FIC: "Revolution and Betrayal" for eeyore9990 Recipient:eeyore9990 Author/Artist:curia_regis Title: Revolution and Betrayal Rating: NC-17 Pairings: Peter/Lucius Word Count: ~10K Warnings: Fascist-type political statements Summary: Peter never meant to betray his friends. He had never meant to become a Death Eater. It just happened. All he wanted to do was to join the Slug Club. All he'd ever wanted to be was like James Potter and Sirius Black. Author's/Artist's Notes: Originally, I thought about writing a Filch/Umbridge PWP. I wrote a couple of hundred words on that before I got hit by this bunny. I had so much fun writing Peter in this; I hope you like it! Thank you so much to aigooism and ragdoll for betaing!
Revolution and Betrayal
Peter was never one of Slughorn's favourites; he never got to be part of the Slug Club. He always reassured himself that he wouldn't want to be part of a club by that name and that, really, it wasn't going to help him much in the future anyway, but he never believed it. When Professor Slughorn went around each year, handing around invitations, Peter always held his breath, but he never got a pat on the shoulder. He was never one of the lucky ones.
"It's not that interesting," Lily reassured him with a kind smile. "I was thinking of not going to the meetings anymore."
"Don't do that because of me," Peter protested. He tried to smile bravely; after all, he was a Gryffindor even if he never felt much like one. "I know that it's an honour. I guess I'm just not smart or well-connected enough." He could feel the smile twist on his face. His friends didn't seem to understand why it was such a big deal for him. Sirius and Remus weren't invited to be part of the Slug Club either, but it never seemed to bother them much. James had gone to a few meetings before gracefully dropping out.
Lily laid a firm hand on his arm. "Don't put yourself down like that," she said quietly. "You are smart."
"But not well connected," Peter said ruefully.
Lily opened her mouth but seemed to reconsider. "Well, no," she admitted. "You aren't. But I know Slughorn plays favourites. It's unfair."
"I know," Peter said. As soon as the words were out of his mouth, he regretted his bitter tone. "It doesn't bother me that much. Really. I promise."
Lily didn't look convinced but she left the topic alone. It was one of the things Peter liked best about her. She knew when to stop prying. Peter watched as she began to gather her books together. "I'm going over to our common room to study Charms with James," she said. "Want to come?"
Peter shook his head. He didn't really want to watch those two bent over their books, heads together, looking cute and loving. He preferred it a few years ago when James and Lily seemed to hate each other. "I need to revise Potions," he said ruefully. "And since I'm already in the library, I thought I'd stay here. It's nice and quiet."
She nodded. "Well, if you change your mind, you know where we are."
Peter watched as she left. He couldn't help but remember the days when she had been in the library almost every day studying with Snape. They had always seemed like they were talking animatedly about something fascinating. Peter had always wished he had those sorts of conversations. Sure, he had James, Sirius, and Remus, but it wasn't the same thing as having a special friend of his own. James and Sirius always ended up dominating the conversation, while Remus seemed happy to sit by quietly.
Snape and Lily had stopped being friends over a year ago, but Peter thought he could still see a sad look on Lily's face whenever they passed Snape in the hallways. Snape, on the other hand, always had a perpetual sneer on his face. Peter scowled. Sodding Snape was also part of the Slug Club.
With a sigh, Peter turned back to his notes.
Peter felt a slight curl of jealousy as he watched Lily leave for yet another Slug Club meeting. He had hoped, after their last conversation, that perhaps she wouldn't go. Still, it wasn't until James stood up and followed her that the clenching feeling in his stomach started.
"Wait up, Lily!" James called out with a big, bright smile on his face that made Peter's heartbeat quicken. He wanted James to smile at him like that. "I'm coming too."
Peter tried not to scowl. James seemed to follow her everywhere nowadays. He barely seemed to have time for Sirius lately. "Bye, James. Have fun!" Peter called out but James didn't reply. . It wasn't so much that James was ignoring him. Logically Peter knew that James was just in love but he still hated it.
Remus gave him a sympathetic look. "We don't see much of James recently, do we?"
Peter nodded. "He's always with Lily." He didn't like how sour his tone sounded. "I mean, I like Lily. We're friends. She's a great girl. But I miss how close we were. The Marauders."
"It was never going to stay like that forever though," Remus said practically. "We're leaving Hogwarts in a month. It's all going to be different after that." There was a pensive look on his face.
"But it would have been nice," Peter said, trying to keep his tone jovial. Inwardly, he couldn't stop the pit of fear that erupted in his stomach. He knew what Remus said made sense. Next month when they got their NEWTs, everything was going to change. James and Sirius were going off to become Aurors. Remus didn't have a job yet, but he was planning on doing an internship in London, and Peter had an internship in the Ministry. The Marauders weren't going to be together for much longer. "We could always stay here at Hogwarts."
"It would be fun for a while," Remus agreed, "but we couldn't stay forever. It would get boring, I'd think."
Peter didn't think so, but he didn't say anything. He had never felt like he belonged anywhere before he became friends with James, and he suspected that he would never belong anywhere again after they all left Hogwarts.
"Are you okay?" Remus asked, sounding concerned. "We're not going to suddenly stop becoming friends or anything!"
"I'm fine," Peter said, forcing a smile. "Of course, we're staying friends. We'll have to have lunch on weekends."
"It won't be like that," Remus said earnestly. "We'll see each other. At least, we'll definitely see each other at James' and Lily's wedding." He grinned.
"Definitely," Peter echoed, ignoring the sharp unpleasant stab of jealousy.
Peter straightened up the parchment on his desk and sighed. He had always hoped to become an Auror like James and Sirius, but he didn't have the grades. Nor the contacts, he thought bitterly to himself. Instead, he ended up with an internship at the Ministry, which mean that he spent most of his time pushing pieces of parchment around his desk. "I've finished," he said to his supervisor, but there was no answer. Peter took it as assent and began to pack up his belongings.
"Another attack," his supervisor said, his voice almost a grunt.
"I know," Peter said. A shiver slid down his spine. The Death Eaters. Everybody seemed to be talking about them nowadays. He knew the war had been going on for years, before he had even started at Hogwarts, but it seemed to be escalating. Almost every week, pictures of dead Muggles appeared in The Daily Prophet. Opinions on who the mysterious Death Eaters were abounded.
"Well, goodbye then," his supervisor muttered, turning back to his work.
