He just needed to get away for a bit, was all. Just for a little while.
But as Peter Pettigrew continued walking aimlessly down the cobbled road, he became less and less sure of his plan for an 'unscheduled and unplanned vacation'. What exactly had been going through his head when he packed his bags, anyway? That he would somehow find, as he walked down a deserted road, a little paradise inn?
For the umpteenth time, Peter nervously fingered the luggage cases in his pocket (he had reduced them to doll-size upon leaving on his trek). What the hell was he doing? What good was this simple-minded adventure going to do?
You're worthless. No matter where you go, no matter what you do, you are worthless.
That's all he had ever been, he'd realized recently. And that's all he would ever be. He could never live up to James, Sirius, and Remus. They had always been cooler, brighter, kinder, braver, and just all around better than him.
During their school days it had always been the four of them. They were the Marauders. James, Sirius, Remus, and Peter. Nobody in the school would say one's name without adding the other threes'. They were a unit; they were a team; they were friends.
And Peter had held his own among them No, he was not the smartest nor the most charming of the group; but he was certainly not a little leftover tag-along who was only tolerated by the others out of pity. He was brave when it counted; he always enjoyed a good prank or two; he could pass his classes with a fair amount of ease; and he'd had several steady girlfriends.
But recently…things had started changing.
After graduation (with great marks for all the Marauders), the four had begun to look into career options. James and Sirius had turned towards the Ministry; Remus to a local bookstore (as there were few places that would accept werewolves for jobs); Peter a position at the Apothecary. What he really wanted to become was a professor at Hogwarts, but that wasn't possible until he was a bit older.
About a month later, the four friends were invited by Dumbledore to join the elite group called the Order of the Phoenix, a group whose mission was to vanquish Voldemort and his followers. Remus, James, and Sirius had all become active members, but Peter had fallen into their shadows. He had suddenly begun to notice how much more skilled and brave his friends were. He felt useless compared to them, compared to all the members. But it was more than that – he wanted to be better.
All his life he had been pushed slightly to the side: By his parents, who had never really wanted him in the first place. By the other kids at school, who sometimes taunted and jeered at his appearance or personality. By his friends who, unintentionally, always outshone him in talents. And now by the fellow members of the Order. And he was tired of it, tired of being mediocre.
"You're going to be a great wizard, Peter," his grandmother, one of the few who had ever truly cared for him, used to whisper in his ear at night. "You're going to do great things."
So much for those words. He had accomplished nothing great. He was not great. He was Peter Pettigrew, un-great in all respects.
He wasn't even great at simply booking a stay at a pub, for heaven's sake!
Perhaps he should Apparate back to his (un-great) apartment. This was truly pointless. He had been walking for Merlin only knew how long on this deserted road to nowhere. It wasn't as though people suddenly became important by walking down an empty road.
Peter sighed, and watched a rodent scurry down the street. That's what he should do. Transform and go live a great life in the sewers. Perfect. He was already doing just that as a human – why not try it as a rat? It could be a nice change of scenery, at least.
He watched the rodent absently, meandering slowly behind it. The rat scampered ahead, then suddenly veered to the left, diving between two wooden posts. Peter lost sight of the rat in the tall grass. His eyes then traveled up the two wood posts to see an old looking sign. In faded black paint, the words Green Dragon were printed there.
Peter looked beyond the sign, and squinted into the mist. A faint outline of a building could be made out. Curiously, he ventured towards it.
The building had clearly been around for awhile, what with the tainted wood and tilting appearance; yet it was far from neglected. The small windows were clean, the tiny deck spotless, the sign hanging above the building sturdy. Peter gently pushed on the door and entered the building.
It was a small but nice looking little pub. The room was circular shaped, with tables and chairs littered across the floor, and several seats at the bar counter. Behind the counter was an old man cleaning a glass and talking with one of his customers. Off to the side of the room was a staircase, that he concluded must lead up to rooms.
Peter walked towards the barman, who smiled kindly when he saw the young man. "Hello," he said amicably. Like the building, he gave the impression of being very old, but certainly not unpleasant. He had black hair that was going gray cut roughly; hair stuck out on all ends. He was of short stature, and had a lined and wrinkled face. His eyes were brown, so shiny that you could nearly see yourself reflected in them if you looked hard enough.
"Hi," Peter greeted. "Do you have any rooms here? To stay?"
"Yes we do, right up that way." He pointed to the stairway.
"Alright, I'd like to book a room for one for…one night."
The man's eyes twinkled as he scribbled something down on a piece of paper. "That won't be a problem. You can stay as long as you want, in fact. And your name?"
"Righty-o." He tossed Peter a key. "My name is Blekinsop Waterbut." He grinned, revealing (surprisingly) very white teeth. "Welcome to the Green Dragon, Peter."