If I Could Change the World…

He made a different choice.

He stood there in the middle of the street, staring at Peter – Peter, the traitor, the one who had lied to them all – and he chose.

With a wave of his wand, he petrified his childhood friend. Ignoring the startled cries of Muggles all around, he wrapped an arm around the frozen body and the pair disappeared.

They fell out of the sky in the Ministry Atrium, and ignoring the screams of people all around he levitated Peter to the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, placed himself in a chair in front of Amelia Bones' desk and refused to move until he had been given Veritaserum.

He told the truth in full, was released, and Disapparated from the Ministry.

He appeared on a suburban street, walked up a perfectly normal drive and rang a perfectly normal doorbell.

Petunia Dursley opened the door, looked at him, and nearly fainted in relief. She rushed to retrieve Harry, nearly throwing the child at him, and slammed the door in his face.

Sirius Black made a different choice.

And the world changed.

A single step…

He made a different choice.

Standing in Dumbledore's office, he stared at the older man. Swallowing nervously, he opened his mouth

– and shut it again, falling silent as doubts besieged him.

But there was nothing else to be done – no other way to ensure Sirius's freedom and safety if something were to go wrong.

"Sirius Black is not our Secret-Keeper," he said, and Dumbledore stared.

And the world changed.

A single word…

He made a different choice.

The Map was spread across his desk, and there were the dots, moving rapidly toward the Whomping Willow – Harry, no! – and he knew, just knew that they weren't going to make it, that they wouldn't survive.

And everything in him was screaming to run down there, to stop him –

Spinning on his heel, he stared out the window…

…and up at the night sky.

In a few hours, the full moon would be rising.

What would be the point of going there to save them if he only turned those kids into werewolves?

He made a different choice.

Racing from the classroom, Map in hand, he flew by a startled Severus Snape, who nearly dropped the potion, and ran for Dumbledore's office. Grumbling under his breath, Snape followed, the potion still in hand.

Remus slammed into the office, threw the Map on the headmaster's desk…

…and the world changed.

Is all it takes.

He made a different choice.

The children had appeared in the very center of the graveyard, just as Crouch had promised. They were alone and had no means of escaping but the trophy at their feet. Everything was going to plan.

Except that Harry was supposed to be alone.

Except –

"Kill the spare," a serpentine voice sounded as Harry fell to his feet, and Pettigrew raised his wand.

Harry shuddered, and Pettigrew froze.

Why should he, really? What had the boy ever done to him? Nothing. And Harry….

But he could not do the brave thing, oh no, bravery got people killed, after all…

I owe him a Life Debt, a voice whispered in his mind, and he rocked back on his heels.

"Kill him!" Voldemort hissed, and Pettigrew turned to stare at the bundle of blankets swathing the ghastly form.

Yes, he decided, staring at James's son. A Life Debt.

Turning on his heel, ignoring the strange boy's incredulous gaze, Peter Pettigrew strode over to the form that was the Dark Lord… picked him up and dropped him in the half-filled cauldron.

A high-pitched scream echoed throughout the graveyard as he returned to Harry's side. With a curt nod at the other, older boy, he lifted Harry carefully, bracing the young boy against his side.

With a wave of his wand, the cup sailed into his hand, and he, Harry and the seventh-year disappeared from the graveyard.

He made a different choice.

And the world changed.