The following morning, in the Great Hall, Hagrid urgently reported to Dumbledore that he had discovered unidentified individuals engaged in illegal hunting near the Forbidden Forest.
The substantial amount of blood at the scene suggested that one of the hunters might have been injured.
Professor Sprout, who overheard this conversation, stood up and revealed that several precious pots of fresh white fresh had been stolen from the greenhouse. This rare herb could be used to treat injuries.
The students engaged in fervent discussions, speculating whether the injured hunter was Sirius Black.
They considered the fact that, in the Forbidden Forest, hunting for food was not uncommon, as it was home to various magical creatures as well as wild deer and foxes.
Injuries during the hunting process might result from dangerous encounters with magical creatures.
That night, while Sirius was stealthily entering the greenhouse, he was suddenly ambushed by a dark figure. This time, he was prepared and swiftly dodged a Killing Curse.
The attacker was a bald, short man with gray hair, a rodent-like visage, and a pointed nose – none other than Peter Pettigrew, the object of Sirius’ vengeance.
Sirius, his eyes red with fury, exclaimed, “You, the traitor, dare to show your face in front of me!”
Peter Pettigrew displayed no concern and sneered, “Sirius, who do you think you are? It seems that twelve years in prison have made you lose touch with reality.”
With a cold glint in his eyes, Peter Pettigrew continued, “I am not the same person I used to be. I’ve acquired new powers. I no longer fear you. Killing you means that I can erase your existence and restart my life, free from your threat. You will meet your end as a traitor.”
At that moment, Professor Lupin emerged from concealment, positioned himself behind Peter Pettigrew, and joined Sirius in confronting him.
Lupin’s voice was filled with anger as he declared, “It’s you! Peter, it wasn’t enough for you to betray James. Now, you want to betray Sirius as well. You despicable villain, I will end you today!”
Lupin and Sirius both drew their wands, with Lupin lending one to Sirius. They unleashed a relentless assault on Peter Pettigrew, their spells launching deadly curses into the night.
Peter Pettigrew, the cunning little dwarf, sported a sly smile.
He traced a large circle in the air with his wand and silently released a dark, eerie vortex – a whirlpool that devoured all of their spells without a trace. He spoke coldly, “Why bother? Remus, I intended to kill Sirius alone. I didn’t anticipate that you’d uncover the truth. It seems I’ll need to add another soul to my wand today.”
Lupin retorted, his voice cold and resolute, “Do you really think that learning a bit of new magic makes you a match for both of us? Do you believe you’re the only one who’s improved over the years?”
The little dwarf Peter didn’t conceal his contempt. “Ignorance! You have no idea how far we’ve come.”
With that statement, Peter Pettigrew’s body exuded a visible, dark mist that swirled and swished around him. In response, Lupin and Sirius launched their most potent attacks in unison.
Peter Pettigrew’s power suddenly surged, accompanied by a hoarse scream, as if his very being was wracked by unbearable torment.
A beam of inky black light erupted from the tip of his wand, shattering Lupin and Sirius’s spells and persistently advancing toward them. Upon contact, it violently repelled them with a relentless force.
The black light clung to them as though it had a malevolent will of its own. Both Lupin and Sirius felt their magical strength rapidly draining, their bodies growing weaker, unable to mount any resistance.
The diminutive dwarf Peter sneered with triumph, “It’s the end, my friends. Let me guide you on your journey.”
Suddenly, a brilliant and potent white light burst forth. Peter Pettigrew hastily raised his wand in defense, retreating five steps, his gaze wary as he peered in the direction from which the white light emanated. He spoke coldly, “Unexpectedly, you’re here, Dumbledore.”
Dumbledore regarded him with a complex expression and sighed, “Peter, you’ve fallen far. Is your soul truly so corrupted that you would slay your former best friend?”
Though Peter Pettigrew had significantly augmented his power, his underlying nature of timidity and caution remained unchanged.
He knew full well that he stood no chance against Dumbledore, the most formidable wizard of the century.
Today’s plan had been a complete failure with Dumbledore’s arrival.
All he could do now was return to a life of fleeing and hiding. While it would be a life filled with misery and frustration, at least he would survive.
With these thoughts swirling in his mind, a tide of humiliation and resentment surged through him, and he roared frantically, “Best friends? They only saw me as a lackey, a servant they’d summon and cast aside at their whim! When have they ever considered me an equal friend?”
Five strange green sparks emitted consecutively from the tip of his wand, glaringly distinct against the darkness.
Sirius froze for a moment. His memories immediately transported him to the Muggle Street from twelve years ago. He distinctly remembered this magic.
It was the moment when Peter Pettigrew, who had been sobbing in front of him, abruptly produced a green spark at his wand’s end and then detonated the entire street into ruins.
He shouted, “Danger!” But he and Lupin were gravely injured and incapable of movement.
They could only passively accept their impending demise. It wasn’t death that he feared, but the unbearable knowledge that he would fail to avenge his friend James and in the process, would drag another friend, Lupin, into the abyss.
The two friends locked eyes, sharing a tragic smile, extending their hands to clasp each other’s in preparation to face death together.
Yet, neither of them perished. Dumbledore had positioned himself between them, erecting a holy white light barrier that warded off Peter Pettigrew’s assault.
This act, however, provided Peter Pettigrew an opening to escape into the Forbidden Forest.
Sirius bellowed hoarsely, “Forget about us; he’s trying to escape. Once he enters the Forbidden Forest, he can Apparate…”
Dumbledore wore a knowing expression and responded, “Not necessarily…”
Peter Pettigrew indeed seized the opportunity to vanish into the Forbidden Forest, but he didn’t Disapparate as Sirius had expected. It wasn’t for lack of willingness but a lack of ability.