Deep in thought, Peter left the Ministry building. The papers all claimed that it was a terrifying age to live in and how nobody was safe. "We're losing this war," one editorial in the Prophet said. Peter couldn't help but agree. He knew firsthand how badly they were losing. There was no organisation within the Order, no leadership beyond Dumbledore, and more importantly, they weren't winning the battles.
Peter gave a start as he almost collided with somebody. Looking up, he stared. "Professor Slughorn!"
Slughorn blinked at him. "Do I know you?"
"My name's Peter Pettigrew," Peter said. "I was one of your students at Hogwarts."
"Oh," Slughorn said. Peter could almost visibly see him losing interest. Slughorn collected students like other people collected cards, and it was obvious that Slughorn believed that he already had the entire collection.
"I'm afraid I wasn't part of your Slug Club, but one of my friends, Lily, was," Peter said hurriedly. He could see Slughorn looking down at his watch.
Slughorn brightened. "Lily Evans? She was one of my favourites," he said. "She was always so bright and so vivacious. And she had some cheek."
"She did," Peter agreed. He remembered how opinionated Lily could be in class. She was never rude, but she had no problem arguing with the teachers. "She's Lily Potter now." She had been for quite a while actually. Peter was surprised that Slughorn hadn't known about the nuptials and Lily's pregnancy.
Slughorn beamed. "She ended up marrying James Potter? Give her my congratulations."
"I will," Peter promised. He hesitated. "You know, I always wanted to be part of the Slug Club."
Slughorn gave him a vaguely sympathetic look. "There were many people who just didn't make the cut," he said. "Many of them were smart, but I wanted the best."
Peter knew all of that. He knew that while he never did badly at school, he never did that well either. He had a perfectly respectable number of OWLs and a few NEWTs. He always tried hard and never failed anything. But he still wasn't good enough. "Maybe I'd have got a better job if I'd been part of your club," Peter said, keeping his voice light.
A strange expression passed over Slughorn's face. "Look here, I was talking to one of my former students a few days ago and he mentioned he was looking for eager young witches and wizards to help him. Some political movement. Here's his card." He pressed a small square into Peter's sweaty hand.
Peter felt a surge of hope at the words. He had never been that interested in politics but the idea of getting to know one of Slughorn's brightest students was too good to pass up. "Thank you!" he said. "I really appreciate it. I've always wanted to get into politics, but I never had the chance."
Slughorn patted him on the arm. "I'm always happy to help a young witch or wizard. I'll see you later, young Peterson."
Peter watched as Slughorn walked off. He had an unsettled feeling in his stomach that he suspected had absolutely nothing to do with the pie he had for lunch. He knew that Slughorn was only happy to help a young witch or wizard when it suited him, and it only suited him when he had something to gain from the encounter. He looked down at the small cream card in his fingers. The name printed on the card was: Lucius Malfoy.
Peter turned the card over in his fingers slowly. It had been a few days since his surprising encounter with Slughorn, and he still hadn't got the courage up to owl Lucius Malfoy yet. He knew that a part of the reason was that he was scared. Terrified, even. He wasn't like James and Sirius who could just go up to anybody and hold a conversation as if they had known each other for years. He wasn't even like Remus who was a great listener. Sometimes, Peter felt like he could tell Remus anything, and Remus would nod and listen. Peter always felt awkward talking to people. Even as a kid he had been scared whenever he talked to other children. It had simply got worse as he got older.
He knew he didn't make a particularly good Gryffindor. A Gryffindor was supposed to be brave but Peter never felt brave. He was always apprehensive even when he owled his friends. It always felt like there was a sword above his head about to drop, and that one day, James and everybody else would wake up and realise that they didn't actually want to be friends with somebody like Peter.
"You can do it," Peter muttered to himself.
The old lady, who was sitting at the table next to him, gave him a dirty look.
Peter cringed. "Sorry," he said quickly. He reached into his pocket and took out a couple of sickles. He dropped them on the table next to his half-finished coffee. It was quite a nice coffee, much better than what he could make at home by himself, but Peter no longer felt comfortable sitting in the cafe.
He stood up and began strolling slowly towards his small flat in Hogsmeade. There weren't many other people in the streets, just a few families with bright-eyed children clutching onto their mother's hands.
The card seemed to weigh down in his pocket. Peter had spent a lot of time thinking about it over the past few days. He knew that the Malfoys were a very influential wizarding family, and there were rumours at Order meetings that they were allied with You-Know-Who.
The rumours might be rubbish, Peter decided. If Lucius Malfoy was one of Slughorn's shining stars, then there was no way that Malfoy could be dabbling in the Dark Arts.
He shivered. The Dark Arts. The idea of evil wizards practicing the Dark Arts had haunted his nightmares ever since Peter was a child. Yet there was something strangely thrilling and enticing about them. Dark witches and wizards were almost universally agreed to be powerful and terrifying.
"A plague upon the wizarding population," his father had said harshly.
It must be wonderful to be so powerful, Peter thought wistfully. He had made the mistake of voicing that thought once and only once. He still had marks on his backside from where his father had caned him. Peter had cried and said that caning was a horrible barbaric Muggle punishment, but his father had simply looked coldly down at him and told him that he deserved it.
Lucius Malfoy couldn't be practicing the Dark Arts, Peter told himself firmly as his fingers toyed with the card in his pocket. There was no harm in contacting him.
Peter was surprised when Lucius was so friendly. He had expected the other man to be rather pompous and arrogant, but Lucius displayed none of those traits. Peter had sent a rather timid owl to Lucius, which mentioned the card he had got from Slughorn. Lucius had responded the next day with a friendly message. The next thing Peter knew, they had organised to meet at a small cafe near the Ministry.
Peter felt slightly guilty that he really didn't want to join this political organisation, whatever it was. He was already sick of all the Order meetings he had to go to. He didn't want to be part of another group. But, he reasoned, he could always meet with Lucius. It couldn't hurt and it could definitely help his career prospects if he had a contact as influential as Lucius Malfoy.
He had expected Lucius to start talking politics immediately, but to his surprise, Lucius seemed genuinely concerned about him. Peter couldn't remember the last time somebody else had shown such an interest in him. "I don't think my work's that fascinating," he admitted.
"Nonsense," Lucius told him. "Our Ministry is built on interns. Some of the interns I've known have been far smarter and far more efficient than those higher up."
Peter had to agree. His supervisor seemed to barely do any work. Sometimes, Peter found himself filling out paperwork that his supervisor ought to have filled out. "But we get paid a pittance compared to everybody else," he said bitterly.
