Disclaimer: JKR owns what you recognize. I'm just filling in the blank spots.

"This is why I hate you damn kids," Filch snapped. I winked at Fred and then spoke up.

"Does dear Professor Dumbledore know you despise us so much?" I asked innocently. "Maybe you should get a new job."

Filch glared at me, then opened his office door and stumped inside with us following. "I work hard to keep this place clean and functional. You kids don't have any respect for adults. You ought to be whipped, but I don't have the authority anymore, thanks to the headmaster."

Fred smiled. "And we probably owe our lives to him by now."

"You two need some detentions. Or maybe I should just turn you into a couple of girls before you even have the chance to be men. And I don't mean with a spell."

As he went off into his usual spiel, I gazed around the already-familiar office. It was the middle of September and Fred and I were in our first year of Hogwarts. We'd set off a Dungbomb in a corridor and Filch had been lucky enough to catch us. He'd probably have Dumbledore write to Mum for the second time. We were pretty unpopular with the caretaker already. But it's not like it was our fault it was so fun to make him mad. We were eleven and had the right to be immature - not that we'd ever relinquish that right, even after we grew up.

Then, I noticed a drawer in the filing cabinet near me. The label screamed "Confiscated and Highly Dangerous" in big, black letters. I immediately wanted to know what was in it, so I nudged Fred. He looked at me, and I pointed at the drawer as Filch started banging open his desk drawers, probably looking for a detention form to give to McGonagall or something.

Fred saw the label and his eyes lit with curiosity, mirroring mine exactly. I grinned and then said out loud, "Well, I think you're right."

Filch looked up angrily. "What?"

"You should be allowed to beat us within an inch of our lives when we annoy you. But since you can't, I have no qualms about doing this." Then, I pulled another Dungbomb out of my bag and threw it directly at Filch. He froze, and it hit him directly in the face. I cracked up. Fred jumped up and jerked open the file drawer with the interesting name. He whipped out a piece of parchment and was back in his seat before Filch had finished wiping the filthy substance out of his eyes.

"God damn you brats to hell!" he shouted, pounding his fist on the desk. "That's it! Get the hell up!" He strode around his desk, grabbed my right arm and Fred's left, and half-dragged us out the door. Neither of us could stop laughing, and we must have sounded pretty hysterical and looked absolutely insane.

"Oh, Merlin," I gasped as he brought us to McGonagall's office. "Merlin!" Filch gave my arm a painful squeeze and let go of Fred's to knock on the door.

"You may enter," called McGonagall from inside. Filch opened the door and shoved us inside. McGonagall looked up from her desk and I could have sworn I saw her lips twitch in a smile before she fixed a severe expression in place. "What in heaven's name happened?" she inquired. Filch glared at Fred and me.

"These two set off a Dungbomb in the third floor, and then this one threw another one at my face!" he said furiously. Again, McGonagall looked like she was about to laugh before she started yelling at us. I tuned her out, of course, only listening long enough to assure myself it was nothing worse than a week's detentions, fifty points from Gryffindor, and a letter to Mum. Of course, the points were nothing to laugh at, and the letter was downright terrifying, but at least we weren't expelled.


"Well? What d'you reckon?" I demanded. Fred and I were up in our dormitory, alone, and we were staring at the parchment on Fred's bed. He shrugged.

"Why'd he put it under 'Confiscated and Highly Dangerous?' It's just a piece of parchment," Fred said, shaking his head. I had to agree with him.

"There must be something special. Maybe an incantation?" He pulled his wand, tapped it and said "Specialis Revelus!" Nothing happened.

I raised my eyebrows. "Pulling a Percy?" I said. He laughed.

"Flitwick said it yesterday, remember? At least I think that's what he said..."

"Oh yeah! Well, it didn't work anyway. Show yourself!" I said, tapping it with my own wand. Fred snorted. "Well, it was worth a shot," I said. Then, we heard footsteps on the stairs. "Crap," I said as Kenneth Towler emerged.

