The Sugar Quill
Author: Ozma (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: The Way of the Squib  Chapter: Chapter One: Seekers
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The Way of The Squib

The Way of The Squib

a Harry Potter fan-fic

by Ozma

a sequel to "Squib Wizard"

Chapter 1 of 4: Seekers




"Students out of bed!!!!"

Peevesí oily voice was unmistakable.

"Oi! Filch!"

Maybe I was having a nightmare?

"Get up, Filch!"

No, Peeves was really here. In my room. In the middle of the night. Yelling. I burrowed under the blankets and put my pillow over my head. The wretched poltergeist began to lob stale dinner rolls at me. (He steals them from the tables at dinner and keeps them until they are harder than Hagridís rock cakes.)

"Students! Out! Of! Bed!" Each word was accompanied by a chunk of bread bouncing off my back.

"Go away," I moaned. "Iíve had barely four hours sleep and thatís over the last two days!"

"Oooh!" Peeves cackled at me. "Poor, tired old Filch wants his beauty sleep, does he? Well, one hundred yearsí beauty sleep wouldnít help that ugly phiz of yours!"

His voice turned oily. "Good ickle students should be safe in their beds at night. Bad ones who go running about should be caught and punished! Neglecting your responsibilities just a bit, arenít you?"

Curse him, he was right. I never thought Iíd see the day when Iíd need Peeves to remind me of my proper duty. Blearily, I managed to sit up. For a moment or two all I could do was blink and stare. The poltergeist bounced a stale roll off my head.

"Listen, why donít you go and torment them for me, Ďtil I get there?" I asked him, too weary even to dodge.

Peeves gave me a wicked glare. I could see the gleam in his eyes, even in the dimness of my room.

"Lazy old Filch is just going to go right back to sleep!" Peeves said accusingly.

"I mean it," I yawned. "Iíll be right there. Where did you say these students were?"

"In the entrance hall. And youíd better be quick! Or theyíll be outside!!"

That woke me up.

"Delay them. Iíll be right behind you," I said, fumbling around for my slippers.

Grinning with satisfaction, Peeves turned and flew out through my bedroom wall.

Mrs. Norris, who was curled up on my bed, stirred and had herself a luxuriant stretch. She looked at the bits of bread everywhere and blinked her golden eyes.

"Donít ask," I said. "Are you coming with me or would you rather sleep?"

She rubbed against me, purring even more affectionately than usual. Then she jumped down from the bed. Blue-and-copper was already there by the time I stumbled over to the wall.

"The entrance hall," I murmured. "Please."


Mrs. Norris and I emerged into another bread-storm.

"Merlinís Beard, Peeves! Donít you ever let the students have any of these accursed dinner rolls?" I moaned.

Peeves broke off his attack and hovered nearby to witness my confrontation with the miscreants. From the look of him, he was hoping that I was going to shout myself into a fit of apoplexy. I could see two boys in the middle of the vast entrance hall, brushing stale bits of roll out of their hair and off their robes. Fifth year Harry Potter and fourth year Colin Creevey, both of Gryffindor. Both were holding brooms. Potter had his Firebolt and Creevey was carrying one of the school brooms, a rather old Shooting Star.

Stale bread crunched under my slippers as I made my way over to them. Mrs. Norris padded softly after me.

"Where do the two of you think youíre going?" I asked.

Thanks to the highly efficient Hogwarts grapevine, I already knew the answer to my question. As the only Seeker on the Gryffindor House team, Potter carried a heavy responsibility. At least one reserve Seeker was needed, and Potter had chosen Creevey from among several candidates. Iím no expert on Quidditch, but I thought it was a wise decision. Creevey, like Potter, is small, quick and agile. And enthusiastic. Very, very enthusiastic.

According to Minerva, who was pleased with Potterís choice, Creevey had the makings of a fine Seeker. Plenty of raw talent. Muggle-born Creevey was eager for all the flying practice he could get. Even if it was in the middle of the night.

To their credit, neither boy tried lying to me, or bluffing. It would have been obvious to the thickest troll what theyíd been trying to do and they knew it.

"This is my fault," Potter said. "Not Colinís. It was my idea."

"No," Creevey piped up. "It was my idea, really! Donít blame Harry!"

I sighed. "Boys, it doesnít matter who had the idea. Youíre both here. Youíre both getting detention. As soon as I can think of one thatís miserable enough. Flying around in the dark! What were you thinking?"

