October 15, 2019, 02:34:52 PM

Author Topic:  [MP] Is it me you're looking for? [Seamus]  (Read 625 times)

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Susan Bones [ British Ministry ]
27 Posts  •  22  •  Curious  •  played by Louise
[MP] Is it me you're looking for? [Seamus]
« on: April 04, 2019, 07:10:37 AM »
Relying on the public for information was never the best idea but without having much else to go on at this point, the Department opened their doors to the flood of letters from concerned readers of The Daily Prophet.  More often than not such correspondence contained only opinions; disparaging the Ministry for its failure to prevent the Rhayader attack or – to Susan’s disgust – supporting the criminal actions of the individual known as “The Dark Widow”.  Sometimes they contained unhelpful tips or bogus reports about the identity or location of the Widow.  These they had to consider carefully, on the off chance that someone actually provided some useful information.  Some of her older colleagues compared the situation to trying to hunt down Sirius Black back in the day.  This was surely worse, however, in that they didn’t actually know exactly who they were after.  No one even knew what the Widow looked like.  They didn’t know anything about her at all really, other than that she was a nasty piece of work and wanted to break the Statute of Secrecy permanently.  Hell, they couldn’t even be sure she was actually female.

Many an Auror had been sent out on wild goose chases around the countryside and, now that half the Department seemed to have taken leave for the Oktoberfest celebrations, Susan and the few others remaining at work were getting pretty sick of it.  So when yet another claim came in of seeing the Widow and her cohorts lurking around Hogsmeade they all rolled their eyes.  They’d already been out to the village twice that week!  However, Hogsmeade was one of the potential sites Susan had flagged for a future attack and given its close proximity to Hogwarts it was better to be sure than sorry.  Merlin forbid that the school suffer any more tragedies!

“I’ll take this one.  I could use the exercise.”  Susan stood up from her desk and rolled her shoulders.  Even though it was almost certainly a pointless task, it would be nice to get outside for a bit.  She disliked working underground immensely.  As much as they tried to pretend with the enchanted windows, it wasn’t the same as being in real sunlight.  With a sigh she stretched and prepared herself for the unpleasant business of Apparating.  Turning on the spot, she felt a strong pressure all over her body, squeezing her uncomfortably.  Fortunately it didn’t last long and she was soon blinking in the mid-afternoon sun in the middle of the main street in Hogsmeade.  Carefully Susan checked and confirmed that all of her body parts were still attached (thank Merlin!) and let out the breath she had been holding. 

Straightening her pale green dress, the young Auror set out purposefully down the street.  She spent the next several hours questioning the shop keepers and residents of the village as to whether they had noticed anything odd or anyone behaving suspiciously.  Unfortunately, every community had its scandals, especially the magical ones.  Ever diligent, Susan wrote notes on everything she was told – from the gossip about who was sleeping with who, to complaints about loud music after hours and the cultivation of unpleasant plants in shared garden plots.  Some people seemed to take great glee in casting aspersions on their neighbours. 

By the time Susan worked her way around to the Hogs Head, she was hungry, tired and nursing a bad headache.  The dingy pub sat like a wart on the face of the picturesque village and was a natural haunt for the more criminally inclined.  Stepping inside, she looked around the grimy and conspicuously empty interior and then mentally kicked herself.  I should have started with the Hogs Head!  If anyone unsavoury had been hanging around in the pub (whether related to her investigation or not), they would have heard about the Auror poking around town and disappeared well before she got there.  Oh well, maybe the proprietor could still be helpful.  She made her way towards the bar where she could see could just see the top of someone’s head from where they were rummaging under the counter.

After rapping sharply with her knuckles on the counter to catch their attention, Susan got straight to the point.  Her level of courtesy had been worn down by how many times today she’d had to repeat her questioning and her voice was monotone.  “I’m Susan Bones, Auror.  Have you seen any suspicious person or persons around the village recently?”  As the figure straightened up to face her, the young red-head froze in shock.  She blinked furiously, trying to register what she was seeing.  Then one of Susan’s rare smiles broke out across her face.  “Seamus?!”  She exclaimed loudly.  “I don’t believe it!”  She hadn’t seen her old school mate and fellow DA member since he’d dropped out of Auror training some years ago.  Whilst it wasn’t like she and Seamus had ever been super close, Susan held a special fondness for those people that she had suffered with and fought alongside at Hogwarts.  “What’re you doing here?!” 

@Seamus Finnigan
« Last Edit: April 10, 2019, 04:32:49 AM by Louise »

Seamus Finnigan [ Shop Worker ]
39 Posts  •  22  •  guilt  •  played by nan
Re: Is it me you're looking for? [Seamus]
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2019, 07:35:26 PM »
Rapping on the counter, that was rude. At the Hog’s Head, Aberforth usually ignored those customers in favor of whatever glass he was defiling ‘til they were visibly angry; Seamus had not developed Aberforth’s thick skin and straightened indignantly, recognising belatedly that she’d said she was Susan Bones, Auror, not really registering the probably important question she’d definitely just asked him. For a moment, he just stared dumbly at her as she seemed to recognise him, and as he recognised her.

He rather hated being recognised in the Hog’s Head. Last Hogsmeade weekend, he’d been working, and he thought a few of the students had remembered him. They’d stared, at least. It was sensible— he’d have remembered himself, too, if he’d been a little kid and seen himself tortured on the regular. It was awkward, too, though— he didn’t remember any of the names of the little kids from that year. He barely remembered the names of some of the year below him. What was he gonna do, say hi?

