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[[File:Animagus.gif|frame|[[Minerva McGonagall]], registered Animagus.]]{{Quote|Please, sir. An Animagus is a wizard who elects to turn into an animal. A [[werewolf]] has no choice in the matter.|[[Hermione Granger]] discussing the differences between an Animagus and a [[werewolf]]|Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film)}}
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[[File:Tumblr_m9zpezuAtf1qlxnhco2_250.gif|frame|[[Minerva McGonagall]], a registered Animagus]]
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{{Quote|Please, sir. An Animagus is a wizard who elects to turn into an animal. A [[werewolf]] has no choice in the matter.|[[Hermione Granger]] discussing the differences between an Animagus and a [[werewolf]]|Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film)}}
   
An '''Animagus''' (pl. ''Animagi'') is a [[Wizardkind|witch or wizard]] who can morph him- or herself into an animal at will. It is a learned, rather than hereditary skill, unlike those of a [[Metamorphmagus]]. Information on Animagi is taught to Hogwarts students during their [[third year]] [[Transfiguration (class)|Transfiguration class]].
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An '''Animagus''' (pl. ''Animagi'') is a [[Wizardkind|witch or wizard]] who can morph him or herself into an animal at will. It is a learned, rather than hereditary skill, unlike those of a [[Metamorphmagus]]. Information on Animagi is taught to Hogwarts students during their [[third year]] [[Transfiguration (class)|Transfiguration class]].
   
 
==Acquiring the skill==
 
==Acquiring the skill==
[[File:Padfoot.jpg|thumb|250px|[[Sirius Black]] as "Padfoot," one of the four known unregistered Animagi.]]
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[[File:Padfoot.png|thumb|left|250px|[[Sirius Black]] as "Padfoot," one of the four known (modern) unregistered Animagi]]
Only very powerful and skilled wizards are able to become Animagi. The process of becoming an Animagus is long and arduous, and has the potential to backfire and cause the transformation to go horribly wrong. Once the initial training is over, an Animagus can change at will at any time, with or without a [[wand]].
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Only powerful and skilled wizards and witches are able to become Animagi. The process of becoming an Animagus is long and arduous, and has the potential to backfire and cause the transformation to go horribly wrong. Many witches and wizards simply feel that their time might better be employed in other ways, as the skill is of limited practical use unless one has a great need of disguise or concealment.<ref name="TBB">''[[The Tales of Beedle the Bard (real)|The Tales of Beedle the Bard]]'' - Albus Dumbledore's commentary for "[[Babbitty Rabbitty and her Cackling Stump]]"</ref> Once the initial training is over, an Animagus can change at will, with or without a [[wand]].
   
Animagi can only take on the form of one specific animal. This animal form is not chosen by the wizard, but determined by their personality and inner traits. It is unknown whether Animagi can take the form of a [[Beast|more "magical" creature]]. An Animagus in animal form is also not restrained by the lifespan limit of the creature that they otherwise transform into, seen in the case of [[Wormtail]], who stayed in the form of a rat for at least twelve years, remaining alive despite the fact that rodents have a short lifespan.
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Animagi can only take on the form of one specific animal. This animal form is not chosen by the wizard, but determined by their personality and inner traits<ref>[http://www.accio-quote.org/articles/2004/0304-wbd.htm 2004 World Book Day Chat]</ref>. It may also be that the full-bodied Patronus may reveal what a witch or wizard would turn into if they were an Animagus. For example, [[Minerva McGonagall]], a known cat Animagus, also had the Patronus of a cat. Apparently, the form the Patronus takes may be determined by the same inner-traits as the Animagus form. An Animagus in animal form is also not restrained by the lifespan limit of the creature that they otherwise transform into, seen in the case of [[Peter Pettigrew]], who stayed in the form of a rat for at least twelve years, remaining alive despite the fact that rodents have a short lifespan.
   
