Extract from Harry Potter and The Chamber Of Secrets

by J.K. Rowling

Harry and Ron stood talking about Quidditch for several minutes before Harry became aware he was being closely watched. Looking up, he saw the very small, mousey-haired boy he’d seen trying on the Sorting Hat last night, staring at Harry as though transfixed. He was clutching what looked like an ordinary Muggle camera, and the moment Harry looked at him, he went bright red.

‘All right, Harry?’ I’m – I’m Colin Creevey,’ he said breathlessly, taking a tentative step forward. ‘I’m in Gryffindor, too. D’you think – would it be alright if – can I have a picture?’ he said, raising the camera hopefully.

‘A picture?’ Harry repeated blankly.

‘So I can prove I’ve met you,’ said Colin Creevey eagerly, edging further forwards. ‘I know all about you. Everyone’s told me. About how you survived when You-Know-Who tried to kill you and how he disappeared and everything and how you’ve still got a lightning scar on your forehead’ (his eyed raked Harry’s hairline) ‘and a boy in my dormitory said if I develop the film in the right potion, the pictures’ll move.’

Colin drew a great shuddering breath of excitement and said, ‘It’s brilliant here, isn’t it? I never knew all the odd stuff I could do was magic till I got the letter from Hogwarts. My dad’s a milkman, he couldn’t believe it either. So I’m taking loads of pictures to send home to him. And it’d be really good if I had one of you –‘ he looked imploringly at Harry, ‘ - maybe your friend could take it and I could stand next to you? And then, you could sign it?’

Signed photos? You’re giving out signed photos, Potter?’

Loud and scathing, Draco Malfoy’s voice echoed round the courtyard. He had stopped right behind Colin, flanked, as he always was as Hogwarts, by his large and thuggish cronies, Crabbe and Goyle.

‘Everyone queue up!’ Malfoy roared to the crowd. ‘Harry Potter’s giving out signed photos!’

‘No, I’m not,’ said Harry angrily, his fists clenching. ‘Shut up, Malfoy.’

‘You’re just jealous,’ piped up Colin, whose entire body was about as thick as Crabbe’s neck.

Jealous? ’ said Malfoy, who didn’t need to shout any more, half the courtyard was listening in. ‘Of what? I don’t want a foul scar right across my head, thanks. I don’t think getting your head cut open makes you that special, myself.’

Crabbe and Goyle were sniggering stupidly.

‘Eat slugs, Malfoy,’ said Ron angrily. Crabbe stopped laughing and started rubbing his conker-like knuckles in a menacing way.

‘Be careful, Weasley,’ sneered Malfoy. ‘You don’t want to start any trouble or your mummy’ll have to come and take you away from school.’ He put on a shrill, piercing voice. ‘ If you put another toe out of line –

A knot of Slytherin fifth-years nearby laughed loudly at this.

‘Weasley would like a signed photo, Potter,’ smirked Malfoy. ‘It’d be worth more than his family’s whole house.’

Ron whipped out his Spellotaped wand, but Hermione shut Voyages With Vampires with a snap and whispered, ‘Look out!’

‘What’s all this, what’s all this?’ Gilderoy Lockhart was striding towards them, his turquoise robes swirling behind him. ‘Who’s giving out signed photos?’

Harry started to speak but he was cut short as Lockhart flung an arm around his shoulders and thundered jovially, ‘Shouldn’t have asked! We meet again, Harry!’

Pinned to Lockhart’s side and burning with humiliation, Harry saw Malfoy slide smirking back into the crowd.

‘Come on then, Mr Creevey,’ said Lockhart, beaming at Colin. ‘A double portrait, can’t say fairer than that, and we’ll both sign it for you.’

Colin fumbled for his camera and took the picture as the bell rang behind them, signalling the start of afternoon classes.


Harry Potter and The Chamber Of Secrets

by J.K. Rowling

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