“Hi!” he said. “Wow— Susan! Didn’t expect you.” He didn’t know what to say about her not believing it, so he just held out his arms in a believe it, baby way and grinned dopily. “I work here!” he said unnecessarily, and patted one hand affectionately on the bar. “I was out of work, and I stopped in to bitch about it to Ab—” Ab was upstairs taking a nap at the moment— “and he said, well you could work here. So.”

Seamus hadn’t seen Susan since his last day as an Auror-in-training, when he’d skipped another combat exercise and then quit entirely— clearly, she’d made it through. “Merlin’s beard, it’s been a while,” he said, also unnecessarily. “What’ve you been up to? Don’t reckon you’ve seen any of us around, of late?”

By ‘us’ he meant the DA— he thought of himself as a DA member before he thought of himself as an ex-Auror-in-training, before he thought of himself as pretty much anything, even though it’d been pretty much ages since he’d seen anyone from their old group. Other than Dean, and a few chance encounters with people he’d known far less well.

He realised, at the last moment, that he was supposed to be in customer service; Aberforth would commend him on that slip of memory later. “Can I get you a drink?” he added. “On me.” Putting it on the house was probably pushing it, in his first month of employment.

happiness isn't good enough for me! i demand euphoria!

Susan Bones [ British Ministry ]
27 Posts  •  22  •  Curious  •  played by Louise
Re: Is it me you're looking for? [Seamus]
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2019, 05:13:53 PM »
"By newt and toad! So this is where you ended up, aye?" Susan couldn't understand why anyone would want to work in the dingy pub but she wasn't going to judge.  She didn't know what he'd been through over the last few years to think that working at the Hogs Head was potentially a positive thing.  Anything must be better than nothing she supposed.

"I've just been working."  Susan replied generally. It wasn't like she allowed much room in her life for anything outside of work.  "You know, hunting bad guys."  She raised and wriggled an eyebrow at him questioningly.  "Speaking of... Have you seen anyone suspicious around the village recently?"  The young Auror asked part teasingly now but also still interested in an answer.

"Oh I actually see Harry all the time.  We work together."  She confirmed cheerfully, automatically understanding what he meant.  There could only be one 'us' to Susan.  "I still see Ginny sometimes too, though she's a Chaser for the Hollyhead Harpies."  It was probable he already knew that - unless he'd been living under a rock.  "Otherwise there's actually a few others spread around the Ministry.  Justin works in the Muggle Liaison Office."

When he offered her a drink, she started to shake her head and cast a glance at her watch.  Susan would never drink whilst working.  Some other Aurors might take their duties casually but she never would.  "Sorry, I'm..."  She trailed off and frowned at the time. "...off duty as of an hour ago."  Susan shook her head and laughed a short, sharp laugh at herself.  She'd lost track of time and had continued working off the clock unknowingly.  Well, this was the last stop on her tour of Hogsmeade anyway.  "You know what?  Sure.  I'll grab a Firewhiskey please."

She looked at him then, trying to gauge how happy and healthy was.  Last she'd seen him, Seamus hadn't been in the best state but that could've just been the Auror training.  It was rough.  She didn't think any less of him for dropping out.  However, it did make her a little guilty thinking back to realise she'd not made much of an effort to follow up with him after that.  At the same time though, he hadn't exactly left a note or anything when he left.  Drawing up a stool, she sat down at the bar.  "So what happened to you?"  She asked bluntly, elbows resting casually on the counter. 

Seamus Finnigan [ Shop Worker ]
39 Posts  •  22  •  guilt  •  played by nan
Re: [MP] Is it me you're looking for? [Seamus]
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2019, 02:10:40 AM »
“Yeah, this is it,” said Seamus, and he patted the bar again. “It’s honestly been great— Ab says I’m not unwelcoming or gruff enough, but I have time to learn.” He and Aberforth had first been acquainted in 1998, when Seamus had taken to hanging out in Aberforth’s backroom after hours just to get the hell out of the Room of Requirement. He’d just turned eighteen and had spent the last few months making sure the Carrows loathed him. Aberforth was like, a hundred and had been bored. It worked.

“Cool,” he said. Hunting bad guys— what a way to live. If he hadn’t gotten the fuck over himself he’d be pretty envious— hunting bad guys had been the main attraction of Auror work. Seamus supposed he’d been lucky that it hadn’t bested his hatred for the training; probably considering a job cool wasn’t the best reason to take it. But then, he’d thought this was a cool job too.

Anybody suspicious? “You mean, here?” Seamus laughed— “This is the Hog’s Head, Sue. I see someone suspicious every other day. It was quiet, though. Cleared out snappish a few hours ago.” He rapped the bar with his knuckles. “Reckon that’s when it went ‘round that you were in town.”

It was, as always, a little weird to hear about the others in the DA. Even though most of it was information that he’d already known, Seamus felt a twinge of oh right, everybody’s lives went on— it’d only been him who’d dropped out of life.

“Oh, right, right,” he said. Somehow it’d slipped his mind that Harry was an Auror now— he wondered what was going on out there. Surely the Auror department was being kept busy; he’d started reading the papers more carefully and remembered a few things that seemed suspicious. But what did he know? He wasn’t an Auror. “Firewhiskey, coming up,” he said, secretly glad she’d asked him for something he could just dig out of the cabinet. He hadn’t got the hang of cocktails yet. He turned around to open the cabinet— he had gotten the hang of what drinks were where.

