Disclaimer: Owning. Not. Wishing. Am. Don't. Would. Can't. Sorry. ---- (translation: Not mine, wish it was, that's life.)
A/N: Okay, just a bit of random silliness ... I expect many of the 'Forge discover who the Marauders are' fics are pretty similar, but this is just a stupid little oneshot that popped into my head tonight and demanded to be typed before it ghave me a migraine. So yeah, here it is ... pretty random, pretty predictable, but a bit of good fun. R&R please :)
"According to this, the Shrieking Shack wasn't built until the 1940s."
"Where did you get this book, anyway?"
"Ron borrowed it from Hermione and I stole it from his room."
"So if it wasn't built until the '40s and that passage is on the Map –"
"- it means the Marauders were at school sometime after then."
"Dumbledore's been at the school way longer than that; couldn't we just ask him?"
"Oh, yeah, that'll go down a right treat! 'Hello, Professor, we were just wondering if you knew the names of the four guys who wrote this Map we've been using to break school rules for the past five years? Thanks.' Get real!"
"Just a thought!"
"Not the worst one ever, though – are there any other old teachers we could ask?"
"Can't ask McGonnagall or Snape, they're both too grouchy and would just lecture us. And any of the others are too young."
"Snape's too young by miles!"
"I reckon he uses an anti-aging potion; he acts like such a grumpy old man …"
"Whatever he does, it doesn't help us," Fred Weasley commented bitterly, snapping shut the 'borrowed' copy of Hogwarts: A History. "Mum would go mental if she knew about it, and so would Dad. You know what he's like about seeing the brain and all that."
"Yeah," George agreed. "We'll have to think of something else."
"You reckon Tonks would know?"
"She's an Auror – doesn't matter how cool she is, she'd still have to confiscate the Map, and that's not worth it."
"True, brother, true."
"What are you two up to now?" The twins looked up and immediately fixed the most innocent expressions they could muster onto their faces.
"Nothing, Professor," George said, flashing his most dazzling smile.
"Us?" Fred chimed in. "We are purity personified, Professor!"
"You don't have to call me Professor any more, you know," Remus said with a half-hearted smile. "After all, I haven't taught you for over a year now."
"Old habits die hard," Fred apologised, not really meaning it.
"Evidently. So what could possibly be so interesting that the Weasley twins are spending hours of their precious holidays – on a Saturday afternoon, no less – poring over history books in this dismal library?" Remus asked, eyebrows raised in mild curiosity. The twins exchanged glances.
"Research," George said guardedly, and Remus chuckled appreciatively.
"Ah yes," he said with a smile. "I remember those days well. Of course, you two more likely pull equal weight with the research – in my day it was my job to do the research and the brain work, and leave the getting in trouble up to my friends."
"You?" Fred snorted. "A prankster?"
"No offence, Professor, but it seems hard to believe."
"None taken, I assure you. But you would certainly be surprised. My year group was rather jam packed full of miscreants – I do believe a group of our Gryffindors still hold the record for highest number of detentions in Hogwarts history. They passed the old record in their first year, if memory serves me correctly," Remus said with a reminiscent chuckle. Fred and George gaped at him, speechless.
"You …" George struggled to regain his voice. "You went to school with the Marauders?"
"You've heard of them?"
"Of course!" George blurted. "They're legendary – they're our idols!"
"They're the inspiration for most of the pranks we've ever pulled – and some we've never had the nerve to try!" Fred added enviously.
"Is it true they set Dumbledore's robes on fire at their first year Welcome feast?"
"Ah, yes!" Remus laughed aloud. "Yes, quite amusing – purple flames, nonetheless. A nice matching set of robes, hat and flame." The twins grinned broadly. "Yes … of course, that set the detention record quite nicely in motion. Three weeks, I believe, was the starter."
"And the rumour about the Kneazle they set loose in the Potions classroom?"
"Also, regrettably true," Remus said, rolling his eyes. "Took them five hours to recapture and sedate it – by which time, of course, everyone was in such a panic that nobody had noticed how it got in to begin with."
"Wow!" Fred and George said simultaneously.
"Did they really threaten to drop McGonnagall's Ginger Newts off the Astronomy Tower if she didn't pass them all?" Fred pressed. Remus snorted at that one.
"Oh, absolutely," he said with a smirk. He appeared to be about to continue, when the library door swung open and Sirius stuck his head in, peering around the room. His eyes narrowed on Remus, who took a subtle step in the other direction.
"Remus," Sirius said warningly. "What have I told you about becoming a bookworm again?"
"I've yet to understand this 'again' notion of yours – I've been a bookworm my entire life, Sirius, and you know it well. You've been trying to beat it out of me for years."
"Unsuccessfully," Sirius added with a grimace. "And now you're corrupting the twins, too?! Boys, put the books away – step back from the shelves …"
"He's not making us study," George said gleefully. "He's giving us tips!"
"Tips on what, precisely?"
"Oh!" An evil grin flitted across Sirius' face, and he stepped smartly into the room and snapped the door shut behind him. "Why didn't you say so? I could certainly tell a few tales about our escapades in our Hogwarts days …"
"Sorry, Sirius," Fred cut him off, "but we're looking for the masters here. Professor Lupin is telling us everything he remembers about the Marauders."
"The Marauders?" Sirius repeated, glancing sideways at Remus.
"Indeed," the other man replied, a smile playing about the corners of his mouth. "After all, the twins are the next generation of Hogwarts pranksters, so I felt it my duty to pass on the wisdom of far greater men."
"Amen to that!" chorused the twins. Sirius was smirking gleefully now.
"So you do acknowledge that they're far greater than you are, then?" he demanded.
