Dungbombs and the Parchment

Chapter 1

Fred and George Weasley strolled carelessly past one of the suits of armour, their eyes fixed on the end of the corridor in front of them, waiting for Belus Flint to appear. Flint, a sixth-year Slytherin, seemed to think the Weasleys' reputation for practical jokes was an affront to his prefectorial dignity, and had done his best to make their first term at Hogwarts miserable, in which aim he was ably seconded by his fourth-year brother Marcus and the school caretaker, Argus Filch. The twins detested all three, and used their mischief-making abilities to their fullest extent against any of them whenever they could.

"Here he comes, George," Fred said under his breath, as he dodged a group of chattering Hufflepuff third-years. "Ready?"

"I'm ready," said George, with his hand hovering over one of the two Dungbombs in his pocket. "Can't afford to miss, with only a few Dungbombs left until we can go to Zonko's during the holidays."

The corridors were filling rapidly as students moved between classes, which was exactly what the twins had hoped for. The more people that were around, the harder it would be for Flint to be sure they were the culprits. As Flint and his friends aggressively pushed their way through the crowds, Fred winked at George. George's hand whisked out of his pocket, his wrist gave a swift flick and a second later the Dungbomb struck the ceiling and burst open. A splatter of dung dropped squarely onto Flint's close-cropped head and an appalling smell filled the corridor. A clamour of disgusted voices broke out, but Fred and George knew that they couldn't afford to wait and enjoy it to the full. They turned to saunter innocently away, and found themselves face-to-face with a grimly exultant Filch.

"GOT YOU!" he roared triumphantly. "Saw you with my own eyes! Dumbledore'll be sure to let me use the manacles for this! Come with me right now, you little twerps."

Fred and George exchanged rueful looks. Filch had never caught them so red-handed before, and the fact that it had happened in full view of a whole crowd of Slytherins meant the story would be all over the school within an hour.

They followed a gleeful Filch down the stairs to his office, a gloomy and windowless room lit by a single dirty oil lamp. The desk was covered with a layer of dust and there was a vaguely unpleasant fishy smell lingering in the stale air. The only clean things in the room were a series of brightly polished chains and manacles hanging on the walls. It was well-known that Filch regularly begged Dumbledore for permission to use these on the students he hated most, although as far as Fred and George knew he had never been allowed to do so. Filing cabinets around the walls held records of every punishment Filch had imposed on Hogwarts students during his decades there. The twins themselves had contributed quite a few already, and had no intention of slowing down.

"Right, you two," Filch snarled, as soon as the office door closed behind them. He glared at them, pushing his face up close to theirs and speaking through gritted teeth. "I've had just about enough of you. Slime in the classrooms…Bogey-Bubbles on the door handles…fireworks in the Great Hall…Dungbombs all over the place…"

Filch was clearly working himself up into even more of a rage than usual, and Fred's attention wandered. While still apparently listening to Filch, his eyes flickered around the room.

"…filth all over the castle…takes me hours to clean up after you…a week's detention…"

Suddenly Fred noticed a filing cabinet tucked in the corner near him. He strained his eyes to read the smudged label on the drawer, and gradually made out the words: "Confiscated and Highly Dangerous." His eyes widened with curiosity. He snatched a quick look at George, standing beside him. George caught the movement and their eyes met. With a slight inclination of his head Fred indicated the cabinet. George unobtrusively read the blurred label too. He raised an eyebrow at Fred. With the briefest of nods, Fred agreed to the unspoken question. He saw George slide his hand into the pocket that held the remaining Dungbomb, and braced his muscles ready for action. George sidled a little further away from the cabinet in question, so that Filch had to turn away from Fred to look at him.

Filch was still in full flow: "…not going to ask this time. He's too soft with you two….messed up a Slytherin…Snape'll let me…"

He turned to his desk to reach for parchment and quill so he could write down their crime and the sentence. George took two steps to his other side and threw the Dungbomb onto Filch's desk right in front of him.

For a brief moment Filch was rendered utterly speechless by such brazen effrontery, but then his voice returned. "YOU FILTHY LITTLE BEAST! YOU DISGUSTING TERMITE! I'LL HAVE YOU FOR THIS! I'LL TEAR YOU LIMB FROM LIMB! I'LL CHAIN YOU UP AND HANG YOU FROM THE CEILING FOR WEEKS! NOT EVEN DUMBLEDORE WILL STOP ME NOW! YOU'LL BE CRYING FOR MERCY BEFORE I'M DONE!..."