Lucius gave him a sympathetic look. "I understand completely," he said. There was a wry twist of his lips. "I know you must be thinking that I really can't understand. After all, I'm a Malfoy. I have an inheritance that's probably more than you'll ever earn."
"Well, yes," Peter admitted. He hadn't quite been thinking about it that way, but he really didn't think Lucius Malfoy would ever have any problem getting a job.
"I've seen plenty of good witches and wizards rejected from positions that they were more than qualified for," Lucius said firmly. "I believe you might know Severus Snape? He was rejected for a Potions position. Instead, that job went to a Muggle-born."
"Lily," Peter said softly. He remembered when she had got that position. He had been quite surprised actually. She had always enjoyed Charms more and she had never shown any great desire to go into Potions. He had always suspected it might have been unconsciously a vindictive move on her behalf given that she knew how much Snape wanted the job.
Lucius gave him a probing look. "You know her." It wasn't a question.
"Yes," Peter said. "I've known her for several years. She's married to one of my best friends."
"I'm sure she's a lovely person," Lucius told him. "And I'm sure I don't have to tell you that Snape can be a bit brusque at times. But you know as well as I do that when it comes to potions, there's nobody as good as he is."
Peter wrinkled his nose. He didn't want to admit it, but Lucius was right. Snape was a right bastard at times, but he was excellent at potions. Lily had even said, at times, that Snape seemed to know more about the subject than she was. It wasn't as though she was bad at the subject; it was simply that Snape was better and everybody knew it. "I guess," he said cautiously. "You said they went for the same job?"
Lucius nodded. "And she got it, not him. You can't tell me that it doesn't make you angry. The best witch or wizard for the job. That's how it's supposed to work. Don't you want to know how you ended up in your job?"
Peter frowned. He had always thought that it was because his grades weren't good enough to become an Auror. He hadn't passed the psych profile anyway. "I thought..." he started hesitantly. "Maybe I'm not smart enough for a better job?"
"That's what they want you to think," Lucius told him vehemently. "You are smart, Peter. You've just been passed over. Like many other purebloods, you're passed over for somebody who is more politically correct. Think about it."
Peter's brow creased. But what about people like James and Sirius? They were in the Auror Program now and they were both purebloods. In fact, now that he thought about it, Snape was a half-blood.
"Of course, there will always be a few purebloods who get in," Lucius said. "The ones with the right opinions. Not much of a meritocracy, is it?" He gave Peter a meaningful look.
Over the next few days, Peter could think of nothing else. He barely managed to do any work. Instead, he turned his quill over and over in his fingers, staring at it and the blank parchment in front of him. Was he rejected for something other than his grades? Was that the reason why he hadn't been able to get the results of his psychiatric profile?
Peter found himself owling Lucius asking to meet him. He wanted to talk more about it. Peter gave a wry smile. For somebody who had never been interested in politics, he was very interested now. He wanted to know more. At the pit of his stomach, there was an uneasy feeling about all of this, but Peter quashed it. "You sounded so positive last time that purebloods were being discriminated against," Peter said. He laughed. "It's almost like a conspiracy theory."
He had expected Lucius to laugh along with him, but Lucius didn't. "That isn't a bad way to describe it," Lucius said softly. "A giant spider web of a conspiracy, run by none other than Albus Dumbledore."
That uneasy feeling was back. Peter swallowed. "Dumbledore?"
Peter felt a thrill go through him as Lucius gave him a meaningful look. "I'm part of an organisation," Lucius said softly. "An organisation that means to bring about change to the wizarding world. We're going to break the conspiracy."
The pieces suddenly clicked and Peter's eyes widened. He could have kicked himself for not realising earlier. It had been so obvious in Lucius's distaste for Muggle-borns and the wizarding political system. The Order had been right all along. "You-Know-Who," he breathed out. "You're a Death Eater."
Lucius gave him a look of warning and then winked. "I'm part of an organisation that wants to instigate change, peacefully."
With a shiver, Peter remembered the last pictures on The Daily Prophet of the victims of Death Eaters. Their eyes were glassy and their mouths hung open. The Prophet had elected to use unmoving photographs because of the viciousness of the scene, but somehow Peter felt that the stillness made it worse. They looked so clearly dead and unmoving. It was the stuff of nightmares, yet right now, he was standing in front of somebody who all but admitted to being one of them. Peter knew that he should be running away. He should be going straight to the Ministry and reporting Lucius Malfoy as a Death Eater who had just tried to recruit him. He'd always wondered how Death Eaters did their recruiting, but now he knew. They targeted people. People like him.
"You should come along to one of our meetings," Lucius said with a smile. "We have a rally next week. You can hear our leader speak."
Their leader. Peter felt like he was in a dream. This couldn't be happening. He had always thought that this kind of conversation took place in a dark alleyway under the light of the full moon. Instead, they were sitting in Lucius's sitting room sipping tea and eating biscuits. The sky outside was a brilliant blue. It just didn't feel right. Peter felt as though there ought to be drums or something. "What if I say no?" he asked quietly.
Lucius surprised him with his response. "You don't have to come. I'm not saying that we couldn't use somebody like you. We definitely could, but you don't have to do anything you don't want to do."
Peter frowned. "Do you want me to go?"
"Why?" Lucius laughed. "We still can be friends even if we don't share the same political views."
Peter felt a warmth slide through him. Lucius said that they were friends. He knew that friends ought to support one another. He wanted to support Lucius in his beliefs. "I guess I could go once," he said cautiously.
"Only if you want to," Lucius said. "But I do think you'll enjoy it. You might even find yourself wanting to join us."
Join the Death Eaters? The very thought made Peter's blood run cold. What would James think? What would Sirius think? "I don't think I will," he admitted. "But I will come along."
Lucius grinned. "Don't go making up your mind too soon," he said. He reached over for the teapot. "More tea?"
"Please," Peter said and watched Lucius refill his cup. He picked up his teacup with slightly trembling fingers and sipped the fragrant tea.
"Our world is poised on the brink of extinction! The filth of Muggle contamination is everywhere. The likes of Albus Dumbledore claim that Muggles are our friends. Our friends! They've spent centuries hunting us down, and now we're supposed to turn a blind eye and extend the hand of friendship! My friends: Albus Dumbledore is an old man. He is deluded. The Muggle world will swallow us whole, and the likes of Dumbledore will stand by and cheer. To be a wizard is to be strong but the Muggles are making us weak!"
