2017/2/20 - minor edit.
Amalgum – Lockhart's Folly
Death wants free of its Master and proposes sending Harry back in time to avoid the unnecessary deaths in fighting Voldemort. Harry readily accepts, thinking he'll start anew as a Firstie. Instead, Harry's soul, magic, and memories end up at the beginning of Second Year — in GILDEROY LOCKHART!
This produces a new person altogether: a person with the memories, loyalty, and strengths of Harry Potter, and the ostentatious, flamboyant, publicity-hound tendencies of the fraud known as Lockhart. An "Amalgum."
This story comes from the abandoned "Amalgum" by (10,700 words) who has graciously released the story to anyone who likes the idea and wants to finish it. I've noticed very little fanfiction using Lockhart as the hero and I thought his premise had much merit. I have considerably expanded and reorganized my version.
Like all fanfiction, I post this work at Fanfiction Net with the kind forbearance of the owners of the Harry Potter fiction franchise, J.K. Rowling, and her publishers. I claim nothing of note, as removing all references to her Harry Potter universe would render my story nonsensical. Not to mention unreadable.
A high quality version of the cover photo is available from Magical Three HQ Gallery.
(Yes, I know that the correct term is amalgam, not amalgum, when referring to a mixture or blend to two dis-similar materials. However, Amalgum was the original spelling used by and so I continued to use it.)
Author's Note: J.K.R. set the exchange rate for galleons to pounds at 1:5. In 1992/3 the average British citizen earned £10,000 pounds a year, a person considered in the elite top 1% earned £46,000. Because the Wizards have nearly the same economy that means the average Wizard earned 2,000 galleons a year. With an estimated population of 100,000 the gross economy of Wizarding Britain is 168 million galleons. This places an upper limit on wealth for the richest Wizards. There are no billionaires, and bloody few millionaires. (For comparison, the first multimillionaire in the U.S. was John Jacob Astor, at $20 million net worth when he died 1848. The US economy at the time was $1.5 billion. Reducing both by one zero makes a fair approximation for Wizarding Britain, thus 2 million galleons is a reasonable "richest person" limit – I would have used a British example, but all the Google hits were for game show winners).
Also, net worth includes not only money in a bank, but properties, residences, items, and businesses owned. Typically, most individuals have a ratio of 60-70% of their net worth in "fixed assets," that is, property, equipment, inventory, and buildings. Thus, our galleon millionaire, for every million galleons, would have only 300-400 thousand in actual free galleons, sickles and knuts. This is the money left in the bank each month after adding all monthly income and paying all monthly bills — a positive number after calculating the income-minus-outgo means the wealth is growing, a negative number means you're spending your principle.
There is also the convention that in most of the U.K., what the Americans call lunch and dinner, respectively, are called dinner and tea (supper).
(6/4 - minor editing changes)
Chapter 1. Dining Hall Disaster
Professor McGonagall led the new Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry students, the Firsties, from the East Hall into the Great Hall where waited the rest of the student body. It was time to sort the new students into one of the school's four houses, Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff, or Ravenclaw. One-by-one the new students' names were called. One-by-one each student sat on the sorting stool and put on the Sorting Hat. One-by-one the Sorting Hat placed each student in the dormitory that would be their home for the next seven years, accompanied by the applause and cheers of their new family.
They were midway through the sorting when the Headmaster startled, jerking his head up in surprise and shooting a look at Potions Master Severus Snape.
Professor Lockhart, the newest addition to the staff, had been waiting for just such a sign. His alert charm on the Whomping Willow would have sufficed, but seeing the Castle's protective enchantments alert the Headmaster as soon as the boys crossed them gave him a few moments more warning.
It was show time!
He jumped up onto the teachers table just as his alert charm arrived. He pulled something out of his pocket. It rapidly expanded and the shocked students saw it was a new Nimbus 2001. To their amazement, he climbed on it and shot out over the heads of awestruck students and out the open Great Hall doors seconds later. Shocked silence filled the hall.