“I mean, I’ve only been working here about three weeks,” he told her over his shoulder. He tried to think back to the last time he’d seen her— Christ, it couldn’t have been before America, could it? The last he could remember, he’d still been in Auror training. And after quitting, it wasn’t like Seamus had immediately cut ties with the entire DA but he’d sure stopped seeing them all the time. “Er, I was abroad for a while,” he said, in answer, coming back to the bar to set her drink in front of her. “Just got back, August, actually.”

He fished a dirty glass from under the bar and gave it a once-over with his rag, got himself a glass of water. “So what’re you looking for, anyway? That missing bloke?” He followed this with a skeptical frown. “Guess you probably can’t say.”

happiness isn't good enough for me! i demand euphoria!

Susan Bones [ British Ministry ]
27 Posts  •  22  •  Curious  •  played by Louise
Re: [MP] Is it me you're looking for? [Seamus]
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2019, 04:57:08 AM »
“Not unwelcoming or gruff enough?!”  Susan laughed at the absurdity that was being considered too welcoming and friendly for a job.  Most people faced the opposite criticism in their work – including Susan, who’d been encouraged to try being ’warmer’ in her approach towards people.  “I’m sure you’ll get the hang of it eventually.” 

“I know.  Silly question.”  She shook her head in part amusement and part exasperation.  It was about what she had expected for an answer.  There weren’t going to be any miraculous breaks in her case today.  It was hard not to feel like the whole afternoon had been a complete waste of time.  “Sorry for clearing out your clientele by the way.”  Susan gestured vaguely towards the empty pub behind her.  She doubted they’d been very decent people if word of an Auror in town was enough to send them running but she could spare a little sympathy for the reduced earnings the Hogs Head would receive for the day, especially since Seamus would likely shoulder the responsibility for it.  “Here.”  She said, fishing some coins out of her pocket and placing them on the bar.  “I’d better pay after all.”

“Abroad?”  Susan enquired curiously.  That would explain why they hadn’t crossed paths again until now.  “Where did you go?  What were you doing?”  Do you have an alibi?  Mentally scolding herself for treating a friendly catch up between old mates like an interrogation, she tried to restrain herself from any further questioning.  Picking up the fire whiskey, she wrinkled her nose almost imperceptibly at the dirt on the glass, she took a generous gulp and took a moment to enjoy the way it burned slowly down her throat, sending tingling warmth to all of her extremities. 

“Missing bloke?”  She glanced up quickly, mildly startled, before quickly realising he probably meant the Department of Magical Law Enforcement employee taking a long and unapproved holiday, not someone new.  It was quite frustrating that they still hadn’t figured out where John had disappeared to, especially since he was one of their own.  “Auror Quigley?  No, I’m not on that case.  I’m investigating –”  Susan hesitated, unsure whether it was really the type of subject to be discussing with an old friend.  “Oh no, it’s not that.”  She hurried to explain that it wasn’t a sense of secrecy that caused her to stall.  “There really isn’t enough information at this stage for me to be able to give anything away anyway.”  After a quick disgusted shake of her head and another sip of whiskey she continued.  “You’ve heard about the attack on Rhayader?”  She paused to assess his reaction.  “I’m trying to track down the self-proclaimed ‘Dark Widow’ who claims to be responsible.”  If Seamus read the paper carefully, he would have seen the disturbing letter published therein. 

“But so far, I’ve just been sent chasing after bogus bogeyman sightings and have not been successful in tracking down anything more useful than the names of a few cheating husbands in the village.”  She smiled at him in an attempt to soften the bitterness of her tone.  “And that’s what brings me here to your lovely establishment.”  Raising the glass once more, she drained the remainder of the whiskey in one mouthful. 

Seamus Finnigan [ Shop Worker ]
39 Posts  •  22  •  guilt  •  played by nan
Re: [MP] Is it me you're looking for? [Seamus]
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2019, 01:08:59 AM »
Seamus grinned; he figured this part of his job was one that would surprise most people, being as unfriendly as possible, but it was the part he found the easiest sometimes. “You know Aberforth,” he said.

She seemed a little regretful for his clientele; Seamus snorted and pushed her money across the bar back at her. “Don’t worry about it,” he said. “Honest.” It wouldn’t be a substantial drop in the bucket for the Hog’s Head— Seamus knew now that, through years of being a cheap bastard, Aberforth had plenty in savings— and they’d make up for it eventually. He laughed a little uncomfortably at her next exclamation; it was hard not to be awkward, whenever he saw someone he’d just literally never told that he was putzing off to America.

“America,” he said. “California, actually. Terrible weather. It was just… I dunno, impulse or something. Kind of needed to—” he shook his head, trying to parse his feelings in his head. “You know, get away from—” he gestured around the bar, as though the general state of things here was evident from that. She would understand, to some extent— right?

