Chapter 1 : ~One~
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The summer before Harry’s fifth year, at Number 12, Grimmauld Place…
Fred and George headed downstairs for lunch while their mum was still attacking the first floor bathroom, where a grindylow was hiding in the toilet and did not want to be moved. They had escaped her quite gladly, as she’d been very snappish ever since word had come that Mundungus had left his post and Harry had been attacked by dementors, and the grindylow was now taking the brunt of her anger. The twins were quite glad of that, as normally her anger would have been directed at them, what with her finding the Extendable Ears last week and going completely ballistic about them.
Sirius and Lupin were talking in the kitchen, discussing who would go to get Harry next week, when the twins entered the room. They did not appear to notice the twins at first, and kept talking.
“Look, Moony,” Sirius began.
“No, Padfoot, you can’t go, you’re still a wanted criminal,” Lupin said patiently. “If anyone saw you, it’d be straight to the dementors with you. I’ll go. Harry knows me, he’ll come with us if there’s someone he trusts in the group.”
Fred and George stopped in their tracks and stared, mouths open, with identical expressions of shock and disbelief. Sirius glanced at them with a frown.
“What?” he barked peevishly.
“Moony… Padfoot…” George’s eyes were huge. Fred was sputtering incoherently. He seemed to have lost his faculty for intelligible speech.
Lupin was giving the twins a peculiar look, as if he did not understand why they were acting so strangely. “Those were our school nicknames, boys.”
“Messieurs Moony… Wormtail… Padfoot… and Prongs…” Fred had raised a finger to point at Sirius and Lupin.
“Are proud to present,” George said in awe.
“The Marauder’s Map!” the twins finished together.
“Harry showed the map to you, eh?” Lupin said, not sounding at all surprised by that. Sirius frowned at him.
“You know, I never did ask about that. Filch had the map, he confiscated it from us,” he said, with a glance at the twins. “So how did Harry get the map?”
“Harry didn’t show it to us,” Fred said, still in utter awe. “We gave it to him, two years ago.”
Sirius looked interested. “How did you get the Marauder’s Map?”
“Nicked it from Filch’s office, first year,” George said.
“And you figured out how to work it? Well done, boys.” Sirius grinned at them, looking impressed. Fred and George both preened a bit.
“Who were Wormtail and Prongs, then?” Fred asked eagerly.
“Prongs was James, Harry’s dad,” Lupin said. He looked a little embarrassed at being found out as one of the creators of the map, probably because he was their former teacher, and their mother would kill him if she knew he’d contributed, albeit unknowingly, to their mischief at school.
“Harry’s dad,” George repeated admiringly. “No way!”
“And Wormtail,” Sirius said gruffly, “is Peter Pettigrew.”
That stopped the twins short.
“Pettigrew?” Fred asked in surprise. “As in, the one who brought You-Know-Who back to life, and killed Cedric? Ron’s old rat? He wrote the Marauder’s Map?”
“Yeah, he did,” Sirius said, though he did not look happy about this. “When we were all at school together. He was our friend.”
“He’s an Animagus, and you’re an Animagus,” George said. “Was Harry’s dad an Animagus too?”
Lupin and Sirius exchanged a nostalgic smiled. “Yeah,” Lupin said fondly. “James was a -”
“Stag!” Fred interrupted excitedly. “Harry’s Patronus is a stag, mum said! Was Harry’s dad a stag Animagus?”
“Yeah, that’s right,” Sirius said. He was smiling benevolently at the twins.
“Wow, Moony and Padfoot right here with us,” Fred said, his voice still sounding slightly awed.
“Wish I had a quill on me,” George said, patting his pockets. “We could have their autographs.”
Sirius gave a great shout of laughter. “You’ve been living here a month, and Moony was your teacher for an entire year, and you want our autographs?”
“We didn’t know who you were,” Fred said indignantly. “We’d have had your autographs ages ago if we’d known.”
“All this time we could’ve been getting advice from the masters,” George said wistfully.
Lupin looked a little alarmed when Sirius grinned proudly. “Padfoot, don’t, Molly will kill you.”
“Oh, she won’t find out.” Fred dismissed his mother’s wrath with a wave of his hand.
“I think I hear her now,” Lupin said mildly as footsteps sounded on the stairs, and Fred and George both started guiltily.
“We’ll talk later,” Fred said, and both twins Apparated away to their bedroom to hide from their mother.
Sirius started laughing again, and Lupin shook his head ruefully. “Don’t encourage them, Padfoot,” he said sternly.