Disclaimer: In every town and every city there's lots and lots of fools ta pity.
A Memorable Year
His eyes cracked open to reveal a spartan room illuminated by the soft glow of a gas light turned low. From the stark wooden chair by his firm but sturdy bed to the uninspiring landscape on the wall, everything about the place suggested that he was in a government funded building of some sort. St. Mungos, the thought burbled up.
His memories were a mess, massive gaps made it difficult to form a coherent thought. 'I've been obliviated,' he thought professionally. He wondered why, unable to think of who would have a motive to wipe his memories.
The door swung open a few minutes later to admit a dark haired beauty in a set of regulation healer's robes.
"Good afternoon," he greeted the woman. "Or morning or evening, whichever is the most appropriate."
"Good afternoon," she replied. "Your name is-"
"Gilderoy Lockhart," he interjected. "Hogwarts alumni and former Ministry Oblivator."
She blinked. "Do you know what happened?"
"No, but I presume I've been oblivated if the gaps in my memory are any indication," he said smoothly.
"What do you remember?"
He tilted his head. What did he remember? "I remember-" He wet his lips. "I remember traveling all over the world. I remember seeing great things that make me proud of my humanity and dark horrors that make me curse it."
"Do you remember why?" she asked intently.
"I . . . something to do with fighting dark wizards and creatures?" he ventured uncertainly. "To be honest, I'm really not sure but it's the only thing that makes sense." Which left the question of how an ex-obliviator had managed to survive at such a hazardous profession.
"You were . . . are considered one of the foremost experts on the Defense Against the Dark Arts and have authored several books based on your adventures."
"I see." He idly reached up to brush an errant strand of hair off of his forehead.
"You . . . you're supposed to be the Defense Professor at Hogwarts next year," she added. "Your editor told us."
"Would you mind fetching a parchment and a quill?" he asked hopefully. "I have a letter to write, the contents of which will depend on if your examination tells you my memories are recoverable or not."
Dumbledore didn't know what to think when his newest hire sent a letter requesting a meeting, shortly after the school year ended. While it was true he hadn't seen the man since his graduation several years before, having hired him sans interview as he was the only applicant, it was also true that most professors waited until the mid break meeting for a moment of his time.
The Gargoyle alerted the Headmaster that his guest had arrived and, for once, he decided not to let them try to 'guess' his password. It amused him greatly that people would think a wizard of his power and experience would trust his security to something so easily bypassed. Just went to show how useful a reputation as an eccentric could be.
"What can I do for you, Gilderoy?" Dumbledore asked as the man entered his office. "Hoping to pick up a couple tips on how to manage a room of screaming children?"
"I've come to offer my resignation," he replied.
"The term hasn't even started yet," Dumbledore pointed out calmly. Hell, the summer had barely started, he'd expected to get at least ten months of work out of the man before he tried to leave, or something happened to him.
"Yes, I'm afraid that I've been obliviated," Lockhart explained. "I am no longer able to fulfill my duties as an instructor."
"Whoever did it was very very good," Gilderoy stated professionally. "I remember almost nothing of defense past my NEWTs. Most everything else is untouched as far as I can tell."
"Are the memories recoverable?"
"The Healers all say that they are not."
"What are your plans?"
"My plans are to spend the next several months working to get back some of my proficiency," Gilderoy stated. "The next several years if need be." He'd done it once, he could do it again.
"Would you still be willing to teach?"
"I would give almost anything for the chance to teach Defense, but, the children deserve to learn from the best, which is no longer me," he said, managing a weak smile. "Perhaps I could return in a few years?" he finished half hopefully.
Dumbledore sent out a probe to check the man's sincerity and was shocked by the strength of the barriers around his mind.
"Everything to do with Defense Against the Dark Arts, Professor, not defense against the mental arts," Lockhart said with a much stronger grin.
"So it seems," Dumbledore laughed. "You have nearly three months till the start of the term, months you say will be spent studying."
"Yes," Gilderoy agreed.
"Gilderoy, know that I would not ask this of you if there were anyone else-" Dumbledore began.
