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DixieWitch July 18th, 2006 9:06 pm

True Courage: A Peter Pettigrew Tale
hi, everyone!! how's yer summer?

anyway, here's something i hope y'all will like. enjoy!

True Courage
Chapter One

Everything is changing. James, Lily, Sirius, even Remus—we are all changing. Whether by the wheels of time or by the traumas of war, we are not the same as we were in school. The darkness around me—it is stronger than the hope James has for his young son, Harry. Harry is a sweet child, but with a mischievous streak to rival his father’s. He looks exactly like him…except for his eyes. Lily’s eyes.
I don’t have much time. The Dark Lord is searching for me, always searching for me and my friends. He knows I am weak. He knows I am not brave. He knows I am not strong. He knows, as well as I do, that if he asked me to join I would not refuse him, for fear of death and pain, for me as much as my friends.
Remus is more careworn than when I last saw him—older, grayer, more tired than he was in his teens. Lines crisscross his face, along with scratches, oh, so many scratches. My poor friend…I cannot imagine the amount of pain he must be in, both emotionally and physically. No matter how many times I’ve seen him transform, heard him scream, felt his pain, I cannot imagine….
“Peter?” I realize that he is speaking to me. My mind has been wandering again, taking me farther away from the reality of my present and into the possibilities of my future.
“Sorry, Rem. I’ve been a little…off…today.” I apologize, plastering a smile to my face. Remus smiles back, and I know his smile is forced as well. We have been too uneasy of late—all of us. Ever since Dumbledore told us that there were spies in the Order, we have all been suspecting each other, friend against friend. “What were you saying?”
“Just that Harry took his first steps today.” Remus sighs. “The boy is going to get into more trouble than James ever did.”
“Do you recon he’ll find the Map? I mean, Filch did confiscate it, and, well, he doesn’t give things up that easily….” I trail off. Remus smiles again—a true smile this time.
“He’ll find it, no worries.” He assures me. “Not if he’s got James’ Seeker talent.”
There is a knock at my door. Remus raises an eyebrow.
“Expecting company?”
“Er…no, actually.” I decide to tell a truthful lie. I have been expecting them for a long time now; I just wasn’t expecting them to call today.
“I’ll just go, then.” Remus’ meaning is far too easy to read. We both stand, shake hands, and he Disapparates. There is another loud knock at the door, followed by a sound so small only my ears could have picked it up—a tiny hiss.
I compose myself and answer the door. A face I didn’t anticipate meets my eyes—I never expected to see him in person, and in broad daylight no less. A white face, skull-like and triangular, with red eyes and slitted pupils. The sight terrifies me more than anything I have ever seen.
“Hello, Peter.” His voice, though quiet, is chillier than the October noon behind him. “May I come in?”
I only nod, I am so scared. He glides in, his black cloak brushing the floor. I had expected his followers. Not him. Anyone but him.
“I have an interesting proposition for you, Peter.” He sits quietly on the couch. “Or do you prefer Wormtail?”
I had no idea he knew that name. Whatever little speech had risen to my lips died again.
“When I ask a question, I expect it to be answered.” His hand drifts casually to his inner pocket. I cringe. He stops, and a slow smile begins to spread on his features.
“Do you fear me, Wormtail?” his voice is deadly soft. “Do you fear of what I can do to you?”
“Do you ask questions you know the answers to?” my boldness amazes even me. He blinks, surprised. The surprise is quickly replaced by emotionless displeasure.
“Apparently you need a little lesson, Wormtail, on how to speak respectfully.” His hand continues its journey toward his pocket. “I believe a little pain might get my point across.”
The next thing that happens is so mind-blowingly predictable I don’t know why I even let it get to me. But, as I said before, I am weak. And this…this is so intense, so painfully real…my screams seem like an elixir to him. His facial expression becomes beastly, more inhuman than anything that ever walked this earth. When it finally stops, I just stare at him, trying to summon the courage that James and Sirius seem to conjure up so easily. He laughs.
“Trying to be like your friends, Wormtail? Trying to become something that you are not, just so you will finally live up to your friends’ expectations of brave?” he puts his hideous face close to mine. “Listen to me and hear me now, Wormtail, you are pathetic and a weakling, and no manner of potion or spellwork can change that. You were born to choose the stronger side, Wormtail—the side that is destined to win. The side that will protect you. Think about it for a few days—think about your future. Choose wisely—” he pats my cheeks, none too gently. “Because choosing wrong could mean the end of your life—and the lives of those you hold dear.”
He stands to leave. I send him the most burning stare I can muster. He laughs again.
“I will return in three days’ time, Wormtail. That ought to give you enough time to think.”
In a swirl of his cloak he his gone—and I am alone. Alone to nurse my wounds and have myself a good long think.
My thoughts are in a turmoil now—should I choose his side? Is his side the stronger one? My friends have always protected me—maybe I should stay true to them.
Then I remember one of the last thing he said—“Choosing wrong could mean the end of your life—and the end of the lives of those you hold dear.” Visions of death and destruction cloud my thoughts. Sirius, spread-eagle and twisted, his black eyes blank and motionless. Lily, her fair skin splattered with dark blood, her abdomen ripped open. James, draped over his favorite armchair, burns and scrapes crisscrossing his skin. Remus, caught in a grotesque half-form of human and wolf, a silver bullet lodged in his heart. And the last vision scares me most of all—baby Harry, lying still under a glittering Dark Mark, blood on the corner of his mouth, his green eyes shut as if in sleep forever.
My decision has been made. I must stop these visions from becoming reality. I will save all I hold dear by joining the very force we fight to extinguish. I hope I am doing the right thing.

DixieWitch July 19th, 2006 8:30 pm

Re: True Courage: A Peter Pettigrew Tale
questions? comments? cries of heresy?

send us an owl if you enjoy, do not enjoy, or wish to offer suggestions. please? >snifflebiggoogooeyes<


DixieWitch July 20th, 2006 11:01 pm

Re: True Courage: A Peter Pettigrew Tale
thankies for all the owls!! i should have a feedback thread link sometime soon, but until i figure out how to do that....(if it's really simple don't be angry with me)
well, chapter two is done! i hope you will like it!

