The Hogwarts Library Collection - J. K. Rowling(ang.)

CONTENTS Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Quidditch Through the Ages The Tales of Beedle the Bard With thanks to J.K. Rowling for creating this...

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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Quidditch Through the Ages The Tales of Beedle the Bard

With thanks to J.K. Rowling for creating this book and so generously giving all her royalties from it to Comic Relief and Lumos

Foreword by the Author Introduction About This Book What Is a Beast? A Brief History of Muggle Awareness of Fantastic Beasts Magical Beasts in Hiding Why Magizoology Matters Ministry of Magic Classifications An A–Z of Fantastic Beasts About the Author


n 2001, a reprint of the first edition of my book

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was made available to Muggle readers. The Ministry of Magic consented to this unprecedented release to raise money for Comic Relief, a well-respected Muggle charity. I was permitted to reissue the book only on condition that a disclaimer was included, assuring Muggle readers that it was a work of fiction. Professor Albus Dumbledore agreed to provide a foreword that met the case and we were both delighted that the book raised so much money for some of the world’s most vulnerable people. Following the declassification of certain secret documents kept at the Ministry of Magic, the wizarding world has recently learned a little more about the creation of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. I am not yet in a position to tell the full story of my activities during the two decades that Gellert Grindelwald terrorised the wizarding world. As more documents become declassified over the coming years, I will be freer to speak openly about my role in that dark period in our history. For now, I shall confine myself to correcting a few of the more

glaring inaccuracies in recent press reports. In her recent biography Man or Monster? The TRUTH About Newt Scamander, Rita Skeeter states that I was never a Magizoologist, but a Dumbledore spy who used Magizoology as a ‘cover’ to infiltrate the Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA) in 1926. This, as anyone who lived through the 1920s will know, is an absurd claim. No undercover wizard would have chosen to pose as a Magizoologist in that period. An interest in magical beasts was considered dangerous and suspect, and taking a case full of such creatures into a major city was, in retrospect, a serious mistake. I went to America to free a trafficked Thunderbird, which was quite risky enough, given that MACUSA had a curse-to-kill policy on all magical creatures at the time. I am proud to say that one year after my visit, President Seraphina Picquery instituted a Protective Order on Thunderbirds, an edict she would eventually extend to all magical creatures. (At President Picquery’s request, I made no mention of the more important American magical creatures in the first edition of Fantastic Beasts, because she wished to deter wizarding sightseers. As the American wizarding community was subject to greater persecution at that time than their European counterparts, and given that I had inadvertently contributed to a

serious breach of the International Statute of Secrecy in New York, I agreed. I have reinstated them in their rightful place in this new edition.) It would take months to contradict every other wild assertion in Miss Skeeter’s book. I shall simply add that, far from being ‘the love rat who left Seraphina Picquery heartbroken’, the President made it clear that if I didn’t leave New York voluntarily and speedily, she would take drastic steps to eject me. It is true that I was the first person ever to capture Gellert Grindelwald and also true that Albus Dumbledore was something more than a schoolteacher to me. More than this I cannot say without fear of breaching the Official Magical Secrets Act or, more importantly, the confidences that Dumbledore, most private of men, placed in me. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was a labour of love in more ways than one. As I look back over this early book, I relive memories that are etched on every page, though invisible to the reader. It is my fondest hope that a new generation of witches and wizards will find in its pages fresh reason to love and protect the incredible beasts with whom we share magic.



antastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

represents the fruit of many years’ travel and research. I look back across the years to the sevenyear-old wizard who spent hours in his bedroom dismembering Horklumps and I envy him the journeys to come: from darkest jungle to brightest desert, from mountain peak to marshy bog, that grubby Horklump-encrusted boy would track, as he grew up, the beasts described in the following pages. I have visited lairs, burrows and nests across five continents, observed the curious habits of magical beasts in a hundred countries, witnessed their powers, gained their trust and, on occasion, beaten them off with my travelling kettle. The first edition of Fantastic Beasts was commissioned back in 1918 by Mr Augustus Worme of Obscurus Books, who was kind enough to ask me whether I would consider writing an authoritative compendium of magical creatures for his publishing house. I was then but a lowly Ministry of Magic employee and leapt at the

chance both to augment my pitiful salary of two Sickles a week and to spend my holidays travelling the globe in search of new magical species. The rest is publishing history. This Introduction is intended to answer a few of the most frequently asked questions that have been arriving in my weekly postbag ever since this book was first published in 1927. The first of these is that most fundamental question of all – what is a ‘beast’?







‘beast’ has caused

controversy for centuries. Though this might surprise some first-time students of Magizoology, the problem might come into clearer focus if we take a moment to consider three types of magical creature. Werewolves spend most of their time as humans (whether wizard or Muggle). Once a month, however, they transform into savage, four-legged beasts of murderous intent and no human conscience. The centaurs’ habits are not human-like; they live in the wild, refuse clothing, prefer to live apart from wizards and Muggles alike and yet have intelligence equal to theirs. Trolls bear a humanoid appearance, walk upright, may be taught a few simple words and yet are less intelligent than the dullest unicorn and possess no magical powers in their own right except for their prodigious and unnatural strength. We now ask ourselves: which of these creatures

is a ‘being’ – that is to say, a creature worthy of legal rights and a voice in the governance of the magical world – and which is a ‘beast’? Early attempts at deciding which magical creatures should be designated ‘beasts’ were extremely crude. Burdock Muldoon, Chief of the Wizards’ Council1 in the fourteenth century, decreed that any member of the magical community that walked on two legs would henceforth be granted the status of ‘being’, all others to remain ‘beasts’. In a spirit of friendship he summoned all ‘beings’ to meet with the wizards at a summit to discuss new magical laws and found to his intense dismay that he had miscalculated. The meeting hall was crammed with goblins who had brought with them as many twolegged creatures as they could find. As Bathilda Bagshot tells us in A History of Magic: Little could be heard over the squawking of the Diricawls, the moaning of the Augureys and the relentless, piercing song of the Fwoopers. As wizards and witches attempted to consult the papers before them, sundry pixies and fairies whirled around their heads, giggling and jabbering. A dozen or so trolls began to smash apart the chamber with their clubs, while hags glided about the place in search of children to eat. The Council Chief

stood up to open the meeting, slipped on a pile of Porlock dung and ran cursing from the hall. As we see, the mere possession of two legs was no guarantee that a magical creature could or would take an interest in the affairs of wizard government. Embittered, Burdock Muldoon forswore any further attempts to integrate non-wizard members of the magical community into the Wizards’ Council. Muldoon’s successor, Madame Elfrida Clagg, attempted to redefine ‘beings’ in the hope of creating closer ties with other magical creatures. ‘Beings’, she declared, were those who could speak the human tongue. All those who could make themselves understood to Council members were therefore invited to join the next meeting. Once again, however, there were problems. Trolls who had been taught a few simple sentences by the goblins proceeded to destroy the hall as before. Jarveys raced around the Council’s chair legs, tearing at as many ankles as they could reach. Meanwhile a large delegation of ghosts (who had been barred under Muldoon’s leadership on the grounds that they did not walk on two legs, but glided) attended but left in disgust at what they later termed ‘the Council’s unashamed emphasis on the needs of the living as opposed to the wishes of

the dead’. The centaurs, who under Muldoon had been classified as ‘beasts’ and were now under Madame Clagg defined as ‘beings’, refused to attend the Council in protest at the exclusion of the merpeople, who were unable to converse in anything except Mermish while above water.

Not until 1811 were definitions found that most of the magical community found acceptable. Grogan Stump, the newly appointed Minister for Magic, decreed that a ‘being’ was ‘any creature that has sufficient intelligence to understand the laws of the magical community and to bear part of the responsibility in shaping those laws’.2 Troll representatives were questioned in the absence of

goblins and judged not to understand anything that was being said to them; they were therefore classified as ‘beasts’ despite their two-legged gait; merpeople were invited through translators to become ‘beings’ for the first time; fairies, pixies and gnomes, despite their humanoid appearance, were placed firmly in the ‘beast’ category. Naturally, the matter has not rested there. We are all familiar with the extremists who campaign for the classification of Muggles as ‘beasts’; we are all aware that the centaurs have refused ‘being’ status and requested to remain ‘beasts’;3 werewolves, meanwhile, have been shunted between the Beast and Being divisions for many years; at the time of writing there is an office for Werewolf Support Services at the Being Division whereas the Werewolf Registry and Werewolf Capture Unit fall under the Beast Division. Several highly intelligent creatures are classified as ‘beasts’ because they are incapable of overcoming their own brutal natures. Acromantulas and Manticores are capable of intelligent speech but will attempt to devour any human that goes near them. The sphinx talks only in puzzles and riddles, and is violent when given the wrong answer. Wherever there is continued uncertainty about the classification of a beast in the following pages, I have noted it in the entry for that creature. Let us now turn to the one question that witches

and wizards ask more than any other when the conversation turns to Magizoology: why don’t Muggles notice these creatures?

1. The Wizards’ Council preceded the Ministry of Magic. 2. An exception was made for the ghosts, who asserted that it was insensitive to class them as ‘beings’ when they were so clearly ‘has-beens’. Stump therefore created the three divisions of the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures that exist today: the Beast Division, the Being Division and the Spirit Division. 3. The centaurs objected to some of the creatures with whom they were asked to share ‘being’ status, such as hags and vampires, and declared that they would manage their own affairs separately from wizards. A year later the merpeople made the same request. The Ministry of Magic accepted their demands reluctantly. Although a Centaur Liaison Office exists in the Beast Division of the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures, no centaur has ever used it. Indeed, ‘being sent to the Centaur Office’ has become an in-joke at the Department and means that the person in question is shortly to be fired.



stonishing though it may seem to many

wizards, Muggles have not always been ignorant of the magical and monstrous creatures that we have worked so long and hard to hide. A glance through Muggle art and literature of the Middle Ages reveals that many of the creatures they now believe to be imaginary were then known to be real. The dragon, the griffin, the unicorn, the phoenix, the centaur – these and more are represented in Muggle works of that period, though usually with almost comical inexactitude. However, a closer examination of Muggle bestiaries of that period demonstrates that most magical beasts either escaped Muggle notice completely or were mistaken for something else. Examine this surviving fragment of manuscript, written by one Brother Benedict, a Franciscan monk from Worcestershire: Todaye while travailing in the Herbe Garden,

I did push aside the basil to discover a Ferret of monstrous size. It did not run nor hide as Ferrets are wont to do, but leapt upon me, throwing me backwards upon the grounde and crying with most unnatural fury, ‘Get out of it, baldy!’ It did then bite my nose so viciously that I did bleed for several Hours. The Friar was unwillinge to believe that I had met a talking Ferret and did ask me whether I had been supping of Brother Boniface’s Turnip Wine. As my nose was still swollen and bloody I was excused Vespers. Evidently our Muggle friend had unearthed not a ferret, as he supposed, but a Jarvey, most likely in pursuit of its favourite prey, gnomes. Imperfect understanding is often more dangerous than ignorance, and the Muggles’ fear of magic was undoubtedly increased by their dread of what might be lurking in their herb gardens. Muggle persecution of wizards at this time was reaching a pitch hitherto unknown and sightings of such beasts as dragons and Hippogriffs were contributing to Muggle hysteria. It is not the aim of this work to discuss the dark days that preceded the wizards’ retreat into hiding.4 All that concerns us here is the fate of those fabulous beasts that, like ourselves, would have to be concealed if Muggles were ever to be convinced

there was no such thing as magic. The International Confederation of Wizards argued the matter out at their famous summit meeting of 1692. No fewer than seven weeks of sometimes acrimonious discussion between wizards of all nationalities were devoted to the troublesome question of magical creatures. How many species would we be able to conceal from Muggle notice and which should they be? Where and how should we hide them? The debate raged on, some creatures oblivious to the fact that their destiny was being decided, others contributing to the debate.5 At last agreement was reached.6 Twenty-seven species, ranging in size from dragons to Bundimuns, were to be hidden from Muggles so as to create the illusion that they had never existed outside the imagination. This number was increased over the following century, as wizards became more confident in their methods of concealment. In 1750, Clause 73 was inserted in the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy, to which wizard ministries worldwide conform today: Each wizarding governing body will be responsible for the concealment, care and control of all magical beasts, beings and spirits dwelling within its territory’s borders. Should any such creature cause harm to, or draw the notice of, the Muggle community,

that nation’s wizarding governing body will be subject to discipline by the International Confederation of Wizards.

4. Anyone interested in a full account of this particularly bloody period of wizarding history should consult A History of Magic by Bathilda Bagshot (Little Red Books, 1947). 5. Delegations of centaurs, merpeople and goblins were persuaded to attend the summit. 6. Except by the goblins.



t would be idle to deny that there have been

occasional breaches of Clause 73 since it was first put in place. Older British readers will remember the Ilfracombe Incident of 1932, when a rogue Welsh Green dragon swooped down upon a crowded beach full of sunbathing Muggles. Fatalities were mercifully prevented by the brave actions of a holidaying wizarding family (subsequently awarded Orders of Merlin, First Class), when they immediately performed the largest batch of Memory Charms this century on the inhabitants of Ilfracombe, thus narrowly averting catastrophe.7 The International Confederation of Wizards has had to fine certain nations repeatedly for contravening Clause 73. Tibet and Scotland are two of the most persistent offenders. Muggle sightings of the yeti have been so numerous that the International Confederation of Wizards felt it necessary to station an International Task Force in the mountains on a permanent basis. Meanwhile the

world’s largest kelpie continues to evade capture in Loch Ness and appears to have developed a positive thirst for publicity. These unfortunate mishaps notwithstanding, we wizards may congratulate ourselves on a job well done. There can be no doubt that the overwhelming majority of present-day Muggles refuse to believe in the magical beasts their ancestors so feared. Even those Muggles who do notice Porlock droppings or Streeler trails – it would be foolish to suppose that all traces of these creatures can be hidden – appear satisfied with the flimsiest nonmagical explanation.8 If any Muggle is unwise enough to confide in another that he has spotted a Hippogriff winging its way north, he is generally believed to be drunk or a ‘loony’. Unfair though this may seem on the Muggle in question, it is nevertheless preferable to being burnt at the stake or drowned in the village duckpond. So how does the wizarding community hide fantastic beasts? Luckily, some species do not require much wizarding assistance in avoiding the notice of Muggles. Creatures such as the Tebo, the Demiguise and the Bowtruckle have their own highly effective means of camouflage and no intervention by the Ministry of Magic has ever been necessary on their behalf. Then there are those beasts that, due to cleverness or innate

shyness, avoid contact with Muggles at all costs – for instance, the unicorn, the Mooncalf and the centaur. Other magical creatures inhabit places inaccessible to Muggles – one thinks of the Acromantula, deep in the uncharted jungle of Borneo, and the phoenix, nesting high on mountain peaks unreachable without the use of magic. Finally, and most commonly, we have beasts that are too small, too speedy or too adept at passing for mundane animals to attract a Muggle’s attention – Chizpurfles, Billywigs and Crups fall into this category. Nevertheless there are still plenty of beasts that, whether wilfully or inadvertently, remain conspicuous even to the Muggle eye, and it is these that create a significant amount of work for the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures. This department, the second largest at the Ministry of Magic,9 deals with the varying needs of the many species under its care in a variety of different ways. SAFE HABITATS Perhaps the most important step in the concealment of magical creatures is the creation of safe habitats. Muggle-repelling charms prevent trespassers into the forests where centaurs and unicorns live and on the lakes and rivers set aside for the use of merpeople. In extreme cases, such as that of the

Quintaped, whole areas have been made unplottable.10 Some of these safe areas must be kept under constant wizarding supervision; for example, dragon reservations. While unicorns and merpeople are only too happy to stay within the territories designated for their use, dragons will seek any opportunity to set forth in search of prey beyond the reservation borders. In some cases Mugglerepelling charms will not work, as the beast’s own powers will cancel them. Cases in point are the kelpie, whose sole aim in life is to attract humans towards it, and the Pogrebin, which seeks out humans for itself. CONTROLS ON SELLING AND BREEDING The possibility of a Muggle being alarmed by any of the larger or more dangerous magical beasts has been greatly reduced by the severe penalties now attached to their breeding and the sale of their young and eggs. The Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures keeps a strict watch on the trade in fantastic beasts. The 1965 Ban on Experimental Breeding has made the creation of new species illegal. DISILLUSIONMENT CHARMS The wizard on the street also plays a part in the

concealment of magical beasts. Those who own a Hippogriff, for example, are bound by law to enchant the beast with a Disillusionment Charm to distort the vision of any Muggle who may see it. Disillusionment Charms should be performed daily, as their effects are apt to wear off. MEMORY CHARMS When the worst happens and a Muggle sees what he or she is not supposed to see, the Memory Charm is perhaps the most useful repair tool. The Memory Charm may be performed by the owner of the beast in question, but in severe cases of Muggle notice, a team of trained Obliviators may be sent in by the Ministry of Magic. THE OFFICE OF MISINFORMATION The Office of Misinformation will become involved in only the very worst magical–Muggle collisions. Some magical catastrophes or accidents are simply too glaringly obvious to be explained away by Muggles without the help of an outside authority. The Office of Misinformation will in such a case liaise directly with the Muggle prime minister to seek a plausible non-magical explanation for the event. The unstinting efforts of this office in persuading Muggles that all photographic evidence of the Loch Ness kelpie is fake have gone some way to salvaging a situation that at one time looked

exceedingly dangerous.

7. In his 1972 book Muggles Who Notice, Blenheim Stalk asserts that some residents of Ilfracombe escaped the Mass Memory Charm. ‘To this day, a Muggle bearing the nickname “Dodgy Dirk” holds forth in bars along the south coast on the subject of a “dirty great flying lizard” that punctured his lilo.’ 8. For a fascinating examination of this fortunate tendency of Muggles, the reader might like to consult The Philosophy of the Mundane: Why the Muggles Prefer Not to Know, Professor Mordicus Egg (Dust & Mildewe, 1963). 9. The largest department at the Ministry of Magic is the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, to which the remaining six departments are all, in some respect, answerable – with the possible exception of the Department of Mysteries. 10. When an area of land is made unplottable, it is impossible to chart on maps.



he measures described above merely hint at

the full scope and extent of the work done by the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures. It remains only to answer that question to which we all, in our hearts, know the answer: why do we continue, as a community and as individuals, to attempt to protect and conceal magical beasts, even those that are savage and untameable? The answer is, of course: to ensure that future generations of witches and wizards enjoy their strange beauty and powers as we have been privileged to do. I offer this work as a mere introduction to the wealth of fantastic beasts that inhabit our world. Eighty-one species are described in the following pages, but I do not doubt that more will be discovered, necessitating another revised edition of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. In the meantime I will merely add that it affords me great pleasure to think that generations of young witches and wizards have grown to a fuller knowledge and

understanding of the fantastic beasts I love through the pages of this book.



he department for the regulation and Control

of Magical Creatures gives classifications to all known beasts, beings and spirits. These offer an ata-glance guide to the perceived dangerousness of a creature. The five categories are as follows: Ministry of Magic (M.O.M.) Classification XXXXX XXXX XXX XX X

Known wizard killer/impossible to train or domesticate Dangerous/requires specialist knowledge/skilled wizard may handle Competent wizard should cope Harmless/may be domesticated Boring

In some cases I have felt an explanation for the classification of a particular beast is necessary and have added footnotes accordingly.


The Acromantula is a monstrous eight-eyed spider capable of human speech. It originated in Borneo, where it inhabits dense jungle. Its distinctive features include the thick black hair that covers its body; its legspan, which may reach up to fifteen feet; its pincers, which produce a distinctive clicking sound when the Acromantula is excited or angry; and a poisonous secretion. The Acromantula is carnivorous and prefers large prey. It spins domeshaped webs upon the ground. The female is bigger than the male and may lay up to one hundred eggs at a time. Soft and white, these are as large as beach balls. The young hatch in six to eight weeks. Acromantula eggs are defined as Class A NonTradeable Goods by the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures, meaning that severe penalties are attached to their importation or sale. This beast is believed to be wizard-bred, possibly intended to guard wizard dwellings or treasure, as is

often the case with magically created monsters.11 Despite its near-human intelligence, the Acromantula is untrainable and highly dangerous to wizard and Muggle alike. Rumours that a colony of Acromantula has been established in Scotland are unconfirmed.


The Ashwinder is created when a magical fire12 is allowed to burn unchecked for too long. A thin, pale-grey serpent with glowing red eyes, it will rise from the embers of an unsupervised fire and slither away into the shadows of the dwelling in which it finds itself, leaving an ashy trail behind it. The Ashwinder lives for only an hour and during that time seeks a dark and secluded spot in which to lay its eggs, after which it will collapse into dust. Ashwinder eggs are brilliant red and give off intense heat. They will ignite the dwelling within minutes if not found and frozen with a suitable charm. Any wizard realising that one or more Ashwinders are loose in the house must trace them immediately and locate the nest of eggs. Once frozen, these eggs are of great value for use in Love Potions and may be eaten whole as a cure for ague. Ashwinders are found worldwide.

AUGUREY (also known as Irish phoenix) M.O.M. CLASSIFICATION: XX

The Augurey is a native of Britain and Ireland,

though sometimes found elsewhere in northern Europe. A thin and mournful-looking bird, somewhat like a small and underfed vulture in appearance, the Augurey is greenish black. It is intensely shy, nests in bramble and thorn, eats large insects and fairies, flies only in heavy rain and otherwise remains hidden in its tear-shaped nest. The Augurey has a distinctive low and throbbing cry, which was once believed to foretell death. Wizards avoided Augurey nests for fear of hearing that heart-rending sound, and more than one wizard is believed to have suffered a heart attack on passing a thicket and hearing an unseen Augurey wail.13 Patient research eventually revealed, however, that the Augurey merely sings at the approach of rain.14 The Augurey has since enjoyed a vogue as a home weather forecaster, though many find its almost continual moaning during the winter months difficult to bear. Augurey feathers are useless as quills because they repel ink.

11. Beasts capable of human speech are rarely self-taught; an exception is the Jarvey. The Ban on Experimental Breeding did not come into effect until this century, long after the first recorded sighting of an Acromantula in 1794. 12. Any fire to which a magical substance such as Floo powder has been added.

13. Uric the Oddball is known to have slept in a room containing no fewer than fifty pet Augureys. During one particularly wet winter, Uric became convinced by the moaning of his Augureys that he had died and was now a ghost. His subsequent attempts to walk through the walls of his house resulted in what his biographer Radolphus Pittiman describes as a ‘concussion of ten days’ duration’. 14. See Why I Didn’t Die When the Augurey Cried by Gulliver Pokeby (Little Red Books, 1824).

BASILISK (also known as the King of Serpents) M.O.M. CLASSIFICATION: XXXXX

The first recorded Basilisk was bred by Herpo the Foul, a Greek Dark wizard and Parselmouth, who discovered after much experimentation that a chicken egg hatched beneath a toad would produce a gigantic serpent possessed of extraordinarily dangerous powers. The Basilisk is a brilliant green serpent that may reach up to fifty feet in length. The male has a scarlet plume upon its head. It has exceptionally venomous fangs but its most dangerous means of attack is the gaze of its large yellow eyes. Anyone looking directly into these will suffer instant death. If the food source is sufficient (the Basilisk will eat all mammals and birds and most reptiles), the serpent may attain a very great age. Herpo the Foul’s Basilisk is believed to have lived for close on nine hundred years. The creation of Basilisks has been illegal since medieval times, although the practice is easily

concealed by simply removing the chicken egg from beneath the toad when the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures comes to call. However, since Basilisks are uncontrollable except by Parselmouths, they are as dangerous to most Dark wizards as to anybody else, and there have been no recorded sightings of Basilisks in Britain for at least four hundred years.


The Billywig is an insect native to Australia. It is around half an inch long and a vivid sapphire blue, although its speed is such that it is rarely noticed by Muggles and often not by wizards until they have been stung. The Billywig’s wings are attached to the top of its head and are rotated very fast so that it spins as it flies. At the bottom of the body is a long thin sting. Those who have been stung by a Billywig suffer giddiness followed by levitation. Generations of young Australian witches and wizards have attempted to catch Billywigs and provoke them into stinging in order to enjoy these side effects, though too many stings may cause the victim to hover uncontrollably for days on end, and where there is a severe allergic reaction, permanent floating may ensue. Dried Billywig stings are used in several potions and are believed to be a component in the popular sweet Fizzing Whizzbees.