"Purity through blood!" The sound of the crowd's shout thrummed through Peter's veins. The world seemed clearer, and everything that You-Know-Who was saying made sense. It was difficult for Peter to believe that he was in the presence of one of the most wanted men by the Ministry. He had only come today to please Lucius, but now that he was here, Peter was glad that he'd come.
The man up there on the podium had such charisma. It felt as though he was speaking straight to Peter, as though they were in a private room together.
"While half-bloods and Mudbloods reign in our world, we will never be given a chance. Dumbledore talks about affirmative action. I call it discrimination, plain and simple! The best jobs are given to those of impure blood all in the name of fairness. I ask you, how is that fair? How is it fair to give jobs to those who do not deserve it?"
Peter felt the words of the speech flow over him like a never-ending wave. He barely heard the individual words but he got the message. It wasn't his fault that he was stupid and that he never got into the Slug Club and that he never seemed to screw up the courage to ask James out. It wasn't his fault that James had ended up liking Lily. It wasn't his fault that he was gay. It wasn’t his fault. With the chant, Peter felt as though the failures of an entire lifetime were being absolved.
He glanced over at Lucius who gave him a knowing smile and a wink that made Peter's skin tingle. Snape simply looked bored. He seemed to be scribbling potions ingredients in a textbook.
"Don't mind Severus," Lucius whispered into his ear, his breath tickling slightly. "He's always like that."
Peter felt a bubble of resentment in his stomach. Lucius talked about Snape with such familiarity. He wanted Lucius to talk about him like that. "I know," he said. It was thrilling how close he was to Lucius.
Lucius gave him a sly smile. "How about we go elsewhere?"
Peter's heart almost stopped. He managed to nod and follow Lucius out of the crowded room. As soon as they were out of the wards, the sound of the cheering stopped abruptly.
"Finally," Lucius said, giving him a warm smile. "It's always so noisy in there. I like it much better when it's quieter, don't you?"
"Yes," Peter said in surprise. He thought he was the only person who felt that way. James and Sirius always enjoyed noisy bars and clubs. Even Remus had seemed to enjoy them on occasion. He smiled up at Lucius. It was strange how in tune they seemed to be.
"We could go and get something to eat," Lucius suggested.
"That sounds wonderful," Peter said as his stomach growled. He gave a sheepish smile. "I'm a bit hungry."
Lucius smirked at him. "I know of a perfect place."
Peter could barely concentrate on his food. It was really nice food. In fact, it was one of the fancier places in Hogsmeade, but Peter's mind couldn't help focusing on the fact it felt as though Lucius was flirting with him. That and the fact Lucius was a Death Eater made the oysters in his mouth taste like ash.
"Is there anything wrong?" Lucius asked, looking concerned.
Peter shivered as Lucius laid a warm hand over his own. "Nothing," he said.
"I know that was a little much to take in," Lucius said. "It can be a bit overwhelming."
Peter nodded, not trusting himself to speak. They were in far too public a place for him to voice his questions, his concerns, and his doubts.
Lucius gave him an anxious look. "I can trust you with my secret, can't I?" He grasped Peter's hand tightly. "We're friends. We keep each other's secrets."
"Of course," Peter managed to get out, his voice sounding strangled. He put his fork down on the plate, unable to eat any more. He gave Lucius an apologetic smile. "I'm afraid I didn't turn out to be that hungry after all."
"Don't worry," Lucius said softly. There was a meaningful gleam in his eyes. "There are different types of hunger and sometimes they must all be satisfied."
Peter gaped at him. "What do you mean?" He could have kicked himself for sounding like an idiot. What if Lucius wasn't flirting with him? What if this was all some sort of giant plot to get him to join You-Know-Who? Peter laughed silently. Even he had to admit that seemed rather far-fetched. There was no reason for You-Know-Who to recruit him. None whatsoever. He was positive that You-Know-Who would be recruiting far more useful agents.
"I think you know what I mean." Lucius's voice was a low purr. "I like you, Peter. I like you a lot."
Peter could almost hear his hear hammering in his chest. He couldn't believe that he was hearing this from Lucius Malfoy of all people. He had only known Lucius for a couple of weeks and they had only met a few times, but now ... Lucius seemed to be propositioning him. At the back of his mind, he remembered reading once that Lucius was betrothed or married, but he forgot all about that when Lucius leaned closer.
"Do you like me, Peter?" There was a vulnerability in Lucius's eyes. Peter could tell that Lucius was trying to hide it, which made it all the sweeter.
"Yes," Peter gasped. "I do." It felt like such a relief to say that. He had found himself attracted to Lucius from the very first time he laid eyes on the older man. He just never thought he would have a chance with him. He thought it would be like James all over again.
"Good," Lucius said firmly. The heat in his gaze made Peter shiver. "I think we can go somewhere else, don't you? For a different type of food."
Peter had never felt anything like this before. He couldn't believe that he was in the small Leaky Cauldron room with Lucius Malfoy. There was a knowing look on Lucius's face, and it was with a deep certainty that Peter knew what was about to happen. It was finally going to occur. He took a small step forward.
"You're shy," Lucius said, his voice silky. There was nothing of the vulnerability in his gaze any more. Instead, Peter felt as though he was a bowl of milk being eyed by a hungry cat. "How old are you, Peter?"
Peter shivered at the way Lucius said his name. "Old enough," he managed to get out. He could feel himself hardening beneath his robes.
Lucius gave him an intense look. "You have that look about you. Fresh out of Hogwarts."
Peter could almost imagine Lucius licking his lips. "A few years ago actually," Peter said, almost panting with anticipation. "I'm twenty, almost twenty-one."
"The best age," Lucius said as he reached forward to run the tip of a perfectly manicured fingertip over the tip of Peter's erection that was jutting out of his robes. Peter shuddered. "Young enough to be innocent, yet still knowledgeable."
Peter shuddered and with a supreme effort managed to not embarrass himself by coming on his robes. "That feels good," he gasped.
Lucius's eyes gleamed. "I want you to take off your robes."
"My robes?" Peter repeated, blinking. He suddenly felt unreasonably nervous. He knew that his body wasn't that desirable. Plenty of girls at Hogwarts had told him that. He hadn't been interested in them, but it still hurt that they considered him unattractive.
Lucius raised an eyebrow. "You didn't imagine we could do this with clothes on?"
Peter laughed nervously. "O-Of course not," he stammered. His eyes almost bugged out of his head as Lucius reached down and began to unbutton his own robes.
