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Scorpius stood in his dorm room as he considered the plans that he and Nelly had been making. All of them were highly risky, the possibility of expulsion a very real threat. If any part of the plan failed or came to light he would be packing his bags and trunk to leave the school for the remainder of the term if not forever. He knew that Nelly had been busy making her own arrangements and had enlisted the aid of several of her friends. Elizabeth might have returned but, with any luck, would be leaving the halls of Hogwarts forever.

As he stalked about in his dorm room he was unaware that an invisible Peeves was stalking his every move. The poltergeist was angry that the members of this House wanted to have Elizabeth expelled from Hogwarts because he wanted revenge on the girl himself. Not that he intended to harm the girl, he didn’t, but he truly wanted to see her with a blue beard and hair. The fact that she had selected a month when she wouldn’t be in school had irritated him, but he often thought that it was rather funny that the girl had outwitted him.

The poltergeist watched as the boy paused next to a large painting to examine it and realized that an opportunity had presented itself. Behind the boy a tapestry hung covering the wall and Scorpius, deep in thought, failed to hear the faint squeak as the fasteners were loosened from the wall. A moment later he was shoved roughly to the floor as the heavy tapestry came down on top of him. He had only time for a shout of surprise before he vanished completely under the fabric. Peeves watched with amusement as the boy attempted to get free of the trap and was disgusted when the boy seemed to be making progress.

Scorpius, already angry about his predicament, was nearly free of the tapestry when he felt his ankle being grabbed by an unseen assailant and then he dragged back under the tapestry. Terror filled his mind as he struggled against a very powerful adversary which was emitting horrible growling noises. The boy kicked at whatever was holding him and was rewarded with a throaty hiss as well as baleful yellow eyes that glared at him.

“How dare you strike me?”

The boy doubled his efforts to free himself as he smelled the horrible breath of the thing that was attempting to drag him to his death. As he struggled under the tapestry he was unaware of the crowd of students that was gathering around the moving lump on the floor of the corridor. They were puzzled about the fact that the boy had not emerged from under the tapestry. Now they could hear him talking to himself and were curious about it. Scorpius had been acting extremely strange lately and many of those who normally associated with him had been attempting to avoid him.

Peeves thought that this was incredible fun and was loath to release the boy. Instead he increased the terror that the boy felt the sensation of a tongue wrapping around his ankles and realized that he was being dragged towards something.

“Come to me my delicious morsel! My belly awaits you!”

“NO! I don’t want to be eaten!”

The students who watched the lump moving under the tapestry looked at one another as they listened to the seemingly one-sided conversation.

“Let me go, damn you! How dare you touch me?”

Titters of laughter began to sound as more students gathered around the spectacle in the corridor. It was reaching nearly a fever pitch when one of the students finally reached down and yanked the tapestry off of the boy to reveal him struggling with the carpet. Laughter filled the hallway as the boy suddenly looked up to see his Housemates watching him and he realized what he was battling.

“Malfoy, taking care of that ferocious carpet and tapestry are you? Those things have been frightening me for years,” one of the girls announced with sarcasm. “While you’re at it will you please take care of a curtain in the common room that has been scaring the first years?”

Scorpius looked around the corridor to see a forest of legs surrounding him and then rose swiftly as he tried to regain some semblance of composure. As he rose the other students turned and walked from the scene talking and laughing. The boy looked down at the tapestry and carpet before stalking away from the scene as he thought about what had happened to him.

'How did it fall on me and whose voice did I hear? Where did those eyes come from and what grabbed me?’

Peeves trailed the boy as an inspiration came to his mind.

‘Maybe Malfoy thinkses that old Salazar is sending one of his snakeses to deal with him! Well, I can help him with that and by the time I’m through with him the dolt with be peeking around every corner before he walks around it. I’m going to give him something he’ll never forget!’

The poltergeist would spend the rest of the day ignoring the other students while trailing Nelly and Scorpius. Neither student could determine exactly what was going on as misfortune after misfortune followed them around the castle. Finally both of them arrived in Potions class and the poltergeist saw a golden opportunity when he heard the professor speak.

“Class, I need your complete attention because what I have to say is of vital importance.”

Conversation ended as the students stopped talking and fixed their gaze on Professor Tindwell.

“Today you shall be adding the final ingredient into your potions. While this potion is normally harmless care must be taken to prevent too much Asphodel into it. The results would be immediate and irreversible except for the passage of several weeks. No more than three pinches must be added because I am certain that your classmates do not wish to be stained green for weeks any more than I do. You all know what I consider a pinch and I expect you to adhere to that knowledge.”

Elizabeth was hurrying to class with Lily and Beatrice in tow as the class walked to their cauldrons to continue the potion. Scorpius picked up the container of Asphodel as he looked at the vacant places normally occupied by the girls. He didn’t see the poltergeist as Peeves approached him from behind and only felt the sudden bump on his elbow which sent the container into the fluid in the cauldron.

