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?

  • 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
    Commented Jun 21, 2014 at 10:47
  • The interview the-leaky-cauldron.org/2007/12/23/… , quoted a lot in scifi.stackexchange.com/q/59582/4918 , which says Professor Dumbledore had an alarm system at the house, may be relevant.
    – b_jonas
    Commented Feb 21, 2017 at 14:52

2 Answers 2


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.

  • 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. Commented Jun 21, 2014 at 12:38
  • 1
    @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
    Commented Jun 21, 2014 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. Commented Jun 21, 2014 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
    Commented Jun 21, 2014 at 12:58
  • 3
    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
    Commented Jul 6, 2015 at 0:34

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

  • 5
    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
    Commented Jun 20, 2014 at 20:09

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