Animals Need Affection and Love
Wormtail scurried along the floor of the dungeons, sniffing the ground every few paces for traces of Mrs. Norris or anyone else. He was the lookout while the other Marauders mapped out a hallway with a false wall, but he had got himself turned around coming out of a classroom and was now good and lost.
Everything looks so different from down here, he sighed mentally. He could transform back, but with his luck he’d get caught the moment he did, and then James would be irritated he’d done a poor job as lookout.
He scurried into the doorway of another classroom and looked around, hoping to see something familiar. He froze in the shadows when he heard the scrape of a chair on the stone floor and someone talking in a low murmur. He quickly identified them as not the Marauders, and huddled in the doorway, afraid he’d be seen.
“What d’you mean boring?”
I’m just a rat, Peter thought, there’s loads of them down here, I’m not suspicious at all.
“It’s just we do the same stuff all the time.”
“I like the stuff we usually do...mmm, like this...”
If rats could emit giggles, Peter would have been stifling a nervous one as he realized his two companions in the classroom were both male, and weren’t doing anything academic except perhaps Anatomy.
“Uh-huh...but there’s other stuff too, you know.”
Peter, now shamelessly eavesdropping, lost the next few sentences in whispers and low laughs.
“You’ve never done that,” he finally heard.
“No, but we could try. We could find a rat down here, I’m sure.”
Peter froze again and began edging slowly back out the door.
“Are you seriously suggesting that we pick a rat up off the FLOOR and you put it in my arse?! You’re off your nut, you are!”
“It’d be a tame rat of course...probably someone’s pet, if it’s running around down here.”
Peter rushed out of the door, running blindly out into the hall. He bumped into something and squeaked in terror...
...before realizing it was James’ shoe. Relieved, he transformed back after a moments effort and stood sheepishly before his friends.
“All right, Peter?” Remus asked.
“Fine,” he said hurriedly, hustling them towards the stairs. “Just fine, let’s get out of here and keep your voice down, please.”
* * * * * *
Peter was uncharacteristically quiet for a few days, but wouldn’t say what was bothering if asked. Finally he took to scribbling something down on a piece of parchment as though he were planning.
All of this strange activity culminated one night in the Common Room as Remus, Sirius, and James were finishing Transfigurations essays. Peter was sitting a bit away from them on the floor, drawing on a large sheet of parchment. After a while, James and Sirius gave up all pretense of homework and simply began a whispered argument about what Peter was doing.
“Peter, what are you doing?” Remus finally asked when he could take no more.
“Making signs for my new organization,” Peter replied. He held up a half-colored sign that read “Animals Need Affection and Love”.
“Anal?” Sirius asked, giggling.
“No!” Peter said sharply “A. N. A. L.” He spelled out
the letters deliberately.
“What’s it for, Peter?” Remus asked, feeling like somebody ought to be encouraging him.
“You know how I was in the dungeons last week?” Peter replied. Remus nodded. “Well, I got lost and wandered into this classroom, and there were two students there...”
James and Sirius were now listening intently, Sirius still stifling snickers.
“It was two men, er, boys, er...well, males, and they were, erm...” Peter began to blush and the stammer he thought he’d been rid of Second Year was returning faintly. “...and then one of them said they’d read about er...u-using small, uh, animals in their...ah, s-small animals ...like...like...”
“Rats?” James asked, trying to look concerned rather than about to burst into laughter.
“Maybe,” Peter mumbled before rushing on. “Anyway, I thought that somebody ought to do something about it, so now I’ve made up A.N.A.L. It’s for rats and mice mostly, maybe hamsters, the occasional gerbil...”
James and Sirius were no longer able to contain their snorts, but Peter continued, voice raising slightly and gaining an edge of desperation.
“Of course larger animals could be protected too, like rabbits...or uh, you know, guinea pigs...”
James and Sirius had fallen off the couch and were rolling on the floor with laughter when Peter finally stuttered to a stop.
“Sirius! James!” Remus snapped. “You’re being horrible! Peter had a traumatic experience!”
“He’s made an organization to stop people using rodents as sex toys and named it ANAL!” Sirius cackled loudly.
“A.N.A.L.!” Peter spelled indignantly. James clutched his stomach and gasped with laughter.
“Stop it!” Remus ordered, issuing a sharp kick in Sirius’ direction. James and Sirius straightened up painfully and smothered their snickers.
“We’re sorry, Pete,” James said, trying to make a serious face.
“Really sorry,” Sirius added, making a James face. “How ever can we make it up to you?”
“You could join it?” Peter suggested hopefully. “Membership is two Sickles, and you get a badge.”
“I think that’s an excellent idea,” Remus said loudly, shooting glares at the other two, who closed their mouths with a nearly audible snap. “And Sirius is going to loan me two Sickles as well, because I’m broke.”
“Do we even get creative control over these badges?” James asked suspiciously.
“Too late, I’ve already made them,” Peter announced. He dug into his pockets and produced a handful of gold pins. Sirius and James grumbled, but dug in their pockets and produced six Sickles between them and received three badges in return. Sirius tossed one over to Remus before inspecting his.
They were gold, roughly the shape of a prefect’s badge, and said “ANAL” in large letters.
“No,” Sirius shook his head vehemently. “No way.”
“You’re wearing it,” Remus informed him, affixing his own badge to his chest. James reluctantly did the same and Peter beamed proudly.
“But it says...”
Giving Remus a black look, Sirius stuck his pin on violently.
“We’re quite a sight, aren’t we?” Peter asked, grinning as he surveyed the group.
Remus elbowed Sirius before he could comment.
* * * * * *
Nearly two decades later...
Harry paused in his search through the old box to sneeze violently. Remus really needed to clean out his attic more often.
“Harry?” Ron stuck his head up through the trap door. “Have you found Lupin’s old notes yet?”
“No, I’ve found his Hogwarts box though,” Harry replied, voice thick with dust. “I’m going through it now.”
“Wicked,” Ron climbed up into the attic the whole way and knelt beside Harry. “What’ve you found.”
“Some dorm posters,” Harry ran a hand through the stuff again, “a few books, and this.”
Harry held up a small, gold badge.
“Does that say ‘anal’?” Ron asked, snickering.
“Yes,” Harry replied reflectively. “Yes, it does.”
“What do you think it’s for?” Ron inquired. Harry shrugged and rubbed the dust off the badge, watching the gold gleam.
“I don’t know, but it looks like Remus won.”
featuring activist!Peter ^_^*