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Chapter Twenty One: The Art of Sneakery

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A/N: I'm aware that in this chapter, I've messed around with the way the map came to Fred and George. Keep in mind that I've done this, as well as a few other small time-changes, on purpose! Don't think me an ignorant muggle!

Chapter Twenty One

As the Weasley to my immediate left slipped the tall, folded parchment from inside the breast pocket of his robes, I reached for it curiously. He quickly lifted it from my reach, clicking his tongue at me and wearing a sly, teasing grin. "Ah ah ah, we mustn't touch what isn't ours." Fred tsked.

I pinched my nose and narrowed my eyes a bit in mock frustration, grinning with newfound adventure, and lurched towards his hand. "Give it here, you little ginge." I joshed, springing it from his outward hand and bringing it close to my face. I smirked up at him. "Can't expect to show me something near and disallow me to touch." I chastised jokingly.

The twins exchanged excitable grins and watched some closely as I examined the supposed "map" for myself. The parchment was large, and had been folded vertically, with a curious design on its front, as well as enchanted script. I read it carefully. "Prongs, Padfoot, Wormtail, Moony... Who are these blokes?" I would hate to think that Fred and George lifted this off a superior. Then again, I didn't recognize these names at all.

"Haven't the foggiest." Fred replied honestly.

George shrugged. "Yeah; never heard of 'em. They must've graduated before our time or something, and left this behind." He added.

It seemed a little suspicious to me, though everything the twins and I got into was suspicious. Hell, I was dating my Potions professor, so why not? It obviously wasn't inflicted with any sort if curse, seeing as these two blockheads had already wiped their fingers all over it. May as well try it out.

I ran my hand over it, opening the fold. To my surprise, I saw... Nothing. The paper was utterly blank. I sighed in grievance. "Well played. You got me to think you actually were onto something." I muttered.

George took the map halfway into his hands, smiling to himself, and he took out his wand. "Watch this," he directed, and I did so. Leaning in closer, he murmured: "I solemnly swear that Im up to no good." And with that, the contents of the map revealed itself to us.

I let out a laugh of surprised excitement. "Well well; looks as if you two were onto something, after all." I said, thoroughly impressed. "If I may inquire, where did this precious trinket befall you lunkheads?"

Shrugging, George took to my query. "Let's just say, Harry found it, and then Snape found him, and it got mixed up with all the professors. It's been around for ages, judging by the quantity I dust settled over it when we got our hands on it. Harry spotted it and said he knew about it; told us bunches."

"And that's not even the best part!" Fred interjected. Jumping in, he pointed to the map. "Looky here! Footsteps! Moving footsteps!"

Following his finger, I watched as there were indeed a pair of moving footprints making their way along the map. The spellbound feet walked, with the name Hannah Abbot underneath. After a short moment, however, they disappeared Ito the girls lavatory.

I laughed again, purely thrilled. "Man, this is fantastic! Think of all the good pranking we could do with this! Think of how well we can get away with late-night pranking, now that we know here the teachers are ahead of time!" After another few seconds if watching the charmed map with piqued interest, my eyes fell upon something else. "Is that a..?"

"Secret passageway?" They said in unison.

"Thought you'd never see it." Fred chimed.

Jumping once, I held the map close to my chest. I felt like I had just struck it rich! Gold! Diamonds! This was the richest treasure I'd ever held in my possession! Too bad I didn't have more time to enjoy it, seeing as this was my last year.

"We had better enjoy this while we still can! Lets have a go at..." I looked about the map for a moment, taking in the passageways I could see, before landing a finger on one. "This baby."

They smirked at me, and I retuned the gesture with equal eagerness. "Fine choice." They replied together.

As we crept through the moist, desolate corridor, wands held out in front of us to shed light on the area before us, I pursed my lips. This place looked to be deserted for at least a decade and a half. How long had those odd-named fellows been out of here, anyways?

Just as my spirit of adventure began to lessen, I bumped into Fred's back. He had come to a stop at a tall, promising looking latter. George waggled his eyebrows and glanced at the map in his brothers hands. "Looks like we've arrived! Gangway!" The boy hoisted himself up, but was shaken by his brother.

"Shame on you, George; ladies first." He jerked his thumb at me, and I gave a wink. Fred reluctantly hopped down, bowing at me.

I shoved him playfully as I walked over, and hoisted myself up. Seemed sturdy enough, especially for not having been used in Merlin knows how long. After the fifteen or twenty feet up, the twins on my heels, I pushed through a trick stone and broke the surface carefully.

Right into the Hogs Head Pub.

A hiss of victory escaped my lips, which then twisted into a wonderful smirk. Being underage, we were never really allowed into here-- of course, we didn't usually come in anyways, since it was a dingy sort of place, but the shrunken head outside usually shooed us away (shrunken heads are the worst, I thought scornfully) before we made it through the doorframe. However, with this nifty little map, our trio was sure to have a quick look around. Hopefully, we weren't caught and tossed out.

I lifted myself up, followed by Fred and George. We took a moment to look around us, and George peeked through one of the grime-coated windows. He pinched up his nose. "Seems a big dingy, don't you think?" He called over his shoulder.

Fred took a look as well. "Agreed. Can't we just sneak into the back of Honeydukes and dig through the inventory?" He inquired.

I rolled my eyes, pushing in between the pair. "C'mon, boys; we've done that a dozen times! Where's your sense of adventure?" I cheered, though their bored expressions didn't change. "Lets have a go here."

And with that, I reached for the door handle, calculating a quick and simple plan of action, as well as a decent excuse for when we got caught, because surly we would. However, a hand claimed over mine before I could so much as turn the knob.

I turned to say something to him when he shushed me, five suddenly intent and intrigued. I furrowed my brow, following his gaze out of the grimy, unattended window. It only took me a moment to realize what had caught his attention.

Snape at at the table no more than ten feet adjacent to our little peephole.

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