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Old July 18th, 2006, 9:06 pm
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Fourth Year
 
Join Date: 09th October 2005
Location: Denial
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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.


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