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Chapter 1

May, 1998

The air is thick with smoke, blood and the stench of burnt wood and other things that Colin doesn't think about. Cannot allow himself to think about. Because if he does, he knows that he won't be able to hold back the flood of tears and anger that have been threatening to spill out since Voldemort invaded their mind to demand Harry Potter.

No, he has to admit that to himself. The flood began long before this night, long before Potter fled and the Death Eaters took over the school. It started the night after Dumbledore was killed, when his little brother Dennis, usually the stronger and calmer of the two, came rushing into his room with tears in his eyes and didn't even attempt a lie as to why they had to share the bed. Bouts of nostalgia had hit Colin, thoughts of bunk beds and whispering during storms, sweet memories of taking care of his brother. Now they were all gone, replaced with the devastation Dennis had tried to hide, the unadulterated fear that had shined in his wide eyes.

That one tortured memory is why he's here tonight. Why he's fighting in a war they say he's too young to be a part of. But with only a month to go before his seventeenth birthday, he doesn't believe they should be able to stop him. He's not less capable than the rest of his year who get to stay and fight; in fact he's more than capable, having been a part of Dumbledore's Army.

He has to fight. He has to help make this world safe for Dennis, he has to be able to go home one day and not have his father - an innocent, defenseless man - shed a tear because of the fear in his own eyes.

The cries of others - students and teachers, Order members and Death Eaters - echo through the old school's hall, bounce off the walls that crumble and fall with every passing spell cast at an enemy. Colin hasn't stopped casting since he snuck back in, one offense for every two defensive spell in rapid succession. His wrist protests from keeping his wand up, his body aches from the force of jinxes and worse slamming into his shields and sending him to the ground. His mind is weary from over-exhaustion, the pain of using so much energy manifesting physically every time blood drips from his nose, but he carries on.

Outside, despite the cool night air and clear, starry sky, the devastation that meets him takes away any beauty the night might have held and has Colin longing to be back inside. More bodies meet his eyes, people he knows and people be doesn't blaring together until he can't make out who's friend or foe. Giants and spiders and monster he hast known existed crosses path and block his way back in, forcing him to forward in an attempt to find a safe place.

He trips, legs giving way under him, and his head collides with the ground below. Vision blurred, all he can see is part of an arm and turns away before he can make out the rest of the body. He can't know who it is, can only be thankful that Dennis isn't at the school because he doesn't look for anyone else. Doesn't need to wish other people had stayed behind.

Hypocrite. The word rears its ugly head, but he pushes it back. He's not stopping people from fighting, only wishing they're safe.

Colin tries to stand, pain rushing upward the moment he puts weight on his ankle and nausea hitting him hard as the world spins. It takes effort not to fall back onto the ground; maybe if he plays dead they'll leave him be. But that's a coward talking and he isn't a coward. Instead he fights to remain on his feet and grasps his wand tighter, a shield cast around him just before a stunner can hit him.

His own is thrown back hastily and without a proper target. He must have missed because green light flashes to the side as it flies toward him, barely passing his right. The next curse hits the shield head on and he falls back onto the ground, breath knocked out of him. He knows before he can fully comprehend its meaning that his shield is gone. Broken apart by the spell and his own clumsy casting and has dissipated completely.

It's too much - thinking, helping, breathing. He can't do it all at once, not anymore. The shadow at his feet becomes a man, cloak black like the night sky and a silver mask that glints when the moonlight hits it and is tainted in red.

The tip of a wand reaches his line of sight and the last thing Colin has time for is a wish - that his father and brother won't hate him for leaving them.

Then all he sees is green.

***

A/N: Hey guys! This is for the trope challenge. I got reincarnation and who better to give it to than Colin Creevey and Albus Dumbledore. Seriously. No one can convince me it's a bad idea. :D

I can't seem to use code right now, for some reason it won't let me, so I will come back and fix things in a bit.

Tabula Rasa means blank slate in Latin.

I hope you enjoy this story. Please let me know what you think. :)

Sam.

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