Disclaimer: None of the character appearing in the following fanfiction are my own, they belong to J. ; and are used here with the only purpose of personal entertainment.
This is my first fafiction, so be nice!
WARNING: this story has been recently reformatted. Enjoy!
Confiscated and dangerously fun.
Fred and George were running trough the dark hallways in a mad rush. It was dark, it was after curfew, they had gotten themselves in a heap of trouble, and they were being chased around by a much angered caretaker of Hogwarts also known as Mr. Filch. Once they made it to the fourth floor and the immediacies of the Gryffindor Tower they slowed down. They could be almost sure they've managed to loose Filch. They'd had a lucky escape this time.
They were first years. Newly arrived firsties who had recently managed to be responsible for half of the year's events that would be qualified by students as "interesting" and regarded by teachers as "problematic". This time was no different.
Filch caught them setting off a whole bunch of dungbombs in the dungeons, dangerously close to Professor Snape's Office. They had been almost finished when a mewl alerted them of Mrs Norris proximity. Alas, it was too late and ineludibly they ran into Filch. With a satisfied cruel eagerness in his voice the caretaker dragged them all the way to his office, pulling and pushing them while evilly menacing to hang them upside down by their thumbs in the dungeons.
It was widely known that there are several places that no student ever wished to be, under any circumstances. First of these was the Dungeon (except maybe Slytherins); the students only ventured down there for their Potions classes, and then only because they were too terrified of incurring Snape's wrath to do otherwise. Another was the Forbidden Forest; the legends of werewolves and giant spiders and otherwise incredible things might not have been completely true, but no one cared to act as a test to find out. Finally, most dreaded place at Hogwarts, where students absolutely detested being was Filch's Office. This wasn't because of Filch himself, who tough absolutely mean was said to be squib by older students, but rather because if you were in Filch's Office, it was a sure bet that you would soon be in detention. It was said that there had been a student, many years ago, who had escaped Filch's Office without a detention, but it was commonly regarded as myth.
The twins tough remained unfazed. Mostly because they had already made obvious since day one that they were set on beating, by the end of their student years, the detention record, than according to rumour had remained unchallenged for almost twenty years. Being here was sure unpleasant, but it put them on their way to success.
Whilst Filch ranted and raved around them in his office, searching around for god-knows which kind of formulary against rule-breaking students, both Fred and George looked aimlessly around. There was a big wooden table which took off most of the space in the minuscule room. Walls were covered up to the ceiling with filling cabinets. Most of them carefully labelled in a sloppy hand sorting with a series on periods comprised between years. Some of them were fairly dilated, and some of them were dedicated to an unusually short amount of time, even a couple or two with a single year written on their front. Some of the etiquettes were very old, ratted at the ends, old ink already vanishing and altogether ready to crumb into dust. Some others were all too new, for they had contributed to them, and even inaugurated one.
Fred was eyeing curiously a set of drawers which didn't seem to close well when he spotted one that read Confiscated and Highly Dangerous. He jabbed George on the ribs a little harder than necessary. When George whirled around, brutally extracted from his own inspection he cautiously pointed towards the tempting cabinet. They had looked at each other for a brief second and, with perfectly coordinate actions George set off another dungbomb under Filch's nose and started running for dear life, whilst Fred remained behind. He opened the drawer, his curiosity peaked. What could deserve to be labelled as highly dangerous form Filch? Well, some were none too special, some years old pranking items now outdated, some unlabelled bottles he'd rather not know the contents of and a single piece of old unwritten parchment. Now, why the heck would Filch keep something like that? He grabbed it anyway and set off discretely to join George.
"What'd you guess it is, Gred?"
"I don't know Forge, but it doesn't appear very threatening. Guess the old man confiscated it and couldn't read it."
"You mean there's something written?"
"Don't be daft! Of course not! Not yet. I bet there is some kind of concealing charm."
Three days and two sleepless nights later the still hadn't figured out exactly which revealing charm would unlock the mysterious parchment. They had even visited the library, under the untrusting and weary gaze of Mrs Prince. Still, none of them seemed to be doing any good. Now in the Common Room at ungodly hour of the morning were still without a clue.
"Maybe it's just an old piece of parchment and nothing else!" George exclaimed exasperatedly.
