Harry Potter and the Deeper Sight

A Harry Potter fan fiction
© 2006–2010 by gsteemso

Prologue


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In the hall outside Hogwarts' main library, the few students who happened to be passing by were startled by what sounded like a major fight, erupting violently behind the ancient doors. Just as they were trying to decide whether to go fetch help or go in to help, the noise coalesced into a single outraged cry from Madam Pince:

"PEEVES!!"

The onlisteners immediately responded to years of bitter experience and made themselves scarce, lest either the castle's dreaded poltergeist or the equally scary head librarian transfer their attentions to a new target. Moments later, the doors flew open into the now-empty corridor and the cackling Peeves shot off into the distance, with nasty-looking spells from the infuriated librarian's wand leaving scorch marks on the walls at his heels. With one last venomous glare in the direction the spook had fled, Madam Pince (adorned with an impressive coating of the rare glues and pastes she used for magical bookbinding) closed the doors as firmly as she could without slamming them. " 'Loosen me up,' indeed… I'll loosen HIM up…" she growled as she returned to her office.

Peeves, on the other hand, was in a wonderful humour. So far today he'd dropped wet or sticky stuff on seven different people — both, in the librarian's case — and it wasn't even near lunch time yet! Not that he could eat, of course, but Peeves' world revolved around bringing chaos and petty vandalism to the rest of the castle's populace, so he was well aware of the daily habits of both the living and the dead.

On a whim, he wandered over to the Defence Against the Dark Arts classroom to see what the new professor would do when confronted with The Magnificence That Was Peeves™. So far he'd gotten a slightly different entertaining reaction from each and every new occupant of the cursed teaching position; to be sure, the ones that were good at their jobs occasionally made things awkward for him, but since most of them in recent years had needed to rather embellish their CVs to get the post, he wouldn't have worried much about it even if he were inclined to.

Peeves got even happier as he approached the sounds of chaos and screaming students. It sounded like they were already having fun in there! He always liked joining in when people were already in the right frame of mind (namely, "panicked"). Ahead of him, the nearest Defence classroom door rattled in its frame as something small rebounded solidly off the other side, and the poltergeist heard a strangely familiar high-pitched chittering noise, coupled with the rattling of dozens of stiff little wings in use. Puzzled, he pondered how to get a look at the action without spoiling things by letting whatever was loose in there escape. The point was rendered moot as both classroom doors burst open, releasing a flood of distraught second-years and a few…

"…Cornie pixieses? That's it?" Peeves was honestly surprised, and a bit downcast. The screaming students had fled so quickly they hadn't even noticed him! Looking through the now wide-open door, the poltergeist was just in time to see the Rotter Potter and his little friends get in a circle back-to-back and start bringing down the pixies with stunning spells. On the far side of the little group from where Peeves was, a tall shape with multicoloured ink and at least one violently disgruntled pixie tangled in its hair unfolded from under the teacher's desk.

"Capital, capital, I'll just leave you to clean up then, shall I?" The sparkle-toothed Gilderoy Lockhart said easily to the incredulous children, making good his escape from the other classroom door before they could answer. Peeves was greatly entertained to see the pixie trapped in the man's ink-soaked hair still thrashing furiously as he left, and making liberal use of its claws into the bargain, to judge by the faint tearing noises from his scalp. Now this was entertainment, and he didn't even need to help it along!

Unfortunately for Lockhart, Peeves had found a new interest in life.


Gilderoy Lockhart, darling of the media and owner of what he'd often heard was a truly dazzling smile, slumped wearily into his office chair, barely sparing a smile for the hundreds of wizarding publicity shots of himself papering every vertical surface. "Gilderoy, old boy, you've gotten ahead of yourself!" he decided. "I'll have to start a bit slower, get them caught up a little before we leap headlong into hands-on examples. Can't expect mere children to keep up with me straight off!"

He didn't notice the office door pulling open a crack, or the eager poltergeist staring through the gap at ceiling level.

