Scabber's death

A selection of Harry Potter characters meet one of Death's many incarnations... This series of short stories is a follow-up - and a parody - of "Luna's death".

Characters belong to Rowling and Terry Pratchett

He ran, with the noise of the battle just behind him. Curses and hexes whizzed past him, burning holes in the stone wall. Things were - Wormtail considered as he ducked behind an overturned desk - not at their peak.

Which was a shame really, because on the whole, they were lightening up. Not that it wasn't very hard, considering how rotten the day had started. He had KNOWN that going to the ministry had been a seriously bad idea - it was not as if Remus and the others would be so stupid not to expect them - but, as Bella so patiently had explained to him, he could have chosen between going with them and be killed by his old friend, or refuse and be killed by his new ones, and something in the way she smiled when she said it had made Wormtail immediately decide that a little friendly killing each other between him and Remus was perfectly normal and nothing to shun. So he had came, as loyal as that. And things had went downhill.

Oh, it had started all right. They had fought their way into the place, killed a few aurors, Bella had mutilated some kind of clerk, and then Rockwood had got them into the Department of Mystery and all hell had broken lose. Half of the order must have been waiting for them. There had been Shackelbolt and Podmor and that psycho Madeye. He had got a glimpse of Sirius' cousin, and at least half of the Weasley kids - and Remus of course - and Potter who by now seemed to have seriously lost it. Damned, Wormtail was used to scary things - he WORKED for scary things, he had been a fucking NANNY for the scariest guy in town - but there had been something in Harry's eye that had made him decide, right there, right then, that it was time to quit with a life in the glorious movement of righteous rebellion and take up - say - Mongolian wasp-keeping.

And then the Dark Lord showed up, and things got worse.

And OF COURSE Snivelius had turned on them, in the worst possible moment, and OF COURSE Dumbledore's phoenix had done its stunt, and now the Dark Lord and Potter was doing something immensely complicated and metaphysical, and he would be damned if he would stay and watch the outcome of it. Besides, he felt that his contract with the Dark Lord was probably void by now, anyway, after having backstabbed him like that. Sure, the explosion had taken his arm off, but it was not as if he couldn't live with that. A rat was rather swift on three paws, and it wasn't like he couldn't make himself another one of silver. And he had felt that he owned the Dark Idiot some kind of sign of gratitude, for destroying his life all those years ago. More importantly - the arm that had been destroyed was the one that had been branded with the Dark Mark. No more slave-sign, no more choking chain. Wormtail was finally free.

Which was why, he reflected as he transformed into a rather heavily limping rat and scurried off in search of a suitable sewer somewhere, it was a pity that Bella hadn't found something more useful to do with herself than chasing after him. And she was gaining. Pity, that.

He opened his eyes and considered his next move. He needed an exit. He needed to get out. Funny that, he reflected. He had spent so long he could remember looking for ways out - and all the time he had landed himself deeper in the shit. But he had kept himself alive, and that had been the important part. Those who turn and run away, lives to run another day...

Only...

Only, he didn't seem to be in a hurry anymore. In fact, he was hard pressed to remember what he had been running from in the first place. He remembered he had been scared - close to panic - just a moment ago, but suddenly there didn't seem to be any reason.

He looked down at the rat by his feet, the pitiful, bleeding, mutilated rat with his silver paw. He shook his head sadly. Poor bastard didn't make it, then. Then he looked up at the black-cloaked skeleton by his side, and slowly, comprehension dawned.

Oh.

The appearance was slightly taller than himself. It's bony hands clutched the handles of a gleaming scythe. From the depth of the hood, the pointy snout of a rat skull emerged. A faint, blue glow burned in the empty eye-sockets. He pointed at the body.

SQUEAK, he said, not without compassion, but with the air of someone who is not used to any disobedience.

"Squeak?" Scabbers asked.

SQUEAK, the Grim Squeaker answered.

There really wasn't anything else to say.

Wormtail was finally free.