He’d almost been an Auror (this was how he liked to put it in his head; it made him feel better about it) and he remembered vaguely who John Quigley was, but not whether a weird disappearance seemed characteristic. He just sipped his water and nodded as Susan detailed her job at the moment— oh, Rhayader. Seamus had started reading the paper, lately; his mam worried to death about it, he thought, but he couldn’t not. Probably she was happier anyway, that he was caring to. The Seamus who’d left for America probably wouldn’t have. “Dark Widow,” he repeated, twisting his mouth at the prefix. It was a little too familiar for comfort; he frowned. “Haven’t been keeping up, much— you guys have most of the Death Eaters rounded up? Or…”

Seamus grinned a little ruefully at her, then: “Yeah, people haven’t ever been particularly useful for this, I reckon. Remember when Harry was Undesirable #1— there were sightings every other day, all over the country.” Back then, he’d cared even more than he did today about keeping up with the radio, reading the papers. He’d like to say it was because he knew the stakes, worldwide; probably he’d just wanted news about Dean. Sort of selfish, in that way.

He sipped at his water again, and grinned at her. Even with the uncomfortable memories, or with the terrible reason she’d come to see her, he couldn’t help being thrilled to see his old friend. “Happy to have you,” he said sincerely. She’d finished her drink; he shrugged at it and added “ How’ve you been, what’ve you been up to? Other than Auror stuff. I can get you another. Or— a lemonade, if you like.”

happiness isn't good enough for me! i demand euphoria!

Susan Bones [ British Ministry ]
27 Posts  •  22  •  Curious  •  played by Louise
Re: [MP] Is it me you're looking for? [Seamus]
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2019, 02:45:45 AM »
"America? That's really cool."  Susan had never traveled outside the UK.  It seemed like an exciting thing, to travel, but she'd probably never go anywhere unless required for work.  Going places or doing things without some kind of meaningful purpose just wasn't in her nature.  Her life revolved around her career and she rarely did anything just for the fun of it. 

She could understand wanting to run away from everything that had happened though.  Personally she'd taken the opposite extreme and thrown herself deeply into her work - to the exclusion of almost everything else.  Keeping busy was how she escaped from the things she'd rather not remember.  Meeting his eye, she simply nodded.  No further explanation was needed.

"Death Eaters."  Susan gave a snort of derision and shook her head.  "Slippery bastards.  Catching them is only half the battle.  We can throw them in prison only for bloody politicians to then decide to let them out!"  Frustration was clear in her voice and on her face.  It was very upsetting to see someone like Gaius Purcell walking free - and even flaunting his freedom by attending parties!  It was disgusting.  It was wrong for evil-doers to be dancing and sipping champagne when their victims could no longer know such pleasures.  "The only good place for a Death Eater is in the ground."  She commented severely, expressing her desire for a more permanent solution to the problem.  It wasn't like she'd been born bloodthirsty.  Susan was only what they had made her.

"I've been..."  She hesitated, coming up blank on how to respond.  Seamus had asked how she was doing outside of work.  The truth was that there was really nothing to comment on, neither good nor bad.  "...fine."  She finally finished with a shrug after a long uncomfortable pause.  "I ummm... have a dog."  Susan then offered lamely, unsure what else to say.  The young Auror had no romantic or social life to speak of and barely even saw her family these days.  Plus most of her hobbies had been abandoned for quite some time.  Her guitar was gathering dust in a corner of her living room and she couldn't remember the last time she sang.  When she wasn't working, eating or sleeping Susan spent her time training her body to be stronger - doing her best to make herself into a weapon (and as far as possible from a fragile 22-year-old woman). 

Susan wasn't really normal, by any stretch of the word.  Sometimes she didn't even feel human anymore.  But she couldn't see how anyone from their generation could really be ordinary, happy and healthy young adults after what they'd all been through.  They were the damaged,  broken children of war.  The scars just manifested in different ways for all of them.  Susan had become a workaholic and lost the ability to truly connect with people.  (This unplanned and casual chat with an old friend was about as social as she got - and even then she hadn't contributed much to the conversation that wasn't about her job.)  Unfortunately she didn't know how to be any other way.  She was a soldier who didn't know how to live in a peacetime.

And it was a little lonely.

Seamus had a better chance of understanding than most so she asked quietly, "Do you ever look at people and wonder how the hell they manage to have their lives together?"  There was a wry and slightly bitter smile on her face as she spoke.  It wasn't something she really expected an answer to and almost immediately she regretted saying it.  No doubt it made her sound like some kind of jealous loser who envied more successful people.  It also suggested her own life was pretty empty and worthless.  (As though that hadn't already been made clear by 'I ummm... have a dog' being the most interesting thing she could say about her non-work life.)  Letting out a small "Hah!" of laughter, she hoped Seamus would think it was some kind of joke.

She waved away his offer of another drink, having not planned to stick around for long. There was work she could do back at the office; reports to write up, research to review...  "I should probably -"  Susan hesitated, half risen from her seat.  This is why you have no friends, Sus.  She scolded herself internally.  It was her habit to make excuses to avoid socialising and always claim to be too busy to see people.  But Seamus was being perfectly pleasant and she had been glad to see him after so long.  It would be ridiculous to choose to sit alone at her desk late into the night rather than share another drink with him.  She cleared her throat awkwardly and sat back down.  The young witch tried to appear casual and comfortable but felt sure he must think she was completely pathetic.  Nervously she tucked a stray hair back behind her ear and pushed her empty glass back to him.  It slid bumpily through the layer of grime on the counter.  "A lemonade would be lovely.  Thank you."  As tempting as it was to have another whiskey, she thought she'd be able to embarass herself quite enough as it was without getting tipsy.