The girls had arrived at the door and were preparing to open it when they heard a sudden loud “POOF” and then a series of screams from within the room. They looked at each other and then at the door.

“Do we go in?”

Elizabeth looked at Beatrice who had just spoken and shrugged her shoulders as the door suddenly opened and several students staggered out. The girls stood wide eyed as they saw that every person who emerged from the room was stained a brilliant shade of emerald green from head to toe.

“What in the name of Merlin happened?” Elizabeth asked when she recovered from the shock that she had experienced.

“Scorpius Malfoy!” Professor Tindwell roared. “You are to report to the office of Professor Leeds this instant because this is the last time that I shall tolerate your incompetence in my classroom!”

The trio watched as a green Professor Tindwell stormed out of his classroom to pursue the boy to the office of the Headmaster.

Students who had emerged from other classrooms laughed at the sight of the numerous green pupils before they were ushered back to their studies by irritated professors. Elizabeth and her friends peeked into the classroom to see every surface colored bright green. Beatrice looked at her friends as they turned to walk to the library.

“This is one time that I won’t mind detention for being late!”

“You’ve got that right,” Lily answered, “I just wonder how long they’ll be green.”

“If it happened in that classroom, they might be green until they have grandchildren studying here.”

The girls walked on to the library where they sat down to study the assignment that they were to review for potions class. They were aware of the hushed conversations as students who had also seen the affected pupils spread the news. Just as suddenly the conversations ended as a silence charm fell over the occupants of the room. Stunned students glanced up to see Madam Laur watching them with angry eyes as she went about the chore of putting books back on the shelves.

Elizabeth and her friends went back to studying their assignments while a thoroughly angry Professor Tindwell stood in Professor Leeds’ office with Scorpius.

“I have never, in all of my years in the classroom, seen such disregard for the rules of the professor or well-being of his peers. This student deliberately caused this incident by dumping an entire container of Asphodel into his potion despite my warning only moments before. He walks the halls of this school believing that he is above the code of conduct for students and is currently failing in my class due to his lack of focus on his studies. He and Miss Karsten have been carrying on conversations about another student who, by the way, is at the top of her class in my room. I do not mind side conversation as long as it does not affect instruction, but this is bordering on what sounds very much like they are plotting against Miss Blackwell.”

“What do you have to say for yourself, Mister Malfoy?”

“I didn’t do this on purpose,” Scorpius responded, “who in their right mind would do something that would leave himself looking like this.”

“Be that as it may, nothing gives a student the right to affect the education of their peers. Now, you have given your schoolmates some entertainment for quite some time because I know the potion that you were brewing and the duration of this problem given a small amount of misplaced Asphodel, but an entire container is an unknown quality and I have no idea how long this shall last.”

“Very probably until the end of the term and beyond,” Professor Tindwell answered.

“You are to leave Miss Blackwell alone, Mister Malfoy. Should the young lady come to me with a complaint I shall deal with you most harshly. But also be aware that, should you try anything aggressive, Miss Blackwell is far beyond your ability to handle in a duel. She has already defeated Death Eaters in duels as well as I in a practice duel. You would not do well in a contest with her, when angered she could be the most fearsome opponent imaginable. Think about that for your own health the next time that you decide to confront her.”

“Then she is allowed to do as she pleases without threat of retribution.”

“Hardly, Scorpius, Elizabeth Blackwell is subject to punishment just as every other student is. But punishment only comes as a result of wrongdoing and I have noticed that she tries to avoid wrongdoing.”

“She was allowed to get my cousin expelled.”

“Elizabeth Blackwell was not the direct cause of Alexis’ expulsion, Scorpius. Your cousin was expelled for a long series of episodes of misconduct. She finished her time here by threatening to kill Miss Blackwell by throwing her from the parapet. Her statement was heard by a large number of witnesses and was enough to bring her time here to an end.”

Scorpius stood silently as he considered what he had been told. While he tried to look mindful to the professors he was secretly planning a strike at Elizabeth. She might be formidable in a duel, but Beatrice Campbell was not and she was one of Elizabeth’s closest friends. A strike at Beatrice would be the easiest way to incite Elizabeth to commit a forbidden act, an act that would get her expelled. Even as he was being herded out of the office of the Headmaster he was planning to create a situation that would bring about the end of Elizabeth Blackwell at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

As he was walking down the stairs from the office he was unaware of the poltergeist that was following him from a discrete distance. Although the boy had been humiliated by his current condition, Peeves was not finished with him yet. Scorpius tried to keep his eyes averted to avoid the curious gazes of the students that he met in the corridors as he walked to the greenhouses. It was there that he encountered a Hufflepuff student who had not heard the news about the incident in Potions. Her nearly hysterical laughter doubled when she saw Nelly walk around the corner. She stopped to watch the pair of Slytherin before hurrying on to get to Charms class before she was tardy. The sound of her laughter reached them as she receded in the distance, but this didn’t make it any easier to bear. They walked into the greenhouse and hurried to their workstations as they quietly quarreled.

