Special thanks to my awesome beta, Rainstorm Amaya Arianrhod, who also came up with the name for this fic! Thanks, May!
Summary: Fred and George meet their idols, the infamous Marauders of Hogwarts.
Disclaimer: I no own, you no sue.
Fred and George were on a mission. A mission to steal a precious possession back from the 'Boy-Who-Lived'. What precious possession, you may ask? The Weasley twins wanted a piece of parchment – a map – known by few, but was famous among them. They wanted the Marauders Map.
"I still say we wittily steal young Mister Potter's Invisibility Cloak and then creep in to get the Map," George said, defending his idea.
Fred sighed. "Yes, but to do that we still have to sneak in and steal it from his trunk! We might as well just waltz in there and say: 'Say, Harry m'boy, we want the Map to make possibly illegal alterations and a definitely illegal copy. We contemplated stealing it, but failed to come up with ideas, despite being the famous Weasley twins, as our dear mother saw fit to confiscate our wands, and so had to fall back on our pathetic back-up plan of coming in and asking you point-blank for one of your most prized possessions'."
George shrugged. "I dunno, sounds like a plan to me…"
"We'll just have to go with plan C," Fred said in defeat.
"What?" George shouted.
"BOYS!" They could hear Mrs. Weasley's voice from the attic of 12 Grimmauld Place, and it was not a kindly tone in which she was speaking.
They shared guilty looks.
"What?" George repeated, far more quietly. "You can't mean that we wriggle on our stomachs during the dead of night like Muggles do in the Muggle 'ar-e-my'?"
"No, George," Fred said grimly. "That is exactly what I mean."
And so that was how they found themselves crouched down in the dark corridor outside Harry and Ron's room, precisely eight hours later, about to launch their plan of attack.
"Right, Fred," George muttered. "Open the door."
Fred did so. It swung open soundlessly. The two boys lay on their stomachs, elbows propped up, and began to make the slow tedious and acutely uncomfortable journey to Harry's trunk for the Map.
George opened Harry's trunk, grabbed the map, and both twins turned to go. Fred, however, did not quite make it to the door. He sat, rooted to the floor, his face slowly turning a distinct red, even in the gloom of night. George snuck back over to his twin, who pointed soundlessly to Ron, their ickle brother. Their ickle brother who didn't sleep alone. Oh no, that brother took his little Chudley Cannons figurine with him. It sat there, clutched in his fist, the player making a face at the situation his plastic self was in.
Both twins, fighting snorts, upped and ran from that room back to their own, silently revelling in a plan completed successfully, and relishing the new blackmail material they had laid hands on.
"Right, so, I solemnly swear that I am up to no good," Fred stated the next morning to activate the map. They had finished breakfast, received their wands back from Mrs Weasley, and now sat in a corner of the library, away from Harry, Ron and Hermione, who were doing homework.
They watched as lines of dry ink spread over the paper in dark tendrils, and studied the map for a second.
"Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs," George sighed. "We owe them."
"How did they come up with those prank ideas?" Fred grinned. "They must've been the prankers of their generation!"
"What are you doing?" Harry asked, coming over.
George hurriedly muttered "Mischief managed", and scuffled to hide the map.
"We're – uh – planning a prank!" Fred said.
"Yes, for next year," George added.
"Want to start the year off with a bang –"
"Maybe firecrackers – "
"Or exploding toilets – "
"Or exploding Slytherins – "
"What's going on?" Harry asked suspiciously.
Fred and George exchanged a look. Both could see the wheels turning in the others' mind. Perhaps Harry could help them…
George whipped the map out its hiding spot and adopted a business-like expression. "Now Mr Potter, perhaps you can help us," he started.
"You see," Fred continued.
"We have decided – "
"To create another map!"
Harry stared. "You stole the map?"
"Not so much 'stole' as 'borrowed'," Fred insisted.
"And you want to make another map?" Harry asked, still staring.
"Sorry, can't help you," he said, shrugging. "You'd have to ask the Marauders themselves that."
Fred scowled. "Unfortunately, we don't know who they are. Morning, Sirius, Remus," he said as they entered the room.
"Morning," Remus replied.
"Don't know who who are?" Remus asked interestedly.
Fred and George shared another pointed glance. They sighed.
"The Marauders," Fred said eventually.
Remus looked surprised, but quickly assumed a carefully black expression, and even Sirius had perked up a bit at the name.
The twins' eyes narrowed.
"Do you know the Marauders?" George asked interrogatively.
Now it was Sirius's eyes that narrowed, but there was a new glint in them. "Why, I think I know the name from somewhere…why?"
"We owe them our thanks at the very least," Fred explained. "Some of our best prank ideas came from the Marauders."
"Genius's," George added. "Order of Merlin, First Class!"
Sirius was practically exploding with laughter, and even Remus could not suppress a smirk. A fact that did not go unnoticed by the twins.
"You know something," they stated together.
Sirius frowned. "I'm not sure…I remember seeing someone in the hall once or twice holding a bit of parchment like that one there…do you, Remus?"
Remus nodded thoughtfully.
"Maybe it was Snape," Sirius put in after more thought. "He had black hair, after all…"
The twins looked shocked. "TELL US IT'S NOT SNAPE!" they begged.