"But what do I do with the other example I brought in for them? I need to dispose of the dratted creatures somehow," Lockhart mused, staring intently at an ordinary-looking but heavily reinforced crate in the corner. Occasionally it jolted a bit, as though the contents were moving very fast and rebounding randomly off the sides, though you couldn't tell by listening because of the silencing charm. "Can't just get rid of them, I had them shipped in all the way from Germany, and I've got too much fan mail to answer to spend all my time feeding the things! …Feeding things… Didn't the Headmaster say something about a gamekeeper? That's right, it was that incredibly large and hairy man. He'll certainly never get into Witch Weekly looking like that… Yes, maybe I should offer the poor fellow some fashion advice, and in return he can look after the wretched Gefplümpterschen for me." Feeling reinvigorated, Lockhart sprang up and strode away out the door to suit action to words… as soon as he stopped by his rooms and freshened up a bit, of course.

Peeves made sure to stealthily drop a big handful of dust in the inky mess on Lockhart's head as the man passed below, but forewent making more noticeable fun of him in favour of checking out his mystery crate. Peeves had never heard of a Gefplümptersch, but it sounded like it would be very entertaining to watch a few of them in action. The crate looked easy enough to open; now, where best to release the creatures within? Peeves floated upside down in a "The Thinker" pose and mulled the problem over. It wouldn't do to rush things and end up with substandard entertainment, after all.

"I knows! Silly willy book lady needs more partying, Peeves thinks." All those books were far too orderly, which had to be a sign of some sort of obsessive disorder and plainly wouldn't do at all. Well, there was a simple answer to that… Peeves reached "up" towards the floor and snatched the crate, then zoomed off through the door and headed back towards Pince's domain. He made sure to bounce the crate off plenty of walls, suits of armour and the odd luckless student on the way; it would be embarrassing to try and release the Gefplümpterschen, only to find out they'd gone to sleep or something while being carried across the castle.

On arrival at the Dread Portal beyond which Madam Pince ruled with an iron fist, known to everyone who wasn't a student as the doorway to the school library, Peeves encountered a setback — apparently, the crotchety Librarian had set up an actual ward against him! Peeves was impressed — due to the erratic physical nature of poltergeists, no one in Hogwarts had managed that trick in nearly 250 years.

It wouldn't achieve much, though. Peeves floated into a dark corner, setting the crate of Gefplümpterschen behind a convenient suit of armour (which gave Peeves a puzzled look from its empty helmet and shuffled uneasily, with a noise like a cutlery drawer being shaken), and settled down to wait.

A few minutes later, just as Peeves was finishing up a nice "Kick me!" note for the back of the nervous suit of armour, his patience was rewarded. Approaching from the other side of the warded doorway was a trio of second-year students, the house colours on their robes glinting silver and green. As they drew up to the doors, they paused to hold a brief, muttered conversation. It sounded like the short, poncy blond one, who for some inexplicable reason put Peeves in mind of a ferret, was issuing orders to the two big stupid ones. Peeves didn't care, as long as it meant they wouldn't look behind them on their way through the door. Crouching down and hugging the crate to his chest — not an easy task, considering its size, which was about two feet to a side — he skulked over behind the stupid one on the left, and cheerfully followed the trio through the doors, closely enough on their heels to fool the anti-poltergeist ward.

Once inside, Peeves carried the crate smoothly away down the first dark, grimoire-lined aisle the group passed, and zipped up to ceiling height once he was certain he was in the clear. He cast about until he spotted the Librarian, shelving books in the aisle next to the Restricted Section, and sneaked carefully over to the next aisle away from the Restricted Section's partition wall. He shook the crate violently for about 30 seconds, the better to rile up the contents, then undid all the latches and hurled the whole mess over the row of shelving that stood between himself and Pince.

It hit with a loud crash, mingled with a startled shriek from the Librarian and a loud splintering noise. Drifting quickly upwards, Peeves peered down over the top of the shelving unit, looking forward to finding out what a Gefplümptersch looked like. He was surprised to see that the crate had smashed partway through the partition that separated the Restricted Section from the rest of the library, spilling small blurry shapes into the aisles on both sides of the barrier. "Huh. Ol' Peevsie is not knowing own strength."

