Because of the Dark Room
By
unperfectwolf
Archive: sure, that's cool
Rated: pg
Warnings: slash. m/m. boylove. whatever you call it, it's there.
Fandom, Pairing:
Harry Potter Un. JK Rowling, Colin Creevey/Draco Malfoy
Summary: "He didn't know when, exactly, he took his first picture of Draco Malfoy. It had been in his first year, and it must have been when Draco and Harry were doing one of their show downs. Draco was sneering, his face not so beautiful with that expression, but it didn't matter. It was instantly one of Colin's favorites."
Disclaimer: not mine, never was mine, never will be mine. all is jk rowling's.
For: tamlane, downinnewyork, and gryfforin because they're the one's who struck the plot bunny. enjoy, if you actually find the fic. Happened because of these comments to this post in ferveoproject.
Word Count: 3496
Authors Note: Well? What do you all think of the fic? Of the pair? That's what I really want to know. If I write more will you all read it?

a note to my ff.n readers, which can also be found in my profile:
To all my faithful readers:
I do not know how much longer you'll be seeing me on ff.n. Yes, I grew up reading and writing on here. And yes, I loved it, once. But it's coming upon the time when I will be leaving- I will be making The Great Break (see the livejournal community called that, which you can find linked through my own livejournal) and I do not know if I will continue to post here. I will update EVERYTHING (in all of my different fandoms) on my LJ (I'm unperfectwolf). All of those not loaded there will be backdated and put into my memories. Trolls – hate me, report me for abuse, I don't care. Call me what you will. I will update Silver Glass, Love or Something Like It and A Hero Dies In This One, when I have something to update with, here for as long as I have an account. It will be a sad day in hell when I, faithful writer since 2001, faithful reader since 1999, get kicked off. Much Love – kwen (aka unperfectwolf)

BECAUSE OF THE DARK ROOM

He liked to take pictures, and not just with his wizarding camera. While the wizrding camera was interesting and good fun to use, Colin Creevey found something soothing in the whole process of using a muggle camera.

And it wasn't only that. Wizarding photos were cool – they moved and they captured whole scenes, something that as a muggle-born he found fascinating. But muggle photos truly captured a moment. You could get emotion so clearly, before it could be cleared from someone's face, and once it was on muggle film, it was there. Unlike a wizarding photo, which could move around, it was never going to be any different than it was when it was taken.

He didn't know who'd convinced who (he secretly thought Dumbledore had something to do with it, but didn't ever say anything), but a dark room and a black room had appeared near the library and a House Elf had been sent with a key for him. After the initial questions to the House Elf had turned up no names, he hadn't asked anyone else. It was enough to have it. It was always fully stocked, and if he needed something that wasn't there a note left by the sink in the dark room always provided it.

He was sure there was an easier way to develop muggle film. Surely, in the years that camera's had been around, someone had come up with a spell that developed the film, and even one to enlarge and develop pictures. But he didn't truly want to find it, if it did exist. He found the entire process relaxing.

Oh, sure, the developing of the film was pretty boring, turning the tank up and down, over and over, for both the developer and the fixer, but after a while he used that time to think of other things, a bit of a reflection period. Plus, he felt using magic in any part of the process was just… wrong. It didn't feel right to him.

There was especially no way that he would have ever used magic to enlarge a photo. Doing it himself was what made the whole process what it was. Getting just the right amount of the picture, at just the right angel, with just the right light…

He used developing room tricks, like burning and dodging. He never did many special effects, but every now and then he felt brave and did a few.

He didn't know when, exactly, he took his first picture of Draco Malfoy. It had been in his first year, and it must have been when Draco and Harry were having one of their show downs (one of the many – it seemed they happened every day when they were younger). Draco was sneering, his face not so beautiful with that expression, but it didn't matter. It was instantly one of Colin's favorites.

The toning was perfect. With Draco's coloring, it looked dramatic with they fuzzy grey background of the stone walls. His dark robes, which you could only see the top of, framed his face.

And Colin only ever took black and white pictures, so the dramatic jumps from dark to light made the picture absolutely amazing.

Over the next few years he took more and more photos of Draco. He wondered sometimes, as he flipped through his negatives and contact sheets that he left in binders in a cupboard in the Dark room, how many sheets of paper he'd used on pictures of Draco Malfoy. He didn't bother to open the photo box labeled "Malfoy" and find out, but he wondered.

