Title: Need someone to listen...
Pairing: None, Peter-centric?
Summary: Peter is caught and has no one to blame but himself.
Notes: For crystaldesire: Marauders, James and Lily, young Harry, not all fluff.
Need someone to listen...
James and Lily Potter along with their son who was currently squirming out of their grasp had been living in muggle London for the better part of a year. Taking the fidgety 2 year old firmly in her grasp Lily sat him on her knee facing towards her. Mirrored eyes bright with mischief looked at her, before getting distracted yet again. A light chuckle accompanied the following struggle and James leaned over to rid her of the wriggling child.
For all their joys they were still lucky to be alive. By all rights they shouldn't have escaped death, but with the help of an unexpected ally they had been forewarned of the planned attack. What had shocked them more than their saviour though was the identity of their attackers informant. It had been one of their considered friends, one of the closest people to the Potters, one of the Marauders.
For years at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry there had been a band of boys intent on causing the most memorable practical jokes ever to have graced their corridors. Never content to let people go on with their lives they continued even through times, which should have been regarded as sacred or untouchable. One certain period should have been the final exams, but it never seemed to have stopped them. So when on the last day of examinations the final written paper was taking place, it came as a shock to the students even more so than to the professors, when approximately 28 pairs of various 7th year males undergarments had landed with a wet slap against the windows.
In an adjoining tower a boy with dark messy hair grinned at no one in particular, putting his wand away, he made his way downstairs keeping a toned smile on his face.
The nearest professor not recognising what they were straight away chose to investigate after reprimanding students closest to the windows to get back to their work. By the time he reached the closest window, a pair of boxer briefs with a hippogriff on the front suspended on a length of rope, had started to jig up and down in an airborne dance. Mortified at turn of events he saw no method to stop them from disrupting his exam without doing so himself. Instead heading back to the front of the hall he discretely explained the situation to another professor and hoped for a solution.
"Well you cannot expect us to leave the students. Someone will have to fetch Mr. Filch to look for the culprits as I will not disturb other teachers." She huffed in reply.
Striding to the desk with the exam hourglass the professor wrote a brief message on a blank piece of parchment explaining the situation to the caretaker. Rolling and sealing it efficiently she spelled it on its way wiping her hands of the ordeal. Turning back her colleague she instructed him to watch discretely in case the practical joke took a turn for the worse.
Meanwhile in an oak tree outside the great hall, sat a round-faced boy, watching for the caretaker in question. He had been hiding up there for what seemed like hours but in reality had only been about 20 minutes and knew exactly who the culprits of the prank were. He himself had a hand in the plans, well was part of the not getting caught at any rate. Keeping an eye on the 2nd year Ravenclaw boy he had bribed before clambering up to his current perch, he didn’t even notice his fellow housemate until a small stone smacked the back of his head.
"Oi Peter! Is he coming?" Came the harried whisper from below.
Rubbing the sore spot on his head he shook his head a negative to the question asked. Looking back he saw the boy get up from the bench he had sat on in wait for his part to play. Following his line of sight he saw no one other than Filch himself emerging from the front doors with his cat in tow. Throwing down some twigs into the bushes below he saw a pair of dark eyes look up with a grin and then an arm hastily tugging the boy off to the side. Now all they had to do was wait and see if their plan worked.
Mrs Norris’ keen gaze was fixated on the boy in front of her, bristling slightly she was waiting for her master to finish before moving on in search. Filch who had been talking to the boy seemed satisfied with his explanation of some stupid young Gryffindor boys causing mayhem and headed off in the direction the young Ravenclaw had indicated.
Some half an hour later Filch had given up, he couldn’t find the troublemakers anywhere and belatedly remembered he hadn’t even received a clear description of them. Stalking back to his office, he didn’t notice the group of boys sitting in the courtyard, snickering softly at his retreating form.
"Moony I thought I was going to die laughing when the Hippogriff ones started thrusting at the professor!"
"I didn’t realise they were going to be so loud..."
"How did you get them up there?!"
Of the marauders James, Sirius, Remus and Peter, the last always seemed to remain quiet after their escapades.
In hindsight that should probably have been one of the warning signs not everything was well, but the boys were still young at heart and had no reason to believe that anything was amiss. As time went on they continued in this fashion, less pranks were involved but the last one still remained somewhat isolated without the others knowing. When it came to point in their lives where they had to band together and unite against the dark, even then the last one remained quiet. Taking his silence as his continued support they didn’t realise that he no longer seemed to speak at all.
After Dorcas died it seemed that Peter ceased to exist. He was just a shell, empty and hollow but for other purposed seemed as real as anybody else. There was no reason for him to fight really. She had provided a companion, she had listened, now who would? He found his answer though, he always heard him, he always knew. It was comforting. A constant. Something he could attest to. Gradually he did no even question it, after all nothing really bad seemed to have happen. A few minor accidents could always be fixed; no one had really got hurt.
He had not wanted it to get out of hand but there had been anger and after the soothing calm he had not wanted to feel that. They had trusted him without a second thought; they knew he would not have had anyone to tell, which had been the only reason they kept him. But he had someone now, someone that listened, that he could talk to. Someone who cared. Far be it from him to deny any knowledge, it was deserved now, it was his right.
Then why had he felt so bad, what was the gnawing guilt? He had followed them. Well he was not sure where they were afterwards but he had heard they had been relocated. He was sure he could find them and perhaps apologise for his actions. He had not forbidden it. He did not seem to mind what he did when he was not directed. So he moved on and continued to look in hope of finally being listened to.
Another day in Diagon Alley, he had been there for weeks and weeks, just waiting. He dared not search for them; there were rumours, talk of his betrayal. He did not want to hear it. That was all in the past, couldn’t people move on. He had. Now he was looking for them to set things right, there was no need for them to think he was a traitor. He wasn’t. Isn’t.
The Aurors had him now, there was no way for him to make amends. In the end no one would listen, not even him. He was stuck again with that bleak feeling lodged somewhere inside of him where he had nothing to give. No one would talk to him; this time there was no one even talking around him. Surrounded by complete silence. But he wouldn’t give up. There was still talking for him, he could hear the faint whispers. When there was only the darkness and he listened hard enough, he heard.
"You don’t deserve them to come for you..."
"They’ll never want to come for you..."
"No one can come for you..."
A/N: Sorry, I really got stuck in my A level stuff and forgot about this. It's unbeta-d except for me because of the lateness etc. I'm in the middle of the actual fic I planned for submitting which I'll pass on as a giftfic when I'm done with it come July.