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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
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
In 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.
ABOUT THIS BOOK
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them represents the fruit of many years’ travel and research. I look back across the years to the seven-year-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’?
WHAT IS A BEAST?
The definition of a ‘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 two-legged 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 guar