Author’s note: So
there’s been a bit of a lapse between the end of the last story and this one.
Hopefully it won’t be a year until the next chapter goes up, but… no promises.
Grad school is much more time consuming than undergrad ever was, so I beg you
for an inordinate amount of patience.
And, to everyone
reading, thanks. I hope something in here amuses you. I definitely found it
much more interesting to go over again than the paper I’m supposed to be
Chapter One: Camping
had been a long summer so far, the longest Peter could ever remember. He longed
for the boredom of the previous summer. Weekly he received owls from Remus,
Sirius and James, all filled with more disturbing news than the previous one.
grandfather was ill, and both Remus and his grandmother were worried about him.
On top of that, rumors had been spreading that You-Know-Who (Peter shook his
head, V-v-voldemort, you big baby, if the others can call him that, you can,
too) was trying to enlist Dark Creatures, especially vampires, giants and
werewolves into his slowly growing army. This made Remus even more fearful of
how people would react if they found out about him.
letters were all about his family. His cousin Bellatrix couldn’t wait to get
out of Hogwarts and join up with the Death Eaters. His brother Regulus looked
up to Bellatrix as though she were a goddess and, being devoid of the ability
to think for himself, he too couldn’t wait to join up with the Death Eaters.
to please their mother, Peter thought
sadly. That’s something Sirius has given up on completely.
letters were the worst by far. His father was working hard against Voldemort,
and the entire family was a target because of it. Peter held his breath every
day when he met up with Lily to read the Daily Prophet, certain that one
day the Potters’ names, all of them, would emblazon the front page.
in Little Whinging he couldn’t escape the fear as he had last year. Lily Evans
had been true to her word and subscribed to the Daily Prophet as soon as
school had let out and the two met daily to read it, fearful of seeing a
schoolmates name in bold print.
somehow, despite all the rumors and the fear, nothing seemed to be happening.
As the Wizarding world waited with baited breath for Voldemort’s next move, he
seemed hesitant to make one.
how old is she, Peter?”
shook his head, attempting to clear it, and tried to remember what they had
been discussing. “Oh, right. Only a few months, she was born back while we were
at Hogwarts, but to listen to the way Sirius raves about her you’d think she
was the most amazing child ever.”
a metamorphmagus? Really, I’ve read about them, they’re quite rare.”
smiled. “You’ve read about everything, Lily. Yeah, I suppose. He’s trying to
teach her how to say Sirius… I don’t think she’s even six months old yet.”
laughed. “Well I’m glad Sirius managed to get away from that horrible family of
his for a few days.”
two were sitting in Lily’s room on Privet Drive. The weather outside was
unbearably hot and humid, so Mr. and Mrs. Evans had agreed to allow the two to
remain in the house while they went to work. Petunia was supposed to be there
to watch over them, but she’d left immediately after they had, threatening the
two with death if they told the Evans’ that she’d left.
smiled wryly. “She’s working for her dad again. She said that her mum and dad
refused to stop living their lives just because of the attack… but they sent
her little brother to stay at her grandparents. They wanted to send her too,
and she’s going later in the summer, but she got them to agree to let her stay
with them for a bit.”
news from Becca, Tessa or Alice?”
that Lily burst into laughter. “Becca turned her cousin Minnie into a newt. She
was stuck like that for four days. When they managed to turn her back, the
family decided it might be best if Becca went back to Britain.”
she get in trouble for that?”
she did. Official warning from the Ministry. She would’ve been in a lot more
trouble if her mother didn’t know everyone in the Ministry,” Lily said, her
eyes widening as she shook her head. “But you know Becca, she just finds it all
amusing.” She flopped back on her bed. “Do you suppose he’s given up, Peter? It
feels too quiet. I mean… maybe Voldemort’s realized…”
what, Lily?” Peter asked sadly, standing up from where he’d been sitting on the
floor and crossing over to look out her window. “That he’s a bloody lunatic? I
don’t know why it’s so quiet…” He shook his head. “Can we talk about something
at a brightly wrapped box and then leaned over to pick it up and shake it.
“What is this?”
glanced up to see what he was talking about. “Alice’s birthday gift. I’m going
to give it to her next week.”
big box of Drooble’s Best Blowing Gum. She loves the stuff… it’s an unhealthy
chuckled and nodded as he easily recalled the fact that Alice usually was
sighed and rolled over onto her stomach. She began digging under her bed. “Ah
ha!” She sat up and unrolled a parchment. “It appears our old pal Boger the
Ugly has returned in full force and attempted to take over the Ministry several
groaned. “Not History of Magic. Sweet Merlin, Lily, you can kill a fun summer
day quicker than anyone I know.”
flashed him a grin and tossed him a piece of parchment and a quill. “Might as
well get your homework out of the way. Come on, Peter, didn’t you say the other
blokes were coming to stay with you next week? Going camping or some sort of
male bonding nonsense? You might as well get this done now instead of
scrambling to finish it during the last week of vacation, like last year.”
