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Knowing by Roots in Water

Format: One-shot
Chapters: 1
Word Count: 2,252

Rating: 12+
Warnings: Mild Language

Genres: Drama, General
Characters: OtherCanon

First Published: 06/19/2011
Last Chapter: 07/16/2011
Last Updated: 07/16/2011

I do not know why, but there is an ever present sense that I have forgotten something important. That if I was just able to brush the veil that separates it from me, I would remember. But I can’t remember.

Why can’t I remember?

               -Gilderoy Lockhart

Chapter 1: Remembering

Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or any of its characters.


A/N: Each section is a seperate entry in Lockhart's journal.

Have you ever had something dangle just beyond the reach of your fingers?


Have you ever felt that you ought to have something that you do not?


Have you ever known that something occurred but were unable to remember the circumstances?


Of course you haven’t. I shouldn’t have expected it. I know I’m unique, especially in my experiences. But this is the first time I have found this frustrating.


I do not know why, but there is an ever present sense that I have forgotten something important. That if I was just able to brush the veil that separates it from me, I would remember. But I can’t remember.


Why can’t I remember?




I am surrounded by white. There are white walls, a white ceiling and floor. There is not much to my home, but simplicity is elegance.


I am the vibrant, pulsing element here. I am what brings this room, and I suspect what lies beyond the closed door, to life. I do my best, fixing my hair in the mirror and arranging my brightest robes each morning. Unfortunately, I do not have many supplies…


Hospitals are so drab.


I can hear the howling of a dog through the wall and the soft tapping of a woman’s shoes approaching the door. A woman’s face, kind and matronly, pokes through the door before the rest of her body pushes through the doorframe. In her hands is a covered, silver dinner tray which she places on the small table beside my bed.


She is quite fond of me, this woman. She gave me the peacock quill I am writing with, though I did not understand why she had a secretive, pleased look in her eye as she did so. There are a lot of things I do not understand and they have specifically hired someone to come in and help me learn them.


I suspect it won’t take long for me to catch up; after all, I am Gilderoy Lockhart.




It's been months since I first woke up in this room and I still do not know why I'm here.


No one visits me and I do not understand why. I feel so lonely, trapped in this room, wasted. The Healer, Linda, and my tutor are the only ones who visit me and I am rarely let myself. For Merlin’s beard, the two comatose people down the hall receive more attention than I do! This is insulting, outrageous behaviour! Linda, though, is very sympathetic and is always reassuring me that soon I will be moved to a more public area of the ward, where more people will have the opportunity to visit me.


Linda also informed me that I am very sick and in need of long-term care. After Linda told me this, I said to her, without mincing my words and standing strong (you have to act strong in order to get what you want) that I required better accommodations than my current one and wouldn’t let her leave until she promised to speak to her Head about this.


She was remarkably agreeable after I had detailed a long list of complaints, starting with the words “dull white walls” and progressing to “under abundance of mirrors”. Honestly—the conditions in which I am forced to live are horrible. I feel that she understood my pain.


She did not, however, inform me as to the cause of my sickness.




I was moved today. To the Janus Thickey Ward (room # 47).


Linda was very excited, floating all my stuff behind me and jabbering on about how much she was sure I’d enjoy this room. Walking in, I realized immediately that it was an improvement—there was a window from which sunlight was pouring in, looking out upon a green and flowered courtyard and the walls were painted brilliant and rich purples and blues that perfectly matched my eyes. However, there was a problem—I was sharing this room with a dog.


After sharing this concern with Linda, she had the nerve to laugh and promptly reassured me:


“Agnes is a perfectly lovely woman. She just had a little accident with her animagus transformations—she was a little older than was smart when she started training, but she was determined. Her son still visits her weekly, you know, even though she’s been here for several months. So sweet.”


Even though I still protested at being locked up with a dogwoman, Linda quieted me with a sharp glance and continued to arrange my things.


“Just think of what an interesting character she would be to write about in your journal.”


There is that. (My journal is very important to me: it's my way of expressing myself- quite an ingenious way, if I do say so myself. Linda gave it to me after she noticed my boredom- it's a rather fetching shade of shade of forget-me-not blue, perfectly matching my eyes. Simply lovely. Linda's rather thoughtful.)




A woman writes to me weekly, you know. Her name is Gladys Gudgeon. I wish I know why… However, she does write many complimentary things in her letters and always asks for my opinions on things. It buggers me as to why I should know how to deal with household pests or any other manner of creatures, but I do my best to answer her.


She is also the first receiver of an autographed picture of me with joined up writing. She told me she framed it in her living room. I suppose my fame and talents have reached beyond the walls of this hospital—it’s about time.


She has made a few references to my life before this hospital, though I cannot understand them. She said that I still have my old talent with prose- what does she mean by that (though it is true)? When I asked Linda about my previous life, no amount of autographed photos or beautiful smiles opened her tight lips. She told me I had to remember by myself.


What have I forgotten?




The Healers have been whispering around me lately, stopping whenever they’ve noticed that I’ve slipped out of my rooms again. I’ve become quite adept at slipping away—Linda’s told me that I’ve escaped the most times out of any patient she’s ever encountered.


