mirabella: (HP Seeker)
mirabella ([personal profile] mirabella) wrote in [community profile] mirabellafic2013-01-28 08:49 pm
Entry tags:

Perfectionism, Harry Potter, H/D implied, PG

Title: Perfectionism
Fandom: HP, H/D implied, PG
Summary: Colin isn't obsessed. He's just a perfectionist.



Colin Creevey's one great failure as a budding photographer, he feels, is that he has never been able to take the perfect picture of Harry Potter.

He has tried for years, and sometimes he has come close. He learned early on that when Harry's looking, when he knows someone is taking his picture, the image in the photo spends most of his time hiding out of the frame, or glowering sullenly with his arms crossed; and whatever moment Colin was trying to capture, however carefully he framed the shot, the composition will never be quite right because of picture-Harry's refusal to cooperate. So Colin focuses on candid shots now: Harry in the air, chasing the snitch; Harry at breakfast, half-asleep and unaware of anything but his food, answering Hermione's bright chatter with vague grunts; Harry bent over his homework in the library; Harry with soapy water streaming over his face in the showers after a match, a picture for which he was offered truly astonishing amounts of money by the most unlikely people. Harry asleep, once, which had required some truly heroic manipulation of flash brightness and f-stop adjustment; Harry had woken with a jolt at the flash, grabbing for his wand, and Colin had had a moment to reflect on the possible inadvisability of his strategy before Seamus Finnegan, returning from the bathroom, had grabbed him by the scruff of the neck and shoved him out of the sixth-year dormitory.

The candid pictures are better, but they all lack a certain something - some spark, some glimpse of that brilliant, glowing life that makes Harry who he is, that draws people into his orbit and makes him stand out among the other students like a snowy raven among crows. It's for that reason that Colin is thrilled when he walks out into the courtyard and finds Harry, still dressed for Quidditch practice, facing off against Draco Malfoy.

Ron Weasley is standing back, holding Harry's broom; Hermione looks on disapprovingly, Crabbe and Goyle stand with emotionless stolidity a few feet behind Malfoy, and the very wind in the courtyard seems to spark into flame with Harry's anger. In a flash Colin has sectioned the scene into photo-sized pieces, framed the shot in his head, lifted his camera, and taken the picture, and the sound of the flash is lost in Professor McGonagall's fluting reprimands as she bears down on them looking ready to yank two six-foot Seekers by the ears. Colin doesn't want McGonagall in the shot - she has an unpleasant tendency to look reprovingly out of the picture as if she were about to deduct House points - and so he slips back into the crowd and hurries to his darkroom.

Colin dislikes Draco Malfoy intensely. Malfoy has a habit of shoving him out of the way, a habit that is all the more annoying because there is no malice in it; Colin might as well be a chair that Malfoy has discovered in his path. He has ruined more than one of Colin's shots doing that sort of thing. And he pays too much of all the wrong kind of attention to Harry, and makes Harry pay too much attention to him. The two of them were clearly on the verge of a shoving match at the very least when Colin snapped the picture; if their images continue that conflict, if Harry should reach out and shove Malfoy, he will be pushed back a little himself by the action, and the balance between them will shift around an axis perfectly aligned with the center of the frame. And if the tableau actually ends in Harry bloodying Malfoy's nose, well, Colin will certainly have no quarrel with that.

Except that, when the picture develops, that isn't the way it comes out.

In the picture, Harry and Draco glower at each other just as they did in the courtyard; but there's hurt clearly visible underneath the anger now, in both of them, and the wind blows their robes together in a swirl of scarlet and black that surrounds them like the skittering red-orange leaves. They're closer together than Colin remembers them being, so when Harry takes a deep breath and reaches out a hand, Draco is able, after a long moment's hesitation, to stretch out his own and brush his fingertips against Harry's.

Every student at Hogwarts has heard the story about how Harry Potter refused to shake Draco Malfoy's hand. Picture-Harry doesn't shake picture-Draco's hand now, either. He reaches out farther and closes his fingers around Malfoy's, so gently that a leaf caught between them would not have crumbled in his grip, and then he steps forward and lifts his free hand to touch his fingertips carefully to Malfoy's cheek. Leaves flurry around them, red and orange as the rising sun, catching in Harry's dark hair and on the Slytherin crest on Malfoy's robe, and Harry touches Malfoy's face, and neither of them speak.

Colin isn't angry at Harry. It isn't Harry's fault. It's just that Colin is a perfectionist, and wants his pictures to come out just exactly so. So when the picture shimmers a bit and resolves again to show Harry and Draco on opposite sides of the frame, he takes his pocket knife and cuts the picture in half, scoring a deep gash in the wood of his desk, and when he slips and cuts his finger he ignores it because this is really very important. The half with Harry in it, which is the only important part anyway, he sets carefully aside; then he puts down the knife, finds a pair of scissors, and cuts apart the Draco half one fastidious snip at a time until his desk is covered with a fine pile of photo paper like new snow, and Draco might as well have never existed.

Picture-Harry looks a little dazed, and keeps looking around as though he's misplaced something important. Colin thinks maybe he should get rid of this half too, because it's a fine picture of Harry but it isn't perfect, and he isn't doing what Colin wanted him to. In the end he tucks the picture in with all the rest; because film images aren't intelligent, and eventually Harry will forget that his picture had another half. And it really is a fine photograph, with the wind blowing black hair into sharp emerald eyes and stinging a flush into porcelain skin, and October leaves whirling all around him as though in idolatry of the scarlet of his robes. It's disappointing - the photo is clearly unbalanced, the composition ruined - but if nothing else he'll keep it as a reminder of what not to photograph.

He's just going to have to keep taking pictures of Harry until they come out right.

Malachai_Morrow again, still with account issues

(Anonymous) 2013-12-09 07:33 pm (UTC)(link)
I do love this fic as well. I've never really spent much time thinking about Colin before reading this one. You bring a new perspective to his character and why he might spend so much time photographing Harry. It's unique and I adore it.

Thank you for reposting this.