Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for science fiction and fantasy enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Sirius Black recounts that he went to Peter Pettigrew's house to check that he was safe from the Death-Eater's attacks. Peter was not there, but there was no sign of struggle. Sirius then went to James Potter's house and found James killed. Sirius thus got convinved that Peter had betrayed James.

What was it that has made Sirius suspicious that night in first place so he went to check?

share|improve this question
There's nothing to say he was suspicious. He said he'd arranged to check that night - it may have been either a rota or a regular thing only Sirius did as the Potters were in such danger. – user8674 Jun 21 '14 at 10:47
up vote 32 down vote accepted

When Sirius first set out to check on Peter, it wasn’t suspicion, it was a pre-existing arrangement. We’re never given details of the arrangement, but since Voldemort would have to go through Peter to get to the Potters, it seems natural that Sirius would want to check he was safe.

This is the relevant passage:

“I persuaded Lily and James to change to Peter at the last moment, persuaded them to use him as Secret-Keeper instead of me… I’m to blame, I know it… The night they died, I'd arranged to check on Peter, make sure he was still safe, but when I arrived at his hiding place, he’d gone. Yet there was no sign of a struggle. It didn’t feel right. I was scared. I set out for your parents’ house straight away. And when I saw their house, destroyed, and their bodies… I realized what Peter must’ve done… what I'd done…”

Prisoner of Azkaban, chapter 19, The Servant of Lord Voldemort

He only became suspicious once he reached Peter’s hiding place, and realised he wasn’t there.

share|improve this answer
Still, Peter could have been abducted from any random place. Not only his house, so there could have been a huge struggle in a random park for all he knew. – David Mulder Jun 21 '14 at 12:38
@DavidMulder Would Peter go for a random stroll during war time, keeping such a huge secret? He was a coward. And considering he kept this secret, wouldn't the Order at least discourage Peter leaving his home? – 11684 Jun 21 '14 at 12:46
@11684: Not like his home would be any safer... if anything realistically he should not be at home. 1) It would be suspicious if he locked himself in 2) His home is known to a fair number of people. – David Mulder Jun 21 '14 at 12:55
I think it would not be unreasonable to assume his home was magically protected. 1) He was a coward, and if his house was indeed protected, he'd stay there regardless of how it would look. I don't think Pettigrew was bright enough to realise that would look suspicious. 2) He could move ;). I think, though, that making his home Unplottable would mitigate most of that already. @DavidMulder – 11684 Jun 21 '14 at 12:58
The quote does not say Sirius was checking on Peter at his house. He was checking on Peter at his HIDING PLACE. Peter was in hiding. Sirius occasionally checked on him - perhaps brought him food and news. If Peter was deliberately HIDING in a place that only Sirius was supposed to know, then not finding him there would be suspicious. As to the OP's question about timing - it's a story. People travel at the speed of plot. – Kirt Jul 6 '15 at 0:34

Sirius knew Peter was the Secret-Keeper. If someone had betrayed the Potters, Pettigrew was the only option.

share|improve this answer
This does not answer my question. My question is why Sirius decided to check on Peter precisely that night, before Dumbledore or anyone else knew something had happened. – b_jonas Jun 20 '14 at 20:09

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.