A lone voice from the Gryffindor table broke the silence. "Well, usually, our new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor . . . ," said one redheaded student, either Fred or George, but definitely a Weasley.
". . . takes an entire year . . . ," said the other one.
". . . to rush out of the castle."
"This one didn't even . . . ,"
". . . make it to the Feast!"
The Wizards laughed aloud at the comment as the Witches shrieked in horror. It took two minutes for the commotion to die down, and that was only when the Headmaster made a loud bang with his wand.
After conferring briefly with the Headmaster, the Potions Professor, Severus Snape, headed for the Professor's Entrance at the side of the Headmaster's Table. The stern Depute Headmistress and Transfiguration Professor, Minerva McGonagall, said, "I think there is a proper explanation for this . . . ."
But before she could continue, the missing D.A.D.A. professor walked back into the dining hall with his hands on the shoulders of two students covered in tree debris. He cleaned their robes with a simple spell and almost everyone could identify them as the legendary Boy-Who-Lived and the loud-mouthed sixth Weasley, Ronald.
He casually asked them, his voice clear and loud in the silent hall, "Now that we are nice and safe, Mr. Potter, Mr. Weasley," removing all doubt as to the identity of the two students trying to sink into the floor in shame, "would you like to eat something?" He smiled, showing his sparkling pearly white teeth to great effect on the females in the room.
"I am not hungry, sir," the Boy-Who-Lived replied. Showing a great amount of restraint for his bottomless stomach even as it growled in protest, Ron nodded in agreement with his best friend.
"That's excellent. Now that the pleasantries are finished, ahem," the professor cleared his voice, and then his face turned red as he shouted, "WHAT IN THE NAME OF MERLIN'S BEARD ARE TWO STUDENTS DOING ON THE TOP OF THE WHOMPING WILLOW IN A MUGGLE CAR?"
The professors had been waiting uneasily for the aforementioned two students since the other students' arrival half-an-hour previously. It was only when the two had not appeared with their best friend in the Great Hall with the other students that they understood something was amiss. Now they gaped at the professor and his two charges in horror.
Hermione Granger had been nearly sobbing after finding her two best friends still missing from the Great Hall when the Sorting started. Based on her expression now, though, she clearly didn't know whether to be relieved or horrified at their entrance. She seemed to be leaning towards horrified anger.
Professor Snape grimaced and held up the evening version of The Daily Prophet, which clearly showed a flying car over Kings Cross Station. Ron gulped at that and took a step back.
Lockhart quickly caught him by his shoulder, yanked him back into place, and shouted again, "WHEN I ASK A QUESTION, IT MEANS I NEED AN ANSWER. SPEAK UP!" When both students found the floor of the Great Hall very interesting, Lockhart asked the nearby Prefect, Percy Weasley, "To which House do these two idiots belong?"
"Gryffindor, sir," was the prompt, albeit reluctant, response.
"Then a hundred points from Gryffindor for skipping the Sorting Feast — and disrespecting the new students, the staff, and your fellow students — and venturing into the forest at this hour, EACH. And a week's detention, EACH." The whole hall gawked at them in wonder. The Gryffindor House students were eyeing them murderously for losing two hundred points before the year even began, planting the House firmly in the negative. Many of the Slytherin House students were cackling in glee, or grinning broadly at the very least.
"We never ventured out, sir" the black-haired boy replied, tremulously, "We were just coming back to school." He swallowed. "We missed the Hogwarts Express."
"In that case, Mr. Potter, kindly fill us with your fantastic tale of coming back to school," the D.A.D.A. Professor snapped. "Does it include riding hippogriffs, out-flying dragons, besting Trolls, rescuing a fair maiden, and battling an evil Wizard at great risk to your own life?" The Half-blood and Pure-blood students laughed at the blatant references to the Boy-Who-Lived's children books. The last three, though, got a sharp look from Harry and a bushy-haired Witch at the Gryffindor table, Hermione Granger. Ron was too busy staring miserably at the floor to notice what was said in particular.
