The Butterfly Effect: What If Harry Allowed Pettigrew’s Fate to Unfold?

The “Harry Potter” series is a tapestry of intricate events, where each decision and action has far-reaching consequences. One pivotal moment occurs in the Shrieking Shack when Harry Potter has the opportunity to allow Remus Lupin and Sirius Black to exact justice on Peter Pettigrew, also known as Wormtail. Had Harry chosen differently, the entire trajectory of the series could have taken a dramatically different course. Here are the potential consequences of Harry permitting Pettigrew’s fate to unfold:

1. No Escape for Pettigrew to Rejoin Voldemort:
One of the most significant consequences of Pettigrew’s death would have been his inability to aid in Voldemort’s resurgence. His role in the preparation of the potion that restored Voldemort to his physical form in “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” was instrumental. Without Pettigrew, Voldemort might have remained in his weakened state for a more extended period or indefinitely.

2. Sirius Black’s Innocence Proven:
The revelation of Pettigrew as an Animagus might have prompted a re-examination of the evidence surrounding Sirius Black’s alleged crimes. His innocence could have been established, potentially leading to his release from Azkaban. This would have allowed Sirius to assume his rightful place as Harry’s guardian and a crucial member of the fight against Voldemort.

3. Cedric Diggory’s Survival:
The Triwizard Cup, turned into a Portkey by Pettigrew, played a tragic role in Cedric Diggory’s death. Without Pettigrew’s involvement, the Triwizard Tournament’s conclusion may have been different, sparing Cedric’s life and altering the events of “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.”

4. The Death of Voldemort:
In the final battle, Harry is killed by Voldemort but returns to life due to complex magical circumstances. Pettigrew’s role in this process is vital, as he used Harry’s blood to regenerate Voldemort. Without Pettigrew, Voldemort might have found another means to return, but the protection from Harry’s blood wouldn’t have existed. This could have led to Harry’s permanent death, or conversely, if he survived, Harry might have been able to defeat Voldemort without the protective tether to his own soul.

5. No Silver Hand for Pettigrew:
In “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” Voldemort rewards Pettigrew’s loyalty with a magical silver hand after the sacrifice of his own hand in the potion. This hand ultimately plays a role in Pettigrew’s demise in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” when it turns on him. Without Pettigrew, this dark subplot would never come to fruition.

In conclusion, the choice Harry makes in the Shrieking Shack is a pivotal moment that could have dramatically reshaped the “Harry Potter” series. It highlights the complexity and interconnectivity of J.K. Rowling’s storytelling, where even a single decision can set off a chain reaction of events with far-reaching consequences. While allowing Pettigrew’s fate to unfold might have led to a quicker resolution with Sirius’s exoneration, it also carried the potential for darker outcomes, including Harry’s own demise. The “Harry Potter” series is a testament to the intricate web of choices and consequences that make up the world of wizardry.