Chapter Two

“What have you done, Peter?” Sirius yells. I never thought I would be on the receiving end of his wand. I turn haunted and tortured eyes to him. Lily and James have been dead nearly a week, Harry has disappeared, the Dark Lord…my master…vanquished. He said that they wouldn’t be harmed when I let him burn the Mark into my arm. He swore on it. He lied, I tell myself for the thousandth time. I have tried to drown the truth in the depths of a bottle, but no matter how hard I try, the fact that it’s my fault the Potters are dead never goes away.
“I am so sorry.” I murmur, too quiet for Sirius to hear. I erect my head. “What have you done, Sirius?” I yell back. “You were the one to betray Lily and James! I heard you with my own two ears!”
I see the shock and hurt in Sirius’ eyes as I point my wand behind me and utter a curse, in the process cutting off my finger and transforming. I escape down into the sewers, hating myself for what I had done. Sirius’ laughter reaches my sensitive ears, only this time, it sounds more…maniacal, insane. Cursing myself with all the bad luck possible, I keep running, swearing to myself to never go back. I brought this upon myself—I never should have taken the Mark.
But Remus and Sirius would have died if I hadn’t! a small voice whispers.
But James and Lily had because I did, and possibly Harry, I reply. How can I forgive myself for that?
How indeed?
I travel until I find myself standing before a crooked house, held up by magic and plaster. A small, chubby, red-headed baby runs out of the front door, laughing and screaming and babbling in his baby-talk, chased by two other children, also with red hair, both identical. A pregnant woman follows. I recognize her as Molly Weasley—she and Arthur had married quite a few years before—their oldest was already school age.
I could hide here…and still be caught up with all of the magical news, especially the news from the Order. I wander up to the house, slipping inside just in time—only to be picked up by yet another red-headed child. This one has glasses, just like Arthur, and is as stocky as his mother. He grins when he sees me, and runs outside.
“Mummy! Mummy! Oh, Mummy, can I keep him, please?” he asks Molly, waving me before her eyes. I have to say, his squeezing annoys me, as well as constricts my breathing. I squeak, to let him know.
“Percy, dearest, why don’t you put that thing in the garden and leave it alone?” Molly makes a too easily read expression. Mothers and rats don’t exactly get along, do they?
“But Mummy, I want him!” Percy sniffs. All of a sudden his expression changes. He smiles.
“But, Mummy, don’t you owe me for me bringing you breakfast in bed?” he says, with all the signs of a child thinking he had outsmarted a grown-up. Molly sighs.
“Yes, Perce, but does it have to be a rat? I mean, his front paw is missing, he has nasty scabs all over him….”
To ensure my position, I look as pitiful as possible.
Percy scrunches up his face, preparing to throw a tantrum. Molly, foreseeing danger, prepares an argument.
“Percy, we don’t have room for a rat, and it would just die in a few months. It looks very old—rats don’t live for very long. Besides, what would you do with a rat?”
“Play with him and keep him clean and nice and warm and call him Scabbers.” Percy replies. “Oh, please, Mummy, I promise I’ll just keep him in my room and he won’t escape and I’ll feed him myself, just please, please, please let me keep him!”
Molly sighs, then relents. “Alright, Percy. But if he escapes once, he’s going out onto the streets!”
Percy’s face lights up, and he whoops. Now all I have to do is to wait for the right moment to reveal myself.
Just when that is I don’t know. If Sirius ever gets out of Azkaban, he’ll be after my blood, no questions asked. Remus doesn’t know…Sirius was the only one to figure it out. If Harry is alive…I can only hope to the gods that he won’t judge me too harshly for what I did to him.

this is a little shorter than some of my other chapters will be, just so y'all know.

DixieWitch July 20th, 2006 11:09 pm

Re: True Courage: A Peter Pettigrew Tale
feedback here.

DixieWitch July 21st, 2006 5:50 pm

Re: True Courage: A Peter Pettigrew Tale
okay, i am soooo sorry!! the real feedback thread should be right

DixieWitch August 12th, 2006 12:01 am

Re: True Courage: A Peter Pettigrew Tale
to what few readers i might still have left....chapter three is coming very soon!!! it's just taking forever because my copy of PoA is mangled and ripped in half.....i only just found the half i needed.
it will be up soon, i promise!!!!
thanks again for reading the first two and tolerating my lateness, DixieWitch

DixieWitch August 16th, 2006 12:23 pm

Re: True Courage: A Peter Pettigrew Tale
after waiting it is, chapter three!!
as a disclaimer, i don't own any of JKR's characters or her dialogue, just pettigrew's thoughts.

