AND THE PRINCE OF SLYTHERIN
Harry Potter and all associated characters and situations are the property of J.K. Rowling. I make no claim to ownership.
CHAPTER 2: HALLOWEEN 1981
31 October 1981
Peter Pettigrew slowly picked up himself up off the ground and surveyed the wreckage of the Potter home in amazement. He had sworn allegiance to Voldemort just a week before, bartering the secret James and Lily Potter had entrusted to him in exchange for a seat high in the Dark Lord's counsel. Voldemort had chosen tonight as the most auspicious time to kill the Potters and the Prophecy Child they protected, and he'd insisted that Peter accompany him to Godric's Hollow. The traitor remained across the street and watched as his master glided through the wards on Godric's Hollow and forced his way inside. There was a brief flurry of spellfire, and then silence that last for a moment or two ... until a titanic explosion blew away part of the second floor with enough force to knock Peter to the ground. After recovering from both surprise and the loud ringing in his ears, Peter closed his eyes and concentrated. There was a soft pop, and then a Norwegian Brown rat appeared in his place and quickly darted across to the Potter home. Once inside, Peter resumed his human form and began his investigation. To his great surprise, he soon discovered first James and then Lily Potter, both stupified, along with two infant children. It was decidedly unlike Voldemort to use a Stunning Hex rather than a Killing Curse, but Peter assumed his master had his reasons. Of the Dark Lord, there was nothing left but a pile of ragged clothing and a wand on the floor of the second floor nursery. Peter pocketed the wand inside his robes. The animagus descended the stairs and sat down on a loveseat near the prone body of his former friend, James Potter, muttering curses as he went.
"Typical!" he thought. "I finally commit myself to the Death Eaters fully and Voldemort immediately gets himself blown up! So now what do I do?" Peter sniggered softly to himself. "I suppose I could turn into a rat full time. Find some wizarding child that needs a pet or something. At least I'd stay fed and out of Azkaban." He shook his head to clear it and then closed his eyes in concentration. Then, he looked down at James's prone body and smiled.
The decision to switch Secret Keepers from Sirius to Peter had only been made just a fortnight before, and James had been insistent that no one know about the switch, not even Dumbledore. If they'd truly kept the switch hidden, he might have the chance to have his cake and eat it too. Peter cracked his knuckles as he studied James intently. Then, he reached into a pocket and pulled out a small box which he placed on the coffee table. He tapped it once with his wand, and it grew to its normal size - a wooden chest about foot across. From inside, the traitor removed a small vial containing a purple liquid that had been gifted to him by a fellow Death Eater who called himself Mr. Nemo. Peter smiled again. Most of the Death Eaters with whom he'd become acquainted could charitably be described as psychotic morons. Mr. Nemo, like Mr. Toymaker and Miss Direction, were also quite mad but decidedly not morons.
Peter carried the vial over to James' prone body and pried his mouth open before pouring a few drops of the purple fluid down his throat. Then, he pressed his wand to James' temple. The aurors knew ways of detecting memory-altering charms inflicted upon their own, but Mr. Nemo had assured Peter that any mind-altering spell cast in conjunction with his little miracle potion would be undetectable ... and irreversible.
"OBLIVIATE. You will forget that you switched Secret Keepers. You will forget that you ever considered it. You will forget any memory suggesting that anyone other than Sirius Black was your Secret Keeper." Satisfied that the spell had taken hold, he then cast a second spell. "CONFUNDUS. You will hate Sirius for what he has done and want revenge more than anything in the world."
Peter repeated the Obliviate spell on Lily after giving her a dose of Nemo's potion as well. Then, he looked up and around, his nose twitching uncontrollably as he did. His animagus form gave him a keen sense of danger, and so he was able to hear the approach of Sirius Black's flying motorbike long before he saw it. "No time for the Confundus then, Lily. But I'm sure James will be vindictive enough for the both of you. He always has been in the past." Peter took cover and tried to take out Black with a stunner, but the other Marauder dodged it.
"Wormtail! You backstabbing little vermin! How could you do this!"
Knowing he couldn't take a seasoned auror in a fair fight, Peter yelled out from his hiding spot. "The Potters are all dead, Sirius, all of them! And you're next! Catch me if you can, blood traitor! And by the way, I ALWAYS HATED THAT NAME!" Then, with a pop, he apparated away, confident that the ever-predictable Sirius Black would follow in a rage rather than taking the time to learn how he'd been deceived ... and framed.
November 1, 1981
"Albus? What happened? How did we even survive?" asked Lily from her bed at St. Mungo's.
"I'm not certain, my dear, but ... I think ..." Dumbledore seemed confused for a moment. Then, he looked up as the door opened, and a nurse pushed a double stroller into the hospital room. His attention was drawn to the sound of an infant's wailing. Peering into the stroller, he noticed two infants, one crying and the other asleep. The bawling child wore baby's pajamas in Gryffindor red, with the name Jim embroidered on the front. As he looked down at the crying babe, with a still fading V-scar on his temple, Albus relaxed and smiled. "Yes, I do believe that we have little Jim to thank for this."
" ... Jim?" said Lily in confusion before her maternal instincts kicked in and she rushed over to pick up her crying son. "Shh, Jim. It's alright. Mummy's here."
"Albus, what are you talking about?" asked a dazed James Potter, who had been resting in the bed next to his wife.
"Well, I am quite certain that the mark on Jim's head is a curse scar, the result of a backlash from Voldemort's attempt to slay him. It is clear now that Jim was the child spoken of in the prophecy which named a child born as the seventh month dies and who Voldemort would mark as his equal. Harry was born first at 11:52, while Jim was born just before the stroke of midnight. And now, Jim is marked with a V for Voldemort!"
