Shifting of the Plate
Slight AU. Peter Pettigrew performed in his betrayal in such a way that he became a celebrity, not a rat in hiding. Abandoned and thought dead, the Chosen One's life unfolds in places much darker than a cupboard under the stairs. Dark-ish Harry, Abuse, Snape Mentor and Potentially Slash.
Story Warnings: Adult Situations, Cruse Language, Slight Alternate Universe—I've changed Peter's actions, and made one man that was a wizard in Canon a Squib, Come-and-Go Original Characters, violence and Child Abuse of every kind. Emotional, Physical and Sexual Abuse (of the homosexual variety mostly, with some hints of heterosexual sexual abuse, though not to Harry)—I will not be graphic, but there are going to be mentions of it quite a bit, though it will not be the central focus of the story. Somewhat Dark but not Evil Harry, and if it gets to that point, potentially Slash between Tom Riddle and Harry Potter. It is possible that this will be almost entirely preslash, however, depending on how my boys behave.
There will also be warnings at the beginning of the chapter if I feel there needs to be. Oh, and I'll go ahead and say it one time—I Do Not Own Harry Potter and I'm not making money off this.
Please enjoy. (Thank you, Hollibell, for catching the mistake about Harry's pajamas. You're a life saver!)
Chapter One –Folly
Peter had known it would be tonight.
Halloween was a powerful night and Voldemort had always been fond of using that to his advantage. That, and Peter rather thought the man enjoyed being dramatic, but he had always kept those thoughts to himself.
He kept most of his thoughts to himself. It was how, though his roots had begun healthy, he had grown twisted and gnarled over time without garnering the attention of those around him.
His friends, if he could still call them that, still believed him to be the foolish, fat infant that had let the Sorting Hat rifle through his thoughts.
Dumbledore had always said the decision was made too early.
Peter was ironclad proof of that. No one could have known that his thoughts would darken over thirteen years of being nothing more than the ugly, pitiful pet of three handsome men.
And Lily-God, Lily -
Lily was at Hogwarts for their Hallow's Eve Reunion Ball. Even in the midst of war, Dumbledore wanted the children and alumni of Hogwarts to have a sense of normalcy. James did not have as much of his heart in the great castle; his connections were in his friends, in people, not in places. But for Lily, a Muggleborn, Hogwarts had marked a moment in her life where her eyes had been opened to a home she had not known she had been searching for.
Peter had convinced her that she should go, if only because she would be the only of the five Marauderer's –she'd been made an official member when she had married James—to attend. Sirius was out an about on Order business, Remus was busy with the full moon, James had stayed to watch Harry, too paranoid to go out, while she had floo'd directly to Hogwarts. Hogwarts was still safe, after all, perhaps even more safe than Godric's Hollow, even under the strong warding spell.
No…Hogwarts was definitely more secure.
Because Peter was not the one who was in charge of Hogwart's safety, like he had been Godric's Hollow.
He'd known it would be tonight, that was why he'd gotten Lily out so that…well, so that she wouldn't die. He cared little for James, not after flanking his heels for half his life, and he felt indifferent to the son that was already a damn clone of his father's face…But Lily was different. Lily was beautiful, passionate, righteous, kind and beautiful, Lily, Lily, Lily -
Lily had never even looked at him.
Peter loved her, but he hated her for that. She had even looked at Snape, that Death Eater scum, once upon a time. But Peter was not worth the gaze of those brilliant green eyes.
He had always been an unsightly person. Even as a child he had been picked on for his short stature, rounded body and his rodent-esque features. The length of his nose, the drastic overbite, his beady eyes and even the way he walked was all reminiscent of vermin…
Peter had always been vermin.
Even when he'd been in school and part of the popular group, it was only because Sirius and James deemed it so. Lupin had an idea of what it was like to be an outcast, but as he grew older, he grew more ruggedly attractive and more entwined in James's web. James was so fucking perfect. Loyal, brave, pureblooded, charismatic, handsome…
Even now, lying on the floor next to his child's bassinette, dead, he was handsome.
Cold and bloated with death, coated only in the moonlight the shone through the window, but still bloody handsome.
It only made Peter even more certain of his betrayal when he saw the man lying there, eyes wide behind glasses that had shattered when he'd hit the ground. Oh, it was wondrous, to finally be able to laugh in the face of the dead man, now that he could no longer throw back something too humorous to be seen as insulting—
Small dark eyes shot to the bassinette that he had disregarded before.
Peter had not been all that fond of seeing a dead child, no matter how much he secretly abhorred his father.
But there he was, unharmed, sitting in his bed with his cherubic face coated in tears as though he had stopped crying not long ago. He was hugging the blanket Lily had made herself, crimson in color with his first name written in gold script in one of the corners.
Those big green eyes peered up at him accusatorily.