Each Animagus bears an identifying mark on their animal form that is caused by something on their human body. This may be a physical trait like dental structure, or an acquired trait such as glasses. For example, both [[Minerva McGonagall]] and [[Rita Skeeter]] have markings on their Animagus forms caused by their spectacles, and [[Peter Pettigrew]] had a bald spot on his Animagus form from his balding head. If an Animagus undergoes a major physical change, such as the loss of a limb, their animal form will also reflect that, as in the case of Peter Pettigrew's finger.<ref>[[Peter Pettigrew]]/Scabbers in ''[[Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban]]''</ref>
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Each Animagus bears an identifying mark on their animal form that is caused by something on their human body. This may be a physical trait like dental structure, or an acquired trait such as glasses. For example, both [[Minerva McGonagall]] and [[Rita Skeeter]] have markings on their Animagus forms caused by their spectacles, and [[Peter Pettigrew]] had a bald spot on his Animagus form from his balding head. If an Animagus undergoes a major physical change, such as the loss of a limb, their animal form will also reflect that, as in the case of Peter Pettigrew missing a finger.<ref>[[Peter Pettigrew]]/Scabbers in {{POA}}</ref>
[[File:Scabbers The Rat.jpg|thumb|300px|Unregistered Animagus Peter Pettigrew as "Scabbers".]]
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[[File:Scabbers_The_Rat.jpg|thumb|250px|Unregistered Animagus Peter Pettigrew as "Scabbers"]]
   
In addition, an Animagus will appear to lose their clothing upon morphing. The clothing will reappear upon re-establishing the human form. What physically happens to the clothing is unknown. A strong possibility, however, is that the clothing is enchanted beforehand, and will morph/disappear with the person as they do so. An example is when Peter Pettigrew morphs into a rat whilst [[Sirius Black]] and [[Severus Snape]] are occupied detaining the werewolf-[[Remus Lupin]].<ref>''[[Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film)]]''</ref> Another explanation is for the Animagus to concentrate upon their clothing, which may or may not have inverse effects upon morphing back to their human form.
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In addition, an Animagus will appear to lose their clothing upon morphing. The clothing will reappear upon re-establishing the human form. What physically happens to the clothing is unknown. A strong possibility, however, is that the clothing is enchanted beforehand, and will morph/disappear with the person as they do so. An example is when [[Peter Pettigrew]] morphs into a rat whilst [[Sirius Black]] and [[Severus Snape]] are occupied detaining the werewolf [[Remus Lupin]].<ref>''[[Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film)]]''</ref> Another explanation would be if the clothes themselves are physically involved in the morphing, i.e. transforming into the skin and fur of the animal form.
   
 
==Transfiguration vs. Animagus transformation==
 
==Transfiguration vs. Animagus transformation==
[[File:Prongs.jpg|thumb|left|James Potter was also an Animagus, and could turn into a stag.]]
 
The difference between [[Transfiguration]] and the Animagus transformation ability is that an Animagus can change into an animal whenever they want, without a wand or an incantation. Being an Animagus is an ability, and Transfiguring requires a spell. An Animagus still thinks as a human does when they are in their animal form, seeing as Rita Skeeter was able to eavesdrop on others' conversations when she was in the form of a beetle. However, an Animagus's feelings are not as complex when they are in their animal form.
 
   
Animagi also has the ability to communicate with normal animals. There seems to be a clear understanding of want and need in this ability, but the full extent and quality is unknown. Sirius Black's Animagus form, a black dog named [[Sirius Black|Padfoot]] or Snuffles (as nicknamed by Harry, Ron, and Hermione), was able to communicate on a rudimentary level with [[Crookshanks]], [[Hermione Granger]]'s part-[[kneazle]] cat. The precise form of communication is yet unknown, though it is probably not telepathy since Sirius did not know Crookshanks' name until Hermione told him. As well, Peter Pettigrew picked up hints and directions from passing rats as he traveled around Albania in search of [[Tom Riddle|Voldemort]].
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The difference between [[Transfiguration]] and the Animagus transformation ability is that an Animagus can change into an animal whenever they want, without a wand or an incantation. Being an Animagus is an ability, and Transfiguring requires a spell. An Animagus still thinks as a human does when they are in their animal form, seeing as Rita Skeeter was able to eavesdrop on others' conversations when she was in the form of a beetle. However, an Animagus' feelings are not as complex when they are in their animal form.
   