"Perhaps I should go first," Lucius told him with a wink. Peter was mesmerised by Lucius's pale, almost delicate, hands undoing each button slowly. He inhaled sharply as he realised that Lucius was naked under his heavy robes. "Come closer," Lucius ordered.
Obediently, Peter found himself stepping forward, his eyes fixed on Lucius's half-erect cock. He licked his lips and could almost imagine what it would be like to wrap his lips around Lucius's cock, to suck on it, to try to take in as much as he could until he gagged, to taste the salt of Lucius's come on his tongue, and to hear Lucius's moans. "May I?" Peter asked nervously as he reached out a hand. He had never touched another man's cock before even though he had imagined it many times. Sometimes, when he was in the showers, Peter would look over at James and imagine what it would be like to run his fingers over James's rock hard cock. Often, Peter found himself having to wash quickly and then run into the toilet to wank off silently.
"I'd prefer you kneel," Lucius told him.
Peter felt himself getting harder at the thought. Awkwardly, he got down on his knees. Lucius's cock was at eye-level.
"You haven't done this before, have you?" Lucius asked, amusement tinging his voice.
"No," Peter said, feeling ashamed. He had imagined this scenario so many times that he thought that when he got here, he would be all over the other man. But now that he was kneeling, he just wasn't sure what to do. He didn't want to embarrass himself.
Lucius laughed, but it wasn't a hurtful, malicious laugh. "Such innocence," he said softly. "I want you to come forward. Use your tongue and make sure you mind your teeth."
Peter moved forward a few centimetres. He reached up to touch the skin of Lucius's cock. It felt similar to his own, actually, which made him feel more confident. He was in possession of one of these as well. He knew what to do. He wrapped his fingers around the base. Leaning forward, Peter stuck out his tongue experimentally and licked the top of Lucius's cock. He felt the warm glow of pleasure as Lucius moaned.
"Very good," Lucius breathed out. "You're learning."
Emboldened, Peter opened his mouth. Lucius reached down to place a hand at the back of Peter's head, guiding him forward. Peter could feel his heart hammering in his chest as his lips enclosed around Lucius's cock. It felt so strange in his mouth, so strange that Peter almost wanted to stand up, make his excuses and walk away.
"That's it," Lucius said, "use a bit more tongue."
Peter found himself bobbing his head backwards and forwards. He was beginning to enjoy this. He could almost imagine what it would look like from Lucius's perspective. Lucius would see nothing but the top of his sandy hair, but he would feel a warm, wet mouth enclosed around his cock, sliding back and forth. With a groan, Peter reached down and lifted up his own robes. He wrapped his hand around his cock.
"Naughty," Lucius said, his voice teasing. "If you do that, I won't be able to do anything later."
Peter tried to explain that, yes, Lucius could definitely still do something later because he had a remarkably quick recovery time, but as he tried to draw his head back, Lucius kept his hand firmly at the nape of his neck.
"I thought I could do that for you, later when I'm fucking you into that bed over there."
Involuntarily, Peter found his eyes darting to the bed. Almost guiltily, he removed his hand from under his robes. He was so very hard now that it was hard not to just buck his hips up so that his cock brushed against the silky fabric of his robes. It was hard not to stand up and grind his hips into Lucius's and feel that hard, hard cock against his own. Now, he had a vivid image of Lucius bending him over the bed, preparing him, fingers teasing his cock...
It almost surprised Peter when Lucius laid a hand on his shoulder to stop him from continuing.
"Am I doing it wrong?" Peter asked quickly through slightly swollen lips. He swallowed. He hoped he wasn't. From the hardness of Lucius's cock, he thought that he was doing the right thing, but now he wasn't sure.
Lucius gave him a lazy, almost predatory smile. "If you continue, then we won't be able to have our other fun."
Peter gulped. Oh yes, the other fun.
"Now, I want you to take your robes off for me."
Peter pushed himself up off the floor. He wobbled slightly as he stood up but then steadied himself. Almost automatically, he found himself unbuttoning his robes. They were slightly stretched where they were covering his erection. Peter blushed.
Lucius had a gleam in his eyes. "Now, the real fun begins."
Peter couldn't believe it. He was in what seemed like a relationship with Lucius Malfoy. He didn't want to say the word relationship in case it scared Lucius off. He didn't even want to think it. It felt so surreal. Lucius was wonderful to him. When Peter was in a small spot of financial difficulty, Lucius gave him the money, no questions asked. Peter had to admit that the financial difficulty was directly attributable to the amount of unpaid leave he had recently taken off work to spend with Lucius, but still, Lucius didn't have to do that.
And of course, there were the presents. Peter's parents had never been generous with him when he was a child and once Lucius had found that out, Peter found himself showered with presents. There was the brand new broomstick that Lucius gave him, but there were also the small things. The first time Peter had woken up to find breakfast on the bed next to him and a note from Lucius, he had felt like his heart would burst with happiness.
"This is wonderful," Peter breathed as he leaned over to kiss Lucius.
Lucius simply smiled and handed him a small wrapped box.
"Another gift? You didn't have to." Peter couldn't help himself as he tore open the wrapping paper. Inside there was a beautifully made quill. "It's gorgeous."
"I wanted to," Lucius assured him firmly. "I like buying things for you."
"And I like spending time with you," Peter said, blushing. He still felt sometimes like he was waiting for something horrible to happen. It was as though he couldn't believe that he had Lucius. Of course, the sex was also fantastic.
Lucius winked at him, almost as if he could read Peter's thoughts. "Bedroom?"
Peter shuddered as Lucius's skilful hands did their work. There was a rather sticky, uncomfortable patch underneath him and he could feel himself sinking into the euphoric post-orgasm state. Behind him, he could hear Lucius panting as his thrusts quickened. Lucius's hair tickled his face as he pressed into him. They had been doing this for the past few months. Almost three months actually. Peter hadn't managed to see his other friends much in the last few months, except when Lily had her baby. But he didn't mind much. Lucius was enough for him.
Lucius moaned and Peter could feel him shudder slightly. A few seconds later, Lucius lifted himself up and grabbed his wand. There was a tingling feeling, and then everything was clean.
"That was wonderful," Peter said. He pushed himself up and turned over to look at Lucius.
"It was," Lucius said.