George might have wilted under the flow of vituperation reverberating around the room at full volume if it hadn't been for the fact that he could see what Fred was doing behind Filch's back. Fred had stepped to the drawer and opened it quietly. Any small noise he made was drowned in the flood of invective Filch was heaping on his brother. He reached in, put his hand on something slimy and wriggling and quickly moved on. He had just closed his hand over what felt like a large piece of parchment when something else in the drawer snapped on his hand and he leapt backwards in shock, still holding the parchment. He had no time to do more than close the drawer again and tuck the parchment under his robe before Filch turned around, still yelling.

"…AND YOU TOO! YOU'RE JUST AS BAD AS HE IS! YOU'RE BOTH GOING TO PAY FOR THIS!"

Filch's voice cracked on the last word from the force of his delivery, and he continued in a slow and menacing whisper that was almost more terrifying than his previous yells. "I'm going to lock you in here while I go and get someone who can authorise the worst punishment you've ever…"

At that moment, an agonised yowl sounded from the corridor immediately overhead. Filch broke off abruptly and listened. The yowls continued, interspersed with what sounded like buckets of water being spilt. "Mrs Norris! What are they doing to you? I'm coming!" he shouted, and raced out of the room and up the corridor.

Fred and George remained only a moment longer. Moving as one, they ran out of Filch's office, fled down the corridor in the other direction, dived behind a tapestry into a little-used passageway that they knew led up to a corridor near the Fat Lady's painting, burst out at the other end, ran along the corridor to the picture and gasped out, "Magenta marbles."

"In a bit of a hurry, are we, dears?" queried the Fat Lady as she swung the painting open. "In you go, then. Sit down and catch your breath."

Fred and George tumbled into the Gryffindor common room and flung themselves down in a secluded corner near the window, panting. There was silence between them for a few minutes while they recovered their breath and considered their lucky escape, although they had a strong suspicion that retribution was only postponed and that Filch wouldn't let the matter rest.

"What d'you think – ?" Fred began.
" – Mrs Norris was upset about?" finished his brother.

Mrs Norris, Filch's cat, was usually by his side when he was doling out punishments, her yellow eyes gleaming with satisfied malice, and at other times prowling round the castle alert to discover any mischief, whereupon she promptly drew Filch to the spot.

"No idea." George answered their joint question.

"Whatever it was, it was jolly lucky for us," added Fred with certainty.

At that moment, the painting swung open again and a group of second-years entered. They were almost helpless with laughter. From the hilarious babble of their conversation, Fred and George gathered that Peeves, the castle poltergeist, had been throwing water balloons at Mrs Norris and cackling with laughter at her yowls and attempts to dodge him. When Filch arrived on the scene, Peeves had alternated throwing balloons at him as well, and Filch had become nearly apoplectic with rage. Not until Professor McGonagall had arrived and ordered Peeves to stop had he zoomed away, still chortling.

"Remind me to buy Peeves some more balloons, will you, Fred?" murmured George, as they listened to the chatter.

"A thousand of them!" returned Fred emphatically.

Most of the students at Hogwarts had little time for Peeves, holding him to be a nuisance and at times a downright pest, but Fred and George had already established a strong rapport with him. Their shared love of practical jokes had led Peeves to look on them with more favour than he did the other students, and in turn Fred and George had occasionally conspired with Peeves to create a diversion for them. If that had been his motivation on this occasion, they owed him a big debt.

"So what did you get from the cabinet?" George inquired eventually.

"I dunno," responded Fred. "There wasn't time to get much, and I nearly lost my hand in there. Probably should have looked inside before I stuck my hand in."

He pulled the parchment out from inside his robe and unfolded it. It was a large square piece, worn and faded. It was blank. Fred turned it over, but the back was also blank. They looked at each other, puzzled.

"What is it?" they both demanded in unison.

"And why was it in Filch's 'Dangerous' cabinet?" added Fred.

They pondered in silence.

"Must be something – secret," suggested George slowly. "But how is it dangerous? I mean, it's just a piece of parchment..." His voice trailed off.

"Hang on a minute!" exclaimed Fred. "Let's be logical. A blank piece of parchment isn't dangerous, right?"

"Right," said his brother.

"So this is NOT just a blank piece of parchment, right?"

"Right."

"So maybe there are things written on it that we can't see."

