Why the Story of the Marauders (from Harry Potter) is so sad: Part 1


Screen Rant

The Marauders, a group of friends featured in J.K Rowling’s hit series, Harry Potter.

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about The Marauders from Harry Potter when I realized something: their story, if you think more about it, is actually really sad. The Marauders were a group of four best friends who all went to Hogwarts together. Their names were Remus Lupin, Peter Pettigrew, Sirius Black and James Potter (Harry Potter’s father.) They all first met on the train to Hogwarts and quickly became best friends. The Marauders did everything together and told each other everything as well. However, one of them had a secret that he did not reveal until sometime in the Marauders’ second year at Hogwarts. Remus Lupin was a werewolf and had been since he was about 4 years old. (He never actually told his friends; they just found out on their own.) Remus lived with his parents Hope and Lyall Lupin. This is really all we know about Remus’ home life. There are, however, some things we can probably assume about Remus. He was probably pretty lonely and not great at making friends because of his condition, so when James, Sirius and Peter were all so nice to him, he was probably very surprised. 

Speaking of big secrets and family troubles, let’s talk about Sirius Black. Sirius came from a rich, pureblood family that went back many centuries. The Black family was mostly known for being loyal to Voldemort, hating anyone who was muggleborn or who didn’t agree with them. Everyone in the family was a Slytherin and pureblood. If there was a pureblood family who didn’t support Voldemort or who didn’t care about blood status, then the Blacks considered it a ‘dishonor to the name of wizard.’ The Blacks were all about keeping up tradition and keeping the magical blood in their families. If anyone disobeyed these rules of marrying a muggle or a muggle born, then they were disowned from the family. For example, Sirius’ favorite cousin, Andromedea, was disowned from the family for dating and later marrying a muggle, Ted Tonks. Sirius wanted nothing to do with his family and frankly, they wanted nothing to do with him either. All they wanted was for him to cooperate with them and marry a pureblood (that they either picked out for him or approved of) and keep the tradition going. After all, he was the heir to ‘The Noble and Most Ancient House of Black.’ Sirius however, wanted nothing to do with that, and he made sure his family knew it too. Everyone in the family was a Slytherin, and Sirius was put in Gryffindor. Sirius’ brother, Regulus, had friends at Hogwarts who hated muggle borns and ‘half-breeds’, so Sirius became best friends with two purebloods who couldn’t care less about blood status and a halfblood who was a werewolf. Clearly, Sirius didn’t care in the least about what his family or what anyone else thought of him. Sirius was so tired of his parent’s ‘pureblood mania’ (he called it that when he was 16), he ran away from home to the Potter’s house and lived with them instead. He was disowned (obviously), and his mother burnt his picture off of the Black Family Tree. 

Although Sirius and Remus had pretty rough childhoods, James’ and Peter’s were the exact opposite. James and Peter were both purebloods who came from very wealthy families but (unlike Sirius), both families were very happy. James lived just down the road from Peter, so the two boys were friends before they went to Hogwarts. James’ parents Ephemia and Fleamont were two very lovely people who loved all of James’ friends as if they were their own. As soon as they found out about Sirius’ family situation, the Potters would always offer to let him stay with them. However, before Sirius ran away, his parents would do everything in their power to make sure that Sirius was miserable. The Potters and the Pettigrews were what the Blacks would call ‘blood traitors.’ James ended up marrying a muggleborn named Lily Evans, and Peter…well, we’ll get to him later. 

Since they met on the Hogwarts Express, the Marauders always stuck together. Remus had a map of the entire castle but noticed it was missing some secret passages that he found. When he told the other Marauders about it, they decided to add the secret passageways to it. One of them also had the idea to put a tracking spell on it, so they could see everyone in the castle, where they were, and what they were doing at all times. They even figured out a way to ‘lock’ the map so that if you didn’t know the ‘passcode’ you couldn’t get in the map. They also had a ‘lock code’ for closing the map after they were done using it. The passcode was “I solemnly swear that I am up to no good,” and the lock code was “mischief managed.” Since Remus had the initial idea of making some modifications to the map, the Marauders put his nickname on first. Once it was finished, the front of the map read: Messrs. Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs are proud to present The Marauders’ Map. The Marauders all cared so much for each other, even to the point where they found out how to turn into animals for Remus. Around their 5th year at Hogwarts, James, Sirius and Peter completed the long process of becoming animagus’ for Remus, so he wouldn’t be all alone during the full moons. In their 3rd year, James, Sirius and Peter brought the idea up to Remus, but Remus turned it down straight away because he didn’t want to accidentally hurt one of them. The three other marauders, however, chose not to listen to Remus. So every full moon, Remus was accompanied by a big black dog (Sirius), a stag (James), and a rat (Peter). Now that Remus had companions on his full moons, he was able to get out of the shack that he was in for all his full moons and run around in wolf form with all his best friends in animal form.  The Marauders are an example of true friendship.

