A Different Hero
A/N This idea came to me while I was under the influence of several White Russians. (An excellent adult beverage if I may say so myself) I'm pretty sure this one hasn't been attempted before.
Disclaimer: This is a fanfiction site, meaning that I am not J.K. Rowling and do not own Harry Potter. I am also not making a single knut off this story.
A Different Hero
The small boy sat atop his father's shoulders as the festive parade of celebrants wound their way to the intersection of Diagon Alley and Knockturn Alley where the speaker's platform had been set up. Next to the platform was a large object covered with a tarp. As the crowd gathered around, the boy tugged on his daddy's hair and pointed at the object.
"Daddy, whats that? And why is everyone here?"
"We're here to pay honor to a real hero, son."
"What's a hero, Daddy?"
"A hero is someone who does what is right, rather than what is easy, no matter what the cost to themselves."
"I don't understand, Daddy."
"Well son, let me tell you about this hero and maybe you'll understand..."
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
" That is the prophesy. Frank, Alice, James, Lily, there are only two children that this could be referring to, either Neville or Harry. Do you see why it is so important that your families go into hiding until they can be trained?"
"I don't think I do understand, Albus; the prophesy isn't exactly common knowledge, is it?" Frank Longbottom was dubious, to say the least.
"Unfortunately, I believe a servant of Voldemort heard the first part of the prophesy. He got away before we could capture him."
"Where should we hide, Headmaster?" asked Lily Potter. "Should we go out of Britain? Possibly the United States?"
"Please Lily, call me Albus, it has been a few years since you were a student here. Taking the boys out of the country is an idea that you can explore, but Voldemort has agents everywhere. I would suggest hiding in plain sight, possibly with a Fidelus charm. I would be more than happy to cast the charm and even be the Secret Keeper."
"That might be all right in the short term, but we can't stay locked up in a house forever," said James.
"I agree with James," said Frank. "Alice and I would leave Britain to keep Neville safe, but there is no way that we can spend the next two decades or so locked up in a house waiting for some quack prophesy to come true. Especially a prophesy from someone like Sybill Trelawney. Merlin knows her great-great grandmother was a famous seer, but Sybill couldn't predict rain during a thunderstorm!"
"I assure you this was a true prophesy, I know the hallmarks. The fact that it appeared in a prophesy globe at the Department of Mysteries guarantees its validity. Your objections, however, are valid. Let me suggest a compromise. I will put both of your homes under the Fidelus while I contact some of my acquaintances overseas in the U.S. And Australia. When you leave, we can keep your homes under the Fidelus to frustrate Voldemort. Is that agreeable to everyone?"
Seeing his four guests nod their heads, Albus continued. "I will go to your homes straightaway. Take advantage of this time to contact your secret keepers and have them come to the castle. I shall hold the secret until I can hand it off to them." With that, all parties left the room.
"That's bloody brilliant, James. I do have one idea that I would like you to consider. You know that with my cousin", Sirius spat the word. "You-Know-Who will figure me for the secret keeper right away. If you get Peter to help, it could make the prats go round in circles. They would go after me first, and the real secret keeper would never be suspected."
"I don't really want to put either of you in danger. I only wish we could trust Remus. We could all go under cover until we moved overseas. We could all go together and you all could help me train Harry."
"Yes, but I am afraid Remus could be used someway. Not that he would ever willingly betray any of us, but we don't know what power You-Know-Who has over werewolves. He has so many of them working for him, after all. Anyway, we are Marauders, we have pledged to each other. I'm sure that Peter would be honored to help, I know I am."
"In that case, let's round him up and get back to Hogwarts."
Peter Pettigrew was one of those people who looked like they were born old, and just had to wait for time to catch up with them. Today though, he really looked his age, plus a few decades. Not being the wealthy scion of an old and noble family, he had to work a tiring, menial job to make ends meet. He was coming home from said menial job, looking around as he opened his front door, when he heard something that made his blood freeze.
"Dear Peter... We have been waiting for you."
