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Revenge -- Creevey fic... huh. - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Revenge -- Creevey fic... huh.
Just a companion to "Neighbors" that I wrote while I had no particular ideas on "Ville-Sauvage." (If you haven't read "Revenge," it involves Justin Finch-Fletchley getting rescued from Death Eaters by an unexpected person.)


Colin was back at the roadside, crawling along the verge, looking for anything at all that the Muggle police might have missed.

Anything other than the letter, which Dennis now held. Colin hadn't wanted to give it to him, but he hadn't fought very hard. Dennis had demanded it, and Colin had said, "You know, you're right. Read it. Read it and think about these bastards. They're going to pay."

So Dennis had taken the letter, which had arrived at the Creevey home by owl post at 10:15. And he'd read it.

He wished he hadn't. But he hadn't seemed to be able to stop until he'd read it so many times that he knew it from memory.

Dear Mudbloods, it began, and Dennis hoped that it wasn't written in what he was almost sure it was written in. We don't know where your magic was stolen from, and unfortunately for you, your father didn't confess. Surely, he must have kept some particularly weak witch prisoner to bear even such pathetic creatures as yourselves, but he died still condemning you as Mudbloods, so you will pay for your theft of our power.

Muggles bleed too easily, and die too quickly, don't they?


Colin hadn't hesitated. He'd run for the door, and Dennis had followed. They'd taken Dad's motorcycle and followed his route through the West Country, and at one o'clock, they'd found the milk float, in which Jack Creevey had bled to death over a period of two hours. They'd given him more than a hundred non-lethal cuts. His eyes were protruding, like he'd died in fear. And his tongue had been ripped out at the end. Dennis had heard the Muggle medical examiner say that it had probably been the removal of the tongue that had caused the final hemorrhage. Colin had plucked Dad's mobile phone from his bloody pocket and called the police, though he didn't think they'd be able to do anything.

"They can get him properly buried, at least," he'd said, then yelled incoherently at the sky. "Bloody... underage... restrictions...!" He'd thrown his wand at that point, but Dennis had gone to get it. He was in shock, but he knew that throwing away a wand was a bad idea. The police had come then, and taken the body and the float. Somehow, they'd got it into their heads that the motorcycle might have been involved, and Dennis and Colin had been too stunned to say much as it had been loaded in with the other evidence. One of them had tried to take them as well, but Colin had chanced a single Confundus Curse--where he'd picked that up, Dennis had no idea--and they'd been forgotten, though they'd had to hide for fifteen minutes while Ministry officials tried to sort through the chaos and find out who'd been doing magic. Apparently, Dad's name hadn't rung any bells with them, because they decided that some wizarding child just happened to have been near enough to set off the trace, and a Death Eater must have cast the spell.

And now, twenty minutes after the police and the Ministry had left--not together, reinforcing Dennis's idea that they had no idea who Dad was--Colin was on his hands and knees, peering closely at the soil beside the picturesque country road, where wealthy folks enjoyed had often tipped Dad very well, and probably never knew his name, lived. No doubt, many of them had called the dairy to complain about Jack's tardiness.

Dennis went to his brother.

"You're in the light," Colin said.

"Colin, there's nothing. We know who it was. It was Death Eaters, like Harry talked about--"

"I want to know which ones."

"We should tell the Aurors where we are."

"The Aurors are with the Ministry. I don't trust the Ministry."

"Then maybe Harry. We could tell Harry. Or the Weasleys. We can trust Dumbledore's Army."

"How would we get there? If we do magic, the Ministry will be on top of us."

Dennis thought about it. "Justin Finch-Fletchley! He lives near here, and he's of age."

"They burned down Finch Hall two weeks ago. Remember? Dad said it was a blamed pity that they'd wreck an historical house," Colin said bitterly. "He was worried about all the art." He hunched down further to examine the dirt better.

"We need to talk to someone!"

"No," Colin said flatly.

"But the Muggle police won't catch them."

"Neither will the Aurors. It's Dad, Dennis. These bastards belong to us. Not to the Muggles, not the Ministry, and not to Harry bloody Potter, wherever he happens to be."

Dennis took a step back. "Colin, Harry's... he's..."

Colin stood up and roared, "He's not here! Muggles are dying all over the place--you've seen the news, you know what's really going on! And not a sign of Harry, not anywhere! So much for fighting them wherever you see them, so much for standing up! He's off wherever he is, and Dad's dead. Where is Harry?"

Dennis had never been afraid of his brother. Colin had never been the sort of brother a person feared. He didn't tease or hurt. He always included Dennis in whatever he was doing.

