WARNING: The views and opinions reflected in this represent the thoughts of the characters and should not be taken as a reflection of the authors opinion.


"You were in Gryffindor, weren't you?" Barty asks, idly adding lacewings to the Polyjuice Potion.

Peter Pettigrew scowls, "That was a long time ago."

"I wonder why." Barty stirs the potion. Almost ready, give it another two weeks. "I'm fairly sure all the rest of the Death Eaters are from Slytherin."

Peter shrugs moodily. They're sitting in the basement of the Riddle house, and he knows that in an hour it'll be time to go up and see Him again; the Dark Lord. The thought terrifies him. "I suppose I'm just not very ambitious."

"You're certainly not a team player." Barty flashes a grin, lightning fast, then stares at the fire. "Or intelligent." He adds as an afterthought.

Barty's changed, Peter realises. Changed from the wild and bright young thing he used to be. Although, after thirteen years, he supposes they've probably all changed.

"I'm hardly brave though." He says bitterly.

"You don't know what bravery is." Barty murmurs, still staring at the fire.

Peter gapes at him stupidly. "Bravery is…is, well, being brave is not crying when you're hurt. Doing the Right thing instead of the easy one. Standing up to people, standing up to Evil."

"That's what Gryffindor's think."

"Well what is it then." Peter demands, fed up of people always knowing more than him.

"Bravery." Barty gives the fire a quick private smile, as if the two of them are enjoying a joke at Peter's expense. "Bravery has nothing to do with Good or Evil, right or wrong. All it is is the ability to overcome your fear. To do something, even if the very idea of it, the whole thought of it, scares you so much you can barely move."

Barty looks up at him and deep in his eyes, behind the years of age and Imperio, Peter can see a glimmer of the crazy young boy he once was.

"Think about that, Pettigrew. Do you still think you're not worth Gryffindor?"

Peter thinks of the last few months, facing the Dark Lord every day. The last year, of Lupin and Black and that damn cat. He thinks back fourteen years, back to when he led the horrifying, terrifying life of a Death Eater, the nights of fear and blood and darkness.

Black and Lupin had never had to face that.

"I think I've earned it."

"Really?" Barty looks back at the potion and adds a few more lacewings.

"As much as any of them."

There's a pettiness in his voice that makes Barty grin. "Courage is relative Pettigrew. Just like everything else."