Chapter Three

“S—Sirius…R—Remus…” I find myself stuttering. It has been twelve years since I concealed myself as a rat, and watched the Weasley family grow and struggle through its meager times. Twelve years since I convinced Molly (with the help of Percy, who gave me up to his little brother Ron come eleven) to let me stay with the Weasleys. Twelve years since I made the choice that made my life a living Hades….
“My friends…my old friends…” I stammer, searching frantically for a way out. I see Sirius raise his wand arm and shudder. His face has lost its former charm, becoming a mask of death and starvation. Only his eyes are the same—the same burning dark eyes that stood before me on a sunny Hogwarts day and offered to be my friend. The same eyes that filled with tears of hate and hurt when his family disowned him. The same eyes that, twelve years ago, shone with the light of righteous vengeance, seeking justice on the man responsible for his best friends’ murder and proclaimed to a Muggle street that I had killed Lily and James, only to turn to shock and a numb disbelief when I, in turn, accused him of the same crime, cut off my finger, and blasted apart a street….
But Remus stays his hand. “We’ve been having a little chat, Peter, about what happened the night Lily and James died. You might have missed the finer points while you were squeaking around down there on the bed—”
“Remus,” I rasp, feeling sweat break out over my brow as I glance at Sirius, “you don’t believe him, do you…? He tried to kill me, Remus….” Indeed he did. Something I took in good graces, considering…. But still I feared. I had feared death. Cold and miserable as life may be, surely death was worse? I was beginning to think now that death might be paradise considering what Sirius and the Dark Lord would do to me if they got their hands on me, and the Death Eaters I had backstabbed were no different. But Remus…surely Remus would help…would believe…? He had always stood up for me when James and Lily and Sirius were not around, had defended me no matter what the cost. He had once trusted me explicitly with any secret, with complete confidence…and here I am, taking advantage of that trust. I don’t know who I am anymore…perhaps I am beyond saving.
“So we’ve heard.” Remus’ voice mirrors Sirius’. That above all clutches my heart with icy fear. “I’d like to clear up one or two more little matters with you, Peter, if you’d be so—”
“He’s come to try and kill me again!” I break in, pointing at Sirius. I see his lip curl, his teeth bare. He looks more like a dog than ever. I almost pity him, but self-preservation drowns it out. “He killed Lily and James and now he’s going to kill me too….You’ve got to help me, Remus….”
I meet Sirius’ gaze. His face has rearranged itself until he is wearing the expressionless mask he once donned as a teenager when he was seriously bothered. I can gather nothing from his eyes, which are as deep as the bowels of the earth.
“No one’s going to try to kill you until we’ve sorted a few things out,” Remus reassures me. I don’t trust him anymore, not when he uses that tone. Not when he is the only thing keeping me from death and he is on death’s side.
“Sorted things out?” I cry, again searching wildly for an exit…any exit. “I knew he’d come after me! I knew he’d be back for me! I’ve been waiting for twelve years!” Of course I knew. Did I honestly think Azkaban would hold Sirius? He once Apparated inside the Hogwarts grounds—true, on a pure fluke, but he still did it. And Sirius running on the adrenaline of revenge was nearly unstoppable—only Remus, Lily, Dumbledore, and the Dark Lord could have stopped him. Since he had none, he was relentless. And the dementors hadn’t affected him, leaving his mind free to work for twelve years. With his genius, he could have broken the entire of Azkaban out given another year. I ask myself—why are you blaming all this on Sirius? Why not just tell Harry the truth? I answer my own question—Sirius was the first to approach me about it, and I was too afraid…too afraid.
“You knew Sirius was going to break out of Azkaban?” Remus asks, incomprehension crossing his face. “When nobody has ever done it before?”
“He’s got dark powers the rest of us can only dream of!” I’m inventing as I go along now, wildly throwing out excuses on why Sirius is guilty. I can see the expression on Harry’s face start to change from open disbelief to a gentler form of confused denial. “How else did he get out of there? I suppose He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named taught him a few tricks!”
Sirius starts to laugh—a laugh far more horrible than any the Dark Lord could have summoned. It reverberates inside my head, filling my very being with its pitch and volume. It’s the kind of laugh that stays with you even after you die—the kind of laugh that drives a man insane.
“Voldemort, teach me tricks?” I flinch when I hear the name. I try to convince myself it’s all for the image I’m trying to project, but I know in my heart that it’s because I fear Him above all else. “What, scared to hear your old master’s name?”
Yes. “Don’t know what you mean, Sirius—” I start nearly hyperventilating, I’m so scared.
“You haven’t been hiding from me for twelve years,” Sirius cuts in viciously. “You’ve been hiding from Voldemort’s old supporters. I heard things in Azkaban, Peter…they all think you’re dead, or you’d have to answer to them….I’ve heard them screaming all sorts of things in their sleep. Sounds like they think the double-crosser double-crossed them. Voldemort went to the Potters’ on your information…and Voldemort met his downfall there. And not all Voldemort’s supporters ended up in Azkaban did they? There are still plenty out here, biding their time, pretending they’ve seen the error of their ways…. If they ever got wind that you were still alive, Peter—”
They would tear me limb from limb. It’s a good thing they don’t know I gave secret tip-offs as to the whereabouts of some of the worst of them….
“Don’t know…what you’re talking about…,” I’m running out of steam. I turn to Remus as a last plea for help. “You don’t believe this—this madness, Remus—”
“I must admit, Peter, I have difficulty in understanding why an innocent man would want to spend twelve years as a rat,” Remus, levelheaded as ever, practically hands me another excuse to add to my many.
“Innocent, but scared!” I invent quickly. “If Voldemort’s supporters were after me, it was because I put one of their best men in Azkaban—Sirius Black!”
Sirius’ face contorts into the scariest expression I have ever seen him make—his face looks more skull-like than ever, his yellowed teeth bared, his once-handsome features twisted into a bestial scowl.
“How dare you,” he begins, every syllable dripping with rage, “I, a spy for Voldemort? When did I ever sneak around people who were stronger and more powerful than myself? But you, Peter—I’ll never understand why I didn’t see you were the spy for the start. You always liked big friends who’d look after you, didn’t you? It used to be us…me and Remus…and James….”
The sudden cracking in his voice surprises me. I had thought, foolishly, that Azkaban had driven all such emotions such as sentimentality and sadness and love away.
“Me, a spy…must be out of your mind…never…don’t know how you can say such a—” and a thought enters my mind—why are you keeping this up?
“Lily and James made you Secret-Keeper because I suggested it,” Sirius hisses, the ferocity in his voice so great and overwhelming I actually step back. “I thought it was the perfect plan…a bluff…. Voldemort would be sure to come after me, would never dream they’d use a weak, talentless thing like you…. It must have been the finest moment of your miserable life, telling Voldemort you could hand him the Potters.”
Now I’m mumbling under my breath, boiling with rage. He has no idea what really happened, how hard it was for me to take so much torture until I broke and told him, how long I suffered under his wand, how much more I tortured myself when I told him…he has no idea how hard it is to betray your friends, how hard it is to feel a part of your conscience die when you get the news that your best friends have been murdered….
“Professor Lupin?” a tiny voice behind me sounds, and I recognize it as Hermione’s. “Can—can I say something?”
“Certainly, Hermione.” Remus’ voice changes dramatically from cold and critical to warm and mild.
“Well—Scabbers—I mean, this—this man—he’s been sleeping in Harry’s dormitory for three years. If he’s working for You-Know-Who, how come he never tried to hurt Harry before?”
Brilliant child. “There!” I shout. “Thank you! You see, Remus? I have never hurt a hair on Harry’s head! Why should I?”
Sirius speaks again. “I’ll tell you why. Because you never did anything for anyone unless you could see what was in it for you. Voldemort’s been in hiding for fifteen years, they say he’s half dead. You weren’t about to commit murder right under Albus Dumbledore’s nose, for a wreck of a wizard who’d lost all of his power, were you? You’d want to be quite sure he was the biggest bully in the playground before you went back to him, wouldn’t you? Keeping an ear out for news, weren’t you, Peter? Just in case your old protector regained strength, and it was safe to rejoin him….”
I start mouthing like a fish out of water. I didn’t mean for this to happen! I feel like screaming. I didn’t mean for Lily and James to die, I didn’t mean for Sirius to end up in Azkaban, I didn’t mean to end up lying to the only friends I ever had to save my own skin! Don’t you understand that?
“Er—Mr. Black—Sirius?” I hear Hermione’s voice behind me, and listen intently. She was good at asking questions no one had yet answered….
“If you don’t mind me asking, how—how did you get out of Azkaban if you didn’t use Dark magic?”
“Thank you!” I tell her fervently, grasping the question with renewed fervor. “Exactly! Precisely what I—” Remus gives me “the look” that he used to give James and Sirius when we were in school—the look that, no doubt, he used as a teacher to silence a rowdy class. Sirius stays silent for a while; then he begins to recount his tale. I only half-listen, until—
“But then I saw Peter in that picture…I realized he was at Hogwarts with Harry…perfectly positioned to act, if one hint reached his ears that the Dark Side was gathering strength again….”