By the time his fifth year had rolled around, Colin had given up on stalking Harry. He'd never meant to be such a brat, but it seemed when he wasn't in the dark room he was a different person. In the dark room he was the boss – had anyone else been in there with him, he would still have known more, been in charge of them and been the one everyone raced to with questions – for once. There, no one else could lord over him, or mess with him, or bother him. He knew every detail in the room, knew where everything was, and knew how to work all of the equipment.

In a way it was like magic. He came in from the Outside World, as he referred to it, and transformed from the annoying boy named Creevey that followed Harry Potter and Ron Weasley around and became Colin, the young adult who could take wonderful pictures and was calm and collected.

Their meeting was an accident. Colin had forgotten to lock the door when he'd come in. It was a Saturday with no Quidditch game, and he'd decided to stay home from Hogsmeade. Three hours after he'd gone into the room, Colin had finally developed all the pictures he wanted from the role he'd just developed. It was a roll of the Gryffindors in their common room, nothing extraordinary, but they were all relaxed and almost every one of them was there.

He'd been busy fixing the last picture he wanted when the door opened in the antechamber and someone had cursed at running into a darkroom. With hasty reflexes that would have left a seeker begging, Colin had shouted out an "Expelliarmus!" to keep the person from using a lumos spell, and ruining his paper and anything else that was light sensitive.

"What the hell?" a voice had asked, one Colin knew all too well.

He'd rolled his eyes. "Go to your left four steps and then turn right and go forward a few steps then turned right again and go four more steps. If you turn leftand come through the curtain, you'll be in the light."

When Draco had emerged, he'd blinked a few times, looking around himself in confusion. "What the hell is all of this?" he'd asked in his condescending way.

Colin had ignored his tone. "A muggle dark room, which was why I had to take your wand," he told him, handing the piece of wood back carefully. "There's light sensitive things in here, that can only handle red light," he motioned to the light in the ceiling that produced the red glow the room was lit with.

Draco had looked around at everything in confusion. One wall was all counter space with an enlarger in the middle of it. The enlarge itself was an odd looking contraption, confusing to anyone who didn't know what they were doing. On the far wall were floor to ceiling cupboards and on the remaining wall was a sink with several shallow bins filled with the various chemicals on one side and squee-gee board, a paper cutter and drying rack on the other.

"Whats a dark room?" he had asked.

Colin had smiled to himself for having a one up on Draco Malfoy for once. "Where you develop muggle pictures." He nodded to the drying rack and then took the last photo from the fixer and put it into the shallow bin in the sink, turning on the water to cycle the water through.

Draco had been examining the pictures when Colin finished. "Why don't they move?"

Colin had walked towards him. "Because muggle films do that, and they're different still because they move for long periods of time – sometimes hours. These are still photos. Black and White, taken with an SLR camera. A Minolta X-700 with a Vivitar Series 1 lens, which is a 28-90mm zoom lens with a2.8 to 16 aperture."

Draco had just looked confused. "Uh, okay… Whatever all of that is." He seemed to have pulled himself together after that, until he saw a picture in the back of the rack. "Is this me?" he'd questioned.

Colin had looked at the picture and nodded. It had been from the Quidditch match the weekend before. "Yeah, it is."

Draco had turned and looked at him, as if seeing him for the first time. "You took this?"

Colin had nodded and begun sorting through the photos for the ones that were dry. He planned on taking them back to the common room to give to everyone.

"Aren't you a Mud-" Draco had started to say, but Colin had turned on him before he could finish it.

"Do not, under any circumstances, call me that. My blood is perfectly red, thank you," he'd told the older boy, his eyes flashing.

Draco had regarded him with a suspicious look, and had left soon after.

When they'd crossed paths in the hallways, Colin had been more like he normally was, and had ignored Draco until the blond Slytherin had cornered him after classes. "Do you have more pictures?" he'd asked, not making any small talk first.

Colin had looked at him almost coolly, as if he didn't know if he should lie or tell the truth. Finally he nodded. "Yeah. You can come see, if you want."

It had been the start of a tentative bond. Draco had come to him on a regular basis, and after the first few times had started to learn how Colin did everything. No one else, even the Gryffindors he made pictures for on a regular basis, had bothered to learn how it was done.

