Better a live coward than a dead hero.

Disclaimer: The characters portrayed in this story are the property of JKR & I'm only borrowing them for awhile.

This story will be slightly AU in that it will deal mainly with Peter and his adventures.

This first chapter will be in first person prose

Peters POV.

*I did it, I did it, I finally got the drop on the famous Sirius Black!* Peter mentally chortled as he scampered through the sewer pipes towards who knew where, just so long as it was far, far away from his former friend. Moments before he'd been confronted by Black, who was stomping toward him with a murderous glare. I knew I was no match for Sirius in a fair fight, but then, since when did a rat fight fair, they were survivors, not heroes. I remembered yelling at him "Why did you do it Sirius, why did you betray James and Lily?" I remember him, kind of stumbling as he processed what I had said, he started to yell something, while he was momentarily distracted, I pulled my wand and yelled "Expulso" at him, cast a cutting curse at a finger on my left hand,( which hurt like a bugger, let tell you) changed into my rat Animagus form and scampered down a rain drainage opening into the sewers below.

The sounds of loud explosions from above surprised me, but I was then too focused on putting as much distance between me and him to really give it too much thought. I, after about 10 minutes of scampering from one pipe to another in the maze that is London's sewer system, decided to take a break and decide what to do next. I could just stay down here, there was plenty of food (scraps etc) and water but not much in the way of creature comforts, so that was out. I could head for the Bristol Docks and head for parts unknown, but getting on a ship and enduring the rolling and pitching of sea was not my idea of a fun time. The third option is to find a building that will provide security and near enough to food and water.

Where to go, I thought of all the places I'd been to; Grimauld Place? No way, too creepy!. Potter Manor, maybe, if I was still marked as welcome on the manor ward book, that might be an option, but then Black might check on that, so better not. I thought of a few other places before settling on the Borrow, at the borrow, I could hole up in Arthur's shed, there would be plenty of food. No, again Black might check out all of the places we had been.

I decided that until I knew exactly what was going on, I had just better stay on the move.

While I was travelling in the sewers, in drainage ditches, through forests, I had time to reflect on the strange course my life had taken. I thought back to the school years, the good times, pranking members of Slythern house as well as just about everyone else at Hogwarts including the staff. I also thought back to the not so good times, like when Black & Potter decided that it would great fun to humiliate me by pranking my robes to go transparent at different times during the school day, or the time they decided that, as I'd cost Gryffindor points during potions class when my caldron exploded, splashing the professor with a green stink concoction, that hexing an itching power into my underwear would teach me a lesson. Like the time they told me that Rachel Olingsworth, a cute little Huffelpuff wanted to go on a Hogsmead outing with me, only to find, when I asked her if she would go with me, t she'd scoffed and how I ever got the idea, that she would be interested in ever going out with a short, stumpy, watery eyed mouse like me and had walked off laughing her head off with her other friends. I had never felt so awful in my entire miserable existence as I had that day. Lily, when she'd found out about that, had torn a strip off of James and Sirius in front of the whole school, and when the Gryffindor head of house Minerva Mcgonagall heard what had happened, she also laid into them and gave them a months of detentions with Filtch and took 100 house points each. Lily also told James, that until he decided to grow up and also to apologize for his actions, to stay away from her, as she wouldn't wouldn't be associated with a heartless bully like him.

A couple of days later the two of them came and very shame faced, apologized to me, I accepted it, but as far as I was concerned, they weren't my best friends, just friends.

One day Lucius Malfoy cornered me in the library asked me some questions that changed my life. Why are you still hanging around with those two idiots? Why are you still taking their crap? Is this all you are worth to them, some comic relief? Are you a wizard or a mouse? Malfoy went on to say that, if I was interested, he would be able to introduce me to a better set of acquaintances who were more powerful and influential that Potter and Black could ever hope to be. Malfoy went on to say, that these acquaintances were also looking for those with potential and looking to change the wizarding world by getting rid of muggle borns, half bloods and blood traitors.

Now I knew that Malfoy and most of Slytherin were part of a group that were rumored to be responsible for several attacks on muggle borns in school, and that their leader was someone, to whom they had an almost fanatical loyalty to.

I decided, after a week of soul searching, that I would like to meet this group and learn more about what they were all about. I approached Malfoy with my answer, and was told that he'd send me a Port Key to their next meeting location.

A month later, Malfoy, as he walked by me, slipped me a gallion and said "midnight tonight" as he walked by. Midnight came around, I slipped out of the castle, went to edges of wards, took the gallion in my hand and the next thing I feel is the navel tug as the portkey was activated.

