Chapter 1 : Secret Friends
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Chapter 1 - Secret Friends
this adorable chapter image is by the lovely Camila @ TDA
"Friendship isn't a big thing, it's a million little things..."
“Petey, stop being such a wimp!” she cried out, her blue eyes twinkling with excitement as she pulled the shorter boy along with her.
“Didi, what if your parents hate me!” he whimpered, allowing himself to be dragged along beside his friend. He knew better than to try to stop her when she was excited and determined about something.
“They’ll love you so stop being a scaredy cat!” she assured him, while managing to simultaneously insult his timid character. Only Deora could do that.
However despite Deora’s beaming smile and normally infectious enthusiasm, Peter didn’t feel as convinced as he should have, but he also knew better than to argue with Deora. If there was ever a person he did not want to be on the bad side of it was Deora Darling Grunnion. She had a frightening wrath for a ten-year-old. Peter assumed it was because she grew up with two older brothers and an Auror for a father, and had always had to fight to be heard or for what she wanted.
Peter followed the energetic ten-year-old girl down a winding stone path that led away from the park they had just been playing in towards a suburban neighbourhood. It was a long quiet road with near-identical white houses dotting it on both sides. It would have been the picturesque neighbourhood if it weren’t for a two-story house with yellow shutters and a bright red door at the very end of the road that obstructed the picture perfect suburban ideal. That was the Grunnion household. He had seen it numerous times, even walked past it with his parents, but every time he laid eyes upon it, it still manages to wow him. The colourful house was like a jolt to the system, it shocked people and intrigued them all in the same moment.
Peter looked upon the red door with its bronze doorknocker with hungry eager eyes. He wanted to know what the inside looked like, whether it was as eccentric as its exterior. Peter had met Deora only a year ago, and he still has yet to be inside the eccentric house. It wasn’t as if he didn’t want to, it was more in consequence of him being terrified of what his father would think if he knew that Peter was running around with Mr. Grunnion’s daughter.
Deora skipped to the front door and slammed it open, calling out as she walked inside, completely unaware of the inner turmoil of her friend. “Mama!”
Mrs. Grunnion looked up, her bright blue eyes lighting up instantly as she caught sight of her daughter. Deora was a spitting image of her mother, same wild dark brown hair and animated blue eyes.
“Didi, love, why are you still not dressed?” Mrs. Grunnion demanded, but her expression showed no signs of irritation or disappointment.
Deora looked down at her muddy attire and gave her a sheepish grin. “Erm, well I went to play in the park. Do you think Petey can join us tonight?”
“Peter Pettigrew? Thomas Pettigrew’s little boy?” Mrs. Grunnion asked curiously, confusion evident on her face. Peter felt his stomach drop. She hated him.
“Yeah! That one,” Deora exclaimed, oblivious as always.
Peter was hidden in the shadows of the door. He felt his heart stop as he waited for the answer. He didn’t even know he had stopped breathing till Mrs. Grunnion broke out into a stunning grin and said, “Of course, he can! It’s about time that poor boy left his house!”
“Cool!” Deora clapped her hands then proceeded to pull her mum towards the spot where Peter had been hiding. She brought Mrs. Grunnion to a stop right in front of him and Peter could feel his palms start to sweat. “Mum, this is Peter! Peter, this is my mum!”
Mrs. Grunnion laughed and stuck out her hand, “Very nice to meet you, Peter. I do apologise for my daughter’s unrelenting energy.”
“I-It’s o-o-okay, ma’am!” Peter spluttered out as he shakily shook her hand. Mrs. Grunnion let out another chuckle before shooing Deora away to get changed.
Peter was then escorted to the lounge to wait for Deora to finish getting ready. Inside the spacious lounge were sat Deora’s two older brothers, Kieran and Albert. Kieran was only two years older than Deora and apparently he was already making a prominent name for himself on the Gryffindor Quidditch team as their Keeper. Albert was four years older and was a Prefect in Ravenclaw. Peter found as he sat there on their chocolate brown couch that he was extremely intimidated by and jealous of the two older boys. He had no athletic talent whatsoever and he was certain that he was not clever enough to be in Ravenclaw, but the thing that Peter was most jealous of was the close friendship between the Grunnion siblings. He had no siblings of his own. It was just him, his dad and his mum. Home life was a quiet affair, which made him cherish the time he spent with Deora so much more. She was full of life enough for the two of them.
“Oi!” Deora yelled out as soon as she walked into the lounge, smelling like a skunk had just died in her hair. She was glaring at her two brothers who had instantly shot up off of the sofa. “Don’t you dare pretend like you didn’t just set up a Dungbomb in my shower to explode!”