[[File:Pettigrew to Wormtail.gif|frame|[[Peter Pettigrew]] re-transformed himself as a rat.]]
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Animagi also have the ability to communicate with normal animals. There seems to be a clear understanding of want and need in this ability, but the full extent and quality is unknown. [[Sirius Black]]'s Animagus form, a black dog named [[Sirius Black|Padfoot]] or Snuffles (as nicknamed by Harry, Ron, and Hermione), was able to communicate on a rudimentary level with [[Crookshanks]], [[Hermione Granger]]'s part-[[kneazle]] cat. The precise form of communication is yet unknown, though it is probably not telepathy since Sirius did not know Crookshanks' name until Hermione told him. As well, Peter Pettigrew picked up hints and directions from passing rats as he traveled around Albania in search of [[Tom Riddle|Voldemort]].
There is a particular spell which creates a blue and white flash that will force an Animagus out of their animal form. Remus Lupin and Sirius Black once used it to force Peter Pettigrew out of his rat form. This spell could possibly be the [[Homorphus Charm]] that [[Gilderoy Lockhart]] claims he used on the [[Wagga Wagga Werewolf]] to force him into his human form.
 
   
It is also important to note that a werewolf is fundamentally different from Animagi. [[Lycanthropy]] is caused by a blood infection transmitted through the bite of a werewolf, whereas the Animagus skill is learned. The werewolves cannot keep their minds after a transformation (unless they take the [[Wolfsbane Potion]]), nor can they control themselves when they transform, while Animagi can do both. However, as werewolves only harm humans, Animagi, while in their animal forms, are safe to be in the company of werewolves.
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[[File:Pettigrew_to_Wormtail.gif|frame|[[Peter Pettigrew]] re-transformed himself as a rat]]
  +
There is a [[Animagus reversal spell|particular spell]] which creates a blue and white flash that will force an Animagus out of its animal form. Remus Lupin and Sirius Black once used it to force Peter Pettigrew out of his rat form. This spell could possibly be the [[Homorphus Charm]] that [[Gilderoy Lockhart]] claims he used on the [[Wagga Wagga Werewolf]] to force him into his human form.
  +
  +
It is also important to note that werewolves are fundamentally different from Animagi. [[Lycanthropy]] is caused by a blood infection transmitted through the bite of a werewolf, whereas the Animagus skill is learned. The werewolves cannot keep their minds after a transformation (unless they take the [[Wolfsbane Potion]]), nor can they control themselves when they transform, while Animagi can do both. However, as werewolves only harm humans, Animagi, while in their animal forms, are safe to be in the company of werewolves.
   
 
==Wizarding law==
 
==Wizarding law==
[[File:Skeeter.jpg|thumb|right|200px|Known unregistered Animagus Rita Skeeter.]]
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{{Quote|You know that I can disguise myself most effectively.|[[Peter Pettigrew]] speaking about his advantage of being unregistered.|Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire}}
{{Quote|[[Rita Skeeter]] isn't going to be writing anything at all for a while. Not unless she wants me to spill the beans on her... I found out how she was listening in on private conversations when she wasn't supposed to be coming into the grounds... Rita Skeeter is an unregistered Animagus. She can turn into a beetle... I've told her she’s to keep her quill to herself for a whole year. See if she can't break the habit of writing horrible lies about people.|[[Hermione Granger]] on her blackmail of Rita Skeeter.|Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire}}
 