Blushing furiously, Harry started, "I don't mean any disrespect sir, but . . . ."
The Potions Professor at the front of the Hall cut him off, "You two dunderheads have breached the Statute of Secrecy by magically flying a car in front of muggles."
"Ah, very well. In that case, Mr. Potter, please come with me to the Headmaster's Table and explain your little act of mischief before the entire hall," said Gilderoy. "I'm sure the students will learn a very important lesson from that as we get this sorted." Lockhart pushed the two students towards the front of the hall. Both boys were horrified at that, but, within a moment, Harry Potter screwed up his courage and walked slowly towards the Headmaster's Table while a horror-stricken Ron stood rooted in place.
Harry stopped in front of his Head of House and began. "I am extremely sorry ma'am but if you are willing to listen, I wish to explain," Professor McGonagall. The Slytherins hooted in delighted amusement at his humiliation. When the stern Professor nodded silently, lips pressed tightly together, he continued, "We were already running late at Kings Cross Station and we could not cross the magical barrier there. We panicked and took Mr. Weasley's car hoping to catch the Hogwarts Express and get here on time. But the car went lopsided when we reached here and landed on the Whomping Willow."
"You say you could not cross the barrier, Mr. Potter," McGonagall said, "Could you elaborate?"
"You could have waited outside the barrier for some parent or staff to come back and sought their help," Lockhart said when the black-haired Wizard finished. He had followed the boy, dragging the other behind with a firm and painful grip on his arm. "You could have waited for Mr. Weasley to return, I'm sure he hadn't planned on staying at the train station all day. Or you could have owled your predicament to your Head of the House with your familiar, Hedwig, whom I see you had with you in the car.
"But no, that would have been smart. That would have been using you head for something other than a Bludger target. Instead, you stole Mr. Weasley's car. Instead, you flew straight ahead to Hogwarts, which by your elaborate and detailed tale you didn't know the way to. You could have killed yourselves or put someone in grave jeopardy. You understand that, boy?" This struck a nerve in Harry. The emotions the new D.A.D.A. professor brought up by sounding exactly like his Uncle Vernon, right down to that detestable tone, were devastating And, by his expression, Gilderoy let the boy know he knew just how devastating his tone had been. "Not to mention breaking the Statute of Secrecy and wasting hours of Ministry time as the Obliviators try to correct your dunderheaded error, boy." Professor Snape appeared startled, and then pleased, at the use of his favourite epitaph.
"I understand that now, sir," Harry said, visibly controlling his anger. "I am very sorry for any disturbance I, we, may have created. I also apologize for causing you, or anyone else, any trouble over this. I'm sorry, sir. Very sorry. I shan't do it again."
"I say what you did was very foolish of you, boy," Lockhart continued in the same grating "Uncle Vernon" tone.
The blonde-haired professor struggled to keep his face stern. It was clear from Harry's expression that no matter how angry he got and no matter how much he wished to punch straight through Lockhart's face, he was going to hold his temper and behave as he behaved with his uncle. He had unfortunately learned that lesson early in his childhood. "Then, yes sir, I am very foolish. I'm sorry, sir, I will try to do better. I am willing to take any punishment for my foolish act," he replied.
The professor smiled at hearing this. He beamed at the boy and looked up across the many students in the Great Hall. He said, "All learning begins when one accepts one is foolish. Especially as a child. It requires a good amount of thought and understanding of oneself to accept that. And for this understanding, you receive ten points. Given that you have no proper background in magical ways and yet you are quick to realize you're wrong and promptly apologized appropriately, I award ten more points. Approaching staff and teachers without any prevaricating or complaint when required in a situation such as this is also a good trait. For that, you receive ten more points. It takes a good amount of courage to admit one's wrongdoing in front of a gathering of your peers despite the fear of them mocking you for doing what is right, ten more points. For excellent presence of mind while on the Whomping Willow, I award you ten more. In addition, I reduce the original one-hundred point penalty to fifty," Lockhart finished, leaving everybody awestruck.