No, no, there was no accusation in those eyes. They were disturbingly innocent, almost glad to see a familiar face.
Peter shouldn't have had such trouble swallowing. He shouldn't have.
But Voldemort hadn't killed him? That was the entire reason he had come here, that prophecy, that was the entire reason he'd had to know where the Potter's were. It was why Peter had asked James to change him to secret keeper at the last moment, without anyone's knowledge, not Lily's or Sirius's. Voldemort had not marked him yet, but when he did it would be as Peter's rewarded, he would be honored for giving him such useful information.
When he did…
But where was he? Why was Harry alive?
"Lumos." Peter muttered, slipping his wand into his hand from its place up his sleeve, the light engulfing the room as he looked at the boy before him.
Harry's eyes closed and he gave a cry of discomfort as the sudden light shown in the previously dimly lit room. Before him was the one-year-old, whimpering and rubbing at his eyes, eyes that had distracted Peter from the more important attributes of young Harry's face.
A lightning bolt scar that was not bleeding or scabbed, though Peter knew it had not been there the day before. It was a scar caused by magic, that was for sure, he could practically feel the magic flowing from the room in waves. He had thought it was because Voldemort had been here not long ago and that his magnificent presences and magic had stained the very walls with his power.
But now he saw differently.
On the wall opposite the bassinette, the wall that he had been facing away from as he walked through the nursery door, suddenly drew his attention. Harry hiccupped from his bed and gripped the side of the gate that kept him from falling, holding himself up in a standing position.
He repeated. "Petaw?"
Peter ignored him for now, hoping that the thought that had shot through his mind was wrong. It likely was, he had an overactive imagination at times. Besides, it couldn't be possible, it was impossible, even by magical means. Then why was Voldemort gone and Harry still alive-?
Slowly, the plump man turned on the sharp heel of his boot. His watery eyes went wide and his sallow pallor dipped to an even more pasty white as what he saw there. It was a large mark, almost like quite a bit of ash had been blown onto it. But there was nothing random about this display, it was no random smudge, it was pure power –dark power—in the shape of a familiar face contorted in outrage and fury.
"O—oh, Merlin." Peter dropped his wand, the light from his spell flickering out as it hit the ground with a clatter. Once more the room was drenched in moonlight alone.
"Petaw? Dada sleep?"
"I—I—" Peter found himself stuttering, turning back to the baby and looking at him in absolute horror. He quickly stooped down once more to snatch up his chestnut and dragon heart string wand. It felt even bonier than it usually did in his fingers, taking a step back as his mind attempted to wrap around what was happening.
It was impossible. Voldemort was dead? That…that couldn't be. But the stain on the wall was proof, it was saturated in darkness so foul that it could only be from such a potently horrible man. Pettigrew had thought he was invincible, that he was joining the right side in the war, the winning side—
Pettigrew didn't have a damn clue, but he was breathing raggedly as he tried to figure out what to do with this information.
The boy had given up on addressing Peter, instead sitting down to get closer to where his father lay on the floor.
"Dada no sleep. Dada no sleep!"
Peter was getting a headache. The boy look frustrated with his father's persistent slumber, but Peter couldn't think about the state of the child right now.
His mind spun with possibilities. His blood rushed in his ears and he grabbed a hold of Harry's crib so that he didn't grow faint. He was frightened, of the boy, of what he'd done, of what he could do.
Because there was so much he, Peter, could do.
He'd been the first to arrive at the scene. No one, as of yet, knew that James Potter was dead, or that Harry Potter should be dead. Peter was the only one that knew that somehow, this child had destroyed Voldemort. The knowledge gave him power, simply because he had been the first to know…he could use this. He had been planning to hide, but this would be so much better.
It didn't matter how it had happened, really. He didn't care.
Harry had somehow survived the Killing Curse. It was incredible, a miracle, it had never happened before –at least not a documented account, and everything in the wizarding world was documented—it should have been impossible.
But it wasn't.
Which meant that it could happen with someone else. To him. Or rather, Peter could lie and say that he had survived it, just like Harry had.
If he called Dumbledore now, or let Lily come home to find the wreckage, Harry would grow up a celebrity. He would grow up the spawn of James, the arrogant bastard, while if someone like Peter were to be the one thrust into the spotlight…
He…he deserved, didn't he? After being a nothing all his life?
Pulling it off would not be as difficult as one might seem, at least for him. The hardest part was already done. Harry was alive, that was…all that mattered. In fact, Peter would be protecting him by taking him away from all this. The baby boy didn't need fame, he shouldn't grow up a pampered prince like his father—
This was for Harry's own good.
No. No, it was for Peter's but it made himself feel better to put it that way, as he plotted on how to be rid of the boy.
This house was still under the Fidelus Charm because Lily was not dead—no one would find them, not until she returned home in a couple hours, not even Dumbledore if the man sensed something amiss (he had an uncanny ability for knowing when things went wrong). Not since Peter had been changed to secret keeper.