"Brilliant!" said George, a trifle sarcastically. "So now we just have to figure out how to make a dangerous object show its dangerous information and we'll be all set. Probably be safer to go back and give ourselves up to Filch."

"Can't be!" Fred was in absolutely no doubt about that.

"Yeah, you're right," conceded George.

They were silent for a moment.

"So," began Fred hesitantly, "we need some kind of…of… revealing spell, do you think?"

"What about the one – "

" – Mum uses to find all our hidden stuff? Good idea." Fred tapped the parchment with his wand and said, "Aparecium."

The parchment remained blank.

"Revelio," said George, tapping the parchment in his turn.

The parchment remained blank.

The twins looked at each other helplessly. They were only first-years, after all; perhaps their spell-casting abilities weren't advanced enough to penetrate whatever concealment was binding this mysterious parchment.

In some frustration, Fred tapped the parchment rather more forcefully and said to it, "I, Fred Weasley, ask you to show your secrets."

Under their astonished gaze, words began tracing themselves on the parchment.

"Messrs Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs bid Mr Weasley welcome and ask him to state his business."

Fred and George looked at each other. With one voice, they recited what was obviously a familiar refrain: "Never trust anything that can think for itself, if you can't see where it keeps its brain." Then they paused, the same thought clearly in both their minds.

"Mum'd kill us," asserted Fred.

"She'd have to get in line behind Filch," replied George.

"True. Shall we keep trying?"

"Are you kidding? No way am I stopping now! I want to know who Mr Moony, Mr Wormtail, Mr Padfoot and Mr Prongs are."

"So do I. Okay. Hm, let's see…" He tapped the parchment again. "I, Fred Weasley, and my brother George, students at Hogwarts and general mischief-makers, bid Messrs Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs good afternoon and ask why their parchment was in Filch's 'Highly Dangerous' cabinet."

Another line of writing appeared underneath the first.

"Messrs Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs bid the second Mr Weasley welcome too, and applaud their desire to cause mayhem."

And then a third line traced itself across the parchment.

"Dangerous documents sometimes serve mayhem manufacturers."

Fred looked at George. "Does that mean what I think it means? Is the parchment telling us it could be useful to us?"

George shrugged his shoulders. He looked a little doubtful. "Sounds like it. But how?"

"Who knows? Doesn't seem very useful so far. Or very dangerous, come to that."

Fred tapped the parchment again. "Messrs Fred and George Weasley wish to know how Messrs Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs can be of service to mayhem manufacturers."

A fourth line appeared – somewhat more quickly, as if the writer was eager to convey the information.

"Mischief and mayhem can be managed by marauders, and those they serve must swear solemn secrecy."

George sat up straight. "Wait! I think I've got it. It's…they're giving us clues. I think we have to find the right words to unlock it."

Fred clapped him on the back. "Brilliant, bro! I believe you're right."

"But I reckon we should do this somewhere a little less public," cautioned George, glancing round the common-room, which was fairly full now. "Let's take it to the library after dinner. We should be able to find a quiet corner there."

Fred nodded. "Very smart thinking." He folded the parchment, tucked it back into his robes and stood up. "Let's head downstairs. I'm hungry. And," he added as an afterthought, "we'd better be careful not to bump into Filch on the way."

Chapter 2

After dinner, Fred and George headed to the library. Dodging questions from Madam Pince – who from past experience had reason to distrust their avowed studiousness – about why they were there, they found a corner which not only seemed deserted, but also appeared to contain some of the most boring books imaginable. Fred and George thought it was extremely unlikely that they'd be disturbed by someone seeking Witch Walks in Wiltshire, Divination for Drudges, or other similar titles.

They pulled out the parchment again. The previous writing had apparently been fading in the interim, but the sentences were still faintly visible. Heads bent close together, they re-read what Messrs Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs had said earlier. Then George tapped the parchment with his wand and said in a low voice, "Messrs Weasley swear to keep secret whatever Messrs Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs tell them."

A new sentence appeared, writing over the first, which was now fading away completely.

"Mr Moony congratulates Messrs Weasley on their ingenuity and encourages them to persevere."

It was followed by another.

"Mr Wormtail thinks Messrs Weasley won't take long to work it out."

And a third:

"Mr Padfoot encourages Messrs Weasley to keep swearing."

And finally:

"Mr Prongs assures Messrs Weasley that being up to no good is quite all right with him."

