installment…this chapter deals with James and Lily discussing things, and their
meeting with Peter, the (literally) Rat.
As usual, all characters
etc belong to JKR. The dialogues are mine, for the most part.
Also as usual, thanks to
Zsenya for beta-ing (does that verb exist?!)
Oh, when I skip to later…it’s
‘cause I have no clue how they’d perform the Charm, and I figure that JKR might
tell us someday, so…
“You can’t tell me that you don’t trust Peter, Lily”, James
said, apparently forgetful of his own earlier hesitation. “Poor Peter!”
“I trust him, James,” Lily answered, “but not for this. I
don’t trust him with my life.” Then she added “do you?”
James frowned and said: “He’s a Marauder, Lily, one of my
closest friends. One of my brothers. And I cannot accept that one of my friends
could betray me.”
“Yes, but James…Albus is right, the traitor must be someone
close to us. And Remus and Peter are the ones who know us best, even
Sirius interrupted her, grinning. “I notice that you don’t
Lily smiled at him. “Well, because I know you’re not the
James spoke up as if he hadn’t heard, although as a matter
of fact he had been listening closely: “Sirius is right, Lily. Peter is a perfect
bluff, nobody would think of him. Especially if we don’t tell anyone.”
“Not even Albus?” Lily asked.
“Nobody, not even Remus”, James said.
“What’s the matter, Lily?” Sirius broke in sharply. For she
was once again looking into the distance at something apparently invisible.
“Sirius is the only choice we can make”, she said simply.
“I…can’t see far enough, but I know that it’s so.”
Sirius frowned. The Marauders had learned not to take Lily’s
Seeings lightly, but this was a matter of life or death.
“Think of Harry, Lily”, he said. “If Voldemort kills me, he
will be able to find your son.”
Lily’s eyes softened as she looked at her sleeping child,
then quickly clouded with worry again. “Do you really agree with Sirius,
“Yes, sweetheart, I do”, James replied, taking his wife’s
hand in his.
“All right, then”, Lily sighed. “Do you think he’ll accept?”
“You want m-me to be your Secret-Keeper?” Peter
Pettigrew stuttered incredulously later that afternoon.
“Yes, Peter. And you must help us”, James replied. “The
Fidelius Charm is our only hope.”
Peter, puzzled and still disbelieving, looked from James to
Lily, who was staring back at him, her eyes narrow.
“Of…of course I’ll help you; you’re my friends”, Peter said,
with a strange gleam in his eyes that neither James nor Lily noticed. “I’m
just…I mean, why me? What about Sirius? I would have thought…” he almost smiled
as he spoke, happy (in spite of everything) that they trusted him enough for
this. But James’s next words were like cold water.
“That’s what everyone would have thought. That’s why we’re
not using him. It would be too obvious.”
That figures. I’m just a replacement for their real
friend. Peter turned his head slightly, trying to hide a resentful glare.
It would never do if Lily noticed…
“So…are the three of you going to be home tonight?” Peter
asked, very casually, as the Potters were preparing to leave.
“Yes”, James answered. “Lily asked Sirius and Remus over for
“Why don’t you come, too?” Lily asked, smiling – although
her smile wasn’t as luminous as usual.
“Oh – no, thanks. I’d like to but I’m…busy tonight. I have
to meet a…friend”, Peter said softly, then added, even more quietly: “As if I
didn’t know that you said that just to be polite.”
“Sorry, Wormtail, didn’t hear you”, James said.
“Oh, I said that maybe I will come by later tonight.
Just to see if you’re…” he hesitated “…alive and well.”
James laughed, and even Lily smiled. But when she spoke, her
tone was serious. “I certainly hope we will be.”