The man looked around through small, watery eyes. Poor though his sight was, he recognized James Potter’s son immediately. Even from the distance, he could tell the boy had Lily Evans’ eyes. And the scar on his forehead – the one left him by the Dark Lord, when the boy had somehow, mysteriously, defeated the greatest Dark Wizard of all time… as an infant.
He closed his beady eyes again and feigned sleep while he thought of a plan. He was good at that – everyone thought he was ALWAYS asleep.
Although he heard it, he completely ignored the attack on his character coupled with an attack on his physique (the latter, at least, being true), and the subsequent elementary and foolish attempt to jaundice him. He knew the spell wouldn’t work, anyway, so he didn’t let it bother him. For that matter, he probably would have done the same thing when he was a child, given the opportunity and the resources. No harm, no foul, after all. On the other hand, he did allow his ears to twitch at the mention of Alice and Frank Longbottom’s son… not that anyone was paying any attention to him. No matter, he had quite a comfortable life.
However, when Goyle’s son made an appearance, he gave the boy exactly what he felt was coming to him (and his father). Content with the ensuing chaos, he feigned sleep again.
By the time they arrived at their destination, he had a plan in mind. Already quite confident that he knew where the boys would be assigned, he’d focused mainly on the logistics of the matter. When the boys made it to their dormitory, he made a point of destroying some of the linens in a manner very fitting to one of his kind.
At the last Quidditch match before the holidays, he had executed the remainder of his plan. Fortunately, he had not been expected at the match and so had made short work of scampering off the property unnoticed. He slid behind a tree just outside of the school gates and Disapparated to a point he knew well, then scampered the rest of the way.
Entering the domicile utterly unnoticed (as far as they were concerned he belonged here anyway), he ran lightly up the flights of stairs to the attic. Transfiguring himself into a more appropriate figure, he reached into the hole in the wall and extricated the parcel he had hidden there ten years ago.
Concealing himself with the help of the object in the parcel, he left the house, strode confidently back to the Apparition point and took himself back to the school where he carefully wrapped his gift, addressed the note in his narrow, loopy writing, and concealed the parcel, once again, until he was ready to give it to Harry.
Christmas Day arrived, and with it, Harry got his father’s Invisibility Cloak. He was suitably delighted, which was obvious to anyone even slightly acquainted with him.
The man felt a lump in his throat as Harry read the note, which explained that James had left it in his possession. When he paused to think about why he’d had the Cloak, it bothered him, even after so many years had passed. It had been for his protection from those whose arms he'd run straight into and willingly so. Gleefully so. He put the thought out of his mind, and, content with his accomplishment, went back to sleep.
He’d heard, of course, about oafish Hagrid’s experiments with the dragon. He certainly approved of Harry’s idea to get rid of the dangerous thing, even if it did mean having his Mudblood friend help him. He took advantage of his greater-than-usual amount of freedom and ensured that he would be taken along for the ride, occasionally helping by invisibly levitating the crate containing the fast growing dragon, just a bit, and only when the two small children were having particular difficulty with it. Once they’d all arrived at the top of the tower, he’d made short work of leaving. Unnoticed. As always.
This turned out to be a particularly poor decision on his part, as he found out later in the night when the Longbottom boy had returned with Harry. Apparently, the Cloak had been forgotten.
He had half a mind to leave it “lost”… an object that valuable, both in sheer monetary value, and certainly in the opportunities it presented. But everyone was entitled to make a stupid mistake once in a while, he decided, and he dutifully scampered back to the top of the Astronomy tower, retrieved the Cloak, and stuffed it in a hiding place he knew all too well to be retrieved at a more appropriate time. Being able to move, effectively invisible even when not actually so, certainly had its advantages, and he frequently used those advantages to the fullest.
Concealed in plain sight in the Gryffindor common room when Harry came back from his detention in the forest, what he heard from Harry surprised him at the same time that it did not surprise him in the least. He had always suspected Snape and where Snape’s true loyalties actually lay. But what had really caught his attention was the first mention of what sounded like the true return of the Dark Lord. The children talked for hours. His somnambulant presence was completely forgotten, and he ran up the stairs, unseen once again, to the dormitories, extricated the Cloak from its hiding place, folded it neatly and stashed it under Harry’s sheets, attaching yet another note.
Even while his eyes appeared closed in sleep, Scabbers, aka Peter Pettigrew, intended to keep his ears wide open for further mentions of the return of his Lord.