Disclaimer: HP belongs to Rowling.
A/N: Dr. Matthews was partially inspired by the manga, Pretty Face. Thanks to Taricorim for betaing.
It was hard to believe that he had forgotten something so important.
Gilderoy looked around the room, hoping that Dr. Matthews would allow him to avoid the issue, at least for a little while longer. The wallpaper in the doctor's office was a bright yellow. Instead of the usual things that he had come to relate with doctors - full bookshelves, interesting, yet calming knickknacks, and a few soothing paintings, invariably done by a famous artist - there was a full size poster of a woman in a maid's outfit, bending over to pick up a dropped cup, on one wall. There were bookshelves, but they were full of magazines with pictures on their covers that did not remind Gilderoy of scholarly pursuits. He wasn't quite sure why he was sitting on a fuzzy, orange couch, either.
Dr. Matthews was sitting comfortably in a leather swivel chair. His white lab robes were thrown open to reveal a button down shirt. He had a Muggle notepad open on his lap, and a quill in his hand, which he was using to write what looked suspiciously looked like a love letter. When he noticed Gilderoy's gaze upon him, he put it aside.
Brushing back a lock of his long, dark hair, the doctor came to sit beside him. He took one of Gilderoy's hands in his and leant in close. Gilderoy thought about telling the man that he clashed with his couch, but decided against it.
"Gilderoy, I don't pretend to understand what you're going through, but I am here to help. I know it may take you a while to accept this. Take your time and relax."
Gilderoy glanced down at the spread of framed Witch Weekly covers that the doctor had told him had been taken from the walls of his home. The top one showed him leaning nonchalantly against a wall, looking out from the cover and smiling handsomely. He looked quite dashing if he did say so himself. But the bright fuchsia robes that his double was wearing, complete with a rather feminine looking bag at his feet, and the golden curls that cascaded down his back did tend to lent themselves to a single conclusion. He looked back up at the doctor.
"Are you sure Gilderoy is a woman's name?"
Dr. Matthews smiled slightly. "I wouldn't know, but I'm sure your parents took one look at your beautiful face and knew that you could pull off a name like Gilderoy."
Lockhart knew that this was true. His parents had loved him. He frowned. At least he thought they had. Misfired Memory Charms could be so troubling.
The doctor recaptured his attention by running a hand through Gilderoy's curls. "Look at you. This luxurious hair. The shape of your face. Your lips and eyes. You're too beautiful to be a man!"
Gilderoy nodded. He was beautiful; wasn't he? Or should that be she now?
The doctor focused on the space below his chin. "You are lacking in certain areas though."
Certain areas? Lockhart thought. He looked down. "Oh."
He slapped the doctor, and hurried to leave the room. If he was really a woman, he would be perfect in every way, including in those areas!
"Don't worry! We can fix them!" called Dr. Matthews before the door clicked shut.
Returning to his bed in the Misfired Charms section of St. Mungos, Gilderoy ignored Horace the Mutterer, who was currently on a diatribe about cheese, and made his way over to the small table that held all his belongings.
He was famous in the outside world. By rights, this little table, and his bed and the next bed over should be filled to overflowing with gifts from his admirers. It had been like that before he recovered some of his memory, but then a dung bomb had arrived embedded in a bouquet of orange roses and the hospital had refused to allow him any more consolation. Gilderoy was sure it was an honest mistake on the sender's part, even if the message with the flowers had apparently said, "This is for the pixies, you prat."
Regardless, the only cards and gifts he was allowed now were from family. Which is why there was one small card sitting on the table. It had the words 'Get Well Soon' on the top in bright pink letters, above a cute kitten playing with a ball of pink yarn. Gilderoy regarded the card with a frown. Surely his parents wouldn't have sent a card with a kitten on it to a man, would they? Even if it was very sweet.
He opened up the card and mouthed the words written on the inside. "Get Well Soon. We love you, - what?" It wasn't as if there were recognizable words there like "son" or "daughter". No, the proper reading was "We love you, indecipherable scrawl. Your parents, Robert and Pricilla."
"I see you haven't found your gift yet." It was Dr. Matthews voice. Gilderoy stiffened and turned around.
"No," he said cautiously. Why would the nurses have let one of his admirer's presents in now?
Taking this as encouragement, the doctor threw open the curtains surrounding Lockhart's bed. Gilderoy looked, tried to look away, then gave up and stared.
"Sequins" was the first word that came to his mind. Followed by "bright", "shiny", "isn't there supposed to be fabric there?" and "well, at least it's a nice colour". He had always been partial to forget-me-not blue.
"Is that for your wife?" he asked. The smile Dr. Matthews gave him was quite frightening.
"I'm not married." The doctor's smile grew even more frightening, if that was possible. "The dress is for you. I know you'll look stunning in it."