"Now, don't be such a pessimist." he said. Aimlessly grabbing his wand he pointed it to the parchment on the table "I , Fred Weasley, order you to reveal your secrets!"
George gasped as suddenly as if ink had spilled on the parchment and slowly thin lines started conforming themselves into a messy scrawl. Long letters flew high and dived down. Words seemed shortened as if the writer lacked space enough and was used to pack his words into too little parchment. Strokes firmly punctuated, and broken lines made up the impression that the line couldn't keep quite straight.
"Mr. Moony would like to know why someone would announce himself in such a pompous way."
Their shocked expressions didn't subside as a second line began to write itself, as if by an invisible hand. This second was far less messy, but bolder and by a stronger hand. Straight lines firmly marked and vowels confidently rounded. Scrubby words followed one another to write down another biting comment written in shiny black ink.
"Mr Prongs agrees with Mr Moony and would like to point that violence leads you nowhere."
Immediately after that, a third one started outlining itself. This time in a neat, slightly inclined, old-fashioned handwriting. Letters flowed fluidly, in calligraphic elegant strokes. Proportions were evenly kept all along and words seem to keep a perfect space accord, while the sentence wrote itself speedily.
"Mr Padfoot wholeheartedly agrees and, would suggest to Mr Weasley not to meddle in other people's affairs."
Finally a fat line emerged closing the round. The handwriting pointy at the ends, as if words were coming undone, and overstuffed by the middle, were they were incredibly big and rounded.
"Mr Wormtail agrees with whatever Mssrs Moony, Padfoot and Prongs where saying, but would like to know what exactly is happening."
Fred and George looked at each other quite dismayed. After all, father used to say you can't trust it if you don't know where the brain is. But this looked rather harmless… I mean, how can an old parchment which insults passer-bys be dangerous?
"But as Mrs. Weasley detention record…" the bold handwriting had returned after the previous lines disappeared.
"…seems to be quite respectable…" the rounded script was back too.
"…the Marauders feel honoured to confide you that…" the tight handwriting added.
"…it is wise for respectable mischief makers to solemnly swear they're up to no good!" finished saying the neat-looking one.
They looked at each other disconcerted. It seemed a rather random piece of shit to say. George looked rather disappointed again. But then Fred apparently took a decision.
"This could be a very stupid nonsensical joke. But it also could be a very direct order, if you take it literally." He commented. He tapped the parchment with his wand, because as he had already conveyed to his brother, there was nothing to loose in trying something else. "I solemnly swear I'm up to no good!"
Startled, both twins watched as ink appeared into the parchment extending in a spidery web, drawing what looked like corridors, rooms, stairs… the ink took the shape of a complex map of Hogwart's Castle, in an astounding detail. Secret corridors and passwords were clearly indicated. Little moving inkblots were labelled with people's names. They could see Professor MacGonagall in her office. Filch was patrolling the sixth floor, and Mrs. Norris was apparently standing guard before what was indicated as the Hufflepuff common room. And in the top it read:
Mssrs. Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs present:
THE MARAUDER'S MAP
They looked from the parchment to each other, and then back to the map again. The looked at it, a million thoughts running through their devious little minds. Then they looked back at each other again, as a devilish smile spread on their faces.
"Cool!" Fred exclaimed.
"Yup!" answered his brother.
Since that day on Hogwarts knew no moment of respite in the Weasley Twins attempts to beat up the detentions record, which they learnt accidentally, was set by their mentors. Pranks of all kind plagued the castle, the teachers and the student body. Through their efforts they managed to acquire the honour of having a filling cabinet for themselves. They used the Marauders' Map extensively to achieve their astonishing success. Their dubious extracurricular activities gave them their true purpose in life. Jokes and pranks became their vocation. After thoroughly memorizing its secrets they passed the map down to Harry Potter. Their Hogwarts years became the beginning of their successful business career. They never managed to break that record. They would always attribute it to the reduced amount of members in their group. They did manage to get to a professional level. They became the founders of the most famous magical joke company, Weasley Wizarding Wheezes. And managed, as the Marauders did, to help other potential pranksters in their attempts to make of Hogwarts' Castle a livelier place.