The smarter students had worked out that that meant Harry Potter had cost his House no points at all! Smiles were breaking out across the Gryffindor table.
Neither the students nor the teachers knew what was happening. Dumbledore usually took or awarded points for such misdeeds or accomplishments when in the Great Hall. This new professor not only had taken two hundred points, but also readily awarded fifty. Before the mass of students and professors could recover, Ron indignantly cried out, "Hey, I drove the car. Shouldn't I be awarded some points?"
With a smirk, Lockhart turned to the boy. "I don't assume you have a valid Muggle Driver's License, do you?" At the boy's blank look, he continued, "And yet you had the audacity to take one of your father's projects, misuse it badly, and put another student's life in hazard while breaking numerous laws which you, as a Pureblood, should be well aware of!
"And I had to drag you to the Headmaster's Table where you still haven't apologized for your irresponsible and poorly planned conduct. The original one-hundred points stand, your detention starts Monday next." And, conveniently, the night after Harry finished his last detention. Keeping the boys separated and preventing Ron from holding Harry back intellectually, romantically, and socially, was one of Lockhart's goals.
"And for both of you, your parents will be notified."
Ron stared at him, face white in shock and appalled that his ploy for points had backfired. Before he could say anything, though, Gilderoy turned him sideways and gave him a slight nudge towards the Gryffindor table. He caught the eye of the nearby sixth year, Percy, who had followed them up to the Headmaster's Table, "Here, take this fool and try to keep him out of trouble for the rest of the evening."
Lockhart turned back to Harry and nodded his head towards Hermione, "Go sit with your friend," he said softly, giving the boy his best 'I understand and forgive you, I know you didn't do it on purpose,' smile. "I think she was worried about you," he added in an undertone only Harry could hear. The hall watched in silence as Ron's older brother escorted the sullen boy to a spot at the Gryffindor Table while a relieved Harry quickly headed over to his anxious female friend.
"Now that our new Defence Against Dark Arts professor, Mr. Gilderoy Lockhart, has completed the task of awarding and removing points . . . ," Dumbledore announced, eyes twinkling.
At the confirmation of their suspicions about the Wizard's presence at the school — the Weasley twins had been guessing — the female students in Hogwarts' Great Hall sighed loudly. The male students, not nearly as happy, groaned — indeed, many showed faces of disgust.
Professor Lockhart was wearing elegant robes of forget-me-not blue that exactly matched his eyes; his pointed wizard's hat was set at a jaunty angle on his wavy blonde hair; and he was smiling broadly to show off all his flawless teeth. He looked good and he knew it! He waved cheerfully to his adoring fans as he returned to his seat at the Headmaster's Table. Deep sighs from the females in the room, and their admiring looks, seemed to make his smile shine even brighter. The handsome Wizard took a moment to soak in the attention, not noticing, or not deigning to notice, the dark looks the males in his audience were shooting his way. His easy manner with the Witches filled them with jealousy and suspicion — no one could be as good as that Wizard seemed to be. And watching as their girlfriends fawned over the Wizard merely flamed the fires their resentment and envy.
Dumbledore continued, ". . . I think we should finish the Sorting"
The rest of the Sorting Feast passed quietly, especially at the Gryffindor table. But if glares could speak, the entire Gryffindor table yelled at Ron Weasley the entire time. The other tables were stunned into whispered conversations, worried that the new D.A.D.A. professor might take offense and start docking them points.
Both the Headmaster and Professor Snape spent the time studying Gilderoy while he laughed and flirted with Professors Sprout, McGonagall, and Sinistra. Professor Trelawney looked jealous that her seat was too far from the man to engage him in conversation.
