A/N: This is written for the Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes Competition, category Canary Cream (write about someone undergoing some sort of transformation), for the Fanfiction Tournament March 2013 (write about a character before their Hogwarts time) and for the Hunger Games: Fanfic Style Competition on the HPFC, round 4, for which I've used the following promts:

- character: Colin Creevey

- word: echoes

- class: Transfiguration

- word count: 957

- emotion: panic


"I'm not crazy!" Colin yells at his parents and storms off. He has tears in his eyes. Why won't they just believe him? Lately, there have been more weird incidents than before and just a few minutes ago, his parents had awkwardly suggested that perhaps it would be good for him to see a psychologist. Because his mother remembered what happened to her great-aunt Sophie.

"I'm not crazy," he mutters to himself and he says it partly to convince himself, because the opposite is just too frightening to be true. Because strange things do happen around him and it seems to only get worse.

So what if he's different? So what if sometimes when he's mad, he can move things without touching them? He has looked it up in his encyclopaedia and it's called telekinesis, and apparently lots of people can do that. Why would that make him crazy? He silently wonders if his Mum's great-aunt Sophie had that as well.

A little voice inside Colin's head whispers: What about the other night, when you saw a strange creature and neither your parents nor Dennis saw it? He tries to shut this voice out, because quite frankly, the voice terrifies him. And isn't hearing voices another sign that you're going crazy?

There's a knock on his door and Dennis' tentatively says: "Colin? Can I come in?"

Colin hesitates a moment, but then he opens the door. After all, it wasn't Dennis' fault that he felt this way. He quickly wipes away his tears.

"I don't think you're crazy," Dennis states with a certainty Colin wished he possessed too.

"Thank you, but I'm starting to doubt that." Colin shakes his head sadly.

There is a moment of silence and Dennis shuffles his feet. "You can't be crazy, because if you're crazy, then I'm crazy too," he mutters.

Colin gives him a non-comprehensive look. "What are you talking about?"

"It happened to me too yesterday. I moved my books and I wasn't even touching them."

He hears the panic in Dennis' voice, panic at the fact that perhaps both of them are going insane.

"Of course you're not crazy," he tells Dennis. "Mum and Dad just don't understand us."

They sit on his bed, each trying to convince the other that he isn't crazy, because if he was, then they were too.

The next day, it's Colin's birthday and he doesn't feel like celebrating it at all. He's eleven now and in September he'll be starting a new school. Unless I end up in some mental institute before that, he thinks. He eats his breakfast without much enthusiasm and lets the gifts pass by without blinking twice, even the new camera that he wanted so badly. This is perhaps the worst birthday he has ever had.

At eleven past eleven the doorbell rings – Colin'll remember this exact time forever, because it was so oddly timed on his eleventh birthday – and when he opens the door, there's a funny looking old man with a beard on the doorstep.

"Hello, you must be Colin. My name is Professor Dumbledore. May I come in?"

Colin stands stunned. Then anger boils up inside of him and he storms towards his parents. "How could you?" he yells. "On my birthday nonetheless?! I hate you!" Tears are streaming down his face.

His parents look bewildered and he hears a cough behind him. It's the Professor, who has taken the open door as an invitation to come in.

"I'm not going!" Colin says with clenched fists.

"Who are you?" his father says. "And what are you doing in our house?"

"Allow me to introduce myself. Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry."

He makes a bow and everyone stares at him.

"Excuse me?"

"Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry."

"Yeah, yeah, I heard you the first time," Colin's father waves his hands in irritation. "The question is, what are you doing here?"

"Excuse me for my bad manners. Colin has got a spot at Hogwarts. You'll make a fine wizard, Colin."

"This is a joke, right?" Colin looks at his parents. "Seriously? You thought I'd fall for that? Wizards don't exist. And you think I need to see a psychologist?"

"I sense that there is some misunderstanding here," Professor Dumbledore says calmly and looks over his half-moon spectacles. "Look at that vase," he orders.

Obligingly, they all look at the vase he's pointing at.

He then waves a stick and the vase now resembles a quacking duck.

"How did you do that?" Colin asks suspiciously.

"Like I said, I'm a wizard," Professor Dumbledore explains. "You can learn this too in due time."

"So, you're saying that I'm a wizard as well?" Colin continues. He has completely forgotten his parents' presence.

"That's right," the man replies. "And we would like you to come to Hogwarts."

"I'm a wizard," Colin echoes. "And I can learn what you just did?"

"In time. Mind you, Transfiguration is one of the most difficult subjects, but who knows, if you study hard…."

The Professor starts explaining a lot of things, but Colin doesn't understand half of what he's saying. He hears words being uttered, strange words that he has never heard of, like galleons and Digon Alley and quit-its. It actually sounds rather exiting.

"Dennis?" he whispers. "Can you pinch me, just so I know I'm not having weird dreams or anything?"

Dennis obliges and Colin yelps. "Not that hard!" He rubs his arm. Professor Dumbledore is still there and still talking, so apparently he's not dreaming.

"Hey Colin?" Dennis whispers, ignoring his glares. "You think I could be a wizard as well?"

"I don't know. But it would be very cool if you were."