Peter saw two green flashes from Harry's bedroom window. Shortly after, he felt a cold wind across his fur. It filled him with terror. The wind seemed to swirl around him for a time and then vanish as suddenly as it came.
Peter sniffed the air uneasily. The master still hadn't come out of the house and Peter was divided. Should he go inside to investigate and risk incurring his master's wrath or should he simply wait?
Eventually Peter came to a decision; he would go into the house. Dumbledore would certainly have been alerted by now that something had happened to the Potters. Peter needed to find out what had happened to his master. Voldemort was his only hope now. Sirius and Remus would kill him for what he had done.
Still in his rat form, Peter entered the house. When he entered the living room, he saw James' body lying on the floor. He felt a pang of regret when he looked at his friend's eyes staring sightlessly at the ceiling. Still, survival is more important than friendship, thought Peter. He had only done what he had to do to survive.
Then Peter heard it, a wailing sound coming from upstairs. Harry! Peter rapidly climbed the stairs and entered Harry's room.
Harry was sitting up in his cot crying. He was clutching the bars and his tear-stained face was pressed between two of them as if he was trying to figure out what was going on. Peter wondered idly if he could see his mother lying dead on the floor in front of the cot.
On the other side of the room there was a discarded black robe. The Master's! Peter transformed back into a human. As he did so he heard Harry emit a squeak of surprise and began crying more intensely. The child had never taken a liking to him.
Peter examined the robes. They were empty. It was as if the master had simply vanished. Within the robes, he found the Master's wand. He pocketed it, knowing he would be rewarded for returning it.
What happened here? The master was gone, James and Lily were dead but Harry was still alive. What should he do now?
Coming to decision, Peter decided that he would finish the Master's work. He raised his wand and pointed it towards Harry.
Peter couldn't do it. He couldn't kill Harry... the Master had made it clear only he was allowed to touch the boy. Peter grabbed Harry roughly out of his cot. He wrapped him in the small blanket that the child was clutching and ran back down the stairs of the house. Realising that he had to hide the fact he had taken Harry, Peter ran back outside into the garden and fired the most damaging spell he knew at the outside wall of the house, near where Harry's room had been.
The entire side of the house exploded, sending bricks and debris flying across the garden. Peter watched as the side of the house began to collapse along with the chimney. Peter smiled. It would be difficult for Dumbledore to determine what had happened now.
Taking one last look around, Peter, still clutching Harry tightly, Disapparated.
November 1st 1981 Milverton
When Peter woke the next morning he got up and began making preparations to put his plan into effect. He couldn't stay here long; when he had returned to his home the previous night he had found evidence that someone had been in the house.
Sirius knew that he was the Secret Keeper and he would come for him soon. Peter had tried and failed to contact the Master using his Mark and, even more worrying, the Mark had faded from black to a dark grey colour. Something was obviously wrong.
Peter went downstairs. The boy was still on the chair where he had been left last night. The child had not stopped crying since they left the Potters' house. Peter had solved that problem with a Silencing Charm.
Peter removed the Silencing spell and the boy's cries once again filled his house.
"Shut up!" Peter shouted.
The boy ignored him.
Peter had decided that he needed to hide the boy, at least for a time. It wouldn't do for him to be identified as Harry Potter. Once the Dark Lord returned from wherever he had gone, he would reveal the boy to him and reap the rewards. The other Death Eaters would only try to take the credit for themselves. Peter had spent time the previous evening researching the spells that would be needed.
Peter pointed his wand at the boy and cast three spells. Slowly, like paint running down a canvas, the boy's features began to change. Black hair became light brown and the distinctive green eyes became grey. The final spell, if it worked, should ensure he would never be found by Dumbledore.
Peter was admiring his work when he heard a noise from the front of his house. He ran to the window and peered out. There was a large black dog outside. Panicked, Peter quickly checked that the Master's wand was safe in its hiding place, grabbed the boy and left through the back door.
He raced through the village, trying to put as much distance between him and the house as possible. He had to make liberal use of the Obliviation Charm when some Muggles took an unnecessary interest in the obviously extremely distressed child that he was carrying. He knew that Sirius would never stop chasing him, but Peter had a plan to deal with him. It was critical that Harry should not be seen. Especially the now disguised Harry.
He needed to find somewhere to hide the boy until he had dealt with Sirius. Peter dashed into the nearby public park and examined his surroundings. He needed somewhere that would not be busy. He spotted a small pond at the far end of the park. It was a quiet place, and not at all perfect for what he had in mind, but it was too risky to be out in public with Harry right now. Pulling back the branches on a nearby bush, he shoved Harry deep inside. With a wave of his wand, the branches that he had bent out of shape repaired themselves, leaving no trace that he had been here.
He would return for Harry later, once Sirius had been dealt with.
A/N: This marks the final piece of the story from 1981. We are back to the present in the next chapter. Thanks for reading and thanks to my beta, Arnel.