Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

by

J. K. Rowling

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Scabbers/Peter Pettigrew Character Analysis

Scabbers is Ron's rat, but later in the book it is revealed that he is really the wizard Peter Pettigrew who has taken a rat form. The Weasley family adopted Scabbers (the rat) thirteen years ago; he used to belong to Percy but was passed down to Ron when Percy got an owl. Ron begins to notice Scabbers's health declining in the weeks before Hermione adopts her cat Crookshanks, who is intent on catching Scabbers. This continues for months until Ron discovers blood on his sheets and assumes that Scabbers is dead. However, Hermione finds Scabbers hiding in Hagrid's hut months later. After Harry, Ron, and Hermione end up in the Shrieking Shack with Lupin and Sirius Black, they learn the truth about Scabbers's true identity: the rat is actually the animal form of the wizard Peter Pettigrew. As a boy Pettigrew was friends with James, Lupin, and Sirius. He wasn't very smart but managed to become an Animagus as a fifth year. During Voldemort's rise to power, however, he aligned himself with Voldemort but remained a double agent. Sirius insists that this is very in character for Pettigrew, who always wanted to align himself with whomever had the most power and would be able to protect him. After being made the Secret Keeper for the Potters, Pettigrew shared their location with Voldemort, which resulted in their death. Days later, he framed Black, the Potters' first Secret Keeper, by yelling that Black killed Lily and James, blowing up a street and killing twelve muggles, and cutting off his finger before turning into a rat and going into hiding. Black then went to Azkaban for Pettigrew's crimes. Harry finds Pettigrew revolting and pathetic. Pettigrew simpers, pleads for mercy, and insists that there was no reason to stand up to Voldemort when he started to come to power. Harry stops Lupin and Black from killing Pettigrew, though this results in Pettigrew's escape.

Scabbers/Peter Pettigrew Quotes in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

The Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban quotes below are all either spoken by Scabbers/Peter Pettigrew or refer to Scabbers/Peter Pettigrew. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Justice Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Scholastic edition of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban published in 2001.
Chapter Thirteen Quotes

Hermione burst into tears. Before Harry could say or do anything, she tucked the enormous book under her arm, and, still sobbing, ran toward the staircase to the girls' dormitories and out of sight.

"Can't you give her a break?" Harry asked Ron quietly.

"No," said Ron flatly. "If she just acted like she was sorry--but she'll never admit she's wrong, Hermione. She's still acting like Scabbers has gone on vacation or something."

Related Characters: Harry Potter (speaker), Ron Weasley (speaker), Hermione Granger, Scabbers/Peter Pettigrew, Crookshanks
Page Number: 265
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter Fourteen Quotes

"I'm not blamin' yeh!" said Hagrid, waving Harry's apology aside. "Gawd knows yeh've had enough ter be gettin' on with. I've seen yeh practicin' Quidditch ev'ry hour o' the day an' night--but I gotta tell yeh, I thought you two'd value yer friend more'n broomsticks or rats. Tha's all."

Page Number: 274
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter Sixteen Quotes

"THE DARK LORD LIES ALONE AND FRIENDLESS, ABANDONED BY HIS FOLLOWERS. HIS SERVANT HAS BEEN CHAINED THESE TWELVE YEARS. TONIGHT, BEFORE MIDNIGHT...THE SERVANT WILL BREAK FREE AND SET OUT TO REJOIN HIS MASTER. THE DARK LORD WILL RISE AGAIN WITH HIS SERVANT'S AID, GREATER AND MORE TERRIBLE THAN EVER BEFORE."

Page Number: 324
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter Eighteen Quotes

"I was terrified they would desert me the moment they found out what I was. But of course, they, like you, Hermione, worked out the truth...

"And they didn't desert me at all. Instead, they did something for me that would make my transformations not only bearable, but the best times of my life. They became Animagi."

Page Number: 354
Explanation and Analysis:

"That was still really dangerous! Running around in the dark with a werewolf! What if you'd given the others the slip, and bitten somebody?"

"A thought that still haunts me," said Lupin heavily. "And there were near misses, many of them. We laughed about them afterwards. We were young, thoughtless--carried away with our own cleverness."

Page Number: 355
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter Nineteen Quotes

"But if--if there was a mistake--"

"KEEP QUIET, YOU STUPID GIRL!" Snape shouted, looking suddenly quite deranged. "DON'T TALK ABOUT WHAT YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND!"

Page Number: 360
Explanation and Analysis:

"Of course," Lupin breathed. "So simple...so brilliant...he cut if off himself?"

