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This article is about the character. For the chapter, see Gilderoy Lockhart
Gilderoy Lockhart
Lockhart - Office
Born January 26th
Died Still resides in the Janus Thickey Ward of St Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries.
Species Human
Parentage Muggle father, magical mother
Family Members Two muggle sisters
Affiliations None
Hogwarts House Ravenclaw
Wand Cherry and dragon heartstring, nine inches, slightly bendy
Special Abilities Accomplished at Memory Charms; devised hair-care system involving Occamy egg yolks, which guaranteed ‘locks of lustrous luminosity’ (the shampoos were indeed effective, but too dangerous and expensive to produce for the mass market)
Hobbies Autographing photographs of self, relentless self-promotion

Gilderoy Lockhart is the Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher in Harry Potter's second year at Hogwarts. He is also the author of most of that years' booklist.

New from J.K. Rowling

Birthday: 26th January
Wand: Cherry and dragon heartstring, nine inches, slightly bendy
Hogwarts house: Ravenclaw
Special abilities: Accomplished at Memory Charms; devised hair-care system involving Occamy egg yolks, which guaranteed ‘locks of lustrous luminosity’ (the shampoos were indeed effective, but too dangerous and expensive to produce for the mass market)
Parentage: Muggle father, magical mother
Family: Two Muggle sisters, no children
Hobbies: Autographing photographs of self, relentless self-promotion

Early Life

Born to a witch mother and a Muggle father, with two older sisters, Gilderoy Lockhart was the only one of his parents’ three children to show magical ability. A clever, good-looking boy, he was his mother’s unashamed favourite, and the realisation that he was also a wizard caused his vanity to blossom like a particularly pernicious weed.

School

The young Lockhart’s arrival at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry was not the triumph that he and his mother had expected. Somehow, Lockhart had not appreciated that he would be in a whole school full of witches and wizards, many of them more accomplished than himself. (In fact, he had visualized for himself an entrance into Hogwarts not unlike the one that Harry Potter experienced, decades later. He had imagined walking down the corridors to excited whispers of his magical prowess, it never having occurred to him that every student at Hogwarts had had similar experiences before starting school.) In Lockhart’s own mind he was already a fully-fledged hero and genius, and it was a most unwelcome shock to discover that his name was unknown, his talents were unexceptional and that nobody was particularly impressed by his naturally wavy hair.

This is not to say that Lockhart had no talent. Indeed, his teachers felt that he was of above-average intelligence and ability, and that, with hard work, he might make something of himself, even if he fell short of the ambitions he shared freely with classmates (Lockhart told anyone who would listen that he would succeed in making a Philosopher’s Stone before leaving school and that he intended to captain England’s Quidditch team to World Cup glory, before knuckling down to becoming Britain’s youngest Minister for Magic).

Sorted into Ravenclaw house, Lockhart was soon achieving good marks in his schoolwork, but there was always a kink in his nature that made him increasingly unsatisfied. If he was not first and best, he would rather not participate at all. Increasingly, he directed his talents towards short cuts and dodges. He valued learning not for its own sake, but for the attention it brought him. He craved prizes and awards. He lobbied the Headmaster to start a school newsletter, because he liked nothing better than to see his name and photograph in print. Never very popular, he nevertheless achieved his primary goal of school-wide recognition through repeated, attention-getting exploits. He received a week’s worth of detentions for magically carving his signature in twenty-foot-long letters into the Quidditch pitch. He managed to create a massive, illuminated projection of his own face, which he would send skywards in imitation of the Dark Mark. He sent himself eight hundred Valentine’s cards one year, which caused such a pile-up of owls in the Great Hall that breakfast had to be abandoned (far too many feathers and droppings in the porridge).

Post-Hogwarts Career

When Lockhart finally left Hogwarts, it was to a faint sigh of relief from the staff. He was soon heard of in foreign parts, where his exploits began garnering increasing publicity. Many of his ex-teachers began to feel that they might have misjudged him because he was demonstrating both bravery and resilience in ridding various far-flung places of dangerous, Dark creatures.

