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Thread: Before or After?

  1. #1
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    Before or After?

    Did the Whomping Willow incident happen before or after the Marauders became animagi?

    We (Rushia and me, mainly) were discussing this in the MWPP class Week 1, and it never got resolved. I'd like to hear what you all think.

    Here is our discussion:

    Quote Originally Posted by Rushia
    Something else I was reminded of. Why is everyone so sure that WW happened before they became Animagi? SWM happened at the very end of fifth year, during OWL testing, and we know two things: WW was before SWM and that they became Animagi in their fifth year. Lily talking to Snape after WW in DH was not given a clear time frame. We only know that they were older than first year, but it was before SWM. Some people have said it was days before SWM. So, what's the consensus, here? What's the reasoning you're basing off the timeline between these two events?
    Quote Originally Posted by Kayla(Weasleyboyfreak)
    I think that Lily does talk to Severus before the event, because I think it would give him leveage to want to seak revenge and get rid of the pain he felt. I think Severus was thinking that if he could find out what the Marauders were hiding and expose them, it would make his broken heart feel better. Yes? No?
    Quote Originally Posted by Me
    See, if James was an animagus, he woulkd have come in stag form to save Snape, yes or no? But we know that Snape knows that it was James who saved him. If Snape knows that James saved him, but actually a stag saved him, I think that he'd put two and two together and think that James is an animagus. He'd most probably tell Dumbledore, or someone, just to get his back on the Marauders. At the very least he'd blackmail the Marauders. Now, in PoA, no one knew that Sirius was an animagus. Don't you think that Snape would have told Dumbledore that James was an animagus, and then Dumbledore would've asked Remus, who would've told him the truth?
    Quote Originally Posted by Rushia
    Yeah, but BB, since James knew he was going to save Snape, would he have used his stag form even if he had it?

    First off, that would give yet more blackmail information to Snape {which you kindly pointed out}, who would already knew that {a} Sirius, Peter, and James were all sneaking out at night to the Whomping Willow, and that {b} Remus was a werewolf after this incident. That's plenty enough for him to know, don't you think? Plus, how was a stag going to save him? Spear him on his antlers and push him back down the tunnel? It's not exactly easy for an animal with no hands to get someone unwilling onto its back, either. Technically, he could try to herd Snape back down the tunnel, but that's an awful lot of work when James could just grab his arm and haul him back to the Whomping Willow if he had hands. So, Snape knowing that it was James and at the same time not knowing James was an Animagus does not seem to indicate to me that it was before they were.
    Quote Originally Posted by Me
    I rather doubt that James would care more about Snape's blackmail than dying...

    What I mean is, if Snape had gone into the Shrieking Shack, there would have been some pretty gory stuff. James had to get to the Whomping Willow, and fast. So obviously he would have used his stag form, to run. Also, they were in their fifth year, and I dont' think he was as good in DADA as harry. So if James went in there as himself, not only would he have not been able to save Snape, he wouldn't have been able to save himself either. On the other hand, if he had gone in his Stag form, he could have repulsed Remus' attack.

    This all shows that the sensible, most obvious thing to do would have been to go as a Stag. James wouldn't have been thinking of the consequences. The only thing that stopped him from going as a stag was... that he couldn't.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rushia
    Y'know, I still don't think so. I agree with the running to the Whomping Willow as a stag because it's faster, but stags are big, and all the descriptions we get of that tunnel are that it's small, as I recall. Yeah.

    They moved as fast as they could, bent almost double....