"Just before he transformed," said Black. "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..."

Page Number: 363
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter Twenty-Two Quotes

"It didn't make any difference," said Harry bitterly. "Pettigrew got away."

"Didn't make any difference?" said Dumbledore quietly. "It made all the difference in the world, Harry. You helped uncover the truth. You saved an innocent man from a terrible fate."

Related Characters: Harry Potter (speaker), Albus Dumbledore (speaker), Sirius Black, Scabbers/Peter Pettigrew
Page Number: 425
Explanation and Analysis:
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Scabbers/Peter Pettigrew Character Timeline in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

The timeline below shows where the character Scabbers/Peter Pettigrew appears in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter One
Friendship and Growing Up Theme Icon
...Grand Prize Galleon Draw. The accompanying photograph shows all nine Weasleys and Ron's pet rat, Scabbers, on vacation in Egypt. In a letter, Ron apologizes for the phone debacle and talks... (full context)
Chapter Four
Storytelling and Perspective Theme Icon
Responsibility, Morality, and Time Theme Icon
...money as an early birthday present. They head to the magical creature shop. Ron takes Scabbers, who is lethargic and droopy, to the counter so the witch can look him over.... (full context)
Storytelling and Perspective Theme Icon
The witch says that a garden rat like Scabbers will only live for about three years and offers Ron some rat tonic. Before Ron... (full context)
Justice Theme Icon
Storytelling and Perspective Theme Icon
Teaching Theme Icon
...fighting next door. Harry goes to investigate and learns that Percy's Head Boy badge and Scabbers's rat tonic are gone. Harry offers to go look in the bar for the rat... (full context)
Chapter Five
Friendship and Growing Up Theme Icon
...Hermione assures Crookshanks that she'll let him out on the train, while Ron snaps that Scabbers needs his peace. Mr. Weasley motions for everyone to follow him outside and into two... (full context)
Chapter Eight
Justice Theme Icon
Storytelling and Perspective Theme Icon
Friendship and Growing Up Theme Icon
...leaping into Hermione's lap with a dead spider. Ron tells Hermione to control Crookshanks, as Scabbers is asleep in Ron's bag. Without warning, Crookshanks leaps at the bag. Ron swings the... (full context)
Chapter Ten
Storytelling and Perspective Theme Icon
...Dumbledore's orders, Sirius lent Hagrid his flying motorbike. Fudge continues the story and says that Peter Pettigrew found Sirius before the Ministry did. Rosmerta remembers Pettigrew as an untalented follower of... (full context)
Chapter Eleven
Storytelling and Perspective Theme Icon
Friendship and Growing Up Theme Icon
...along, but Ron points out that Malfoy would love it if Harry got destroyed like Pettigrew. (full context)
Justice Theme Icon
Storytelling and Perspective Theme Icon
...note, she's not excited. Before she and Ron can argue, Crookshanks leaps at Ron and Scabbers. Ron tries to kick at Crookshanks but kicks Harry's trunk instead, which reinvigorates the Pocket... (full context)
Teaching Theme Icon
Friendship and Growing Up Theme Icon
Harry notices that Scabbers looks awful and thinks that he's likely not going live much longer. Hermione and Ron... (full context)
Chapter Thirteen
Storytelling and Perspective Theme Icon
Friendship and Growing Up Theme Icon
...so angry with each other over what looks to Ron like Crookshanks' success in eating Scabbers that Harry fears this is the end of their friendship. Harry thinks that Ron is... (full context)
Friendship and Growing Up Theme Icon
...she insists that Ron doesn't want her to join the party. Ron loudly comments that Scabbers used to love party food, which sends Hermione into tears. Ron tells Harry that if... (full context)
Chapter Fifteen
Friendship and Growing Up Theme Icon
...with Buckbeak's appeal. At this, Hermione throws her arms around Ron's neck and apologizes about Scabbers. (full context)
Chapter Sixteen
Teaching Theme Icon
Friendship and Growing Up Theme Icon
...to the castle. As Hermione begins to pour milk into a new jug, she shrieks. Scabbers is in the jug. (full context)
Storytelling and Perspective Theme Icon
Ron, shocked, grabs Scabbers. The rat looks awful and struggles desperately. Suddenly, Hagrid sees the execution party coming to... (full context)
Chapter Seventeen
Storytelling and Perspective Theme Icon
...him and leads them all towards the castle. Darkness starts to fall around them and Scabbers continues to struggle. Harry notices Crookshanks stalking them. With a final twist, Scabbers breaks free... (full context)