“What are you talking about, dear sister of ours?” Albert grinned innocently whilst backing away simultaneously.
“Us? Dungbombs?” Kieran added in the same mock-surprised tone. “Never!”
“I’m going to tell on you!” Deora huffed, putting her hands on her hips. “And you’re going to get in so much trouble!”
“Awe, Didi! Don’t be such a party pooper!” Albert cried out immediately dropping his prior pretence of innocence. Then he added, “although, you do smell like poop.”
Both boys began to guffaw uncontrollably and Peter couldn’t help let out a chuckle. It was quite funny. However, his laughter quickly died out on his lips as soon as Deora shot him a look. He would honestly hate to be on her bad side.
“Daddy!” screamed Deora. The same look of horror played out on both boys’ faces as the realisation that Deora was serious about her threat hit them. Suddenly, a tall man appeared in the opposite entrance of the lounge right behind the two boys. He had a short black beard, dark brown eyes and a full mop of curly black hair. Needless to say, he was a formidable looking man, at least formidable enough to frighten Peter.
“Didi, there’s no need to scream in this house,” he said good-humouredly to his daughter.
“Daddy, Kieran and Albert did it again!” she cried out, quivering her bottom lip as if she’d practiced this her entire life. Peter was almost positive she has been as well.
“Kieran, Albert, is this true?” Mr. Grunnion asked, his eyes narrowing at the two boys who were now cowering to the side.
“Well…” Kieran began. “It’s just… you see…”
“It was a joke!” Albert exclaimed.
“How many times have your mum and I said not to use Dungbombs on each other?” he asked sternly.
Kieran and Albert shuffled their feet, keeping their heads faced towards the ground while Albert answered, “A lot.”
“That’s right, a lot!” Mr. Grunnion then sighed. “Just because your great great grandfather invented the Dungbomb does not mean we have to use a Dungbomb in our everyday life!”
“But dad, what’s the point in having an unlimited supply of Dungbombs if we can’t use them?” Kieran pointed out.
“We have it by inheritance, not by choice,” Mr. Grunnion stated. “And that’s beside the point, tonight is a big night for your mother so come on, let’s get to the car.”
“Don’t see why we can’t just Floo there,” Kieran mumbled.
“Cause it’s a Muggle theatre, you idiot!” Albert responded and then thumped his younger brother on the head. Deora chuckled to herself as she ran to hug her dad.
“Hi sweetie, who’s your friend?” Mr. Grunnion asked amiably. Peter could see already the love between father and daughter. She was his little princess and he was her idol. Peter wished he could look up to his father in the same way, but it wasn’t respect he felt, it was fear.
“Oh, Daddy, this is Peter Pettigrew,” Deora smiled sweetly as she introduced them. Peter shook his hand as nervously as he had done with her mother.
Mr. Grunnion’s smile faltered only for a split second, but enough for Peter to notice the grimace at the mention of his last name. He knew there was animosity between Deora’s father and his own father, but he hoped that that didn’t come into play on Mr. Grunnion’s judgement of him. He was far different from his father and anyone that spent a minute with Peter would know that—Deora had, from the first moment they talked, a quality in her that Peter truly cherished. She had an unwavering faith in people.
Peter followed the Grunnions to the car, a metal contraption that he believed Muggles used to travel to places. It seemed highly unsafe, but the thrill of being somewhere Muggle excited him. His parents usually kept him as far away from Muggles as possible and so for the rest of the night, Peter was awestruck by every little thing they encountered—from the roads, to the theatre itself with its oval-shaped auditorium, and to the non-moving paintings. But most of all what Peter had been impressed with was the amiable nature of the Grunnions and how much they teased each other. Their happiness was infectious and even their spats were hilarious. Peter even loved the way Albert and Kieran teamed up on Deora or the way the entire family were afraid of infuriating Mrs. Grunnion. It was all just so normal, so what a family should be like, and that was something Peter wasn’t entirely used to, at least not with his dad.
For the night, they had gone to a Muggle theatre to watch something at the West End because Mrs. Grunnion’s Muggle sister was performing, although Peter had no idea what that meant or how significant it was. Deora did try to explain it to him during the musical, but she gave up after the first half hour.
The musical lasted about two hours, one of which found Peter and Deora asleep side by side, much to the amusement of the rest of the Grunnion family. Peter hadn’t expected it to last so long or for it to be so late by the time they left the theatre. He was worried what his parents would think, but the high-spirits of the Grunnion family soon put him at ease, allowing him to join in on their conversation comfortably, especially when it turned to a discussiong about Hogwarts.