However, the Marauders weren’t Remus’ only friends at Hogwarts. He was also friends with three other Gryffindor girls who were also in his year. These girls were Lily Evans, Marlene Mckinnon, and Mary Macdonald. Lily was a kind, empathetic and very smart muggle-born. James had always had a huge crush on Lily and attempted to ask her out every time he saw her. For a really long time, Lily practically hated James but around 7th year, she finally agreed to go out with him. Marlene was a half blood beater on the Gryffindor quidditch team with Sirius and James. She was also extremely kind and smart. However, she was also a little shy and sometimes took on more than she could handle. Mary Macdonald was probably one of the most confident muggle borns in Hogwarts at the time. She was very loyal, bold and daring but also, like Lily and Marlene, had a lot of sympathy for Remus. Because of the wizarding war that was going on, everyone on Voldemort’s side at Hogwarts would torment all the muggle borns in the school. This included Lily and Mary. Whenever anyone made a mean comment about Mary’s blood status, she would immediately fight back. Everyone basically knew that you shouldn’t mess with Mary Macdonald. Since the girls were such good friends with Remus, soon they became friends with the other Marauders as well. 

As the first Wizarding War raged on, everyone at Hogwarts needed each other more than ever. News of family members dying or disappearing or even being bitten by werewolves became normal. Even Marlene got terrible news during herbology class one day in 7th year. Her older brother, Danny Mickinnon, had been bitten by a werewolf. This news came as a huge shock to Marlene, considering the fact that her brother was a professional beater. This made the Marauders want to fight in the war now more than ever. 

As soon as the Marauders graduated Hogwarts, everything went by in a blur. Not long after they graduated, James and Lily announced that they were engaged. James’ parents were very sick and James and Lily wanted to get married soon so that they could have James’ parents there before they died. The wedding was somewhere between the summer of 1978 and fall of 1979. It was a small but happy event at James’ parents house with Sirius as the best man. James and Lily invited all of their friends from Hogwarts, and everyone from the original Order of The Phoenix (this included the Weasleys with little Fred and George running all over the place). 

Not long after the wedding, Euphemia and Fleamont died of dragon pox. Even though it was expected, James, Lily and all their friends mourned their deaths. Euphemia and Fleamont had been like the parents that Sirius never had. However, even though a war was on, happy news was soon to come. Shortly after James’ parents’ deaths, James and Lily invited all the Marauders over for dinner one night. Lily asked Remus to come over a little early to help her set the table for dinner before James and Sirius got home (James and Sirius were taking Sirius’ flying motorbike out for a spin before dinner). Lily then told Remus the exciting news that she was pregnant! She was also already 6 months along, and due in late July 1980. This gave the Marauders a reason to be a little happy considering what had been going on in the Order and the war in general. Sirius’ younger brother, Regulus, had died during the war just after he graduated Hogwarts. He was forced into becoming a death eater but secretly didn’t want to be one. He died trying to destroy a Horcrux containing a piece of Voldemort’s soul because he realized that Voldemort and the death eaters were in the wrong. The saddest thing is, Sirius never found this out. He always thought that the death eaters killed Regulus for being a coward. Sirius never knew that Regulus tried to redeem himself.

Harry James Potter was born on July 31, 1980. James and Lily made Sirius his godfather. The Marauders, Marlene, and Mary all helped James and Lily take care of Harry, and they all loved him. Sirius even bought him a toy broom stick for his first birthday. Unfortunately, the Marauder’s semi-happiness wouldn’t last for much longer. One night after a meeting with the order, Dumbledore told James and Lily that Voldemort was after Harry. He didn’t really explain why, and he just told them to go into hiding. Dumbledore was going to put a fidelius charm on their new safe house which would make sure no one but their secret keeper would be able to know that they were in that house. James and Lily chose Peter to be their secret keeper. Now, only Peter could visit them. They couldn’t even leave their house to go anywhere. They couldn’t even go to Marlene’s funeral.

Keira Hyatt, Co-Middle School Editor