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Elizabeth rose from her bed as Tiger jumped up onto the covers next to her and began to rub the top of his head insistently against her face. She reached out to pull the cat closer to her before he could escape and gave him a gentle hug and then a kiss. Tiger attempted to pull free and struggled to escape her grasp, but the girl held on to him as she showered him with affection. Finally she released him and he hurried out through the open door of the dorm to bound down the stairs where Whiskers, a cat belonging to a first year, awaited another round of play.

Classes had been rather empty as the injured stayed away to heal their wounds. Even though it had been a first year class that had been in session a number of older students had been injured by flying debris and the rather toxic smoke and fumes that had covered that portion of the castle with a dense pall. Several of the students who had been felled by the smoke were still experiencing breathing problems and were subject to fits of violent coughing which prolonged the healing process for their lungs. Elizabeth and those who had actually entered the room were still dealing with the after effects of injuries that they had sustained or, in Elizabeth’s case, had already suffered before the incident.

Elizabeth walked down the stairs and saw that several of her Housemates were standing stock still in one place with horrified looks on their faces. Lily turned to see her friend descending the stairs, but Elizabeth noticed that she turned only at the waist. In fact, not one of the students standing in the common room were moving their feet. They moved only at the waist or above and made no sound at all, but gesticulated wildly at the girl who was about to step off of the stairs. It was then that Elizabeth noticed that Tiger was standing in one place as he struggled to free his feet from the floor that seemed to be holding on to them. It was also at this moment that she realized that Peeves was floating in the center of the room, unfortunately he noticed her as well.

“Looky, looky, another Gryffie for old Peeves to play with. Shucks, shucks, their feets are stuck! Old Peevsie got tired of their yapping about their feet but the quiet I made is really sweet!”

“Peeves, let them go! If you don’t I’ll tell the Baron and he’ll really give it to you.”

Peeves blew a loud raspberry and floated in the air with his arms crossed in front of his chest. A wild grin suddenly crossed his face and Elizabeth knew that he was about to do something unpleasant. Instantly, a thought came to her mind and she glanced at the vase full of water that stood on a cupboard. The poltergeist had only a moment to follow her gaze before the water in the vase suddenly shot in his direction striking him full in the face. He sputtered and gagged as the jet of fluid continued to strike him over and over again. Elizabeth smiled as she watched what was happening and then glanced at the vase again, instantly the poltergeist found himself being sucked into the vessel and the water coming back down on top of him. Before he could escape she cast a quick spell that froze the water around and above him.

“Glacius!”

Instantly, the water froze and Peeves was in a situation that he had never experienced before. He was completely at the mercy of someone other than the Bloody Baron. Elizabeth looked at the vase for a moment before speaking.

“Peeves, unless you release them right now I’m going to leave you in that vase for a VERY long time. I’ll be certain to cast a permanency charm on it, now release them immediately!”

The only movement that the poltergeist could make was a twitch of his eyes, but the effect was immediate. Those in the common room found themselves able to move and speak once again. Elizabeth stepped off of the stairs and walked to the cupboard to look in at her captive. There was no doubt in the mind of the girl that she had made her point and that now Peeves would be a little more cautious with her around. She turned to look over her shoulder at her friends and smiled broadly.

“What do you all think? Should I let old Peevsie-weevsie loose or should I leave him in there as decoration?”

The rest of the gathered Gryffindors approached to look in at the trapped poltergeist and wondered how the girl had managed to do something that no one else had ever done. Lily was the first to speak to solve her curiosity.

“Elizabeth, how did you do it?”

“Simple, some of what I learned from Sebastian has proven to be very useful at times and, since one of the spells that I learned effects ghosts and a poltergeist is similar to a ghost…”

“You knew it might work on Peeves,” Lily said as she finished the sentence that her friend had begun.”

