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Stories from the Vault
Gilderoy Lockhart was many things: vain, covetous, lusty, but he did really care for the welfare of his students. He’d noticed some boys in Griffindor picking on the older Creevey lad and quietly set that to rights. He’d then met with the lad after class one day, taking care to have the discussion in an open space by the castle where he could easily be observed two teachers, one head of house, the caretaker, and any students who happened to be walking back from greenhouse number four.
Standing on the lawn in the last hours of daylight he provided Colin with three quick, free lessons on perspective, lighting and composition that many professional photographers would have paid dearly to attend. At the end of the lesson, he said “Mr. Creevy, a word if I may.”
“Yes, Professor,” Colin said earnestly.
“You are a gifted photographer, and rightly very excited to discover the magical world, but you must always remember that some people are very, very private,” Lockhart explained.
“I don’t understand, sir,” Colin said, a downcast expression forming on his young face.
“Your classmate, Mr. Potter,” Lockhart began.
“He’s great, isn’t he?” Colin gushed.
“He is quite famous, but he’s most famous because when he was a lad a monster killed his parents. I think most days he really wants to fade into the background.”
“Why are you telling me this, Professor?” Colin asked.
“When Harry’s doing something public, like playing Quidditch in a match, he’s fair game for a valiant photographer such as yourself,” Lockhart explained. “The rest of the time, he’s just trying to get by, and he certainly doesn’t want fame, attention, or your flashbulb going off in his face.”
“Really?” Colin asked, trying to comprehend why someone wouldn’t want to have his picture taken.
“Uh, okay,” Colin said.
“I suspect that Harry is quite open to being your friend, and if you ask him for permission, he’ll work with you, but spread the attention around, offer to take shots of the whole Quidditch team, not just Harry.”
“You think he’d go for that?” Colin asked.
“I’m fairly certain that he will, especially if you bring the topic up with his friend Miss Granger first.”
“Why not Ron?” Colin asked.
“I doubt that would work,” Lockhart said. “Trust me on this one.”
“Okay, thanks Professor, you really know your stuff on photos,” Colin exclaimed.
“Good photographs have paid my bills for years, young man. Someday you’ll be taking some of those photographs and we can both get a little richer,” Lockhart said. “Off with you now – you have just enough time to get back to your dormitory and stow your equipment before dinner.”
“Thanks, Professor,” Colin said, stuffing his equipment into a bag before he ran off to the castle.
He watched the students in his classes, which was much harder than many thought, given that he was simultaneously lecturing and walking the students through scenarios he’d chosen to make a point on Defense against the Dark Arts.
There were the brown-nosing sycophants, always agreeable if they thought that might improve their standing in class; the male and female show-offs who used the class as a stage for their own private dramas, and then there were the students who seemed to be floundering.
Perhaps, like one lad, the student was floundering because he was hard of hearing and it hadn’t yet been noticed by his parents, fellow students, or by any of the other teachers. He’d sent that student to Madam Pomfrey, who’d been able to address the problem with a quick test, charm, and potion. Another student was quite obviously nearsighted and couldn’t see the blackboard unless seated in the very first row. That student, a girl, was now wearing very smart looking spectacles and was faring quite well in the next-to-the-last row. He’d reinforced the lass by complimenting her on her appearance the first time she wore the spectacles to class. By the next week, three competing girls were prominently wearing spectacles; he’d apparently started a minor fashion trend.
Today he was watching yet another student in his first year class. Her clothes were mostly second hand, as were the books in her non-DADA classes. He knew from the binding on her DADA books that she’d been gifted with the complimentary copies he’d given Mr. Potter that day he’d met him in the wizarding bookstore. Her face was pale and sickly, with bags under her eyes.
He finished his last story of the class and dismissed the students, who began to flee the classroom; the class before lunch was never very popular.
“Miss Weasley,” he called, predicting that none of the other students would stay behind to stand beside her.
He had to repeat his hailing. “Miss Weasley, I’d like to speak to you briefly after class,” Lockhart said, collecting his books, notes and props, dropping them into an open-mouthed traveling bag.
Miss Weasley gathered her bag and leaned against one of the first row desks. She wasn’t tall enough to sit on the desk, unless she wanted to look like a gnome.
Gilderoy Lockhart flicked his wand at the doorway. Although the door was still open, no one in the hallway would be able to hear their conversation; a useful trick that had helped him in many an interview. He then flicked his wand lazily in Miss Weasley’s direction. She was now a slumping statute, motionless, and immobilized. Gilderoy poured the contents of her bag out onto his desk. Another wand flick at the items now strewn on the desk confirmed his suspicion. He put all the items back into the bag, save one, and looking into her eyes he quietly said, “Obliviate.”
“We spoke about your parents and your brothers, and then I asked you to speak up more in class,” Lockheart said while her mind was still absorbing the spell. The human mind is an efficient machine that will try to fill in the gaps when the memories don’t quite make sense. Miss Weasley’s mind would seize upon this statement as an anchor, not remembering anything other than the suggestion that backfilled into the void. He released the physical binding with a backhanded flip of his wand.
“Off you go,” he said cheerfully.
Miss Weasley bobbed like a well-mannered witch of an earlier age, not quite a bow, not quite a curtsey, and then disappeared out into the hallway to catch up with her fellow students heading to the Great Hall for lunch.
Lockhart turned the leather bound journal over carefully with his wand, not wanting to touch the item with his hands until he’d run a few more tests. Gilderoy Lockhart was many things, vain, covetous, lusty, but he was careful when examining magical objects.
He ran the usual tests on the journal, and then carefully opened the book to the first page, which was blank. He smiled and picked up his pen.
“Professor Gilderoy Lockhart” he wrote on the first page.
The ink flickered for an instant and then disappeared. Lockhart raised his eyebrow at this; he hadn’t expected that.
A blot of ink formed on the page and a spidery Copperplate hand formed letters.
“Hello, Professor Lockhart, are you a teacher at Hogwarts?”
Copyright 2019 - Kokopelli - all rights reserved
JK Rowling owns the Potter Universe, but this is my story - this fanfiction is a fair use under copyright law.
Thanks, as always to Garden Girl for a thoughtful beta.
I have several chapters on another story that refuses to behave, while this drabble times 10 (Drabble-x-10) kept begging for attention. Ginny Weasley really was a very poor choice of victim in Chamber of Secrets - giving the Riddle diary to an adult would have so much more potential for mayhem. I'm not going to write Voldehart, but I thought the opening scene could be interesting.
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