"Could have broken their necks," Peeves cackled gleefully, rubbing his hands together. He was prompting me, waiting for me to put on a good show for him. But I was too sleepy to work up any real anger. I felt more relief than anything. The boys had been caught before anything too terrible could happen.

"Go back to your beds," I told them quietly. "Iíll speak to Professor McGonagall about the two of you in the morning and we will arrange a suitable detention. Tomorrow is Saturday. You donít have classes. You can practice your flying all day if you wish. In the light, like sensible people."

Both boys turned to go back up the stairs.

Peeves looked at me with anger and disappointment on his sharp little face. I was too busy yawning to care.


Sweeping up the entrance hall didnít take as long as Iíd feared. When Mrs. Norris and I returned to our room, I discovered that one or more of the house-elves must have paid us a visit and set my bed back to rights. Not so much as a bread crumb in sight! Relieved, I crawled back under my blankets.

I slept right through breakfast as Iíve often done lately. Eventually, I was awakened by Mrs. Norris. She was making a most distressing sound. A long, low crooning yowl.

"What is it, my sweet?" I asked, petting her. "Whatís wrong?"

She pressed up against me, kneading the bedclothes with her claws. Her tail end rose as I stroked her. She continued making that pitiful noise.

"Oh... no!" I said. I buried my face in my hands. It had been a very long time, but I knew the signs. A certain long-standing Charm had worn off.

My poor cat was in heat.


Professor Flitwick had been given the task of finding a way to block my Doors and heíd risen to the challenge. The diminutive Professor was the most Unreachable person in the Castle. He had Unreachable Charms protecting his office and Unreachable Charms protecting himself. Both the Headmaster and Alastor Moody agreed that the Castleís defenses should not include a weapon that we ourselves did not know how to fight. Any weapon had the potential to be turned against us.

When I tried to enter Professor Flitwickís office via blue-and-copper, the journey took a long time. When I finally emerged into the corridor near his office (the closest the Charm would allow) I found the door locked.

In desperation, I asked blue-and-copper to take me directly to him. It was an emergency! Professor Flitwick needed to renew the Charm which had kept Mrs. Norris safe from the demands of her urge to breed!

To my surprise I emerged from Rowenaís Door to find myself back in the Charms corridor once more. Several more attempts produced the same results.I realized the truth that Iíd been unwilling to accept. My Door could not bring me to Professor Flitwick because he must not be in the Castle or anywhere on the grounds! He must have had plans for today.

I hoped that he would return soon. Being cooped up in her current miserable state would be very difficult for poor Mrs. Norris! Iíd left her shut up in our rooms, wailing her little heart out.

Perhaps one of the other professors might be capable of working the complex Anti-estrus Charm? But no one else would have Flitwickís gentle touch. Mrs. Norris trusted him. Professor McGonagall was the only other Professor that Mrs. Norris was as fond of.

Could I raise this delicate subject with Minerva? She was really my only choice.


Uncharacteristically Mrs. Norris hissed at Minerva when I brought the Deputy Headmistress into our rooms. Professor McGonagall was carrying a book describing the workings of the Anti-estrus Charm.

"Sheís seeing me as a rival," Minerva said. "Another female in her territory. Poor thing. Sheís really in quite a state!"

"Is there anything you can do for her?" I asked, anxiously. We had to speak loudly in order to be heard over Mrs. Norris. She was rubbing up against me with great affection, wailing piteously while simultaneously bristling and glowering at Minerva.

Professor McGonagall shook her head. "Iím afraid not. The Anti-estrus Charm is one Iíve never done before and I donít wish to experiment on Mrs. Norris. Besides, the Charm loses effectiveness once the cat in question has started a breeding cycle."

"Argus," she continued gently, "The Charm was never meant to be permanent. Filius must have told you that."

I nodded, biting my lip.

"It must have reached the end of its natural span. Perhaps now you must simply let nature take its course."

"No," I said stubbornly. "Never again! You remember what happened last time! Kittens are a bother that she and I can do without very nicely, thank you! A lot of trouble and heartache! There must be some other way! Perhaps when Professor Flitwick returns, he can try another Charm on her!"

"Heís gone for the entire weekend," Minerva told me. "Are you really willing to let her go on like this?"

"I donít want to, but I donít have a choice!" I said.

Minervaís expression was stern. Her clear, grey eyes urged me to reconsider.

Frowning, I shook my head.

