~*~

Dennis looked up in puzzled wonderment while Colin scurried about the house, gathering his traveling cloak, wand, etc. The smaller boy sat cross legged on the bed, watching the older boy run a hand through his mottled hair.

"Why are going Colin?" Dennis asked in a small voice. He saw Colin's shoulders slump, and he watched the older boy ease himself onto the bed like an old man. Eyes. Tired eyes of a wizard in his hundreds, not a sixteen year old glanced over at him.

"To help fight. You wouldn't understand, Dennis." Colin said softly, clenching his fist. Dennis adjusted, so he was sitting on his knees.

"You're going to fight for Harry, aren't you?"

"Yes…. and… no. Dammit, you're too young to understand!" Colin protested, reaching for his backpack. Dennis pounted, eyes glittering angrily.

"What wouldn't I understand?!" he finally exploded. Colin whirled on him, eyes burning.

"I'm not only fighting for Harry, you wanker! I'm fighting for Ginny!"

"W- wait… Ginny… Weasley? That Ron kid's little sister? Why? What's she done?" Dennis asked with childish nativity. Colin grit his teeth.

"See. This is why you wouldn't understand… its so.. .damn difficult…."

"Uh-huh. Try me!" Dennis countered confidently. Colin shrugged his shoulders.

"Its because, I love her."

"Hahahahahha! You love her! Boy are you stupid!" Dennis roared. "She never even noticed you at all!"

"I know that, Dennis." Colin said slowly, running a hand over his wand. "Its because I love her, I'm willing to give my life so she can live. So she can be with Harry. I'm willing to die for her in complete obscurity so she can have a happy, normal life. So she can live for Harry, so he can live for her."

Colin laughed. "idealistic I know, ain't it kid?" he ruffled Dennis's hair. The younger of the pair frowned, not comprehending.

"I don't get it." Dennis admitted. Colin patted him on the shoulder.

"I wouldn't expect you would. Not until you're slightly older. Take care of mum and dad for me kid. I'll be back when I can."

Colin stood, gathered his bag, and stashed his wand in his back pocket. He strode towards the door like a man, lingering in the doorway, looking back at Dennis's innocent, yet confused face.

" I love you, Den."

"Yeah… me too Colin. I love you."

Colin stiffened. His eyes grew hot with unshed tears. He wouldn't cry. He snapped off a quick salute before marching boldly downstairs and out into the early evening.

~*~

"GET DOWN!"

A wizard Colin had never set eyes upon before pushed him out of the way as an explosion ripped through the hallways leading towards the Great Hall. Plaster, stone, and dust rained down on him, as spells raged inches above his head. He saw an Auror battling two death eaters. The Auror crumpled with a cry, falling dead at their feet. His partner attacked with a vengeance, taking down one himself, before a nasty curse severed his arm off. The now one handed Auror went down screaming in a pool of blood. Colin pushed himself to his feet.

"Stupefy!"

Colin's wand flashed, and the sole death eater went flying, crashing into a wall, before slumping down like a rag doll. Satisfied he wasn't moving anytime soon, Colin bolted down the destroyed hall, checking around every corner as he did so.

"Oy! What the 'ell are you doin' here?"

He rounded on Seamus and Dean holding their own in the corridors. The stone floors were slick with blood, the old walls scorched with blast damage. Colin leapt aside from a few magically enchanted desks and suits of armor heading towards the Great Hall.

"F- fighting… what's it look like?" Colin said tersely, flicking his wand at a rug, sending a centaur under the imperius curse to his knees. Seamus and Dean fired their wands, casting him into a full body bind, rendering him all but useless.

"Oy, I see that mate. B-but aint' you underage and all?" Seamus protested , panting heavily. Colin rolled his eyes.

"If we're all not dead tomorrow and if there's even a Ministry of Magic left to keep things up and running, I'd say my chances of being expelled are sorta slim, aren't they?" Colin said dryly. "Since I'm also muggleborn and all."

"Bloody hell. Got introspective in your old age, eh?" Dean joked. Colin laughed, but it was a cold, mirthless laugh.

"A bit." He said darkly. " I just wised up real fast to things around here."

