J K Rowling owns all these characters, apart from the Oxfordshire ghouls. If anyone wants to borrow them, please do. Nasty lot they are. This is a short story about Gilderoy Lockhart before he came to Hogwarts.

Professor Lockhart and the Ghouls of Death!

Gilderoy was taking a well-deserved holiday in the Breckon Beacons. He had been lecturing in some of the villages around Oxfordshire about the proper way to clear a garden of gnomes, gnatterjacks, tonibanks and due to one slightly misplaced spell, flowers. The lady was very understanding though and it only took two signed photographs to quieten her down.

He was just trying a navigation spell on his broomstick and apart from a small incident involving a flock of seagulls and his prawn sandwich it seemed to be working well. He glided down, his blue cloak creating a super hero style swish. He had spent hours getting the right material for it and he was very pleased with the effect. He landed smoothly on the grass and looked around. He was just on the edge of a small village. He was staying at the Stake and Witch pub. He shivered and pulled his cloak up. There was a definite chill in the air. He picked up his carpetbag in one hand and his broomstick in the other and strolled into the village.

A gaunt grey man, dressed in rags, with yellow eyes limped up the street towards him.

Gilderoy gave him the benefit of his full smile. "Good evening sir. I'm staying at the Stake and Witch, could you give me directions?" The man raised his arm and pointed towards up the street. "Thank you, charmed, charmed." Gilderoy edged past him. What was he wearing? What was it with people out in the sticks? Hadn't they heard of combs, mirrors or God forbid baths? He looked behind him. He was following him! He turned around to face him. The price of fame.

"I was surprised you didn't recognise me first of all!" He said. "Professor Gilderoy Lockhart at your service. Available for lectures Tuesdays and Thursdays, and after dinner speaking on Fridays and Saturdays." The man carried on staring at him. What was with these people? Fame struck no doubt. He'd had this on many an occasion. Sometimes he practically had to force his signed photographs onto people!

Gilderoy was getting bored at smiling at this simpleton. He couldn't even be bothered to get a photograph out of his bag. Hmmph. It was getting darker. He carried on walking up the path. Gosh it was getting darker. There aren't even any lights on around here? This village was still in the dark ages. He smiled to himself as he thought of that, he would have to include it in his next lecture! His foot kicked something. He'd scuff his shoes if he didn't watch out. He stood still. There was a strange scuffling sound around him.


His wand was still in the bag. His carpetbag was glowing strangely. In the strange half-light he saw he was surrounded by half a dozen gaunt, grey humanoids with bulging yellow eyes and sharp teeth.

"I see good news travels fast!" Said Gilderoy, smiling at them. "Yes I am Professor Gilderoy Lockhart." He put the carpetbag down. Two of the ghouls started scratching at it. "I can see you want some signed photos. Put the bag down please."

Gilderoy couldn't see a thing! If he didn't watch out they would take his bag. He raised his hand up high. "Firion!" Orange flames leapt from his palm and illuminated the area in a strange ethereal glow. Gosh there really were a lot of them! The whole village must have turned out to see him. They all looked pretty much the same? Bunch of inbred locals and what was with the weather round here? It was freezing and a strange mist seemed to be coming out of the ground, next to those standing stones. There really are a lot of them about. He was in a cemetery! He must have taken a wrong turn. Oh well easy enough in the dark. Where were they taking his bag? He saw two of the ghouls fighting over it.

"Now chaps put that down," said Gilderoy. He was tired, he had had a long journey and all he really wanted was a bed for the night. He walked towards them with his flaming hand outstretched. They hissed at him and scuttled away leaving his bag alone. Now he had a problem. He couldn't pick up the bag and leave the magical fire going. If he put his broom down he would probably lose that to these star struck fans. Several ghouls were stalking him behind him. He turned round.

"Here hold this," he said. "Transferion." The fire leapt from his hand and onto the hand of the nearest ghoul.

"Eeeeeeeeeeeeee!" It screamed. Shrivelling up instantly. The fire needed to wrap itself around someone's hand and the Transferion spell gave it that power. It leapt from hand to hand wiping out the ghouls in seconds. Gilderoy had seen none of this. He was still looking at his bag. They'd scratched it! Those inbred hicks had scratched it! "Oww!" the fire spell attached itself to his hand again. "Extinguion." The fire went out. "Lumos!" he said and got his wand out of the bag. Far better spell lumos. He looked at his sleeve. Yes he had scorched it! Right that's it; fans or not he would have to ask them politely to leave! He stood up. They'd gone! What a messy place this was? He hadn't noticed before but now he saw all these piles of grey dust about the place. Not surprised they'd gone. It didn't stop him being lost. He got his map out his bag, and muttered a quick spell to show him where he was on it.

He was in the wrong village! The pub he wanted was two miles North of here. He smiled to himself. One of Gilderoy's navigation spells went wrong! He wouldn't be telling anyone about this story; they'd never believe him!