Chapter 1 : Deception
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Gilderoy Lockhart hated similes.
He had wanted to be a writer for a number of years, but similes were not something that he wanted to use. He knew he would have to, however, since most people liked them and felt they gave the story ‘an edge’. Pah, what did they know? They had probably written nothing in their lives.
His hatred had started a few months ago after a meeting with some weird witch who had far too much hair on her chin. The tale had consisted of a banshee that had been described to him in more similes that he thought possible. Every feature had been compared to something else, right down to the colour of its hair. As far as Gilderoy was concerned, black was black; there was no need to compare it to a night sky with no stars, no moon and no lights seen for miles. Black didn't even have shades. It was just black. Plain old black. Black as the-
He shook his head, shaking out the simile he just tried to use. Never had he noticed just how many were used until this woman came along, throwing them out left, right and centre. He feared what would happen if this next guy was the same.
Lockhart was on his way to meet an old Armenian warlock who had saved a village from werewolves. He had originally been travelling by apparition but after splinching himself one too many times when he attempted long-distance, he had given up and taken to creating an unauthorised portkey and walking the rest of the way. Apparition had never been one of his strong points. He had no idea how he managed to pass his test when he was at Hogwarts. It was pure luck that he managed it the one time he needed to. One good thing had come out of it though; he was highly skilled at repairing himself.
He smiled slyly to himself as he took out his wand, pointing it in the direction of the rabbit hopping nearby and quietly whispering Obliviate. The rabbit fell to the ground for a moment before perking back up and looking around, surveying the surrounding with what seemed to be a look of terror before hopping away.
He had to practice as much as he could to avoid any mishaps when he had the stories he needed from the witches and wizards that failed to tell theirs to the world. He didn't think he was doing anything wrong. After all, they didn't plan to do anything with them. He was just taking what they had done and showing the world. Did it really matter who had done the deeds? He didn't think so.
He had previously suggested to one that he write it in the form of a fictional novel with different characters, but the witch had declined saying that she ‘refused to have her good deed used as a plot for some money-grabbing author’s advantage’. From there, he had been thrown out of her house, but not before he shot a spell at her, wiping her memory of the event and their meeting.
The book was an instant best seller, giving him the encouragement he needed to continue with the act of deception. It was something simple that he was able to do, unlike the actual things done by those he was taking the stories of. Memory charms were one of his favourite things. He enjoyed the power it gave him. He could wipe the most precious thing a person had in seconds and they would never know it was him.
Memory was something to be savoured, to be looked after in any way possible; it was a thing to be treasured. You could lose everything you have in the world -friends, family, everything you owned- but you would always have the memories of them to make you feel better. It held everything you had done. Losing it was like losing a huge part of yourself. A part that could not be replaced no matter how hard you try. Gilderoy Lockhart could take a part of someone without a backwards glance. He felt powerful.
Once more, he would enter the house of someone who was so brave and held such good memories of adventures that he would take. Across this field he would walk, an air of arrogance in his step as he anticipated what he was about to do. He had travelled far and wide to find the best stories that he could use and he saw no sign of stopping.
He had come so far to meet this man who he had heard had done such a feat that if his story was known, it would be retold for years to come by all who knew about it. It was said that it was one of the bravest things known to happen, but no one seemed to know exactly what had happen. Gilderoy was determined to find out.
He didn't know the exact location of the warlock, but he was knew the stories. The brave warlock of Armenia lives in the hills across the biggest grassland on the outskirts of Yerevan. After travelling to a hidden alley in Armenia by portkey, he had roamed the city’s edge, weighing up the land surrounding it, finding the largest piece of grassland before starting his journey across it in search of the house.
That was where he found himself now, reaching the base of the hill and beginning to climb it. Smoke was rising in the distance, but it seemed so far away. It was all worth it, though. If he could get the story of a lifetime, he would be able to relax. He would never have to write another book. Even if he felt that he could do this forever, he wouldn't need to if he had a whole pile of best sellers. Once they found that he had one amazing tale to tell, they would want to read more. They buy more and more and soon they have his entire collection. He could retire and live a nice, easy life.
One step, two steps, further and further he climbed, sweat dripped from his forehead as the sun rose higher in the sky, causing the temperature to rise sharply. Wiping his brow, he continued, moving higher and higher, closer and closer to the little cabin emitting smoke. Reaching the door, he took a breath, trying to make himself seem as innocent as possible before knocking three times on the wooden door.
The door opened a crack and a head peered through the small gap, a look of confusion on his face as he realised someone had actually bothered to climb through the hills to reach him.
“Hello, sir. Can I talk to you?” Gilderoy asked. The man nodded and opened the door further, allowing Lockhart to enter. Little did the warlock know what was about to happen, but there was no way to prevent it now.
Big thank you to Mike (Mihali) for beta'ing this for me!
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