But now, Dennis was afraid of him. Colin seemed to be on the edge of something beyond anger. He seemed almost mad.

Dennis swallowed hard and went to stand beside him. "Harry's probably doing what all of us are doing, Colin. He's trying to figure out where the Death Eaters are and what's going on."

Colin made a choked kind of sound, then fell back to his knees and vomited. When he'd finished, he sat on the ground, and wiped tears from his face. "It doesn't matter, does it? Even when Harry shows up and fixes everything, Dad'll still be dead."

"Yeah." Dennis sat down beside Colin, ignoring the smell of the vomit in the grass. "But that's not Harry's fault."

Colin pressed his hand against his eyes and let what looked like a heavy burden fall on him. "I know," he finally said. "I know that." He put his hand on Dennis's shoulder. "We need to find a place to stay. The Death Eaters know where we live. I'll look around, you stay here."

"No," Dennis said.

"Dennis, please don't argue."

"If they find me alone here, it'll be easier to kill me than it would be if I'm with you."

Colin swore under his breath, as he couldn't very well argue with the logic of it. "Fine," he said. "But do as I say."

Dennis agreed to this, and they set off together along the road. Most of this area was owned privately, though no one seemed to mind if they occasionally sat down along the low stone walls that seemed to run around many of the properties. The walk was mainly silent, and Dennis supposed that Colin was thinking his way through things. For his own part, he just couldn't think of anything to say that seemed important enough to break the silence for.

The day had started off hot and humid, and around four o'clock, thunderheads began to build. The first fat raindrops were falling ten minutes later, and lightning split the sky.

"We need shelter," Colin said. "We're nearly at Finch Hall. It's right over the hill. I visited Justin once."

"I thought it was burned."

"Well, some of it was stone. Maybe we can shelter in an outbuilding."

There wasn't time to argue, as the rain was coming harder now. Colin and Dennis ran for a low stone wall and clambered over it, running toward a blackened circle in the green land. A large stone barn rose up from the marshes, and they made for it. Inside, it was completely charred, and none of the stalls or hay remained, but there was enough of the roof to hide under in one corner. Dennis ran in ahead and pushed himself into the space, though he was already too drenched for it to make much difference. Colin sat down beside him and looked up at the roof. Rain poured down on the far side of the barn, and water ran toward them in little rills. A charred pitchfork lying on the floor diverted some of it.

"We need our clothes," Colin said. "And... potions ingredients. And photos. I don't want to leave our pictures there for Death Eaters to see."

"You said we can't go back."

"No..."

"And we can't use magic. You saw how fast the Ministry came."

"I know, all right? Maybe they won't have time to come break the house. They've been spending a lot of time breaking houses lately."

"What?"

"Didn't you see the Mirror this morning? Dad was reading it at breakfast. It was on the front page. Some house in Surrey. Windows blown out, gardens trampled and dug up, nothing else in the neighborhood touched and no one heard anything."

Dennis thought back--this morning seemed so long ago that it was lost to the mists of time--then remembered. The headline had been "Silent Terror In Surrey!" There'd been an inset picture of a neighbor who'd apparently been postulating aliens, as the quote beneath it was, "It's like they made one of them crop circles right on top of the house!" He was about to bring that up, perhaps even make a bitter joke about what the Muggles would say about silent terrors on Cotswold roadways, when something struck his gut like an icicle dagger. "Colin... Harry's from Surrey. You don't think...?"

Colin looked alarmed by this, then seemed to process it. "Reckon it might be his house," he said, "but I've still got my coin from Dumbledore's Army. Do you really think Hermione wouldn't let everyone know right away if it had been Harry?"

"Oh. Right." Dennis was quiet for a while, listening to the rain hit the roof. "Colin?"

"What?"

"Was Mum a witch?"

Colin sighed. "I don't know, Dennis. I was only three when she died. Reckon it would be weird to have two Muggle-borns in the same family. Never heard of it with anyone else. But weird things happen. If she was a witch, she was Muggle-born herself, which is exactly the same as Muggle for the Death Eaters. Grandmother left perfectly Muggle pictures of her." Colin thought about it. "I guess it makes sense. She and Dad got married during the last war. If she was a Muggle-born, she might have hidden everything. Or chucked it all because of the way they were treated. I don't know how much I want to do with the wizarding world at the moment, except for hunting down the Death Eaters who killed Dad." He frowned. "Anyway, does it matter? Are you worried that we stole magic, too?"

"No! I just wondered."

"Well, stop wondering. It shouldn't mat--" Colin stopped abruptly and sat up straight. "Quiet," he whispered, and grabbed the pitchfork, letting the rills of water reach down around them.

