A Map's Tale

I don't remember being born. No great revelation there, eh? From what I'm given to understand, most don't. The first thing I do remember is a sort of scritching feeling, as more ink and lines were added to me and enchanted. But slowly, slowly, as enchantment piled upon enchantment, I became… aware.

I can't walk or run, but I can flutter like nobody's business, particularly if it looks like someone wants to hurt me. I've fluttered a good twenty feet in my day, the need arising.

I can't see, exactly, not the way others seem to understand it. For me, seeing is sort of like looking at myself from the inside out. I can check and see what's going on, where people are, even what they're saying, no matter whether I'm officially opened or not.

I can't talk, either. But I'm working on it.

I can hear, though, and the first thing I remember hearing is giggling. That's pretty nice, nice and comforting, isn't it? But that idle thought, "Oh, someone's giggling," led to a crashing, sudden, blinding awareness that I was. I was me! I existed! I could hear! And… someone near me was giggling.

Who was the someone? I did something new for me, and thought.

I looked, and I saw the name closest to me: Remus Lupin. Right behind Remus Lupin was another name, Sirius Black.

That was when I had another shock – I had a body! What's more, I was being held! That's a bit of a surprise, right there, and I remember that I fluttered a bit, trying to get away.

"Stop it, Padfoot! I nearly dropped the Map."

"What? I'm just nibbling your shoulder, Moony. 'm not doing anything to the Map."

Padfoot? Moony? I double-checked myself, and those names weren't anywhere on me. But hey, I was young, adventurous, and newly conscious. That sort of thing makes you bold. So I scrolled: Moony is Remus Lupin?

I heard a gasp.

"Padfoot, the Map can think!"

"Don't be silly. It's a map."

"No, look!"

I scrolled again: Padfoot is Sirius Black?

"Bloody hell," said Sirius Black, "It can think."

"Yes, I'm Remus Lupin," said the boy holding me, "and my nickname is Moony. You can call me that, if you'd like. Or just Remus." I wasn't sure what to do. He looked at me, and waited.

"The Map's not saying anything else," he said. He sounded pretty disappointed.

"Maybe you need to ask it something," said Sirius Black. "Map," he said to me, "what're you going to call this one here? Remus?"

Moony, I scrolled.

Moony looked at me with awe. "You're the most amazing map there ever was," he said, and frankly, I've never seen anything that proves him wrong. He patted my edges – very nice, felt good, and there was no danger of smearing my ink – so I fluttered at him a little.

"Well, hullo, Map," said Sirius Black. "I'd like you to call me Padfoot, if you don't mind."

I don't mind at all, you slobbering great git.

"What did it call me?" shouted Padfoot, and Moony started laughing.

"We only loaded him up with insults, Padfoot! I'm sure it's just his way of being affectionate."

And that right there, friends, tells you everything you need to know about Moony. As soon as he realized that I could think for myself, he never called me 'it' again. He was always very good to me, stroking my edges, adding new lines and enchantments, sometimes even telling me jokes. He always addressed me as a person. He was also the best navigator of the group, so I was very happy to give him little hints and warnings that the others wouldn't pay attention to. It was terribly exciting, especially after Moony explained to me that I was an outlaw. Me! An outlaw! Forbidden, dangerous. A rebel.

"We have to be very careful with you, Map," Moony'd say to me, "they'll burn you up if they figure out what you really are."

Don't worry, you pock-marked, syphilitic pansy, I'd scroll to him, they'll never figure it out.

There were another two members in our little group, but you know that, right? James Potter and Peter Pettigrew, Prongs and Wormtail. When Padfoot and Moony showed them that I could think for myself, they were pretty impressed. Well, Prongs was. Don't know about Wormtail, really – he never navigated much.

Oh, but we had some good times together! There's nothing quite like running around an old castle late at night, going where you're not supposed to be, unless it's running around an old castle during the day, going where you're not supposed to be. They got into loads of trouble, I know, but I also helped them escape a fair amount of it, too. Until…

Until the day I was Captured.

It was that relentless killjoy, Argus Filch. Moony wasn't navigating – he was in the Library – and if he had been, we would never have been caught. But we were caught, and Padfoot at least had the sense to close me before Filch got to me, or I'd've been kindling for sure. Filch wasn't able to figure me out – I don't know if you know this, but the man's a Squib. Can't use magic to save his life, so he couldn't even trigger me to insult him. So as far as he was concerned, I was just a plain old piece of parchment, nothing special. Honestly, I think he just took me away from Padfoot and Prongs because he could.