"Thank you for your advice, Professor," I said. "As long as youíre here, we might as well discuss the detention plans for Potter and Creevey. Letís go into the corridor, so we can hear each other!"

I had to pause first, to pry Mrs. Norris away from me. Minerva gave my cat a very sympathetic look as I shut the door on her pitiful yowling.


Minerva suggested that I seek Poppyís opinion on what to do about Mrs. Norris. Poppy had not been much help either. She agreed with Minerva.

"Oh, the poor little thing!" she said, when I described Mrs. Norrisís condition."Filch, you ought to just let her do what comes naturally! There are plenty of healthy tomcats in the Castle. Once sheís bred, sheíll be fine."

"She wonít be fine!" I wailed. "Sheíll be pregnant! Sheíll have kittens!"

Poppy remembered the last time, years ago. She patted my arm comfortingly. "She was a good mother, Argus."

"I know she was a good mother. I just donít want her put through all of that, again!"

Poppy sighed. "Iíve given you my advice. Take it or leave it."


Grumbling, I retreated down to my office. Minerva had left the choice of Potter and Creeveyís detention up to me and I was still trying to think of something suitable.

Pulling a chain off my wall, I began to polish. Mrs. Norris and her problem were still uppermost on my mind. Iíd already decided that she and I would wait for Professor Flitwick and hope that he knew another Charm to help her. It was going to be a long weekend for both of us.

Two long chains and a set of manacles were gleaming under fresh coats of polish before I calmed down. Potter and Creevey. I really needed a detention worthy of the intrepid Gryffindor Seeker and his enthusiastic little apprentice. I reached for another chain.

The third chain did the trick. I finally had an idea. The entrance hall floor could use another good scrubbing! I had only done it once since December. Ordinarily I would never choose washing that floor as a detention-task. Not because I wish to spare the childrenís backs, hands or knees. A little hard work never did anyone any lasting harm.

Itís because I canít abide shoddy work. The entrance hall floor is something that I take particular pride in. Most of the students will try to pass half-hearted efforts off as their best job unless they are carefully supervised. Being expected to do something so menial as clean without magic like a Muggle is so demeaning for them.

But Potter is different from most of the other students. Iíd discovered this when I had supervised him during a detention for Professor Snape a few years back. Severus had asked me to have Potter scrub out a collection of filthy flasks, bottles and beakers. All with bits of unidentifiable old potions crusted in hard-to-reach places.

Severus had probably been hoping that Potter would break a lot of them which would give him a reason to sneer, scold and deduct points from Gryffindor. Potter hadnít broken a single one. And heíd gotten them to sparkle. All without any prompting or badgering from me.

"You should have seen him, Professor!" Iíd said, later. "Not a word about how hard a job it was. He just washed them all, right down to the very bottoms, without being told. Even the tiny ones! He just picked up the right-sized bottle brush and went straight to work."

"And, then," Iíd continued enthusiastically, "he dried each one carefully, making sure that there were no streaks! No matter what else you may think of him, Harry Potter really knows how to clean!"

Poor Severus. He had not been pleased by this report. Heíd given me one of his nastiest sneers. "Please, Filch. Do try to contain your delight. The boy is a wizard, not a house-elf."

Iíd sighed. Many pure-bloods in all four Houses have this same arrogance. Power is their birthright. They are the magic-wielding lords of creation, meant for finer things than scrubbing. (In my heart I know that I really canít blame the pure-blooded wizards for feeling this way. Iíd be no different if I wasnít a Squib.)

Muggle-borns can be refreshing sometimes. At least the Muggle-borns know that their magic is a gift. They truly appreciate what theyíve been given. Potter was not Muggle-born, but he was Muggle-raised. The effect was the same.

Severus had given me another caustic look. "I hope that you did not make a fool of yourself, singing the boyís praises like some empty headed celebrity-worshipper."

Iíd blinked at him. "You know that wouldnít be like me, Professor. Potter was only doing exactly what he ought to do! He didnít act as if he expected praise and I didnít offer him any. I just wish that the other brats were more like him."

Severus had not been able to suppress a shudder.


"The entrance hall floor?" Minerva said. "Thatís quite a big job."

"Their offense merits it. They werenít only out of their beds, they were trying to sneak outside! Potter is certainly up to washing the entrance hall floor. He can clean like a house-elf! I mean that as a compliment, Professor. And Creevey is full of stamina. Heís like Professor Flitwick after heís had one too many of those cherry syrup and sodas! It wonít hurt Creevey to put all that energy into something useful. And, Iím not going to leave them to do it all alone. Iím going to work along with them. We can do the job tonight and get it over with."

