Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter. This story was written for fun, not profit.

The Right Thing

Harry stared up at him and giggled, reaching out his hand to grab Peter's sleeve. When he latched onto Peter's finger instead, his face split into a baby smile.

And it broke Peter's heart.

"Is he smiling?" Lily asked from the doorway. When he nodded, she walked to the crib and propped her hands on the headboard, the corner of her lip twitching into an ill-concealed grin. "He won't do that for Remus or Sirius. You should have seen them yesterday, trying to get him to smile. They looked ridiculous."

Peter forced a laugh. "Sounds like them."

Lily's smile faded. "What is it?"

"I'm worried," he said, and in a way that was the truth. "About..." The words stuck in his throat.

"About Remus?" she supplied.

He should have been relieved, grateful that she didn't suspect. Instead he just stared down at Harry, past Harry, at a vision of the future he didn't want to see.

"Do you really think he's the spy?" he asked softly.

Lily's eyes squeezed shut for a moment, as if she was in pain. That was all the answer either of them needed, but she spoke anyway. "I don't know who else it could be. Sirius and James are like brothers, Andy and Cecily don't know anything, and I've known you for...what is it now? Nine years? You wouldn't hurt us."

She said it so matter-of-factly, as if there was never a doubt. As if it was the most absurd thing in the world.

I'm not as strong as you, he told her silently. I'm not powerful like you or James. I'm the funny Marauder. What good does that do against Voldemort?


He closed his eyes against the image that rose up unbidden: Lily sprawled on the floor, sparkling green eyes glazed and unseeing. I'm not as strong as you.

"Are you all right?"

He heaved a sigh, one that caught on a hitch in his throat. "What if I do hurt you or Harry? What if -- "

"Peter. Listen to me." She leaned forward and looked him right in the eyes, and it was all he could do not to look somwhere else, anywhere else, so he wouldn't have to meet her gaze. "You're braver than you think. I know that when it counts, you'll do the right thing."

She pushed away from the crib and started to walk back into the living room, with its light and laughter. Sounds drifted from it -- Sirius telling some off-color joke, James protesting that his son was probably in earshot while Sirius's sister Andy let out peals of helpless laughter, Cecily somehow comparing the joke to her brother's adventures, and the moment of silence that meant Remus was adding some comment of his own.

"Lily?" He called suddenly. "He's not a spy."

She stopped in the doorway, but did not turn around. "I hope so, Peter. I really hope so."

I'm a Death Eater.

But the words wouldn't come.

"I know so," he said instead, very quietly.

She just nodded and walked back into the light.

Peter wished he could run after her, grab her by the shoulders and shake sense into her. He was trying -- desperately trying to tell her in the only way he knew how. But she didn't see. Maybe she didn't want to. Of all the Marauders, he had been her friend the longest. Now he wished he had never met her.

Just a little longer, he told himself. They're going into hiding. They'll be safe. You can't tell what you don't know.

He extracted his finger from Harry's grip. The baby smiled again and burbled at his "uncle", not knowing that the world was crumbling around him. He just looked up at Peter with complete, undeserved trust.

"I know that when it counts, you'll do the right thing."

He wished he could be so certain.