Obviously Dumbledore and eventually Snape knew that Lupin was a werewolf, but I don't believe either found out about the others being animagi until PoA. I have a hard time believing that no one else knew, especially James being as hopelessly braggadocious as he is.

Until the events of PoA outed Sirius and Lupin, who knew about the various animal capabilities of the Marauders, and to what extent did they know? I'm looking for answers that may be speculative, but they must have some sort of textual support to back your reasoning.

2 Answers 2



Dumbledore didn't find out about them becoming Animagi until the end of Prisoner of Azkaban.

“Last night Sirius told me all about how they became Animagi,” said Dumbledore, smiling. “An extraordinary achievement - not least, keeping it quiet from me."
(Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 22, Owl Post Again).

Since Dumbledore knows "pretty much everything" that happens at Hogwarts, I think it's unlikely that anybody else knew.

I doubt that James would've boasted openly about being an Animagus. It was, after all, not only against the school rules but against wizarding law. If the secret had got out then the Marauders would've had to contend not only with Dumbledore but with the whole Ministry of Magic.

The purpose of becoming Animagi was to have secret adventures once a month. Discretion was essential.

Snape was the only pupil to find out that Lupin was a werewolf but even he never found out that Potter, Black and Pettigrew were Animagi.

  • 1
    I feel like at least Lily would have known before she died, and surely some other people knew about Lupin (at least Greyback). And then what about Peter? Is there any evidence that he leaked any secrets of his friends Animagi abilities to the Death Eaters?
    – BlackThorn
    Commented Jun 1, 2017 at 21:41
  • @TBear Others may have known but there's no evidence that they did, as far as I'm aware. Commented Jun 1, 2017 at 21:44
  • How did Luscious find out that Sirius was an Animagus? He certainly knows later on, but I don't remember how he found out, since I'm pretty sure it never actually became public knowledge.
    – BlackThorn
    Commented Jun 1, 2017 at 21:48
  • 3
    @TBear He found out from Wormtail but that was in Order of the Pheonix, after the time period you were asking about. Commented Jun 1, 2017 at 21:57

Coming to think of it, I think a few people would have known. Instance, of course Lily would have known. And then even though Dumbledore admits later of coming to know from Sirius, I think he knew the night the marauders played the trick on Snape. Might have been that Sirius didn't tell Dumbledore and didn't know that Dumbledore knew, but I am sure someone would have told (more likely James, who was on full conscience that night). This would also be relevant since after their adventures with a werewolf once a month, I am sure it would be difficult to explain the cuts and injuries to Madam Pomphey. Dumbledore would have helped here.

Later, I am sure Pettigrew told Voldemort (before Lily and James died). He wanted to be on the winning side and to be taken into Voldemort's shelter he would have boosted about his skills and usefulness to Voldemort. So I believe he would have told that he is an Animagi, if not about the others.

Even later, (after Sirius's escape from Azkaban), everyone knew. Pettigrew spilled the beans.

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