"The boys have been practicing on their brooms all day," Minerva said, frowning. "Theyíre going to be tired."

"Tomorrow is Sunday. They can sleep late."

She gave me one of her stern looks. "Admit it. You wish for a good reason to stay away from your rooms this evening, so you will not have to listen to poor Mrs. Norris. Honestly, Argus..."

I knew that I was guilty as charged.

"If you would just..." Minerva began.

"No," I said, firmly.

Professor McGonagall sighed.

"What about Potter and Creevey?" I asked. "Do I have your permission to proceed with their detention this evening?"

After another sigh, Minerva nodded.

"Good. Itís settled," I said.


Harry Potter and Colin Creevey were quite dismayed when Minerva informed them what their detention would entail. Scrubbing the floor of the Castleís vast entrance hall was not their idea of a fun way to spend a Saturday night.

Too bad for them. Some things are necessary, even if they are not pleasant.

Iíd already started working when Minerva sent the boys to me.

"Donít just stand there gawking!" I said, waving my hand at more buckets, and a collection of brushes, mops and bottles of Magical Mess Remover.

"The sooner you begin, the sooner you will finish! Life isnít all glory on the Quidditch pitch, you know!" I growled.

Creevey continued to stare, his wide eyes taking in every inch of the vast stone floor. Then his head tilted back to study the ceiling, so high up that it was hard to make out He looked even smaller than usual, alone in the large hall except for Potter and me.

Potter went right to work, as he usually does. He chose a bucket (which Iíd already filled with cleaning solution, to save time), a mop and a brush. Then he went to a part of the room well away from where I was scrubbing. He knelt down, dipped his brush into the bucket and began cleaning.

"Creevey!" I barked. "Are you waiting for an engraved invitation? Start helping! No, boy, donít go over there. Potter already has that section of floor. Start from a different side and we can all work our way over to the middle!"

I had been too tired to yell at them the night before, but I was making up for it now. My mood was particularly foul because I had just spent some time with Mrs. Norris in our rooms, trying to soothe her. My cat was wailing inconsolably, showing little interest in either food or milk. Her yowling broke my heart. The thought of her alone in such a state made me miserable. But there was nothing useful I could do for her if I stayed.

Creevey had finally started cleaning. And chattering. His clear little voice carried loudly through the echoing hall.

"...Dennis took lots of pictures of us practicing today, Harry! He says he thinks he got a good shot of that brilliant catch you made... remember when you were showing me how fast the Snitch can dive...? Do you think Iíll ever be able to make a catch like that, Harry?"

"Of course you will, Colin," Potter said, with more patience then I would have been able to muster under similar circumstances. "You just need a little more practice."

"Letís have a lot less TALKING and a lot more WORKING over there, boys!" I snarled. Then I suppressed a twinge of guilt. It was unfair of me to have included both of them in the scolding, when Potter was keeping pace with me quite well.

Creevey managed to keep silent for a while. I could tell that it was a real strain for him. Eventually, he blurted out, "Ron really is an excellent Keeper! Did you know that he would be so good? Heís wild! Half the time, he was only holding onto his broom with one leg! Dennis said that Hermione never even finished one page of her book because she kept watching Ron. She kept muttering that he was absolutely insane! Dennis says he got some really good pictures of Ron..."

"Creevey!" I snarled, furiously. "If your hands could only move as quickly as that mouth of yours, weíd already be finished! Shut UP!"

Iíd never seen little Creevey actually look abashed before. Potter, who can take any amount of scolding thatís directed at him, didnít like me yelling at Creevey. He gave me a glare that was nearly worthy of Professor Snape.

I gave him one right back. No student, no matter how well he cleans, is going to look at me like that!

For a while the three of us scrubbed in silence. And then we heard it. A heart-rending yowl, echoing down, through the vast, empty space between the far-off ceiling and the stone floor of the entrance hall. Bouncing down the stairs, echoing off the marble of the first two flights. Potter and Creevey looked at each other in confusion.

"Impossible! How did she get out?" I said.

Both boys looked at me.

"How did who get out?" Potter asked.

"Never mind!" I snapped. "Keep working, Potter. And try to keep Creevey working too. Iíll be right back!"