   
Every Animagus is required to register with the [[British Ministry of Magic|Ministry of Magic]] at the [[Improper Use of Magic Office]]. This registration includes revealing one's animal form and one's distinguishing markings. The register is available to the public. The primary reason for registration is to ensure the Animagi do not abuse their abilities, as the Ministry is able to keep track of them. One example is because Sirius Black is an unregistered Animagus, he was able to use his form to escape from [[Azkaban]], as the Ministry did not take this into account when imprisoning him.
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[[File:Skeeter.jpg|thumb|left|170px|Known unregistered Animagus Rita Skeeter]]
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Every Animagus is required to register with the [[British Ministry of Magic|Ministry of Magic]] at the [[Improper Use of Magic Office]]. This registration includes revealing one's animal form and one's distinguishing markings. The [[Animagus Registry|register]] is available to the public. The primary reason for registration is to ensure the Animagi do not abuse their abilities, as the Ministry is able to keep track of them. A prime example is that, because Sirius Black is an unregistered Animagus, he was able to use his form to escape from [[Azkaban]], as the Ministry did not take this into account when imprisoning him. Peter Pettigrew managed to fake his death and hid from the rest of the world in his Animagus form because he did not register either, and he referred it as an effective disguise to the Dark Lord.
   
The penalty for failing to register as an Animagus is a sentence in Azkaban,<ref>In Chapter 25 of ''Order of the Phoenix'', [[Hermione Granger]] instructed [[Rita Skeeter]] to interview [[Harry Potter]] truthfully and free of charge, commenting, "Otherwise, as you very well know, I will inform the authorities that you are an unregistered Animagus. Of course, the ''Prophet'' might give you rather a lot for an insider's account of life in Azkaban."</ref> though the length of time is unknown. Rita Skeeter gave up an entire year of writing articles, her main means of livelihood, so that Hermione Granger would not turn her in as unregistered, and consented to writing an article free of charge at Hermione's request. That suggests that it is either a lengthy sentence or being sent to Azkaban for any length of time is bad enough.
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The penalty for failing to register as an Animagus is a sentence in Azkaban,<ref>In Chapter 25 of ''Order of the Phoenix'', [[Hermione Granger]] instructed [[Rita Skeeter]] to interview [[Harry Potter]] truthfully and free of charge, commenting, "Otherwise, as you very well know, I will inform the authorities that you are an unregistered Animagus. Of course, the ''Prophet'' might give you rather a lot for an insider's account of life in Azkaban."</ref> although the length of time is unknown. Rita Skeeter gave up an entire year of writing articles, her main means of livelihood, so that Hermione Granger would not turn her in as unregistered, and consented to writing an article free of charge at Hermione's request. That suggests either a rather lengthy sentence, or the fact that being sent to Azkaban for any length of time is a considerably bad punishment to begin with.
   
Due to the complexity of the magic involved in becoming an Animagus, they have become very rare. There were a total of seven registered Animagi in the twentieth century. It is also partially because of this complexity that Animagi are required to register themselves.
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Due to the complexity of the magic involved in becoming an Animagus, they have become very rare. There were a total of seven known registered Animagi in the twentieth century. It is also partially because of this complexity that Animagi are required to register themselves.
   
 
==Known Animagi==
 
==Known Animagi==
 
<!-- DO NOT ADD GODRIC GRFFINDOR, JK ROWLING STATED SHE WAS JOKING -->
 
<!-- DO NOT ADD GODRIC GRFFINDOR, JK ROWLING STATED SHE WAS JOKING -->
*[[Falco Aesalon]] — Falcon; the first recorded Animagus; the registration system was not in existence in his time.
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*[[Falco Aesalon]] — falcon; the first recorded Animagus; the registration system was not in existence in his time.
*[[Morgan le Fay]] — Bird; the registration system was not in existence in her time.
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*[[Morgan le Fay]] — bird; the registration system was not in existence in her time.
*[[Cliodna]] — Sea Bird; the registration system was not in existence in her time
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*[[Cliodna]] — seabird; the registration system was not in existence in her time
*[[Minerva McGonagall]] — Tabby [[cat]]; registered.
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*[[Minerva McGonagall]] — tabby [[cat]]; registered.
*[[James Potter I|James Potter]] — Large [[Deer|Stag]]; unregistered.
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*[[Sirius Black]] — large black [[Dog|dog]]; unregistered.
*[[Sirius Black]] — Large Black [[Dog]]; unregistered.
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*[[James Potter I|James Potter]] — large [[Deer|stag]]; unregistered.
*[[Peter Pettigrew]] — [[Rat]]; unregistered.
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*[[Peter Pettigrew]] — [[Rat|rat]]; unregistered.
*[[Rita Skeeter]] — [[Beetle]]; unregistered.
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*[[Rita Skeeter]] — [[Beetle|beetle]]; unregistered.
*[[Unidentified registered Animagus|Unidentified witch]] — Cat; registered.
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*[[Unidentified registered Animagus|Unidentified witch]] — cat; registered.
*[[Babbitty]] — [[Babbitty Rabbitty and her Cackling Stump|Fictional character]]. [[Rabbit]]
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*[[Babbitty]] — [[Babbitty Rabbitty and her Cackling Stump|fictional character]]; [[Rabbit|rabbit]]
<gallery captionalign="left">
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Falco Aesalon1.jpg|[[Falco Aesalon]]
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Morgan Le Fay.jpg|[[Morgan le Fay]]
 