The truth was that Lockhart had found his true calling at last. He had never been a bad wizard, only a lazy one, and he had decided to hone his talents in one direction: Memory Charms. By perfecting this tricky spell, he had succeeded in modifying the recollections of a dozen highly accomplished and courageous witches and wizards, allowing him to take credit for their daring exploits, returning to Britain at the end of each ‘adventure’ with a new book ready for publication which retold ‘his’ feats of bravery with a wealth of invented detail.

Within a decade of leaving school, Lockhart had achieved bestseller status with his series of autobiographical books and a reputation as a world-class defender against the Dark Arts. He even received the Order of Merlin, Third Class, became an Honorary Member of the Dark Force Defence League and – his good looks untarnished by the many life-and-death, tooth-and-claw battles he claimed to have had with werewolves, banshees and the like – won Witch Weekly’s Most-Charming-Smile Award no less than five times in a row.

Return to Hogwarts

Many staff were baffled as to the reason that Albus Dumbledore chose to invite Gilderoy Lockhart back to Hogwarts as Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher. While it was true that it had become almost impossible to persuade anybody else to take the job (the rumour that it was cursed was gathering strength both inside and outside Hogwarts), many teachers remembered Lockhart as thoroughly obnoxious, whatever his later achievements.

Albus Dumbledore’s plans, however, ran deep. He happened to have known two of the wizards for whose life’s work Gilderoy Lockhart had taken credit, and was one of the only people in the world who thought he knew what Lockhart was up to. Dumbledore was convinced that Lockhart needed only to be put back into an ordinary school setting to be revealed as a charlatan and a fraud. Professor McGonagall, who had never liked Lockhart, asked Dumbledore what he thought students would learn from such a vain, celebrity-hungry man. Dumbledore replied that ‘there is plenty to be learned even from a bad teacher: what not to do, how not to be’.

Lockhart might not have been keen to return to Hogwarts, given how well his career of stolen glory was progressing, had Dumbledore not dangled the promise of Harry Potter over his fame-hungry head (a ruse that Dumbledore was to repeat four years later, when another teacher needed to be persuaded to come back to school). By subtly suggesting that teaching Harry Potter would set the seal on Lockhart’s fame, Dumbledore had set a lure that Lockhart could not resist.

By the time that he arrived at school, Lockhart’s magical skills (once rather good) had become rusty almost beyond repair. The only spell for which he had real ability was the Memory Charm, which he had been using repeatedly for years. His classes quickly became a charade, as he was revealed to be completely inept at everything in which he claimed, in his books, to be expert.

The accident that cost Lockhart his sanity occurred at the end of his year at Hogwarts, when he was hit by a backfiring Memory Charm that forever erased his past. He has since resided in the Janus Thickey Ward of St Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries.

From the Story

Gilderoy Lockhart is a famous wizard who has authored many books, he has a wide, white smile and wavy blond hair.

Discovered in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

At Flourish and Blotts, "Lucius Malfoy"[1]

The day that Harry, Ron and Hermione go to Diagon Alley to purchase their school supplies, Professor Lockhart is holding a well-attended book-signing at Flourish and Blotts. When he sees Harry in the audience he immediately pulls him into a joint photograph, claiming the two of them together merit the front page of the Daily Prophet. During this signing, he announces that he will be taking the position of Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher at Hogwarts.

Gilderoy Lockhart, "Cornish Pixies"[2]

On the first day of classes, Professor Lockhart chides Harry for flying the Ford Anglia to Hogwarts. He believes that their photo opportunity at Flourish and Blotts has given Harry a taste for the limelight and advises him to keep a lower profile until he is older.

Lockhart gives a quiz on the contents of his books during his first lesson. Question topics include his favourite colour and greatest achievement. He then releases a set of Cornish pixies into the room. When he fails to control the pixies using the incantation Peskipiksi Pesternomi, one of the pixies instead throws Lockhart’s wand out of the window. Lockhart asks Harry, Ron and Hermione to capture the rest and leaves abruptly.

Mudbloods and Murmurs, "Lockhart's Office"[3]

During detention, Harry assists Lockhart with his fan mail. Lockhart’s office is decorated with pictures of himself.