The Bowtruckle is a tree-guardian creature found mainly in the west of England, southern Germany and certain Scandinavian forests. It is immensely difficult to spot, being small (maximum eight inches in height) and apparently made of bark and twigs with two small brown eyes. The Bowtruckle, which eats insects, is a

peaceable and intensely shy creature but if the tree in which it lives is threatened, it has been known to leap down upon the woodcutter or tree-surgeon attempting to harm its home and gouge at their eyes with its long, sharp fingers. An offering of woodlice will placate the Bowtruckle long enough to let a witch or wizard remove wand-wood from its tree.


Bundimuns are found worldwide. Skilled at creeping under floorboards and behind skirting boards, they infest houses. The presence of a Bundimun is usually announced by a foul stench of decay. The Bundimun oozes a secretion which rots away the very foundations of the dwelling in which it is found. The Bundimun at rest resembles a patch of greenish fungus with eyes, though when alarmed it will scuttle away on its numerous spindly legs. It feeds on dirt. Scouring charms will rid a house of an infestation of Bundimuns, though if they have been allowed to grow too large, the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures (Pest Sub-Division) should be contacted before the house collapses. Diluted Bundimun secretion is used in certain magical cleaning fluids.


The centaur has a human head, torso and arms joined to a horse’s body which may be any of several colours. Being intelligent and capable of speech, it should not strictly speaking be termed a beast, but by its own request it has been classified as such by the Ministry of Magic (see the Introduction to this book). The centaur is forest-dwelling. Centaurs are believed to have originated in Greece, though there are now centaur communities in many parts of Europe. Wizarding authorities in each of the countries where centaurs are found have allocated areas where the centaurs will not be troubled by Muggles; however, centaurs stand in little need of wizard protection, having their own means of hiding from humans. The ways of the centaur are shrouded in mystery. They are generally speaking as mistrustful of wizards as they are of Muggles and indeed seem to

make little differentiation between us. They live in herds ranging in size from ten to fifty members. They are reputed to be well versed in magical healing, divination, archery and astronomy.


The Chimaera is a rare Greek monster with a lion’s head, a goat’s body and a dragon’s tail. Vicious and bloodthirsty, the Chimaera is extremely dangerous. There is only one known instance of the successful slaying of a Chimaera and the unlucky wizard concerned fell to his death from his winged horse shortly afterwards, exhausted by his efforts. Chimaera eggs are classified as Grade A NonTradeable Goods.


Chizpurfles are small parasites up to a twentieth of an inch high, crab-like in appearance with large fangs. They are attracted by magic and may infest the fur and feathers of such creatures as Crups and Augureys. They will also enter wizard dwellings and attack magical objects such as wands, gradually gnawing their way through to the magical core, or else settle in dirty cauldrons, where they will gorge upon any lingering drops of potion.16 Though

Chizpurfles are easy enough to destroy with any of a number of patented potions on the market, severe infestations may require a visit from the Pest SubDivision of the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures, as Chizpurfles swollen with magical substances will prove very hard to fight.


The Clabbert is a tree-dwelling creature, in appearance something like a cross between a monkey and a frog. It originated in the southern states of America, though it has since been exported worldwide. The smooth and hairless skin is a mottled green, the hands and feet are webbed, and the arms and legs are long and supple, enabling the Clabbert to swing between branches with the agility of an orang-utan. The head has short horns and the wide mouth, which appears to be grinning, is full of razor-sharp teeth. The Clabbert feeds mostly on small lizards and birds. The Clabbert’s most distinctive feature is the large pustule in the middle of its forehead, which turns scarlet and flashes when it senses danger. American wizards once kept Clabberts in their gardens to give early warning of approaching Muggles, but the International Confederation of

Wizards has introduced fines which have largely ended this practice. The sight of a tree at night full of glowing Clabbert pustules, while decorative, attracted too many Muggles wishing to ask why their neighbours still had their Christmas lights up in June.


The Crup originated in the southeast of England. It closely resembles a Jack Russell terrier, except for the forked tail. The Crup is almost certainly a wizard-created dog, as it is intensely loyal to wizards and ferocious towards Muggles. It is a great scavenger, eating anything from gnomes to old tyres. Crup licences may be obtained from the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures on completion of a simple test to prove that the applicant wizard is capable of controlling the Crup in Muggle-inhabited areas. Crup owners are legally obliged to remove the Crup’s tail with a painless Severing Charm while the Crup is six to eight weeks old, lest Muggles notice it.

15. The centaur is given an XXXX classification not because it is

unduly aggressive, but because it should be treated with great respect. The same applies to merpeople and unicorns. 16. In the absence of magic, Chizpurfles have been known to attack electrical objects from within (for a fuller understanding of what electricity is, see Home Life and Social Habits of British Muggles, Wilhelm Wigworthy, Little Red Books, 1987). Chizpurfle infestations explain the puzzling failure of many relatively new Muggle electrical artefacts.


The Demiguise is found in the Far East, though only with great difficulty, for this beast is able to make itself invisible when threatened and can be seen only by wizards skilled in its capture. The Demiguise is a peaceful herbivorous beast, something like a graceful ape in appearance, with large, black, doleful eyes more often than not hidden by its hair. The whole body is covered with long, fine, silky, silvery hair. Demiguise pelts are highly valued as the hair may be spun into Invisibility Cloaks.


The Diricawl originated in Mauritius. A plumpbodied, fluffy-feathered, flightless bird, the Diricawl is remarkable for its method of escaping danger. It can vanish in a puff of feathers and

reappear elsewhere (the phoenix shares this ability). Interestingly, Muggles were once fully aware of the existence of the Diricawl, though they knew it by the name of ‘dodo’. Unaware that the Diricawl could vanish at will, Muggles believe they have hunted the species to extinction. As this seems to have raised Muggle awareness of the dangers of slaying their fellow creatures indiscriminately, the International Confederation of Wizards has never deemed it appropriate that the Muggles should be made aware of the continued existence of the Diricawl.

DOXY (sometimes known as Biting fairy) M.O.M. CLASSIFICATION: XXX

The Doxy is often mistaken for a fairy though it is a quite separate species. Like the fairy, it has a minute human form, though in the Doxy’s case this is covered in thick black hair and has an extra pair of arms and legs. The Doxy’s wings are thick, curved and shiny, much like a beetle’s. Doxys are found throughout northern Europe and America, preferring cold climates. They lay up to five hundred eggs at a time and bury them. The eggs hatch in two to three

weeks. Doxys have double rows of sharp, venomous teeth. An antidote should be taken if bitten.


Probably the most famous of all magical beasts, dragons are among the most difficult to hide. The female is generally larger and more aggressive than the male, though neither should be approached by any but highly skilled and trained wizards. Dragon hide, blood, heart, liver and horn all have highly magical properties, but dragon eggs are defined as Class A Non-Tradeable Goods. There are ten breeds of dragon, though these have been known to interbreed on occasion, producing rare hybrids. Pure-bred dragons are as follows: ANTIPODEAN OPALEYE The Opaleye is a native of New Zealand, though it has been known to migrate to Australia when territory becomes scarce in its native land. Unusually for a dragon, it dwells in valleys rather than mountains. It is of medium size (between two and three tonnes). Perhaps the most beautiful type

of dragon, it has iridescent, pearly scales and glittering, multi-coloured, pupil-less eyes, hence its name. This dragon produces a very vivid scarlet flame, though by dragon standards it is not particularly aggressive and will rarely kill unless hungry. Its favourite food is sheep, though it has been known to attack larger prey. A spate of kangaroo killings in the late 1970s were attributed to a male Opaleye ousted from his homeland by a dominant female. Opaleye eggs are pale grey and may be mistaken for fossils by unwary Muggles. CHINESE FIREBALL (sometimes known as Liondragon) The only Oriental dragon has a particularly striking appearance. Scarlet and smooth-scaled, it has a fringe of golden spikes around its snub-snouted face and extremely protuberant eyes. The Fireball gained its name for the mushroom-shaped flame that bursts from its nostrils when it is angered. It weighs between two and four tonnes, the female being larger than the male. Eggs are a vivid crimson speckled with gold and the shells are much prized for use in Chinese wizardry. The Fireball is aggressive but more tolerant of its own species than most dragons, sometimes consenting to share its territory with up to two others. The Fireball will feast on most mammals, though it prefers pigs and

humans. COMMON WELSH GREEN The Welsh Green blends well with the lush grass of its homeland, though it nests in the higher mountains, where a reservation has been established for its preservation. The Ilfracombe Incident notwithstanding, this breed is among the least troublesome of the dragons, preferring, like the Opaleye, to prey on sheep and actively avoiding humans unless provoked. The Welsh Green has an easily recognisable and surprisingly melodious roar. Fire is issued in thin jets. The Welsh Green’s eggs are an earthy brown, flecked with green. HEBRIDEAN BLACK Britain’s other native dragon is more aggressive than its Welsh counterpart. It requires a territory of as much as a hundred square miles per dragon. Up to thirty feet in length, the Hebridean Black is rough-scaled, with brilliant purple eyes and a line of shallow but razor-sharp ridges along its back. Its tail is tipped by an arrow-shaped spike and it has batlike wings. The Hebridean Black feeds mostly on deer, though it has been known to carry off large dogs and even cattle. The wizard clan MacFusty, who have dwelled in the Hebrides for centuries,

have traditionally taken responsibility for the management of their native dragons.

HUNGARIAN HORNTAIL Supposedly the most dangerous of all dragon breeds, the Hungarian Horntail has black scales and is lizard-like in appearance. It has yellow eyes, bronze horns and similarly coloured spikes that protrude from its long tail. The Horntail has one of the longest fire-breathing ranges (up to fifty feet). Its eggs are cement-coloured and particularly hardshelled; the young club their way out using their tails, whose spikes are well developed at birth. The

Hungarian Horntail feeds on goats, sheep and, whenever possible, humans. NORWEGIAN RIDGEBACK The Norwegian Ridgeback resembles the Horntail in most respects, though instead of tail spikes it sports particularly prominent jet-black ridges along its back. Exceptionally aggressive to its own kind, the Ridgeback is nowadays one of the rarer dragon breeds. It has been known to attack most kinds of large land mammal and, unusually for a dragon, the Ridgeback will also feed on water-dwelling creatures. An unsubstantiated report alleges that a Ridgeback carried off a whale calf off the coast of Norway in 1802. Ridgeback eggs are black and the young develop fire-breathing abilities earlier than other breeds (at between one and three months). PERUVIAN VIPERTOOTH This is the smallest of all known dragons, and the swiftest in flight. A mere fifteen feet or so in length, the Peruvian Vipertooth is smooth-scaled and copper-coloured with black ridge markings. The horns are short and the fangs are particularly venomous. The Vipertooth will feed readily on goats and cows, but has such a liking for humans that the International Confederation of Wizards

was forced to send in exterminators in the late nineteenth century to reduce Vipertooth numbers, which had been increasing with alarming rapidity. ROMANIAN LONGHORN The Longhorn has dark-green scales and long, glittering golden horns with which it gores its prey before roasting it. When powdered, these horns are highly valued as potion ingredients. The native territory of the Longhorn has now become the world’s most important dragon reservation, where wizards of all nationalities study a variety of dragons at close range. The Longhorn has been the subject of an intensive breeding programme because its numbers have fallen so low in recent years, largely because of the trade in its horns, which are now defined as a Class B Tradeable Material. SWEDISH SHORT-SNOUT The Swedish Short-Snout is an attractive silveryblue dragon whose skin is sought after for the manufacture of protective gloves and shields. The flame that issues from its nostrils is a brilliant blue and can reduce timber and bone to ash in a matter of seconds. The Short-Snout has fewer human killings to its name than most dragons, though as it

prefers to live in wild and uninhabited mountainous areas, this is not much to its credit. UKRAINIAN IRONBELLY The largest breed of dragon, the Ironbelly has been known to achieve a weight of six tonnes. Rotund and slower in flight than the Vipertooth or the Longhorn, the Ironbelly is nevertheless extremely dangerous, capable of crushing dwellings on which it lands. The scales are metallic grey, the eyes deep red and the talons particularly long and vicious. Ironbellies have been subject to constant observation by the Ukrainian wizarding authorities ever since an Ironbelly carried off a (mercifully empty) sailing boat from the Black Sea in 1799.


The Dugbog is a marsh-dwelling creature found in Europe and North and South America. It resembles a piece of dead wood while stationary, though closer examination will reveal finned paws and very sharp teeth. It glides and slithers through marshland, feeding mainly on small mammals, and will do severe injury to the ankles of human walkers. The Dugbog’s favourite food, however, is

Mandrake. Mandrake-growers have been known to seize the leaves of one of their prize plants only to find a bloody mangled mess below owing to the attentions of a Dugbog.


The Erkling is an elfish creature which originated in the Black Forest in Germany. It is larger than a gnome (three feet high on average), with a pointed face and a high-pitched cackle that is particularly entrancing to children, whom it will attempt to lure away from their guardians and eat. Strict controls by the German Ministry of Magic, however, have reduced Erkling killings dramatically over the last few centuries and the last known Erkling attack, upon the six-year-old wizard Bruno Schmidt, resulted in the death of the Erkling when Master Schmidt hit it very hard over the head with his father’s collapsible cauldron.


The Erumpent is a large grey African beast of great power. Weighing up to a tonne, the Erumpent may be mistaken for a rhinoceros at a distance. It has a thick hide that repels most charms and curses, a large, sharp horn upon its nose and a long, rope-like tail. Erumpents give birth to only one calf at a time. The Erumpent will not attack unless sorely provoked, but should it charge, the results are usually catastrophic. The Erumpent’s horn can

pierce everything from skin to metal, and contains a deadly fluid which will cause whatever is injected with it to explode. Erumpent numbers are not great, as males frequently explode each other during the mating season. They are treated with great caution by African wizards. Erumpent horns, tails and the Exploding Fluid are all used in potions, though classified as Class B Tradeable Materials (Dangerous and Subject to Strict Control).


The fairy is a small and decorative beast of little intelligence.17 Often used or conjured by wizards for decoration, the fairy generally inhabits woodlands or glades. Ranging in height from one to five inches, the fairy has a minute humanoid body, head and limbs but sports large insect-like wings, which may be transparent or multi-coloured, according to type. The fairy possesses a weak brand of magic that it may use to deter predators, such as the Augurey. It has a quarrelsome nature but, being excessively vain, it will become docile on any occasion when it is called to act as an ornament. Despite its humanlike appearance, the fairy cannot speak. It makes a high-pitched buzzing noise to communicate with its fellows. The fairy lays up to fifty eggs at a time on the underside of leaves. The eggs hatch into brightly coloured larvae. At the age of six to ten days these

spin themselves a cocoon, from which they emerge one month later as fully formed winged adults.


Despite its name, the Fire Crab greatly resembles a large tortoise with a heavily jewelled shell. In its native Fiji, a stretch of coast has been turned into a reservation for its protection, not only against Muggles, who might be tempted by its valuable shell, but also against unscrupulous wizards, who use the shells as highly prized cauldrons. The Fire Crab does, however, have its own defence mechanism: it shoots flames from its rear end when attacked. Fire Crabs are exported as pets but a special licence is necessary.


The Flobberworm lives in damp ditches. A thick brown worm reaching up to ten inches in length, the Flobberworm moves very little. One end is indistinguishable from the other, both producing the mucus from which its name is derived and which is sometimes used to thicken potions. The Flobberworm’s preferred food is lettuce, though it

will eat almost any vegetation.


The Fwooper is an African bird with extremely vivid plumage; Fwoopers may be orange, pink, lime green or yellow. The Fwooper has long been a provider of fancy quills and also lays brilliantly patterned eggs. Though at first enjoyable, Fwooper song will eventually drive the listener to insanity18 and the Fwooper is consequently sold with a Silencing Charm upon it, which will need monthly reinforcement. Fwooper owners require licences, as the creatures must be handled responsibly.

17. Muggles have a great weakness for fairies, which feature in a variety of tales written for their children. These ‘fairy tales’ involve winged beings with distinct personalities and the ability to converse as humans (though often in a nauseatingly sentimental fashion). Fairies, as envisaged by the Muggle, inhabit tiny dwellings fashioned out of flower petals, hollowed-out toadstools and similar. They are often depicted as carrying wands. Of all magical beasts the fairy might be said to have received the best Muggle press. 18. Uric the Oddball attempted at one time to prove that Fwooper song was actually beneficial to the health and listened to it for three months on end without a break. Unfortunately the Wizards’ Council to which he reported his findings were unconvinced, as he had arrived at the meeting wearing nothing but a toupee that on closer inspection proved to be a dead badger.


The ghoul, though ugly, is not a particularly dangerous creature. It resembles a somewhat slimy, buck-toothed ogre and generally resides in attics or barns belonging to wizards, where it eats spiders and moths. It moans and occasionally throws objects around, but is essentially simple-minded and will, at worst, growl alarmingly at anyone who stumbles across it. A Ghoul Task Force exists at the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures to remove ghouls from dwellings that have passed into Muggle hands, but in wizarding families the ghoul often becomes a talking point or even a family pet.


The Glumbumble (northern Europe) is a grey, furry-bodied flying insect that produces

melancholy-inducing treacle, which is used as an antidote to the hysteria produced by eating Alihotsy leaves. It has been known to infest beehives, with disastrous effects on the honey. Glumbumbles nest in dark and secluded places such as hollow trees and caves. They feed on nettles.


The gnome is a common garden pest found throughout northern Europe and North America. It may reach a foot in height, with a disproportionately large head and hard, bony feet. The gnome can be expelled from the garden by swinging it in circles until dizzy and then dropping it over the garden wall. Alternatively a Jarvey may be used, though many wizards nowadays find this method of gnome-control too brutal.


The Graphorn is found in mountainous European regions. Large and greyish purple with a humped back, the Graphorn has two very long, sharp horns, walks on large, four-thumbed feet, and has an extremely aggressive nature. Mountain trolls can

occasionally be seen mounted on Graphorns, though the latter do not seem to take kindly to attempts to tame them and it is more common to see a troll covered in Graphorn scars. Powdered Graphorn horn is used in many potions, though it is immensely expensive owing to the difficulty in collecting it. Graphorn hide is even tougher than a dragon’s and repels most spells.


The griffin originated in Greece and has the front legs and head of a giant eagle, but the body and hind legs of a lion. Like sphinxes, griffins are often employed by wizards to guard treasure. Though griffins are fierce, a handful of skilled wizards have been known to befriend one. Griffins feed on raw meat.


A horned, pale-green water demon, the Grindylow is found in lakes throughout Britain and Ireland. It feeds on small fish and is aggressive towards wizards and Muggles alike, though merpeople have been known to domesticate it. The Grindylow has very long fingers, which, though they exert a powerful grip, are easy to break.


The Hidebehind is an accidentally created species, which was imported to North America by Old World crook Phineas Fletcher. Fletcher, a trader in banned artefacts and creatures, had intended to import a trafficked Demiguise into the New World, with the aim of manufacturing Invisibility Cloaks. The Demiguise escaped on board ship and bred with a stowaway ghoul. Their resultant offspring escaped into Massachusetts forests when Phineas’s ship docked, and their descendants continue to infest the region today. The Hidebehind is nocturnal and has the power of invisibility. Those who have seen it describe a tall, silver-haired creature, something like a skinny bear. Its preferred prey is humans, which Magizoologists speculate is the result of the cruelty with which Phineas Fletcher was known to treat the unfortunate creatures in his power.


Originating in Greece, the Hippocampus has the head and forequarters of a horse and the tail and hindquarters of a giant fish. Though the species is usually to be found in the Mediterranean, a superb blue roan specimen was caught by merpeople off the shores of Scotland in 1949 and subsequently domesticated by them. The Hippocampus lays large, semi-transparent eggs through which the Tadfoal may be seen.


The Hippogriff is native to Europe, though now found worldwide. It has the head of a giant eagle and the body of a horse. It can be tamed, though this should be attempted only by experts. Eye contact should be maintained when approaching a Hippogriff. Bowing shows good intentions. If the Hippogriff returns the greeting, it is safe to draw closer. The Hippogriff burrows for insects but will also eat birds and small mammals. Breeding Hippogriffs build nests upon the ground into which they will lay

a single large and fragile egg, which hatches within twenty-four hours. The fledgling Hippogriff should be ready to fly within a week, though it will be a matter of months before it is able to accompany its parent on longer journeys.


The Hodag is horned, with red, glowing eyes and long fangs, and the size of a large dog. The Hodag’s magic resides largely in its horns which, when powdered, make a man immune to the effects of alcohol and able to go without sleep for seven days and seven nights. Like the Snallygaster, the Hodag is a North American creature whose antics have excited considerable Muggle interest and curiosity. It feeds largely on Mooncalves and is consequently attracted to Muggle farms at night. MACUSA’s Department of No-Maj Misinformation has put in considerable work to successfully convince Muggles that sightings of Hodags have been hoaxes. It is now confined, mostly successfully, to a protected area around Wisconsin.


The Horklump comes from Scandinavia but is now widespread throughout northern Europe. It resembles a fleshy, pinkish mushroom covered in sparse, wiry black bristles. A prodigious breeder, the Horklump will cover an average garden in a matter of days. It spreads sinewy tentacles rather than roots into the ground to search for its preferred food of earthworms. The Horklump is a favourite delicacy of gnomes but otherwise has no discernible use.


Several species of Horned Serpents exist globally: large specimens have been caught in the Far East, while ancient bestiaries suggest that they were once native to Western Europe, where they have been hunted to extinction by wizards in search of potion ingredients. The largest and most diverse group of Horned Serpents still in existence is to be found in North America, of which the most famous and highly prized has a jewel in its forehead, which is reputed to give the power of invisibility and flight. A legend exists concerning the founder of Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Isolt Sayre, and a Horned Serpent. Sayre was reputed to be able to understand the serpent, which offered her shavings from its horn as the core of the

first ever American-made wand. The Horned Serpent gives its name to one of the houses of Ilvermorny.


The imp is found only in Britain and Ireland. It is sometimes confused with the pixie. They are of similar height (between six and eight inches), though the imp cannot fly as the pixie can, nor is it as vividly coloured (the imp is usually dark brown to black). It does, however, have a similar slapstick sense of humour. Its preferred terrain is damp and marshy, and it is often found near riverbanks, where it will amuse itself by pushing and tripping the unwary. Imps eat small insects and have breeding habits much like the fairies, though imps do not spin cocoons; the young are hatched fully formed at around one inch in length.


The Jarvey is found in Britain, Ireland and North America. It resembles an overgrown ferret in most respects, except for the fact that it can talk. True conversation, however, is beyond the wit of the Jarvey, which tends to confine itself to short (and often rude) phrases in an almost constant stream. Jarveys live mostly below ground, where they pursue gnomes, though they will also eat moles, rats and voles.


The Jobberknoll (northern Europe and America) is a tiny blue, speckled bird which eats small insects. It makes no sound until the moment of its death, at which point it lets out a long scream made up of every sound it has ever heard, regurgitated backwards. Jobberknoll feathers are used in Truth Serums and Memory Potions.


The Kappa is a Japanese water demon that inhabits shallow ponds and rivers. Often said to look like a monkey with fish scales instead of fur, it has a hollow in the top of its head in which it carries water. The Kappa feeds on human blood but may be persuaded not to harm a person if it is thrown a cucumber with that person’s name carved into it. In confrontation, a wizard should trick the Kappa into bowing – if it does so, the water in the hollow of its head will run out, depriving it of all its strength.


This British and Irish water demon can take various shapes, though it most often appears as a horse with bulrushes for a mane. Having lured the unwary on to its back, it will dive straight to the bottom of its

river or lake and devour the rider, letting the entrails float to the surface. The correct means to overcome a kelpie is to get a bridle over its head with a Placement Charm, which renders it docile and unthreatening. The world’s largest kelpie is found in Loch Ness, Scotland. Its favourite form is that of a sea serpent. International Confederation of Wizard observers realised that they were not dealing with a true serpent when they saw it turn into an otter on the approach of a team of Muggle investigators and then transform back into a serpent when the coast was clear.


