The Fearful Spy: Peter Pettigrew

Peter Pettigrew Transforms

The next type of spy is motivated by fear. Our example, of course, is Peter Pettigrew.

As we all know, Peter Pettigrew was brought into James Potter’s circle despite the fact that the other three (James, Sirius, and Lupin) would not automatically or normally have included him in their group. James and Sirius were good-looking and popular, as well as egotistical. Lupin, as a werewolf, was an outsider; that at least indicates that James and Sirius were not so full of themselves that they would be unwilling to befriend and assist somebody strange or different. Peter Pettigrew was certainly in need of friends, but we wonder why the other three allowed him into their midst…

Whatever the reason, Peter Pettigrew became one of the foursome, but unfortunately not one who could be trusted in the end. For, as we all know, Peter Pettigrew was the Secret Keeper who told Voldemort where James and Lily Potter, and their toddler son, Harry, lived.

When we meet Peter Pettigrew as an adult, he seems like a weak and spineless rat (and, of course, he can turn into a rat!). He seems to fear Voldemort, but is thrilled by the prospect of receiving power through Voldemort. He is willing to give Voldemort not merely the shirt off his back, but, literally, his right hand. Now that’s really a right-hand man! (Sorry about that!)

Keep in mind, spies whose main motivation is fear are not the most reliable. All you have to do is find a stronger motivator or find someone who inspires more fear to convince them to switch sides!

For example, thanks to Harry’s refusal to allow Sirius and Lupin to kill Peter at the Shrieking Shack (after the rat returned to human form and confessed to his betrayal of James and Lily Potter), Peter Pettigrew is indebted to Harry (PA 375). This pays off in the long run because it gives Peter another motivator –the desire to repay the favor.

As Dumbledore explains to Harry, “The consequences of our actions are always so complicated, so diverse, that predicting the future is a very difficult business indeed. . . . 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 . . .” (PA 426–27).

Harry understandably wants no connection to Peter Pettigrew, but Dumbledore wisely opines, “the time may come when you will be very glad you saved Pettigrew’s life” (PA 427). And, to Peter Pettigrew’s great surprise, he does falter for a moment when coming to check on Harry and the others imprisoned in the dungeon of Malfoy Manor—and the new hand that Voldemort gave Pettigrew immediately turns on him and kills him (DH 470)!

Peter Pettigrew Analysis

Recruitment by: A Death Eater or Voldemort as they searched for James, Lily, and toddler Harry Potter

Incentive Used: Desire for power and fear of Voldemort

Handler: Probably Voldemort himself

Method of Communication: Face-to-face

Memorable Quotes:

Sirius: But you, Peter—I’ll never understand why I didn’t see you were the spy from the start. You always liked big friends who’d look after you, didn’t you? It used to be us . . . me and Remus . . . and James. . . .” (PA 369).

Voldemort: “You returned to me, not out of loyalty, but out of fear of your old friends” (GF 649).

Narrative: “The silver tool that Voldemort had given his most cowardly servant had turned upon its disarmed and useless owner; Pettigrew was reaping his reward for his hesitation, his moment of pity; he was being strangled before their eyes” (DH 470).

Quiz: Padfoot is in Danger!

Voldemort torturing Sirisu

Although Harry has become quite the spy over the course of Order of the Phoenix. However, when he dreams that Sirius is being tortured by Voldemort, caution flies out the window and all he can do is plan a rescue mission. Thankfully, he has a group of friends by his side willing to fight for him! Can you answer the trivia questions below about this high-stakes moment in the fifth Harry Potter book?

1. Who concludes that Umbridge fired Hagrid at night in order to avoid another scene like the one following her dismissal of Professor Trelawney?

