Chapter 17, Part one
…And now for something completely different.
"You boys have made more than your fair share of trouble these past few years," Filch says with more than a hint of smug satisfaction, scratching his cat's neck. "But I have you now."
Your brother looks distraught, but he'll pull though—This is not the first time we've been in a staff member's office late at night. Harry, on the other hand, is safe in the common room. He got away, and good for him. It's not his fault, that's for sure. He may have come up with the plan, but it wasn't the plan that got us here. A plan, no matter how detailed and well plotted, can be derailed by the most unexpected and random of details. We know this from firsthand experience.
The bastard carries on gloating, "You two are slippery, I'll give you that." He points to you and your brother. "You always seem to find a way to escape," he says with a smile, "but now I know why."
He holds up the map. Where did he…? He must have picked it up when… Merlin, no!
"This. I've seen this thing before," he says, "In the hands of some troublemakers far superior to you two."
He runs his fingers over the fully exposed map. "It all makes sense." He taps it a few times with a finger. "What a fool I was. All these years, I thought it was just a piece of parchment charmed to insult people," he says, "I've had this in my drawer for years, and now that I know what it does, do you know what I'm going to do with it?"
Use it himself? No. We can't suggest that.
"…Put it back in the drawer?" you say in a monotone.
"You'd like that wouldn't you?" he says nastily, "You've proven to me that my security is not what it once was." He pulls something out from a coat pocket, and he opens it up with his thumb. "I put it in the drawer, and you two will snatch it right back." The thing lights on fire and he smiles. "No, Mr. and Mr. Weasley. I'm going to burn it."
How the hell did we get here?
Six hours earlier
The week since Christmas has been exciting, to say the least. Harry, it seems, has been holding out on us these last couple months. Oh yes, the tomfoolery and monkey business is strong in this one.
First day back, he comes to us with a dozen developed plans for various campaigns of mischief making. Apparently he got bored over the holiday and spent his free time coming up with one classic idea after another. He calls it, 'the week of prank.'
We never said he was great with the titles, but since then our days have been filled with turning random girls' teeth blue, making the entire Slytherin Quidditch team unusually gassy, creating a monument in a fifth floor hallway in honor of a certain part of the female anatomy, and oh so much more! As for the monument, your esteemed brother went quite literal in naming it, and titled it simply, 'the right breast of Nymphadora Tonks.' And what a wondrous breast it is. She was not impressed.
You should take this moment to point out that seventh years know some nasty spells.
In spite of the pain inflicted by that girl, it makes us just so very proud. And to think, your short-sighted brother considered dumping his arse after getting us caught with our last prank, but what a foolish move that would have been. Why, we would have missed out on all this fun! Wait, it may have been you that suggested it. Ah well, we made the right choice in the end, regardless of whichever brain hatched the idea.
This has been, without a doubt, the best week of our lives. We've had good times, no doubt there, but this last while it's been prank, prank, prank, prank, and prank. It would almost be considered exhausting if it weren't so exhilarating. Sadly, the week of prank is almost over but, in honor of the last day, Harry set us up with a full schedule, morning to night. And the grand finale is coming right up! Ah, there is the man of the hour!
"Harry, you sly devil!" you say raising your fingers above your head in the form of horns, "I was just thinking of how for you've come."
You don't get a laugh with the horns, and now you realize you look like an idiot with your hands on your head. Eh, comedy is hit and miss. You put an arm around your less handsome twin and carry on.
"Our protégé," the both of us say.
"Without a doubt—"
"The very best—"
"We've ever made!" we chorus.
He says, "I'm glad to have been of service." He lowers his voice. "Are you two clowns ready for tonight?"
"Clowns, you say?"
"Why I never!"
He shakes his head, hiding a smile. "Right, just remember that this all goes to pot without the…" He leans in close. "You-know-what."
He really needs to stop acting all sneaky and junk. That, and his whispers are paradoxically loud. Honestly, they might even be louder than his normal speech, just breathier. Moving on.
You say, "Roger," but, "Affirmative" is what you hear coming from beside you. Erhm. We're a little out of sync today.
We've been working up to this all week. Compared to this, everything else has been a warm-up.
With our efforts combined and our cumulative magical knowledge fully tapped, as far as we're concerned, our entire repertoire is at use. Potions, charms, transfiguration, a rune (of all things), a little bit of elbow grease, and hopefully, some luck.
