Anti-American sentiment intensifies, with whispers spreading about "those Yanks spying on us" and "stealing the Silverlight spell." People start eying Professor Fisher carefully, in the halls. (He ignores it, rather pointedly.) People write in to the Headmistress complaining; why did they bring in those Americans in the first place, why does that man Fisher still work there, similar nonsense. She develops a curt form letter assuring parents that Hogwarts hiring standards are of the highest quality, with a strong undertone of none of your business. The letters continue anyway.
Students graffiti the Transfiguration classroom with insulting suggestions for places Professor Fisher can take himself. Filch catches those responsible and they clean it up as their detention. McGonagall makes a displeased speech that night at dinner about respecting faculty and innocence until proven guilty. Some students listen.
After a week's gone by- it feels longer to all involved, particularly Tamara, but only a week- there's a new article.
Gilderoy Lockhart Apprehends Silverlight Culprit
By Russell Peasegood
Gilderoy Lockhart, Order of Merlin, Third Class, Honorary Member of the Dark Force Defence League, and five-time winner of Witch Weekly's Most Charming Smile Award, has done it again!
Only recently released from St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries, most wizards would need rest, more time to recover from the horrors of a Memory Charm gone wrong, but not Gildery Lockhart. Known throughout the magical world for his daring feats of magic, Lockhart is back in the game with a bang.
"It never made sense to me," Lockhart told the Prophet. "Why steal a wand of someone you're chaperoning? Of course you'd be under suspicion! She couldn't have hoped to get away with it. So, of course, I had to investigate."
Lockhart used his famed powers of deduction to locate prime Ministry suspects. In the course of interviewing them, he was able to identify the janitor who had stolen the wand. "Poor man wasn't right in the head," according to Lockhart. "Thought the wand made him special, powerful- attacked me when I tried to get it away- just look what he did to my cloak! But I got it back from him, never fear."
The wand is now in the possession of Ministry Officials, and will shortly be returned to its rightful owner, Miranda "Silverlight" Swan. Tamara Reed can be expected to be released shortly.
When commended on his actions, Lockhart said, "Of course, of course. Couldn't let the poor girl go without her wand- couldn't let the Ministry officials bungle it like that- something had to be done!"
Asked about his future plans, Lockhart told us, "Why, doing whatever good I can, of course. Britain needs all the wizards it can get right now!"
If Lockhart's past adventures are any guide, that will be quite a lot of good indeed.
As promised, the next day, Hogwarts sees two arrivals: Professor Reed, released by the Ministry, and Gilderoy Lockhart, Miranda's wand in hand.
She catches up to make sure he hasn't Splinched himself or anything.
She nods and picks up her broomstick.
He can sulk if he likes. Miranda doesn't really care unless it turns out he has tricks up his sleeve besides Memory Charms and is inclined to deploy them at her.
"Thanks for the escort," Miranda says. "Owl me when you find where more Dementors are, please."
And Miranda goes back indoors with a gait as close to traipsing as she can manage.
"How was it, how was it, how was it?" Alli demands, bouncing on her toes.
"It turns out I can do two Patronuses at the same time, one with each wand, and that the little one can still kill Dementors, which is good because there were two Dementors. And now there are not."
"You did two of them," Emma almost-asks, sounding both shocked and impressed.
(Jenny is very pleased when Dementors die.)
Hug! "And Lockhart's going to find where there are more of them and maybe I'll be allowed to do Patronuses over hols so I can keep it up."
"Don't you want to see your family over hols though?"
"I will," shrugs Miranda. "Between hunts. It doesn't take that long. Lockhart can Apparate if we need to go someplace too far to fly. And we might run out of places to go."
"Running out would be good," Jenny says firmly. "You should kill them all."
"I'm going to do my very best. Promise."
Alli grins. "Terrible day to be a Dementor. Silverlight is coming for yoooooooooou!"