Do Patronus and Animagus forms always match?

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February Fortescue
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Do Patronus and Animagus forms always match?

Post by February Fortescue »

Do Patronus and Animagus forms always match?

As a general definition, a Patronus is our strongest positive feelings, and they take on the form of a guardian animal which we have the most affinity for. An Animagus is our actual physical body in animal form.

The only two people I can think of whose Patronus and Animagus forms we know of are Minerva McGonagall, who had a cat as both her Patronus and Animagus, and James Potter, who had a Stag as both of his, so the series doesn't give us much guidance on this.

We know your Patronus form can change if you experience a shock or a forever love, but it must be something profound. Your Animagus form doesn't seem to change, most likely because once you complete the process to become an Animagus and transform for the first time, it is finished, and from then on you don't even need a wand to transform into your Animagus form. Your Animagus form represents you at your deepest level, while your Patronus represents your positive feelings and is only one part of you.

I believe the two can be the same, but because the Patronus only represents one part of you, while the Animagus represents the totality, I don't believe they need to be the same creature at all. I can't even imagine Severus Snape having the Animagus form of a Doe! In the series, he's often compared to a Bat, and I think it fits him much better. He lived in the Dungeons. He could fly without a broom. Bats are associated with many different cultures and meanings and are adaptable, and how Snape was viewed and which side he was on depended on which character your were asking - Dumbledore or Voldemort! Bats have echo-location and can hear in the dark, and Snape was gifted at Occulmancy and could also do Legilimency.

What do you think? Do Patronus and Animagus forms always match?
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Amy Darvill
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Re: Do Patronus and Animagus forms always match?

Post by Amy Darvill »

I'm thinking most of the time, they match. I think both forms of magic do pull from pretty far deep inside of you. I think the reason a patronus can change, unlike the animagus form, is because the magic is tied deeply to a memory, and memories can change and shift. If something is able to replace your chosen happy memory, it will possibly shift your patronus.

However, I do feel like this shift is a rare thing. As I said, both forms of magic pull at a deeper aspect, and while your happiest memory might change, I think there's a core element that stays the same. Most of us know the people who make us happy, the activities that make us happy, etc. Even if it shifts, some of those core ideas and especially people, tend to stay the same.

Now, I went to look up something, and JK Rowling herself talks about patronus's shifting to match a lover's form. And she raises an interesting point. Lily and Snape knew each other much longer, and have matching patronus. Jame's patronus would have been the more likely one to shift if any of the three shifted, since he and Lily fell in love some time later. I find it unlikely that James's patronus actually changed since his stag is his animagus form (and we've said animagus doesn't change), but it is possible.
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