This is a canon oneshot set in PoA after the Marauder's Map fiasco between Snape and Harry. It's my first real fanfiction in english (I have a Luna drabble, but it's too short to count) and I'm really excited to start to write in english, hope you enjoy and of course review it to know what you think abput it :) I want to thank Chiseplushie for being an incredible beta, she was really nice and great to work even with all my mistakes!

Disclaimer: The Harry Potter universe doesn't belong to me, it's the property of J.K. Rowling. If I were the owner, believe me, Remus would be alive and in my bed.

Mischief Managed

After he was alone in his office, Remus sat at his desk and stared at the worn parchment. He hasn't seen it in fifteen years, but he remembered as it were yesterday.

James, Peter, Sirius and himself were running away from an angry Filch, after having turned Mrs. Norris into a bushy, bubblegum pink cat. James looked on the map for the best option to get away from the caretaker. Unfortunately he stumbled and fell.

"No!" James yelled as his glasses fell from his head and the map from his hands. "Run, guys, run!"

Peter, who has seen his friend fall, retreated to help him with the map and his glasses, but Filch was too close, so before helping James, he pointed his wand to the map and whispered "Mischief Managed" before the caretaker could see its content. He could catch them, but they would never ever let anyone know about the map.

Sirius and himself stopped and looked at each other with complicity and resignation, because they knew they had to go with their friends. It was a marauder rule: if one falls, they all fall together. Now that Filch had his hands on James and Peter, they went with their friends to face the punishment. After all, it was better, because it was strange for Filch to conduct their punishments separately, therefore if they had to polish all the silver of the castle, they at least could do it laughing together.

Remus felt a knot in his throat just thinking about his friends.

Filch took the parchment and observed it carefully. To his squib eyes —and to anyone who wasn't a marauder, really —it was just a blank piece of parchment, but the marauders could see that he knew it was more than just plain parchment. It had to be! Otherwise it would not be in the hands of the four most scandalous troublemakers in the history of Hogwarts.

He confiscated the map and after sending them to clean up the excrement of Kettleburn's new creatures , he hid the parchment in his office and they never saw the map again.

Now, fifteen years after, Remus had the map in his hands again. So many emotions invaded him: joy, nostalgia, sadness, anticipation. He felt sixteen again, planning to attack the Slytherin common room or trying not to be found wandering the halls after curfew. The images of his friends with mischievous eyes appeared in his head. It was the eyes they always had just before doing something improper, prohibited or dangerous.

He remembered walking through the castle at three o'clock in the morning trying to find a new passage or corroborate some myth, like the time they spent two weeks searching for the lost diadem of Rowena Ravenclaw. Placing fireworks in Flitwick's office, add a hiccupping solution in the pumpkin juice of all the Great Hall, conjure bizarre gusts of wind within a corridor just to blow up the girls skirts. Chasing Lily until she agreed to a date with Prongs, causing a flood in the bathroom on the third floor, convincing Peeves the poltergeist of the castle to make a rebellion against Professor Binns...

Becoming illegal animagi to help him pass the full moon no matter how dangerous it could be for them.

Remus swallowed hard, trying to hold back the tears. He was alone in his office but still refrained from releasing a single tear. Even though he knew no one would see him, he also knew that if he allowed himself to lament for one second, he would be unable to stop until he was deeply depressed. He had already spent too many years mourning his friends, crying for James, Peter and even Sirius.

Not for Sirius the traitor, who had allowed James and Lily's death, nor for the killer of Peter and a dozen of muggles. No, he had cried for Sirius Black, the child who chose to be his friend despite his condition, who almost died trying to learn how to transform into an animagus. The young prankster who thought Remus was too depressed, so he convinced Mary Macdonald to give him a kiss.

Merlin! He cried even for Padfoot, the dog that brought fleas into the dorm room.

He felt so much rage towards Sirius he was about to launch an "incendio" on the parchment. Still he did not understand how Sirius Black, his friend who despised his own family for their beliefs in pureblood supremacy, had become in Sirius Black, the most wanted wizard in Britain. Remus he could not convince himself yet that it was true, it's seemed so unreal.

Sometimes he plunged into his head and imagined all was a bad dream, a really bad dream. That one day he was going to wake up to the slobbering of a giant black dog, which would be trying to wake him in James' and Lily's home because he would not be allowed to miss Prongs' new attempt to make a decent breakfast. James always managed to ruin perfect pans, and make bitter and undrinkable tea.

He imagined himself going down the stairs. He would meet Lily carrying baby Harry, who would stretch his little hands and shout "O-olate! O-olate!", because Harry knew Remus always carried chocolate in the pockets of his robes and even in his pajamas. Peter would arrive for lunch or just in time for dinner after his workday in the Department of Magical Transportation, and they all would eat together like the family they were.

Were, past tense.

