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August 15th, 2005


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magic_at_mungos
01:20 pm - FIC for sandrainthesun
Title: Mapping the Way
Summary: It was an idea that shouldn't have worked.
Pairing(s): None. Completely gen
Rating: g/PG
Author's Notes: Sorry it's so late. I'm a bad person. I really couldn't get a grip on Ron who was your main character in your request.

For weeks on end, Gryffindor Tower was quieter than usual. Up to four heads were seen pouring over a piece of parchment or some thick tome and people felt a faint sense of unease. Sirius Black and James Potter simply did not spend that much time on schoolwork unless they were up to no good.

However, no-one could quite work out what exactly they were up to. Sirius would grin and very eloquently tell them that it was simply none of their bloody business and unless they wanted leeks coming out of their ears, it would stay that way. James would peer over his glasses, scowl and tell them to eff off. Remus would just smile secretively and tell them that people who didn’t ask questions, never get told any lies and then clam up. Peter, who was always thought to be the one to crack under persistent questions, would mumble something about it being secret and somehow always manage to change the subject without them quite noticing.

Soon people turned their worries more to the OWLs and thoughts of the summer holidays stretching far ahead of them.

*******************


It was that summer that turned an idea that could work into an idea that would work. A straight week was spent in the Potters’ extensive library looking up different forms of cartography and soon developed their own hybrid of wizarding and Muggle methods.

September rolled round with just the final touches needed. The portrait down in the dungeons still needed convincing of their motives before he would share the password to the passageway behind him. Sirius managed it two weeks into term by realising that the portrait was some sort of great uncle twice removed and played the family loyalty card. It took them a further three weeks to locate the Ravenclaw entrance, which was hidden behind a tapestry and not the bookcase ten yards further up the corridor.

All left their mark on this map in one way or another: Remus who knew where to look for the most obscure of charms, Peter who had done the majority of the groundwork in the Hogwarts corridors and who was a budding artist and Sirius and James had provided the sheer power in making it.

It was the last Saturday of October and the Gryffindor Tower was still. Everyone old enough, save James, Sirius, Remus and Peter, were in Hogsmeade and the little ones didn’t dare approach the table in the corner that was always covered in paper and dusty tomes on pains of death. Remus was finishing an essay and Sirius and James were trying to make a circus of paper animals when Peter looked up from the map and announced “That’s it. Everything’s on.”

Remus looked up owlishly whilst Sirius and James immediately stopped their game. Remus pushed his glasses up his nose and then held his hand out. “Let’s have a gander then.” Peter wordlessly handed the map over and looked a bit anxious whilst Remus prodded at it with his wand, muttering charms.

“Well?” demanded James. “Does it work?” He ran his hand through his hair. Remus flapped a hand at Sirius who was peering over his shoulder.

“Well, all the spells look to be in place.” He tapped the parchment sharply and said clearly “I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.” Lines started to sprawl across the parchment to show Hogwarts with moving dots as people started to drift back from Hogsmeade. Sirius grinned. “And unless we want to, it won’t show us. What’s that charm again?”

“Patefácite Auctore” Peter spoke through his hand as he was chewing his nails. James nodded his agreement as Remus tapped the parchment again. Four dots appeared on the map, huddled round a table in the Gryffindor Tower. They looked at each other, eyes gleaming.

The portrait swung open and Remus hurriedly wiped the map with a muttered Mischief managed. James said quietly “Tonight. I think something ought to be done in celebration.” Peter tucked the map away in a pocket and then scurried off to the dormitory to hide it away. James loped over to where Lily Evans was now sitting with a gaggle of girls and started to flirt outrageously with her. Sirius and Remus bent their heads together to think of a suitable celebration.

*******************


After the common room had cleared for the evening, Remus crept out of the common room with James’s Invisibility Cloak and the map in hand. He made his way to the Great Hall and quietly enchanted the ceiling so that it would start snowing as soon as he left. He then made a pond in the middle of the room and froze it over.

Remus took that moment to take a quick look at the map and saw that Flich was approaching from the dungeons. He returned to the common room at a half run and flung himself through the portrait hole just as Filch reached the end of the corridor.

The other three looked up from a game of Exploding Snap enquiringly and Remus nodded. “All done. Nearly got caught by Filch. I expect there will be a spot of excitement in the morning.” There was a snort of laughter and then they wandered up to bed.

*******************


The next morning, they went down early to breakfast in order to see everyone’s faces. Professor Flitwick clapped his hands in glee and charmed the snow to fall in different colours whilst Professor McGonagall looked particularly thin lipped and gave them a particularly hard look. The four returned the look with wide eyed innocence. She returned to her cup of tea and they started laughing amidst the shrieks of laughter that were coming from the other students. Remus gave a quick look up to the High table and Professor Dumbledore winked at him. He knew.

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