Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.
Foreword: I got this idea while I was reading vagrantboy's "Shifting Winds". In the latest chapter (Chapter 4), there was a brief mentioning that magical photographs had complex charms to them. Immediately, my mind wondered about the possibilities of that. This story was birthed thanks to that.
Colin's Charming Captures
By Romantic Silence
Colin couldn't help but smile brightly. He had done it! After months of trial and error, he was finally able to get the desired magical effect out of his photographs. Colin could barely contain his excitement and was eager to tell his younger brother about his success.
Suddenly a bright light came from behind him, hurting his eyes. A door could be heard being closed and the light faded, leaving the room dark and illuminating red like before. Colin turned and found Dennis to be the intruder. How many times had he told him to knock before entering the dark room? He could have potentially exposed his photographs and ruined them!
"Hey Colin, you missed dinner. You normally don't." Dennis informed him with an air of disinterest, but Colin knew his little brother was quite curious why he was gone.
Well, there was no point leaving his most trusted confidante in suspense. "Dennis, after visiting Professor Flitwick for months last year and these last few weeks, I was finally able to figure out how to manipulate my photographs in a certain way!"
"Oh," Dennis said, not appearing impressed. "So you were able to just basically doctor the photos magically?"
The photographer rolled his eyes—his brother could be so slow at times. He shook his head and explained further, "No, Dennis! Haven't you been paying attention to me at all recently? Well, you know how magical photographs are basically the same thing happening over and over again like in a loop?"
"Well!" Colin emphasized loudly. "I was able to finally create a charm that allows me to capture the real, truest emotions of everyone I managed to capture on film. They won't be looping the same events over and over again, but show the purest feeling they have at that very moment. I call it 'Colin's Charming Captures'!"
Dennis wrinkled his nose and frowned. "You should work on the name."
"Who asked you anyway? It doesn't matter. With this, I can start my own business and with the money I earn from that, I can find new ways to manipulate my photography! All I need is the start up capital to begin and I'm set!"
"How are you going to get money? It's not like mum or dad will give it to you. Dad was complaining already how expensive your photography hobby is costing him," the younger brother reminded his ambitious older brother.
As soon as Dennis asked Colin where he was going to get the galleons, he grinned triumphantly. Proudly puffing out his chest and placing his arms on his hips, he proclaimed, "It's quite simple, Dennis! I'll ask Harry to back me up! Didn't you hear how he was the one that gave Fred and George the money to start up their joke shop?"
"I don't know, Colin. Do you think Harry would just give you the money?"
Colin snorted and crossed his arms. "Of course I don't think he would just hand me the money. I'll make a scrapbook of him and all of his friends over the next couple of months with 'Colin's Charming Captures'. Come December, he would be so impressed that he would be more than willing to support me on this venture!"
Assured of his success, Colin ended his conversation with Dennis and returned to his photography. Meanwhile as Dennis was walking back to the Gryffindor common room, he couldn't help but think that his older brother was rushing things. He just knew something was going to happen and it was going to be all Colin's fault!
Colin was exasperated to say the least. He knew his fifth year was going to be a difficult year, but he expected that from his classes not the difficulty it was to take photographs of his favourite idol. There was something going on with the Golden Trio since the year started and it was really affecting his work. He was barely able to take any photographs of the three of them! He knew how much Harry cared about his friends, but it seemed like their friendship was falling apart! Who knew Harry and Hermione could be so distant from one another?
Well, he certainly tried his best and he did managed to capture some photographs of Harry, Hermione, and Ron together (well, most of them were just Harry and Hermione strangely enough). He had a lot of photographs of the three of them spending time together in the common room or in the Great Hall, but he wanted better pictures than that. Thank goodness he learned how take great quality pictures without needing to use a bright flash—muggle ingenuity at its finest!
Even so, many of the better ones weren't really great either. He was hoping to capture moments of Harry spending happy times with his friends. So far he captured Harry and Hermione sitting beside each other looking awkward or angry at one another, Harry and Hermione talking to each other on the Quidditch stands with Ron close to them, Harry, Ron, and Hermione posing together in the gardens (he forgot how he managed to rope them into it) with Ron in the centre and Harry and Hermione sidelong glaring at each other as if they just got through a fight.
It was so disappointing and Colin found himself disappointed. He spent a majority of his time in his dark room rather than taking photos at the party downstairs in the common room. He didn't care for taking photographs of everyone's jubilations of winning a sports match. He even decided to leave the common room once the party got much too loud for him and took a stroll around the castle—luckily it wasn't past curfew and Mr. Filch wasn't yet on the prowl.
As he turned around the corner, Colin spotted Harry entering a seemingly empty classroom. A bit curious as to what reason why Harry would be in an empty classroom instead of at the party celebrating another Quidditch victory, Colin decided to check it out. Cracking open the door ever so slightly, he nearly gasped when he found Harry and Hermione talking to each other in soft tones. The large windows that displayed the night sky providing a background for the pair. His photographer's instincts were yelling for him to take a picture. Luckily he always brought his camera everywhere.
