Chapter 1 : You Outta Know
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"You are my sweetest downfall/I loved you first"
While the second half of this quote is the one that features prominently in the story, I used the entire song as inspiration for the tone/idea of this story. And in a way, it is about the downfall descent of one Peter Pettigrew - so there's that.
For the record, I do believe Peter Pettigrew is one of those complex characters, one who we'll never really understand the real motivations for what he did. This is just one explanation, one idea, something a little more complex than 'I was scared'. Take from it what you will.
I hope you enjoy.
I loved you first, you know.
Not that you ever realized it. Not that anyone realized it. But then, I was always very careful to keep it a secret. That's what I was good at. Being secretive. Keeping secrets. I was very good at it. Was.
But I loved you. You need to understand that. I loved you. Not in the same way that you loved Lily, though. It might not have been the same kind of love you showed her, but it was just as strong as that so I call it love. You rescued me once; became my hero. I'll never forget that, no matter what.
I thought that you were going to be my only friend. That day we met on the train? I was so certain that nobody would even notice me. That I could just stay in my compartment until we made it all the way up to Hogwarts, and no one would know I was there. That I could get on a boat and go across the lake and people would look right through me and wonder why the boat was empty or something. That I would be sorted, but then sit at the table with no one to talk to, invisible as a ghosts. I wondered if, if I never left my compartment, if anyone would realize I'd gone missing. If even my parents would notice I was gone, until it was too late and I had starved to death or something. They always forget about me anyways. Everyone forgets about me.
But you didn't. You found me, and smiled and shook my hand, and then you introduced me to your friends. Eventually they would become our friends, but I knew for a fact that that first day they were only there because of you. You had that effect on people. The opposite of whatever it was that's wrong with me. People were drawn to you. Maybe it was your looks, your style, your charm. Trust me – if I could have figured it out what it was, I probably would have tried to steal it from you.
That's another thing I'm good at. Stealing. Stealing and keeping secrets. It the only thing's I'm good at. Better than even Muggle Studies.
You were my first friend. My favourite. Sure, you weren't as patient as Remus, or funny as Sirius. You were the reason we were all there, though. We claimed otherwise – that we were our own people. But the truth was we were all too different to pay attention to each other. If you didn't pull us together, drag us into your orbit, we'd all have drifted off somewhere. I'd have drifted off to be alone. It was always you. The whole world revolved around you.
It was wonderful.
I knew, from that first day, and all through first year, that you were the one. I loved you. I'd go on loving you forever.
But we grew up.
And you didn't love me.
You loved her.
I didn't love her, though. Not the same as you and the others. She was different. With her wide eyes and red hair and freckled cheeks. Personally, I don't know what you saw in her. I thought she was ugly, although the few times you asked me, I told you what you wanted to hear. I was afraid you wouldn't talk to me if I told you the truth. I didn't think anything would ever come of it. She hated you. You know, I think that was the hardest thing to understand. How could she ever hate you? I mean – you're brilliant.
But we grew up, and things changed. It wasn't a good change. I don't think any change can be good, honestly. Bad things happen when change occurs. Why can't things just stay the same?! If things had stayed the same, it'd be different, wouldn't it?! It could've just been us! There wouldn't have been any reason to go out, to fight! Sometimes I wish we could have just stayed on the train in first year and never, ever leave it! It was fun! It was safe – and I was safe to love you.
They think that, even then, you loved her. That's not true! Because you barely knew her. You knew us, me especially. I told you everything. I told you about how my mum used to pass out in front of the television smelling of Fire Whiskey. Of how dad once took a swing at me and told me that I was worthless. You laughed it off and assured me that that wasn't true. I was worth something. You made me believe I was worth something and for that, I loved you. I could never not love you, but I'm beginning to think you lied. Just a bit.
When things changed, when everything changed, the world got dark. You stopped laughing. I don't know why for sure. You stopped hanging out with us, and went to her. You comforted her, not us. You came back to the flat all bloody and eventually you stopped coming back at all, because you stayed with her, moved in with her, started a family with her. I hate her. And I hate him. I hate Harry, even if he looks like you! Even if he is a part of you and you love him, in a way I can tell that you never, ever loved any of us.
What happened isn't my fault. I am good at keeping secrets. I wanted to keep yours. But you, you stopped listening to me. You stopped spending time with us, and stayed with her. You abandoned us! If only you'd stayed, and everything had stayed the same – as it should have been. We could have gone down in history as the greatest wizards who'd ever lived. Greater than the founders, than Dumbledore – Greater than Voldemort or any Dark Lord! But you didn't. You left them and me even though you had to know that we cared for you just as much as she did. More, even!
When you came to me. When you asked me your favours – I was flattered. I would do anything to protect you. You're my best friend, my first love. But then I realized that this wasn't for you. You are brave and strong and laugh in the face of danger. You would never hide. No. You were doing this for her. Because you loved her, loved him, and not us. Especially not me. And you wanted me to risk my life for them too. After they had stolen you away from me.
I would do it for you in a heartbeat. But I can't; not for her. She's the reason I lost you. And when I lost you, you need to understand...I lost a part of myself that I was never going to get back.
He understands that I loved you. Nobody else did.
You betrayed me, James. You ought to have known.
I loved you first.