All three boys turned when they saw advancing death eaters being followed by dementors and two inferi. Their fears went unfounded when a squad of ten Aurors, and Mr. Ollivander intercepted the lot as they burst down the hall.

"Me an' Dean are headin' towards the Great Hall. You?" Seamus asked, coughing to clear the smoke from his lungs.

"I figure I'll check the halls and then head out. Keep anymore of these bastards from coming in and surprising you all." Colin said softly. Seamus shook his hand proudly, and soon Dean followed suit. Colin responded in kind.

"Bloody proud to have fought with you mate." Seamus said.

"Yeah. See ya later eh? We chat over this over the biggest tank of butterbeer we can buy." Dean seconded with a ghost of a smile.

Colin laughed lightly.

" I'd like that. Best of luck to ya lads."

"Right."

"Uh-huh."

Then Dean and Seamus vanished into the gloom filled haze. Colin was left alone again in the blurry halls, sweat pouring off him as he struggled to collect his thoughts. To keep himself from betraying to his own convictions. To keep fighting hard.

I've got to keep going….. that's right! Move your arse Creevey!

Pushing himself off the wall, Colin aimed his wand, running into the fray.

~*~

"Crucio!"

"Shit!"

Colin's knees buckled as he went down underneath the painful curse. He'd heard rumors about it from Harry during the aftermath of the Triwizard Tournament, but nothing compared to the actually knifelike pain scissoring all over his body. He gasped, forcing himself to stand. He got to one knee, aiming his wand at the castor, eyes full of flame.

"Cru-"

"Protego!"

The torturous curse bounced off his shield charm. The castor ducked as the spell shattered a chunk of wall as large as Hagrid's fist, sending thousands of little pieces cascading to the floor. Fury filling him, Colin dove on his attacker, driving his hot and sweaty fists into the meaty parts of the face. Colin was pleased when he heard a wet smack, and felt hot blood leak between his knuckles. His attacker was so surprised, he laid motionless on the floor.

"Argh!" came a pained moan. Colin snatched up his own wand, aiming it at his attacker's face when suddenly—

"D- Draco… Draco Malfoy? What in the hell… are you…?!"

It clicked a moment later. His house. His father. The outline of the dark mark on his arm. Colin's eyes slid up to Draco's terrified ones.

He looked scared shitless.

"Oh… bugger me…"

Colin released his deathlike grip on Draco's shirt. Draco stumbled away from the seemingly crazed muggleborn who'd so suddenly attacked him. Holding a hand over his broken nose, eyes wide and watery. Colin sighed.

"Can't you heal that?" he asked. Draco looked dumbfounded still. Colin aimed his wand at Draco's bloodied face.

"Episkey."

It wasn't a through job, but it'd do the trick. A busted nose wasn't the worse one could walk away from during this night. Draco touched it carefully.

"You're.. one of those Creevey's aren't you? A muggleborn right? Year below me?"

" In those respects… yes." Colin said slowly, rising to stand. He offered Draco his hand, their eyes locking. Draco hesistated.

"You'll kill me. You're on Potter's side." He said sourly. Colin's eyes narrowed.

"I may fight for Harry, but I've got my own bloody reasons for being here. Plus, just because I'm on Harry's side, does not make me a murderer. I will not slay an unarmed wizard."

Draco's fingers slowly reached out and grasped Colin's. Colin helped Draco to his feet, and summoned the blond boy's wand, handing it to him. Draco took it quickly.

"First you help me… then rearm me? What the…?"

"Look, Malfoy, unlike the rest of the student body, I have nothing against you. Got that? I could care less about your rich life, or your pureblood status, or whatever else you have. I'm fighting here for my own reasons- so if you want to duel, fine. Or—" he looked at Draco quickly. "I can get you out. I can take you towards the Hog's Head… its not far."

Draco was sure he was dreaming. He shifted his grip on his wand slightly.

"A muggleborn… helping.. .me? Why? So you can lead me to your Auror friends?" he sneered. Colin bit his tongue to keep his temper in check.

"No! Because I can tell you're scared shitless like me, and want nothing more than to go home. You don't have to die here. I'm not fond of dying either, but if that's what it takes…."

