I'm sure I'm going to kick myself on this, but for some reason I just can't get my head around it. From Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone:
Is this the grammar construction するかしないかのうちに as in: "no sooner had they blah, then blah"?
Is 見え the noun form of the potential form of 見る or just a word that I can't seem to find in either of my dictionaries? Does it mean a sight or a glimpse (as per the English version)?