The dark spell he had just employed was a form of blood magic demanding a gruesome price. Twelve years ago, when he confronted Sirius, he sacrificed a finger.
This time, out of fear of Dumbledore, he offered up his entire right hand. What was once a hand missing a single finger had now become a mangled and decaying mass of flesh on the ground, his grisly payment for harnessing this dark magic.
His strength waned significantly, both from the tremendous magic power expended and the substantial blood loss. He was now incapable of performing the complex magic required for Apparition Appearance.
His plan was to seek refuge in the Forbidden Forest, biding his time until his strength recovered enough to Apparate safely.
As he staggered deeper into the forest, he was suddenly struck by a silent and unseen curse that originated from a shadowy recess in the forest’s distant corner.
Peter the dwarf had been so vigilant that even as the curse closed in on him, he remained unaware.
“Petrificus Totalus!” A voice came from the shadows, casting a spell toward Peter.
Consequently, he was inexplicably ensnared by a full-body immobilization curse, rendering him unable to move.
Skyler dispelled his invisibility magic and emerged from the shadows, his smile carrying a hint of amusement. “Greetings, Little Dwarf. This is our first encounter; I am Skyler Malfoy. You’re familiar with my name, aren’t you?”
(Note: Pettigrew is actually a surname, which should have been translated as Peter Pettigrew, but in order to correspond to Sirius Black, the People’s Agency just translated it as Peter Pettigrew. The author is narrating everything using “Little Dwarf Peter,” and in the dialogue, “Little Dwarf” or “Peter” is used. The latter is only used by Lupin and Sirius.)
Peter rasped, “I do know you. Of course I do. You are the second scion of the Malfoy family and a rising star at Hogwarts. Your father and I were both Death Eaters. Please, I implore you, get me out of here, and I shall repay your kindness.”
Skyler asked with interest, “You feel quite helpless without your Animagus form. Let’s discuss how you might repay me first!”
Peter Pettigrew, sensing an opportunity, quickly responded, “I can grant you power, and I can divulge the secret of my power. With this power in your grasp, your exceptional talents will soon eclipse even Dumbledore.”
Skyler nodded, saying, “It’s truly enticing, but alas, I have no need for such power.”
Undeterred, Peter the dwarf persisted in his efforts to persuade Skyler, elaborating on the allure of this power.
However, observing that Skyler remained unswayed, he eventually relented, asking, “Then what do you seek?”
Skyler smiled and replied, “You must understand that I am as ambitious as any Slytherin. I desire your unwavering allegiance.”
Peter the dwarf considered his options for a moment, then spoke with a flattering tone, “It would be my honor to pledge loyalty to a future powerhouse of your caliber.”
“Your willingness is certainly refreshing, but I have reservations about your loyalty. You once betrayed the Order of the Phoenix and subsequently defected, evading capture after the fall of the Dark Lord. You don’t appear to be the most reliable follower.”
“No, no, they were different from you. They were far too zealous. My Lord, you’ve inherited the Malfoy family’s discerning nature and a strong sense of self-preservation. Following you is undoubtedly the right choice.”
“Nonetheless, I feel compelled to take precautions,” Skyler retrieved a vial of potion from his pocket. “This is a unique brew I’ve developed. After drinking it, should you ever entertain thoughts of betrayal, you’ll experience the agony of being pierced by a thousand arrows until death claims you. Drink the entire vial, and I shall accept your allegiance and ensure your safe exit.”
Though Peter the dwarf harbored reluctance in his heart, he was, at his core, a survivor. With no other recourse, he begrudgingly consumed the potion.
Surprisingly, Skyler’s supposed unique potion was nothing more than a concoction of his imagination.
No such potion existed in the wizarding world. In reality, what Peter Pettigrew had ingested was Ecstasy.
As the effects of the substance began to blur his consciousness, Skyler seized the moment to cast a hypnotic charm, compelling Peter to divulge the secrets behind his sudden empowerment.
Indeed, Peter Pettigrew had not returned to seek refuge with Voldemort.
His newfound strength was derived from a clandestine underground organization known as the “Shadow Dragons.” This group consisted of formidable dark wizards, several of whom were infamous wanted criminals from the same era as Voldemort.
As a young Tom Riddle, before he became Lord Voldemort, he had encountered and associated with these individuals.
It was through these interactions that he acquired numerous secrets of dark magic, such as the means to alter his own body through dark magic, thus greatly enhancing his magical abilities.
Tom Riddle, during his time at Hogwarts, was strikingly handsome and bore no resemblance to the fearsome Dark Lord he would later become.
His transformation into that loathsome appearance was a direct result of his association with these dark arts.
Dumbledore himself alluded to Riddle having “mixed with the most evil guy in the wizarding world, undergone several dangerous magical transformations, and re-emerged as Voldemort.”
In this story, these individuals are designated members of the enigmatic organization known as the Shadow Dragons.
Peter Pettigrew possessed only limited knowledge about this organization.
He knew that they had an interest in a student at Hogwarts.
They had imbued Peter with a particular dark power, resulting in a dramatic leap in his magical abilities.
In return, Peter Pettigrew had made an Unbreakable Vow to assist them in the abduction of a student, though he was unaware of the student’s identity.
The organization expected Peter to eliminate any potential disruptive elements and would reveal the subsequent steps of their plan to him.
The Shadow Dragons, an organization never mentioned in the original books, had found its way into Hogwarts. Their true intentions and motivations remain shrouded in mystery.
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