“Why couldn’t you have been more careful with the Asphodel? I really don’t want to be green for the rest of the term.” Nelly hissed at the boy.

“It wasn’t my fault! Someone bumped my arm and I dropped the container.”


“There was no one around you when you dropped it!”


“Well, something hit my arm and caused me to drop it.”

The voice of Neville Longbottom calling the class to attention broke into their conversation and they turned to look at the young professor who was clearly trying to avoid laughing aloud.

“Today we are going to repot Mandrake roots and I want you all to have your earmuffs on securely. These are young Mandrakes so you know that they cannot kill you but they can certainly knock you out.  (J.K. Rowling Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Chapter 6). While these are not dangerous I want you to be cautious around their neighbors.”

“The Amazonian Red-leafed Serpenticulars behind you are known to writhe across the floor to wrap around anything that they want to climb. They are mildly venomous and will cause large red pustules all over your body if they contact you. Their progress is extremely slow and you should not have any difficulty avoiding them but, should you touch them expect an immediate reaction that will leave you with red spots and the sensation of ants crawling all over your body.”

The students hurried to get to their work as they also kept a nervous eye on the plants that squirmed toward them on the floor. Elizabeth and her friends concentrated on the task at hand while their counterparts across the table worked haphazardly at their chore. So intent were Nelly and Scorpius on glaring at the trio of girls that they didn’t see Peeves as he appeared behind them. The poltergeist vanished again as the vines rose into the air and drifted towards the pair of students. Neither of them had any idea of the situation that they were in until the plants wrapped around their ankles.

‘Soon you’ll be bright red and green and then maybe you’ll leave Bizzy Lizzy alone! Old Peevsie likes her, he does, and you’ll regret causing her grief!’

The boy and girl didn’t notice the leafy vines until they made their way up their legs, courtesy of Peeves' assistance. Nelly looked down and screamed just as her face erupted with strawberry sized pustules that oozed a viscous fluid that began to flow down her face like thick jelly. Scorpius was soon in the same condition and both of the students hurriedly yanked their gloves from their hands after dropping the Mandrakes and turned to rush from the greenhouse. Peeves, seeing yet another opportunity for mischief, yanked the earmuffs from their heads and soon both were lying on the ground unconscious from the wails of the roots.

The other students stepped forward to look down at their fallen classmates as they wondered just exactly what had happened to the pair. Many of the children had to step carefully over the outstretched vines that had contacted the pair and wondered just how the slothful plants had move quickly enough to get to them.

Neville Longbottom stepped forward to examine the pair as he shook his head in frustration. He motioned to his students to follow him and, once they were safe to do so, remove their earmuffs and gloves.

“Class is over for the day! Could one of you go to the Hospital Wing and have Madam Pomfrey come down here and assist me with those two? Did I not specifically warn all of you about the Mandrakes and the Serpenticulars? I’m afraid that not only have they failed today’s lesson, but they have each lost five points for Slytherin House.”

There was a loud protest from the remaining Slytherin over the loss of points until the professor threatened to take five points from Slytherin for each of the members of that House that did not follow his directions to quiet down and leave for their next class. The level of grumbling subsided as the defeated Slytherin students dispersed to move on to their next destination.

Some of the retreating students were grateful in one sense. While they might already be green in hue, at least they weren’t covered with large red pustules. They hurried on to their next class while Madam Pomfrey made her way to the students who still lay on the floor of the greenhouse.

Peeves was nearly beside himself with glee; the whole thing had worked out much better than he had planned. He had not expected the pair to run for the door and the fact that they were still in range of the screams of the Mandrakes had presented him with a bonus prank. Now the pair was being looked over by Madam Pomfrey as she prepared to take them to the hospital.

‘What can Old Peevsie do to them now? Maybe it’s time that I gives them just an itsy-bitsy more embarrassment more than I already has. Yes, indeedy do that’s just what I wants to do and I know just what’s coming next.’

As the poltergeist made plans for his next prank Madam Pomfrey regarded her new patients while they lay silently in their beds. Thankfully, the screams of the Mandrakes weren’t yet fatal and the effect of the Amazonian Red-leafed Serpenticular venom wasn’t long lasting. Both of the students would be back on their feet soon although they would retain the red pustules for a time. She reached into a jar to withdraw a thick purple ointment that she began to smear on the pustules that covered the faces and exposed skin of the pair. Once they were conscious she would have them tend to the injuries covered by clothing themselves.

Elizabeth and her classmates sat in Defense against the Dark Arts while Scorpius and Nelly lay in bed while Peeves plotted. None of the students could have imagined what the poltergeist had planned nor would they have wanted to be his target if they had. Scorpius and Nelly had knocked over a literal hornet’s nest with their plans of revenge against Elizabeth and both would soon be stung very badly.

Peeves would see to that!

Thank you JK Rowling for the inspiration and Mandrake plants (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Chapter 6) they were the perfect finishing touch for Peeves' dealing with Scorpius and Nelly.
 

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