Cliodne.jpg|[[Cliodna]]
 
McGeee.PNG|[[Minerva McGonagall]]
 
Thebestmainimageofjamespotter.jpg|[[James Potter I|James Potter]]
 
Sirius.JPG|[[Sirius Black]]
 
Petercasadelosgritso.jpg|[[Peter Pettigrew]]
 
RSkeeter.jpg|[[Rita Skeeter]]
 
Unidentified Registered Animagus.jpg|[[Unidentified registered Animagus|Unidentified witch]]
 
</gallery>
 
   
 
==Etymology==
 
==Etymology==
Combination of the word "''animal''" and the Latin word "''magus''", meaning "''animal [[Wizardkind|wizard]]''".
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''Animagus'' is a combination of the word "''animal''" and the Latin word "''magus''," meaning "''animal [[Wizardkind|wizard]]''."
   
 
==Behind the scenes==
 
==Behind the scenes==
*[[J. K. Rowling]] has stated that she would fancy an otter — her favourite animal — as her Animagus form, though if she actually transformed, she suspects she might be "a guinea pig or something, which would be quite embarrassing."<ref name="cubreporter">[http://www.accio-quote.org/articles/2005/0705-edinburgh-ITVcubreporters.htm Edinburgh "cub reporter" Press Conference, available via Accio Quote!]</ref>
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* [[J. K. Rowling]] has stated that she would fancy an otter — her favourite animal — as her Animagus form, though if she actually transformed, she suspects she might be "a guinea pig or something, which would be quite embarrassing."<ref name="cubreporter">[http://www.accio-quote.org/articles/2005/0705-edinburgh-ITVcubreporters.htm Edinburgh "cub reporter" Press Conference, available via Accio Quote!]</ref>
*[[J. K. Rowling]] once joked that [[Godric Gryffindor]] was actually the [[Giant Squid]] in the [[Hogwarts lake]].
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* [[J. K. Rowling]] once joked that [[Godric Gryffindor]] was actually the [[Giant Squid]] in the [[Hogwarts lake]].
*According to [[Wizards' Ordinary Magic and Basic Aptitude Test|W.O.M.B.A.T.]], an Animagus transformation is two of the following: a kind of Self-[[Transfiguration]], a kind of Self-[[Charm]], or a kind of magic that is neither Transfiguration nor Charm. You are asked to pick the statement that is incorrect. This would mean Animagus transformation is either a kind of Self-Tranfiguration but not actually a Transfiguration or Charm spell, a kind of Self-Charm but not actually a Transfiguration or Charm spell, or a kind of Self-Transfiguration and Charm spell.
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* According to [[Wizards' Ordinary Magic and Basic Aptitude Test|W.O.M.B.A.T.]], an Animagus transformation is two of the following: a kind of Self-[[Transfiguration]], a kind of Self-[[Charm]], or a kind of magic that is neither Transfiguration nor Charm. You are asked to pick the statement that is incorrect. This would mean Animagus transformation is either a kind of Self-Tranfiguration but not actually a Transfiguration or Charm spell, a kind of Self-Charm but not actually a Transfiguration or Charm spell, or a kind of Self-Transfiguration and Charm spell.
*In the [[Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film)|film adaptation]] of ''[[Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban]]'', Peter Pettigrew is fully clothed when he transforms to his human form in the Shrieking Shack, but later, when he transforms to a rat, he leaves his clothes behind.
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* In the [[Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film)|film adaptation]] of ''[[Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban]]'', Peter Pettigrew is fully clothed when he transforms to his human form in the Shrieking Shack, but later, when he transforms to a rat, he leaves his clothes behind.
*Also in the film adaptation of ''Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban'' Sirius's Animagus form is a large tough looking dog but in ''Order of Phoenix'' he looks more like a kind harmless dog. It could be that he fixed his appearances.
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* Also in the film adaptation of ''Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban'' Sirius's Animagus form is a large tough looking dog but in ''Order of Phoenix'' he looks more like a kind harmless dog. It could be that he fixed his appearances.
*An Animagus does not know what his or her animal form will be prior to the transformation.<ref name="cubreporter" />
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* An Animagus does not know what his or her animal form will be prior to the transformation.<ref name="cubreporter" />
*The first three known animagi before the registration system were birds similarly both known animagi that are registered are felines.
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* Interestingly, the first three known Animagi prior to the registration system all took the form of birds (Falco Aesalon, Morgan le Fey and Cliodna). The two known registered Animagi both become cats (Minerva McGonagall and an unknown witch).
  +
* [[Albus Dumbledore]] made a note within ''[[The Tales of Beedle the Bard (real)|The Tales of Beedle the Bard]]'' to explain for [[Minerva McGonagall]] that, while Animagus are usually people who seek to avoid punishment when they broken the law, she merely became one to further her studies in Transfiguration. She learned to become an Animagus under Dumbledore's tutelage during her time as a student.<ref name="TBB" />
   