The Knarl (northern Europe and America) is usually mistaken for a hedgehog by Muggles. The two species are indeed indistinguishable except for one important behavioural difference: if food is left out in the garden for a hedgehog, it will accept and enjoy the gift; if food is offered to a Knarl, on the other hand, it will assume that the householder is attempting to lure it into a trap and will savage that householder’s garden plants or garden ornaments. Many a Muggle child has been accused of vandalism when an offended Knarl was the real culprit.


The Kneazle was originally bred in Britain, though it is now exported worldwide. A small cat-like creature with flecked, speckled or spotted fur, outsize ears and a tail like a lion’s, the Kneazle is intelligent, independent and occasionally aggressive, though if it takes a liking to a witch or wizard, it makes an excellent pet. The Kneazle has an uncanny ability to detect unsavoury or suspicious characters and can be relied upon to guide its owner safely home if they are lost.

Kneazles have up to eight kittens in a litter and can interbreed with cats. Licences are required for ownership as (like Crups and Fwoopers) Kneazles are sufficiently unusual in appearance to attract Muggle interest.

LEPRECHAUN (sometimes known as Clauricorn) M.O.M. CLASSIFICATION: XXX

More intelligent than the fairy and less malicious than the imp, the pixie or the Doxy, the leprechaun is nevertheless mischievous. Found only in Ireland, it achieves a height of up to six inches and is green in colour. It has been known to create crude clothing from leaves. Alone of the ‘little people’, leprechauns can speak, though they have never requested reclassification as ‘beings’. The leprechaun bears live young and lives mostly in forest and woodland areas, though it enjoys attracting Muggle attention and as a consequence features almost as heavily as the fairy in Muggle literature for children. Leprechauns produce a realistic gold-like substance that vanishes after a few hours, to their great amusement. Leprechauns eat leaves and, despite their reputation as pranksters, are not known ever to have done lasting damage to a human.

LETHIFOLD (also known as Living Shroud) M.O.M. CLASSIFICATION: XXXXX

The Lethifold is a mercifully rare creature found solely in tropical climates. It resembles a black cloak perhaps half an inch thick (thicker if it has recently killed and digested a victim) which glides along the ground at night. The earliest account we have of a Lethifold was written by the wizard Flavius Belby, who was fortunate enough to survive a Lethifold attack in 1782 while holidaying in Papua New Guinea. Near one o’clock in the morning, as I began at last to feel drowsy, I heard a soft rustling close by. Believing it to be nothing more than the leaves of the tree outside, I turned over in bed, with my back to the window, and caught sight of what appeared to be a shapeless black shadow sliding underneath my bedroom door. I lay motionless, trying sleepily to divine what was causing such a shadow in a room lit only by moonlight. Undoubtedly my stillness led the Lethifold to believe that its potential victim was sleeping. To my horror, the shadow began to creep up the bed, and I felt its slight weight upon me. It resembled nothing so much as a rippling black cape, the edges fluttering slightly as it

slithered up the bed towards me. Paralysed with fear, I felt its clammy touch upon my chin before I sat bolt upright. The thing attempted to smother me, sliding inexorably up my face, over my mouth and nostrils, but still I struggled, feeling it wrapping its coldness about me all the while. Unable to cry for assistance, I groped for my wand. Now dizzy as the thing sealed itself about my face, incapable of drawing breath, I concentrated with all my might upon the Stupefying Charm and then – as that failed to subdue the creature, though blasting a hole in my bedroom door – upon the Impediment Hex, which likewise availed me naught. Still struggling madly, I rolled sideways and fell heavily to the floor, now entirely wrapped in the Lethifold. I knew that I was about to lose consciousness completely as I suffocated. Desperately, I mustered up my last reserve of energy. Pointing my wand away from myself into the deadly folds of the creature, summoning the memory of the day I had been voted President of the local Gobstones Club, I performed the Patronus Charm. Almost at once I felt fresh air upon my face. I looked up to see that deathly shadow being thrown into the air upon the horns of

my Patronus. It flew across the room and slithered swiftly out of sight. As Belby so dramatically reveals, the Patronus is the only spell known to repel the Lethifold. Since it generally attacks the sleeping, though, its victims rarely have a chance to use any magic against it. Once its prey has been successfully suffocated, the Lethifold digests its food there and then in their bed. It then exits the house slightly thicker and fatter than before, leaving no trace of itself or its victim behind.19


The Lobalug is found at the bottom of the North Sea. It is a simple creature, ten inches long, comprising a rubbery spout and a venom sac. When threatened, the Lobalug contracts its venom sac, blasting the attacker with poison. Merpeople use

the Lobalug as a weapon and wizards have been known to extract its poison for use in potions, though this practice is strictly controlled.

19. The number of Lethifold victims is almost impossible to calculate since it leaves no clues to its presence behind it. Easier to calculate is the number of wizards who have, for their own unscrupulous purposes, pretended to have been killed by Lethifolds. The most recent instance of such duplicity occurred in 1973 when the wizard Janus Thickey vanished, leaving only a hastily written note on the bedside table reading ‘oh no a Lethifold’s got me I’m suffocating’. Convinced by the spotless and empty bed that such a creature had indeed killed Janus, his wife and children entered a period of strict mourning, which was rudely interrupted when Janus was discovered living five miles away with the landlady of the Green Dragon.


The Malaclaw is a land-dwelling creature found mostly on rocky coastlines around Europe. Despite its passing resemblance to the lobster, it should on no account be eaten, as its flesh is unfit for human consumption and will result in a high fever and an unsightly greenish rash. The Malaclaw can reach a length of twelve inches and is light grey with deep-green spots. It eats small crustaceans and will attempt to tackle larger prey. The Malaclaw’s bite has the unusual side effect of making the victim highly unlucky for a period of up to a week after the injury. If you are bitten by a Malaclaw, all bets, wagers and speculative ventures should be cancelled, as they are sure to go against the victim.


The Manticore is a highly dangerous Greek beast with the head of a man, the body of a lion and the tail of a scorpion. As dangerous as the Chimaera, and as rare, the Manticore is reputed to croon softly as it devours its prey. Manticore skin repels almost all known charms and the sting causes instant death.

MERPEOPLE (also known as sirens, selkies, merrows) M.O.M. CLASSIFICATION: XXXX20

Merpeople exist throughout the world, though they vary in appearance almost as much as humans. Their habits and customs remain as mysterious as those of the centaur, though those wizards who have mastered the language of Mermish speak of highly organised communities varying in size according to habitat, and some have elaborately constructed dwellings. Like the centaurs, the merpeople have declined ‘being’ status in favour of a ‘beast’ classification (see Introduction). The oldest recorded merpeople were known as sirens (Greece) and it is in warmer waters that we find the beautiful mermaids so frequently depicted in Muggle literature and painting. The selkies of Scotland and the merrows of Ireland are less beautiful, but they share that love of music which is common to all merpeople.


The Moke is a silver-green lizard reaching up to ten inches in length and is found throughout Britain and Ireland. It has the ability to shrink at will and has consequently never been noticed by Muggles.

Moke skin is highly prized among wizards for use as moneybags and purses, as the scaly material will contract at the approach of a stranger, just as its owner did; Moke-skin moneybags are therefore very difficult for thieves to locate.


The Mooncalf is an intensely shy creature that emerges from its burrow only at the full moon. Its body is smooth and pale grey, it has bulging round eyes on top of its head and four spindly legs with enormous flat feet. Mooncalves perform complicated dances on their hind legs in isolated areas in the moonlight. These are believed to be a prelude to mating (and often leave intricate geometric patterns behind in wheat fields, to the great puzzlement of Muggles). Watching Mooncalves dance by moonlight is a fascinating experience and often profitable, for if their silvery dung is collected before the sun rises and spread upon magical herb and flower beds, the plants will grow very fast and become extremely strong. Mooncalves are found worldwide.


The Murtlap is a rat-like creature found in coastal areas of Britain. It has a growth upon its back resembling a sea anemone. When pickled and eaten, these Murtlap growths promote resistance to curses and jinxes, though an overdose may cause unsightly purple ear hair. Murtlaps eat crustaceans and the feet of anyone foolish enough to step on them.

20. See classification footnote for centaur.


The Niffler is a British beast. Fluffy, black and long-snouted, this burrowing creature has a predilection for anything glittery. Nifflers are often kept by goblins to burrow deep into the earth for treasure. Though the Niffler is gentle and even affectionate, it can be destructive to belongings and should never be kept in a house. Nifflers live in lairs up to twenty feet below the surface and produce six to eight young in a litter.


Nogtails are demons found in rural areas right across Europe, Russia and America. They resemble stunted piglets with long legs, thick, stubby tails and narrow black eyes. The Nogtail will creep into a sty and suckle an ordinary sow alongside her own young. The longer the Nogtail is left undetected and the bigger it grows, the longer the blight on the farm into which it has entered. The Nogtail is exceptionally fast and difficult to

catch, though if chased beyond the boundaries of a farm by a pure white dog, it will never return. The Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures (Pest Sub-Division) keeps a dozen albino bloodhounds for this purpose.


This east African beast is arguably the most dangerous in the world. A gigantic leopard that moves silently despite its size and whose breath causes disease virulent enough to eliminate entire villages, it has never yet been subdued by fewer than a hundred skilled wizards working together.


The Occamy is found in the Far East and India. A plumed, two-legged winged creature with a serpentine body, the Occamy may reach a length of fifteen feet. It feeds mainly on rats and birds, though has been known to carry off monkeys. The Occamy is aggressive to all who approach it, particularly in defence of its eggs, whose shells are made of the purest, softest silver.


The phoenix is a magnificent, swan-sized, scarlet bird with a long golden tail, beak and talons. It nests on mountain peaks and is found in Egypt, India and China. The phoenix lives to an immense age as it can regenerate, bursting into flames when its body begins to fail and rising again from the ashes as a chick. The phoenix is a gentle creature that has never been known to kill and eats only herbs. Like the Diricawl, it can disappear and reappear at will. Phoenix song is magical: it is reputed to increase the courage of the pure of heart and to strike fear into the hearts of the impure. Phoenix tears have powerful healing properties.


The pixie is mostly found in Cornwall, England. Electric blue in colour, up to eight inches in height and very mischievous, the pixie delights in tricks and practical jokes of all descriptions. Although wingless, it can fly and has been known to seize unwary humans by the ears and deposit them at the tops of tall trees and buildings. Pixies produce a high-pitched jabbering intelligible only to other pixies. They bear live young.


The Plimpy is a spherical, mottled fish distinguished by its two long legs ending in webbed feet. It inhabits deep lakes, where it will prowl the bottom in search of food, preferring water snails. The Plimpy is not particularly dangerous, though it will nibble the feet and clothing of swimmers. It is considered a pest by merpeople, who deal with it by tying its rubbery legs in a knot; the Plimpy then drifts away, unable to steer, and cannot return until it has untied itself, which may take hours.


The Pogrebin is a Russian demon, barely a foot tall, with a hairy body but a smooth, oversized grey head. When crouching, the Pogrebin resembles a shiny, round rock. Pogrebins are attracted to humans and enjoy tailing them, staying in their shadow and crouching quickly should the shadow’s owner turn around. If a Pogrebin is allowed to tail a human for many hours, a sense of great futility will overcome its prey, who will eventually fall into a state of lethargy and despair. When the victim stops walking and sinks to their knees to weep at the pointlessness of it all, the Pogrebin will leap upon

them and attempt to devour them. However, it is easy to repulse the Pogrebin with simple hexes or Stupefying Charms. Kicking has also been found effective.


The Porlock is a horse-guardian found in Dorset, England, and in Southern Ireland. Covered in shaggy fur, it has a large quantity of rough hair on its head and an exceptionally large nose. It walks on two cloven feet. The arms are small and end in four stubby fingers. Fully grown Porlocks are around two feet high and feed on grass. The Porlock is shy and lives to guard horses. It may be found curled in the straw of stables or else sheltering in the midst of the herd it protects. Porlocks mistrust humans and always hide at their approach.


The Puffskein is found worldwide. Spherical in shape and covered in soft, custard-coloured fur, it is a docile creature that has no objection to being cuddled or thrown about. Easy to care for, it emits

a low humming noise when contented. From time to time a very long, thin, pink tongue will emerge from the depths of the Puffskein and snake through the house searching for food. The Puffskein is a scavenger that will eat anything from leftovers to spiders, but it has a particular preference for sticking its tongue up the nose of sleeping wizards and eating their bogies. This tendency has made the Puffskein much beloved by wizarding children for many generations and it remains a highly popular wizarding pet.

21. The phoenix gains a XXXX rating not because it is aggressive, but because very few wizards have ever succeeded in domesticating it.

QUINTAPED (also known as Hairy MacBoon) M.O.M. CLASSIFICATION: XXXXX

The Quintaped is a highly dangerous carnivorous beast with a particular taste for humans. Its lowslung body is covered with thick reddish-brown hair, as are its five legs, each of which ends in a clubfoot. The Quintaped is found only upon the Isle of Drear off the northernmost tip of Scotland. Drear has been made unplottable for this reason. Legend has it that the Isle of Drear was once populated by two wizarding families, the McCliverts and the MacBoons. A drunken wizarding duel between Dugald, chief of the clan McClivert, and Quintius, head of the clan MacBoon, is supposed to have led to the death of Dugald. In retaliation, so the story has it, a gang of McCliverts surrounded the MacBoon dwellings one night and Transfigured each and every MacBoon into a monstrous five-legged creature. The McCliverts realised too late that the Transfigured MacBoons were infinitely more dangerous in this

state (the MacBoons had the reputation for great ineptitude at magic). Moreover, the MacBoons resisted every attempt to turn them back into human form. The monsters killed every last one of the McCliverts until no human remained on the island. It was only then that the MacBoon monsters realised that in the absence of anyone to wield a wand, they would be forced to remain as they were for evermore. Whether this tale is true or not will never be known. Certainly there are no surviving McCliverts or MacBoons to tell us what happened to their ancestors. The Quintapeds cannot talk and have strenuously resisted every attempt by the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures to capture a specimen and try to Untransfigure it, so we must assume that if they are indeed, as their nickname suggests, Hairy MacBoons, they are quite happy to live out their days as beasts.


The Ramora is a silver fish found in the Indian Ocean. Powerfully magical, it can anchor ships and is a guardian of seafarers. The Ramora is highly valued by the International Confederation of Wizards, which has set many laws in place to protect the Ramora from wizard poachers.


These dwarf-like creatures live in holes on old battlegrounds or wherever human blood has been spilled. Although easily repelled by charms and hexes, they are very dangerous to solitary Muggles, whom they will attempt to bludgeon to death on dark nights. Red Caps are most prevalent in northern Europe.


Extremely rare giant oxen with golden hides, the Re’em are found both in the wilds of North America and the Far East. Re’em blood gives the drinker immense strength, though the difficulty in procuring it means that supplies are negligible and rarely for sale on the open market.


The Runespoor originated in the small African country of Burkina Faso. A three-headed serpent, the Runespoor commonly reaches a length of six or seven feet. Livid orange with black stripes, the Runespoor is only too easy to spot, so the Ministry of Magic in Burkina Faso has designated certain forests unplottable for the Runespoor’s sole use. The Runespoor, though not in itself a particularly vicious beast, was once a favourite pet of Dark wizards, no doubt because of its striking and intimidating appearance. It is to the writings of Parselmouths who have kept and conversed with these serpents that we owe our understanding of their curious habits. It transpires from their records that each of the Runespoor’s heads serves a different purpose. The left head (as seen by the

wizard facing the Runespoor) is the planner. It decides where the Runespoor is to go and what it is to do next. The middle head is the dreamer (Runespoors may remain stationary for days at a time, lost in glorious visions and imaginings). The right head is the critic and will evaluate the efforts of the left and middle heads with a continual irritable hissing. The right head’s fangs are extremely venomous. The Runespoor rarely reaches a great age, as the heads tend to attack each other. It is common to see a Runespoor with the right head missing, the other two heads having banded together to bite it off. The Runespoor produces eggs through its mouths, the only known magical beast so to do. These eggs are of immense value in the production of potions to stimulate mental agility. A black market in Runespoor eggs and in the serpents themselves has flourished for several centuries.


The salamander is a small fire-dwelling lizard that feeds on flame. Brilliant white, it appears blue or scarlet depending upon the heat of the fire in which it makes its appearance. Salamanders can survive up to six hours outside a fire if regularly fed pepper. They will live only as long as the fire from which they sprang burns. Salamander blood has powerful curative and restorative properties.


Sea serpents are found in the Atlantic, Pacific and Mediterranean seas. Though alarming in appearance, sea serpents are not known ever to have killed any human, despite hysterical Muggle accounts of their ferocious behaviour. Reaching lengths of up to a hundred feet, the sea serpent has

a horse-like head and a long snake-like body that rises in humps out of the sea.


A fish covered entirely in spines and found in the Atlantic Ocean. The first shoal of Shrake is believed to have been created as a revenge against Muggle fisherfolk who had insulted a team of sailing wizards in the early 1800s. From that day on, any Muggles fishing in that particular patch of sea have found their nets come up ripped and empty, owing to the Shrakes swimming deep below.


Native to North America, the part-bird, part-reptile Snallygaster was once believed to be a kind of dragon, but is now known to be a distant relative of the Occamy. It cannot breathe fire, but possesses fangs of serrated steel with which it slices through its prey. The Snallygaster has frequently endangered the International Statute of Secrecy. Its natural curiosity, coupled with a bulletproof hide, renders it difficult to scare away and the Snallygaster has found its way into Muggle

newspapers with such frequency that it sometimes ties with the Loch Ness Monster for ‘Most Publicity-Hungry Beast’. Since 1949, a dedicated Snallygaster Protection League has been stationed permanently in Maryland to Obliviate Muggles who see it.


The Golden Snidget is an extremely rare, protected species of bird. Completely round, with a very long,

thin beak and glistening, jewel-like red eyes, the Golden Snidget is an extremely fast flier that can change direction with uncanny speed and skill, owing to the rotational joints of its wings. The Golden Snidget’s feathers and eyes are so highly prized that it was at one time in danger of being hunted to extinction by wizards. The danger was recognised in time and the species protected, the most notable factor being the substitution of the Golden Snitch for the Snidget in the game of Quidditch.23 Snidget sanctuaries exist worldwide.


The Egyptian sphinx has a human head on a lion’s body. For over a thousand years it has been used by witches and wizards to guard valuables and secret hideaways. Highly intelligent, the sphinx delights in puzzles and riddles. It is usually dangerous only when what it is guarding is threatened.


The Streeler is a giant snail that changes colour on an hourly basis and deposits behind it a trail so venomous that it shrivels and burns all vegetation

over which it passes. The Streeler is native to several African countries, though it has been successfully raised by wizards in Europe, Asia and the Americas. It is kept as a pet by those who enjoy its kaleidoscopic colour changes, and its venom is one of the few substances known to kill Horklumps.

22. The Golden Snidget gains a XXXX rating not because it is dangerous but because severe penalties are attached to its capture or injury. 23. Anyone interested in the role played by the Golden Snidget in the development of the game of Quidditch is advised to consult Quidditch Through the Ages by Kennilworthy Whisp (Whizz Hard Books, 1952).


The Tebo is an ash-coloured warthog found in Congo and Zaire. It has the power of invisibility, making it difficult to evade or catch, and is very dangerous. Tebo hide is highly prized by wizards for protective shields and clothing.


The Thunderbird is unique to North America and is found most plentifully in Arizona. Taller than a man when full-grown, it has the power to create storms as it flies. The Thunderbird is so sensitive to supernatural danger that wands created with its feathers have been known to fire curses preemptively. One of the houses of Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is named after the Thunderbird.


The troll is a fearsome creature up to twelve feet tall and weighing over a tonne. Notable for its equally prodigious strength and stupidity, the troll is often violent and unpredictable. Trolls originated in Scandinavia but these days they may be found in Britain, Ireland and other areas of northern Europe. Trolls generally converse in grunts that appear to constitute a crude language, though some have been known to understand and even to speak a few simple human words. The more intelligent of the species have been trained as guardians. There are three types of troll: mountain, forest

and river. The mountain troll is the largest and most vicious. It is bald, with a pale-grey skin. The forest troll has a pale-green skin and some specimens have hair, which is green or brown, thin and straggly. The river troll has short horns and may be hairy. It has a purplish skin and is often found lurking beneath bridges. Trolls eat raw flesh and are not fussy in their prey, which ranges from wild animals to humans.


The unicorn is a beautiful beast found throughout the forests of northern Europe. It is a pure white, horned horse when fully grown, though the foals are initially golden and turn silver before achieving maturity. The unicorn’s horn, blood and hair all have highly magical properties.25 It generally avoids human contact, is more likely to allow a witch to approach it than a wizard, and is so fleet of foot that it is very difficult to capture.

24. See footnote on centaur classification. 25. The unicorn, like the fairy, has received an excellent Muggle press – in this case justified.


Somewhat resembling the mundane mountain lion or cougar in size and appearance, the Wampus Cat is native to Appalachia. It can walk on its hind legs, outrun arrows, and its yellow eyes are reputed to have the power of both hypnosis and Legilimency. The Cherokee have most extensively studied the Wampus Cat, with whom they share their native region, and only they have ever succeeded in procuring Wampus Cat hair for use as a wand core. In 1832, wizard Abel Treetops of Cincinnati claimed to have patented a method of taming Wampus Cats for use as guards over wizarding houses. Treetops was exposed as a fraud when MACUSA raided his home and found him putting Engorgement Charms on Kneazles. One of the houses of the North American wizarding school, Ilvermorny, is named after the Wampus Cat.


The werewolf is found worldwide, though it is believed to have originated in northern Europe. Humans turn into werewolves only when bitten. There is no known cure, though recent developments in potion-making have to a great extent alleviated the worst symptoms. Once a month, at the full moon, the otherwise sane and normal wizard or Muggle afflicted transforms into a murderous beast. Almost uniquely among fantastic creatures, the werewolf actively seeks humans in preference to any other kind of prey.


Winged horses exist worldwide. There are many different breeds, including the Abraxan (immensely powerful giant palominos), the Aethonan (chestnut, popular in Britain and Ireland), the Granian (grey and particularly fast) and the rare Thestral (black, possessed of the power of invisibility and considered unlucky by many wizards). As with the Hippogriff, the owner of a winged horse is required to perform a Disillusionment Charm upon it at regular intervals.

26. This classification refers, of course, to the werewolf in its transformed state. When there is no full moon, the werewolf is as harmless as any other human. For a heart-rending account of one wizard’s battle with lycanthropy, see the classic Hairy Snout, Human Heart by an anonymous author (Whizz Hard Books, 1975).

YETI (also known as Bigfoot, the Abominable Snowman) M.O.M. CLASSIFICATION: XXXX

A native of Tibet, the yeti is believed to be related to the troll, though no one has yet got close enough to conduct the necessary tests. Up to fifteen feet in height, it is covered head to foot in purest white hair. The yeti devours anything that strays into its path, though it fears fire and may be repulsed by skilled wizards.






SCAMANDER was born in 1897. His interest in fabulous beasts was encouraged by his mother, who was an enthusiastic breeder of fancy Hippogriffs. Upon leaving Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Mr Scamander joined the Ministry of Magic in the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures. After two years at the Office for House-Elf Relocation, years he describes as ‘tedious in the extreme’, he was transferred to the Beast Division, where his prodigious knowledge of bizarre magical animals ensured his rapid promotion. Although almost solely responsible for the creation of the Werewolf Register in 1947, he says he is proudest of the Ban on Experimental Breeding, passed in 1965, which effectively prevented the creation of new and untameable monsters within Britain. Mr Scamander’s work with the Dragon Research and Restraint Bureau led to many research trips abroad, during which he collected information for his worldwide bestseller Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Newt Scamander was awarded the Order of

Merlin, Second Class, in 1979 in recognition of his services to the study of magical beasts, Magizoology. Now retired, he lives in Dorset with his wife Porpentina and their pet Kneazles: Hoppy, Milly and Mauler.

