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Chapter 1: Hair-Care Potion Maker Extraordinaire
This is the story of how I became marvellous.
That’s a joke. I was always marvellous. But my seventh year at Hogwarts was really a turning point for me. It’s when I figured out what I wanted to do with my life. And it’s when I first discovered how good I looked in lilac. I’ve always thought that those two discoveries were related. The day my life changed is one I remember particularly well…
It’s the first week of seventh year, and I’m still reeling in shock at a discovery: Wilhelm Wigworthy is Head Boy. I really don’t understand why; he is intelligent of course, but his eyebrows connect in the middle. That’s unsupportable, especially for a Head Boy whom all the students are supposed to look up to. And his acne is terrible. I get queasy just looking at him.
(I wonder if it’d be rude to offer him some sort of face cream. At least it would be an improvement, even though he’ll never look as good as me. Obviously my intentions are good, but I think he might take it the wrong way. Sometimes it’s difficult being as handsome and friendly as I am.)
I could write an entire book about why I’d be a much better Head Boy than Wigworthy. I’m incredibly brilliant. That’s why I’m a Ravenclaw; it’s the house for the brilliant people. I am also brave, kind, considerate, and humble. I have beautiful hair. In my spare time I make hair potions, using my own secret recipe that I invented on my own. This is how I get my hair to look so fabulous. Recently I’ve even been thinking of selling my hair potions, because I understand everyone wants to have beautiful hair like mine. I am an adept photographer, and have taken countless artistic pictures of myself. I fought hags when I was on holiday over the summer, and I won. All of these things were, for reasons unknown to me, overlooked in the selection of this year’s Head Boy.
So on this particular day, I’m on my way to Potions class when I hear a disturbance in the corridor.
“Tarantallegra!” says a voice. I turn to see a couple of Gryffindor boys, fourth years I think. Potter and Black, if I remember correctly. They’re laughing at two Slytherin girls who are dancing crazily, their feet tapping out of control. One of the girls, the shorter, blond one, loses her balance and reaches out for Black. I think she’s making eyes at him despite the fact that he’s casting jinxes at her. Black leaps out of the way, and the blond girl falls on the floor, her feet still twitching. The other girl rolls her eyes, takes out her wand and points it at the boys, who begin jumping up and down like their feet are on springs. Then the girls start laughing too. All this dancing and jumping is amusing, but as I am a seventh year and a voice of authority, I decide to end this fight in the corridor.
“Finito,” I say, waving my wand with a flourish, and it all stops. I reach up a hand to sweep my golden hair out of my face a bit, and give the four of them a wide grin. I have a great smile. My smile alone should be able to stop wars, so it will assuredly stop a few fourth-years from their childish rivalry. “There, there. Can’t we all just get along?” I ask. I throw in a wink just for good measure.
The blond Slytherin girl starts making eyes at me now. Understandably. But the taller, curly-haired Slytherin only laughs dismissively, and Potter angrily asks what I’ve done. I turn back to look at him; it seems he’s got flippers now instead of feet – rather like a mermaid. That’s technically not what I intended to do, but at least he’s not stuck jumping up and down anymore! It is an improvement, really.
“I can fix that, of course,” I tell him. “I’m a seventh year, I know all about these charms. It must have been those Slytherins who did it. Allow me.”
“No,” Potter insists, and tries to step away but he kind of slides. The Slytherins are laughing again, now that they’ve seen Potter’s fins. Black takes out his wand and one of the girls falls down again very suddenly; she slips and lands on her backside, and yells “Black!” Then the girls stomp off into a classroom, and Black helps Potter walk away. Potter glances back at me and mutters “Git” under his breath.
If I were Head Boy, they’d listen to me. It’s really a shame. And how dare Potter call me a git?! I only want friendship and cooperation among all houses – what’s wrong with that?
Or maybe it’s because he feels intimidated by me. After all, his hair is dreadful; it sticks up all over the place. Perhaps I could kindly give him one of my hair care potions that I’ve been working on, as a token of friendship, and he’ll respect me. I’m sure he couldn’t possibly want his hair to do that – who would? – so he’ll thank me in the end.
I walk away into Potions class, where I take my seat next to Bertha Jorkins and she tells me all the latest gossip. Most of it is about other people, and I find it boring. At the front of class, Professor Slughorn is talking about the potion we’re going to be making today. I already know how to make it, so I tune him out and entertain myself by looking at my stunning reflection in the side of my shiny cauldron. My teeth look excellent today. They always look excellent. But I finally start listening to Bertha when she informs me that Gladys Gudgeon fancies me. Most people fancy me, so I’m not too surprised to hear it. Gladys has always seemed like a sensible person, and what is more sensible than fancying me?