"Fine," Lockhart sighed. Wasn't good for a man to get more than four hours of sleep a night anyway. "With the understanding that you shall be the one to ask the other Professors to incorporate a few lessons on useful defensive spells in their normal lesson plans."
"Done," Dumbledore laughed. "Please don't hesitate to ask if you need a string pulled or a politician nudged."
"I won't, Headmaster."
"About those tips on how to keep control of a class full of screaming children . . ."
Following the Deputy Headmistress' advice, Lockhart did not smile as the class swarmed into the room. 'Not till after christmas,' she'd said firmly. 'You are here to teach them, not befriend them.' Still, it wasn't easy as he watched the three most notorious, if the other professors were to be believed, students take their places in the front row.
"Does anyone not know who I am?" he asked, provoking a round of titters. "Right, my name is Gilderoy Lockhart and I'm going to be your instructor this year. Before we begin, does anyone have any questions about the class?" Several hands went up. "Before I call on anyone, I would like to note that I said about the class, not about me." Several hands went down, leaving only one in the air. "Ms. Granger."
"Professor, why did you switch books after the lists had already gone out?" Hermione asked.
"Because while entertaining, my books are absolutely horrible reference material," Lockhart replied. "Heavy on descriptions, but very light on how to, and." The man grinned, he hadn't even managed to last five minutes. "A very poor attention to detail."
"But . . ." The girl's lower lip quivered.
"You've all heard how I got Obliviated? I believe the Prophet's devoted several articles to it this summer." He received a mass nod in reply. "I suspect, and I say suspect because unfortunately I hadn't completed any lesson plans before the incident, that I had planned to use the books to get you interested in defense on your own time and to do the practical bits in class. I suppose it could have worked, but it rather makes it difficult to study in your own time if you don't have good notes."
Another hand was raised and Lockhart motioned for the boy, a Mr. Thomas he believed, to ask his question. "What do you mean poor attention to detail?"
"If my books are to be believed, I was in two different places on opposite sides of the world two years ago last march. It's probably a printer's error or a typo the editors missed, but it, and several more like it, shows that I didn't comb through them enough times to allow them as reading material."
His editor had told him that no author was ever satisfied with the product. It was a cold comfort.
"Seems I was also a bit of a glory hound if the folder full of newspaper clippings and the library of cosmetic charms I found in my apartment are to be believed." He grinned. "If any girls, or boys I suppose, want to learn any cosmetic charms, see me after class, they're one of the things I still remember," the Professor finished, prompting a round of laughter. "Any more questions?" Hermione's hand went up again. "Yes, Ms. Granger?"
"I don't mean any disrespect by this, Professor, but if you don't remember anything about defense, how can you teach us?" It was clear the girl was in some distress.
"Excellent question, five points to Gryffindor," he stated, hoping to put her at ease. "Who can tell me what I got in Defense on my NEWTs?" the Professor asked. "Don't feel ashamed if you don't know, it seems like it was something I spent quite a bit of effort burying."
"EE?" one guessed.
"Troll minus," he said, relishing the looks of shock on their face. "Everything I've achieved in defense, I've achieved despite having absolutely no talent in it. If I can go from Troll minus to being qualified to teach in three months, you can all get at least an A in this class. I expect nothing less."
"How did you manage to do that in a summer?" Hermione asked dumbly, forgetting for once to raise her hand.
"Twelve hours a day of study, six of dueling practice, and two more learning to box," the Professor replied. "Helped that I had a fairly respectable score on my charms NEWTs, one question away from an O+." Still not good enough in his opinion, but it would have to do.
After a month of teaching, he felt like he was beginning to get into the swing of things. Time to show the students that there was more to his class than just learning to sling spells.
"Who can tell me how many people in this school hold the Order of Merlin?"
"Three?" Hermione asked, looking uncertain.
"Good guess, but, no. Anyone else?" He glanced around. "Which three can you name, Ms. Granger?"
"The Headmaster, you, and Harry," she stated.