 
==See also==
 
==See also==
Line 83: Line 81:
 
*''[[Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1]] ''
 
*''[[Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1]] ''
 
*''[[Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2]] ''
 
*''[[Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2]] ''
  +
*''[[The Tales of Beedle the Bard (real)|The Tales of Beedle the Bard]]''
 
*''[[LEGO Harry Potter: Building the Magical World]]''
 
*''[[LEGO Harry Potter: Building the Magical World]]''
 
*''[[LEGO Harry Potter: Characters of the Magical World]]''
 
*''[[LEGO Harry Potter: Characters of the Magical World]]''
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[[fi:Animaagi]]
 
[[fi:Animaagi]]
 
[[Category:Animagi| ]]
 
[[Category:Animagi| ]]
[[Category:Articles related to werewolves]] O
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[[Category:Articles related to werewolves]]

Latest revision as of 17:51, April 7, 2014

Tumblr m9zpezuAtf1qlxnhco2 250
Minerva McGonagall, a registered Animagus
"Please, sir. An Animagus is a wizard who elects to turn into an animal. A werewolf has no choice in the matter."
Hermione Granger discussing the differences between an Animagus and a werewolf[src]

An Animagus (pl. Animagi) is a witch or wizard who can morph him or herself into an animal at will. It is a learned, rather than hereditary skill, unlike those of a Metamorphmagus. Information on Animagi is taught to Hogwarts students during their third year Transfiguration class.

Acquiring the skillEdit

Padfoot
Sirius Black as "Padfoot," one of the four known (modern) unregistered Animagi
FredWiltersenAdded by FredWiltersen

Only powerful and skilled wizards and witches are able to become Animagi. The process of becoming an Animagus is long and arduous, and has the potential to backfire and cause the transformation to go horribly wrong. Many witches and wizards simply feel that their time might better be employed in other ways, as the skill is of limited practical use unless one has a great need of disguise or concealment.[1] Once the initial training is over, an Animagus can change at will, with or without a wand.

Animagi can only take on the form of one specific animal. This animal form is not chosen by the wizard, but determined by their personality and inner traits[2]. It may also be that the full-bodied Patronus may reveal what a witch or wizard would turn into if they were an Animagus. For example, Minerva McGonagall, a known cat Animagus, also had the Patronus of a cat. Apparently, the form the Patronus takes may be determined by the same inner-traits as the Animagus form. An Animagus in animal form is also not restrained by the lifespan limit of the creature that they otherwise transform into, seen in the case of Peter Pettigrew, who stayed in the form of a rat for at least twelve years, remaining alive despite the fact that rodents have a short lifespan.

