A/N Usual Disclaimers Apply. I own nothing. I've just been greatly inspired by the brilliance of others.
Also, the plan is for this to be the first "book" in a three part series covering the lives of our beloved Marauders. I tried to stick to canon where I could. I took liberties at times, and there were times where canon is not clear so I guestimated. Thank you so much to Harry Potter Lexicon (wwwdothp-lexicondotorg) - you guys rock! - and Wikipedia and Mugglenet (wwwdotmugglenetdotcom) and TADAHmon (before I give out your fanfiction address, I'll ask, but thanks for being so willing to answer questions for me).
And, for those who may pick up this series later, I am currently writing it between books 6 and 7 so whatever more is revealed about our beloveds' past in book 7 obviously hasn't been integrated into my storyline.
Okay. Enough babble... Onword!
The Way We Were
Peter listened as his mum spoke proudly to the other ladies at her weekly afternoon tea. "Just got his letter today. Isn't that wonderful? Of course I always knew he'd go. I mean, his Aunt Dolores thought he might be a squib, but I've known from the time he was born… Such a special boy."
Peter's mother was, of course, referring to his Hogwarts letter. It had just come by owl this morning. Mrs. Pettigrew had been so excited. Probably more excited than her son. Peter's whole world was his mother. This was not necessarily by choice; it was just the way things were. His mother schooled him during his grammar years. His father had died when he was still quite young, and Peter did not remember him. But his mother had turned an unhealthy amount of time, energy, and attention to her son. Peter, therefore, had very little opportunity to interact with kids his age. When he was around other children, he was often picked on and bullied or, on good days, he was ignored.
So part of Peter was very nervous about going off to school. He would be surrounded by kids and the potential for bullying grew exponentially. On the other hand… Surely he would find a few other children with whom to relate. Out of a school of hundreds of children, he should definitely be able to make one friend. He would also finally be able to get away from his mother. It wasn't that he didn't love his mum. He did, very much. But he knew that eventually he would have to do things for himself. It was a prospect that filled him both with fear and hope. He would love to be able to prove to himself that his mum was not the only person who felt he was worthwhile and "special."
Peter sat at the top of the stairs, playing with a few of his quidditch figures and watching them fly around, all the while listening to the conversation taking place in the sitting room below. This had become a regular practice. He was always amazed at the gossip he overheard. He learned about various witches and wizards: who was doing what, who was accused of dabbling in the Dark Arts, who was most recently appointed to this or that position in the ministry. It helped Peter feel less isolated from the rest of the wizarding world.
"That's wonderful, Gloria!" Peter thought that was Mrs. McGuiness. "Will you be going to Diagon Alley to purchase his books and supplies, then?"
"Oh, yes. We will be going on Saturday. There are so many things to buy. But we'll manage. He's a strong boy, too." Peter rolled his eyes at this, though he still smiled at the praise. His mother continued on excitedly for the next half an hour. He tuned out his mum's voice, knowing he would not be getting the latest gossip today.
As the guests were preparing to leave, Peter stealthily grabbed his things and headed back to his room. When he was sure everyone had left, he went down the stairs to help his mum clean up.
"Thank you, dear. What a good boy," Mrs. Pettigrew said and patted his head. Peter smiled politely. "All of the ladies were thrilled to hear you received your letter today. I think we will go to Diagon Alley on Saturday to pick up your supplies. Won't that be lovely?"
"Yes, mum." Peter answered, pretending he had not heard her mention the trip already. "I'll be getting my wand, then?"
"Of course. You must have a proper wand with which to do your lessons."
This is one thing to which Peter was truly looking forward. He told himself that, once he had his wand, he would not be so helpless anymore. He had to learn a few spells, too, of course. The only spells he was familiar with were domestic spells –for cleaning and tidying up. He wondered if he would be very far behind other kids in the area of spells. This made him nervous again. He felt as if he were on a broom, sometimes flying high and then suddenly dropping low. "Will I be able to get a broom?"
"No, they don't allow first years to have a broom. But that is included in your first-year lessons." Peter wasn't sure how he felt about this either. There was something thrilling about the idea of flying. He loved quidditch as much as the next boy. But he rather thought he would prefer his feet on the ground. It seemed much less dangerous to fall from a few feet as opposed to some great height. He just hoped he didn't embarrass himself during the lessons.
Over the course of the next couple of days, Peter looked repeatedly at the letter from Hogwarts, sometimes feeling a thrill of excitement, other times feeling nervous and uncertain. His mind seemed to be constantly filled with scenarios of what his life was about to become and he couldn't decide whether to look forward to what was coming or not. Finally, on Friday night, he decided that he really did not have a choice. Hogwarts would come whether he wanted it or not. He might as well at least try to look forward to it.
A/A/N - I cannot leave a chapter without thanking my editors - Mom and Mei Mei - thanks for the spit and polish - and my beta and friend - J.A.Carlton - thanks for your many hours of time, for being a sounding board, and for making suggestions to help refine the story ... and so much more.