At least some content in this article is derived from information featured in Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, and Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery.
Peter Pettigrew, O.M. (First Class), (c. 1959/1960–March, 1998), usually referred to as Wormtail or Scabbers was a wizard and the son of Mr and Mrs Pettigrew. He began attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in 1971 and was sorted into Gryffindor House after the Sorting Hat pondered over which house he belonged in for over five minutes, a true Hatstall. During his years at Hogwarts, he became one of the Marauders; he was best friends with Sirius Black, James Potter, and Remus Lupin, and together they created the Marauder's Map.
During the First Wizarding War, Peter was a member of the Order of the Phoenix, but became a spy when he was coerced into joining Lord Voldemort. He was made Secret-Keeper for the Potters when they went into hiding with the use of the Fidelius Charm, and betrayed James, his wife Lily, and their son Harry to Lord Voldemort. After Voldemort's fall, he faked his own death and framed Sirius for betraying James and Lily, as well as for his own murder and those of the twelve Muggles he killed during his escape.
Peter spent twelve years living in his Animagus form as the Weasley family's pet rat, Scabbers. However, his identity was exposed by Sirius and Remus in 1994, and Pettigrew, with nowhere else to go, sought protection in returning to the service of Lord Voldemort, whom he found in the forests of Albania.
Pettigrew played a key role in Voldemort's rebirth and continued to serve him during the Second Wizarding War. In the spring of 1998, during the Skirmish at Malfoy Manor, in a moment of rare mercy, he hesitated to strangle Harry. The silver hand Lord Voldemort had given Pettigrew interpreted his hesitation as weakness and/or disloyalty, and strangled him to death, saving Harry and finally finding redemption for his treason, despite his reputation remained tarnished as many remained dubious of the evidence of his innate bravery.
- 1 Biography
- 1.1 Early life (1960–1971)
- 1.2 Hogwarts years (1971–1978)
- 1.3 First Wizarding War (1978–1981)
- 1.4 Between the wars (1981–1994)
- 1.5 Second Wizarding War (1994–1998)
- 1.6 Legacy
- 2 Physical appearance
- 3 Personality and traits
- 4 Magical abilities and skills
- 5 Possessions
- 6 Relationships
- 7 Etymology
- 8 Behind the scenes
- 9 Appearances
- 10 Notes and references
Early life (1960–1971)
Hogwarts years (1971–1978)
- Peter Pettigrew: "I got the snout shape, the pupils of the eyes, and the tufted tail, but I couldn’t think what else —"
- James Potter: "How thick are you, Wormtail? You run round with a werewolf once a month —"
- — Peter's lack of intelligence compared to his friends[src]
Pettigrew began attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in 1971. During his Sorting ceremony, the Sorting Hat wavered between placing him in Slytherin or Gryffindor. After a deliberation of more than five minutes (making Pettigrew a Hatstall), the Hat decided to sort him into Gryffindor.
He soon became friends with Sirius Black, James Potter, and Remus Lupin, fellow Gryffindors he idolised for their popularity and talent. Pettigrew took part in James and Sirius' bullying of Severus Snape, a Slytherin boy in the same year as the Marauders, though it is unlikely he would have dared to bully Snape without his friends protecting him.
He, James, and Sirius soon discovered Remus Lupin to be a werewolf, but they did not abandon him as many other wizards would have. Instead, they spent years learning how to become Animagi so that they could accompany Remus during his transformations. Pettigrew's Animagus form was a rat, from which his nickname "Wormtail" was derived.
The four friends called themselves the Marauders and designed a map to navigate Hogwarts. Pettigrew's rat form helped him slip through the Whomping Willow's branches and immobilise the tree in order to let himself and the Marauders enter the Shrieking Shack. Professor Minerva McGonagall described Pettigrew as a "stupid and foolish boy" who hero-worshipped Sirius and James. She also stated that Pettigrew was a less than average student and was not capable of fighting with Sirius. She was somewhat harsh with him during their years of student-teacher relationship.
First Wizarding War (1978–1981)
Order of the Phoenix membership and betrayal
- Sirius Black: "You haven’t been hiding from me for twelve years. You’ve been hiding from Voldemort’s old supporters. I heard things in Azkaban, Peter… They all think you’re dead, or you’d have to answer to them… I’ve heard them screaming all sorts of things in their sleep. Sounds like they think the double-crosser double-crossed them. Voldemort went to the Potters’ on your information… and Voldemort met his downfall there. And not all Voldemort’s supporters ended up in Azkaban, did they? There are still plenty out here, biding their time, pretending they’ve seen the error of their ways. If they ever got wind that you were still alive, Peter —"
- Peter Pettigrew: "Don’t know… what you’re talking about… You don’t believe this — this madness, Remus —"
- Remus Lupin: "I must admit, Peter, I have difficulty in understanding why an innocent man would want to spend twelve years as a rat."
- — Argument over Pettigrew's betrayal[src]
After graduating from Hogwarts in 1978, Pettigrew and his friends joined the Order of the Phoenix and fought against Lord Voldemort and the Death Eaters during the First Wizarding War. However, by October 1980, Pettigrew began working as a spy for Voldemort, having come to believe that nothing could be gained from opposing him. Despite being considered a low-ranking soldier for his cowardice and general lack of usefulness, Pettigrew was given the Dark Mark and accepted into the ranks of the Death Eaters, most likely because of his ability to provide important information from within the Order of the Phoenix itself. During his time as a Death Eater nobody, not even Albus Dumbledore, seemed to suspect him of working for Voldemort. It did become apparent eventually to the Order that there was a spy among their ranks.
After a prophecy was made regarding Harry Potter and the Dark Lord, James and Lily Potter took their son and went into hiding. In an attempt at misdirection, they were convinced to select Pettigrew as their Secret-Keeper by Sirius Black, who believed that no one would suspect that Pettigrew was the Keeper. On Hallowe'en night 1981, Pettigrew betrayed his friends, and Voldemort murdered James and Lily, but was unable to do the same to their son when his Killing Curse rebounded, destroying his physical form. Upon arriving at the wreckage of the Potters' house, Pettigrew deduced what had happened, took Voldemort's wand, which was left among the rubble, fearing the Ministry would discover his treason through inspecting it, and hid it in an undisclosed location.
Apart from James and Lily, Sirius Black was the only person who knew that Pettigrew had been their Secret-Keeper. When he realised what Pettigrew had done, as his hiding place was empty with no signs of a struggle, he tracked him down hoping to avenge his friends. When he closed in on him, Pettigrew screamed that Sirius had betrayed the Potters for everyone to hear, and before Black could draw his wand, Pettigrew swiftly pulled out his from his back and then killed twelve Muggles by blowing up the street with a Blasting Curse, which created a crater large enough that the sewer pipes were showing. He then faked his own death by cutting off a finger and leaving it behind as he transformed into a rat and fled.
Sirius was arrested for being a Death Eater, killing Pettigrew and the Muggles, and betraying the Potters, and was imprisoned in Azkaban without a trial. The surviving Muggles who witnessed the event had their memories erased and were given an excuse by the Muggle-Worthy Excuse Committee that a gas-leak occurred. Pettigrew was unjustly awarded the Order of Merlin, First Class for his confrontation with Sirius, which, along with the finger that they recovered, were "posthumously" given to his mother. Even the other remaining Marauder, Remus, believed that Sirius betrayed them and killed Pettigrew. As the time passed, due to misconceptions, many believed that Black drew his wand and killed Pettigrew before the other had a chance of even drawing.
At some point before or during the early 1980s, Pettigrew joined the mysterious organisation R. He entered the fourth Cursed Vault, the Buried Vault with Jacob and Patricia Rakepick. When unable to defeat the Hungarian Horntail that guarded it, he escaped in fear, leaving Jacob and Rakepick behind. He went into hiding after this event.
Between the wars (1981–1994)
- Fred Weasley: "Come on, Ron, you were always saying how boring Scabbers was. And he's been off-colour for ages, he was wasting away. It was probably better for him to snuff it quickly. One swallow — he probably didn't feel a thing."
- Ron Weasley: "He bit Goyle for us once! Remember, Harry?"
- Fred Weasley: "His finest hour. Let the scar on Goyle's finger stand as a lasting tribute to his memory..."