No…no, that wasn’t right, you’ve got it all wrong! I try to say, but my voice is gone.
“…ready to strike at the moment he could be sure of allies…and to deliver the last of the Potters to them. If he gave them Harry, who’d dare say he’d betrayed Lord Voldemort? He’d be welcomed back with honors….So you see, I had to do something. I was the only one who knew Peter was still alive….”
Sirius’ mind was as canny as ever. I’m still surprised Remus didn’t figure it out, either…but then I remember that he spent thirteen years believing I was dead and Sirius was my killer.
Sirius goes on explaining how he got out of Azkaban, and I only half-listen. I know how he got out.
“Believe me, Harry.” Jolted back to Earth, panic closes over my heart again. “I never betrayed James and Lily. I would have died before I betrayed them.” Harry’s head finally nods. My chances are gone. I am going to die tonight.
“No!” I am not ready to die yet. Not yet, when freedom seems so close. “Sirius—it’s me…it’s Peter…your friend…you wouldn’t…” I don’t even believe what I’m saying. I know full well what Sirius will and won’t do. He kicks out, and I flinch, feeling the wind rush by as his foot misses.
“There’s enough filth on my robes without you touching them.” His voice is colder than ice, colder than anything I have ever heard the Dark Lord say. Voldemort’s coldness is the chill of evil; Sirius’ is the iciness of a friend who has been betrayed in too many ways. Even though I do not expect sympathy, I turn to Remus.
“Remus!” I turn my groveling towards the kindest of all the Marauders. “You don’t believe this…wouldn’t Sirius have told you they’d changed the plan?”
There is no warmth left in Remus’ honey-colored eyes. “Not if he thought I was the spy, Peter.” His wand hand is straying too close for comfort towards his pocket. “I assume that’s why you didn’t tell me, Sirius?”
“Forgive me, Remus.” Sirius’ eyes have gained the gleam of one who is about to accomplish his life’s mission.
“Not at all, Padfoot, old friend.” Remus is rolling up his sleeves now. “And will you, in turn, forgive me for believing you were the spy?”
“Of course.” Sirius rolls ups his sleeves as well. “Shall we kill him together?”
“Yes, I think so.” Remus points his wand.
“You wouldn’t…you won’t…,” No! I can’t die yet, I won’t die yet! I need to escape—to find someplace to hide and never again be found!
“Ron…haven’t I been a good friend…a good pet? You won’t let them kill me, Ron, will you…you’re on my side, aren’t you?”
Ron merely looks repulsed. “I let you sleep in my bed!”
“Kind boy…kind master…” something inside is telling myself to get up and take my death like a man, but something much stronger doesn’t want to die—my fear. “you won’t let them do it…. I was your rat…. I was a good pet….” Suddenly that doesn’t sound very convincing in my own ears at all, much less anyone else’s.
“If you make a better rat than a human, it’s not much to boast about, Peter.” Sirius’ voice leaves no room for argument.
“Sweet girl…clever girl…you—you won’t let them….Help me….” But she, like Ron, just backs away, horrified. My only option now is Harry.
“Harry…Harry…you look just like your father…just like him….” He does. It’s like James is staring out of Lily’s eyes, or Lily staring out of James’ face.
“HOW DARE YOU SPEAK TO HARRY?” Sirius yells. I haven’t heard him yell like that since that day I yelled to a whole street he betrayed his best friends. “HOW DARE YOU FACE HIM? HOW DARE YOU TALK ABOUT JAMES IN FRONT OF HIM?”
“Harry,” knowing it’s my only chance for survival I whisper in his ear, “Harry, James wouldn’t have wanted me killed…. James would have understood, Harry…he would have shown me mercy….”
Remus and Sirius throw me away from him, wands still trained on me. I stare up at them, absolute terror clutching at my insides.
“You sold Lily and James to Voldemort. Do you deny it?” Sirius’ fathomless black eyes bore into mine. I can’t take it anymore. I burst into tears.
“Sirius, Sirius, what could I have done? The Dark Lord…you have no idea…he has weapons you can’t imagine…. I was scared, Sirius, I was never brave like you and Remus and James. I never meant for it to happen…. He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named forced me—”
Basically, yes. But never about my friends, he never asked about my friends…until that one day when Snape came back bearing information about the Potters. That day was the worst of my life, and Sirius would never know it.
“He—he was taking over everywhere! Wh—what was there to be gained by refusing him?” The lives of my friends, that’s what, and I wasn’t even allowed that when I took the Mark.
“What was there to be gained by fighting the most evil wizard who has ever existed?” Sirius asks, incredulously contemptuous. “Only innocent lives, Peter!”
“You don’t understand!” I try to make him understand, to make him see the position I was in, but what comes out is “He would have killed me, Sirius!” Well, of course. And Sirius, and Remus, and he did kill James and Lily.
“THEN YOU SHOULD HAVE DIED!” he yells. “BETTER DIED THAN BETRAYED YOUR FRIENDS, AS WE WOULD HAVE DONE FOR YOU!” Remus and Sirius stand shoulder to shoulder, harbingers of my doom, deliverers of my punishment.
“You should have realized, if Voldemort didn’t kill you, we would. Good-bye, Peter.” Remus, in his quiet, mild voice, condemns me and raises his wand. Sirius does likewise.
“NO!” Harry yells. He runs forward, shielding me with his body. “You can’t kill him. You can’t.”
I feel my spirits rise. Maybe, just maybe, Harry will believe my side of the story…when I get around to telling him.
“Harry, this piece of vermin is the reason you don’t have parents,” Sirius snarls. “This cringing bit of filth would have seen you die too, without turning a hair. You heard him. His own stinking skin meant more to him than your whole family.”
“I know. We’ll take him up to the castle. We’ll hand him over to the dementors….He can go to Azkaban…but don’t kill him.”
Even as icy fear clutches my heart when he says “dementors”, I am truly grateful to Harry. He saved my life, whether or not he wanted to. “Harry!” I hug him around his knees, the highest part of him I can reach on the floor. “You—thank you—it’s more than I deserve—thank you—”
“Get off of me,” he struggles out of my grip, disgust crossing his face. “I’m not doing this for you. I’m doing it because—I don’t think my dad would have wanted his two best friends to become killers—just for you.”
Ah, of course. He still thinks of me as vermin. They all do. Remus and Sirius look at each other for a moment, then lower their wands.
“You’re the only person who has the right to decide, Harry, but think…think what he did….” Sirius says softly.
“He can go to Azkaban. If anyone deserves that place, he does….”
I realize I’ve been wheezing for the past five minutes, so constricted was my chest because of fear and emotion and gratitude.
“Very well. Stand aside, Harry.” Remus raises his wand again. Harry hesitates, and Remus says, “I’m going to tie him up. That’s all, I swear.”
Ropes shoot out of Remus’ wand, tying me up. Even though I know it’s pointless, I struggle against them anyway. Azkaban does not sound very good at all, no matter how alive I am. I don’t want to live a life of agony anymore…a life of soul-less misery.
As Remus helps Ron with his broken leg, I look over at Snape. Still out cold, with a trickle of blood running down the side of his face, he looks so different and yet so alike from a teenager I used to know—a bitter, hard, and ruthless teenager who had lived a hard fifteen years of life, who had discovered a very dangerous secret and had been saved from it by his mortal enemy….
“And two of us should be chained to this,” Sirius indicates me with his foot, “Just to make sure.”
“I’ll do it,” Remus walks over.
“And me,” Ron limps over. He is obviously still feeling very betrayed and wants to make sure I don’t escape from him…not this time. I look at Ron, and look back on happier times, when he was still a young boy and was crying to Molly about his teddy-bear-turned-spider. About times when he would keep me in his room and I would escape, and how he would run around the house trying to find me, laughing as he went. Now that he knows me…This isn’t like that time, his glare tells me.
Sirius conjures manacles out of thin air, then chains Ron and Remus to me. Then we all exit out of the Shrieking Shack, Sirius, Harry, and the comatose Snape in front, Hermione and Crookshanks, the cat that has been plaguing me all year, next, and then me, Ron, and Remus, going along the tunnel sideways, last. Harry and Sirius are speaking quietly, about something sentimental, I’m sure. We get outside, the beautiful full moon casting its silver light over all of us. Wait a moment…full moon…?
Remus goes rigid; then he starts shaking like a storm-blown willow. Hermione gasps. “He didn’t take his potion tonight! He’s not safe!”
Pure, unrestrained horror clutches at my heart and nearly stops it when I realize Remus is chained to me…and Ron. If another person dies on my account….
“Leave it to me—RUN!” Sirius yells at Harry and Hermione, throwing them back. Remus is starting to sprout hair and a snout, his hands curling into razor-sharp clawed paws, his eyes turning from amber to green. He rears, snapping his jaws, tearing off the manacle that binds it to me. Ron and I fall, and I watch in frightened interest as Sirius, in his black dog form, grabs Remus by the throat and drags him away. Remus’ wand is on the ground, just by me…if I can only grab it, I’ll be free. I dive at it, dragging Ron along with me. With a flick and a bang Ron lies unconscious—the blast it took to unchain myself knocked him out. Another bang and Crookshanks flies up in the air and lands several feet away—my revenge for the year.
“Expelliarmus!” Harry yells. The wand flies out of my hand. I transform as he runs towards me, shouting “Stay where you are!”
I’m off, running away into the night, getting as far away from here as possible. As I run, I hear several barks, some ripping sounds, growls, and whimpers. Sometime later there is shouting, running, and a bright light by the lake—but by then I’m already in the Forest and out of sight.

