Under Evan and Hermione’s amazed gaze, their ex-Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher pushed open the doors and moved toward them, wearing a long lilac dressing gown that looked the same as before.
“Well, hello there!” he said. “I expect you’d like my autograph, would you?”
Evan and Hermione shook their heads, indicating that they didn’t need it.
Looking at Professor Lockhart in front, Hermione did not have much sympathy.
She just felt particularly awkward. She felt that she used to be too naive to worship such a person.
Because of the books Lockhart wrote, Hermione once thought that he was the greatest wizard in the world, and she even was able to recite the contents of each book.
But all of that was fake, and Lockhart was just stealing other people’s achievements.
A year ago in the Chamber of secrets, he was going to erase the memories of Evan, Harry, Ron and Hermione with the Memory Charm. Fortunately, he used Ron’s broken wand, and the spell ended up hitting him.
In short, Hermione fully recognized the true face of Lockhart as she faced him now.
In reality, Evan somewhat missed the days of Lockhart. He might not be a good professor, but his presence was really convenient.
Whether it was the difficulties encountered in the operation of the newspaper, the approval of the Restricted Section of the library, escaping Snape or Flich’s punishment, or giving Gryffindor points, in many ways, Lockhart provided a lot of help to Evan.
Of course, in his opinion, Evan was also his most loyal reader.
“Er … how are you, Professor?” Evan hesitated and asked softly.
“I’m very fine indeed, thank you!” said Lockhart exuberantly, pulling a rather battered peacock-feather quill from his pocket. “Now, how many autographs would you like? I can do joined-up writing now, you know!”
“Oh, we don’t want any at the moment, thanks,” Hermione quickly waved her hand.
At the end of the last semester, she threw all of Lockhart’s signatures she had collected into the stove and burned them, leaving none.
“Professor, should you be wandering around the corridors? Shouldn’t you be in a ward?” Evan looked around, as Lockhart’s ward should be nearby.
“You call me Professor; have we met before?” The smile faded slowly from Lockhart’s face. For a few moments he gazed intently at Evan and Hermione.
“Yes, we have. You used to teach us at Hogwarts, remember?”
“Teach?” repeated Lockhart, looking faintly unsettled. “Me? Did I?”
After getting a positive answer, the smile reappeared upon his face so suddenly it was rather alarming.
“Taught you everything you know, I expect, did I?” Lockhart said with a smile. “Well, how about those autographs, then? Shall we say a round dozen, you can give them to all your little friends then and nobody will be left out!”
Evan and Hermione looked at each other and they quietly stepped back.
“We have to go, Professor!” said Evan. “You know, the two of us just came out to buy drinks, and our friends are still waiting for us.”
“Are they also Hogwarts students?!” Lockhart said cheerfully, “I can go with you. Maybe they will need my autograph too.”
No one would ask for his autograph, and with the temper of Sirius, the mad Lockhart would definitely be thrown out.
But just then, a head poked out of a door at the far end of the corridor and a voice said, “Gilderoy, you naughty boy, where have you wandered off to?”
A motherly looking Healer wearing a tinsel wreath in her hair came bustling up the corridor, smiling warmly at Evan and Hermione.
“Oh Gilderoy, you’ve got visitors! How lovely, and on Christmas Day too! Do you know, he never gets visitors, poor lamb, and I can’t think why, he’s such a sweetie, aren’t you?”
Evan and Hermione both knew why, they could tell her that with the current Lockhart’s notoriety in the wizarding world, no one would visit him.
Currently, whenever Lockhart was mentioned, people often added the word “fake”.
For Lockhart, living in this delusion for the rest of his life might be the best possible outcome.
“Autographs!” Gilderoy told the Healer with another glittering smile. “They want loads of them, won’t take no for an answer! I just hope we’ve got enough photographs!”
“Listen to him,” said the Healer, taking Lockhart’s arm and beaming fondly at him as though he were a precocious two-year-old. “He was rather well known a few years ago; we very much hope that this liking for giving autographs is a sign that his memory might be coming back a little bit. Will you step this way? He’s in a closed ward, you know, he must have slipped out while I was bringing in the Christmas presents, the door’s usually kept locked …”
Noticing the expression on Evan and Hermione’s faces, she lowered her voice to a whisper, “It’s not that he’s dangerous! But…bit of a danger to himself, bless him… Doesn’t know who he is, you see, wanders off and can’t remember how to get back… It is nice of you to have come to see him!”
If it hadn’t been for the wand he was using, it would have been Evan, Harry, Ron and Hermione to be in the ward.
They had just finished fighting with the Basilisk, all of them were at the end of the battle, and they had no ability to resist.
Thinking of this, Evan and Hermione lost any trace of sympathy that had built up in their hearts for Lockhart.
“I’m sorry, but we just happened to pass by!” Hermione shook her drink. “We’ve come to see Ron Weasley. He’s in that room.”
“I know Ron, a cute red-haired boy. I heard that he helped the famous Sirius Black clear up his name, which is really amazing!” The Healer smiled and said, “Although you are not specifically visiting Gilderoy, can you come to his ward for a while before you go back? He looks familiar with both of you. It shouldn’t take much time, and this may help him.”
Hearing what she said, both felt that refusal would seem too unreasonable.
Evan and Hermione could only nod, and followed Lockhart and his Healer along the corridor to the opposite direction to Ron’s ward.
The Healer pointed her wand at the door of the Janus Thickey ward and muttered “Alohomora”, and the door swung open.
She led the way inside, keeping a firm grasp on Gilderoy’s arm until she had settled him into an armchair beside his bed.
Compared to Ron’s ward, it was cold and clear.
Everything was white, even the temperature was a few degrees lower than the outside.
There are no recreational facilities in the ward, only cold treatment equipment. Evan could hardly imagine how terrible it would be to live there all the time.
“This is our long-term resident ward,” she informed Evan and Hermione in a low voice. “For permanent spell damage, you know. Of course, with intensive remedial potions and charms and a bit of luck, we can produce some improvement… Gilderoy does seem to be getting back some sense of himself, but most of the others show no signs of improvement.”
T/N: Hey there, this is Translating_Wizard. I hope you like the story so far and are happy with the releases, I just posted chapter 352 in Patreon! If you’re interested in supporting me and reading more chapters, hit the button below ^^