2. What does Kreacher tell Harry when asked about Sirius’ whereabouts?

3. What alerts Umbridge that Harry and his friends have infiltrated her office?

4. What does Harry tell Snape in order to communicate that he believes Sirius is in danger?

5. What spell does Umbridge nearly use to get information out of Harry?

6. What does Hermione tell Umbridge to stop her from torturing Harry?

7. What does Hermione do that alerts the centaurs to their presence in the forest?

8. Who saves Harry and Hermione when the centaurs become angry with them?

9. What draws the thestrals to Harry and his friends precisely when they need transportation to London?

10. Why does Harry fail to realize that he’s walking into a trap?

 

Quiz: Covert Operations Under Umbridge’s Regime

Mcgonagall scolds Umbridge

Harry, Ron, and Hermione have to draw on their whole network of friends and acquaintances to counteract Umbridge’s oppressive regime. Thankfully, she is not well liked, so people are happy to help! See if you can recall all of the trio’s covert operations!

1. When Umbridge is unable to trick Harry into revealing his secrets, she threatens him by revealing that the Ministry is doing what?

2. What happens when Umbridge attempts to counteract the Weasley’s fireworks?

3. What gift from Sirius does Harry use to open Umbridge’s locked office door to talk to Lupin and Sirius?

4. What excuses do Lupin and Sirius provide for James Potter’s terrible treatment of Snape?

5. After Fred and George Weasley create a swamp in a school corridor, what is their punishment?

6. What does Hagrid insist on showing Harry and Hermione during the Quidditch match?

7. Why are the centaurs angry at Firenze?

8. Why do the centaurs let Hagrid pass despite their anger with him for meddling in their affairs?

9. Who is the head of the Wizarding Examination Authority?

10. What spell does Harry cast that impresses his O.W.L examiner?

A Day of Remembrance

Saluting Trade Center Memorial

Although we at Art of Spying tend to focus on the whimsical and the entertainment value of the Potter series, there are some days where we must take a moment to be serious, and this is one of those days. However, the magic of Harry Potter is that it portrays both the light and dark in the world and, perhaps, offers a way to deal with the dark moments even as it helps us to celebrate the light ones.

The September 11th attacks happened 13 years ago today.

Many of our readers grew up not only with Harry Potter, but the specter of the twin towers falling, the Pentagon burning, and a plane burrowing in upon a flat Pennsylvania field.

There were many heroes that day.  Some lived.  Some didn’t.

Some were victims of chance, being at the wrong place at the wrong time.  But many were persons who chose to be there, chose to walk up those steps, fight those fires, take over a hijacked plane, put themselves in harm’s way.

All are worthy of our remembrance.

In the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, we all were touched by the sacrifice of those who gave their lives for the true greater good, a life without fear, without torture, without the specter of an evil Dark Lord who wanted to not only control the world, but torment it.

Lupin and Resurrection Stone

In one of the scenes of the final battle of Hogwarts, Harry enters the great hall to see bodies strewn on the floor:  Tonks, Remus, Fred, and even little Colin Creevey.  Many of us, as we read this abject scene, shed tears.

Death is hard.  And yet sacrifice based purely on principle, or in aid of another, is perhaps the greatest virtue that one can envision or dare to impart.

For every person who lost his or her life in the final Battle of Hogwarts, hundreds perished on 9/11.  Every one of them had a family, loved ones, children waiting for a parent to come home . . . who never did.

So on this day, when we remember sacrifice – and death – and choosing to help others – and dying for a principle – let us pause for just a moment, and think of that which is worth fighting for.

Something Worth Fighting For

Today we call most fervently upon the memory of those who have, in support of freedom and in the assistance of others, done what needed to be done, at times giving the greatest sacrifice.

To those we give thanks, and our solemn remembrance.

Respectfully,

Lynn and Peter

Quiz: The Attack on Arthur Weasley

Attack on Arthur

Now that Dumbledore’s Army is meeting regularly, nearly every character in the Order of the Phoenix has started using elements of spy craft. Some characters are in deep cover, others like Hermione are becoming skilled at psychological assessment, and Dumbledore is fighting to maintain the upper hand by keeping A LOT of secrets. Try this week’s quiz to see how much of the spy craft you’ve noticed in this action-packed section of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Answers are available here.

1. Now that Hagrid is back, in his first lesson he “shows” the kids what creature?

2. Where is Sirius laying low, in deep cover?

3. At the end of one meeting, Harry uses a pretext to hung around and visit with Cho. What is this pretext?

4. When telling Ron and Hermione about Cho’s “wet” kiss, he says she was crying. Describe Hermione’s psychological assessment of Cho.