All rights reserved; no part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or in part, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher This digital edition first published by Pottermore Limited in 2017 First published in print in Great Britain by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc in 2017 Text © J.K. Rowling 2001, 2017 Cover design © Olly Moss 2016 Interior illustrations by Tomislav Tomic copyright © Bloomsbury Publishing Plc 2017 Harry Potter characters, names and related indicia are trademarks of and © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. J.K. ROWLING’S WIZARDING WORLD™ J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All rights reserved The moral rights of the author and illustrators have been asserted Comic Relief (UK) was set up in 1985 by a group of British comedians to raise funds for projects promoting social justice and helping to tackle poverty. Monies from the worldwide sales of this book will go to help children and young people in the UK and around the world, preparing them to be ready for the future – to be safe, healthy, educated and empowered. Comic Relief (UK) is a registered charity: 326568 (England/Wales); SC039730 (Scotland). Named after the light-giving spell in the Harry Potter books, Lumos was set up by J.K. Rowling to end the use of orphanages

and institutions for vulnerable children around the world by 2050 and ensure all future generations of children can be raised in loving families. Lumos is the operating name of Lumos Foundation, a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales, number 5611912. Registered charity number 1112575. Source ISBN 978-1-78110-556-6 ISBN 978-1-78110-923-6

A warning: If you rip, tear, shred, bend, fold, deface, disfigure, smear, smudge, throw, drop or in any other manner damage, mistreat or show lack of respect towards this book, the consequences will be as awful as it is within my power to make them. Irma Pince, Hogwarts Librarian

Praise for Quidditch Through the Ages

‘Kennilworthy Whisp’s painstaking research has uncovered a veritable treasure trove of hitherto unknown facts about the sport of warlocks. A fascinating read.’ Bathilda Bagshot, author, A History of Magic

‘Whisp has produced a thoroughly enjoyable book; Quidditch fans are sure to find it both instructive and entertaining.’ Editor, Which Broomstick?

‘The definitive work on the origins and history of Quidditch. Highly recommended.’ Brutus Scrimgeour, author, The Beaters’ Bible

‘Mr Whisp shows a lot of promise. If he keeps up the good work, he may well find himself sharing a photoshoot with me one of these days!’ Gilderoy Lockhart, author, Magical Me

‘Bet you anything it’ll be a bestseller. Go on, I bet you.’ Ludovic Bagman, England and Wimbourne Wasps Beater

‘I’ve read worse.’ Rita Skeeter, Daily Prophet

With thanks to J. K. Rowling for creating this book and so generously giving all her royalties from it to Comic Relief and Lumos


Foreword by Albus Dumbledore 1. The Evolution of the Flying Broomstick 2. Ancient Broom Games 3. The Game from Queerditch Marsh 4. The Arrival of the Golden Snitch 5. Anti-Muggle Precautions 6. Changes in Quidditch since the Fourteenth Century: Pitch Balls Players Rules Referees 7. Quidditch Teams of Britain and Ireland 8. The Spread of Quidditch Worldwide 9. The Development of the Racing Broom 10. Quidditch Today About the Author

Foreword QUIDDITCH THROUGH THE AGES is one of the most popular titles in the Hogwarts school library. Madam Pince, our librarian, tells me that it is ‘pawed about, dribbled on and generally maltreated’ nearly every day – a high compliment for any book. Anyone who plays or watches Quidditch regularly will relish Mr Whisp’s book, as do those of us interested in wider wizarding history. As we have developed the game of Quidditch, so it has developed us; Quidditch unites witches and wizards from all walks of life, bringing us together to share moments of exhilaration, triumph and (for those who support the Chudley Cannons) despair. It was with some difficulty, I must own, that I persuaded Madam Pince to part with one of her books so that it might be copied for wider consumption. Indeed, when I told her it was to be made available to Muggles, she was rendered temporarily speechless and neither moved nor blinked for several minutes. When she came to herself she was thoughtful enough to ask whether I had taken leave of my senses. I was pleased to reassure her on that point and went on to explain why I had taken this unprecedented decision.

Muggle readers will need no introduction to the work of Comic Relief and Lumos, so I now repeat my explanation to Madam Pince for the benefit of witches and wizards who have purchased this book. Comic Relief harnesses laughter to fight poverty and injustice in a most imaginative way. Using it to raise funds to help save and improve lives – a brand of magic to which we all aspire. Lumos, in turn, brings light to the darkest of places, revealing children hidden from the world and guiding them home. By buying this book – and I would advise you to buy it, because if you read it too long without handing over money you will find yourself the object of a Thief’s Curse – you too will be contributing to this magical mission. I would be deceiving my readers if I said that this explanation made Madam Pince happy about handing over a library book to Muggles. She suggested several alternatives, such as telling the people from Comic Relief and Lumos that the library had burned down, or simply pretending that I had dropped dead without leaving instructions. When I told her that on the whole I preferred my original plan, she reluctantly agreed to hand over the book, though at the point when it came to let go of it, her nerve failed her and I was forced to prise her fingers individually from the spine. Although I have removed the usual library-book spells from this volume, I cannot promise that every

trace has gone. Madam Pince has been known to add unusual jinxes to the books in her care. I myself doodled absent-mindedly on a copy of Theories of Transubstantial Transfiguration last year and next moment found the book beating me fiercely around the head. Please be careful how you treat this book. Do not rip out the pages. Do not drop it in the bath. I cannot promise that Madam Pince will not swoop down on you, wherever you are, and demand a heavy fine. All that remains is for me to thank you for supporting Comic Relief and Lumos and to beg Muggles not to try Quidditch at home; it is, of course, an entirely fictional sport and nobody really plays it. May I also take this opportunity to wish Puddlemere United the best of luck next season.

Chapter One The Evolution of the Flying Broomstick NO SPELL YET DEVISED enables wizards to fly unaided in human form. Those few Animagi who transform into winged creatures may enjoy flight, but they are a rarity. The witch or wizard who finds him- or herself Transfigured into a bat may take to the air, but, having a bat’s brain, they are sure to forget where they want to go the moment they take flight. Levitation is commonplace, but our ancestors were not content with hovering five feet from the ground. They wanted more. They wanted to fly like birds, but without the inconvenience of growing feathers. We are so accustomed these days to the fact that every wizarding household in Britain owns at least one flying broomstick that we rarely stop to ask ourselves why. Why should the humble broom have become the one object legally allowed as a means of wizarding transport? Why did we in the West not adopt the carpet so beloved of our Eastern brethren? Why didn’t we choose to produce flying barrels, flying armchairs, flying bathtubs – why brooms?

Shrewd enough to see that their Muggle neighbours would seek to exploit their powers if they knew their full extent, witches and wizards kept themselves to themselves long before the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy came into effect. If they were to keep a means of flight in their houses, it would necessarily be something discreet, something easy to hide. The broomstick was ideal for this purpose; it required no explanation, no excuse if found by Muggles, it was easily portable and inexpensive. Nevertheless, the first brooms bewitched for flying purposes had their drawbacks. Records show that witches and wizards in Europe were using flying broomsticks as early as AD 962. A German illuminated manuscript of this period shows three warlocks dismounting from their brooms with looks of exquisite discomfort on their faces. Guthrie Lochrin, a Scottish wizard writing in 1107, spoke of the ‘splinter-filled buttocks and bulging piles’ he suffered after a short broom ride from Montrose to Arbroath. A medieval broomstick on display in the Museum of Quidditch in London gives us an insight into Lochrin’s discomfort (see Fig. A). A thick knotty handle of unvarnished ash, with hazel twigs bound crudely to one end, it is neither comfortable nor aerodynamic. The charms placed upon it are similarly basic: it will only move forwards at one

speed; it will go up, down and stop.

Fig. A

As wizarding families in those days made their own brooms, there was enormous variation in the speed, comfort and handling of the transport available to them. By the twelfth century, however, wizards had learned to barter services, so that a skilled maker of brooms could exchange them for the potions his neighbour might make better than himself. Once broomsticks became more comfortable, they were flown for pleasure rather than merely used as a means of getting from point A to point B.

Chapter Two Ancient Broom Games BROOM SPORTS EMERGED almost as soon as broomsticks were sufficiently advanced to allow fliers to turn corners and vary their speed and height. Early wizarding writings and paintings give us some idea of the games our ancestors played. Some of these no longer exist; others have survived or evolved into the sports we know today. The celebrated annual broom race of Sweden dates from the tenth century. Fliers race from Kopparberg to Arjeplog, a distance of slightly over three hundred miles. The course runs straight through a dragon reservation and the vast silver trophy is shaped like a Swedish Short-Snout. Nowadays this is an international event and wizards of all nationalities congregate at Kopparberg to cheer the starters, then Apparate to Arjeplog to congratulate the survivors. The famous painting Günther der Gewalttätige ist der Gewinner (‘Gunther the Violent is the Winner’), dated 1105, shows the ancient German game of Stichstock. A twenty-foot-high pole was topped with an inflated dragon bladder. One player

on a broomstick had the job of protecting this bladder. The bladder-guardian was tied to the pole by a rope around his or her waist, so that he or she could not fly further than ten feet away from it. The rest of the players would take it in turns to fly at the bladder and attempt to puncture it with the specially sharpened ends of their brooms. The bladder-guardian was allowed to use his or her wand to repel these attacks. The game ended when the bladder was successfully punctured, or the bladder-guardian had either succeeded in hexing all opponents out of the running or collapsed from exhaustion. Stichstock died out in the fourteenth century. In Ireland the game of Aingingein flourished, the subject of many an Irish ballad (the legendary wizard Fingal the Fearless is alleged to have been an Aingingein champion). One by one the players would take the Dom, or ball (actually the gall bladder of a goat), and speed through a series of burning barrels set high in the air on stilts. The Dom was to be thrown through the final barrel. The player who succeeded in getting the Dom through the last barrel in the fastest time, without having caught fire on the way, was the winner. Scotland was the birthplace of what is probably the most dangerous of all broom games – Creaothceann. The game features in a tragic Gaelic poem of the eleventh century, the first verse

of which says, in translation: The players assembled, twelve fine, hearty men, They strapped on their cauldrons, stood poised to fly, At the sound of the horn they were swiftly airborne But ten of their number were fated to die. Creaothceann players each wore a cauldron strapped to the head. At the sound of the horn or drum, up to a hundred charmed rocks and boulders that had been hovering a hundred feet above the ground began to fall towards the earth. The Creaothceann players zoomed around trying to catch as many rocks as possible in their cauldrons. Considered by many Scottish wizards to be the supreme test of manliness and courage, Creaothceann enjoyed considerable popularity in the Middle Ages, despite the huge number of fatalities that resulted from it. The game was made illegal in 1762, and though Magnus ‘Dent-Head’ Macdonald spearheaded a campaign for its reintroduction in the 1960s, the Ministry of Magic refused to lift the ban. Shuntbumps was popular in Devon, England. This was a crude form of jousting, the sole aim being to knock as many other players as possible

off their brooms, the last person remaining on their broom winning. Swivenhodge began in Herefordshire. Like Stichstock, this involved an inflated bladder, usually a pig’s. Players sat backwards on their brooms and batted the bladder backwards and forwards across a hedge with the brush ends of their brooms. The first person to miss gave their opponent a point. First to reach fifty points was the winner. Swivenhodge is still played in England, though it has never achieved much widespread popularity; Shuntbumps survives only as a children’s game. At Queerditch Marsh, however, a game had been created that would one day become the most popular in the wizarding world.

Chapter Three The Game from Queerditch Marsh WE OWE OUR KNOWLEDGE of the rude beginnings of Quidditch to the writings of the witch Gertie Keddle, who lived on the edge of Queerditch Marsh in the eleventh century. Fortunately for us, she kept a diary, now in the Museum of Quidditch in London. The excerpts below have been translated from the badly spelled Saxon of the original.

Tuesday. Hot. That lot from across the marsh have been at it again. Playing a stupid game on their broomsticks. A big leather ball landed in my cabbages. I hexed the man who came for it. I’d like to see him fly with his knees on back to front, the great hairy hog. Tuesday. Wet. Was out on the marsh picking nettles. Broomstick idiots playing again. Watched for a bit from behind a rock. They’ve got a new ball. Throwing it to each other and trying to stick it in trees at either end of the marsh. Pointless

rubbish. Tuesday. Windy. Gwenog came for nettle tea, then invited me out for a treat. Ended up watching those numbskulls playing their game on the marsh. That big Scottish warlock from up the hill was there. Now they’ve got two big heavy rocks flying around trying to knock them all off their brooms. Unfortunately didn’t happen while I was watching. Gwenog told me she often played herself. Went home in disgust. These extracts reveal much more than Gertie Keddle could have guessed, quite apart from the fact that she only knew the name of one of the days of the week. Firstly, the ball that landed in her cabbage patch was made of leather, as is the modern Quaffle – naturally, the inflated bladder used in other broom games of the period would be difficult to throw accurately, particularly in windy conditions. Secondly, Gertie tells us that the men were ‘trying to stick it in trees at either end of the marsh’ – apparently an early form of goalscoring. Thirdly, she gives us a glimpse of the forerunners of Bludgers. It is immensely interesting that there was a ‘big Scottish warlock’ present. Could he have been a Creaothceann player? Was it his idea to

bewitch heavy rocks to zoom dangerously around the pitch, inspired by the boulders used in his native game? We find no further mention of the sport played on Queerditch Marsh until a century later, when the wizard Goodwin Kneen took up his quill to write to his Norwegian cousin Olaf. Kneen lived in Yorkshire, which demonstrates the spread of the sport throughout Britain in the hundred years after Gertie Keddle first witnessed it. Kneen’s letter is deposited in the archives of the Norwegian Ministry of Magic. Dear Olaf, How are you? I am well, though Gunhilda has got a touch of dragon pox. We enjoyed a spirited game of Kwidditch last Saturday night, though poor Gunhilda was not up to playing Catcher, and we had to use Radulf the blacksmith instead. The team from Ilkley played well though was no match for us, for we had been practising hard all month and scored forty-two times. Radulf got a Blooder in the head because old Ugga wasn’t quick enough with his club. The new scoring barrels worked well. Three at each end on stilts, Oona from the inn gave us them. She let us have free mead all night because we won as well. Gunhilda was a bit angry I

got back so late. I had to duck a couple of nasty jinxes but I’ve got my fingers back now. I’m sending this with the best owl I’ve got, hope he makes it. Your cousin, Goodwin Here we see how far the game has progressed in a century. Goodwin’s wife was to have played ‘Catcher’ – probably the old term for Chaser. The ‘Blooder’ (undoubtedly Bludger) that hit Radulf the blacksmith should have been fended off by Ugga, who was obviously playing Beater, as he was carrying a club. The goals are no longer trees, but barrels on stilts. One crucial element in the game was still missing, however: the Golden Snitch. The addition of the fourth Quidditch ball did not occur until the middle of the thirteenth century and it came about in a curious manner.

Chapter Four The Arrival of the Golden Snitch FROM THE EARLY 1100s , Snidget-hunting had been popular among many witches and wizards. The Golden Snidget (see Fig. B below) is today a protected species, but at that time Golden Snidgets were common in northern Europe, though difficult to detect by Muggles because of their aptitude at hiding and their very great speed. The diminutive size of the Snidget, coupled with its remarkable agility in the air and talent at avoiding predators, merely added to the prestige of wizards who caught them. A twelfth-century tapestry preserved in the Museum of Quidditch shows a group setting out to catch a Snidget. In the first portion of the tapestry, some hunters carry nets, others use wands, and still others attempt to catch the Snidget with their bare hands. The tapestry reveals the fact that the Snidget was often crushed by its captor. In the final portion of the tapestry we see the wizard who caught the Snidget being presented with a bag of gold. Snidget-hunting was reprehensible in many ways. Every right-minded wizard must deplore the

destruction of these peace-loving little birds in the name of sport. Moreover, Snidget-hunting, which was usually undertaken in broad daylight, led to more Muggle broomstick sightings than any other pursuit. The Wizards’ Council of the time, however, was unable to curb the sport’s popularity – indeed, it appears that the Council itself saw little wrong with it, as we shall see.

Fig. B

Snidget-hunting finally crossed paths with Quidditch in 1269 at a game attended by the Chief of the Wizards’ Council himself, Barberus Bragge. We know this because of the eyewitness account sent by Madam Modesty Rabnott of Kent to her sister Prudence in Aberdeen (this letter is also on display in the Museum of Quidditch). According to Madam Rabnott, Bragge brought a caged Snidget to the match and told the assembled players that he would award one hundred and fifty Galleons1 to the player who caught it during the course of the game. Madam Rabnott explains what happened next:

The players rose as one into the air, ignoring the Quaffle and dodging the Blooders. Both Keepers abandoned the goal baskets and joined the hunt. The poor little Snidget shot up and down the pitch seeking a means of escape, but the wizards in the crowd forced it back with Repelling Spells. Well, Pru, you know how I am about Snidget-hunting and what I get like when my temper goes. I ran on to the pitch and screamed, ‘Chief Bragge, this is not sport! Let the Snidget go free and let us watch the noble game of Cuaditch which we have all come to see!’ If you’ll believe me, Pru, all the brute did was laugh and throw the empty birdcage at me. Well, I saw red, Pru, I really did. When the poor little Snidget flew my way I did a Summoning Charm. You know how good my Summoning Charms are, Pru – of course it was easier for me to aim properly, not being mounted on a broomstick at the time. The little bird came zooming into my hand. I stuffed it down the front of my robes and ran like fury. Well, they caught me, but not before I’d got out of the crowds and released the Snidget. Chief Bragge was very angry and for a moment I thought I’d end up a horned toad, or worse, but luckily his advisers calmed him down and I was only fined ten Galleons for

disrupting the game. Of course I’ve never had ten Galleons in my life, so that’s the old home gone. I’ll be coming to live with you shortly, luckily they didn’t take the Hippogriff. And I’ll tell you this, Pru, Chief Bragge would have lost my vote if I’d had one. Your loving sister, Modesty Madam Rabnott’s brave action might have saved one Snidget, but she could not save them all. Chief Bragge’s idea had for ever changed the nature of Quidditch. Golden Snidgets were soon being released during all Quidditch games, one player on each team (the Hunter) having the sole task of catching it. When the bird was killed, the game was over and the Hunter’s team was awarded an extra one hundred and fifty points, in memory of the one hundred and fifty Galleons promised by Chief Bragge. The crowd undertook to keep the Snidget on the pitch by using the Repelling Spells mentioned by Madam Rabnott. By the middle of the following century, however, Golden Snidget numbers had fallen so low that the Wizards’ Council, now headed by the considerably more enlightened Elfrida Clagg, made the Golden Snidget a protected species, outlawing both its killing and its use in Quidditch games. The Modesty

Rabnott Snidget Reservation was founded in Somerset and a substitute for the bird was frantically sought to enable the game of Quidditch to proceed. The invention of the Golden Snitch is credited to the wizard Bowman Wright of Godric’s Hollow. While Quidditch teams all over the country tried to find bird substitutes for the Snidget, Wright, who was a skilled metal-charmer, set himself to the task of creating a ball that mimicked the behaviour and flight patterns of the Snidget. That he succeeded perfectly is clear from the many rolls of parchment he left behind him on his death (now in the possession of a private collector), listing the orders that he had received from all over the country. The Golden Snitch, as Bowman called his invention, was a walnut-sized ball exactly the weight of a Snidget. Its silvery wings had rotational joints like the Snidget’s, enabling it to change direction with the lightning speed and precision of its living model. Unlike the Snidget, however, the Snitch had been bewitched to remain within the boundaries of the field. The introduction of the Golden Snitch may be said to have finished the process begun three hundred years before on Queerditch Marsh. Quidditch had been truly born. 1. Equivalent to over a million Galleons today. Whether Chief

Bragge intended to pay or not is a moot point.

Chapter Five Anti-Muggle Precautions IN 1398 THE WIZARD Zacharias Mumps set down the first full description of the game of Quidditch. He began by emphasising the need for anti-Muggle security while playing the game: ‘Choose areas of deserted moorland far from Muggle habitations and make sure that you cannot be seen once you take off on your brooms. Muggle-repelling charms are useful if you are setting up a permanent pitch. It is advisable, too, to play at night.’ We deduce that Mumps’s excellent advice was not always followed from the fact that the Wizards’ Council outlawed all Quidditch-playing within fifty miles of towns in 1362. Clearly the popularity of the game was increasing rapidly, for the Council found it necessary to amend the ban in 1368, making it illegal to play within a hundred miles of a town. In 1419, the Council issued the famously worded decree that Quidditch should not be played ‘anywhere near any place where there is the slightest chance that a Muggle might be watching or we’ll see how well you can play whilst chained to a dungeon wall’.

As every school-age wizard knows, the fact that we fly on broomsticks is probably our worst-kept secret. No Muggle illustration of a witch is complete without a broom and however ludicrous these drawings are (for none of the broomsticks depicted by Muggles could stay up in the air for a moment), they remind us that we were careless for too many centuries to be surprised that broomsticks and magic are inextricably linked in the Muggle mind. Adequate security measures were not enforced until the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy of 1692 made every Ministry of Magic directly responsible for the consequences of magical sports played within their territories. This subsequently led, in Britain, to the formation of the Department of Magical Games and Sports. Quidditch teams that flouted the Ministry guidelines were henceforth forced to disband. The most famous instance of this was the Banchory Bangers, a Scottish team renowned not only for their poor Quidditch skills but also for their post-match parties. After their 1814 match against the Appleby Arrows (see Chapter Seven), the Bangers not only allowed their Bludgers to zoom away into the night, but also set out to capture a Hebridean Black for their team mascot. Ministry of Magic representatives apprehended them as they were flying over Inverness and the Banchory Bangers never played

again. Nowadays Quidditch teams do not play locally, but travel to pitches which have been set up by the Department of Magical Games and Sports where adequate anti-Muggle security is maintained. As Zacharias Mumps so rightly suggested six hundred years ago, Quidditch pitches are safest on deserted moors.

Chapter Six Changes in Quidditch since the Fourteenth Century Pitch ZACHARIAS MUMPS DESCRIBES the fourteenthcentury pitch as oval-shaped, five hundred feet long and a hundred and eighty feet wide with a small central circle (approximately two feet in diameter) in the middle. Mumps tells us that the referee (or Quijudge, as he or she was then known) carried the four balls into this central circle while the fourteen players stood around him. The moment the balls were released (the Quaffle was thrown by the referee; see ‘The Quaffle’ below), the players raced into the air. The goalposts in Mumps’s time were still large baskets on poles, as seen in Fig. C (below). In 1620 Quintius Umfraville wrote a book called The Noble Sport of Warlocks, which included a diagram of the seventeenth-century pitch (see Fig. D below). Here we see the addition of what we know as ‘scoring areas’ (see ‘Rules’ below). The baskets on top of the goalposts were considerably smaller and higher than in Mumps’s time.

Fig. C

By 1883 baskets had ceased to be used for scoring and were replaced with the goalposts we use today, an innovation reported in the Daily Prophet of the time (see below). The Quidditch pitch has not altered since that time.

Fig. D

Bring Back Our Baskets! That was the cry heard from Quidditch players across the nation last night as it became clear that the Department of Magical Games and Sports had decided to burn the baskets used for centuries for goal-scoring in Quidditch. ‘We’re not burning them, don’t exaggerate,’ said an irritable-looking Departmental representative last night when asked to comment. ‘Baskets, as you may have noticed, come in different sizes. We have found it impossible to

standardise basket size so as to make goalposts throughout Britain equal. Surely you can see it’s a matter of fairness. I mean, there’s a team up near Barnton, they’ve got these minuscule little baskets attached to the opposing team’s posts, you couldn’t get a grape in them. And up their own end they’ve got these great wicker caves swinging around. It’s not on. We’ve settled on a fixed hoop size and that’s it. Everything nice and fair.’ At this point, the Departmental representative was forced to retreat under a hail of baskets thrown by the angry demonstrators assembled in the hall. Although the ensuing riot was later blamed on goblin agitators, there can be no doubt that Quidditch fans across Britain are tonight mourning the end of the game as we know it. ‘’T won’t be t’ same wi’out baskets,’ said one apple-cheeked old wizard sadly. ‘I remember when I were a lad, we used to set fire to ’em for a laugh during t’ match. You can’t do that with goal hoops. ’Alf t’ fun’s gone.’ Daily Prophet, 12 February 1883

Balls The Quaffle As we know from Gertie Keddle’s diary, the Quaffle was from earliest times made of leather. Alone of the four Quidditch balls, the Quaffle was not originally enchanted, but merely a patched leather ball, often with a strap (see Fig. E), as it had to be caught and thrown one-handed. Some old Quaffles have finger holes. With the discovery of Gripping Charms in 1875, however, straps and finger holes have become unnecessary, as the Chaser is able to keep a one-handed hold on the charmed leather without such aids.

