What curse did Peter Pettigrew use to kill thirteen Muggles at once?

Harry lay listening to the muffled shouting next door and wondered why he didn’t feel more scared. Sirius Black had murdered thirteen people with one curse; Mr and Mrs Weasley obviously thought Harry would be panic-stricken if he knew the truth. But Harry happened to agree whole-heartedly with Mrs Weasley that the safest place on earth was wherever Albus Dumbledore happened to be.

Prisoner of Azkaban - page 55 - Bloomsbury - chapter 4, The Leaky Cauldron

I believe Avada Kedavra has to hit a person directly to kill them, yes? I can't think of any instance in canon where Avada Kedavra, for example, ricocheted and killed more than one person in one instance (Avada Kedavra ricocheting off the statues in the Ministry of Magic doesn't count!).

So what curse did Peter Pettigrew use that would have killed thirteen Muggles in one shot?

Is there a canon spell that could possibly cause such extensive damage and death?

A canon-based answer would be great.

  • 9
    Accio Knives? Commented Jun 10, 2014 at 14:04
  • @AwalGarg -- Well, yes, there is that! That doesn't explain the explosion, though ... ;) Commented Jun 14, 2014 at 2:18
  • 3
    Maybe Accio Burning Matchstick on a gasoline container? btw, you said that you don't like wikia answers, then why is the accepted answer accepted? Commented Jun 14, 2014 at 4:04
  • 1
    @AwalGarg - Let's see ... I accepted that answer over 20 months ago. I actually don't remember my exact reasoning. It's fair to say that my exasperation with the HP Wikia has been a long and drawn out process. Commented Jun 30, 2014 at 8:49
  • Wouldn't it be twelve Muggles? The thirteenth dead was Peter.
    – Scimonster
    Commented Nov 24, 2016 at 18:11

2 Answers 2


I can't back this up, except that it is logical, but I believe that the spell was the Reducto or Confringo curse, aimed at a gas line. The book describes the scene with a hole in the street, and muggles dead all around it. Either spell is certainly capable of disintegrating a gas line, and producing a spark that could cause an explosion. (although Confringo is more likely)

Also, I realize it's also non-canon, apparently harrypotter.wikia.com also thinks it was the Configno curse.

  • 5
    Their reference appears to be a LEGO Harry Potter game...
    – Izkata
    Commented Dec 27, 2012 at 6:25
  • 4
    Yeah, as I said, "I realize it's also non-canon"... But the curses could still do the required damage. Commented Dec 27, 2012 at 6:27
  • 8
    Maximus Grenadeus?
    – Marriott81
    Commented Mar 26, 2014 at 9:55
  • 7
    @Marriott81 You have to pronounce it right. It's Max-EE-moos Gray-NAH-doos, with a swish and flick.
    – Benjam
    Commented Jun 20, 2014 at 17:22

The muggle story was that a gas pipe exploded. It seems to me rather likely that something must have exploded to have that happen, it is entirely possible that he simply exploded a pipeline, as the muggles believe.

  • 7
    I think that was a cover story, though. From PoA: ‘They ’ad a job coverin’ it up, din’ they, Ern?’ Stan said. ‘’Ole street blown up an’ all them Muggles dead. What was it they said ’ad ’appened, Ern?’ ‘Gas explosion,’ grunted Ernie. That was Stan Shunpike talking to Ernie Prang on the Knight Bus. It seems to indicate the gas explosion explanation was for the Muggles' benefit. Does it read that way to you as well? :) Commented Dec 27, 2012 at 4:06

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