Disclaimer: Not mine.
This was written for the Hogwarts Online's Forums. I was given the following information, and asked to write a short piece. Hope you enjoy.
Characters: the Marauders and Snape; Lily if you like
Quote: "Maybe he's not quite as bad as we thought" (NOT to be said by Lily, must be one of the boys!)
Prompts: a Snitch, a ripped piece of homework, Professor Binns
Help From an Unexpected Source
Peter sat at the table in the middle of the library, surrounded by stacks of books and dusty tomes. At first, laying his head in his hand, he had intended to rest his eyes, now drool dripped down his chin and splattered on the wooden surface. A soft snore reverberated around the room, soliciting giggles and knowing glances from the others and a look of distain from the Slytherins studying at a table in the far corner.
Black and Potter walked up behind him as Remus slid into the chair opposite him, grinning and tapping him on the head.
"Blimey, he's going to flunk for sure." Potter scowled.
"Huh?" Peter's eyes flew open as he jerked awake. "I was just taking a break."
"Right," Black laughed, slapping him on the back.
"You missed the best game of the year, Wormtail," Potter bragged. "Got the Snitch only twenty minutes into the game. You should have seen it."
"Right brilliant it was too," Black added, grabbing Peter's book and turning it around. "Fuck, Peter, you're still on chapter four. Good grief man, you aren't ever going to finish."
"Shhh," Remus shushed them, and then turned looking over his shoulder. "Keep it down. You are going to get us kicked out again. So, Peter, what's the problem?"
"It don't line up. Lily says eighty percent of the test is going to be on dates. Plain and simple. I figured if I just memorized the dates, and not the why, maybe I could pass."
"Yeah? So what's wrong?" Potter asked.
"Okay," Peter sighed, pulling out a chart of dates and time lines from under the books, and spreading it out on the table. "The first Goblin Dynasty was in its eightieth year when some cat named Addreds the…"
"No," Remus said, stopping him. "The eight hundredth, I'm sure of it."
"No," Peter said meekly. "That would throw off the whole thing even more."
"Because the Giants were only in their fifth…"
"Peter, the Giants were not even a power until the Goblins were in their Tenth Dynasty, not the first."
"But…," he stammered, flipping through his notebook, "I wrote down exactly what Binns said."
"Between naps?" Potter guffawed.
"His or good old Cuthbert's?" Black sniggered.
"Got a point, he is so boring he even puts himself to sleep! Bet he bored himself to death and doesn't even know it."
"Shut up, Potter," Remus hissed, "Price hears you and we…"
"Yeah, yeah," James scowled looking at the table in the corner. "What are they looking at?"
"A loud mouth Quidditch player," Remus said flatly.
"Wank off, Lupin."
"Shh,' Peter hissed. "Come on guys, it's my arse in a sling if I don't pass this. You know my dad will be all over me."
"He won't do anything, Wormtail, he's like mine, all talk," Black said, standing up and signaling to the others to follow him. "We are heading to lunch. You coming?"
"No, I better stay here," Peter sighed, knowing if he ate it would make him feel worse.
"When are you going to get it? He doesn't want you home, he's just saying that," Black tossed back over his shoulder, not waiting for a response.
Peter watched them leave before lowering his head back down to the chart that still lay on the table. He swiped the back of his hand across his eyes, snapping his head up at the snickers and laughter coming from the corner.
"What's the matter?" Mulciber sniggered. "Little Gryffindor can't even get his history right?"
"Bugger off," Peter spat, turning his eyes back to the chart, determined not to let them see him cry, thinking of his father and the fight they'd had over the holidays. He rubbed his hand over his forehead, feeling a pressure and thought he was getting a headache, glad it passed as quickly as it had come.
He heard chairs pushed back, scraping the floor as they did, followed by heavy footfalls that paused at his table, as if waiting for him to look up. Keeping his eyes down he was thankful when the Slytherins continued walking, breathing out a loud sigh and bringing his head up to see Snape still sitting at the table watching him.
Scribbling a new time line, the goblin's above the giant's, he again found mistakes when he opened a book to double check on a date. Ripping up the parchment, he tried again, vainly looking for someway to memorize what eluded him. Becoming more confused with the passing time, he folded his arms on the table and laid down his head, giving up and just wanting the week over.
He opened his eyes as the sound of parchment sliding on wood caught his attention.
"My father is not unlike yours," Snape said with a hint of caution in his voice. "Don't prove him correct."
Peter sat up and watched as Snape walked away before looking down at the parchment. Snapping his head up he sought out Severus who had already left the room, leaving Peter a chart of dates with all the important events, written in a small precise hand.
Peter picked up the parchment, leaning back in his chair, a smile playing on his lips as Remus came back to check on him.
"Looks good," he grinned. "I guess you didn't need me anyway."
"Snape…he gave it to me."
"Snape?" Remus looked back at the table in the corner. "Peter, let me double check that."
"Maybe he's not quite as bad as we thought," Peter whispered, swallowing hard. "He said not to let my dad win."
Remus studied the parchment before laying it down in front of Peter. "He's right. At least he is about your father."
"I don't get it, I mean, why would he give me this?"
"You should have asked him," Remus said slowly. "He must have his own reasons."
"Yeah," Peter nodded. "When we get out of school maybe I will. He is going to be staying with the Malfoys. I'll send him an owl, maybe...maybe he will…you know, let me talk to him."
Remus studied Peter's face, unable to say more he only nodded. Feeling a sudden chill, he pulled his robes tightly around him, as if fending off an icy wind, then stood, and left Peter alone.