- — Fred comforting Ron on the perceived death of Scabbers[src]
Pettigrew went into hiding as a rat, hoping to avoid Lord Voldemort's other supporters. As Voldemort had met his downfall on Peter's information, the Death Eaters suspected him of being a traitor; he feared that if they learned of his continued existence, the ones who escaped incarceration (such as Lucius Malfoy and Corban Yaxley) would kill him for leaving their organisation in such a chaotic state. Looking for a wizarding family to take him in, he came into the possession of Percy Weasley and, later, Percy's youngest brother Ron. He was taken good care of while living with the Weasleys and was named "Scabbers".
As Scabbers, Pettigrew returned to Hogwarts with Percy Weasley when he began his education in the 1987–1988 school year. Jacob's sibling met him and Percy immediately after the Start-of-Term Feast the following year while helping William Weasley study for his Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Tests. During this time, Percy seemed to be the only one to think positively of the rat.
Later in the 1988–1989 school year, he escaped from Percy and gained possession of the Marauder's Map. He was found in his rat form along with the map in the Cursed Corridor by Jacob's sibling. He escaped again, and later encountered Jacob's sibling while in his human form. He obliviated the student to make them forget about their encounter, and escaped yet again. He eventually ended up back with Percy, and his disappearance during the year did not make the Weasleys suspect anything about him.
It was clear Scabbers was an extraordinary rat; he was unusually old for a rat; they have an average life expectancy of two to three years, yet the Weasley family owned him for twelve. The reason he chose to be adopted by a wizard family was that he could keep track of the news in the wizarding world and could rejoin his master should he return to power. Positioned as he was, he could also bring Harry Potter as a welcome-back gift, so no Death Eater would dare claim him a traitor, but he never took action during his time as Ron's pet, because Voldemort was not strong enough to protect him. Despite once biting Gregory Goyle on the knuckle when he attempted to steal Harry and Ron's food, Ron generally thought that Scabbers was useless, since all Scabbers did was 'eat and sleep.' However, Ron did show his affections for Scabbers as he became quite upset when he thought Scabbers had been eaten by Hermione Granger's cat, Crookshanks.
- Sirius Black: "Just before he transformed. When I cornered him, he yelled for the whole street to hear that I’d betrayed Lily and James. Then, before I could curse him, he blew apart the street with the wand behind his back, killed everyone within twenty feet of himself — and sped down into the sewer with the other rats…"
- Remus Lupin: "Didn’t you ever hear, Ron? The biggest bit of Peter they found was his finger."
- Ron Weasley: "Look, Scabbers probably had a fight with another rat or something! He’s been in my family for ages, right —"
- Remus Lupin: "Twelve years, in fact. Didn’t you ever wonder why he was living so long?"
- — Peter gets exposed for what he truly is.[src]
In 1993, Sirius Black escaped from Azkaban after seeing a picture of Pettigrew's rat form in a Daily Prophet article about the Weasley family's trip to Egypt. Soon, Scabbers began to thin and bald. Ron thought at first this was due to the stress of the trip, and then fear of Hermione Granger's new cat Crookshanks, while Harry thought that Scabbers was finally reaching the end of his lifespan. In reality, he had been agitated by the news of Sirius Black's escape from Azkaban, afraid that he would find him and finally avenge the Potters. Eventually, Pettigrew faked his death yet again, by biting himself and leaving blood, allowing Ron to believe that Crookshanks had eaten the rat. This incident almost ruined Ron and Hermione's friendship until they reconciled over helping Rubeus Hagrid appeal his defence of Buckbeak the hippogriff. Hermione later discovered Pettigrew hiding in a milk jug in Hagrid's cabin.
That same year, Remus Lupin, who had been unaware of Pettigrew's duplicity and believed him to be dead, began teaching Defence Against the Dark Arts at Hogwarts. He began to suspect the truth when he saw Peter's name appear on the Marauder's Map, a charmed parchment created by him and his friends that came into Harry's possession through Fred and George Weasley. On 6 June 1994, Scabbers was found hiding in Hagrid's hut. When Ron attempted to bring him back to the castle, Scabbers tried to escape, but was caught by Ron in the shadow of the Whomping Willow.
There, Ron and Pettigrew were dragged to the Shrieking Shack by Sirius, followed immediately by Ron's friends Harry Potter and Hermione Granger. After heated discussion and the arrival of Professors Lupin and Snape, Pettigrew was unmasked by Sirius and Remus. He initially attempted to redirect the blame to Sirius, but when the truth came out and all the evidence was against him, he appealed for mercy to each person in the Shack (other than Snape, who had been unconscious since before Pettigrew's exposure). Each of them was disgusted by his cowardice, and his daring to ask them for mercy after deceiving them in so many ways infuriated them even more.
Remus and Sirius planned to kill their old friend, but Harry intervened after Pettigrew claimed that Harry's father would have never killed him. This, along with Harry's own belief that his father would not want his best friends to become killers, led him to be merciful. Although Harry had intended to hand Pettigrew over to the Dementors and use him to clear Sirius' name, at last, this created a life debt between Harry and Pettigrew.
The plan was upset, though, when the full moon rose, and, as Remus had forgotten to take his Wolfsbane Potion after discovering Pettigrew's name on the Marauder's Map, he transformed into an uncontrollable werewolf. Sirius was forced to take on his Animagus form, that of a dog, to protect Harry, Ron, and Hermione, and Peter took advantage of the chaos, cursing Ron with Remus' wand, transforming into his rat form, and fleeing.
Second Wizarding War (1994–1998)
The servant rejoins his master
- "Your devotion is nothing more than cowardice. You would not be here if you had anywhere else to go."
- — Lord Voldemort's low regard for Pettigrew[src]
After his escape from capture at Hogwarts, Pettigrew had no choice but to rejoin his master, lest Sirius and Remus kill him. He went to retrieve Voldemort's wand, then travelled to Albania where he learned from the rats there of a place in the forest where the creatures feared to travel. They said a dark shadow (Voldemort) took over the animals and killed them.
On his way to his master, Peter ran into Bertha Jorkins, a Ministry witch who was on holiday in Albania, while he had stopped at an inn for food. Although she recognised him, Pettigrew was able to lure her into the forest and overpower her, before handing her over to the Dark Lord. Under torture, Jorkins gave them information that helped Voldemort make plans for an attack on Harry Potter, including information on the Triwizard Tournament and the location of a faithful Death Eater, and she later was hit by a Memory Charm — meant to hide the existence of said Death Eater — so hard that she suffered permanent brain damage. When Voldemort killed the irreparable Bertha, Peter thought that was a mistake, believing they should have modified her memory and that her disappearance would not go unnoticed.
Pettigrew milked venom from Voldemort's snake, Nagini, to strengthen him and provide him with a rudimentary body. He carried Voldemort's weak, small body on the long journey back to Britain, where they took up temporary residence in the Riddle House outside of Little Hangleton. Voldemort called Peter by his Marauder name, "Wormtail." Voldemort did not possess Wormtail as he had been deemed dead by the wizarding community, and would have attracted too much attention.
Over time, Pettigrew tried unsuccessfully to convince Voldemort to use a wizard other than Harry Potter to rebuild his body, whom Pettigrew offered to capture if Voldemort would permit him to leave his side for a few days, but Voldemort saw this as an attempt at desertion and claimed that Pettigrew was regretting ever returning to him in the first place. Voldemort noted how Pettigrew always flinched when he set eyes upon him and shuddered when touching him, which further enforced his belief that Pettigrew would have escaped if given the opportunity. Knowing that if Pettigrew was not there to milk Nagini's venom and feed him, Voldemort would lose his strength, which further enforced his inability to let his servant leave. When Voldemort ordered Wormtail to turn his chair around so he could face Frank Bryce, Wormtail whimpered before doing so.
Pettigrew took Voldemort to the Crouch family's house to free Barty Crouch Jnr, the faithful Death Eater Jorkins had mentioned, and in turn subjugate Barty Crouch Snr. For his next assignment, Pettigrew was sent with Barty Jnr to capture former Auror, Alastor Moody, who was set to teach Defence Against the Dark Arts at Hogwarts. While Crouch became Moody's double and set off in his place to Hogwarts, Pettigrew was assigned to watch over the Imperiused Barty Snr. Pettigrew neglected his duty, with the result that Crouch escaped and nearly sabotaged the plan. However, he was intercepted by Crouch Jnr and Pettigrew was punished using the Cruciatus Curse.
Rebirth of Lord Voldemort
Pettigrew played an important role in the rebirth of Lord Voldemort. When Harry Potter was delivered to the Little Hangleton graveyard per Voldemort's plot, Pettigrew murdered Cedric Diggory on his orders and performed the ritual on Harry. He sliced open Harry's arm with a large knife to restore Voldemort to a physical body, even reluctantly sacrificing his own hand. He robed his master when he emerged reborn from the cauldron. As a reward for his assistance, Voldemort replaced the hand with a silver one. He then witnessed the duel that broke out. It can be assumed that this event, along with Sirius Black's later death at the hands of his own Death Eater cousin Bellatrix Lestrange, made it apparent to the public that Pettigrew was alive and an active Death Eater.