Dennis fell silent, and heard nothing but the rain, but Colin was still sitting at attention.

Then he heard it. A soft splash, just outside, the sound of a boot in the mud... moving very slowly, trying not to be heard.

Dennis tapped Colin's arm and mouthed, Justin?

Colin shook his head and pointed at the edge of the wall, where the wooden door had been. the tip of a wand was hovering there, and a ragged boot that never in a million years would have been on the foot of Justin Finch-Fletchley.

Colin got up, putting himself in front of Dennis, the pitchfork held in front of him.

"Show yourself, coward," he called.

The boot moved, and a dirty little wizard appeared around the corner. Dennis had no idea who he was, but there was blood on his hands, and splattered up onto his face. He lurched as he moved toward them. "Look here," he said. "Look what I found. Alecto's been looking all over for the pair of you, but here you are, right near where we left your Da. Looking for that other Mudblood, are you? Aye, so are we. Gave us the slip when he burned the place."

"Who was it?" Colin asked, apparently trying to wrong-foot him.

"Me and two dozen of my closest friends. Little lordling sitting up here in his fine house, like he's better than the rest of us. A Mudblood, better than a wizard! That'll be the day. Reckon half of those folks with their fine titles has been passing around the word on how to steal magic. They suck it out of decent wizarding folk, like vampires."

"You're bloody crazy," Dennis said.

The Death Eater--if he was one; Dennis didn't know if all of Voldemort's followers were Death Eaters or not--didn't seem to hear. "Oh, yeah. I've heard tell about those old families. Been since Merlin's time, it has, riding on the backs of magical folk, then stealing their power. Most are too stupid to use it, of course, but now and then, they come up with one who figures it out. How'd the pair of you figure it out? Who stole it for you?"

"No one stole it," Colin said.

"'Course they did. Stole it and taught you to use it. You one of them fine families?"

"Yeah," Colin said. "We're the bloody princes. I'm William, and he's Harry. Don't you recognize us from all those pictures?"

Again, Colin may as well not have spoken. "We'll do for all them fine families," the Death Eater said. "What right have they got to rule over wizards? They'll bow to us now."

"They only bowing that's going happen is you bowing to bloody Vol--"

"Don't you dare speak his name!" the Death Eater bellowed, and what happened after that happened so quickly that Dennis didn't really perceive it all at once. The man raised his wand above his head to curse Colin, but Colin charged at him, the tines of the pitchfork black and deadly in the cloudy light. Before the wand could come down, the man staggered backward, bleeding from four wounds in his gut.

Colin let go of the pitchfork with an atavistic yell of revulsion.

Dennis stood up. "Colin... is he...?"

Colin nodded, breathing hard. "He, er... we had to..." He yelled again, then ran forward and kicked the body, hard, in the ribs. "Bastard! Goddamned cheating bastard!"

"Colin, stop!"

"Bloody filthy murderer!"

Dennis didn't know what else to do. He ran forward and tackled Colin to the ground, pinning him. Colin was bigger and stronger, but Dennis held on as hard as he could, using his full weight to keep his brother down on the ground. "Stop it, Colin!" he yelled. "Stop it, now!"

"I'm going to kill him!"

"Colin! You already did!"

Colin made a high, keening sound, then began to cry in earnest. Dennis let him up, and he curled into a ball and punched the floor with his fist. At last, the tears started to wane, and Colin grasped. "I... killed... him. I killed someone."

Dennis approached him. It was harder than it had ever been, because something in Colin's face was wild, like one of Hagrid's animals that hadn't been quite broken. Dennis touched his shoulder. "You had to, Colin. He was... you saw..."

"They'll say I could have called for the Aurors. I should have called for them, you told me to, I should be in Azkaban--"

"Colin, no. They won't put you in Azkaban, they can't, he'd have killed us."

"With everything that's going on, they will." Colin pressed the heels of his hands against his forehead. "And they should. I killed a man. Just like he killed Dad."

"And would have killed us," Dennis said. "You know that's what he meant to do. And he was talking about hunting Justin down, and I reckon a lot of other people. Isn't it a war?"

"Is it?" Colin asked. "I mean, is it, really? How do you know it's a war? No one said it was a war yet."

"I think when they start killing people, it's a war," Dennis said. "And we weren't the ones who started it. So it's not your fault, and please don't go to Azkaban."

Colin didn't answer. He just stared at his hands, which were sitting on his knees. They weren't bloody. All he'd got on him was a little splash of it on the cuffs of his pants, from where he'd kicked.

"Colin?" Dennis prodded.

No answer.

Dennis bit his lip. "Colin, we should find somewhere else to hide. The rain's stopping. We should find a place to stay, and get some food. Please."