Fig. E

The modern Quaffle is twelve inches in diameter and seamless. It was first coloured scarlet in the winter of 1711, after a game when heavy rain had made it indistinguishable from the muddy ground whenever it was dropped. Chasers were also becoming increasingly irritated by the necessity of diving continually towards the ground to retrieve

the Quaffle whenever they missed a catch and so, shortly after the Quaffle’s change of colour, the witch Daisy Pennifold had the idea of bewitching the Quaffle so that if dropped, it would fall slowly earthwards as though sinking through water, meaning that Chasers could grab it in mid-air. The ‘Pennifold Quaffle’ is still used today. The Bludgers The first Bludgers (or ‘Blooders’) were, as we have seen, flying rocks, and in Mumps’s time they had merely progressed to rocks carved into the shape of balls. These had one important disadvantage, however: they could be cracked by the magically reinforced Beaters’ bats of the fifteenth century, in which case all players would be pursued by flying gravel for the remainder of the game. It was probably for this reason that some Quidditch teams began experimenting with metal Bludgers in the early sixteenth century. Agatha Chubb, expert in ancient wizarding artefacts, has identified no fewer than twelve lead Bludgers dating from this period, discovered both in Irish peat bogs and English marshes. ‘They are undoubtedly Bludgers rather than cannonballs,’ she writes. The faint indentations of magically reinforced Beaters’ bats are visible and one can see the

distinctive hallmarks of manufacture by a wizard (as opposed to a Muggle) – the smoothness of line, the perfect symmetry. A final clue was the fact that each and every one of them whizzed around my study and attempted to knock me to the floor when released from its case. Lead was eventually discovered to be too soft for the purpose of Bludger manufacture (any indentation left on a Bludger will affect its ability to fly straight). Nowadays all Bludgers are made of iron. They are ten inches in diameter. Bludgers are bewitched to chase players indiscriminately. If left to their own devices, they will attack the player closest to them, hence the Beaters’ task is to knock the Bludgers as far away from their own team as possible. The Golden Snitch The Golden Snitch is walnut-sized, as was the Golden Snidget. It is bewitched to evade capture as long as possible. There is a tale that a Golden Snitch evaded capture for six months on Bodmin Moor in 1884, both teams finally giving up in disgust at their Seekers’ poor performances. Cornish wizards familiar with the area insist to this day that the Snitch is still living wild on the moor, though I have not been able to confirm this story.

Players The Keeper The position of Keeper has certainly existed since the thirteenth century (see Chapter Four), though the role has changed since that time. According to Zacharias Mumps, the Keeper: should be first to reach the goal baskets for it is his job to prevent the Quaffle entering therein. The Keeper should beware of straying too far towards the other end of the pitch, in case his baskets come under threat in his absence. However, a fast Keeper may be able to score a goal and then return to his baskets in time to prevent the other team equalising. It is a matter for the individual conscience of the Keeper. It is clear from this that in Mumps’s day the Keepers performed like Chasers with extra responsibilities. They were allowed to move all over the pitch and to score goals. By the time Quintius Umfraville wrote The Noble Sport of Warlocks in 1620, however, the Keeper’s job had been simplified. The scoring areas had now been added to the pitch and the Keepers were advised to remain within them, guarding their goal baskets, though Keepers may fly out of this area in an attempt to intimidate opposing Chasers or head

them off early. The Beaters The duties of the Beaters have changed little through the centuries and it is likely that Beaters have existed ever since the introduction of the Bludgers. Their first duty is to guard their team members from the Bludgers, which they do with the aid of bats (once clubs, see Goodwin Kneen’s letter in Chapter Three). Beaters have never been goalscorers, nor is there any indication that they have handled the Quaffle. Beaters need a good deal of physical strength to repel the Bludgers. This is therefore the position that, more than any other, has tended to be taken by wizards rather than witches. Beaters also need to have an excellent sense of balance, as it is sometimes necessary for them to take both hands from their brooms for a double-handed assault on a Bludger. The Chasers Chaser is the oldest position in Quidditch, for the game once consisted wholly of goalscoring. The Chasers throw the Quaffle to each other and score ten points for every time they get it through one of the goal hoops. The only significant change in Chasing came about in 1884, one year after the substitution of

goal hoops for goal baskets. A new rule was introduced which stated that only the Chaser carrying the Quaffle could enter the scoring area. If more than one Chaser entered, the goal would be disallowed. The rule was designed to outlaw ‘stooging’ (see ‘Fouls’ below), a move by which two Chasers would enter the scoring area and ram the Keeper aside, leaving a goal hoop clear for the third Chaser. Reaction to this new rule was reported in the Daily Prophet of the time.

Our Chasers Cheating!


That was the stunned reaction of Quidditch fans across Britain last night when the so-called ‘Stooging Penalty’ was announced by the Department of Magical Games and Sports last night. ‘Instances of Stooging have been on the increase,’ said a harassed-looking Departmental representative last night. ‘We feel that this new rule will eliminate the severe Keeper injuries we have been seeing only too often. From now on, one Chaser will attempt to beat the Keeper, as opposed to three Chasers beating the

Keeper up. Everything will be much cleaner and fairer.’ At this point the Departmental representative was forced to retreat as the angry crowd started to bombard him with Quaffles. Wizards from the Department of Magical Law Enforcement arrived to disperse the crowd, who were threatening to Stooge the Minister for Magic himself. One freckle-faced six-year-old left the hall in tears. ‘I loved Stooging,’ he sobbed to the Daily Prophet. ‘Me and me dad like watching them Keepers flattened. I don’t want to go to Quidditch no more.’ Daily Prophet, 22 June 1884 The Seeker Usually the lightest and fastest fliers, Seekers need both a sharp eye and the ability to fly one- or nohanded. Given their immense importance in the overall outcome of the match, for the capture of the Snitch so often snatches victory from the jaws of defeat, Seekers are most likely to be fouled by members of the opposition. Indeed, while there is considerable glamour attached to the position of

Seeker, for they are traditionally the best fliers on the pitch, they are usually the players who receive the worst injuries. ‘Take out the Seeker’ is the first rule in Brutus Scrimgeour’s The Beaters’ Bible.

Rules The following rules were set down by the Department of Magical Games and Sports upon its formation in 1750: 1. Though there is no limit imposed on the height to which a player may rise during the game, he or she must not stray over the boundary lines of the pitch. Should a player fly over the boundary, his or her team must surrender the Quaffle to the opposing team. 2. The Captain of a team may call for ‘time out’ by signalling to the referee. This is the only time players’ feet are allowed to touch the ground during a match. Time out may be extended to a two-hour period if a game has lasted more than twelve hours. Failure to return to the pitch after two hours leads to the team’s disqualification. 3. The referee may award penalties against a team. The Chaser taking the penalty will fly from the central circle towards the scoring area. All players other than the opposing Keeper must keep well

back while the penalty is taken. 4. The Quaffle may be taken from another player’s grasp but under no circumstances must one player seize hold of any part of another player’s anatomy. 5. In the case of injury, no substitution of players will take place. The team will play on without the injured player. 6. Wands may be taken on to the pitch1 but must under no circumstances whatsoever be used against opposing team members, any opposing team member’s broom, the referee, any of the balls or any member of the crowd. 7. A game of Quidditch ends only when the Golden Snitch has been caught, or by mutual consent of the two team Captains. Fouls Rules are of course ‘made to be broken’. Seven hundred Quidditch fouls are listed in the Department of Magical Games and Sports records, and all of them are known to have occurred during the final of the first ever World Cup in 1473. The full list of these fouls, however, has never been made available to the wizarding public. It is the Department’s view that witches and wizards who see the list ‘might get ideas’. I was fortunate enough to gain access to the

documents relating to these fouls while researching this book and can confirm that no public good can come of their publication. Ninety per cent of the fouls listed are, in any case, impossible as long as the ban on using wands against the opposing team is upheld (this ban was imposed in 1538). Of the remaining ten per cent, it is safe to say that most would not occur to even the dirtiest player; for example, ‘setting fire to an opponent’s broom tail’, ‘attacking an opponent’s broom with a club’, ‘attacking an opponent with an axe’. This is not to say that modern Quidditch players never break rules. Ten common fouls are listed below. The correct Quidditch term for each foul is given in the first column.

Referees Refereeing a Quidditch match was once a task for only the bravest witches and wizards. Zacharias Mumps tells us that a Norfolk referee called Cyprian Youdle died during a friendly match between local wizards in 1357. The originator of the curse was never caught but is believed to have been a member of the crowd. While there have been no proven referee slayings since, there have been several incidences of broom-tampering over the centuries, the most dangerous being the transformation of the referee’s broom into a Portkey, so that he or she is whisked away from the match halfway through and turns up months later in the Sahara Desert. The Department of Magical Games and Sports has issued strict guidelines on the security measures relating to players’ brooms and these incidents are now, thankfully, extremely rare. The effective Quidditch referee needs to be more than an expert flier. He or she has to watch the antics of fourteen players at once and the most common referee’s injury is consequently neck strain. At professional matches the referee is assisted by officials who stand around the boundaries of the pitch and ensure that neither players nor balls stray over the outer perimeter. In Britain, Quidditch referees are selected by the Department of Magical Games and Sports. They have to take rigorous flying tests and an exacting

written examination on the rules of Quidditch and prove, through a series of intensive trials, that they will not jinx or curse offensive players even under severe pressure. 1. The right to carry a wand at all times was established by the

International Confederation of Wizards in 1692, when Muggle persecution was at its height and the wizards were planning their retreat into hiding.

Chapter Seven Quidditch Teams of Britain and Ireland THE NECESSITY FOR KEEPING the game of Quidditch secret from Muggles means that the Department of Magical Games and Sports has had to limit the number of games played each year. While amateur games are permitted as long as the appropriate guidelines are followed, professional Quidditch teams have been limited in number since 1674 when the League was established. At that time, the thirteen best Quidditch teams in Britain and Ireland were selected to join the League and all others were asked to disband. The thirteen teams continue to compete each year for the League Cup.

Appleby Arrows This northern English team was founded in 1612. Its robes are pale blue, emblazoned with a silver arrow. Arrows fans will agree that their team’s most glorious hour was their 1932 defeat of the team who were then the European champions, the Vratsa Vultures, in a match that lasted sixteen days in conditions of dense fog and rain. The club

supporters’ old practice of shooting arrows into the air from their wands every time their Chasers scored was banned by the Department of Magical Games and Sports in 1894, when one of these weapons pierced the referee, Nugent Potts, through the nose. There is traditionally fierce rivalry between the Arrows and the Wimbourne Wasps (see below). Ballycastle Bats Northern Ireland’s most celebrated Quidditch team has won the Quidditch League a total of twentyseven times to date, making it the second most successful in the League’s history. The Bats wear black robes with a scarlet bat across the chest. Their famous mascot, Barny the Fruitbat, is also well known as the bat featured in Butterbeer advertisements (Barny says: I’m just batty about Butterbeer!). Caerphilly Catapults The Welsh Catapults, formed in 1402, wear vertically striped robes of light green and scarlet. Their distinguished club history includes eighteen League wins and a famous triumph in the European Cup final of 1956, when they defeated the Norwegian Karasjok Kites. The tragic demise of their most famous player, ‘Dangerous Dai’

Llewellyn, who was eaten by a Chimaera while on holiday in Mykonos, Greece, resulted in a day of national mourning for all Welsh witches and wizards. The Dangerous Dai Commemorative Medal is now awarded at the end of each season to the League player who has taken the most exciting and foolhardy risks during a game. Chudley Cannons The Chudley Cannons’ glory days may be considered by many to be over, but their devoted fans live in hope of a renaissance. The Cannons have won the League twenty-one times, but the last time they did so was in 1892 and their performance over the last century has been lacklustre. The Chudley Cannons wear robes of bright orange emblazoned with a speeding cannonball and a double ‘C’ in black. The club motto was changed in 1972 from ‘We shall conquer’ to ‘Let’s all just keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best’. Falmouth Falcons The Falcons wear dark-grey and white robes with a falcon-head emblem across the chest. The Falcons are known for hard play, a reputation consolidated by their world-famous Beaters, Kevin and Karl Broadmoor, who played for the club from 1958 to 1969 and whose antics resulted in no fewer than

fourteen suspensions from the Department of Magical Games and Sports. Club motto: ‘Let us win, but if we cannot win, let us break a few heads’. Holyhead Harpies The Holyhead Harpies is a very old Welsh club (founded 1203) unique among Quidditch teams around the world because it has only ever hired witches. Harpy robes are dark green with a golden talon upon the chest. The Harpies’ defeat of the Heidelberg Harriers in 1953 is widely agreed to have been one of the finest Quidditch games ever seen. Fought over a seven-day period, the game was brought to an end by a spectacular Snitch capture by the Harpy Seeker Glynnis Griffiths. The Harriers’ Captain, Rudolf Brand, famously dismounted from his broom at the end of the match and proposed marriage to his opposite number, Gwendolyn Morgan, who concussed him with her Cleansweep Five. Kenmare Kestrels This Irish side was founded in 1291 and is popular worldwide for the spirited displays of their leprechaun mascots and the accomplished harp playing of their supporters. The Kestrels wear emerald-green robes with two yellow ‘K’s back to

back on the chest. Darren O’Hare, Kestrel Keeper 1947–60, captained the Irish national team three times and is credited with the invention of the Chaser Hawkshead Attacking Formation (see Chapter Ten). Montrose Magpies The Magpies are the most successful team in the history of the British and Irish League, which they have won thirty-two times. Twice European Champions, the Magpies have fans across the globe. Their many outstanding players include the Seeker Eunice Murray (died 1942), who once petitioned for a ‘faster Snitch because this is just too easy’, and Hamish MacFarlan (Captain 1957– 68), who followed his successful Quidditch career with an equally illustrious period as Head of the Department of Magical Games and Sports. The Magpies wear black and white robes with one magpie on the chest and another on the back. Pride of Portree This team comes from the Isle of Skye, where it was founded in 1292. The ‘Prides’, as they are known to their fans, wear deep-purple robes with a gold star on the chest. Their most famous Chaser, Catriona McCormack, captained the team to two League wins in the 1960s and played for Scotland

thirty-six times. Her daughter Meaghan currently plays Keeper for the team. (Her son Kirley is lead guitarist with the popular wizarding band The Weird Sisters.) Puddlemere United Founded in 1163, Puddlemere United is the oldest team in the League. Puddlemere has twenty-two League wins and two European Cup triumphs to its credit. Its team anthem ‘Beat Back Those Bludgers, Boys, and Chuck That Quaffle Here’ was recently recorded by the singing sorceress Celestina Warbeck to raise funds for St Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries. Puddlemere players wear navy-blue robes bearing the club emblem of two crossed golden bulrushes. Tutshill Tornados The Tornados wear sky-blue robes with a double ‘T’ in dark blue on the chest and back. Founded in 1520, the Tornados enjoyed their greatest period of success in the early twentieth century when, captained by Seeker Roderick Plumpton, they won the League Cup five times in a row, a British and Irish record. Roderick Plumpton played Seeker for England twenty-two times and holds the British record for fastest capture of a Snitch during a game (three and a half seconds, against Caerphilly

Catapults, 1921). Wigtown Wanderers This Borders club was founded in 1422 by the seven offspring of a wizarding butcher named Walter Parkin. The four brothers and three sisters were by all accounts a formidable team who rarely lost a match, partly, it is said, because of the intimidation felt by opposing teams at the sight of Walter standing on the sidelines with a wand in one hand and a meat cleaver in the other. A Parkin descendant has often been found on the Wigtown team over the centuries and, in tribute to their origins, the players wear blood-red robes with a silver meat cleaver upon the chest. Wimbourne Wasps The Wimbourne Wasps wear horizontally striped robes of yellow and black with a wasp upon their chests. Founded in 1312, the Wasps have been eighteen times League winners and twice semifinalists in the European Cup. They are alleged to have taken their name from a nasty incident which occurred during a match against the Appleby Arrows in the mid-seventeenth century, when a Beater flying past a tree on the edge of the pitch noticed a wasps’ nest among the branches and batted it towards the Arrows’ Seeker, who was so

badly stung that he had to retire from the game. Wimbourne won and thereafter adopted the wasp as their lucky emblem. Wasp fans (also known as ‘Stingers’) traditionally buzz loudly to distract opposing Chasers when they are taking penalties.

Chapter Eight The Spread of Quidditch Worldwide Europe QUIDDITCH WAS WELL established in Ireland by the fourteenth century, as proved by Zacharias Mumps’s account of a match in 1385: ‘A team of Warlocks from Cork flew over for a game in Lancashire and did offend the locals by beating their heroes soundly. The Irishmen knew tricks with the Quaffle that had not been seen in Lancashire before and had to flee the village for fear of their lives when the crowd drew out their wands and gave chase.’ Diverse sources show that the game had spread into other parts of Europe by the early fifteenth century. We know that Norway was an early convert to the game (could Goodwin Kneen’s cousin Olaf have introduced the game there?) because of the verse written by the poet Ingolfr the Iambic in the early 1400s: Oh, the thrill of the chase as I soar through the air With the Snitch up ahead and the wind in my

hair As I draw ever closer, the crowd gives a shout But then comes a Bludger and I am knocked out. Around the same time, the French wizard Malecrit wrote the following lines in his play Hélas, Je me suis Transfiguré Les Pieds (‘Alas, I’ve Transfigured My Feet’): GRENOUILLE: I cannot go with you to the market today, Crapaud. CRAPAUD: But Grenouille, I cannot carry the cow alone. GRENOUILLE: You know, Crapaud, that I am to be Keeper this morning. Who will stop the Quaffle if I do not? The year 1473 saw the first ever Quidditch World Cup, though the nations represented were all European. The nonappearance of teams from more distant nations may be put down to the collapse of owls bearing letters of invitation, the reluctance of those invited to make such a long and perilous journey, or perhaps a simple preference for staying at home. The final between Transylvania and Flanders has gone down in history as the most violent of all time and many of the fouls then recorded had never been seen before – for instance, the Transfiguration of a Chaser into a polecat, the attempted

decapitation of a Keeper with a broadsword and the release, from under the robes of the Transylvanian Captain, of a hundred blood-sucking vampire bats. The World Cup has since been held every four years, though it was not until the seventeenth century that non-European teams turned up to compete. In 1652 the European Cup was established, and it has been played every three years since. Of the many superb European teams, perhaps the Bulgarian Vratsa Vultures is most renowned. Seven times European Cup winners, the Vratsa Vultures are undoubtedly one of the most thrilling teams in the world to watch, pioneers of the long goal (shooting from well outside the scoring area) and always willing to give new players a chance to make a name for themselves. In France the frequent League winners the Quiberon Quafflepunchers are famed for their flamboyant play as much as for their shocking-pink robes. In Germany we find the Heidelberg Harriers, the team that the Irish Captain Darren O’Hare once famously said was ‘fiercer than a dragon and twice as clever’. Luxembourg, always a strong Quidditch nation, has given us the Bigonville Bombers, celebrated for their offensive strategies and always among the top goalscorers. The Portuguese team Braga Broomfleet have recently broken through into the top levels of the

sport with their ground-breaking Beater-marking system; and the Polish Grodzisk Goblins gave us arguably the world’s most innovative Seeker, Josef Wronski. Australia and New Zealand Quidditch was introduced to New Zealand some time in the seventeenth century, allegedly by a team of European herbologists who had gone on an expedition there to research magical plants and fungi. We are told that after a long day’s toil collecting samples, these witches and wizards let off steam by playing Quidditch under the bemused gaze of the local magical community. The New Zealand Ministry of Magic has certainly spent much time and money preventing Muggles getting hold of Maori art of that period which clearly depicts white wizards playing Quidditch (these carvings and paintings are now on display at the Ministry of Magic in Wellington). The spread of Quidditch to Australia is believed to have occurred some time in the eighteenth century. Australia may be said to be an ideal Quidditch-playing territory, given the great expanses of uninhabited outback where Quidditch pitches may be established. Antipodean teams have always thrilled European crowds with their speed and showmanship. Among

the best are the Moutohora Macaws (New Zealand), with their famous red, yellow and blue robes and their phoenix mascot, Sparky. The Thundelarra Thunderers and the Woollongong Warriors have dominated the Australian League for the best part of a century. Their enmity is legendary among the Australian magical community, so much so that a popular response to an unlikely claim or boast is ‘Yeah, and I think I’ll volunteer to ref the next Thunderer–Warrior game’. Africa The broomstick was probably introduced to the African continent by European wizards and witches travelling there in search of information on alchemy and astronomy, subjects in which African wizards have always been particularly skilled. Though not yet as widely played as in Europe, Quidditch is becoming increasingly popular throughout the African continent. Uganda in particular is emerging as a keen Quidditch-playing nation. Their most notable club, the Patonga Proudsticks, held the Montrose Magpies to a draw in 1986 to the astonishment of most of the Quidditch-playing world. Six Proudstick players recently represented Uganda in the Quidditch World Cup, the highest number of fliers from a single team ever united on a national

side. Other African teams of note include the Tchamba Charmers (Togo), masters of the reverse pass; the Gimbi Giant-Slayers (Ethiopia), twice winners of the All-Africa Cup; and the Sumbawanga Sunrays (Tanzania), a highly popular team whose formation looping has delighted crowds across the world. North America Quidditch reached the North American continent in the early seventeenth century, although it was slow to take hold there owing to the great intensity of anti-wizarding feeling unfortunately exported from Europe at the same time. The great caution exercised by wizard settlers, many of whom had hoped to find less prejudice in the New World, tended to restrict the growth of the game in its early days. In later times, however, Canada has given us three of the most accomplished Quidditch teams in the world: the Moose Jaw Meteorites, the Haileybury Hammers and the Stonewall Stormers. The Meteorites were threatened with disbandment in the 1970s owing to their persistent practice of performing post-match victory flights over neighbouring towns and villages while trailing fiery sparks from their broom tails. The team now confines this tradition to the pitch at the end of

each match and Meteorite games consequently remain a great wizarding tourist attraction. The United States has not produced as many world-class Quidditch teams as other nations because the game has had to compete with the American broom game Quodpot. A variant of Quidditch, Quodpot was invented by the eighteenth-century wizard Abraham Peasegood, who had brought a Quaffle with him from the old country and intended to recruit a Quidditch team. The story goes that Peasegood’s Quaffle had inadvertently come into contact with the tip of his wand in his trunk, so that when he finally took it out and began to throw it around in a casual manner, it exploded in his face. Peasegood, whose sense of humour appears to have been robust, promptly set out to recreate the effect on a series of leather balls and soon all thought of Quidditch was forgotten as he and his friends developed a game which centred on the explosive properties of the newly renamed ‘Quod’. There are eleven players a side in the game of Quodpot. They throw the Quod, or modified Quaffle, from team member to member, attempting to get it into the ‘pot’ at the end of the pitch before it explodes. Any player in possession of the Quod when it explodes must leave the pitch. Once the Quod is safely in the ‘pot’ (a small cauldron containing a solution which will prevent the Quod

exploding), the scorer’s team is awarded a point and a new Quod is brought on to the pitch. Quodpot has had some success as a minority sport in Europe, though the vast majority of wizards remain faithful to Quidditch. The rival charms of Quodpot notwithstanding, Quidditch is gaining popularity in the United States. Two teams have recently broken through at international level: the Sweetwater All-Stars from Texas, who gained a well-deserved win over the Quiberon Quafflepunchers in 1993 after a thrilling five-day match; and the Fitchburg Finches from Massachusetts, who have now won the US League seven times and whose Seeker, Maximus Brankovitch III, has captained America at the last two World Cups. South America Quidditch is played throughout South America, though the game must compete with the popular Quodpot here as in the North. Argentina and Brazil both reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup in the last century. Undoubtedly the most skilled Quidditch nation in South America is Peru, which is tipped to become the first Latin World Cup winner within ten years. Peruvian warlocks are believed to have had their first exposure to Quidditch from European wizards sent by the International

Confederation to monitor the numbers of Vipertooths (Peru’s native dragon). Quidditch has become a veritable obsession of the wizard community there since that time, and their most famous team, the Tarapoto Tree-Skimmers, recently toured Europe to great acclaim. Asia Quidditch has never achieved great popularity in the East, as the flying broomstick is a rarity in countries where the carpet is still the preferred mode of travel. The Ministries of Magic in countries such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iran and Mongolia, all of whom maintain a flourishing trade in flying carpets, regard Quidditch with some suspicion, though the sport does have some fans among witches and wizards on the street. The exception to this general rule is Japan, where Quidditch has been gaining steadily in popularity over the last century. The most successful Japanese team, the Toyohashi Tengu, narrowly missed a win over Lithuania’s Gorodok Gargoyles in 1994. The Japanese practice of ceremonially setting fire to their brooms in case of defeat is, however, frowned upon by the International Confederation of Wizards’ Quidditch Committee as being a waste of good wood.

