This question shows that only Wormtail, after almost 14 years, decided to go and fish out Voldemort's wand from the wreckage

Is it hinted anywhere in the book why no one else ever tried to look for the wand until this time?

We might speculate that people assumed his wand was also destroyed in the explosion that happened, as we know from book 2 that wands are subject to irreparable damage from mechanical forces as well, but as we see from Wormtail bringing it back, this clearly did not happen with Voldemort's wand, so we can assume that wand experts in Harry Potter world would be aware of this possibility (that is, of the wand surviving). The wand also seems to be the single most important object associated with any wizard in the Harry Potter world.

Moreover, Voldemort's wand (or even it's fragments) would have been a sort of relic for both his followers or opposers, and we also know that at least Dumbledore was personally sure that Voldemort will return one day, and he had, in fact, spent years looking for people associated with Voldemort in the past or possible objects that he may have tried converting into horcruxes.

Why didn't anyone think about looking for whatever was left of Voldemort's wand in the wreckage in Godric's Hollow, until Wormtail?

  • 6
    Actually, we don't know exactly when Wormtail retrieved the wand. It could have been immediately following the Potters' death. It could have been later. JKR has said only that, yes, Wormtail was the one to retrieve it, and that rats are clever and resourceful. She never says when it happens, nor do the books AFAIK. Commented Jan 25, 2015 at 3:29
  • isn't anything about this mentioned in the chapter on Voldemort's resurrection?
    – user13267
    Commented Jan 25, 2015 at 3:30
  • 1
    but then again, why would Wormtail go looking for the wand immediately afterwards? Wormtail was supposed to be dead, and seeing how cowardly he was, I don't think he would want to be around in Godric's Hollow, rat form or not, soon after the incident. Also, most of his followers, including Wormtail I assume, thought Voldemort vanished for good, so that doesn't give him any incentive to look for the wand and hide it so that Voldemort may use it sometime in the future
    – user13267
    Commented Jan 25, 2015 at 3:35
  • 4
    Look, all I'm saying is we don't know when Wormtail salvaged the wand. If it's hinted at in any of the books, I don't know where. What is your citation for this information? Which book? What page? Which chapter? There are seven books with something like 4000+ pages ... it's important information to specifically cite. "The books" is not enough info. Hope this makes sense. :) Commented Jan 25, 2015 at 4:29
  • Umm… Perhaps it may have been a bit difficult to actually salvage it, identify its individual splinters from the rubble etc.. Maybe you would like to go fishing through a bunch of rubble looking for a certain couple of pieces(or more) of wood? I wouldn't...
    – AJL
    Commented May 31, 2015 at 20:11

2 Answers 2


Peter Pettigrew did not wait 14 years to retrieve Voldemort's wand from the Potters' home as the added first line of your question suggests. After retrieving the wand almost immediately, he was in hiding for 12 years (not 14 years).

"Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban":

You haven't been hiding from me for twelve years," said Black. "You've been hiding from Voldemort's old supporters. I heard things in Azkaban, Peter...

Wiki has your answer:

Upon his curse rebounding upon himself, Voldemort's wand was blasted from his body and landed not far away from his body in the ruin of the Potter home. After Rubeus Hagrid rescued the infant Harry from the wreckage of the house later that evening, Peter Pettigrew returned to the house and discovered the Dark Lord's wand in the wreckage[2], taking it with him as he fled the scene in order to prevent the wand from falling into the Ministry's hands and possibly exposing him as a traitor since all wands have a record of the spells they have cast and can be examined by those trained to do so. He would keep this wand in an undisclosed location for twelve long years afterwards, until the time when he could locate its true owner once again. Tom Riddle's wand

[2] Wiki has a link at the bottom in the notes that used to link to the 'rumours' section of JK Rowling's website.

Some users on reddit also verify having seen her comments on the rumours section of her website. The exact quote they attribute to JKR is:

"Strong feat for a rat, I know." http://www.reddit.com/r/harrypotter/comments/3935we/voldemorts_wand/

The rumours section of her website has been since deleted. I tried searching for the interview but could not find it.

FYI, the term "rat" here is a double entendre; a word with two meanings. In the literal sense, Peter physically could transform into a rat. However, figuratively he was a rat, somebody who snitches, which Peter did by outing the Potters. So it could be that JKR is just talking about Peter figuratively. Further when Peter transforms physically into a rat, so do his clothes, his wand, etc. So why couldn't he simply carry two wands on him in human form and then transform into a rat? Either way, JKR clearly states that Peter did get it almost immediately, and she is authoritative in canonical terms.

So your answer is in my first paragraph from wiki. Peter Pettigrew got the wand, as he didn't want anyone else discovering it and possibly exposing him as a traitor.

There is no mention of this in the book directly, but an author or writer's comments or answers to questions are canon and as good as what's in the books. Sometimes it's even better, as writers will tell you just because a character in a book says something, doesn't make it so. As explained to me by more experienced users on the site, it is commonly referred to as "The Word of God."


JMFB's answers is of course correct, but if we want to have deeper insight, let's approach this chrono(+)logically.

I admit, I still have some gaps

Voldemort tries to kill Harry, the rebound curse destroys the house and Fidelius charm as well.

Hagrid, who is first to report to the scene, takes Harry (not sure if he arrives on Black's flying motorcycle but he's got to get it soon, because he takes Harry to Dumbledore on this motorcycle.)

Sirius gave him the motorcycle because he knew Pettigrew was the keeper of the secret so he went after him.

They had the showdown in the street where Peter blew up the street, 12 muggles and his little finger before transforming into rat. He stayed in this form until events of Prisoner of Azkaban.

Now Rowling said it was Peter who took the wand. Also implying he did it while in the rat form. We can assume it was:

a) before Hagrid showed up - pretty unlikely. He would lose the wand during showdown with Sirius.
b) after Hagrid but before showdown - same reason as a)
c) after the showdown when Sirius was arrested - most probable option
d) X years after that - unlikely. Investigators / Dumbledore / Death Eaters would search for it.

P.S: someone please help with formatting, the tools are broken for me at the moment.

  • I don't see why he would lose the wand in the showdown with Sirius if he'd already gone to salvage it and had it stashed away somewhere for safe-keeping. He needn't have had it with him in the showdown at all. Commented Jun 18, 2015 at 10:34
  • True, but why would he pick up the wand in the rat form then? He must have had reason to hide.
    – Zikato
    Commented Jun 18, 2015 at 10:36
  • Presumably no one except Sirius (probably not even any of the other Death Eaters) knew that he was the snitching Secret Keeper. Apart from Sirius, no one on the ‘right side’ even knew he was a bad ’un. It would have been silly to risk being seen as Pettigrew picking up the wand and thus outed as a Voldy supporter just when his master had fallen, all things considered. Possibly he was already planning to fake his own death and frame Sirius, which would make it even more important not to be seen or recognised. Commented Jun 18, 2015 at 10:41
  • He may have been in rat form because the first Ministry Wizards were arriving on the scene: a man walking in would have been obvious, but nobody would suspect a rat.
    – Jon Story
    Commented Jun 18, 2015 at 14:54
  • Thanks for the props, unfortunately I guess user 13267 doesn't feel it's the correct answer. I would like to offer you one thing that may help with your confusion. The term "rat" doesn't just mean the animal in this case it's a double entendre, a word that has two intended meanings. He physically did turn into a rat. But he was also a rat in terms of his character. Somebody who snitches is called a rat which is exactly what he did by outing the Potters. So I think JKR could have meant it either way. I think she meant it figuratively not literally. Hope this helps.
    – JMFB
    Commented Jun 18, 2015 at 22:50

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