"Did you like question ten, Moony?"
"Loved it. Give five signs that identify the werewolf.
Sirius Black and
Remus Lupin after their
who appears in the third book,
is one of my favourite characters. He's a damaged person,
literally and metaphorically.
I think it's important for children to know that adults, too, have their
problems, that they struggle. His being a werewolf is a metaphor for people's
reactions to illness and disability."
-- J.K. Rowling
The werewolf is a most unusual creature in that it doesn't technically
exist except for a brief period of time around the full moon. At any other
time, a werewolf is a completely normal human. However, the term
werewolf is used for both the wolf-like creature and the normal
human. Remus Lupin is a werewolf
by definition even if he isn't in the actual form of the wolf.
A werewolf comes into being when a person is bitten by another werewolf.
Once this happens, the person must learn to manage the condition. Modern
potion-making has come up with a draught called
Potion which controls some of the worst effects of the condition
is quite difficult to make, even for fully qualified wizards,
and is said to have a rather disgusting taste
Nothing will completely cure a werewolf, unfortunately.
A werewolf can be distinguished from a true wolf physically by several
small distinguishing characteristics, including the pupils of the eyes,
snout shape, and tufted tail (PA9,
A werewolf when transformed is a fearsome beast indeed. All trace of
human awareness is gone and the werewolf will attack any witch or wizard,
including the werewolf's best friends. This transformation is triggered
when the moon is full, although there is some evidence that a werewolf
who is taking a regular regimen of
will not transform until the moonlight actually strikes him.
(Lupin, for example, did not transform
while he was in the
even though the moon was full, until
he stepped outside and the full moon emerged from behind a cloud.
Lupin had been taking
Bill Weasley was bitten and slashed
by a werewolf, Fenrir Greyback,
in the Battle of the Tower. His face was severely damaged with magical
wounds which might not heal properly. Because the werewolf was not transformed
into a wolf, he will likely not become a werewolf himself.
Defence Against the Dark Arts class
with an essay assigned by Snape when he once substituted for Lupin, although
werewolves weren't due to be covered until the last chapter of the third-year
DADA textbook (PA9).
Werewolves have been mentioned several times in connection with Harry's
Defence Against the Dark Arts
teachers. Quirrell had encountered them
in Black Forest (PS5), and at
one point discussed in class how to treat werewolf bites
Gilderoy Lockhart, supposedly,
once defeated the Wagga Wagga Werewolf
something that may be discussed in his book
with Werewolves (CS4).
Lockhart eventually confessed
to Ron and
Harry that an 'ugly old Armenian
warlock' had actually performed the rescue of a village from werewolves
that he himself had taken credit for
Remus Lupin, of course, is a werewolf
Draco Malfoy as a
first-year had heard
that werewolves lived in the
(PS15), and a year later
Ron Weasley referred to the same rumour
but no one has ever affirmed this. Possibly the rumour began while
Remus Lupin attended
Hogwarts as a child.
Tom Riddle alleged that Hagrid raised "werewolf cubs" under his bed
as a youngster (CS17). (This,
according to JKR, was a slanderous lie from Tom Riddle, since werewolves
don't have "cubs".)
The Ministry regulates werewolves. Already in 1637 there was a Werewolf
Code of Conduct (PS16). Dolores
Umbridge was instrumental in the passage of restrictive anti-werewolf
legislation that Sirius said made it almost impossible for
Lupin to get a job.
According to Scamander, werewolves have been shunted between the
of the Department
for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures
for years. At one point, the Werewolf Registry and Werewolf
Capture Unit were both in the Beast Division, while at the same time the
office for Werewolf Support Services was in the Being Division