Over the course of the past month, I had the privilege to visit Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. During my stay at the marvelous Hogwarts castle, I explored the outskirts of the forbidden forest, rowed across the tranquil lake, and attended several classes. Out of all the classes I observed, Professor Hagrid’s Care of Magical Creatures course most greatly sparked my interest.
Do you want to learn more about the fantastical beasts of the wizarding world? Have you always loved animals, but feel bored of common household dogs and cats? Do you want to deepen your understanding of magical creatures? If this is you (and you possess magical powers), then Rubeus Hagrid’s elective class is a great fit for you!
To attend this class, young wizards and witches must be in the process of completing their third year at Hogwarts and must pass an entrance exam. The exam consists of a hands-on test and a written exam. For the hands-on test, students must care for a chizpurfle for a month prior to completing their exam. For confused muggle readers, a chizpurfle is a small crab-like creature with long fangs considered a pest by most wizard households.
The written portion consists of a test of general knowledge of harmless magical creatures. While talking with Professor Hagrid after a lesson, I was able to gather more information on this course:
Me: What does a normal class period look like in this course?
Prof. Hagrid: Well, during a normal class time, me students are introduced to eh new ‘reature. As the professor of this class, It’s me job to pick the ‘reatures for each lesson. The Ministry of Magic has a special classification for all ‘reatures, and I am only allowed to teach third y’ers up to XXX. Here is a ‘opy of the classifications below. Even with not as dangerous creatures, me and me students still have fun.
Ministry of Magic Classifications
XXXXX Known wizard killer/impossible to train or domesticate
XXXX Dangerous/requires specialist knowledge/skilled wizard may handle
XXX Competent wizard should cope
XX Harmless/may be domesticated
Me: Do you have a favorite creature?
Prof. Hagrid: I do, but the sad thing is I ‘an’t never teach me students ‘bout it cause it’s a dragon. I love all dragons. I even once had a pet dragon, but me had to give it up to keep me job. I guess that’s the price we must pay for staying employed.
Me: It seems like you lead a very interesting life. Do you have any tips/advice regarding the forbidden forest?
Prof. Hagrid: Many people think those woods are scary, but once ye get over the darkness, and howling, and strange smell, and eerie sounds, and the feeling that ye are always being watched, it really ain’t that bad. I’ve certainly got over it after all these years.
Me: Do you have any advice for a young witch or wizard wondering if your class would be a good fit for him/her?
Prof. Hagrid: If ye take me class be prepared to git messy and don’t be afraid of magical beasts. Here’s me advice, If ye have enough respect for them, they’ll have enough respect for ye. If they don’t well, we’ll come to that when we git there.
After passing the entrance exam, students will explore multiple different creatures throughout the year. In each class, students will learn about a new creature classified XXX and below; although creatures XXXX and above will be studied, no in-class demonstrations will be held. Out of the many creatures covered in the course, here are a few of the more interesting ones: the Billywig (XXX), a large bug with a long, sharp stinger which, if used, causes its victims to levitate; the Bundimun (XXX), a green fungus-like substance used in many wizarding cleaning substances; the Clabbert (XX), a mix between a monkey and a frog; and the Doxy (XXX, better known as the biting fairy), a small humanoid creature with wings and sharp teeth. Of course, some less-interesting creatures must be covered as well such as the Fwooper, classified as X, and the garden gnome, classified as XX, but overall, this informative course is filled with many intriguing creatures. In addition to observing creatures during class time, students are expected to write two essays: one on dragons and the other on a creature of their choice. During the second term, students raise and care for a creature of their choice with the classification of X. Finally, students present their findings after caring for their creature in an end-of-the-year-project.
This course is a fantastic, action packed class filled with danger and adventure for daring wizards. If this is you, then take this class next year to expand your magical creature skills! If you’re a muggle, well in the words of professor Hagrid, “Yer outta luck,” but you can always read J.K. Rowling’s incredible Harry Potter series!
Rowling, J. K. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. J.K. Rowling, 2001.
Varga, Eva. “Care of Magical Creatures,” https://evavarga.net/science-harry-potter-magical-creatures/.
“Chizpurfle.” Harry Potter Wiki, harrypotter.fandom.com/wiki/Chizpurfle.