The "They Would Never" Challenge

[Ginny Weasley] didn't think [Colin Creevey] would ever [say no to free] [kittens].

I own nothing. Colin, Ginny, and Luna all belong to JKR.

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"Orange Kittens and Brotherhood"

"Colin, Colin, you've got to see this!"

Colin looks up from the potions homework he's been wading through and puts down his quill with a flourish.

"Anything for a break." He dries the ink with a spell and rolls up his parchment, stashing it in his bag and following after Ginny.

"What exactly have I got to see?" he asks her as they exit the portrait hole.

"A friend of Luna's – her cat had kittens! She doesn't know what to do about it, though, so she's giving them away. You've said how much you love cats before."

Colin has to jog to keep up with her, which, in his opinion, isn't quite fair. He's a month older, and he's a boy, but Ginny's about six inches taller than him.

"Gin, I don't-"

"How many times, Colin?" She sighs.

"How many…? Oh. Sorry, Ginny." He knows she hates the nickname, but it slips out.

She punches him in the arm. "Don't let it happen again, kid."

"Ginny!"

She looks at him innocently. "Yes, Colin?"

"I am older than you, as you well know!" he says indignantly.

She shrugs. "I'm taller."

He glares. She simply smirks insolently at him. "Why do I put up with you?" he asks in exasperation.

She grins cheekily. "It's because you love me!"

"No," he says thoughtfully, drawing it out, teasing. "I'm pretty sure it's because I feel bad for you. After all, there're not many people willing to put up with cheeky redheads."

She swats him. "Most especially physically abusive cheeky redheads!" he adds. "Yup, pretty sure it's just pity." He grins impudently. She swats him again, but there's no feeling in it, and they're both smirking like maniacs, so there's no malice.

When they reach Ravenclaw tower, Luna opens the door, which Colin is deeply grateful for – he hates riddles.

"Hello," she says softly, leading them up into a dormitory. Colin's glad that apparently the Founders trusted Ravenclaw boys more than Gryffindor boys; the stairs don't slide out from under his feet, whereas rumor says they do in Gryffindor tower. Though, he supposes, he's never actually seen that happen, so it could be just rumor.

Regardless, he makes it safely up the stairs and into the third-year dormitory.

He's told himself that he isn't going to fall in love with the kittens – for the same reason he tried to explain to Ginny earlier, but the minute he sees them, he melts. Merlin, but he's just a giant softy – a total pushover.

An orange kitten – the smallest – bats at his shoelace, and Colin smiles softly. "Hey there, little guy." He crouches down to stroke the kitten.

"He likes you," says a voice from the corner. A remarkably plain looking girl stands there – this must be Luna's friend, the cat owner. Colin smiles at her, picking the fluff ball up and putting it – him – on his shoulder. The kitten playfully gnaws on his ear.

"He's sweet," Colin starts, "but-"

"You can have him, if you want," she offers, interrupting.

"I do want to, but-"

"Great!" she says, stepping toward him. Colin sighs in frustration. No one seems to care to listen to him today. "I'm sure he'll settle in just fine, you'll just need to-"

"Look, I can't take the cat!" he finally exclaims.

Ginny, Luna, and the girl whose name he still doesn't know all stare at him in surprise. Ginny is the first to speak. "Colin, you love cats. And he obviously loves you already." She gestures to the orange cat, who is rubbing his head on Colin's chin.

"I know that, Gin, but-" She growls, and he quickly amends it. "Ginny, sorry, but I can't take the cat!"

"Why not?"

"I've been trying to tell you all day! Dennis is allergic!"

That finally stops her. "What?"

Colin sighs, staring at his trainers. "Dennis is allergic to cats. It's why we don't have one."

Ginny furrows her brow, processing.

"Oh," she finally says.

"Yeah. Oh."

"Sorry, Colin," Ginny apologizes.

"No, don't be. He's cute, and I'm glad I met him. But Dennis is more important to me than a pet."

Ginny's nodding. "Yeah, I get it."

Colin turns to the girl whose name he still doesn't know – he really ought to remedy that, but it'd be awkward to ask her name now – and apologizes.

"Sorry. I hope you find a good home for him."

She nods. Luna escorts them to the common room exit. As a parting thought, she murmurs, "Cats will never replace people."

Colin nods. Luna seems odd, but she's wiser than anyone knows. "I agree. Thanks, Luna."

She nods serenely. "And, Colin," she adds. "He does the same for you. Gives up something he loves." Without explaining – and Colin strongly suspects she never will – she waves goodbye.

As always after speaking with Luna, Colin feels like he's answered one question and come up with a thousand more.