"So..."  She drew out the word unnecessarily long as she stalled for some way to keep the conversation going.  "What do you get up to when you're not trying to be gruff and inhospitable here?"  Turning the topic back on him seemed like her best bet.  Surely he'd have more interesting things to say about his life than   she did about her own.

Seamus Finnigan [ Shop Worker ]
39 Posts  •  22  •  guilt  •  played by nan
Re: [MP] Is it me you're looking for? [Seamus]
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2019, 01:37:48 AM »
The only good place for a Death Eater is in the ground— that was the sort of thing that his parents would exchange a grim look over, if they heard him say it. He couldn’t even be sure that was something Dean would agree with. But she’d said it first, not him, so he grinned humourlessly and raised his glass at her— “Yup, cheers.”

She didn’t seem to have anything going on to talk about, and oddly it made him feel a little more comfortable. He knew exactly how uncomfortable it was to be asked shit like that back when he’d had nothing to say, back when all he’d done was mope around and watch daytime television. He tapped his glass on the bar uncomfortably. “A dog!” he said. (He’d probably spent half his childhood begging for one.) “What kind? What's his name?'

He occupied himself spinning his wand around his fingers; Susan was looking pensive, as though asking her how things were going had made her think too hard about how things were going. He’d been doing that for years— though he’d never done what she had, and outright said so to anybody. (She’d laughed, after she’d said it, as though that would make it less bitter, but he knew that tactic, too, and had decided to ignore it.)

It wasn’t like he didn’t understand her— he’d spent so much of the last four years feeling pathetic for how he’d dealt with the war compared to like, Ron or Harry or even Dean— but he couldn’t say he thought that Ron or Harry or Dean was coping particularly well, either. “I dunno,” he said. “A little, maybe. But— I dunno. I don’t know a single person who does have their life together, it feels like. The war hit us all, it just… hit us differently.”

At first he rather thought she was about to leave, and when she sat again and pushed her glass back at him he had to fight back the stupid grin threatening to scare her back off. Relieved, he pulled his own stool closer and perched himself on the edge of it, opened the icebox and got her a lemonade. “Well, being gruff and inhospitable is most of it, honest,” he said, propping his elbows on the bar as though deep in thought. “I’m trying to save up some— me and Dean are looking for a place, see if we can move back in together.”

Seamus could tell she’d asked about him because she didn’t want to talk about herself, but it wasn’t like there was all that much happening for him, either, so he paused after this, trying to decide if it was enough to say or not. “Other’n that,” he said, once he decided it wasn’t, “I dunno. I’m sort of out of the loop, not being in the Aurors anymore. Trying to keep up better. Reading the paper, the like.” That was something she could talk about, right? If he knew Susan Bones, he knew she was probably as furious as he was about the Daily Prophet lately.

happiness isn't good enough for me! i demand euphoria!

Susan Bones [ British Ministry ]
27 Posts  •  22  •  Curious  •  played by Louise
Re: [MP] Is it me you're looking for? [Seamus]
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2019, 03:04:20 AM »
“Her name is Lola.”  Susan answered with a slight smile at the thought of her furry companion.  “She’s a Siberian Husky and a real sweetheart.”  It was really a good thing she had the dog in her life.  If not for Lola, it was unlikely the young witch would ever take a break from working.  Obviously her four legged friend was no real substitute for having a social life but it was good to have some kind of company at home.  The Husky could be relied on to provide unconditional love and not to judge Sus for her life choices.  Plus for all that she might be alone, at least Susan wouldn’t be playing into the crazy cat lady stereotype.  Undoubtedly she was going to end up as a spinster but the young witch didn’t really spend much time thinking about those kinds of things.

She had half expected Seamus to laugh at her slightly melodramatic question, so when he didn’t she sighed quietly in relief.  Her old acquaintance made a pretty good point – appearances could be deceiving.  Maybe they weren’t as put together as they looked? She doubted that at a glance anyone would be able to tell just how deeply screwed up she was.  That was the whole point, to put on a show of being confident and in control.  She wanted people to see her as the diligent and driven career woman, not the little girl that still had trouble sleeping.

Susan supposed that an individual’s recovery from the war would depend on a lot of things, including the level of trauma they went through.  Simply surviving and not ending up completely insane technically made her one of the lucky ones but she was undeniably – and probably irretrievably – damaged.  The war had changed her, made her into someone – something – her younger self wouldn’t have recognised.  It seemed like she should feel regret or sorrow for her loss of… what?  She wasn’t even sure what she’d lost.  Her innocence?  A part of her humanity?  But the young witch didn’t feel much of anything anymore, mostly just an ugly churning anger at her core that kept her from ever truly moving on or resting.  Sometimes she couldn’t shake the feeling that she’d died and her body just hadn’t realised it yet.  She let the subject of conversation drop with an awkward shrug, having already revealed more about her state of mind than she had intended. 

Dean.  Yet another person Susan had lost contact with over the years.  She remembered that he and Seamus had been close.  “That’s great!”  In an effort to appear upbeat her tone came off a bit overenthusiastic about Seamus' plans to move back in with his friend.  If she was honest with herself, she envied their relationship.  Susan had never really had a close friend like that.  It wasn’t like she had ever been much of a social butterfly, even before everything, but since her Aunt was murdered she had started pushing everyone away and hadn’t stopped since. 