Draco had eventually found the box Colin had kept all of the pictures he'd taken of him in. There were other boxes, labeled things like "Gryffindors", "Ravenclaws", "Hufflepuffs" and "Slytherins". One was called "En Mass" and had pictures of all of the houses in large groups doing various things. Another was labeled for Quidditch. When he'd found the one full of picture's of only him, he'd raised an eyebrow.

Colin had shrugged. He was different in the Dark room, not nervous or hyperactive. This was his territory, and no matter what Draco tried, he was in charge. He was the one who was the leader in this room, the one who set down the rules. "Pictures of you come out. It's a hobby, I guess." It was all the explanation he'd ever given, even later on.

Draco had gone through the box, but hadn't said anything about it when he was done. He saw almost all of the photo's Colin developed after that, so he'd never gone through the box again.

After a while, Draco had asked to be taught how to take pictures. Colin hadn't wanted to let Draco use his camera – it was his prized possession – so he'd written down a type of camera and told Draco to get one like that.

It had been a test of sorts, to see if Draco could get a hold of the muggle device. Colin had never questioned how he did it, but when Draco had come to him with it, he'd started to teach him how to use it.

When their relationship had changed, the younger boy didn't know. He'd asked Draco for help once, on homework of some sort, and with in a little while they were doing their homework in the library, together, before or after their sessions in the dark room or with their cameras. It didn't seem to matter to either of them that Colin was a year below.

And around them, a war waged on.

Six months after Draco had gotten his camera, they'd come back to school for Draco's last year at Hogwarts. A few months into the year, he'd come across a few picture's Colin had taken of Harry in the Gryffindor common room. The boy didn't look good. He looked exhausted and about ready to collapse.

Perhaps it was then that Draco realized what was really happening. Perhaps it was then that he'd realized that Colin was on the other side of the whole war, that if he joined his father he'd be talking about killing people like Colin.

Colin had slowly become more like his dark room persona outside of the dark room. Around Draco he was calmer, and slowly the seemingly ADD boy had matured into a calm and cool young adult.

Draco had disappeared for a week after he'd seen those pictures. Rumors had it he was sequestered with Snape or Dumbledore, or that he'd gone off to join Voldemort.

He'd returned slightly bruised and sleep deprived, but the only person he'd ever spoken to about what he'd done, besides the obvious adults, was Colin.

"I'm officially fighting for the light side, now," he'd said casually, a few days after he'd come back. Colin hadn't said anything about it when he had returned, knowing that if Draco wanted to talk about it he would. When he'd told him that Colin had allowed himself to smile at the older boy.

He'd taken a tentative step towards him, not sure if what he was about to do was okay with the other boy, before he'd given in and hugged him.

To his surprise, Draco had hugged him back.

Over the course of the next few months, they'd grown closer. Draco had stopped hanging out with most of the Slytherins and practically lived out of the dark room. He'd been given a key ages ago, and Colin often found him in there if he wasn't playing Quidditch.

Slowly they'd started to do things together when other people were around. They'd studied in a back corner of the library, and for a long time the only one who'd ever seen them together was Hermione Granger. She'd been confused at first, but when Draco had politely asked for her help on something, she'd helped.

Slowly she'd come to realize Draco wasn't up to anything, and even had come to study with them on occasion. It was them she'd come to when Ron had broken her heart the year before, and them she'd come to with stories from her apprenticeship with Professor Snape. They were the only one's who wouldn't judge her for enjoying the time, it seemed, because as a Gryffindor and a Slytherin, they had no room to talk.

She'd started to study with them, after her time with Snape (who usually always had a detention and she didn't like to be there for them). Colin and she would then return to the Gryffindor Common Room at Curfew, leaving Draco to find his way to the Slytherin Common Room alone.

She'd also begun to learn the very basics of photography. She'd brought her camera with her from home, for her last year, and had asked to be taught a bit. Both the boys had begun to give her pointers, though most were at random and in an orde that made no sense.

Nearly a month after Hermione had started to come and study with them, and to regale them with stories of her time with Snape, Harry had found them. He'd left Ron play chess with Dean or something, he'd told them, but wanted to find out what Hermione and Colin did at night.

What he'd found had surprised him, but not too much. Colin and Draco had started to "pal around" sometimes, and often times, between class, they could be seen exchanging a few words. Seeing Hermione and Draco deep in their NEWTS studies with Colin doing his own work, occasionally asking the older two for help, wasn't a true surprise. He'd said hello, stayed a few minutes, and left. He hadn't bothered them again.

