Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Long Assignment #5
Task #5 - Misuse of Muggle Artefacts Office: Writing about a Muggle item being used for something other than its intended purpose
Disney Challenge, Songs, #3, "Suspicious Minds"
Showtime, #6, A Sunday Kind of Love – (restriction) a fic taking place over a weekend
Liza's Loves, #23, Sapphire Salute - Write about a Ravenclaw
Lizzy's loft, #15, (trait) Dyed Hair
Angel's Archive, #2, Write about something being broken, figuratively or literally.
Trope of the Month, #7, Word: Taste
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter
"Do Suspicious Minds next!"
"Hey, don't push me out of the way! I was here—"
"Will you sign this? It's for my mother."
From the silver-studded stage in the gardens of his own backyard, Glideroy Lockhart flashed one of the few things that remained his own: his blindingly white teeth. "There, there, now, there's enough Elvis to go around for everyone." With the help of a permanent voice-changing spell, Gilderoy sounded exactly like The King, even to his own ears.
Who knew that losing his identity would be so rewarding? Sure, it was no longer his own face on the cover of every national magazine, and he had to be careful about his wand. But he had more attention and admiration as the resurrected king of pop in the United States than he'd ever had as the daring author/adventurer in the United Kingdom.
That is, when Gaston wasn't stealing the limelight.
"Excuse me. Please let me through!" Gaston's hair, naturally the same coal black that Glideroy'd used gallons of Richard's Best Coloring Potion to achieve, bobbed through the horde of fans. Gilderoy's fans. Irritation itched in the armpits of his stark-white pantsuit. What was it this time—a shortage of deer meat in the deep freezer? A smudge on the bedroom mirror wall that Gaston inexplicably couldn't seem to clear?
A couple of doe-eyed girls in pastel shift dresses clutched their hands to their chests as Gaston swaggered up to the silver stage. Gilderoy ground his teeth together.
"Hello, good people of Kansas!" Gaston clapped Gilderoy on the shoulder, pulling him behind his enormously muscular form. "It's your lucky day—I've returned from my hunting trip." He paused and surveyed the crowd, his eyes landing on the swooning trio towards the front. "You must be tired, Elvis, but no matter—I'm ready for a round of darts and a round of beer. Who's with me?"
Gilderoy frowned. Even for a Sunday, he had a pretty sizable crowd gathered. Gaston knew how he hated it when he interrupted his performances. "What do you need?" He hissed into Gaston's ear through a wide smile. "I was about to do Suede Shoes. You know how they love Suede Shoes."
Gaston grunted. "And you know how I need to have my little husband massaging my feet after a long day of trekking through the muck."
Gilderoy glanced at Gaston's boots. He almost grimaced—they were, in fact, crusted over with mud. Gilderoy hated wet, and midwestern Aprils were saturated with it. With the dark clouds hovering overhead since this morning, Gilderoy was surprised his weekend concert hadn't been rained out. Yet.
"Right, because you're not going to spend the next four hours boozing it up with my fan club. I might be vain, Gaston, but I'm no idiot. I was in Ravenclaw, remember?" Gilderoy's mouth was beginning to strain from talking through his crowd-pleasing grin. "I'm not giving up the stage, not this time."
Gilderoy stepped around Gaston and back up to the microphone. "Such a handsome face, and muscles to match! Let's all give a hearty goodbye to Gaston!"
Well, that did it. The crowd whooped and cheered, and now Gaston had no choice but to flex his biceps and escort himself off the stage. As Gilderoy lip-synched to the pre-recorded Blue Suede Shoes track, he watched Gaston's leather boots clunk off the stage and back to the house as if nothing had happened. At least, that was how it would look to the gullible Muggles.
Gilderoy was sure he'd pay the price for his snub later, but for now, he was living. Blue Suede Shoes was a jaunty song, very popular with the ladies. He sent a wink to a red-head in the third row, and she fluttered her eyelashes at him.
It was days like this that he was grateful for the anonymous snitch who had outed his British persona as a fraud. If he'd never been found out, he never would have had to flee the country and find a new fan base.
He probably never would have thought to bewitch Muggles, which would have been tragic. Muggles were as gullible as they were obsessive. And these mid-westerners were delightfully enthusiastic.
Though he often wondered why Gaston had insisted on moving here, and not somewhere bigger like California. Sure, he'd made excuses about hunting opportunities, about lying low until the scandal blew over. It would have been a shame to move half-way across the world only to have their reputation follow them.
But there was something about the grit of Gaston's teeth when Gilderoy was swamped with rabid fans on impromptu trips to the grocery store. There was something about the tension in Gaston's jaw when he passed the gallery wall of "Elvis" magazine covers that made Gilderoy wonder if there was something more to it.
Blue Suede Shoes was winding down. Gilderoy-as-Elvis gave a swing of his hips and a final bob of his head. "Thank you. Thankyouverymuch." The crowd screamed, and Gilderoy basked in it. "Next up, Suspicious Minds!"
Gilderoy bobbed his head to the plucky notes of the guitar lead-in. It was a shame the crowd always requested this song, because he hated doing it. It reminded him a little too much of his scheming husband. He opened his mouth to mime the words, but instead of Elvis' voice, the air was suddenly filled with noise.
Teenage girls and middle-aged women slammed their palms over their ears. Grandmothers in rock-and-roll t-shirts wrinkled their brows at the overcast sky. Panic rose in Gilderoy's chest.
It wasn't Monday. It wasn't noon. There was no reason for the tornado sirens to be blaring, except if—"Tornado!" Gilderoy shouted, but he doubted anyone could hear. The siren was only a block away from their house, and it was unbearably loud.
