HPL Bestiary This page has been updated for Book 7.

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Named Beasts

     "Ah, well, people can be a bit stupid abou' their pets." --Rubeus Hagrid (PA14)

The Minister for Magic in 1811, Grogan Stump, decreed that a beast was a creature that does not have "sufficient intelligence to understand the laws of the magical community and to bear part of the responsibility in shaping those laws" (FB).  This means that not only are witches and wizards classified as "beings," rather than "beasts," but so are giants, goblins, hags, merpeople, and vampires (you can find out more about these characters here).  For the sake of our Lexicon pages, we put centaurs and house-elves into the "being" category as well - because though both are intelligent enough to fit the definition, centaurs have asked to remain classified as "beasts" and the official status of house-elves is unknown.

What that leaves us with is a whole host of creatures - and, in the case of this page, a whole host of characters, some of whom have quite a bit of personality.


Acromantula - deceased

A male Acromantula, acquired as an egg c. 1942 [Y-38] by Hagrid from a traveller. Hagrid hid Aragog in a cupboard in the castle and reared him on table scraps until Aragog's existence was exposed by Tom Riddle. At that point Hagrid was expelled, but he managed to release Aragog into the forest, where the Acromantula spent the rest of his life. Hagrid later found a mate for Aragog (see Mosag), and they had many offspring; the entire colony remained deep in the forest. Harry and Ron first encountered Aragog and his family in May of 1993 [Y13] and barely escaped with their lives, although out of respect for Hagrid Aragog neither sought out humans as prey nor permitted his family to do so (CS15). At the end of his life, Aragog was the size of a small elephant; his colouration was mixed with grey and he had gone blind, evidently due to cataracts (CS15). Aragog died of old age in the spring of 1997 (HBP22).
"ara" from "aranea" L. spider + "gog" from "Gog", a legendary giant
The Magical World of Harry Potterpp. 159 - 160


Pygmy Puff - pet of Ginny Weasley

A Pygmy Puff that Molly Weasley bought for Ginny at Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes in the fall of her fifth year (HBP6).  Arnold tends to ride around on Ginny's shoulder in the Gryffidor common room, which is probably a good thing as Crookshanks seems to have taken an interest in him (HBP14).

Bandon Banshee, the

Banshee - defeated

The Bandon Banshee was supposedly defeated by Gilderoy Lockhart (CS6), but actually was defeated by a witch with a hairy chin (CS16, CS - Edits and Changes to the Text).


Fruitbat - Ballycastle

Barny is the mascot of the Ballycastle Bats; he also appears in Butterbeer commercials ("Barny says: I'm just batty about Butterbeer!") (QA7).

Binky Muggle creature

rabbit - deceased

Pet of Lavender Brown, a young rabbit that was killed by a fox in the fall of 1993.  Lavender was convinced this was, as Professor Trelawney had predicted, "the thing she was dreading," though Hermione pointed out that logically this didn't make much sense (PA8).


Hippogriff - with Hagrid

Buckbeak is a hippogriff, who escaped a death sentence with Sirius Black (more...)

Bungy Muggle creature

budgeriar - Five Feathers, Barnsley

A couple of months after Voldemort's return, Harry was sitting under the Dursleys' window listening to the news  - and the final story to appear was that "Bungy the budgie... has learned how to water ski!" At this, Harry decided that nothing useful would come from the news that night (OP1).Crookshanks


part Kneazle, part cat - moves around with Hermione Granger

Hermione's pet, Crookshanks is remarkably intelligent, capable of actions no normal animal could perform (more...)


Owl - The Burrow

The Weasley family's aging and decrepit owl, who is barely able to complete some of his deliveries.  Hermione worries that "perhaps it would be better if you used a different owl, because I think another delivery might finish your one off" (CS4).


boarhound - Hagrid's cabin, Hogwarts

Pet of Hagrid, Fang is large and loud and slobbery, but a coward at heart; however, he did fight to defend Hagrid against the Ministry Aurors when they came to arrest him (OP31).


