BEHIND THE CAMERA LENS
A mysterious visitor.
As Barbara Creevey took the letter off the
table, finally having the presence of mind to react in some way to this
extraordinary turn of events, there was a knock at the door.
Trying to shake off the sudden dazed feeling that had overcome her, Barbara
moved as though in a dream to the front door, the letter still in her hand.
‘Good morning Mrs. Creevey.’ A tiny,
squeaky-voiced man stood at the door. Barbara looked down on him; he barely
reached her shoulder and she was only short herself.
‘Erm, good morning,’ Barbara replied,
slightly flustered that this tiny strange man knew her name.
‘Oh, goodness, how rude of me!’ The man
noticed her bewilderment and swept a black top hat off his head with a
flourish. ‘Professor Filius Flitwick…I believe
you have received our letter? Oh, excellent, you have,’
he corrected himself, noticing the
parchment in her hand.
‘Ahh…’ Barbara said incoherently, still
blinking. Suddenly she shook her head and recovered her composure.
‘Would you like to come in, Professor?’
‘Thankyou, my dear lady.’ Without further
ado, he followed her into the house.
Colin was still in the kitchen, the same
shining look in his eyes, but he was now looking at the table where the letter
had been. When Barbara and Flitwick walked into the room, Colin’s head lifted
and he looked square at the Professor.
‘You must be Colin Creevey, am I right?’
Flitwick asked, beaming.
‘Yes. Who are you and what can you tell me
about Hogwarts please, sir?’ Colin asked, respect in his voice but at the same
time, desperation to know anything he could find out.
‘My name is Professor Filius Flitwick,
though you may call me Professor or Sir to my face and anything you like behind
your back!’ At this, Flitwick chuckled, finding his own joke a cause for
‘Sit down, Professor.
May I offer you tea or coffee, or…’ Barbara trailed off, realising she still
had not read the letter and had no idea what the Professor taught or what he
‘Thankyou, but no. I’ve never been a fan of
Muggle drinks.’ Flitwick chuckled again.
Colin blinked and looked at his brother,
who had been sitting, frozen, his mouth dropping open in a perfectly round ‘O’
since the tiny man walked in.
Suddenly Dennis stood, and walked slowly
around to where Flitwick stood. Standing next to him, Dennis giggled as he
realised that he was almost the same height as their visitor. In the next second, however, he had snapped his mouth
shut and returned to his seat, embarrassed.
‘I’m sorry, Professor, but I’m afraid I
haven’t even read this letter yet…’ Barbara Creevey remembered the parchment,
still in her hand.
Flitwick waved a hand airily.
‘That doesn’t matter in the slightest. Would you allow me to explain the
contents of the letter, and everything else? It may take a while but I believe
it is absolutely necessary that you understand why I have come here today.’
Colin nodded, his head bobbing up and down
so fast that his glasses slipped off his nose. Barbara
consented and soon the four of them were sitting around the table, three pairs
of eyes locked on Flitwick as he wondered where to begin.
‘Merlin, this never gets easier…’ he thought as he took a breath.
‘You may find this hard to believe…but you,
Colin, are a wizard.’
‘Wizard, as in…?’ Barbara looked sceptical.
No, sceptical was the wrong word. Totally disbelieving would be more
‘You are correct in your thinking. As in,
Merlin, magic wands, changing tables into pigs, making things fly across the room,
It does get a little tiring after a
‘Magic?’ Colin asked. He sounded slightly
hesitant but at the same time, very hopeful.
‘Yes, dear boy, magic.’ With this, Flitwick
pulled his wand out his back pocket with a flourish. Barbara looked
apprehensive. Colin was still in awe. Dennis was quietly wondering if he was
dreaming, not unlike his brother’s thoughts such a short time ago.
