Disclaimer: I do not own anything in this story except the idea used to play around with JK Rowling's charactersJ This is my first HP fanfic (first I've put up anyway, have a couple in the works). Constructive criticism is appreciated. Flames will be used to bake Chocolate Chip cookiesJ  This story takes place during PS/SS on the Hogwarts Express. I was rereading it and this idea came to me.

While Scabbers Was Sleeping

They were picking on him again! Their laughter rang in his ears as they levitated him and drew the top of his knickers over the hook behind him. Then they let him drop, the hook and his knickers the only things holding him up.

"It was fun hanging with you," one of the large boys said.

"Wish we could hang around longer, but we've got other things to do, right?" The second large, oafish boy looked at the two with them for confirmation, specifically the blond-haired boy.

"Shut-up, Crabbe," he sneered. "Although he is right—for once. We do have to be running off. Ta ta for now!" He turned and, with an exaggerated sweep, he exited the boys' bathroom. The tall dark-haired boy who had not spoken gave the wriggling boy on the wall a disgusted look before following his friend. Crabbe and the other boy gave one last triumphant snigger before turning and following their leader.

Left there dangling like a fish, Peter Pettigrew tried to get down. Unfortunately, his knickers would not rip as they normally would, thanks to a special Rip-Free charm his mother placed on all his clothes. She had made it for his knickers at first, since they always seemed to get holes in them. When asked what caused them, Peter lied and said rats. Whether his mother believed him or not, he did not know.

The small boy gave up after a moment and gazed forlornly at his wand. It was lying where it fell in the stall he had been using before being ambushed by Lucius Malfoy and his cronies, Crabbe, Goyle, and Severus Snape. He had been surprised to see them when he stepped out and before he could fully draw his wand, Malfoy shouted a disarming spell.

"Why don't they teach summoning charms in second year?" Peter grumbled, wondering how long it would take someone to find him this time, whether it was his friends or one of the professors. He hoped his friends would be the ones to find him; it would be mortally embarrassing if Professor Kettleburn or one of the other professors were the ones to discover him.

How much time passed, Peter did not know. Finally three boys came running into the bathroom.

"There you are, Peter!" one of the dark haired boys exclaimed, panting for breath.

"Took you long enough to find me," Peter said. It came out harsher then he meant it.

"Not our fault," the light brown haired boy and the tallest in their group said. "Snape just told us he and Malfoy saw you in one of the bathrooms."

"But only after we threatened to hex them," the first boy said.

"I know, Remus. Sirius. I didn't mean to sound ungrateful—"

"We know you don't, Peter," the last boy said. He pushed his glasses back on his nose and looked at the other two. "Let's get him down, shall we?"

"I don't know, James. He does add to the decoration in here," Sirius teased.

Peter rolled his eyes. "Guys!"

"Okay, okay!" James laughed. Then, pulling out his wand, he aimed it at Peter. "Wingardium Leviosa!"

Peter felt a small tickle and then he was rising into the air and off the hook. Then he was lowered gently to the ground.

"Thanks James," he said, taking his wand from Remus.

"No problem." James tucked his wand back in his robes.

"Peter, Peter, Peter!" Sirius slung an arm around the smaller boy's shoulders as they left the bathroom. "You've got to start defending yourself! Learn some simple hexes and charms!"

"And while you're learning, just stick by us!" James said.

"And be sure you do this time!" Sirius added.

"I will."

   *  *  *   *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

That day in the boys' bathroom at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry with his friends seemed eons ago. Now, years later and several recent unpleasant experiences under his belt, Peter Pettigrew was about to do the one thing he knew he would regret, but his sense of self-preservation overrode any hesitation.

He apparated to an old deserted home on the Atlantic. Or it appeared to be deserted in the eyes of Muggles-non magical folk, and Peter and his friends (and enemies) were wizards. To Peter, the home was normal looking, yet it was anything but.

"Do you have it?" one of the dark robed figures guarding the entrance demanded.

"Oo..Of course I do!" Peter stuttered. "I would not dare otherwise."

The wizard looked at him a moment before giving him a quick nod. "I will tell the Master you are here." He turned and went inside.