Phoenix - current whereabouts unknown, formerly Dumbledore's office, Hogwarts

Dumbledore's pet phoenix, whose tail-feathers are used as the core in Harry and Voldemort's wands (GF36). He helped Harry in his fight against the Basilisk during his second year, and healed his injuries with his tears, that have magical healing properties (CS17). He also healed Harry after his return from the encounter with Voldemort in the graveyard (GF36). Dumbledore sometimes uses Fawkes to deliver messages or give warnings (OP22). In the climactic battle between Dumbledore and Voldemort in the Department of Mysteries, Fawkes swallowed a Killing Curse which had been aimed at Dumbledore and died, only to be reborn yet again (OP32). After Dumbledroe's death in 1997, Fawkes sang mournfully, his song filling the Hogwarts grounds, then flew away never to return (HBP29).    - Anna L. Black, ed.

Fawkes borrows the name of the infamous Guy Fawkes, who in 1606 was involved with the Gunpowder Plot to blow up Parliament. Fawkes wasn’t actually the leader of the Plot, but his name has gone down in history as the man responsible. The fifth of November is now called Guy Fawkes Day and celebrations involve bonfires and fireworks in memory of the explosion that never happened back in 1606. Since the phoenix bird burns up entirely every so often and is reborn as a tiny chick, a name associated with fire makes sense. (From The Lexicon page 111).


three-headed dog - Forbidden Forest

Very dangerous, very large three-headed dog, owned by Rubeus Hagrid. After lending him to Dumbledore to help protect the Philosopher's Stone (PS11), Hagrid released Fluffy into the Forbidden Forest (BP).


owl - deceased July 1997

Harry's snowy owl, bought for him by Hagrid at Eeylops Owl Emporium in Diagon Alley (more...)


owl - Percy Weasley's residence

Owl belonging to Percy Weasley, having been given to him as a reward in his fifth year upon his becoming a Gryffindor prefect (PS6). Percy uses him for sending personal correspondence, such as letters to Penelope Clearwater while they were dating at Hogwarts (CS), and letters to his youngest brother Ron (GF, OP14).


Acromantula - Forbidden Forest

Female Acromantula, wife of Aragog (CS15).

Mr. Paws

Kneazle/cat - home of Arabella Figg, Wisteria Walk, Little Whinging, Surrey

One of Mrs. Figg's cats (PS2) and most likely a part or full Kneazle, since we know she breeds them (JKR).

Mr. Tibbles

Kneazle/cat - home of Arabella Figg, Wisteria Walk, Little Whinging, Surrey

One of Mrs. Figg's cats (PS2). This cat (or, more likely, Kneazle) was on lookout duty under a car when Mundungus Fletcher abandoned his post guarding Harry and the boy was attacked by two Dementors in an alley near his home (OP1,OP2).

Mrs. Norris

Kneazle/cat - Filch's quarters, Hogwarts Castle

Dust colored cat (who is likely at least part Kneazle) with lamp-like yellow eyes and a skeletal build. Mrs. Norris prowls the corridors of Hogwarts, ever on the lookout for miscreants and mischief-makers. Mrs. Norris was temporarily Petrified during the 1992-1993 school year when the Basilisk attacked her. It is the fond wish of many of the students to give the meddlesome, tattling Mrs. Norris a good solid kick, but so far no one has carried out this wish because of their fear of Filch. Harry was unsure during his first year as to whether invisibility cloaks work on cats (PS16, but judging from the fact that she was tracking him by scent when he worked on the egg clue (GF25), it would seem that she cannot see through them.

The name Mrs. Norris come from one of JKR's favorite Jane Austen books, Mansfield Park. In that book, Mrs. Norris is the busybody aunt of the main character who interferes and pokes her nose into other people's business.


snake - companion to Voldemort - killed May 2 1998

In order to survive in his "hideous baby" form, Voldemort needed to drink regular doses of a potion created from unicorn blood and snake venom. He kept a large snake named Nagini around for this purpose. Among his other custodial duties, Wormtail had to milk venom from the snake at regular intervals. Voldemort could speak with Nagini, of course, and he promised first Wormtail, then Harry to the snake for a meal (GF1).  (See esp. OP21, HBP23, DH17, DH36). See also Horcruxes.

