Lockhart was sitting in his office, trying to grade a pile of first year essays on the events of his life. He thought that it was a great way of introducing himself to the class and a handy way of learning about himself at the same time. Most of his memories had returned but there were still a few grey areas. Not a single one of his students, so far, had remembered what his ideal gift would be. He thought that everyone would have known it by now, but apparently they didn’t. That was just one of the things he couldn’t remember either.
He sighed. At least most of them had remembered that he had been the winner of the Witch Weekly Most Beautiful smile award five times running. There just wasn’t any competition for it.
He sighed again, louder. It was such a chore to grade papers. He would much rather be answering his fan mail or washing his hair. Instead, he had to catch up with his work as he was getting behind on it and the students were starting to complain. He had been at Hogwarts for three weeks now.
The mirror that hung behind his desk sighed along with him and tutted sympathetically, “You could do with a break, dear.”
“Yes, I could, couldn’t I?” Lockhart agreed. So saying he put down his quill and neatly replaced the essays in a pile.
He pushed his chair back and stood up, stretching, feeling the stiffness leach out of him. Turning away from the desk he paced the room and wondered what Hermione was doing at that moment. He smiled, thinking back on their little tête-à-tête. It had certainly been…entertaining. She had left shortly afterwards, mumbling something about a dinner date. She had looked embarrassed, but despite this she had still wanted him.
That thought hadn’t been the best one to relax him, so he decided to go for a walk, maybe that would help.
Lockhart pulled on a light blue cloak and made sure that he pulled the door of his office shut when he left.
* * * * *
Minnie was walking by the lake, as she couldn’t sleep. Her feelings were so confused at the moment and her mind insisted on sorting them out before allowing her to fall asleep. Lying in her bed, tossing and turning hadn’t helped, so here she was.
The night was cold and small puffs of steam escaped out when she exhaled. The moon was full and bright and it lit the grounds up well enough so that she didn’t have to resort to the Lumos charm.
She pulled her hat further down on her head and stood looking at the lake. It was calm and there was no sign of the Giant Squid. It must have been asleep – lucky thing.
She sat down on a rock and examined her thoughts. Firstly there was Severus. She knew that he liked her – okay – more than liked her. On the other hand there was Lockhart. He had a charm of his own and she found herself drawn to it. She just couldn’t understand why.
It wasn’t as if she liked him, she didn’t. Not really. But something kept drawing her mind back to him. He definitely had a way around women and it was becoming clear that she wasn’t immune to it. There wasn’t anything that she liked about him. He was smug, self-centered, egotistical and so very sure of himself. Even the memory charm hadn’t changed that. So maybe it was pity that drew her attention to him?
Minnie shook her head and tried to think of something else. Severus! Yes, that might help. What did she feel for him? Not pity! At least that was a start. Could what she felt for him be love? It certainly had all the hallmark traits. She couldn’t keep her eyes away from him. Whenever he was near she would let herself glance at him quickly and look away. Those stolen peeks were the highlight of her day.
The way her heart hammered when he spoke to her, the way her knees shook, the way she longed for the moments when they would pass each other in the corridors and accidentally brush past each other – barely touching. Yes, that was being in love.
So she loved him. Did he feel the same way or was it just wishful thinking on her part? She didn’t know and wasn’t about to ask.
“Hello, fancy seeing you out here, Minerva,” a cocky male voice said from behind her.
She jumped to her feet, startled. Her wand drawn and held defensively in front of her as she turned around to face him.
“Is that meant for me?” Lockhart asked, eyeing the wand.
“Sorry, you startled me. I didn’t hear you approach,” Minnie said, lowering her wand. Her voice came out rather squeaky and she cringed inwardly to hear it.
“Never my intention, I can assure you. Knut for your thoughts?” he replied, sitting down.
“They’re not worth that much I’m afraid.”
“Really? I don’t believe that,” he stopped and flashed her his famous grin that he had thought about getting trademarked. He paused before continuing, “But they are enough to keep you awake. Interesting! Is something bothering you?”
“No…yes…I don’t know,” she stammered.
Lockhart leaned in closer and she felt her resolve slipping. She didn’t even like him, so what was happening? Hormones? Pheromones? Whatever it was, it was definitely affecting her. She could feel her pulse accelerate, her face grew warm and she knew that she was blushing. Like a silly schoolgirl, she scolded herself.
“You’re very tense, maybe I can help you relax.”
With that he pulled her cloak from around her shoulders and began to massage them with firm strokes.
She let herself settle into it and murmured softly.
It wasn’t long before the massage led to something further.