The Sugar Quill
Author: Ritaanimagus  Story: An Evening Escapade  Chapter: Default
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An Evening Escapade

An Evening Escapade

            The door swings shut softly, with a satisfying click, and I lean against the cool stone walls, relieved. For the moment, we are safe from Filch, and the luminous eyes of Mrs. Norris.
            “So where are we?" Sirius whispers, standing beside me under the Invisibility Cloak.
            “I don't know," I say, thinking.
            “Lumos," Peter mutters, nervous in the dark.
            “Put it out!" Sirius and I whisper as we lunge for Peter's wand.
            “Nox," Peter says, pouting.
            “You all should know exactly where you are," Remus's voice breaks in, smug, as he leans against the wall, crossing his arms.
            “And just how would we know that?" Sirius says, forgetting to keep his voice down.
            “Well, we were by the library, right?  And so when we were sneaking into the library for that book--"
            “Which would have succeeded had someone not decided to drop a dung bomb and alert the entire BLOODY SCHOOL—" Sirius interjects.

            “Sirius, settle down," I say, putting my hand on his shoulder to reassure him.  "It was funny.  You dislike the librarian as much as I do—"
            “But that's no reason to make Filch come running after us—now they'll know what section we were looking in and be suspicious!"
            “They're not going to be suspicious, Sirius.  I mean, honestly.  What would students want with Transa Formation's A Practical Guide to Becoming an Animagus?  I imagine it's dull reading for McGonagall."
            “But unfortunately, you don't know, as you happened to drop a dung bomb before we were able to find it!"
            “Sirius, James is right.  It's not the end of the world.  We'll find it another night.  They'll just think we were in the wrong section, looking for books on how to dye Snape's hair purple."
            “As if we wouldn't know how to dye Snape's hair purple.  Hey, that gives me an idea—" Sirius trails off, thinking.
            “I don't know how to make Snape's hair purple," Peter says, his watery eyes glowing in the darkness.
            “Of course you don't, Peter," Remus says, patting Peter’s shoulder.  "It's a fifth year spell.  And you're only a second year.  No one would expect you to know that kind of thing."
            “But you’re only second years, too.  And you know it."  Peter turns away, pouting.  Last time he pouted like this, he started a crying jag that resulted in us being found and three detentions each.

            Sirius saves the situation, nudging Peter.  "Hey, Pete, do you know where we are?  I sure don't."
            Peter stops sniffling, and wipes his nose on the sleeve of his robe.  His forehead wrinkles in concentration.  After a minute or so, he says, "I reckon we're somewhere behind that mirror that's on the fourth floor."
            “Congratulations, Mr. Pettigrew!"  Remus says, tipping an imaginary hat to him.  "You figured out what the esteemed Messrs. Potter and Black couldn't."
            “So we found a secret passage?"  I say.
            Sirius gives me a look that says I shouldn't have voiced the question.  "Of course we found a secret passage, you git!"
            There was silence for a brief moment, and you could practically hear us all thinking.  It wasn't a question of if we should explore the passage, but when.  
It had been 2 am when we snuck out of the dorm for the library, and we'd spent Merlin knew how many hours looking for the stupid book.
            “Well, shall we go back to the dorm and figure this out?" I suggest.
            “If we go back to the dorm, who knows when we'll get a chance to come back," Sirius counters.
            “But we have no idea what time it is.  And we don't know how long the passage is.  What if it's miles long?  What if we miss classes?"
            “James, would you just shut it and follow me?  Honestly!  You sound like Remus!"
            “Hey!" Remus says, punching Sirius on the arm.
            “What we really need is a map, so we know where this tunnel goes without having to go down it," I say, more to myself than the group.
            “That's it!" Sirius leaps into the air, his fist punching the empty space.
            “What's it, Sirius?" Remus asks, his eyebrow raised.
            “We can make a map!  With all the secret passageways on them.  I reckon we know more about the school than some of the seventh years.  Imagine how much exploring we can do in five more years!  And we have James's Invisibility Cloak, so we'll never get caught."
            “I like it, Sirius.  I really do.  The only problem is finding the time to do it.  How are we going to do all this exploring, have you lot study to become animagi, do enough homework to placate the professors, and not get caught?"  Remus asks, his face drawn.
            “Because we're marauders, and marauders never get caught," I say.
            “Especially not with a map," Peter adds.
            “The Marauder's Map," Sirius says, giving each word equal weight.
            “Yeah, the Marauder's Map," Peter says.
            We all stare at each other for a moment, then nod.  And as if by silent agreement, we turn and duck back under the Invisibility Cloak, content with our adventure — at least until tomorrow night.


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