Flitwick shot a quick glance at each of the
Creeveys in turn, to ensure that he wasn’t about to provoke a heart attack, then
with a muttered charm levitated the breakfast table into the air. Barbara
shrieked and flapped her tea towel. Colin had stood, he wasn’t sure why, but he
now stood directly in front of Flitwick.
‘You have questions, dear boy. Of course.
But first let me finish the explanation. I assume you will believe me that
magic does indeed exist?’
Colin nodded; his head bobbing up and down
so fast it was blurred. Flitwick looked, however, at Barbara, who gave a faint
nod, still staring at the table which had by now floated gently back to the
‘Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
was founded over a thousand years ago by four powerful
sorcerers (Question: Can ‘sorcerers’ be a ‘unisex’
term, or is there such a term I can use? I didn’t want to drag the sentence out
too much with ‘two witches and two wizards’ but if you think it’s the easiest…)
with a common goal - to educate young witches and wizards in the proper
execution of magic.’ The squeaky voice had taken on a slightly rehearsed air by
now, which probably meant, Barbara thought to herself, that he had given this
talk many times before.
‘Each founder created a house of his or her
own, into which they sorted the children which possessed the qualities each
leader deemed most important. Salazar Slytherin’s house is famous for it’s
determination to succeed. Godric Gryffindor took the bravest and truest of
heart. Rowena Ravenclaw - the founder for whom
my own house is named- took the smartest, and cleverest of students. Helga
Hufflepuff took the most loyal, and all those whom the other three houses
‘We now find ourselves at the present time,
having seen millions of children enter Hogwarts’ Entrance Hall and leave seven
years later as young men and women ready to enter the wizarding world. Hogwarts
is more than just a school, it is home to all these young people, and a place
where valuable lessons are learnt, not just academically, but sportingly as
well, and most importantly, it is a place where lifelong friendships are
Flitwick paused, misty eyed. Colin took
the opportunity offered by the brief respite and spoke.
‘But how does this affect me? How can I be
Colin nodded, slowly this time, fearful of
what the answer might be.
‘Not every student to pass through Hogwarts
is from a magical family. Nearly half of our students are what we call
‘Muggle-born’, that is, their family is non-magical. A muggle is the term for
someone who is not a witch or wizard. You, Colin Creevey, have never been a Muggle.
Think about it. Have you ever made something happen that wasn’t normal? Strange
Barbara gasped, remembering her reflection
of less than an hour earlier.
‘Dennis’ birth! The window!’ She exclaimed,
rather louder than she had intended.
Flitwick beamed. ‘That
Colin let a hopeful smile pass over his
face. ‘Which house would I be in, Sir?’
‘Nobody knows that until you arrive at
Hogwarts and take part in the Sorting Ceremony.’ Flitwick smiled kindly at the
‘However, we teachers do like to predict who will be in our own Houses, and
that is why I am here today rather than one of the other Heads of Houses. I
believe that you possess the perfect qualities to be a Ravenclaw, for I believe
you are very bright.’
Colin nodded slowly then looked at his
mother, and Barbara, woken from her daze, was finally ready to believe that her
son was anything but the normal eleven year old that she had perceived him to
‘What happens now, Professor Flitwick?’ she
asked, sitting down at the table and turning to the tiny man.
‘Now, my dear lady, we need to prepare
Colin for the start of term. This is going to be such an adventure, for your
whole family.’ He glanced around the kitchen, suddenly frowning.
‘Perhaps your husband will need to be informed
sooner rather than later?’ he asked and Barbara stood in a rush, clapping a
hand to her mouth.
‘Good lord, of course!’ She looked around
distractedly before turning to the phone and punching in her husband’s mobile
A hurried conversation took place, and
twenty minutes later found Martin Creevey scratching his balding head, still
slightly puzzled as to who this strange man was and why his wife and sons were
so ready to believe what he was telling them.
‘I’m a wizard, Dad! I’ve been invited to go
to a school for wizards and I can do magic.’ Colin spoke this last word
in a reverent whisper.