Peter frowned. There was a strange look on Lucius's face. It was almost pensive. "Is there anything wrong?" he asked fearfully. Perhaps Lucius was growing tired of him? Perhaps he did something wrong? He knew that the fact Lucius was a Death Eater was a sore point between them. Peter still didn't know whether he ought to be doing something about that. After all, he was an Order member. He should be reporting this to Dumbledore. Yet, that would betray Lucius, and Peter didn't want to do that either.
"You've been to quite a lot of our rallies and meetings now," Lucius began slowly.
Peter nodded. He had even enjoyed going, which had surprised him. He had always imagined the Death Eaters to be a group of horrible, evil witches and wizards, but instead they seemed perfectly normal.
Lucius looked as though he was thinking very hard. "I didn't want to ask you this," he said hurriedly, "because I know your opinion on it."
"Ask me what?"
"The Dark Lord has noticed you at some of these meetings. He asked me whether I thought you would make a good Death Eater." Lucius held up a hand. "Don't be mad."
"What did you say?" Peter wasn't sure what response he wanted. He could feel his hands shaking. He knew the last couple of months had been leading up to this moment.
"I said you would," Lucius said. "And the Dark Lord has invited you to join us."
"To join the Death Eaters?" Peter couldn't help the squeak in his voice. "I..."
"Don't say no, just yet," Lucius said quickly. "Think about it. Promise me that."
Peter stared into Lucius's intense gaze and knew he couldn't say no. "I promise," he said. "I'll think about it."
Peter didn't think he would actually spend that much time thinking about the offer. After all, the logical answer was obvious. He couldn't say yes. But somehow, he found that he couldn't stop thinking about it. He didn't want to be a Death Eater. He just wanted to be Lucius's friend and his lover. Peter knew that he should have immediately stopped seeing Lucius as soon as he had been positive that Lucius was a Death Eater, but he couldn't.
He felt something with Lucius that he hadn't felt with anybody else. He had thought that at school, with the Marauders that he had friends, but now he knew what true friendship truly was. Lucius had listened to him when he had complained about his dead-end job and had promised to help. Lucius had shown him the beauties of his ancestral home and had taken him to restaurants where the meals had cost more than his monthly salary. When Peter's broomstick had needed repairing, Lucius had bought him one immediately, no questions asked. Peter had fervently promised to pay him back but Lucius had refused his money.
"What're you thinking about?"
Peter was jerked out of his daze by Sirius's sharp comment. "Nothing," he said quietly.
Sirius rolled his eyes. "We haven't seen you for weeks and now when we do see you, you spend the entire time staring off into space."
Peter opened his mouth to give an angry retort but then closed it again. It wasn't his fault that he hadn't seen the others for weeks. Last time he had tried to talk to James and Sirius, they were busy with their Auror duties. He had seen Remus three weeks ago, but it had been an awkward lunch. They had spent the entire hour talking about meaningless things. Peter had wanted to tell Remus about his relationship with Lucius, but he had lost the courage every time he tried.
"You're being so secretive," Sirius continued.
Did he suspect? Peter felt cold. He didn't know what his friends' reactions would be. He hadn't done anything wrong. He was just seeing another man who happened to be Lucius Malfoy.
"D'you have a girl?" Sirius asked, with a grin. "You can tell us!"
A rush of relief washed over Peter. "No, of course not," he protested. "I'd tell you guys in a minute if I got a girl."
Sirius laughed. "Of course you would."
Peter frowned inwardly. What did Sirius mean by that? Lately, whenever he had spoken to Sirius, it felt as though every comment out of Sirius's mouth was designed to be denigrating towards him. "What's that supposed to mean?"
Sirius looked surprised. "Don't get your knickers in a twist, Peter. I didn't mean anything."
Peter pursed his lips. He didn't believe him, but from the look that Remus and James were giving them, he knew he had no choice. "Sorry," he said quickly. "Work's just been hard lately." It was a lie, of course. His work was always laughably easy.
"Don't worry about it," Remus said sympathetically.
Peter couldn't help thinking that if he had lied so obviously to Lucius, he would have picked up on the lie immediately. Lucius seemed to know him better than the other Marauders did and that shocked Peter. He looked over at where Sirius and James were laughing together. Lucius would never ignore him like that. Lucius would never make snide comments about his ability to get girls.
Lucius had offered him the opportunity of a lifetime. "It's the chance for you to become somebody great," Lucius had told him. "You know we're winning. Don't you want to be on the winning side?"
He did. There was nothing Peter wanted more than to win. He stood up abruptly and pushed his chair back with a scrape. "I have to go," he said quickly. There was a sour feeling in his stomach. Would they ask where he was going? Peter wasn't sure if he wanted to lie to them again.
He was both relieved and disappointed when they simply waved at him. "Have fun," Remus called as he walked away.
"Are you sure?"
Peter stared up at the dark, intense eyes of Riddle. He had never been more positive of anything in his life. He needed this. "Yes, my lord," he whispered.
There was a burning sensation on the exposed skin of his left arm. Peter gritted his teeth as beads of sweat rolled down his face. He hadn't known that it was going to hurt this much. He focused in the distance and tried to forget the pain, tried to forget the fact he was kneeling, and more than anything, tried to forget the intense humiliation of being Peter Pettigrew. He was always the least useful Marauder. He wouldn't have even made friends with them if it hadn't been for Remus feeling sorry for him back in first year. He suspected that by himself, James and Sirius wouldn't have given him the time of day. Peter gritted his teeth found himself focusing on Snape who was standing in the back. There was an inscrutable expression on Snape's face.
And then, almost as suddenly as it had started, the pain stopped.
Awkwardly, Peter pushed himself off the cold stone floor. His legs felt rubbery and weak. He didn't want to look at his left arm. He knew what it was. He knew exactly what it represented. Looking up, he saw Riddle waving a dismissive hand at him.
Peter knew it was his cue to leave. He tried to catch Lucius's eye but couldn't. Lucius seemed to be looking at something in the distance. As Peter walked closer, it seemed that Lucius was whispering in the ear of a pretty witch. Peter felt a curl of jealousy in his stomach. "I'm one of you now," Peter said. He resisted the urge to stare at the witch.
Lucius turned slowly towards him. "You are," he said, his voice cold. "We've been wanting to get a source near Dumbledore for a while now."
Peter seemed to stop breathing. The world spun around him and his legs wobbled. "Near Dumbledore?"
"That's what I said," Lucius told him, his eyes gleaming. "You're perfect for our purposes."
But, what about me? Peter wanted to shout. He thought that the Death Eaters had wanted him. He had thought that Lucius had wanted him. But, as always, he was wrong. "Your purposes?" Peter repeated, knowing perfectly well that he sounded like a parrot.