“What house do you want to be in, Peter?” Mrs. Grunnion asked politely, turning to look at the young boy.
“Oh, erm,” he thought about this for a while. “Well I really want to be in Gryffindor, but I’m not sure if I’m cut out for it.”
“Why not!” Deora demanded. She had her eyes set on Gryffindor as well and he knew she wanted him to be there with her. She’ll never admit it, but she was terrified of going and with Peter around, she’d feel a bit more at ease.
“I-I don’t know, you need to be brave, don’t you?” Peter answered, feeling nervous again.
“Petey, you’re brave!” Deora immediately said, defending her friend from himself. Peter was like a younger brother to her and she hated it when he was down on himself. “You were the one that went and rang old Grouchy’s doorbell!”
“Didi! How many times have I told you not to bother that poor old woman?” her mum gasped.
“Oh mum, you know she’s not a poor old woman, she’s an evil crow!” Deora laughed, but her laughter fell short as the car’s headlights illuminated the two people standing rigidly in front of the Grunnion’s house. Peter’s father and mother were waiting just by the curbside and Peter felt his heart drop into his gut. He knew this would happen and he knew this would not end well either. Mr. Grunnion slowed the car to a stop and stepped out, followed by the rest of his family.
“Hello Thomas,” Mr. Grunnion said stiffly.
“Don’t hello me, Hugh! You go and kidnap my son in that… that ridiculous contraption of yours and you have the gall to be polite with me!” Mr. Pettigrew yelled.
Peter cowered behind Deora’s parents. Deora looked frightened as well.
“Kidnap?” Mr. Grunnion spat out. “I did no such thing! Don’t come to my house and accuse me of such atrocious things! Your son willingly came with us!”
“I shouldn’t have let him associate with people like you,” Mr. Pettigrew said, ignoring Mr. Grunnion’s last remark. “I should have nipped that friendship right in the bud.”
“People like us?” Mr. Grunnion was visibly shaking with rage. There was one thing you never want to do and that was insult his family. If Deora was someone you never wanted to anger, her father was even worse. She did get her temper from him after all and he was a highly trained Auror.
“Yes, people like you, Grunnion,” Mr. Pettigrew replied angrily, his face taking on a startling red hue. "You and your Mudblood wife are careless and…”
However, Mr. Pettigrew was unable to finish whatever he was going to say since Mr. Grunnion cut him off. “Thomas, I suggest you take your wife and kid off my property this instant before anything happens.”
Mr. Pettigrew looked affronted at first, but did as he was told. He grabbed Peter by the scruff of the neck and dragged him towards their house a few yards down the road with Mrs. Pettigrew quietly following behind. She tossed Deora’s mum an apologetic look before disappearing into the night.
“Lorna, get the boys into the house!” Mr. Grunnion barked. “Deora, I need to speak to you.” Deora knew her dad must have been really cross with her, because he never used her real name if he wasn’t.
As soon as her brothers and mum were inside the house, Deora quickly walked over to her dad and wrapped her small arms around his waist.
“Daddy, I’m sorry,” she whispered. As soon as he felt his daughter hug him, Mr. Grunnion quickly relaxed. This was not her fault, he thought, she was only a kid.
He wrapped his own arms around her and patted her head, and murmured, “I know, sweetie, I know. And you know I’d never make you do anything that would make you unhappy, but I…” he felt his heart break at having to impose this on his only daughter, but he felt like he had no choice. “I can’t allow you to see Peter or go over to his house anymore.”
Deora pushed herself from her dad’s grips and stared wide-eyed at him. She wished he was joking, but the look on his face said it all. He was dead serious. She felt her insides convulse in agony as the tears welled up in her eyes. Without a word, ran into the house and up into her bedroom. Deora threw herself onto her pink sheets, crying into her pillow. He couldn’t do that! Peter was her best friend! He couldn’t forbid her to see her best friend, could he? It wasn’t fair!
She had to fix this... She had to find a way to still be his friend. He was like family to her! If she had to go forever without speaking to Kieran or Albert, she would just die. It was the same with Peter. However, her eyes suddenly started to feel very heavy and exhaustion eventually seeped into every part of her body. Just as she was about to doze off, she realised what she could do to salvage their friendship.
They could be secret friends.
A/N: hey lovely lovely readers! i'm so glad to be back and in full writing mode! sooo what do you guys think of Peter and Deora's friendship? cute, huh? what about Peter's relationship with his parents? does it give you a little more insight into why he is the way he is? i know this was generally from Peter's POV, but most of the story will be in Deora's POV and it'll be first person so get ready for the switch! thanks for reading anyways! xxx