“Yep,” Elizabeth answered before turning back to the vase. Peeves, unable to move, could only blink his eyes as the girl picked up the vase to gaze in at him. “Peeves, I will let you go on one condition. You must leave Gryffindors alone and never come back into this tower to cause mischief for fifty years. If you do anything I’ll put you back into this vase and give you to Hagrid as an exhibit for Care of Magical Creatures class or possibly Professor Grims for Defense Against the Dark Arts. Either way, you’ll be in that vase for a very long time. Are you going to do as I say? Blink once for yes.”

Peeves, with no other choice, blinked once to show his agreement although he was loath to do so. He was rather upset that the girl had bested him and would look for any chance to pay her back for this indignity. Elizabeth sighed and then cancelled the charms that held the poltergeist captive. He popped out of the vase with a scowl on his face and prepared to vanish, but stopped when Elizabeth spoke.

“Peeves, remember our bargain. If you so much as ruffle the hair of a Gryffindor I’ll put you back in that vase so fast that you won’t have time to think about what you did let alone do anything about it.”

The poltergeist turned to face the girl who watched him for any move that she didn’t like. He now understood that she was one of those rare witches who didn’t need her wand to strike and that she would undoubtedly win any contest between them. He nodded and then vanished, the slamming of the Fat Lady’s portrait a testament to his passage. The Gryffindors heard a blood curdling scream from Peeves as he vented his frustration at not only being beaten, but also now having someone other than the Bloody Baron to obey.

Elizabeth turned to her friends and then they hurried back to their dorms to get dressed and race down to the Great Hall to eat breakfast. None of those gathered in the Great Hall paid any attention to the Gryffindors as they entered the room to walk to their tables. What was apparent was the fact that all of them, Elizabeth in particular, looked very pleased with themselves as they took their places to eat their meal.

Lily was busy eating her cereal when she suddenly stopped and gasped as Peeves appeared above the Slytherin table along with several large wooden tubs that hung in the air above the unsuspecting students. Instantly, the tubs tipped and water cascaded down over the heads of the stunned students. Screams and shouts filled the air as the shocked children attempted to escape from the downpour that drenched them all. Peeves looked at Elizabeth with a diabolical grin and then waved to the girl before he vanished. A moment later, water poured from the ceiling above to drench the students at the Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw tables as well as the professors at the High Table. It was in that instant that Elizabeth realized the error that she had made, because only the students at the Gryffindor tables were spared. Peeves had found a way to strike back at the girl which didn’t involve the possibility of the carrying out of her threat.

“I’m afraid that I goofed,” Elizabeth said as the drenched students at the other tables rose, their wet robes slapping as the children walked out of the hall to return to their dorms for a change of clothing. None of the spells that were tried seemed to dry the soaked students and staff.

“I think that he’s going to go on a rampage,” Albus said as he watched the drenched victims vanish. “You know that they’re going to want to know why we weren’t soaked.”

“Yeah,” Elizabeth said as she finished her glass of pumpkin juice, “all that we can hope is that he’ll get tired of it and move on to something else.”

“But what?” Beatrice asked as she began to rise. “He’s really angry and who knows what he will do to get even.”

The Gryffindor table began to empty as the water that had been dripping off of the tables and standing on the floor vanished. Tobias Leeds watched as the dry group of students walked out of the hall while he attempted to wring out his robes. The water that he squeezed out seemed to flow back into his clothing and he made haste to get to his room to change clothing. He, like the students and staff, found that a few minutes after they had departed the scene of the incident their clothing was suddenly dry again.

They had all seen Peeves, that much was certain, but why had he spared the Gryffindor tables? Why had he done something that he had never done before in the long history of Hogwarts? What was going on? One thing was certain, an answer had to be found and fast because even as they hurried to their destinations the presence of the poltergeist was very evident as the suits of armor jumped out in attempts to trip the children or rugs that were pulled out from under them as they walked.