    Prisoner of Azkaban, page 337, American edition

    If they had to bend almost double, how was a great big stag going to charge down that low tunnel and then get around Snape, and then drag him off? I bet if he had to, James was willing to use magic to make it easier to get Snape out of there before the werewolf noticed them. I think he'd only turn into a stag if he had no choice and then get between the werewolf and the person, since it does say that animals aren't in danger from werewolves, only people are. That was how the Marauders were safe in the first place. But it seems more like a last-ditch option to repel Remus's attack on them with his stag form, and the human form still seems more useful to me for getting Snape out of there.
    Quote Originally Posted by Me
    Hmm... good point. However, when they were animagi, they used to go out with Remus and roam the Forest and stuff every single full moon night. What stopped them from being with Remus that night when Snape sneaked in? Why hadn't the Marauders and Remus gone off to the forest as they usually do?
    Quote Originally Posted by Rushia
    All right, you have a very good point there. This might not be as strong as yours, but it is a possibility. It is stated somewhere in the books, I believe, that Madam Pom...Poppy {I don't have my books, and for some reason, I can't remember how to spell her name....} escorts Remus down to the Whomping Willow every full moon. So, if she does, it would make it pretty difficult for the Marauders to go out there with him. My theory is that Sirius wasn't with the others when he told Snape all he had to do was prod the knot on the trunk and he could go in after Remus. It was sometime during the day when Sirius and Snape ran into each other. {Because if James really had all the motivations that we thought of in this thread, he wasn't in on it. He only just found out when he saw what happened.} Then, Snape just could've gotten there before the other three Marauders, who would have to arrive after Remus did because of Poppy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Me
    Well, I think there was some time between Madam Pomfrey leaving and Snape coming, because otherwise he'd have been caught by her. What stopped James and co from going in and meeting Remus in that time? They were pretty fast, as a stag and a dog.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rushia
    I agree that they were pretty fast in those forms, but they needed the Invisibility Cloak to get out of the castle.... I think I'm just grasping at straws here, now. *laughs* You've got some really good points, and if I really wanted to, I could come up with some reason why you could be wrong, but I don't know how plausible it would be because I haven't thought of it. XD

    I just have one question left for you, then. If they weren't going down to visit Remus by then, then how did James know Snape had gone down there?
    Quote Originally Posted by Me
    I think that James would have seen Snape sneaking out. Now, why wouldn't James want to see Snape rule-breaking, and have some more dirt against him? So I guess that James would have followed Snape. But then there's a flaw in my own logic. >.< If he had followed Snape and seen Snape going into the Whomping Willow, James'd have stopped Snape before he saw Remus...

    So it was some other way... the most plausible way, I think, would be Sirius starting to brag that he sent Snape into the Whomping Willow, and James then running to stop Snape.
    And then that week's discussion was closed.

    So, I wanted your opinions- do you think WW (Whomping Willow) happened before or after they became animagi?

    ~BB



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  2. #2
    jecleaver2
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    I think that happened after they became animagi, because Peter had to turn into a rat to calm the tree down before they entered.

  3. #3
    Rushia
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    Not necessarily. That was just because it was easier. But all Snape did was grab a branch and poke the knot--that was what Sirius told him to do in order to get past it. Peter as a rat only did it because it was more convenient for his two friends.

  4. #4
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    The Whomping Willow was put in place the year Lupin started school. Here is the quote from Lexicon;
    The shack, in fact, was built when he came to Hogwarts, allowing him to transform a safe distance away from the other students (PA18)
    The quote from the book is
    "I told you months ago, that the Whomping Willow was planted the year I came to Hogwarts. This house"-- Lupin looked miserably around the room, -- "the tunnel that leads to it-- they were built for my use."
    PA chp 18

    So, the Whomping Willow, the Shrieking Shack and the tunnel were put in place the year the Marauders started school. So, they were there for 5 years before they became Animagi.
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  5. #5
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    So, the Whomping Willow, the Shrieking Shack and the tunnel were put in place the year the Marauders started school. So, they were there for 5 years before they became Animagi.
    See, what we're talking about is not the Whomping Willow being planted, but Sirius asking Snape to go into the whomping Willow, James saving him, etc, etc. That's what I refered to as WW. Sorry for the confusion!

    ~BB



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  6. #6
    red haired mom
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    During SWM Sirius makes a comment that he wishes it was full moon, and that he was bored.

    Remus then answered with, "You might."


