Every Wednesday I use the topic from this Goodreads Group to make a Top 5 list. This week’s topic is ‘Summer Reads’, I used this as a topic for a normal blog post last week (you can see my recommendations here). Instead, I have decided to talk about my favourite magical creatures from the Harry Potter universe.
Excerpt from Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them by J.K.Rowling: ‘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 is rarely noticed by Muggles and not often 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 the 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 can 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 belived to be a component int the popular sweet Fizzing Whizzbees.’
I think Billywigs are great because of the totally mad side effects of their stings. As if there aren’t already enough crazy insects in Australia.
Excerpt from Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them by J.K.Rowling: ‘The Diricawl originated in Mauritius. A plump-bodied, fluffy-feathered, flightless bird, the Diricawl is remarkable for it’s 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.’
I love that the dodo was made into a magical creature and is not extinct at all. Fiction can bring species back to life.
Excerpt from Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them by J.K.Rowling: ‘The Fwooper is an African bird with extremely vivid plumage; Fwoopers maybe 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 insanity 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.’
I think it’s great that wizards and witches want pets that could potentially drive them insane. It seems ridiculous and an affectation of the incredibly rich.
Excerpt from Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them by J.K.Rowling: ‘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.’
I love gnomes because of the ones that infest the gardens of The Burrow. They have been taught to swear and are constantly invading the garden. I also like them because Rowling has turned the garden gnome into the pest it really is.
Excerpt from Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them by J.K.Rowling: ‘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.’
I love how adorable and destructive Nifflers are. They hold a special place in my heart because they were used to tear apart Umbridge’s office on more than one occassion.
What’s your favourite magical creature from the wizarding world? Let me know in the comments!