The Marauder's Map is really a puzzling magical artifact for me. In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Harry saw Barty Crouch go to Snape's inventory who used Polyjuice Potion to disguise himself as Moody. So even Polyjuice Potion isn't a match for the Map.

So how could four immature students of Hogwarts make such an advanced map which can even reveal a strong potion like Polyjuice Potion? How did they become so skilled in magic?

And if this map is so effective, why doesn't the Ministry of Magic use them as a safely measure for them, so that no intruder can use Polyjuice Potion like Harry and friends? Surely the MOM knows more magic than teenagers.

  • These were the magical equivalent of the aristocracy, the scions of four great magical houses.
    – Valorum
    Nov 30, 2018 at 8:41
  • Related questions, although not necessarily duplicates: scifi.stackexchange.com/q/11051/19561 and scifi.stackexchange.com/q/9946/19561
    – SQB
    Nov 30, 2018 at 9:08
  • Polyjuice potion just changed the form, it didn't change who they were. The map didn't go by appearance. It was a powerful item, but not based on it overcoming Polyjuice. Dec 31, 2020 at 21:50

2 Answers 2


James Potter and the gang might have been immature, but they were obviously quite skilled (probably not as much as Snape). I think this would provide an answer to your question up to some extent.

Even though Marauder's Map was powerful, it still couldn't show the Room of Requirement. There might be other ways to fool the map that we don't know of.

  • 2
    If the answer is found at the link you should edit in the relevant information so your answer is contained within your answer.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Nov 30, 2018 at 9:25
  • Thanks for the tip!
    – RrR-
    Nov 30, 2018 at 10:19
  • Looks like it uses the Homonculous Charm
    – Matt
    Dec 10, 2018 at 14:31

Canon Quotes from the Books

"Precisely," said Professor McGonagall. "Black and Potter. Ringleaders of their little gang. Both very bright, of course -- exceptionally bright, in fact -- but I don't think we've ever had such a pair of troublemakers --"

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Your father and Sirius here were the cleverest students in the school, and lucky they were, because the Animagus transformation can go horribly wrong

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Look, Harry, what you've got to understand is that your father and Sirius were the best in the school at whatever they did-- everyone thought they were the height of cool

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

'Well, I thought that (DADA) paper was a piece of cake,' he heard Sirius say. 'I'll be surprised if I don't get "Outstanding" on it at least. '
'Me too,' said James….
…'I'm bored,' said Sirius. 'Wish it was full moon. '
'You might,' said Lupin darkly from behind his book. 'We've still got Transfiguration, if you're bored you could test me. Here . . . ' and he held out his book.
But Sirius snorted. 'I don't need to look at that rubbish, I know it all. '

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

See above quotes taken directly from books. People often forget how smart they were, James and Sirius weren't just some bullies or pranksters , this is often overlooked. They didn't even have to put in the work, natural genius. Sure there were plenty more wizards with more knowledge than them (and they could probably recreate something if they knew of its existence) but that doesn't necessarily mean they could think outside the box or be as creative to come up with it themselves.

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