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… Alohamora parchment! …Reveal!”
“There’s nothing happening, Forge.”
Shuffle of pages.
“Okay. I’ve got it here … it says invisible ink can be
revealed with a Revealer …”
“You don’t say! I think I knew that when I was, uh, six.”
“Yeah, yeah – if you’re so smart, what’s the trick to this
parchment? Filch had it filed under Highly
Dangerous for a reason.”
George hung off his four-poster and scrambled amongst the
cluttered debris underneath. “I know I’ve got one here somewhere … keep
searching through that book. See if you can find out something we didn’t know.”
“I think we’re running out of spells. We might need Percy’s
Little did Percy know that, of all the Weasleys, he was the
one who helped the twins most in their quest for total mayhem and utter destruction. The sheer number of pranks they pulled
successfully on Percy made him their favourite and most valued test subject.
His academic brilliance also came in dead useful, particularly because the
twins usually managed to exploit it without Percy’s knowledge.
“Aha, got it!” George pulled himself and the Revealer back
up onto the bed and they gave the parchment a good rubbing over. Nothing.
“Is it supposed to take a few minutes to work?”
“No, it’s supposed to reveal immediately. I thought you knew
this when you were, ‘uh, six’.”
“Ok, so maybe it works when you write something on it.” Fred
reached for a quill and ink bottle and began to write on the parchment.
However, the ink didn’t dry like normal ink, and it didn’t even fade into the
parchment like invisible ink. It stayed wet and slowly reformed into droplets which
then levitated a fraction into the air above the parchment and finally
evaporated into nothing.
“What the –? Did you see that?”
“Yeah, it must be an ink-repelling charm, like Mum puts on
our best robes.”
“I’ve never seen that on parchment before. I wonder if
invisible ink works.” Unfortunately, it didn’t.
“I guess a written spell won’t work, then.”
The grabbed their wands once again. Tap, tap. “What are you
Tap, tap. “Please, please
show us your secrets.”
Tap, tap. “This is Fred and George Weasley. We command you
Mr Moony presents his
compliments to Fred and George Weasley and asks them to give the password.
The boys’ mouths dropped open, and they stared at each other
with eyes popping out of their heads. Then they started shouting anything they
could think at the parchment.
“Salazar Slytherin stinks!”
“Percy’s a pompous prissy-arse!”
They hooted uproariously and took a few moments to gather
themselves before returning to the task at hand. When they finally turned their
attention back to the parchment, a new line of writing was appearing under the
Mr Prongs heartily
endorses the sentiments of the Messrs Weasley but regrets to advise that none
of them will reveal the secrets hidden herein.
“Oh please?” It
didn’t seem at all unreasonable to converse with the parchment, now that they
were getting some kind of response. “We filched this from Filch’s
“– when he was giving us detention
“– for dropping a Dungbomb in the corridor –”
“– and it was under Highly Dangerous –”
“– so we know it’s gotta be abso-bloody-brilliant.”
“Please tell us
the password. Pleeeaaase?” They weren’t
above begging: it had often come in useful at home. Bill was sometimes a
sucker, and their Dad – he was the easiest of the lot.
admires the resourcefulness and cunning of the Messrs Weasley and begs to know
on what day this act of Gryffindor bravery was undertaken.
“When was it, Gred, Friday night?”
“Yeah.” Fred addressed the
parchment directly, “Uh, it was Friday
the thirteenth of April, 1990.”
expresses his astonishment that this parchment has survived so long and wishes
the Messrs Weasley well in their endeavours to unlock its treasure.
In addition, Mr Moony
congratulates the Messrs Weasley on their skillful pranking abilities and
happily discloses that this parchment will return to its pristine state once
their Mischief has been Managed.
“What in Gringott’s name does that
“Look at the capital letters – is it a clue? ‘Mischief
The boys watched the words of Moony, Prongs, Padfoot and Wormtail fade into
the parchment, leaving it, as Mr Moony had promised, pristine and silent. They
waited a few moments, in case there was more, but nothing else happened.
“Blast!” said Fred, giving the parchment a thump with his
fist. “Well, we sure could be managing a lot more mischief if this dratted
parchment wasn’t taking so much of our time.”