Lucius sneered. "You didn't actually believe I liked you, did you? A snivelling coward like you?"
Peter tried to clamp down on his emotions to stop them from playing over his face like they always did, but from the pitying expression that crossed the witch's face, he didn't succeed. "Of course not. Don't be ridiculous." He only just managed to stop his voice from shaking.
Lucius snorted. "You did? How sweet."
Peter gritted his teeth and refused to let Lucius have the satisfaction of seeing how hurt he really was. Now that he thought about it, it was absolutely ridiculous that he could have ever thought a man like Lucius Malfoy could fall for somebody like him. After all, he was short, chubby, and decidedly unattractive.
"I could never be attracted to somebody like you," Lucius told him flatly.
Peter wanted to ask why Lucius did this to him. He wanted to know how he could have shared so much with somebody and have it turn out so wrong. He wanted to know what Lucius had to gain from all of this and how Lucius managed to fake it while they had sex. The questions bubbled up in his throat but he swallowed. "I'm leaving."
Lucius shrugged. "Just be here tomorrow." He turned back to the pretty blonde haired witch and whispered something in her ear. She giggled and shot Peter a look.
This was worse than when James had started dating Lily. This was worse than when he was never picked for Junior Quidditch. This was even worse than the first time he was rejected by a boy he had liked. As Peter turned and started walking away, it felt like with every step, he was stepping on the shattered remains of a relationship that never was. The Dark Mark throbbed on his left arm as a constant reminder of what he had just done for Lucius.
A wave of guilt swamped him. He'd betrayed everything that he had ever held dear. He'd betrayed Gryffindor, his parents, and everybody. He could imagine the look of accusation in his father's eyes and his mother's tears. They didn't deserve this. They didn't deserve to have a Death Eater as a son.
But that's what he was now.
A Death Eater.
Peter convulsively clutched at his left arm and tried to scratch the mark away but he only succeeded in drawing blood. It trickled down his arm and stained his robes, much like the stain on his soul.
"You want me to betray James and Lily?" Out of all the horrible things Peter had imagined, this hadn't been one of them. He had steeled himself to betray Dumbledore, to betray the Ministry, to betray Hogwarts, but he didn't think of his friends. "I can't. I won't!"
"Would you care to tell the Dark Lord that?" Lucius smirked and folded his arms across his chest.
Peter could help staring at Lucius's fingers. Those same fingers had stroked him to completion only a day before. They had brought him to the edge of orgasm, only to pull back and make him beg for it. They had made him scream with both pleasure and pain, and now Peter knew with absolute certainty that Lucius was doing the exact same thing to another hapless recruit. The smirk on Lucius's face told him that Lucius knew exactly what he was thinking about. "No," Peter said, his voice hollow.
"My sources tell me that you will be made their Secret Keeper," Lucius told him. "Not now, but soon, they will realise their danger."
"What?" Peter felt irrationally relieved. That was never going to happen. James and Lily were safe. He couldn't betray them if he wasn't made their Secret Keeper, and he was going to do his best to ensure that didn't happen. Already he was mentally making sure that he wouldn't have to see them for the foreseeable future.
"You will accept this position," Lucius told him.
"Of course," Peter lied.
Lucius simply gave him a knowing look.
"I will accept the position if I'm offered it," Peter snapped. "What more do you want me to do?"
"Nothing," Lucius said smoothly. "Your task is very simple. Even you couldn't screw it up, Pettigrew."
"Fine," Peter said, his voice curt. "Can I go now?"
Lucius waved a dismissive hand. As Peter left, he vowed that he wasn't going to see James and Lily again. He wasn't going to hurt them if he could help it. In any case, they weren't going to make him the Secret Keeper. Not while they had Remus and Sirius. For the first time, Peter was glad that he wasn't that close to either James or Lily any more.
Peter's carefully constructed plan to stay away from his friends came unravelled the following month when he opened his door and found Sirius and James standing at his doorstep. "I'm sorry, but I'm really busy," Peter said quickly and tried to close the door. Sirius stuck his foot out and held the door open.
"Yes, apparently," Sirius said sarcastically. "Too busy to return our Floo calls and owls. So what are you doing that's keeping you so occupied?"
"Just... stuff," Peter said, cursing himself that he hadn't thought of a better alibi. "Look, I'm sorry but you can't come in. I'm in the middle of something."
His words had no effect on Sirius who simply barged in past him and into the small kitchen. James gave him an apologetic expression as he went past. "Sorry," he muttered. "But this is important, I promise."
"Very important," Sirius said flatly when they were all seated around Peter's rickety old wooden kitchen table. "Due to recent... threats, James and Lily are going into hiding. We want you to be the Secret Keeper for them."
"You want me to be the Secret Keeper?" Peter repeated, unable to keep the squeak out of his voice.
Sirius snorted. "You seem surprised," he said dryly.
"Sirius!" James said sharply, shooting a look in his direction. He then turned back to Peter. "Look, I know that this comes as a surprise, but we know that Voldemort is planning an attack on us soon. We need to hide. All three of us, including baby Harry."
"Why me?" Peter managed to get out. Inwardly, he was panicking but he knew he couldn't let any of his emotions bubble out to the surface. He resisted the urge to look down at his left arm. The Dark Mark wouldn't be visible there anyway. Not right now. Not when he wasn't being called.
"You were the best choice," James said calmly.
"You were the only choice," Sirius added.
"I don't get it," Peter said faintly. Lucius had told him that this would happen, but he hadn't believed him. "But what about Remus?"
James shot a look at Sirius who nodded. "Sirius believes that Remus may be... compromised."
There was a vortex of swirling emotions inside Peter. They thought Remus was the traitor? He was in the clear. "But why not you?" Peter asked, staring at Sirius.
"I'm too obvious," Sirius said bluntly. "Nobody will suspect you."
Peter swallowed a bubble of anger. He knew what Sirius was implying. Nobody would ever think to suspect Peter Pettigrew, because Peter was just far too stupid, far too incompetent to ever be made the Secret Keeper. In fact, the fact he hadn't seen much of James for the last few months worked in his favour. To the rest of the wizarding world, it looked like he wasn't one of James's close friends any more. "Are you sure this is a good idea?"
"Of course it is," Sirius said impatiently. "And don't worry, it won't hurt or anything. And I'll protect you."