"Very good, three points to Gryffindor, one for each. Anyone able to add a name?" There were none. "Pity. Your assignment over the weekend is to find out who one of these other heros are and write no less than three inches and no more than five on what they did to earn it. Notice I said people, meaning don't use ghosts unless you can't figure out who the living people are and if you do end up using a ghost, accept the fact that I'm going to subtract ten points from your final score. Though-" His teeth flashed. "I suppose I'd be fair to give you an extra ten points if you decide to add the name of one of the ghosts that earned it along with no more than three lines on why."
Hermione was out of her seat and dragging her two best friends in the direction of the library an instant after Lockhart dismissed the class. She had a puzzle to solve and she wasn't going to let little things like her need to eat or sleep get in the way of solving it, nor her friends fondness for same.
It didn't take long to get their first hit, as there were a limited number of adults in the castle and the fact that it was unlikely any student save Harry would have done anything to merit the award.
"Got one," Hermione said, looking smug.
"Who?" Ron asked, making sure that his Quidditch magazine was well concealed by the book in front of him.
"Would you believe Professor McGonagall had an Order of Merlin?" Hermione asked, staring down at the book in shock as she went over the citation.
"Never would have guessed," Harry admitted. "How'd she get it?"
"She got her first one as a seventh year student, she led a rear guard made up of upper years from all four houses to pin down one of Grindelwald's assault teams long enough to allow the younger students to escape back to the castle." Hermione went very still. "They managed to hold them off for fourteen minutes until the Aurors arrived." Her eyes went to the next line. "Suffering almost one hundred percent casualties doing it. Not a single prisoner was taken, there's a mention that they were all killed resisting arrest." Most of them horribly. "Says Professor McGonagall spent two months in the hospital recovering afterwards and that she joined one of the hit battalions the second she got out. I, it looks as if. . . she might have more medals than Dumbledore."
"Did they save the younger students?" Harry asked, focusing on the only fact he considered vital of the story.
"Yeah," Hermione agreed. "Every one of them." Hermione flipped to the next page. "Says she has two more she got when . . . I . . ." The girl stared at the page in shock. "I think . . . I think that she might be the most decorated witch alive!"
"What?" Ron asked, using the girl's distraction to surreptitiously put the magazine back in his bag. "Gimme a look." The boy glanced over his friend's shoulder. "I don't recognize most of these."
"That's because most of them came from other countries and the rest are muggle," Hermione said absently, her eyes locked on the letters after her Head of House's name. 'GC, OM, O.B.E.'
Gilderoy noted that the only open seat at the Head Table that evening was the one next to the Deputy Headmistress. The look of amusement on the woman's face convinced him he didn't need to find an excuse to eat in his quarters.
"I hear I have you to thank for the fact that my Gryffindors are paying more attention in Transfiguration," Minerva stated as he took his place at the head table that night.
"Seems someone gave an assignment to research one of the Order of Merlin holders in this castle that was neither yourself, the Headmaster, or Mr. Potter," she continued.
"Heroes should be remembered," he stated firmly. He'd found, since he's woken up at St. Mungoes, memory to be very important. To be expected, he supposed, after losing so much of his. "Besides, it's good for the students to know that you were the youngest Transfiguration Mistress in history, that you would have been the youngest of either sex if not for Dumbledore beating you by five months, that those five months were due to the fact that you were fighting on the continent, that you were the youngest Deputy Hogwarts has ever had, beating Dumbledore by fifteen years, and that, leaving aside some foreign dictator, you're quite possibly the most decorated witch alive or dead. Maybe it'll mean they'll realize how lucky they are to have you teaching them, maybe it would have made me less of an insufferable git if I had known."
"You weren't that bad," the woman laughed. "EE on your NEWTs if I remember correctly."
"Barely," he replied. "One and a half points above the cut off." He glanced around. "Aside from charms, you don't want to know how poorly I did on the rest of the exams."
"Troll minus on defense according to the students," Flitwick chimed.
"It was my third best score," he admitted. "And at that only because of my charms knowledge."
"If nothing else, I suppose it shows the students that they can always complete their education post Hogwarts if they come to regret slacking off," Flitwick laughed. "Though I don't suppose that's something we should point out."
"I used it as an explanation for why I was going to hold them to such high standards," Lockhart explained. "Speaking of high standards, I was wondering if you would be willing to do me a favor, Filius?"