The next thing I know, I'm stumbling as I land at the meeting location, which, it turns out is Malfoy manor. Lucius meets me at the gate and gestures for me to follow him. We walked into the building and into the main dining room, where about 20 people were seated around a very large table with a one person sitting at the head of it. Malfoy gestured to a chair at the far end of the table and I sat there.

The person at the head of the table is sitting in the shadows so I could not see his face, he asks me for my name, I tell him, he asks me what house I'm in, I tell him, there were several hisses from some of the people there. The person seated at the head told everyone to be silent, and then he turned his head toward me and ask me what I think of the wizarding world as it is now. I'm a little nervous about that question, as I have no real opinion one way or another. I decide to say what I think they want to hear, I, after remembering what Lucius had said earlier, said " I think there are too many muggle borns coming to Hogwarts and therefore into the wizarding world."

The person sitting at the head of the table appears to like my response and then asks me what, If anything I could bring to their group, I hesitated about telling them about my little (no pun intended) secret, but then decide to tell them. I say "I'm an illegal Animagus." When I told them this, there was a moment of silence, then some scoffing and someone said "Ya right, like a puny Gryffindor like you could do that, I doubt there aren't many here who could do that. The person at the head of the table, asked me what my Animagus form was, I was a little embarrassed by my form, but knew that I could do something that some of these arseholes couldn't and decided to show them instead. I stood up and after a moment of concentration I transformed into my common brown rat form. There was complete silence in the room, when I transformed back I was pleased to note several looks of astonishment on some faces. It felt good to see them look at me with a bit of awe and respect.

The person at the head of the table, sat there for a minute and then told everyone, except for me, to leave the room, there were several looks of dismay but they all followed his order. When everyone had left the room, I was asked if I would be willing to do some important and possibly dangerous work on behalf of his group, work that I was never to tell anyone about except himself. I found this to be a very novel experience, ME being asked to do something important for someone instead of being the joke of the house and as for dangerous...I puff out me chest...I am in Gryffindor after all. I tell him, I would be honoured to do whatever he wanted me to do. The person I had been talking to then asked me if I knew a group called the order of the phoenix, I said I did, that I was a member. The person nodded as if he expecting that answer and then asked me if I was prepared to be his spy in the order.

I, at that moment, made a decision that would change my life forever. I said "I will be your spy."

This person that I had just sold myself to, then said "I guess it's only fair that I tell you who I am...I am Lord Voldemort and I will be your god, instead of taking my mark, you will swear a wizards oath on your magic and life, to be loyal only to me forever." I hesitated for a second and then realizing that if I didn't swear the oath, I was dead, so I swore the oath and when a blackish light enveloped both of us sealing the deal.

*Foot Note* The reason Voldemort didn't have Peter take the mark, was that if anyone got suspicious, and checked him for the mark, it wouldn't be there. The wizards oath was just as effective to keep him bound to Voldemort.

Voldemort then gave me my assignment, I was to spy on the order and relay any and all information on what they were doing.

I spied for my master for about a year and a half, I knew the order was getting suspicious that there was a spy in their midst, but since they never "saw" me so I knew I would never be a suspect. Oh how I loved this fact, they thought there were so much better than me and here I was, spitting in their collective eyes.

One day I was approached by Black and Dumbledore with an important request. Dumbledore told me that Potters had gone into hiding from Voldemort, their location was being hidden a fidelius charm and as Sirius would be the logical choice for the secret keeper, they asked me if I would it instead. I told them I would be honoured. All of a sudden I was in possession of the important information that would catapult me to the inner circle of my Lords group. I was provided a safe house, also hidden under a fidelius charm with Sirius being my secret keeper.

The very next day I sent an urgent message to Dark Lord by way of a post owl, that I had important information on the whereabouts of the Potters. I was ordered to Malfoy Manor asap. I managed to slip away and reported what had occurred. My Lord was very happy with my information and said he and I would attend Potters location that night. For a brief moment I had a flash of remorse for what I was about to do, as I knew what happened to people who my Lord went to visit, but it quickly faded as I also knew I was soon going to be held in high esteem by my Lord for doing something that none of the rest could do.

