| .: Peas From The Same Pod :.|
Good day to you my Potter-Attics. I hope you have been enjoying my recent articles. As you continue to read this article, you will find that the inspiration for this article arose from my last article ‘My Friends the Marauders’. In that article we examined the relationships between the past and present marauders. We identified that Harry was the modern equivalent to his father, as Ron is to Sirius, Hermione is to Lupin and Lily, and finally Neville is Peter Pettigrew. Today we are going to examine Pettigrew’s characteristics and eventually compare them to Neville’s. In this article, keep in mind that there is a common theory I have happening here, which is that ‘all people begin as blank canvases’. Is it not logical then that life experiences and situations are what shapes a person on how they think and live their lives?
Today we will begin with Peter Pettigrew. Peter was a man who attended Hogwarts with the past Marauders. He was a socially, mentally and physically weak person, easily influenced by others. As we don’t know very much about Pettigrew’s childhood, it leaves it up to our imaginations. From the present situation we have in the books, we will attempt to fill in the pieces of Peter Pettigrew’s life puzzle.
Peter seems to have been that slightly chubby kid in the school, who had no friends who matched himself, with no real talent; the type of person we all came to know in our school days. He was a weak person, seen as someone who would never really make much of himself in the magic world because he possessed no real talent. Much like Neville.
With no foreseeable future in or out of the school, Pettigrew attempted to find people who would look after him at school. We can assume that when he first started at school, he wouldn’t have fallen straight into the laps of the 3 marauders. It would have taken a few weeks in classes for Pettigrew to have become really close with the marauders, for the simple reason that he did not have the same qualities as James, Sirius and Remus. These boys were strong, powerful and smart, qualities that would ensure that they would get on fairly easily, qualities that Pettigrew did not possess. Pettigrew was always seen as the outsider to all around him. Evidence from POA confirms this.
‘Pettigrew… that fat little boy who was always tagging around after them (Lupin, Potter and Black) at Hogwarts?’ Madam Rosmerta Pg 154
Even McGonagall knew that Pettigrew never really fitted in, he was in a league of his own, a lesser league. Pettigrew for sure did not share the same magical talents that Sirius, James and Remus had.
‘ Never quite in their (Potter, Black and Lupin) league talent-wise.’ Professor McGonagall Pg 154
Pettigrew evidently seemed to find the biggest ‘bullies’ in the playground, and used their trusting nature as a weakness, and wormed his way into their circle of friendship. These boys in turn would protect Pettigrew to their fullest extent, for the sake of friendship.
Pettigrew had a dark secret that none of his friends knew about; it was a thirst for power notoriety. Pettigrew couldn’t get great power or respect for himself, so he used the power of others. When Pettigrew picked the marauders to be his friends, he knew that they were powerful and well respected wizards. They were on top of their society inside Hogwarts. However, when they all finished their 7 years of Hogwarts, Pettigrew soon learnt that his friends did not dominate the real world, and again Pettigrew’s thirst for power needed quenching.
‘You always liked big friends who’d look after you, didn’t you? It used to be us… me and Remus… and James…’ Sirius Pg 271
This thirst and inadequacy is what drove him into the open arms of Voldemort, the then dominating bully in the playground of life. Pettigrew had finally found what he had been waiting for. But Pettigrew soon learnt that power like that doesn’t cost anything. Pettigrew would need to betray his friends, which was an easy task for him, they weren’t really his friends anymore because they did not hold the power he needed.
Now it is my belief that a person doesn’t just go and commit a heinous act for no reason. It’s possible that what we see as small insignificant events in a persons life is what drives them to madness and stupidity. Pettigrew, an easily influenced person, needed only for one person to tell him to betray the marauders for him to commit himself to such an act. He didn’t have enough loyalty to fit the size of his little finger (probably cut off all his loyalty when he cut off his little finger). Did this arise from nothing? Is it just a trait of Pettigrew’s that he was born with? I think not.
I am just going to ramble a few ideas here, of what may have caused Pettigrew to continue to be of such weak and self-interested character. Do you think that it’s possible that boys generally ‘roughing’ each other up could have been taken the wrong way by Pettigrew? Perhaps he really did feel and know that he did not belong with the marauders. Maybe he felt they took pity on him and that’s why they remained friends with him. Is it possible that with people discussing his adequacy to be with the rest of the marauders finally took its toll on Pettigrew? Maybe Pettigrew felt that he needed to show the world that he was more important, and of a higher standard than the marauders, and what most people told him he was capable of. Maybe putting down Peter behind his back all these years is what finally made Pettigrew to turn to the dark side (sorry for the cliché).
Perhaps Peter would have turned out a different way if he was treated differently in his past. If Pettigrew wasn’t put down as much as he seemed to have been, maybe Pettigrew would not have deserted his friends, maybe Peter would have turned out for the better. This is where I find the comparison to Neville Longbottom. Neville, despite Snape’s evil little taunts, is the person tagging along behind the modern marauders. He is the fat kid who possesses no real talent, the outsider. We all know that Neville is not of the same calibre of the present marauders. He lacks the skill and intellect. But what makes Neville different to Pettigrew is the size of his heart, and the influences on his road to growing up.
During Neville’s life at Hogwarts, we have seen him being constantly taunted by Slytherins, Snape and sometimes his fellow Gryffindors. But what make’s Neville’s life at Hogwarts different to Pettigrew’s is that he has not attached himself unbreakably to a marauder. He has always been that friend in the background constantly supporting, not really doing it for any foreseeable benefit to himself. If Pettigrew ever did something, there had to always be something in it for him, as identified by Sirius in POA;
‘You never did anything for anyone unless you could see what was in it for you.’ Pg 271
This attitude of selflessness is what sets Neville apart from Pettigrew. This selflessness is what leads Neville to doing the right thing, instead of simply what he wants, like Pettigrew. As babies, all people start off as blank canvases, ready to be influenced by their life situation. Neville’s parents in death committed acts of selflessness, something Neville was always reminded of. Pettigrew grew up, as far as we can see, without any sort of influence of that matter. This is a small example of how our life situations can influence the way we live and make decisions.
There are many influences and situations in common between Neville and Peter that we can go on analysing forever, but as my holiday homework is desperately calling for me (two English essays, a tonne of modern history homework and a massive Food Technology assignment), I feel I must attend to it, and leave you to think about my random ramblings about Pettigrew and Longbottom.
Until Next Time My Potter Attics
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