Beyond the Past

Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or any other names, places, or ideas related to the

world of Harry Potter. They are the property of J.K. Rowling.

Chapter 1. Skulking

Argus Filch was skulking. He was very good at skulking. In fact, if you asked him to make a list of his best qualities, and he actually consented to do it, skulking would be at the top. Well, if he was being entirely honest, it would have been third on the list, after writing poetry and singing, but he was almost never entirely honest. So, if he made a list of his best qualities, he would definitely put skulking at the top. It seemed more honorable and intimidating to him, and perhaps a little mysterious. He liked those feelings. He certainly didn't want anyone to know that he was good at poetry and singing. They were namby-pamby and acceptable. Skulking was definitely not a generally approved good quality. Besides, he didn't enjoy singing or writing poetry, at least not anymore, but skulking was one of the few things that he enjoyed in life.

At the moment he was skulking outside the library—trying to observe a certain female denizen of Hogwarts. "Stalking" would have been a better word for what he had recently taken to doing, but he preferred "skulking." "Stalking" sounded too prosaic, or so he would have thought if he had known the word "prosaic." Ah, but skulking had a nice ring to it—it was comprised of stealth, enveloping oneself in darkness, lurking in corners, cunning, and being withdrawn and concealed both emotionally and physically, but Argus felt there was something more involved: a constant sneer and an attitude of disdainfulness. However, at the moment Argus wasn't trying to define words, he seldom did. He was deep in thought. Or rather deep in watch—for that was what he was doing; watching.

It was late at night and the cool breezes of September held a strong fragrance of autumn. Argus hated both September and night breezes. He hated the wind because it made his joints ache and he hated September because it meant the beginning of another school year. All-in-all, it was a very depressing time of the year for Argus. But this year was different. This year there was a woman.

Granted, there had always been women and this particular woman had been at Hogwarts for several years, but unlike any other year, Argus had felt a sexual attraction for a woman. This in itself was rather remarkable as Argus hadn't felt such an attraction for several years, but what was even more remarkable was that this attraction was so strong that Filch had taken to watching this woman every chance he could, as he was doing very intently now.

On this particular night, Argus had been watching her work in the library for over an hour. The rest of the castle was asleep, and had been for a long time. He sighed; it wasn't often that he could watch her so openly. During the day, she was surrounded by students (Or blithering idiots as Argus preferred to think of them) who wanted to pilfer her knowledge and waste her time with their incessant questions and pleas for advice. There was also the matter of daylight. It was much easier to observe her unnoticed at night.

Argus shifted back slightly in order to be hidden deeper in the shadows masking the entrance to the library, as the object of his desire stood up from where she was sitting to find another book. He watched her body sway to a silent song as she made her way to a bookshelf, and let out a silent gasp. "Gods, is she beautiful," he thought, as he felt an unfamiliar twinge in his loin. He was shocked by the physical response that just the sight of her perfectly symmetrical form could elicit form him.

She was now caressing the spines of several books with a gleam in her eye and a look of adoration on her face. Argus wanted her to look at him like that. "No," he thought, "I don't want her love, just her body. I want her to look at me with eyes full of passion, desire, but never love. I wouldn't mind that caress though…" Argus knew his desires were far-fetched, no one, especially not her had ever looked at him like that, but he couldn't stop the fantasies from coming.

His thoughts were suddenly interrupted by something brushing against his leg. He jumped back, startled, and looked down into the face of his only friend, his cat, Mrs. Norris. "Ah, my pet," whispered Filch, "I can't remember the last time that you were able to scare me like that. Not since we were young…" His voice tapered off and he swallowed the lump that had suddenly risen to his throat. Such thoughts were too painful.

Mrs. Norris looked up at him reproachfully, the droop of her mouth and eyes, along with a pitiful little mew, clearly saying "I know what you were doing before I got here and I most definitely do not approve." Filch glared down at her.

It was this momentary distraction that caused Argus to not realize that his beauty had packed her things and was headed for him. He had been so preoccupied glaring at his cat, that he hadn't even realized that she had moved until she bumped right into him. He gasped at the same moment that an abject look of sheer terror fixed itself on her face.

"G-g-good even-n-ning Mr. Filch," stammered a shaky Hermione Granger.

A/N: Well, there's my first ever chapter of a story that promises to be pretty long. Tell me what you think of it. R&R people! Please.