“Oh, we’ll never just guess
it,” whined George. “There must be some way to unveil secret passwords for
magical parchments. It’s time for Percy’s help. You go and I’ll keep looking
through these library books.”
“Wake up, Terrors, letter from home!” Charlie strode into
the dormitory expecting to drag the twelve-year-old twins from their beds, even
though it was well after .
It was Sunday morning, after all. Not surprisingly, George’s curtains were
completely closed around his four-poster. But Fred’s bed was empty…unusual…you
didn’t often see one of them still in bed and one…
“Hey, watch were you’re going!” Charlie used his booming
voice to intimidate whatever first-year was recklessly running into the
dormitory. With a stack of books. That crashed to the
floor around his feet.
“Fred! What the hell are you doing with Percy’s textbooks?”
“Charlie Old Chap! How corking to
see you this fine morning. What brings you to the humble first-years’ abode at
such an early hour?”
“Letter from home,” mumbled a voice from behind the
“George, what’s Fred doing with Percy’s books?” Charlie
stepped over and yanked open the curtains to rouse George from his mid-morning
stupour. He was surprised, however, to see George dressed and sitting on his
unmade bed surrounded by several large pieces of parchment, quills, ink bottles
of various descriptions, and what seemed to be a few library books.
“And how are the Burrow-bound Weasleys doing?” Fred had
gathered the books that he’d sent sprawling across the floor and was quickly
shoving them under George’s pyjamas. Then he sat on top of them.
Charlie looked from one twin to the other. They were
certainly trying hard with the innocent faces, but this must be something big
they were hiding; they couldn’t quite keep the excitement from their eyes.
“What is all this stuff? What are you two doing?”
“Homework?” George said. He didn’t
seem too sure of himself, which intrigued Charlie. Usually, their story was
well rehearsed long before anyone caught them in the middle of their
mischief-making. It must be pretty good if they’d been too preoccupied to
prepare for an interruption.
Charlie focussed a penetrating stare on Fred, who had
started to speak hurriedly.
“Yes, that’s right. See, we’ve got all our research books
here and loads of parchment just ready to write our assignments. Only six weeks
till exams, you know, got to be prepared and all that, wouldn’t want to let Mum
down, would we, want to make her proud and all. How is Mum, by the way? You
have a letter, I hear.”
Charlie raised an eyebrow skeptically. Seeing George nodding
his head vigorously with every word was somewhat amusing as well.
“Is that you, Percy?” Charlie couldn’t resist bending down
to stare Fred right in the eyes. “Have you taken Polyjuice? What have you done
Fred leant back from his brother’s interrogation and let out
an offended “Charlie!” The twins were starting to recover. Charlie could see
their minds working together, getting their story straight and trying to put
him off as quickly as they could. George stood on his bed, the only way he
could look down on his older brother. “Why wouldn’t we be concerned about our school
“Just ’cause you’re always on the Quidditch pitch –”
“– doesn’t mean the rest of us
don’t care about our marks –”
“– or take the opportunity for a
bit of –”
“– quiet revision on a –”
“– Sunday morning.”
Yes, there was the twin-double-speak: they were back on
form. Charlie knew he’d missed his chance to get anything out of them now. But
he couldn’t help prodding them a bit further. Just in case.
“So, what subject are you revising?”
“Charms”, “Transfiguration”, they said simultaneously.
Charlie snorted. “Well? Which is it?”
“Fred’s doing Charms and I’m doing Transfiguration.”
“Oh, really.” He indicated the
stack of books that Fred was still sitting on. “And why do you need Percy’s
third-year books to revise first-year subjects?”
“Gotcha!What are you really doing?”
Fred looked indignant. “We told you, we’re doing homework. Now bugger off and leave us in peace.”
“What’ll Percy say when he finds his books missing?”
“He’s not going to know because we’ll be finished our homework before he’s back from the
library.” Charlie could have sworn he heard Fred mutter under his breath,
“Honestly. What does he think we are – suicidal?”