He took me into his office and stuck me in a drawer in a file cabinet. For days, I watched as Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs made various assaults on the office. Once, Prongs even got inside, but the place was loaded up with things – and he only had a few seconds, nowhere near enough time to look.

I can see spoken words, as I've said. If I concentrate, or if someone navigating with me asks what someone is saying. I used to watch Moony quite a lot, hoping he'd say something to me about another rescue plan. Finally, one day, I saw him say,

"We have to face it. We'll never get the Map back."

"We can make another map, Moony," said Padfoot.

"No, we can't," said my loyal friend Moony. "There would never be another map with his personality, with his special abilities."

"We'll think of something," said Padfoot. "We'll get it back."

But they never did.

So I settled into life in the file cabinet drawer. After a while, I learned that the label on the front of my drawer read Confiscated and Highly Dangerous. I was quite proud of that, until Nate explained that it was Filch's idea of a joke.

"He only puts the things he thinks are harmless in here," Nate said, "so if kids are ever left alone in his office, they get the things that won't make any trouble. Things like fireworks and Dark Spells are in another cabinet, in a drawer marked No Bloody Use to Nobody."

Nate – I should explain about Nate. It took him a while to warm up to me; after all, I'd been dumped right on top of him without any kind of explanation, and I was so intent on waiting for rescue that – well, I wasn't a good neighbor. I hate to admit it, but I ignored him for a while.

Once I resigned myself to the fact that my friends weren't coming back for me, I decided to make myself a little more comfortable. I fluttered around as best I could – not easy, it was pretty crowded in that drawer – and when I did, Nate finally spoke to me for the first time. Apparently I'd had one of my corners in his tab for a while, and he was pretty put out about it. But after we got all apologies made and everything squared away, Nate turned about to be the greatest mate you could ever ask for.

Nate was an Exploding Snap card deck. He'd been in the cabinet so long, surrounded by so much powerful magic, that he'd developed a consciousness – the long way around of how I was born, more or less. When I say "spoke," of course, I don't mean we used voices. I'm not sure how we understood each other, really, but we did.

Nate was an old hand in that file cabinet, and gave very useful advice. He also helped me adjust; it's tough, being self-aware and stuck in a drawer. So we got along quite well, and led a happy little existence in the drawer, if not a particularly fulfilling one. But Nate was always hinting about an escape plan, and was very excited to learn that I could flutter. He was especially excited to learn that I could scroll.

"I'll attract their attention," said Nate one day.

"Whose?" I asked.

"Whoever comes here," said Nate reasonably. "Kids don't get dragged in here unless they're in some sort of trouble, and I've decided that's exactly the sort I'd like to hang out with."

"It's very agreeable," I said. I'd told him quite a lot about my adventures with the Marauders.

"It sounds it. So what I'll do is, I'll attract their attention. When they open the drawer, you flutter at 'em but good. Once they've caught you, you scroll a message so they won't forget your old pal Nate."

It's tough to scroll when I'm not opened, but I'd been working on it ever since Nate first suggested the plan. We were going over the particulars again one day when something occurred to me.

"Nate," I said, "Just how will you attract their attention? You're not going to… explode yourself, are you?"

"Nah," said Nate, "though for a while there, I thought I might. And right after I woke up one day, realized who I was and that I was stuck in a damn drawer, I thought I might explode myself, just out of desperation. You know, end it all. But in the end I couldn't do it."

"So… how will you attract their attention?"

Nate rustled a bit in his box – that was his way of laughing – and said, "Like this."


I was amazed. "Nate! Is that you? Did you do that?"

Nate rustled in his box some more. "Pretty impressive, eh?"

"How did you do that?"

"Well," said Nate. "I'm meant to explode, aren't I? Make a lot of noise. And it was bloody boring around here before you showed up, let me tell you. So I had to entertain myself. I taught myself to make noises without exploding."

"Amazing. But, Nate…"


"Well, if you're ever rescued – well, you're an Exploding Snap deck. Kids love to play that."

Nate rustled a bit, I think with pride.

"Don't you see?" I asked. "If you're rescued, they'll play with you! You'll… you'll explode."

"I know," said Nate, but he didn't sound at all worried about it. "Look," said Nate, "I was meant for that, being played with and exploding. That's my whole purpose in life. I can't think of anything I'd rather do. And when I finally get played with, the kids who play with me will hear explosions like they've never heard before! It'll be grand! No one will ever forget me."

