A.N: I didn't originally intend to take the story apart like this, it was supposed to be a oneshot, really, but somehow that didn't work out too well. Still, at least after this chapter I can answer the question why this story was previously titled "The Masterplan" - that didn't work out too well either^^. Oh well, I'll make this short, most people don't read these notes anyway.
Oh and last time I guess I forgot the disclaimer!
So here it is: I own nothing, nada, niente! All rights go to J.K. Rowling. Except Mimsy, she's mine, mine, and ONLY mine - maybe she should get a bigger role for that...? We'll see ;)
Time: 5 years previous, Location: Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardy
Blue sky, no clouds in sight.
Yours truly was just coming back to my rooms from a short trip to the greenhouses, after another delightfully amusing conversation with our young Harry Potter. It is always so much fun to confuse and rile other people up...
As if I would really believe that wizarding Britain benefited more from my charming smile than from the defeat of He-Must-Not-Be-Named. Really! But I guess that's what you get, after carefully cultivating a superficial personality such as mine for so many years.
Were I not so successful in my dealings, I might regret the path I chose when I was just a measly bespectacled sixth year. But I AM successful, so I don't regret following my truly genius plan. I admit, first it was just a desire for revenge that drove me, revenge on the classmates that bullied - or worse ignored me - for my lack of magical ability. Revenge on my parents for daring to be disappointed and dismissive of me, focusing all their love on my younger sister, when it was their genes that caused my disability. Thankfully, later this desire for revenge developed into something more, something much MUCH more, otherwise you all might have had an extremely bitter man in the position to do much damage – don't underestimate the power of good publicity!
Good for you that I despised politics in my younger days – way too much paperwork. Well, let's just say that there was a reason I was sorted into Ravenclaw, and not into Hufflepuff like these other misfits with herd-mentality. Although I think that some of my former class – and housemates also need their brains checked, since they seem to have developed some sense of hero-worship for me, even though they knew me personally and witnessed my struggles with the simplest of spells. And that's not just the ones that absolutely should not have their brains checked ("I deny everything. I deny even the slightest tinyest littlest bit of involvement!")… they all seem awed to have attended school with a nationwide – worldwide, really – celebrity. ("Not to show off or anything...")
Classmates who ousted me till the very end of the dining table back then, scream for my autograph nowadays, ask me to marry them, tell their co-workers proudly of our joined adventures in school... parents who looked at me with pity and slight disgust invite me to dinner every other day…
Life is good, even though the people in it are sheep. That seems to be a phenomenon not solely restricted to rosy-cozy Huffledumps.
I could just imagine these people's expressions, should I ever say that to their faces. Not that I would, of course. No reason to rattle things up. Unnecessarily, that is.
I look at my watch ("the Golden Timekeeper 1884? A truly spectacular choice Mr. Lockhart, truly spectacular!") and see that it is almost time for lunch. Contemplating the past is always such an ungrateful, unpleasant, and arduous task. I lock my door behind me – no use in tempting daring little lions without just cause – and make my way to the Great Hall.
Ah, Harry Potter, delightfully innocent – or not completely innocent, if rumors of last year's Defense professor's terrifying end are to be believed –, cutely confused – not that I'm into pedophilia, mind you – adorable endearing boy. For a twelve year old he truly is tiny, one can only speculate towards the reasons for that… ah but it is not my place, I guess, to say anything. Dumbledore knows best, at least I hope he does, the boy deserves it for all that he has done.
Such innocence, yet such old eyes in one so young. The combination seems impossible, yet it is not. Every time I see him, I seek to distract him from the horrors of the world, to engage him. Oh, he does not understand the irony of my life, but at least I can occupy his thoughts with the irony of my words. I know my efforts are futile, the fight already lost before it even started… his eyes visit my dreams. They have seen too much, too much already. He is only twelve!
I have to drag my eyes away from his, for they have immediately unconsciously sought his emerald green ones the moment he stepped through the door, a tiny smudge of dirt on his cheek. 'Herbology', I remember. My eyes meet the Headmaster's twinkling blue ones, but for once his eyes do not convey mischievous joy. They are solemn and he has this sad little smile, as if he knew what I was reflecting about. Knowing him, he probably does. He truly is the greatest sorcerer of our time. I feel small under his heavy gaze, and quickly avert my eyes, jump out of my chair and swiftly exit the hall.
Some of the students' pause in their talks and quickly look to me, but most of them are already acclimated to my strange habits and barely pause in their chatter, which probably was one of the Headmaster's goal, manipulative that he is. Where best to nip senseless adoration and hero-worship but in the bud? Children are like blank slates in that way, which is one of the reasons the 'records' of 'my accomplishments' are written in narrative form. Dumbledore must have seen it.
Still, I don't overestimate my importance in the grand scheme of things, he must have had some other, purely Dumbledoresque reasons for employing me. He, unlike my schoolmates, certainly has a long memory and does not suffer from delusional herd-mentality, as is proven every single day by his increasingly atrocious choice in apparel.
Now that I am far from his heavy gaze, I don't know what to occupy my now free time with. There is still one measly hour until classes start, too little to go to Hogsmead for a pinch... not that a person of my calibre would really contemplate to go to a place as plebeian as this - or rather, not that I could go there without being overrun by my sometimes loathsome fans.
Homework – if you could call a treatise on the importance of my favourite colour and shampoo as a suitable Defense homework that – is all corrected and ready for the students' inspection.
'Will they mind the slight scent of lavender the lilac corrective ink emits, I wonder? Well if they do, they will just have to deal with it. I love being a teacher sometimes.
