In their fifth year the Marauders etched their own little family tree on the wall next to their window in their dormitory. They had their four names lined up side by side with little arrows connecting them. Then when they went home for the summer, each of them etched the family tree into their bedroom walls. (Sirius especially had fun with this.) They were all connected, all five of the trees so that if someone made a change to one of them, it would automatically make a change to all of them.
By the time they were in their seventh year, they had added a few other people to the tree including Marlene and Lily.
On their last day at Hogwarts, the sixth of them stared at their little family tree for a couple of minutes before James suddenly added one more person on top of all their names. “She’s one of us whether she wants to or not.” They all laughed and then covered their mark by moving a desk in front of it. After that they said their final goodbyes and walked excitedly out of the school.
When Lily and James got married Sirius and Remus’ first order of business was to bind the two of their names on the family tree together making an infinity sign glow whenever anyone passed by one of the trees. Then Harry was born and his name was automatically added to the tree.
When Lily and James died, their names faded on the tree but the bind that Remus and Sirius placed seemed to glow even brighter at times.
Once he learned what had happened to his best friends Remus stood in front of the family tree he had etched on the wall in front of his desk at home, his wand pointed directly at Sirius’ name, ready to burn it off permanently.
Except he couldn’t do it. He would return everyday to try to bring himself to burn Sirius’ name off and everyday he would fail. Eventually he just stopped going to his bedroom when he visited.
Sirius would sit in his cell and with a stick he found on the floor, he would engrave his family tree into the wall, purposefully avoiding Peter.
When Remus become a professor his first order of business is to visit his old dorm and look for the family tree. To him, it seems as though James, Lily, Peter and Marlene’s names were glowing ever so brightly. He avoided looking at Sirius’ name.
When he discovered that Sirius is innocent, his first thought was to breathe a sigh of relief because he didn’t burn his friend’s name off the tree.
One year later Sirius was stuck in Grimmauld Place. He went to his room and looked at the back of the door where his family tree was drawn. He had made the effort of drawing little figures he thought represented each of them. For him and James were their animagus forms. For Lily, he drew a doe. Marlene had a lion. And for some reason he drew Remus a donkey.
On October the 31st Remus popped by Grimmauld Place and Sirius immediately dragged him to his room. He told Remus to pull out his wand and together, the two of them burned off Peter’s name. Permanently.
When Sirius died his name didn’t fade off the family tree. It looked even brighter than usual.
When Tonks married Remus, her name appeared on the tree. He showed her the one in Sirius’ room and then proceeded to sob because out of the six of them, he had never expected to be the last one standing.
After the battle of Hogwarts, the only living name was that of Harry Potter. Except he never knew about the trees. And so they lay in all of their hidden locations, undiscovered by anyone.
Years later Minerva McGonagall was going through every dorm room ensuring everything was perfect. She didn’t doubt the house elves work at all. It was only because she had missed being able to roam freely around the halls and so she took the chance while no one was yet there.
She entered the boys dormitory and looked around. There was something that wasn’t quite right about the room. Minerva McGonagall wasn’t a young woman but she remembered everything as if it had happened yesterday. And what she remembered was that there was no desk under the window. It would hardly be noticed by anyone, had they not known what the layout of the dorms were all those years ago.
She swiftly moved the desk back in its proper place and was about to leave to the Slytherin common room when something caught her eye.
She walked to the window and looked at the strange engravings in the wall underneath.
The names Moony, Padfoot, Prongs, Evans, Marley, Harry and Nymph were marked in the stone. There was another name beside Prongs, but it had been burnt beyond recognition.
Minerva McGonagall collapsed on one of the four poster beds and took a deep breath, containing her emotions.
She was successful in doing so and was about to leave when once again, something caught her eye.
On top of the three names and the burnt one read one more name. Old Minnie McG. And then she broke down. Because after all this time, after everything that she had gone through, she would always remember those three boys who defied everything society said, who didn’t allow anyone else to dictate how they would live their lives, who gave up their lives so the world could be a better place.