"Okay, it's not Snape," Remus said, putting them out of their misery. "Don't you remember, Sirius, the boy's hair wasn't greasy! It was really messy, I think…"
Sirius sat, looking deep in thought. "I think I remember them. Clever chaps, handsome too. You remember the Marauders' antics don't you, Moony?"
Remus squinted at the ceiling. "Oh, yes! Didn't they have the highest record of detentions ever given?"
"And they made it rain inside the castle for a week!"
"And they made every crystal ball in North Tower show images of students and teachers in their underwear…"
"And they turned everyone into pink teddy bears for Valentine's Day…"
"And they started the biggest food fight ever seen to human eye during their last breakfast at Hogwarts…"
"And do you remember when they Polyjuiced themselves into Dumbledore, McGonagall, Flitwick and Slughorn for a Masquerade Ball?" Sirius asked Remus, exploding into laughter.
Fred and George had been listening to this list of pranks with interest.
"Fred, take notes," George said, and continued: "You two seem to know an awful lot about the Marauders."
Sirius and Remus shrugged, straight-faced, but with similar glints in their eyes.
"We knew them well," Remus said. "We were at Hogwarts at the same time."
"Really?" George asked. "Then you can tell us who they were?"
"I'm not sure if we can remember," Sirius said. "It all seems a tad fuzzy after Azkaban…"
"Just tell them," Harry begged, snickering at the look of the twins' faces.
"You know?" they turned to Harry.
They rounded on Ron and Hermione.
"Do you know?"
"You didn't tell us!"
"We had a couple of run-ins with them in the past," Harry explained.
"You RAT, Ron!" Fred and George yelled.
Sirius and Remus stood up abruptly.
"We have one rule in this house," Remus began.
"And it is that we never, ever, call one another a 'rat'," Sirius said, spitting the last syllable with contempt.
"It is the worst insult one of the Order can give another, and is forbidden in this house," Remus said.
"Stupid Wormtail," Sirius muttered softly.
But not softly enough, as it happens.
"You know who Wormtail is?" the twins asked.
Remus sighed. "We knew who Wormtail was."
Fred and George looked puzzled.
"We knew the Marauders very well, young Weasleys," Sirius said. "Didn't we, Moony?"
"I'd say we did. Still do, Padfoot, old friend," Remus replied, grinning.
The twins gaped. "You're – you're the Marauders?"
"Messrs. Moony and Padfoot, at your service," Remus said.
Fred and George exploded into questions and congratulations.
"You are the best prankers of the century!"
"Who are Wormtail and Prongs?"
"Prongs was Sirius's best friend," Remus said sadly.
"James Potter," Sirius said. "Harry's dad."
The twins turned to Harry, who nodded in confirmation.
"Wow…Harry's a mini-Marauder!" Fred exclaimed.
Harry's nose wrinkled in distaste.
"No, he's a Prongslet," Sirius corrected slyly.
"And Wormtail?" George said, putting them back on track.
"Peter Pettigrew, the spy for Voldemort who framed me and sent Lily and James to their deaths," Sirius spat.
"How did you get the map?" Remus asked.
"We stole it from Filch years ago," Fred answered.
"How did you lose it?" George asked.
"Peter was walking around with it in his hand, but still didn't notice Filch behind him," Remus groaned. "He always took everything out of the ordinary from us. I suppose it was because we begged to have it back."
Sirius took out his wand. "I solemnly swear that I am up to no good," he said.
"Well, you always were," Remus pointed out.
"Did you figure out the insulting trick the map does?" Sirius asked eagerly.
"Harry did," Remus said, grinning at the boy. "He was walking the halls and Snape found it, and ordered it to reveal its secrets."
Sirius looked delighted. "Did it work?"
Remus nodded. "That I'll never forget…"
"What is it?" Fred and George asked.
"If someone uses their wand and name to figure out how the map works, it will insult them," Sirius explained. "What did it say to ol' Snivelly?"
Remus thought back. "It said 'Mr Moony presents his compliments to Professor Snape, and begs him to keep his abnormally large nose out of other people's business.'"
Sirius grinned. "Nice, Moony. Who was next?"
"Then it said 'Mr Prongs agrees with Mr Moony and would like to add that Professor Snape is an ugly git.'"
By now everyone in the room was grinning.
"That's truly something James Potter would say," Sirius said.
"Who was next?" Ron asked.
"The dog here," Remus said.
"Rabid wolf," Sirius said.
"What did Sirius say?" George interrupted.
"Oh yes, Sirius, you'll love this one. 'Mr Padfoot would like to register his astonishment that an idiot like that ever became a Professor.'"
Sirius was snickering. "What did Wormtail say?"
"'Mr Wormtail bids Professor Snape good day, and advises him to wash his hair, the slimeball.'" Remus said.
There was a silence. Finally Fred broke it saying, "Do you know if it's possible to create another map?"
Sirius and Remus exchanged glances.
"I don't think so," Remus said. "We needed a lot of power for that one, and it would be dangerous if the wrong side got their hands on it. Don't forget, Peter knows about the map, too."
The twins shrugged. "It was worth a try," George said.
Once they left, along with Harry, Ron and Hermione, Remus and Sirius couldn't contain their laughter.
"You know, Moony," Sirius said, calming down. "Prongs would've hexed us into next century for saying he looked like Snivelly holding the map."
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