Working for the Death Eaters
After Pettigrew helped Voldemort return to full power and attain a fully regenerated body, Pettigrew was sent to Severus Snape's house at Spinner's End to "assist" his childhood nemesis. However, Snape treated Pettigrew as a mere servant, committing him to menial tasks such as housecleaning and guest reception. Pettigrew, while very dissatisfied with how lowly he was being treated, made very feeble protests that heavily implied he was too afraid to request reassignment. Pettigrew was at the house when Narcissa Malfoy made the Unbreakable Vow with Snape, with Bellatrix Lestrange serving as Bonder. He did not, however, hear its contents as he had been ordered out of the room by Snape after he was caught eavesdropping at the door, something that he had often been doing according to Snape.
In the summer of 1997, Pettigrew was staying at Malfoy Manor, the headquarters of the Death Eaters, and acted as gaoler for those imprisoned in the cellar there. During the Meeting at Malfoy Manor, he was ordered by Voldemort to check on their prisoner, Ollivander, the wandmaker, in the cellar and keep him quiet. Ollivander had also been forced to make a new wand for Pettigrew. He also kept an eye on Charity Burbage, the Muggle Studies professor at Hogwarts at the time. He, along with all the other Death Eaters present, watched as Voldemort murdered her with the Killing Curse and fed her body to Nagini.
Skirmish at Malfoy Manor and death
Around Easter of 1998, at the height of the Second Wizarding War, Harry, Ron, Hermione, Dean, and Griphook were brought to the Manor by a group of Snatchers led by Fenrir Greyback. Bellatrix Lestrange isolated Hermione for interrogation and torture as to how the trio obtained Godric Gryffindor's Sword, which she thought secure in her Gringotts vault. When they heard a noise from the cellar below, Pettigrew was sent to investigate.
The noise they had heard was the house-elf Dobby apparating away with some of the prisoners in the cellar. When he opened the door, he was tackled by Ron and Harry, who had freed themselves of their restraints. Ron managed to wrestle Pettigrew's wand from him. He began to strangle Harry, but Harry reminded him that he owed him a life debt. When Pettigrew hesitated, his brief moment of mercy caused his silver hand to turn on him, strangling and killing him, despite Harry and Ron's best efforts to restrain it. It is unknown what happened to his corpse afterwards, but considering that Pettigrew was hated by most of the wizarding world, it can be assumed that it was buried or otherwise disposed of.
Despite Pettigrew living his life full of cowardice, opportunism and betrayal, the Sorting Hat had always considered its choice of sorting him into Gryffindor as correct. The Hat took Pettigrew's death as evidence of his innate bravery, which many remained doubtful of.
Harry, while disliking Pettigrew for his despicable cowardice and betrayal, nevertheless felt some pity for the way he had to die, and was perhaps one of the few to accept Pettigrew's subtle regret of his life choices.
- "He was a very short man, hardly taller than Harry and Hermione. His thin, colourless hair was unkempt and there was a large bald patch on top. He had the shrunken appearance of a plump man who has lost a lot of weight in a short time. His skin looked grubby, almost like Scabbers’s fur, and something of the rat lingered around his pointed nose and his very small, watery eyes."
- — Pettigrew's physical appearance after having reverted to his human form after many years[src]
Pettigrew was an extremely short man (no taller than Harry when he was thirteen or Hermione when she was fourteen years old) with grubby skin, small watery eyes, and a pointed nose, all of which were lingering attributes of his animagus rat form; he even spoke in a squeaky voice that is another lingering attribute of his rat form. In his youth, his hair was mousy brown, but by his mid-thirties, it had thinned, lost a lot of its colour, and acquired a large bald patch.
He was also described as "fat" in his youth, but when forced to return to his human form in the Shrieking Shack, he looked as though he lost plenty of weight in a short time, mostly due to his stress of fearing Sirius' wrath. The stress he endured also apparently caused him to appear middle-aged by his mid-thirties. In 1981, he cut off his right index finger as part of a ploy to fake his own death, which is reflected in his "Scabbers" form, and, fourteen years later, he cut off his entire right hand at the request of Lord Voldemort. Voldemort used magic to give Pettigrew a shining silver, glove-like replacement. As a Death Eater, he bore the Dark Mark on his left inner forearm.
Personality and traits
- Peter Pettigrew: "He’s come to try and kill me again! He killed Lily and James and now he’s going to kill me too… You’ve got to help me, Remus…"
- Remus Lupin: "No one’s going to try and kill you until we’ve sorted a few things out."
- — Peter's cowardice and weakness[src]
Peter Pettigrew was characterised by weakness. Despite having been Sorted into Gryffindor, he did not possess true bravery, possibly proving that the Hat saw potential in him rather than any actual inborn courage, potential that he never lived up to. The Sorting Hat may have mistaken his adoration of James and Sirius for steadfastness, or sensed in him a desire to surround himself with respected individuals and believed that he would make a compatible friend to a Gryffindor; Pettigrew clearly looked up to strong, courageous people and it is possible that the Sorting Hat put him there because he wished to absorb that quality. It is also likely that Pettigrew requested the Sorting Hat to place him in Gryffindor, with his friends, just as Harry Potter would later request not to be placed in Slytherin. Indeed, he underwent a Hatstall when being sorted, being considered between Gryffindor and Slytherin by the Sorting Hat, though the hat ultimately decided that it made the right choice to this day, citing the manner in which Pettigrew died as (what some would call dubious) evidence.
In his youth, he latched onto James Potter and Sirius Black, more talented and popular students, idolising them and living vicariously through their accomplishments, as well as joining them in bullying other students, such as Severus Snape, whom he would not have been likely to cross without James and Sirius to back him up. Due to the huge difference in terms of talent, bravery, and popularity, Peter was more of a hanger-on than an equal. However, the three Marauders did love Peter as a friend and brother, which made the eventual betrayal of James especially bitter.
Pettigrew defected from the Order of the Phoenix and betrayed his closest friends to Lord Voldemort when his life was threatened, showing selfishness and disloyalty at the core of his being. Even Voldemort viewed him with disdain; the only reason why he kept him alive was because he occasionally proved to be useful. When Voldemort fell, Peter neither attempted to find him nor tried to murder Harry under Albus Dumbledore's watchful eye, until he was sure Voldemort would be revived to protect him. When cornered by Sirius and Remus, Peter shamelessly begged for mercy, despite having used and betrayed them. But if there was one thing that he feared more than death, it was most likely the Dementor's Kiss; the thought of being left to the Dementors' mercy would've terrified anyone.
- "If you made a better rat than a human, it's not much to boast about, Peter."
- — Sirius Black's low opinion of Pettigrew[src]
Pettigrew was an opportunist, who allied with the side that seemed strongest and appeared to be winning — thus becoming "friends" with James and Sirius in school, and then leading him to become a Death Eater when the opportunity arose. He was loyal only to himself and acted in whatever his best interest was at the moment. He expected that he would be rewarded for leading Voldemort to Harry Potter, and later had the same expectations with Bertha Jorkins, assuming Voldemort would reward him for capturing a Ministry of Magic employee, despite not knowing the extent of her usefulness. He only returned to a broken down Voldemort simply because he had no other choice, as the other side was aiming to kill him, and would have gone to anywhere else if he had more options, seeing Voldemort at the time was too weakened to be the victorious side, along with the task of caring for his lord being tedious and unpleasant.
In spite of others claiming that Pettigrew was a "weak, talentless thing", he was at least cunning enough to escape his former friend Sirius after Voldemort's first defeat, frame him for his crimes, and fake his own death while killing twelve people with one curse, living for years in his Animagus form. He originally formulated his plan to return to the Dark Lord without being accused a traitor by his colleague Death Eaters: to turn Harry in as a welcome back present and be honoured above all others; though a well thought out plan and he waited patiently, it was upset when Pettigrew's form was exposed prematurely. He also managed to manipulate Bertha Jorkins to accompany him with ease, when he brought her to Lord Voldemort. He was also adept in the Dark Arts, powerful enough and malicious enough to use the Killing Curse on Cedric Diggory. In moments of desperation Pettigrew was willing to amputate his own limbs to serve his purposes, such as his finger to fake his death, and his hand to revive Voldemort, the latter being promised with a worthy reward. He was, however, foolish enough to stop by an inn for food en route to returning to Voldemort, which led him to run into a Ministry employee; if Pettigrew had not been cunning enough to persuade Bertha into his trap, he might have exposed his own duplicity to the world at large then, as Voldemort had noted.