His wandless hand curled into a fist, shaking slightly.

"I- I really don't.. want to die… I saw… one of my friend's… die…" Draco whispered. Colin blew a lock of sweaty hair out of his eyes.

"Then choose to live. Either switch sides or leave immediately. Hurry. There's not much t—"

Colin saw Draco's eyes widen in shock, and the heat of a spell behind his back. He twisted slightly, so the damage was lessened, but not before a jagged streak of yellow fire blitzed across his side, leaving a large burn, the wound becoming cauterized immediately. Colin swore, dropping to his knees, keeping a loose grip on his wand however.

"Shit…. Merlin's eye!" Colin swore, withering in pain on the floor. Draco stumbled back from the approaching warrior, in terror.

"Draco! Get away from that mudblood." Bellatrix scolded, stepping into view. Her eyes were wild, her dress stained with blood. Draco balked, then ran down the hall, continuing his own battle elsewhere. Colin struggled to his feet.

"So… you're the dark lord's bitch…" Colin grunted. "Licking the boots of a half-breed wannabe. How sad."

"YOU DARE SPEAK OF HIM LIKE THAT?!"

"I do.. because he's nothing more than a sadistic fake…. A mudblood in his own right." Colin said, aiming his wand at her unsteadily. Bellatrix casta nonverbal spell, sending pain dancing through his veins. Bellatrix flicked her wand, casting a spell which levitated Colin off the ground, and like a softball being tossed by an invisible hand, sent him hurling down the hall.

"Oomph!"

Colin felt the air leave his lungs like he'd been punched in the stomach. The insane death eater was charging down the hall. Colin rolled out of the way of some of her oncoming spells, taking cover behind a destroyed statue. He shielded his head as he top of the statue was blown off. He fired a few simple spells back in her direction.

"Tch. You have some balls boy, to challenge me." Bellatrix taunted. Colin chuckled darkly.

"You'll find I'm full of surprises."

He fired off a few more spells, limping down the hall. Bellatrix followed him easily, like a animal seeking her prey.

"Expluso!"

Bellatrix shrieked as a good portion of the wall exploded, sending her crashing towards the ground, stunned. Pulling herself from the rubble as fast as she could, she was all to aware of the spell blazing at her semi trapped body.

"Crucio!"

Ah, like Potter two years ago. Bellatrix felt the familiar sting of the curse. It hurt of course, but like Potter, Colin lacked the true sadisim to prolong pain. Bellatrix muttered a nonverbal jynx, sending a suit of demolished armor at the wall where she thought the boy was hidden. She saw Colin's shadow dance across the wall as he rolled away. Her fingers splayed, she found her wand, casting a banishing charm, dissolving all of the piles of stone.

"Boy…. That'll be your gravest mistake." Bellatrix seethed.

~*~

Rain pounded Colin's back as he staggered outside. There were dozens of fighters flanking him on all sides of the Hogwarts grounds. Aurors, Death Eaters, Shopkeepers, and ordinary wizards alike. The air was thick with smoke from spells, and burning flesh. The cries of the dying assaulted his ears, and the ground was littered with too many bodies to count. He watched an old wizard fall, his face twisted in pain as a death eater loomed over him, ready to strike.

"N… no… please!" the old man wheezed. "I- I'll do anything!"

"Yeah right." The death eater leveled his wand. "Avada Ke—"

"Expeliarmous!"

Colin watched as the surprised Death Eater's wand flew out of his hand. He gave an enraged roar at having being brought down by a mere child. Casting leviosa, Colin neatly lifted the still stunned death eater, and dropped him in the lake. The tentacle of the giant squid could be seen, pulling the struggling man beneath the shiny dark surface. Colin rushed over to the fallen wizard, offering his hand.

"Here, lemme help you…" Colin said, helping the old man to his feet. The old man sighed, still looking deeply shaken.

"I'll never forget you." He said, before rushing off back into the fray. Colin watched the man vanish into the throng before he saw the shadow of someone looming up behind him. He whirled on instinct, when a hand grabbed his throat, lifting him high.

"Oy! This the little bleeder that wounded ya?" Greyback snarled. Holding a heavy limp, Bellatrix nodded.