Peter glared at her but settled in
at her desk to work on his holiday homework while Lily triple checked hers on
now, we’re all Muggles,” Peter emphasized to the other three boys. They
stood in front of the Pettigrew house.
to me exactly why Muggles feels the need to wake before the crack of dawn to go
on this camping expedition?” Remus moaned and yawned at the same time.
do these go?” James sleepily gestured towards the four back packs that were
heaped on the porch.
they’ll go in the car, with us. We packed everything else last night. But we’ve
got to wait for Emily and Marietta to get here.” Peter sat down on the porch,
hugging his knees to his stomach.
sisters?” Sirius asked, bouncing around excitedly.
Peter replied sleepily, resting his head against the railing. He glanced to his
right and noticed that Remus had curled right up on the porch, using one of
their back packs as a pillow and gone back to sleep.
plopped down next to James and managed to engage the groggy, messy haired boy
in some half conscious Quidditch talk. This continued until two cars pulled up
simultaneously to the front of the Pettigrew home.
and Sirius stopped talking long enough to watch two girls who looked remarkably
like Peter with longer hair jump from the passenger seats and run squealing
towards one another. The one in the plaid shirt and jeans looked as though she
might be younger to James and the other was clearly pregnant. As the two women
embraced, two men emerged from the vehicles and shook hands.
the attention of the two women was diverted towards Peter, who was nodding off
against the railing and hadn’t even noticed their arrival. They swooped down on
him and he let out a surprised, but pleased, yell.
my goodness Peter, look at you.”
they feeding you at that school of yours? You’re huge!”
broke away from the two women with an embarrassed grin on his face. “It’s too
early for this,” he muttered, but there was happiness clear in his voice.
Mrs. Pettigrew exclaimed from behind the boys, as she pushed her way through
the screen door. “Goodness, look at you.” Mrs. Pettigrew grabbed her daughter
into a big hug.
woman with the large belly that James had now narrowed down to being Marietta
laughed. The man James assumed was her husband walked up behind her and placed
a hand on her shoulder.
Mrs. Pettigrew turned to her other daughter. “When can we be expecting
grandchildren from - ”
“Don’t start, mum. You’ll have plenty of
grandchildren, I’m sure. Why don’t you start on Peter to find a nice girl or
thirteen,” he squeaked from where he stood, turning red at the thought of
creating grandchildren with some ‘nice girl’.
chuckled. “There’s nothing wrong with my memory, Peter. I know how old you
are.” She shook her head amusedly. “Well, are we going to get going, or what?
Can you all even fit in there?” She gestured towards the packed station wagon.
of you can drive down with us,” Marietta offered.
work just fine then, dear. Put your bags in the car, boys,” Mr. Pettigrew
instructed as he locked up the house.
three boys looked at one another and then Sirius broke the stillness. “I call
Mr. and Mrs. Pettigrew’s car.” He grabbed his back pack, which happened to be
the one Remus had claimed as a pillow, thus causing his head to thud into the
cement of the porch, and dashed towards the packed station wagon. Remus shook
his head half consciously and picked up his back pack.
not riding with that.” He gestured in Sirius’s direction. “It’s far too
early to deal with him.”
then, you’re coming with us,” Marietta said graciously. “The blue car, come on
then.” She and Remus started across the lawn quietly. James shrugged and picked
up his own back pack, then he crossed the lawn and piled into the Pettigrew’s
station wagon next to Sirius who was having far too much fun rolling the car
window up and down.
grabbing his own back pack, hastened towards Sirius, hissing, “Act like a
bloody Muggle, you loon.” He shot James one last pleading look, and then
crossed to his sister’s car, climbing in next to Remus, who was already fast
moments later, Marietta and her husband climbed into the car and the four were
off, following the Pettigrews with Emily and her husband behind them. Peter
shook his head worriedly as he saw Sirius in the car in front of them gesturing
excitedly at the stop light and even James seemed far too interested.
hoped Marietta hadn’t noticed until she giggled. “You certainly found some
characters to become friends with Peter. Look at him, Eugene, you’d think
they’d never seen a stop light before.”
laughed as Peter sighed and sunk into his seat, thinking that it was going to
be a long week.
we get to play with fire?” Sirius asked that afternoon, his eyes had been
widened in a perpetual state of excitement since their arrival earlier that
Remus and Peter both replied quickly.
really don’t think play is the correct word, Sirius,” Remus continued
quickly, looking imploringly at Peter.
no, definitely not play,” Peter agreed. “And - ” The boy reached
cautiously for the box of matches his excited friend held in his hands. “ - I
think maybe I’d best do this. Erm… you lot can go find some more sticks. We’ll
need a lot more than what we’ve got here tonight.”