"Our Jim did it?" said James in wonder. "It's ... a miracle!"
And while the three adults marveled over the child who would soon by known as "The Boy-Who-Lived," they ignored the other child sleeping peacefully in the stroller wearing identical pajamas save for the name "Harry" instead of "Jim." And on his brow, a rune of power pulsed with magical energies that none of them noticed.
November 3, 1981
Peter Pettigrew made his way casually through the crowded London street, occasionally looking around nervously. He'd seen the Grim out of the corner of his eye a few times and knew Sirius was waiting until the Muggle crowd was thinner. Suddenly, he heard movement behind him, and the animagus turned quickly and darted down a narrow alley. He'd only made it halfway when a voice like cut glass sliced through the night.
"It's over, Peter! I've got you now!"
Peter turned to face his pursuer, drawing his wand slowly as he did. "Traitor, Sirius? You'd know all about being a traitor, don't you?"
"What's that, Wormtail? Do you want to make some pitiful excuse for why you did what you did?" Sirius's wand was fixed on Peter, and Black had a murderous look in his eyes.
"I have no excuses for you, Death Eater!" shouted Peter, defiantly.
"What?! What the hell are you..." Whatever Sirius Black had mean to say was interrupted as a voice behind him yelled out "EXPELLIARUMUS!" and his wand flew out of his hand. Whirling quickly, he was shocked when James Potter whipped off his invisibility cloak to catch Black's wand easily with his off hand. Sirius's shock and relief that his friend was still alive was quickly replaced by concern over the look in James's eye, a look of absolute hatred. "Prongs?" he said in surprise. Then, Pettigrew's Body-Bind Hex slammed into his exposed back. Sirius's arms and legs slammed together, and he fell to the ground.
Paralyzed, Sirius could only watch in silent horror as his best friend walked up to his prone body wearing the same look of hatred and contempt he'd worn back in school when they were dancing with Snivellus. "You thought you could betray us – betray me – the way you did and get away with it, Secret Keeper." With a snarl, he kicked the helpless Black in the ribs. The paralyzed Black made no sound, but his pain was still obvious.
"Aah! Dammit James, I wasn't your Secret Keeper! Peter was!" he thought desperately, but no words came. Nearby, there were soft pops as aurors apparated into the area to ward off any curious Muggles.
"Thank you for helping to catch him, Peter. Although I do wonder why he was so bent on killing you instead of just fleeing the country."
"No idea ... unless. He yelled out that I was a traitor. You know, Dumbledore may have known he was the Secret Keeper, but only the three of us and Lily were there when you cast the spell. Perhaps he thought that You-Know-Who had killed both of you. If he killed me as well, he could have claimed that you'd switched Secret Keepers. Merlin, what a sly bastard!"
Wormtail looked down at Sirius, seemingly disgusted with him, but his eyes were almost dancing with mirth. Despite himself, Sirius almost had to hand it to the other Marauder. He never imagined that Peter Pettigrew could be this ... cunning. Where had he been hiding it all these years?!
"So now that you've caught him, James, what are you going to do with him?"
"As tempting as the Killing Curse is right now, I'll let our wonderful judicial system handle him."
"James!" exclaimed Peter. "You're going to trust the Wizengamot to decide his fate? He's the Black Heir! And now that he's exposed as a blood purist, they'll be spendthrift in winning his freedom!"
"What do you want me to do?" hissed James. "Use the Killing Curse on him in front of a half-dozen aurors?"
Peter stepped closer and whispered urgently. "You're an auror yourself, James. I know you have a license to kill Death Eaters."
James stared at him for a second. Sirius's eyes almost bulged out of his head. Potter was considering it! Suddenly, James whipped his wand, and Sirius's sleeves ripped away. James sighed loudly.
"I have a license to kill marked Death Eaters, Peter. Obviously, he hasn't been marked yet." Peter looked frustrated, while James stared down at his (former) friend intensely. "Still, there are other Death Eater Laws on the books. In circumstances involving high ranking Death Eaters, we're allowed secret trials. Hell, even trials in absentia. Between my sworn testimony, Lily's, and yours, we'll have this bastard in Azkaban by tomorrow night."
"James," Peter said hesitantly, "I was happy, honored even, to help you catch Sirius. But I'm not an auror. I don't have a heavily warded estate. And I don't want to be looking over my shoulder for Death Eaters for the rest of my life. Do you really need oath-bound testimony from me against the Black Heir?"
James smiled fondly. "No, I guess not. Lily and I can handle it. I will need a statement from you about what happened between you here tonight just to complete the auror report, but I'll have it sealed." He put his hand on Peter's shoulder. "You've been a true friend tonight, better than I've deserved from you. I know I didn't always treat you right when we were at school, but I promise I'll make it up to you from now on." James turned to the other aurors. "Alright, gentlemen. I want this bastard stupified, bound, silenced and locked up in the deepest, dankest Ministry holding cell you can find. No one talks to him and no one knows where he is until after he's sentenced. Got it?"
As a chorus of "yessirs" rang out in the night, the still-paralyzed Sirius Black looked up into the face of Peter Pettigrew. It bore an expression of absolute victory it, and for the next twelve years, it would be the first image he saw at night when the Dementors came.
AN 1: Sirius will not reappear prior to Year 3. Neither will Lupin, for anyone who's curious about that. Peter will return by the end of Year 1. This is not the Peter Pettigrew that you think you know.