I settle myself towards wandering the halls for the remainder of the hour, when I come across a curious sight. Professor Trelawney, who in my opinion has not done all that much more than I for her reputable title, is sitting on the ground right in the middle of the hallway, her eyes glazed over. I immediately assume her to be drunk on firewhisky, since the smell seems to cling to her even more strongly then normally. She is murmuring something, too low for me to hear.
I let my mask down a bit, she is too drunk to remember it anyway:
"Sybill, you have to get up, do you want the students to see you like this? Or the headmaster? He would have your head, as you well know. Sybill!"
She doesn't move, nor show that she acknowledges me in any way and keeps on muttering.
"Sybill, drinking in private, that's one thing but here?" I sigh. "Okay, let's help you up to your tower, I bet you have a sobering potion somewhere, otherwise you'd never attend any class of yours."
I go down on my knees to pick her up, but before I get to help her,
I notice that I can understand her whispering: "No, no, no, I can't stop seeing, I don't want to see. No. Please, it's too much. Too much red. Too much blood. No, no, no, it can't be real. I don't want to see. It's too much. No no…"
I am too shocked to react, because now I can smell that her breath does not carry the smell of alcohol at all, that her eyes are not glazed over like those of a drunk, but that they seem to have a certain milky-white sheen. A sheen generally associated with seers. Real seers, not the fraud I expected Trelawney to fraud that to my knowledge everyone assumed her to be.
Seems I remain the only true fraud on the staff. And what she Sees seems to be pretty bad. I let out a slightly hysterical giggle and sit down on the floor in front of her. I take a deep breath and calm myself. The future might still not be too horrible, who knows, perhaps there might even the possibility of a new book? Can't let my good 'deeds' be forgotten in the public's eyes...
"What do you see, Sybill? What do you See?"
And she tells me. She tells me of blood, and death, of horrors never imagined, of the "Dark One" returning, the Dark One who was defeated once already, who was "thrice denied", who made the ones he marked as 'his' carry symbols of time and death, of wisdom and servitude on their arms,…
I knew who she meant.
I guess I had known from the beginning.
… she talked of the one with lightening fervor, of the one with Death's mark and a mother's love … she talked of possibilities. Of the Apocalypse, and the one way to prevent it. The way which was narrow and small, where the hero was lost and alone. For "no guidance should be given, no strength should be lent, lest the worst come to pass"…
... She was weeping, but her eyes were suddenly surprisingly clear: "He is alone, all alone! And it will be Apocalypse for him either way, because they won't leave him alone, the masses. And he will loose everything, he who gave everything and persisted. What world is this, where cruelty runs rampart in the kindest faces, in the warmest offers? What spiteful world abuses their heroes? And we can't help him, we shan't…"
... she goes back to mumbling, her eyes milky white again.
But then she suddenly stops, shakes her head and looks at me with slightly unfocused eyes, amplified by her glasses: "I'm afraid I can't help you, Gilderoy dear boy, the tea leaves have ascertained that my time in this corridor is past, I must go to my afternoon class, Mr. Belby will have an extraordinary breakthrough today and I shan't miss it." She picks herself up quickly, wipes her eyes distractedly on the hems of her sleeves and hurries past me without once looking back.
I stay seated on the floor. The cool stone helps me focus my thoughts. To doubt the prediction does not cross my mind at all. I am already debating different possibilities of action concerning the knowledge, to help or to profit, and how?, when I suddenly remember her words on interference:
"…lest the worst come to pass…"
Well, that settles it. I gulp. But slowly a bitter smile starts creeping over my face. She said no interference with Harrys' task, but she didn't say anything about afterwards, did she?
I suddenly wonder whether Mr. Belby will really have a breakthrough today... but then my thoughts turn back to the matter at hand. Should I ... should I really? Isn't there any other w - a loud pop to my right.
I shake myself out of these useless contemplations and turn to look at my long-time companion, my only companion, really.
"This is what I want you to do…"
Sooo... what do you think now? Does it have potential? I think so. It's not gonna be a very long fic, certainly, but two or three more chapters are sure to come. REVIEW!
A.N: Alright, alright I admit it, okay? I was too lazy to invent a proper sounding prophecy that does convey the appropriate black sense of doom while avoiding the traps of either becoming a nursery rhyme or becoming ridiculous in their mysteriousness. Besides, it was not a proper 'prophecy' in that sense, but rather an accretion of knowledge of different possibilities of the future (war), so Gilderoy knew a lot more than this annoying "neither can live while the other survives".
A.N.2: Believe it or not, this story started out with the title "The Masterplan". Gilderoy was supposed to be the Bad Guy who planned everything masterfully in order to steal Harry Potter's glory after the eventual defeat of Voldemort, all the while driving Harry out of the country/ imprisoning him/ making him hated by the wizarding populace. This is the third story out of three that was supposed to have a really evil bad guy/ end in tragedy, and I'm becoming homicidal – or rather, as it seems, predisposed to more and more fluffiness. Whyy can't my bad guys stay bad?
AN3: Since I'm sometimes strangely fond of Dumbledore myself – I'm reading "Wand Cores" by Lydia-kitten at the moment and it opened up a whole new perspective for me – I think that he wouldn't have hired Lockhart completely without reason (or whatever passes as reason for a 'barmy old coot' such as him^^): he could have wanted to see just what his old student was up to and perhaps deliver some genial warnings accompanied by lemon drops, or whether someone could figure Gilderoy out, or he could have wanted to keep him from causing too much trouble at least for a year, or he could have decided that his golden locks were so fascinatingly brilliant, that all the automatic response towards his appearance – to blink – was a defensive measure by itself. Who knows how Albus' genius mind works, really?
AN4: yes, 'loyalists' is deliberate
REVIEW PLEASE! But don't burn mee... ^^