He’s got an orange bow tie. He resides in Hogwarts. He’s an indestructible spirit of chaos. You all know who I’m talking about: Peeves!
That’s right. Our . . . dear friend Peevesie is known for tormenting students and professors alike by causing as much mayhem as possible in the castle. He’s stuck gum in keyholes, written crude messages on chalkboards, and pulled rugs out from under students, and all of that on top of his regular taunting of anyone nearby. But that’s something anyone could do, right? Peeves is far more mischievous than that! He can sneak up on you invisibly before grabbing your nose and screaming “GOT YOUR CONK!” (something he’s been known to do especially when students are late for class). He can unscrew chandeliers to make them fall at precisely the right moment. He can float above your head and pelt water balloons at you. He’s even trapped Mrs. Norris in suits of armor multiple times in his ongoing war with Argus Filch, Hogwarts’ caretaker. But the most extreme thing that Peeves has done? Well, it happened in 1876, under the watch of caretaker Rancorous Carpe.
Carpe devised a trap, described in history books as elaborate, meant to eliminate the poltergeist from the castle. Long story short? It didn’t go so well. The castle ended up having to be evacuated for all of three days. Before students and staff were safely off the grounds, however, a very miffed Peevesie decided it would be quite fun to throw weapons around randomly, as well as threaten people with death! (Not something socially acceptable, in case you were wondering.)
An old diary of Carpe’s has been found detailing the stand-off. Buried in a sea of complaints about the messes students made day after day, this first-hand account was truly a treasure to find and was in absolutely no way stolen from any file cabinet in the current caretaker’s office! The diary’s exterior was adorned with frills and lace over a salmon-pink leather cover (if I didn’t know any better, I’d say it could belong to Dolores Umbridge). It was filled with some very choice words as well as details from Carpe’s experience during those memorable three days. The poor man recounts that he had approximately five maces, three swords, and four-and-a-half axes violently hurled at him during the struggle, as well as a close shave involving a couple of chandeliers before the castle was vacated at long last. There’s even a paragraph detailing what seems to be a primitive version of a Portable Swamp!
The chaos only stopped after the Headmistress at the time, Eupraxia Mole, agreed to sign a contract with Peeves which enabled him to special privileges. Peeves was to be allowed a swim in the boys’ toilets on the ground floor once a week, among other things, including dibs on stale bread from the kitchens (for throwing purposes, naturally) and a new hat custom-made by none other than Madam Bonhabille herself, one of the most renowned hat-makers of the late nineteenth century.
Let it be a lesson to us all not to mess with Peeves, our poltergeist pal!