The Sugar Quill
Author: scrummybunny  Story: Snapshot  Chapter: Default
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Summary: The story of a photograph taken on the day before a fateful Halloween, one of a bittersweet dance at a fountain

 

“Peter, mate!  How are you?” asked James, taking Peter’s hand and pumping it.  Peter looked rather peaky.

 

“Fine…fine…what did you want, James?” Peter replied.

 

Out of nowhere, a short woman with auburn hair and bright green eyes popped out from behind a fountain.  Lily.

 

“Peter!” she cried, rushing forward to hug him.

 

“How is Harry?”

 

Lily rolled her eyes.  “Teething.  Little tyke is teething, can’t keep your finger away from him.  He’s fine, though.  Definitely a Daddy’s boy,” she murmured, slightly disappointed.

 

“Lily,” James said, placing a hand on her shoulder, “Harry loves you.  You’re his mum.”

 

She smiled up at him.  “I know.”

 

Peter cleared his throat, shaking Lily and James out of their lovestruck daze.

 

“So…why am I here?”

 

“We—we need to ask a favor, Wormtail.  A rather big one.  It will take responsibility, but we think it will work…it may keep us safe.”

 

“What is it?” queried Peter gently, a greedy gleam in his eyes.

 

“Peter,” Lily said, a small, trusting smile forming on her lips, “could you be our Secret Keeper?  We think it would be perfect…no one would suspect!”

 

“Please, Peter, I know it’s…beyond responsibility, and we’ll understand if you don’t want to…but would you?” James asked.

 

“For Harry?” Lily added.

 

The gleam in his eyes grew larger, but there was another feeling that overtook him.  Guilt.

 

“Why me?  Why not Sirius, or even Remus?”

 

James shook his head dismissively.  “No, no…those two are my best friends, they would be the first on the Death Eaters’ list…”

 

“Not that you aren’t one of James’s best friends,” hastily supplied Lily.

 

“Of course.  But it just…I dunno.  Works.  Sirius himself gave us the idea, you know.  He thinks you’d be perfect for the job, and we both agree.  Would you, Peter?  I—I beg you.  I trust you.  You’ll keep us… safe.”

 

“Yes… yes!  Anything for you!” Peter cried, a broad smile overtaking his face.

 

Lily and James beamed at him, and in turn, grinned at each other.

 

“We’re safe!” they both shouted, hugging each other.

 

“Oh, Peter, you don’t know how much this means to us.  To Harry.”

 

“You’re a hero, Wormtail!  The absolute best!”

 

Along with the guilt and greed came another emotion… power.  Influence.  He not only had power over the Potters, but also over his fellow Death Eaters that he would meet that night.  To some extent, he even had power over You-Know-Who himself.

 

“We’re safe!  We’re safe!  We’re safe!” chanted Lily and James.

 

Peter smiled grimly.

 

“That you are,” he said quietly.

 

James grabbed Lily’s hands and twirled her around, laughing.  They danced around the fountain, having the time of their lives.  Peter came here after work, and as a photographer for the Daily Prophet, he still had his Quick-Picture Camera around his neck.    He couldn’t resist.  It was a perfect environment for a quick photograph: autumn, its leaves swirling around the couple, a fountain behind them, and two subjects who couldn’t be happier.   Slowly lifting the camera, he took a photo of their bittersweet waltz.

 

It popped out of the camera when Lily noticed.

 

“Peter!  You took a picture… how lovely!”

 

“Would you like it?” he asked.

 

“Of course!” said James with a beam, “we’d love it!  Perfect picture for Harry to see how we’re—“

 

“A couple of nutters?” Lily helpfully added.

 

“No,” replied James, “a couple in love.”

 

Lily wrinkled her nose.  “Do you think he’ll like a picture of our public displays of affection?”

 

“Probably not,” James murmured, smirking, “but that’s what parents are for.  Annoying the hell out of their kids.”

 

They did their trademark dopey smiles to each other, and Peter bit his lip.  He would not cry.  This was for the best, he would be powerful, that was all that mattered…

 

“All right there, Wormtail?” James asked, concerned.

 

“Never better.”

 

 

Harry eagerly opened the album that Hagrid made for him.  His parents.  He’d get to see his parents for the first time since the Mirror of Erised.

 

He flipped through the pages, devouring what he could of them.  A picture on their wedding day, with a handsome, unfamiliar man in the picture…a shot of what had to be his parents with his grandparents, taken with a Muggle camera…and photos of his parents holding him as a baby, waving pleasantly.  One photograph caught his eye.  It was a wizard photo, as it showed a couple dancing and laughing.  His parents, obviously in love.  They looked so innocent, so happy.  Underneath, it read ‘Taken on 10/30/81 by Peter.’  He briefly wondered who ‘Peter’ was, but figured it didn’t matter; he was probably just a friend.  Harry smiled as he took it out of the binder.  It was his favorite.

 

“I’ll have to frame this one.”

//
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