Of course the last thing any DECENT person wants is to get all psychological (heh!), but I seem to recall that when Peter “died”, some thing (Was it his finger? His Order of Merlin? ARGH, I’ve misplaced my copy of PoA – *THE FLY voice* heeeeellllp me! heeeellllp me!) was sent to his mother – note, not to his parents – to his mother. Had Peter lost his father? Had he grown up feeling an aching desire for a strong male figure to act as his protector? Sirius says plainly that Peter deliberately attached himself to the strongest people around (although Sirius is speaking as bitterly as possible of Pettigrew (there is something in me that guesses that Sirius never did like Peter as well as Remus and James did), there is no reason to doubt the essential truth of what he says – although I suspect that Sirius’ anger is made even worse by his own consciousness that his own oh-so-clever idea to make Peter the Secret-keeper pretty much sealed James’ and Lily’s fate). Is it McGonagall who says that Peter hero-worshipped James and Sirius? Hero-worship is (in my opinion) a good thing when directed to a good hero; but when the Hero becomes simply the Superman, as in Carlyle and Nietzsche, the hero-worshipper quickly descends from worshipping Strength to worshipping Force, from worshipping Force to worshipping Violence, from worshipping Violence to worshipping Evil. That is what happened to Peter; but I don’t quite think it would have happened unless the Marauders had become a much less tight-knit group than before. Think of it, folks – just as with Remus (and Harry!) a boy who has never had any male companionship finds a bunch of fellows who seem to love him, and (oh, joy!) those guys are also the coolest guys in the school. (Think David Copperfield and Steerforth, or, if you prefer, the Scoobies and Buffy.) What would it feel like if all that started oozing away? If James was going off with that Yoko – I mean, Lily, and Sirius never did like you, really, and even Remus didn’t seem to have time for you anymore–and then along came Someone Else who was REALLY interested in you (“I’ve never had a friend who cared as much as YOU, Tom”), Someone who was the most Important Someone in the world (a lot more important than your old High School buddies, who didn’t care about you anyway, and you’ll show ‘em), who was going to be Just Like a Father to You (That was Barty Crouch’s fantasy, too, remember?), and who was just asking you to pass on a little bit of harmless information–at first. And then the information turned out not to be quite so harmless. And now you’re stuck. You long to go to someone – but what would they say if you admitted that you had given information to Hitl – I mean, Lord Voldemort? Sirius Black, that stuck up prig, he would probably kill you (God, what a temper he has!), even if Voldemort didn’t. And so things get worse and worse and worse: you hate Voldemort more and more every day for making you do these things, and he KNOWS that you do – so you have to start proving your loyalty, over and over and over, by progressively worse and worse crimes, until –
I don’t know. I’m terrified by the thought of what I’D have done if I were in Peter’s place. That’s one reason why I hope he’s finally forgiven.
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