The Sugar Quill
Author: Adele  Story: Oblivious  Chapter: Default
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.



By Adele



The biggest child of the James Thickey Ward at St. Mungo’s is about to learn something astonishing and possibly dangerous.  But – will he remember about it tomorrow?


Disclaimer: Things that are familiar belong to JK Rowling, and everything else is mine.


Author’s note:  Many thanks to Birgit, Gufa, for sweetly picking it apart before submission, Helen for being a beta to die for, and Em for supporting me.  Much love!



*    *    *    *



Roses are red


Pigeons are grey


Frogs are green

I’ve never met

I love the way you’re always clean

You’re like a queen

You’re a very special person.


Gilderoy Lockhart beamed and left his quill to rest in the inkbottle.  Absolutely exquisite.  I ought to get it published.  Or make it a greeting card.  And I could be on the cover!


“Mr. Lockhart?”


He spun around in his lovely padded seat, his favorite one in the entire room – no, entire hospital… okay, he hadn’t been through the entire hospital, so say, ward  – which he always sat in or else he didn’t feel complete; he had even carved his initials in as hard as he could with his quill, right on the back of it, so that anyone who came in and decided to sit would have no excuse not to forfeit the seat to him if he were to enter with tired legs … anyway, he spun around in it.


The young Healer-in-training whose name he could never remember shook a reprimanding finger at him near the doorway.  “What are you doing in here?  You were to remain in your room all evening, don’t you remember?”


Chortling, Gilderoy waved off the Healer’s remark.  “Yes, yes, I know.  But, you see, I was struck with a sudden … inspiration.  I had to come and write!  I couldn’t just let the idea … blow away, don’t you understand?”


“Mr. Lockhart, there are scrolls of parchment and a quill next to your bed.” 


Gilderoy tapped the parchment he had written on: a leaf from the scrolls.  “I know, and it was very kind of you to put it there, Miss …?”


Howell.”  The Healer’s stern gaze did not lift.  Slowly, she sauntered closer to Gilderoy with her arms crossed.


“Right, was just about to say that, Miss Howell.  But, you know, I must be sitting in this very seat if I want to get any work done.”  He raised his eyebrows raised high into his forehead, as if he had made an especially compelling point.


“This seat?” Blanche Howell inquired, eyeballing the letters G.E.L. engraved on the back of the chair.  “Then … would you like it transferred to your room?”


“Of course not, don’t be silly!” said Gilderoy, laughing. “I want this seat to be shared with everyone, though with the common knowledge that it is principally mine.  I want the world to know that I, Gilderoy Lockhart, have written my greatest masterpieces in this very chair.”


“Why didn’t I realize that before,” muttered Blanche under her breath.  I have taken care of this character for two and a half years now, this Thursday.  You would have thought clobbering himself with a Memory Charm would have knocked a little sense into him, or at least kept him a little more quiet.


An “ahem” at the door suspended Blanche from her thoughts, and she turned her head to see who was there.


Gilderoy stood up from his chair to shake the visitor’s hand.  “How good to see you, Healer …?”


Head Healer Leland Artzt stared at him in confusion before responding. “Healer Artzt.”


“Right on the tip of my tongue,” said Gilderoy, apparently unfazed.  “What brings you to this side of the ward?”


“I work on this side of the ward, Mr. Lockhart.”  Leland Artzt raised his brows, a faint smile playing across his lips nonetheless.


“Of course, of course,” Gilderoy chuckled.  “Now, I wish I could stay and chat longer, but I must finish this poem of mine before I lose my train of thought.”  He patted Healer Artzt’s back fondly, and flashed him his trademark dazzling smile (which hadn’t quite been up to par since the Memory Charm accident, Miss Howell noted) before sauntering back to his seat.


“Blanche?  May I have a word?” whispered Leland, his eyes still glued to a busy Gilderoy.


“Certainly,” said Blanche, stepping closer to the Head Healer.  “Is everything all right?”


“Just fine.  I hear Gilderoy has made some considerable progress lately?”


“He has, but then again, it’s been two weeks since the last attempt.  You know how the charm sets him in a daze for a while.”


“And that’s why I’m here,” Leland explained.  “I was wondering if you would try ‘The Talk’ again.  He needs to accept it calmly, sooner or later.”


“You think it will work this time?” asked Blanche apprehensively


Another slight grin softened Leland’s austere face.  “Twelve’s a charm.”




*    *    *    *



Gilderoy fell back with a sigh into one of the ugly yet comfortable armchairs in room 717.  “Where’s everyone else, then?  Late for such an important meeting?  I expected better of them!”


Blanche shut the Sound-Proofed door and, rubbing her neck tensely with one hand and clutching her pocketed wand with the other, took a seat adjacent to Gilderoy.  “No, this is a secret meeting.  Just between the two of us.”


“Oh, a secret!”  Gilderoy clapped his hands excitedly.  “I love secrets.  Are we beginning now?”


“Right away.”  Exhaling to calm herself, Blanche mentally counted to three and then withdrew her wand.


The strange stick immediately caught Gilderoy’s interest.  “What’s that you have there?  A baton?”  His eyes did not shift away.  “I’m getting the funniest feeling of déjà vu.  Don’t you just hate it when that happens?”


“Aspen, ten and a half inches, hair from the mane of a wild unicorn.”  She twirled it between her fingers calmly.  I’m going to take this slowly.  I don’t want to scare him.


