There was a darkness that Colin could touch, almost grasp. He could feel something bad around him as he continued to walk. He had no idea how he had ended up here, only that he was there, and he was all alone. But when he heard the screaming of his little brother, he jumped and looked around.
Scared, he ran through the darkness, the never ending darkness. He ran so fast that he almost tripped over things he couldn’t see, until he got to the light. Once he left the darkness, he wished right then he could be back there.
His little brother was there, being Crucio’d, and he was in agony. But no one was helping him. In fact, no one was even casting the spell. Dennis was screaming in pain, but he couldn’t tell where from.
Pulling out his wand, Colin pointed it at his brother, whispering the killing curse. There was a flash of green, and Colin opened his eyes.
He had been dreaming. It had all been a dream. But it had felt so different, and at times, real. So Colin knew it must mean something.
Looking at the calendar beside his bed, he looked at the date: May 1st. They still had two more months until the end of the year, and until they started the battle that would change their lives forever, so he didn’t understand why he was having that dream then.
He heard a rustling from beside him and saw that his little brother was stirring. He hoped that he wasn’t awake, because he didn’t want to have to explain anything to him about the dream. He loved Dennis, but he didn’t want him freaking out about it.
When he saw Dennis become still again, he whispered, “Dennis. We’re gonna be fine.” He knew that he wasn’t saying it just to Dennis, but also to try and convince himself.
Colin woke again later around noon. When he woke up, he noticed that everyone was doing their normal stuff. Terry and Michael were reading, Neville was wrestling with Seamus, and the girls were gossiping about the Slytherin girls. Dennis was nowhere to be seen, until he saw him over with that one girl he liked, Jodie.
He took out his favorite childhood book and started reading it, not noticing that Dennis was staring at him. But he did notice his stomach was practically screaming at him for food, so he went over to where they stored the food left over from the night before.
"Is this really all there is?" It was all they had, from the Hogs Head. It wasn’t the best fresh, and so he knew it wouldn’t be great as leftovers.
He sighed, muttering about Snape and how unfair he was being, and silently wishing for house elf food. But he sat down and ate some of the food in front of him, trying to expel the taste of it the moment it touched his tongue.
"Guys," said Terry. "Listen to this. Listen." It was Potterwatch, the radio show about Harry and what all he was doing.
"River, did you hear the news?"
"I sure did, Rapier. To all our listeners, Harry Potter has broken into a vault at Gringotts. I repeat, he has broken into an account at Gringotts." There was a cheer, and they almost missed the next part.
"He has eluded capture once more, escaping on a dragon."
"Do we know where he is going?"
"Your guess is as good as mine, but I am guessing Hogwarts."
There were noises, and one last sentence. “Gotta go, bye.” After that, the sounds of disapparating and then it was silent.
"Well, looks like we might be fighting sooner than planned."
Colin shook his head and went back over to read, not paying attention to anything.
Hours later, the portrait of Ariana opened, and Colin saw Harry again. But the normal rush of excitement was gone. Because seeing Harry meant they were fighting, and that meant that his dream about his brother’s death might be coming true, and that could not happen.
So while everyone went to Harry, Colin went over to Dennis.
"Dennis, if a battle starts, I want you out of here. I want you to go through that tunnel and not come back until it’s safe. Do you understand me?"
"What about you?"
"I’ll be fine. I promise."
"Colin, I am not going if you’re not."
"I will be going through. I have to stay and help organize the younger years leaving," he lied. He hated lying, but he knew it was necessary. "There is no way the teachers are going to let anyone my year and below fight, but I will come as soon as everyone is cleared out. I promise."
Dennis thought long and hard, and then nodded, hugging his brother.
"And Dennis. Keep Jodie safe. Morgan would kill me if something happened to her."
Everyone was lining up to go to the Great Hall. They were gathering to fight. Colin saw Dennis push Jodie through the portrait hole and into the tunnel, and he saw him look back at Colin and nod.
'I love you,' they both mouthed to each other, in case they didn't get the chance later.
Colin went to the Great Hall and listened to McGonagall. He was appalled when they said he couldn’t battle, but when everyone else was going through the tunnel, Colin turned around and went to fight anyways. And not just him, but almost everyone else.
He fought. He fought until he could no longer. He fought until his body lay on the ground, still…and dead.
Dennis waited for hours in the Hogs Head for his brother. he waited so long that he and Jodie fell asleep, but it wasn’t until Aberforth came back and woke them up that he knew something was wrong.
"The battle is over kids. Go find your families."
Dennis and Jodie sprinted up to the castle, desperate for news of their families. Jodie found hers, and Dennis made her go over to them and let them know she was safe.
Dennis searched, but there was no sign of Colin everywhere. Where was he? Why had he not returned? He finally saw Neville and went to him.
"Where is he?"
"Dennis, I am so sorry."
Neville took him over to see Colin, and the moment he saw him, he wished he could either wake up, or just unsee what he had just seen. But that was not to be.
"No. No. Colin, wake up. Wake up Colin."
But there was no movement of any kind, and then Dennis knew that his brother, his protector, was dead.
And part of him as well.