Newt Scamander made his starring debut as the protagonist of Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, but unbeknownst to most fans this wasn't the first time he has made an appearance on screen.

While the original Harry Potter films and Fantastic Beasts are set many decades apart, it seems Newt and Harry may have crossed paths at Hogwarts after all.

Admittedly, you'd have had to drank some sort of vision enhancing potion to spot it, but the textbook author actually appears in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and not just as a name on one of his works.

Back in 2004, when the spin-off was more than a decade away from coming to exist, it's main character made his on-screen debut - on the Marauder's Map.

The scene in question is the one where Fred and George gift Harry the Marauder's Map.

On the map, we can see various people pacing around the Hogwarts corridors, pictured as floating nametags, one of which reads 'Newt Scamander'.

There are multiple possibilities as to why Newt's name cropped up in this scene, the most obvious of which is that it was dropped in as an interesting Easter egg for fans further down the line.

It's also possible that Newt was at Hogwarts to discuss the foreword of the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them edition that was published in 2001.

"I was deeply honoured when Newt Scamander asked me to write the foreword for this very special edition of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them," Dumbledore writes in the book.

These clues point to Dumbledore and Scamander being old friends, so it's equally possible that he was just there to pay his mate a visit.

Some fans have suggested that Newt came to Hogwarts to stop the execution of Buckbeak the hippogriff.

One Quora user speculated: "We all know that Dumbledore was Newt's teacher before he was expelled from Hogwarts. He also fought for Newt.

"Dumbledore knew the series of events in Prisoner of Azkaban and he strongly wanted to save Buckbeak so it might be possible that he called Newt because he was aware of the fact that Newt had an immense love for magical creatures.

"He was the one who could possibly take good care of the hippogriff after Hagrid. Also as we know from the Fantastic Beasts that Newt's mother was a breeder of hippogriffs. So technically, this makes sense."

Whatever the real reason, we'll likely never find out. Still though, it's fun to guess.

Featured Image Credit: Warner Bros.

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