"Perhaps," the Charms Professor allowed.
"I've had a couple requests to set up a dueling club," Lockhart began. "I was hoping to persuade you to preside over it."
"Who else were you planning to ask?"
"Everyone," Lockhart replied grandly. "Severus and Minerva to start with."
"Not sure I could teach anything that wouldn't get them banned from the ring," McGonagall cautioned.
"We can tell them that ahead of time," Lockhart said quickly. "Learning to fight and learning to duel are both useful skills for any witch or wizard."
"I'll think about it," the old woman allowed.
"As will I," Snape said, startling everyone by showing that he was listening to the conversation.
"Wonderful!" Lockhart beamed at his colleges. "Filius?"
"Why not," the little Professor agreed. "I've heard rumors you have an interesting bottle of scotch in your quarters?"
"I've been planning to open a bottle of Glenmorangie Pride 1981 and can think of no better reason than this occasion," Lockhart agreed. "What do we say we sample it while we discuss this in more detail?"
"I'm in," Severus stated after a moment of thought
"As am I," McGonagall agreed.
Gilderoy was in his office the next evening when one of the portraits alerted him that something terrible had happened. In a flash he was out the door and dashing down the halls. What he found was a small crowd of students and two of his fellow staff members.
The school caretaker was inconsolable, poor man's entire attention was focused on the still form of his pet.
"Professor Hagrid, you're the expert on creatures, any idea what might have caused this?" Gilderoy asked hopefully.
"Moind if I check suffing an get back to you later?" the big man rumbled.
"Not at all, just hurry. It was a cat this time, it could be a student next." A chill went up his spine at the thought. He turned back to the caretaker. "I don't believe that she's dead, Argus," he said gently. "Best wait until Madame Pomfrey has had a chance to check her before we assume the worst."
It had taken two weeks of planning and nearly a dozen bottles of scotch before the first meeting of Hogwarts' new dueling club.
"Good afternoon, students!" Lockhart said with a wide smile. "I would like to welcome you to what I hope is the first of many meetings for our new dueling club." The man's smile deepened in response to the student's applause. "Let me begin by emphasizing how fortunate we are to have two other Professors assisting us today," Lockhart stated grandly. "Professor Flitwick, master of charms, dueling champion, and holder of the Order of Merlin first class." The Head of Ravenclaw took a bow.
"And Professor Snape, second youngest Potions Master in history, fifth youngest Defense Master, and the man who would have had my job if not for the fact that it's a good deal more difficult to find a highly accomplished Potion Master than it is to find a mediocre instructor of defense. Let's have a round of applause for them both!" Lockhart waited until the children had finished clapping to continue. "We are also fortunate in that Professor McGonagall has been persuaded to give a series of lectures on the combat application of Transfiguration. I would highly recommend all of you to attend, those of you who chose to write papers on her earlier this year know why. I will give more information as it becomes available. Does anyone have any questions before we begin?"
As there were none, he decided to move on to the first lesson of the day. "What we have here," he said, motioning towards an elevated platform. "Is a regulation sized dueling stage. Severus, if you would be good enough to be my opponent while Filius acts as the referee?"
The Potion Master gave a dour nod as he took his place.
"Gentlemen, on the count of three," Flitwick announced. "One . . . two . . ." He glanced at each man. "Three."
Lockhart was immediately put on the defense, having to frantically dodge all manner of spells while his opponent lazily swayed out of the way of his own. He almost smiled when the Potion Master boxed him in, glad that the children were getting a good show.
"One moment please, Severus," Lockhart said, holding up a hand. "Who can tell me what spell Professor Snape cast on me?" He glanced around. "Mr. Flint."
"A bludgeoning hex," the Slytherin replied.
"Correct, two points to Slytherin. It did some minor physical damage, more importantly it filled my eyes with tears and made it difficult to see, a fortunate side effect, yes?" He grinned. "Who can tell me why I stopped the duel to speak with you?"
"Because it gave your eyes time to clear," Snape said sourly.
"One who does not cheat is one who is not trying," Lockhart replied with a grin. "I'm not sure I can give points to another Professor, but shall we say I owe you a drink at the Hogshead?" Snape snorted. "A round of drinks for all the Professors then?"