Justice Theme Icon
Storytelling and Perspective Theme Icon
...Willow. Ron insists that it was just him, and then Lupin asks to look at Scabbers. Hesitantly, Ron pulls Scabbers out of his robes. Black says that Scabbers isn't a rat;... (full context)
Chapter Eighteen
Storytelling and Perspective Theme Icon
Teaching Theme Icon
...Ron says that Black and Lupin are crazy, and Harry points out that Black killed Peter Pettigrew twelve years ago. Black lunges for Scabbers, but Lupin holds him back and insists... (full context)
Justice Theme Icon
Storytelling and Perspective Theme Icon
Friendship and Growing Up Theme Icon
In a trembling voice, Hermione says that Pettigrew can't be an Animagus because the Ministry keeps a register and would've known. Lupin laughs... (full context)
Teaching Theme Icon
Friendship and Growing Up Theme Icon
Lupin says that his transformations were awful, but he had three friends—Sirius Black, Peter Pettigrew, and James Potter—all of whom eventually figured out where he went every month. Instead... (full context)
Chapter Nineteen
Justice Theme Icon
Storytelling and Perspective Theme Icon
Teaching Theme Icon
Friendship and Growing Up Theme Icon
...trouble and then shouts at her to be quiet. Black snarls that if Ron brings Scabbers to the castle nobody will go to Azkaban. Snape threatens to call the dementors and... (full context)
Justice Theme Icon
Storytelling and Perspective Theme Icon
...Harry that it's time to provide proof that his story is true. Black asks for Peter, but Ron weakly asks how Black is sure that Scabbers is Peter. Black pulls out... (full context)
Justice Theme Icon
Storytelling and Perspective Theme Icon
Teaching Theme Icon
Lupin notes that Scabbers looks awful now, and he and Ron argue about whether Scabbers's health started going downhill... (full context)
Storytelling and Perspective Theme Icon
...that in a way, he did kill Lily and James: he persuaded them to make Peter their Secret Keeper, not knowing Peter was working with Voldemort. Lupin cuts him off and... (full context)
Justice Theme Icon
Storytelling and Perspective Theme Icon
Black laughs at the thought of Voldemort teaching him tricks, notices that Pettigrew flinches, and says that Pettigrew has been hiding from Voldemort's supporters, not from him. He... (full context)
Justice Theme Icon
Storytelling and Perspective Theme Icon
Friendship and Growing Up Theme Icon
Timidly, Hermione asks why Pettigrew hasn't tried to kill Harry already, since he's been sleeping in the same room for... (full context)
Justice Theme Icon
Friendship and Growing Up Theme Icon
At this, Pettigrew falls to his knees and pleads with Black and Lupin. They decide to kill Pettigrew... (full context)
Chapter Twenty
Friendship and Growing Up Theme Icon
As the party makes its way back through the tunnel, Sirius notes that turning in Pettigrew will clear his name, and he tells Harry that he's his godfather. Awkwardly, he invites... (full context)
Justice Theme Icon
Storytelling and Perspective Theme Icon
...rip at each other violently and Harry only stops watching when Hermione screams. He sees Pettigrew grab Lupin's wand, knock out Ron and Crookshanks, and then transform and flee. As Lupin... (full context)
Chapter Twenty-One
Storytelling and Perspective Theme Icon
Harry and Hermione try to tell Fudge that Sirius is innocent and that Peter Pettigrew is an Animagus, but Madam Pomfrey shoves chocolate in Harry's mouth so he stops... (full context)
Responsibility, Morality, and Time Theme Icon
...to Hagrid's hut. They watch Hagrid let their earlier selves in and hear Hermione find Scabbers. Harry suggests that they run in and grab Pettigrew, but Hermione tells Harry that they... (full context)
Storytelling and Perspective Theme Icon
Teaching Theme Icon
Responsibility, Morality, and Time Theme Icon
...of the forest until the Whomping Willow is in sight. They watch Ron fight with Scabbers and watch Sirius drag Ron through the roots. Dumbledore walks Macnair, Fudge, and the Committee... (full context)
Friendship and Growing Up Theme Icon
...out of the Whomping Willow's roots. Harry grudgingly agrees that they can't go looking for Pettigrew as the cloud reveals the moon. Suddenly, Harry realizes that they have to move in... (full context)
Chapter Twenty-Two
Justice Theme Icon
Storytelling and Perspective Theme Icon
Teaching Theme Icon
Responsibility, Morality, and Time Theme Icon
...down in Lupin's chair and says that what he did didn't make any difference since Pettigrew escaped. Dumbledore quietly says that Harry saved an innocent man and discovered the truth. This... (full context)