"Hey, Fred, George," he said. I sighed.

"Can you go away?" I said bluntly. He looked hurt.

"That's mean. And it's my room, too, and it's almost ten, and I'm tired!" he said.

"Let me explain what George meant," Fred said, mock-cheerful. "Go away, because we're busy and we don't want you here while we're doing this."

Kenneth glared. "No! I'll tell McGonagall if you don't stop being mean."

"Whatever," Fred grumbled. Then, a voice floated upstairs.

"Did you get the Gobstones, Kenneth?" Fred and I looked at Kenneth, and he flushed.

"I'm not going to bed after all," he said rudely, then opened his trunk and grabbed a Gobstones set. "Yeah, Billy!" he shouted down the stairs as he left.

"Prat," I muttered.

"Yeah, I know," Fred agreed. Then we returned our attention to the mysterious parchment, completely at a loss.

"Maybe if we just..." I tapped it with my wand, hoping for some miraculous answer. To my shock, spidery words appeared on it, spreading out from the tip of my wand. Fred's eyes widened as we watched the parchment ask a question.

What is your purpose for examining this parchment? The words faded right as I finished reading them.

Fred and I looked at each other. "You know what Dad says..." I murmured. "Don't trust something that can think for itself..." But I was reluctant to give up the opportunity, and Fred knew that.

He said, "We want to know what you... er, it is. We nicked it from Filch and we can't figure why it's dangerous." He tapped it continually with his wand as he said this.

Are you a Slytherin?

I laughed and hit it with my wand. "No way in hell. Gryffindor."

Are you planning any mischief?

Fred tapped it. "In the abstract, we always are." I smirked and nodded.

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

We both caught on right away, and Fred tapped it again. "I solemnly swear I am up to no good," he said, excited. The words disappeared and we watched anticipatorily. Right before our eyes, thin lines spread from the spot his wand was and, after only a minute, we realized it was a map with a little description at the top.

"Messrs. Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs: Purveyors of aids to Magical Mischief-Makers are proud to present... The Marauder's Map. Whoa," I said softly. "Cool." Little black dots swarmed the paper. "It's us!" I said, seeing two dots labeled with our names. "And there's Filch. And in the library, there's Lee!"

"This is so awesome," Fred muttered. "Hey, I've never seen that passageway!" He pointed at a passage right by the place an old statue was located.

"Look, here's another new one!" I pointed at a hallway behind a painting. "It leads to the kitchens!"

"Whoa," Fred said, just as I had a moment before. We found seven new passageways in all, but they weren't all usable. One was beneath the Whomping Willow on the lawn. Another one we had no doubt Filch knew about, because after past pranks he'd caught us when he couldn't have possibly gotten to where we were using the usual routes. The others, as far as we knew, were fine.

"But we'll have to check them all and make sure we can actually use them. Filch might know about more," Fred said.

"Yeah," I concurred. "I wonder where they go to? Maybe the village?"

"We'll have to check," my brother repeated. "On Saturday. We can't miss classes if we're going to show up in Hogsmeade. Bill said that a bunch of the shop-owners know all the teachers." He sighed. "Oh well. It's Wednesday already."

"How do we wipe it?" I wondered aloud, glancing down at the map. "Look!" Next to my little dot, a speech bubble with two words in it appeared. Mischief Managed, it said.

I tapped the parchment and said, "Mischief managed!" The map went blank instantly, and I grinned. "This is so awesome!"

"Definitely worth the fifty points," Fred commented.

"And even worth the Howler Mum's probably writing as we speak."

"Well... yeah, even worth the Howler."

We were quiet for a moment. There wasn't much you could say that would top that. Mum's Howlers were definitely not something to ignore. Then, Fred grinned. "Want to put Bulbadox Powder in Kenneth Towler's clothes?" he asked.

"Better believe it," I responded, and we both grabbed a pouch of the itchy powder. Poor Kenneth. He'd never know what hit him.