The twins sat together on the far side of the desk, each tilting their heads to the side, cheeks pillowed in their palms and elbows resting on the table. In their typical dramatic fashion, they sat each mirroring the other so that to an observer stood behind them they appeared to frame the figure of Thomas Belle who was currently the object of their paired scrutiny.
Tom sat silent waiting for his unusual friends to explain what they wanted.
"So…" Fred began.
"…a little birdie tells us…" George continued.
"…a little blonde turnip wearing birdie…"
"…were in fact at least somewhat…"
"…involved in or otherwise responsible…"
"…for a certain potion-based prank…"
"…of which we took keen interest…"
"…the same prank which in fact brought to our most attentive attention the aforementioned birdie"
Tom's eyebrow raised in speculation as the tirade continued.
"And so Tommy…" George continued.
"…why is it…" Fred asked "…that we only now…"
"…after these long months of friendship…"
"…learn that our good old Tommy boy is in fact…"
"…a fellow prankster?"
After waiting a moment to ensure they had finally finished Tom leaned forward on his elbows, fingers steepled as he considered them both carefully, weighing his answer.
"Well….to be perfectly honest boys…" He answered finally. "...you didn't ask"
The twins turned to look at each other's faces baffled.
"Well….he's got us there Fred"
"I make you right George"
"So where do we go from here then?"
"If I may" Tom interjected "I think the answer is quite simple. As of this moment we, along with Luna represent four very talented, very able pranksters. I would say the only suitable course to take would be to join together and put our combined talents to good use."
The two Weasleys eyes widened in amazement, glazing over somewhat as two keen minds aligned almost perfectly in the way only twins can and as one they whispered three words that Hogwarts might never be ready to hear.
"The new Marauders!"
Across the castle in their respective offices Albus Dumbledore, Minerva McGonagall and Severus Snape each felt an inexplicable chill run up their spines.
"We need a name" Fred declared. "Something that we can call ourselves. A noble name that will endure through the ages, like The Marauders except obviously not that. Something original. Something that's ours"
"How about the Nargalists?" Tom suggested with a smirk which only grew when Luna punched him playfully in the arm.
"Trouble makers" George ventured half-heartedly. They all winced, even George himself.
"Too cheesy" Fred shuddered. "And not really what we're about. We don't want trouble, do we? Just fun. A way to express our creativity and ingenuity"
They all nodded in agreement.
"The inventors" tried Luna.
"Not bad. We'll put that under maybe"
"The mad scientists." Tom tried again. They all laughed.
"I kind of like that" Luna giggled. "We could each use a famous mad scientist name as a nickname"
"Dibs on Dr Jekyll" Tom laughed. "Luna you can be Dr Dolittle" She punched him again, smiling wide even as she shook her head.
George frowned. "It's good and I like it I do but…I still don't think it's quite us. I mean, what are we guys? We are…..we are…." He began to pace in agitation.
"…we are talented….. we are creative….. we are skilled. We are inventors, invigorators, pioneers. We are artisans of the fine craft of pranking"
"Hit it on the head brother"
"The Artisans. That's our name."
George frowned and thought it over before breaking into a grin "Oh. You're right. It's perfect. That was easy."
"I wonder if The Marauders figured out their name that quickly?"
Many years earlier….
"For the last time Sirius we are not calling ourselves The Black Bandits!"
"Well its better than The Four Mischief-eers Prongs"
Remus sighed. "At this rate we'll graduate before we call ourselves anything."