That wasn't why he was hesitating, but Peter knew he couldn't tell Sirius the real reason. Sirius would kill him, and James would look at him with those disappointed eyes and ask him why. Why did he betray them all? Why did he sell his soul to the Dark Lord in return for a chance at being somebody special? "Okay," he said. "I'll do it." His voice sounded flat even to his own ears.
James beamed at him. "Thank you," he said warmly. "I knew that we could count on you."
"You can trust me with your lives," Peter promised, ignoring the clenching fist around his heart. Lucius had predicted that this would happen. Lucius had been two steps ahead of the Order the entire time. Lucius had seen into his heart and realised what he needed when none of his friends even realised that there was a problem. "The right side will win. I know it."
Sirius gave him a surprised look. "Finally got some backbone, eh?" He gave Peter a friendly slap on the back. "I'm just joking, Peter. No need to look so serious."
Peter nodded. He couldn't bring himself to speak. Sirius was right. He had finally got some backbone. He was on the right side, the winning side, for the first time in his life.
And it felt good.
"I used to fuck your father," Peter said conversationally and watched as Draco blanched. "Or rather, he used to fuck me." He resisted the urge to reach over to run his fingers through Draco's hair. It looked so soft and blond and when Draco narrowed his eyes, he was the spitting image of Lucius twenty years ago.
"You're lying," Draco spat out but Peter could see the glimmer of doubt in those grey eyes that were so like Lucius's. "You're sick!"
"Perhaps I am," Peter said simply. He wasn't that sure about anything nowadays. "But I'm not lying." He stared at Draco, enjoying the look on the boy's face. "It's called cultivating a target," he explained. "I walked straight into his trap. Lucius realised I was going to be useful to his goals and he seduced me in more ways than one."
Draco grimaced. "Why are you telling me this?" There was a flicker of fear on his face before it smoothed out to an expression so bland that it had to be fake. "I've done everything you've asked of me."
"And yet, you've failed," Peter said harshly. He was almost amused at how the tables had turned. Twenty years ago, it was him in Draco's shoes. Except, of course, Lucius had him bent over the bed, face muffled by a pillow, wanting nothing more than to feel the slick pain and pleasure of Lucius sliding into him. "Sins of the father," he murmured softly.
"What?" Draco gave him a look that suggested he was crazy.
Peter dragged himself to the present. It was Draco Malfoy standing in front of him, not Lucius. It was Harry Potter that he was betraying, not James. But he'd never owed James a life debt, Peter thought. That still worried him. There was something inherently magical about life debts. They sometimes took on a force of their own. "You failed to kill the old man."
"I tried my best," Draco said sounding mutinous.
"Not good enough," Peter said flatly.
Draco turned towards him and sneered in a way that made Peter's heart jump. It was so like Lucius. "I know who you are," he said quietly.
Peter shrugged. Everybody knew who he was nowadays. "That doesn't matter," he said. "It doesn't matter who I am or what I've done. All you need to know is that I have the ear of the Dark Lord and I'm following his orders." He flexed his silver hand. "This was a gift from him."
"I know," Draco snapped. "I said, I knew about you. All about you."
Peter could feel his hands shaking. "What do you know anyway," he said, his voice a low hiss. "You didn't live back then. You weren't even alive. You didn't know the fear that permeated everywhere. You didn't know what it was like to live in that kind of atmosphere. The fear that's out in the streets now? Multiply that by a hundred and you might be close."
Draco looked taken aback.
Peter wrenched himself back to the present with effort. "See that you don't fail the Dark Lord again," he said warningly. "You won't like the consequences."
"Master," Peter said as he knelt and bowed his head. His hands were trembling with fear and he could feel the familiar sweat breaking out on his brow. "I have talked to the Malfoy boy. He will do as we ask."
"Good," the Dark Lord said. "See that you do not fail me."
"No, Master," Peter said quickly. "I will not fail you, Master." He could feel his silver hand flex almost as a reminder of his loyalty.
The Dark Lord looked amused. "Your hand was a boon from me. My boons can be taken away just as easily. Remember that."
"Yes, Master," Peter said, bowing his head. He waited until the Dark Lord had left the room before he raised his eyes. He let out a long breath. The regret that soaked through him had been there for years, but it was never as strong as when he talked to the Dark Lord. He knew that Lucius Malfoy had tricked him. It was obvious to him five minutes after he had received the Dark Mark.
He hadn't wanted to betray James and Lily. It had just happened. It was an accident. It was either him or them, but Peter knew that somebody like Harry Potter would never understand that. There was too much of the Gryffindor in that boy, and that was something that Peter could never understand. He wanted to be brave. At times, there was nothing he wanted more, but he never seemed to succeed.
Peter bit his lip and stared down at his left arm. Already the Dark Mark was fading from his skin. In a few minutes, it would be gone completely until the next time the Dark Lord called.
It had all gone wrong. Peter didn't mean to hesitate. He knew what the hand was capable of. Even though it was attached to his arm, he knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that it belonged completely and absolutely to the Dark Lord. Yet as he looked into those green eyes, he couldn't help but waver. The boy looked so much like James, yet he behaved so much like Lily. There was only a sliver of James's recklessness and so much of Lily's compassion.
It was in those few seconds, those moments of doubt that the hand trembled and turned against him. As the silver hand tightened around his throat, Peter could see the look of horror on Harry Potter's face. "It's alright," he tried to say but nothing came out. "There was nothing you could do."
He thought he could hear the boy yelling something but the words were indistinct. Perhaps it was only in his imagination but the boy's voice sounded exactly like James's. It was like having his friend back again and Peter wanted nothing more than to apologise for his betrayal.
Red blotches appeared before his eyes as he struggled to breathe.
Peter expected moments from his life to flash before his eyes in a jumbled mess, reminding him of everything he had ever regretted and loved, but instead there was only one resounding echo. One moment out of millions that chose to emerge out of his mind and replay itself for him as he gasped for breath on the cold floor.
"Gryffindor!" the Sorting Hat yelled.
Peter felt a wave of relief wash over him. For a minute there, he thought the hat had wanted to put him in another house. He has clenched his chubby little fists and closed his eyes and thought Gryffindor over and over again until it felt as though his head might burst. He'd never felt particularly brave but he wanted to be. Oh Merlin, how he wanted to be brave like those two black haired boys on the train. One of them had already ended up in Gryffindor.
With mingled gladness and trepidation, Peter took the hat off his head and laid it back on the stool. He then went to join Gryffindor House.
Peter twitched one last time as the fingers tightened. Everything went black.