boys had a large tent set up several meters away from the three the adults had
set up, and it gave them all a feeling of independence. Setting it up had been
rather uneventful aside from Peter occasionally hissing at James or Sirius
because of their comments (‘bloody hell, how do they do this without magic,
Pete?’ from James and ‘amazing, bloody amazing’ from Sirius, which was actually
a constant observation from him).
shook his head as he thought of earlier when Emily had asked him if Sirius was
‘alright, you know what I mean Peter? Is he all there?’ Although in most other
circumstances Peter would’ve found that question quite amusing, here he had
just groaned and walked away, leaving his older sister slightly confused and
years of family camping excursions under his belt, Peter was able to quickly
tent several sticks in the fire pit and light a good sized fire. He looked up
as he heard footsteps approaching and smiled as he saw Marietta slowly waddling
over towards the boys’ campsite.
he acknowledged with a grin.
she replied, slowly lowering herself to the ground next to him.
you sure you should do that?” he asked anxiously.
She looked at him and rolled her eyes.
time she groaned aloud, and Peter, misinterpreting it, jumped up to run for
you sit down, you bloody lunatic. I’m fine. I’m just pregnant, it’s not a
terminal illness,” she patted the ground next to her and the chubby boy sat
back down. “So how are you? I rarely ever see you anymore it seems. A few days
at Christmas and that’s all… How’s school?”
is good,” he replied cautiously, jabbing a spare stick into the fire.
met these friends of yours there?”
Peter made a sound of agreement.
poked him lightly.
never used to shut up, is all, and now you’re all quiet and reserved whenever
Em or I are around. When you were little, I would’ve killed for a moment of
silence with you… now I just wish you’d talk. What’s your favorite class in
froze for a moment and then blurted out, “Biology.”
already teach biology at your school? Good heavens, they didn’t start that
until Fourth Year at Smeltings,” she mused.
biology… they both deal with plants, not entirely a lie, right Peter? he thought to himself. Nice quick thinking, you aren’t
a Marauder for nothing after all.
well they’re… progressive,” he said, not even entirely sure what the word meant.
seems like it. Mum and dad say you’re happy there. Those three are your dorm
mates, then? That Remus seems nice enough when he’s awake.”
well… he’s… sick a lot. And yes, they’re my dorm mates.” We really should
just tell them. I mean… for Merlin’s sake, Marietta could have a magical child,
it skips tons of generations sometimes, they say. I don’t see why Mum and Dad
want to keep it a secret from them. He shook his head.
you play any sports? What do you do for fun over there, Peter?” She peered
curiously at him.
er… no,” he stumbled, and then panicked at her inquisitive look. “We get
detentions for fun,” he blurted out and then realized how completely ridiculous
that was. “Well, not for fun… what we do that causes the detentions…
that’s fun… I mean… sweet Merlin-” He stopped short. Oh please, oh please,
oh please tell me I didn’t just say ‘sweet Merlin’ aloud. Oh no, oh no…he
chanced a glance over at his oldest sister, who had one hand on her stomach,
rubbing it slightly and a faraway look in her eyes.
silence grew uncomfortably until Marietta broke it with, “Sweet Merlin?”
tried to chuckle as he rambled. “I know what you’re going to say ‘kids these
days and their slang’… that’s what Em always says when I say something weird…”
He looked pleadingly at her.
opened her mouth and closed it immediately as the sounds of the other three
Marauders became heard through the nearby trees. She glanced at Peter very
curiously and then began the huge effort it took her to get up. The blonde boy
quickly jumped to his feet to help pull her up.
love you, Peter. You know that?” she asked, looking him right in the eye.
Mare, I love you too,” he muttered, looking down into the dirt as only thirteen
year old boys can do as they declare their love and still manage to mean every
started back over towards where the adults had all gathered lawn chairs and were
chatting by their own fire as the three boys burst through the trees each
carrying an assortment of objects.
Peter asked, turning his attention to Sirius. “Why are you carrying dirty, old
the fire,” he answered simply, getting ready to toss one into the flames.
“How did you misinterpret sticks
to be shoes?” Peter responded, completely bewildered as he started at
the pile of mismatching shoes the boy had clearly found deserted in the woods,
which he now held proudly as though they were a prized possession and he should
be praised for finding such perfect specimens. “Shoes…?”