He didn't need long, anyway.
Quickly, he approached the boy, leaning over the wooden side. Harry sniffled, smiled and lifted his arms as though he thought he would be picked up, but Peter just awkwardly patted his messy head before using a silent spell to cut away lock of his hair.
Several strands fell into Peter's greedy hands as Harry bounced a couple of times, as though willing Peter once more to pick him up.
This time, Peter did.
He shoved the Potter's hair into his pocket as he tucked the boy under his arm, holding him rather expertly since Lily often demanded he hold the child on his visits.
Then he apparated in the middle of London, not far from where he'd been raised as a child. Sirius had once commented while they were in Hogwarts that they had grown up less than fifteen miles from each other…though Grimmauld place was inhabited by a lonely, grouchy widow, Walburga Black, these days.
Peter knew this part of town well. He had apparated here for a reason. The Hospital his mother had delivered him in (demanding to do it the muggle way as a tribute to her dead, Muggle mother) was not far.
Obviously disgruntled and frightened from apparating for the first time—it was not recommended to do so with young children—Harry began to scream.
Peter winced at the sound as the young boy squirmed in his hold, before setting him down in the grass on the front lawn. The winding driveway where ambulances passed through was only yards away from the spot were Harry sat and sobbed. It was Halloween, there were parents out with their children everywhere that could bring the baby inside the Hospital, and if not, he was positive that his screams could be heard from the doors were patients would be rolled in on gurneys throughout the night.
Harry's large, tearful eyes looked up at him, arms raised again as he curled his blanket to him in the autumn chill.
Peter doubted himself for a moment. Those eyes would surely haunt him, should he leave the boy here, no matter how much like James he was.
But he couldn't kill him. Even if he tried, he might not even be able to. Not just because Peter wasn't powerful, but because somehow, Voldemort had not even succeeded.
What was this boy?
That was where Peter left him, apparating away once more before he was spotted.
Peter was dizzy when he landed a second time, rubbing his temples as he looked up at the entrance to Knocturn Alley, taking a breath before walking into the shadows of the darker parts of Wizarding London. Under normal circumstances he might have walked, an entrance to Diagon Ally was only a few miles away and would have saved him the trouble of apparating once more just after the last, but time was of the essence.
He scurried down the alley, keeping his head down and flinching away from the off alleys that led, he was sure, to places were a former-Gryffindor and Order of the Pheonix member would not be welcome. He had not yet been marked, that was supposed to have occurred after Voldemort had killed Harry, as an honor, but now he did not have that protection in such a lugubrious, dangerous part of the Alleys.
Finding the shop he was looking for easily enough, the sign that spelled out Borgin and Burkes was dingy but not invisible when one was looking for it, he whispered 'Alohamora' on the door. It was late, and a Holiday—it was closed, but that wouldn't stop him.
This was the only place he could find what he was looking for.
James, Sirius and Remus had been foolish to think nothing of Snape. The man was brilliant at what he did, masterful at the art of potion making, and yes, he was a greasy, slimy git not worth the friendship of Lily Evans—but the memory of what the man had said during the few Death Eater meetings Peter had attended echoed in his mind.
It was what would make this idea work.
The Alohamora had not worked. Dark Magic of some sort probably locked it, and so Peter tried another stronger, darker spell that ate away the magic holding the door closed completely. It popped open with a creek, and the rat-like wizard slipped inside quietly.
Peter was nothing if not sneaky.
However, he had probably set off some sort of ward, because he heard fast, heavy footsteps coming toward him before he could get more than five yards inside. A ruff, abrasive voice met Pettigrew's ears.
"Oi, we're closed, you filthy, effing bleeder—"
With a movement more frantic than anything, Peter pulled out his wand and spun around, saying in a cracking, panicked voice, "Imperio!"
The heavy set, rugged man slowed, as though fighting the curse's affects, but Peter's will one out in the end. He'd gone too far for it to end because of Caractacus Burke.
It shouldn't have been a surprise that the man was here. Borgin had a wife and two children to spend the holiday with, while Burke was a bachelor and claimed often that he always would be. He had no family to speak of. That fact, Peter supposed, made him feel better about planning to kill him.
"Sh—show me to the P-Polytoxicum."
His voice shook a bit and the man did not move.
Gritting his teeth and steeling himself, he repeated more firmly, "Show me to the Polytoxicum."
There was a pause, once more Burke trying to fight the Unforgivable's weight on his brain, before he turned around and began to walk toward the back of the store in a trance. Peter found himself in the storage room behind the man, making sure to hold the curse. Peter was a horrible dueler. He was too broody to think on his feet and too cowardly to take any risks, both of which were essential in the art of dueling. He was not a powerful wizard by any means but he could do this much, holding an Unforgivable for a few minutes, especially considering what it would bring him.