Without even waiting to see who was speaking, Peter drew his wand and dove inside the door, bringing the wand around. He never made it. A shout of "EXPELLIARMUS!", his wand went flying across the room to land neatly in the hand of one Lucius Malfoy. A mad giggle told him that Bellatrix Lesratange could also be counted among the uninvited guests. Neither of them, however, owned the voice that had put the chill of death in his veins. That voice belonged to the Dark Lord, He-Who's-Bloody-Name-Must-Be-Hyphenated, one Lord Voldemort. Peter scrabbled back until he was against the wall. He knew that he had no magic that would defeat these, he was rubbish with a wand, in the bottom percentile of Hogwarts graduates. He could only hope that his natural instincts, and the practicing of his back up plan, would save him, or at least keep him from being too badly embarrassed.
Voldemort lazily waved his wand and a gash appeared on Peter's shoulder, tearing his robe and oozing blood. "That was just my way of saying hello Peter. I must say that it was a pretty good plan, putting Sirius Black out there as the Potter's secret keeper. Black, however innocent seeming, is a lousy actor. Not only that, he is very easy to read with Ligilimancy. There is no shame in being defeated by a superior opponant, so why don't you make it easy on yourself. Join with me and help me get to the Potters, you know they have never really respected you. Little tag-along Peter, never good enough to be on the inside of their circle, they tolerate you. The same as they tolerate the werewolf. With me, you could be great, I can teach you to be a great wizard, the Dark Arts can make you much more powerful."
"I-I will g-give it all the thought it deserves. Hmmm... Okay, I have decided." Peter gave the two finger salute and screamed, "Feck off you bloody bastard!"
"Amazing, you really are one of those moronic Gryffindors. CRUCIO!" Voldemort let Peter writhe in pain for a minute, until he began screaming. He lifted the curse and said: "I suppose we can do this the hard way, it is more enjoyable after all... at least for me. Are you ready to talk?" Peter looked at him defiantly and spat on Voldemort's boot. Voldemort nodded toward his two henches and they both put Peter under the Cruciatus. Voldemort cast a silencing spell so Peter's screams wouldn't bring attention to them. After what seemed like forever, he nodded at them to lift the curse. He also lifted his silening spell.
Peter was rolling on the floor in pain. He gasped out, "No more, please. I beg you.."
Voldemort smiled, something ghastly in itself. "Very good. I knew that you could see reason. Write down the secret and I will go take care of my business. I will leave Lucius and Bellatrix with you to make sure that you don't have any second thoughts. And of course, if you try to mislead me, I will be able to tell them to start the 'questioning' again. Now, go write the secret down."
Peter got to his feet, his body wracked with pain. "When you finish, I want a wizard's oath that they will kill me quickly. I won't be able to stand against the werewolf and Black."
Voldemort smiled again. "Why Peter, I was going to do that anyway. Don't worry, from what I have seen, the killing curse is relatively painless. I am glad that we have similar ideas, I would make you one of mine, but you have this annoying stubborn streak."
Peter staggered over to the desk, reached in to get a parchment and ink bottle. He picked up his quill, wrote something on the parchment, then holding it over one hand while blowing to dry the ink, walked back to Voldemort.
As the Dark Lord reached for the parchment, there was an explosion and flame flashed out from the document. A hole appeared in Voldemort's chest and began pumping blood out. Voldemort's eyes widened as he gasped out, "You SHOT me?!" The rest of the room exploded into action at that point. Peter didn't wait to see what the damage was to Voldemort, he made a quarter turn and pulled the trigger again, a small hole appearing in Lucius' forehead and the back of his skull blowing out, scattering blood and brain matter against the wall. Bellatrix brought up her wand to kill Peter, but the window blew in and her wand arm was seized by a snarling black dog. She went down and Peter fired a shot at her from less than a meter away, the bullet going right between her breasts and throwing her back, the shot barely missing Padfoot.
Peter turned back to Voldemort as the Dark Lord was raising his wand once again. "This is what happens when you corner a rat!" he screamed as he fired another round. The flame from the pistol coincided with a sickly green light coming from Voldemort's wand. The killing curse and a 9 mm bullet hit their targets at the same time, the bullet punching a hole in Voldemort's right eye socket and the Avada Kedavra putting a look of surprise on Peter's face as he slumped to the floor.
The black dog morphed into a tall man with black hair and ice blue eyes. He dove over and cradled his friend, sobbing. Sirius gently laid Peter back down, changed into Padfoot, lifted his head and howled, a heart wrenching sound that would have raised the hair on the back of anyone's neck who heard it.