Fred and George stared at the words.

"That's the first time anyone's ever told me to keep swearing!" observed Fred. "I'm beginning to like Messrs Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs."

"Swearing secrecy, you dope!" retorted George. He was still gazing at the sentences, trying to decipher the hidden meanings he was convinced lay within. "So," he murmured, "we have to swear secrecy, and keep trying, and…and…it's okay to be up to no good."

He tapped the parchment once again and declared, "I, George Weasley, swear to keep Messrs Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs' secrets and be up to no good."

More writing appeared below the previous lines.

"Mr Moony thinks that that was not a bad effort at all."

"Mr Wormtail would like to inform Mr Weasley that he is getting warmer."

"Mr Padfoot begs to suggest that Mr Weasley should aim to be a little less careful and a lot more bold."

"Mr Prongs wishes to assure Messrs Weasley that there's no need to be quite so longwinded."

Fred and George ruminated over this for a few minutes, and then Fred said, "You know, I'm not so sure about the swearing. Look at what Mr Padfoot says there, about being less careful and more bold. Maybe it does mean – well, swearing." He tapped the parchment and said "I, Fred Weasley, am planning on being up to no bloody good at all."

Responses began appearing almost before he'd finished speaking.

"Mr Moony would like to ask Mr Weasley why he thinks bad language might aid mischief-making."

"Mr Wormtail says Mr Weasley is going down the wrong track there."

"Mr Padfoot adds that the other Mr Weasley was right the first time."

"Mr Prongs says he personally doesn't care about the language but Mr Weasley should listen to his brother, who is obviously better at this sort of thing."

As the last sentence appeared George hooted with laughter, which he hastily suppressed as Madam Pince looked in their direction with a frown. Fred looked a trifle disconcerted for a moment, but then a smile spread over his face and he raised his hands in mock surrender. "Okay, bro, you win. Clearly I should let you do the hard work." He settled himself more comfortably in his chair and gave George a lordly wave. "Proceed, my fine fellow."

George chuckled and pointed his wand at the parchment again.

"I, George Weasley, swear that I am up to no good."
This time there appeared to be a slight pause before the parchment responded, almost as if it had to think carefully before speaking. Fred and George waited breathlessly. Had they cracked it at last? But the writing on the parchment, when it appeared, dampened their momentary flare of hope.

"Mr Moony begs to point out that Mr Weasley has quite forgotten to be solemn about the business."

"Mr Wormtail is squealing with excitement at how nearly correct Mr Weasley is."

"Mr Padfoot wishes to inform Mr Weasley that they know who he is by now."

"Mr Prongs assures Messrs Weasley that they have very nearly managed their mischief."

"We're nearly there," said George triumphantly. "Let's see now…we've 'forgotten to be solemn'. How – ?"

Fred spoke quickly. "Didn't they say something before dinner about having to 'swear solemn secrecy'?"

"You're right!" George smacked his hand on the table. "Okay, so maybe we have to 'solemnly swear'?"

"Sounds good."

"And they know who we are. So…no names needed."

Fred doffed an imaginary hat to his brother. "I bow to yer superior skill, sire."

They looked at each other in excitement. Surely they'd got it right now! But – what would happen next? Was it actually dangerous? On the other hand, if they didn't try it they'd never know.

"Together?" asked George.

Fred nodded. They tapped their wands on the parchment and said in unison, "I solemnly swear that I am up to no good."

At once the words from Messrs Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs disappeared, and before their wondering eyes a spider's-web tracery of fine ink lines began spreading across the parchment – starting from the two points where their wands had touched it, fanning out to the corners and interlacing with each other until a complete map of Hogwarts castle and grounds lay in front of them. Across the top of the parchment, big curly green letters appeared, proudly proclaiming:

Messrs Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs

Purveyors of Aids to Magical Mischief-Makers

are proud to present

THE MARAUDER'S MAP

Fred and George stared at the parchment in astonishment. After a few seconds, they noticed that there were small dots moving on it. They bent closer to look. Each dot had a tiny label with a name on it, and as it dawned on them that these dots represented every student, teacher and animal – and even ghost – in the castle, their eyes filled with awe at the possibilities.

"Mag-ni-fi-cent!" breathed Fred, with stunned emphasis. "That is bloody brilliant!"