However, despite his treacherous and cowardly nature, Pettigrew did feel some regret for betraying his friends, and he hesitated to kill Harry when reminded of his life debt, in 1998. Though he quickly tried to undo the moment of weakness, his "tiny merciful impulse" resulted in his being strangled to death by his own silver hand. Pettigrew also suggested that Voldemort should find another enemy to use for his rebirth, though when Voldemort began to suspect that he cared about Harry Potter, Pettigrew hastily claimed that Harry meant nothing to him. This suggested that he may have consciously felt some gratitude towards Harry for sparing his life. Pettigrew also realised and admitted that he was a coward saying that he'd never been brave like Sirius, Remus, and James. Though he valued his own life more than the lives of his friends, Pettigrew felt guilt for betraying Lily and James, but did not have the courage to admit his treachery until it was forced out of him, or to turn against Voldemort. He did feel rather under-appreciated when Voldemort claimed him to be an unintelligent and disloyal servant when comparing to Barty Crouch Jnr. and also seemed resentful that he was treated as little more than a servant for Snape, though he refrained from complaining too much when Snape threatened to request more dangerous assignments for Peter. Without James, Sirius, and Remus protecting him, Peter found no courage to go against Snape, who would in turn bully him in return throughout their time as Death Eater colleagues.
During his time as Scabbers the rat, under the Weasley family's care, Pettigrew was lazy and unmotivated, as all he did was sleep and eat, and only on one occasion did, he bit Goyle's knuckle on his owner's behalf. This could be because Pettigrew enjoyed being pampered and waited hand and foot, believing that as a pet rat he did not have to do much and can relax instead, at least until Sirius' escape from Azkaban prompted him into action. Even after returning to his Death Eater services, he continued to show certain levels of laziness and carelessness that leads to mistakes, such as foolishly stopping at an inn for food while on his way to Albania that led him to meeting with a Ministry employee and former schoolmate, or neglecting his duties of guarding Barty Crouch Snr that allowed him to escape. Pettigrew also developed a bit of nosiness, having been eavesdropping behind doors during his stay at the Snape family house, resulting in Severus slamming the door in his face. Pettigrew was so meek that he did not dare request for reassignment when Voldemort sent him to assist Snape, in which Snape treated him as a mere slave for household chores. His unenthusiastic and careless attitude for more risky missions led to the Death Eaters' perception on how Pettigrew could not be trusted with such importance, resulting in him being placed with menial tasks of serving his colleagues instead.
Pettigrew was one of only two known Death Eaters who dared referred to Voldemort by name, the second being Barty Crouch Jnr. However, Pettigrew still flinched when Sirius said the name during their reunion in the Shrieking Shack.
Magical abilities and skills
Despite Professor McGonagall claiming that Peter was less talented than his friends, and Voldemort later denoting him as a poor wizard, he showed a surprising amount of magical capability when pushed. It is likely that Pettigrew was always a skilled wizard, but his potential or power was overshadowed by that of his friends and peers, as well as by his shy personality, and this would become apparent as he grew into adulthood and gained further experience. From what was known, Peter was remarkably skilled in magic and seemed to be as magically-skilled as the other three Marauders, and was quite adept in the Dark Arts (perhaps the most capable of the four in that aspect).
- Sirius Black: "That's not a rat."
- Ron Weasley: "What d’you mean — of course he’s a rat —”"
- Remus Lupin: "No he's not. He's a wizard."
- Sirius Black: "An Animagus, by the name of Peter Pettigrew."
- — Sirius Black and Remus Lupin reveal Peter Pettigrew being an Animagus[src]
- Animagus: With all the help he could get from his friends, Peter was able to become an Animagus at the early age of fifteen, assuming the shape of a rat. Being unregistered made it an advantage for him to abuse the ability: mainly to hide from the Ministry, the Order of the Phoenix, and the Death Eaters after his falsified death. His form also allowed him to communicate with real rats, thus learning of Voldemort's whereabouts. The ability to assume the animal the size of a rat also grants him the ability to access and navigate through places and areas which may otherwise prove either difficult or impossible by larger creatures either to hide, retreat or eavesdrop; he was tasked to reach for the knot that paralyses the Hogwarts Whomping Willow with the use of his size.
- Lord Voldemort: "Kill the spare."
- Peter Pettigrew: "Avada Kedavra!"
- — Pettigrew murdering Cedric Diggory on his master's orders[src]
- Dark Arts: Peter had demonstrated numerous times that he was considerably adept in the Dark Arts and a powerful Dark Wizard. In 1981, he was able to cast a potent Blasting Curse that blew up a street and put a 40-foot crater in the ground with his wand behind his back, killing twelve Muggles simultaneously; the explosion was so powerful that all the sewers hundreds of feet deep were completely destroyed. Fourteen years later, he was able to effectively use the Killing Curse (one of the three Unforgivable Curses that requires a considerable level of magic) to murder Cedric Diggory — a feat made even more impressive that he used a wand he did not have allegiance with. Guided by Voldemort's instructions, Peter was also able to successfully brew potions classified as powerful Dark magic.
- Duelling: According to Professor McGonagall, Peter had always been "hopeless at duelling" during his years at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. However, he managed to deceptively overtake Sirius in initiatives during their confrontation by blowing up the entire street behind him before (the apparently more adept) Sirius could react properly, as well as make it look like Sirius was the criminal in the same move. Later, he overpowered Bertha Jorkins, a witch from the Ministry, and forced her to give up information to help Lord Voldemort be reborn. Along with Barty Crouch Jnr, he was able to capture the extremely powerful Auror Mad-Eye Moody and trap him in a magic trunk so that Barty could impersonate him. He also suggested that Voldemort allow him to leave and capture a suitable wizard or witch for the body regeneration potion, showing that he was confident enough in his abilities to overpower an average opponent at least. As Peter was initially a member of the Order of the Phoenix during the First Wizarding War, he presumably fought in battles against the Voldemort's forces before joining Voldemort's side.
- Wand versatility: He was able to use the Killing Curse, as well as non-verbally conjure ropes, levitate objects, and light a fire, each spell cast to their full effects with his master's wand, despite not having won the wand's allegiance. He was also able to briefly use Remus Lupin's wand to stun both Ron Weasley and Crookshanks before escaping.
- Charms: Pettigrew was shown to be talented in charm-work. Along with the other three Marauders, Peter helped design the very complex Marauder's Map with the powerful Homonculous Charm; the map was extremely "smart" and could see through anything. Pettigrew was also capable of casting a powerful Memory Charm, which he used to erase the memory of Jacob's sibling after they discovered his identity, keeping his secret. He could also effortlessly cast simple charms such as the Wand-Lighting Charm, Fire-Making Spell and Levitation Charm non-verbally, and could also perform a powerful Stunning Spell.
- Potions: Peter displayed proficiency in brewing potions, at least those of dark magic nature, having successfully brewed the Rudimentary body potion and the Regeneration potion per Voldemort's instructions, allowing his master to regain a temporary, and then permanent, form, respectively. He also helped brew the Polyjuice Potion for Barty Jnr to disguise as Moody.
- Transfiguration: Pettigrew could perform conjuration, an advanced type of Transfiguration. In 1995, he conjured ropes with the Incarcerous Spell which bound Harry Potter to Tom Riddle Snr's grave. Although he needed all the help he could get from his friends, Peter was able to successfully achieve Animagus Transformation at the age of 15, which shows he possessed an impressive amount of talent to accomplish such an advanced level of transfiguration at a remarkably young age even if he did need help.
- Non-verbal magic: Peter was able to perform magic non-verbally. During his escape, he non-verbally Stunned both Ron and Crookshanks before fleeing. In 1998, Peter locked and unlocked the cell door at Malfoy Manor without saying anything. As stated, he could light a fire around the Regeneration potion's very large cauldron, levitate Harry Potter, and conjure ropes. Nonverbal magic requires a strong will, which Peter shows as proven by his aptitude, despite his cowardice. His ability to perform Nonverbal Magic also proves that Peter was a remarkably powerful and skilled wizard as only those with outstanding magical abilities could perform magic nonverbally.