Gladys is watching me from her seat two desks away. When I glance up at her I’m already smiling, because I’ve just been looking at my reflection in my cauldron, so I wink at her. She blushes and turns around again.
I convince Bertha to trade seats with me, which makes it easier for me to pass notes to Gladys. I take out an elegant peacock feather quill and write: Guess what my favourite colour is. Xo, Gilderoy Lockhart. My signature on this note is so beautiful that I’m tempted to tear it off of the note and frame it, but I decide not to because the signature’s not quite large enough for that. I’ll have time to do it later though, with my lilac-coloured ink, of course. So I fold the scrap of parchment and flick the note across to Gladys’s desk.
She opens the note, hidden from Slughorn’s view by her cauldron, and looks back at me. I perform a quick colour-changing charm on my hat to give her a hint. I never liked the black hat. I turn away from Gladys and admire my new reflection in my cauldron. The lilac hat does wonders. I looked like an Adonis before, but now, it’s just unreal. I grin at my reflection again.
Something hits the side of my cauldron and I jump in my seat, startled. Then I realise it’s only the note from Gladys. I had forgotten about that in all the excitement of how the lilac hat looked on me.
I don’t know, is it lavender? she’s written.
I write back to correct her. After all, lavender and lilac are quite a few shades apart. Then Slughorn walks by my desk and asks me why I haven’t started making my potion yet because we’re nearly twenty minutes into class. I give him a winning smile and inform him that I’ve already made it, but it’s in Bertha’s cauldron. Bertha can’t deny this because she’s at the supply cabinet getting more dead flies to put in her potion. Slughorn watches as I pick up a dried leech from the pile on the desk and drop it into Bertha’s cauldron. That must be convincing enough, because Slughorn walks away, shaking his head in amazement at how clever I am.
I don’t actually have enough time to complete my potion anymore. So when Bertha comes back, I tell her I’ll make a trade with her: she will pour half her potion into my cauldron, in exchange for one of my new hair-care potions. (Her hair is rather frizzy at this point after leaning over the steaming cauldron for half an hour.) I would offer her a photo of me as well, but she already has one. I’ve told her to save that photo because I’ll be famous one day and the picture will be worth a load of Galleons.
She considers my offer. I tempt her even more with gossip: I tell her the story of how I rescued the fourth years from their spell fight. And it’s the grin that does it. I give her a glimpse of my great pearly whites, and that vision, combined with the way my hat looks now, are enough to convince her. When Slughorn isn’t watching, Bertha pours half of her potion into my cauldron, and then I resume my work: I rub my sleeve on the side of my cauldron to shine it up a bit and make its reflecting qualities better.
At the end of class everyone collects some of our potions in small phials, which we then bring up to the front of the class for Slughorn. He’ll never find out I used Bertha’s potion.
I meet up with Gladys again after class, and she compliments my hat. Then she asks me why I was late for class.
“Because on the way here, I stopped a fight, saving some fourth-years from certain detention, spell injury, and humiliation,” I tell her. “One of them was so grateful, he practically begged me to give him one of my hair-care potions that I’m making. And out of the goodness of my heart, I told him of course I would.”
“That’s so nice of you,” says Gladys. “And I didn’t know you make your own hair-care products – that must be why your hair always looks so soft.” She gazes longingly at my luxurious locks.
“My potions weren’t always quite this amazing,” I say. “When I first started, they didn’t work – if you can even imagine that! But now they’re top of the line. My dearest ambition is to sell these potions someday, and while I’m promoting my hair potions I’ll create peace and cooperation between all magical folk just through mutual appreciation of my hair-care potions.”
“That’s amazing,” Gladys enthuses. “You know, I think that’s a great way to change the world. And I’m sure you could do it. My favourite colour is lilac too, by the way.”
“You don’t say!”
“I did say so, when I wrote back to you the second time in class.”
I don’t recall her writing back a second time. I must have been distracted by the sensational face smiling back at me from the side of my cauldron.
As Gladys and I approach the Great Hall, Professor McGonagall appears from around a corner. She sees me at once and scowls at me, her narrowed eyes flicking upwards to my hat. “School uniforms are to be black, Lockhart,” she says.
McGonagall isn’t someone to cross; not even my dazzling smile can persuade her to see my point of view. I would have thought she’d appreciate a good colour-change charm, but apparently she doesn’t. I sigh and change it back, and she walks on.
For the remainder of our walk into the Great Hall, Gladys and I discuss whether I should change my hat back to lilac, and whether the risks, such as McGonagall’s displeasure, outweigh the benefits, such as how glorious I look with a lilac hat. We part at the entrance to the Hall where Gladys heads for the Hufflepuff table.