She would love to be able to tell Seamus that the Aurors knew what was going on, that they had things under control.  Instead she lapsed into silence, sipping her lemonade and trying to use the sweet-yet-tart taste as a focus for her thoughts.  Since there was no one else around there didn’t seem much point in blustering with false confidence just for Seamus’s sake.  Finally she responded as honestly as she could, “The paper doesn’t always get things right, but yeah there’s some bad stuff going on.”  The truth was recent events made her feel powerless, useless, a complete failure…  Susan might have cried if she hadn’t lost the ability to engage in that form of emotional catharsis years ago.  These days she was just numb.  “After everything… there are still people out there who would take us back to fighting over things like blood status.”  Great.  Not only was she a lame conversationalist, now she was being depressing.  Susan grimaced and shook her head.  “But I have a bad habit of seeing the worst in everything.”

Susan had never really been the type to beat around the bush so she approached her own shortcomings as a drinking buddy bluntly, suddenly blurting, “Wow I’m bumming you out, aren’t I?  I’m sorry.  I’m…”  Socially inept?  Stupid?  Pathetic?  “…not great at talking to people.  Outside of work.”  A flush crept into her cheeks with this admittance.  It wasn’t like she had been trying to impress or charm Seamus but the young woman was suddenly very aware that if she had been she would’ve failed horribly.  “I could probably use more practice.”  Fat chance of getting any future opportunities at the rate you’re going Sus.  She tried to smile, shifted uncomfortably on her stool and took another swig of her lemonade, just for something to do. 
« Last Edit: June 04, 2019, 03:09:27 AM by Louise »

Seamus Finnigan [ Shop Worker ]
39 Posts  •  22  •  guilt  •  played by nan
Re: [MP] Is it me you're looking for? [Seamus]
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2019, 10:03:07 PM »
“Lola!” echoed Seamus. “That’s sweet.” He flattened his palms on the bar and grinned— at least Susan seemed to have cheered up at the thought of her dog, even though the mood tipped sharply downward again, quickly.

Susan didn’t seem to want to go over the hypotheticals of who was coping and who wasn’t, of how the war had hit them. Which was fine with Seamus, because he didn’t, either. What could he say, anyway? He sure as shit wasn’t telling her that he’d spent the last four years doing nothing at all— at least she was funneling her feelings into something useful. He’d just drifted. Still was, even— much as he liked Aberforth he couldn’t pretend this was a meaningful or impactful job.

(It was money, was what it was. Not even a lot of it.)

He poured himself another glass of water and slid a few extra bottles of firewhiskey at a few of the regulars getting refills; there wasn’t much more to say about him and Dean, since they weren’t moving in together yet and wouldn’t until Seamus had saved some money, so he left it there. Politics, at least, were something they could both talk about, right?

“Bad stuff,” he repeated, this time letting an edge of amusement seep into his voice. Sure, there was bad stuff going on, if you wanted to call it that. “You surprised?” he added, to her next words— sometime mid-war he’d realized that there wasn’t much use expecting blood supremacy to go away, and he wondered if she’d been holding out hope. He couldn’t decide, really, whether he would admire that or not. It’d be nice to be idealistic. Maybe.

Of course, he thought wryly, no damn way did Susan believe in enduring goodness right now. He didn’t know her well enough to say it for sure, but he could guess. She confirmed that for him in a moment— bad habit for seeing the worst in things. Seamus grinned humourlessly, said again, “Cheers. Don’t we all.” He tapped his glass against hers, where it was sitting on the bar.

She seemed to have cottoned onto what a miserable conversation topic this made, but Seamus shook his head as she tried apologising. “C’mon, don’t worry about it, like,” he said. “You know after I dropped the Aurors I sort of stopped talking to near everybody. I get it.” He cleared his throat and took another drink of water before he added, half-teasing, “Drop by again, maybe. Get back into the swing of talking to normal people.” He gestured at himself ironically— she’d know that was a joke, right?— and sighed, dropped his hand back to his glass and slid it back and forth a few times. Sighed. The DA was a lot of things, but it wasn’t even close to normal anymore.

“You don’t have to,” he added unnecessarily. “Burn a hole in your pocket, that, Aberforth overcharges.”
« Last Edit: June 08, 2019, 10:03:19 PM by Nan »

happiness isn't good enough for me! i demand euphoria!

Susan Bones [ British Ministry ]
27 Posts  •  22  •  Curious  •  played by Louise
Re: [MP] Is it me you're looking for? [Seamus]
« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2019, 11:08:38 PM »
Was Susan surprised that issues like blood supremacy persisted?  No, she supposed that she wasn't.  The young witch had no inclination to be idealistic, quite the opposite generally.  However, she had to have some kind of hope – otherwise, what was the point of anything she did?  Susan’s whole life goal was to prevent and protect people from hate crimes.  If people would never let go of the views that ultimately led to them to cause harm to others, then that would mean she was fighting a losing battle.  So she must believe it was possible for people to change, because the alternative was to face up to the heart-wrenching, soul-crushing futility of life…  Susan was still too young to be feeling so defeated so soon but there were days when she didn’t know if she could take it.  Of course, she would never give up but it often left her tired and lonely.  This was hardly the sort of thing she could discuss with anyone, it was her burden to bear alone, and yet a part of her yearned for someone to tell her everything would be alright. 

