DAY OF THE GNAT: Chapter 2... AN UNGNATURUAL TIME
a& Surprise treat! The second chapter is in screeplay format. Also, there's not really many gnat issues in this episode. Sorry about that. &a
Lockhart, who had passed out after his scream, was floated down the hall with Malfoy, who had drifted out of consciousness from the weakness and stress he was experiencing from his heart attack and the fretful day. McGonigall floated them both into the hospital wing, and Madam Pomfrey stood up from where she was eating some candies and looked at the two new patients in her infirmary.
Pomfrey: Dear God, I didn't think it was possible for these guys to look any more sickly.
McGonigall: I don't know what happened to them, Pomfrey, but they were laying on the floor in Potions class, silent as death.
Pomfrey: Well, I'll be the judge of whether or not they're dead. We call always hope, eh?
McGonigall: No, we can't, because Snape is the only Potions teacher left in the world.
Pomfrey: What! That's impossible.
McGonigall: No, it isn't. The rest all died in freak accidents. It was just one of those things. That's why we can't fire Snape, no matter how outrageously he behaves.
Pomfrey: Hm! I didn't know that.
Pomfrey saw the two floating wizards down on to some cots and then began attending to them. McGonigall said she needed to get back to work and she walked out of the room. Pomfrey inspected each wizard, and then began shouting.
Pomfrey: RIGHT YOU TWO, YOU'RE GOING TO BE FINE! WAKE UP, NOW! UP AND AT EM!
Lockhart slowly began to come around to the screaming of Madam Pomfrey. He groaned and put a hand to his head. He thought it had all been a bad dream untill he felt the grease... Lockhart banged his head back on the cot and let out a yell of misery, dropping his hand away from the greasy forehead.
Pomfrey: For goodness sake, what is it? What happened?
Lockhart: I was...it was... Look at my hair!
Lockhart was crying, his eyes still shut.
Pomfrey: Honestly, Professor Snape! Your hair always looks like that. I'll go get you something to calm your nerves.
Lockhart: No, wait a second, you must listen to me, Madam! I am NOT Severus Snape, I am GILDEROY LOCKHART!
Pomfrey looked at him in shock for a moment.
Pomfrey: Severus, when you fell, you hit your head pretty hard. Why don't you just wait here a moment while I fix you something.
Lockhart: No, no, YOU MUST LISTEN TO ME!
Pomfrey: After I give you your medicine, I will listen! Now SHUT UP!
Madam Pomfrey left the room. As soon as Pomfrey had exited the room, Malfoy, who'd been laying still as a stone with his eyes closed, sprang up off the bed with abundant energy.
Malfoy: Now listen here, Lockhart, we don't have much time. Do NOT tell her who you really are. I'll explain everything when I get the proper chance. If you trust me... I can get you out of this mess and I can make you glad this whole thing happened. Otherwise, you'll be shipped back to Saint Mungo's... AND you'll stay looking like Snape!
And Malfoy dropped back down on his cot, limp as a noodle, eyes shut.
Lockhart stared at Malfoy for a moment, frowning in confusion. He was just opening his mouth to ask Malfoy what the hell he might have meant by that, when Pomfrey bustled back in through the doors.
Pomfrey: Right, Severus, drink this malted chocolate stuff.
Lockhart drank and then lay back down.
Pomfrey: Feeling better? Who do you think you are now? Can you explain what happened yet?
Lockhart: I... I am Severus... yes, you know. And well... I... I uh, I was in Potions...Teaching, you see, I suppose...sure, and then, I simply fainted. I got a case of the vapors.
Lockhart laid an arm over his forhead. Pomfrey stared at him for a few moments.
Pomfrey: I think you ought to stay here in the infirmary for the day, Severus. Do you happen to remember what happened to Draco Malfoy?
Lockhart: That'd be... uh, well, he... fainted too.
Pomfrey: Is that the official story, then? You don't mind if it gets out around school that two Slytherins... 'got the vapors'?
Lockhart: Well, I mean, it happens to us all from time to time doesn't it? Even I... while I happen to be exceedingly unpleasant and wholly unconcerned with the important things in life, like my hair and complexion, am still a human being. Yes, even old Snape gets the vapors now and again.
Pomfrey stared at him again, this time a look of fear entering her eyes.