The Deathday Party, "Enemies of the Heir, Beware"[4]

After Mrs Norris is found Petrified, Lockhart claims incorrectly that she has been killed by the Transmogrifian Torture, and that he knows the counter-curse that would have saved her.

The Rogue Bludger, "Harry's Broken Arm"[5]

Harry, Ron and Hermione approach Lockhart to get a signed permission slip to take Moste Potente Potions out from the library so that they can get the Polyjuice Potion recipe. He signs it immediately, using a large peacock feather quill that makes Ron recoil.

After a rogue Bludger injures Harry, Lockhart claims that he can mend the bones; after twirling his wand and performing an unknown spell, he accidentally removes all the bones from Harry's arm instead.

Lockhart b2c11m2 rearground

Lockhart at the Duelling Club

The Duelling Club, "Harry and Draco's Duel"[6]

Lockhart starts a Duelling Club in December. He gives a demonstration with Professor Snape, who blasts him off the stage with a Disarming Charm.

The Very Secret Diary, "Valentine's Day"[7]

Lockhart arranges for a Valentine’s Day celebration at Hogwarts. Heart-shaped confetti falls from the ceiling, the walls are covered in large pink flowers, and a dozen dwarfs dressed as cupid deliver Valentines to students throughout the day.

The Chamber of Secrets, "The Entrance to The Chamber"[8]

Keen to get Lockhart out of the way, some of the Hogwarts professors encourage him to enter the Chamber of Secrets himself and confront the monster, since he has been boasting not only about knowing where the Chamber is, but also what's inside it. He goes back to his office and is preparing to flee the school, when Harry and Ron confront him and force him to come with them to the Chamber.

Once Harry, Ron and Lockhart have descended down the pipe behind the sink in Moaning Myrtle's bathroom, Lockhart attempts to wipe Harry and Ron’s memory, but uses Ron’s broken wand to do so. The spell backfires, causing a rockfall that separates he and Ron from Harry. Ron tries to shift the rocks while Harry goes on alone.

Dobby's Reward, "Dumbledore Returns"[9]

The spell that backfires on Lockhart wipes his memory. He no longer remembers who or where he is.


Lockhart - Closed Ward

Lockhart signing autographs in the Janus Thickey Ward

Discovered in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Christmas on the Closed Ward, "The Closed Ward"[10]

Lockhart has been living in the Janus Thickey Ward for long-term residents on the Spell Damage floor at St Mungo's since a Memory Charm backfired on him in the Chamber of Secrets. He is wearing a long, lilac dressing gown when Harry, Ron and Hermione enter the floor, and offers to give them an autograph, seeming perfectly happy with his situation. He is very proud that he is now able to do joined-up handwriting. He gazes intently at Harry for a few moments, sure that they have met before, but shows no recognition when they tell him he used to teach at Hogwarts. Lockhart is led back to his ward by a motherly-looking Healer, followed reluctantly by Harry, Ron, Ginny and Hermione. According to the Healer, Lockhart is a danger to himself, as he wanders off and often can't remember how to get back.

Lockhart is annoyed when Harry, Ron, Hermione and Ginny are distracted by Neville and Augusta Longbottom in the ward, and petulantly tells them that he hasn't learned joined-up writing for nothing, keen to autograph photographs for them.

Books

Gilderoy Lockhart has written several books.

References

  1. Gilderoy Lockhart (character) (as of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 4) on Pottermore
  2. Gilderoy Lockhart (character) (as of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 6) on Pottermore
  3. Gilderoy Lockhart (character) (as of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 7) on Pottermore
  4. Gilderoy Lockhart (character) (as of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 8) on Pottermore
  5. Gilderoy Lockhart (character) (as of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 10) on Pottermore
  6. Gilderoy Lockhart (character) (as of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 11) on Pottermore
  7. Gilderoy Lockhart (character) (as of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 13) on Pottermore
  8. Gilderoy Lockhart (character) (as of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 16) on Pottermore
  9. Gilderoy Lockhart (character) (as of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 18) on Pottermore
  10. Gilderoy Lockhart (character) (as of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 18) on Pottermore

See also

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