"But I'll miss you, Nate."

"Oh, bugger," said Nate. "Don't be an idiot. You were meant to guide people around and keep them out of trouble. I was meant to entertain and explode like anything. I'm looking forward to it – it's going to be fun. Helluva lot better than sitting around in this musty old drawer, no offense to you."

"None taken, mate," I said.


"Nate! Was that you again?"

"It was indeed. I've taught myself to make quite a few noises."

"Why – why haven't you ever told me you could do this before?"

"Because I was afraid you'd want to escape right away. I've been thinking on it, Map, and I think we've got to wait for just the right kids to come in. Can't go home with just anyone. What if they're only in here for being especially stupid? That'd be no good. No, we've got to wait for someone special."

"How will we know?"

"I think we'll know," said Nate.

After a few years, I thought I did know – there, in the Great Hall, I could see the name of none other than Peter Pettigrew! Oh, I was so excited – Wormtail was back! I knew he'd come to rescue me, I just knew it; Nate was very excited too. But Wormtail didn't rescue us; in fact, he rarely even left Gryffindor Tower. And whenever he did, he was with someone called Percy Weasley.

Now, I can read what people say if I put my mind to it, so I watched this Percy Weasley. I'd tried watching Wormtail first, of course, but Wormtail almost never said anything, just occasionally 'squeak!' So I was concentrating on this Percy chap, and let me tell you, never was there a more boring person in the world. He never said anything interesting, and he tried to discourage things like kitchen raids and breaking curfew. I've never quite understood what Wormtail was doing with someone so unendingly dull. I told Nate how boring Percy was, and Nate said,

"Well, good job he'll never get sent here!"

"If he does," I vowed, "I'll tell you to keep quiet, so he doesn't make trouble for us."

"Too right," agreed Nate. "I'm not blowing myself up for some drip."

I wasn't sure how much longer we'd have to wait, but I reckon it turned out to be around two years after Wormtail returned to the castle. I always kept an eye out, so to speak, for real mischief-making talent. Nate and I had decided to be very choosy indeed.

Now, there'd been three boys from the Weasley family already; they'd all been sterling students, athletes, and though the older two even broke curfew on occasion, they weren't up to the standards that Nate and I had set. So I certainly hadn't expected anything special when the twins came to the castle.

What talent! Their first month at the castle, they broke curfew every single night, running about the place like demons, making trouble. They were impressive, too – they only got caught once.

But that wasn't the half of it. I'd watch their conversations sometimes, and I quickly became convinced that these two boys were the ones. Nate was pretty excited; now he and I were trying to figure out something that had never occurred to us: how to get the boys into the office in the first place. Once there, we'd catch their attention; but how to arrange it?

We didn't have to. They did.

"Are you sure?" Nate asked. "It's not just wishful scrolling?"

"Positive," I said. "I saw the conversation myself. They decided that since Filch keeps this office locked up tight, whatever he has in here must be pretty good. They're trying to figure out a way to get caught that will land them in here."

"Brilliant," said Nate, awestruck. "They're definitely the ones."

I can't watch everyone all the time, so I didn't see whatever it was that got them into trouble with Filch. But I saw them being marched to the office, and I quickly let Nate know.

"They have to be clever enough to get Filch out of the office while they're left behind," said Nate. "It's up to us, then."

Whatever they'd done, Filch was in a sore mood about it, worse even than usual. He groused and grumbled at them, threatening dire, dire things.

Then there was a series of explosions in the corridors outside his office, and Filch flew out, raging at the noises.

Both boys jumped up; one headed right for our file cabinet.

"Oi, hold off on that one, George," said one, who'd taken a lookout position at the door. "He'd never put anything really good in there. It's a tease."

George was veering off toward the cabinet marked No Bloody Use to Nobody when I heard a sound like the sweetest music.




Wubba-wubba-zooooooot! Muurrrrrrrr!

Our drawer was wrenched open and I fluttered out as quickly as I could. George Weasley caught me and stared. "Was that you?" he asked. I tried to scroll, but I was too nervous to do anything other than random lines.

"Woob," said Nate from the drawer.

"Oh, an Exploding Snap deck! Brilliant!"

"Time!" called Fred from the door.

