Peter Pettigrew and the Super AK


Time Turners
"Just before he transformed," said Black. "When I cornered him [Wormtail], 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...."

This part bothers me.

This is Wormtail we are talking about: Mr Tag Along, No Talent. So if this, the least of Voldemort's followers knows this "thermonuclear" spell, why is it we have not seen it from some of the stronger?

Why are all of the death eaters wandering about ( and Voldemort even ) plinking at their enemies with the "single shot" Avada Kedavera when there is such a thing?

The big battle at Hogwarts there are many single shots bouncing around, but if there was one Wormtail there, think of the damage possible...

And what does this mean his capabilities really are?

Plothole, underdeveloped thought, missed opportunity- what say you?


Time Turners
I think that the "thermonuclear spell" you refer to is not likely to be linked to the Avada Kedavra curse as AK does not leave a mark, cause an explosion or make great holes in the ground.

The curse that Pettigrew used seems not to have been aimed at killing Sirius, or even aimed at him, but to cause a diversion that would allow Pettigrew to escape and Sirius to take the blame. We know that the explosion was "covered up" as being a gas explosion and that may have been, at least in part, what it was. The muggle deaths may not have been intended at all but an unwanted consequece of a bungled diversion attempt.

Stan Shunpike. PoA said:
"Anyway, they cornered Black in the middle of a street full of Muggles an' Black took out 'is wand and 'e blasted 'alf the street apart, an' a wizard got it, an' so did a dozen Muggles what got in the way. 'Orrible, eh? An' you know what Black did then?" Stan continued in a dramatic whisper.
"What?" said Harry.
"Laughed," said Stan. "Jus' stood there an' laughed. An' when reinforcements from the Ministry of Magic got there, I 'e went wiv em quiet as anyfink, still laughing 'is 'ead off. 'Cos 'e's mad, inee, Ern? Inee mad?"
"If he weren't when he went to Azkaban, he will be now," said Ern in his slow voice. "I'd blow meself up before I set foot in that place. Serves him right, mind you ... after what he did...."
"They 'ad a job coverin' it up, din' they, Ern?" Stan said. "'Ole street blown up an' all them Muggles dead. What was it they said ad 'appened, Ern?"
"Gas explosion," grunted Ernie.

In terms of this being a a super curse capable of destroying many wizards I am not so sure. This explosion killed only muggles. Muggles who could not retaliate with a wand. It was aimed at the ground behind or around Pettigrew himself so as to give the impression that Sirius had cast the spell. In direct battle with a group of wizards I am sure that a simple shield cham would have stopped it.

There are other examples of mass muggle killings, the Brockdale Bridge for example.

Cornellius Fudge. HBP said:
The Brockdale Bridge--he did it, Prime Minister, he threatened a mass Muggle killing unless I stood aside for him and--"

I do not see this is a plothole particularly but more a matter of interpretation of JKR's writing.

Sirius Potter Fan

Night Patroll
I agree GB, I had always assumed that Peter had just created an explosion (fairly easy) to hide his transformation and frame Black. Hard to believe what a true Rat he is!! Not only in betraying those who trusted him but to actualy frame another of his friends for what he had done. I believe he was trying to fake his own death, but I think he didn't intend to kill the muggles around him. If he had the mindset of LV, he most likely just didn't care if the muggles were injured or not so long as he achieved his goal.

secret seeker

The Half Blood Prince
Someone say me name? ... I 'gree with Glumbumble ...
I think Wormtail probably used the " Bombarda " spell, non-verbally.


Time Turners
Right and right.

The raising of the question was a sort of appreciation of what is an undervalued character, and a question about his true capabilities. His spell was cast directionally (behind and further, no effects in his direction at all) and powerful enough to need a gas explosion to cover it- just sounds like there's a bit more to the Rat than he gets credit for...

I still wonder about shield charms and their value as defense.
Is it a mere reflecting/deflecting of a cast spell, or a forcefield type defense for a time?
Someone throws a "Bombarda" curse my way, I use a shield charm- does it bounce the spell or does it cover me from all the bits flying around when the curse hits?
If the former, the curse hits somewhere else and causes damage which sounds valuable in many instances. If the latter, then wizards who can shield in time are safe, while slow wizards and muggles are pasted: this sounds valuable also.

secret seeker

The Half Blood Prince
I think shield charms deflect more than protect, or Harry could walk round constantly casting shield charms on himself. The shield charm also has to be timed correctly, I think, or you could be too late or too early.
I am curoius about the shield charm Voldemort used in the M.o.M. and wonder how protective it was.


