“Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” by J.K. Rowling, Mary GrandPré –
““Just the man,” he said. “The very man. A girl has been snatched by the monster, Lockhart. Taken into the Chamber of Secrets itself. Your moment has come at last.”
“That’s right, Gilderoy,” chipped in Professor Sprout. “Weren’t you saying just last night that you’ve known all along where the entrance to the Chamber of Secrets is?”
“I — well, I —” sputtered Lockhart.
“Yes, didn’t you tell me you were sure you knew what was inside it?” piped up Professor Flitwick.
“D-did I? I don’t recall —”
“I certainly remember you saying you were sorry you hadn’t had a crack at the monster before Hagrid was arrested,” said Snape. “Didn’t you say that the whole affair had been bungled, and that you should have been given a free rein from the first?”
Lockhart stared around at his stony-faced colleagues. “I — I really never — you may have misunderstood —”
“We’ll leave it to you, then, Gilderoy,” said Professor McGonagall. “Tonight will be an excellent time to do it. We’ll make sure everyone’s out of your way. You’ll be able to tackle the monster all by youself. A free rein at last.”
Lockhart gazed desperately around him, but nobody came to the rescue. He didn’t look remotely handsome anymore. His lip was trembling, and in the absence of his usually toothy grin, he looked weak-chinned and feeble.”
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