- Silver hand: After Peter severed his right hand to restore Voldemort to his physical body, he was given a new silver, glove-like hand that possessed strength far superior to that of his former hand, being strong enough to crush a twig into powder. This hand was later shown to be impervious to the Revulsion Jinx, and possibly other spells. However, it was also designed to strangle its owner at any signs of treason or weakness, which is what led to Peter's demise.
- Intellectual keenness: Peter's deductive skills were considerably high, as he deduced his master's first defeat after seeing the destruction of the house and the sight of the fallen wand, and was able to find Lord Voldemort's hidden location, something other more talented Death Eaters who made the effort to do, had failed. He was also very cunning as he was able to deceive the entire wizarding world of his demise while pinning all of his crimes to another wizard, and fool a Ministry official on his way back to Voldemort. His intelligence was better than what his school performances show, as he would hide Voldemort's wand instead of leaving it behind for the Ministry to inspect, strategically plotting to wait for the right moment to turn Harry in to prevent Death Eaters from claiming him as a traitor, and even deduce where Voldemort's fragmented soul was hiding. Although his carelessness from time to time may serve as a setback, such as stopping at an inn for food that led to Jorkins discovering him, Pettigrew proved himself to be a quick thinker to swiftly formulate tactics to take advantage of what seems to be a lost situation.
- Tom Riddle's wand: Following his master's downfall, Peter kept his yew wand with a Phoenix feather core, until he returned it to him after his rebirth.
- Own wand: In 1996 after being captured, Garrick Ollivander made a wand specifically for Peter, of chestnut wood with a dragon heartstring core.
- Marauder's Map: Peter and his friends create the Marauder's Map together, which was confiscated in their seventh year.
- Order of Merlin, First Class medal: Pettigrew was "posthumously" awarded an Order of Merlin, First Class, for his alleged heroic confrontation against Sirius Black. It was given to his mother, along with the finger he severed that the Ministry recovered. It is unknown if the medal was retracted upon Peter's true allegiance and actions were discovered.
- Knife: He used a silver dagger during Voldemort's rebirth, severing his own hand and drawing blood from Harry Potter.
- Silver hand: After he severed his hand, his master gave him a magical prosthesis, which strangled him in March 1998.
Peter Pettigrew's relationship with his parents is unknown, but after Pettigrew faked his own death, the Ministry gave an Order of Merlin to Mrs Pettigrew along with her son's finger — the biggest part of Peter that was found. It is also unknown if his parents knew about his faked death.
- Remus Lupin: "Harry, don’t you see? All this time we’ve thought Sirius betrayed your parents, and Peter tracked him down — but it was the other way around, don’t you see? Peter betrayed your mother and father — Sirius tracked Peter down —"
- Harry Potter: "THAT’S NOT TRUE! HE WAS THEIR SECRET-KEEPER! HE SAID SO BEFORE YOU TURNED UP. HE SAID HE KILLED THEM!"
- Remus Lupin: "Harry… I as good as killed them. I persuaded Lily and James to change to Peter at the last moment, persuaded them to use him as Secret-Keeper instead of me… I’m to blame, I know it… The night they died, I’d arranged to check on Peter, make sure he was still safe, but when I arrived at his hiding place, he’d gone. Yet there was no sign of a struggle. It didn’t feel right. I was scared. I set out for your parents’ house straight away. And when I saw their house, destroyed, and their bodies… I realised what Peter must’ve done… what I’d done…"
- — Lupin revealing the truth about Pettigrew to Harry Potter[src]
During his seven years at Hogwarts, Peter came to greatly admire James Potter and Sirius Black for their popularity and magical ability, as well as James' renowned skills as Chaser for the Gryffindor Quidditch team. Though they accepted him as a friend and included him in their various mischief-making endeavours, it was clear he was considered more of a hanger-on than an equal. Nevertheless, they were close throughout their time at school. When they discovered that a member of their group, Remus Lupin, was a werewolf, they illegally became Animagi so as to be able to accompany Remus while he was in his transformed state, rather than shun him as many would have. The four of them eventually came to be known as the "Marauders". While James, Sirius, and Remus considered Peter a true friend and would have willingly died for him, Peter proved that he lacked any similar conviction or sense of loyalty.
- "S—Sirius... R—Remus... My friends... my old friends..."
- — Peter Pettigrew meeting his old friends in the Shrieking Shack[src]
When Lord Voldemort first started gaining power, Peter immediately defected from the Order of the Phoenix and joined the Death Eaters out of fear for his own life. Peter betrayed James and Lily Potter, who entrusted him to be their Secret-Keeper when they cast the Fidelius Charm. Peter later framed Sirius for the crime by pretending to confront him, then cutting off his own finger before taking his rat Animagus form; he killed twelve Muggles in the process, and landed Sirius in Azkaban for twelve years. Sirius had convinced James to use Pettigrew as Secret-Keeper in what he believed to be a brilliant gambit. This was proven to be a fatal mistake that Sirius would regret for the rest of his life. When Sirius learned the truth, he became obsessed with avenging the deaths of his friends. Remus, unaware of the truth until twelve years later, thought Peter died in a heroic confrontation with Sirius.
When Peter's treachery was revealed to James' son, Harry Potter, both Sirius and Remus showed no mercy nor sympathy for Peter's lack of courage (if anything, both were disgusted by him), and were absolutely intent on killing Peter, and were only stopped by Harry's insistence that Pettigrew was not worth their becoming murderers. As Remus had forgotten to take his Wolfsbane Potion in the wake of discovering Pettigrew's continued existence, he transformed under the full moon and was completely uncontrollable. Peter was able to escape, but for his freedom he owed Harry a life debt that would later cost him his own life. Peter's escape led Sirius to remain a wanted fugitive for another two years and only Harry, Ron, Hermione, Dumbledore and, later, members of the second Order of the Phoenix to know of his innocence for those two final years.
- Narcissa Malfoy: "We... we are alone, aren't we?"
- Severus Snape: "Well, Wormtail's here, but we aren't counting vermin, are we?"
- — Narcissa Malfoy visits Snape at his house[src]
While they were students at Hogwarts, Pettigrew, along with James Potter and Sirius Black, enjoyed tormenting Severus Snape. Pettigrew, who probably would not have fared well duelling with a wizard as skilled and powerful as Snape, only got away with doing so because he had more talented friends backing him up. For this reason, Snape possibly viewed Pettigrew with even more scorn than the other three because of his pitiful ineptitude. Or perhaps his intense dislike of Pettigrew was due to the former betraying Lily, the woman he loved, to Voldemort. It is possible that Snape regarded Pettigrew as being too negligible of a person to be worthy of hating, as he showed very little care for Pettigrew during their time in Spinner's End, aside from maintaining a sense of superiority over Pettigrew in every chance possible and making him even remotely useful around the house.
When the Dark Lord later assigned Pettigrew to work as his assistant, Snape took to treating him like a slave, forcing him to clean his house and serve food to his guests, while refusing to let him in on their meetings. Pettigrew, though very dissatisfied with Snape's abuse, found little courage to argue or request the Dark Lord for reassignment, and seemingly had to obey out of fear of Snape, as he flinched as though Snape threw something at him when ordered to serve Bellatrix and Narcissa wine. Severus did not condone Peter's habit of eavesdropping, and even slamming the door in his face to get him to stay away from listening any further. With the feeble protests Pettigrew made proved his ineptitude and cowardice, Snape openly and contemptuously mocked him for it, showed his "assistant" no respect whatsoever, and regarded the treacherous coward as a negligible vermin. As with the rest of the Death Eaters and Order of the Phoenix alike, Snape would address Pettigrew as "Wormtail" instead of his real name during their later years of life.
Peter first met Lily Evans during the Sorting ceremony at Hogwarts, during which they were both Sorted into Gryffindor. Peter regularly took part in bullying her then-best friend Severus Snape, and as such, he did not make any better an impression on her than James or Sirius did. After Lily ended her friendship with Snape, she eventually married James Potter. She seemed to be much closer to James' circle of friends by that time, especially when they all joined the Order of the Phoenix. She even affectionately referred to Peter as "Wormy," from his nickname "Wormtail," and noted that he "seemed down" on the week before Harry Potter's first birthday, as she tells in a letter to Sirius Black. She would not have known that it was because he was enlisted in the Death Eaters and playing spy. Peter, out of fear of his own life, and what Sirius described as "finest moment of [his] miserable life", betrayed Lily's location to Voldemort without a moment of hesitation.