It's time. You grab your bag of supplies, and look to your two comrades in arms.
"We ready?" your young friend asks.
We talked about this before, your brother and you that is, and we need to make sure our little Harrikins is ready for the big leagues. Last time it didn't go so well, we need to be sure. "It's a good plan Harry," you say slowly while making eye-contact with your twin.
"But I wouldn't—"
"Hold it against you—"
"If you wanted to—
"Drop out and—"
"Leave it with us." We nod.
Harry looks at us for a moment before he shakes his head. "It's like you said." He grabs his bag. "It's a good plan," he says repeating your words, "and I can't not be a part of this." He wants to get his hands dirty, just like a true prankster.
"Plus," he adds, "I can't have you guys taking sole credit for the best prank in Hogwarts history, can I?"
Wow, 'Best prank in Hogwarts history' sure has a ring to it. "Let's do it then!" you shout. The both of us let out a whoop. "So where to, little man?"
"Where to?" he repeats, then goes into that dreadful whisper-that-is-not-a-whisper tone, "Did you bring the… you-know-what?"
Oh Harry, trying to act all cloak and dagger. You humor him and pull out the map in an exaggerated way, all sneaky-like. You open the map and say the magic words. He points to a certain spot on the map before calmly heading for the door.
"You guys ready for the history books?" he says over his shoulder, as the portrait swings open.
The history books? If we pull this off, we'll have whole libraries written about us!
Shit shit shit shit shit!
Bollocks, what the hell just happened? Fuck, my idiot brother! HE DROPPED THE MAP! Now we're running – Merlin knows where! – through the school, trying to stay ahead of Filch and his awful-smelling cat!
How could he drop the map? It's not bloody replaceable, and he knows that just as well as you! How? You all turn down a corridor and keep running at a good clip with Harry and your idiot brother at your side—And he's supposed to be the smart one! He got the brain, and I got the good looks!
Your most intelligent pranking partner (hint, not your brother!) says, "I think we need to split up."
Split up? "No, if we're going to get caught, then we do it together," you say, "This is a team thing. We live together, we die together."
He looks at you like you're an alien. "Look guys, I've spent almost more time this year in detention than out, I don't think I can take any more," he says between breaths. "We split up, and we have a better chance of outrunning him."
You share a look with your brother. This is one of those twin moments where everyone assumes that you're communicating with your minds. It's weird, for some odd reason someone came up with the genius idea that we're psychics. Not hardly. Knowing this however, we've taken it upon ourselves to play up the whole twinliness aspect. We prepare a hefty amount of conversations beforehand to add to the, pardon the French, total mind-fuckery. We're not psychics, we just know each other well enough to read the other's face and get a quick read on our emotive states. A raised lip, drawn in eyebrows, a flared nostril—that kind of thing. Micro-expressions.
This is completely off topic. Your brother agrees with Harry. "Go ahead," we say.
And just like that, he's gone. He disappears down a dark hallway, but we stay together. If, Merlin forbid Filch catches us, it will be nice to have some company we're writing lines or mopping floors.
"Doesn't matter," you say after a moment
"Even without the map—"
"We know this castle—"
"Better than anyone!"
Okay, that conversation wasn't exactly planned, maybe we are psychic?
A one of a kind masterpiece. That map—how could he…?
You can feel the heat, even from here. The warmth of the flame is sharply contrasted with a cold wet feeling around your eyes. Tears dribble down your face, and with a loud pop from the fire, you simply have to look away. You turn to your brother and see him looking straight back at you. You're not the only one crying. If people knew what happened here tonight, they would cry too.
A particularly loud sob echoes though the room, and it takes a few seconds for you to realize that it came from you.
Thank Merlin Harry's not here to see this.
… And now for something a bit less ginger.
You've spent the last few minutes watching those two losers cry their guts out from a keyhole. It's been quite entertaining seeing them mourn the loss of what amounts to be a piece of wrinkled parchment. A particularly loud sob makes you smile, and you start on your way back to the dorm.
Not sure of the way, you pull out the real map.
Now, how did you get here?
Here's a better question: where the hell is Gryffindor tower on this damn thing? You'll reminisce about the glory of the night in the morning. Right now, you need to sleep.
AN: Next chapter will be up soon.
Once again, I need to thank BrotherBludgeon for betaing this for me. I feel the need to reiterate that he is in fact not single. I'm sorry for the confusion. Really, I am.