Writing For: curia_regis (I accidentally deleted the email with my assignment the other night, so forgive me if this is wrong.)
Warnings: Some soft core porn
Summary: Peter wants something more than petty Ministry politics and wondering if the war will take his life the next day.
It wasn’t that the Ministry was boring, it was simply that Peter had a very particular view of what was exciting. Filing papers and filling out forms was hardly the stuff that made his blood boil. No, he needed something more. But the Ministry had been the only place that would take him, and really, he wasn’t suited for much elseHe was nineteen, plump, nervous and soft spoken, with very little talent in any one particular field. The life behind a desk was practically made for him, it seemed.
There was advancement in the Ministry, he told himself often. There were promotions and things like that. Why, he could make it to Head of a Department someday! If he worked hard and made an impression on his superiors….
The fact that his own Department Head still called him ‘Peckishrew’ didn’t bode well for that, however. Peter sighed, his quill idly doodling in the margin of his report on door widths in the Ministry.
What was he doing here? He deserved better than this. Didn’t they see what he was? He was smart, talented, a fighter for truth and justice! Why, he was in the Order of the Phoenix! Not that he could quite brag about that, but still. It certainly proved he was better than the average Ministry quill pusher. He was used to doing much more interesting and exciting things.
Lost in a daydream of wriggling through ditches in the name of glory…er the greater good, Peter hardly noticed he was being spoken to until a hand thumped down on his desk.
Peter’s head snapped up, quill dropping to the desk and splattering ink over his report.
“What? I was just… brainstorming!” Trying to blot at the ink, face red as a tomato on fire, Peter decided maybe he should just find a hole and crawl into.
“Bloody hell, Pettigrew, I just wanted to ask if you were taking a lunch break.”
The day was going miserably. Mopping up the ink with a crestfallen expression, Peter shook his head. Rosier - from two cubicles down, in charge of something involving the regulation of saplings for wand-tree orchards - was nice enough, but Peter always felt like an outsider when he went to lunch with his fellow Ministry employees.
Of course, he’d begun feeling like an outsider when he took lunch with his own friends, too. Just because Lily was pregnant didn’t mean that James’ world had to revolve around her. Sure it was exciting and all, but one little life starting didn’t mean that everyone else’s ended. And all Remus and Sirius did was go out pub crawling. Peter hated getting drunk, and he hated being sober with drunk friends. He never met girls, he never had any fun, and it was all a waste of his time. Why didn’t anyone ever do what he wanted to do?
Well, he’d just eat his lunch alone. Again.
The days passed in a grey, dull blur. Peter got up, went to work, went home, went to bed. Things were too quiet, it made everyone uncomfortable. The weekend was approaching, and there had been no offer to go out drinking with Remus and Sirius, and no invitation to dinner with the Potters. Peter couldn’t quite say he was saddened by this, since he had no desire to go out anyway, but still. It was the principle of the thing.
Well, fine. He could go out by himself and have fun. How hard could it be, really? There were plenty of places he could go. He could… there was always…
Frustrated, Peter gave up. He’d just go to that place down by Knockturn and have dinner, then go home. To his little empty flat that encompassed his little, empty life.
Maybe it was time he started drinking, after all. It would be better than feeling so miserable.
He must have been physically expression his feelings on his way out of the Department, as Rosier stopped him. What did the other bloke want now?
“Hey, Pettigrew, you okay? You look like your kneazle just got eaten by a dragon.”
“Long day,” Peter said, offering what he intended to be a cheery smile. “Long week, actually.”
“Tell me about it. I’m about to head off, have a couple of drinks with some friends. You should come if you don’t have any plans, wipe away that bad week, eh?”
He had just been thinking about drinking, hadn’t he? And it was better to do that with other people anyway. Only losers drank by themselves, and Peter Pettigrew was no loser.
“Okay.” What harm was there? And it’d be good for him. He could get out with people who weren’t James or Remus or Sirius. Buoyed by the thought, Peter gladly accepted the directions to the little tavern in Diagon where Rosier planned on meeting his friends.
A quick floo home and a shower later, Peter was ready for a night out. And still no word from any of his friends, so he didn’t feel guilty in the least about going out without them. Besides, he was allowed to have a life outside of them. He was his own man now, with his whole future ahead of him. And that future had to include more than just his school-hood chums.
This wasn’t like drinking with Remus and Sirius. Or rather, not drinking. Peter had nervously stood, feeling awkward and unwanted, as Rosier introduced him to his friends. They were all from the Ministry, Peter could recall seeing them around. Macnair, Wilkes and Mulciber. He nodded nervously and was surprised when he seemed to be heartily accepted.
He hadn’t spoken for a while, listening instead to the chatter of work and family and the things working men talked about when they went ‘round the pub of a weekend. By the third round of drinks, however, Peter was feeling bold. And when given the perfect opening….
“So, Pettigrew. Why don’t you have somewhere else to be on a Friday night, eh?”
It had all come out. Remus and Sirius and their preoccupation with getting drunk and laid. He suspected Remus only did it because Sirius did it, and some people had no spine. James and his fanatical devotion to Lily - she’d turned up pregnant awfully soon after the wedding - and how there was no place for Peter any longer. The dead-end job, the lonely flat, the desire for something more, it all came out.