DixieWitch October 15th, 2006 4:24 am

Re: True Courage: A Peter Pettigrew Tale
finally, after many hours and drafts and tears and tearing-hair-out-in-frustration's here, chapter four!!!!!

Chapter Four

Voldemort’s scream of rage—at least the tenth one that night—echoes across the graveyard, chilling me to the bone. His pale, snake-like face livid, he swirls his cloak in more of a fury than any of us have ever seen. Very privately I think it may have gone better if any other enemy of the Dark Lord had been used instead of Harry Potter.
He must have heard through Legilimens, for he turns on me, snarling.
“Have you heard nothing tonight?” he hisses. “Were you too busy whimpering and sniveling over your hand to listen?”
“My—my Lord…forgive me, my Lord…it’s just—”
For the second time tonight he slams me up against his father’s tombstone. The Death Eaters around me snicker cruelly.
“Just what, Wormtail?” he whispers softly. I falter, and he turns his back contemptuously. I am once again reduced to sobbing tears again, stroking my new silver hand.
“So.” Voldemort addresses his followers quietly. “Harry Potter has escaped us yet again. How…unfortunate.”
The Death Eaters shuffle uncomfortably—he has already used the Cruciatus curse on us several times in the past hour. A black-robed, white-blonde-haired man steps forward.
“My Lord, if I may speak…?” Lucius Malfoy’s voice, sounding strangled by fear, is odd on such a stately man. Voldemort nods slowly, spider-like fingers clutching his wand.
“As you well know, I am somewhat…influential…in the Ministry, and Fudge has grown very fond of power. With my assistance, we can disprove anything Potter or even Dumbledore may say. Rita Skeeter has been printing stories regarding the state of Potter’s love of attention and Dumbledore’s sanity…perhaps we…perhaps I…could help hide your return…?”
Voldemort has always liked to work in secrecy and black markets, and I can see it as he weighs it out in his mind. Finally he nods.
“Very well, Lucius. You may go.”
He bows and Disapparates.
“The rest of you—out of my sight!” he waves his hand, and the rest disappear.
He turns, slowly, back to face me.
“Wormtail, Wormtail, Wormtail…I thought we had solved your loyalty issues.” I whimper. “Perhaps we must reeducate you…?” he fingers his wand.
“N-no, my Lord! I assure you, it won’t happen again!” I sob. The first time was enough to haunt my nightmares for nearly fifteen years.
“Once a coward always a weak, scrawny, useless coward, eh, Peter?” a cold voice issues from behind the tombs. I gulp. I know that voice.
“Severus.” Voldemort’s eyes flash. “I was wondering whether you would show….”
“Master.” Snape glides smoothly from his hiding place, bent in a low bow.
“Tell me, Severus, how long have you been hiding back there?”
“You know as well as I, Great Lord, but for Wormtail’s sake, I have been here and enduring his sniveling for about ten minutes.”
“Give me a reason why I should not kill you now, Severus.” His voice seems to even be able to lower the temperature. “It would be such a shame…you were faithful, and very useful…once…”
“I am faithful now, Master.” Both men seem to have forgotten me, which suits me just fine. “I have returned, have I not?”
“But not when I called…not when it was the ideal and due time, which makes all the difference.”
“Allow me to explain, Master. I will tell all.”
Voldemort contemplates this for a moment, “Very well.”
“When you…left us, Master, I am shamed to admit that I was among those who believed you dead. However…a small doubt in my mind remained….I secured a position at Hogwarts, to wait and watch. I gained the trust of Albus Dumbledore…surely you can understand how important this is, Master…and therefore resigned myself to watch events unfold.
“Three years ago, Harry Potter was enrolled at Hogwarts. I am not afraid to admit that my hand was evident in thwarting your plans to steal the Sorcerer’s Stone, Master…as you know, I have a life-debt to James Potter…by protecting Harry, I rid myself of that bond and also renewed and ensured Dumbledore’s trust…”
“A brilliant stroke of genius, Severus, but I’m afraid I still feel a very strong inclination to kill you…what use could you serve me now, now that you’re Dumbledore’s lapdog?”
“A lapdog only on the surface, Great Lord.” Snape counters. “Keep me alive, and you have valuable information at your disposal. Keep me alive, and you can find out more about Dumbledore and Harry…and more about the Order of the Phoenix.”
“The Order?” Voldemort sniffs. “The Order was disbanded thirteen years ago.”
“When Potter escaped you, he made sure that Dumbledore knew at once…and Crouch’s story confirmed it. By waiting an hour, just one hour, Dumbledore had the Order reassembled—at least, he made sure that McGonagall and I were on his side, and refounded the Order—and sent me off to you.”
“That still sends awfully lap-doggish, Severus…how do I know that you are not lying to me?”
“I have dropped the defenses around my mind, Lord…look for yourself, if you wish.” Snape drops on one knee, lank hair swinging. For a moment there is silence as the two men stare, locked eye-to-eye; then Voldemort looks over at me in surprise, as if just noticing I was there.
“Portus,” He points at a broken angel’s wing with his wand. It glows blue, rattles for a moment, then stops.
“Take that Portkey, Wormtail, and await my instructions when you reach the house.” He looks at me flatly, expecting to be obeyed, and I oblige.
The moment I land, flat on my back, back at the Riddle house, something sends a curse at me. I turn and yelp—and am hit square in the chest by another Cruciatus. The leering faces of Lucius Malfoy and Theodore Nott loom in front of me, and I squeak in pain and surprise.
“Hello, Wormtail.” Malfoy sneers. Suddenly I am hoisted up into the air by my ankle, kicking and struggling, with Nott’s shrill laughter in my ears. Something heavy slams into my gut, driving the wind out of me, and Nott is drawing back his fist for another hit. This goes on for quite some time, Nott punching and Crucio-ing, Malfoy holding me up by my ankle, until suddenly Malfoy lets go. I crumple to the floor, sobbing.
“Aw, look at the little baby cry!” Nott s*******.
“Coward.” Malfoy hisses. “Worthless, infantile, slimy coward!”
It’s too much. I get up slowly, wiping blood out of the corner of my mouth. Within moments I’m on Nott, silver hand clamping on his throat.
“Do you know what this hand of mine can do?” I ask him quietly. Fear pops in his eyes, and I grin. For once, I have the upper hand, literally. “It can sever ropes with one swing, and crush tree trunks into powder with one squeeze, when I try. Do you think for one second I would hesitate to crush your scrawny neck to dust when I can?” he shakes his head as best he can, gurgling frantically. I let him go. He scrambles up and Disapparates. Malfoy looks at me with just a touch of respect in the corners of his eyes.
“It would appear that you have a bit of Marauder in you after all, Peter.” I gape. How did he know about the Marauders? Lucius Malfoy was already out of school and most likely married when the Marauders were formed…wasn’t he?
Lucius only smiles in that irritatingly mysterious way and Disapparates. I am left alone, gloriously and comfortingly alone, to nurse my wounds and think.
The Order is reformed…and Voldemort is back. I have a feeling that things are going to get much worse before the end, and now I am caught in a fierce tug-of-war. Last time I was an Order member…but they believe me dead, and a traitor (which, I remind myself, I am, to a certain extent, both of those things). But they would have Harry…and wouldn’t I like to get to know James and Lily’s son more? On the other hand, I had seen them both tonight, and even their echoes had put fear into my heart. The Order of the Phoenix had won last time…but what could I do? I am a worthless, slimy coward, and I know it, am ashamed of it…what can I do?
“Wormtail.” The Dark Lord’s calm voice sounds from the fireplace. “I have an assignment for you….”

DixieWitch October 29th, 2006 10:28 pm

Re: True Courage: A Peter Pettigrew Tale
feedback...PLEASE?!?! >makes goo-goo eyes<

DixieWitch November 16th, 2006 12:38 pm

Re: True Courage: A Peter Pettigrew Tale
chapter five is coming really soon...i just have to type it up....

keep checking, you might find something! ;)

DixieWitch November 20th, 2006 5:45 am

Re: True Courage: A Peter Pettigrew Tale
alright, here it is, typed at ten thirty at night, chapter five!! enjoy!! and remember to post in the feedback thread!!!

Chapter Five

I peek slowly and cautiously around the corner, listening to the voices behind the door.
“That didn’t go over well with him, did it?”
“Stow it.”
“It would appear you’ve fallen out of favor, wouldn’t it, Bella?”
“I told you to shut up. If you need any persuading, Snape, just let me know.”
“Touchy, aren’t we?”
“I’m giving you ten seconds to clear off before I blow your head to tiny bits and feed the rest of you to a dragon.”
“If you insist.”
Snape glides around the door, looks around, and spots me.
“Wormtail. Still up to your old sneaking tricks, eh?”
“Wh-what happened at the Ministry?” I ask, stroking my silver hand. “No one seems to want to talk about it…”
“That’s because it was a disaster.” He says smoothly. “In essence, Potter and his friends smashed the prophecy and escaped, and all but Bella got arrested. Happy?”
I am about to answer when a pock-marked man shuffles up. “The Dark Lord wishes to see you both. Now.” He has a twitchy look, as if he’s just been Crucioed.
Snape nods, and the man stoops away again. Together we set off for the top room in the Riddle house, Snape ahead, me behind, fear starting to clutch at my heart in icy tendrils.
We are met by His snake, Nagini, who hisses at us and slithers as far from us as she can. Snape grimaces at her and pulls the door open.
The Dark Lord is standing before the fireplace, spider-like hands gripping the back of an armchair. Snape sinks gracefully into bow. I follow—less gracefully.
“Severus. Wormtail.” He greets us without turning. “I have an assignment for both of you.” He rotates around, red eyes reflecting the firelight. “I need you both—well, Severus—to go to Spinner’s End for a while. There is a rumor I need you to investigate—one concerning a very powerful magical object hidden in the ruins. I need you there, Wormtail, simply because Severus needs your…talent, as it were.”
I can see the objection in Snape’s eyes, but I know he’d never let Voldemort see it. What need would Snape need of my Animagus form?
“You’ll leave early next week. In a few days’ time, we are going to hold an Initiation Ceremony, and it is important that all of my Death Eaters be there…all of them.” He looks directly at me as he says this. I gulp.
“Wormtail, you may go. Severus, you stay here.” I take the dismissal sullenly and leave. I am tempted to listen at the door, but the Dark Lord would have put an Imperturbable Charm on the door (unlike Snape and Bellatrix). Instead, I content myself with going down to the Little Hangleton bar and thinking.

