The Sugar Quill
Author: Suaine  Story: Follow Me, Into the Night  Chapter: default
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Follow me, into the Night

Author’s Notes: This fic was inspired by my firm belief that everybody can be redeemed and that evil can come from the most unlikely of places - and with good intentions. I wanted Peter to be a real Gryffindor, one of the good guys with a decision that was simply asking for the greatest of sacrifices.

Here Peter gives more than his life, he gives up his friends to save hundreds of innocent lives. It's a decision between bad and worse but those decisions have to be made too, especially in a war.

I was tired of the kind of fic that has Peter as a bad guy from the start.

 

Follow me, Into the Night

by Suaine

Pain. Pain was foremost on his mind as he opened his mouth to say the damning words. Not the physical pain of broken bones and battered flesh, not even the magical pain of Cruciatus - no, a broken heart resided in his breast, killing his soul with every gurgling beat.

'They're at Godric's Hollow, the last house on the Southern road.'

His world leaped and came to rest at an odd angle. Sharp pieces of glass, thousands of them, seemed to cut every inch of his skin. The dark creature before him laughed, a hollow, dangerous sound. It lacked even a hint of mirth or joy. It sounded like the cruel war cry of a jungle beast.

'I have to thank you, Wormtail,' said Voldemort, 'Without you, we would never have found them.'

Peter nodded. His lungs constricted into a tight ball of flesh and pounding blood. Every beat of his heart  seemed to call 'traitor' and sent the message through his system. A fresh wave of agony surged through his body. He fell to his knees.

'Do you regret your actions already, my servant?'

'I'm not your servant,' Peter cried out.

His eyes shone with fresh tears and defiance, even as the Dark Lord and a few of his Death Eaters broke out in a new wave of laughter. A hand gripped his cheek, cold fingers burning into his skin. Voldemort stared into his eyes, searching for something in his innermost self.

'You are nothing else. You had friends, *Peter*, but you've betrayed them. Think about my offer. You can follow me and I will make you into something more than you are or you can face the remainder of your friends. But be warned, they will sooner kill you than listen to a word you say.'

Voldemort released him and turned around to leave. Peter broke down, sobs hitching in his throat. The Death Eaters and Voldemort disappeared in a split second and Peter was alone. Entirely alone.

* ~ * ~ *

As a student he had always liked Divination. Even though Professor Trelawney appeared to be a total failure [comma] Peter loved the technique and imagination she taught them. He believed firmly in the possibility of seeing the future.

Every night he waited for Professor Trelawney and accompanied her to her rooms. He'd ask her about her day and the older woman would answer in her twisted and flourishing way. She’d always been one for the drama and angst. She saw death everywhere, but had yet to make a prediction that came true.

'Ah, Professor, how was your day?'

The teacher looked at him with a smile in her eyes. He could sense a sadness about her but never asked. A strange feeling in his stomach told him that she only felt this sadness in his presence, and an even stranger feeling suggested she might not even realize it.

'Fine,' she said, 'I've seen many things today. The signs all point to a very dark future for all of us, Peter.'

Sometimes Peter felt odd, walking the halls with a teacher - but then he hadn't been a student for nine years. Nine years that he had spent helping with the research and waiting for the inevitable.  Sirius and Remus were always off on some very secret, very dangerous business for Dumbledore. Lily and James spent all their time up at the Ministry. This made him effectively alone. He missed his friends.

'Oh, Professor, you say that every day, but You-Know-Who has yet to make his move. He won't dare attack the school.'

'Dear Peter,' she said. Her voice had this ethereal quality, like she was from another world. 'I do hope you are right. The stars speak of bloodshed and terror.'

Peter chuckled. Trelawney had a knack for terrible tragedies. Still, despite all her faults, she was a very nice person. In her, he had found someone to talk to and make the loneliness go away. He liked her.

'But Professor,' he said with mock gravity in his voice, 'Of course I’m right. Haven't you seen in your crystal ball how I beat the Dark Lord single-handedly and rescue the wizarding world?'