Sirius changed back into his human form, stumbled over to the fireplace, threw in a bit of floo powder and called out, "Hogwarts, Headmaster!" A moment later, Albus Dumbledore's head appeared in the fire.
"Yes Sirius, can I help you?"
"Albus, come through... It's all over."
Sirius stepped back and Dumbledore came out of the fireplace. He took a look at the carnage in the room, paying close attention to the body of the late Tom Riddle. He then reached over and gently took the pistol from Peter's hand and placed it into his pocket, then turned to Sirius.
"Why did Peter have a gun?"
Sirius shook his head. "He knew that he was a weak wizard, so he began taking shooting lessons at a range. The gun was his father's from the war."
"It can never be known that he used a muggle weapon against Voldemort. Even as evil as Tom was, the wizarding world would dishonor Peter's memory if they knew." Dumbledore turned his wand on Voldemort and the Death Eaters, casting Reducto curses at the places that the bullets hit. He then summoned the bullets, wrapped them in a handkerchief, and placed them in his pocket. He took Peter's wand out of Malfoy's pocket and placed it in Peter's hand.
"The other hand Albus. Peter was left handed." Dumbledore quickly corrected the scene. "Are James and Lily still all right?
"Yes, they will have to stay hidden for a bit longer until the rest of the Death Eaters are rounded up, but they won't have to leave the country now. It's tragic that we lost such a good man, but he will be remembered as the one who saved us from this terror. I never would have thought that it would be little Peter though. I was sure that it would be Harry, the prophesy seemed to point to him."
"The prophesy pointed to someone born as 'the seventh month dies', someone who would have 'a power that the Dark Lord knows not. He was to be marked by the Dark Lord as his equal."
Sirius snorted. "It makes perfect sense. Peter and Harry share a birthday, July 31st. It was quite a joke when Harry was born, Peter won 50 galleons in a bet. He was rooting for Harry to be born while I was telling Lily to try to hold on until August 1st so I would win the pool. I would bet that the slash on Peter's shoulder was from Voldemort. And as far as the Power that the Dark Lord knows not? That would have to be Peter's love for James and family. I have heard it said someplace that there is no greater love than to lay down your life for a friend."
Albus nodded somberly. "I, too have heard that saying, and I absolutely believe it. Voldemort never knew that kind of love, hatred was his driving force. He even went so far as to split his soul in order to continue living. That is why I was so worried that his body may have disappeared. Fortunately, I found what he thought was his Horcrux and destroyed it. It was incorrectly made, but I thought he might have had another. I can see now that he truly is dead and not coming back. Sirius, this plan was worthy of the Marauders, even though Peter had to give his life. With James and Frank being secret keepers for each other and you and Peter leading everyone astray, all I can say is that I am proud of both of you. Now Harry and Neville can grow up normally and our world can recover from this long nightmare."
Sirius picked up the parchment Peter had written on, then snorted. He handed it over to Dumbledore, who looked at it and softly said, "Oh my.." Written on the parchment were the words:
"What you are seeking is a traitor
They can be found in the ninth circle of hell
Enjoy the trip...BITCH!
"And that Son, is why we are here today. That is the definition of a hero." The father and son watched as the Minister handed an older woman her son's posthumously awarded Order of Merlin, First Class, then made a motion to one of the worker on the side of the platform. The man pulled a rope, and unveiled a statue of Peter Pettigrew, wand held heroically with an eternal flame spouting from the tip. At that signal, a group of people came forward to lay objects at the foot of the statue. There was a tall man with black hair and blue eyes, a prematurely graying man with old, plain brown robes, another man with wild black hair and round glasses, and finally a toddler who looked very much like the man with the glasses. At the base of the statue, they placed four small figurines, A wolf, a dog, a stag, and a rat. The group stepped back and the three adults waved their wands, the figurines animating and standing guard, forever protecting the statue of their friend. Shoulders wracked in sorrow, one of the men picked up the child, and, arms interlinked, made their way back to the crowd.
The child on his father's shoulders watched gravely for a few more moments, then said, "Daddy."
"When I grow up... I want to be just like Peter Pettigrew."