Written for HPFC's Pick A Card, Any Card challenge for the card : write about a Death Eater.

Also written for HPFC's Marauders Era Competition with the situation: Peter Pettigrew falls in love with someone. Prompts used: golden, spinning, game, arched.

Brief mention of slash, but nothing significant.

Dialogue-fic-ish.

Disclaimer: I don't own anything.

X

"Pettigrew. You're Peter, right?"

"Y-yeah."

"I'm Alecto. Come on, we should get started. McGonagall's projects aren't ever as easy as they seem. Which part of the work do you want to do?"

"A-anything. I'm lousy at these kind of projects, though."

"Come on, Peter. I'm sure you aren't. I'm sure you can do this."

X

"That essay was brilliant! McGonagall's so going to give us the top mark."

"Oh... Th-thanks."

X

The Slytherin girl has a smile that Peter cannot describe - that slight curl of the lip that works on her just right, along withdelicately arched eyebrows and eyes like odd jewels. Her words are like honey.

Peter finds himself staring.

X

It starts innocently enough.

"Hey Peter, can you help me hand in my homework today?"

"Of course."

"Thanks."

X

There are times he hates them - James and Sirius and their glory and brilliance, and Remus and all his self-righteous, knowing looks. There are times he hates pretending, hates forcing laughter into the sun that is too bright.

"I'm skiving off Charms tomorrow. Going to take the time to plant those dungbombs in the dungeons."

"I'll tell him you're sick, then, Padfoot."

"Nah, you do it, Prongs. No offence, Wormtail, but your stuttering needs to stop before you lie to teachers for us."

X

"Help me tell McGonagall that I'm sick tomorrow, won't you? I don't think I can stand another lesson on Animagi? Don't look at me like that, of course you can do it."

"S-sure, Alecto. Thanks."

"Why are you thanking me for?"

"I... Well, I just...

Alecto has laughter like sunshine. Peter gazes into it and grins.

X

"Come on, Pete. I swear, you're going to be the reason we get caught."

"Hurry up, Wormtail! Seriously!"

(Don't look at me like that. I'm sure you can do it.)

Peter runs along. James and Sirius don't have to matter, for now.

X

"I'm skiving off Transfiguration again. Tell McGonagall I puked in Charms, won't you?"

"Of course!"

X

"Help me finish my homework, won't you, Peter? You're really good at Potions assignments, you know. Really."

"Th-thanks."

Sometimes, Peter feels like flying.

X

He tells Alecto about it all, one day, as they work through McGonagall's project together - tells her about James and Sirius and Remus and that Lily. He stammers and stutters, his hand twitching in the space between them, but Alecto just cocks her head to one side and listens. Her hair sweeps over her forehead like the casual brush of a raven's wing, over the perfect arch of her eyebrows. Her skin looks pale and slightly rough, and Peter longs to touch, longs to feel it beneath his fingers.

Peter does not hate his friends, really. It's just that he does not love them as much as they all think.

Alecto simply smiles, lips curling that way again, voice like honey.

"But I think you're brilliant, Peter."

X

He does not know when the innocent requests turn into something more.

"How about this - if you help Sirius Black's brother sneak into the Gryffindor common room this Sunday, I'll let you have a kiss."

"I... Well... What?"

X

"What on Earth can you be staring at, Mr. Wormtail?"

"N-nothing!"

"Come on, Wormtail. You've been spending a lot of time with that Slytherin girl -Carrow, isn't it? Is there anything you'd like to tell us, Mr. Wormtail?"

"Well, McGonagall paired us together for that Transfiguration project. Besides, she's actually... quite..."

"She's a Slytherin. Gross, Pete."

"Come on, Peter. Marlene McKinnon seemed pretty interested in you last I spoke to her. You can do better than some Slytherin cow."

"I... I guess y-you're r-right..."

It is at times like this when he hates his friends most.

X

"Alright, Alecto. I'll help Regulus sneak in."

Alecto's lips are rough and a little chapped, and Peter's world spins and it is the most delicious thing he has ever tasted.

