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Thread: Animagus Death

  1. #1
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    Animagus Death

    This is sort of a weird question, but here goes anyway:

    If an Animagus is killed in their Animagus form, do they transform back as they are dying, or is their body stuck in animal form forever? I'm thinking of an Avada Kedavra sort of murder, so said person would be caught really off-guard, and it would be really sudden. What do you guys think?

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  2. #2
    Inverarity
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    You could make an argument either way.

    Argument 1: The wizard must use his/her magic to stay transformed, so when the wizard dies, the transformation ends.

    Argument 2: The wizard must choose to transform either way, and so will stay in whatever form s/he was in at death.

    We know Animagi can sleep in their animal forms (Peter Pettigrew did for years), so it doesn't require concentration or even consciousness to maintain the transformation.

    We also know the Animagus transformation is considered dangerous, possibly because the wizard can be stuck in that form.

    So I'd lean towards Argument 2. However, in most legends, when wizards transform into something else, they resume their true shape when they die.

  3. #3
    Evester
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    I seem to remember that Bellatrix Black killed a fox in the beginning of Deathly Hallows, and then looked at it saying something along the lines of "Oh, just a fox, I thought it might be an Animagus." So perhaps this suggests that they transform back either while dying or after they die, if Bellatrix was expecting something to happen? Or maybe she just killed it to be safe, I don't know.

    Just an idea!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evester
    I seem to remember that Bellatrix Black killed a fox in the beginning of Deathly Hallows, and then looked at it saying something along the lines of "Oh, just a fox, I thought it might be an Animagus." So perhaps this suggests that they transform back either while dying or after they die, if Bellatrix was expecting something to happen? Or maybe she just killed it to be safe, I don't know.
    That's "Spinner's End," in HBP, and Bellatrix says, after killing the fox, "I thought perhaps an Auror -."

    It's not clear whether she killed the fox after seeing that it was a fox, or whether she saw something moving and thought it might have been person when she cast her Avada Kedavra, though. But if you assume the former, then maybe she did suspect it was an Animagus.

  5. #5
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    But that is a good theory, though. If she did see the fox as being a fox, the only reason she would have killed it was that she believed it would then turn back into a human form.

    Then again, it is Bellatrix...

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  6. #6
    ahattab33
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    I was under the impression that only the act of transforming back and forth was what required such high levels of concentration, and that actually keeping the form didn't really require any at all. After, Pettigrew remained a rat for 12 years, which is an absurdly long time to keep up a concentrated form of magic, and Hermione had Rita Skeeter locked in a jar for a while. It would have been even crueller to do so if she would have been fighting to keep herself in that form. I doubt that the Mauraders would have had such fun galloping around the castle once a month as teens if they would have been using magic the entire time to focus on staying transformed.

    At the same time, I'm not sure if that has anything to do with whether or not they would revert back to their human shape if killed, especially if once the fox Bella had killed had stayed a fox, and she seemed disappointed (if you go the line of thinking that that is why she killed the fox).

    I think either way is perfectly plausible given what little information we know, and depending on what you want to do with your story.

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  7. #7
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    Hm, I'm not sure we can argue with Bellatrix and the fox here. Every time I read that scene so far, I assumed that she heard a rustling, and fired an Avada Kedavra in the direction, and looked after it had hit its mark.

    I'm really undecided here. Hm. I'm choosing the "they would stay in animal form" side. While it doesn't require a wand to transform, it still seems to require some effort. You could however transform the dead animal with the spell Remus and Sirius used on Peter.
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  8. #8
    Wizengamot Hufflepuff
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    In POA, Sirius assumes his Animagus form to control Remus. He then runs after Pettigrew after he transforms into Wormtail. However when the Dementors appear, Sirius has become human again. If staying an Animagus took no effort whatsoever then he could have remained as Padfoot and the Dementors wouldn't have touched him.

    I'm veering towards a theory that at times of 'stress' the ability to remain an Animagus becomes almost impossible - plus Sirius was weakened by his stay in Azkaban and his year living off rats.

    Not sure if this adds anything either way, but I'd be inclined to say that as a person is dying they resume their true form. The Avada Kedavra, however, does take a person by surprise.

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  9. #9
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    So under that theory, then once an Animagus is dying, they would revert back to their human form. I can't think of anything more stressful than realizing you are about to die.

    But then, that brings into question whether in instances of instant death, would the person even have enough time to realize they are dying? Then it would bring into question whether a person's Animagus form can react to the body's biological responces, or just to the emotional responces.

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