This is my response to Wotcher-Tonks' Never-Before-Seen Pairing Challenge at HPFC. It was actually inspired by an excerpt from CoS, and is mentioned below. Enjoy, and please do leave an review!

Ginny Weasley, who sat next to Colin Creevey in Charms, was distraught, but Harry felt that Fred and George were going the wrong way about cheering her up. They were taking turns covering themselves with fur or boils and jumping out at her from behind statues. They only stopped when Percy, apoplectic with rage, told them he was going to write to Mrs. Weasley and tell her Ginny was having nightmares.

-Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Page 157, US Version

The boy with the camera has disappeared. Ginny still doesn't understand why – her brain just hasn't been absorbing news like it used to. She discovered the vivacious boy's absence when she walked subconsciously into Charms earlier that morning. He wasn't in his seat, fiddling about with that appliance of his.

She had paused for a moment before taking her assigned seat next to the empty chair – her twin brothers had already spooked her on the way to class by popping out at her from behind a hunchbacked statue. She had tried to recall if that absent boy had met Fred and George in the common room at all and had spoken with them about their pranks…

Now, Percy appears next to her at dinner, gently speaking to her, telling her about the nameless boy being Petrified. When he tells her this, Ginny's mind flashes back to her arrival at Hogwarts – there was a peppy, mousy-haired boy who had smiled at her when she climbed aboard the same boat as his at the lake. What did he say his name was? Connor? Christopher?

"…Did you know him, Ginny?" Percy's soothing voice brings her back to the present. "His name was Colin…"

…Colin Creevey. She remembers now. He had snapped her picture during the boat ride, embarrassedly admitting that he wanted to show his father through a picture that Colin was not the only first-year who was utterly in awe of Hogwarts. Ginny had wondered why Mr. Creevey needed a picture to show a first-year's excitement – who wouldn't be eagerly waiting to attend this school?

"Ginny, have you seen my brother Dennis?" Colin comes to her armchair in the common room one February night in their third year. "We've been changing around Potter Stinks badges a bit..." He fumbles among his clothing for a moment, finally withdrawing a silver pin-on badge, sporting a faded message on its front. "And we want to give a go at a few more before the task on Friday…"

Ginny barely peers up from her Potions homework. "I saw him go up to his dormitory awhile ago. I think he went to bed early for some reason."

Colin grumbles to himself for some time, flopping down into a chair at the table Ginny's parchment and books are strewn across. "Er, would you mind if I ask you to help me out with these? Dennis and I weren't getting much luck, but maybe you…"

Her head aching from the assignment in front of her, she pushes her papers aside to take the badge from Colin. "I'll try. What do I have to do?"

"It should be quite simple. All you have to do is think clearly of the message you want on an object, and point your wand at it while saying, Lego Meus Mens," For once, the uplifting Colin has a serious appearance on his face. "But you have to think only about the new message, or something else will appear."

Ginny nods, withdraws her wand, and mutters the spell underneath her breath firmly. The former message fades away, and the new one appears. She squints her eyes to read the new message, and her heart stops for a moment when seeing these words.

Colin Creevey…

A blush creeping up along her neck, Ginny immediately snatches up the badge and hides it in her bag. Fighting back the embarrassment and question in her system, she glances back at Colin. "May I have another badge please?"

As Colin rummages for another badge, Ginny hides her face partly with her hand, searching her mind for a rightful answer to this happening.

…Since when has she ever liked Colin more than platonically?

Fifth year had brought her the romantic likings of Dean Thomas, and later, Harry Potter. She should compliment herself for finally grasping the attention of Harry – he is the one she has been fancying since she was a little girl, isn't he?

But Harry let her go today. It was Dumbledore's funeral date, and as soon as the mournful ceremony ended, he spoke to her all about it – he wasn't safe to be around with…he had to fight…Voldemort had used her as bait once before and could do it again…he fully regretted not dating her any sooner.

