~*~

Oliver's wand came down in a brilliant arc of white fire, watching with grim satisfaction as a death eater went down, screaming in pain as he withered on the ground, the front of his robes signed, his skin badly burned. In two strides, Oliver calmly stepped over the dying dark wizard, rounding a corner on the bloody battlefield, leaning against the side of the tree that had provided shade for so many students during the school year by Black Lake. The once proud tree was stripped of leaves, and was dotted with damage from spell damage. Sighing heavily, Oliver touched the wounded oak tree.

"they even managed to hurt you…." He closed his eyes, breathing in and out. Around him the slaughter of war continued. A male and female Auror were battling death eaters, two apiece. They looked young, only a few years older than Oliver himself. They also looked incredibly world weary, and their robes were stained from boot to collar in blood, both wizard and non wizard alike. With a grunt, he forced himself away from the meager comfort the demolished tree could provide, readied his wand and stormed the blood soaked outside grounds of the castle. He aimed his wand, firing a spell an a dark wizard who was preparing to fire the killing cure at a wounded witch. Oliver's surprise attack caught him off guard, and the man was successfully propelled away from his would be victim. The witch, nodded her head in gratitude and darted away across the battlefield. He turned on a heel, hearing the cackling voice of Bellatrix laugh. She stood with Fenir Greyback, who himself was staring hungrily down at a young wizard certainly a few years younger than himself.

Bloody hell! That's that Creevey boy! He's facing Lestrange and Greyback at the same time?! The idiot!

Oliver hastened his steps, feet pounding into the muddy soil, wand out and aimed to fire a powerful jinx into them. However the battlefield was too full of the dead, dying, and still fighting. Oliver angrily kicked a dark wizard who was begging for help out of the way, as he heard faint snatches of a conversation, his heart hammering against his ribs.

"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!"

Oliver watched the knife plunge into Colin's chest, and the world stopped. His wand almost fell from his hand, and he saw the shock and suspended disbelief in Colin's eyes as he recognized a killing blow. He heard Bellatrix grunt in satisfaction, pulling the bloodied knife free. Greyback pointed at Colin, saying something to Bellatrix, but in the clamor of battle, their words were easily masked. Bellatrix shrugged, cleaned her knife, slipped it back into her robes, and quickly made her way to the castle, Greyback hastily trailing after her. To his everlasting shame, Oliver hid just out of their reach, until they had passed, and even so, they paid him no mind. He saw Colin's chest rising and falling slowly, a blood red stain bubbling out of the chest cavity.

"Oh Merlin… Colin! Hang on! COLIN!"

Oliver ran as though he were blocking the quaffle from the going through a goal hoop. Faster than that. He skidded to Colin's side on his knees, his clothes soon covered in mud, and Colin's blood. Oliver gently helped Colin into a seated position, desperately shaking him.

"D- don't l- leave ok…? I- I'm g- gonna find you some help." Oliver was pleading now. "Alright, you hear me – you're going to be just fine, Colin! Stay with me!" Colin cracked a crooked smile at the quidditch player turned freedom fighter.

"You're a bloody liar ya know?" Colin said through gritted teeth. Oliver looked down, seeing Colin's wounded side, the flesh already turning green with rot. With every beat of his heart, more blood blossomed through Colin's shirt. Oliver quickly stripped off his cloak, wrapping it around Colin's trembling shoulders.

"Look ya bastard, I'm a bloody goner, ok?" Colin's cold, graying fingers curled limply around Oliver's shirt, pulling him closer. Oliver strained to hear his raspy words.

"Got hurt… in m' side an' all… and shit, even if I could get to Mungo's… every breath I take, I'm losing blood. Don't worry about me….I'm… ok, with dying and all." Colin rasped, looking feeble, but the strength, and pride of a gryffindor shone in his eyes. Oliver turned away, his cheeks were wet. From somewhere, Colin's hand came, wiping the tears away.

"If you… can't.. remember me without crying… then don't… remember me at all, Wood."

Oliver swallowed hard, his adam's apple feeling like hagrid's fist stuck in his throat. Wordlessly, Oliver held the dying boy in his arms, unsure of what to do.

"I… I'm.. I'm so sorry…." He whispered, chokingly. Colin dismissed him with a feeble wave of his hand.

"Don't be… I'm proud… proud of having fought and died to protect this place. My home… proud of being a wizard…." Colin hissed in pain, jerking in Oliver's arms. Oliver searched for something, anything to alleviate the boy's—no, the man's pain.

"could use… a tiny, sip of water…"

"Oh… right, of course!"