The days passed quickly. Today is the Initiation Ceremony of the new Death Eater—we are all abuzz about who it could be. We remember our Initiations well—each one was a special horror for each of us. Voldemort has called us down to the graveyard again, to the same site where Harry escaped last year. As if on instinct we form the circle we did last time, whispering and speculating. We fall silent when the Dark Lord steps into the middle of us.
“Draco Malfoy.” Voldemort calls quietly. A tall, pale young fellow steps from behind the grave of Voldemort’s father, a slight smirk playing about his lips. There is more murmuring before He waves his hand and silence falls again.
“Do you swear,” the Dark Lord begins, “To follow the Cause and serve me until your dying day?”
“I do.” Draco smiles a little. I know what he’s thinking—This is easy, way easier than He said it would be. Poor little fool.
“To prove your worth, there must be a test.” Voldemort smiles back. “Rookwood, bring forth the Chosen.”
The pockmarked man walks forward, levitating an unconscious teenage girl. Draco swallows hard.
“For your test…you will use an Unforgivable on the person you hold dearest.” Voldemort’s quiet, cold voice rings loudly in the silence. The Death Eaters cast each other uneasy looks. Some of us remember having to do that same test. I had to do it to the only woman I probably ever loved—Gwen Moondancer. She was a pretty woman, with long, silver-blonde hair and blue eyes. She was the only one outside my friends who was kind to me, and who actually seemed to care about me. I had to use Avada Kedavra, because Voldemort said it was so. It wasn’t worth it, now that I think about it. It never should have occurred to me that it would be worth it. Not if I had to kill her.
Voldemort is speaking again. “The curse you will use will be…the Cruciatus.”
Draco’s eyes move from the girl to Voldemort and back, and he nods slowly. I can almost hear his heartbeat quickening. He draws his wand shakily, as Voldemort revives her. She stirs, opening deep brown eyes.
“Draco?” she asks, looking around, a little disoriented. “What’s going—?”
I could swear I heard him whisper, “I’m sorry” before he yells, in a stronger voice, “Crucio!” She screams, and keeps screaming for about five minutes before Draco cuts it off. She faints with relief, and a few Death Eaters dig around in their ears, speculating on whether or not she woke the Muggles up. The Dark Lord nods, and performs the Oblivious Charm on the girl. Draco sinks to his knees, ashen-grey and sweaty.
“Rest assured, she won’t remember it.” Voldemort sounds almost kind. “He is ready. Prepare the brand.”
A white-hot rod with the Dark Mark on the end is slowly passed to Voldemort. Draco offers up his left forearm, trembling. He screams as the metal touches his bare skin, and is cut off as he masters himself and bites his lip. There is a steady stream of blood coming from his lip by the time the brand is taken away. Voldemort then presses his wand to the fresh burn, giving it color and magic and binding Draco to the service of a Death Eater—now and forever.


DixieWitch November 20th, 2006 5:46 am

Re: True Courage: A Peter Pettigrew Tale
sorry, i know it's not that long, please don't kill me!!!

DixieWitch November 22nd, 2006 6:47 pm

Re: True Courage: A Peter Pettigrew Tale
chapter six coming soon!!

DixieWitch November 24th, 2006 7:52 pm

Re: True Courage: A Peter Pettigrew Tale
oy! this one's a doozy, so be careful! i hope y'all are up to reading an extra-long chapter!! enjoy!!

Chapter Six

The pop of a cork flying out of a bottle reaches my ears as I awake from uneasy sleep. Groggily I make my way downstairs into the dining room of the Riddle House, wondering what there was to celebrate about. Downstairs there is the sound of merrymaking and celebrating, in the center of it all Snape. He swirls a glass of wine, that smug smile I hate so much playing about his mouth, greasy hair swinging.
“What’s going on?” I ask tiredly. I haven’t slept for days. Several Death Eaters turn to face me, as if amazed that I hadn’t heard the news yet.
“Dumbledore’s dead.” A lumpy woman I recognize as Alecto wipes her nose on her sleeve. “Snape killed him.”
A cold feeling starts in the pit of my stomach. “And Draco?”
“Got cold feet.” Fenrir Greyback smiled, showing filthy yellowing teeth. “Would have killed the old man myself if the others hadn’t held me back…”
I ward off several drunken offers of wine and head back upstairs, thinking. So Dumbledore was dead. The Dark Lord’s greatest enemy…vanquished. Nothing stood in his way now, I mused. Pity.
As the news sinks in my tears flood out, tears I hide from the rest of the world. If they saw them, I would die—literally. The one person I had hoped I might gain redemption from was gone. I am alone in a cold world, with nothing left to live for.
But there was something to live for. The eradication of the very man I served. He isn’t even a man anymore—not really. He is a monster, driven by his own dark, evil purposes. What does that say about me, I ask myself. You serve him. You always have, from a few years after you got out of school. Am I as evil and corrupt as he is…?
If I am, I don’t care. I’ve got to get out of here. But how to do it? I can’t just waltz out—that would be suicide. I can’t lie to him. What can I do?
I go back downstairs. Draco is sitting in a corner, face ashen and pale, hands clenching and unclenching. Where can I go? More importantly, where will he go, if he survives Voldemort’s wrath? This time I accept the wine, down it in one swallow, and think some more. If Harry is destined to end Voldemort’s reign of terror…he will have to have some things that the Dark Lord doesn’t have, mercy key among them. Maybe…if I go bearing information…
No. That’s what got me in this mess in the first place. Knowing more than I should. It’s dangerous. It gets people killed. I won’t do it, I won’t!
But what I know…it could be valuable to Harry, valuable to the destruction of Voldemort…I don’t even know where he is…
But Draco might. And taking him with me could save him…that’s it. I’m going. Tonight. And no one is going to stop me. No one.

