So, I’ve seen online that the process of becoming an animagus includes holding the leaf of a Madrake in your mouth for one month. This raises a serious question for me: Exactly how stupid is the Ministry of Magic? Because there’s no way on God’s green earth that Minerva McGonagall didn’t notice that the three / fourths of the Mauraders who weren’t werewolves were holding this shit. Dumbledore may have missed it, because he’s always off in his own schemes or whatever, but not Minerva. So, yeah, there’s no way that she didn’t know about their transformations – a fact cemented (in my brain, at least) by her complete and utter lack of surprise when Dumbledore tells her to go fetch a large black dog at the end of GoF. So, obviously, the Ministry is more stupid than McGonagall, but that’s kind of a given.
But what about Rita Skeeter? We find out – again, in GoF – that she’s an unregistered animagus, and that’s how she’s been getting many of her scoops. By transforming into a beetle, she’s able to creep on private conversations without being noticed and get information people would rather keep off the record (Krum asking Hermione to visit him, Hagrid’s mother being a giant, etc). It’s unknown when she became one (though personally I’d think it would be at the beginning of her career at the earliest, it’s a pretty time-consuming process and most wizards & witches don’t think it’s worth bothering with). So not only did the Ministry miss her BECOMING an animagus – remember, one month with a mandrake leaf! – but they totally missed her being one while she was reporting on all the scandals at the Prophet. Where did they think her scoops were coming from? And don’t you dare tell me that she wasn’t in contact with Ministry personnel at this time, the Prophet was practically an outpost of the Ministry in the years leading up to the Second Wizarding War.
So, my question is – if the Ministry is supposed to be keeping track of wizards who become Anamagi, and there were only seven registered in the 20th century (mentioned by Hermione in PoA), but we know of at least FOUR running around unregistered during the two decades covered by the books (going back to the 70s for the Mauraders era and through the 90s for the events of the books), then is anyone actually keeping track?