Searching, Oliver flicked his wand, summoning a piece of bark that would be a makeshift cup. Another flick of his wand, and it was partially full. Helping Colin up, he gently tipped the wooden cup, allowing some to enter past Colin's swollen lips.

"I'm sorry if that tasted utterly disgusting, Colin."

"It was fine… haven't… drank anything.. in hours…"

"Glad I could help then… anything I can… do?"

"Yeah. Leave me, and keep fighting."

"Like hell I am—"

"No! Listen to me… keep fighting… for Harry, for all the oppressed out there… for yourself, your family and friends. Go…!"

Oliver's mouth opened then shut. The niggling feeling in the back of his mind knew Colin was right, but he couldn't leave him to bleed on the field like this. His mind was torn, and he looked down desperately at Colin's weak form.

"Go… or we're all screwed!" Colin demanded.

"I can't… just leave you…" Oliver whispered.

"I'll be more pissed if you die, blubbering like a sodding little nancy!" Colin snapped.

" S- soddin' nancy eh?" Oliver joked. Colin laughed, although it pained him horribly.

" L- look, Spinnet… is probably waitin' for ya."

"H- how'd you know about me and….?"

" Even a muggle could pick up on it…"

"Am I really that transparent?"

"Compared to you and the mirror of erised..?"

"Alright, I got it…"

"Great. Now get the hell out of here."

"Right…. Got it…"

Oliver gently laid Colin back down on the ground, as per his instructions. The boy seemed relaxed, laying amidst the dewy earth that provided temporary relief from his suffering. A gentle rain began to fall, covering the living and the death in a downpour. Standing shakily, Oliver cast one last glance down at Colin, still at a loss for words.

" Why… Colin?" Oliver asked in a hushed voice.

Colin looked relaxed, giving him a genuine smile free of pain.

" Love, Wood. All about love."

"Who…?"

"The Weasley girl…. D- don't.. tell her, ok? She wants… deserves to be with Harry."

Oliver nodded weakly, thankful for the rain that was washing away his tears. Colin coughed up blood now, summoning the last of his strength reserves.

"When I'm gone… please, have my body taken to my parent's. I—I want to be buried in Godric's Hollow, but they deserve a muggle funeral of their own. Let them.. have that release."

"I will, I promise. Now—"

"I know, I'm going, I'm going!"

Oliver raised his wand in a formal salute to a fallen warrior, then turned on a heel and ran back towards the castle to continue the fight inside the castle.

He never once looked back.

~*~

The war was over. It had come to abruptly, in his view, to quite the anticlimactic end. A simple shield spell blocking the killing curse, which rebounded and slew its master. With that single action, Harry Potter had subsequently defeated the dark lord and became a hero. Resting on the demolished hufflepuff house table, Oliver forced himself to not stare at the rows of the dead at the front of the great hall.

He couldn't look at Colin's still form. He still remembered the weight of his tiny body upon his back, as he carried him back in during the lull in the fighting. Neville had offered to help, but Oliver knew it was a job only he could do alone. When he'd found Colin's body in the field, he used a quick cleaning charm to wipe the blood off his clothes and face. He tried in vain, to smooth out his wild mousy brown hair. He looked childlike in death, Oliver decided. Hidden beneath his peppy façade, and muggle camera loving ways, was the keen intellect of a warrior gone far too soon.

Goodbye, Colin. My housemate, my brother warrior…. You won't be forgotten.

Oliver kept his face stony as he laid him to rest beside the Lupin's and Fred Weasley. He didn't want to look at those bodies either. He saw the survivors flittering around, wordlessly asking questions about loved ones, staring off into space.

"Hey…"

"Hi, Ginny…"

He saw the youngest and sole female of the Weasley family sit down tiredly next to him. Oliver wrapped an arm around, and Ginny rested her head against his shoulder.

" I almost lost Harry… and Ron.. and Hermione…. The Lupin's… and F- Fred…. H- he's…"

"Best not to think… about it now…" Oliver said in a sympathetic voice.

"I almost died…. The curse missed me by inches… inches, Oliver! I- I can.. still feel the heat from it…"

Ginny shivered, and Oliver tightened his grip around her, a hand running up and down consolingly down her back.

"I should have died…. Why didn't I die?" Ginny wondered in a deadpan voice. Oliver stopped, staring off into space, looking thoughtful.

"Perhaps it wasn't your time… or you've got a guardian angel looking after ya."

"That must have been one hell of a guardian angel then… remind me to thank him…" came the soft reply.

Oliver muffled the slight chuckle that had snuck up his throat.

Hear that Colin,? Your death wasn't in vain after all…. Congratulations mate…. Thank you, and farewell my friend.

A/N: Whew its done! I was going to add more, but I like it where I ended up. Please review!