Elizabeth walked quietly with her friends as they hurried to their first class of the day and found themselves surrounded by other students that had quickly surmised that as long as they were with the Gryffindors they were safe. They were wrong! They were nearly to the greenhouses when the poltergeist made his appearance in the corridor ahead of them. The look on his face was one of rage, but that wasn’t what bothered them. Peeves held a large bag in his hand and he reached down into it to draw out a dung bomb. The students scattered as he hurled the first into a group of Hufflepuffs that was already trying to make themselves smaller targets.

The dung bomb erupted with a huge cloud of horrible odor that made the affected students hurry from the scene as they retched and gagged. More bombs followed as Peeves cackled with glee as he watched them run.

“Here’s number three as you try to flee, no matter how fast you run I’m going to catch thee,” he chanted as he pursued his victims. They were able to escape when a group of Slytherin accompanied by two prefects came into view. Immediately the poltergeist shifted his attention and the new group scattered to try to avoid him. Those who had escaped hurried off down the corridors in various directions, all thought of their original destinations lost.

Screams echoed down the corridors as the poltergeist pursued any student that he encountered, with the exception of those belonging to Gryffindor House. The word was soon around the castle that, for some reason, Gryffindor students were being spared by the poltergeist that previously hadn’t cared who he tormented. Not even the staff were being spared his attentions and the castle was soon filled with very unhappy people.

Elizabeth and her group arrived in the greenhouses to find them vacant except for the various potted plants. The girl looked at the students who had come with her and hung her head.

“I think that I messed up royally! Peeves IS going on rampage and he’s not going to stop until he’s either made to or I drop the conditions that I made up in the Common Room when I beat him.”

“You know if you drop the conditions that you will be his main target,” Beatrice said as they looked once again around the greenhouse. A movement caught their attention and they cautiously approached to find Professor Longbottom hiding under one of the tables.

“Are you okay, Professor Longbottom?” Lily asked.

“I heard about Peeves going crazy and thought that it was him when you came in,” the young professor said as he climbed out from under the table that had partially concealed him.

“You should be okay, I mean, you were a Gryffindor when you went to school here,” Lily responded. “He’s leaving Gryffindors alone after Elizabeth got the better of him up in the Gryffindor Common Room. She beat him but good!”

“How in Merlin’s name did you manage to do that, Elizabeth?”

“I’ve just picked up some rather unusual, but very useful, spells from different people.”

“Well, by all means, please teach them to us so that he’ll calm down.”

While they were talking in the greenhouse, Harry was walking through the corridors and suddenly came face to face with the poltergeist. Peeves’ tiny dark eyes narrowed as he scowled and began to advance on the Auror who drew his wand to point it at his opponent.

“Old Peeves is going to show little Potty-wotty that he’s not scared of a pointy stick,” Peeves said just as he suddenly shot full tilt at Harry who had only one spell in mind.

“Expecto patronum!"

Peeves staggered in mid-flight as the Patronus struck him head on. He tumbled head over heels through the air as the waves of energy struck him again and again. Harry maintained the Patronus until the poltergeist managed to get free and then vanish. The rattling of torches and windows down the corridor gave testimony to the passage of the invisible Peeves.

‘I never knew that a Patronus could affect him! Something must have happened to allow it, but why did he look so angry?’

When the time to change classes came, very few students were willing to expose themselves to the attentions of the poltergeist by venturing out into the halls. They definitely weren’t willing to gather in large groups, which seemed to draw the attention of Peeves. The irritated spirit had to content himself with chasing down small groups of students or those unlucky enough to be caught out alone. One incident turned out much more pleasantly for the victim that it could have when the young girl from Ravenclaw, fleeing Peeves, came face to face with the Bloody Baron.

“Peeves, what in Merlin’s name are you doing?”

The poltergeist stopped his pursuit of the girl, who took the opportunity to escape down a side corridor and vanish.

“I’m not going to ask you again, Peeves. What are you doing?”

“Just having a wee bit of fun, your Bloodiness,” the poltergeist answered as he wrung his hands in distress.

