Disclaimer: If I owned Harry Potter, why would I be writing fanfiction about it? Ok ok, well I definitely do not, and never have owned Harry Potter, so don't sue me!! I'm on my last tin of animal crackers!
A/N: An interesting little perspective I thought I might explore in a one-shot. Dedicated to Rachel, not because of the content but because she's my editing friend and needs something dedicated to her immediately. Reviews are my bestest friends.
How stupid all of them were. I know what they thought. That I wanted to be just like James because I idolized him and followed him everywhere. Or they might believe that I wished to be Sirius, because of the way I bent to his will, never retorted to a single one of his insults. They never knew which Marauder I secretly dreamed of becoming. Surely not myself, foolish, bumbling Peter. I lacked the courage and leadership to be James, and the dare devilish charm required to play Sirius. I always wanted to be Remus. I sometimes thought that I could fill Remus' shoes.
Remus was not part of James and Sirius' little duo. He was on the outside, just like me, but their regard for him was different. James and Sirius were practically twins, and Remus was almost their brother. I was their friend. If you have a choice between saving your brother and your friend from a burning building, you save your brother and expect your friend to understand. They took care of us both, of course, in the best way they knew how, and sometimes they even tried to pretend that I had an equal part in their almost familial bond. But of course, I knew that they took care of Remus because they loved him, not because they pitied him as they did me. They respected Remus. He endured more pain every month than they would in their entire lives, and still dragged himself up for class the next day. I could never do that.
Still, even before they knew his secret, he intrigued them. While I had to worm, flatter, and cajole my way into being worthy of their company, they sought out Remus. They would never have gone to the amount of trouble involved to draw Remus out of his shell for me. If I had a secret, they would not have spent hours in the library trying to figure it out as they did for Remus.
I spent years trying to understand the difference between Remus and myself. His role in our group of Marauders didn't require anything that I couldn't do. A smile and a sympathetic ear were things that I could provide to Sirius and James, so why was Remus the one they always turned to and asked for in times of need or trouble? At first I thought that James and Sirius loved him better for the obvious reasons. His talent, quiet strength, and fierce loyalty were excellent qualities, but apart from them, I thought that I could easily do his job. He was the voice of reason, the calm, compassionate, and kind one. I could do that. But I didn't realize what he really meant until sixth year. The year that Sirius betrayed his trust.
After the incident, all the pranks ground to a halt. James and Sirius were always frazzled and on edge. At first I thought that this was due to shock and anger on both their parts, but these conditions pervaded long after they had forgiven each other. That was when I realized why they needed Remus. To them, Remus was safety. Remus held them back when the prank was too dangerous, the going too difficult, and if they didn't heed his advice and got themselves hurt anyway, Remus was the one who soothed them back to their old selves. Remus was their collective conscience, their line between right and wrong, good and evil. He was their line in the sand. They trusted him to guide them, they loved him for it.
That's when I realized that I could never do for the Marauders what Remus did. Because Remus didn't perform his duty out of a desire for acceptance and social standing. He did it because he cared about them. Cared about their lives and their decisions as much as his own.
I learned that I could never be Remus, could never fill his role, and would never earn the respect that he and his moronically persistent kindheartedness so effortlessly garnered. That's when I realized that I would never have the respect of my "friends," my fellow Marauders, and that's when I first thought of finding my respect somewhere else.
When I was buried up to my neck in Voldemort's crazy scheming and plotting and evil doing, I didn't have friendship, I didn't have camaraderie, but they weren't important anymore. I traded them away, traded them for a role. A defined, respectable role within my group. Not the brave one, or the funny one, or the kind one, but the powerful one. The one with inside information that nobody else could ever provide.
After they started to suspect, and they realized that someone on the inside must have turned traitor, I knew just who to blame. Sometimes, late at night, I would wake up laughing at the thought. It was I, of course, who started the accusations, planted the seeds of doubt. It was I who made them think of Remus, Remus the kind, the good, the self-sacrificing. Remus who wouldn't hurt a fly, well most days out of the month anyway. I delighted in breaking apart their little family, the little family that had left me without a part. I was their friend, I could trade away my friends. It was even easier than I thought it would be.
A/N: Shameless plug- for more Remus worshipping, by me not Peter, check out my long fic about Remus' years at Hogwarts. Chapter 6 of that coming soon.