"Well, yes, but I look stunning in everything," protested Lockhart. "And I'm not a woman!" Even if his parents didn't seem to know his gender, he did.
Dr. Matthews stared into his eyes. "Are you sure?"
Gilderoy's mind went blank. How did you go about assuring someone of these things? "O-Of course I'm sure. I am not a woman!"
"I knew a woman once who loved cheese. Cambert was her favourite, but a good Brie could get her any time–"
"Shut up, Horace!" said Lockhart and Dr. Matthews together. The doctor took advantage of the distraction to snatch the dress off the bed and approach him. Gilderoy backed up, noting the predatory gleam in the man's eyes.
"Don't you have other patients to attend to, Dr. Matthews?" he asked nervously. The doctor was less than a foot in front of him, holding the dress in both his hands.
"As our most important patient, you're my priority, Gilderoy."
The back of his legs bumped into the edge of the table. He could go no further. Gilderoy hadn't been known at Hogwarts for his courage. Or his intelligence. Or his ability, though he could pretend to possess all of those qualities well enough. He had been known for his charm and that was probably the only thing that could get him out of situation like this now.
Calling upon his reserves, he summoned up a dazzling smile. "I'm sure I am, Doctor. But your most important patient is tired and wants a nap. I feel like I'm close to a breakthrough in my therapy – if I could just sleep on it." He had had plenty of practice keeping his smile in place no matter what, which is why it barely faltered when Dr. Matthews leant in closer.
"You're so cute when you smile," he said in low voice.
That faint whimper of fear had not come from Gilderoy Lockhart. Nor was he perspiring heavily out of nervousness. He was calm. He was controlled. He was Gilderoy Lockhart, adored by all. He had dealt with enthusiastic fans before, he was sure. Now if only he could remember how.
"Wear it for me," said the doctor suddenly.
"Wear the dress for me, Gilderoy and I'll let you go. I'll even recommend you for the next stage of treatment, despite your gender issues."
"I do not have gender issues!" protested Gilderoy automatically.
"Of course you don't," said Dr. Matthews soothingly and entirely insincerely. "You only have to wear it for a minute or so. I want you to see how beautiful you are, then you can dream."
"Only for a minute?" Gilderoy's mind had seized upon hope, no matter how distasteful a task lay before him.
"Yes," said the doctor.
"All right," he said. The dress was thrust into his hands. Dr. Matthews kept a firm hand on his shoulder, guiding him towards the nearest toilet. The door shut behind him, leaving him alone with only the forget-me-not blue fabric draped over his arm.
"I'll be waiting right here, Gilderoy," the doctor called through the door.
Gilderoy shuddered and began mechanically undoing the buttons on his robes, then stopped. He took the dress from his arm and held it out in front of him. The sequins shimmered blindingly under the harsh lights. He revised his earlier opinion of the garment. This wouldn't do at all.
Sighing, he let the dress pool onto the counter and returned to his undressing. The hospital robes were simple affairs, nothing like his normal clothing. Buttons were undone before he knew it. He shrugged the robe off.
What if the doctor was right? What if he was a woman, and it was his memory problems that were making him act like this? He looked down at his hands. Did real men paint their nails? Pink? Tentatively, he turned to regard himself in the mirror.
All right, so the shape of his face was a bit more rounded than most men's, and he did have the most startling blue eyes, but that was genetics, right? The long, curling hair didn't help either, or the long fluttering eyelashes. Even the frown he was directing at the mirror looked more like a pout.
"Stare too long, deary, and you'll wear it out," said the mirror teasingly. Gilderoy ignored it.
His eyes travelled lower. A tentative prodding of his chest revealed none of the soft padding he had come to expect of the female sex, but Dr. Matthews had implied that he was lacking in that area. If that was the case, he couldn't understand why his pre-Memory charm self hadn't done something about the deficiency before.
Abandoning that line of inquiry, he returned to his perusal. His body was slim, but that told him nothing. Then his eyes fell on his pants. They widened. How could he have forgotten about that? He patted…down there, then exhaled in relief. That settled it.
But he couldn't go out there and show the doctor his proof. The nurses would scream if they saw, and for more than one reason, he thought with a self-satisfied grin.
The dress was still lying on the counter, its sequins glittering mockingly. He had to get out of here. A frantic look about the room revealed nothing. There was the usual toilet. A small bin. The counter and sink. A picture of a deer crossing a field sat on one wall.
"The laundry chute is under the counter, deary," said the mirror helpfully. Gilderoy crouched down to look. A small door, complete with a polished brass door knob was set into the wall. Ah yes, that must be how the house-elves got in and out. It would be a small fit for a man of his size, but he thought he could manage it. He crawled through.
