing Parvati, and visiting Lavender during her slow recovery. His father and brothers returned about three weeks after the battle, word of the war’s end having finally made it to the rural part of France where they were hiding with several other Muggle relatives of Wizarding families. At first, it was wonderful to have them all back, and that’s all anyone in the family thought about, but a week or so after their return Seamus ended up getting into a horrible row with both of his parents about the choice they’d made to send his Da and brothers away in the first place. He railed at them for having done it, and not having seen the danger in splitting up the family, but he realized as he stormed away from them that he wasn’t really angry about it anymore. Despite this realization, something about it was still nagging at him, but he couldn’t put his finger on what.
He made his way to his favorite spot to be alone, high in the upper meadow, and lay there on a gently sloping hillside, thinking about why he’d still felt the need to fight with them about something that was done and dusted, especially now that everyone was home and safe. Eventually Saoirse found him, and sat with him silently for quite a long while before simply saying. “That was your fear talkin’, Shay. You couldn’t afford to let it out like that at the time, but it was still in you. Things will be better after this.” She looked at him for a moment, seeming far older than ten, and he realized with a pang that this war had touched literally everyone he loved, but he nodded. She was right. She got up and walked away, leaving him there, but his heart was lighter.
Thankfully, Seamus and his parents had worked things out fairly quickly after that. And gradually things truly began to return to normal at Finnigan Farms. Seamus stayed on at home over the summer after the war, working to help his Da put things to rights that had been neglected during the time his Da was away. He opted not to go back to school once he’d heard that Hogwarts was re-opening; he just didn’t think he could have stood being there everyday. But he found out that there was a condensed N.E.W.T. prep course that could be done individually and he opted to work on that over the spring, studying as best he could on his own and with the occasional bit of help from Parvati. He managed to earn a respectable, if not outstanding, number of N.E.W.T.S. when the exams came around, and before he knew it, a year had passed since the battle.
He’d saved up a nice bit of money working for his Da on the farm, but while he enjoyed it and knew he’d always help out there, it wasn’t what he wanted to do for the rest of his life, and he was starting to feel a bit like he was drifting. He decided that he wanted to take a brief holiday, and that he would start looking for a more permanent job when he got back. He plucked up his Gryffindor courage and asked Parvati if she wanted to go with him – they’d been together nearly two years and he wanted to take her someplace nice where they could truly, finally relax. He was glad when she said yes, and they spent an amazing two weeks flitting between Greece and Spain. Even now, he looks back on it as one of the happiest, most carefree times in his life. He’ll always remember how she looked walking among the rubble of some Greek ruin, dark hair blowing in the breeze and smiling and laughing with him. He knows that the image will fuel his Patronus from now on, should he ever need to cast one again.
After they returned from their trip, Seamus began searching for a job and was happy to find that there were openings with the front office staffs of quite a few Quidditch teams. He applied to them all and was thrilled when he was offered a job with the Kestrels, his boyhood favorites. Even though he was working in Kenmare, he moved into his own flat in Diagon Alley shortly after getting the job, so that he could spend more time with Parvati and his friends in his off hours. He’s spent a happy five years with the Kestrels, moving up until he was working directly with the team manager. But lately, he’s been getting itchy feet again. Something in him is telling him that it’s time for a change – or perhaps more than one.
As much as he’s loved working in Quidditch, he’s got a longing for something else. He wants to be his own boss, and do something where he’ll get to be around people when they’re relaxing and happy – not always the case in his current job. When a Quidditch team is having a bad season, it can put the entire staff on edge, and even when they’re doing well, the office is, well, just that – an office. So he’s been thinking lately about starting his own pub. He’s got a lot of decisions to make – like where he’d like it to be, how much of his savings can he afford to sink into it, and whether he should call it The Restricted Section or, even more cheekily, The Paddy Bastard (the scars are still on his hand, but faint, and he wears them as a badge of honor now).
But this isn’t the only momentous change he’s facing – he and Parvati will have been together closing in on seven years now, and he knows (actually, he knew several years ago) that he can’t live without her. So he’s been saving carefully for more than just the pub, hoping there might be a cozy cottage in their future, and this past Christmas he talked to his Da about it and asked his Mam for his gran’s engagement ring, which had been bequeathed to him when she’d passed on years ago. He knew it had been waiting for this moment when it could fulfill its true purpose.
Seamus sometimes thinks about the brash, cocky lad he was before the war, and he knows that despite the horror of his seventh year, he’s extremely lucky to be doing as well as he is. There isn’t a day that goes by that he isn’t grateful for his family, his friends, and Parvati, and he knows that even though he lost a lot that year, he gained far more.