LOVE IT! Your characterization of both Dumbledore and Lockhart was spot on! Of course Dumbledore would ask about the robes.
Author's Response: Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it. Lockhart has quickly become one of my favorites, if only for his incredible ineptness.
Haha, your story really made me laugh out loud. I especially like your characterisation of Lockhart, particularly this bit:
“Fine! Fine! But only because this seems dreadfully urgent, Dumbledore. . . . I’m sorry everyone! I have a brief meeting to attend to in the back, but dry your tears! I shall return to sign more books. And I might even act out my defeat of the Bandon Banshee! Now if you’ll excuse me. . . .”
However, your Dumbledore was great too, and the characterisation was more subtle, I thought, which suits Dumbledore. The thing about the joke was very him :D
What I liked even more than the characterisation in your story was how you managed to give an image of the room, even the smell of it, without actually describing it. At some points I even forgot that I was reading a Gift of Gab story, because you did it so neatly.
Great job :)
Author's Response: Thanks a whole lot for the review! Honestly, I don't think I've ever had so much fun writing a fic before (though it took me a few weeks of on-again-off-again writing to get it all finished because I was in the middle of moving). Dumbledore and Lockhart are a strange brew indeed, especially when in a room together. The Gift of Gab challenge was a good contest indeed; I hope the beta forums has another challenge like this again soon.
Oh, very funny! You have captured both the pomposity of Lockhart and the very cleverness of Dumbledore in this conversation. I love how he beats Lockhart into submission with flattery and the hint of a chocolate frog card.
~ Carole ~
Author's Response: Thanks for the review! Lockhart and Dumbledore conversations must have been very interesting (before Lockhart lost his mind, that is). Probably the funniest part is that Lockhart somehow feels he is on the same level as Dumbledore.
What a delightful entry to the Gift of Gab challenge :) I loved your idea of the two people to write about – I always wondered myself what exactly it might’ve been that Dumbledore said to convince Lockhart to come back to Hogwarts. I also liked your title – “The Very Last Option,” indeed! I can completely imagine Dumbledore going through his list of people to teach at Hogwarts, being refused by all of them, and then being forced to ask Lockhart as a last resort.
I particularly loved these sentences: I’m sorry everyone! I have a brief meeting to attend to in the back, but dry your tears! I shall return to sign more books. And I might even act out my defeat of the Bandon Banshee! It was so in character for Lockhart to go on and on about his “exploits,” as he calls them. I think you did a great job of characterizing Lockhart – both here and throughout the story.
Your characterization of Dumbledore was spot on, too, I thought. This sentence, particularly, made me feel that Dumbledore wanted to communicate to Lockhart that he knew exactly what he’d been up to: “Naturally. Gilderoy, these stories I’ve read about you: they seem extraordinary. Almost unbelievable.” I could imagine Dumbledore peering over his half-moon spectacles while saying that, for sure. Maybe, to make it clearer, you could’ve added in ellipses? Like so: “almost…unbelievable.” Even without that, however, your characterization of Dumbledore was very good.
Somehow, though, I didn’t think Dumbledore would tell Lockhart he was desperate, like he does here: “Well, I was hoping you’d be willing to take up the post this year. It’s nearly September, and I am getting very desperate.” I think Dumbledore would realize that the best way to get Lockhart to do what he wants is to flatter him into the job, and saying that the only reason he asked Lockhart was because he was desperate would hardly work towards this goal!
A few grammar nitpicks:
“This will only last a few minutes. And it will be quite painless I assure you.” There should be a comma after painless. She’s such a fan — aren’t you Gladys? — that she’s willing to wait a minute more! There should be a comma after you.
In any case, I loved your entry overall. The way you ended was excellent, too! Good luck for the Challenge!
Author's Response: Sorry for taking so long to respond! What a great review! Thanks for taking your time to get a careful read on it. Good catching those two forgotten commas; I dunno why I forgot them in the first place (I guess in 2,000 words, my mind lapsed a bit). Lockhart is always lots of fun to write, and when I find time, I have another story for him. I also waffled over Dumbledore saying he was desperate. I wasn't sure he would say that in the first place, but then I also wanted to show how oblivious Lockhart was to the fact that he was, in fact, the very last person on the list. I guess I can't have it both ways! Still, the whole question is this: why would Dumbledore even think of hiring him? There's no more obvious fraud in the magical world. Of that, I'm sure.
I think you met the challenge very well. Dumbledore is often very hard to write and you did a good job with him. I (like everyone else) particularly enjoyed his last line, which was so full of Dumbledore randomness that it was hard not to laugh out loud.
I only have one qualm being your use of 'huh'. I'm not British, so I usually don't like picking on things like this, but I feel the term was to American for the story. You might have got away with it if you used it once, but when it was used repeatedly, it was hard not to notice.
Otherwise I think you did an excellent job. You described the setting very well and kept Lockhart IC. I particularly enjoyed his referals to the one witch and how her heart might fail if she hear Dumbledore talking about 'Voldemort.' Very good.
Author's Response: Hey, thanks for the review! I'm glad you enjoyed the random Dumbledore quips. It seems like in the books, he got a little less so as the fight with Voldemort progressed. His randomness, however, seems very normal when coupled with Lockhart, who wants to spend every spare moment bragging about himself. I have to wonder whether or not their verbal wanderings would have made staff meetings exceedingly long. I had a few misgivings about the "huh" as well, because I wasn't quite set on the "noise word" I was looking for. It seemed like an unattractive, guttural sound, less charming or thoughtful than "hmmm.'" I went back through my document and only counted "huh" once, but maybe I used something similar to it.
I really like this stroy. You do the characters perfectly. I really love Gilderoy in this story. He was so much fun to read. Dumbledor was great too. He was believeable. They both were. The ending was so funny. I could see him saying that. You did a great job on this and I love it.
Author's Response: Thank you very much for the review! I had the ending picked out long before I finally got there. The hard part was filling the great chasm in between the beginning and the end.
Nice! Your portrayal of Lockhart is really good, and I must admit that he actually made me laugh when he pictures himself autographing a Chocolate Frog card...
It's very well written, nothing seems out of place in this conversation. Also, the speed of it is well measured, as it doesn't seem either too rushed or too slow.
I hope you do well in the challenge! :)
Author's Response: Thanks so much! Lockhart is one of my favorite characters — he's made at least a cameo appearance in all my fics. I love him because he's so terribly full of himself. It's funny to imagine that he would think of himself as an equal to Dumbledore. Though we never see a real conversation between to two characters in the books, I'm pretty sure that would be the case!
Oh, this was priceless! I command you for your bravery on writing Dumbledore (he's a tricky character) and congratulate you for pulling it off that well. Gilderoy, of course, was quite in-character and hilarious. I loved Dumbledore pushing all the right buttons and flattering him when he needed to - it was a very Dumbledore thing. The end was great, as well! You have a way with Dumbledore. I will never get it how there was no one else available, though. He's a terrible teacher and is even bad at magic!
Well, congrats for a wonderful story!
Author's Response: Thank you very much for the review! I'll admit I was a little scared using Dumbledore as a character, but it turned out to be a lot of fun putting him in a room with Gilderoy Lockhart. They both have the ability to ramble at will. The funny thing about Lockhart is how he desperately tries (and often fails) to avoid looking like an absolute fraud.