Both boys raced back to the chairs where they'd been seated. Nate and I were stashed under George's robes precariously. I was terrified we'd fall out and get put back in the drawer.

Filch came back, yelled some more, and let them go. Whatever had happened in the corridors had convinced him they were innocent of the particular crime he'd nabbed them for.

As we careened back to Gryffindor Tower, Nate and I exulted in our freedom. He confided in me, too, that he was hoping he'd get to see the Tower, because I'd talked so much about it.

Fred and George went straight to their dorm room – it wasn't the one I was raised in, but it was very similar – and straightaway George took us out from under his robes. They looked at me for just a quick second and set me aside. They'd have time for me later. Right now, they wanted to play with Nate.

"This is it, boyo!" said Nate, and I could tell how excited and happy he was. The twins started playing with him right there on the bed.

The first explosion was so powerful it knocked Fred off the bed completely and sent me fluttering into the air. The twins stared at Nate for a moment, then at each other, then at Nate again. Together they said,


But the explosion had attracted other people – most of them thought that Fred and George were doing something they shouldn't and were amazed at how powerful Nate's explosions were. His explosions were creative, too. He didn't just make an exploding noise; he'd cheer as well.





Soon the dorm room was filled with boys of all ages, every one of them admiring Nate's abilities. Even Percy said something approving once.

The game ended, and there were a few cards left over. Then those left-over cards exploded, one at a time, and Nate did something he hadn't even told me he could do. Fireworks. The last explosions sent brilliant bolts of light into the air. Every single one was met with applause.

When it was all over, and the smoke was starting to clear, the Head Boy said, "That was the finest deck of Exploding Snap there ever was." I was sorry Nate wasn't there to hear it; it would have made him proud.

Right after the game, though, was dinner. I certainly didn't mind being neglected while Nate played out in spectacular fashion, but during dinner I was a little worried. What if they forgot about me? What if they decided I really was just an old bit of paper? I practiced scrolling like mad.

After dinner, when the boys came back to their dorm, George put me on his nightstand, and for a while I really was afraid I'd been forgotten. But after lights out and curtains down, George sneaked me into his bed. There was a little rustling noise, and then Fred was sitting on his bed too. George said "Lumos!" and we were bathed in soft light.

"What've you got there, George?"

"Dunno. But it was in the drawer with the cards – "

" – so it's got to be good."

"My thoughts – "

" – exactly."

I am special, you bloody idiots, I scrolled. You're both just too daft to figure out what I do.

"It insulted us!"

"Good for it!"

"Fine judge of character, eh?"

"The finest."

Shut up, you bloody wankers. Aren't you curious what I do?

"What, there's more than just insults?"

Much more, if you weren't so thick that ghosts can't fly through you.

"So tell us," they said together.

Well, that presented me with a dilemma.

I can't.

"Why not?" asked Fred.

Because there's a password, you enormous pile of Crup leavings.

"How'd it know Mum's nickname for you, Fred?"

"No, that's her nickname for you. I'm the blindingly handsome one."

You're both idiots.

"Oh, it's met Percy, too!"

Percy's so dull that the dead would claw out of their coffins to get away from him!

"Oh, it has met Percy!"

"Yes, but we're missing something here, George."

"The password."


"All right then," said George, "tell us the password then."

I can't.

"That makes sense," said Fred after a disappointed couple of moments. "But I bet we could figure it out."

I'm sure you could, you snot-nosed git.

"Give us a hint, then. Is it a word or a phrase?"

A phrase, O great nimrod.

"First word?"

What do you call yourselves?

"I'm Fred and he's George."

No, Alligator-face! What do YOU call YOURSELVES?





"Are you really?"

"Yes, aren't you?"

Bloody great idiots, the pair of you. I fluttered away a bit, feeling sulky. George caught me and pulled me back.

"We want that password," he said. "It's a phrase, right? Give us some blank spaces so we know how many words."

That sounded reasonable. I scrolled ten spaces for them.

"Now," said Fred thoughtfully, "what do I call myself?"

I decided to let them have a go and put the "I"s in for them. He'd said the right word, after all.

I I .

"First word's 'I,'" said George, "so I bet it's an oath. A vow."

"Doesn't that sound dangerous?"

"I certainly hope so!"

"Oh, good!"

"I promise – "

"I vow – "

"I swear – "

I filled it in.

"That's it! There's a word in front of it, though."

"I really swear – "

"I honestly swear – "

"I sincerely swear – "

"I solemnly swear – "

"Got it!"