- "Harry… Harry… you look just like your father… just like him… Harry, Harry, James wouldn’t have wanted me killed… James would have understood, Harry… he would have shown me mercy…"
- — Peter trying to convince Harry to stop Sirius and Remus from killing him[src]
Harry Potter initially believed Peter Pettigrew had been courageous for challenging the alleged traitor, Sirius Black, despite appearing so comparatively timid and weak; Harry even compared him to his own friend Neville Longbottom. As Scabbers, Harry felt that Hermione should at least feel responsible when Crookshanks allegedly ate him, when in truth Peter faked his death a second time. Though he was disgusted by Pettigrew's disloyalty and cowardice when he learned the truth, he could not stand to see his father's two best friends become murderers, and requested that they leave Pettigrew to face the Dementors instead. Pettigrew managed to escape, leaving Harry unable to prove his godfather, Sirius Black's innocence. However, because of Harry's intervention to save Pettigrew, the latter owed Harry a life debt. Harry, on the other hand, felt regretful for sparing Pettigrew's life and did not want such a bond.
Originally Peter spared no thought on betraying Harry and his family to Voldemort, and even prepared to turn Harry in the moment he catches wind of the Death Eaters regaining momentum as a welcome-back present. However, perhaps due to this debt, Pettigrew consciously felt gratitude towards the boy, as he suggested that Voldemort should use another wizard's blood for the rebirth ceremony, and hastily implying that Harry meant nothing to him when Voldemort raised the issue, an act that seems to be denial rather than honesty. Of course, Voldemort also saw this as an attempt for Wormtail to desert him once more, out of sheer regret of ever returning. A year later, Pettigrew met Harry again in the Little Hangleton graveyard, where Pettigrew bound Harry to Tom Riddle Snr's grave and then cut Harry's arm to use his blood in a potion that would restore Voldemort to his former glory. Throughout this meeting, Wormtail struck Harry for struggling, but did not make eye contact when returning Harry his wand, per Voldemort's orders. Pettigrew's life debt was finally repaid during the Skirmish at Malfoy Manor, when his momentary hesitation to strangle Harry was interpreted as a sign of weakness by the silver hand he received from Voldemort, and it turned on him. Though both Harry and Ron Weasley attempted to stop it, Peter Pettigrew was strangled to death by his own hand.
- "I let you sleep in my bed!"
- — Ron showing his disgust for learning of the true identity of his rat[src]
After framing Sirius Black for the crimes of betraying James and Lily Potter and murdering twelve Muggles, Pettigrew went into hiding in his Animagus form, and disguised himself as a rat named Scabbers. He came into the possession of Percy Weasley, who eventually handed him down to his younger brother Ron. Thus, Petrigrew had been in the Weasley family for twelve years, which was in Sirius' perspective a "curiously long life for a common garden rat." Despite Ron's frequent complaints of Scabbers having been a rather boring, useless pet, he felt a strong sense of ownership and was at times very fond of him; especially when Scabbers bit Gregory Goyle's knuckle. However, Hermione's cat immediately recognised the rat for who he was and constantly attempted to catch him; this misunderstanding furthered Ron's protective nature over Scabbers. When Scabbers faked his own death by leaving bloodstains on the sheets, Ron assumed that he was eaten by the cat. Ron and Hermione got into such a row over the incident that they almost ended their friendship. Ron later discovered him in Rubeus Hagrid's cabin and was overjoyed, though Scabbers continued to attempt to flee, struggling against Ron's efforts to pocket him and even biting him on the finger, much to Ron's confusion and irritation. When Sirius finally managed to corner the rat, Ron absolutely refused to believe what Sirius and Remus Lupin were telling him until he saw with his own eyes that Scabbers was the traitorous Peter Pettigrew. Ron took this as a personal insult and was too disgusted to respond to Pettigrew's pleas, and even savagely volunteered to act as an anchor alongside Lupin to prevent Pettigrew from escaping.
Four years later, when Pettigrew was being strangled by his own silver hand, Ron tried to save him with a Revulsion Jinx, and failed. When Pettigrew died, Ron was somewhat shocked, but was more preoccupied by Hermione being tortured by Bellatrix Lestrange.
- "Sweet girl... Clever girl... You, you won't let them... Help me..."
- — Peter begging Hermione to stop Remus and Sirius from killing him[src]
Hermione Granger first met Pettigrew in disguise as Ron's pet rat named "Scabbers" in 1991. In 1993, she and Ron nearly ended their relationship, as Ron was convinced that Crookshanks, her cat, had eaten Scabbers. However, they all learned the truth later, when Peter Pettigrew was exposed by Sirius Black and Remus Lupin; "Scabbers" was Peter Pettigrew, the wizard who betrayed James and Lily Potter to Lord Voldemort. Peter was afraid of Sirius and Remus, and knew that they wanted to kill him in order to avenge James and Lily. Pettigrew appealed in turn to Hermione, who was horrified and shocked by the entire discovery.
The last time Pettigrew saw Hermione was in 1998, during the Skirmish at Malfoy Manor. Hermione was being tortured by Bellatrix Lestrange, while Pettigrew was sent to check on the prisoners downstairs. Pettigrew attempted to strangle Harry, but momentarily slackened his grip when Harry reminded him of his life debt, and was killed for it by the silver hand made for him by Voldemort. Hermione learned about his death after the battle.
- Lord Voldemort: "And so you volunteer to go and fetch me a substitute? I wonder ... perhaps the task of nursing me has become wearisome for you, Wormtail? Could this suggestion of abandoning the plan be nothing more than an attempt to desert me?"
- Peter Pettigrew: "My Lord! I — I have no wish to leave you, none at all —"
- Lord Voldemort: "Do not lie to me! I can always tell, Wormtail! You are regretting that you ever returned to me. I revolt you. I see you flinch when you look at me, feel you shudder when you touch me...."
- Peter Pettigrew: "No! My devotion to Your Lordship —"
- — Pettigrew's weak and cowardly loyalty to Voldemort[src]
When Lord Voldemort first began gaining power during the First Wizarding War, Pettigrew switched sides and began secretly serving the Death Eaters. Though he gave valuable information, such as the whereabouts of Lily, James, and Harry Potter and was granted the Dark Mark that only the inner circle had, Voldemort still showed little respect for Pettigrew's cowardice and disloyalty.
When Voldemort met his first downfall, Pettigrew did not try to find his master, but instead hid in his Animagus form as Ronald Weasley's pet rat, "Scabbers". Pettigrew turned his back on Voldemort for being too much of a wreck to protect him, and did not attempt to murder Harry Potter due to that. He only intended to return if Voldemort would regain his strength, in which Pettigrew would present Harry as a "welcome back present" in order to make it appear that he never betrayed the Dark Lord. When Sirius Black escaped from Azkaban and Pettigrew's duplicity was uncovered, he had no choice but to flee and seek Voldemort's protection from Black. Though he regretted this decision, and attempted several times to escape, while flinching and shuddering at any contact with Voldemort's rudimentary body, he ultimately engineered Voldemort's return to physical form, and Voldemort rewarded Pettigrew with a new silver hand for having sacrificed his own. Voldemort also forced Garrick Ollivander to create a new wand for Pettigrew, a favour which the once highly revered Lucius Malfoy did not even receive after his wand was destroyed.
Voldemort neither trusted nor respected Pettigrew. He knew that Pettigrew felt no true allegiance to him and kept him only because he was sometimes useful (often times without Pettigrew being the wiser), or having him assigned to menial tasks. He also made it clear just how little he trusted Pettigrew, when he designed the silver hand he made to turn on the man for any attempts at treachery; it did just that when it strangled Pettigrew for hesitating to kill Harry Potter in 1998. Based on this, it is possible that Voldemort reacted to Pettigrew's death with indifference at worst, especially since Voldemort had by that point been more concerned with the Elder Wand.
The Death Eaters held Pettigrew in contempt because it was based on his information that Voldemort met his first downfall at Godric's Hollow. The ones who were imprisoned at Azkaban screamed in their sleep that Pettigrew was a traitor, and according to Sirius Black, if any of the Death Eaters who had evaded imprisonment had gotten wind that Pettigrew was still alive, they would have tried to kill him. It was for this reason, as much as his fear of retribution from the Order of the Phoenix when Black revealed that Pettigrew had been the Potters' Secret Keeper, that he disguised himself as "Scabbers" for twelve years after framing Black for his crimes. To prevent them from killing him when he would return to Voldemort, Pettigrew had originally planned to bring in Harry Potter to them as a welcome back present to his lord, in order to prevent anyone from saying that he betrayed Lord Voldemort.