After lunch I make a quick stop by my dormitory to collect some bottles of my best hair potions, and then I catch up with Bertha again. By this point, the anecdote of me gallantly rescuing ten fourth years and permanently ending the rivalry between Slytherins and Gryffindors has circulated around the school, thanks to Bertha’s tendency to chatter (and to myself, of course, for saving them).
It’s nice to be friends with someone like Bertha, because she truly appreciates what a magnificent person I am and ensures that everyone at Hogwarts knows about my good deeds. There are many reasons she likes me, one of which must be because her association with me helps her out a lot in her social life: because she’s friends with me, that makes her one of the most respected people at Hogwarts… apart from myself, obviously.
I reach into my bag and offer her one of my hair potions, and she selects one that’s scented like roses. The scented potions are a new thing – I think it’ll make them sell better. I’ve also added a nice label on the outside, which features a picture of my face, and my gorgeous wavy signature.
“Now, when people start begging to know where you got this hair potion, let them know it’s from Gilderoy Lockhart, the hero who saved first-years from an Acromantula, who has the most beautiful teeth in all of Hogwarts, and who will be the world’s greatest potion maker!”
I haven’t actually saved any first-years from an Acromantula, but I know there are some Acromantulas living in the Forbidden Forest and I know some first-years have gone into the forest, so it sounds quite believable.
“World’s greatest potion maker?” Bertha repeats. “I made your potion during class today.”
Oh, she’s a cheeky one. “Yes, well, that was only a Fire Protection Potion,” I remind her. “Not quite on the same echelon as hair potions. But it’s a start.” I grin and pat her shoulder in a reassuring way, and then walk off down the hall to go to Divination.
This class goes much like usual. Professor Sage doesn’t realise what a gift I have and when I read the tarot cards and predict the imminent unity of wizardkind because of my magical hair potions, she merely looks curious, not astounded as she should be. But the other students who’ve heard my prediction are all staring at me, envious that I possess such an ability for Seeing and that I’ve foretold a wonderful event. I pity them all a little. It must be dreadful to not have people be jealous of you all the time. I wouldn’t know.
On my way to dinner afterwards, I nearly run into the scrawny fourth-year Potter again. He’s coming into the Great Hall, splattered with mud, clearly having just come from Quidditch practice. He looks toward the Gryffindor table, raises one muddy hand, and ruffles his hair, making it even messier than usual. I recall the bottles of hair potion I’ve still got with me in my bag, and approach Potter.
“I’m sure you remember me from this afternoon when I stopped those Slytherins for you,” I say with a smile. “I see you’ve got those fins sorted out – I knew it must have been just a simple spell to fix it, I could have done it myself and it would have been much less trouble for you!”
Potter is trying to walk around me to get into the hall.
I continue, “Yes, but I’m sure you don’t need reminding of that. What I did come to say is that I saw you trying to fix your hair just now, and I’ve got the solution for you. Just a bit of this hair potion and your hair can look as good as mine!”
I produce one of the bottles from my bag with a flourish. I hold out the bottle, grinning just like the picture of my face is grinning on the bottle.
Potter stares from me to the bottle repeatedly, his mouth hanging open. Apparently, he is so impressed with me, with my kindness, that he can’t find the words to thank me. I prompt him by offering him a choice: if he doesn’t want this one, maybe he’d want one of the scented ones instead, and I show him the other potion in my bag, which is scented “Lily of the Valley”.
“What kind of a joke is this?” says Potter, and walks away into the Hall without even taking either bottle.
And then I understand: he was just too surprised that I would be giving away such a valuable potion for free. So it’s all for the best – I’ll start charging for them from now on. And Potter will rue the day when he walked away from such a bargain. If he wants a potion after this, he’ll have to pay for it.
That proves to be an effective business venture. Three days later, I sell those two remaining potions to Bertha Jorkins, who has found that her hair is now ten times prettier because of the potion I gave her, and thus my potions are making her more popular. Everyone wins.
And that was the day I began in earnest my quest to change the world. Soon, everyone in the country will know my name. Gilderoy Lockhart, the protector of younger students, hair-care potion maker extraordinaire, with the best smile in all of Hogwarts… but not Head Boy. Even I can’t have everything. But I bet that in a couple of years, once I’m famous and wildly successful in my career of saving people from distress and making their hair look beautiful, if I tell someone I was Head Boy at Hogwarts they’ll believe me. Maybe they’d even believe that I saved people from Acromantulas and met hags on holiday.
A/N: Thanks for reading! By the way, I love reviews as much as Gilderoy Lockhart loves his reflection, so don't be shy! :)
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