Remus breathed deeply and tried to remove those wonderful but depressing thoughts from his head. Those illusions he created would just give him a new headache. All joys were gone. He was not twenty years old with friends who were all alive and well. His friends weren't apart of his life and Harry wasn't a baby anymore. He didn't try to convince Remus to give him a chocolate with smiles, no, Harry had grown up as a traumatized wizard who could never know him as "Uncle Remus" and he... he was a lonely thirty-three-year-old professor who had spent years unemployed and depressed, barely surviving in the underworld of Wizarding Britain.

And clearly he no longer needed a map to prowl the castle. He was a damn professor and if he wanted to, he could go to the kitchen at three in the morning for a cup of hot cocoa and no one would say anything to him. The marauders map would laugh at him if it knew he had became a teacher, because they had bewitched it to throw the best insults to the faculty members.

Remus stopped his thoughts. He had an idea, a bad idea, because it gave him a little bit of hope, but at the same time it scared him. He knew that it was a terrible idea, but after an hour thinking about his friends, he needed a reminder of what it felt to be happy, of what it was to be a marauder.

He looked the old and thick parchment, passed his battered hands over it and decided he was going to do it, but just one time. He will allow himself to relive his adolescence only once and then he will hide the map forever.


The ink began to appear slowly on the parchment and Remus felt his heart race as he began to read the first words and the first name.

"Mr. Prongs thanks Professor Lupin for getting rid of the greasy bat, but believes it is necessary to recommend a hair removal potion to get rid of that furry little problem"

Remus let out a loud laugh that echoed in his office. He could hear James' fourteen-year-old-voice asking him how a person would look as a completely shaved werewolf, as if being a werewolf gave him the ability to answer that question. James always asked hypothetical and really stupid questions about werewolves. Sometimes he even dared to wake Remus up by throwing water on him at five o'clock in the morning, and shouting things like, "When you're an old man and you lose all your teeth, will you become a werewolf without teeth?" or "If we change your hair green before the full moon, will you transform into a werewolf with green fur?"

James managed to alter Remus' shampoo so it would change his hair color just the day before his transformation, and although he was really disappointed not to see a fuchsia werewolf—because that was the color used in the experiment. James still enjoyed seeing him going to classes with a feminine color in his head for a week.

"Mr. Wormtail also thanks Professor Lupin and wants to add he should not worry about his furry little problem, but his snoring problem."

Classic Wormtail. In their sixth year, his friends had criticized him for rejecting every girl who showed some type of interest on him. Remus kept saying that it was impossible to him to build a real relationship because he was a dangerous werewolf and Peter shouted at Remus, telling him he should forget about his condition, because the fact was that his snoring were louder than Hagrid's it was more of a problem in a romantic relationship than lying just once a month.

The discussion on his love life ended with that comment and was followed by a snore imitation competition between James, Sirius and Peter.

"Mr. Padfoot agrees with Mr. Wormtail and wishes to point that Professor Lupin can not blame the dog for the fleas, when we all know is the wolf the one who is really flea-bitten."

Remus wanted to shout at Sirius to tell him that he had come back after a full moon with fleas only one time. He was not like Sirius, who came back from his trips to Hogsmeade infested with fleas. Thanks to Sirius' deeds they had to fumigate their room almost weekly.

He definitely did not missed fleas.

"Mr. Moony wants to insult Professor Lupin, but believes it to be more important to warn Messrs Prongs, Wormtail and Padfoot that he knows where they sleep and it's him who always plans the marauder's revenges."

That was unexpected, his own alter ego defended him from his friends and he was right. Although all teachers labeled Remus as shy, responsible and a great Prefect, it was him who generally devised the plans and revenges. Sirius always said that among the four of them, Remus was definitely the most evil of them and his evil mind was due to the amount of crime books he read as a child.

And though never liked to admit it, Sirius was right. Those detectives books his mother had gave him not only inspired Remus to have a lot of creative ideas for pranks, but also taught him to worry about every little detail in order to avoid detection.

He was about to smile at the memory of the invasion into the staff room they had done in the third year, but the ink of the messages from the marauders began to slowly fade, just like the the temporary feeling of joy of having his friends with him again.

Silent tears began to soak the parchment. Remus felt pain in his chest and the guilt for not being with the Potters grip him. He should have been the Secret Keeper. He would have rather died than deliver his friends to He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. It hurt him, that he was not able to save Peter, and above all things, Remus hated himself for not discovering that Sirius was the one who would betray them.

This was too much.

In reality, the Marauders no longer existed. They were just an illusion saved within the scroll. Remus decided he must stay away from it, or he would become obsessed with the past.

He had to focus on the present, on the future, on what mattered: Harry. His mission was to take care of Harry. He wanted to redeem himself and make up for not contacting the boy all these years. He wanted to protect Harry from Sirius Black.

Remus was still crying, but had made a decision. Grabbing the scroll, he opened the desk drawer and put it under the heavy book inside.

"Good-bye, guys." he whispered as he closed the drawer. "Mischief Managed."

Not gonna lie, I cried.
Simona Polle