Dumbledore was dumbfounded. This Wizard was not the fraud he had requested teach the students this year. The Headmaster had intended to expose the Wizard this year as the charlatan he was to the world. On the other hand, maybe this was just a fluke.
If it weren't impossible, he would have said that Lockhart knew the two young Wizards were going to crash into that tree and had been prepared all along to rescue them. And how had he known when they had crashed? He couldn't have felt the protective enchantments react to their presence; the Castle's protective enchantments only reported intrusions to the Headmaster. It was a mystery, and the Headmaster disliked mysteries.
Gilderoy, smiling his trademark smile — and yes, it really was trademarked . . . and insured — sat leaning against his desk as the Second Years walked in. Harry was sulking at his desk, trying to hide behind a tower of Lockhart the Fraud's books.
It was much harder being here in the past than he had thought. Lockhart used that smile and smarmy exterior to hide the pain he felt seeing his friends alive again. He wanted to grab them and hug them, to tell them that they weren't going to die this time. To rejoice that they were alive, unscarred, and just so young. Watching Neville walk into the classroom so hesitantly, knowing that he had died saving the lives of a Muggle-born's family while taking half-a-dozen Death Eaters with him, was heartbreaking. He felt tears gathering at the edges of his eyes seeing them all, even the Slytherins. He wasn't sure how he would have handled this as a twelve-year-old again. He coped by retreating and letting Gilderoy control things. Gilderoy didn't know these students. Gilderoy had a happy childhood. Gilderoy did not have repeating nightmares watching his friends die horrific deaths in battles with vicious Dark Wizards.
When the whole class was seated, Lockhart cleared his throat loudly and silence fell. He reached forward, picked up Neville Longbottom's copy of Travels with Trolls, and held it up to show his own, winking portrait on the front.
"Me," he said, pointing at it and winking as well. "Gilderoy Lockhart, Order of Merlin, Third Class, Honorary Member of the Dark Force Defence League, and five-time winner of Witch Weekly's Most-Charming-Smile Award — but I don't talk about that. I didn't get rid of the Bandon Banshee by smiling at her!"
He waited for them to laugh; a few smiled weakly. The Witches mostly sighed.
"I want everyone's undivided attention in this class as I present you with the preeminent opportunity to learn Defence Against Dark Arts, a field in which I am uniquely qualified." If they only knew just how unique his qualifications truly were!
He beamed at the class cheerfully, "Based on what other classes mentioned about your previous Professors I worry you might be extremely misinformed. Worry not my dear young fellows, because I have accepted the task of teaching you something that you are seriously lacking and believe me, I am usually successful in my ventures. To that end, we're starting the class with a simple test to see just what you know."
The class groaned.
"Nothing that complicated, twenty questions, just a simple assessment of what you know. It will not count against you, I assure you! Don't even put your names down. I want your honest answers, no cheating! Cheating hurts you, not me. Answer as quickly as you can, skip any you are not positive of and return to them after doing the rest. You have five minutes." He waved his wand and parchments appeared on their desks.
Still groaning, most of the class started at once.
After ten minutes, he said, "Times up," and waved his wand. The parchments flew to his desk, some with long ink lines on them as their owners had failed to lift their quills fast enough. "Pull out your copy of The Standard Book of Spells, Grade 2."
"Start reading chapter one. If you don't have your copy with you, share with someone else. No talking."
He spent a few minutes flipping through the tests. He sighed deeply, had it really been that bad? No wonder they fell in battle like wheat before a thresher.
"Times up!" he called. "Who finished the chapter?" Naturally, Hermione raised her hand, as did Harry and Ron. Gilderoy knew the girl had read the entire book, twice, before she even arrived at Hogwarts, and had browbeat the two boys into reading the book as well. But they had lied to her, and had barely read halfway through. But they were still far ahead of most of the class.
