1. When he was little, he thought he was a wizard. When he was older, he thought he was a mutant.

Born to a Muggle father and a Squib mother, he had no idea the magical world even existed, but he was drawn to all things fantasy and superpowered to an extent that amused his parents at first. When he started insisting at age six that he was a wizard, they became deeply concerned and started taking him to therapists. It didn't help, although by the time he was ten he had discovered X-Men and felt sure he had a more rational, scientific explanation for why he could do strange things sometimes but not really control it. On his eleventh birthday, an old man with a long beard and a funny set of robes showed up with a letter and a long talk for his parents. He had been right the first time.

2. He lost his virginity – sort of – over the summer holiday the day before his sixteenth birthday.

She was visiting with her parents from Atlanta when he went with his to Brighton. He liked her accent, it reminded him of Rogue, but she liked his a lot more, and even more than that when she found out he went to a super-secret boarding school he couldn't talk about. They just started out kissing, but it got carried away pretty quickly. He'd never gone beyond a little making-out, but she had, and she said it was normal that it didn't last very long for a guy his first time, and that it still definitely counted.

3. He had never considered kissing a boy until Michael Corner.

Or more specifically, until he found himself pinned underneath Mike during training one day with the DA. Guys had never done anything for him at all, but for that one split second, locked together, soaked in sweat and gasping for air, when Mike tossed his hair back out of his eyes and licked those girl-gorgeous lips…well, he came so close to snogging him that he just decided he must be bisexual. After the whole wizard thing, nothing else about himself was enough of a shock to worry over, and he knew his parents would feel the same way.

4. He was completely unaware of the rumors otherwise.

When Demelza told him that most of the school had assumed he liked guys, he was genuinely stunned, but after a little while to think about it, he was kicking himself for not having seen it coming. He'd known he'd been a bit of a fawning twit over Potter the first few years, but he'd never realized what a gay little fawning twit he'd come off as. He thought quite seriously about rectifying this error with an announcement in the Great Hall, but that seemed like it could backfire somehow, and it all became moot when he was Cruciated in said Great Hall one week after getting back to Hogwarts for what he was doing to Demelza in the hallway outside Divination after curfew.

5. He wasn't sure if he wanted to stay in the wizarding world.

As amazing as it was to have an entire community of magical people, Colin had the distinct feeling that there were more people at a good World Cup match than in the entire wizarding world of Britain. Working for the Daily Prophet would have been nice enough, but he was a Gryffindor to the core, and it just didn't match up with the kind of clout it carried to say you were a National Geographic photographer. Besides, he didn't think he'd hold the job that long before he hexed the living hell out of Rita Skeeter.

6. He loved fantasy, but was terrified of the Bakshi animated LOTR.

And the Rankin-Bass Hobbit. Maybe it was something about being a Muggle-Born wizard, because his best really-Muggle friend loved it and watched it all the time, much to Colin's dismay when they were young, but Dean Thomas agreed with him completely. There was something very, very, very wrong with those people. That, and the animated Gollum was something that never left your dreams for as long as you lived. Something about the mouths. Did they always have to draw the spit?

7. He didn't really like wizarding Halloween.

Maybe it was better outside of school, but he really missed all the fancy dress. His parents had always thrown an amazing party, and yeah, maybe they couldn't match the real ghosts and the floating pumpkins, but nothing could match the Halloween of '91. The one his parents had bought had been plastic, sure, but he was a wizard, and for one perfect, glorious evening, he'd had a real lightsaber.

8. He cried harder over Marmalade than his parents.There was something just too much to really wrap his head around about their deaths, and he hadn't seen them, there hadn't been bodies. Oh, he understood completely that they were gone, there wasn't any denial about it or juvenile incomprehension, but he couldn't really afford to grieve for them as much as it would mean doing if he really let it hit him, because he had Dennis to take care of and the D.A. to think about and he couldn't let himself be brought down that low when he was Secret-Keeper and had to put that before everything. But Marmalade haunted him. Not literally, the cat's spectral form didn't stalk his steps at school, but he kept seeing the body in the corner of the living room, half-decayed and barely recognizable. He could only hope one of the Death Eaters had AKed her for fun. If the poor thing had starved, locked in the house with dead masters, he didn't think he would ever forgive himself, even if there had been less than nothing he could have done.

9. At the age of 13, he got cataclysmically monged.

The details were fuzzy – okay, pretty much nonexistent – but he knew that it had involved finding a half-empty bottle of rum in an unlocked cupboard during a sleepover at Brad's place over Christmas break. What he did remember was the next day, which for three years held the record of Worst Ever with no competition whatsoever. He also remembered how profoundly stupid he felt when his father explained that they'd let it happen on purpose to teach the boys a lesson while under safe supervision. Stupid and angry and betrayed…but maybe, kind of, though he wouldn't admit it, a little grateful too. It just wasn't acceptable for a teenager to admit such things, but he had a really great dad.

10. He slept with a stuffed Paddington almost every night of his life.

His grandmother had given it to his parents before he was even born because they did the nursery in Paddington, but by the time he was in his own room, he couldn't sleep without it. Still, he didn't really miss it when he gave it to Cecily. It had become something he stashed down deep under the covers anyway, not because he was embarrassed, but because it hurt to look at anymore. It felt like it had become everything that had been taken from him in so many ways, and it was a child thing. Maybe sixteen should have still been at least in a few secret little ways childhood, but for him, it wasn't.