"Better," Snape allowed.
"And a meal for you? Meals and drinks for everyone?" he added, prompting a rare smile from the other professor. "Good, now that we've settled that shall we get back to your demonstration on how to beat up a Defense Professor under the guise of a demonstration for the dueling club?" Lockhart nodded to the referee. "Whenever you're ready, Filius. Go easy on me, please, Severus." He turned to address the students. "I'm very very delicate."
To his eternal shame, it took almost a week for Gilderoy to notice that there was something wrong with his most famous student and another day before he was able to find out why. I quick consultation with his colleagues and he knew what to do to address the matter.
"If I can have everyone's attention!" he called out after his first class of the day, mixed first year Hufflepuffs and Gryffindors had taken their seats. "I'd like to address a piece of trivia I learned about young Mr. Potter. You've all heard that he can speak to snakes?" The students nodded. "I envy him," he said, sparking several gasps. "It is both a rare and powerful talent, one that could prove to be very useful in my line of work. One could use snakes as spies, to attack dark creatures, or to . . . well, any number of things." The children were staring at him with wide eyes, a couple nodding thoughtfully. "That said, I'd like to address a rumor I heard that some of the other students are saying bad things about Mr. Potter because of this talent. Tell me, it's not true is it?"
The school suffered its first human casualties three weeks after the caretaker's cat was found. Two muggleborn first years near the Defense Classroom. Lockhart was enraged by the act, privately swearing to himself that he would do anything necessary to ensure that the monster was destroyed, no matter what it might cost him.
"Poppy!" he called out as he walked into the hospital wing.
"I've been kicking myself for not coming to see you sooner, it was almost criminally negligent of me," Lockhart stated.
"What can I do for you, Gilderoy?" the school healer asked with a bright smile. He'd grown into a fine man since he'd left school, she thought proudly.
"I'd like your thoughts on what's been happening, Poppy," he added. "Anything you can tell me without violating patient confidentiality." He nodded to the other man in the room. "Severus, if you can spare a moment from brewing a potion to cure this . . ." He tried to think of the correct word for someone that would attack children and helpless animals. "Obscenity, I would be honored to hear your thoughts on the matter as well."
"Of course," Snape agreed. "Did Hagrid have any thoughts?"
"Seven animals that may be possible," Gilderoy replied. "Three of which are native to Europe."
Lockhart was in the middle of one of his patrol when he intercepted two students outside their doorms.
"Mr. Potter, Mr. Weasley, what are you two doing out?" he asked sharply. "You know-"
"We know where she is, Professor," Ron interrupted.
"We know where my sister is," Ron said, desperate for the man to believe him. "We figured it out."
"The entrance to the Chamber of Secrets is in one of the girl's toilets," Harry replied.
"Show me now."
Lockhart felt like kicking himself as he listened to the chain of reasoning that had led the boys to the answer to one of the greatest mysteries in school history. It was hard to believe that something so obvious had eluded the finest minds in the wizarding world.
It took a bare moment to inspect the sinks and find a small engraved snake to confirm the boys' tale.
"Mr. Potter, I trust you have a way to get the passage open?" he asked hopefully.
"Then you're with me. Weasley, I need you to alert the rest of the staff
"That's my sister down there!" Ron protested hotly.
"Along with a thousand year old basilisk that will likely make short work of me," Lockhart said coldly. "Do you want to cover yourself in posthumous glory or do you want to save the girl?"
"I want to save her," Ron replied.
"Good, best thing you can do is bring in as many fully trained witches and wizards here as possible, understand?"
"Yes, Professor," Ron agreed.
"Buck up." Gilderoy forced himself to smile. "I may not be as skilled as some of the other professors, but I think that I'll be sufficient to rescuing your sister."
"Yes, Professor," Ron said, looking relieved.
"On your way." He waited till the redhead was gone. "Open it please, Mr. Potter, and step back."
"You're not going in with me, Harry," Gilderoy said with a tight grin. "I'll try to get the girl to the entrance. I'll need you to get her the rest of the way out and then I'm going to need you to seal it up till the rest of the Professors get here, understand?"