Fame, glory, probably fortune if everything went according to plan, and perhaps even the admiration of those green eyes—
Burke's hands moved mechanically as he set many boxes aside and finally opened one near the bottom, obviously old and coated in a thick blanket of dust. Though the residue stung his eyes when Burke opened the lid, Peter maintained eye contact as the man bent over to pull a vial of yellow, thick fluid out of the box, turning to him to await the next order.
"Tell me what it does," Peter ordered, just to make sure that he was pronouncing it right and Snape had not been lying to the Dark Lord somehow. The man had brought it up when they had been discussing a way to fake Severus's death in order to have him excused from his position as Hogwart's Potion's professor several weeks ago. Voldemort had been considering giving him more responsibility, but had instead decided that Lucius would be the better man for the job. Peter added hastily, "Tell the truth."
"…It…Hnh." Once more the willful man attempted to stop himself from obeying, but several moments later was overruled by the pain the curse inflicted on those that misbehaved. "It has…the effects of Polyjuice potion, but it takes a…year to brew, and…"
Yes, Snape had mentioned that as well. It was a dark potion that not many new about, and the professor—only at Hogwarts for two years and still working on his Mastery –had told the Dark Lord that it took a eleven months to brew but that he was sure that for a large sum, it could be purchased at Borgin and Burkes. In the end, Voldemort had still decided against it, telling Severus that he was more useful as someone that could keep a watchful eye on Dumbledore.
"…and it lasts for two weeks instead of only an hour. It—ngh, it also…maintains appearance even if the drinker is dead." Burke grit his teeth, his jaw straining even after he had told Peter the extent of it.
"G-Good…yes, very good."
Peter had to hurry.
He quickly took the potion from the man and deposited the hair he had gathered into it. He shook it a few times, and then handed it back to the man.
Aurors were busy on Halloween, especially in the war (though, he thought dubiously, the war was over now, wasn't it?), and Knocturn Alley was a place where the two nonfatal Unforgivables were cast from time to time, so it wouldn't be something to alarm anyone immediately. But if he hovered too long they would come eventually to collect him, especially after—
With a heavy gulp and a dip in his thick throat, the man had downed it all, and within moments Pettigrew was standing over the small form of Harry Potter's doppelganger.
With that, he released the Imperio, and in the same breath squealed, trying not to look into those dreadfully vivid green eyes, "Avada Kedavra!"
Oh God, what had he done to those eyes?
They were stony emeralds now, the boy truly looking like a broken doll splayed on the floor. Those eyes were never meant to be lifeless, and even though this was not Harry looking at him, his heart seized within him.
Shaking, he cast a hovering charm to put the boxes back in their place just as they were, vanished the vial, cork and Burke's clothes, then gathered the small, naked, limp form in his arms. Not a moment later, he apparated the third time that night back to Godric's Hollow where the scene was undisrupted. James still lie on the floor and the dark stain on the wall still told of Voldemort's demise.
He grabbed pajamas from the top drawer of little Harry's dresser, and tried to quell the sickening sensation in his stomach as he dressed him.
Tossing the small body into the bassinette, Peter winced at the thud it made. It had to look like he'd been flung with the force of the curse.
His heart was pounding in his chest so hard it hurt, but he had to stay calm, had to think. What else? What else?
Peter snapped his wand and tossed it onto the floor, so that no one would be able to tell that the last spell he had uttered was the Killing Curse. That wouldn't befit him—or at least it wouldn't befit who everyone would know him as.
Wizarding World's hero. The Gryffindor who fought valiantly to save his best friend and son, only to tragically fail.
The man who had survived Avada Kedavra like no other before him.
Harry, the real Harry, not the fake one in the crib that the world would burry soon, would remain his secret.
Peter lay on the floor, making sure to look like he'd been sprawled there by the curse, his wand breaking under him with the force of his weight.
Then he closed his eyes, smiling serenely and waiting for Lily to discover them.
I'm quite proud of this AU, actually. Not many people explore Peter's personality as a person (dirt bag that he is) and it was difficult to write a chapter in his point of view, but it was necessary. In the next chapter, you'll find out what becomes of Harry. Please be patient—everything will be explained in due time, but since the next several chapters will be about Harry, we won't get back to Peter or the wizarding world for a bit. Please do note though that Peter's plans did go rather well. If you caught any glaring plot holes, please tell me about them so that I may correct them. I feel that I thought this through rather well but I am human, and therefore could be mistaken. But please also be aware that it may be something that is just yet to be explained—like Sirius and Voldemort's wand. XD
Please be patient and stick with me through the following chapters. I am going to show Harry's growth as a person. Also, FEEDBACK MAKES ME A HAPPY PANDA (and makes me write faster, so maybe it makes you a happy panda as well?)