11. He never traveled outside the UK.

He wanted to go to New York more than just about anything. He'd seen it a million times – TV, movies, comic books, everywhere, really – and it was without question the coolest place in the entire world. He had decided that after he'd gotten famous as a photographer, that was where he was going to have his flat. Somewhere not too posh but still achingly awesome in Manhattan, somewhere with a lot of sleek brushed-steel lines and a fabulous view where he would take gorgeous models and light their cigarettes with a snap of his fingers as they looked out over New York Harbor.

12. He wore contact lenses.

When he was in Primary School, his parents were told that his lower than average grades were probably due to whatever made him think he had superpowers. When he was in his first few years at Hogwarts, they were told that Muggle-Borns often took some time to adjust. By the end of his third year, there was no getting around that he needed glasses. Colin abjectly refused, however, as he was well aware that there would be no convincing anyone that he hadn't gotten them because of Harry. Even then, as deep as his fannishness had been, he had not been unaware of the line where people started getting beaten up. They had finally settled on contacts, and his grades shot up several full marks the next year. Being able to see made all kinds of difference in just about everything.

13. He learned that duct tape is not in fact like the Force.

It has a light side and a dark side, sure, and it might hold the universe together, but in a dim basement and only having one hand to use it, it makes a lousy tourniquet. Especially since it doesn't stick all that well to wet stuff. Still, it had made sense at the time. Lose enough blood and really, he supposed, anything would make sense.

14. The first time he ever pulled an all-nighter was for the Playstation version of Command and Conquer: Red Alert.

He and Brad and their fathers had gotten a pile of Indian take-away, several giant bags of crisps, a tub of Maltesers, and an entire case of Irn Bru, which they all agreed was appalling, but were too wrapped up in the game to go out and replace. They started just after nine at night, and the last one of them – Brad's father, to great taunting – had beaten the game by eleven the next morning. Their mothers were out of town, and he'd never had a proper bloke's night before, and his dad actually just laughed when he told the joke from the twins about the nearsighted witch and the bowtruckle. That night was arguably the best of his life.

15. He had a brown belt in karate.

Hoping to channel some of the energy that kept getting things broken around the house, his parents enrolled first Colin, then his brother in karate when he was five. He loved it, not just because it was awesome and he worshipped his Sensei, but because it meant having absolute control over yourself. Somehow, though he couldn't put his finger on it precisely, Colin had known that was going to be very important. He kept up with his kata at Hogwarts and still took lessons over break, but he never managed to make black belt when he needed to spend nine months of the year away from home.

16. He was supposed to get a car at the end of sixth year.

Nothing flashy, they said, probably just a used sedan from one of his mother's WA friends, but a car was a car was in Colin's opinion a lot better than a broomstick. Sure, they didn't fly – well, except that one Ron and Harry wrecked his first year – but you could fit a lot more of your mates inside. His parents had decided to compromise on the issues of wizarding and Muggle coming-of-age by getting him a car if he finished his sixth year with good marks. Originally, he was supposed to get a job to raise the money himself, but they'd all agreed that Hogwarts made that a bit difficult, but he was going to be expected to pick up some work over the summer. Something about the insurance.

17. He lied about his name.

If anyone asked him what the R. in Colin R. Creevey stood for, he always said Richard. His father's name was Richard, it made perfect sense that his middle name would be Richard, he'd half convinced himself that it was Richard, and it would be Richard the moment he came of legal age to change it. The fact of the matter was that it was actually Rufus, and he didn't care what his mother said or what Very Meaningful Relative she was trying to honor, that name blew beyond all description.

18. Only Jack knew he prayed every Sunday morning.

He had been raised casually Church of England, and his parents had been warned that he might go through a phase of rejecting his upbringing religiously after finding out about magic. It had proven the exact opposite, actually. He hadn't given it a lot of thought at first, but in fourth year, the first time he'd pulled off something really powerful, it had scared him so badly that he hadn't been able to use magic at all for a week. It was Jack who had talked him back up. His father was a Vicar, and the idea that the power in a fourteen year-old wizard's hands was still so small compared to what actually ran things was a huge comfort.

19. His aunt and uncle didn't actually bury him.

The Ministry knew that there would be no preventing the autopsy of two teenaged boys who had apparently just dropped dead at school, and they couldn't be allowed to find the year's worth of healed fractures, Cruciatus bruises, or Colin's regenerated hand, much less what had finally killed them. They were told instead that the boys had run away after the 'tragic suicide' of their parents over Christmas, and that the charred remains had been identified by fingerprints after a fire in an abandoned building frequented by 'teen hooligans.' The two bodies belonged to young John Does retrieved from just such a place. If he had known, Colin would have approved that at least someone buried them at all, because they were still someone's kids, right?

20. Neville did.

The money from his Order of Merlin went to fulfilling the last requests of the D.A. as well as he could. After finding Colin's journal in the remains of Gryffindor tower, he traveled for the first time himself to New York. Half of Colin's ashes were strewn over New York Harbor. The other half were sent to the offices of National Geographic with a polite letter. He received a response sooner than he had expected, and it came with their assurances that the little envelope of ashes would be scattered by the next photographer to be sent where children died in the wars of their elders.