"Who finished and understood the first page?" Everyone raised their hands. "Second Page?" Several hands fell. He sighed. "Third page?" Most hands fell. "Anyone besides Miss Granger, Mr. Potter, and Mr. Weasley finish the fourth page?" Nobody raised a hand.
His smile faltered. "Right." He sighed. "Homework! Owl home and have your parents send you your copy of last year's The Standard Book of Spells, Grade 1. Read the complete book before our next class next Wednesday!" The entire class gasped, and then groaned. Hermione looked ecstatic. "There are only a few copies in the Library, so SHARE! It's called TEAMWORK! Get used to it! If you don't, you will fail. And what you learned last year is the basis for everything you learn from this day forward!"
He gave them a moment for that to sink in, and then he smiled brightly.
"Magic is all about intent! If you hold up your wand and say lumos," he demonstrated, holding up his wand, the tip of his wand barely glowing, "your wand lights up." He pointed at his upheld wand with his other hand. Then he frowned at the barely glowing tip. "Not very bright is it? Well, perhaps if I thought about needing a bright light I might get a better result." He held up his wand and said, loudly and firmly, "LUMOS!" A blinding bright light filled the classroom; the students yelped and held their hands in front their faces.
"Perhaps that was a bit too much, eh? Nox!" The light disappeared.
"Whether Dark or Light, it is your intent that drives your magic! I could point to any one of you," he pointed at Hermione with his wand, "And say Avada Kadavra," a pale green light burst from his wand and hit Hermione in the chest. The class screamed in horror. He shielded himself from several spells cast his way — two were from Harry.
Hermione stared at Gilderoy, down at herself, then back at her professor.
"Stand, please, Miss Granger!" he said dodging another set of spells.
Hermione, almost in shock, rose to her feet. The clamour in the classroom slowly died down as they realized Hermione wasn't dead.
Into the silence, Harry/Gilderoy said. "I could cast that spell all day at Miss Granger and she would walk away unharmed. Why? Because I DO NOT WANT TO HURT HER!" He would sooner cut his own throat than deliberately harm her. He directed his next comment to her, "Miss Granger, what did that feel like?"
She stared at him for a moment, and then hesitantly said, "It tingled a bit, kind of like pins and needles, you know like when your arm falls asleep because you leaned on it for too long at an awkward angle."
He put his hands on his hips and beamed at the class. "INTENT! The most powerful healing spell will fizzle if you don't want it to work! The most deadly Dark spell will fail if you don't mean it!"
"The difference between Light and Dark spells is all about intent, as well." He started pacing, his robes swirling dramatically.
"Dark spells are usually designed to hurt people. They can be used to help people — such as reducto being used in demolition work or diffindo being used in forestry to cut down trees — but their primary purpose is to harm people." He looked out at the students. "You will hear people claim that the Unforgivables were originally designed to help people. The AK, for example, as a painless way to ease a patient in agony from a cureless disease or fatal wound — but if your intent is to help a patient, why does the AK require a Healer to hate the patient? And it takes a great deal of power to execute it, as well.
"Light spells are designed to help people. They can also harm them. Such as Wingardium Leviosa — Harmless, right? What if I use it to lift you a thousand feet in the air, and then drop you? That will kill you as surely as a reducto. Aguamenti is harmless, right? If I shove my wand in your mouth and cast it, you'll drown in seconds as your lungs fill with water. You're just as dead as if I hit you with an Avada Kadavra."
The students were looking properly horrified.
"I am a great Wizard for the Light, as you can see merely by reading my books. I've travelled the world and seen things you cannot imagine and fought monsters you can't dream of, some human, all to protect the innocent." He stopped pacing and looked at the students. "And yet . . . and yet . . . I know a hundred or more Dark spells."
"Why do I know those spells? Why, so I can recognize them and counter or dodge them, as I need! You can't fight evil Wizards and monsters unless you know their spells, their strengths, and their weaknesses."
