The Marauder's Map
The Marauder's Map looks like a blank
sheet of parchment until it is activated. Then
a wondrous map appears, detailing the interior and exterior of Hogwarts
castle and showing the people inside the castle as miniscule figures, labeled
with their names.
How does it work?
In order for the two-dimensional
map to show a three-dimensional castle, some magical viewing effect must
take place. We don't know exactly what that is, but perhaps it is similar
to looking at a hologram. As the viewer focuses on various areas of the
image, those areas come into focus and extremely tiny details can be seen.
It would seem that things appear only when there's a reason for them to
appear. That's why the little figure of Harry only appeared on the map
when he took possession of it and needed to know how to work the secret
Mysteries and questions about the map
How could four underage wizards
create so powerful a magic item?
Where is it now?
Why didn't Scabbers or the time-traveling
Harry and Hermione show up on it and be found out?
How did Fred and George figure out
the magic words with no clues or help at all?
In order to activate the map, a
wizard must touch the map with his or her wand and say "I solemnly swear
that I am up to no good." The map will then appear. To deactivate it, the
words are "Mischief managed," upon which the map goes blank.
Orientation of the castle
We don't know
the exact orientation of the castle. We do know, however, the following
the lake is to the south of the castle
the forest is located to the west of the castle
(although it is very likely so large
that it surrounds much of the grounds) since the sun is seen setting over
the forest in PA
if the movie is
to be believed, the castle is approached by the lake from the west, since
it is early evening and the full moon is not high in the sky (the full
moon always rises in the east, opposite the setting sun)
the front doors
face more to the west than the east, since the setting sun casts beams
of lights through them in PA
Like any self-respecting
castle, Hogwarts has plenty of hidden passageways. There are seven shown
on the map which lead out of the castle, including one which originates
behind the statue of a hump-backed witch on the third floor and another
behind a statue of Gregory the Smarmy. There is also a hidden passageway
which connects the Whomping Willow to somewhere off the map. Two of the
passages are caved in.
of the map
The Marauder's Map apparently has a sense of humor. When Snape used various magical phrases
to try to induce the map to reveal its secrets, it instead insulted him
by name. It is unclear whether the map was specifically "taught" to recognize
Snape, who was a contemporary and enemy of the creators of the map, or
if the map is actually imbued with a level of intelligence and personality.