“A wee bit of fun? You have the entire castle in an uproar! The Headmaster is talking about having you banned from the castle, is that what you want? I have no idea what has put you in this state but I am telling you right now to cease and desist immediately or you shall deal with me!”

“But old Peevsie is just a little upset with that girl.”

“The child that you were chasing? She was a first year, how can she possibly have upset you?”

“Not THAT girl, your Bloodiness, the Blackwell girl. She actually beat me with a spell that she didn’t need a wand for. She shoved me into a vase after nearly drowning me with enchanted water and then she froze the water on top of me! Old Peeves nearly became a mantle piece on her shelf, surely you cannot begrudge me a little fun after that.”

“If she was able to beat you that easily then perhaps you need to avoid her. But stop this nonsense immediately or we shall have a discussion again and you will not like it one bit.

“Yes, your Bloodiness,” Peeves said before the Baron nodded his approval and then vanished. The poltergeist floated down the corridor, ignoring the students that he passed. They cowered away from him and then walked on with relief when he didn’t torment them.

‘Old Peeves isn’t done, not just yet. Little Missy Blackwell isn’t going to like my revenge, not one bit. My bag of tricks isn’t empty and I know just how to deal with her’

The rest of the day seemed to pass without event and the students were soon venturing towards the Great Hall. All of them were extremely jumpy, expecting an attack at any moment, but when they arrived at their destination they were relieved to find everything as it should be. Elizabeth and her group walked to their table and were soon seated as they waited for the meal to begin. Professor Leeds walked past the table and paused long enough to whisper a message to the girl.

“Miss Blackwell, I need to speak to you as soon as dinner is finished. There is no need to go up to my office, we can speak here once everyone else is gone.”

Elizabeth nodded and then watched as the Headmaster walked up to the High Table to take his seat. Nearly instantly the tables were full of food and the children hurried to fill their plates as the meal commenced. Conversation was quieter than normal as everyone was watching for the appearance of the poltergeist, but Peeves stayed absent which made some present even more nervous. What was Peeves up to?

Finally, with the meal and dessert finished, the students began to rise and leave the Great Hall. Elizabeth remained seated as her friends got up, they weren’t overly concerned about why Professor Leeds wanted to talk to her. They all knew why and they knew that Elizabeth was expecting the conversation. Professor Leeds walked to the table and sat down on the bench across the table from his student.

“Elizabeth, do you happen to know why Peeves is in such a state? I’ve never seen him like this and it is strange that Gryffindors are immune to his antics.”

“I really goofed when I had to deal with him this morning, Professor Leeds. He had everyone in the common room stuck to the floor and unable to speak, even my cat. He was going to glue me down too, but a spell that Sebastian taught me last term affected him and I was able to put him into a vase and keep him there. I made him promise to leave Gryffindors alone for fifty years if he wanted to get out. I never thought about what he would do to everyone else when he got loose. I’m sorry that I created such a mess.”

“You are not the first to do something like this and I am quite certain that you will not be the last. Peeves is very upset that you got the best of him and will be acting up for a while. Elizabeth, you need to be very careful when dictating conditions to Peeves, he’s very literal and will contort anything that you say to him if he gets the chance.”

“What do we do?”

Oh, I think that we can handle Peeves. All that we need is the assistance of the Bloody Baron and I think that we can put an end to this tirade.”

Elizabeth jumped as the Baron suddenly appeared next to Professor Leeds who bade him to be seated.

“Thank you, kind Baron, for coming so swiftly.”

“I’ve actually been here for quite a while listening to this conversation. The young lass has indeed peeved Peeves and I have already spoken to him. But I think that more is necessary,” he said before turning and calling out into the vast space of the Great Hall.

“Peeves, I want you here now!”

Nearly instantly Peeves appeared at the table seated right next to Elizabeth who shrieked with surprise.

