Chapter 1 : She Would Come
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He'd always hated this store.
It oozed sophistication and pretentiousness, two qualities Seamus Finnigan certainly did not possess. He was much more at home on the land or in a nice pub than in a high-class, snooty-tutti-frutti establishment like this. The looks he earned from the patrons and employees were enough to make him blush in shame from the top of his straw-colored hair to the bottom of his rugged working boots.
He wished she'd hurry up.
Normally, he wouldn't be caught dead in this part of Diagon Alley, but his burning desire to see her again, to convince her to talk to him once more, overpowered his moral convictions. He knew that she shopped here every Saturday, and so he'd waited here since six in the morning, hoping that she hadn't changed, trusting in his intuitive knowledge of her.
Although, he had started off strong, as the minutes ticked by and there was no sign of her-every time he had heard the clickety-clack of high heels on pavement, his head has spun and his heart had raced urgently-his confidence in the plan had waned. He had resolved to return home many times, but then he would catch sight of a happy couple walking-it was spring, the season of love, after all-so engaged in each other that they noticed nothing else, and he knew he was stuck waiting and hoping for her.
He actually smelled her before he saw her wide-brimmed hat and short black dress, accompanied by the sharp sound of her monstrous shoes hitting the cobblestones at an alarmingly brisk pace. It was a scent that he would always hereafter associate with money, and consequently with her. It was the delectably musky perfume of a library mixed with a hint of flowers in a meadow. The aroma was inexplicable; there were no words to describe its beauty, its allure...it was in, and of itself, the pure essence of her.
It was hard to say who caught sight of whom first because upon her entry into the store, she seemed to sense his presence. Her head with its now cropped dark hair, had turned slightly, stretching the tendons in her neck and exposing her throat to his hungry eyes. She paused. Seamus knew that staying away hurt her, and he wanted her to hurt, just as he never wanted her to ever be in pain. It was an excruciating dichotomy; a masochism that he gladly accepted if it meant loving her. Because when she met his eyes, her gaze was a spark to his entire body that set him ablaze. His entire body was on edge, aching and wanting.
He was made to love her.
There was but a moment in which he could have sworn he saw emotion, some emotion, any emotion, he could not decipher which, flit across her face, but it was gone in a heartbeat and her face was inscrutable. She resembled a cruel statue of Hera, watching Hercules' great labors without batting an eye. Most men were frightened of her when she was like this, all shiny and hard like the diamonds that hung from her earlobes, but it only made him love her more.
"Pansy," he whispered, feeling her name leave his lips and travel the distance between them. It was a desperate cry to her, a hopeless appeal. She could not refuse it. Could she?
With an imperceptible sigh, she made her way over, her eyes never leaving his. There was no pity in them, only regret. She had the look of woman long decided. She would give no concessions today. He had to make her see reason.
"What are you doing here?"
Her words were sharp and cold and to the point. He had never expected otherwise, but the cruel indifference stung his heart. She was many things, but she had never been deliberately malicious, not towards him, not since school.
Pansy was a different breed of woman than what he was used to. She did not expect to serve anybody but herself and she did not lower herself. She was not one to roll around in the dirt, and he had always wondered why she had done so, metaphorically, with him. But it was too late for questions and too late for answers. All that mattered now was her. And him. Together.
"I needed to see you." If his raspy voice and very presence did not give him away, his imploring blue eyes certainly did.
"Well, it was foolish...and futile," she said, clutching her bag tightly to her chest. Seamus watched her carefully, scanning her features for any shadow, any chance that she might still care. She had to still care.
And then he saw her eyebrow. It was raised in an expression of disdain that was more at-home on her well-crafted face than he might have liked, but it was lowered, by perhaps a fraction of a millimeter.
The eyebrow, that beloved eyebrow, gave him hope, a shining hope beyond anything he could have imagined or dared hope for.
He took her hands in his. "I want to talk to you."
"What do you think we're doing now?" Was it just his mind playing cruel tricks, or was there an edge of hysteria, of panic in her voice?
"I want to hold you," he whispered. "It's been so long..."
Pansy ripped her hands from his grasp, moving away from the brightly-lit center of the room and towards a shadowy corner. "You wouldn't dare," she hissed furiously.
