Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Read online

Page 5

  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.9

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  9 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.


  M.O.M. Classification: XXX

  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.


  M.O.M. Classification: XXX

  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.


  M.O.M. Classification: XXXXX

  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: XXXX10

  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).

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  10 See classification footnote for centaur.


  M.O.M. Classification: XXX

  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.


  M.O.M. Classification: XX

  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.


  M.O.M. Classification: XXX

  The Murtlap is a ratlike 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.


  M.O.M. Classification: XXX

  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.


  M.O.M. Classification: XXX

  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.


  M.O.M. Classification: XXXXX

  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.


  M.O.M. Classification: XXXX

  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.


  M.O.M. Classification: XXXX11

  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 (see above), 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.

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


  M.O.M. Classification: XXX

  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 tr