They had been so nice. They understood. They bought him more drinks, sympathetic to a man, urging him to share. It was like a great weight was lifted off of Peter’s back as he poured it all out. The loneliness, the way it clawed at him when he was trying to sleep. The gut-wrenching fear that this was all his life was going to be - a sad, plump little man with no direction and nothing to call his own.
That was no life. That was less than a life, it was pathetic! Peter feared he was going to start sobbing into his fire whiskey, assured by pats on his back that he had nothing to worry about.
Why couldn’t his friends be like this? Why couldn’t they see that he was having problems?
He’d staggered home that night, drunk and relieved and exhausted. Collapsing into bed, he didn’t see the post on his table until the next morning. An Order meeting, Saturday afternoon, urgent.
Peter showed up still nursing a hang-over.
Voldemort. He-Who-Wasn’t-Named. You Know Who. That was the main topic of the meeting, and Peter had to struggle to focus. Wedged between Alastor Moody and Emmeline Vance, he had pretended attention, head swimming as Dumbledore spoke at length.
Finally, he perked up. Had he just heard that You-Know-Who was after James and Lily? That was awful! Even though he was upset with James, having to go into hiding with a pregnant wife? That wasn’t any good. Peter frowned and tried to catch James’ eye, to offer his friend support. James wasn’t paying attention.
At least they had a safe house for them.
After the meeting, Peter hung about but felt a bit like an outsider. James was a wreck, wringing his hands and fretting over Lily like she was going to break. The woman could shatter glass with a flick of her wand, she wasn’t some stupid little flower.
Making excuses, Peter had left.
Monday came around with its usual unpleasant early grey dawn, and Peter trudged into work as though sleeping. A bright yellow memo was waiting for him on his desk, chastising him for fraternizing outside of his own team. Stupid Ministry and its paranoia. He tore apart the memo, shredding it into as many pieces as he could.
He’d do what he wanted, with who he wanted. And no one was going to tell him not to! So what if he lost his job? He could get another one. Where people weren’t always looking at the next bloke over as an enemy.
The day dragged. Peter was worried for James, worried for himself, and already longing to be gone from the Ministry. He spent his time lost in daydream, reports not getting done and work generally going unattended.
He jumped at the chance to go out with Rosier and his friends again, the bright yellow memo already forgotten.
The days turned into weeks. Peter visited the Potters whenever he could, but it was clear that they weren’t exactly in the mood for single company. That was alright, Peter had other friends. Not that he mentioned them to anyone else, though. A man had to have a life outside of his personal circle, after all.
And besides, it was a different sort of life. They all wanted the same things - something better, something more. These were people who weren’t worried if they were going to die tomorrow, but what they were going to do with their lives if they didn’t! That was what Peter wanted!
War came and went, and bad as it was, there had been plenty before and would be plenty after. A glance at history said as much. So they were soldiers, so what? Not everyone who went to war died. The doom and gloom was too much for Peter, who much enjoyed the joviality of his new friends. It wasn’t as though he couldn’t manage both.
Then one Friday came and there was a new tavern to go to, down in Knockturn, and a new face amongst the drinkers. Peter reverted to his awkward, shy self in front of the older, charismatic stranger who’s name he hadn’t caught. He reminded Peter a little bit of the Headmaster - older, wise, and ready with a friendly ear. Peter blushed furious as Rosier went on at length about Peter’s social problems and his own burning desires. These weren’t things you told a stranger!
“My, my, Peter, it sounds as though your friends are… well, less then, if I may be so bold as to say. Seven years and you’re tossed out like an unwanted cat?” There was shaking of heads and clicking of tongues, and Peter felt his heart swell to bursting with his own private fears voiced back to him. He said nothing, but his burning cheeks spoke for him.
“It’s alright, dear boy, you’re among friends. Here, have another drink.”
He wasn’t sure how it happened, but he ended up leaning on the nice older man, weightless and floating and far too relaxed. The others had gone, he realized, but he really didn’t want to get up. It felt so nice to be close to another person, and to be hugged and stroked and….
Peter flushed as an invitation was whispered in his ear, soft and polite but scandalous all the same. Drunk and lonely, he accepted. Shy, virgin Peter was no fool. How many other handsome men were going to be foolish or tipsy enough to take him home?
In a foggy haze Peter was taken home, undressed, kissed and touched and caressed. He fell onto the bed, too drunk to hide his body or feel shame at his soft figure. Long fingers traced the curve of his throat, the swell of his stomach, the generous rounds of his thighs. Soft words filtered over Peter, who could not catch their meaning. Too much drink, obviously. Fingers went places where fingers had never before gone, teasing, arousing, binding. Peter frowned, the fog drawing back for a moment to catch snatches of incantations as he lay naked on the bed. Fear gripped him, a name surfacing in his mind suddenly, a name no one spoke. He’d never even asked his name!
But the vague fear was soon pushed away as the fog came back. Such sweet ignorance, red and heady and thick. It held Peter like a blanket, blind to anything other than the touch and taste of his lover.
He gave himself freely. That was the crux of it, he gave himself freely, the ‘yes’ on his lips sealing more than his climax. Sore and spent and feeling as though his skin were too tight, he felt invisible cords around him. And there was no warm presence beside him, rather a silver haired figure standing over him, a smile on his lips and a hint of green at the tip of his wand.
The shimmer of the Dark Mark hung in the air over the bed, a harsh manifestation of Peter’s fears.
What had he done?