George was too amazed even to speak. The twins sat looking at the map with incredulity, drinking in all the detailed complexity of it. Every now and then, one of them would point to a different feature just noticed, and the other would look eagerly to see what it was. They could see Filch pacing the corridor down near the Slytherins' dungeon, Peeves floating along on the third floor and even themselves stationary in the library. Dumbledore's dot was up on the Astronomy Tower, and Hagrid was moving around in the Forbidden Forest.

Then Fred looked puzzled, and said, "What's that?" He pointed. George leaned closer. Then he too looked puzzled.

"I thought we knew the castle pretty well, but – "

" – but we've never seen that before," finished Fred.

"It looks like – "

" – a secret passage."

Then, together: "It is a secret passage!"

"Are there any more?" George asked excitedly.

They bent over the map again and examined it closely, section by section.

"There's one here!"

"And here!"

"And here's another!"

Before long they had counted seven secret passages. They kept looking for a while longer, but it seemed as if that was all of them.

"Seven secret passages that we knew nothing about," marvelled Fred. "Can you just imagine what we can do now? Look, this one," he traced a finger on the parchment, "and this one, and this one, seem to go towards Hogsmeade."

The possibilities struck them at the same moment.

"We could go to Zonko's – "

" – and Honeydukes."

George stood up. "Come on. Let's take Messrs Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs and go for a walk around the castle before bedtime. We've got a lot of exploring to do."

Fred grabbed his arm and pulled him back down again. "Wait! How do we make the map go blank again when we need to? If a teacher catches us with it like this, it's goodbye to it."

George looked perplexed. "Dunno. D'you think it just fades, like the writing did earlier?"

Fred shook his head. "I don't think so. I reckon there'll be some way of doing it whenever you want to."

"Okay, so surely they gave us a clue to that too. Hang on – what did Mr Prongs say? Something about having managed our mischief, wasn't it?"

Fred hesitated. "I thought that was just saying we'd nearly got it right."

"So did I, but it's the only thing I can think of that might be about afterwards. All the other stuff was about how to make it open."

"You're right. So," Fred tapped the parchment with his wand as he spoke, "I solemnly swear that we have managed our mischief."

The parchment gave no sign of having heard him. The castle outlines remained clear and sharp, the tiny ink-spots with their names continued to move around the corridors.

Fred gestured to his brother. "You have a go. After all, you're 'obviously better at this sort of thing'," he quoted with a wry smile.

George thought for a moment. "Mr Prongs said not to be so longwinded. So maybe…." He tapped the parchment saying, "Mischief managed."

The map wiped itself clean immediately, and the parchment was blank again. Fred and George looked at each other with immense satisfaction, tinged with a generous measure of respect for their unknown guides. Life at Hogwarts had just got a whole lot more interesting, and it was all down to Messrs Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs, whoever they might be. It wouldn't be Fred and George Weasley's fault if they didn't use the map to its fullest potential to create as much magical mayhem as they possibly could.

THE END

(for now)

unless you want to read a whole lot of interesting (even if I do say so myself) background notes on why I included different elements, what Dungbombs and Bogey-Bubbles are, and which particular sections of the canon I focused on to ensure I got the details right, in which case…

turn the page and keep reading

Author's Notes

Fred and George's age

When Fred and George pass the Marauder's Map over to Harry (Prisoner of Azkaban ch.10), they explain that they filched the map from Filch (I couldn't resist saying that!) when they were in first year – that is, two years younger than when we first meet them in Philosopher's/Sorcerer's Stone. However, being from a wizarding family they wouldn't have been quite as magically inexperienced as Harry is when we first meet him. In drawing their characters here, I have sought to keep their general style as it was portrayed by JKR, but make them a little less accomplished in both their wizardry and their devilry.

Belus Flint

I wanted to frame the Dungbomb incident (which Fred and George refer to when handing the Map to Harry) in the context of a hectoring prefect, who would naturally be from Slytherin. Marcus Flint came to mind, but given that he was in sixth year in Harry's first year, he was too young. I have, therefore, created an older brother for him, whose later absence in canon is accounted for by having left school before Harry arrives there. His name was chosen in keeping with Rowling's general use of significant names and trends within families (eg. the muggle-loving Weasleys are given muggle-style names, while the Black family are given names of stars and constellations). The name Marcus derives from the Roman god of war, Mars; Belus was the Mesopotamian god of war, and is also vaguely reminiscent of the English word "bellicose", meaning aggressive and hostile.