The door shut once he was all the way in, and the ground disappeared. He screamed, not really caring that it was high and womanly. He landed with a muffled thump on a huge pile of laundry and rolled off, all the while sputtering about the indignity of it all, and hoping that no one had seen the Great Gilderoy Lockhart in such a position. The room was dominated by the pile, though there were great baskets to one side for sorting purposes. He could barely make them out in the dim light that was coming from under the nearby door.
There was no one in sight, though the shadows moving past the door promised an intrusion at any moment. He moved to straighten his clothing and leave, but his hands brushed only his bare flesh. Right. Clothing first.
He grabbed the nearest garment off the top of the pile, squinting at it in the dim light. It was… a white robe. A little short, but it must have been made for a much smaller man than him. White had never been his best colour (it made his hair look bleached), but he was willing to make some fashion sacrifices to escape. Taking a quick look through the pile to find a larger robe, he settled on one that seemed a bit larger and pulled it on.
It was a strange cut for a robe, with short sleeves that ended half way down his biceps. Metal buttons descended from a stiff collar in a straight line half way down his chest and the robe itself ended just above his knee. It seemed he hadn't chosen a large enough one after all. There was something about the robes that felt strangely familiar.
He was considering finding another robe when the door opened. Gilderoy froze for a moment, then turned to face the door.
A bulldog of a nurse stood in the doorway. Her thick arms rested in a perpetual sense of annoyance on ample hips. She glared at him with black, beady eyes, taking a moment to brush a single hair that had fallen from her bun, out of her face.
"What are you doing in here, Nurse– Nurse–" Her voice matched her body. Deep and commanding.
All Gilderoy could do was gape at her. Nurse? He was sure he was alone in here. He looked around. Definitely alone.
"What is your name?" demanded the woman, obviously annoyed that she even had to ask.
"Gil–" He stopped. She had called him "nurse". He looked down and felt his stomach drop. The light from the open door easily revealed the white, prim nurse's uniform of St. Mungos on his own body. Well, at least it looked good on him.
"Nurse Gil, what are you doing in this room?"
Lockhart had never been good at making up excuses under pressure. "Laundry?"
The woman actually ground her teeth together. "I am Head Nurse Stuggers and you are obviously new." The words sounded like a threat. "I allow each nurse here one moment of utter stupidity. You have just used up yours." She reached up to take a cigarette pack from where it had been rolled up in her sleeve. A moment later, she had a cigarette in her hand, which she lit with her wand. She inhaled deeply, making the end of it glow red.
"If I catch you in here smoking a fag again you won't have time to get that uniform laundered before your arse hits the ground outside. Understand?"
"Y-yes," he stuttered, then stood quivering in fright until she motioned jerkily for him to leave.
Reaching the end of the corridor, he shakily made a mental note to add her to the next book he wrote about dark creatures. Just around the corner, he could hear the bustle of the busy hospital – a bustle that he, Gilderoy Lockhart, was about to enter dressed as a nurse and with nothing but his charm and good looks to help him. He fixed one of his award winning smiles on his face. Charm and good looks were all he had ever needed in the world. Well, that and a few good Memory Charms. He stepped into the corridor.
And was promptly run over by a hurrying doctor. He stopped, bobbing his bald head in apology after apology and helped Gilderoy up, but not before making a valiant effort to look down Gilderoy's cleavage, which would have been successful if Gilderoy had had any.
Getting away from the doctor, he made his way through the hurrying people, trying unsuccessfully to look as busy as they were. The female nurses were waving to him like he was an old friend, while their male counterparts – or, in fact, any male in the vicinity – were staring with both covert and open lust. He basked in their adoration, managing to silence the little voice in his head reminding him that these weren't his usual admirers. He had almost forgotten what this was like after weeks of near seclusion in his ward.
They loved him.
His quick paced walk through St. Mungo's became a leisurely stroll as he absorbed their adoration, and he didn't think twice about smiling at a red-faced security wizard before asking where the nearest floo point was. Following the man's stammered directions was easy. Less than an hour after his impromptu escape, he was standing in the room, waiting for the fireplace to kindle enough to let him leave. He would have them send his wand on later.
"I see you've decided to depart," said a mournful, yet familiar voice behind him. Gilderoy turned in surprise.
"Dr. Matthews!" he said. It was all the opportunity the doctor needed. He reached out and took Gilderoy's hand, pulling him close, closer. Their lips touched and Gilderoy didn't even think to resist as he was held there for a moment. Then Gilderoy pulled away.
"You look wonderful in that," Dr. Matthews said, giving him an appreciative smile. "Good luck, Gil!" He turned and walked away. After staring after him in shock, Gilderoy turned and bolted for the fireplace.
When he arrived home, he immediately stripped out of the uniform and went to find his favourite turquoise robes. Pulling them on, he stared at the crumpled uniform on the floor, considering what to do with it. He picked it up, took a few steps towards the fireplace before shaking it out and folding it carefully. It went in one of his dresser drawers, under his only pair of black robes. Right where he could find it again.
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