A/N I'm back again with another one-shot that was actually written ages ago but I've only just found now and decided to post. I like this one a lot because in some ways Peter is such an interesting character - the idea that he went against his friends out of pure fear has never impressed me much. Thus, this materialized.
He'd do it tonight he decided. Tonight. He ignored the fact that he'd said that every other night for the past six months. He ignored the fact that after six months he still hadn't done it. He ignored the tiny twinge he got – the same twinge he got whenever he told himself he was going to do it…
He was going to do it.
Tonight he was going to do it.
Yes Peter, we've established that tonight, you are going, to do it.
Shaking his head agitatedly he hurried forward. A great manor towered ahead of him; three stories high with large glass windows at every side.
He took a deep breath and seized himself up. He ran through every single reason he possessed for doing what he wanted to do – every reason for doing it tonight.
There really only seemed to be one reason for doing it tonight; that every night be put it off the deeper he sank.
He took another deep breath and rapped sharply on the oak door. The sound of his knocking resounded and soon he heard scurrying footsteps alerting him that the door was about to be opened.
A grubby house elf beckoned him in silently. He was well used to this by now and so ignored the house elf and strode quickly to the end of the magnificent hallway and stopped abruptly in front of another oak door.
Yes, definitely tonight.
"Come in Wormtail."
He fumbled with the door knob for a few seconds before he managed to grasp it and turn it such that he could enter the room. On entering the first thing he noticed were the emerald flames licking the brick fireplace.
"You have news I presume?"
The voice came from a leather chair in the middle of the room that at first glance seemed to be unoccupied until its occupant stood at full height and turned to Peter questioningly.
"Yes… Yes, My Lord." He said, swallowing hard and kneeling, "Indeed My Lord, there is an operation in Essex this evening."
"Who is overseeing this operation?"
"Waverly, the Auror that works for-."
"I am well aware who Waverly is Wormtail." The figure snarled icily. He paused for a few moments and then said, "Is this all?"
"Uh yes… Yes I'm afraid that's it my Lord."
"You may go Wormtail."
Peter hesitated. Yes Tonight. Definitely tonight.
"Wormtail, do you remember what I said to you?"
Of course he remembered. He remembered everything he'd ever said to him. He could recall everything.
"Of course my Lord."
"What did I say Wormtail?"
"That…" He paused, "That I would be glorified beyond my imagination when the war was over."
The figure nodded.
"And that doing this was true bravery. True bravery."
"That's right Wormtail. You will do well to remember. Leave."
Peter scurried from the room without another word. He didn't look back until he had passed both doors and was halfway down the drive.
He felt sick with himself. He'd felt sick with himself for half a year. Six months. Twenty six weeks. God knew how many days.
But it was what got him every time, that bravery.
Because that's what it was in a way. Bravery.
It certainly wasn't noble bravery. That's what hurt Peter the most. He wanted to be like his friends – his very best friends who he was betraying. He wanted to have bravery and nobility at the same time.
But he knew that would never be. He was Peter Pettigrew, the boy who sat behind James Potter and Sirius Black and occasionally Remus Lupin, the boy who tagged along and did just as much but never saw any praise because he was just behind the curtains pulling a rope for those on stage.
A kind of anger welled inside him.
And like he had every night for six months he told himself that it was bravery. That, standing up against his friends, in a sick kind of deluded way, was actually bravery.
He'd always wondered why he'd been placed in Gryffindor. It seemed such an ironic choice at the time. At eleven he'd been scared of the dark, muggle traffic crossings and spiders. Not what he considered the makings of a true Gryffindor.
But now he understood why.
It was because he was brave. It was because he was standing up and fighting – not in any way what he considered noble, but in a way that would insure in the end that he would finally be glorified.
Even if it came at the life of his friends.
Yes, he decided. He was brave. Being at the extremes was brave. Because fighting for good and fighting for evil, fighting for either was brave. It just had never seemed that way because one was noble and the other wasn't.
Yes, being in the middle was cowardly. Not doing anything at all was cowardly. Not doing anything good or otherwise, that was cowardly.
Yes what he was doing was not cowardly. Cowardice would be the excuse – but not in any way the truth.
"He was going to kill me if I didn't spy for him." That's what he'd say.
"I was going to kill me if I didn't prove to myself that I could be glorified." He'd think.
And that, for another sixteen hours at least, made him half way satisfied with what he was doing.
Any comments at all will be appreciated :)