Determined though the red-head was to scrunch herself up into an uncomfortable ball of self-hating misery, Seamus’ light and non-judgemental responses unexpectedly kept her at ease.  Somehow his reassurances not to worry about being terrible company made her feel a little better.  The young wizard said that he got it, and she believed he did.  There was a certain comradery inherent between the members of the DA but even so, Susan was not used to someone coming anywhere close to understanding her difficulties with socialising.  In a way, Seamus was being... sweet.

“Do you know any normal people?”  She gently teased back, a bright and genuine grin stretching across her face. 

Maybe it was because she hadn't seen him in a while or maybe it had something to do with the fact he'd been patiently putting up with her moping without laughing or sneering at her, but she realised he was actually quite cute.  Susan’s already pink cheeks flushed a little deeper at this thought and she was glad she hadn't opted for another fire whiskey, which might've loosened her tongue enough to make her say something completely stupid to him.  She tapped a finger to her lips pensively as she considered this development.

“What kind of food do you like?”  She blurted out suddenly, on the tail of his comment that Aberforth overcharged.  “Specifically, how do you feel about Italian?  There's this restaurant I've wanted to try... ah...”  Susan wasn’t exactly sure what she was doing – asking him on a date she supposed?  Other girls might have used a more coy and flirtatious approach but she herself wasn’t very experienced in the subtle arts of seduction, nor inclined to play games.  She didn’t overthink it too much, just figured she might like to share a pizza with Seamus and see what happened.  “You - me.”  She gestured between the two of them for unnecessary emphasis.  “Dinner sometime?”

Seamus Finnigan [ Shop Worker ]
39 Posts  •  22  •  guilt  •  played by nan
Re: [MP] Is it me you're looking for? [Seamus]
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2019, 09:56:40 PM »
Did he know any normal people? His first thought was Dean, but Seamus knew— suspected— that Dean only pretended to still be anything like normal. Hanging exclusively ‘round the DA was doing very little for his knowing-normal-people. Presumably Susan was the same way, whether she was with the Aurors or with the others of them. “My cousin Fergus,” he said jokingly. “Normal’s they come.”

He thought with uncharacteristic philosophy for a moment about normalness anyway— his dad would say, probably, that a normal wizard was an oxymoron. He supposed that a normal British wizard old enough to remember the war should be an oxymoron too— but, then, he supposed there must have been people unaffected by the conflict, somewhere, somehow. He’d talked enough to some of the DA, the sort whose families didn’t have stakes in the war, who were in the DA because they cared anyway, and not because they had to care. He couldn’t decide if they were luckier than the rest, for that.

She was looking funnily at him now, even as he kept prattling about Aberforth (why was he prattling about Aberforth?) and blurted, after a moment, a weird question: what sort of food did he like? Seamus paused, mouth gaping unattractively for a few seconds before he remembered to close it. “Er. I dunno, I just like food?” he said. “Not much of a cook, so I eat a lot of toast and eggs, like…”

Specifically, how did he feel about Italian— that was when it clicked. Oh. She was asking him out, or something. “Yeah,” he said, “I like Italian alright. I, er…”

As he remembered it, the boy was supposed to ask the girl out— that was why the closest thing he’d ever gotten to a date was the Yule Ball in fourth year. He tamped that thought down— Dean would never let him hear the end of it if he flubbed the first date he’d gotten after graduation before he even got to the actual date. “Yeah,” he said. “Yes. You and me. Sure.”

Seamus was turning pink with embarrassment; he was glad she seemed to be too. “Ab gives me Friday and Saturday nights off,” he suggested. “Like, after five.” He still didn’t know if that was because Ab enjoyed the weekend or because Ab didn’t trust Seamus with one. “I can…”

He didn’t know where she lived. “I can pick you up,” he offered anyway. “Let me—” he scooted sideways along the bar to get a pen and tore a slip of parchment off the bottom of an inventory list. “Address,” he said, as a quick explanation, scrawling his mother’s Floo address down and pushing it across the bar at her. He half-smiled, then scratched at the back of his head, not entirely sure how conversation was supposed to proceed. “Uh,” he said, stupidly, “Is it a real nice restaurant? Would I have to get all dressed up?”
« Last Edit: June 22, 2019, 09:56:56 PM by Nan »

happiness isn't good enough for me! i demand euphoria!

Susan Bones [ British Ministry ]
27 Posts  •  22  •  Curious  •  played by Louise
Re: [MP] Is it me you're looking for? [Seamus]
« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2019, 10:16:25 PM »
“Well shit.”

That was probably not at all the kind of response he had been wanting to hear.  Unfortunately, his question about how to dress had caught her off guard and so it had just slipped out.  “Sorry, ummm...  I hadn’t thought of that.”  Or any of it.  To draw attention away from her complete ignorance of basic dating conventions, she wrote her own address on the bottom of the slip of parchment, ripped it off and handed it back to him.  The other half she pocketed.  Susan was conscious she was blushing but had chosen to avidly pretend that she wasn't.  Hopefully Seamus wouldn't say anything about it.  She distinctly lacked experience in this area of social interaction.  In fact, she had no idea whether or not she'd just done the right thing by asking him out.  It was an experiment in normalcy.  Seamus had said 'yes' though, so she couldn't have been too terrible.  Although it wasn’t too late for him to change his mind.

The young Auror was somewhat in disbelief that she'd done this, gone and gotten a date like some kind of regular girl.  It wasn't like she'd never dated but well...  Not really either.  Susan wouldn't have a clue what to wear on a date and if he hadn't mentioned it, she probably would've just shown up in whatever she'd worn to work that day without thinking about it.  And it wouldn’t have occurred to her to set a time or place to meet.