George had jumped off the bed and was waving his wand around
in Charlie’s direction. “So be a good fellow, Charlie Old Chap, and sod off so
we can get on with it.”
Charlie was making no move to leave so the twins looked at
each other; they didn’t make eye contact but they made their decision by
consensus just the same. It was time for the ‘solemn oath’. Only George could
do it; everyone knew that Fred was never, ever serious. Neither was George, but
not everyone knew that.
George stood tall, tapped the accumulated stuff on his bed
with his wand, and held his left fist against his heart. With a dramatic sigh,
as though speaking to a particularly dense great-uncle, he said, “Charles, I
solemnly swear that I am –”
“– up to no good, I’ll bet. Save it for Percy, George.”
Charlie gave up, dismissing the twins’ protests and dropping the family letter
on the bed. He left the dorm, hoping that whatever they were up to would not
have any nasty repercussions for him. He didn’t fancy yet another dressing down
from his mother for not keeping the twins in check. If only Bill was still
here, he wouldn’t have to put up with all this
oldest-brother-must-set-an-example-and-keep-them-out-of-trouble crap. It just
wasn’t fair. How come Bill never had to go to school with the Twin Terrors?
Once Charlie was gone George let his breath escape his lips
and slumped back onto the bed while Fred wiped his hand across his forehead in
“Blimey … Merlin’s beard! George,
look!” Fred pointed to the parchment.
“Bloody brilliant!” George
whispered reverently, staring at the creeping lines that were spreading across
it. “How did that happen?”
“Quick! Think! What did we do, what did we say?”
“Did you touch it? Did you wave your wand around?”
“No, you did, you git! When you gave
Charlie the big oath. You tapped the parchment and … what did you say?”
“I said ‘Charles, I solemnly swear that I am doing my homework’. Except before I’d
finished he said that I was –”
“– up to no good!”
“I solemnly swear that –”
“– I AM UP TO NO GOOD!” the twins finished together, jumping
up and down on the bed. Parchment and ink bottles went flying and Percy’s
precious books tumbled to the floor in a messy heap.
to no good’ … it was made for us.”
“We did it! We did it! We did it!”
“So, what is it, anyway?” They sat back down, cross-legged
on the bed, facing each other and hunched over the parchment between them. It
was now criss-crossed with lines of ink and a grand heading stood out in green:
Messrs Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot
Purveyors of Aids to Magical Mischief-Makers
are proud to present
THE MARAUDER’S MAP
“Mischief-makers – that’s us, alright! Oh, wow … this is a
map of the whole school. Look!”
“Cool. Hey, there’s people on it,
moving around. Oh Merlin, this is FANTASTIC! I can see who’s in the girls’
“Eeeeww, GRED! Too
“Now we’ll be able to catch Percy in there…”
“… when he does his hair-curling
charms!” They laughed hysterically, rolling around on the bed, clutching their
“No more surprise attacks from Mrs Norris –”
“– no more Sneaky-Slimy-Snape interrupting our experiments –”
“– wait till Lee sees this.”
The boys paused and looked one another in the eye, deadly
serious, but unable to wipe the huge grins off their faces.
“This is a Twins-Classified one, right?”
Hogwarts sure was going to be in for some surprises in the
next few years.
THE END … nearly
When Charlie went to bed that night he found a chocolate
frog and a note on his pillow which read:
Charlie Old Chap,
You are our hero.
Charlie shook his head in bewilderment. Who could fathom the
minds of the Twin Terrors? He picked up the chocolate frog to examine it. It
was still in its wrapper and he couldn’t find any evidence of tampering …
He rested it on his bedside table, thinking that he would
give it to Percy in the morning.
Just in case.
Disclaimer: Well, I
bought the books, so now I own it, right?
A/N: Hope you enjoyed
my first foray into Fanfictionland. All blame goes to
gypsy_dragonfly for sucking me into the vortex that
is Harry Potter fan fiction – wouldn’t have, couldn’t have done it without you!
And thanks to my beta Silver Phoenix
for great encouragement and welcoming me to the Sugar Quill – it’s great to be
The Sugar Quill was created by Zsenya and Arabella. For
questions, please send us an Owl!
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