Peter Pettigrew looked down at the parchment and stared. "It... it worked! I've finally got it!" He glanced at his watch, and then pulled open the curtains around his bed. It was morning.
He looked around the room, but it seemed that James, Sirius and Remus had already gone down to the common room. That was fine - he'd be able to tell them that he had finished the Marauders' Map when they were all together. It would be excellent for the start of the winter hols - since they had all opted to stay, they'd be able to use Peter's discovery all the time.
After dressing quickly, he practically flew down the stairs. "James! Sirius! Rem-"
He stopped short, seeing them talking to a girl in the common room. She had shining, waist-length golden hair and bright blue eyes, and was talking animatedly with Sirius, who seemed very interested in her. "Er, sorry, I didn't realize you were busy-"
"What do you want? Can't you see we're busy?" asked James, turning to him and looking angry. "Who are you, anyway?"
Peter laughed. "You're joking, right? I've been your friend for six years."
The golden-haired girl turned her head to see him, and then recoiled as if in shock. "It is him! Peter Pettigrew, who I saw in my vision, the traitor! He would have betrayed you all!"
Sirius narrowed his eyes. "The traitor, eh? You won't fool us. Krysstale is a true Seer, and she knows all about you. Don't even try and come near us again, do you hear? You should have been in Slytherin."
Peter still wanted to believe it was a joke. But the tone of Sirius's voice, the indifferent look on Remus's face, and James's sudden anger made it seem all to real. And so, Peter Pettigrew did all he could do - he ran.
Where am I running? Why am I running? Peter thought, suddenly, as he rounded a corner, and slowed to a halt. He had ended up by the statue of the one-eyed crone, which was the entrance to one of the passages to Hogsmeade.
Should I go to Hogsmeade? he wondered, but then shook his head. No, perhaps I'd better go to breakfast. Maybe someone else will know what's going on with James, Sirius, Remus and that new girl.
He rested briefly against the wall, and looked upwards with a sigh. What was going on? He'd never seen that girl before, and the others had been talking with her as if they'd known her forever, which was impossible - if any of them had known her and liked her that much, they would have mentioned her. Especially if she was really a Seer, which he doubted.
Peter continued to ponder this as he made his way to the Great Hall for breakfast. Come to think of it, he was fairly hungry. He found his way there easily enough, and took a seat at the breakfast table, and was very relieved when he realized that the other Marauders weren't there. The table was actually pretty sparse, as many students elected to go home over the holidays and spend Christmas with their families. Peter wished he had, too.
Having deliberately chosen a spot away from where most of the others were sitting, Peter didn't expect anyone to sit next to him. So he was surprised when a girl wearing a Hufflepuff badge who was probably in seventh-year sat down next to him and began eating her breakfast without a single word.
Noticing that the Gryffindor boy had stopped eating out of surprise, she looked up at him cautiously. "You're Peter Pettigrew, correct? Gryffindor, sixth year? I suppose you would know Sirius Black, then?" she asked, briskly.
"Er, yes," Peter replied, wondering where this was going.
"Who's that girl I saw him hanging out with? She certainly... stood out, and I'm sure I've never seen her here before."
"I was wondering that myself, actually," he muttered, frowning.
The girl murmured that sounded something like, "I thought so", but went back to her scrambled eggs, eating quickly. She hadn't ever seen the girl before, either...
...actually, come to think of it, he'd never seen this girl before...
Peter drummed his fingers on the table before speaking again. "Er, I'm sorry, but I don't think I caught your name."
"I didn't give it," she said, cooly. "I might, however, discuss that and what's going on here, say, somewhere else. If you want to know, meet me at the Three Broomsticks at noon. I'll be waiting," she finished, left the table and proceeded to stalk out of the Hall.
He watched her walk away, and wondered who she was. She seemed familiar with the school, but he could have sworn that he had never seen her before in his life, but then again, he hadn't ever seen Krysstale before, either. Maybe he was just going mad. He had always figured it was going to happen someday.
As he walked back toward the common room, Peter thought about what the Hufflepuff girl had said: "Meet me at the Three Broomsticks at noon. I'll be waiting." Should he? He might as well - it couldn't hurt, right?
And, after all - he didn't have anything else to do now, did he?