At Christmas time, both Hermione and Colin had sadly watched most of their classmates leave. As muggle-borns, it was extremely dangerous for them to go home. Draco, too, was staying, but more because he'd be killed by his father if he returned home, now that he was considered a blood traitor.

Harry had gone with Ron, which didn't surprise them at all. Hermione had been invited, but to go to your ex-boyfriends house for the holidays was simple awkward. Instead, they'd decided to forgo all school work for at least the first two weeks, maybe even for the last half a week they'd have, and just enjoy the time as friends.

After two days of not working at all, Hermione had disappeared into the dungeons after breakfast. When she'd been gone for lunch and dinner as well, the two boys had gone to find her.

They'd found her deeply involved in an experiment with Professor Snape, who was extremely surprised to find Draco Malfoy and Colin Creevey looking for Hermione Granger, especially together. She'd laughed at his surprised look, making both the boys wince in fear, but he'd only waved a hand at her and told her to go eat before she feinted, and that he wouldn't be catching her again if she didn't follow his advice.

The boys had both blinked before Colin had turned to Hermione. "Again? Are you not taking care of yourself, Hermione?"

Draco had snorted and muttered something that had caused Hermione to smack him, much to Snape's amusement. "Tomorrow, again, Hermione?" he'd asked.

Hermione had looked at the two boys and they'd shrugged. "We're just gonna be in the dark room. We took a lot of picture's today," Draco told her.

Hermione had grinned. "Cool. I want to see them, yeah?"

They boys had nodded and she'd turned to Snape, telling him she would indeed be there on the next day.

"But," Colin had told Snape, "You need to feed her lunch and dinner, if she's going to be working with you all day." While he was smiling, there was no doubt that he was serious about what he was saying, and that he'd wreck havoc on the Professor if he didn't.

"I will, Creevey. No worries," the Professor had told him.

And so they spent their days apart, and their nights together, often in the library near a fire. It became normal for the Professors and the other students there to see them all together, or jus the two boys there.

It was three days before Christmas when it happened. Draco and Colin had been having a snowball fight, and when Colin tackled Draco, the two of them had tumbled to the ground, Colin landing on Draco, face to face with him. And then he'd kissed him, just a light touch of his lips.

When he'd pulled back, he looked just as surprised, if not more so, than Draco did. When he'd tried to scramble away from him, Draco had held him to him, his arms wrapped around his waist. "Colin?" he'd questioned softly.

"I… I'm sorry, okay Draco? Just… just leave it at that," he'd begged.

Draco had refused to, but not like Colin had expected. Instead of responding verbally, he'd leaned up and captured his lips in more passionate kiss, though it was still tentative.

When Hermione had come up to the Library that night, she'd found Colin curled up into Draco's side, his head on his shoulder, Draco's arm around him.

"Who'da thunk it?" she murmured sarcastically to herself, glad they'd finally done something about the tension she could feel between them, even all the way back when she'd just begun to study with them. When she'd first come across them, she'd almost thought that they were a couple, before she'd recognized then tension and figured they didn't see it yet.

The rest of Christmas break progressed, a little less getting done between Draco and Colin due to the amount of kissing they engaged in, but otherwise nothing changed. They still hung out with Hermione in the evenings, and came and spent a few days in the lab with her. They even convinced Snape to let them take a few photos.

Once the other student's returned, they didn't advertise their relationship, but didn't really hide it. Most of the girl's noticed, but then again, they looked for that kid of thing. It took months for a rumor to start, and it was quickly squashed because common knowledge somehow doesn't make the best rumor fodder.

Now, as he was packing his things up in the dark room, as it was his last few days at Hogwarts, Colin could remember the first time Draco had stumbled into the dark room. It seemed like a long time ago, when Draco wasn't at his side, but against him. Once he was home, Draco would be coming to see him – he'd promised, at Colin's graduation a few days prior.

As he exited the room, an Owl flew down and landed on Colin's shoulder, squawking its protests at being made to wait.

In the envelope it had held was a picture of Draco and him, over a year ago, in the Library. On the back in familiar hand writing was the words "Thought you might enjoy this, and thanks for the lessons! Happy Graduation, Colin!"

He knew it was from Hermione, because Draco was in the picture with him and he'd only ever taught one other person to use a camera.

He smiled as he placed it on top of the boxes and picked them up again, walking away from the dark room for the last time.

22 June 2005.