It was meant as a joke between friends. But Professor Trelawney's eyes widened in shock, telling Peter that nothing about this was funny. The air around them lost every bit of warmth, and the atmosphere shifted to accommodate something dark and dreadful. He shook his head.

Peter looked at the professor. Her eyes had changed color, now gleaming with a golden light, and she was floating several inches above the ground. She wore a weary, pained expression.

'The darkness and the light are at balance, always,' said Professor Trelawney, but her voice was deeper and much older. 'Great darkness needs a greater light to be sustained. Voldemort will come and with him comes death.'

Peter felt fear creep up his spine. The professor's hand touched his cheek, as light as the flutter of butterfly wings, her ghostly eyes filled with pain. He had never seen anything like this.

'Professor? Are you all right?'

'Nothing, Peter, will ever be all right again,' she said. 'A great betrayal, evil worse than Voldemort - because it is born from love - will sweep you away. You will, you *have to* betray your friends to the darkest of dark wizards.'

'No,' Peter said. His eyes shone with horror. He would never betray his friends. Never.

A chuckle escaped the creature that had taken over Trelawney's body. 'My poor, dear little boy. You are bound by your choice, bound by your character. Always the brave Gryffindor.'

'No,' he said, 'I can't.'

'Their child is destined to be the light, to defeat the darkness. Harry Potter's fate is to kill Voldemort on his eighteenth birthday.'

'But what does that have to do with me? Why should I betray my friends?'

Tiny flickers of doubt began to tarnish his conviction. Somehow he felt compelled to believe this, to believe Trelawney was really having her first moment of divine clarity.

'You? Voldemort cannot kill the boy and will perish should he try. It is you who will deliver the boy and his parents to the darkness.'

'No,' Peter screamed, with no doubt on his mind. 'He would kill them all. I can't. I won't.'

He wanted to run away. He wanted to hide from this... thing. He wanted to get away because part of him felt like she might be speaking the truth. Part of him could already sense the whole reflection of fate behind those piercing words.

'It is the choice you have to make,' she said, her voice now shaking with something like anger. 'Can you sacrifice two of your friends to save thousands of strangers?'

Peter stood shell-shocked. He tried to speak but found his vocal cords incapable of forming words.

'The fate of Harry Potter, however, cannot be altered. He will bring down the darkness.'

With those last words the professor collapsed into his arms. Peter carried her to her quarters, too shocked to think clearly and too occupied to realize what awaited him. It was the last time he spoke to Professor Trelawney.

* ~ * ~ *

Peter's breath came ragged and in an unnatural frequency. He thought of the prophecy and sobs rose up in him again. Death, terror and bloodshed, saving thousands with the death of a few. Was it fair? Was it the right choice?

No, of course not.

He remembered every word as clearly as if their confrontation had been the day before. He had sacrificed his friends to save a thousand. He caused unbearable pain to his other friends and to Lily and James' son.

Was it worth it?

He couldn't breathe. He tried to get up, but all he managed was to balance on hands and knees. Unshed tears shook his body. He felt a jolt of energy in the air, a shifting of magical currents. Voldemort had disappeared. Lily and James were dead.

A wailing cry rose up in the night, answered only by the far-off tears of a small, orphaned child.

* ~ * ~ *

Peter looked around at his friends. The three young men looked worn, tired and older than they should be. James had called a meeting of the Marauders, the last meeting of this kind before... before Peter had to fulfill a prophecy.

'I told you all that Lily and I had discovered a form of protection for Harry,' James said. Peter noticed the deep shadows under James' eyes and hated himself, really hated himself, for the first time in his life.

'Yeah,' said Sirius, 'The Fidelius charm.'

'Oh, I heard about that from Dumbledore,' Remus said with a glint in his eyes. 'It is a very powerful charm for protection, but it has a serious drawback.'

'Drawback?' Peter asked, not really listening.

'Yes,' James said, 'The charm can conceal a secret, however big, into a single living soul. The secret will never be found out as long as the keeper is alive.'

'Or,' Sirius said, his eyes darting around at his friends. 'Or the secret keeper decides to unveil the secret. It is based on deep trust between two people.'

'And so it can be broken,' Remus added thoughtfully, 'When this trust is bestowed upon someone unworthy.'