Peter shivered. He could go, he knew, and not betray the monumental trust placed on him. He could flee and try to stay one step ahead of Voldemort.

Voldemort…It terrified him to even think the dark wizard's name. Most wizards, even those who served him (at least when around others) referred to him as "You-Know-Who" or "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named."

No…He could not run. Peter knew he did not have the wit or audacity necessary to stay ahead of him. And there was no one he could turn to for help. Not now.

"You may enter!"

Peter jumped. He had not seen the wizard re-emerge from the house's dark interior. With a quick nod, the small man swept past the two guards and entered.

"Pettigrew." His voice came from the dark room to his right. Peter stepped inside and approached the tall figure standing in the middle of the room.

"My Lord." Peter bowed low at his feet.

"Rise."

Peter obeyed.

"I believe you have some news of their whereabouts?"

"I do, my Lord. James and Lily Potter and their son are hiding in Godric's Hollow."

Voldemort's face was hidden so Peter only saw the line of his mouth curl into a cruel smile. "Well done, Pettigrew. It is time to pay the Potters one last visit…"

Why Voldemort wanted to kill the Potters, only he knew. His Death Eaters—for that was what his wizard followers were called—only knew he wanted to get rid of them. Since there was no love lost between them and the Potters, the Death Eaters did not mind.

And Peter was a Death Eater. At least that was what he told himself as Voldemort took off for Godric's Hollow. Little did he or anyone else know what would transpire at the Potters.'

In a strange turn of events, Voldemort was destroyed at the home. Accounts of eyewitnesses described hearing an explosion of some sort that brought down the Potters' house. James and Lily Potter were found dead. As for their son Harry, he lived.

Of course the muggles living in Godric's Hollow did not know that Harry lived. Nor did they ever learn what really happened that Halloween night. But the wizard world did.

Peter knew he was in trouble. Voldemort had gone to the Potters' on his information. Once a traitor to his friends and Dumbledore, he feared the Death Eaters would think he purposely sent their master to his doom. He knew he would have to run but as before, it was not an option.

"PETER!" a voice roared.

Peter gulped. He would know that voice anywhere! Turning, he saw a wizard in black coming towards him on the muggle street in a small neighborhood. People were out enjoying the crisp fall weather.

"PETER!"

Peter looked around him. There was no place for him to hide and the wizard had murder in his eyes…

An idea suddenly came to him and Peter let the other approach. Then just as he was upon him with his wand drawn, Peter shouted.

"HOW COULD YOU DO IT SIRIUS? HOW COULD YOU BETRAY JAMES AND LILY?"

It worked. Stunned by his outburst, Sirius Black hesitated long enough for Peter to draw his wand and to cast a spell that caused an explosion to rock the street they were on. Twelve muggles were killed in the blast.

In the days and years to come, the wizard world believed Sirius caused the explosion, killing the twelve muggles and Peter Pettigrew. Then, because Dumbledore testified in front of the Ministry that Sirius was the Potters' Secret Keeper, charged with keeping their location hidden from the world, people believed he was a traitor! One of Voldemort's Death Eaters! Sirius was sent to Azkaban Wizard Prison without a formal trial.

Because of his "bravery," Peter was awarded the Order of Merlin, First Class, post-humously.

If Peter had ever hoped to return to the wizard world, he knew he could not. So now, he lived in his Animagus form as a rat. He became a pet to the Weasley family, a prominent wizarding family with ties to the Ministry and so would know most likely first hand of the developing events…

Voices…he heard their voices. They were coming to pick on him again! No…wait…they were threatening James! He had to help James!

"Leave James alone!" Peter cried as Goyle reached for his friend.

"Or what?" Goyle challenged.

"Or this!" Peter lunged and bit Goyle's hand with all his might. He heard Goyle screaming and he was trying to shake him off, but Peter would not let go.

Peter suddenly felt himself flying through the air, but he was not afraid. He had finally stood up to them and helped his friends…

"I think he's been knocked out," Ron said to Harry. He looked closer at Scabbers. "No—I don't believe it—he's gone back to sleep."

                     THE END