“You called old Peeves, your Bloodiness.”

“Yes, I called you. Professor Leeds, Miss Blackwell and I have just been discussing your activities.”

“She caused it! She caused it! She shan’t have put me in that vase after trying to drown me and then she tried to freeze me! Then she made me promise to leave Gryffindor House alone for fifty years. Do you know how long that is?”

“Not long at all for you, Peeves, you’re dead!”

“Well, um, I mean, she shan’t have made me promise. You know how hard it is for me to keep a promise. Like to tore my heart out, it did!”

“You are to go back to your normal activities, but no more of this constant rampage,” Professor Leeds said sternly.

Peeves blinked and then leaned forward to look directly into the eyes of the Headmaster.

“Is that ALL I get, my NORMAL activities? Harmed I have been by this young upstart, I could have been killed!”

“Peeves,” Elizabeth said softly, “ I couldn’t have killed you, you’re already dead.”

“And now she worries about the little things, I want justice! I’ll agree to it, but I want something more from Miss Blackwell.”

“I’m sorry, Peeves,” Elizabeth said slowly.

“Not enough,” Peeves said as he folded his arms across his chest and pouted.

“Then what in Merlin’s name do you want? I‘ve already apologized and Professor Leeds has told you that you can go back to your normal pranks.”

Peeves grinned a horrible grin as he looked at the pretty girl who sat next to him. The twinkle in his dark eyes made Elizabeth shudder as she knew that it wasn’t going to be good.

“If bizzy Lizzy wants Peeves to be good, then blue her hair has to be for a month!”

“My hair has to be blue for a month?”

“And you has to have a blue beard!”

The girl thought for a moment before speaking.

“Very well, blue hair and beard for a month, but I get to choose the month.”

The poltergeist cackled gleefully as he nodded furiously.

“Yes, yes, choose the month and a sight you’ll be.”

“The month that I choose is July.”

Peeves stopped laughing and frowned suddenly as he realized that, once again, the girl had gotten the better of him. His spell would turn her hair blue and give her a beard in July, but none of the students at Hogwarts would see it.

“Not fair! Not fair! Cheating you are and it’s NOT FAIR!”

“Peeves, you said that she could choose the month and choose the month she did! You made no specification about the months that she could not choose. Like you, Peeves, she made a very literal choice,” the Baron said slowly. “It is over and done with, Peeves, I want to hear no more about it. Have I made myself clear?”

The poltergeist nodded before speaking again.

“Then I can go back to pranking?

“Yes, but within reason.

“I can even prank Gryffindor House?”

“Yes, again within reason.”

Peeves whooped with delight and then vanished, but not before giving Elizabeth his version of a kiss on the cheek which left a trail of ectoplasm on her face which the disgusted girl wasted no time in wiping away.

“Peeves! Stay out of the girls’ dorms, restrooms and shower areas!” the Baron shouted after the departing poltergeist.

“Thank you, Baron,” Professor Leeds said quickly before the ghost vanished. The ghost nodded and then left the professor and girl alone.

“I guess that we slipped out of that one,” Elizabeth said.

“Yes, we did, but how is your family going to like you with a blue beard and hair for a month?”

“They’ll get used to it after the initial shock, I just won’t be going anywhere that month. I guess it will be like going into seclusion.”

The pair got up, walked together out of the Great Hall and were thoroughly drenched by a deluge of blue ink that suddenly fell from above the door. The high cackle of the poltergeist sounded through the halls as he shot down them leaving his victims behind. Elizabeth looked up at the equally blue Headmaster next to her as they both nodded.

“I guess that we should have expected this,” she said as ink dripped off of her nose.

“Yes, I guess that we should.”

They both laughed as Professor Leeds drew his wand and cast a spell.

“Tergeo!

No longer blue, they walked their separate ways down the halls as Peeves watched from his vantage point near the ceiling.

“It’s not over!” the poltergeist crooned to himself before vanishing.
 

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