Peter cringed. He had that feeling again, that feeling of impossible guilt and sorrow. The future was about to catch up with him but he wasn't ready yet. He was *not* ready.

Noticing the dark looks, both Remus and Sirius shot across the room when the other was distracted, Peter felt even worse. Dumbledore had known for a while that someone close to the Potters was a spy - which meant Remus and Sirius went around suspecting each other.

Peter hated to be responsible for destroying their friendship.

'I chose Sirius to be our Secret Keeper,' James said.

Peter's eyes narrowed as he saw the light in Remus' eyes flicker and dim. The other man suspected something, but would never speak up against James' decision. He'd probably go off to Dumbledore to talk about his doubts.

'I see,' Remus said. 'I will instruct Dumbledore of your choice.' There was hurt in his voice, Peter thought, hurt and betrayal that he hadn't been chosen.

'Sirius,' Remus said, nodding towards his best friend of more than fifteen years, 'Take care.'

Then he left, but Peter caught the look of hope and longing that was mirrored on both Remus' and Sirius' face. He hated himself. There was no punishment strong enough for the things he was about to do - or the things he had already done, feeding Voldemort with enough information to keep him in the Lord’s good graces.

'James,' he said, 'I just had an idea.'

He felt the urge to throw up, as he explained how to foil Voldemort's plans by making *him* the Secret Keeper. A deep, dark pain settled in his stomach as Sirius latched onto the idea and slowly convinced James. The man was too *damn* trusting for his own good.

Peter nearly cried during the casting ritual for the Fidelius charm. As James went off to find Lily he reined in his tears, found an empty classroom and prayed for his friends. He would never see them again.

* ~ * ~ *

Peter didn't have enough energy left to cry. The cold began to seep through his skin. The hard ground left bruises in his too-voluminous flesh. Lily and James were dead. He couldn't wrap his mind around the idea [comma] but his heart knew the truth.

Peter Pettigrew would not survive the night. He'd been standing at the abyss for more than a year and now he had taken the last step. He was falling.

He remembered the last happy day in his life, the wedding of James Potter to Lily Evans. He remembered his first day of school, how James had saved him from the wrath of Severus Snape. He remembered every last bit of friendship and love they had given him, every kind word, every laugh, every joyous day... he wanted to lock this up inside him. He wanted to preserve their friendship.

Falling.

There had been a beautiful day in Seventh year, too hot for classes and with exams coming up, the teachers had given them a free day for self-study. Of course, everyone had gone swimming in the lake or shopping in Hogsmeade.

Falling.

Lily and James had shown him, Sirius and Remus, their favorite place below an ancient tree, close to the Forbidden Forest. It was a beautiful spot – one that had the greatest view over the Hogwarts grounds. Children laughed somewhere in the distance. James, always the romantic, had prepared everything for a picnic, and sometime that afternoon he had asked Lily to marry him.

Falling.

Peter felt silent tears run down his cheeks. With every gulp of breath he was fading more, falling towards certain death.

Falling.

Another part of himself, a darker creature, rose up from the ashes of his soul.

Falling.

He straightened his back.

Falling.

He got up on his feet.

Falling.

His face was a mask of indifference as he pulled out his wand to Disapparate. Wormtail formed a plan in his mind, a plan to survive. Wormtail, the rat, was a survivor.

Falling.

Years later, the last bit of Peter Pettigrew that was left inside him would be revived by the pity of a small boy, a boy whose fate was entwined with his own on more than one level. For now, Wormtail thought of a place to hide from the wrath of Peter's friends. Someone would have to pay for tonight's events with blood.

Peter hit rock bottom.

The End (of the Beginning)

 

 

Creed: Unforgiven (My own Prison)

I kept up

With the prophecy you spoke

I kept up with the message inside

Lost sight of the irony

Of twisted faith

Lost sight of my soul and its void

Think I'm unforgiven to this world

Took a chance at deceiving myself

To share in the consequence of lies

Childish with my

Reasoning and pride

Godless to the extent that I died

Think I'm unforgiven to this world

Think I'm unforgiven

 

//
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