When Pettigrew returned to the service of the Dark Lord, he was assigned to serve his colleagues, such as Severus Snape and the Malfoy family, as a lowly household servant. Both treated him with disdain, much as Voldemort himself did, and insultingly referred to him as "Wormtail." It can also be noted that while he was present at the Death Eaters' meeting at Malfoy Manor, he did not sit at the table amongst them, since Voldemort assigned him to deal with a prisoner in the dungeons. Pettigrew appeared to respect the Death Eater Bellatrix Lestrange and her sister Narcissa Malfoy, as he seemed very happy to see them at Snape's house in 1996, although he might simply have been attempting to flatter them or win their sympathy. Their feelings toward Peter are unknown, though Bellatrix may have at least appreciated his role in reviving their master, or otherwise resented him for taking so long to do so. Regardless, the sisters took Snape's suggestion of neglecting Pettigrew and went on with their confidential meeting.
During the preparations to bring Voldemort back to full power, Pettigrew worked with Bartemius Crouch Junior to subdue Alastor Moody. Crouch, despite his hatred for disloyal Death Eaters, was able to set aside his differences with Pettigrew to work together.
Albus Dumbledore's relationship with Peter when the latter attended Hogwarts is unknown. They might have shared some degree of friendship, as Pettigrew joined Dumbledore's Order of the Phoenix during the First Wizarding War. After Pettigrew's betrayal, Dumbledore believed, along with the rest of the Wizarding community, that Sirius Black had been the guilty party, and that Sirius had killed Peter, along with twelve Muggles, after being confronted about his crime.
However, he learned the truth in 1994, as well as that Harry Potter had saved Pettigrew's life before he escaped capture; though Harry was distressed about being unable to prove Sirius' innocence, Dumbledore had the foresight to appreciate the significance of the Life debt Pettigrew now owed. Indeed, it was in remembering his life debt that Pettigrew hesitated to kill Harry during the Skirmish at Malfoy Manor, in 1998, which resulted in Pettigrew being strangled to death by his own silver hand.
- "Hero — worshipped Black and Potter, Never quite in their league, talent-wise. I was often rather sharp with him. You can imagine how I — how I regret that now…"
- — McGonagall remembers Pettigrew from his days at Hogwarts[src]
Minerva McGonagall was Pettigrew's Transfiguration professor, as well as his Head of House. McGonagall thought that Pettigrew "hero-worshipped" James Potter and Sirius Black, that he was a "stupid" and "foolish" boy, and that she was somewhat harsh with him during their time together as student and teacher. However, McGonagall spoke sadly of Pettigrew's death, and for his "bravery" in standing up to Sirius Black, who was comparatively far stronger than him and believed to be a Dark Wizard, she seemed to regret how she had treated him decades ago. She was unaware that he had been a spy.
It is unknown how she reacted when she learned that Pettigrew was alive, and that it had been he, not Sirius Black, who betrayed James, Lily, and Harry Potter, though there's little doubt she would have been as outraged and disgusted by his cowardice and disloyalty as the rest of the Order.
- In the Bible, Peter is the name of one of Christ's apostles who, on the morning of the crucifixion, denied Christ, although he later repented. Also, the name "Pettigrew" could be derived from the French word "petit" ("small") and the English word "grew," hence "grew small." The name "Pettigrew" could also be a reference to his time as Ron's rat, being the pet that Ron grew. "Petti" could also be a corrupted form of 'petty' meaning "of little importance" or "trivial", showing his lack of talent and - had he not befriended James, Sirius or Remus - easily overlooked.
- Scabbers may derive from the word "scab." A scab is the crusty covering blood forms over a wound as it clots. A scab is also a worker hired to replace others who are on strike, and "Scabby the Rat", often used as a caricature by the labour rights movement, is a possible source for his name. "Scab" is also slang for a horrible person, which could reflect Peter Pettigrew's true nature.
- Wormtail may be a reference to his animagus form, specifically the rat's tail, similar to a worm.
Behind the scenes
- Peter Pettigrew is the only known Death Eater from Hogwarts that was not from Slytherin House, as Igor Karkaroff is believed to have attended Durmstrang Institute, and Quirinus Quirrell (Ravenclaw) was never officially a Death Eater.
- There is no appearance or mention at all of Pettigrew's father: It is unknown if he is a wizard or a Muggle, and unknown if he died or had abandoned his wife and son before the Potters' deaths.
- Almost like Harry, Peter underwent a Hatstall when being sorted, being considered between Gryffindor and Slytherin by the hat before being put in Gryffindor.
- As a contemporary of Lily Evans, Peter was also taught Potions by Horace Slughorn.
- Peter is the only Marauder who does not have:
- Despite his weak character, Pettigrew does seem to have a high pain tolerance, as he cut off his finger in order to fake his death, and years later severed his entire hand for the rebirth of Voldemort.
- Sirius Black and Remus Lupin said that Wormtail "needed all the help that he could get" while describing how he, Sirius, and James became Animagi. However, he was able to perform the Avada Kedavra curse, which the fake Moody said takes a powerful bit of magic. In addition, the curse he used to kill the Muggles caused an explosion that "made a crater so deep that it cracked the sewer below."
- It is possible that Pettigrew's magical aptitude improved as he aged, since the latter two examples were done when Pettigrew was adult.
- It is likelier, however, that because of his cowardice he triggered powerful magic out of sheer desperation.
- A third possibility is that he was always a skilled wizard, but his timid personality overshadowed this to others.
- If Peter was born in 1960 (rather than late 1959, which would still put him in the same school year as as Remus, Severus, Sirius, James, and Lily), his Chinese Zodiac symbol is a Rat. Interestingly, Rats are often known to be good and loyal friends. Peter is the opposite, considering how he betrayed James and Lily.
- Sirius Black was revealed to be eating rats for nourishment during the 1994-1995 school year while in hiding. Sirius was also feeding Buckbeak rats during his stay at 12 Grimmauld Place. Whether this had anything to do with Sirius' contempt for Pettigrew or was just a coincidence is unknown.
- Peter Pettigrew shares similarities with two apostles of Jesus of Nazareth, St. Peter and Judas Iscariot, beyond the name of one of them. Both Peter and Judas belonged to Jesus' close circle, being two of his disciples or Twelve Apostles, and played a pivotal role in Jesus' crucifixion, Peter being the one who denied his relationship with Jesus three times, and Judas his greatest betrayer by handing him over to the Sanhedrin for thirty pieces of silver, just as Pettigrew disavowed his friendship with James and Lily and ended up handing them over to Voldemort to save his own skin. It is interesting to note that both Pettigrew and Judas were rewarded for their betrayal or lack of loyalty with silver, with Judas receiving the Sanhedrin's thirty pieces for handing Jesus over to them, and Pettigrew receiving the prosthetic hand from Voldemort, to replace his lost right hand in the ritual that would restore his physical body. Both, moreover, showed remorse for their respective betrayals and repented of them, having an incredibly similar outcome, Pettigrew dying strangled by his silver hand after freeing Harry, sealing his life debt to him and in a moment of redemption, and Judas committing suicide out of guilt for his actions by hanging himself.
- Peter Pettigrew is portrayed by British actor Timothy Spall in the film adaptations of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Goblet of Fire, Order of the Phoenix, Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows: Part 1.
- His film portrayal makes him appear much older than his canonical age of 33 or 34 years. It is possible that living as a rat took a toll on his health and made him appear older than he really was. However, he looks only slightly younger in the picture of the original order, the only real difference being the browner hair. It is quite common for characters to look older in the films (Snape, James, Sirius.)
- Pettigrew is also portrayed as being slightly more sinister, less cowardly and somewhat sadistic in the films: in Prisoner of Azkaban, after immediately being disarmed by Harry, he gives a cruel smile and sarcastically waves goodbye before transforming for his escape; in Goblet of Fire, he smiles ominously at Frank Bryce (presumably with intent of attacking him) as Voldemort orders him to step aside and let the Dark Lord finish off the unfortunate Muggle caretaker.
- In the books, Peter seems to be left-handed, since he cut his finger on the right hand. But in films he is shown to be right-handed, because it is shown that he cut his finger on the left hand.
- In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Pettigrew has been referred to by his name, "Peter" and "Pettigrew" by characters and the narration. However, subsequent novels, until the final novel refer him almost exclusively as "Wormtail", the only Marauder to have been called in such fashion; J.K. Rowling has yet to explain her reasons behind this.
- In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Dumbledore tells Harry that "there may well come a time when you will be very glad you saved Pettigrew's life." This is confirmed in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, where he strangles himself instead of Harry.