Dungbombs

Harry Potter canon does not give any specific description of Dungbombs, but they are obviously a magical variant of stinkballs, which Enid Blyton describes as "what looked like tiny round glass balls, full of some sort of clear liquid…When you break one and let out the liquid, it dries up at once – but leaves the most frightful smell behind." (Claudine at St Clare's, ch.13). It's fair to assume that Dungbombs contain dung as well as the smelly liquid, and that – being magical – the amount of dung which explodes out of the ball when it's broken is greater than the amount of dung which could fit inside the ball. The mess this would create accounts for them being banned in the castle.

Bogey-Bubbles

I made them up. That is to say, they kind of appeared in my head ready-made as I wrote the story. My mental image of them is of some kind of bogey "paint", that can be painted on a doorhandle like eggwhite on a cake, and is pretty much invisible until someone puts their hand on the doorhandle, when it bubbles up into thick, sludgy, gloopy bubbles of bogey.

The Marauder's Map, its defences, and how it allows access

The Marauder's Map is a complex magical object, whose defences must be such that it cannot be easily accessed by all and sundry, yet must also be code-breakable for Fred and George to work out how to use it. Furthermore, its creators cannot have anticipated every single person who might attempt to penetrate its secrets. It is logical to assume they embedded in it specific insults for Snape, their bête-noire, but presumably also allowed for novices to access it under certain conditions. From canon (ie. Snape's attempts to force access in Prisoner of Azkaban ch.14) we can deduce certain general principles. Firstly, that basic commands and revelation spells have no effect. Secondly, that the map will respond to a name being given. (It is feasible that the name "Weasley", as a muggle-friendly family, could have been embedded into the map as part of a list of names it would respond favourably to, in contrast to Death Eater/Slytherin names.) And thirdly, that there is likely to be some form of interaction embedded within to guide Fred and George to the right access phrase, but that any such embedding would only offer an extended response in reaction to certain words. I used a very similar instruction from Fred to that of Snape to activate the map's interactive conversation, but with the key difference of asking rather than commanding. I felt the Marauders would have given a more positive reaction to that. Following on from that, I felt that Fred and George's capacity for mischief was exactly the kind of use the Marauders would have been proud to endorse, and therefore that declaring themselves to be mischief-makers would be the key to the Marauders leading the Weasleys further with hints.

Writing fan fiction

In my view, the most persuasive fan fiction contains a number of key elements. Firstly, the facts must be consistent with facts in the canon. Generally speaking, the licence which an original author has to write in contradictory details does not extend to fanfic writers. Secondly, the characters must be consistent, in conversation and behaviour, with their presentation in canon. Thirdly, physical descriptions of objects and people in fanfic must be consistent with their descriptions in canon. Fourthly, any new characters or storylines introduced should be consistent with canon and yet not so striking that their absence from later canon is inexplicable. And lastly, the style of writing should be as close to the original as possible, in order to allow the fanfic reader to forget that the story is not canon.

I have sought to follow these principles as best I can in writing this story. The description of Filch's office is according to Harry's observations in Chamber of Secrets, ch.8. The incident of Peeves throwing water balloons at Mrs Norris not only offered an explanation for how Fred and George didn't end up with a punishment so severe it became the stuff of Hogwarts legend, but also holds echoes of Peeves doing the same to the newly-arrived first-years in Goblet of Fire. The Marauders' responses to Fred and George are deliberately constructed to be in keeping with their general characters (and here, I used the character keywords as follows: Moony=cautious, Wormtail=craven, Padfoot=reckless, Prongs=carefree). I hope that my readers will feel that I have achieved my goal.

Acknowledgements

Finally, I wish to acknowledge that the original concept for this came from an idea from "theoneblogicareabout" reposted in The Common Room (FB HPCommonRoom) on 4th Oct 2016. Although I used the basic concept and some of the map conversation elements suggested, the entire entry was not reproduced verbatim because I felt the language wasn't quite as authentic as I was hoping to achieve. The idea of writing the story was hugely attractive – I've always enjoyed seeing Fred and George's carefree spirit even under duress, I love HP, I love writing and my all-time favourite scene in the entire series is where the map insults Snape – and my expressed willingness to attempt the story quickly snowballed into a pressing demand from other Common Room members to finish it so I could share it with them. Despite the pressure, I thoroughly enjoyed the creative process, and I hope my readers enjoy what I created.

Clare Paceso

NSW, Australia

October 2016

(Author tag on : Paceso)