Time Turners
I think that Fred's and George's experience shows that Shield Charms can be used quite flexibly.
HBP said:
"You wouldn't believe how many people, even people who work at the Ministry, can't do a decent Shield Charm," said George. "'Course, they didn't have you teaching them, Harry." "That's right... Well, we thought Shield Hats were a bit of a laugh, you know, challenge your mate to jinx you while wearing it and watch his face when the jinx just bounces off. But the Ministry bought five hundred for all its support staff! And we're still getting massive orders!" "So we've expanded into a range of Shield Cloaks, Shield Gloves..." "... I mean, they wouldn't help much against the Unforgivable Curses, but for minor to moderate hexes or jinxes..." "And then we thought we'd get into the whole area of Defense Against the Dark Arts, because it's such a money spinner," continued George enthusiastically. "This is cool. Look, Instant Darkness Powder, we're importing it from Peru. Handy if you want to make a quick escape."

Timing would be important if deflecting a specific spell but the duration of the effect can clearly be prolonged.


Staff member
I tend to agree that the spell he cast was not AK - as said above it leaves no mark and certainly doesn't cause the devastation we were told about ... but hang on a minute - isn't that what happened the fateful night?
The Potters house was levelled and it was attributed to the backfired spell - could this be a clue that something else was used that night as it seems the effects seem to match somewhat no?


Time Turners
I think that the explosion at the house and the murders probably occurred at different times. Remember we have this period of almost a day which is not accounted for.
Hagrid arrived at Privet Drive late at night, after the Dursleys had gone to bed.
Hagrid. PS/SS said:
"No, sir -- house was almost destroyed, but I got him out all right before the Muggles started swarmin' around. He fell asleep as we was flyin' over Bristol."
If the house had been destroyed the previous night I am sure that the muggles would have started "swarmin" around much sooner than the following day. I am equally sure that since both Godric's Hollow and Little Whingeing are both in the south of England Hagrid would have been able to ride from one to the other in less time than it appears he took to fly there.
There must be something else perhaps involving Voldemort's body. perhaps it has been preserved and will come into play.


Time Turners
When one considers Wormtail, he seems one that is easily given orders to and all, but one has to consider that he is a more accomplished wizard than he seems. He was, after all, able to become an animagus as a teen. That was no easy feat.

Also, did he not have Voldermort's wand at the time of the 'gas explosion'? And probably at the time that the Potter's house was destroyed too. Early we are told that one never gets as good of a result with another Wizards wand as with one's own wand, but I am not sure that would be the case with Voldermort or Harry's wands. They seem pretty special.

Sirius Potter Fan

Night Patroll
YES, Wormtail is a mystery isn't he . . . Although it is said he needed the help of the other marauders in learning to transfigure, he nonetheless did eventualy master it as a teen. I can't say though that Voldemort's or Harry's wands are "special" in the fact that anyone could use them as well as their owners. their special-ness comes from their brotherhood, and their users, especialy when they use them at the same instant. Wormtain just sought to make an explosion to cover his dissappearance and make it look as if Sirius had done it, he was not trying to kill anyone.

Now, GB . . . are you suggesting that Voldemorts orriginal body exists intact somewhere? That it is being preserved for some other use? We have always assumed that his body dissappeared, but . . . that is not grounded in any fact, as we are never told one way or the other . . . would love to hear more of this theory of a preserved Voldemort body . . . give it it's own thread!


Time Turners
Well, I was reading an old thread today and whether or not he used it, I don't know, but Wormtail did have his own wand with him that night, because it is said that his wand and finger were sent to his mother, that was all they could find of him after the explosion.

If Wormtail thought up that whole plan to frame Sirius himself, he surely is a more powerful wizard than he is given credit for being, but I am not convinced of that.

Sirius Potter Fan

Night Patroll
IT almost seems that he had to have thought it up him self . . .I'm certain that Voldemort didn't plan it out for him. He was there waiting when Sirius arrived. He waited till there were witnesses, removed his own finger, waited till Sirius went to use his wand before he created a big explosion, became the rat and ran away, knowing that Sirius would be blamed. I Can't say if it was planned ahead of time, or if it just occured to him as things started happening. But, it worked didn't it! If Ron hadn't been in the paper, or if Fudge hadn't given Sirius the paper . . . it's likely no one would ever have known.

All this said . . . still makes you wonder about what the sorting hat did doesn't it? . . . There is another thread already that discusses that on here though. He sure sounds like a slytherin though doesn't he!