"Oh yes, that's him. I'll never forgot his face. Dirty mudblood."

"Ahh… tear him apart eh?" Greyback snorted gleefully. Bellatrix ran a hand up and down Colin's chest teasingly.

"Such strength.. such stamina for someone with such filthy blood." Bellatrix cooed. Colin spat in her face. Greyback's grip on his throat tightened.

"Burn in hell!" Colin rasped. Greyback was so surprised he dropped the boy out of laughter. Colin snatched up his wand, leveling it at them.

"Oh ho ho! He wants to play with us!" Bellatrix sneered. Colin flicked his wand, sending a warning bolt of magic at them.

"Stand… down…!" he demanded softly. Bellatrix and Greyback laughed.

Bellatrix smirked, aiming her wand, sending a bolt of magic at Colin. Colin leapt aside, but was slowed due to the wound in his side. Greyback began panting, encouraging the bloodshed. Bellatrix toyed with the much younger wizard, sending bolts at him at every occasion.

"See, Greyback? This isn't a child's---ARGH!"

Colin fired a spell that left a deep slash in Bellatrix's arm. Bellatrix stumbled back, grasping at the wound, watching transfixed as her own blood seeped through the torn flesh. Greyback's eyes gleamed at the red liquid—but one look from Bellatrix shut him up.

"S- sorry… couldn't help it…" the werewolf muttered. Bellatrix, tired for one moment, slipped and fell to one knee.

"Tell me boy… what drives you…." She whispered, almost in a questioning voice. Colin panted, seeing his earlier wounds slowly fester and turn green. A rotting curse. His skin felt hot, and his body light. He focused his doubling vision.

"Something… you wouldn't… understand…." Colin said with great effort. "Love…. Don't you see? Its love… I fight for…surely… you must love…somewhere…"

Bellatrix paused, cocking her head as if studying him for the first time. Slowly, Voldemort's last lieutenant got to her feet, nodding.

"You're right I do love…. I LOVE KILLING FILTHY MUDBLOODS LIKE YOU!"

Her and moved, and Colin felt a cold pain enter his chest. He looked down, seeing the cursed silver knife embedded in his chest. Greyback stood off to one side, watching with avid interest. His watery eyes focused on Bellatrix's hate filled, sneering face. Her mangled hand clutching the hilt of the knife that was lodged firmly into his chest. Colin's eyes enlarged slightly at the shock of the killing blow. With a grunt, Bellatrix ripped the bloodied weapon from his chest cavity, watching the young boy slowly drop to his knees.

"Ngghhhr….. ahhh…." Was all Colin could get out as he felt each lub dub of his slowing heartbeat pumping blood out of his chest, a meager handful at a time. With a smirk, Bellatrix cleaned here weapon on the grass, placing in back in her robes.

"That's the second time I used this on a mudblood." She mused. Greyback chuckled with laughter, pointing down at Colin, whom now had slumped onto his side, wand falling from his fingers.

"Oy. Whattabout the boy?"

"He's beneath our notice. Come along Greyback. Our master needs us for the final charge into the school."

Colin watched as they blended into the chaotic crowd. He saw more witches and wizards fighting, and soon falling alongside him. Some his age, others two to three times his age. He rolled onto his back, relishing the coolness of the damp grass on his sweaty skin. He gasped lightly, feeling the tension leaving his body, as he began to enter the white of eternity.

"Dennis… live for me, ok buddy? Watch over mum… and dad…. Gin…. Please.. take good care of Harry… you both.. deserve… each other. See you all… in the… next… life. Bye."

Quietly, overcome by his injuries and passing with the knowledge that he'd fought for the right reasons, Colin Creevey, sixteen years old, died. In a small way, his own willingness to die created its own measure of protection of love for his friends, and including a redheaded girl named Ginny Weasley who barely knew his name—his love for her granted a small measure of protection even as she fought the same woman who'd slain him hours earlier.

He didn't have to be brainy or brawny to be a hero that night. All Colin knew was that he had love to carry him through to whatever end he met that night.

For him, that was enough.

A/N: Whew! This has to be one of the longest oneshots I've done thus far! I hope you like it, and I would really appreciate a review or two!