It is midnight. The sounds of celebration have long since died, and an eerie silence has settled over the house. Voldemort is out on business tonight, and Draco is still alive. If I don’t move now, I never will. Steeling myself, I slip out into the hallway as a rat with a silver paw, wary of Nagini and late-night walkers. I know where Draco’s room is, having cleaned it to make it ready for him. The boy is still the picture of misery, but a little color has been restored to his cheeks. I morph back into my human form and hold a finger to my lips to tell him to be quiet.
“Do you want to live?” I ask him. He hesitates before nodding. “Then you’d best come with me. Trust me.”
“Where?” he asks warily, if a little tiredly. “If you’re leading me to Him—”
“Believe me when I say I’m not.” I grin slightly. “I want to escape Him as much as you do, and there’s only one place where we can be safe. If you want to survive the war, you’ll need to come with me…please.” I plead, trying to keep my voice low. Draco thinks for a moment before he nods.
“Good.” I produce an old picture frame, its picture’s inhabitants long since gone. “Hold on.”
In a rush of howling winds and uncomfortable stomach-rolling the Portkey transports me and Draco to just outside Hogwarts, where the lights are still glimmering and the Dark Mark is still visible—but only just. Draco is shaking, staring at the Dark Mark as if it were the Devil’s shadow out to get him.
“What now?” he asks, voice laced with emotion. “Where do we go now?”
“Now we’ve got to find out the location of the Order of the Phoenix,” I say, “And offer ourselves up. We possess information they’ll probably want—information that will be vital to gain the upper hand and end this war.”
“Yeah, great plan and all, but have you forgotten that we’re Death Eaters?” Draco crosses his arms. “They know that. And I don’t think they’ll be very keen to see a supposedly dead man and a stupid teenager knocking on their front door.”
“It’s worth a shot.” I tell him. “If we get turned away, then that’s it for me—I’m going to kill myself as soon as possible. But you don’t have to. You can go into hiding until the end, or try again. You’re young. Make something of yourself.” I turn away and start down to the road. “For now I’ve got a place in mind where we can stay until we have an idea where we’re going.”
“You mean you have no idea where they even are?” Draco asks incredulously. “What kind of escapee runs and doesn’t know where the people they’re trying to find is? My father—”
“—is in Azkaban and therefore of no use to us.” I dismiss his complaint immediately. Then an idea strikes me. “You’re seventeen, right?”
“Did your father leave you an inheritance of some kind?”
“Do you have the means to receive that inheritance?”
“Yeah, I was supposed to get it when I turned seventeen, but he was in Azkaban then, so I never formally received it.”
“So it’s yours.”
“Then let’s hope it’s enough. We’re going to need it. Are you good with human transfiguration yet?”
“A little. Why?”
“We’re going to need to change our appearances. By this time, the entire Wizarding World will be looking for you because you were with the Death Eaters, and they won’t exactly be overjoyed to see me either.”
“But you can change into a rat, right?”
“But you can’t. You’re going to need to change your hair color—” his hand instinctively flies to his white-blonde hair, “your eye color, and maybe darken your skin a little. You might even need a new face, if you can get your hands on Polyjuice potion…” I notice Draco’s horrified expression. “It’s do or die now, boy. Pick one.”
“I can change my hair.” He said sullenly. “And I can always get a tan by lying in the sun for an hour or two. I don’t know how to change my eyes.”
“I do.” I hold my hand in front of his face. “Wand.”
After performing the charm and giving him dark brown eyes, he takes his wand back and changes his hair to the same shade of brown. I look and survey him critically.
“It’ll have to do for now. I’m going to change into a rat now; I need you to keep me inside your pocket and call for a Knight bus to either your house or Gringotts. Either one is good.” I transform and let Draco pick me up, a look of disgust crossing his face, and squeak indignantly as he shoves me unceremoniously in his robes’ deep inner pockets. There I curl up and go to sleep.

I wake up when I feel Draco scooping me out of his pocket. “We’re here.” He whispers softly. I look and behold a large and stately mansion, obviously the Malfoy Estate, and nod. He puts me back in his pocket and begins walking towards the door. I hear him open the door hesitantly, then shut it quietly. He seems to be tiptoeing up to some room and opening another door. I poke my head out and see that it’s a kind of study—probably Lucius’—and watch as Draco lifts a portrait of the Malfoy family carefully off the wall, revealing a large safe. He twirls the dial a few times, taps it with his wand, and it clicks open. He stuffs several handfuls of Galleons, Sickles, and Knuts into his pockets, shuts the safe, and returns the picture.
Just as quietly he sneaks back outside, careful not to disturb anything, and pulls me out of his pocket.
“Where to now?” he asks, setting me on the ground. I transform again and straighten out my shabby coat.
“I know a man that might know some things in Knockturn Alley…he’s an old friend, and knows that I’m not dead. He might be able to help.” I look back at the house. “Nice place.”
“Not really.” He scowls at it. “It was better when there was a house-elf there, but…never mind.”
“Is your mother a Death Eater?” I ask quietly.
“No.” he runs a hand through his hair. “She’s just related to…to…” he stops. “My mother might know where we can find the Order.” He runs back to the house. I follow.
“Mother?” he calls when we’re inside again. “Mother?”
“Up here.” A thin, heartbroken voice floats down from upstairs, and we trudge up three flights to reach her. Narcissa Malfoy has let herself go to waste since I last saw her—she has withered down to skin and bone, her hair more white than blonde now. She reaches for her son with shriveled hands.
“Draco?” she takes his face in her hands. “Is that you?”
“I’m in hiding right now, Mother.” He grins slightly. “We both are.”
“Both…?” she looks behind him and sees me. I bow a little. She looks at me as if I were a rat again.
“Mother, we needed to ask you…do you know where the Order is?” Draco asks earnestly, not taking his eyes off his mother’s face. She sags a little.
“Not exactly—but I know the general direction.” She whispers something in his ear, which I can hear faintly: “London. Bella’s house.” She gives a whooping cough, clutching at her chest, and nearly falls. Draco moves to catch her, but she supports herself on the rail.
“Go, my son. Take care.” She smiles weakly at her only child and totters back to wherever she was when we came. We leave quietly.
“Did you understand a word she said?” Draco asks me. “London, Bella’s house?” I have been thinking about it for a while. Then I remember something.
“Bella’s maiden name was Black…the same as Sirius’…and if the headquarters is at Bella’s house, then it must be really the Black family’s house, which is—” I clap a hand to my forehead, “Number twelve, Grimmauld Place!”
“Okay…” Draco stands with is arms behind his back, “Where is that?”
“Just take the Knight Bus to the Leakey Cauldron, I know where it is from there.” I transform again and spend the time on the bus brooding.

Draco sets me on the ground in a deserted lot sometime later, and I make sure no one’s watching before transforming again.
“Right,” I straighten myself up, “I think Grimmauld Place is a few minute’s walk from here—only about half an hour, tops—and then we should be free to plead our case.”
Draco does not look pleased at the prospect of walking, but he stoically trudges on beside me until we reach the street that I remember so well from my school days. We stop in the space between numbers eleven and thirteen.
“If I know Dumbledore, he’ll probably make it like the Room of Requirement—you do know what that is, right?” he nods. “Good. It’ll probably be something like ‘the Order of the Phoenix is at Number Twelve, Grimmauld Place’, so concentrate hard on that.”
We do, and a few seconds later Number Twelve blossoms before our eyes. We go up hesitantly. Draco goes to ring the doorbell, but I stop him.
“Sirius’ mother. Just go on in.” I don’t bother to explain myself and open up the door. To my utter surprise it seems pitch-black and empty. Swallowing my fear, I step inside, Draco on my heels, and close the door as quietly as possible. We go a little ways in, treading lightly, until a shaft of light falls on us. Terrified, we stop, fearing we’ve been caught.
But it’s only the light of the guttural gas lamps, automatically coming on to light our way. Barely daring to breathe, we venture in further. There is a wall of house-elves’ heads—I remember it well—before the troll’s leg umbrella stand and the serpentine chandelier. Incredibly, the room that houses these grotesque items is empty.
“Probably on their way to Dumbledore’s funeral.” Draco whispers softly. “A couple of people were talking about it on the bus.”
“We should probably wait here until they come back.” I return. There is an unearthly grumbling from behind me, and I turn to see Draco looking back ruefully, holding his stomach.
“Sorry. The last thing I ate was some of that wine last night.” He notices my strange look. “What?”
“Last night?”
“Yeah. Pathetic, isn’t it?” he shrugged. “Should we raid their kitchen, or what?”
“They probably won’t be back until mid-afternoon at least. Help yourself.” I sit back in a chair that I pulled out from the table. “Just be careful.”
“Of what, dust bunnies and mouse traps?” he asks contemptuously.
“Of traps.” I lean back and close my eyes. “Both for mice and for men.”

