Well I should have written this a while ago, but I've been busy with Written In Blood and Jigsaw Pieces. But here it is, finally. I know it's not very long, but I wrote everything I had to say.

Safe And Protected Again

Summary: Colin Creevey was short, he was young, and he was dead. But he was still a great wizard. Part of my again series.

Tiny Colin Creevey. Little Colin Creevey.

He'd grown used to being referred to, thought of, that way. The short one. He didn't mind it.

He'd been called a mudblood, too. He minded that, a lot. He minded not being able to return to Hogwarts when Voldemort had taken over. He minded having to hide, having to be protected by spells the Order of the Phoenix had cast.

He minded evil taking over his school, his world.

Because whatever they said about pure-bloods and muggle-borns, about non-magical blood, dirty blood, he belonged in that world. He'd always known it. Even before he got his letter he'd known he didn't fit in the muggle world properly. The letter made sense.

The feeling of magic coursing down his arm and through his wand felt right.

And walking into that giant castle felt like coming home.

He hadn't liked sitting at home, getting occasional messages from Dumbledore's Army. And then when he'd had the message about Harry and the others arriving, about how they were going to fight, he hadn't even hesitated before leaving.

He shouldn't have stayed. He knew that now; maybe he'd known the second he'd decided to defy Professor McGonagall. Maybe he should have listened to that gut instinct that told him to go home.

But then, what kind of Gryffindor would he have been? What kind of wizard? What kind of man?

He'd been scared of death. His whole life he'd been scared. He'd never thought he'd die young, though. Not at sixteen. He'd thought he'd be an old, old man. And still, he'd been scared.

No fear, here, though. Even though it was dark, and Colin was never comfortable in the dark. Even though it was empty, and Colin didn't like to be all alone.

The Leaky Cauldron. Would've thought it? He didn't understand why he was here; didn't understand why he felt completely at peace here. No fear, no sorrow, no anger, none of the emotions he'd expected to accompany the end of his life.

Maybe that was just what death did to you, though.

Death. The word was so strange, when you applied it to yourself. Dead.

I am dead. It wasn't a sentence you ever imagined saying, thinking, was it?

Colin knew he was dead though, and didn't try to deny it. After all, he'd seen that flash of light; he'd heard the rushing sound, felt the heat of it. He'd been dead before his body had hit the floor.

He shivered suddenly, although it wasn't cold. It wasn't warm, either. It wasn't anything.

He wasn't anything.

"Colin." The voice was sudden, familiar, welcome, and Colin spun round to face his old headmaster.

"Professor Dumbledore?"

"Ah, Colin, you should have stayed at home. Stayed safe." Dumbledore sighed. The boy was so young, so small, looked so breakable, as fragile as he had at the tender age of eleven, whe he'd lain in a hospital bed, unmoving, unthinking, unknowing, blissfully unaware of how a camera had saved his life.

"I couldn't. Sir." Colin replied, shaking his head. "I couldn't sit at home and be safe while my friends risked their lives. I did the right thing." Although he was saying the words, thinking them, for the first time, no doubt crept into his voice, or his mind. Colin had always believed in destiny, fate, whatever you wanted to call it, but right now he was certain, absolutly without a doubt certain, that he was supposed to be here, dead, now.

To his surprise, Dumbledore smiled.

"You truly are a great wizard." The older man murmured, and Colin was momentarily stunned.

"But I died." Colin said finally, voiceing the thought that had been tormenting him since he had first found himself here. "If I was that great a wizard, I'd have lived -"

"You don't understand." Dumbledore told him with a smile. "The greatness of a wizard - of a person - doesn't depend on their ability at magic, or anything else. It depends on what's in their heart."

"I..." Colin frowned.

"You risked your life tonight, lost your life, to do the right thing. To do what your heart said you had to. A great wizard."

Colin couldn't help but fill with pride.

"What happens now?" He asked, scared for the first time.

"It is time for you to move on, Colin." Dumbledore said softly. "Don't be afraid. You will be safe, protected, always."

"OK. I'm ready." Colin murmured, and Dumbledore nodded and lead him out the back. The archway was already waiting, and Colin understood why he was here. The Leaky Cauldron lead to Diagon Alley, where he'd first entered his new life.

And now he was entering whatever came next.