Wormtail's debt

Wormtail succomes to the silver hand

Extract from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

by J.K. Rowling

‘You’re going to kill me?’ Harry choked, attempting to prise off the metal fingers.

‘After I saved your life? You owe me, Wormtail!’

The silver fingers slackened. Harry had not expected it: he wrenched himself free, astonished, keeping his hand over Wormtail’s mouth. He saw the rat-like man’s small, watery eyes widen with fear and surprise: he seemed just as shocked as Harry at what his hand had done, at the tiny, merciful impulse it had betrayed, and he continued to struggle more powerfully, as though to undo that moment of weakness.

‘And we’ll have that,’ whispered Ron, tugging Wormtail’s wand from his other hand.

Wandless, helpless, Pettigrew’s pupils dilated in terror. His eyes had slid from Harry’s face to something else. His own silver fingers were moving inexorably towards his own throat. ‘No –’ Without pausing to think, Harry tried to drag back the hand, but there was no stopping it. The silver tool that Voldemort had given his most cowardly servant had turned upon its Disarmed and useless owner; Pettigrew was reaping his reward for his hesitation, his moment of pity; he was being strangled before their eyes. ‘No!’ Ron had released Wormtail too, and together he and Harry tried to pull the crushing metal fingers from around Wormtail’s throat, but it was no use. Pettigrew was turning blue. ‘Relashio!’ said Ron, pointing the wand at the silver hand, but nothing happened; Pettigrew dropped to his knees, and at the same moment, Hermione gave a dreadful scream from overhead. Wormtail’s eyes rolled upwards in his purple face, he gave a last twitch and was still. Harry and Ron looked at each other, then, leaving Wormtail’s body on the floor behind them, ran up the stairs and back into the shadowy passageway leading to the drawing room.