Pomfrey: Just lie back and rest, Severus. We'll get you sorted out... eventually.
Lockhart smiled and gave her the thumbs up sign. Pomfrey went over to Malfoy.
Pomfrey: WAKE UP, MR. MALFOY! Come on then, up you go...
Malfoy groaned and slowly opened his eyes.
Malfoy: Wh...where am I?
Pomfrey: In the infirmary. Do you remember what happened in Potions?
Malfoy: It's all a horrible blur...but I think it had something to do with Potter... Oh, I feel dizzy. I think I should just rest here for awhile.
Pomfrey: Yes, very well. Both of you stay here and rest while I go try to ask someone with a brain what happened in Potions class.
Pomfrey left the room.
Lockhart sighed, sadly, and stepped down from his cot. He walked over to a mirror, approaching slowly with his hands over his eyes. Lockhart stood in front of the mirror, hyperventalating.
Malfoy: Don't pass out again. We have to talk.
Lockhart: Just a moment! I must... see... the damage...
Lockhart peeked out from under on hand and almost fainted again.
Lockhart: You say you can get me back to normal, boy?
Malfoy: Yes, but only if you do EXACTLY as I say.
Lockhart swallowed dryly. Steeling whatever courage he could from the hope that he would soon be fixed, he forced his hands away and looked at his present reflection.
Lockhart: Oh God, this can't be happening to me, this can't be happening. I liked it better when I was the gnat.
Lockhart could not believe his eyes. Instead of his beloved, fathomless blue eyes which sparkled like a jewel cast into the ocean in that movie, he was looking into dull, pitch black eyes that gave him the creeps. Instead of his soft, radient, highly enviable curls of sunshine blond hair with endless highlights and perfect body and bounce, he saw flat, unmanagable, greasy, stringy, one toned, dandruffy, split ended misery! Instead of his perfect, handsome yet lovely nose, he was staring at some beaky honker that would give Adrien Brody nasal envy. Instead of his flawless and baby soft skin...
Lockhart turned in fury and pain and screamed.
Malfoy was taken aback for a moment, having never heard Lockhart scream in rage before.
Malfoy: Erm, we have some business to conduct.
Lockhart, his trance of dispair broken, ran from the mirror and jumped on his cot, eyes pleading with Malfoy.
Lockhart: You can fix my situation!
Malfoy: Yes. Yes, I can, Lockhart. But you see, your situation is worse than you know.
Lockhart: WORSE, how could be it be any WORSE! Look at me! Not only am I bloody hideous, but I'm someone who is utterly unaccomplished, uncelebrated, unremarkable, unpraised...
Malfoy: Will you shut the &$ up for five seconds! Let me do the talking. Now listen up, and listen up good. Right now, nobody believes you're Gilderoy Lockhart but me. I can tell the difference between you and Snape. I'm not as stupid as people think! Anyway, if you start raving about being Lockhart, one of two things will be done to you. They'll either throw you back in Saint Mungo's because they think Snape has lost it... though between you and me, it's been lost for quite a long time... or they'll find out the truth but even if they can get you your old body back, you'll still be thrown back in Saint Mungo's or worse, Azkaban. Your only option here is to pretend to be Snape. Think about it, if you can.
Lockhart thought about it.
Lockhart: I'd rather die than live as Snape! And you said you could fix me!
Malfoy: I can, but in exchange for a favor.
Lockhart: Favor? What favor?
Malfoy: You must get me into the Death Eaters! Snape and my father are good friends. Mother doesn't want me in the Death Eaters, and Fatha seems to think I'd just get in the way. Snape always agrees with everything they say. Now, The Dark Lord recently sprang my Fatha from Azkaban, and he's hiding out at my house with my mother. You've got to convince them it's right for me to join! If you can do that, I'll fix your condition.
Lockhart: Oh, and I'm supposed to believe you actually know how to fix me? I'm not that stupid, either, you know.
Malfoy: No, I didn't know that. Well, very well, let me explain how I can fix your situation. You see, what happened to you was an all out calamity! It was one of those things, one of those really weird things... I mean, when you transformed into the gnat, that was one thing. That could have been fixed using normal magic. But when you then, by a freak of chance, were transformed into Snape's body, while you were the gnat... that can't be corrected normally. Snape is dead. You have totally taken over his body. And the gnat is dead, and with it, the only remainder of your old body. That leaves you stuck! But, Gilderoy, there is a way. It's called The Dark Arts.