Martin looked at his family, expecting them
at any moment to scream ‘April Fools!’ even though it was the end of July. When
this didn’t happen, he turned to the small man, hoping for an ally.
Unfortunately he didn’t find one in this strange person, who was now bobbing up
and down on the balls of his feet excitedly, as though he was relishing
‘Good sir, you no doubt have many questions
about Hogwarts—’ Flitwick began, but was cut off.
‘Hogwarts, Dad, it’s the name of the
school!’ Colin broke in excitedly.
‘So I will answer any questions you may
have at this time, and then we shall arrange for you to travel to a location
where Colin’s school things may be purchased.’ Flitwick beamed, as though he
was making perfect sense. Which, Martin frowned, he wasn’t.
‘Hang on. We don’t even know anything about
this school, and you expect us to just send Colin there?’
Flitwick waved the short wooden stick he
had been lightly grasping the entire conversation at an empty chair. It zoomed across and bumped the back of Martin’s knees,
forcing him to sit. The flabbergasted expression on his face as he looked
around at the chair’s new location said more than any amount of words could.
He was ready to listen.
Quite some time later, Flitwick found
himself answering the barrage of questions which he had answered hundreds of
times on previous occasions and would, no doubt, answer hundreds of times over
‘But how did you know that Colin was a
wizard? And how to find him?’ Martin Creevey asked after the Professor had told
them several stories about Hogwarts and the wizarding world.
‘Ahh. That is something quite marvellous.
There is a room in the Ministry of Magic – Oh yes, we have one of those – which
contains nothing but a quill and piece of parchment. This quill magically
records the births of every witch or wizard born to Muggle parents in Britain.’
Here Flitwick paused, noting the look of alarm which passed between Mr. and
‘Oh no, don’t worry yourself, there is no
invasion of your privacy! It merely notes the names of the children and where
they are living, so that the owl knows where to come with your Hogwarts
Barbara looked relieved for a moment before
a troubled look clouded her face.
‘Professor, there is something you must
understand. When the boys were born, we began setting away a little money each
month for their education. There is enough in there to send both Colin and
Dennis to a good private school, but what will Hogwarts cost? We have always
been eager to give our boys every opportunity available to them, but we are not
a well-off family.’ She looked as though this admission was costing a lot of
‘My dear lady, not to worry! Hogwarts is
well within the reaches of most families, and even if you find the cost getting
too much, we have special scholarships for Muggle-born children. Oh!’ Here Flitwick
interrupted himself. ‘Muggle means non-magic…I always forget how much you don’t
know! Now where was I…I think you’ll find that the most expensive part of
Hogwarts is all the bits and pieces that Colin will need, mainly ingredients
for Potions, they can get quite costly.’
Martin bristled. ‘I assure you Professor,
we will not need charity.’
Colin, who knew his father’s moods inside
out, also knew just when to interrupt.
‘Professor? Could you perhaps tell me about
my subjects at Hogwarts?’
A conspiratorial look passed between the
tiny man, whose squeaky voice was by this time slightly hoarse from overuse,
and the geeky, gangly boy who had morphed in the last hour into someone far
more mature and confident. Someone who had just discovered his place in the
Three hours later found Professor Flitwick
exiting the front door of the Creevey household, far more satisfied than he had
been upon arrival. The family were a pleasant one, far more pleasant than many
Muggle families he had to deal with sometimes, and Barbara and Martin Creevey
seemed committed to doing anything for their sons. They had agreed to meet
Professor Flitwick in a pub in London in several days time to organise Colin’s
school things and to have any new questions answered.
Yes, thought Filius Flitwick, as he entered
the quiet back street that he would Disapparate from, Colin would fit in quite
well at Hogwarts. As he vanished from the alleyway with a ‘crack’, he allowed a
contented smile to settle on his face at the thought of Colin entering into an
unknown world like so many others before him.
CHAPTER THREE - A VERY DIFFERENT