The Midnight Marauder

Epilogue: 19 Year Later

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

If the Sorting Hat could raise its old-hat-fold eyebrows any higher they would have been touching the ceiling. The boy with a pale, pointed face and blonde hair sitting on that rickety old stool squirmed a bit beneath him.

I’m different, aren’t I? The boy wondered.

Well...yes...” The Sorting Hat admitted in that small voice only the boy wearing the hat could hear. “But I have seen a mind like yours three times before...are you brave enough to face you fate?”

Scorpius Malfoy gritted his teeth and clutched the edge of the stools tightly. “I make my own fate,” he whispered fiercely.

“Gryffindor!” Shouted the hat.

“What?!” Spluttered Rose Weasley from the group of nervous first years in the center of the room.

There was a rather surprised silence for a moment, and Scorpius almost began to panic but then…

James Sirius Potter let out a whoop of laughter and began to cheer and clap enthusiastically. The Gryffindor table began to cheer and clap as did the rest of the hall. About half of the Slytherin table sat there in shock but most of them clapped politely, although a few of those looked bemused.

Scorpius walked over to his new House table with shaky legs and a wide smile. He was dazed as he shook hands, to the point that he didn’t realize that another boy has been sorted into Gryffindor until “Potter, Albus Severus” sat down next to him at the table amid an even louder roar of glee than before.

“You’re Scorpius, Draco Malfoy’s son,” said Albus, his voice was full of wonder.

“Yeah, but I’m nothing like my father, and I’m definitely not like my grandfather,” Scorpius said quickly and passionately. “And...uh...”

Albus looked at him silently, green eyes peering at him intently. James had finally wriggled his way through the crowd and was now standing behind his younger brother and, picking up on the tension, stayed uncharacteristically silent. “If you would like...” Scorpius said nervously, his heart pounding, “we could be friends.” And he stuck out his hand for Albus to shake.

Albus grinned, and returned the handshake warmly. “My name’s Albus Severus but my friends call me Al.”

“And I’m James,” James piped up, flashing his mischievous smile. “And I can’t wait till your grandfather finds out that you got sorted into Gryffindor.”

Scorpius groaned at the thought and let his head fall onto the table. James and Albus laughed, although Albus tried to hide it. Rose shot them a disapproving look from the group of first years still in the middle of the room, exactly like her mother at that age.


Later that night, around midnight, James snuck into the first year’s room and gently shook Albus.

“Al, wake up,” he whispered. Albus turned in his sleep and ignored him.

“Al,” James hissed, shaking him a bit harder.

“He’s a heavy sleeper,” a soft voice said from the bed to James’ left. “Nick over there was snoring like a muggle car and he fell right asleep.” Scorpius sat up and was rubbing his eyes sleepily. His blonde hair messy from the pillows.

“Yeah,” James said, “Luckily, I have plenty of practice.” And he tore the covers off his younger brother. Albus sat up like a shot and threw his pillow at James without missing a beat. James ducked it easily, grinning.

“James…” Albus complained.

“Shhhh!” James covered Albus’ mouth, “Come on little brother! It’s your first night in Hogwarts! Don’t tell me that you’re going to spend it all sleeping.”

Albus gave him an irritated look but then his gaze softened, and Albus gently pried James’ hands away. “What did you have in mind?” Albus whispered. James grinned so widely that Scorpius actually felt jealous – why couldn’t he have an older brother?

“Grab dad’s cloak,” James said, “And meet me in the common room in two minutes.” James looked at Scorpius, who was trying not to look too forlorn and said, “Little Malfoy can come too.”

Scorpius was so happy that his cheeks actually hurt from smiling as he hurried after Albus. Al took one look at his face and, despite being rather tired, couldn’t help but smile and be excited, too. In a bundle in his arms, was a very old cloak.

In the light of the Common Room’s fire, James was sitting on the ground with, what seemed to Scorpius, a rather ratty and old piece of parchment.

“What’s that?” whispered Scorpius.

“This,” said James fondly, tapping the parchment, “Is a little bit of history, little Malfoy.”

Scorpius made a face at the nickname that unfortunately seemed to be sticking, and gave the parchment a better look. It looked rather ordinary and un-interesting to him. But Albus’ excitement had just doubled.

“Want to do the honors, Al?” said James grandly.