Each Animagus bears an identifying mark on their animal form that is caused by something on their human body. This may be a physical trait like dental structure, or an acquired trait such as glasses. For example, both Minerva McGonagall and Rita Skeeter have markings on their Animagus forms caused by their spectacles, and Peter Pettigrew had a bald spot on his Animagus form from his balding head. If an Animagus undergoes a major physical change, such as the loss of a limb, their animal form will also reflect that, as in the case of Peter Pettigrew missing a finger.[3]

Scabbers The Rat
Unregistered Animagus Peter Pettigrew as "Scabbers"
SnapeFan1Added by SnapeFan1

In addition, an Animagus will appear to lose their clothing upon morphing. The clothing will reappear upon re-establishing the human form. What physically happens to the clothing is unknown. A strong possibility, however, is that the clothing is enchanted beforehand, and will morph/disappear with the person as they do so. An example is when Peter Pettigrew morphs into a rat whilst Sirius Black and Severus Snape are occupied detaining the werewolf Remus Lupin.[4] Another explanation would be if the clothes themselves are physically involved in the morphing, i.e. transforming into the skin and fur of the animal form.

Transfiguration vs. Animagus transformationEdit

The difference between Transfiguration and the Animagus transformation ability is that an Animagus can change into an animal whenever they want, without a wand or an incantation. Being an Animagus is an ability, and Transfiguring requires a spell. An Animagus still thinks as a human does when they are in their animal form, seeing as Rita Skeeter was able to eavesdrop on others' conversations when she was in the form of a beetle. However, an Animagus' feelings are not as complex when they are in their animal form.

Animagi also have the ability to communicate with normal animals. There seems to be a clear understanding of want and need in this ability, but the full extent and quality is unknown. Sirius Black's Animagus form, a black dog named Padfoot or Snuffles (as nicknamed by Harry, Ron, and Hermione), was able to communicate on a rudimentary level with Crookshanks, Hermione Granger's part-kneazle cat. The precise form of communication is yet unknown, though it is probably not telepathy since Sirius did not know Crookshanks' name until Hermione told him. As well, Peter Pettigrew picked up hints and directions from passing rats as he traveled around Albania in search of Voldemort.

Pettigrew to Wormtail
Peter Pettigrew re-transformed himself as a rat
You-Know-WhoAdded by You-Know-Who

There is a particular spell which creates a blue and white flash that will force an Animagus out of its animal form. Remus Lupin and Sirius Black once used it to force Peter Pettigrew out of his rat form. This spell could possibly be the Homorphus Charm that Gilderoy Lockhart claims he used on the Wagga Wagga Werewolf to force him into his human form.

It is also important to note that werewolves are fundamentally different from Animagi. Lycanthropy is caused by a blood infection transmitted through the bite of a werewolf, whereas the Animagus skill is learned. The werewolves cannot keep their minds after a transformation (unless they take the Wolfsbane Potion), nor can they control themselves when they transform, while Animagi can do both. However, as werewolves only harm humans, Animagi, while in their animal forms, are safe to be in the company of werewolves.

Wizarding lawEdit

"You know that I can disguise myself most effectively."
Peter Pettigrew speaking about his advantage of being unregistered.[src]
Skeeter
Known unregistered Animagus Rita Skeeter
VostokAdded by Vostok

Every Animagus is required to register with the Ministry of Magic at the Improper Use of Magic Office. This registration includes revealing one's animal form and one's distinguishing markings. The register is available to the public. The primary reason for registration is to ensure the Animagi do not abuse their abilities, as the Ministry is able to keep track of them. A prime example is that, because Sirius Black is an unregistered Animagus, he was able to use his form to escape from Azkaban, as the Ministry did not take this into account when imprisoning him. Peter Pettigrew managed to fake his death and hid from the rest of the world in his Animagus form because he did not register either, and he referred it as an effective disguise to the Dark Lord.

