Oh God Not Again! - Kapitola 12

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Note: Sorry it took so long for me to update. Between making personalized Christmas Cards and studying for finals (not to mention actually taking them), I was kind of swamped. And I gotta say, 80 reviews...just...wow. You guys are great.
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As Professor McGonagall handed out the schedules, she paused to inform Harry and Ron that Ron's parents had flooed over their trunks. Surprisingly, Harry had completely forgotten that he'd left the trunks in the car when he'd sent it back and so he hadn't even been worried. He probably would have noticed that they didn't have any belongings at the school except that the all-night party had ended just half an hour ago, so there really hadn't been time. That would explain how Mrs. Weasley knew that they'd taken the car, though. Ah well, the lack of supplies could have been really bad but catastrophe averted.
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Hermione had wanted to head out to the greenhouses early, but Ron and Harry insisted on going back for their supplies. According to her, they shouldn't have been so irresponsible as to forget them, but, well, they were.
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one more toe out of line
Once they finally reached the greenhouses, they saw the rest of the class already standing outside. And pointing and laughing at the panicked expression on Ron, Neville, and Hermione's faces as the four raced across the grounds. Harry, on the other hand, would have preferred being late as that almost certainly would have ended up meaning a loss of house points. Speaking of, maybe he should admit to hijacking the car after all, that should be good for at least a hundred points lost. Still, Harry wasn't quite sure if that would be worth the 'one more toe out of line' threat or giving up the notoriety of getting away with it.
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Professor Sprout didn't even seem to notice their tardiness, however, as she was too busy trying to see just how much her body language could scream 'GO AWAY AND SHUT UP I DON'T CARE' to Gilderoy Lockhart before he'd take a hint. Unfortunately for her, Lockhart was immune to such mundane things as whether or not his listener was seconds away from stabbing him with a spade.
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"Greenhouse Three today chaps!" Professor Sprout managed to get out when Lockhart paused to take a breath. When Lockhart's eyes swept over the class appraisingly, she made good her escape.
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Harry, still looking to lose points, took his time and paid for that dearly. No sooner had he begun to lag behind then Lockhart spotted him.
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"Harry!" Lockhart shouted, sounding far more enthusiastic than he had any right being. "I've been wanting a word – you don't mind if he's a couple minutes late, do you…Oh dear, I do believe she's left already. Well, I'm sure she won't mind at any rate." He eyed Harry critically. "Harry, Harry, Harry. When I heard - well, of course, it was all my fault. Could have kicked myself. Don't know when I've been more shocked. Flying a car to Hogwarts!"
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"Um, actually Professor, the rumor is that I flew a car to the Express. And I'm not actually admitting to anything, mind you, so you don't need to worry that people will think you've been a bad influence on me," Harry reassured him, wondering vaguely why Lockhart felt the need to keep saying his name. It was kind of creepy. And rather irritating; he didn't like his name THAT much.
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Lockhart chuckled. "Of course, of course. It'll be our little secret. Still, of course, I knew at once why you'd done it. Stood out a mile. Harry, Harry, Harry."
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Harry twitched. Seriously, if Lockhart didn't quit this annoying habit of repeating his name over and over and sounding rather perverted, Harry couldn't possibly be held responsible for his actions during the Cornish Pixie…lesson, he supposed was the word, but they really hadn't learned anything except Hermione was smarter than their Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor and really, hadn't they all already thought that? Well, the male students, at least. And the non-enamored females.
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"Because I under the mistaken impression that you were Draco Malfoy, you didn't get to make the front page with me and so you had no choice but to fly a car *to the Express* in order to finally get that publicity I just know you've been craving," Lockhart beamed, clearly proud.
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Harry just stared at Lockhart. Did he even read the paper? "But…I didn't make the front page. It wasn't even mentioned in the paper at all because no one has any proof that there's more truth in that than the persistent rumors that my Draco Malfoy is the lovechild of Narcissa Malfoy and Professor Snape."
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Lockhart chuckled. "Ah, yes. I did hear about that. I didn't want to say anything, of course, but I've always suspected…in fact, I made sure to mention that fact in my autobiography. Now everyone can know the truth of such a touching love story. Why, it's a modern day Romeo and Juliet, isn't it?"