"Yes, Professor," Harry agreed, voice cracking.
"Seal it up and get the girl out of here," he said firmly. "She's going to need quick medical care and you're the only one that can get her to it."
"I understand, Professor."
"I had planned a new book on my experiences this year." Pity he wouldn't be able to write it. "Have your friend Hermione write the draft for me," the Professor said just before disappearing into the hole. "There's a stack of notes in the top left hand shelf on my desk."
Harry waited alone for what seemed like an eternity
A large stone spider jumped out of the hole with Ginny on its back and turned to take up a defensive position. "Close it, Harry!" Lockhart's scream echoed through the passage. "Close it and get the girl to the hospital wing now!"
Tears were flowing down Harry's face as he complied with his Professor's last order.
The Aurors fanned out as they crept down the passage way, not one believing the snake was dead, not with their luck. In the center of the great chamber they found a grotesque statue, a giant snake wrapped around a screaming man.
"That's no statue," the head Auror muttered in disbelief. "That's Lockhart."
The professor's entire left arm disappeared down the massive Snake's gullet, it's left fang piercing the man's shoulder and, judging by the length of the visible fang, into the his heart. The broken fragments of the man's wand protruded from one eye socket while a hand mirror blocked the other.
In the years that followed, everyone who'd witnessed the scene would remember the triumphant grin on Lockhart's face, frozen as he'd screamed his defiance into the face of death itself. He'd died with no regrets, died in his greatest moment of triumph, died knowing he had won.
AN: Just wanted to write Lockhart as the hero he claimed to be. Something I've been meaning to write for a while. Would have to flesh it out a bit to make it a full story, would also have to change this so it didn't follow the book so closely. Been a bit busy with other other stories and real life to do that at the moment.
Beta by dogbertcarroll (Who is, according to a reliable source, the monarch of a small tropical island).
Typo by mjihde
Hermione stared dully at the stack of parchment. On the first sheet was a list of possible titles, all were crossed out save one; Ballad of the Basilisk. A sudden thought caused the girl to reach for her quill and add 'In Memorial, the Final Adventure of Gilderoy Lockhart'
AN: Thought about adding another omake in which a healer is asked if Lockhart can be revived and saved. Healer would then state that, in addition to being petrified; several broken ribs were spearing his lungs, his heart had been impaled on a fang, and judging by the puddle of venom below the other fang, he'd had at least a liter pumped into his chest cavity. Decided against it, laziness struck again.
Beta by dogbertcarroll
Title of Lockhart's last book by slicerness
Mistake corrected by tumshie1960
Omake: Badass McGonagall
"All the heads except Snape have an Order of Merlin and McGonagall has two, only person alive to have two Orders of Merlin first class."
"How'd she manage that?"
"There was a Death Eater attack on a Hogsmead weekend. Professor Sprout beat five Death Eaters to death with a chair when they attacked the three Broomsticks. There were twenty outside and it says here that there isn't a recorded case of more than fifteen Death Eaters in one place aside from this one." Probably because there were no survivors in all the other cases. "Professor Flitwick put up a ward to keep them from escaping and then Professor McGonagall . . ." the girl trailed off.
"Killed every one of them," awe colored the girl's voice. "Afterwards, she said that it was unfortunate what she was forced to do to a group that was mostly comprised of former students but not half as unfortunate as what they were planning to do to current students and that while the Professors at Hogwarts have taught you everything you know about magic, we have not taught you everything we know. There were no other attacks on Hogsmead." Not after Voldemort stopped trembling after reading his old classmate's note warning him to stay away anyway.
"Bloody hell," Ron gasped.
"Says here that Professor McGonagall's widely regarded as the most deadly witch in the United Kingdom, maybe in Europe, possibly the world."
"You know what, mate," Ron began. "I think we should be a bit less blasé about showing up late to Mc . . . uh, Professor McGonagall's class."
"I agree," Harry agreed. "Since when have you known what 'blasé' means?"
Epilogue by dogbertcarroll
Bad End... Not quite...
"Black robes, scythe, skull motif," Lockhart listed off amused. "You'd be Death than?"