"Well, the next word's got to be either 'what' or 'that.'"

I filled it in.

I solemnly swear that I .

"That I will – "

"That I shall – "

"That I am – "

"That's it!"

"What do you suppose we are?"

They sat quietly for a few minutes. I decided another hint would be in order.

Think of a direction, flobberworm-breath.

"East, West."

"South, North."

"Up, down – "

"There you go."

George started laughing.

"What does mum always say we're up?"

"To no good!"

It was wonderful, really wonderful, to hear that password again. The first thing I did, of course, was print the names of my creators and then my title.

"Those're odd names."

"Noms de plume."

"Noms de parchment."

"Who do you suppose they were?"

"Dunno, but they made this – "

"'The Marauder's Map'," whispered Fred.

I opened, for the first time since Padfoot had closed me all those years ago. I knew I was in good hands, too.

The Weasley twins were all a magical map could hope for. Like my old friends the Marauders, they combined pranks and mischief-making with good, solid, creative magic. They weren't afraid of anything, and I was happy to guide them wherever I could. The first thing I did was show them the kitchens, then the secret passages – I told them all the secrets that I knew. And we had a world of fun. Still, in my innermost ink, I sometimes longed for my old friends.

In the twins' third year, when a boy with the last name Potter showed up, I didn't really know he was anything special at first. He certainly got into enough trouble on his own, but he was hardly the only one.

Things really changed during my fifth year with the twins. They didn't take me home over the summer, and no students had come back to school yet, so I was lazing about in George's nightstand one day, really a little bored. I was trying to amuse myself, and so I looked at the grounds – sometimes Hagrid, the gamekeeper, would get into some mess or other, and go racing about chasing or being chased by some great beast. But it wasn't Hagrid who caught my attention.

Sirius Black.

I was amazed. Nate would have called it wishful scrolling. I checked, and double-checked.

Sirius Black. Padfoot was back! Did he think I was still in the file cabinet drawer? Would he look for me there? Did he know I was with the twins? Or maybe he and Peter would get together, and we three would go running about the castle together, just like old times.

Two days later, when all the students came, things got even better. There, entering the castle with the returning students, was a name I'd always longed to see again.

Remus Lupin.


This was wonderful! Three of my four friends had come back! I was so excited I could barely stand it. Moony would come and look for me, I knew he would. Wormtail might forget me, but Moony never would. Even better, since Moony, Wormtail, and Padfoot were all back – then Prongs couldn't be far behind! This was the best news ever. All four of my friends would be back, and we could run around the halls of the castle the way we used to. I missed them terribly. I thought about our reunion all the time.

Then the strangest thing happened. Everywhere I looked, people were talking about Sirius Black. But they weren't saying kind things, or good things. Sometimes, they were even saying that Sirius had killed James Potter.

I was stunned. It didn't make any sense! Padfoot kill Prongs? Never, never in a million years. But as time went on, I began to wonder… neither Wormtail nor Moony ever went to see Padfoot, even though he was living in the old shack at the end of the tunnel from the Whomping Willow. In fact, Wormtail was trying to avoid him – Padfoot visited the castle twice, and the second time, Wormtail took to living at Hagrid's, and it was clear that he hadn't told anyone where he had gone.

But I think the hardest thing for me was that Moony wasn't looking for me. He never talked to Filch, never tried to break into Filch's office. I was sure he'd try to look for me, even if I wasn't where he thought I was. I tried telling myself that maybe Filch had told him I'd been stolen, but even Filch just thought I was a plain old piece of paper. No, Moony wasn't looking for me. Even running around with the twins was less fun.

Then, the twins gave me away – I was pretty surprised. I'd heard them talking about it, so I knew they were going to, but still, I was a little offended, honestly. But when they gave me away, they said such nice things about me! And the new boy… his name was Potter, just like Prongs. And he had an Invisibility Cloak, too, just like Prongs! Maybe, I decided, the change would do us both good. Maybe this one could get up to no good.

We did just normal stuff at first, really – going to the kitchens, taking the secret tunnel to Hogsmeade. Of course I was happy to show him all the little secrets, and he paid great attention to them, the way Moony had. But he never talked to me the way Moony did. Really, I was kind of sad about it.

Then one night… one night, we were marauding through the castle together – I tried to warn him about Snape as quickly as I could. He managed to close me in time, but Snape still grabbed me, and hauled us both down to his office. I wanted to flutter away from him, but I didn't want to get my new friend in trouble, either. And besides, there were some things I had been wanting to say to old Snape for a very long time.

