Chapter 2 : Gilderoy Lockhart
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He’d been five weeks old, and had made his favourite toy – his sister’s hairbrush – fly directly from her dressing table to where he was waving his little hand in his crib. His mother had whooped with delight, and thrown a party in Gilderoy’s honour, a lavish celebration with massive fountains of chocolate and the best fireworks Galleons could buy, and she invited all of her magical friends – nearly one hundred of them. In his later years, people continued to ask Gilderoy if this story was true, and he would throw his head back and laugh, and say, “Of course not!”
It was more like two hundred.
And there was a real dragon.
Gilderoy’s cleverness was a thing of awe, so such a reaction was to be expected. He was his mother’s favourite; his sisters, Georgina and Gracie, possessed no talent – magical or otherwise. Even if they had, Gilderoy would still be the golden child.
He was a rare treasure.
It was with this thought in mind that Gilderoy walked back to Ravenclaw Tower, stride confident despite the recent setback, a piece of parchment scrunched in his fist. As he thought of the Headmaster’s exasperated expression, he tightened his hold on the parchment until his knuckles were white. The Headmaster had no idea of the opportunity he was refusing. It was practically a punishment; to withhold from the school the chance to gaze upon his face and name as much as they wished. Gilderoy quickly relaxed his grip on the parchment (an example of the front page of Hogwarts Hourly), lest he cramp his wand arm. He could recite every spell in the curriculum nonverbally, of course – wand waving wasn’t the issue - but news of him in the hospital wing would only cause everyone to worry, and the other patients would become jealous of all the Get Well cards he was bound to receive.
He reached the entrance to Ravenclaw Tower. The eagle shaped bronze knocker asked, “What work can one never finish?”
Gilderoy scratched his chin as he thought. “An autobiography.”
As the eagle knocker granted him access, Gilderoy rubbed his hands together. That might be the case for other people, but, one day, he would write and finish his own autobiography – or ten, to cover all of his adventures - and the world would know his name, his face, his achievements.
He glided into the nearly empty common room. A few students looked at him as he entered (and after he loudly cleared his throat) and he threw his naturally wavy hair back so that it caught the light of the setting sun from the high windows. As he strode to one of the desks, his mind was already spinning with ideas of his next step. Perhaps he would print copies of Hogwarts Hourly himself, and leave them around the school. Once the other students realised what they were missing, there would surely be an uproar, a petition. He shook his head at himself; he was being silly. Obviously he would send his articles straight to The Daily Prophet.
Gilderoy sighed loudly and looked around him. The other Ravenclaw students were deep in conversation or had their noses buried in books. He sighed again, louder, and still no one looked up. The common room was too quiet. He rose from the desk and slung his bag over his shoulder, the library his destination; the other students were no doubt wondering where he was.
The library was busy; the fifth years choosing to cram information into their brains before they crammed food into their mouths. He chose a desk in the middle of the room, and pulled out his Transfiguration assignment. He wasn’t sure when it was due, but he did know that the top five assignments would be sent for judging in the next issue of Transfigure the Times. He simply had to have his name and excellent work in publication.
A small girl approached him with a piece of paper, and Gilderoy straightened. He flashed a dazzling smile, quill at the ready as she neared, for surely this girl wanted him to sign the parchment for her. He’d been practicing his autograph on the textbooks of his classmates.
“Excuse me, but would you like to join our Gobstones team?”
Gilderoy’s face fell, but he accepted the flyer, scanning the bright pinks and purples that willed him to join. Once the girl walked away, he tossed it into the bin. It wasn’t that he was rubbish at the game – despite what the other students said – but, if he was less than perfect at it, it clearly wasn’t worth his time. Best to give the other students a chance. Gobstone liquid stained the skin, anyway.
No one around him even batted an eye when he yawned loudly, stretching his arms above his head. He straightened his robes, trying not to let this lack of attention bother him. The other students clearly needed to study; not everyone could be as clever as him.
Gilderoy wandered down to the Great Hall, joining a handful of people for an early dinner. He sat at the Ravenclaw table, and the boy and girl beside him scooted further away down the seat. Gilderoy was used to this reaction; he couldn’t say he blamed them. He often had this effect on people, because he was an intimidating young man. To some, it looked as though he was being avoided, but Gilderoy knew that this wasn’t the case at all. He didn’t mean to be so astonishing, but he couldn’t help it.
He shot the boy and girl a dazzling smile, picked up a goblet, and admired himself in it. His face, staring handsomely back at him, was reflected in gold. And why shouldn’t it be?
He was destined for greatness.
Gilderoy clenched his jaw in determination, then quickly loosened it; he’d read that that can cause early wrinkles.
He was glorious, and there was only one place for glorious people to go. Looking down the Ravenclaw table, he caught sight of his reflection in the other goblets. A dozen golden Gilderoys stared back at him. He tipped his goblet at the closest reflection in a silent salute, and drank.
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