"Now — be warned! It is my job to arm you against the foulest creatures known to wizardkind! You may find yourselves facing your worst fears in this room." He swept the room with a glance, meeting everyone's eyes.
"First, everyone stand." He waved his hands up. As soon as they stood, he swept his wand and all the desks slid to the back of the room, along with everyone's books and bags. "And I'll stick them together so they are safe." That was another wave. "Now, form wizard-witch teams. For example, Mr. Potter and Miss Granger." It took a moment for the teams to settle. Ron ended up with Lavender Brown.
"Next, we practice the shield charm, which I used in all my books to great effect. A very versatile spell, that one. You simple rotate your wand like so," he demonstrated, "and say protego. Say it with me, pro-TEY-go." They repeated this ten times. "Now practice the wand movement — exaggerate it, like so," and he again demonstrated it. Then he made them repeat it until they all could do it. "Now do the movement really small, like so," and he did, barely moving the tip of his wand. And made them practice it twenty times, while he chanted, "Smaller, smaller!"
"Perfect! Wonderful!" He smiled broadly and struck a pose, hands on hips. "On three, cast! One, two, three!" The results varied from Hermione and Harry's quite solid performance, to almost nothing from Ron except a bit of sparkle. "Again!" Ten times later, he said, "Good, everyone got it?" Most of the class appeared quite happy with their results. Ron scowled at the sparks popping from his wand.
"Next, we go to the Freeze Charm, which I used to quite good effect in Breaking with a Banshee, don't you know." They practiced that spell and wand movement twenty times as well.
"Excellent," he gave them another sample of Witch Weekly's Most-Charming-Smile. "Now, know that no harm can befall you whilst I am here. All I ask is that you remain calm!"
He lifted a cage hidden behind his desk. Lockhart placed a hand on the cover. Neville was cowering in his front row seat.
"I must ask you not to scream," said Lockhart in a low voice, waving one hand theatrically. "It might . . . provoke them," he half whispered, giving them a stern look.
As the whole class held its breath, Lockhart whipped off the cover.
"Yes," he said dramatically. "Freshly caught Cornish pixies." How he managed to say that with a straight face was a mystery — he sounded like a barker at the fish market!
Seamus Finnigan couldn't control himself. He let out a snort of laughter that even Lockhart couldn't pretend was a scream of terror. The Slytherins looked amused.
"Yes?" He smiled at Seamus.
"Well, they're not — they're not very — dangerous, are they?" Seamus choked.
"Don't be so sure!" said Lockhart, waggling a finger at Seamus. "Devilish tricky little blighters they can be!"
The pixies were electric blue and about eight inches high, with pointed faces and voices so shrill it was like listening to a cage full of budgies arguing. The moment the cover came off, they had started jabbering and rocketing around, rattling the bars and making faces at the class.
He resumed his heroic pose. "Now, Witches, you use protego to protect yourself and your partner. Wizards, you use the Freeze Charm to defend yourself and your partner." With that short warning, Lockhart opened the cage.
It was pandemonium. The pixies shot in every direction like rockets. Three bounced off the window, on which he had cast an impervious charm that morning.
"Come on now — round them up, round them up, they're only pixies," Lockhart shouted, hands on his hips, his grin beaming broadly at the class.
Half the class was trying to shelter under the desks at the back of the class. Neville was swinging from the iron chandelier in the ceiling where the pixies had left him. The pixies were split between harassing the students and attacking their belongings, which were fortunately charmed closed and stuck to the desks.
The other half, though, those girls with slightly faster reactions, had popped up their shields between themselves and the attacking pixies. Two had even remembered to protect their partner. Harry, hiding behind Hermione, was shooting the Freeze Charm with decent accuracy at any pixie that tried to sneak around her shield. Lavender had backed into a corner, which prevented the little monsters from flanking her, but also prevented Ron for casting the Freeze Charm because he was with her, not that he could cast it, anyway. Blaise Zabini had taken cover under a desk in the corner and was sniping at pixies as quickly as possible. Daphne Greengrass and Tracey Davis were shielding each other.