"I guess I should make a reservation."  She mused out loud.  Realising then that she still hadn't answered his question, Susan scrambled to come up with a reply.  "Ah…  it's a nice place but it's not posh.  Like you don't need to get fancy.  They've just got pasta and pizza and stuff."  She shrugged, “I dunno.”  Clearly she was really selling him on this dinner...  “I mean, you can wear I costume if you like.  I don’t mind.”  A joke.  Susan was pretty sure she'd just made a joke.  The situation still felt kind of awkward but she thought maybe he was smiling a little.  She was too.

“Umm, so Friday, 6:30pm?  Come around to my place and then we can head over to the restaurant?"  It wasn’t like she needed to be picked up or accompanied but it seemed like it would be impolite to say so.  Susan didn’t know what was normal so she was just going to follow his lead on that.  However, she rather hoped he wouldn’t want to come inside the house.  She didn't generally have guests so this was a new and alarming prospect.  Yet she could recognise that that was a fairly unhospitable attitude to have.  Susan knew she should try and make an effort since this date had been her idea in the first place.  “Oh!  You can meet Lola if you want.”  She offered after a pause.  That’s the way Sus!  Deflect attention onto the dog.

Seamus Finnigan [ Shop Worker ]
39 Posts  •  22  •  guilt  •  played by nan
Re: [MP] Is it me you're looking for? [Seamus]
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2019, 07:08:00 AM »
He had to bite back a snort— well, shit, didn’t that encapsulate so much of what he was feeling?— but that was probably a great way to offend her, so he added a hasty apology. “Sorry, I just…” They were both hilariously pink now. Seamus knew for a fact that he looked a bit ridiculous when he blushed, but Susan looked even worse. It was the hair, probably— whatever the reason, though, it was charming.

If it was the sort of restaurant that needed a reservation, he was already a little out of his depth. As far as he was aware, at every restaurant he’d been to, he’d just shown up and waited. And usually he’d gone to those places with Dean, or his mum, or somebody. Not like this. He wondered, for a terrifying second, if it was one of those really nice places, with the miniscule serving sizes and French food names. Fortunately, Susan answered that a second later— pasta and pizza.

Seamus could work with that. He was not, thank God, going to embarrass himself by not knowing how to eat bouillabaisse or whatever.

He could wear a costume— that was a joke, obviously— he grinned a little. “I’m sure I’ve got some Halloween stuff still,” he said, “I could dress up as a Kenmare Kestrel. Or Auror.” That last bit, he regretted saying— he still couldn’t help the edge in his tone when he said Auror, ever— not bitter, surely, but not especially happy. He was grateful when she changed the subject, though all it really did was remind him that, holy Mary, he was out of his depth here.

“Six-thirty,” he echoed. “Pick you up. Yeah. I don’t have your address.” God, was he supposed to buy her something? Other than dinner? Shit, did he have to pay for dinner? She’d asked him out, that seemed unfair— but he wasn’t about to let her pay for him. He would figure it out later, though— “I’d love to meet Lola,” he said.

The bell over the door rang, shocked him out of his stupid staring; “Shit,” he said, snapping himself away from the bar. “I have… a job.” Which he did, but he stayed put, rocking on his heels. “Six thirty,” he said again, like an idiot, and grinned. “I’ll see you then, then!”

And then he cringed. Then, then. That had been horrible. He got his rag back out, gave her one more grin. It felt like planning the logistics of their next meeting was end-of-conversation stuff, so he cleared his throat, awkward. “So…”
« Last Edit: July 11, 2019, 07:08:08 AM by Nan »

happiness isn't good enough for me! i demand euphoria!

Susan Bones [ British Ministry ]
27 Posts  •  22  •  Curious  •  played by Louise
Re: [MP] Is it me you're looking for? [Seamus]
« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2019, 08:44:32 AM »
“Right.  Cool.  Six-thirty.  Friday.”  She tapped the scrap of parchment she had passed over the bar with her address scribbled on it.  “Here.”  Susan didn’t know why she had seemingly lost the ability to speak in full sentences.  It was a bit embarrassing.  Really, she just didn’t know what else to say.  So her brain had just had her helpfully repeat the facts as though they were important investigative notes to commit to memory. 

Seamus seemed shocked to suddenly remember he was at work.  She grinned at him and the way he was talking.  Then, then?  At least they were both being idiots, then

“So…”  Susan cleared her throat too, feeling the awkwardness of his pause.  “Well, I should go…”  She rose slowly from her seat, unsure if there were any other social pleasantries they should observe before she left.  “Umm, so it was nice to see you.  And I’ll ummm see more of you on Friday I guess.”  Taking a step back, the red head shrugged.  Urgh.  Way to go and sound enthusiastic, Sus!  “I mean, I look forward to it.”  She hastily added with a self-conscious smile. 

Was this the sort of moment that acquaintances or friends would normally shake hands or hug?  Susan had no idea but decided that the bulk of the bar between them would be a good enough excuse for not engaging in physical contact.  She settled for a little wave instead.  “Ok, bye.”  With that she turned and started to make her way towards the door.  As she walked, she briefly wondered if Seamus was watching her.  If he was then she desperately hoped that she could at least walk like a normal human being on her way out. 

« Last Edit: July 17, 2019, 08:46:19 AM by Louise »


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