Ghostly

Pairings: Neville/Colin.

Warnings: As you may have guessed…it's slash! Flame if you wish, I need a few laughs at the moment.

A/N: I just discovered this pairing. They're unbelievably sweet and I love them. The characters may be a little OOC but, hey! It's fanfiction! It's also my first proper chaptered fic. I'm determined to finish it

The italics are Neville's little inner voice.

Disclaimer: None of these characters etc. are mine.

Neville rubbed his eyes, glanced at his watch and sighed again. He'd been working on this essay for nearly two hours now. His eyes were burning and his head was aching but the image of Snape's malevolent eyes burnt in his mind like an unholy fire. He shuddered and dutifully picked up his quill.

The powdered lionfish spines must be added after simmering the potion for three minutes as the spines are known to be explosive when paired with

"Neville!" The boy looked up, startled as a bushy haired girl sat down suddenly in the seat next to him.

"Oh…hello Hermione." His stomach clenched. He knew he was awful at Potions and he was grateful for any help at all…but it still stung a little when people offered help with that pitying look he hated. "You…you don't need to help me with this one. I want to try on my own." Hermione looked confused for a minute.

"Help…? Oh! Oh, I didn't come because of that. I'm here to ask you if you'd be interested in joining a…group I'm thinking about forming."

"A group?"

"Yes." Hermione hesitated before continuing. "You see, I was thinking about asking Harry to give us Defence Against the Dark Arts lessons." Neville blinked.

"Harry?"

Everything seems to be about that boy.

Quiet. It's not his fault he's so famous. He didn't ask for it.

Hermione was smiling eagerly now and Neville forced his attention back to what she was saying.

"…knows that Umbridge teaches about as well as a Flobberworm, and you know, Harry's done so much…"

Yeah all right, I've already heard about all his various achievements.

That's because he's done so much!

I know…I don't need to hear it a million times.

I can't talk. I'd never dare to anything like the things he's done.

Yes, well, you've never done anything brave in your life.

Neville winced inwardly. It was always a bad sign when he started hearing Malfoy's voice in his head.

He realised that Hermione had stopped talking and was looking at him expectantly. Hitching a smile in place, he replied in what he hoped was an enthusiastic voice,

"Yeah! Sounds great!" Hermione beamed at him.

"I knew you'd say yes! Now, I'm only telling a few people and I think we should all meet up in the Hog's Head next weekend. Do you know where it is?"

"Yeah. The kinda shabby one, up that side street?"

"That's it. No one else from Hogwarts will be there so we won't be overheard. You'll hear more about it there, and you can finally decide whether you want to join or not." Neville suddenly thought of something.

"Hermione…how many people are going to be there?"

"Just a few. Look, I've got to go. See you there!" She got up and turned to go but her way was blocked by a small blonde boy. Hermione looked slightly startled.

"Oh…hello there." The boy had a nervous grin on his face and kept shifting his weight from foot to foot.

"Hi…um, I couldn't help overhearing. Harry's giving lessons?"

"Er…" Hermione looked unsure what to say.

That's a first.

Shut up.

Neville took a closer look at the boy. He was short, thin and pale in every way. His skin was white, his hair was a light blonde and his eyes were an unnervingly pale blue. He looked barely there, as though you could pass a hand straight through him with ease. It was an odd contrast to the bright, warm red and gold of the common room,

Right now, his pale eyes were fixed on Hermione and he seemed to be almost quivering in his anticipation. However, the girl still seemed uncertain, even reluctant. The silence stretched and tightened like an elastic band.

Suddenly Neville found his mouth opening and sound emerging from it.

"Yeah, he might be. To make up for Umbridge's terrible teaching. If you're interested, come along to the Hog's Head next weekend. You can sign up there."

The elastic band snapped as Hermione stared incredulously at Neville and the pale boy's face lit up. The smile somehow seemed to make him more real.

"Wow! Thanks! Can anyone come along, because my brother…"

Hermione quickly recovered and interrupted.

"No, no. Only a few people can come. Otherwise there…there won't be enough room."

"Oh." The boy's face fell slightly but he kept smiling. "I understand. Never mind. Thanks anyway! I can't wait! See you!" He turned and hurried off towards a group of fourth years huddled round a table nearby.

Neville sighed inside as Hermione rounded on him. He could already see the question in her face. And, no. He had no clue why he had invited the boy to come.

"Do you know him, Neville?"

"No. What's his name?" Hermione frowned slightly and crossed her arms.

"Colin Creevey. He practically worships Harry."

Doesn't everyone?

No, everyone doesn't! Now go away!

"Harry might not be thrilled that he's there, you know."

Neville now felt slightly guilty. Hermione's disapproving glare was boring into him and his actions seemed pushy and rude.

"Sorry, Hermione. I didn't mean any harm…just trying to help." Hermione looked at his contrite face and softened visibly.

"It's fine, Neville. Just don't invite anyone else, okay?" Neville nodded meekly. Hermione smiled again.

"Good. See you, Neville!"

"Bye."

As she walked away, Neville gazed resignedly down at his Potions essay. He stared at it for about a minute before placing his quill back in his back and rolling up the parchment.

He couldn't concentrate on it at the moment. For some reason, Snape's burning eyes were strangely absent from his mind.

Gathering up his things, he sent one last glance at the group of fourth years and went up to his dorm. He'd ask Hermione for help in the morning.

Thanks for reading! Hope you like