Chapter Nine The Development of the Racing Broom UNTIL THE EARLY NINETEENTH century, Quidditch was played on day brooms of varying quality. These brooms represented a massive advance over their medieval forerunners; the invention of the Cushioning Charm by Elliot Smethwyck in 1820 went a long way towards making broomsticks more comfortable than ever before (see Fig. F). Nevertheless, nineteenth-century broomsticks were generally incapable of achieving high speeds and were often difficult to control at high altitudes. Brooms tended to be hand-produced by individual broom-makers and while they are admirable from the point of view of styling and craftsmanship, their performance rarely matched up to their handsome appearance.

Fig. F

A case in point is the Oakshaft 79 (so named because the first example was created in 1879). Crafted by the broom-maker Elias Grimstone of Portsmouth, the Oakshaft is a handsome broom with a very thick oaken handle, designed for endurance flying and to withstand high winds. The Oakshaft is now a highly prized vintage broom, but attempts to use it for Quidditch were never successful. Too cumbersome to turn at high speed, the Oakshaft never gained much popularity with those who prized agility over safety, though it will always be remembered as the broom used in the first ever Atlantic broom crossing, by Jocunda Sykes in 1935. (Before that time, wizards preferred to take ships rather than trust broomsticks over such distances. Apparition becomes increasingly unreliable over very long distances, and only highly skilled wizards are wise to attempt it across continents.) The Moontrimmer, which was first created by Gladys Boothby in 1901, represented a leap forward in broom construction, and for a while these slender, ash-handled brooms were in great demand as Quidditch brooms. The Moontrimmer’s principal advantage over other brooms was its ability to achieve greater heights than ever before (and remain controllable at such altitudes). Gladys Boothby was unable to produce Moontrimmers in the quantities Quidditch players clamoured for. The

production of a new broom, the Silver Arrow, was welcomed; this was the true forerunner of the racing broom, achieving much higher speeds than the Moontrimmer or Oakshaft (up to seventy miles an hour with a tailwind), but like these it was the work of a single wizard (Leonard Jewkes) and demand far outstripped supply. The breakthrough occurred in 1926, when the brothers Bob, Bill and Barnaby Ollerton started the Cleansweep Broom Company. Their first model, the Cleansweep One, was produced in numbers never seen before and marketed as a racing broom specifically designed for sporting use. The Cleansweep was an instant, runaway success, cornering as no broom before it, and within a year, every Quidditch team in the country was mounted on Cleansweeps. The Ollerton brothers were not left in sole possession of the racing-broom market for long. In 1929 a second racing-broom company was established by Randolph Keitch and Basil Horton, both players for the Falmouth Falcons. The Comet Trading Company’s first broom was the Comet 140, this being the number of models that Keitch and Horton had tested prior to its release. The patented Horton–Keitch braking charm meant that Quidditch players were much less likely to overshoot goals or fly offside, and the Comet now became the broom of preference for many British

and Irish teams in consequence. While the Cleansweep–Comet competition became more intense, marked by the release of the improved Cleansweeps Two and Three in 1934 and 1937 respectively, and the Comet 180 in 1938, other broomstick manufacturers were springing up all over Europe. The Tinderblast was launched on the market in 1940. Produced by the Black Forest company Ellerby and Spudmore, the Tinderblast is a highly resilient broom, though it has never achieved the top speeds of the Comets and Cleansweeps. In 1952 Ellerby and Spudmore brought out a new model, the Swiftstick. Faster than the Tinderblast, the Swiftstick nevertheless has a tendency to lose power in ascent and has never been used by professional Quidditch teams. In 1955 Universal Brooms Ltd introduced the Shooting Star, the cheapest racing broom to date. Unfortunately, after its initial burst of popularity, the Shooting Star was found to lose speed and height as it aged, and Universal Brooms went out of business in 1978. In 1967 the broom world was galvanised by the formation of the Nimbus Racing Broom Company. Nothing like the Nimbus 1000 had ever been seen before. Reaching speeds of up to a hundred miles per hour, capable of turning 360 degrees at a fixed point in mid-air, the Nimbus combined the

reliability of the old Oakshaft 79 with the easy handling of the best Cleansweeps. The Nimbus immediately became the broom preferred by professional Quidditch teams across Europe, and the subsequent models (1001, 1500 and 1700) have kept the Nimbus Racing Broom Company at the top of the field. The Twigger 90, first produced in 1990, was intended by its manufacturers, Flyte and Barker, to replace the Nimbus as market leader. However, though highly finished and including a number of new gimmicks such as an inbuilt Warning Whistle and Self-Straightening Brush, the Twigger has been found to warp under high speeds and has gained the unlucky reputation of being flown by wizards with more Galleons than sense.

Chapter Ten Quidditch Today THE GAME OF QUIDDITCH continues to thrill and obsess its many fans around the world. Nowadays every purchaser of a Quidditch match ticket is guaranteed to witness a sophisticated contest between highly skilled fliers (unless of course the Snitch is caught in the first five minutes of the match, in which case we all feel slightly shortchanged). Nothing demonstrates this more than the difficult moves that have been invented over its long history by witches and wizards eager to push themselves and the game as far as they can go. Some of these are listed below.

Bludger Backbeat A move by which the Beater strikes the Bludger with a backhanded club swing, sending it behind him or her rather than in front. Difficult to bring off with precision but excellent for confusing opponents. Dopplebeater Defence

Both Beaters hit a Bludger at the same time for extra power, resulting in a Bludger attack of greater severity. Double Eight Loop A Keeper defence, usually employed against penalty takers, whereby the Keeper swerves around all three goal hoops at high speed to block the Quaffle. Hawkshead Attacking Formation Chasers form an arrowhead pattern and fly together towards the goalposts. Highly intimidating to opposing teams and effective in forcing other players aside. Parkin’s Pincer So named for the original members of the Wigtown Wanderers, who are reputed to have invented this move. Two Chasers close in on an opposing Chaser on either side, while the third flies headlong towards him or her. Plumpton Pass Seeker move: a seemingly careless swerve that scoops the Snitch up one’s sleeve. Named after

Roderick Plumpton, Tutshill Tornado Seeker, who employed the move in his famous record-breaking Snitch catch of 1921. Although some critics have alleged that this was an accident, Plumpton maintained until his death that he had meant to do it. Porskoff Ploy The Chaser carrying the Quaffle flies upwards, leading opposing Chasers to believe he or she is trying to escape them to score, but then throws the Quaffle downwards to a fellow Chaser waiting to catch it. Pinpoint timing is of the essence. Named after the Russian Chaser Petrova Porskoff. Reverse Pass A Chaser throws the Quaffle over one shoulder to a team member. Accuracy is difficult. Sloth Grip Roll Hanging upside down off the broom, gripping tightly with hands and feet to avoid a Bludger. Starfish and Stick Keeper defence: the Keeper holds the broom horizontally with one hand and one foot curled

around the handle, while keeping all limbs outstretched (see Fig. G). The Starfish without stick should never be attempted.

Fig. G

Transylvanian Tackle First seen at the World Cup of 1473, this is a fake punch aimed at the nose. As long as contact is not made, the move is not illegal, though it is difficult to pull off when both parties are on speeding broomsticks. Woollongong Shimmy Perfected by the Australian Woollongong Warriors, this is a high-speed zigzagging movement intended to throw off opposing Chasers. Wronski Feint

The Seeker hurtles towards the ground pretending to have seen the Snitch far below, but pulls out of the dive just before hitting the pitch. Intended to make the opposing Seeker copy him and crash. Named after the Polish Seeker Josef Wronski.

There can be no doubt that Quidditch has changed beyond all recognition since Gertie Keddle first watched ‘those numbskulls’ on Queerditch Marsh. Perhaps, had she lived today, she too would have thrilled to the poetry and power of Quidditch. Long may the game continue to evolve and long may future generations of witches and wizards enjoy this most glorious of sports!

About the Author KENNILWORTHY WHISP is a renowned Quidditch expert (and, he says, fanatic). He is the author of many Quidditch-related works, including The Wonder of Wigtown Wanderers, He Flew Like a Madman (a biography of ‘Dangerous’ Dai Llewellyn) and Beating the Bludgers – A Study of Defensive Strategies in Quidditch. Kennilworthy Whisp divides his time between his home in Nottinghamshire and ‘wherever Wigtown Wanderers are playing this week’. His hobbies include backgammon, vegetarian cookery and collecting vintage broomsticks.

All rights reserved; no part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or in part, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher This digital edition first published by Pottermore Limited in 2016 First published in print in Great Britain in 2001 by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc Text © J.K. Rowling 2001 Interior illustrations and hand lettering © J.K. Rowling 2001 Cover illustration by Olly Moss © Pottermore Limited Harry Potter characters, names and related indicia are trademarks of and © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. J.K. ROWLING’S WIZARDING WORLD TM J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All rights reserved The moral rights of the author and illustrators have been asserted Comic Relief (UK) was set up in 1985 by a group of British comedians to raise funds for projects promoting social justice and helping to tackle poverty. Monies from the worldwide sales of this book will go to help children and young people in the UK and around the world, preparing them to be ready for the future – to be safe, healthy, educated and empowered. Comic Relief (UK) is a registered charity: 326568 (England/Wales); SC039730 (Scotland). Named after the light-giving spell in the Harry Potter books,

Lumos was established by J.K. Rowling to end the use of orphanages and institutions for vulnerable children around the world by 2050 and ensure all future generations of children can be raised in loving families. Lumos is the operating name of Lumos Foundation, a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales, number 5611912. Registered charity number 1112575. Source ISBN 978-1-78110-674-7 ISBN 978-1-78110-923-6




The Tales of Beedle the Bard is a collection of stories written for young wizards and witches. They have been popular bedtime reading for centuries, with the result that the Hopping Pot and the Fountain of Fair Fortune are as familiar to many of the students at Hogwarts as Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty are to Muggle (non-magical) children. Beedle’s stories resemble our fairy tales in many respects; for instance, virtue is usually rewarded and wickedness punished. However, there is one very obvious difference. In Muggle fairy tales, magic tends to lie at the root of the hero or heroine’s troubles – the wicked witch has poisoned the apple, or put the princess into a hundred years’ sleep, or turned the prince into a hideous beast. In The Tales of Beedle the Bard, on the other hand, we meet heroes and heroines who can perform magic themselves, and yet find it just as hard to solve their problems as we do. Beedle’s stories have helped generations of wizarding parents to explain this painful fact of life to their young children: that magic causes as much trouble as it

cures. Another notable difference between these fables and their Muggle counterparts is that Beedle’s witches are much more active in seeking their fortunes than our fairy-tale heroines. Asha, Altheda, Amata and Babbitty Rabbitty are all witches who take their fate into their own hands, rather than taking a prolonged nap or waiting for someone to return a lost shoe. The exception to this rule – the unnamed maiden of ‘The Warlock’s Hairy Heart’ – acts more like our idea of a storybook princess, but there is no ‘happily ever after’ at the end of her tale. Beedle the Bard lived in the fifteenth century and much of his life remains shrouded in mystery. We know that he was born in Yorkshire, and the only surviving woodcut shows that he had an exceptionally luxuriant beard. If his stories accurately reflect his opinions, he rather liked Muggles, whom he regarded as ignorant rather than malevolent; he mistrusted Dark Magic, and he believed that the worst excesses of wizardkind sprang from the all-too-human traits of cruelty, apathy or arrogant misapplication of their own talents. The heroes and heroines who triumph in his stories are not those with the most powerful magic, but rather those who demonstrate the most kindness, common sense and ingenuity. One modern-day wizard who held very similar

views was, of course, Professor Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, Order of Merlin (First Class), Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Supreme Mugwump of the International Confederation of Wizards, and Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot. This similarity of outlook notwithstanding, it was a surprise to discover a set of notes on The Tales of Beedle the Bard among the many papers that Dumbledore left in his will to the Hogwarts Archives. Whether this commentary was written for his own satisfaction, or for future publication, we shall never know; however, we have been graciously granted permission by Professor Minerva McGonagall, now Headmistress of Hogwarts, to print Professor Dumbledore’s notes here, alongside a brand new translation of the tales by Hermione Granger. We hope that Professor Dumbledore’s insights, which include observations on wizarding history, personal reminiscences and enlightening information on key elements of each story, will help a new generation of both wizarding and Muggle readers appreciate The Tales of Beedle the Bard. It is the belief of all who knew him personally that Professor Dumbledore would have been delighted to lend his support to this project, given that all royalties are to be donated to Lumos, a charity which works to benefit children in desperate need of a voice. It seems only right to make one small, additional

comment on Professor Dumbledore’s notes. As far as we can tell, the notes were completed around eighteen months before the tragic events that took place at the top of Hogwarts’ Astronomy Tower. Those familiar with the history of the most recent wizarding war (everyone who has read all seven volumes on the life of Harry Potter, for instance) will be aware that Professor Dumbledore reveals a little less than he knows – or suspects – about the final story in this book. The reason for any omission lies, perhaps, in what Dumbledore said about truth, many years ago, to his favourite and most famous pupil: ‘It is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should therefore be treated with great caution.’ Whether we agree with him or not, we can perhaps excuse Professor Dumbledore for wishing to protect future readers from the temptations to which he himself had fallen prey, and for which he paid so terrible a price. J K Rowling 2008

A Note on the Footnotes

Professor Dumbledore appears to have been writing for a wizarding audience, so I have occasionally inserted an explanation of a term or fact that might need clarification for Muggle readers. JKR


THE WIZARD AND THE HOPPING POT There was once a kindly old wizard who used his magic generously and wisely for the benefit of his neighbours. Rather than reveal the true source of his power, he pretended that his potions, charms and antidotes sprang ready-made from the little cauldron he called his lucky cooking pot. From miles around people came to him with their troubles, and the wizard was pleased to give his pot a stir and put things right. This well-beloved wizard lived to a goodly age, then died, leaving all his chattels to his only son. This son was of a very different disposition to his

gentle father. Those who could not work magic were, to the son’s mind, worthless, and he had often quarrelled with his father’s habit of dispensing magical aid to their neighbours. Upon the father’s death, the son found hidden inside the old cooking pot a small package bearing his name. He opened it, hoping for gold, but found instead a soft, thick slipper, much too small to wear, and with no pair. A fragment of parchment within the slipper bore the words ‘In the fond hope, my son, that you will never need it.’ The son cursed his father’s age-softened mind, then threw the slipper back into the cauldron, resolving to use it henceforth as a rubbish pail. That very night a peasant woman knocked on the front door. ‘My granddaughter is afflicted by a crop of warts, sir,’ she told him. ‘Your father used to mix a special poultice in that old cooking pot –’ ‘Begone!’ cried the son. ‘What care I for your brat’s warts?’ And he slammed the door in the old woman’s face. At once there came a loud clanging and banging from his kitchen. The wizard lit his wand and opened the door, and there, to his amazement, he saw his father’s old cooking pot: it had sprouted a single foot of brass, and was hopping on the spot, in the middle of the floor, making a fearful noise upon

the flagstones. The wizard approached it in wonder, but fell back hurriedly when he saw that the whole of the pot’s surface was covered in warts. ‘Disgusting object!’ he cried, and he tried firstly to Vanish the pot, then to clean it by magic, and finally to force it out of the house. None of his spells worked, however, and he was unable to prevent the pot hopping after him out of the kitchen, and then following him up to bed, clanging and banging loudly on every wooden stair. The wizard could not sleep all night for the banging of the warty old pot by his bedside, and next morning the pot insisted upon hopping after him to the breakfast table. Clang, clang, clang, went the brass-footed pot, and the wizard had not even started his porridge when there came another knock on the door. An old man stood on the doorstep. ‘’Tis my old donkey, sir,’ he explained. ‘Lost, she is, or stolen, and without her I cannot take my wares to market, and my family will go hungry tonight.’ ‘And I am hungry now!’ roared the wizard, and he slammed the door upon the old man. Clang, clang, clang, went the cooking pot’s single brass foot upon the floor, but now its clamour was mixed with the brays of a donkey and human groans of hunger, echoing from the depths of the pot.

‘Be still. Be silent!’ shrieked the wizard, but not all his magical powers could quieten the warty pot, which hopped at his heels all day, braying and groaning and clanging, no matter where he went or what he did. That evening there came a third knock upon the door, and there on the threshold stood a young woman sobbing as though her heart would break. ‘My baby is grievously ill,’ she said. ‘Won’t you please help us? Your father bade me come if troubled –’ But the wizard slammed the door on her. And now the tormenting pot filled to the brim with salt water, and slopped tears all over the floor as it hopped, and brayed, and groaned, and sprouted more warts. Though no more villagers came to seek help at the wizard’s cottage for the rest of the week, the pot kept him informed of their many ills. Within a few days, it was not only braying and groaning and slopping and hopping and sprouting warts, it was also choking and retching, crying like a baby, whining like a dog, and spewing out bad cheese and sour milk and a plague of hungry slugs.

The wizard could not sleep or eat with the pot beside him, but the pot refused to leave, and he could not silence it or force it to be still. At last the wizard could bear it no more. ‘Bring me all your problems, all your troubles and your woes!’ he screamed, fleeing into the night, with the pot hopping behind him along the road into the village. ‘Come! Let me cure you, mend you and comfort you! I have my father’s cooking pot, and I shall make you well!’ And with the foul pot still bounding along behind him, he ran up the street, casting spells in every direction. Inside one house the little girl’s warts vanished as she slept; the lost donkey was Summoned from a distant briar patch and set down softly in its stable; the sick baby was doused in dittany and woke, well and rosy. At every house of sickness and sorrow, the wizard did his best, and gradually the cooking pot beside him stopped groaning and retching, and

became quiet, shiny and clean. ‘Well, Pot?’ asked the trembling wizard, as the sun began to rise. The pot burped out the single slipper he had thrown into it, and permitted him to fit it on to the brass foot. Together, they set off back to the wizard’s house, the pot’s footstep muffled at last. But from that day forward, the wizard helped the villagers like his father before him, lest the pot cast off its slipper, and begin to hop once more.

Albus Dumbledore on ‘The Wizard and the Hopping Pot’

A kind old wizard decides to teach his hardhearted son a lesson by giving him a taste of the local Muggles’ misery. The young wizard’s conscience awakes, and he agrees to use his magic for the benefit of his non-magical neighbours. A simple and heart-warming fable, one might think – in which case, one would reveal oneself to be an innocent nincompoop. A pro-Muggle story showing a Muggle-loving father as superior in magic to a Muggle-hating son? It is nothing short of amazing that any copies of the original version of this tale survived the flames to which they were so often consigned. Beedle was somewhat out of step with his times in preaching a message of brotherly love for Muggles. The persecution of witches and wizards was gathering pace all over Europe in the early

fifteenth century. Many in the magical community felt, and with good reason, that offering to cast a spell on the Muggle-next-door’s sickly pig was tantamount to volunteering to fetch the firewood for one’s own funeral pyre.1 ‘Let the Muggles manage without us!’ was the cry, as the wizards drew further and further apart from their nonmagical brethren, culminating with the institution of the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy in 1689, when wizardkind voluntarily went underground. Children being children, however, the grotesque Hopping Pot had taken hold of their imaginations. The solution was to jettison the pro-Muggle moral but keep the warty cauldron, so by the middle of the sixteenth century a different version of the tale was in wide circulation among wizarding families. In the revised story, the Hopping Pot protects an innocent wizard from his torch-bearing, pitchforktoting neighbours by chasing them away from the wizard’s cottage, catching them and swallowing them whole. At the end of the story, by which time the Pot has consumed most of his neighbours, the wizard gains a promise from the few remaining villagers that he will be left in peace to practise magic. In return, he instructs the Pot to render up its victims, who are duly burped out of its depths, slightly mangled. To this day, some wizarding children are only told the revised version of the

story by their (generally anti-Muggle) parents, and the original, if and when they ever read it, comes as a great surprise. As I have already hinted, however, its proMuggle sentiment was not the only reason that ‘The Wizard and the Hopping Pot’ attracted anger. As the witch-hunts grew ever fiercer, wizarding families began to live double lives, using charms of concealment to protect themselves and their families. By the seventeenth century, any witch or wizard who chose to fraternise with Muggles became suspect, even an outcast in his or her own community. Among the many insults hurled at proMuggle witches and wizards (such fruity epithets as ‘Mudwallower’, ‘Dunglicker’ and ‘Scumsucker’ date from this period), was the charge of having weak or inferior magic. Influential wizards of the day, such as Brutus Malfoy, editor of Warlock at War, an anti-Muggle periodical, perpetuated the stereotype that a Muggle-lover was about as magical as a Squib.2 In 1675, Brutus wrote: This we may state with certainty: any wizard who shows fondness for the society of Muggles is of low intelligence, with magic so feeble and pitiful that he can only feel himself superior if surrounded by Muggle pigmen. Nothing is a surer sign of weak magic than

a weakness for non-magical company. This prejudice eventually died out in the face of overwhelming evidence that some of the world’s most brilliant wizards3 were, to use the common phrase, ‘Muggle-lovers’. The final objection to ‘The Wizard and the Hopping Pot’ remains alive in certain quarters today. It was summed up best, perhaps, by Beatrix Bloxam (1794–1910), author of the infamous Toadstool Tales. Mrs Bloxam believed that The Tales of Beedle the Bard were damaging to children because of what she called ‘their unhealthy preoccupation with the most horrid subjects, such as death, disease, bloodshed, wicked magic, unwholesome characters and bodily effusions and eruptions of the most disgusting kind’. Mrs Bloxam took a variety of old stories, including several of Beedle’s, and rewrote them according to her ideals, which she expressed as ‘filling the pure minds of our little angels with healthy, happy thoughts, keeping their sweet slumber free of wicked dreams and protecting the precious flower of their innocence’. The final paragraph of Mrs Bloxam’s pure and precious reworking of ‘The Wizard and the Hopping Pot’ reads: Then the little golden pot danced with delight

– hoppitty hoppitty hop! – on its tiny rosy toes! Wee Willykins had cured all the dollies of their poorly tum-tums, and the little pot was so happy that it filled up with sweeties for Wee Willykins and the dollies! ‘But don’t forget to brush your teethypegs!’ cried the pot. And Wee Willykins kissed and huggled the hoppitty pot and promised always to help the dollies and never to be an old grumpywumpkins again. Mrs Bloxam’s tale has met the same response from generations of wizarding children: uncontrollable retching, followed by an immediate demand to have the book taken from them and mashed into pulp.

It is true, of course, that genuine witches and wizards were reasonably adept at escaping the stake, block and noose (see my comments about Lisette de Lapin in the commentary on ‘Babbitty Rabbitty and her Cackling Stump’). However, a number of deaths did occur: Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington (a wizard at the royal court in his lifetime, and in his death-time, ghost of Gryffindor Tower) was stripped of his wand before being locked in a dungeon, and was unable to magic himself out of his execution; and wizarding families were particularly prone to losing younger members, whose inability to control their own magic made them noticeable, and vulnerable, to Muggle witch-hunters. 1

{A Squib is a person born to magical parents, but who has no magical powers. Such an occurrence is rare. Muggle-born witches and wizards are much more common. JKR} 2


Such as myself.


