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Why Wasn’t Peter Pettigrew in Slytherin House?

Why Wasn’t Peter Pettigrew in Slytherin House?

We can likely agree that Peter Pettigrew (aka Scabbers or Wormtail) was not a very good friend, wizard, or person. Many people think he belonged in Slytherin House during his time at Hogwarts.

During his years there, he attached himself to Sirius Black, James Potter, and Remus Lupin. The four of them stirred up trouble around Hogwarts and called themselves The Marauders (one who pillages or plunders).

These four friends created The Marauder’s Map, a magical map that revealed every inch of Hogwarts and the surrounding grounds along with every witch, wizard, and creature regardless of jinxes.

Peter Pettigrew arguably possesses more Slytherin character traits than Gryffindor ones. After all, he was very sneaky, sly, and didn’t mind betraying his friends if it benefited him in the end.

Slytherins are ambitious, cunning, resourceful, clever, and determined.

Peter Pettigrew was not a Slytherin because he lacked ambition and determination. He didn’t seek power or authority the way most Slytherins do. All he wanted to do was survive, and he latched onto whoever would help him do that.

Reasons Why Peter Pettigrew Wasn’t in Slytherin House?

1. The Sorting Hat said so

Peter was one of the only two true hatstalls the Sorting Hat ever had; the other was Minerva McGonagall. So, the enchanted Hat debated for five long minutes before finally deciding to place Peter in Gryffindor.

The Sorting Hat takes multiple things into account when sorting students, including the student’s preferred house along with their character traits. Many think the Hat can see future characteristics of the young witches and wizards since they’re only eleven years old when sorting happens.

The Hat must have seen something in Pettigrew to warrant placing him in the heroic Gryffindor House.

2. Wasn’t ambitious

Slytherins are very ambitious, and as previously mentioned, Pettigrew had no ambition or drive whatsoever. He reaped the benefits of the work people had done before him, and he was perfectly fine doing so.

Perhaps his most comfortable role was playing servant to Voldemort and obeying his every command. At least he had something to do and someone to tell him how to do it.

3. Had moments of courage and bravery

It definitely took courage to join the Order of the Phoenix, a private group created by Albus Dumbledore to defy Voldemort’s rise to power.

Granted, he only joined because his friends did, but he still joined, nonetheless. A true Slytherin would never join the Order in the first place.

Like joining the Order of the Phoenix, Peter had moments throughout his life where he was indeed bold and courageous. For example, he was one of few Death Eaters who dared to call Voldemort by his name.

And in the final moments of his life, he attempted to kill Harry but hesitated when Harry reminded him that he had previously spared Pettigrew’s life.

This little hesitation provided the slightest glimpse of redemption for Pettigrew before his death, proving that he wasn’t all bad.

4. Wanted to be a hero

Slytherins don’t care about valor; they are power-hungry. Young Peter Pettigrew longed to be a hero like his friends, but he could never live up to their achievements or heroic nature. James, Sirius, and Remus frequently picked on other students, like Severus Snape, and Peter was the least likely of the four to enjoy this.

He only went along with it because he wanted to be accepted.

He deeply admired brave people and wanted to be brave just like them, which is why he wanted to be in Gryffindor House from the moment he got to Hogwarts.

5. He was persistent

Peter Pettigrew Scabbers Rat

Slytherins aren’t necessarily known for their persistence, and they tend to give up when things get hard. And it’s no secret that Peter Pettigrew had one sole determination – to do whatever it took to stay alive. So, at the very least, he didn’t lack the persistence of a Gryffindor.

He also shows how persistent he was when he morphed into a rat to avoid detection by the Death Eaters. They assumed he was responsible for Lord Voldemort’s defeat.

Pettigrew spends 12 long years as Percy Weasley and then Ron Weasley’s pet rat. That takes dedication.

6. Will be remembered historically

A key character trait of a Gryffindor is they want to go down in history for their adventures, bravery, and achievements. While Peter will never be remembered for any “good” things he did other than spare Harry’s life, people will not forget him.

We will always know Peter as the one who betrayed the Potters to Voldemort, which got them killed. He then used magic to create an explosion that killed 12 muggles.

Finally, he pinned Lily and James Potter’s murders on Sirius Black, who was sentenced to Azkaban. Without a doubt, Gryffindors don’t want to go down in history this way, but he will nonetheless.

7. Made reckless decisions

Gryffindors are notorious for making rash decisions without considering all the potential consequences, while Slytherins are more calculated. And we know Peter accounted for many poor, reckless choices during his life.

Perhaps the most dangerous thing he ever did was become an Animagus along with James and Sirius, which was illegal at the time. They did this to support Remus, who had become a werewolf.

It was so dangerous because werewolves were unpredictable, and of course, Peter chose to become the smallest, most accessible creature for a werewolf to prey on – a rat.

Had he thought through things more logically, he may have realized that his best friends (whom he betrayed) thought of him as family and loved him dearly.

His life could’ve taken a much better turn, and he might have grown into a great leader and hero.

8. Willing to bend the rules

Peter Pettigrew didn’t just bend the rules; he broke them. A Gryffindor always tries to do the right thing, and Peter Pettigrew is no exception.

He didn’t purposefully set out as a young wizard to deceive, murder, and eventually, play a key role in Voldemort’s rebirth.

This is where he differs from a Slytherin. Slytherins are more open about the fact that they never intend to keep the rules in the first place unless they benefit them.

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