The Sugar Quill
Author: B. Nonymous (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: I Solemnly Swear...  Chapter: Default
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I Solemnly Swear... - B. Nonymous

I Solemnly Swear...

Author's Note: Usual disclaimers apply - I'm just having fun. Thanks to beta extraordinaire Night Zephyr.

Peter Pettigrew felt a deep sense of dread.

It was not the first time he had felt this way. After three years of serving his master, Lord Voldemort, he was actually surprised that he did not feel this way more often. The truth was, the mansion in which he was staying had a half-dozen dementors guarding a prisoner. The dementors, who were until last year the guards at the wizarding prison of Azkaban, were now faithfully in the service of Lord Voldemort. The dearth of happiness - the dementors fed off happy thoughts - was heightening Pettigrew's existing feelings of dread.

And Wormtail, Pettigrew's more common name, knew whom the dementors were guarding. Fifteen years to the day after he survived Voldemort's killing curse, Harry Potter was in the clutches of the soulless dementors. Wormtail knew that his master would claim his vengeance at last, as soon as he returned with a party of his Death Eater servants from a night of Mudblood torture and killing.

Wormtail was in a small study, one of two in the old Riddle Mansion. On a table in the study were the confiscated goods of the prisoners now being held in the mansion. Young Potter, as always, was in the company of his two best friends, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley. Wormtail reflected briefly on Ron, whose family had unwittingly harbored Wormtail, an Animagus, for a number of years as their pet rat, Scabbers. He then started inspecting their goods.

Three wands, each in good condition; he was under orders not to tamper with them. His master wanted to use the other two prisoners, probably with the Imperius Curse, to get another toe-hold into Hogwarts. They would need their wands intact.

Potter's wand was another matter entirely. It had an identical core to Voldemort's. The last time Voldemort faced Potter, their wands connected and did not fight each other. In fact, Potter's wand forced Voldemort's to regurgitate the previous spells it had cast, bringing back echoes of several of the Dark Lord's victims. Lord Voldemort would take Potter's wand as his own, and perhaps with the two brother wands he could yield even more power than he had with just one.

A few other items struck Wormtail's interest. On the left was an invisibility cloak, and he knew who had owned that cloak before Harry. James Potter, Harry's father, and one of Peter's three best friends, had used that cloak during their own Hogwarts days to embark on adventures of all sorts. Wormtail's memory flashed back to something briefly as he held the cloak:

Sirius Black, one of the two others in their childhood group, had shouted that at him inside the Shrieking Shack, one of their former hideouts. Peter's betrayal of James, Sirius, and Remus Lupin, the final member of their band of "Marauders"; had put Sirius in Azkaban, under the guard of the dementors, for twelve years. Wormtail dropped the cloak suddenly as he winced, thinking about how his old friend had suffered like that.

Where the Invisibility Cloak had been, a piece of parchment was lying on the table. Peter looked at it, and picked it up with shaking hands. Tears started to well up as he remembered something else that was said only seconds after Sirius had shouted at him:

"I'm not doing this for you. I'm doing it because - I don't reckon my dad would've wanted them to become killers - just for you."

Harry had placed himself between the tandem of Sirius with Remus, and Wormtail. His former friends were all set to invoke the killing curse themselves, but Harry, James's son, had stopped them. Wormtail had never forgotten that, even as he cut Harry's arm for blood to allow his master to rise again. That had been a year and a half ago, and while Voldemort had given Wormtail all the power he could want, he still felt like he owed Harry something.

As a tear landed on the parchment, spidery lines appeared on it, and they formed letters in a familiar-looking script.

Mr. Moony would like to say, 'Hello,' to Mr. Wormtail, and hopes that he will share whatever is troubling him with his friends.

Remus Lupin, a werewolf, was Moony. The parchment was an enchanted map, created by Wormtail and his three friends. He trembled as a different script formed a new message.

Mr. Padfoot sends his regards, and hopes that Mr. Wormtail hasn't painted himself into a corner.

"Oh if you only knew, Sirius", muttered Wormtail. Sirius was also an Animagus, a dog. He knew who would be next. As if on cue, a third message appeared on the parchment.

Mr. Prongs gently reminds Mr. Wormtail that it is never too late to set something right.

"James," said Wormtail, as the tears started to flow.

Somewhere inside of him, Wormtail remembered Padfoot's words. He remembered Harry, and how he was so much like his father. He remembered the pain he had caused him, and that he was tired... so tired of being afraid.

Wormtail grabbed his wand, and as he touched his wand to the parchment he grimly stated, "I solemnly swear that I am up to no good!"

The Marauders Map showed a layout of the mansion, and a dot with the name "Peter Pettigrew". The next two closest dots showed the names "Ron Weasley" and "Hermione Granger". He gritted his teeth and walked out of the study, heading toward the first room where Ron was being held. He hoped that his former owner would understand what he was trying to do.

"I solemnly swear..."
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