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Validation
Rating: G
Word Count: 681
Summary: Peter tries to gain acceptance within the Marauders.

Peter watched as Sirius indiscreetly waved his wand while holding an apple in his empty hand. Where the apple used to be, now Sirius held a piece of chocolate. Peter looked around and saw Remus now held the apple, but by the looks of it, he hadn't noticed the switch, yet.

Peter continued looking on as James bit his bottom lip in an effort to keep from laughing. Remus bent to take a bite of what he thought to be chocolate, eyes still fastened on his book. Only when his lips and teeth touched the hard surface, did Remus realize he'd been duped.

James and Sirius finally let themselves go and howled their laughter while Remus blushed. He too began chuckling, having no problems when it came laughing at himself. It was all in good fun after all. That was until Sirius ate the chocolate in two large bites. Then he was on the receiving end of Remus's glare.

James continued laughing at Sirius's predicament. Although Remus was the mellowest of the group, they personally knew they shouldn't get on the werewolf's bad side. The consequences weren't pretty.

Peter looked down at his untouched food. He always felt so left out, especially when they got into these moods. It just felt as if they forgot about Peter's presence. They were supposed to be the four Marauders, but most of the time, it felt like the three Marauders and Peter.

Peter felt as if he was the tagalong, dispensable, like a third arm. Truly not needed but tolerated. Peter just wanted them to include him, so he didn't feel like an outcast in his own dorm.

Peter tried. He studied harder, hoping if he could bring up his grades, then he could least talk academics with them. Remus was the most studious, and Peter didn't think he had a chance when it came to catching up to him. But maybe James and Sirius...

Peter did all of his homework. He read through his Defense of the Dark Arts, Charms, and Transfiguration chapters. No matter how much he tried, he just couldn't seem to grasp the material.

He looked up and saw Sirius and James starting a game of Exploding Snap. Remus sat near them, nose buried in a book.

Peter looked down at his Transfiguration textbook and nothing about it made sense. He might as well have been reading gibberish. Maybe he could ask for help...

Peter shook his head. No.

His eyes began hurting from trying to decipher the texts. Was it hopeless?

In class he was always behind, while Remus and Evans were at the top. Even James and Sirius, who acted as if studying was a disease, still were near the top. Remus always muttered how it wasn't fair that they had such natural talent. Peter couldn't help but agree.

Academics were out.

Peter tried getting an interest in Quidditch, but he hated flying. He was scared to death of heights and every time he even thought about getting on a broom, he began shaking. He knew he could never force himself on a broom to play Quidditch. Especially with those Bludgers in play. Just thinking about it made him tremble.

Maybe if he got a girlfriend, he could talk about girls with them. Everyone knew Sirius was a ladies' man. James would be too if he got over his infatuation with Evans. Although Remus wasn't vocal about it because of his condition, many girls found him cute. He tried talking to girls, but none of them were interested. Not even his association with the Marauders piqued their curiosity.

A very downtrodden Peter went up to the dorm. None of the Marauders noticed anything amiss. He realized they didn't care about him. He doubted they even knew he had been separate from them lately while trying to earn their approval and camaraderie.

Peter's eyes turned hard. They didn't appreciate him. Fine! He'd find others that did, better friends who would see his worth while not taking him for granted. The Marauders would be sorry they ever dismissed Peter Pettigrew!

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