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Why tie him up to themselves, when he could have been stunned until they reached the castle, to prevent him from transforming into a rat and escaping? Especially since Snape was knocked out and was transported in a similar fashion. Why didn't occur to anyone that the same could have been done to Wormtail?

  • I was just wondering why they didn't petrify him, levitate him, and then walk his stiff floating body off school grounds where they could apparate him away. – RichS Aug 1 '17 at 16:30
  • @RichS - the Shack was off of school grounds, so they could have apparated directly from there, if they were heading somewhere they could apparate too. "But you can't apparate or disapparate within Hogwarts." – Jeff Aug 1 '17 at 20:01
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    @Alex , really good question, deserves more upvotes! – Harry Weasley Aug 13 '17 at 11:07
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They had said they'd kill Peter if he transformed, and they would have been glad to.

Sirius Black and Remus Lupin originally had planned to kill Peter, and they were both quite eager to do it, especially Sirius. The only reason they didn't was because Harry didn't want them to and asked them to let Pettigrew be taken to Azkaban instead of them killing him.

“You should have realised,’ said Lupin quietly. ‘If Voldemort didn’t kill you, we would. Goodbye, Peter.’

Hermione covered her face with her hands and turned to the wall.

‘NO!’ Harry yelled. He ran forwards, placing himself in front of Pettigrew, facing the wands. ‘You can’t kill him,’ he said breathlessly. ‘You can’t.”
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 19 (The Servant of Lord Voldemort)

They agreed to tie him up and take him in to Hogwarts, but threatened to kill him if he escaped, and got Harry to agree. Since this was their original goal, it was a threat they'd probably be all too happy to follow through on, and Harry had confirmed that he'd be okay with it, so if Pettigrew transformed and they killed him, they wouldn't be going against Harry's wishes.

“I’m going to tie him up,’ said Lupin. ‘That’s all, I swear.’ Harry stepped out of the way. Thin cords shot from Lupin’s wand this time, and next moment, Pettigrew was wriggling on the floor, bound and gagged.

‘But if you transform, Peter,’ growled Black, his own wand pointing at Pettigrew, too, ‘we will kill you. You agree, Harry?’

Harry looked down at the pitiful figure on the floor, and nodded so that Pettigrew could see him.”
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 19 (The Servant of Lord Voldemort)

It wasn't because of the injured people. After Lupin splinted his leg, Ron was able to walk, since he was the other one chained to Pettigrew, and Professor Snape was being lifted magically.

“He muttered, ‘Mobilicorpus.’ As though invisible strings were tied to Snape’s wrists, neck and knees, he was pulled into a standing position, head still lolling unpleasantly, like a grotesque puppet. He hung a few inches above the ground, his limp feet dangling. Lupin picked up the Invisibility Cloak and tucked it safely into his pocket.”
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 19 (The Servant of Lord Voldemort)

Theoretically they would have been able to manage a stunned Pettigrew. There were two capable adult wizards there, so one could have floated Pettigrew while the other floated Snape, which would still leave Harry and Hermione to watch out for Ron.

“Harry had never been part of a stranger group. Crookshanks led the way down the stairs; Lupin, Pettigrew and Ron went next, looking like contestants in a six-legged race. Next came Professor Snape, drifting creepily along, his toes hitting each stair as they descended, held up by his own wand, which was being pointed at him by Sirius. Harry and Hermione brought up the rear. Getting back into the tunnel was difficult. Lupin, Pettigrew and Ron had to turn sideways to manage it; Lupin still had Pettigrew covered with his wand.”
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 20 (The Dementor's Kiss)

However, Sirius and Lupin wanted to give Pettigrew a chance to step out of line, to do something that would allow them to kill him like they had wanted to.

