Categories > Books > Harry Potter


by TheBadgeringWitness 0 reviews

Defining the concept of "love" is difficult when you’re not human. Peeves asks the Founders instead.

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: G - Genres: Drama,Humor - Characters: Godric Gryffindor,Helga Hufflepuff,Rowena Ravenclaw,Salazar Slytherin - Published: 2018-02-26 - 1743 words - Complete

When Peeves was newly born, full-bodied and full of excitement and mischief from the completely astounding amounts of magic around him, he was curious and naive. There were many times in the first couple of decades where he’d spy older children pressing their lips and bodies together in hallways and classrooms and dormitories, and he didn’t understand why. He thought it was funny to make them jump out of their skin, though. They were always so skiddish and angry when he interrupted those kinds of things.

He heard lots of things, too. Conversations that were meant to be private were nothing close to that when he was around. He heard the same thing, again and again and again, all between different people: “I love you.”

Naturally, he didn’t understand, so he did the only thing he could do outside of observing what went on when people “loved” each other. (Arguments, sweet words, rutting, kissing… But family members said they loved each other too, and so did friends, and while there were kind words and harsh ones, the physical contact differed completely nineteen times out of twenty.) So he asked the only people who he trusted, who would surely know the answer, because they were the creators of his home, and by extension, him.

He asked Rowena Ravenclaw first, because she was not only married to a Lord and with child, but undoubtedly the wisest and cleverest, so surely she would know.

“‘Tis a strong feeling of personal attachment, Little Ghost. You feel incredibly affectionate towards another person, in varying degrees.” Then she went on with stirring her potion, seeming to favor pursuing her experiment.

So he asked Godric Gryffindor. He was the boldest, the bravest, and known for being a comrade-in-arms of many. He had several children already, as well as several wives; two had died from disease, one had died in battle, and the last was thriving and working in the heat of the kitchens, well known for having a temper and being easily excited. They were an excellent team, if anything.

He seemed surprised, but gave a hearty laugh. “Simple! ‘Tis passion of the heart, my Little Ghost! You live and die for the ones you love! Though I suppose in your case, it’s to cling on!”

“I’ve heard people say they love things, too, though.”

Godric smiled still, light dancing in his eyes. “Of course! I live and die for battle and a good hunk of meat, too!” Then he went down the massive stone steps, hearing his wife call for him from the Great Hall.

So Peeves asked Salazar Slytherin. He was cunning and not without a couple of children of his own, though Peeves was sure that his wife had passed away, as he had only ever met their little Slytherins and no one had ever spoken of her in Peeves presence.

Salazar raised an eyebrow, seeming none-too-sure Peeves wasn’t up to something sinister. “I do not know what joke you are planning, Little Ghost, but it is not amusing.”

“It’s not a joke,” Peeves replied with a roll of his eyes. “I just keep hearing people say they love each other, and I don’t get what they mean!

“I would have thought you would have known, being a ghost. Ah, well,” Salazar sighed, picking up his quill again and continued to write on his parchment, not caring about the dots of ink in the margin. “It is complex, Little Ghost. Blood of the family is strong enough to pull people together, but blood of the Coven is stronger. They all become like your limbs. When we are wed, it is…” He trailed off, pausing, and Peeves waited with wide, curious eyes. “Like you found your other half. You care about them as you would yourself.” His dark eyes were heavy and misty with remembrance. “Now please leave me be.”

Peeves still didn’t get it. Who was right? Was it a personal attachment, a matter of life or death, or finding a part of yourself? It was all so confusing!

He stumbled upon Helga Hufflepuff, who was weaving away in her quarters before the fire. She was the most patient with him, even if she reprimanded him occasionally for his japes. Where Salazar and Rowena would grow cross, and Godric would laugh, Helga would be a mix of both; sometimes she’d have a laugh and sometimes she’d tell him off in the kindest way possible, always giving him a reason for why rather than just yelling for him to stop and get out of the room.

