For those of you who have read A Parents Secret Gift, I made a small miscalculation when I added up the Hogwarts fees. It's 1200 Galleons not 4000. 4000 Galleons is equal to 30000 US$ or 20000 British Pounds or 29000 Euros. That's a little expensive for a boarding school. How are the Weasleys affording that? The cost is between 2350 to 5500 British pounds per term per student.
Prelude - A Headmaster's Lament
Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, Order of Merlin, First Class, and Grand Sorcerer; Supreme Mugwump of the International Confederation of Wizards; Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot Also famous for defeating the dark wizard Grindelwald in 1945 and discovering the twelve uses of dragon blood sat at his desk in his office and frowned.
The headmaster was once again in his perennial quest for a Defence Against the Dark Arts professor seeing how the last one had been placed into a coma induced by an unorthodox exorcism performed by an eleven year old boy.
The headmaster looked to his avian companion, Fawkes.
"What evil deeds have I done in my past lives to be cursed with such incompetent defence professors?"
The Phoenix simply chirped a soothing tone.
"Yes well, that's all good for you to say, you're immortal."
The headmaster rubbed his temples.
"One would think that over thirty years of searching for a defence teacher would have made me immune to these headaches but no." the headmaster said quietly to himself.
Turning back to the applications on hand, the headmaster looked at the most "promising" candidate. One Gilderoy Lockhart. In actuality, Lockhart was the only candidate. The headmaster looked over the application. It certainly was impressive. Lockhart was a household name in Wizarding England, he had written at least eight books on his various escapades. Hopefully he would give a good impression during the interview process.
"If I could only convince Remus to take the position. Even with his condition, he would still be a much more palatable candidate."
Apparently Fawkes agreed with his companion as he thrilled a consoling note.
"Come in Minerva, the door is open."
The aforementioned professor opened the door looking annoyed.
"I will figure it out one of these days Albus."
The headmaster simply gave her a happy smile.
The deputy headmistress simply rolled her eyes and sat down in her usual chair.
"So, Mr. Lockhart should be here any minute now. I wonder why he has decided to join us in a teaching position. After all it's not every day someone with the Order of Merlin third class offers to settle down for a teaching position."
The headmaster simply shrugged and popped another Lemon Drop in his mouth.
Twenty-five minutes after the appointed time, Lockhart arrived.
The man was dressed in expensive, powder blue robes. His blonde hair was immaculately styled. He swept into the room and gave the transfiguration teacher a dazzling smile. The shine from his perfect teeth could almost illuminate a room.
"Oh good, were all here. I was hoping I wouldn't have to wait too long." said the incumbent Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher.
"It is we who have been waiting for you Mr. Lockhart. Your appointment was over twenty minutes ago."
Lockhart gave the headmaster a toothy grin.
"I'm sorry headmaster. You know what it's like being a rather popular celebrity yourself. I arrived in Hogsmeade and was swarmed by my adoring fans." replied Lockhart in a fake pained voice.
"Yes, well one of the things we look for in a teacher is a person with a sense of responsibility and one good sign of that is arriving on time for your interview." said a thin lipped McGonagall.
Lockhart's grin faltered for a fraction of a second and when it returned it was a bit more subdued.
"I understand professor. I do but I was literally swarmed. Of course, this would not happen much after the first week or so in school." Lockhart said placatingly.
"Yes, well let us continue with the interview then." interjected the headmaster. "Mr. Lockhart, in your application you submitted your book list. I see here that each year has been assigned a copy of your own books. If you could explain your rational in replacing the tried and true books such as Confronting the Faceless or Self-Defensive Spellwork. Also, why the same book list for all years?"
Lockhart looked much less sure of himself now.
"Well, one can only teach what ones knows and my books are real world examples of applied defence. As to the reason for having the same book list for each year? Well the books cover a wide range of material. Each has something of value for each year."
The questions continued in the same vein for quite a time and the more the interview continued, the less confident Lockhart appeared. He had begun to sweat and his hair had become lost much of it's bounce.
"Well Mr. Lockhart, we will let you know of our decision in the next three days. We thank you for coming."
Lockhart simply nodded and left the office in a hurry.
Once the deputy headmistress was assured that Lockhart had left she turned to the headmaster with a look of incredulity on her face.
"Is he really the best candidate? What about Remus, he would be a great teacher."
"Remus is too afraid that his condition would endanger the children. He will only take the position if we truly have no other choice."
"I can't believe I'm suggesting this but what of Sirius Black? His defence scores were excellent and he had just completed his Auror training when the ... incident happened."
The headmaster chuckled merrily.
"You must have very strong misgivings to suggest letting Sirius Black back into these halls, much less as a teacher. I'm afraid Minerva that we don't have a choice. Sirius is not well enough yet to even take care of his godson, we cannot ask him to take care of thousands of students. Also, the board would bring his current mental evaluation into consideration and would refuse him on those grounds. I am afraid that it will have to be Gilderoy Lockhart after all."
Minerva McGonagall's shoulders slumped as she admitted defeat.
"This will not end well Albus, mark my words."
"Well Minerva, at least I am fairly certain he does not have the spirit of a dark lord guiding his every decision."