I'm baaaaaack. I've done some retconning. I will keep certain elements from Nocturnal (probably the bits you love the most), but some things, mostly the squicky parts, will be very pointedly forgotten.

The following is set immediately after Flitwick's epic crotch shot and Lockhart's dismissal. Consider it a preview of things to come.


As Gilderoy Lockhart gingerly made his way down Diagon Alley, he lamented the end of his winning streak.

A winning streak was exactly what he'd enjoyed for the last few years - a meteoric rise to prominence, with all the expected benefits. He had money, the adoration of thousands of witches across Britain, and the sort of hair that made muggle news anchors jealous. And then came the prestigious opportunity to teach at Hogwarts.

Not only were the little scamps a captive audience, he'd also managed to charm a witch on the board of governors into making all of his books required reading for his class. He closed his eyes for a moment and savored the memory of his first check from the publisher after the school year started. So much gold.

A twinge from his aching groin brought him back to earth. He gave a pitiful, high-pitched moan through clenched teeth.

Of course, even such an esteemed position as Defense instructor was not without its trouble spots. There was some expectation of practical wandwork, which was not his strong suit. He was really more of a motivational speaker than a warrior, as evidenced by his heavily bruised testicles.

There was some unfortunate splitting of the limelight - only to be expected with two saviors of the wizarding world under one roof. There were even some embarrassing public mishaps, like the duel with the potions master and the doxy incident, but he'd played those off well enough.

It was all fine until he tried to re-appropriate a very heroic memory from the charms professor. The tiny man had surprised him - that much, he had to admit. He assumed that the former duelist's guard would be lowered during a friendly chat with a colleague. That assumption turned out to be wildly inaccurate.

He winced at the memory of the blow.

Given the choice, Lockhart would have preferred a disarming spell. Anything short of the Cruciatus seemed like a better option at the moment. It had been six hours and he still felt as though his plums were on their way to becoming prunes.

So his tenure at Hogwarts had been short. It wasn't the end of the world. He'd still sold a truly ridiculous volume of books. The publisher's check dwarfed the monthly stipend he received for teaching. He could probably retire if he was thrifty for the rest of his days - not that he wanted to retire, of course. Either way, he'd be comfortable for a good, long time.

As soon as he could find some proper painkillers, that is.

Ultimately he decided on Firewhiskey. He made up an amusing story for the barmaid about being headbutted by a tiny admirer coming in for a hug. "Some of the little ones get so excited, and they don't quite consider their angle of approach." He'd chuckled after downing his first glass. She was quite sympathetic, and he could tell by the look in her eye that she might have been willing to inspect the injury herself, but he really couldn't bear the thought of the sort of jostling the "inspection" might entail. He considered that his second defeat of the day. A groupie wasted was a terrible thing. A wasted groupie, on the other hand...

As the trademark burning numbness of Firewhiskey set in, Gilderoy set about planning his next move. How would he spin his resignation? The papers were sure to hear something soon, and he really needed to stay ahead of the truth if he didn't want his image to suffer. He reached into his jacket for some scratch paper, intending to grab a four by six glossy and write on the back. His brow furrowed in confusion as his fingers touched something unexpected. It was paper, but not the kind he'd been expecting. He pulled the anomaly out and flattened it on the bar.

It looked like a page ripped out of a book. Not one of his - it was blank and the edges weren't gilded. (He'd insisted on gilded edges for his own books, of course. Presentation was paramount, he'd always said.) He racked his brain, trying to remember where he'd gotten a solitary blank page.

Of course! The diary in the headmaster's office. He'd gone in with the intention of begging off and asking the old coot to help him look for a replacement, but instead of finding Dumbledore behind the headmaster's desk, Gilderoy found the largest book he'd ever seen. On its gargantuan pages sat one word - hello. Ever the fastidious note-taker - a necessary habit if one was going to turn an interview into a credible tale of heroism, which he often did - he grabbed a quill and set about making a list in the margin.

DADA professor candidates

For the next several minutes, that was as far as he got. He paced up and down the headmaster's office, hoping for inspiration. Who was going to take this bloody job? Somebody had to, or - he frowned - he did not want to have to explain himself to the aurors. He even shuffled through some of the papers on the headmaster's desk to see if any pieces of correspondence jumped out at him, but nothing obvious appeared. Gilderoy abandoned the desk and began pacing again - he always thought better when he was moving. He threw a glance at the book only to find that the giant greeting had disappeared. Even more strangely, his tiny note in the margin had been blown up and... answered?

DADA professor candidates

-Tom Riddle

"Who the bloody hell is Tom Riddle?" He wondered aloud.

The book made no effort to answer him. It then occurred to him that it might only deal in text. He had seen very expensive personal assistant books that could understand simple written queries and commands - perhaps the headmaster had one? He flipped through the enormous pages until he was at the beginning of the book, but found every one blank. Dumbledore was just playing with it, then. No harm in letting it do some legwork for me.

He stopped on the first page and re-inked the quill. Where can I find Tom Riddle?

The ink seeped into the page and disappeared. Immediately after it vanished, it came back, spelling out new words in unfamiliar handwriting.

I am the diary of Tom Riddle. I contain his wisdom, and I am well-qualified for the position you wish to fill. Tom Riddle was the top of his year in DADA four years running and later became a widely-recognized authority on dark magic.

"You're hired." Lockhart declared cheerily. Flesh or not, the diary was certainly more qualified than he was. He whipped out his wand and began shrinking the diary, grinning in the manner of one who'd tripped over a sack of gold.

Yes, must've been the diary. Can't remember pinching a page though. Can't remember getting it to the classroom, for that matter. I did though - didn't I? He nodded to reassure himself. He gave his third Firewhiskey a look of appraisal and downed it. It was clearly working. His battered bollocks would soon be soothed.

As he began to puzzle out the situation on the pilfered paper, he was pleasantly surprised to find that its enchanted memory still remained. It offered helpful suggestions and counterpoints as he wrote. He reasoned that he must have been especially drunk, because the solitary scrap of paper seemed to offer insight beyond what he'd imagined possible for an inanimate object. Memories were one thing, but the only things he'd known to be capable of insight were portraits, most of which resided in Hogwarts. This Riddle bloke's work was top-notch.

When it became a struggle to remain upright, Gilderoy took a room for the night over the pub. He'd gone all-in when he moved to Hogwarts, assuming he'd be there for a while, so he had no home to go back to at the moment. The barmaid declared that his money was no good there - likely hoping for a ride on the Lockhart Express, as witches often did. Her plans were stymied by the deplorable condition of the Express's twin coal cars as well as Lockhart's persistent bleariness after an evening of heavy drinking.

Lockhart fell into the deep sleep of a man in retreat, still clutching the page of helpful notes which had promised to continue working on the problem while he slept. As he slumbered, battered, drunk, and halfway out of his trousers, he dreamt strange dreams, and the ink on the page roiled of its own accord.