5. Thanks to his unique connection to Voldemort, Harry is able to secretly observe something in his dream. What does he see?

6. What is the snake’s name?

7. Dumbledore acts as an intelligence analyst and interrogates Harry about what he saw and what was his perspective , and determines what?

8. What unique form of communication does Dumbledore use in his office to find the injured Mr. Weasley?

9. Once Mr. Weasley is at St. Mungo’s, he makes a decision to protect his sources and methods. What is that decision?

10. Who and what are the source and method Dumbledore is protecting?

 

Spy Terms

Deep Cover/Deep Cover Agent (n): a mission or assignment so secret that only one or two people know of its existence; a deep cover agent usually stays put for many, many years, having little to no contact with his or her handlers.

Example: Sirius is a deep cover agent out of necessity. People know he exists but very few know where he is and he must stay put indefinitely. He is clearly not very good at being a deep cover agent.

 

Psychological Assessment (n): the use of information about a person’s traits, characteristics, background, and psychological makeup to predict that person’s reactions or future actions.

Example: Hermione helps Ron and Harry understand Cho’s traits, characteristics, and background in order to explain why she has been acting strange and to predict how she will act in the future.

 

The Spies Among Us: Patriotism Gone Bad

Death Eaters

Death Eaters

Patriotism does not necessarily mean that the cause the spy holds dear is related to a nation or the security of a specific nation, as is clearly evident by Voldemort’s Death Eaters. They are against a nation, and indeed, the whole Wizarding world and the world of Muggles. Their cause is Voldemort, or perhaps the desire to obtain power through Voldemort.

Analysis:

Recruitment by: Presumably Voldemort

Incentive Used: Assertion of Wizarding superiority, the opportunity to wreak havoc and assert extraordinary power over Wizards and Muggles alike

Handler: Voldemort or a Death Eater who has a close connection to Voldemort

Method of Communication: Direct assignments from Voldemort, messages sent through another Death Eater, or use of the Dark Mark on the Death Eater’s arm

Memorable Quote:

Sirius: “Well, you don’t just hand in your resignation to Voldemort. It’s a lifetime of service or death” (OP).

Quirrell: “There is no good and evil… there is only power, and those too weak to understand it… Since then, I serve him faithfully, although I have let him down many times.” (SS)

When Voldemort returns at the end of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, you can see exactly what kind of relationship Death Eaters have with their handler, Voldemort. The Dark Lord demands loyalty and disappointing him is dangerous to say the least.

The first blog post in the Spies Among Us series was about Mundungus Fletcher, a Spy for Hire.

Answers: Covers, Classified Docs, and Counterjinxes

Sirius in Fire

Check out the answers to yesterday’s quiz! Let us know how you did in the comments!

1. What document is created at the end of the meeting at The Hog’s Head that is considered classified and not to be disclosed to anyone?

The sign-up sheet

2. What name do the students choose for this subversive organization?

Dumbledore’s Army

3. In order to not look too suspicious, the kids leave the meeting in what manner?

By two’s and three’s

4. Educational Decree No. 24 related to meetings and gatherings of students.  Why was it passed?

Because Umbridge found out about the meeting at the Hog’s Head

5. At first the members of Dumbledore’s Army think they have a spy in their midst, but Hermione knows it’s not true because of what countermeasure she used?

She employed a SNEAK jinx

6. When Hedwig returns with a message from Sirius, something has happened to the owl.  What does intelligent analyst Harry conclude?

 That someone tried to intercept the letter

7. What open-code message did Harry receive from Sirius and what did in mean?

“Today, same time, same place” – at the fire like last time

8. Sirius tells Harry that the Hog’s Head was not a secure meeting place for the students.  Where should they have met, and why?

The Three Broomsticks, because it is more crowded making it easier to meet covertly without being overheard.

9. What is one of the places considered for the DA to meet that is rejected while talking to Sirius?

The Shrieking Shack.

10. When he’s trying to talk to Harry Sirius has to leave the fire because his cover is blown.  How do we know this?

Umbridge’s hand tries to grab his head