There's a World Rat Day? There is, and The Golden Snitch celebrates Peter Pettigrew because of it! He isn't my favourite character but, like all the bad guys of HP, he's kind of interesting to write.
So, this is for the World Rat Day Event at The Golden Snitch, using the prompts: (colour) steel grey, (word) twitch, (word) whiskers, (object) butcher's knife, (word) tail, (colour) baby pink
Durmstrang, Pirin House.
Word count: 1,179 words.
People claim Alecto Carrow always has a butcher's knife in her schoolbag. Peter doesn't believe that to be true until they have to partner up for Herbology and a Tentacula Venenosa twists its vines around her leg. Unfazed, Alecto takes out the knife and cuts it.
"You could have used your wand," he shyly mutters, almost hoping she doesn't get to hear him.
She looks at him with a smirk playing in his baby pink lips. "What would be the fun in that?"
People claim Peter is afraid of his own shadow. He isn't: he's afraid of Alecto Carrow and the butcher's knife she carries everywhere. He even sees it in his dreams sometimes, and its steel grey shine fades away to reveal her equally grey eyes that look so lovely when she smiles.
People claim Alecto Carrow is a harpy. They call her a stupid hag who screeches around the Slytherin Common room all the time, whining about not being important enough to be part of Rabastan Lestrange and Regulus Black's circle of friends. Peter looks at her and sees how indifferent she is when Rabastan and Regulus walk by.
"Do you have any friends?" he asks her later in the day and she looks at him as if he were stupid.
"Besides you, you mean?" she asks back, playing with the butcher's knife menacingly. The same Tentacula Venenosa from the day before twitches and curls itself as a mechanism of protection. Peter wonders if he should be doing the same.
"Yeah," he says because there is nothing more he can say. He's afraid of what she'll do if he says they're not really friends. James, Remus and Sirius are his friends, and sometimes Alice is nice to him. Alecto scares him and barely speaks to him in Herbology.
"I have a few," she tells him at last. She's frowning and has stopped playing with the knife. "I mean, there's obviously my brother, but also Victoria Urquhart and Ian Wilson."
"A Hufflepuff?" Peter asks, incredulous. She smirks and goes back to her work.
People claim Peter doesn't have any friends, and that he only is with his group because they pity him. Peter knows that different kinds of people can be friends with each other.
People claim Alecto Carrow is following in her brother's footsteps. They say someone saw her left forearm, where a tattoo similar to that of the Death Eaters shows in her skin. Peter has seen her with her sleeves up in Herbology as they re–pot plants and work with soil and mulch. Now, her sleeves are always down and he wonders what made her do it.
"You're judging me," she says one day with her brows furrowed. Peter is surprised at the hurt hiding behind her usual indifferent look. Her baby pink lips almost pout and he smiles at her without meaning to.
She looks around and sees that everyone is paying attention to their own work and that Professor Sprout, the new Herbology teacher, is cooing over Alice's plants.
Then, Alecto looks at Peter's eyes and carefully rolls up her sleeve to show him just enough to let him see the black head of a snake that is surely coiling around a skull. She startles him because even if he hears the rumours, Peter doesn't think her capable of being one of those wizards.
"Twitch again and I'll cut your finger," she threatens, but her eyes are tender. "Don't judge me, Pettigrew. I did what I have to do."
He doesn't judge her, but his curiosity gets the better of him.
People claim Peter was always a traitor who used his group of friends to get what he wanted. They say he always was evil, hiding behind a clever mask of irony and meekness. They are wrong because the first time he entertains the notion of being a Death Eater has nothing to do with the Marauders and everything to do with Alecto Carrow.
People claim Alecto Carrow is a watered–down version of Bellatrix Lestrange, in all senses of the word. They call her ugly, saying Bellatrix is beautiful and elegant in the same sentence. They call her sadist, saying Bellatrix is more creative with her wand and never uses muggle tools (Peter eyes the butcher's knife still present in her hands). They call her insane, though, not eccentric like they call Bellatrix.
"It's unfair," he tells her one day after a meeting with the Dark Lord. She's being ridiculized by the other Death Eaters who think her nothing more than a toy for them until she cuts a few fingers.
She looks up at Peter and sees his angry eyes. "Don't," she says. "Let them think whatever they want, and I will be whatever I want."
People claim Peter is selfish and never thinks about anyone but himself, but he can't stop thinking about her eyes when he calls her beautiful and her smile when he says she is smart.
People claim Alecto Carrow is a lonely witch who only has her brother to speak with. They see her go back to her rooms after their dinner at Malfoy Manor and laugh behind her back. They don't notice the rat on her shoulder because no one ever thinks of Wormtail if they can avoid it.
Only when the door is locked, Alecto takes the rat by its tail and lets it hang in front of her. Wormtail writhes.
"I'm going to cut your whiskers if you don't stop moving. Or your tail, you'll get to choose."
She smiles, satisfied when the rat goes limp.
"Did you ever hear about Cinderella?" Alecto asks and lets Wormtail fall on her bed. "It's a tale about a witch who has her wand taken away by her father's squib wife. She fed it to the fire and Ella took the ashes after it burned down. That's why they called her Cinderella."
Wormtail jumps to the floor and he transforms back into his human self. Both of them have changed since they were kids sharing an Herbology class.
He is taller than her, but both of them are short and stout. Her lips are no longer pink but painted red (Alecto is amused when Peter tells her everyone thinks is the blood of her toys), and her eyes look sad and defeated.
He is ratty, having taken the characteristics of her animagus form after more than a decade transformed.
They make a good pair of cast outs, but Alecto refuses to think of herself in that light.
"Alice used to read fairy tale books in the Common Room," he says, sitting at her feet. Alecto looks annoyed.
"I liked that tale, but now I hate it."
She hates many things these days.
People claim Peter is in love with the bitter witch. They don't know how true that is.