You brought… Veritaserum. Why do you even own that?” Remus asked, staring at
don’t, Bellatrix does. I nicked it from her house before I left.”
groaned and rolled his eyes. It was their final evening camping after a week in
the woods. The adults had left the boys to themselves primarily and most of the
week had been dedicated to teaming up against each other making one another
miserable. The other three boys were quickly surprised at how adept Peter was
at this in the Muggle world, but the short, chubby boy only laughed it off and
claimed that it was a side effect to being a little brother.
come on Remus, don’t be a prat,” Sirius said, preparing to open the deck of
don’t Sirius, you know I don’t like that game.” Remus looked to the other two
boys who just shrugged.
up, Remus,” Sirius goaded, opening the deck and tipping the cards into his
hand. “It’s our last night out here and then we won’t even see each other until
we go back to school.”
whole whopping week, you mean,” the brown hair boy replied dryly, eyeing the
cards with distaste.
chuckled and doled out four pieces of paper from his back pack as Peter
scrambled to find four writing utensils.
then, first question, what was your most embarrassing moment?” Sirius stared
thoughtfully up at the roof of the tent and then began to jot down his answer.
first, Sirius, this was your idea,” James muttered, glaring angrily down at his
paper and already regretting ever having decided to play this game.
accidentally magicked me into a cow pasture and gave me horns and a tail when
he was six. The cow got really confused. There was… an incident… udders and an
angry bull…” Sirius hesitantly replied.
other three boys burst into laughter.
Merlin, Sirius, what did the bull do to you?”
why you’re scared of cows?”
just rolled gleefully on the floor laughing hysterically.
whirled towards the door of the tent as he heard his father’s voice, tinged
with fear, calling his name and the jangle of the zipper as he began to open
the tent flap.
the boy responded curiously, the laughter quickly dying in the tent.
zipper finished sliding and the flap fell open, Mr. Pettigrew was silhouetted
against the moonlight in the gap.
boys need to come over to our tents, right now.” His voice left no room for
questions and the four boys immediately tumbled out of the tent and rushed over
to the large tent Mr. and Mrs. Pettigrew had spent the week in.
five of them hurried inside and found the other five adults already inside,
Eugene holding Marietta. Peter noticed that Emily and her husband were also
sitting closely, and Mrs. Pettigrew heaved a sigh of relief as they entered.
going on, Mum?” Peter asked.
don’t know,” Emily replied quietly. “There were some odd lights and…” She
trailed off, sniffling. “We were out collecting firewood earlier and I heard
several screams. I ran back towards camp to make sure everyone here was
picked up when Emily trailed off again. “The screams were from the opposite
direction, but… then there were those strange lights… even more of them.”
sure it’s nothing, dear,” Mrs. Pettigrew cut them off quickly. “But just in
case… it all seems a bit odd, so I think it’d be best if we all spent the
evening together… in here.”
four boys looked at one another, Peter watched as James mouthed ‘screams’ and
Sirius ‘strange lights’.
know it’s a bit cramped, but it’ll do for a night,” Mrs. Pettigrew continued,
unaware of the four boys reactions. “Then tomorrow I’m sure the police will be
here and they can tell us what happened.”
group sat in silence for a long while until Emily curled up in the corner, a
few moments later her loud snores were reverberating through the tent.
the rest of the occupants of the tent drifted off into sleep until Peter
thought he was the only one still lying awake.
lights and screams… there is just no way that there could be Death Eaters here,
is there? It’s just some lunatic Muggle, I’m sure… none of us even have our
wands. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. We should’ve known better than to go anywhere
without them. Just a week ago Lily and I were saying we should constantly be on
alert, it’s been too long since- His
thoughts were cut off by a very quiet voice next to him.
never did tell Em or me where those scars on your neck came from Peter? Your
friend Remus seems to have a similar one of his hand.”
jumped, startled, and turned his head to look at his sister. She had swept up
her blonde hair that was the exact same shade as his own under her head to act as
a pillow and propped her feet up on her husband. Her hands were gently clasped
around her large stomach and her blue eyes, tinged with grey, were barely
visible in the night.
for Pete’s sake, Mare, you just took ten years off my life,” Peter whispered to
chuckled softly. “Do you remember when you were little you were convinced it
was for your sake? Sorry to startle you, I don’t sleep well these days.”
can’t believe I’m going to be an uncle.”
avoiding the subject.”
thought for a moment. “There was a very large spider… it attacked me at school.
Remus pulled it off my neck and it bit him, too. That’s why we both have
spiders wouldn’t leave a mark like that.”
crickets chirped outside.
really should get some sleep, Mare. That can’t be good for the baby.”
chuckled again, more softly then before. “I’m so sick of everyone telling me
what’s good for the baby… as though I’d ever do anything to harm it. I swear
you’ve been worse than Eugene this week.”
I don’t get to worry about you often enough,” Peter responded with a small grin
that no one could see.
made a small murmur of mutual consent. “You should get some sleep Peter, we’ve
got to deal with this mess in the morning and pack up to head home.”
Marietta,” Peter sing-songingly intoned, smirking, as he curled up into a ball
and moved to rest his head on his older sister’s arm.
yawned. “’Night, Mare.”