Just as he was about ready to take the picture, he heard footsteps approaching. Reacting quickly, Colin quietly closed the door and spotted Ron and Lavender laughing and giggling together for some odd reason. He frowned, finding that they had their hands all over each other. Colin didn't want to think what they were doing roaming the halls.
"Hey Colin," Ron greeted him warmly, smiling goofily as Lavender giggled beside him. "Is that room empty?"
Colin was about to tell him that Harry and Hermione were inside, but he stopped himself. If Ron entered the room, the moment would be lost and Colin would be unable to take the picture! There was absolutely no way he would allow Ron to ruin his chance.
"Um—err—I was about to enter, you see! There are a few empty classrooms down the corridor! I'm sure you can find some alone time there!" He told them, hoping that they would not insist on using this one.
Ron beamed and patted him on the shoulder. "You're a good mate!"
And with that, Ron and Lavender departed. Colin released a breath of relief; that was a close one. He turned back to the door and opened it slightly. Whatever Harry and Hermione were talking about (sitting across from each other on top of the desks with their backs turned to him), they hadn't heard the commotion. That was good. Colin lifted up his camera and clicked the button.
He decided he would make the scrapbook tonight!
Colin found that his charm made the photographs somewhat self-aware. While he had seen magical photographs with people smiling and waving at anyone looking at them, they were still looped and continued to wave even after the observer left. Colin couldn't help but feel pride for his 'Colin's Charming Captures' but, at the same time, he was frustrated by them.
Each Harry, Hermione, and Ron in the photos simply refused to show all of their emotions to him. It wasn't exactly what he intended, but he was sure it would be good enough to impress Harry. Remembering how awkward they were being together in the photos before he applied his charm, it was a godsend when Colin found the Golden Trio being as close as ever. Their true emotions showed that they still cared for each other!
Having bound all the photographs he had taken into a single book, Colin began scouring for Harry this Saturday morning. To his surprise, the young photograph found his idol in the common room alone. He wondered why Harry was by himself until he took note of Ron and Lavender snogging in the corner. Hermione was missing, presumably at the library studying as she was known to do.
"Good morning, Harry! Can I talk to you?" Colin asked him, unable to control his excitement.
Harry eyed him warily but nodded. "Sure, Colin, what do you need?"
Colin then went on to propose how he was planning to start a wizarding photography business and that he learned how to manipulate magical photographs using different charms. He even explained what 'Colin's Charming Captures' were.
"I have an entire scrapbook filled with 'Colin's Charming Captures' with you, Ron, and Hermione! Here take a look at it and see if you like them!" Colin practically shoved the book into Harry's arms.
Harry frowned but decided to humour Colin—he was a good kid albeit slightly odd. He wasn't surprised that Colin managed to secretly take photographs of him and his friends; he was used to the younger boy's quirks anyway. He took the scrapbook and opened it up. The first few pictures were of them in the common room just milling about. He, Hermione, and Ron were all laughing and smiling at one another. It was strange; he remembered not having that much fun with either of them recently.
Slowly, Harry began to notice an odd trend that was occurring the more he turned the pages and went further down the weeks. More and more, Harry found him and Hermione getting closer and closer to each other and Ron disappearing from the photographs. There was a picture of the day when Quidditch try-outs were being held. In it, he was rubbing his thumb affectionately on Hermione's hand while he was on his broom and she was sitting in the stands.
"Colin," Harry called out his friend's name cautiously, "what are these 'Charming Captures' supposed to show?"
"Your truest emotions at the time the photograph was taken. Well, that, and the fact that the people in the pictures become somewhat self-aware," he answered dutifully.
Harry frowned and continued looking through the scrapbook. There was one photograph that stood out to him so far. It was the time when Colin had asked the Golden Trio to pose for a picture. He remembered that he and Hermione had just recently argued about the potions book and were not in the best of moods for each other. Yet here they were glancing at each other shyly while holding hands! Even Ron was gone from the picture again!
What did it mean that his truest emotions would show on the photograph?
He turned the page to the final photograph and nearly dropped the scrapbook. Harry recalled believing that there had been a person watching them last night when he was comforting Hermione about Ron's poor choice in girls. Like how he remembered it, he and Hermione were sitting close to each other on the desks, simply talking as they stared into the night sky together. However, the difference between then and the photograph was one thing and one thing only: they were kissing. Harry was kissing his best friend and Hermione was kissing back.
Harry handed the scrapbook back to Colin, blushing profusely. "I—I have to go talk to Hermione. Bye."
Before Colin could say a word, Harry had left the boy gawking after him in the common room. The photographer stared down at the scrapbook and sighed glumly. It appeared Harry wasn't going to fund his business now. He didn't know what Harry saw in the photographs, but it was clear that he was not impressed if leaving him all alone was of any indication.
"It's still pretty early," Colin muttered morosely. "I guess I'll head back to bed."
A day later, Colin received a letter from Gringotts stating that a vault filled with a thousand galleons was given to him. Did it have anything to do with Harry and Hermione getting together?
Afterword: I've always liked Colin. He was a great guy in my opinion. I especially enjoyed how utterly oblivious he was. Anyway, tell me if you liked this story. I noticed I like writing through the perspective of characters that are rarely used in fanfiction.