    They wouldn't be wishing for a full moon, or calling each other those nicknames unless they had already made the transformations and become animagi.

    It's right there in the books, I just don't have the time to type it out verbatim right now.

    During SWM, yes they were already animagi, so were they when the WW incident occurred.

    I hoped that helped. If not, I'll come back and type it all in for you and show you where they became animagi, and when the WW incident occurred, which was a lot later in the books than SWM.

    ~Wendy

  7. #7
    Rushia
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    No, actually, the Whomping Willow incident happened before Snape's Worst Memory. That's shown by the sequence of memories in Deathly Hallows. We don't actually know what year WW happened, but we do know that SWM happened at the very end of fifth year and that they became Animagi in their fifth year. This doesn't exactly tell us that they were already Animagi because it was only during SWM that we hear them address each other by their nicknames, so we know they were Animagi by exam time in fifth year.

    If you have the information of when exactly they became Animagi other than "during their fifth year" and when exactly the Whomping Willow incident occurred, please do type it out. I've been looking for that information for a while and it would straighten a lot of things out.

  8. #8
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    This is what I could find on Lexicon using their timeline feature on Snape.

    September 1, 1975- Snape begins his fifth year at Hogwarts

    June, 1976 - Snape sits for his O.W.L.S. - SWM occurs

    September 1, 1976 - Snape begins sixth year at Hogwarts

    1976/1977 school year- Sirius tricks Snape into going into the WW.

    So, from this we know the Marauders would have already become Animagi. The only timeframe given is "during their fifth year". So, it would have been before they took their O.W.L.S. because they take them at the end of the year.

    I also found the following using a the timeline for the Marauders:
    c. 1974 (Y-6)
    Animagi witches and wizards The Marauders finally learn the complex spells necessary to become AnimagiSirius Black, James Potter, and Peter Pettigrew then begin to accompany Remus Lupin when he transforms into a werewolf, affecting his ability to maintain some semblence of humanity during his otherwise terrible transformations.
    (PA18)
    However, it has been stated in canon, they were in their fifth year. This shows them only being in their fourth year. So, I would go with the fact they were in their fifth year as stated in PA.
    Terri Black (as in Mrs Sirius {aka Padfoot} Black)
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  9. #9
    red haired mom
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rushia
    No, actually, the Whomping Willow incident happened before Snape's Worst Memory. That's shown by the sequence of memories in Deathly Hallows. We don't actually know what year WW happened, but we do know that SWM happened at the very end of fifth year and that they became Animagi in their fifth year. This doesn't exactly tell us that they were already Animagi because it was only during SWM that we hear them address each other by their nicknames, so we know they were Animagi by exam time in fifth year.

    If you have the information of when exactly they became Animagi other than "during their fifth year" and when exactly the Whomping Willow incident occurred, please do type it out. I've been looking for that information for a while and it would straighten a lot of things out.

    You are right, the WW incident did happen before SWM. I stand corrected.

    According to The Prince's Tale in DH, it was all in the same year.

    I haven't actually been able to find exact dates in the books, but I understand it to be the first part - middle of the year when the WW happened. I'm more inclined to think the beginning part of the year, as there was no reference to snow on the ground. SWM, yes, the very end of the year.

    That means they actually managed the transformations at the very beginning of the fifth year. I'm sure they could've done it over the summer, except for the trace on them, so they waited until right after returning to the castle.

    /useless information and non helpfulness
    ~Wendy

  10. #10
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    Even if SWM happened at the beginning of fifth year, I think they were still Animagi at that time.

    Quote Originally Posted by POA, US paperback p 354
    "For the first time ever, I had friends...But of course, they, like you, Hermione, worked out the truth...And they ddin't desert me at all...They became Animagi...It took them the best part of three years to work out how to do it.
    Even if the three didn't figure out Remus was a werewolf until the end of first year, three full years later would put them at the end of their fourth year. My guess, then, is they became Animagi sometime during their fourth year of school.


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