X

Alecto Carrow is not exactly a beautiful girl. Peter knows this. She is not like Sirius' cousins or Marlene McKinnon or that Ravenclaw girl with blonde hair, wide hips and big almond eyes. Alecto has dark, slightly straggly hair, pale skin and a flat chest.

Peter hears a boy jeer at her once, out in the windy courtyard at break, calling her a pug, a cow, and Peter is so angry he almost hits the bastard.

In Transfiguration, Alecto smirks at him from across her desk, eyes laughing, eyebrows arched, confident and perfect, and in that moment, she looks golden.

X

Sirius wakes up on Sunday with maggots in his pillow and an angry message from his brother tattooed onto the inside of his arm. He storms around the dormitory and rages at James and Remus and Peter. Then, he simply slumps down and sobs, scratching uselessly at the words engraved on his skin.

Peter thinks about Alecto's lips, her sunlit, golden eyes. He looks away.

X

"If you can sneak into Slughorn's office for me and steal some of the restricted poisons there, I'll let you have another kiss, Peter."

"Alright."

He does not hesitate. He does not even stammer.

X

James and Lily get together over the same Christmas holidays - the same holidays they find Remus and Sirius snogging in an alcove by the Charms corridor. The five of them lounge around in the common room for a while, laughing, snogging and playing Exploding Snap, and Peter can tell that none of the others actually need him there.

Back in his dormitory he sits down on his bed and writes love letters to Alecto, each ending with disastrous permutations of the same I love you of novel proportions. That's when he picks up his wand and burns them.

X

He finds Alecto by the lake, and just stands there awkwardly until she turns and gives him one of her smiles.

"Hey, Peter."

"Hey."

"Peter - you know Lisa Moore, that third-year Hufflepuff Muggleborn? Can you help me bring her to me and my friend Bellatrix - you know her, don't you? Just ask her out or something. She won't disagree. She won't suspect a thing, either. Besides, Bella and I just want to tell her something. That's it. Come on, Peter. I know you can do it. I'll give you a kiss, for a change."

"Okay."

X

He brings the confused Hufflepuff girl to Alecto and Bellatrix within a day. Bellatrix takes one look at the shocked girl and grins. There is a look in her eyes that Peter does not quite like.

"Good work!"

Peter blinks, slightly dazed, and smiles shyly at the ground. He imagines what Sirius will say if he can see Peter now, congratulated by Bellatrix Black. It fills him with a flush of pleasure.

Then, he looks up and realises that it was Alecto that Bellatrix spoke to. Good work, Alecto.

He suddenly feels disorientated. Mumbling an incoherent excuse to the two girls, he hurries away.

Peter feels wrong-footed. Bile rises warmly from his stomach, making him feel awfully sick.

X

Is it all just a game? Alecto and her hypnotising words and sunlit eyes and patience - is it all just a farce, a cruel, twisted sport? Is she in fact James and Sirius all over again - except crueler, harsher? While James and Sirius outright tell him he's pathetic, Alecto smiles and tells him he's brilliant and hides who knows what behind those eyes that Peter loves.

Peter is just a toy - just a pawn, stupid enough to really believe that he isn't pathetic.

X

Alecto pulls him into an alcove during break the next day and presses her mouth to his, and Peter leans in so hard that his lips ache and their teeth click together. Alecto's hands move to the back of his head as he wraps himself around her, and Peter fancies that her fingertips leave permanent marks - whorls of gold just for them to see.

When she breaks away, her eyes look like dark whirlpools, and Peter kisses her again, pressing close, because no, he's wrong. This isn't a game that she is playing. This is... real.

It has to be.

X

Two days later, she asks him the Question. Peter blinks and stares, wide-eyed for a moment, and Alecto takes hold of his hands and looks into his eyes.

"Just come with me, Peter. Please. You are far greater than your friends. You can do great things..."

"Alecto, I..."

"The Dark Lord only wants nobility. The Dark Lord needs you... If you come with me, you can have whatever you want."

Peter swallows. Alecto's eyes are like dark whirlpools, and Peter finds himself spinning away.

X

I hope the flow isn't too bad. Dialogue-fics aren't as easy as I thought :P Reviews are much appreciated.