Pairing: Argus Filch/Peter Pettigrew
Summary: Written for pauraque whose stories and character discussions are solely to blame for making me fond of Peter.
Warnings: Underage Issues.
He knows this boy. Of course he does - he used to be him. Once upon a time, a lifetime ago, when he was nobbut a lad himself, and his whole world belonged to his cousins down the lane. Big boys, a band of brothers who only kicked him some of the time as he dogged their heels every holiday.
Or that’s what he thinks when he watches the pack of them in the corridors, in the Great Hall, out on the
grounds sunning themselves by the lake. It’s not that he stares. They‘re always underfoot, is all. Always being tossed on his doorstep for some misdoing or another, and of the lot there’s only one that he can stand. Only one of them has a name.
Peter. Peter Pettigrew. He knows the boy.
He’s watched him for years, closer and closer. He notices things. The way Peter smiles when the Potter
boy pays him mind. The way Peter smiles when the Black boy slaps him down with a grin. The second
smile has teeth. They're straight and white, and sometimes they snap shut.
Argus gives the other boys detention with that great clod Hagrid, with Professor Binns, with Poppy when she
isn’t picky about another set of hands. But Peter, he keeps for himself. Sometimes he pretends that it
isn’t a detention at all. He makes believe - not serious, mind, only a passing fancy - that the boy has
come to see him. It’s not so hard to imagine. The boy isn’t sullen like the others, and he isn’t stupid
either. Give him a job and directions to the letter, and he’ll do it perfect.
Peter is happy when he’s told exactly what to do.
Fourth year, the boy sits for two hours straight, polishing every piece of a suit of armor, the very
last piece done just as thorough as the very first.
Even Argus has to mutter a compliment. "Not a bad job of it," or something of the like. And the boy lights right up like a fairy lantern, and Argus knows straight away which smile that is.
After, when he’s alone in his room, he imagines that Peter likes being with him better than those nasty
boys for whom he‘s always taking the blame. He tells Peter just what to do. He always tells him the rules, and makes sure he understands.
Fifth Year: Peter on his knees, scrubbing the steps, his robes snagging in the balustrade, and the flash of
plump white thighs has Argus walking very quickly back to his office to press his face against the cold stone until his thoughts freeze in his head.
Sixth: He begins to touch him. He can’t recall the first time, only a dim memory of his pounding heart.
He just knows that it’s only sometimes, when he can’t help himself. Then, other times when he can, but
Peter, Peter - shelving trophies, sleeves slipping down to his elbows. Argus brushes by, pressing
against him for one shivery moment. Peter sorting through the inventories. Peter dusting the portraits.
His hair, his cheek, his shoulder, Argus’s hand lingering no longer than a butterfly. He gives Peter
a pair of manacles to polish, for no other reason than to stand behind him and watch the steel links clink
through the boy’s soft hands. The back of Peter’s head brushes against him over and over, and he sees
Peter flushing pink, breathing hard.
He knows that feeling too. He remembers sixteen, and loneliness, and what he'd do to have anyone want him. That night he brings himself off twice, at the fevered thought of spreading those pale thighs and teaching Peter just how to be perfect.
It becomes harder and harder, as time goes on, remembering what’s real and what he only imagined.
All he knows is that one cold winter evening, when Peter comes in from shoveling the courtyard - pale
eyes bleary from the wind, skin flushed with the cold, and little snowflakes melting in his hair - he's
waiting for him with a cup of hot cocoa, generously laced with a dollop of his best whiskey.
And when the boy scents it, twitching his nose at the warm sweet smell, Argus moves quietly behind him and
locks the door. His hands only tremble a little.
Because he knows this boy. Peter, Peter, Peter.
He knows he won’t say no.