Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Read online

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  B Tradeable Materials (Dangerous and Subject to Strict Control).

  FAIRY

  M.O.M. Classification: XX

  The fairy is a small and decorative beast of little intelligence.7 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 insectlike 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.

  * * *

  7 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.

  FIRE CRAB

  M.O.M. Classification: XXX

  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.

  FLOBBERWORM

  M.O.M. Classification: X

  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.

  FWOOPER

  M.O.M. Classification: XXX

  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 insanity8 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.

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  8 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.

  GHOUL

  M.O.M. Classification: XX

  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.

  M.O.M. Classification: XXX

  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.

  GNOME

  M.O.M. Classification: XX

  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.

  GRAPHORN

  M.O.M. Classification: XXXX

  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.

  GRIFFIN

  M.O.M. Classification: XXXX

  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 (see below), 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.

  GRINDYLOW

  M.O.M. Classification: XX

  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.

  HIPPOCAMPUS

  M.O.M. Classification: XXX

  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, semitransparent eggs through which the Tadfoal may be seen.

  HIPPOGRIFF

  M.O.M. Classification: XXX

  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.

  HORKLUMP

  M.O.M. Classification: X

  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.

  IMP

  M.O.M. Classification: XX

  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 oft