“C’mon Peter,” Sirius said. “Don’t be a wet blanket.”
“Yeah,” James added. “Just do it. Everyone else has.”
Remus shot the two of them an exasperated look.
“Everyone else, meaning you and Sirius,” he said, then turned to Peter. “Don’t do it if you don’t feel comfortable. Something bad could happen if you’re not ready.”
The four friends were sitting on the floor of their dorm, books scattered around them, practicing highly illegal Animagus transformations. They’d been researching the theory and spell work for months and finally decided they were ready to start practicing.
James looked over at Peter, whose forehead was starting to bead with a nervous sweat.
“Don’t worry, Peter, you’re ready,” he said. “I mean, you’ll have to do it eventually if you want to come to the Shrieking Shack with us, so why not now?”
Peter knew Sirius and James would bully him until he tried, so he closed his eyes and concentrated on transforming. A flash of white light surrounded his pudgy body, and seconds later a large brown rat had taken his place.
Sirius burst into laughter.
“You did it, Peter! Bloody hell, you’re a rat!”
Peter scampered across the rug, testing out his new legs. James watched in amusement.
“Not the most attractive animal, but good job mate.”
“Now try to change back,” Remus said.
The three friends watched in silence as the rat stilled, and seconds later began running around frantically, emitting loud squeals. Sirius picked him up before he could scamper under a bed.
“Oh no,” Remus said. “Peter, are you stuck?” His answer came in the form of frenzied, high-pitched squeaking.
“Leave it you to botch this up so spectacularly,” James said, looking at the rat in Sirius’ hands. Sirius was tightly gripping Peter, preventing him from escaping.
“It’s okay Peter,” Remus said, taking the squirming rat from Sirius. “I’ve read about this in one of the books James got from the library. All it takes to reverse the transformation is a spell. I think I wrote it down, just in case. Let me find it.”
Peter stopped wriggling and visibly relaxed.
“Don’t be so hasty, Moony,” Sirius said, grinning. “Let’s have some harmless fun before changing him back.”
He picked Peter up by the tail before Remus could protest and put him in the cavernous pocket of his robes, planning on taking him out at dinner to scare unsuspecting first years.
Peter sighed deeply, fidgeting around in the folds of black material. His sigh came out as a high-pitched squeak. Of course this would have to happen to me
, he thought. He shifted around in the pocket trying to find a comfortable position, figuring it would be a while until Sirius got bored and handed him back over to Remus.
He felt a large hand pat the pocket of the robe. “Doing okay in there, Wormtail?” Sirius asked. “Just give a little shout if you need anything.”
He could hear James laughing.
Peter hated his friends sometimes.