He took it as a challenge.
Slowly, carefully so as to not startle her, he moved his hands towards her. One went up to cup her cheek, while the other gently feathered along her side. It briefly lingered at her breasts, before sliding down to her waist and hips. It slipped around her tiny frame, drawing her to him.
They were so close that he could feel each of her ragged breaths as little puffs of warm air on his chin. He bent his head to lightly run his lips across her bare throat, his hands holding her steady in his arms as she let out a small whimper.
"Stop..." Her voice came out as merely a whisper of air, but he halted in his ministrations. He could never disobey her wishes. He could never upset her. "I'll come to your place tonight," she croaked, gaining strength as she continued to talk and create much needed space between them.
He nodded, now dumbly muted by her closeness, her attainability. She was so near, and yet so far from him.
"Tonight," he agreed.
He felt useless, unpolished, and jittery for the rest of the afternoon as he lumbered around his flat, trying to make it fit for her. It never would be, and that knowledge hung on his heart like a giant weight. She was so high above him. What was he doing?
Setting himself up for failure, that was what. Pansy had already discarded of him once, who's to say that she wouldn't do it again? Perhaps she wouldn't show up tonight. She was probably sitting at one of her asinine little tea parties laughing at him with her high-society, pure-blooded friends. He had been a gullible bastard to think that she would show up, that she would willingly walk into the mud pit to see him.
When the doorbell rang, it was like a reprieve from hell. The chime's vibrations drifted from the door into the living room where he sat, staring into the dancing flames of the fire behind the grate. He moved away from its warmth, towards his angel, his savior.
Opening the door, he drank in her appearance. She had changed from that afternoon. She no longer bore the hideous hat, which obscured her face, and her curls framed her face like a halo. There were no diamonds on her, merely two insignificant pearls in her ears, a Christmas present from her deceased father, she had once told him. They reminded Seamus of happier times. Perhaps she wore them in remembrance.
He ushered her in wordlessly.
She sat cautiously on the couch as he made them some tea. He had expected an impatient ‘tut' when he drew out the Muggle kettle and set the stove; her contempt from all things Muggle had never diffused, and she had never seen any reason to hide it before. Once the tea was made, he brought the two cups over to where she sat, and they sipped in silence.
Mustering up his courage, Seamus set down the teacup and cleared his throat, hoping to dispel the tension in the room. Their silence had been punctuated by the rhythmic rattling of her cup and saucer.
"I love you," he said, unable to formulate any more elaborate declaration.
Her eyes briefly fluttered shut, whether in revelation or frustration, he couldn't tell. "Seamus," she began, once she had opened them again.
But he never learned what she was going to say, because in her consternation, his mother's china fell from her porcelain fingers. In his haste to catch it, his hands brush the soft skin of her wrist, and all restraint was lost.
He would later claim to remember every moment, every second, and every touch, but it would be a lie. His consciousness flickered in and out of reality and memory.
Carnal desires. Teeth on flesh.
Her hands were everywhere and nowhere, and he was lost in the ecstasy of feeling her. Her skin was so soft and breakable that he worried he would crush her in his desire, but there was a surprise strength in her fragile bones. A longing ache in her heart.
They made their way to the bedroom, clothes littering their path. Nothing else seemed to exist, but her and her intoxicating scent and her fiery sex.
When they made it to his bed, she was stripped and naked for him, and he studied her wantonly, memorizing every niche, tasting every inch. She was his for the night.
He held her as they moved in sync. There was something animalistic in the way she bent and craved for him, just as he craved for her. And they were one.
Finally, when he was too weary to move, and a light layer of sweat lay on her brow and upper lip, they collapsed. Their bodies entwined, and she whispered in his ear.
"I love you."
The next morning, she was gone, and all that remained in her place was a small pearl and a dent in his bed. Her scent still wafted through his flat, and he considered burning the building down to rid himself of it. He could not expel the memory of her, and he would not seek her out again.
But perhaps she would come.
A/N: A huge thank you to Elysium for beta-ing this, and for inspiring me with her lovely Kylie-fics. I also want to thank thewkdwitch for helping spark the idea for this fic.
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