Colin remained still, but said, "Let me be for a moment, Dennis."

"But--"

"You promised to do as I told you. Now, let me be."

"You won't do anything stupid, like call the Aurors?"

Colin shook his head.

Dennis had great misgivings , but he had promised to do as he was told. He backed out of the barn, into the slackening rain, and leaned against the wall. He could see the water-filled footprints of the man Colin had killed. They ran up toward a single patch of green land on the burned out grounds. He followed, hoping that there weren't any more hiding out, but not having anything else to do.

The footprints led him over a little rise, to a small tilled area at the edge of a cellar hole that must have once been an outbuilding. It was a vegetable garden. He almost called for Colin, but that would have been foolish--it would have brought anyone in a five mile radius looking, and they'd have found Colin, the pitchfork, and the dead man.

Instead, Dennis went into the vegetable garden himself. There were ripe peas and French beans on their lush-looking plants, and lacy carrot plants that might have ripe roots beneath the soil. Dennis pulled off his wet shirt and began to gather food into it.

Even in the rain, it was hot work, and messy work, and it took most of the top levels of Dennis's attention. Somewhere beneath his notice, he started thinking about Dad again, Dad and his milk float, Dad bleeding his life out in the hot summer sun, Dad dying while Death Eaters stood above him and laughed. He thought of Colin, kicking the dead man's corpse in the barn.

He didn't know when he started crying, but he became aware that he was doing it while he was pulling at a carrot plant that wouldn't come up, no matter what he did. He found himself kneeling on the ground, pounding the dirt, weeping, his nose running, his head pounding. For a moment he seemed to fly out of himself, to see the crazed, half-naked boy throwing a tantrum in the mud below him. The boy stopped flailing with the carrot plant and rolled over onto his back, kicking into the mud and trying not to scream out loud. This boy couldn't be Dennis Creevey. Dennis Creevey was happy and safe and with his brother somewhere. This mass of mud and tears was someone else, surely--some other boy, some boy who had Dennis's stringy brown hair, certainly (though Dennis's would never been streaked with mud like this), and Dennis's pale hazel eyes (though much more swollen and red than Dennis's would have been), but could not possibly really be Dennis.

Except that he was.

The strange sense of splitting ended, and Dennis was back inside his body, feeling the ache in all of his muscles, feeling the press of the carrot plant against his spine as he thrashed. The fit faded as the rain finally stopped for good, and he lay there in the dirt, wanting to sink down into it.

A shadow fell over him, and it was Colin, who reached down and helped him up without saying anything. He sighed and said, "I buried our friend in the mud outside."

Dennis wiped his face with a muddy hand, which probably didn't help it. "Good."

"This is as good a place to stay as any until we figure things out. I looked around while you were--" Dennis felt his face go hot--how long had he been crying? Colin didn't give a hint of it. "It looks like he was here alone. I found where he was sleeping." He pointed at the cellar hole. "He probably just came to the barn because he was getting wet. I kept his wand," he finished dully, showing it to Dennis.

"I should have helped bury him."

"No. You needed to what you needed to do." Colin looked around. "I don't want to stay in the barn, and the house probably isn't safe, if they do decide to come back. There's a tack shed they missed." He pointed. "It should be all right. We could hear them for miles, and if worse came to worse, I could get us out of there."

"You've never learned to Disapparate," Dennis said. "That was supposed to be this year."

"I'll do what I need to do if we need to get away," Colin said quietly, and Dennis realized that he wasn't talking about learning to Disapparate. "Let's go."

They went to the shed, which was on the south side of the grounds. As they got closer, Dennis could see that there was a pump for water, which would come in handy if they had to stay a while. Colin opened the door, and they went in together. There was a ceiling lamp, but it didn't work; apparently the power supply had gone out, which was just as well, as the light going on would have been a fairly major sign that someone was there.

It was still early, and still light, but the day had been long and nightmarish, and neither brother suggested staying up. They washed the vegetables Dennis had picked under the cold water from the pump, then Colin muttered something about taking a watch, and Dennis curled up against the back wall of the shed and fell into a dark, troubled sleep.

In his dreams, his father came home from his route, covered with blood and stab wounds, demanding to know why his sons hadn't saved him. The Death Eater from the barn went for the police (the pitchfork hanging out of his stomach) and came back, saying, "That's the boys who did it. From one of them fine families. Are you going to send them off or not?" And Colin stared at his empty hands, then kicked at a bloody corpse.

It was dark when Dennis awakened, and he started to mutter something about doing his watch now, but Colin's hand clamped over his mouth, bringing him awake with the unfailing alarm of sheer panic. There was faint moonlight coming through the slats of the shed, and outside, a horse whinnied.