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Harry had to fight to the urge to burst out laughing. Oh, Draco was going to *kill* him.
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"I feel obligated to warn you not to let the fame go to your head. You're still young; you should take it easy, alright? You'll have plenty of time to figure out what you want to be famous for, how to go about accomplishing that, and how to manage your fame when you're older. Getting yourself expelled for pulling stunts like these, well, it will certainly earn you a little notoriety in the short-term, but it won't last and it will put a damper on any and all future plans," Lockhart told him seriously.
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Harry was shocked. He had no idea that Lockhart had put this much thought into cultivating his fame, but he supposed it made sense. After all, he'd as good as admitted that the only aspect of magic he was particularly proficient in was memory charms so to have built up the reputation he had only on the strength of one spell…Well, that was damn impressive, Harry was forced to acknowledge.
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"And you need to be even more careful because a few people have heard of you, haven't they? All that business with He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named!" Lockhart laughed. "I know, it's not quite as good as winning Witch Weekly's Most Charming Smile Award five times in a row, as I have – but it's a start, Harry, it's a start."
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Dear God…Harry had been so confused and affronted that Lockhart thought he was just attention-seeking that he hadn't even realized but…Lockhart was *joking*. He didn't actually think that a smiling competition was more fame-worthy than mysteriously vanishing Voldemort. Maybe he wasn't such an idiot after all. Granted, he was still practically a Squib, too self-centered to pay attention to what anyone else thought of him, and unscrupulous as hell, but definitely not an idiot.
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Koukněte na celý odstavec, je děsivý
"Professor," Harry began as Lockhart was about to walk away. "Your style of fame seems to be to be the popularity contest kind. I mean, yes, your books detail the adventures of you dealing with Yeti, Werewolves, Vampires, and several other assortments of magical creatures but…that all seems to be besides the point, isn't it? Your readers don't buy the books because they really care about all of that, they just like you and your heroic deeds are just an excuse for them to get to hear more about you and keep you in the public eye. You make sure that you're always in the back of people's minds by winning contests like the Witch Weekly one you told me about. It's quite a clever strategy and if you don't do something really stupid, it should be able to evolve with the times and keep you in the public eye for as long as you choose to be so."
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Lockhart stared at Harry incredulously for a moment before he smirked. "Impressive. I take it that's not your style?"
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stále se mi to zdá kostrbaté
Harry shook his head. "No, I don't need to worry about people forgetting me because that's just never going to happen, at least not in my lifetime. I disappeared from the magical world for ten years immediately following my ascension to 'hero' status and yet parents have been telling their children bedtime stories about me all this time, despite the fact that no one even knew anything about what happened that night at Godric's Hollow. I don't need to remind people that I exist and since everyone is so enamored with me already, I can just basically do whatever I feel like because unless I do something really stupid, the bad PR resulting from expelling me or anything of the sorts would just make it not worth it. Using this immunity, I can bolster my fame and popularity among my peers by such daring escapades as last year's little Treasure Hunt and allegedly flying a car to the Hogwarts Express."
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Harry shrugged. "Perhaps. Don't get me wrong, I would do anything for my friends and I wouldn't just leave them to suffer the consequences that I can evade using my fame, but I have to be careful. If I don't carefully navigate things then what's to stop some gossip-mongering journalist or pissed off bureaucrat from doing irreparable harm to my reputation and making sure I'm not in a position to be able to help the people I need to? It's called being proactive."
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"Well, you clearly know what you're doing so I wish you well. May both of our fames continue to grow in the years to come," Lockhart told him sincerely and continued on his way.
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Harry shook his head to clear it. Having a serious discussion with Lockhart was not something that he had ever thought he'd do in either timeline. Ah, well. He was far certain that he was far more than just fashionably late, so maybe he would get some points taken off after all.
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When Harry entered the greenhouse, Professor Sprout was just about to unpot a Mandrake. When she saw Harry slip in, she stopped and took her earmuffs off. "And where were you?"
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"I was chatting with Professor Lockhart about how famous we both are," Harry deadpanned.
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