As fast as I could, I ran up the first flight of stairs then into a corridor where the boys couldnít see me. Summoning red-and-gold, I said, "Take me to Mrs. Norris!"

I emerged near the entrance to the stairwell on the fourth floor. Mrs. Norris was crouched, barely two feet in front of me, wailing like a heartsick feline Juliet seeking her Romeo. To make matters worse, I could hear several "Romeos" yowling right back.

"Believe me, youíll be grateful for this when you return to your proper senses, my sweet," I said, softly as I knelt down and reached for her. "Now, letís just get you back to our room, and..."

Mrs. Norris darted nimbly out of my reach. She went racing down the corridor on the left hand side, rapidly disappearing around a corner and out of sight.

Cursing, I summoned red-and-gold once more. "Take me to Mrs. Norris!"

I caught up with her not a moment too soon. Several suitors, clearly smitten by her charms, were surrounding her vying enthusiastically for her affections. The noise level was incredible. Wishing that Iíd brought my mop along to use as a weapon, or at least a bucket of water, I waded into the melee to defend her virtue.


When I returned to the entrance hall I was triumphant, if considerably scratched and bloodied. Mrs. Norris had been returned to our rooms, her honor still intact.

Her swains had been left to mill about, wailing in disappointment. Potter and Creevey regarded my battered condition with raised eyebrows. Potter made no comment. Predictably, Creevey was full of questions.

"Are you all right, Mr. Filch? What happened? Harry said that you must have gone to break up a cat-fight! Were some other cats fighting with Mrs. Norris? Is she all right?"

"Yes," I said, grimly. "Some other cats were ...fighting... with Mrs. Norris. Sheís fine now. Iíve locked her up where sheíll be safe."

Potter was biting his lip. He looked like he was trying hard to keep from laughing. I was sure that he knew perfectly well that the other cats hadnít wanted to "fight" with Mrs. Norris. Though I was glad he hadnít said as much to Creevey.

Critically, I scanned the floor. As usual it was impossible to find fault with Potterís cleaning efforts. My bad mood warred with my sense of justice. I almost never feel the urge to praise a studentís work. Potter was one of the very few exceptions. I was forced to admit that Creeveyís work wasnít too bad either. Not up to Potterís level, of course, but Creevey knew how to apply elbow-grease with the skill of most Muggle-borns.

Potter had kept scrubbing at a steady pace all the time Iíd been gone. Nearly to the middle of the entrance hall, his progress had far outstripped Creeveyís. Or, for that matter, mine! Determined to catch up, I went back to work.

Soon afterwards, we all heard the same yowling as before echoing eerily down the stairs! I cursed very loudly, forgetting for a moment that the boys were present.

"How does she keep getting out?!?" I snarled, slamming my brush into the bucket.

"Does Mrs. Norris want to fight with those other cats, Harry?" Creevey asked, wide-eyed.

"Iíll explain in a minute, Colin," I heard Potter saying, as I ran up the stairs again, this time bringing along my mop and bucket.

I was just as glad that I was going to miss out on Potterís little lecture. Grimly, I wondered how he happened to know so much about cats. He didnít have a cat, he had an owl! Well, perhaps those Muggles he lived with had a cat.


The number of suitors had increased. I had a difficult time getting Mrs. Norris away from them, particularly since she didnít want to be rescued. Though the mop and the bucket had evened up the odds a little. When Mrs. Norris was at last safely confined in her chaste bedchamber again, I limped back down to the entrance hall.

This time my appearance didnít amuse the boys. Potter and Creevey looked at my bloody face, scratched arms and ripped shirt without grinning.

"Mr. Filch?" Potter said, a little hesitantly. "Maybe you should go to the hospital wing."

The thought of what Poppy would say to me if she saw me in this state made me cringe. "No!" I snarled.

Smarting all over, I went back to work. I was hoping that Iíd discouraged them from asking me any more questions. No such luck.

"Mr. Filch?" Creevey piped up. "Donít you want Mrs. Norris to have kittens?"

I didnít have the energy to glare at him.

"Kittens are a lot of bother," I said, wearily. "Mrs. Norris will gain weight, feel very tired and sheíll be ill sometimes, too. And pregnancy is only the beginning. Giving birth is no picnic either! And then her work really starts. All the nursing and the teaching! Never a moment to herself. She would not be able to have a quiet nap without the little beasts piling themselves up all over her."

"But Harry says that sheís making all that noise because she really wants kittens."