"Of course!" Fred gasped. "They are the almighty, the praiseworthy, the ultimate in pranking history! We've spent six years trying to break their detention record and Dumbledore tells us we're still not even close!"
"If we ever met them, we'd kiss the ground they walk on!" George agreed fervently.
"Really?" Remus asked, quirking one eyebrow. The twins nodded.
"Really!" they said adamantly.
"Interesting," Sirius said with a chuckle. "Well, I don't deny they had style."
"Everyone wanted to be them," Remus agreed in a thoughtful tone.
"Best students in the school."
"Got away with everything."
"Did things nobody ever dreamed of doing before."
"Or found out about after," Sirius pointed out with a wink. Remus grinned furtively at his oldest friend.
"Quite," he agreed. "Yes, I do have to concede, they were the kind of people legends are written about. I think the best one was the time they charmed the dinner dishes to scream obscenities at the Slytherins every night for a month."
"No, I'm personally quite a fan of the time they played McGonnagall and Dumbledore against each other so well that they ended up duelling in the Entrance Hall, and then gave out fifty house points apiece to the four of them."
"Or there was the time they manipulated the classrooms to switch places in between every class of the day," Remus reminded Sirius with a smile. Sirius barked with laughter.
"Oh, Merlin, now that was genius," he grinned. "McGonnagall went spare …"
"…And Dumbledore laughed!" Remus finished, now beaming broadly. "He got up at dinner, said it was the best piece of underage wand work he'd seen in a century, and declared the night a feast in recognition."
"Oh, yeah … those were good pumpkin pasties."
"Underage?" Fred cut in.
"How old were they?" George asked, eyes wide with awe.
"Oh, must have been, what? Third year?" Remus asked, shooting a look Sirius' way.
"Yup," Sirius laughed. "Hogsmeade year … ah, how they showed up Zonko's that year."
"Wow!" the twins gasped amazedly.
"And you were friends with them?" George asked.
"Oh, yeah – best mates, we were," Sirius grinned. "Isn't that right, Moony?"
"Thick as thieves, Paddy," Remus smirked.
"Don't call me that!"
"Apologies, I'm sure."
"You're not sorry at all, are you?"
"Uh … no?"
"Witless wolf," Sirius muttered resentfully.
"Did you just compare me to Snivellus???"
"God, Moony, it must be your time of the month again."
"Mature as ever, I see."
"Taken your Wolfsbane? Or is it the Pill these days?"
"I was going for the Pill, but you seem to have used them all up this month."
"You're a prat."
"Thank you," Remus said with a slight smile, and both men burst into grins. Throughout all this, the twins had been staring dumbfounded at the two remaining Marauders.
"You …?" George trailed off.
"Really?" Fred asked dumbly. Remus smiled and nodded his head, and Sirius just grinned reminiscently.
"Wow …" both boys said slowly. They then threw themselves onto the ground at the Marauders' feet, bowing as low as their lanky figures would allow and touching their noses to the ground in sign of worship.
"Oh, do get up!" Remus said laughingly, and the twins scrambled to their feet.
"Would now be a good time to tell you you're our idols?" Fred questioned. Sirius let out a bark of laughter.
"Don't tell you mother that," Remus warned. "She'd have our heads."
"Oh, yes." Sirius pursed his lips in his best Molly Weasley impression. "'Don't you go filling my boys' heads with that nonsense you two got up to! It's bad enough they idolise those stupid nicknames without knowing they're living under the same roof as two of them! Honestly, I don't know how you never got expelled – and you a Prefect, too, Remus Lupin! What an example to set! Their former Professor, one of those Murderers!" By this point, Fred and George were rolling on the floor in hysterics; Remus' eyes were swimming with tears of mirth; and Sirius himself was choking back laughter in an effort to finish his impersonation.
"Two Murderers under one roof, eh Padfoot?" Remus joked.
"One convicted, both guilty, neither ever killed a man," Sirius agreed. "I kind of see how Molly might think we're a bad influence, you know."
"And you actually care?" Remus appeared genuinely shocked, and Sirius scoffed.
"Moony! Give me some credit! What kind of school would Hogwarts be without someone carrying on the great tradition of Maraudering?"
"Dull!" the twins chimed in decisively.
"Precisely," Sirius smirked. "Now, what pranks do you have planned for the Welcome feast?"
"SIRIUS ADOLPHUS BLACK!" Everyone turned around warily, and saw none other than Harry standing at the door, laughing to himself at all of their shocked expressions.
"Bloody hell, Harry!" George laughed. "Don't do that again."
"Sorry, mate, I couldn't resist," Harry grinned, as he wandered in to join the party. "So what are we all talking about?"
"Well, Prongsling, we were discussing the most amusing Marauder escapades," Remus informed him with a chuckle. Sirius laughed aloud, and Fred and George made loud, indignant sounds.
"How come Harry gets a Marauder nickname?!" demanded Fred.
"Because he is a Prongsling," Sirius grinned. "Great name, by the way, Moony."
"Welcome. Prongs' real name was James Potter." The twins turned to stare at Harry, dumbfounded. He shuffled uncomfortably.
"You're a second generation Marauder?"
"Your dad was one of the holy quartet?"
"Uh … yeah …" Harry said uncertainly, unnerved by the gleams in the twins' eyes. "Why?"
Fred and George exchanged glances, and at the same time, they threw themselves onto the floor at Harry's feet, grasping at his jeans and calling out things like 'O great one!' and 'We offer you our undying allegiance!' Remus and Sirius nearly fell over themselves laughing at this, and Harry shot them a glare.
"Thanks a bunch, guys."