143 The MARAUDER’S MAP
To everyone's delight except Harry's, there was to be another Hogsmeade trip on the very last weekend of the term.
"We can do all our Christmas shopping there!" said Hermione. "Mum and Dad would really love those Toothflossing Stringmints from Honeydukes!"
"Er... I don't know what to get my parents... maybe I should just make them something?" Said Arth, deep in thought.
On the Saturday morning of the Hogsmeade trip, Harry bid good-bye to Ron, Hermione, and Arthur who were wrapped in cloaks and scarves.
After watching Harry enter back into the castle, they made their way to Hogsmeade.
"What should we do first?" Asked Ron. "Christmas shopping? Or Harry sweets shopping?"
"Why not go to Honeydukes first? That way, we can knock it off of our list."
"I still can't believe that you three managed to finish an entire room filled with sweets in that short amount of time."
"We are growing, plus, we gave some out to Ginny and her friends."
"Consuming that many sweets aren't healthy you know?"
By the time they arrived, Honeydukes was so crowded with Hogwarts students that they could barely walk around. They edged among the crowd, looking around for delectables.
After buying the sweets that were especially delicious the last time they came, they squeezed through the crowd and saw a sign hanging in the farthest corner of the shop.
Arth's lip slight curved upward.
"That place seems interesting."
Hermione and Ron stared at the sign doubtfully.
"Really? I really don't think anyone normal would like something... too unusual."
"Why not? I would love to experience something that is different from usual as it widens my taste buds."
"Again, you are far from normal."
Hermione picked up a blood-flavored lollipop and sampled it.
"Ugh, I don't know about you, but Harry won't want one of those, they're for vampires, I expect," Hermione was saying with a disgusted face.
"Are you saying that I'm a vampire?" Asked Arthur with a raised eyebrow.
"I'm just saying that people who want to... flavor the unique taste of blood might be a vampire."
Arth rolled his eyes.
"How about these?" said Ron, shoving a jar of Cockroach Clusters under Arth's nose.
"Definitely not," said Harry.
Hermione and Arth gave a start. Ron nearly dropped the jar.
"Harry!" squealed Hermione. "What are you doing here? How — how did you — ?"
"Wow!" said Ron, looking very impressed, "you've learned to Apparate!"
"You dimwit," said Arth with a disappointed look. "How many times do I have to tell you that you can't apparate in or out of the school?"
Arth ignored Ron and raised an eyebrow at Harry.
"How did you even sneak out of the school Harry?"
Harry dropped his voice so that none of the other students could hear him.
"Fred and George gave me a map that can tell the location of anyone in the castle and shows where the secret passages are."
"Here, I'll show you."
Harry pulled something from inside his cloak with a flourish and laid it on one of the desks. It was a large, square, very worn piece of parchment with nothing written on it.
He took out his wand, touched the parchment lightly, and said, "I solemnly swear that I am up to no good."
And at once, thin ink lines began to spread like a spider's web from the point that Harry's wand had touched.
They joined each other, they crisscrossed, they fanned into every corner of the parchment; then words began to blossom across the top, great, curly green words.
Messrs. Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs Purveyors of Aids to Magical Mischief-Makers are proud to present
THE MARAUDER'S MAP
"How come Fred and George never gave it to me!" said Ron, outraged. "I'm their brother!"
"But Harry isn't going to keep it!" said Hermione, as though the idea were ludicrous. "He's going to hand it into Professor McGonagall, aren't you, Harry?"
"No, I'm not!" said Harry.
"Are you mad?" said Ron, goggling at Hermione. "Hand in something that good?"
"If I had it in, I'll have to say where I got it! Filch would know Fred and George had nicked it!"
"But what about Sirius Black?" Hermione hissed. "He could be using one of the passages on that map to get into the castle! The teachers have got to know!"
"He can't be getting in through a passage," said Harry quickly. "There are seven secret tunnels on the map, right? Fred and George reckon Filch already knows about four of them. And of the other three — One of them's got the Whomping Willow planted over the entrance, so you can't get out of it. And the one I just came through — well — it's really hard to see the entrance to it down in the cellar, so unless he knew it was there... and the last one is-"
"The one by the mirror I presume," said Arth with a raised eyebrow. "Doesn't matter Harry, if that map shows precisely where Sirius Black is while in the school, then it is a huge asset. It could be the determining factor for finding Black."