I have roamed lands many people have only dreamed of. I have lived with creatures others consider vermin. I have been labelled a betrayer, a backstabber, a coward; I suppose they’re true in a way. I am Wormtail, known to most as Peter Pettigrew.
I think I’ll start at the beginning, yes, that makes sense.
I entered Hogwarts, a shy, timid first year. I was in awe of the castle. Of the magic, the power contained in the walls of the hallowed establishment. To this day, I don’t know why that blasted hat placed me in Gryffindor. Maybe it knew that I had a very large role to play in the grand scheme of things. And what a role it was. But I am getting ahead of myself.
In the beginning, I had trouble making friends because of my timid and shy nature. I avoided the more outgoing students, lest they make fun of me. But still, I somehow managed to become best friends with the most popular and mischievous group Hogwarts has ever known, the Marauders. That helped me overcome my shyness and timidity to a large extent. I was always with them, James, Sirius and Remus. We became the headache of the teachers. Together, we more or less ruled Hogwarts for the seven years we stayed there. The one thing I learned by being with them was to become an animagus, a skill that has helped me immensely.
We finished our schooling and time came to find our footing in the world. My marks weren’t impressive enough to get a decent job. I struggled with my life for about a year, still staying with my mother and no job in sight. That was when I was contacted.
Barty Crouch Jr. befriended me. I only knew him vaguely then. He was quite friendly and was easy to get along with. Through him, I came to know of Macnair, Lestrange and more. I knew this was not the type of company I should be keeping, seeing as my friends were extremely opposed to them. But the stories they told me, of their ‘Master’ and his power, were enough for me to switch sides. Here was something I had always craved for, Power, and it was being handed to me. Who was I to turn away from such a golden opportunity?
The more time I spent with them, the more I was sucked in. Until, one day, I was in the presence of the Dark Lord himself. The power exuding from him was indescribable. I felt this is what I was waiting all my life for. This was the kind of power I wanted to have. I willingly submitted to his service. And thus began my days as a spy.
I don’t need to go into what transpired next. Being inducted into the Order of the Phoenix, named as the Secret Keeper of the Potters, my betrayal, yada yada yada. Honestly, what did they expect, that I give my life to save the life of a worthless baby? No fair deal that.
What transpired next is known to all of you. So, I’ll skip to the Final Battle.
The Dark Lord had summoned all his faithful followers to finish the ‘Potter brat’ once and for all. He had received a tip that the brat was in Godric’s Hollow. Our Master crowed that he would finish Potter in the same place that his parents’ lives were snuffed. I could only marvel at the poetic justice that was Potter’s life, or death, if you think of that.
Anyway, the fools all rushed to Godric’s Hollow following the Dark Lord. I had niggling feeling at the back of my mind that something was wrong. So, I apparated a little away from the intended apparition point. As I surveyed the scene in front of me, I was glad I listened to that niggling something. The battle was going on at full blast.
I crept cautiously till I saw Remus. Aah, the werewolf. I got behind my former friend, who had not noticed me behind him, and seized his throat by my silver hand. And you all well know what happens when silver comes in contact with a werewolf’s skin. Naturally, he struggled. He put up one hell of a fight though. He tried to punch me, but since I was behind him, he couldn’t aim his elbows properly. He did manage to get free of me somehow, must be that werewolf strength. I recognized enough of the brutality Remus was capable of to back away from him and run. But my job was done, he was out of the battle for sure.
I transformed into my animagus form and crept through the grass till I came to a building from where I could get a good view of the battle. Still in my rat form, I watched with mixed feelings as Potter and his friends engaged the Dark Lord in a duel. I was pretty sure I was alone on the rooftop, till I heard somebody shout a spell down into the battle below. It turned out to be a hit wizard. I recognised him as a student from Potter’s year at Hogwarts. Apparently, he was a newbie to bloodshed, since he started vomiting after he had killed the person he had cursed.
I transformed to stun the fellow, but he noticed me and tried to curse me. But he was still weak from his vomiting to even raise his wand in time. I took pity on the poor chap and stunned him. I didn’t even wait for him to fall down and transformed again and took off. Have I told you how much I love my rat form? I looked at where my Master was battling Potter, and saw that he had been slain. I was hoping for him to live, but I suppose you cannot get all things in life. Oh well, back to running again.
After the battle, I went to the continent, for fear of being caught and imprisoned. I lived as a rat most of the time, haunting sewers and garbage dumps. I came back to England after nearly four years, so that things would have been cooled down a bit. Only to find that I was on the top of the list of people to be brought in. Hit-wizards had been assigned to catch me. As if they would.
And so, I travelled on. But since I couldn’t be in my human form, I had to travel at night and as a rat, so that I could be inconspicuous. On my way, I noticed two people crouching down low and laughing. Curious, I went near them. I noticed that the younger person was the same newbie I had stunned on the roof top. I came to know from their conversation that they were the ones who had been assigned to catch me. Me! Poor, pitiful old Wormtail! I was honoured. Bah!
The older person was called Cheshire Cat. Cat, huh? How ironic would it be if this rat led the cat and its kit on a death trail? I made a deliberate noise to attract their attention and scampered. I made sure that they were on my tail at all times. I led them straight to Malfoy Manor, where I was sure Lucius Malfoy still stayed. That man was too proud of his pure-blood heritage to give that place up.
Just as Lucius came out to investigate the trespassing on his estate, I revealed myself to the two dimwits. The fight that ensued was relatively short. I was kicked in the gut, fine, but the kid’s wand was torn from his hand. This enabled me to pronounce death on the ‘Cat’. I belled the cat, what say you?
While I was standing over the ‘Cat’s’ body, the runt shot a curse at me. I ducked, so it barely grazed me, but he pushed me aside to get to his partner. If there is one thing I have learnt in my turbulent life, it is to not leave loose ends alone. They come back to haunt you. Look at what happened to Harry when he left me alive. So, I got up and was just about to curse him when Remus and Moody arrived. That was my cue to leave, but not before I taught the whelp a lesson for pursuing me. I shot a cutting curse at him that cut his neck and shoulders. My aim was not all that good, I admit. Remus and Moody arriving on the scene had unnerved me. I transformed and scooted from there.
I have heard that Bellatrix also survived the battle. And that Lucius and her have an ongoing feud for supremacy among the remaining Death Eaters. I have got missives from both of them to join their faction. I am thinking about what to do. I am apparently one of the last known Death Eaters to be roaming free. And they both want me in their faction badly, seeing as I was with the Dark Lord almost all the time. They must be thinking I know some things about his researches. As if. He was too secretive, too paranoid. But I am not going to tell them that. I’d be dead meat then.
And then there is the debt I owe Mr. Potter. A wizard’s debt no less. Means I cannot harm him directly. And I doubt he will even let me near him or anybody he loves. He’ll kill me on the spot, no questions asked. So, I’m on my own this time.
My travels have taken me places. From the mountains of Switzerland to the ruins of Greece to the so called romantic canals of Venice. All those hold no value for me now. I am a fugitive. And I am on the run. I don’t know which country I will visit next. Maybe I will stay in England, maybe go out on the continent, maybe even get out of all this and go settle in India, who knows. All I know is that I should be careful from now on if I want to be alive.
And so, here I am, at the beginning of another journey as a fugitive again. I don’t know where it will take me. I don’t know where it will end.
Current Music: Crickets in the meadow