Malfoy jumped off his cot, locked his hands behind his back, and began pacing the room.
Malfoy: In Fatha's study, there is a book. A large book. A book that says, "Spells That Should Not Be Cast and Forbidden Potions". In that book, there lies the way to changing you back to normal. It's all very unseemly and illegal, but it will get the job done. Now, are we together on this, or aren't we?
Lockhart: Well, I mean... how am I supposed to convince your father? And when!
Malfoy: Don't worry, you're to meet with him tomorrow night for poker and cigars. That's when you've got to do your convincing. And in the day time tomorrow, just pretend your sick so you won't have to teach Potions.
Lockhart: Are you sure this is the only way?
Malfoy: I'm POSITIVE, Lockhart.
Lockhart: But your father, he'll know I'm not Snape... I can't impersonate that...ew.
Malfoy: I'll give you lessons. In fact, I'll pretend I'm sick too, and I'll teach you tonight and tomorrow!
Lockhart looked unhappy, but after a moment, he nodded. Malfoy started instructing Lockhart immediately.
Several minutes later, Pomfrey burst back into the room with Dumbledore on her heels. Dumbledore looked at Snape's form with concern.
Dumbledore: Severus, are you feeling quite alright?
Lockhart frowned as hard as he could and sneered up at Dumbledore.
Lockhart: Fine, Headmaster, fine. Uh, actually, I, believe something has come over me. I shall be unable to fulfill my duties as Potions Master tomorrow. I must rest, have to rest, that's it, you see.
Dumbledore: You've never missed a day's work in your career at Hogwarts. Are you sure you're not terribly ill?
Lockhart: Just medium ill, Headmaster. I, I must rest. I'm just asking for one day off, Sir.
Dumbledore: Of course, Severus. You're entitled to one day off... it's just, you know, we don't have any substitutes for Potions, so... we, er, need you back as soon as possible.
Lockhart: Yes. I'll be back down there in that dungeon lickity split! I mean, uh, yes, Headmaster.
Dumbledore raised an eyebrow, then walked over to Malfoy.
Dumbledore: Malfoy, are you feeling quite alright?
Malfoy: Oh, Headmaster, I simply can't get up. I feel ill as can be.
Dumbledore: Really? You seem ok.
Malfoy: I'm not.
Dumbledore: Then perhaps we should send you home.
Malfoy: I'm not that sick.
Dumbledore: I believe you should go back to classes then.
Malfoy: But, sir...
Malfoy: I had a heart attack!
Dumbledore: But you're right as rain now, so up you go!
Malfoy helplessly was shuffled from the room. He looked back at Lockhart.
Malfoy: I'll be back to visit you, PROFESSOR SNAPE, as often as I can!
Dumbledore: Yes... uh, you do that, Malfoy.
Malfoy showed up later to try to instruct Lockhart on how to behave like Snape.
Malfoy: Now, if I were to ask you, Professor Severus Snape, for a potion to make my hair less greasy, what would you say?
Lockhart scrunched his face and attempted to sound surly.
Lockhart: Ahem... well, as much as it annoys me to be asked a simple question, I suppose I can whip something up that can help to tone down the oils in your hair while still maintaining lusterous --
Malfoy whacked his wand down on a nightstand.
Lockhart: Good Lord, what was wrong with that?
Malfoy groaned. Half an hour later...
Malfoy: One more time. Professor Snape, do you think you could whip me up a potion to help me with my greasy hair!
Lockhart: 30 points from Gryffindor! I will not be bothered with such trivial matters, you ignorant little fool. You are stupid and insolent!
Malfoy: Keep going! Hit below the belt!
Lockhart: Ever lose a pet, you pathetic worm! Good! Go ahead and cry, wussy! And you know what's more? Your parents hate you! And you deserve it!
Malfoy: Ok! That's very good...
Lockhart: Besides... Greasy hair is da bomb!
Malfoy: Brilliant! Let's try the walk now... Uh, oh, visiting hours are over. I'll be back first chance I get tomorrow.
Malfoy ran out of the infirmary.
Lockhart: Lord, what is happening to me?
The next day...
Malfoy: How do you walk?
