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Who are the Marauders and, more importantly, do they like covfefe?

Regarding which came first, books or movies, this one is a tie. Both the written and the live-action versions of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban introduce the marauders at the same time.

However, after watching that Shrieking Shack scene, the moviegoers are left with infinite questions about the past. Particularly about James’, Sirius’, Lupin’s, and Peter’s past. It also concerns Lily Potter and Severus Snape the most, but the two were never members.

The movies never go as deep as the books in the history of this gang that rocked Hogwarts a decade and a half before Harry, Ron, and Hermione were there. And, it is a painful past indeed, for what started as a bit of practical joke in the school ended up with two people dead.

Who were the Marauders?

James Potter, Remus Lupin, Sirius Black, and Peter Pettigrew were all at Hogwarts at the same time, all Gryffindors. They attended the school from 1971 to 1978. The quartet was mischievous, and they often broke school rules. This includes creating the famous Marauder’s Map.

How did the Marauders become Animagi?

Before James, Sirius, and Peter developed their image skills, only Lupin was a shapeshifter among them. Of course, he was never an animagus, but a werewolf. He was made so while still a boy, by the notorious Fenrir Greyback.

So, Lupin was already quite dangerous to himself and others when he arrived at Hogwarts. Dumbledore knew about this and helped Lupin enroll at Hogwarts. In fact, Dumbledore came up with the Shrieking Shack, a secret passage to it, and the Whomping Willow as its guard.

However, since Lupin suffered, his friends, the remaining three members of the Marauders, wanted to do something to ease his transformations. And so they came to the idea of learning spells that would help them transform into creatures that would allow them to accompany Remus.

James Potter transformed into a large Stag, described to be even more powerful than the werewolf. Sirius Black, we already know from the movies, transforms into a black dog, but it is described as even larger in the books. And Peter transformed into a fat rat, just like in the movie.

Why weren’t the Marauders registered as Animagi, as per Wizarding Law?

The Wizarding Law dictates that every witch or wizard who can shapeshift must be registered to prevent the misuse and abuse of the anonymity shapeshifting provides. But, since Remus Lupin’s condition was kept a secret, the Marauders simply kept their new animagus powers a secret too.

Another unregistered animagus is the notorious Rita Skeeter. She had the unregistered ability to transform into a beetle, which she frequently used to spy on people. This is how she could overhear people’s secrets and then publish them to gain fame and status.

Severus Snape vs the Marauders

Snape and the Marauders have had many clashes over the years there. James often claimed it was because Snape had a tendency towards dark magic. Snape justified his actions as retaliations against the school bullies. But it all has everything to do with Lily Potter.

She was Snape’s best friend even before Hogwarts and he loved her, as we know, for all time – always. Lily possibly had similar feelings for him, but it all came crashing down as James Potter swooped in, because he liked Lily as well.

Long story short, Snape and the Marauders ended up having very serious clashes, which often ended up in bruises, and in the end, Lily chose James. Broken-hearted, Snape felt he was robbed of the only person he ever loved.

It was in this state of extreme vulnerability that Voldemort befriended Snape and seduced him to the dark side, as it is his specialty. And it was Snape that told Voldemort of the prophecy he had overheard. He only heard a part of it, but it was enough to direct Voldemort toward the Potters.

And it is directly a result of it that Voldemort killed Lily and James, and he attempted to kill Harry.

Why Peter Pettigrew joined Voldemort

Snape’s betrayal didn’t actually help Voldemort kill the potters, because they were hidden by powerful magic. Only their secret keeper knew where they were, and it was Peter Pettigrew.  Now, Peter was afraid for his life, and he wanted to join Voldemort instead of being his enemy.

It was out of fear that he betrayed the Potters, helping Voldemort find their safehouse in Godric’s Hollow.

All of the Marauders died

That’s the gist of it. All the Marauders died protecting Harry Potter. Even Peter, but years later when he helped Harry escape the Malfoy mansion and the silver hand Voldemort bestowed him with strangled him on the spot. But that’s a story for another cup.