“One wrong move, Peter,’ said Lupin threateningly, ahead. His wand was still pointed sideways at Pettigrew’s chest.”
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 20 (The Dementor's Kiss)

  • If they had killed Peter, Sirius's name still wouldn't have been cleared. I always wondered why they didn't pause to consider that, even if the urge for revenge took over ultimately. – Anya Mae Aug 1 '17 at 16:54
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    @Alex Agreed, but the fact is, both Remus and Sirius were enraged at Pettigrew, and not thinking logically. – Bellatrix Aug 1 '17 at 16:57
  • Right, that is believable. But they still had Hermione around, to reason out and think logically. – Anya Mae Aug 1 '17 at 17:33
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    @Alex Sirius and Remus were barely willing to listen to reason, and when she realized they were actually going to kill Pettigrew, her instinct was to hide her face and look at the wall. – Bellatrix Aug 1 '17 at 17:41
  • Having Lupin and Sirius carrying Snape and Pettigrew would have left no qualified adults wands-ready to deal with Dementors. Most likely, only Lupin in their group could have been reliably counted on to cast a Patronus. As it happens, Harry was eventually able to, but they didn't know it at the time. – Jeff Aug 1 '17 at 20:00
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If you recall, they were having to move with some speed and Snape was already unconscious when the need to move quickly was discovered.

It was much faster for one of the group to move under his own power (even if it required another to be constantly watching him) than it would have been for a second person to be forced to carry an unconscious person. Recall that Ron also needed help moving at this point. They had four able-bodied people (Harry, Hermione, Sirius, and Lupin) and three people who needed assistance or vigilance (Pettigrew, Snape, and Ron).

They were also anticipating the Dementors (loose on the grounds) would be a possible hurdle on their way to the castle. Having one more of their able-bodied wizards having to carry Pettigrew (as opposed to simply watching him, but otherwise ready to cast at an attacker) would have been more dangerous.

Additionally, having Pettigrew obviously alive when they arrived at the castle, where he would have been immediately recognized by most of the staff, would have made a much stronger case than 'stunned or dead body, being floated by the escaped criminal Sirius Black'.

If Pettigrew is being walked in as an obvious prisoner, that's a very different start for a conversation than a known criminal walking in with a teacher and another person stunned, and several children at wandpoint.

Image isn't everything, but it is important. Sirius and Lupin knew this, and everyone else followed their lead.

It is also possible, of course, that Sirius and Lupin, being human beings in a time of high emotion and stress, simply didn't think about alternative solutions. Sure, they had to bring Snape (who was already stunned) but as far as they knew, Pettigrew was already secured. They were (mentally) already on the next steps - convincing people at the castle and elsewhere of Sirius' innocence.

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    Why did they have to move with some speed re-watching the scene just now gave no indication of that. – Edlothiad Aug 1 '17 at 15:42
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    Which student did he take off the grounds? Ron. In the films no one saw him do that but Harry and Hermione. Snape could have told others, although it doesn't seem very much like Snape to let others no where he's going. Especially if the Marauders are involved. He wanted to catch Sirius himself, out of pride. I think, I haven't really read the books besides for the infinite amount of quotes on here – Edlothiad Aug 1 '17 at 15:46
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    @Edlothiad: There's loads of context and subtext. Also, recall that Dumbledore "knows pretty much everything that happens (at Hogwarts)". It's reasonable to assume that there are wards or similar spells which will detect a student missing. They were able to detect that Ginny was missing very quickly in Chamber of Secrets, after all. Regardless, they were travelling with wounded (who needed medical care) and hunted fugitives. It behooved them to move as fast and safely as practical. – Jeff Aug 1 '17 at 15:56
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    I can't remember what the books say about their return to Hogwarts, but in the movie they actually stop to take a break after exiting the tunnel beneath the Whomping Willow for like 5-10 minutes, like a babbling, bumbling band of baboons. – DisturbedNeo Aug 1 '17 at 16:28
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    Also, they weren't expecting to meet Dementors in the grounds. When they did it was a complete surprise. The Dementors were stationed at the gates and Dumbledore had given them very strict instructions not to come into the school. – The Dark Lord Aug 1 '17 at 23:11

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