A/N: would have posted earlier, but I've been writing this at work so I've had limited time to continue the chapter. Hope you enjoy, and thanks to IronSpockMaster for keeping me going xD

The air feels oppressive as he sits next to Remus under the cover of James' old invisibility cloak. They've been there for three hours already, he knows, playing that stupid muggle game of colors and spying and whatnot that Alice taught them for situations like this one: waiting half-heartedly for a Death Eater to show up and prove that the person that's informing Voldemort of the Ministry's plans is in fact Carlo Jeveaux.

They've been doing the same thing for ages (well, two nights but it might as well be two centuries to Peter) and even eternally patient Moony is hoping that something, anything, will happen.

"I'm glad it's you I got stuck with, though," says Peter after going on an uncharacteristical rant (in truth it was a bit more of a whine) about Death Eaters and their incapacity to arrive at a remotely courteous hour, seeing as is already one in the morning. "Sirius would have gotten really irritable after half an hour, and James would have kept talking about The Ring Incident…"

"…something none of us really want to see or hear about again," finishes Remus with a shudder, a grimace and a laugh, before turning to look at him with a mixture of seriousness and pity, though Peter isn't sure towards who it's directed; towards him, or Remus, or Sirius and James. "You can't really blame them for who they are, though…they have their faults, but they're better people than most." But it's an understatement, they both know, of how wonderful Sirius and James really are. And Remus' expression has darkened for a second, and Peter feels inexplicably guilty for bringing up the subject.

"Still," Remus adds after a pause. "I'm glad it's you with me here, too. You're a bit more…relaxed, maybe? Padfoot would have imperiused me to dance or something, for entertainment."

They both laugh, and Peter is glad, because he's different; and it's like he's just proved the fact to that Jorkins girl from Hufflepuff, who was wrong, oh so very wrong about whether or not he was special…whether he deserved to be a Marauder.

And then there's a crash, and they have two seconds where they pull out their wands before their cover is blown, and then it's all protego and stupefy and impedimenta, and running, running, dodging, crashing into trees, because they've never used magic like this, with so many things hanging by a string.

He sees Remus cast a patronus to call for the rest of the Order's help, and then he's hit by a petrificus totalus and falls to the ground, feeling the blood trickle down the side of his face. And suddenly he can hear Remus yelling, screaming in pain as Peter as never heard before, and he knows that they're using Crucio on him, and they're hurting him…Remus, Remus, who was always nice to him, who already suffered every month without their bloody help.

And he feels anger as he never has felt threatening to burst out of his soul. He wants to kill. He's never wanted that before. He hates them for what they've done. He hates them for contaminating him with the feeling.

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