Lockhart stood at the front of the class, laughing. The pixies knew well not to attack him, he had earlier that day put the fear of Harry/Gilderoy into them! Finally, he waved his wand, freezing the remaining pixies. A second wave put the pixies back into their cage, which he re-covered.
Another wave saw Longbottom rescued from the chandelier and the desks moved back to their proper positions.
Still chuckling, and shaking his head, Lockhart said, "Right, then, who can tell me what you did wrong?"
After a moment of silence in which they all just looked at each other, Hermione slowly raised her hand.
"Yes, Miss Granger?"
"We were too slow?"
". . . ."
The Wizard turned to the blackboard and a chalk flew up and started writing as he said, "One point to Miss Granger."
"First," he pointed to the line the chalk had just finished, "There was no teamwork!" The witches, except Hermione, ducked their heads down. A few of the wizards joined them.
"Second," he pointed to the next line, "Almost everyone forgot their spells!"
The rest of the class looked shamefaced. "Five points to Mr. Potter and Miss Granger for actually acting as a team and properly working together to defend themselves. Three points each to Miss Brown, Miss Greengrass, Miss Davis, Mr. Quartey, and Mr. Zabini for remembering their spells, even if they were late.
"And these were pixies! Pixies that you lot laughed at and called harmless! And they completely routed you all! What will you do if you meet an Acromantula? Or even a Kurupira? I tell you now; hiding under desks will not save you from a werewolf, banshee, hag, vampire, or troll. Not even hiding in a toilet stall or under a sink will help, will it Miss Granger?" Hermione blushed a bright red and Harry looked outraged. Several students gave a surprised look at the Witch, wondering what the story was behind his remark.
"I don't expect you to go toe-to-toe against Dark Wizards with decades of experience, but I do expect you to be able to properly defend yourself, and your family, while you escape!" He glared fiercely at the class. "Only a fool fights a Wizard with decades of experience. Only a fool fights head-on against a Witch with more power than himself." He paused, now looking tired. "And I have been the fool too many times, and if not for an unreasonable amount of luck I would not be here today. And I have lost more friends than I care to count because I was a fool." He glared at them. "That's why I am here, to teach you not to be foolish!"
The class was staring at him wide-eyed.
"The next two classes, maybe more, will be remedial classes covering last year. You should already know this material backwards and forwards. I expect you all to master all of last year's material in two weeks. Remember your homework! And TEAMWORK! Class dismissed.
"Mr. Potter, a word before you leave."
Harry slowly picked up his bag and stuffed his books back in it. Hermione and Ron were hanging back at the door as the rest of the chastised class left the room.
Lockhart sat in his chair and watched Harry reluctantly approach. "And the word, Mr. Potter, is detention!" the Professor said cheerily.
Harry's eyes shot wide open and his mouth dropped. Both Ron and Hermione looked surprised, as well. Gilderoy knew they were thinking that Harry was being given a new detention and that Harry was about to protest.
Ignoring the students' reactions, Lockhart cheerfully continued, "Your seven detentions from yesterday will be with me, starting tonight at seven."
Harry's mouth clicked closed.
Gilderoy beamed happily at his pranking Harry. Harry would figure it out later. Maybe.
"Yes, sir," the boy said, turned smartly, and stiffly stalked out the door.
Lockhart waved his hand and the door closed.
It wasn't going to be easy, but he intended to have the entire Second Year class working on Third Year material by June. And similar plans for the other years. The seventh years were in for a big surprise as he planned to run them through all six previous years before Christmas. When they hit their NEWTS, they would be prepared. He had already chosen four Sixth Years to act as teacher' aides on the written homework for the Third through Fifth years. He planned to approach the Weasley twins about doing the same for the First and Second Years.
He was not going to watch poorly trained students die fighting Death Eaters.