The figure nodded and held out a skeletal hand with a ball of what appeared to be liquid mercury in it, but the ball swirled with scenes Lockhart could almost recognize.
"My memories," he said, slowly reaching out to accept the piece of himself that he'd lost. As he touched the ball it dissolved into vapor that flowed like smoke into his sinus cavity, slamming his brain with years of lost memories and knocking him to his knees.
Death placed a hand on his shoulder and waved his scythe, shifting them to a stage in front of a large screen that was running a series of closing credits over the scene of his death.
"Oh Merlin," Lockhart moaned in horror as he struggled to his feet facing the screen. "I was... I wasn't... I... I have no idea how to feel. I have so many people to find and make reparations to."
Thunderous applause broke out behind him and he spun around only to find the audience filled with those he'd wronged in life.
"Umm... I don't suppose saying sorry would help?" he asked.
An old man that Lockhart had obliviated to hide his defeat of a werewolf pack stood up. "You stole a bit of my life to enrich your own, but at least you spent it well in the end. I have no complaints." He turned and walked out.
An older man of African decent stood up next. "It was well spent, but I have a task for you before you receive my forgiveness. My great-grandson is going to slip and fall while mountain climbing next Thursday. Save him."
One after another the audience stood and either granted him forgiveness or set conditions so he could earn it before they left until all that was left was a black dog that transformed into a wizard who'd looked to have seen better days.
"Help my Godson Harry Potter get laid by a vela," he said before turning and leaving.
Lockhart carefully wrote the final request into a notebook and turned back to Death. "Looks like I still have work to do before I can rest."
As Death lead him off into the dark he couldn't help but comment, "Why can't I remember even meeting Sirius Black before today?"
Omake by xelan_metallium
Despite her best efforts, Madame Pomfrey could not awaken Ginevra Weasley. In spite of the Headmaster objections, she was quickly transferred to St. Mungo's.
The flurry of aurors that descended on the school once word leaked of the monster beneath the school, was to be expected. Dozens of agents that Amelia Bones recognized from intelligence agencies around the world and still countless more spies that she didn't soon joined the aurors as soon as it became known that THE Gilderoy Lockhart had engaged the monster and was not expected to survive.
The aurors came back up out of the hole. The team lead, closely surrounded by his team had a small item levitating in front of him.
Dumbledore was there to greet them. "What did you find?"
The lead, a veteran auror by the name of Perkins answered. "Gilderoy Lockhart died a hero's death. Never saw anything like it. The monster was a basilisk, no doubt about that.
"He fought a basilisk by himself?" Dumbledore asked to make sure he'd heard right.
"Not just any basilisk, neither. This thing is bloody huge! I mean it's like he was fighting a snake as big round as the ruddy Knight Bus."
Dumbledore looked pale and closed his eyes for a moment. "I'm sorry, Gilderoy. I never meant for you to take on this burden. He wasn't even back up to full strength after his oblivation."
"Couldn't tell by looking. Wrapped all in its coils, wand broken in one of its eyes, fang embedded in his heart, and arm stuck all the way down its gullet... I'd never met the man, but I'd sure have liked to."
"Professor Lockhart... He's dead?" came a soft voice.
All eyes turned to the doorway. There, eyes wide, stood Hermione Granger. "H-he saved my life, you know. Harry came with Professor Lockhart and found me in the hallway. Draco wasn't so lucky."
Dumbledore swallowed before speaking in as kind a tone as he could manage. "Miss Granger, I think you should go see how Mister Potter is doing. I doubt very much that Madame Pomfrey will have released him yet... not after all he's been through.
"Okay..." She said softly.
The Perkins sent one of his men to accompany the young girl.
Harry, though there was nothing physically wrong with him, was sitting in a bed in the Hospital Wing. That bed was not easily visible near the doorway.
The auror came in escorting the young Gryffindor. Madame Pomfrey rushed over as soon as they crossed her threshold. "Is everything all right?" She inquired with great celerity.
"Everything's fine," said the wizard, but his eyes said otherwise. Madame Pomfrey picked up on it immediately.
"Miss Gran...Hermione, why don't you go visit Mister Potter. I think he could use one of you hugs right now. Can you do that for me?"