THE FOUNTAIN OF FAIR FORTUNE High on a hill in an enchanted garden, enclosed by tall walls and protected by strong magic, flowed the Fountain of Fair Fortune. Once a year, between the hours of sunrise and sunset on the longest day, a single unfortunate was given the chance to fight their way to the Fountain, bathe in its waters and receive Fair Fortune for evermore. On the appointed day, hundreds of people travelled from all over the kingdom to reach the garden walls before dawn. Male and female, rich and poor, young and old, of magical means and

without, they gathered in the darkness, each hoping that they would be the one to gain entrance to the garden. Three witches, each with her burden of woe, met on the outskirts of the crowd, and told one another their sorrows as they waited for sunrise. The first, by name Asha, was sick of a malady no Healer could cure. She hoped that the Fountain would banish her symptoms and grant her a long and happy life. The second, by name Altheda, had been robbed of her home, her gold and her wand by an evil sorcerer. She hoped that the Fountain might relieve her of powerlessness and poverty. The third, by name Amata, had been deserted by a man whom she loved dearly, and she thought her heart would never mend. She hoped that the Fountain would relieve her of her grief and longing. Pitying each other, the three women agreed that, should the chance befall them, they would unite and try to reach the Fountain together. The sky was rent with the first ray of sun, and a chink in the wall opened. The crowd surged forward, each of them shrieking their claim for the Fountain’s benison. Creepers from the garden beyond snaked through the pressing mass, and twisted themselves around the first witch, Asha. She grasped the wrist of the second witch, Altheda, who seized tight upon the robes of the third witch,

Amata. And Amata became caught upon the armour of a dismal-looking knight who was seated on a bonethin horse. The creepers tugged the three witches through the chink in the wall, and the knight was dragged off his steed after them. The furious screams of the disappointed throng rose upon the morning air, then fell silent as the garden walls sealed once more. Asha and Altheda were angry with Amata, who had accidentally brought along the knight. ‘Only one can bathe in the Fountain! It will be hard enough to decide which of us it will be, without adding another!’ Now, Sir Luckless, as the knight was known in the land outside the walls, observed that these were witches, and, having no magic, nor any great skill at jousting or duelling with swords, nor anything that distinguished the non-magical man, was sure that he had no hope of beating the three women to the Fountain. He therefore declared his intention of withdrawing outside the walls again. At this, Amata became angry too. ‘Faint heart!’ she chided him. ‘Draw your sword, Knight, and help us reach our goal!’ And so the three witches and the forlorn knight ventured forth into the enchanted garden, where rare herbs, fruit and flowers grew in abundance on

either side of the sunlit paths. They met no obstacle until they reached the foot of the hill on which the Fountain stood.

There, however, wrapped around the base of the hill, was a monstrous white Worm, bloated and blind. At their approach, it turned a foul face upon them, and uttered the following words: ‘Pay me the proof of your pain.’ Sir Luckless drew his sword and attempted to kill the beast, but his blade snapped. Then Altheda cast rocks at the Worm, while Asha and Amata essayed every spell that might subdue or entrance it, but the power of their wands was no more effective than their friend’s stone, or the knight’s steel: the Worm would not let them pass. The sun rose higher and higher in the sky, and Asha, despairing, began to weep. Then the great Worm placed its face upon hers and drank the tears from her cheeks. Its thirst assuaged, the Worm slithered aside, and vanished into a hole in the ground. Rejoicing at the Worm’s disappearance, the three witches and the knight began to climb the hill, sure that they would reach the Fountain before noon. Halfway up the steep slope, however, they came across words cut into the ground before them. Pay me the fruit of your labours.

Sir Luckless took out his only coin, and placed it upon the grassy hillside, but it rolled away and was lost. The three witches and the knight continued to climb, but though they walked for hours more, they advanced not a step; the summit came no nearer, and still the inscription lay in the earth before them. All were discouraged as the sun rose over their heads and began to sink towards the far horizon, but Altheda walked faster and harder than any of them, and exhorted the others to follow her example, though she moved no further up the enchanted hill. ‘Courage, friends, and do not yield!’ she cried, wiping the sweat from her brow. As the drops fell glittering on to the earth, the inscription blocking their path vanished, and they found that they were able to move upwards once more. Delighted by the removal of this second obstacle, they hurried towards the summit as fast as they could, until at last they glimpsed the Fountain, glittering like crystal in a bower of flowers and trees. Before they could reach it, however, they came to a stream that ran round the hilltop, barring their way. In the depths of the clear water lay a smooth stone bearing the words:

Pay me the treasure of your past. Sir Luckless attempted to float across the stream on his shield, but it sank. The three witches pulled him from the water, then tried to leap the brook themselves, but it would not let them cross, and all the while the sun was sinking lower in the sky. So they fell to pondering the meaning of the stone’s message, and Amata was the first to understand. Taking her wand, she drew from her mind all the memories of happy times she had spent with her vanished lover, and dropped them into the rushing waters. The stream swept them away, and stepping stones appeared, and the three witches and the knight were able to pass at last on to the summit of the hill. The Fountain shimmered before them, set amidst herbs and flowers rarer and more beautiful than any they had yet seen. The sky burned ruby, and it was time to decide which of them would bathe. Before they could make their decision, however, frail Asha fell to the ground. Exhausted by their struggle to the summit, she was close to death. Her three friends would have carried her to the Fountain, but Asha was in mortal agony and begged them not to touch her.

Then Altheda hastened to pick all those herbs she thought most hopeful, and mixed them in Sir Luckless’s gourd of water, and poured the potion into Asha’s mouth. At once, Asha was able to stand. What was more, all symptoms of her dread malady had vanished. ‘I am cured!’ she cried. ‘I have no need of the Fountain – let Altheda bathe!’ But Altheda was busy collecting more herbs in her apron. ‘If I can cure this disease, I shall earn gold aplenty! Let Amata bathe!’ Sir Luckless bowed, and gestured Amata towards the Fountain, but she shook her head. The stream had washed away all regret for her lover, and she saw now that he had been cruel and faithless, and that it was happiness enough to be rid of him. ‘Good sir, you must bathe, as a reward for all your chivalry!’ she told Sir Luckless. So the knight clanked forth in the last rays of the setting sun, and bathed in the Fountain of Fair Fortune, astonished that he was the chosen one of hundreds and giddy with his incredible luck. As the sun fell below the horizon, Sir Luckless emerged from the waters with the glory of his triumph upon him, and flung himself in his rusted armour at the feet of Amata, who was the kindest

and most beautiful woman he had ever beheld. Flushed with success, he begged for her hand and her heart, and Amata, no less delighted, realised that she had found a man worthy of them. The three witches and the knight set off down the hill together, arm in arm, and all four led long and happy lives, and none of them ever knew or suspected that the Fountain’s waters carried no enchantment at all.

Albus Dumbledore on ‘The Fountain of Fair Fortune’

‘The Fountain of Fair Fortune’ is a perennial favourite, so much so that it was the subject of the sole attempt to introduce a Christmas pantomime to Hogwarts’ festive celebrations. Our then Herbology master, Professor Herbert Beery,1 an enthusiastic devotee of amateur dramatics, proposed an adaptation of this wellbeloved children’s tale as a Yuletide treat for staff and students. I was then a young Transfiguration teacher, and Herbert assigned me to ‘special effects’, which included providing a fully functioning Fountain of Fair Fortune and a miniature grassy hill, up which our three heroines and hero would appear to march, while it sank slowly into the stage and out of sight. I think I may say, without vanity, that both my Fountain and my Hill performed the parts allotted

to them with simple goodwill. Alas, that the same could not be said of the rest of the cast. Ignoring for a moment the antics of the gigantic ‘Worm’ provided by our Care of Magical Creatures teacher, Professor Silvanus Kettleburn, the human element proved disastrous to the show. Professor Beery, in his role of director, had been dangerously oblivious to the emotional entanglements seething under his very nose. Little did he know that the students playing Amata and Sir Luckless had been boyfriend and girlfriend until one hour before the curtain rose, at which point ‘Sir Luckless’ transferred his affections to ‘Asha’. Suffice it to say that our seekers after Fair Fortune never made it to the top of the Hill. The curtain had barely risen when Professor Kettleburn’s ‘Worm’ – now revealed to be an Ashwinder2 with an Engorgement Charm upon it – exploded in a shower of hot sparks and dust, filling the Great Hall with smoke and fragments of scenery. While the enormous fiery eggs it had laid at the foot of my Hill ignited the floorboards, ‘Amata’ and ‘Asha’ turned upon each other, duelling so fiercely that Professor Beery was caught in the crossfire, and staff had to evacuate the Hall, as the inferno now raging onstage threatened to engulf the place. The night’s entertainment concluded with a packed hospital wing; it was several months before the Great Hall

lost its pungent aroma of wood smoke, and even longer before Professor Beery’s head reassumed its normal proportions, and Professor Kettleburn was taken off probation.3 Headmaster Armando Dippet imposed a blanket ban on future pantomimes, a proud non-theatrical tradition that Hogwarts continues to this day. Our dramatic fiasco notwithstanding, ‘The Fountain of Fair Fortune’ is probably the most popular of Beedle’s tales, although, just like ‘The Wizard and the Hopping Pot’, it has its detractors. More than one parent has demanded the removal of this particular tale from the Hogwarts library, including, by coincidence, a descendant of Brutus Malfoy and one-time member of the Hogwarts Board of Governors, Mr Lucius Malfoy. Mr Malfoy submitted his demand for a ban on the story in writing: Any work of fiction or non-fiction that depicts interbreeding between wizards and Muggles should be banned from the bookshelves of Hogwarts. I do not wish my son to be influenced into sullying the purity of his bloodline by reading stories that promote wizard–Muggle marriage. My refusal to remove the book from the library was backed by a majority of the Board of Governors. I

wrote back to Mr Malfoy, explaining my decision: So-called pure-blood families maintain their alleged purity by disowning, banishing or lying about Muggles or Muggle-borns on their family trees. They then attempt to foist their hypocrisy upon the rest of us by asking us to ban works dealing with the truths they deny. There is not a witch or wizard in existence whose blood has not mingled with that of Muggles, and I should therefore consider it both illogical and immoral to remove works dealing with the subject from our students’ store of knowledge.4 This exchange marked the beginning of Mr Malfoy’s long campaign to have me removed from my post as Headmaster of Hogwarts, and of mine to have him removed from his position as Lord Voldemort’s Favourite Death Eater.

Professor Beery eventually left Hogwarts to teach at W.A.D.A. (Wizarding Academy of Dramatic Arts), where, he once confessed to me, he maintained a strong aversion to mounting performances of this particular story, believing it to be unlucky. 1

See Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them for a definitive description of this curious beast. It ought never to be voluntarily 2

introduced into a wood-panelled room, nor have an Engorgement Charm placed upon it. Professor Kettleburn survived no fewer than sixty-two periods of probation during his employment as Care of Magical Creatures teacher. His relations with my predecessor at Hogwarts, Professor Dippet, were always strained, Professor Dippet considering him to be somewhat reckless. By the time I became Headmaster, however, Professor Kettleburn had mellowed considerably, although there were always those who took the cynical view that with only one and a half of his original limbs remaining to him, he was forced to take life at a quieter pace. 3

My response prompted several further letters from Mr Malfoy, but as they consisted mainly of opprobrious remarks on my sanity, parentage and hygiene, their relevance to this commentary is remote. 4


THE WARLOCK’S HAIRY HEART There was once a handsome, rich and talented young warlock, who observed that his friends grew foolish when they fell in love, gambolling and preening, losing their appetites and their dignity. The young warlock resolved never to fall prey to such weakness, and employed Dark Arts to ensure his immunity. Unaware of his secret, the warlock’s family laughed to see him so aloof and cold. ‘All will change,’ they prophesied, ‘when a maid catches his fancy!’ But the young warlock’s fancy remained

untouched. Though many a maiden was intrigued by his haughty mien, and employed her most subtle arts to please him, none succeeded in touching his heart. The warlock gloried in his indifference and the sagacity that had produced it. The first freshness of youth waned, and the warlock’s peers began to wed, and then to bring forth children. ‘Their hearts must be husks,’ he sneered inwardly, as he observed the antics of the young parents around him, ‘shrivelled by the demands of these mewling offspring!’ And once again he congratulated himself upon the wisdom of his early choice. In due course, the warlock’s aged parents died. Their son did not mourn them; on the contrary, he considered himself blessed by their demise. Now he reigned alone in their castle. Having transferred his greatest treasure to the deepest dungeon, he gave himself over to a life of ease and plenty, his comfort the only aim of his many servants. The warlock was sure that he must be an object of immense envy to all who beheld his splendid and untroubled solitude. Fierce were his anger and chagrin, therefore, when he overheard two of his lackeys discussing their master one day. The first servant expressed pity for the warlock who, with all his wealth and power, was yet beloved by nobody.

But his companion jeered, asking why a man with so much gold and a palatial castle to his name had been unable to attract a wife. Their words dealt dreadful blows to the listening warlock’s pride. He resolved at once to take a wife, and that she would be a wife superior to all others. She would possess astounding beauty, exciting envy and desire in every man who beheld her; she would spring from magical lineage, so that their offspring would inherit outstanding magical gifts; and she would have wealth at least equal to his own, so that his comfortable existence would be assured, in spite of additions to his household. It might have taken the warlock fifty years to find such a woman, yet it so happened that the very day after he decided to seek her, a maiden answering his every wish arrived in the neighbourhood to visit her kinsfolk. She was a witch of prodigious skill and possessed of much gold. Her beauty was such that it tugged at the heart of every man who set eyes on her; of every man, that is, except one. The warlock’s heart felt nothing at all. Nevertheless, she was the prize he sought, so he began to pay her court. All who noticed the warlock’s change in manners were amazed, and told the maiden that she had succeeded where a hundred had failed. The young woman herself was both fascinated

and repelled by the warlock’s attentions. She sensed the coldness that lay behind the warmth of his flattery, and had never met a man so strange and remote. Her kinsfolk, however, deemed theirs a most suitable match and, eager to promote it, accepted the warlock’s invitation to a great feast in the maiden’s honour. The table was laden with silver and gold bearing the finest wines and most sumptuous foods. Minstrels strummed on silk-stringed lutes and sang of a love their master had never felt. The maiden sat upon a throne beside the warlock, who spake low, employing words of tenderness he had stolen from the poets, without any idea of their true meaning. The maiden listened, puzzled, and finally replied, ‘You speak well, Warlock, and I would be delighted by your attentions, if only I thought you had a heart!’ The warlock smiled, and told her that she need not fear on that score. Bidding her follow, he led her from the feast, and down to the locked dungeon where he kept his greatest treasure.

Here, in an enchanted crystal casket, was the warlock’s beating heart. Long since disconnected from eyes, ears and fingers, it had never fallen prey to beauty, or to a musical voice, to the feel of silken skin. The maiden was terrified by the sight of it, for the heart was shrunken and covered in long black hair. ‘Oh, what have you done?’ she lamented. ‘Put it back where it belongs, I beseech you!’ Seeing that this was necessary to please her, the warlock drew his wand, unlocked the crystal casket, sliced open his own breast and replaced the hairy heart in the empty cavity it had once occupied. ‘Now you are healed and will know true love!’ cried the maiden, and she embraced him. The touch of her soft white arms, the sound of her breath in his ear, the scent of her heavy gold hair: all pierced the newly awakened heart like spears. But it had grown strange during its long exile, blind and savage in the darkness to which it had been condemned, and its appetites had grown

powerful and perverse. The guests at the feast had noticed the absence of their host and the maiden. At first untroubled, they grew anxious as the hours passed, and finally began to search the castle. They found the dungeon at last, and a most dreadful sight awaited them there. The maiden lay dead upon the floor, her breast cut open, and beside her crouched the mad warlock, holding in one bloody hand a great, smooth, shining scarlet heart, which he licked and stroked, vowing to exchange it for his own. In his other hand, he held his wand, trying to coax from his own chest the shrivelled, hairy heart. But the hairy heart was stronger than he was, and refused to relinquish its hold upon his senses or to return to the coffin in which it had been locked for so long. Before the horror-struck eyes of his guests, the warlock cast aside his wand, and seized a silver dagger. Vowing never to be mastered by his own heart, he hacked it from his chest. For one moment, the warlock knelt tri​umphant, with a heart clutched in each hand; then he fell across the maiden’s body, and died.

Albus Dumbledore on ‘The Warlock’s Hairy Heart’

As we have already seen, Beedle’s first two tales attracted criticism of their themes of generosity, tolerance and love. ‘The Warlock’s Hairy Heart’, however, does not appear to have been modified or much criticised in the hundreds of years since it was first written; the story as I eventually read it in the original runes was almost exactly that which my mother had told me. That said, ‘The Warlock’s Hairy Heart’ is by far the most gruesome of Beedle’s offerings, and many parents do not share it with their children until they think they are old enough not to suffer nightmares.1 Why, then, the survival of this grisly tale? I would argue that ‘The Warlock’s Hairy Heart’ has survived intact through the centuries because it speaks to the dark depths in all of us. It addresses one of the greatest, and least acknowledged,

temptations of magic: the quest for invulnerability. Of course, such a quest is nothing more or less than a foolish fantasy. No man or woman alive, magical or not, has ever escaped some form of injury, whether physical, mental or emotional. To hurt is as human as to breathe. Nevertheless, we wizards seem particularly prone to the idea that we can bend the nature of existence to our will. The young warlock2 in this story, for instance, decides that falling in love would adversely affect his comfort and security. He sees love as a humilia​tion, a weakness, a drain on a person’s emotional and material resources. Of course, the centuries-old trade in love potions shows that our fictional wizard is hardly alone in seeking to control the unpredictable course of love. The search for a true love potion3 continues to this day, but no such elixir has yet been created, and leading potioneers doubt that it is possible. The hero in this tale, however, is not even interested in a simulacrum of love that he can create or destroy at will. He wants to remain for ever uninfected by what he regards as a kind of sickness, and therefore performs a piece of Dark Magic that would not be possible outside a storybook: he locks away his own heart. The resemblance of this action to the creation of a Horcrux has been noted by many writers. Although Beedle’s hero is not seeking to avoid

death, he is dividing what was clearly not meant to be divided – body and heart, rather than soul – and in doing so, he is falling foul of the first of Adalbert Waffling’s Fundamental Laws of Magic: Tamper with the deepest mysteries – the source of life, the essence of self – only if prepared for consequences of the most extreme and dangerous kind. And sure enough, in seeking to become superhuman this foolhardy young man renders himself inhuman. The heart he has locked away slowly shrivels and grows hair, symbolising his own descent to beasthood. He is finally reduced to a violent animal who takes what he wants by force, and he dies in a futile attempt to regain what is now for ever beyond his reach – a human heart. Though somewhat dated, the expression ‘to have a hairy heart’ has passed into everyday wizarding language to describe a cold or unfeeling witch or wizard. My maiden aunt, Honoria, always alleged that she called off her engagement to a wizard in the Improper Use of Magic Office because she discovered in time that ‘he had a hairy heart’. (It was rumoured, however, that she actu​ally discovered him in the act of fondling some Horklumps,4 which she found deeply shocking.) More recently, the self-help book The Hairy Heart:

A Guide to Wizards Who Won’t Commit5 has topped bestseller lists.

According to her own diary, Beatrix Bloxam never recovered from overhearing this story being told by her aunt to her older cousins. ‘Quite by accident, my little ear fell against the keyhole. I can only imagine that I must have been paralysed with horror, for I inadvertently heard the whole of the disgusting story, not to mention ghastly details of the dreadfully unsavoury affair of my uncle Nobby, the local hag and a sack of Bouncing Bulbs. The shock almost killed me; I was in bed for a week, and so deeply traumatised was I that I developed the habit of sleepwalking back to the same keyhole every night, until at last my dear papa, with only my best interests at heart, put a Sticking Charm on my door at bedtime.’ Apparently Beatrix could find no way to make ‘The Warlock’s Hairy Heart’ suitable for children’s sensitive ears, as she never rewrote it for The Toadstool Tales. 1

{The term ‘warlock’ is a very old one. Although it is sometimes used as interchangeable with ‘wizard’, it originally denoted one learned in duelling and all martial magic. It was also given as a title to wizards who had performed feats of bravery, rather as Muggles were sometimes knighted for acts of valour. By calling the young wizard in this story a warlock, Beedle indicates that he has already been recognised as especially skilful at offensive magic. These days wizards use ‘warlock’ in one of two ways: to describe a wizard of unusually fierce appearance, or as a title denoting particular skill or achievement. Thus, Dumbledore himself was Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot. JKR} 2

Hector Dagworth-Granger, founder of the Most Extraordinary Society of Potioneers, explains: ‘Powerful infatuations can be induced by the skilful potioneer, but never yet has anyone managed 3

to create the truly unbreakable, eternal, unconditional attachment that alone can be called Love.’ Horklumps are pink, bristly mushroom-like creatures. It is very difficult to see why anyone would want to fondle them. For further information, see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. 4

Not to be confused with Hairy Snout, Human Heart, a heartrending account of one man’s struggle with lycanthropy. 5


BABBITTY RABBITTY AND HER CACKLING STUMP A long time ago, in a far-off land, there lived a foolish king who decided that he alone should have the power of magic. He therefore commanded the head of his army to form a Brigade of Witch-Hunters, and issued them with a pack of ferocious black hounds. At the same time, the King caused proclamations to be read in every village and town across the land: ‘Wanted by the King, an Instructor in Magic.’ No true witch or wizard dared volunteer for the post, for they were all in hiding from the Brigade of Witch-Hunters.