"She canít help that. Itís instinctive. Once Professor Flitwick returns heíll be able to fix her. He should be back tomorrow night." I hope, I thought.

"Fix her?" Creevey said. "You mean the same way that my cat at home is fixed? I didnít know Professor Flitwick was a vet! Did you know that, Harry?"

"Professor Flitwick isnít a `vet,í" whatever that is! Heís going to use a Charm on her," I said.

"Oh!" Creevey exclaimed.

Then he took a deep breath and launched into a somewhat lengthy explanation of what a vet was. Some sort of Muggle that "fixed" cats. Not with anything as clean and neat as a Charm, either. A Ďvetí would put a cat to sleep and cut her open!

"Then," Creevey was saying, apparently not noticing that I had gone chalk white under my scratches, "after all those bits have been removed, the vet will sew her right back up..."

"Er... Colin?" Potter said. "I donít think that Mr. Filch wants to hear any more."

"It doesnít hurt! Our Grizabella had it done when she was young, and she was good as new in a week or so!"

"Colin," Potter said, reprovingly.

I was shuddering visibly. Muggles were so bloodthirsty! Iíd had no idea of the sorts of crudity they were forced to resort to in place of proper magic!


When the horrific yowling began echoing down the stairs for a third time, I just buried my head in my hands.

"How?" I moaned. "HOW does she keep getting out?"

Then, over the loud wails of my poor love-sick cat, Potter, Creevey and I all heard the sound of a familiar cackle.

"Poor, poor old Filch! Doesnít want kittens, does he? Too much mess and bother! Well, isnít that just too bad for old Filch!"

"Peeves?" I said, faintly.

The wretched poltergeist appeared, floating in the air over my head. He was rolling about in mid-air, laughing madly.

"PEEVES!" I shrieked, swinging my mop at him. "HAVE YOU BEEN LETTING MRS. NORRIS OUT OF MY ROOM?"

"Poor sweet Mrs. Norris!" Peeves said, in mock-sympathetic tones. "Poor dear, lonely Mrs. Norris! I was just doing her a favor, I was!"

The poltergeist floated just out of my reach, glaring at me wickedly. I knew that this was revenge. He was angry because I had not given him a proper show the night before!

Well, he was getting a show now. I could not remember the last time I had been so furious! My eyes were popping. I could feel my face and body trembling. Spit flew from my mouth as I raged incoherently. I knew that I didnít have the strength to fight Mrs. Norrisís admirers off for a third time...

I tried to leap into the air and throttle Peeves. But both Potter and Creevey were holding my arms.

"Calm down, Mr. Filch," Potter was saying, alarmed. Then he said something that astonished me.

"Maybe I could get the other cats away from her for you? I could use a Stunning spell or I could put them to sleep..."

"Yes!" Creevey said, jumping up and down. "Iíll help you, Harry! Thatís a brilliant idea!"

"You couldnít possibly..." I said, twisting my hands together. "Up all those stairs? Youíd be exhausted by the time you found them! And being able to get to where the cats are isnít enough! Iíve done that twice already, and itís the easy part!"

It was, too. My Doors were only a little bit of help with this particular problem. Mrs. Norris was still too fast for me, and she didnít want to be caught...

Shaking my head in despair, I went on. "Youíd have to be able to keep up with them to Stun them, wouldnít you? All those cats, all moving so fast? Youíd need to be able to fly!"

The three of us all looked at each other while Peeves cackled madly over our heads. The same thought had obviously just occurred to Potter, Creevey and me. The boysí eyes shone with delight.

"No," I said, weakly. "Never! Not inside the Castle! Itís not allowed! Against the Rules..."

"Kittens!" Peeves crowed in delight. "Thereíll be kittens everywhere! Poor, poor Filch!"

Something inside me snapped. "Damn you!" I screamed, shaking my fists at the poltergeist. I turned and glared at Potter and Creevey.

"All right!" I bellowed. "Do it! Call your brooms! Get yourselves up there and STUN those amorous toms! Do whatever you have to do, but keep them away from Mrs. Norris!!"

Iíd shocked Peeves. Iíd shocked Potter. Iíd shocked Creevey. For that matter, Iíd shocked myself. But it was too late to take it back. Potterís eyes were dancing with delight. Creeveyís face was shining.

"Accio Firebolt!" Potter said.

"Accio Shooting Star!" Creevey said.

Twin blasts of magic blazed past me, racing up the stairs, towards Gryffindor tower.







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