Pince, who by this point had recovered enough to stand up and get out her wand, looked up sharply at these words. "PEEVES⁈ How the hell did you get in here again? GET BACK HERE!" She chased him away through the stacks, grimly firing spells as she ran. She was using a creative selection of nasty hexes and curses that would have impressed Professor Flitwick, who was known to have once been a champion duellist.

Behind them, temporarily forgotten, the small blurry figures of the Gefplümpterschen spread unchecked into odd corners, their uncomplicated little minds seeking safety after all the jostling and jarring they'd recently endured. After a few minutes, they had spread to the whole Library, both inside and out of the Restricted Section, and were calming down enough to realize that there was a veritable cornucopia of edible goodness all around them. Faint sounds of munching began to rise from the darkest corners of the huge room…


Five minutes earlier:

Draco Malfoy looked casually back and forth past the hulking shapes of Vincent Crabbe and Gregory Goyle. He couldn't see or hear anyone. The Biography section was generally good for that, barring the odd Ravenclaw with eclectic taste in bedtime reading or the occasional pair of seventh-years seeking a private place to snog. (The latter rarely came to the Library, in well-founded fear of Pince's wrath, but Malfoy had observed that 'common sense' and 'snogging' were seldom found together. He was grateful he wasn't old enough to worry about all that nonsense yet.)

"Right. Let's go," he ordered. The three immediately began casting spells as quietly as they could and still have them work, stopping occasionally to look around themselves nervously. They were just finishing up when they heard a loud crash and Madam Pince shouting at someone on the other side of the Library, followed shortly by the sounds of spellfire and a vigorous pursuit of some sort, which disappeared through the front entrance within two minutes. Malfoy didn't look a gift horse in the mouth, and quickly adjusted his plans to capitalize on this new opportunity. "Take all these spells down again, and then make yourselves scarce. I'm going to go check out the Restricted Section," he ordered.

Leaving his two unimpressive henchmen to dismantle the distraction he had originally planned, Malfoy hurried around the perimeter of the Library to the site of the initial commotion. He wasn't worried about being noticed, as everyone else in the room had clustered around the library entrance to watch Pince's war with whoever had been stupid enough to get on her bad side, and were talking loudly in excitement. Reaching the site of the disturbance, Malfoy was just in time to see the end of the day's little drama.

The Gefplümpterschen fed on decaying organic matter in nature, and were now finding well-aged books to be absolutely delicious, particularly the mediæval ones made of parchment. Unfortunately for those who were now eating a substantial percentage of the Restricted Section, the spells that protected the books against theft and unauthorized access had not been designed to be ingested. With a rather alarming sizzling noise, the books began to violently explode, hurling fragments of shelf, half-eaten books, and shredded lumps of luckless Gefplümptersch in all directions.

Malfoy ducked a lethal shard of shelf, and was just turning to flee the continuing explosions when a thin, mostly intact volume with ornate Gothic lettering on the cover smacked him in the side of the head. "Ow!" Grabbing it, on the premise that any book from the Restricted Section would have to have something interesting in it, he quickly took to his heels, hiding the book in his bag as he went.


A week later, Harry Potter made his way through the castle towards the Great Hall. The ruckus caused by the Gefplümpterschen had taken the entire faculty a full day and a half to resolve, due partly to the fact that only Lockhart knew where the crate had come from, and he was keeping quiet about it. Harry was looking forward to breakfast with his friends, who'd gone ahead while he looked for his Charms homework — it had been under the bristly end of his broomstick — when he suddenly heard a muttered incantation behind him. He grabbed frantically for his wand and started to turn around, but was too late. Everything went blindingly polychromatic, and his last coherent thought before losing consciousness was puzzlement about where all the blackness had gone.


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END PROLOGUE

Latest revision as of Fri. 2010/01/15