Magical effects
Animagus Creatures Magic and magical theory

Animagus Transfiguration

"Your father and Sirius here were the cleverest students in the school, and lucky they were, because the Animagus transformation can go horribly wrong -- one reason the Ministry keeps a close watch on those attempting to do it. Peter needed all the help he could get from James and Sirius. Finally, in our fifth year, they managed it. They could each turn into a different animal at will."
-- Remus Lupin (PA18)

Animagus Transfiguration

Animagus Transfiguration is the magical process of taking on the form of an animal, or afterward, reverting back again to human form. The animal form is sometimes referred to as the witch or wizard’s Animagus form.


See the Animagus entry for further details about wizarding folk who can perform this highly complex and dangerous magic.

Canon references

Part of the process of becoming an Animagus requires you to carry a leaf from a Mandrake in your mouth for an entire month (BCE, PmP)

Professor McGonagall transforms into a cat (PS1, PA6).

Sirius Black, James Potter, and Peter Pettigrew – because of their love and friendship for the werewolf Remus Lupin – became Animagi while students at Hogwarts (PA17, PA18, PA19).

Animagi are supposed to be registered with the Ministry of Magic (PA18) but there are unregistered ones around, for example Rita Skeeter (GF37).

In The Tales of Beedle the Bard, Babbity Rabbity transforms into a white rabbit (TBB/BR).

The students of Uagadou School in Africa are quite adept at transfiguring themselves into Animagi (WSch).

Table of Contents
Animagus Transfiguration
Pronunciation an-i-MAY-jus



"animal" L. animal + "magus" Pers. magic user


For an excellent discussion of the legend and mythology of animal transformations, see pages 9-15 of David Colbert's Magical Worlds of Harry Potter.

From the Web

Writing by J K Rowling on WizardingWorld (Pottermore): Uagadou

Tumbler (JonSnowWhite): Animagi by J K Rowling

The Animal Paradox as represented in the Harry Potter series by booksblnktsandt

Harry Potter Wiki: Animagus

MuggleNet: Animagus Forms of the New Generation

The-Leaky-Cauldron: Animal Attraction by Clarissa P

DwellingOnDreams blog and podcast: Animagus Forms, and The People Who Have Them

WizardingWorld (Pottermore) features:

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