Albus grinned and pulled out his wand; “I solemnly swear that I’m up to no good,” Albus whispered, tapping the page. Scorpius nearly fell over in his haste to see what happened next. Black ink, like a spider’s web, appeared all over the page, resolving itself into an amazing map with moving figures labeled with the names of everyone in the castle.

“A map!?” Scorpius gasped. Al and James both laughed.

“That shows everyone, what they’re doing, all the time,” said James proudly. “Created by…”

“Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs,” finished Albus. “Our grandpa and his best friends.”

“This…this is amazing,” Scorpius breathed. Albus and James both grinned at each other, thrilled that he was so excited by it. “Don’t you two see?” Scorpius asked them excitedly, he leaned forward to get a better look, placing his hand over Albus’ wand, pressing it against the corner of the map. “With this map, the castle is ours!”

Instantly, gold ink began to flow from the tip of the wand across the page. Scorpius grinned widely but James sat back abrudlty in surprise.

“Has that ever happened before?” Albus asked his older brother.

“Nope,” said James. Scorpius looked back and forth between the two Potters and frowned. “You mean...I did a hidden spell?” The two of them nodded.

“Wicked,” Scorpius breathed. James laughed again as Albus leaned down and studied the shining gold additions. Gold labels now shimmered below every name, so that it read things like, “Sir Nicholas de Mimsy Porpington; Ghost” or “Argurus Filch; Squib.” And the gold ink had gathered like pulsing smoke around parts of the castle, clinging to the walls and passageways that had been carefully replicated with black ink so many years before.

“Hey,” said James, looking at one such area carefully. “This stuff marks the passageway to the Hog’s Head, look...”

“And this is the Whomping Willow,” said Albus, pointing to another such gold-covered area.

“And the passage to the kitchens,” added James again. “Huh...I think this gold stuff marks all the secret passages and stuff.”

“But it’s on the stairs here,” said Scorpius, pointing to another part of the map.

“Well that’s the bloody stairwell with the disappearing steps,” said James. “You have to skip a bunch in the middle or you end up stuck in the stairs...”

“Midnight’s Guide to the Castle,” Albus read.

“Huh?”

“Look,” Albus said, pointing. The same curly letters as the golden labels had formed an addition to the title, “Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs.”

“There was a fifth Marauder,” James whispered with reverence.

“Um...James?” Said Scorpius squinting at the map, “There isn’t a trick staircase outside of our common room, is there?”

“No,” said James. Scorpius’ reply was only to point. The gold smoke was hugging the staircase, collecting tightly around a certain pictures right next to the landing. The three boys looked at each other and scrambled to their feet.

Soon, James was standing in front of the picture, examining it with avid interest. Albus unfolded the map and looked at it again, remembering their dad’s story of the first time he had used the map. Sure enough, the little figure labeled James seemed to be pressing his hand against the frame. Albus went over to his older brother ran his hand against the side of the frame. There was a strange half-sliding, half-crunching noise and the three young Gryffindor’s jumped as the stairs flattened down into a slide. The three looked at each other and then, with all the glee and dexterity of eleven and twelve year old boys, jumped onto the slide.

“Yes!” James cheered as they zoomed down several flights and then landed in a heap on the ground two stories down, laughing breathlessly.

“Well, well,” said an amused voice. The three looked up – Scorpius and Al scared but James grinning.

“Hi, Nick!” James said to the Gryffindor ghost.

“I haven’t seen those used since Maya Night activated them the month before she died,” Nearly Headless Nick said reminiscently.

“Maya Night?” Albus repeated exchanging a look with Scorpius.

“She didn’t happen to go by Midnight, did she?” Scorpius asked.

“Why, she did,” said Nick, sounding very surprised. “How did you know that?”

“Who was she?!” demanded James.

“Well…” Nick looked thoughtful. “She was friends with your grandfather…used to run around and get into trouble with them…but you three really shouldn’t be out in the castle at night. I really shouldn’t encourage this.”

“Please, Sir Nicholas,” James wheedled, using his title to get his attention. “We just want to know who she was.”

“If you go with us to the Common Room,” Albus suggested. “Will you tell us everything?”

“Everything?” the ghost repeated.

“Everything!” The three young Gryffindor’s chorused. The invisibility cloak glistened from Albus’ pocket and the Marauder’s map was folded in James’ hands. Scorpius’ blonde hair gleamed in the light from the spluttering torches.

“All right,” the ghost said with a smile. He began to lead the way to the Common Room, floating along the steps that had re-positioned themselves into their normal position. “Where should I start…?”

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