Was he really worth it? He had only discovered of his feelings for her that year, only to leave her at the end of those several months. Her mother would say that if he did truly love her, he'd want to keep her safe, and in her viewpoint, Harry would have done the right thing…

When she returns to the common room later that day, alone, she finds Colin there, playing around with a roll of film for his camera. Still in the shadows by the portrait hole, she somberly takes in his curious image, thinking to herself. He finally feels the sense of someone else being in the premise, and turns around to see her.

"Hiya, Ginny," he beams at her, his teeth suddenly appearing perfectly white to her. A second later, his smile fades slightly, and he continues, "How are you feeling?"

He doesn't know about Harry breaking up with her, only about how confused she had felt about Dumbledore's death. Slowly, she seats herself in a chair near his, replying, "I've been better, Colin."

He nods, and suddenly, a Red Delicious apple appears in his hand. Ginny doesn't know how it got there, but merely brushes off the fact – she's too tired to think or care.

"Would you like it?" Colin outstretches his hand. "I got it for myself from the kitchens, but if you're hungry…"

She smiles wanly at him, and accepts the apple, her thanks visible in her eyes. As her mouth hovers over the treat, her teeth preparing to sink into it, she pauses for a spilt second, having seen Colin pull out a Granny Smith apple. "You got two?"


"Did you purposely get ones of different kinds?"

"I…" Colin stares dumbfounded at his green apple, and then at Ginny's red one. "I don't understand what you're saying…"

Ginny sees the vapor from her mouth form light circles on the apple, and she lays it back down on the table. The apple is red. She thinks of Valentine's Day, known for celebrating love – everyone she knows associates love with the color red. She glances back at Colin's green apple apprehensively, and then at Colin himself. Her breath growing heavy, she leans forward and steadily brushes his lips with hers.

…She feels the zing – the zing she was almost afraid to have. Cheeks flushing as rosy as her apple, she pulls apart from him gently and stares back at him.

Colin's usually pallid face shines floridly. Looking down at the apple, he smiles and places his hand on top of hers.

"I understand now," he announces mirthfully. "Red is the color of love."

She should have known that it'd never work out. There had been a war raging when it happened, for Merlin's sake! How could she have been any stupider?

She attends his memorial service decked in full black, her hair the only thing with a sprightly color. His parents had insisted on mourning ceremonies away from Hogwarts, one their Muggle relatives and friends could attend easily.

The chapel lacks a presence of lively colors as well. She seats herself in the back of the congregation, not a single tear running down her blank face – she was not one to normally weep, but in the past month, she had made an exception by crying for Fred.

Colin should have deserved a few tears from her. But she just held no more suffering for him.

The words the minister preaches wash over her like air – she doesn't hear a thing. When the service is proclaimed finished, several of its attendees rush to his open coffin, peering down at the non-responsive face and sobbing. Ginny fights to keep her heart in one piece when seeing Dennis stare down at his brother, traumatized.

She still remains in her seat, her head bowed down. When most of the mourners have filed into the back foyer, she rises and ascends up the altar to the coffin.

His battle scars are located all over his face, and through the white shirt he has been dressed in, she can see that fatal cicatrix. His eyes are shut, and she scans her brain to recall the last time she took in his ocean-colored pupils. She licks her lips warily at his still chest.

Reaching a gloved hand into her dress's pocket, she withdraws two roses – a red one, and a white one. Slipping them underneath his folded hands, her eyes linger over his body one last time. Fingering the roses once more, she opens her mouth to speak.

"I would have just brought you the red, but red and white roses combined signify unity. I hope we'll still be together, even when you're not here."

Leaning down to kiss his forehead, she turns, and makes her way to the exit of the chapel. In the stiff silence of the building, a soft whisper can be heard…

"I still love you."

My only concerns with this are if Ginny and Colin are in character enough...and the spell Colin teaches Ginny is actually Latin for 'Read My Mind'.

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