"Now, now, would Mother Magic want you to spoil your language with such uncouth words? Of course not! Mother Magic loves all Her creations . . ."
Lockhart . . . is good, actually? Lockhart is just a nice guy? Just a good, reasonable fellow who is nice. Well, okay! I can get behind Lockhart being—
". . . even the ones so deprived and unfortunate not to have learnt of Her until they turned eleven! We cannot be beastly towards these poor Muggleborn creatures; they simply do not know any better!"
—trash, he's trash, straight back to the bin he goes!
Okay, but seriously, I do actually like this version of Lockhart. He's still got the narcissism problem the canon one had, but there's just a teeny, tiny pinch of actual responsible authority figure to him. I'll probably be eating these words by school year's end, since he's clearly a plagiarist of some fashion, but at least at first glance, your version is a step ahead of his canon self! I initially assumed Quirrell would be sacked for his involvement with Greengrass, and that Lockhart was his replacement like in canon. But then Quirrell showed up on page, and I was like, oh. Oh. Lockhart is here to replace Greengrass! Wow. And also, Lockhart is . . . Wizarding Joseph Campbell, apparently? With that line about "archetypes" . . . wild! Also, side note: it feels so utterly bizarre for Quirrell to just be . . . on campus . . . walking around and talking to people? Since he was relegated to only the first year in canon, it doesn't feel like he really belongs to Hogwarts, like he's not a valid member of the staff, or something? It will feel weird going forward, for him to just be. Around. A guy.
That bullying scene was hard to read, seeing students from multiple houses all sounding like Slytherins . . . and then you had to twist the knife even harder by revealing that the Hufflepuff bully is Cedric Diggory!? Why Lily!?!? Poor Colin! It's very telling that Zhang gave Colin permission to photograph her hair, but all these boys freaked out and tried to stop Colin anyway . . . like they see Zhang's hair as more theirs than hers!
Pansy is, again, rather nice, and I'm glad to see she's going to have a role to play in revealing Lockhart's deception (assuming this isn't some magical sleep that's going to leave her unconscious all year like the basilisk was doing in canon.) [I hope she gets to play a whole bunch of Quidditch this year] is what I was planning type until Draco had to go full entitled rich boy all over her plans. Crappy kid.
Huh. I see the Deathly Hallows still exist, but with an entirely new backstory, and probably a different name. I'm curious to see whether they actually matter down the road, or whether they're just curious magical artifacts in this timeline.
—doctorlit does the barest minimum of search bar research, and realizes "Zhang" is probably Cho Chang with a less cringy and lazy surname