As Peter made his way through the passage to Hogsmeade, he had a thought: how was that girl going to get to Hogsmeade? She couldn't possibly know where all the secret passages were, could she? And - how did she know he could?
It was a worrying thought. Assuming she did, in fact, know all that, then how had she found out? How much did she know about him?
And - why did it seem now that everyone else knew more about himself than he did?
"Why me?" murmured Peter, turning his eyes upwards. "Why me?"
He found her waiting in a window booth near the door. Two butterbeers were already waiting on the table. She looked up from a notebook she was scribbling in as he walked up. "So, you came, did you? Have a seat."
"What's all this about?" asked Peter. Knowing nothing was beginning to get on his nerves.
She glanced downwards. "I suppose I should tell you my name, first," she said. "Peter Pettigrew, I am Dire Straits. No, I am not kidding. Pleased to meet you."
Dire extended a hand across the table, and Peter shook it, biting his lip slightly to stop himself from laughing. "So," he said, "what's going on at the school? You seemed to know something about it."
"I do," she admitted. "The new girl, wossname-"
"Krysstale. Yecch. Anyway, Krysstale is... not quite human, so to speak."
"You heard me. She's not human. She's a special species... I think it may have been developed by some Dark wizards in the thirteenth century or so - they at least contain some Veela blood, some human, and sometimes other things." She looked out to the rest of the establishment quickly, as if making sure they wouldn't be overheard. "Those of us who know about them call them Mary-Sues."
"Correct. And this one seems to be following the mannerisms of the subspecies puella centraquestis, with tendencies toward humanius perfectius, I'd say. Although there are many different types, many seem mostly interested in romance. But another notable trend among them is that if there is a threat to their continued existence, such as an extraordinary presence of logic, practicality, ordinariness, or an extremely perceptive person, they will attempt to eliminate said threat from their surroundings."
"And what does this have to do with me?"
"I drew the conclusion from the fact that your friends weren't with you that Krysstale had already turned them against you. You fit as a threat - on the ordinary side, tends to fade into the background at times, perceptive - if you expose her as something other than she is pretending to be when she first arrives, she will be unable to stay. However, now that she is entrenched, more stringent preparations will need to be made. And I fear that she is already making moves to solidify her position..."
"Wait, wait, wait. You can't be serious! Why would anyone consider me a threat?"
Dire sighed. "It's difficult to explain. You've got... qualities that your friends don't have that make you a danger to the 'Sues. I guess you could say... you're a little more down-to-earth. Yes, that's it. And..."
She reached over to her back and pulled out a few sheaves of parchment. "...these are your school transcripts. Now try and tell me you're just ordinary little Peter Pettigrew, who somehow got picked up by the most popular boys in the school in his first year."
Peter gaped at her. "How did you get those?"
"A great magician never reveals her secrets," she said in a singsong voice, looking down at her fingernails. "But you should return to the castle. It's likely that even now, Krysstale is going to try and get you away, lest you find a way to destroy her cover. She'll probably try to remove you from the school somehow, first."
"What about you?"
She smiled eerily. "No one notices me if I don't want them to. You'd best be on your way, though."
Dire walked him to Honeydukes, and respectfully turned around as he transformed into his Animagus form and skittered away. Had she known about that, too? It seemed she knew everything. Maybe this was all just a bizarre dream... just a figment of his over-tired imagination, a side-effect of all his late nights working on the Marauders' Map.
But when Professor McGonagall told him to pack his bags, all the pinching in the world would not let him wake up from the nightmare that had begun.
End Chapter 1.------------------------------------------
I have finally decided to write a Mary-Sue parodyish fic. So, this is the result of my liking for Peter Pettigrew, my weird little imagination, and reading too many bad Mary-Sues. I think my next project shall be to write something serious, for once, and without any original characters. Next challenge, for sure. But hey, this had to be written.
Basically, this fic is directed at the stories that erase Peter Pettigrew, replace him with a Mary-Sue or Gary-Stu, or take him out early on because he's "evil". Come on, everyone's got a reason. JKR even said, re Tom Riddle: "I don't believe that anybody was born evil." So don't you suppose this applies to lesser evils, too? And he can't be just dumb and cowardly, because it takes some guts to put on a show for a whole street and then blow it up, framing one of your best friends, right?
Yay logic. Next chapter coming soon.