That very night I led him to their location, I gave him the address and there stood a small house, where nothing but a orchard had been before. My Lord told me to wait outside and set up anti-appration and portkey wards, then he stalked toward the house. I saw him blast the door off of its hinges and walk inside. I could hear James shouting to Lily to take Harry and run. I saw the green flash of the killing curse then I heard Lily pleading for my Lord to spare Harrys life and saw another green flash. There was a moment of silence, and then there was an awful explosion and pieces of the second floor blew outwards onto the lawn, a piece almost hitting me. I was stunned for a minute, my ears ringing, I decided to go and find out what had occurred. I transformed into my rat form and went inside. I found James dead in the front room floor, I ran upstairs, saw Lilly also dead on the floor in front of Harrys crib. The only sign of my Lord was his wand and black cape, no body, nothing. I heard the pop of apparation and found a small box in the back corner to hide behind. I saw Sirius run into the room sobbing and go over Lilies body and check for life. Then Harry started to cry, I was so shocked, the brat was still alive, how was that possible? Sirius gasped and went over to the crib, reached inside and scooped up Harry up into his arms and started rocking him and shushing him. After a minute he turned around and walked out. I waited for a minute, snuck out from behind my hiding spot, grabbed my Lords wand and keeping to the shadows went out the back door and into the night.

This portion is now in the narrative

Peter travelled for three weeks, sometimes reverting to his human form to check on what was happening in the muggle as well as the wizarding world. A copy of the Daily Prophet had a story of Sirius Black being sent Azkaban prison for the murder of 12 muggles on the street as well as assisting the Dark Lord with the murders of James and Lily Potter. The story went of to say that Black had been the Potters secret keeper and had betrayed them. Peter burst out laughing, he couldn't believe it, Black!, the mighty Sirius Black had been sent to Azkaban prison and blamed for crimes he himself had committed, he couldn't believe it, that he thought, was poetic justice. The paper went on to say that although, James and Lily Potter were dead, their son Harry had somehow survived the Dark Lords killing curse and was being hailed as the Boy-Who-Lived.

Peter had a hard time trying to understand just how that little brat could have survived.

Peter decided that with Black in prison, he could go anywhere he wanted to go, but as soon as he thought that, he remembered the quiet member of the Mauraders, Remus Lupin, the werewolf, the one person who would be able to "sniff" him out due their being in close proximity for seven years. This changed everything, if Lupin ever found out that he was alive, he would be a wolfie treat in now time. Peter decided right there that he should leave the shores of the British Isles for safer climes, maybe somewhere on the European continent that was far enough away that he could live in his human form without fear.

Peter, after much deliberation, decided to head for Paris, France, from there he would head for Germany. Peter headed for London, where after stole a wallet from a passing pedestrian, took the cash, bought a Ferry ticket to Paris, in four hours Peter was disembarking in Calias and started making his way to Paris by rail. When he arrived, he noticed a small cafe, sat down and order a light meal and a glass of wine.

Peter, after satisfying his hunger, had to choose in which for he should be in while finding a place to sleep. After a bit of thought, he decided to use his rat form and find a little hidey-hole and rest up for the next part of his travels. Peter wandered around for awhile before finding a connecting alley between two streets, upon investigating it, he noted a small hole behind a garbage bin, after making sure there weren't any persons nearby, changed into his rat form and crawled into the hole, curled up and went to sleep.

The next day Peter woke up to the sounds of a garbage truck loading the bin into it's compacter, after taking a minute to get his bearings and waiting till the truck had departed, he crawled out of the hole and after making sure he would be unseen, reverted to his human form and set out to get something to eat. Peter returned to the little cafe and ordered breakfast and prepared to start a new day. The first thing he decided needed doing, was getting a bath and a new pair of clothing as he was starting to stink and his clothing was much worse for wear and would start to attract rather unwanted attention. Peter decided not to go to the regular clothing stores but to check out some of the lower end shops where he wouldn't be to noticible and where the prices would be be more to his liking. Peter finally found a small thrift shop and purchased a modest nondescript pair of pants a plain white shirt and a pair of black shoes as well as a warm winter jacket, after paying for his purchases he made off for a small hostel that he noted several days before, snuck in, stole a bar of soap, had a quick shower, used a drying charm, got dressed in his new clothing and disappeared.

Four weeks later Peter had crossed the border between France and Germany and he was safely enconced in a small burrow under a butcher shop where it snug and warm. Peter, after munching on some rather tasty sausages, decided to plan where to go next. Peter figured that keeping on the move but as it was now the a few days before Christmas, it was unusually cold and windy outside with no sign of letting up, he decided to stay put for the time being. Peter, in a moment of melancholy, thought of his parents and wondered what they were doing now. It was in moments like these he wondered if he'd made the right decisions and the costs of the ones that he'd made. Sirius and the Potters, a mild, almost feeling of guilt, Remus, he felt a little more for as he'd been one of the only people who'd tried to make him feel good about himself, his parents on the other hand, that was really hard, they thought him dead and were probably overwhelmed with sorrow. Peter knew he could never go back, couldn't contact them as they were sure to slip up and tell someone he was alive, or if not that, their actions would definitely speak louder than words, no, Peter thought, it was better that they thought him dead and for him to keep going to whatever fate was in store for him.