- Wormtail appears in all seven Harry Potter books, although his appearance in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is in the Pensieve rather than in person, and he only appears in his Animagus form in the first two books.
- In an earlier draft of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Peter taught Defence Against the Dark Arts and possibly impersonated Alastor Moody instead of Barty Crouch Jnr This could mean that Wormtail would be the one to suffer the Dementor's Kiss, although this would be less likely since it seems that the Dementor's Kiss is reserved for escaped Azkaban prisoners - which Peter was not.
- In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry notices that Peter is missing an index finger, while in the film adaptation he is missing a ring finger. Despite this, he still cuts off his right hand in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
- In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, there is a Transfiguration class in which the students transform animals into water goblets. Ron tries to turn Scabbers into a goblet, however, as his wand is broken, Scabbers turns into a goblet with fur and a tail.
- In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, after Pettigrew is revealed, he is shown adopting several rat-like traits, such as fidgeting in place and sniffing repeatedly. Whether this was an extension of his cowardly behaviour or a side effect of his forcibly reverting back to a human after spending a long period as a rat is unclear.
- Pettigrew has no lines in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and appears for less than ten seconds.
- In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, Pettigrew is the only Death Eater present at Malfoy Manor when Harry, Ron and Hermione are captured, who did not witness Griphook's torture or Dobby's rescue.
- In the first film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pettigrew is not killed by his hand. Of course, just because he did not die the same way as in the books does not mean that he necessarily survived. He wasn't anywhere in the last movie. If he did survive, chances are he ended up in Azkaban. He is stunned and knocked unconscious by Dobby in the Skirmish at Malfoy Manor in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 and is not mentioned in Part 2 aside from the flashbacks from the earlier films. His absence suggests that Voldemort killed him upon arrival at Malfoy Manor, or at the beginning of Part 2 after the Gringotts scene, considering that Peter was the warden of the cellar used as a prison at the time. This is apparently because the manner of his death was deemed to be too disturbing for a PG-13 rated film.
- A plush version of Scabbers is available at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
- In a bonus level on LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4, Peter is shown to willingly give directions to the Potters' residence, whereas in the books and the film he is told as to give directions out of cowardice.
- J. K. Rowling has said that no Death Eater except Severus Snape could conjure a Patronus. However, she also said that members of the Order of the Phoenix used their Patronuses to communicate. It is unknown if Peter could cast the spell. Given Pettigrew's extreme cowardice and lacklustre aptitude for magic, it is highly unlikely that he could master it. Although it should be noted that he managed to conjure a very effective killing curse that killed Cedric, so while not probable, it is not an impossible theory.
- Peter Pettigrew's life debt to Harry can be based on the life debt in The Lion and Mouse, Harry being a true Gryffindor whose emblem is the lion and Peter being able to turn into a rodent.
- Wormtail is comparable to Gríma Wormtongue from J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings; Wormtail's nickname is similar to Wormtongue's surname, and both are referred to most often by these names by others. Both are also notable as grovelling, cowardly servants to harsh, cruel and unforgiving masters who treat them with disdain and abhorrence. Indeed, Wormtail served Lord Voldemort in much the same way Wormtongue served Saruman the White. Also, the deaths of both are changed/partially omitted in the film. Wormtongue was killed by Hobbits at the end of the book Return of the King, while he is killed by Legolas at the beginning of the film in a scene only shown in the extended edition.
- Harry's attitude toward Pettigrew is comparable to Bilbo Baggins' response to Gollum. Each protagonist spared the life of an antagonist who seemed to have deserved death. And, in both cases, a wizard affirmed the choice, noting that the pity that was shown would have some effect on the way the story would unfold.
- In the Redwall books, there is a very minor character that is named Wormtail as well. This Wormtail is a rat and is reported in the book to have lost a finger, the same as Peter Pettigrew.
- It was predicted by many fans that Pettigrew would kill Remus Lupin with his silver hand, as Remus is a werewolf. However, J. K. Rowling subsequently mentioned in an interview that, contrary to what is seen in films, in her view werewolves are not affected by silver. However the Marauder that dies by the silver hand is not Lupin, but Wormtail himself.
- Many fans predicted that Wormtail would have some part to play in the destruction of Voldemort (because of his life debt), such as telling Harry how to destroy the Horcrux inside him without dying himself. This turned out to be wrong.
- Pierre Pettigrew was a former politician and Minister of Foreign Affairs. Note that "Pierre" is the French form of "Peter".
- In the films, contrary to the books (in which a finger from his right hand was cut off), a finger from his left hand was cut off in order to fake his death. Him cutting off his left ring finger is, in a way, almost similar to the Assassins from the Assassin's Creed game series (particular Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad) would amputate their left ring fingers to operate a hidden blade.
- The most fitting Hogwarts Houses for Peter Pettigrew may have been Slytherin, seeing as he was driven only by self-preservation (his "cunning" and "loyalty" being learned only through fear of death). There are many kinds of Slytherins, one of them being those who do everything only for themselves. While Pettigrew would seem to be one of this ilk, he may have been best suited in Hufflepuff House, as those who do not fit in any House (which is to say those who show too many or too few traits of the other Houses, Pettigrew being the latter) are meant to be sorted there. The Sorting Hat seemingly Housed Pettigrew in Gryffindor due to his adoration of James and Sirius and perhaps potential of being stalwart, but he would have been more accepted in Hufflepuff, and thus far less likely to have gone down the road he did. Still, Peter was hiding at Hogwarts, in Harry Potter's bedroom, right under Dumbledors nose for many years, showing both nerve and daring; two qualities of Gryffindor.
J. K. Rowling has explained Pettigrew's switch of allegiance by saying that he "out of cowardice will stand in the shadow of the strongest person." She also said that James Potter and Sirius Black allowed Pettigrew to be their friend "in a slightly patronising way" and that he ended up being a better wizard and better at hiding secrets than they ever knew.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (First appearance) (As Scabbers)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (film) (As Scabbers)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (video game) (As Scabbers)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (As Scabbers)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film) (As Scabbers)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game) (As Scabbers)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (First identified as Peter Pettigrew)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (film)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (video game) (Voice only)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Appears in flashback(s))
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film) (Appears in flashback(s))
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (video game) (Appears in photographs)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (Appears in flashback(s))
- Harry Potter: A Pop-Up Book
- LEGO Harry Potter
- LEGO Harry Potter: Building the Magical World
- LEGO Harry Potter: Characters of the Magical World
- LEGO Creator: Harry Potter (As Scabbers)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
- LEGO Dimensions (As Scabbers)
- Harry Potter for Kinect
- Harry Potter Trading Card Game (As Scabbers)
- Harry Potter: The Character Vault
- Harry Potter: The Creature Vault
- Wizarding World
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery
- Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
- Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells
Notes and references
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- His mother was a witch, it is unknown if his father was a wizard , Therefore he is either pure-blood or half-blood. He was also a member of the Death Eaters, who were dedicated to eliminating Muggle-borns. and Muggles in general.
- "World Exclusive Interview with J K Rowling," South West News Service, 8 July 2000 - "Hogwarts just serves Britain and Ireland."
- Referred to as this, affectionately, by Lily Evans in a letter to Sirius Black, in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 10 (Kreacher's Tale).
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 19 (The Servant of Lord Voldemort)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 28 (Snape's Worst Memory)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 24 (The Wandmaker)
- July 30, 2007 Web Chat with J. K. Rowling
- 2004 World Book Day Chat
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 10 (The Marauder's Map)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Hatstall" at Wizarding World
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 19 (The Servant of Lord Voldemort) - "“DON’T LIE!” bellowed Black. “YOU’D BEEN PASSING INFORMATION TO HIM FOR A YEAR BEFORE LILY AND JAMES DIED! YOU WERE HIS SPY!” “He — he was taking over everywhere!” gasped Pettigrew. “Wh — what was there to be gained by refusing him?”"
- Bloomsbury Live Chat#Voldemort (Archived)
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 5, Chapter 30 (Into the Vault)
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 5, Chapter 1 (Year Five Begins)
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 5, Chapter 13 (Rats and Dogs)
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 5, Chapter 20 (Peter Pettigrew)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 2 (Spinner's End)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 23 (Malfoy Manor)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 1 (The Dark Lord Ascending)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (film)
- https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/avnmgp/the-history-of-scabby-the-rat The History of Scabby the Rat
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- HP Lexicon´s transcript of JKR´s notes
- Pierre Pettigrew on Wikipedia
- 7 September 2000 Interview with Entertainment Weekly
- 16 July 2005 Leaky Cauldron and MuggleNet Interview: Part 2