However, a cunning charlatan with no magical power saw a chance of enriching himself, and arrived at the palace, claiming to be a wizard of enormous skill. The charlatan performed a few simple tricks, which convinced the foolish King of his magical powers, and was immediately appointed Grand Sorcerer in Chief, the King’s Private Magic Master. The charlatan bade the King give him a large sack of gold, so that he might purchase wands and other magical necessities. He also requested several large rubies, to be used in the casting of curative charms, and a silver chalice or two, for the storing and maturing of potions. All these things the foolish King supplied. The charlatan stowed the treasure safely in his own house and returned to the palace grounds. He did not know that he was being watched by an old woman who lived in a hovel on the edge of the grounds. Her name was Babbitty, and she was the washerwoman who kept the palace linens soft, fragrant and white. Peeping from behind her drying sheets, Babbitty saw the charlatan snap two twigs from one of the King’s trees and disappear into the palace. The charlatan gave one of the twigs to the King and assured him that it was a wand of tremendous power. ‘It will only work, however,’ said the charlatan,

‘when you are worthy of it.’ Every morning the charlatan and the foolish King walked out into the palace grounds, where they waved their wands and shouted nonsense at the sky. The charlatan was careful to perform more tricks, so that the King remained convinced of his Grand Sorcerer’s skill, and of the power of the wands that had cost so much gold. One morning, as the charlatan and the foolish King were twirling their twigs, and hopping in circles, and chanting meaningless rhymes, a loud cackling reached the King’s ears. Babbitty the washerwoman was watching the King and the charlatan from the window of her tiny cottage, and was laughing so hard she soon sank out of sight, too weak to stand. ‘I must look most undignified, to make the old washerwoman laugh so!’ said the King. He ceased his hopping and twig twirling, and frowned. ‘I grow weary of practice! When shall I be ready to perform real spells in front of my subjects, Sorcerer?’ The charlatan tried to soothe his pupil, assuring him that he would soon be capable of astonishing feats of magic, but Babbitty’s cackling had stung the foolish King more than the charlatan knew. ‘Tomorrow,’ said the King, ‘we shall invite our court to watch their King perform magic!’ The charlatan saw that the time had come to take

his treasure and flee. ‘Alas, Your Majesty, it is impossible! I had forgotten to tell Your Majesty that I must set out on a long journey tomorrow –’ ‘If you leave this palace without my permission, Sorcerer, my Brigade of Witch-Hunters will hunt you down with their hounds! Tomorrow morning you will assist me to perform magic for the benefit of my lords and ladies, and if anybody laughs at me, I shall have you beheaded!’ The King stormed back to the palace, leaving the charlatan alone and afraid. Not all his cunning could save him now, for he could not run away, nor could he help the King with magic that neither of them knew. Seeking a vent for his fear and his anger, the charlatan approached the window of Babbitty the washerwoman. Peering inside, he saw the little old lady sitting at her table, polishing a wand. In a corner behind her, the King’s sheets were washing themselves in a wooden tub. The charlatan understood at once that Babbitty was a true witch, and that she who had given him his awful problem could also solve it. ‘Crone!’ roared the charlatan. ‘Your cackling has cost me dear! If you fail to help me, I shall denounce you as a witch, and it will be you who is torn apart by the King’s hounds!’ Old Babbitty smiled at the charlatan and assured

him that she would do everything in her power to help. The charlatan instructed her to conceal herself inside a bush while the King gave his magical display, and to perform the King’s spells for him, without his knowledge. Babbitty agreed to the plan but asked one question. ‘What, sir, if the King attempts a spell Babbitty cannot perform?’ The charlatan scoffed. ‘Your magic is more than equal to that fool’s imagination,’ he assured her, and he retired to the castle, well pleased with his own cleverness. The following morning all the lords and ladies of the kingdom assembled in the palace grounds. The King climbed on to a stage in front of them, with the charlatan by his side. ‘I shall firstly make this lady’s hat disappear!’ cried the King, pointing his twig at a noblewoman. From inside a bush nearby, Babbitty pointed her wand at the hat and caused it to vanish. Great was the astonishment and admiration of the crowd, and loud their applause for the jubilant King. ‘Next, I shall make that horse fly!’ cried the King, pointing his twig at his own steed. From inside the bush, Babbitty pointed her wand at the horse and it rose high into the air. The crowd was still more thrilled and amazed, and they roared their appreciation of their magical


‘And now,’ said the King, looking all around for an idea; and the Captain of his Brigade of WitchHunters ran forwards. ‘Your Majesty,’ said the Captain, ‘this very morning, Sabre died of eating a poisonous toadstool! Bring him back to life, Your Majesty, with your wand!’ And the Captain heaved on to the stage the lifeless body of the largest of the witch-hunting hounds. The foolish King brandished his twig and pointed it at the dead dog. But inside the bush, Babbitty smiled, and did not trouble to lift her wand, for no magic can raise the dead. When the dog did not stir, the crowd began first to whisper, and then to laugh. They suspected that the King’s first two feats had been mere tricks after all. ‘Why doesn’t it work?’ the King screamed at the charlatan, who bethought himself of the only ruse left to him. ‘There, Your Majesty, there!’ he shouted, pointing at the bush where Babbitty sat concealed. ‘I see her plain, a wicked witch who is blocking your magic with her own evil spells! Seize her, somebody, seize her!’ Babbitty fled from the bush, and the Brigade of Witch-Hunters set off in pursuit, unleashing their

hounds, who bayed for Babbitty’s blood. But as she reached a low hedge, the little witch vanished from sight, and when the King, the charlatan and all the courtiers gained the other side, they found the pack of witch-hunting hounds barking and scrabbling around a bent and aged tree. ‘She has turned herself into a tree!’ screamed the charlatan and, dreading lest Babbitty turn back into a woman and denounce him, he added, ‘Cut her down, Your Majesty, that is the way to treat evil witches!’ An axe was brought at once, and the old tree was felled to loud cheers from the courtiers and the charlatan. However, as they were making ready to return to the palace, the sound of loud cackling stopped them in their tracks. ‘Fools!’ cried Babbitty’s voice from the stump they had left behind. ‘No witch or wizard can be killed by being cut in half! Take the axe, if you do not believe me, and cut the Grand Sorcerer in two!’

The Captain of the Brigade of Witch-Hunters was eager to make the experiment, but as he raised the axe the charlatan fell to his knees, screaming for mercy and confessing all his wickedness. As he was dragged away to the dungeons, the tree stump cackled more loudly than ever. ‘By cutting a witch in half, you have unleashed a dreadful curse upon your kingdom!’ it told the petrified King. ‘Henceforth, every stroke of harm that you inflict upon my fellow witches and wizards will feel like an axe stroke in your own side, until you will wish you could die of it!’ At that, the King fell to his knees too, and told the stump that he would issue a proclamation at once, protecting all the witches and wizards of the kingdom, and allowing them to practise their magic in peace. ‘Very good,’ said the stump, ‘but you have not yet made amends to Babbitty!’ ‘Anything, anything at all!’ cried the foolish

King, wringing his hands before the stump. ‘You will erect a statue of Babbitty upon me, in memory of your poor washerwoman, and to remind you for ever of your own foolishness!’ said the stump. The King agreed to it at once, and promised to engage the foremost sculptor in the land, and have the statue made of pure gold. Then the shamed King and all the noblemen and women returned to the palace, leaving the tree stump cackling behind them. When the grounds were deserted once more, there wriggled from a hole between the roots of the tree stump a stout and whiskery old rabbit with a wand clamped between her teeth. Babbitty hopped out of the grounds and far away, and ever after a golden statue of the washerwoman stood upon the tree stump, and no witch or wizard was ever persecuted in the kingdom again.

Albus Dumbledore on ‘Babbitty Rabbitty and her Cackling Stump’

The story of ‘Babbitty Rabbitty and her Cackling Stump’ is, in many ways, the most ‘real’ of Beedle’s tales, in that the magic described in the story conforms, almost entirely, to known magical laws. It was through this story that many of us first discovered that magic could not bring back the dead – and a great disappointment and shock it was, convinced as we had been, as young children, that our parents would be able to awaken our dead rats and cats with one wave of their wands. Though some six centuries have elapsed since Beedle wrote this tale, and while we have devised innumerable ways of maintaining the illusion of our loved ones’ continuing presence,1 wizards still have not found a way of reuniting body and soul once death has occurred. As the eminent wizarding philosopher Bertrand de Pensées-Profondes writes in his

celebrated work A Study into the Possibility of Reversing the Actual and Metaphysical Effects of Natural Death, with Particular Regard to the Reintegration of Essence and Matter: ‘Give it up. It’s never going to happen.’ The tale of Babbitty Rabbitty does, however, give us one of the earliest literary mentions of an Animagus, for Babbitty the washerwoman is possessed of the rare magical ability to transform into an animal at will. Animagi make up a small fraction of the wizarding population. Achieving perfect, spontaneous human to animal transformation requires much study and practice, and many witches and wizards consider that their time might be better employed in other ways. Certainly, the application of such a talent is limited unless one has a great need of disguise or concealment. It is for this reason that the Ministry of Magic has insisted upon a register of Animagi, for there can be no doubt that this kind of magic is of greatest use to those engaged in surreptitious, covert or even criminal activity.2 Whether there was ever a washerwoman who was able to transform into a rabbit is open to doubt; however, some magical historians have suggested that Beedle modelled Babbitty on the famous French sorceress Lisette de Lapin, who was convicted of witchcraft in Paris in 1422. To the

astonishment of her Muggle guards, who were later tried for helping the witch to escape, Lisette vanished from her prison cell the night before she was due to be executed. Although it has never been proven that Lisette was an Animagus who managed to squeeze through the bars of her cell window, a large white rabbit was subsequently seen crossing the English Channel in a cauldron with a sail fitted to it, and a similar rabbit later became a trusted advisor at the court of King Henry VI.3 The King in Beedle’s story is a foolish Muggle who both covets and fears magic. He believes that he can become a wizard simply by learning incantations and waving a wand.4 He is completely ignorant of the true nature of magic and wizards, and therefore swallows the preposterous suggestions of both the charlatan and Babbitty. This is certainly typical of a particular type of Muggle thinking: in their ignorance, they are prepared to accept all sorts of impossibilities about magic, including the proposition that Babbitty has turned herself into a tree that can still think and talk. (It is worth noting at this point, however, that while Beedle uses the talking-tree device to show us how ignorant the Muggle King is, he also asks us to believe that Babbitty can talk while she is a rabbit. This might be poetic licence, but I think it more likely that Beedle had only heard about Animagi, and never met one, for this is the only liberty that

he takes with magical laws in the story. Animagi do not retain the power of human speech while in their animal form, although they keep all their human thinking and reasoning powers. This, as every schoolchild knows, is the fundamental difference between being an Animagus, and Transfiguring oneself into an animal. In the case of the latter, one would become the animal entirely, with the consequence that one would know no magic, be unaware that one had ever been a wizard, and would need somebody else to Transfigure one back to one’s original form.) I think it possible that in choosing to make his heroine pretend to turn into a tree, and threaten the King with pain like an axe stroke in his own side, Beedle was inspired by real magical traditions and practices. Trees with wand-quality wood have always been fiercely protected by the wandmakers who tend them, and cutting down such trees to steal them risks incurring not only the malice of the Bowtruckles5 usually nesting there, but also the ill effect of any protective curses placed around them by their owners. In Beedle’s time, the Cruciatus Curse had not yet been made illegal by the Ministry of Magic,6 and could have produced precisely the sensation with which Babbitty threatens the King.

{Wizarding photographs and portraits move and (in the case of the latter) talk just like their subjects. Other rare objects, such as the Mirror of Erised, may also reveal more than a static image of a lost loved one. Ghosts are transparent, moving, talking and thinking versions of wizards and witches who wished, for whatever reason, to remain on earth. JKR} 1

{Professor McGonagall, Headmistress of Hogwarts, has asked me to make clear that she became an Animagus merely as a result of her extensive researches into all fields of Transfiguration, and that she has never used the ability to turn into a tabby cat for any surreptitious purpose, setting aside legitimate business on behalf of the order of the Phoenix where secrecy and concealment were imperative. JKR} 2

This may have contributed to that Muggle King’s reputation for mental instability. 3

As intensive studies in the Department of Mysteries demonstrated as far back as 1672, wizards and witches are born, not created. While the ‘rogue’ ability to perform magic sometimes appears in those of apparent non-magical descent (though several later studies have suggested that there will have been a witch or wizard somewhere on the family tree), Muggles cannot perform magic. The best – or worst – they could hope for are random and uncontrollable effects generated by a genuine magical wand, which, as an instrument through which magic is supposed to be channelled, sometimes holds residual power that it may discharge at odd moments – see also the notes on wandlore for ‘The Tale of the Three Brothers’. 4

For a full description of these curious little tree-dwellers, see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. 5

The Cruciatus, Imperius and Avada Kedavra Curses were first classified as Unforgivable in 1717, with the strictest penalties attached to their use. 6


THE TALE OF THE THREE BROTHERS There were once three brothers who were travelling along a lonely, winding road at twilight. In time, the brothers reached a river too deep to wade through and too dangerous to swim across. However, these brothers were learned in the magical arts, and so they simply waved their wands and made a bridge appear across the treacherous water. They were halfway across it when they found their path blocked by a hooded figure.

And Death spoke to them. He was angry that he had been cheated out of three new victims, for travellers usually drowned in the river. But Death was cunning. He pretended to congratulate the three brothers upon their magic, and said that each had earned a prize for having been clever enough to evade him. So the oldest brother, who was a combative man, asked for a wand more powerful than any in existence: a wand that must always win duels for its owner, a wand worthy of a wizard who had conquered Death! So Death crossed to an elder tree on the banks of the river, fashioned a wand from a branch that hung there, and gave it to the oldest brother. Then the second brother, who was an arrogant man, decided that he wanted to humiliate Death still further, and asked for the power to recall others from Death. So Death picked up a stone from the riverbank and gave it to the second brother, and told him that the stone would have the power to bring back the dead. And then Death asked the third and youngest brother what he would like. The youngest brother was the humblest and also the wisest of the brothers, and he did not trust Death. So he asked for something that would enable him to go forth from that place without being followed by Death.

And Death, most unwillingly, handed over his own Cloak of Invisibility. Then Death stood aside and allowed the three brothers to continue on their way and they did so, talking with wonder of the adventure they had had, and admiring Death’s gifts. In due course the brothers separated, each for his own destination. The first brother travelled on for a week or more, and reaching a distant village, he sought out a fellow wizard with whom he had a quarrel. Naturally, with the Elder Wand as his weapon, he could not fail to win the duel that followed. Leaving his enemy dead upon the floor, the oldest brother proceeded to an inn, where he boasted loudly of the powerful wand he had snatched from Death himself, and of how it made him invincible. That very night, another wizard crept upon the oldest brother as he lay, wine-sodden, upon his bed. The thief took the wand and, for good measure, slit the oldest brother’s throat. And so Death took the first brother for his own. Meanwhile, the second brother journeyed to his own home, where he lived alone. Here he took out the stone that had the power to recall the dead, and turned it thrice in his hand. To his amazement and his delight, the figure of the girl he had once hoped to marry before her untimely death appeared at once before him.

Yet she was silent and cold, separated from him as though by a veil. Though she had returned to the mortal world, she did not truly belong there and suffered. Finally, the second brother, driven mad with hopeless longing, killed himself so as truly to join her. And so Death took the second brother for his own. But though Death searched for the third brother for many years, he was never able to find him. It was only when he had attained a great age that the youngest brother finally took off the Cloak of Invisibility and gave it to his son. And then he greeted Death as an old friend, and went with him gladly, and, equals, they departed this life.

Albus Dumbledore on ‘The Tale of the Three Brothers’

This story made a profound impression on me as a boy. I heard it first from my mother, and it soon became the tale I requested more often than any other at bedtime. This frequently led to arguments with my younger brother, Aberforth, whose favourite story was ‘Grumble the Grubby Goat’. The moral of ‘The Tale of the Three Brothers’ could not be any clearer: human efforts to evade or overcome death are always doomed to disappointment. The third brother in the story (‘the humblest and also the wisest’) is the only one who understands that, having narrowly escaped Death once, the best he can hope for is to postpone their next meeting for as long as possible. This youngest brother knows that taunting Death – by engaging in violence, like the first brother, or by meddling in the shadowy art of necromancy,1 like the second

brother – means pitting oneself against a wily enemy who cannot lose. The irony is that a curious legend has grown up around this story, which precisely contradicts the message of the original. This legend holds that the gifts Death gives the brothers – an unbeatable wand, a stone that can bring back the dead, and an Invisibility Cloak that endures for ever – are genuine objects that exist in the real world. The legend goes further: if any person becomes the rightful owner of all three, then he or she will become ‘master of Death’, which has usually been understood to mean that they will be invulnerable, even immortal. We may smile, a little sadly, at what this tells us about human nature. The kindest interpretation would be: ‘Hope springs eternal’.2 In spite of the fact that, according to Beedle, two of the three objects are highly dangerous, in spite of the clear message that Death comes for us all in the end, a tiny minority of the wizarding community persists in believing that Beedle was sending them a coded message, which is the exact reverse of the one set down in ink, and that they alone are clever enough to understand it. Their theory (or perhaps ‘desperate hope’ might be a more accurate term) is supported by little actual evidence. True Invisibility Cloaks, though rare, exist in this world of ours; however, the story

makes it clear that Death’s Cloak is of a uniquely durable nature.3 Through all the centuries that have intervened between Beedle’s day and our own, nobody has ever claimed to have found Death’s Cloak. This is explained away by true believers thus: either the third brother’s descendants do not know where their Cloak came from, or they know and are determined to show their ancestor’s wisdom by not trumpeting the fact. Naturally enough, the stone has never been found, either. As I have already noted in the commentary for ‘Babbitty Rabbitty and her Cackling Stump’, we remain incapable of raising the dead, and there is every reason to suppose that this will never happen. Vile substitutions have, of course, been attempted by Dark wizards, who have created Inferi,4 but these are ghastly puppets, not truly reawoken humans. What is more, Beedle’s story is quite explicit about the fact that the second brother’s lost love has not really returned from the dead. She has been sent by Death to lure the second brother into Death’s clutches, and is therefore cold, remote, tantalisingly both present and absent.5 This leaves us with the wand, and here the obstinate believers in Beedle’s hidden message have at least some historical evidence to back up their wild claims. For it is the case – whether because they liked to glorify themselves, or to

intimidate possible attackers, or because they truly believed what they were saying – that wizards down the ages have claimed to possess a wand more powerful than the ordinary, even an ‘unbeatable’ wand. Some of these wizards have gone so far as to claim that their wand is made of elder, like the wand supposedly made by Death. Such wands have been given many names, among them ‘the Wand of Destiny’ and ‘the Deathstick’. It is hardly surprising that old superstitions have grown up around our wands, which are, after all, our most important magical tools and weapons. Certain wands (and therefore their owners) are supposed to be incompatible: When his wand’s oak and hers is holly, Then to marry would be folly or to denote flaws in the owner’s character: Rowan gossips, chestnut drones, Ash is stubborn, hazel moans. And sure enough, within this category of unproven sayings we find: Wand of elder, never prosper. Whether because of the fact that Death makes the fictional wand out of elder in Beedle’s story, or

because power-hungry or violent wizards have persistently claimed that their own wands are made of elder, it is not a wood that is much favoured among wandmakers. The first well-documented mention of a wand made of elder that had particularly strong and dangerous powers was owned by Emeric, commonly called ‘the Evil’, a short-lived but exceptionally aggressive wizard who terrorised the South of England in the early Middle Ages. He died as he had lived, in a ferocious duel with a wizard known as Egbert. What became of Egbert is unknown, although the life expectancy of medieval duellers was generally short. In the days before there was a Ministry of Magic to regulate the use of Dark Magic, duelling was usually fatal. A full century later, another unpleasant character, this time named Godelot, advanced the study of Dark Magic by writing a collection of dangerous spells with the help of a wand he described in his notebook as ‘my moste wicked and subtle friend, with bodie of Ellhorn,6 who knowes ways of magick moste evile’. (Magick Moste Evile became the title of Godelot’s masterwork.) As can be seen, Godelot considers his wand to be a helpmeet, almost an instructor. Those who are knowledgeable about wandlore7 will agree that wands do indeed absorb the expertise of those who use them, though this is an unpredictable and

imperfect business; one must consider all kinds of additional factors, such as the relationship between the wand and the user, to understand how well it is likely to perform with any particular individual. Nevertheless, a hypothetical wand that had passed through the hands of many Dark wizards would be likely to have, at the very least, a marked affinity for the most dangerous kinds of magic. Most witches and wizards prefer a wand that has ‘chosen’ them to any kind of second-hand wand, precisely because the latter is likely to have learned habits from its previous owner that might not be compatible with the new user’s style of magic. The general practice of burying (or burning) the wand with its owner, once he or she has died, also tends to prevent any individual wand learning from too many masters. Believers in the Elder Wand, however, hold that because of the way in which it has always passed allegiance between owners – the next master overcoming the first, usually by killing him – the Elder Wand has never been destroyed or buried, but has survived to accumulate wisdom, strength and power far beyond the ordinary. Godelot is known to have perished in his own cellar, where he was locked by his mad son, Hereward. We must assume that Hereward took his father’s wand, or the latter would have been able to escape, but what Hereward did with the wand after that we cannot be sure. All that is certain is that a

wand called ‘the Eldrun8 Wand’ by its owner, Barnabas Deverill, appeared in the early eighteenth century, and that Deverill used it to carve himself out a reputation as a fearsome warlock, until his reign of terror was ended by the equally notorious Loxias, who took the wand, rechristened it ‘the Deathstick’, and used it to lay waste to anyone who displeased him. It is difficult to trace the subsequent history of Loxias’s wand, as many claimed to have finished him off, including his own mother. What must strike any intelligent witch or wizard on studying the so-called history of the Elder Wand is that every man who claims to have owned it9 has insisted that it is ‘unbeatable’, when the known facts of its passage through many owners’ hands demonstrate that not only has it been beaten hundreds of times, but that it also attracts trouble as Grumble the Grubby Goat attracted flies. Ultimately, the quest for the Elder Wand merely supports an observation I have had occasion to make many times over the course of my long life: that humans have a knack of choosing precisely those things that are worst for them. But which of us would have shown the wisdom of the third brother, if offered the pick of Death’s gifts? Wizards and Muggles alike are imbued with a lust for power; how many would resist ‘the Wand of Destiny’? Which human being, having lost

someone they loved, could withstand the temptation of the Resurrection Stone? Even I, Albus Dumbledore, would find it easiest to refuse the Invisibility Cloak; which only goes to show that, clever as I am, I remain just as big a fool as anyone else.

{Necromancy is the Dark Art of raising the dead. It is a branch of magic that has never worked, as this story makes clear. JKR} 1

{This quotation demonstrates that Albus Dumbledore was not only exceptionally well read in wizarding terms, but also that he was familiar with the writings of Muggle poet Alexander Pope. JKR} 2

{Invisibility Cloaks are not, generally, infallible. They may rip or grow opaque with age, or the charms placed upon them may wear off, or be countered by charms of revealment. This is why witches and wizards usually turn, in the first instance, to Disillusionment Charms for self-camouflage or concealment. Albus Dumbledore was known to be able to perform a Disillusionment Charm so powerful as to render himself invisible without the need for a Cloak. JKR} 3

4 {Inferi are

corpses reanimated by Dark Magic. JKR}

Many critics believe that Beedle was inspired by the Philosopher’s Stone, which makes the immortality-inducing Elixir 5

of Life, when creating this stone that can raise the dead. 6 An old

name for ‘elder’.

7 Such

as myself.

8 Also

an old name for ‘elder’.

No witch has ever claimed to own the Elder Wand. Make of that what you will. 9

All rights reserved; no part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or in part, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher This digital edition published by Pottermore Limited in 2016 First published in Great Britain in 2008 by Lumos in association with Bloomsbury Publishing Plc Text and interior illustrations © J.K. Rowling 2007/2008 Cover illustration by Olly Moss © Pottermore Limited Harry Potter characters, names and related indicia are trademarks of and © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. J.K. ROWLING’S WIZARDING WORLD TM J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All rights reserved The moral right of the author has been asserted Named after the light-giving spell in the Harry Potter books, Lumos was set up by J.K. Rowling to end the use of orphanages and institutions for vulnerable children around the world by 2050 and ensure all future generations of children can be raised in loving families. Lumos is the operating name of Lumos Foundation, a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales, number 5611912. Registered charity number 1112575. Source ISBN 978-1-78110-675-4 ISBN 978-1-78110-923-6

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Short Stories from Hogwarts of Power, Politics and Pesky Poltergeists Hogwarts: An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide

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This digital edition published by Pottermore Limited in 2017 All rights reserved; no part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or in part, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher Harry Potter characters, names and related indicia are trademarks of and © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. J.K. ROWLING’S WIZARDING WORLD ™ J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All rights reserved The moral rights of the author and illustrators have been asserted Comic Relief (UK) was set up in 1985 by a group of British comedians to raise funds for projects promoting social justice and helping to tackle poverty. Monies from the worldwide sales of this book will go to help children and young people in the UK and around the world, preparing them to be ready for the future – to be safe, healthy, educated and empowered. Comic Relief (UK) is a registered charity: 326568 (England/Wales); SC039730 (Scotland). Named after the light-giving spell in the Harry Potter books, Lumos was established by J.K. Rowling to end the use of orphanages and institutions for vulnerable children around the world by 2050 and ensure all future generations of children can be raised in loving families. Lumos is the operating name of Lumos Foundation, a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales, number

5611912. Registered charity number 1112575.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them This digital edition first published by Pottermore Limited in 2017 First published in print in Great Britain by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc in 2017 Text © J.K. Rowling 2001, 2017 Cover illustration by Olly Moss © Pottermore Limited Interior illustrations by Tomislav Tomic copyright © Bloomsbury Publishing Plc 2017

Quidditch Through the Ages This digital edition first published by Pottermore Limited in 2016 First published in print in Great Britain in 2001 by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc Text © J.K. Rowling 2001 Interior illustrations and hand lettering © J.K. Rowling 2001 Cover illustration by Olly Moss © Pottermore Limited

The Tales of Beedle the Bard First published in Great Britain in 2008 by Lumos in association with Bloomsbury Publishing Plc. Text and interior illustrations © J.K. Rowling 2007/2008 Cover illustration by Olly Moss © Pottermore Limited

ISBN 978-1-78110-923-6


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