R.A.B. Those initials plagued the minds of Harry Potter fans for what felt like millennia after JK Rowling first published them in Half Blood Prince in 2005.
We weren’t long finding out that they stood for Regulus Arcturus Black, aka the younger brother of one Sirius Black, aka Harry Potter’s godfather, though.
And through Kreacher, the Black family house elf, we learned that Regulus had died in the cave Dumbledore visited with Harry on the hunt to find and destroy Horcruxes – the objects Lord Voldemort concealed slivers of his soul in after murdering wizards and muggles.
But what if Kreacher got it wrong? What if his master didn’t die after being pulled into the lake by the Inferi? What if Regulus went into hiding? And what if – just like his brother – Regulus was an Animagus?
Some fans think it’s quite possible he could have been, and point the finger at a fateful ginger cat. Could Crookshanks be Regulus Black in disguise?
Let’s examine the evidence…
1. We first meet Crookshanks in Prisoner of Azkaban
Hermione’s cat comes into play just as Sirius Black arrives on the scene. Coincidence? Maybe.
But this is JK Rowling’s world we’re talking about, and as far as the fans are concerned there’s no such thing as “it just so happens” when it comes to the Potterverse.
2. And we learn he’s been around for a lot longer than that
When Hermione picked him out at the Magic Menagerie she was told nobody wanted him and he’d been there a long time.
Could a long time mean days, weeks, months, or perhaps even decades? Regulus is said to have died in 1972, and Hermione took Crookshanks home with her some time in 1993.
3. His name is stellar, just like Sirius Black’s
The Black family was known for naming its children after constellations. Sirius was named for the Dog Star, which features in Canis Major, and he took the form of a dog when he became an Animagus.
So isn’t it funny, then, that Regulus is a star featured in Leo? Y’know, that constellation that’s represented by a lion, which is basically just a great big hulking cat?
4. Sirius can communicate with him
Wizards – even Animagi – can’t exactly do a Doctor Dolittle and talk to all the animals so isn’t it a little odd that Sirius was able to figure out how to talk to Hermione’s cat?
Fans are convinced there’s no way he could have worked it out if Crookshanks wasn’t another secret Animagus. Hey, if Peter Pettigrew could conceal it and go undetected for decades, surely Regulus Black could too…
5. He had Scabbers sussed from day one
Crookshanks was no fool when it came to Ron’s rat, barely paws-ing before pouncing on him at the earliest opportunity.
The cat seemed to have a particular distaste for the Weasley family pet and some fans say that’s because the Animagus could smell a fellow transfigured former Death Eater a mile off.
6. And he’s SIRIUSLY protective
When Harry tries to turn his wand on Sirius before he discovers the truth about Petter Pettigrew, Crookshanks is the first to stand in his way.
He attacks the Boy Who Lived as he reaches for his wizarding weapon and sits on Sirius’ chest to prevent Harry from casting a killing spell.
JK Rowling says Crookshanks isn’t an Animagus – just a VERY clever Kneazle/cat crossbreed – but when you consider the evidence, do you agree or disagree?