Of all the puzzles in Harry Potter, there’s one in the lowest crypts of the Department of Mysteries so-far unsolved by fans: why Fred and George saw Ron sharing his bed with a bloke called Peter Pettigrew on the Marauder’s Map and never brought it up. For three years.
Well, one redditor theorist anuragkadiyala has cast a very intriguing revelio charm on the question. The reason why the Weasley twins never noticed a murdered man on the all-seeing map of Hogwarts? Even muggles should get this:
The map only shows the name of Animagi when its user knows about the Animagi
Okay, we’ll explain this slowly, just in case there’s any Hufflepuffs reading (sorry, Hufflepuffs).
Animagi are wizards that can transform into animals. Think Sirius Black (who transforms into a nightmarish black hound) and Pettigrew (a rubbish rat called Scabbers).
And there would be no way that the Weasley Brothers – Hogwart’s pre-Youtube pranksters, who owned the map through for the first two and a half books – would know about Pettigrew’s shape-shifting ability.
Okay, where’s the proof?
Alright, keep your pointy hat on, this theory is easily backed up.
i) Firstly, nobody except Professor Lupin can see Pettigrew and Sirius on the map in Harry Potter The Prisoner of Azkaban (before you say, yes, we’re strictly talking about the books, not the film). Why? Because he’s seen the pair transform into their animals many times before.
ii) Snape travels to the shrieking shack at the end of book three because he sees Lupin and Sirius on the map – both were in human form at the time. Snapey doesn’t see Pettigrew because Pettigrew was still Scabbers.
iii) Rita ‘Queen of Quills’ Skeeter. In The Goblet of Fire, the Gossip Correspondent for the Daily Prophet/beetle animagus is never spotted on the map by Harry. Why? Potter didn’t know about her animal-changing ability.
Face it, the theory’s as watertight as a bubble-head charm.
Hhhhm, but why would the Marauder’s Map be designed like that?
Here’s where the theory picks up more steam that the Hogwarts Express. You see, the creators of the map (Hufflepuffs, that means James Potter, Remus Lupin, Sirius Black and Peter Pettigrew) were all Animagi. And they all wanted to keep that top secret, even on the Marauder’s Map. In fact, they would keep it secret at all costs.
Think about it: Lupin wouldn’t even let slip to Dumbledore that Sirius was an Animagus when he thought Black was trying to kill Harry. That’s how much the creators wanted to keep it schtum. And yes, it was a dragon dung move by all of them, but it completely explains the mystery of the Marauder’s Map.
So that’s settled then. Mischief managed.