"naga" is Sanskrit for "snake". Readers of Rudyard Kiping's "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi" will remember that the two cobras in that story were named Nag and Nagaina, their names having been derived along the same lines as Nagini's here. In both Hinduism and Buddhism, the Naga are deities who take the form of large snakes. The feminine version of the Naga is called a Nagini. The Naga are generally evil in the stories and are in constant conflict with Garuda, a gigantic man-bird.

Magical Worlds of Harry Potter "In Buddhism and Hinduism, Nagas are a race of semi-divine snakes with great powers..." (pp. 131-132)

Norbert Norbert/Norberta

Norwegian Ridgeback Dragon - Romania

A Norwegian Ridgeback dragon, hatched from an egg by Hagrid and raised for several weeks in the spring of 1992. Norbert outgrew his surroundings rather quickly and had to be sent to a dragon reservation in Romania, where they discovered that Norbert was actually female and renamed her Norberta (PS14, PS17, DH7).


owl - belongs to Ron Weasley

Ron's owl, a tiny bird, possibly a Scops owl. "Pig," as he is called, is very excitable. He annoys Ron and also irritates Hedwig, who apparently doesn't think Pig has the proper bearing and manners for a post owl (GF3) . Pigwidgeon was given to Ron by Sirius Black, who used Pig for a delivery after Black and Buckbeak's escape from Hogwarts. Sirius suggested that Ron keep the tiny owl in exchange for the pet rat that Ron lost. Ginny gave Pig his name and it stuck, although Ron would have liked to have changed it (GF5).

Ripper Muggle creature

bulldog - home of Marjorie Dursley

Of Marjorie Dursley's twelve dogs, the evil-tempered Ripper is her favourite. She takes him with her when she goes visiting, because she says he pines for her when she's not there (PA2).


rat (supposedly)

Animagus form of Peter Pettigrew, lived as Ron Weasley's pet for years to hide from Death Eaters bent on vengeance. Scabbers had the appearance of a plain gray rat, somewhat worse for the wear, who surprisingly had lived quite a bit longer than normal rats should. He was missing a toe, which corresponded to Pettigrew's missing finger (PA19). He originally had belonged to Percy Weasley, but when Percy was given Hermes upon being made prefect (summer, 1991), Scabbers became Ron's rat (PS6).


Kneazle/cat - home of Arabella Figg, Wisteria Walk, Little Whinging, Surrey

One of Mrs. Figg's cats (PS2) and most likely a part or full Kneazle, since we know she breeds them (JKR).


phoenix - Moutohora, New Zealand

Sparky is the team mascot of the Moutohora Macaws, an exciting Quidditch team from New Zealand (QA8).  This is the only domesticated phoenix we know of, besides Fawkes - and possibly the only other one in existence, since we know phoenixes are very difficult to domesticate (FB).


Thestral - Forbidden Forest

One of the thestrals who live in the Forbidden Forest, the first to be born there (and Hagrid's favorite) (OP21).

‘tenebrosus' L. = ‘dark, gloomy’


toad - the Lake

Neville's pet toad, just a simple animal, who he frequently loses (PS6). Eventually, Trevor wandered off and joined the other frogs and toads in and around the Lake (Pm).


Kneazle/cat - home of Arabella Figg, Wisteria Walk, Little Whinging, Surrey

One of Mrs. Figg's cats (PS2) and most likely a part or full Kneazle, since we know she breeds them (JKR).

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Primary editor: Steve Vander Ark. Assistant editor(s): John Kearns, Michele Worley.
original artwork of Crookshanks © Clio Chiang, used by permission
original artwork of Norbert ©  Edgar Torné, used by permission

Original page dateAugust 31, 2006; Last page update July 12, 2012 SVA