In the end of Prisoner of Azkaban, there is a scene in the "Shrieking Shack" where Sirius and Lupin prepare to kill Wormtail. They both point their wands at him and intend to kill him together.

"Shall we kill him together?" "Yes, I think so," said Lupin grimly.

This raises the question: How would they kill him? The Avada Kadavra doesn't require 2 people. There are 2 options:

A- They wanted to use a different killing curse. If so, what curse is it?

B- They wanted to do the Avada Kadavra on him. If so, why do it together? It can't be because the curse is too difficult, because 2 people casting it will require the same amount of power. It's not like they are splitting the required power between them. Also, both Remus and Sirius are very skilled wizards. They were both in the order and can easily kill someone (Seeing as Peter killed 12 people in one curse).

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    Regarding the "why" in B: perhaps to undivisibly share responsibility, so that nobody knows who was faster by that split-second and therefore whose spell actually did it. Kind of like in some jurisdictions in an execution firing squad, one member has a real bullet and the others have blanks, but nobody knows who. Nov 5, 2020 at 10:32
  • @AngewisnolongerproudofSO- That's a good answer but this isn't the case. Both Sirius and Lupin would gladly take the blame for killing a death eater. In the firing squad, the real executioner doesn't have anything personal against the criminal.
    – MBEllis
    Nov 5, 2020 at 10:42
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    Hence a comment only; however, I meant it more like "We share the deed. If there's repercussions, they must apply to both of us, since no-one knows who actually did it." Nov 5, 2020 at 10:59
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    Because they wanted to share the privilege of taking revenge for their friends' death.
    – FreeMan
    Nov 5, 2020 at 17:37
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    Firstly, why are you assuming that they intended to use Avada Kedavra? There have been at least two killings that did not use The Killing Curse: Sirius' and Bellatrix's deaths. Secondly, the members of the Order didn't use any Unforgivable curses, they fought fair didn't they?
    – Shreedhar
    Nov 6, 2020 at 7:34

2 Answers 2


There are other magical means of killing. The Transmogrifian Torture, for example, is one. The reason that Avada Kedavra earns a life sentence in Azkaban is because it reliably (except in the case of Harry) kills its target, should it connect.

“Not nice,” he said calmly. “Not pleasant. And there’s no counter curse. There’s no blocking it.
Moody, The Unforgivable Curses, GoF

The Transmogrifian Torture is, I believe, similar to Crucio, in the way that is causes excruciating pain and slowly kills the victim. But this is different because there is a counter curse.

“It was definitely a curse that killed her — probably the Transmogrifian Torture — I’ve seen it used many times, so unlucky I wasn't there, I know the very counter curse that could have saved her
Lockhart, The Writing on the Wall, CoS

Had someone tortured another being using this spell, and another was to preform the counter curse, then the person who cast it would be charged with attempted murder, not actual, making it less reliable and not an Unforgivable Curse. It also probably a lot less brutal.

Sirius and Remus could have used a combination of two powerful damaging spells.

In the cases of Professor McGonagall getting hit with multiples running spells, and Snape by multiple Expelliarmus, both were harmed, and McGonagall was hospitalized when receiving a very strong stack of them, and Snape being knocked out cold for a few hours. It was possible that they were going to cast a spell that was very complex and powerful curse that would have stacked and killed Pettigrew.

The might have also wanted to share the blame.

If the Ministry figures out that Sirius and Lupin killed Pettigrew, even if they believe the story of Pettigrew being a Death Eater, the pair will still be punished if they used Avada Kedavra, or some other spell. They would want to share the blame, rather put all of the blame on one person's shoulders, say Sirius. They both might have also wanted revenge for Pettigrew killing James and Lily.

  • I (maybe erroneously) thought the Transmogrifian Torture was cat-specific — that the name was a bit of wordplay referencing moggies. I can't see it anywhere else in the books though, so there's no way of proving it unless JKR has said something. (I also thought Lockhart made it up to sound like he knew what he was doing, but again that's unprovable.) Jan 8, 2021 at 9:39
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    I am highly questioning how real the trans-mogrifian curse is, because Gilderoy Lockhart is the only one to have ever mentioned it. Peskipiksi Pesternomi!
    – MBEllis
    Jan 8, 2021 at 10:09
  • @MBEllis Yes i highly doubt it is real. Theres also no evidence that is is similar to Crucio at all since we never see it being cast or even mentioned ever again. And Lockhard is a known liar.
    – GamerGypps
    Jan 8, 2021 at 14:59
  • Hmm, I'll try to find another one to prove my point. Though I feel that Peskipiksi Pesternomi and the Transmogrifian Torture are real spells, Lockhart just didn't now hot to do the spells or countercurse
    – Hello
    Jan 8, 2021 at 20:04
  • Whoever did the edit on the spelling of countercurse, thanks for the help on everything else, but that's how countercurse is spelled in the books.
    – Hello
    Jan 9, 2021 at 5:37

Any and all answers would merely be opinions/speculation. Neither their motivation, nor their spell choice is discussed in canon (either book or movie).

That said, my opinion on motivation is shared vengeance for his betrayal of their friendship, the Order of the Phoenix and the Potters. Alternatively, or in addition, it is stated in OOtP that multiple stunning spells could cause a heart attack (when McGonnegal is hit trying to stop Umbridge from dragging Hagrid away the night of the Astronomy exam) so presumably there are other spells where the effect is cumulative and two people casting would be more likely to be lethal.

As for method, there are many potentially lethal spells that are mentioned in the books, e.g. Blood Boiling Curse, Entrail Expelling Curse, the Blasting curse Sirius was thought to have used to kill Peter and the 12 muggles, not to mention the Bludgeoning and Cutting spells would probably kill if they struck someone in the throat, so no way of knowing.

I seriously doubt either of them would have used the Avada Kedavra, as it is supposedly punishable by an automatic life sentence in Azkaban

  • Far more likely than the other answer; they were best friends, betrayed by one of their own... and Sirius paid for it with 12 years in Azkaban. I think they would want to do it together as a sense of shared vengeance for sure. This is, surprisingly, not listed on TV Tropes that I can find, but is definitely a trope: two or three characters, after a long, arduous journey, arrive at the ultimate solution to their problem, typically something that only takes one person, but they have a moment of connection, and (usually) say "together? together" and then they Do The Thing together.
    – TylerH
    May 24, 2021 at 18:40
  • See: this, Hunger Games 1 ending, Star Wars w/ Obi-Wan and Anakin "this time we'll do it together", Avengers ("we do it together" "what if you lose?" "then we'll do that together, too"), etc.
    – TylerH
    May 24, 2021 at 18:43

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