Someone slid down from the horse's back, and stopped in front of the shed door. Foot-shadows broke the light from outside in two ominous rectangles. Colin tightened his hand over Dennis's mouth--a message to stay quiet--then let go and stood up, groping up the wall for a weapon. Dennis got up as well and felt the boards beside him. There were mostly bridles, maybe a whip, but his fingers found a pair of spurs as well, sharp and ready. He pulled them from their hook.

Someone knocked on the door. "Hello? Hello, I know you're in there."

Neither Dennis nor Colin answered, though they looked at one another. Colin's eyes gleamed faintly from reflected starlight. Dennis had no idea who was outside.

"I don't blame you for not answering," the voice said, "but I'm to tell you 'Marietta is a sneak.' If it means something to you, come out."

Slowly, Colin pulled Dennis behind him, then raised his wand at the door. "Come in, then," he said. "I'm armed."

The door creaked open into the night, and a boy stood in front them, a horse slightly behind him. "I'm here to help," he said.

"Who told you about Marietta?" Colin asked.

"Before I tell you that, you have to tell me"--he looked at a slip of paper in his hand--"who named Dumbledore's Army?"

Dennis's mind was momentarily blank on the matter, but Colin answered calmly enough, "Ginny Weasley. She said it was because it was the Ministry's worst fear."

The other boy nodded. "Justin Finch-Fletchley told me about Marietta, and all the rest. He wanted to come himself, but I wouldn't let him."

"Who are you?" Dennis asked.

"I'm Daniel Morse," the boy said. "Come with me. You'll be safe."

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Comments
nevrafire From: nevrafire Date: July 1st, 2012 01:18 am (UTC) (Link)
Cries.

why colin's dad? did rowling said he got killed? that's So sad.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 1st, 2012 03:12 am (UTC) (Link)
No, that's my sadism, not JKR's, I'm afraid.
tec4 From: tec4 Date: December 21st, 2015 06:01 pm (UTC) (Link)

Creevey's dad

Funny, I swear I've read that before somewhere -- other than here. In fact, I would have sworn it was canon. Problem with reading too much fanfic. After awhile, it all gets mixed up in my head. :)

Edited at 2015-12-21 06:03 pm (UTC)
malinbe From: malinbe Date: July 1st, 2012 02:56 am (UTC) (Link)
Wonderfully sad, Fern. The image of Dennis crying over the carrot was particularly vivid, and Colin kicking the corpse horrific. It was a great story of the loss of innocence and just how wrong it is.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 1st, 2012 03:13 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. I always liked Colin as a sort of normal kid in the middle of everything, and I was sad when he died in the battle. I wanted to think of a story for him before then.
From: amethystbeloved Date: July 1st, 2012 03:41 am (UTC) (Link)
Wow Fernwithy... wow.

As I was reading this, I was thinking of what a wonderful opportunity it would be for your fans to spend the day with you. There's already so much you share with us, but it's clear that what gets out is only a fraction of your Potter-verse head cannon. If I ever had that chance, I would ask you anything and everything about Andromeda's Hogwarts years with Ted. :-)

This was an excellent piece on the Creevey brothers. It was so unfair that Colin had to die (I vaguely recall Rowling saying that he was underage and not supposed to be in the castle in the first place so that's what he gets...) but this one-shot really delves into what changed Colin from the sunny boy he was in CoS to another Gryffindor casualty. Dennis' thoughts about Colin's transformation really hit the mark.

The tie-in with "Neighbors" was lovely. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.
hymnia From: hymnia Date: July 1st, 2012 06:10 am (UTC) (Link)
That was...depressing, but also really good. (And I want to read more about this group of Muggleborn war refugees (plus one Muggle).)
reannanshaw From: reannanshaw Date: July 1st, 2012 07:34 am (UTC) (Link)
It's scary how well you write evil.

Love Daniel Morse. Each of these little glimpses you show us of his part in all this (and others with Muggles and your OCs) just make me want to see all this underground rescue stuff even more.
sidealong From: sidealong Date: July 1st, 2012 01:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow! So many stories to be told. You told it well. Very chilling. I could read your writing every day!
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 2nd, 2012 12:06 am (UTC) (Link)

Awesome

What a wonderful, horrific short story! The boys finding their dad was like something from Steven King (the mother from firestarter?). I hope you'll continue with this group of stories. I want to know what happens next for these boys. ~ Karen
cleindori From: cleindori Date: July 6th, 2012 05:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh wow. Heartbreaking. Well done.

Sadism or not, I'd love to see more of these underground stories.
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