She jumped when he greeted her by name, but gave a little laugh and said “Gosh, you gave me a fright! Why don’t you join me, rather than startle me to death?”

Peeves joined her on the cushy bench, and swung his legs a little as he watched her weave away at a new tapestry for the castle. She used her wand, mostly, but it was curious to watch, and it seemed to relax her. It didn’t take long until he asked her the question that had been bugging him endlessly.

“That’s an unusual question, my dear. You don’t already know?”

“I wouldn’t have asked if I knew! I keep hearing it being tossed around by people, but I don’t get it! I asked the other three, but they’re answers were all different! I mean, sometimes people smash their mouths together, or their unspeakables, and other times they refuse to do anything but embrace one minute and argue the next! Why do they do that?”

Helga’s cheeks went a little rosy. “Ah, well, love is very complicated, Little Ghost. There is more than just one kind, after all. There is a difference between how I feel for my children versus how I feel for my husband, after all, and that is different from how I feel about my home, our castle, and our friends.”

“ one person can feel differenty-and-samey about all those things, surely.”

“Of course you can. My home is familiar, where I was raised, so I have many fond memories of it - therefore, I love it, but I can part with it, as it will always be here in my mind. Our castle is where we make our new home, and a home for many others, so I love it, too. Our friends are always with us, be it here or there, and we love them because they choose to be with us and understand our ways, no matter how ridiculous or bizarre they may seem. I love my parents because they cared for and raised me, even when they didn’t have to, and I love my siblings because they stood by me through all those years, even when they didn’t have to, either.

“And I love my children - all my children,” she added with a pointed look at him, and he knew she meant not just the children she reared herself, “- because they remind me of me, and my husband, and all things good and fascinating and promising about the world. And my husband is the most complicated of all - I love everything about him, even when he gets me a head full of steam, because he’s a part of me that I didn’t even know I had lost until I found him.” She, too, took on a sort of misty-eyed look, though hers looked brighter where Salazar’s had looked dull and far away. “I don’t just love him, Little Ghost - I’m in love with him. Homes can change or burn, children and friends can leave and grow apart, but your husband or wife is the one thing you never want to be without. That’s why people in love kiss and...ahem, join the way they do. There are times when you want to be as close as possible to the one you’re in love with, and that’s usually the way to go about it. It helps remind you that you’re alive.”

“What about when they pass on?” Peeves asked innocently, thinking of Salazar’s somber expression.

“Well, you bring your friends and children closer to you, if you can. They remind you that you’re living, too.”

“Would you die for anyone?” Helga raised a brow. “Godric said he would die for the people he loved. And for meat.”

She gave a chuckle. “Full of passion as always, that man. He’s the sort to ride head-on into battle for people. I must admit, I wouldn’t be far behind him, if it came to it. Better for the people we love to live on, than for everyone to live without them. Sometimes things we care strongly about can have that impact, too, Little Ghost. This castle, for instance,” she looked at the window, out at the Black Forest. “It’s our home, yes, but it’s a symbol of us, too. If this castle were to be destroyed…” Her eyes hardened.

“Couldn’t you just rebuild it?”

“If it is destroyed, or overtaken, then so are we, Little Ghost. The magical people of this land would wither and die without our teachings and the safety this castle provides, if they weren’t all already gone.” She seemed to shake herself. “But I doubt that will ever come to pass. There are strength in numbers, after all, as well as in surprises. You are a fine example of that,” she jested, her eyes dancing. “I dare say that if we needed someone to pour hot oil over armies, they’d never see you coming!”

Peeves felt rather satisfied after that conversation, and over time, realized that he, too, loved. He had a deep fondness for jokes, and Hogwarts, and the Founders (even when they made him roll his eyes with their nagging and reprimanding), and on a rare occasion he found he liked some of the people who wandered the halls, both living and dead.

Peeves, though, forgot parts of his conversation with Helga, as memories faded (as they were wont to do over a period of hundreds of years), and even though he generally knew what it was to love something or someone, he still didn’t understand all the poetry and songs that talked about romance and being in love.
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