The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.
Mischief Managed. - B. Nonymous
Author's Note: Usual disclaimers apply - I'm just having fun.
I appear to have acquired Rowling's Disease. Every subsequent piece gains
substantial bulk. :) Please read I Solemnly Swear..., and ...That
I Am Up To No Good. first. Thanks to Mrs. Nonymous (Lily to my James)
and beta extraordinaire Night Zephyr for their beta readings!
"Voldemort will be leaving no stone unturned looking for Mr. Pettigrew. We
must do the same, and get to him first."
The small crowd in Headmaster Albus Dumbledore's office stood in silence after
Hogwarts alumni Sirius Black and Remus Lupin were looking over a map, the
Marauder's Map, which they had helped to create. They and their two other
friends from their Hogwarts days - James Potter and Peter Pettigrew, put a
little bit of their own essences into that piece of parchment. The essences
of their two remaining friends had just appeared on its surface. With only
one sentence apiece, the missing Marauders had forced the entire gathering
Hogwarts faculty members Albus Dumbledore and Deputy Headmistress Minerva
McGonagall demarcated the emotional range of the crowd. McGonagall was
sniffling and holding back tears. She was amazed that, after disappearing
from Hogwarts grounds five hours earlier, the three missing students had
returned. She was equally amazed that Peter Pettigrew, formerly a servant of
Lord Voldemort, had somehow found his way back to the light, saving those
three missing students along the way. Dumbledore's urgent call to action was
meant to remind the crowd that Pettigrew was missing, and must be found
before Lord Voldemort punished his doubly-traitorous servant.
Hogwarts students Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger were
teetering between elation and exhaustion. They were elated in having escaped
from their five hour ordeal at the Riddle Mansion. They were exhausted for
the identical reason. The faculty, students, and staff of the school knew
only that the three Gryffindors had gone missing between the end of classes
and the Halloween Feast that evening. They did not know precisely what had
Dumbledore continued, "Remus, Sirius - Apparate to Little Hangleton as soon
as you can. Make sure you are adequately prepared, and as always, try and
follow Alastor's standard advice."
Dumbledore's eyes twinkled again, and a small smile broke across every face
in the room. Everyone there knew of Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody's standard
advice: "CONSTANT VIGILANCE!"
Sirius walked over and leaned in to Harry to whisper. "Harry, may we borrow
the map? It'll help us find Peter quickly, and it's far less dodgy than
some of the more mundane detectors."
Harry tied "Alastor" and "borrow the map" together for a second - flashing
back to his fourth year - and hesitated. He had lent the map to whom he
believed to be the real Mad-Eye Moody. That man turned out to be Bartemus
Crouch Jr., a Death Eater - one who had never hidden his loyalties to
Voldemort. Harry then, suddenly, remembered he was talking with his beloved
"Of course!" Harry replied.
"Cheers, then," said Sirius. He nodded at Lupin, who folded up the map and
put it in his cloak. He then hugged Harry, patting him on the back. Harry
hugged back simultaneously, but without nearly as much fervor given his
Sirius transformed back into a big black dog and walked out with Remus.
The rest of Hogwarts thought that the dog was Visiting Professor Remus
Lupin's pet. Lupin's public reason for returning to Hogwarts was to assist
in Defense Against the Dark Arts classes. The real reason was to help the
Order of the Phoenix, including Sirius himself, keep a watch over Harry.
"And now, you three," Dumbledore looked at Harry, Ron, and Hermione, "please
tell us exactly what you were doing before you disappeared."
"Ron and I had finished Quidditch practice," said Harry.
Ron continued. "Yeah, we had both started to put on our normal shoes. The
inside of one of them felt... wet. And when I felt the wetness, I felt like
I'd touched a Portkey."
Hermione jumped in with, "I had the same thing happen to me in the Library.
I went back to my favorite table, sat down, and felt that tug."
Dumbledore paused and thought about what they had said. He walked over his
small fireplace, and threw some Floo Powder in. The image of Arabella Figg,
the elderly Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, appeared.
"Albus? Are they back?!?"
"Yes, Arabella, they are back. I would like you to find Mr. Filch. Both of
you should then inspect the Gryffindor Quidditch locker rooms, and the tables
and chairs near the History section of the library. Look for trace elements,
residues, or anything else you can find. I will have additional items you
will need to inspect, afterwards."
Hermione gaped at Dumbledore, surprised he knew her favorite table in the
library. Professor Figg, however, showed no surprise and simply nodded her
head in agreement before she disappeared from Dumbledore's fire.
"Harry, Ron, please give me your shoes," said Dumbledore as he conjured
replacement shoes for the two of them.
"I hope Professor Figg will find a clue of some sort." Dumbledore then shook
his head and started to sit down, "I am afraid, however, that Voldemort has
one or more agents in his employ here at Hogwarts. And after your escape, I
doubt they will surface again for many weeks, perhaps even months.
"Would you please tell me now what happened after you disappeared?"
Hermione spoke first, as if she wanted to purge herself of her story, "I
appeared in a circle of... of Death Eaters..."
"And where were you two while this was going on?" asked Dumbledore,
looking at Harry and Ron.
"We flashed into a room in a house. We were only there a few seconds when
we heard Hermione shouting," answered Ron.
Harry shook his head, the weight of being the Boy Who Lived showing on his
face, and tempering his voice.
"They woke me up with the Cruciatus Curse..."
The trio then proceeded to tell them how Peter, apparently inspired by the
Marauder's Map, freed them.
"I, for one, am glad your brothers have put their talent to good use,
Mr. Weasley. I am sure they had your safety in mind when they gave you those
Canary Creams. One never knows when one might need to make a quick
Ron blushed, "I'm glad I remembered them." Ron also remembered the
real reason he had three long-lasting Canary Creams, and that Harry
had his own special supplies. Harry and Ron were going to pull a prank on
Professor Trelawney, in retaliation for a particularly harsh detention they
received earlier in the month. The cloak would let them sneak in undetected,
the map was their early-warning system, and the creams were for a quick
getaway. Ron had brought an extra cream in case they could convince Hermione
to join them.
Dumbledore now turned to Professor McGonagall. "Minerva, please escort
Harry, Ron, and Hermione back to Gryffindor Tower."
Ron interrupted, "Can we stop at the owlery? I need to get Pig, and Harry,
can I borrow Hedwig?"
"Sure," replied Harry quietly, not wanting to prolong the interruption.
"Of course, Mr. Weasley," replied McGonagall with her unique mixture of
tartness and concern.
Just before they left his office, Dumbledore said, "Miss Granger, your
parents will be quite safe. They have their Parents Kit, and I'm sending
someone over to check in on them."
Hermione looked visibly relieved. Ron winced in his ignorance, not even
considering that Hermione's Muggle parents would probably be Voldemort's next
target. He held her hand tighter and whispered to her, "I charmed and tested
their kit personally. I reckon it'll work if someone shows up."
Professor McGonagall led the trio out of Dumbledore's office. Fawkes, now
back on his perch, chirped one last time to Harry. Harry smiled back at
the phoenix as he closed the door.
Dumbledore stood back up again to visit his fireplace. As he did before, he
threw in a pinch of Floo Powder. This time, a grizzled old man stood in the
"Alastor, there is little time to talk. You have the addresses of the
Muggle-born parents. Apparate to the Granger household as quickly as you
can. Find help if you need it, but hurry - they are in terrible danger."
Mad-Eye Moody growled slightly, then spoke, "Potter escaped, did he?
That boy is going to be worse than his father, you know."
Dumbledore smiled. "I certainly hope so, Alastor. Now hurry."
Stay tuned for the next chapter - Discussion.