I would suspect that the Healers are talking about me, but none of them blush when I approach and they still scold me for escaping, even when I shine my brilliant teeth in their direction. Gladys once wrote that my smile is one of my most attractive features (it makes my face light up) and that she still swoons when my photo beams up at her from its frame. I asked Linda, but all she would tell me was that there is a wizarding scandal going to court in a few days—it is a private case, but since it involved a patient in the hospital several Healers have been informed.


Once again she would not give me anymore information—I am beginning to suspect that she is impervious to my persuasion techniques.




Life in the hospital is boring in its regularity. Whatever had been agitating the Healers appears to have stopped for they are paying more attention to me now. While I appreciate the consideration, I long for something more exhilarating. I spend my days coiffing my hair, chatting with Linda, watching my photos and listening to Agnes wheeze. I know that much time has passed since I first came to the hospital—the boy who visits the childlike adults across the hall has changed, growing wider as well as taller.


Sometimes, in my dreams, I can see flashes of white light and hear sobbing. One dream is particularly vivid: a flash of light lights up a small room for only seconds, capturing my reflection in a mirror paced halfway up the wall. The room is bare, and the lighting makes my face look menacing. There is a smirk on my face instead of my usual welcoming smile and a cruel glint is in my eyes as I look towards the shadows and the person they hide.


Those dreams often leave me gasping for breath and it takes me hours to fall asleep again. I hate them.


What kind of man was I?




I finally had visitors today, after years of isolation. Gladys, though faithful in her correspondance, fails to visit me. She's informed me that her meager salary is not sufficient to allow her to travel to central London. Huh.


I also learned something new about myself: I used to be a teacher, a good one. I seemed to have had quite the impact on my former students for them to visit me after all this time. They asked after my health and seemed pleased at my healthy condition. They appeared to still be school age and asked for several autographs, which I was very happy to give them. One of them even commented on how good a teacher I was—the redheaded boy, I believe.


I opened a fresh stack of photos after hearing that comment.


However, I lost their attention as they saw the plump boy and who I now believe are his parents. Drat it all- how?


Now that I finally have time to collect my thoughts in peace, one thought fills my mind:


Was I an inspiration before?




I saw a Ministry worker today. I could tell they belonged to our government because of their atrocious robes emblazoned with the tacky symbol of the Ministry. Honestly—you’d think that as the wizarding national power they’d take more pride in their appearance.


He was whispering to Linda and gesturing in my direction, who then turned and excused herself, rushing off to put me back in my room next to the dogwoman. I hope they were talking of releasing me from this place. I did notice that Linda was frowning—she was probably upset at losing my presence in her life.


Ah well—I’ll give her a photo. That should cheer her up.




I had another visitor today, but this one brought disquieting information.


My back was towards the door when she entered, for I had been watching myself, trying to remember. I was startled when Linda’s soft voice called out my name and took a moment to turn.


My visitor had a darker skin tone than I can remember seeing before and when she spoke her teeth were a sharp contrast to the rest of her face. Her inky hair was coiled atop her head, bound by an intricately woven gold ribbon. Her clothes were also different from everything else I’ve seen: there were many layers of crimson red wrapped around her body and when she lifted her arms, great folds of cloth hung as if they were wings. As she moved to sit in a chair hastily conjured by Linda, I could hear the swish of fabric on fabric and the soft pat-pat of clothed feet on floor.


She sat proudly in her chair, hands clasped tightly in her lap.


“Good afternoon Mr. Lockhart.”


Her voice was foreign as well, tinged with an accent I could not place. It was a beautiful voice though, sounding like chimes in a soft breeze.


I was pleased to note that she had not even glanced at the door across the hall, nor the bed that housed Agnes. This woman had come to see me, not them. I barely noticed as Linda quietly closed the door, though I heard the click as the door was locked.


The woman continued, after pausing briefly for a reply I forgot to offer. Her eyes tightened and it looked as though she was glaring at me.


“You erased my memory. I don’t suppose you remember—yours is the one now missing, while mine is intact. However, I’m not sitting here for your benefit. I’m here for myself.


“Your Ministry managed to track us down. It took them awhile, for you had covered your tracks well and there weren’t many clues to follow. But they managed, using your books as a primary source. It’s actually quite funny now that I think about it…” Her smile had a bitter twist to it. “But you probably still don’t know who I am.”


She leant forward, closer to me. “I’ll let you in on a little secret. I’m important. I’m more intelligent, more powerful, more successful than you. There are many more out there, beyond that door, just like me. People whose memories you’ve destroyed, whose lives you’ve stolen. I’m not allowed to harm you—apparently you’ve paid your debts—but I didn’t want you to live believing yourself an innocent, a victim.


“You tried your tricks one too many times, Lockhart, and they backfired. We won—we’ve regained our memories and your reputation is being ruined—and you lost.


“That’s what I want you to remember for the rest of your life.”


She didn’t wait for a reply; she didn’t seem to expect one. She just stood and walked through the door after waving a hand to open it. She didn’t look back.


I felt small.




I know now what those dreams are. They’re memories of my past.


I know now that I don’t want to remember.


I know now that I was a bad man.


What have I done?


A/N: Please let me know how you think I did with Lockhart's characterization. I tried to balance the more serious nature of the story with his self-absorbed nature.