After a fitful few hours of sleep Draco shakes me awake.
“They’re coming.” He intones quietly. “We might want to…you know…hide.”
“Upstairs. Quietly and quickly now, and try not to wake the portraits.” We hide ourselves away in a room with a blank canvas on the wall just as someone walks through the front door.
There is the sound of conversation downstairs, and of a great many people entering, then silence. All of a sudden: “What do you see up there, Mad-Eye?”
Sudden panic clutches at my heart—terror I can see mirrored in Draco’s eyes. I forgot about Mad-Eye’s accursed and all-seeing eye.
There’s the sound of Mad-Eye’s wooden leg clumping rapidly up the stairs, then down the corridor. Just as the door opens I pull Draco down, right as a Stunning spell shoots out of the old Auror’s wand. I can hear the sound of Draco yelling “Hold on, don’t—!” before the spell rebounds off the walls and hits me in the back. Blackness closes in, and the last thing I hear is “What the—?”

When I’m finally allowed to come to, I see that Draco and I have been tied up in a very dank and dreary room. Several people stand before us: Remus (who has a look of mixed shock, revulsion, and pity), Mad-Eye (who growls), a young witch with pink hair and a heart-shaped face (who is standing very close to Remus, I notice), a tall, dark-skinned, bald man with a gold earring (who has his wand trained on us), and Professor McGonagall (who is looking more displeased than ever). She’s the one who takes charge and begins asking us questions.
“What are your names?” I look at her, puzzled—she already knows our names—but then I realize that they must have fed us Veritaserum.
“Peter William Pettigrew.” I answer, just as Draco says “Draco Malfoy.”
She seems satisfied. “What are you doing here?” We both start at the same time, and McGonagall holds up her hand. “One at a time, please. Peter first.”
I swallow hard and begin, but I tell more than I wanted them to know. I start from when I first joined the Death Eaters, when I betrayed everyone I knew or cared about, when I went to the Weasleys, when Sirius found me again, when I found the Dark Lord, when I helped him return to glory, when I helped Snape at Spinner’s End. I end with when we came two days ago. By the time I am done several of the people are staring with disgust or shaking their heads. McGonagall nods curtly and goes to Draco. He starts with his initiation, to what he did all last school year, when I came and helped him escape, to when we were Stunned yesterday. She purses her lips.
“What makes you think we really need any of what they know, Professor?” the young woman asks, casting us a glare that was full of hatred. “We could just kill them now. They’re wanted men.”
“None of that, Nymphadora Tonks, or I will personally see to it that you are removed from the Aurors’ society.” McGonagall turns back to us. “She does have a point, though. What makes you think that you know anything we don’t?”
“Do you know where he is?” I ask quietly. “Do you know how he is so powerful, so seemingly immortal? Do you know what he plans to do, with Dumbledore out of the way?” I have her. She hesitates before shaking her head.
“I do. I have eavesdropped and listened and asked questions as other men to find out the answers, and I finally have some of them. I’m sure Draco knows some things, as well. Kill us, and that information is lost. Information you need.” McGonagall hesitates again, clearly thinking hard, before waving her wand. The ropes vanish, and Draco and I stand, rubbing life back into sore limbs. The woman named Nymphadora makes an angry noise.
“You don’t really think they’ll stay harmless, do you?” she asked, fire burning in her eyes. “Sure, they’re under Veritaserum now, but what about later? What about when they have the free will to do and say as they please? They’re Death Eaters, Professor, and they’ll go running back to their master as soon as they learn something that could destroy everything we’ve tried so hard to build!”
“It’s sad,” I begin, “That people are so narrow-minded as to believe that everyone who made a mistake and became something they regret now is basically an evil and backstabbing person.” With that I follow McGonagall out of the room, Draco behind me.
I can hear Remus telling an irate Nymphadora, “He is right, you know. It’s like saying all werewolves are like Fenrir Greyback.” Nymphadora says something back, but I’m too far away to hear her.
“Where are we going, Professor?” I hear Draco ask.
“Someplace safe.” She answers briskly. “Somewhere where we can give you a proper disguise.”
“Polyjuice?” I ask.
“No. Too difficult.” She takes a turn down a corridor and opens up a door. “Transfiguration.”

I haven’t had a full head of hair since I was in my twenties. I look at my reflection in awe, gingerly touching the sandy-colored locks I had when I was a teenager. I look at my face, too, which has been smoothed out of all of the careworn lines and wrinkles I used to have. In short, I look twenty-five again—a time when I was in hiding and no one saw me.
“Almost makes me jealous to look at you, Peter.” A quiet voice issues behind me. I turn and behold my old friend, Remus, who is smiling slightly.
“It does make me jealous to look at you, Remus.” I grin a little. “Was that your daughter?”
“No.” he grimaced. “My girlfriend.”
“Girlfriend?!” I look at him, incredulously. “You look old enough to be her father!”
“Everyone seems to think that way, don’t they?” he crosses his arms. “So. You’re back.”
“Yes.” I clasp my hands behind my back. “I’m back.”
“Finally come around, have you?”
“I suppose.” I look down at the floor. “Sirius here?”
“He’s dead.” He stares at me strangely. “He died a year ago. I thought you would have heard about it, considering…”
“Dead?” I barely manage to choke out. “When did he…? How did he…?”
“The Ministry fiasco.” Remus sighs heavily. “He was dueling Bellatrix Lestrange and fell through the veil.”
I sway and have to grab the dresser to stop myself from falling. I never got to ask him for forgiveness, never got to say goodbye….
“Only two Marauders left, huh, Remus?” I smile weakly. Without quite knowing how it happened I’m hugging Remus, sobbing. “I never meant for anything to happen, for anyone to get hurt, I was just so scared, it’s all my fault, first James and Lily, then Sirius, then Dumbledore…”
Remus is patting my back and saying, “It wasn’t your fault.”
“But it was!” I gulp, fresh tears welling in my eyes. “It was my fault Lily and James died, my fault Sirius was in Azkaban, my fault he had to go into hiding, my fault I wasn’t there when he died, my fault I was on the wrong side when Dumbledore might have needed me, my fault…” the weight of nearly twenty years starts weighing down more heavily. “Dumbledore was the only one who could forgive me for everything!” I sob. “He was the only one who stood in Voldemort’s way! Now he has a clear path to domination and it’s all—my—fault!”
“Peter!” Remus shakes me roughly. “Get a hold of yourself! It wasn’t all your fault that Lily and James died, or that Sirius got sent to Azkaban, or that you weren’t there when he died, or that Dumbledore died! Snape carried information to Voldemort about a prophecy that made him pursue the Potters, Voldemort’s end and the Blacks’ family history is what made the authorities suspect him, Bellatrix killed Sirius, and Snape killed Dumbledore! Don’t you see? Voldemort is the root of all of our problems.” I stare at him, hiccupping slightly.
“And there is hope—Harry is the one that is going to stand up to Voldemort and end his reign of terror! We’re at war, Peter—” I cringe slightly at the word, “And the cavalry has arrived! Even as we speak the Wizarding world is getting ready for an all-or-nothing battle against evil.” His grip on my shoulders tightens. “Are you sure you’re on the side you want to be on?”
I look down, then up in his wheat-colored eyes. “I’m sure.” I smile slightly. “This time around, I’m going to stay on the right side.”
“Good.” He hugs me again. “It’s good to see you again, Peter.”
“You too, Remus.”

good? bad? in between? post your feedback here! as a warning, the next chapter will be the last one...sorry.

i just realized that i said that sirius getting sent to azkaban wasn't peter's now i'm concluding that lupin was trying to make him feel better. sorry.

DixieWitch December 24th, 2006 7:43 am

Re: True Courage: A Peter Pettigrew Tale

DixieWitch February 19th, 2007 5:34 am

Re: True Courage: A Peter Pettigrew Tale
uh oh.

i have just realized that the wedding scene is kinda like the one in another fan fiction on mugglenet fan fiction...but for the life of me, i can't remember its name....

so, if the author ever recognizes it, please forgive my totally accidental plagiarism.

thank you.

DixieWitch October 29th, 2016 3:34 am

Re: True Courage: A Peter Pettigrew Tale
Do you ever have regrets

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