Lockhart stood up, grinned, and began to strut about the room.
Lockhart: Oops! Sorry!
Lockhart frowned, snarled, and began to strut about the room.
Malfoy: No, that's way too flashy. Snape kinda skulks about like a creepy bat.
Lockhart: Buts skulk?
Malfoy: Right, forget the bat. Go for a snake.
Lockhart: You want me to slither on the ground?
Malfoy: Look, just move around like a shadowy, sneaky creep ok? You ever see Nosferatu? Sort of like that.
Lockhart: Oh, God, are you kidding? I hate scary movies.
Malfoy: You really are a wuss, aren't you?
Lockhart: I'm afraid so.
Malfoy: Well, just try to sneak about and act slimey, ok? Picture Snape walking, and imitate it.
Lockhart tried again. He brought his arms up and twisted his hands into claws. He exaggerated his movements and tried to creep forward in a threatening way.
Malfoy: No, no, no, you look like you're trying to dance. Snape does NOT have rhythem, remember that.
A half an hour later...
Malfoy: That's it... you're doing it! You're doing it!
Lockhart was skulking away from him in a decent imitation of Snape's movements. He suddenly spun around, menace on his face.
Malfoy: He's got it! By George, I think he's got it!
Malfoy, who'd been sitting on a hospital bed eating some chocolates he'd stolen from Madam Pomfrey's desk, looked proud. Lockhart looked prouder.
Lockhart: I did it! I actually did it!
Malfoy: Here, have a chocolate.
Malfoy tossed him the chocolate and Lockhart ate it.
Lockhart: You know, if you'd asked me yesterday morning if I'd have been able to pull off an imitation like that, I'd have said no way!
Malfoy: You've done a good job.
Lockhart: Well, I've had a good teacher.
Malfoy: Really? Hey, you're alright, Lockhart. Have another one.
Malfoy tossed Lockhart another chocolate.
Malfoy: But there's more. We've got to talk about what kinds of things you're going to talk about with my dad apart from urging him to let me be a Death Eater. And you've gotta be comfortable with him. Still Snape! But as comfortable as Snape gets. I've seen them together, not for very long, but long enough to know that Snape actually smiles. It's a really scary sight, I mean, even I am afraid.
Lockhart: Oh, what if I can't do this? What if I can't pull it off at all?
Malfoy: You're gonna do fine... Oops, I'm gonna have to go now, I'll be back later.
Lockhart: Oh, very well. Goodbye.
That night, it was their last preporation visit.
Malfoy: How bout that Dark Lord, eh, Severus?
Lockhart: He is great, Lucius, a fantastic Dark Lord he is.
Malfoy: Deeper voice, keep your cool... you still sound nervous.
Lockhart: I'm trying!
Malfoy: Try harder. Remember, You-Know-Who is your boss!
Lockhart: I don't think I can do this.
Malfoy: You've got to! You can't back out now!
Lockhart: Ok, right... Ahm, that Dark Lord, yes, that's our boss, that's right, Lucius.
Malfoy: I feel like I'm starting from square one, here.
Lockhart: I can't help it!
Malfoy: Just remember, think evil thoughts, and these guys are your buddies.
Lockhart: These guys? What do you mean, these guys? I thought it was just your father?
Malfoy: Fatha and Snape don't play poker alone. They've got a whole little group.
Lockhart: I'm having an episode... I'm going to pass out!
Malfoy: Lockhart, you can do it! You MUST do it! You will go out there and convince Fatha to allow me to be a Death Eater! Or else... Look at this!
Malfoy pulled out a mirror and held it up to Lockhart's face.
Malfoy: Now come on. Let's practice some more!
Lockhart gulped, but nodded.
Half an hour later...
Malfoy: Now, let's casually broach the subject of Lucius' son, Draco, becoming a Death Eater. You pat your old friend on the back and say, 'You know, Lucius, I've been thinking. Your son is doing so well in school and the only thing he ever talks about is Death Eating. I really believe he'd make a fine addition to The Dark Lord's side.'
Lockhart: You know, Lucius, I've been thinking...
15 minutes later...
Malfoy: Right, you ready to go?
Lockhart: No. I think I'm going to be murdered...
Malfoy: You'll be fine. Ok, it's time!
Before too long, Lockhart had arrived at the Malfoys' residence.
To be continued...