Hermione nodded somewhat woodenly and the matron steadily guided her around the corner to isolated bed Harry Potter normally occupied. Before she turned the corner, a glance over her shoulder made it quite clear that if he left, it had better be for a dire emergency.
She stepped around the corner with a rag wiping her hands. "Now, what happened to make Miss Granger so shell-shocked?"
"Professor Lockhart... he didn't make it."
She covered her mouth. "Why wasn't I called?"
"We didn't think there was anything you could do."
"Tell me everything."
-A short explanation and quick trip to the scene later-
"So, is there anything you could have done?"
"My diagnostics show that in addition to being petrified; several broken ribs were spearing his lungs, his heart had been impaled on a fang, and judging by the puddle of venom below the other fang, he'd had at least a liter pumped into his chest cavity. Repair to the lungs is impossible in a petrified state and
whereas I might be able to un-petrify the body... if the fang pierced the heart without an immediate application of Phoenix tears... well, I'm afraid even if he was un-petrified, then he wouldn't last long and the pain he would experience would be... considerable. Unable to breathe and in excruciating agony..." she sighed and continued in a grave voice. "There's nothing I can do." She shook her head. "There's nothing anyone can do."
Unrelated Omake: Truth
James walked forward and allowed the Auror to place a drop of truth serum under his tongue.
"Interrogation of James Potter to assertion what role he played in the deaths of a number of prominent purebloods," the Auror droned. "Present are Master Auror Moody, Director Crouch, James Potter, and myself, Auror Amelia Bones."
"State your name for the record," Moody ordered.
"James Potter," the prisoner droned.
"In your own words, tell us the events leading to the murders."
"I was alone in my house sitting down to dinner," James said flatly. "When the door was kicked open and a man wearing a death eater mask burst in."
Sirius came through the door, sans robes, sans pants, sans shirt, sans shoes, sans all but a death eater mask worn as a codpiece. "I be Voldemort, bitch!"
"He said he was Voldemort," James continued. "Then he pointed something at me and said imperio."
"Imperio," Sirius screamed, waving the chicken leg he'd stolen off his best friend's plate. The man shoved the chicken leg in his mouth, turned, bent over to expose his tremendously hairy ass, and let out a loud wet fart.
"It was horrible," James said, eyes haunted. "What he did . . . no one, I don't care who they are, no one should have to experience . . ." tears streamed from his eyes as he remembered how terribly pungent it had been.
"You don't have to explain exactly what happened," Moody said gently. "Did he order you to do anything?"
"Yes," James agreed.
Sirius tossed a piece of parchment on the table. "What we have here is a list of my followers that have failed me when they failed to kill your family. Why don't you go kill them all, in fact, I insist that you go kill all the wankers on that list."
"I tried to resist," James added. "But the urge to do what he told me to do was too strong."
"I think we know what happened next," Crouch said calmly. "Did he say why he wanted them dead?"
"He said that they'd failed him," James replied.
"Solves that mystery," Moody sighed. "What do you think, Director?"
"The suspect has testified that he was forced to commit the actions he did by the Dark Lord," Crouch pronounced. "As they were not done of his own free will, the suspect will be freed from Ministry Custody. Administer the antidote."
"Yes, Director," Auror Bones agreed.
"James," Crouch said after the man's eyes began to clear. "Just keep telling yourself that you didn't have a choice. It won't make things go back to the way they were before, but it will help you deal with the guilt."
"The worst thing was how much I remember enjoying it," James said in a hollow voice. "Every one of the . . ." he swallowed. "Victims is . . . was a suspect in the attack on my house that put my wife in the hospital."
"That's natural," Crouch assured the man. "How is she?"
"Going to make a full recovery," James said with a hint of grin. "Healers even managed to save the baby."
"Good. Would you like to be obliviated of what happened?"
"No, I . . . yes, but." James let his shoulders sag. "Can I think about it?"
"Just don't take too long," Crouch agreed. "Moody, take him to St. Mungos to see his wife. Charge the portkey fee to the department."
AN: The truth is both wonderful and terrible.
Typos by silvarmegami