Colin Creevey: Seriously Brilliant Wizard
by Lizzy B.
Remember that mousy-haired and insanely jumpy little guy? Yes, Colin Creevey, the one who bounces ’round Hogwarts castle with his camera and shouting out, “All right, Harry?”. What about him? Well, only that he completely missed first year at Hogwarts.
It’s widely known that he is a muggle-born, who didn’t have an idea that the weird stuff he could do was magic till he received the Hogwarts’ letter. It is also widely assumed that, upon arriving at the castle, he learned a LOT of things about the wizarding world, being among those the story of The Boy Who Lived, and that it left him deeply impressed. We saw him following Harry all around the castle, beaming each time he got a reply from him, and some of us thought he was really cute, in spite of Harry’s annoyance with his presence. But as the story develops, this obsessive behaviour towards the protagonist (not unlike some people out there) awarded him the worst ordeal the students had to face that year: he was Petrified when he tried to slip into the hospital wing to visit his favorite person, after the star seeker had gotten a successful, but un-requested, arm de-boning after the Gryffindor versus Slytherin match.
Now, for a little calculation on the time he spent out cold, I’ll say a few things. First quidditch match of the season’s always on Saturday. Okay, that doesn’t give us much, date-wise, but there’s a faint hint that it could have been held on the last days of November. Check out this bits.
“Harry left to look for them, wondering where they could have got to and feeling slightly hurt that they weren’t interested in whether he had his bones back or not. […] ‘We’d’ve come to meet you, but we decided to get started on the Polyjuice Potion,’ Ron explained…”
(CoS, p.182-183, US edition)”In the second week of December Professor McGonagall came around as usual, collecting names of those who would be staying at school for Christmas. […] Unfortunately, the potion was only half finished.”
(CoS, p.185, US edition)
As we found out a couple of pages before, the Polyjuice Potion takes about a month to be ready, and if it was half finished in the second week of December, it is safe to say that our trio started it around the first days of that month. And as they started the day Harry left the hospital wing, which was Sunday, after the match, we can say that Colin got Petrified at the end of November, which gives him what? Two months of education? And then, all those poor people could only go back to normal state three days before the final exams, when their classmates had already gathered enough knowledge to sit their respective tests, and Creevey still a lot of room in his brain to fill. Luckily for him, exams were cancelled, but that only left him with a month or so more of class, in which we can’t be sure if they actually do something new in class or only take time to check their grades and argue anything they feel it’s wrong, as in any regular school.
Now, what did he learn in that early time? Well, if we go back to Harry’s first year, we only get a small glimpse of it. Simple spells, (the Wingardium Leviosa kind of thing), basic ingredients of a potion (azphodel, bezoars, monkshood…), minor transfigurations (matchsticks into needles) and the basics on how to ride a broom, with Madam Hooch. Probably also a few visits to Greenhouse One, but no more than that. We can’t expect a wizard to go to second year with such little knowledge in his mind, but here’s when Colin becomes interesting. He is the exception to the rule. After spending 2/3 of the year in something resembling a very deep comma, he is awarded with his promotion to next year. How did it happen?
Well, at this point, the thing that first strikes me is that he is a very special person. Not only because he’s extremely curious, but he’s also very bright, far above the rest of his mates. Upon learning first of him, we can see he’s extremely talkative. He probably already knows by heart all the names of his roommates on his first day at school, and loads more about things like potions, the proof being that he learns about the possibility for pictures to actually move and, in order for them to do it, a special potion has to be used to develop them (thanks to JK site). And he even manages to brew said potion in less than a week (first week of the year, on Saturday morning, he shows Harry the picture he took of him and Lockhart on Monday). Now, how remarkable is that for a boy who didn’t know about magic before? And I don’t reckon that potion was an elementary thing, mind you.
So, is this boy Creevey another one in the crowd? Heck no. He might as well be a male version of our own Hermione, the girl who managed to turn her matchstick into a needle in the first class, and made her feather levitate upon learning the incantation. Would a moving picture compare to that? Yes. A moving picture produced a week upon arrival. I think it’s nothing short of brilliant. But, while Hermione tends to be secretive (except with Ron and Harry, obviously) and keep her nose in the books, Colin seems more like the outgoing kind of guy, and he’s probably still the same chattery boy that bombarded Harry with questions about quidditch on his first training session in second year. Very special, ain’t he? How come we’ve overlooked his brilliance so easily?
The only thing I can think of is that he’s going to play a very important part in the upcoming books. We’ve been fooled like that before, not that it’s in any way upsetting, mind you, but it has happened. The smallest of characters becomes important somehow (Scabbers, remember?). But on how can it possibly happen, I can’t say. Really, I can’t think of a way for him to be relevant to the final plotline, except as a valorous ally and duel mate. He was in the DA, after all, and he really seems eager to learn anything he can. At this point, I don’t think he’ll turn to the dark side, he seems far too noble to do such thing, and after meeting his little (even more!) brother, Dennis, and his exciting encounter with the Giant Squid, I am sure that they’re extremely valiant, one of the traits of a true Gryffindor. And there’s the fact that he practically worships Harry, thus proving his loyalty, and it’s not even suggestable that he could start working for his hero’s arch-enemy. So we can rule that possibility out.
But what do we have, then? Well, basically that we have to expect great things from Mr. Creevey. He’s surely going to be elected prefect in the next book, along with Ginny, being this possible not only to the fact that he’s the only one we know of that year, but that he is exactly the kind of person who would take responsability very serious. Also, as Ginny is no longer a baby (well, duh!), and she just has to become one of the selected few that accompany Harry in his adventures, and war just started, we can be sure that Harry is going to need lots of back-up, anywhere he can find them, and that the first he’ll think about will be those who had been loyal to him, namely the Creeveys. I’m talking about new blood here, I don’t mean that he’s gonna part from Ron and Hermione and join the little mousy-haired ones, but for sure, if danger increases, more help will be needed, and the bravest and brightest ones will surely get picked first.
Let’s face it, this second war belongs more to Harry than to the adults behind him. The first one was fought by the original Order of the Phoenix, and, while there’s still some very valuable members left, the target now is different and, as much as they try to avoid it, the adults in charge of Harry’s education (and there’s many) won’t be able to keep him away from the line of fire. And who’s nearest, besides Dumbledore? His schoolmates, specially those from Dumbledore’s Army. We cannot think that this entity was created only to serve as a rebellion against Umbridge. It was probably the spark that lit the fire, but this fire is bound to burn a bigger threat than a negligent teacher. It is, if any, a small version of the Order, and those inside this alliance (if we can call it so) are surely going to be given an important task at the end of, or even during, the story.
So we have Colin. He’s been given very little screen time, and if he’s just as smart as I just exposed, it’d be only too unfair to leave him there, in the background, doing no more than worshipping the ground Harry treads on. There must be something else for him, probably a position in the Quidditch Team, now that Gryffindor’s four players short (’cause I do think Harry’s gonna be back in the game, it does him a lot of good), but surely his light is going to shine any time soon. Or at least I hope so. Go little brave guys!