The penalty for failing to register as an Animagus is a sentence in Azkaban,[5] although the length of time is unknown. Rita Skeeter gave up an entire year of writing articles, her main means of livelihood, so that Hermione Granger would not turn her in as unregistered, and consented to writing an article free of charge at Hermione's request. That suggests either a rather lengthy sentence, or the fact that being sent to Azkaban for any length of time is a considerably bad punishment to begin with.

Due to the complexity of the magic involved in becoming an Animagus, they have become very rare. There were a total of seven known registered Animagi in the twentieth century. It is also partially because of this complexity that Animagi are required to register themselves.

Known AnimagiEdit


EtymologyEdit

Animagus is a combination of the word "animal" and the Latin word "magus," meaning "animal wizard."

Behind the scenesEdit

  • J. K. Rowling has stated that she would fancy an otter — her favourite animal — as her Animagus form, though if she actually transformed, she suspects she might be "a guinea pig or something, which would be quite embarrassing."[6]
  • J. K. Rowling once joked that Godric Gryffindor was actually the Giant Squid in the Hogwarts lake.
  • According to W.O.M.B.A.T., an Animagus transformation is two of the following: a kind of Self-Transfiguration, a kind of Self-Charm, or a kind of magic that is neither Transfiguration nor Charm. You are asked to pick the statement that is incorrect. This would mean Animagus transformation is either a kind of Self-Tranfiguration but not actually a Transfiguration or Charm spell, a kind of Self-Charm but not actually a Transfiguration or Charm spell, or a kind of Self-Transfiguration and Charm spell.
  • In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Peter Pettigrew is fully clothed when he transforms to his human form in the Shrieking Shack, but later, when he transforms to a rat, he leaves his clothes behind.
  • Also in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Sirius's Animagus form is a large tough looking dog but in Order of Phoenix he looks more like a kind harmless dog. It could be that he fixed his appearances.
  • An Animagus does not know what his or her animal form will be prior to the transformation.[6]
  • Interestingly, the first three known Animagi prior to the registration system all took the form of birds (Falco Aesalon, Morgan le Fey and Cliodna). The two known registered Animagi both become cats (Minerva McGonagall and an unknown witch).
  • Albus Dumbledore made a note within The Tales of Beedle the Bard to explain for Minerva McGonagall that, while Animagus are usually people who seek to avoid punishment when they broken the law, she merely became one to further her studies in Transfiguration. She learned to become an Animagus under Dumbledore's tutelage during her time as a student.[1]

See alsoEdit

AppearancesEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 The Tales of Beedle the Bard - Albus Dumbledore's commentary for "Babbitty Rabbitty and her Cackling Stump"
  2. 2004 World Book Day Chat
  3. Peter Pettigrew/Scabbers in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  4. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film)
  5. In Chapter 25 of Order of the Phoenix, Hermione Granger instructed Rita Skeeter to interview Harry Potter truthfully and free of charge, commenting, "Otherwise, as you very well know, I will inform the authorities that you are an unregistered Animagus. Of course, the Prophet might give you rather a lot for an insider's account of life in Azkaban."
  6. 6.0 6.1 Edinburgh "cub reporter" Press Conference, available via Accio Quote!


Transfiguration (class)
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Professors: Albus Dumbledore · Minerva McGonagall
Textbooks: A Beginner's Guide to Transfiguration · Intermediate Transfiguration · A Guide to Advanced Transfiguration
Known practitioners: Emeric Switch · Circe · Falco Aesalon · Mirabella Plunkett · Thaddeus Thurkell ·
Transfiguration spells studied at Hogwarts: Chair to cat · Match to needle · Snail to Teapot · Teacup to Rat · Switching Spell · Transforming Spell · Avifors Spell · Mice to Snuffboxes · Beetle Buttons · Rabbit Slippers · Vera Verto · Teapot to tortoise · Draconifors Spell · Lapifors Spell · Vanishing Spell · Owl to opera glasses · Guinea fowl to guinea pig · Hedgehog to pincushion · Small Child to Rat · Meddling Man to Monkey · Crinus Muto
Branches of Transfiguration: Transformation · Vanishment · Conjuration · Untransfiguration


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