I couldn't believe it when he actually tried to open me! Oh, the joy! My old friends had loaded me up with personal insults just for Snape, in case he ever got his hands on me, and I tell you – it was so much fun to finally get to say them! It was like a relief – I'd been waiting forever. And I didn't care if Snape tossed me in the fire and burned me right up afterwards, either. No, I'd go out like Nate – doing what I was meant to do, and doing it right.

Well – there was some little dust-up or other; honestly, I was so excited, I didn't pay close attention. But all of a sudden I heard a familiar voice, and I was being held by familiar hands, the first hands I ever remember holding me.


At first, when he told Snape I was just some kid's toy, I thought he'd forgotten me. But then, quietly, he stroked my edges. He remembered.

We went to the entrance hall – the boy with us – and he gave the Harry a stern talking-to about me. Moony, too, thought that Padfoot was – was a murderer. It didn't seem possible, but if Moony was saying it…

After the boy left us, Moony went back to his chambers, spread me out on his desk, and tapped his wand to me.

"I solemnly swear that I am up to no good."

Moony! I scrolled his name just as soon as I was all set up.

"Hello, Map," he said softly.

I've missed you, you pock-marked, syphilitic pansy, I told him. My special name for him.

"I've missed you, too," he said, patting my edges. "I've felt pretty bad for you. I'm glad you weren't stuck in a drawer all these years. How on earth did Harry get hold of you?"

Those sugar-snorting ape-like, bed-wetting nancies Fred and George Weasley.

He chuckled softly. "Well, I'm glad you've been regularly getting up to no good. Has anyone added any spells to you?"


"Well, I'm going to now." He touched his wand to my parchment. "Map, if you ever see Harry Potter anywhere near Sirius Black, you must alert me any way you can." His wand glowed, and I felt the enchantment soar into me. I was a little surprised too – he hadn't used any magic words, just told me what he wanted.

Still, I was happy. I had a new enchantment – my first one in ages, it felt as nice as fluttering on the wind – and Moony had found me again. What's more, he'd missed me.

It wasn't too long after that when I saw just what Moony wanted me to warn him about. He was drinking tea, carelessly looking at me, but also looking at something else – I think he was double-checking a lunar chart, I'm not certain. But I had to attract his attention.


He looked up, stunned.

"Map… did you speak?"

"Moony!" I said again. Then I started blinking the names "Harry Potter" and "Sirius Black" in bright green letters. They weren't close up yet, but they were heading in the same direction. Moony stared at me for a while. There were quite a few people meeting up – Harry, Padfoot, Wormtail, and Harry's friends.

"That… that's impossible," I heard him whisper. "Peter – Peter Pettigrew is dead."

No, he's not, you ignorant blighter, I scrolled to him. He's been here these last seven years.

"What? All this time?"

I thought for a moment. He's got a new nickname, you giant warty blob.

"A new nickname?"


"Ron's rat," he said. "Dear God."

He didn't have the presence of mind to close me before he ran off, but he did take care not to set his tea down on me, and I very much appreciated that.

You've heard all the rest, I'm sure. The greasy git Snape couldn't get revenge on Padfoot, so he got it on Moony. I wasn't sure what was going to happen to me at that point – Moony was leaving the castle. Would he take me with him? I didn't know anything except the castle and Hogsmeade! Where else could I go? Would I get new spells?

But somehow… I didn't want to leave, either. I wanted to stay with Moony, but the castle is the place I was made for. I wanted to stay here.

"I'm going to miss you, Map," said Moony.

Me too.

"What? No insult?"

Just then Harry came in again, and Moony gave me back to him. I have to admit, as much as I was going to miss Moony, I was pleased to be back to doing what I was made for. And Harry Potter and his friends were almost as good at getting into trouble as the Marauders.

After Moony left, Harry took me back to his dorm and pulled me out. He said the password.

Are you ready? I asked him once I was all set up.

He stared at me. "Ready?"

Ready to make more mischief, you messy-haired, googly-eyed beanpole! What are you waiting for? You've had an invitation! Let's go! Trouble is what I was made for – so let's run through the castle all night and all day. Let's hide in secret corners and make trouble for the Slytherins. There's nothing better than adventure, and I was made just for it.

And so were you, you needle-nosed ne'er-do-well.