For the Diversity Competition- Marauder Friendship piece. Reviews are appreciated! :)


"I've got it!" Remus waved a book in the air. He couldn't believe that the spell he'd been looking for had been right under his nose. He and James had been searching for weeks for the right charm to place on the map they'd created. Sirius had carefully taken quill to paper to draw every nook and cranny of the castle, including the secret passageways, the unseen rooms, the statues, and most importantly the tunnels out of the grounds, into Hogsmeade.

They'd first gotten the idea when James, Sirius, and Peter found out about the passageway under the Whomping Willow that Remus used once a month. Since that time, they'd discovered several others that led away from the castle into Hogsmeade. James had decided it was high time that some brilliant people recorded the secrets of Hogwarts castle onto parchment and those brilliant people were going to be him and his friends. If you'd asked Sirius, he would say it was their finest achievement to date with the exception of becoming Animagi. It was the perfect resource for any aspiring troublemaker.

They'd managed to put down everything they'd found out in the last four years. Thanks to an impressive find of Peter's, they'd been able to charm the map to show a little dot for every person within the grounds. That way they could be on the constant lookout for professors in the hallways, or Peeves wreaking havoc. Or in the case of James, he could use it to be aware of Lily Evans's whereabouts which Peter pointed out was rather creepy.

There was one problem though. If the map were to end up in the wrong hands, anyone could use it. The boys couldn't have that. All of their hard work would be wasted. All of their spare time had been spent in the library looking for a way to make the map invisible to everyone but them, but they had not had any luck. Until now.

Remus had found the solution. It was a simple spell. So simple, in fact, that he couldn't believe they'd overlooked it before. It was right there in Standard Book of Spells Grade 4. He and Peter had been doing their homework in the common room and he'd just happened to stumble onto the page he needed. Remus grabbed Peter's Potions homework from his grasp.

"What are you doing?" Peter asked looking over his friend's shoulder.

Remus pointed his wand at the piece of parchment. Tergum.

The answers scribbled in Peter's hand disappeared and the parchment lay there completely wiped clean.

"Hey!" Peter yelped.

Remus laughed. "Don't worry, Wormtail. I didn't erase it I just hid it from view."

He pointed his wand at the parchment once more. Aperio. Black lines appeared over the surface and Peter's homework was restored.

James came over from his chair by the fireplace and clapped his friend on the shoulder. "That's brilliant, mate!"

"There's a way to make the spell into a password as well," Remus explained. "That way the only person who can reveal the map is someone who knows the password. So once we come up with one, I'll perform the spell on the map. All we have to do now is wait for Sirius. I saw him heading this way a few moments ago."

Right on cue, Sirius climbed through the portrait hole just in time to join the conversation.

"Detention again?" James asked.

Sirius merely shrugged. "Maybe."

Remus shook his head at James and pointed at the map he'd been poring over for the last hour. "He was snogging Marlene in the Charms classroom. You can't go lying about where you've been now, Padfoot. The map never lies."

Sure enough, the portrait hole opened and Marlene climbed through alone, running her hand through her messy blond curls. Sirius caught her eye and winked causing her to blush. Remus cleared his throat and said loudly, "I've found a solution to our problem."

Sirius plopped down on the couch next to Peter and crossed his legs. "Have you now? Let's hear it."

"We need to come up with a password."

"Is that all? Well in that case it needs to be a phrase, not just one word. That way it will be harder for someone to get it right."

Peter nodded his agreement enthusiastically.

"And," Sirius said pointedly, "it needs to be something that only someone worthy of the name Marauder would say. Only people who want to use it for mischievous purposes should be able to see it. You don't want any Slytherins getting their hands on this baby, do you?"

Remus tapped his wand on the table, thinking it over.

James paced back and forth, occasionally looking at the map, hoping for some inspiration.

But to all of their surprise, Peter came up with an idea first. "Why don't we make the password a sort of a promise? We promise the map that we are going to use it for harmless pranks."

"Brilliant!" Sirius stared off into space as he spoke the words as they came to his mind. "I swear that… no that's not right."

"I solemnly swear. You have to say I solemnly swear. This is serious business, Sirius." James sat opposite his friends. "Imagine this. I solemnly swear that I am up to no good."

The other three readily agreed that it was the perfect password.

"What about if we want to hide it from view?" Remus asked. He quickly went about casting the necessary spell.

"Mission accomplished?" Peter suggested.

"Maybe." Sirius frowned.

Remus laid the map out and pointed his wand at the center. "I've got one," he said. He tapped it twice and muttered a spell. Then he tapped the map once more. "Mischief managed." The map was wiped clean just as Peter's homework had done.

"Perfect!" James exclaimed, and then pulled out his own wand to see if the spells Remus had performed worked. He pressed the tip of his wand to the now blank piece of parchment. "I solemnly swear that I am up to no good." Immediately the black lines and dots of the map began to appear just as Sirius had drawn it.

They all jumped up in excitement, which drew a lot of stares from the rest of the common room. Sirius grabbed a quill and started scribbling something at the top. "One last thing," he said. He pulled back to reveal the title to their masterpiece.

Mssrs. Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs

Purveyors of Aids to Magical Mischief Makers

Are proud to present

THE MARAUDER'S MAP

"Excellent!" James used the new password to wipe the map clean and then stuffed it in the front of his robes. "Let's go up to the dormitory and celebrate. I've got some butterbeer stashed under my bed."

And so the four friends clamored upstairs to celebrate the true beginning of their illustrious careers as mischief makers.