“Hmm?” he mumbled, his gaze still locked on the curious object that the Healer-in-training was holding.


“It’s…”  Take your time.  “A wand.”


There was a minute-long pause before Gilderoy broke out into giggles.  “You know, you do have a top-notch sense of humor.  A wand?  Are you going to turn me into a frog with it?”


I ought to.  “No, I won’t.”  Be subtle, be subtle… break the news to him coolly…  “I’d rather do something that doesn’t involve you.  What else would you like me to do?”


Gilderoy blinked, and coughed back a few more giggles.  “Er … hehe … how about, make me a sandwich?  I’m famished.”


With a brisk wave of her wand, Blanche conjured up a bacon buttie on a plain, white plate.


Gilderoy’s cough-giggles evolved into full-blown coughs of surprise.  “How – how’d you do that?”




“Excuse me?”


Magic.  This is a magic wand.  I already told you.”


Gilderoy’s panting grew audible, and a worry crease appeared between his brows.  “You mean like, ‘abra-cadabra’ magic?  Bibbity-bobbity-boo?”


“Well… yes.”  As a sort of comfort, Blanche offered the sandwich to Gilderoy.


Staring wide-eyed at the food, Gilderoy edged away in his seat, as if he expected the sandwich to jump out and bite him.  He pulled up his legs from the ground and onto the chair, and sat on them childishly.  “What kind of … bizarre joke is this?  Where’s the … the … ”  He searched wildly up and down, all around Blanche, for a source of the sandwich’s astonishing appearance.


“It came from this, Mr. Lockhart.”  She offered the wand to him, hoping he would take it and examine it.  “You can use it also.”


Gilderoy started so violently that both he and the chair toppled over backward.  “Keep that thing away from me!  I mean … it’s fake! You’re lying to me!  I – I trusted you!”  As he scrambled up from the ground, he snatched the pillow from the seat and held it above his head, ready to hurl it.


“Settle down, it’s all right!  It’s just a little magic.  You need to grow accustomed to it, Mr. Lockhart.  You’re a wizard, too.”  This is not working out as planned.  He’s going to hyperventilate again!


Gilderoy’s chest heaved with every breath.  “No!  I’m not!  I’m just a man, a very talented one, with charming good looks and a smile to die for!  You’re just – just – JEALOUS!”


“No, Mr. Lockhart, I can assure you – I’m not.”  Blanche stood up and approached Gilderoy, hiding her wand behind her back and outstretching her other arm as if intending to embrace him.


“Go away!  Stay away from me!  You’re going to – curse me!  I didn’t do anything wrong!  I’m an innocent man!”  He crouched down on the floor, still gasping mouthfuls of air.


He is impossible. Twelve really is a charm; the wrong kind of charm.  I didn’t want to have to do this, but…




The room grew very quiet very fast.


Blanche offered a hand to a blank-faced Gilderoy.  He accepted it, and once standing, stared up at her curiously and then down at the chair.  “Oh, I’m sorry, I must have knocked this over.  How clumsy of me.”  Trembling, Gilderoy bent over to pick it up, but Blanche beat him to it.  “Oh, thank you.  I’m not feeling very well, as a matter of fact … do you think I could lie down?”  He gripped the back of the chair dazedly.  Blanche wrapped her arm around his back, and led him to the door.


As they walked the corridor, Blanche rubbing Gilderoy’s back to settle his quivering, Gilderoy spoke up.  “I’m sorry, I didn’t catch your name … ?”


“Miss Howell, Healer-in-training.”


“Very nice to meet you.  I’m Gilderoy Lockhart, a patient in the … er… this ward.  Do you work here, then?”  A weak smile spread across his face.


“Yes, I do.”


“Oh.  I’m surprised I haven’t seen you before.  I’m staying here a while.  I suppose I’m ill.”



Blanche gulped back laughter. “I’m sorry to hear that.”




*    *    *    *



Through the window, the sky was dim, and Muggle cars zoomed by, lighting the city with swerving beams from below.  Blanche stared down in fascination, and Gilderoy bounced slightly on his bed behind her.


“These walls are lilac,” he sighed.  “It’s a lovely color.  My favorite, in fact.  I wonder if they knew it was, and painted them just for me?”


“Possibly,” Blanche responded, drifting out of her reverie and rotating to face Gilderoy.  “Well, you ought to get some sleep if you’re not feeling well.  Under the covers.”


Gilderoy scooted back to his pillow, and slid his legs under the sheets as Blanche held them up.  He smiled and nodded in appreciation.


“See you in the morning.”  She rubbed Gilderoy’s head and smirked at his simple, ingenuous expression.  If only he could always be like this: naïve and darling.  Like a very big child.  She blew out the candles which lit up the walls as she headed for the door.  “I hope you do make some progress.  Or else you’ll have to live like the Muggles out there,” she mumbled, glancing once more out the window at the night life.


“What?” Gilderoy called out worriedly.  “Muggles?”


Blanche groaned and massaged her temples.  “Nothing, Mr. Lockhart.”


“What do you mean by Muggles?”


“Good night, Mr. Lockhart.”




*    *    *    *



Well, it’s finally happened – I’m a SQ author.  [polishes badge proudly]  And I’m a dork.

It means a lot to me that you’ve taken the time to read this, and I hope you go even further and vocalize your appreciation/disgust/comments/suggestions.  I’m working on a second piece currently, in case anyone’s interested.  It’s about time I’ve thought up an idea that I’ll stick with.



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