Pettigrew’s Debt

by Scottie R. 

I come from the land down under

Okay, I’m just a humble little New Zealander living on the edges of the global community so you’€™ll have to excuse me if the theory I am about to discuss has already been thrashed about years before I joined the MuggleNet community. This, I feel, is not necessarily a disadvantage, it simply allows for a fresh set of slightly objective ideas to grace your forums.

It’€™s only words

On to the topic! Let‒s start at page 311 of PoA of the Australasian print which I assume is the same as most people’s anyway:

“Pettigrew owes his life to you. You have sent Voldemort a deputy who is in your debt. When one wizard saves another wizard’€™s life, it creates a certain bond between them…and I’m much mistaken if Voldemort wants his servant in the debt of Harry Potter.”

“I don’€™t want a bond with Pettigrew!” said Harry. “He betrayed my parents!”

“This is magic at its deepest, its most impenetrable, Harry. But trust me…the time may come when you will be very glad you saved Pettigrew’€™s life.”

It seems in the magical community that love, mercy and sacrifice in the name of another wizard act as some sort of seal that cannot be broken by any spell. Lily forged a seal between Harry and Voldemort through her sacrifice and love. I know this is a controversial argument but I believe a similar seal exists between none other than Harry and Peter Pettigrew due to the mercy he showed in stopping Sirius and Lupin from killing him in the Shrieking Shack.

Yummy, yummy, yummy, I’€™ve got blood in my tummy

Well, J.K. Rowling is famous for ending her books with a message and a nice bit of meat to chew on before the next one comes out. After chewing copiously and threatening to swallow I can’t help but ponder the significance of the last line in the above quote. Why would Rowling bother taking the time to let Dumbledore say something so deep (“the time may come when you will be very glad you saved Pettigrew’€™s life”) if she didn’€™t mean it? Yes, I admit she is brilliant at dropping red herrings to keep us off the real trail but I don’t believe this to be one. It is simply too carefully orchestrated!

Absence makes the Voldemort grow stronger

Rowling is highly skilled at helping the reader forget about characters for a while and then bringing them into greater prominence later on. We saw this with Voldemort’€™s absence from the end of Book 2 and then his grand re-entrance at the end of Book 4. She is also careful about keeping characters in the background when she would rather not draw too much attention to them. Take, for example, Cedric and Cho’s gradual emergence as important characters. So where, you may ask, has Pettigrew been for the whole of Book 5? I believe that Book 6 will be similar to PoA in that it will be attached to the Voldemort plot but not so closely. Anyyyyway…that’€™s another opinion. The point is, Pettigrew’€™s out of the picture to lead the reader away from his eventual significance: the fact that the seal between himself and Harry will ultimately be Voldemort’s undoing.

Signed, Sealed, Delivered!

NO! The way I look at it this magic could work three different ways:

  1. The first is simple and doesn’€™t sit very well with me, but I’ll go into it anyway. Quite simply, Pettigrew owes his life to Harry. At the last moment when he is possibly asked to capture and bring Harry to Voldemort (theoretically speaking), Peter may instead find his seal with Harry comes into effect, causing him to set Harry free. This theory however will not get us to a final conflict between Harry and Voldemort so it really lacks foundation as a valid argument. It also would really fail to excite me compared to a final book blood-bath (pardon my malicious side).
  2. The second is even worse than the first. Basically, Pettigrew will return to the Order of the Phoenix and join their side. The way I see it, he’€™s made his choice to stick with Voldemort until the very end. You don’€™t just cut off your hand for kicks!
  3. The third theory is by far the most credible. As we know, Voldemort needed the blood of his servant (Pettigrew) to return to human form. To allow this to happen Pettigrew cut off his own hand. As we all know, Rowling is carrying a thematic line of “blood”. I would argue that prior to Pettigrew’€™s sacrifice in the graveyard he was already marked with the seal of Harry;€™s mercy from the end of PoA. If this is true then a weakness lies within the very fabric and re-creation of Voldemort into human form. The seal that saved Harry at birth (Lily-Harry) could be very similar to the one that Voldemort now has within him after his resurrection due to the Potter-Pettigrew connection.

Stop right now, thank you very much!

The argument I tend to lean towards is that Voldemort’€™s magic will not work on Harry because he is indebted to him through Pettigrew;€™s blood. I would be willing to believe that come the end of Book 7 Voldemort’€™s grand opportunity to kill Harry will come. Voldemort may well use the Avada Kedavra but here’€™s where it gets interesting! I don’€™t think the curse will rebound, because let’€™s face it, it’€™s already been done.

I predict the curse simply won’t work. The blood pact between Pettigrew and Harry, and thus Voldemort and Harry, will make his magic on Harry useless. All Harry needs to do is get up off the floor and take down Voldemort in his defenseless state. Remember: One cannot live while the other survives. As you can see this is partly just speculation but I have no doubt whatsoever that this seal forged with Pettigrew will come into play beyond belief in the last book.

Time to say goodbye

This is ultimately a dash of evidence mixed in with a tad of speculation. Whether or not you agree with my philosophy on this, it probably stacks up better than that Char-grilled Hypothesis (hehehe, only joking). I think no matter what, this quote from PoA needs to be taken into account as something that will come into play greatly over the last two books. No doubt after using song titles for every sub-heading I’€™ll probably struggle to get another editorial published but I’d love to get your emails and see what you think about this.