He clapped his hands over his ears and peered out from the stage. People scattered in all directions, but mostly away. Towards the houses. Towards the cars. This, Gilderoy had learned, was ill-advised. But he wasn't sure what to do about it—they couldn't hear him, and he didn't have room for hundreds of Muggles in his shelter.
So he ran—through the iron-wrought front doors, past the wall of antlers, and straight to the stairs. He leaped down the staircase in a single bound and landed in the narrow hallway at the bottom. If there was one thing other than befuddlement charms that Lockhart had learned after six years in Kansas, it was not to mess around with tornados.
Gilderoy yanked the door open, and a puff of hot steam billowed into the hallway. Gaston was already there. His voice boomed off of the orange-and-navy tiled walls. From the sound of it, he was wrapping up a horrendously dull story about his hunting trip.
"No doe has a chance when you're around." It appeared LeFou had also made it to the shelter ahead of Gilderoy.
Blinking through the thick wall of steam, Gilderoy let his eyes adjust to the basement's dim lighting and shut the door behind him. Much better; the room was soundproof as well as bullet-proof, and his ears sang with relief at the siren's absence.
"Ah, there he is! The lucky man I got to marry." Gaston shined all his teeth at Gilderoy from his favorite corner spot in the jacuzzi tornado shelter.
Gilderoy rolled his eyes. Gaston had been awfully quick to change into his swimming trunks and get comfortable in the tub, if you asked him. Next to his hand on the tiled rim sat a half-empty tankard of beer and a bowl full of hard-boiled eggs. In the opposite corner was LeFou, already half-drunk and starry-eyed.
"Expecting a storm, were you?" Gilderoy floated behind the changing screen—an authentic Japanese design from his time spent writing Battles with Bakus—and donned his favorite lilac speedo. "Or had you already started drinking before the sirens went off?"
Gaston's eyes flickered to his wand, where it rested next to his beer. "You know how my feet are after a hunting trip."
Gilderoy wrinkled his nose. Gaston always came home with tired feet, and Gilderoy did not enjoy massaging them—they stunk. Still, it didn't seem quite right. Gaston had been prepared. Too prepared. It was almost like he'd known what was coming.
"Well, consider it your lucky day," said Gilderoy. "The sirens have driven off my adoring fans. And I know, I know, you have fans of your own; or 'fan', I should say. But nevermind that; tonight I shall give you the gift of my undivided attention."
His Elvis pantsuit neatly folded and placed on the clothing table, Gilderoy stepped out from behind the changing screen.
LeFou snickered. "Nice hat."
"It is not a hat. It's a swimming cap." Gilderoy sniffed. It was incredibly annoying to have to share the jacuzzi with LeFou, but he couldn't very well kick him out into the tornado. He'd never cared for the man, not even back in Britain. He stepped into the bubbling water and settled across from Gaston, to better study his face as he said, "That's the second time this week there's been an emergency during one of my concerts. Perhaps I've become so popular that even the Gods have become jealous."
Gaston scoffed. "Popular. You're not popular, I'm popular. You're a laughing stock. Everyone knows the real Elvis is dead."
Gilderoy's jaw dropped. "I am the real Elvis!"
"You? Ha! You're not even a real man. You can't even banish a banshee. " Gaston's fist made a mighty splash against the surface of the water.
Gilderoy frowned. The temperature of the water seemed to rise, though no hands had touched the thermostat. "I didn't see you complaining about that when the fortune I made us bought you this house."
Gaston snorted. "I can buy my own house. I don't need you to provide for me."
"Oh yeah? You can buy yourself a mansion with a great room large enough to hold all your hunting trophies? With a fully stocked bar? With a bloody hot tub tornado shelter?"
"I never wanted a mansion! I'd be happy with a log cabin."
"Good! Because I never wanted my living room decorated with antlers. It's the epitome of poor taste!"
"More beer?" asked Lefou. Gilderoy whipped his head towards him. He'd been so angry, he'd forgotten he was there.
With a small shake of his head, Gilderoy's fingers curled around his wand. "There's not even really a tornado, is there? You're so jealous of my popularity, I bet you charmed those sirens to go off."
Gaston shrugged. It was the same shrug he'd given when Gilderoy had run into their fitness studio in London, frantically waving that fateful issue of The Daily Prophet. The same shrug he'd given when Gilderoy had asked if he knew who the anonymous source was. The bottom of Gilderoy's stomach dropped down to his manicured toes.
It had been Gaston. It had always been Gaston.
Fat, hot drops of water dripped over the glossy tile as Gilderoy exited the jacuzzi. He wrapped his favorite fluffy towel around his waist and turned towards the door.
He pulled it open to the sound of silence. No sirens. No thunder. Nothing.
He was so enraged, he didn't even care that he was stomping up the stairs in his speedo and his shower cap. He didn't even listen to Gaston's voice booming behind him.
Water droplets dripped from his body onto the hardwood floors all the way to the couch, where Gilderoy switched to the weather channel on the big-screen tv. A news anchor in a drab pantsuit reported a 20% chance of showers and a faulty tornado siren.
And this was why Gilderoy had chosen bachelorhood for 30 years before Gaston came along. As successful as he was, of course his partner would be jealous. He'd hoped Gaston would be different, with all his bravado and unwavering confidence. Gilderoy sighed. It was time to do what never failed him, no matter the country or circumstance.
He shut off the television—he rather liked this model, and powerful magic tended to break them—grabbed his wand, and headed down the stairs. It had been a few years since he'd had to use a true Obliviate, but that was fine. It was one trick he could never forget.
AN: Thank you so much to MoonytheMarauder for beta'ing this for me.
This story is dedicated to the Falmouth Falcons 2019 team, and to the ridiculous house with the hot tub tornado shelter that we found on Zillow.