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Peeves

"Wandering around at midnight, Ickle Firsties? Tut, tut, tut. Naughty, naughty, you'll get caughty."
     -- Peeves

"It would be a laugh to be someone like Peeves, causing mayhem and not bothering."
     -- J.K. Rowling (WBD)

Peeves by Mary GrandPré © Warner Bros.On this page:

Profile
Peeves is a poltergeist -- not a ghost, but an "indestructible spirit of chaos" that haunts the halls of Hogwarts (JKR). He is a little man dressed in loud, outlandish clothes including a bell-covered hat and an orange bow tie. Compared to the Hogwarts ghosts, he is solid-looking, not pearly white and transparent (CS8, GF12). Peeves swoops around the corridors and in the classrooms of the castle causing mischief and trouble wherever he can.

Most of the time, Peeves’s jokes are in good fun; he answers to no one (except maybe the Bloody Baron) and particularly enjoys pestering Filch (PS7, PS9). His jokes, which usually involve dropping things on people, are fairly predictable; as Nearly Headless Nick says, “Subtlety has never been Peeves’s strong point” (OP14). However, he also takes a sort of wicked pleasure in far more serious situations, getting very excited by the opening of the Chamber of Secrets (CS11) and the impending execution of Sirius Black (PA21). Peeves' impudence and unpredictability proved to be useful when the whole school revolted against the despotic rule of Dolores Umbridge. To her fury, Peeves was completely beyond her control (OP30).

Peeves is also well-known for his rhymes and songs; when he thinks Harry is unleashing the monster of Slytherin, he sings “Potter, you Rotter” for months with a matching dance routine (CS13), and at Christmastime he likes to hide in suits of armor, filling in the words they don’t know as they attempt to sing Christmas carols (GF22). After Voldemort’s defeat, Peeves flew around singing:

We did it, we bashed them, wee Potter’s the one,
And Voldy’s gone moldy, so now let’s have fun! (DH)

It is widely known that Filch would love nothing more than to get rid of Peeves once and for all (CS8), but unfortunately for him Peeves “comes with the building” (TLC) and will likely be around for a long, long time.

Quotes from Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (UK ed.)
Compiled by Lori Damerell

Quotes from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (UK ed.)
Compiled by Lori Damerell

Quotes from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (UK ed.)
Compiled by Lori Damerell

'Peeves!' Harry muttered, grabbing Hermione's wrist. 'In here!'
They tore into a deserted classroom to their left just in time. Peeves seemed to be bouncing along the corridor in tearing spirits, laughing his head off.
'Oh, he's horrible,' whispered Hermione, her ear to the door. 'I bet he's all excited because the Dementors are going to finish Sirius…' (PA22)

Quote from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (UK ed.)
Compiled by Lori Damerell

Quotes from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (UK ed.)
Compiled by Lori Damerell

See also: offsite JKR quotes about Peeves (Accio Quote!)

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Primary editor: Lisa Waite Bunker. Previous editor(s): Steve Vander Ark, Michele Worley.
Original artwork of Peeves by Mary GrandPré ©Warner Bros., used by permission.
Original page date 18 May, 2001; Last page update 9 January, 2008.